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Links 28/7/2021: OPNsense 21.7 and MX Linux 21 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • It Takes A Lot To Build A Hacker’s Laptop | Hackaday [Ed: Have they made non-Windows options widely available yet? With a discount or with GNU/Linux instead?]

        Will it be a dependable second-hand ThinkPad, the latest object of desire from Apple, or whatever cast-off could be scrounged and given a GNU/Linux distro?


        Few readers will find installing a GNU/Linux distro a problem, but it’s an obvious hole in the line-up.

    • Server

      • Linux Cluster – Basics

        I hope to cover a basic understanding of clustering as well as give you a way to demonstrate making a small virtual cluster.

        When most people hear the word ‘cluster’ they may think that this is a group of computers acting as one system. The idea is a very basic concept of clustering, but mostly correct.

        A cluster of computers is a group of systems acting as one for different purposes. There are four types of clusters that we will discuss.

      • Ubuntu Blog: From notebooks to pipelines with Kubeflow KALE

        Kubeflow is the open-source machine learning toolkit on top of Kubernetes. Kubeflow translates steps in your data science workflow into Kubernetes jobs, providing the cloud-native interface for your ML libraries, frameworks, pipelines and notebooks.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • KDE Dev-Vlog 2: The Eye of the Beholder

        This video continues right where the prior one left off: Improving the user interface of Gwenview, the default image viewer of KDE.

        Different than the first video, this one is slightly thrilling at times. It also has more of a focus on showing the work processes instead of mostly presenting the results and thoughts behind it.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.13.6
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.13.6 kernel.
        All users of the 5.13 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.13.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.13.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.10.54
      • Linux 5.4.136
      • Linux 4.19.199
      • Linux 4.14.241
      • Linux 4.9.277
      • Linux 4.4.277
      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Kernel Dependability and Assurance Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

        We are pleased to announce that the Kernel Dependability and Assurance Microconference has been accepted into the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference.

        Linux development is producing kernels at an ever increasing rate, and at the same time with arguably increasing software quality. The process of kernel development has been adapting to handle the increasing number of contributors over the years to ensure a sufficient software quality. This quality is key in that Linux is now being used in applications that require a high degree of trust that the kernel is going to behave as expected. Some of the key areas we’re seeing Linux start to be used are in medical devices, civil infrastructure, caregiving robots, automotives, etc.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ubuntu 21.04 vs. Windows 10 Trade Blows On The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX / ASUS ROG Strix G15

        While the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX performance is great on Linux once overcoming any laptop support quirks like with the ASUS ROG Strix G15 “AMD Advantage” laptop running into keyboard and WiFi issues on Linux depending upon the kernel version, how does the performance compare to Microsoft Windows 10? Here are some benchmarks of that ROG Strix G15 AMD laptop under Windows 10 as shipped by ASUS against Ubuntu 21.04 when upgraded to the Linux 5.13 stable kernel.

        Prior to clearing out the Windows install on the ASUS ROG Strix G15, I ran some benchmarks looking at how the out-of-the-box performance is with all available Windows updates, including the various ASUS software/driver updates. This ASUS G513QY laptop is equipped with the flagship Ryzen 9 5900HX mobile processor, Radeon RX 6800M discrete graphics to complement the 5900HX’s integrated Vega graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD.

    • Applications

      • Apologetic Audacity rewrites privacy policy after ‘significant lapse in communication’

        Open-source audio editor Audacity this week posted an apology on GitHub in response to the entirely predictable furore over the platform’s privacy policy.

        An updated privacy policy accompanied the apology, in which the team insisted it had just been misunderstood, and that a look at the source would have shown its intentions.

        “We are deeply sorry for the significant lapse in communication caused by the original privacy policy document,” it said. The fact that it didn’t regret the actual document itself seemed to alarm a good many users.

        The update removes phrasing that “discourages children under 13 years old from using Audacity.” The wording has also been updated to emphasise that no additional data is being collected for law enforcement purposes and that no personally identifiable information is being stored.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set Up Tegola Vector Tile Server on Ubuntu 20.04 for OpenStreetMap – LinuxBabe

        Tegola is an open-source vector tile server for OpenStreetMap. Previously we explained the process of setting up OSM tile server, which is a raster-based tile server. This tutorial is going to show you how to set up Tegola vector tile server on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Create a Shell Script in Linux | Linux Journal

        Do you want to create a Shell script in your Linux system?

        This guide will take you through how to create a shell script using multiple text editors, how to add comments, and how to use Shell variables.

        But before heading over to creating a shell script, let’s understand what Shell scripting in Linux is.

      • How to Install iRedmail Open Source Mail Server On Ubuntu 20.04

        Let’s learn how to install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04. Having our own mail server is cool, we can create as many email accounts as we want, configure how big the attachment limit, create our own spam filters, etc. But, installing and configuring a mail server can stress you and consume your precious time. iRedmail is an open source mail server solution, with iRedmail we can deploy a full-featured mail server in several minutes. It can help you to reduce the time you spend when building a mail server.

        It will install the needed services and application to run a mail server. iRedmail supports all major Linux distribution, but in this tutorial, we will show you how to install iRedmail on Ubuntu 20.04. iRedmail is designed to be installed on a fresh operating system. It means it is highly recommended that you install it on a newly installed OS.

      • How to Restore Vertical Workspaces in Activities Overview in Ubuntu 21.10 Gnome 40 | UbuntuHandbook

        For those prefer Gnome 3 style Activities overview, here’s how to bring back the vertical workspace thumbnails in Ubuntu 21.10.

        Ubuntu 21.10 defaults to Gnome 40 and brings new design of the Activities overview screen. It now has large and horizontal workspaces locates across the center of screen. Along with thumbnails in the top, you can either click / use keyboard shortcuts or touchpad gestures to switch workspaces.

        Personally I like the new design. But for those who are accustomed to the vertical view, here’s an extension to restore the change.

      • How to Compress Files with zstd Utility in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        Although there are many graphical and command-line data compression tools, zstd is the one that stands out. Short for Zstandard, zstd is a data compression tool developed by Facebook data engineers in 2015. It is so effective and easy to use, that zstd has become the go-to compression tool for many Linux users. This tutorial will show you how to install zstd and use it from the terminal.

      • How to install Zellij (terminal multiplexer) on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Zellij, a new terminal multiplexer written in Rust.

        So, In the next article we are going to take a look at Zellij. This is a workspace aimed at developers and any user who likes the terminal.In essence, this is un terminal multiplexer (similar to tmux) written in Rust.

        If, due to the characteristics of the tasks you usually perform, the terminal emulator that you use every day falls short, try this multiplexer of terminal it may be interesting to you. Zellij includes a design system and a plugin system that allows you to create plugins in any language that compiles into WebAssembly.

      • How To Install MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, the MariaDB database is an open-source relational database management system, backward compatible, binary drop-in replacement of MySQL. It is developed by some of the original developers of MySQL and by many people in the community.

        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 MariaDB on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • Linux Essentials – Managing Groups

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we take a look at group management. You’ll see commands such as ‘groupadd’ and ‘groupdel’ in action as we navigate concepts around adding groups, removing groups, assigning/removing users to groups, and more!

    • Games

      • Latest RPCS3 version offers major performance improvements in resistance 1 and 2 in addition to the Ratchet & Clank series

        The latest RPCS3 build offers significant performance improvements for several games, including Insomniac’s Ratchet & Clank series and the original Resistance 1 and 2.

        Last year’s patches for the original Resistance episodes already offered some great performance improvements, but the two games are now fully playable at 60FPS in RPCS3. Additionally, thanks to various fixes to long-standing issues in the emulator, the Ratchet and Clank PS3 games are now much more playable with only minor performance drops holding them back.

      • Emulator developers see tons of potential in the Steam Deck

        TTE, or Time To Emulator, isn’t an official metric by which new gaming hardware is judged. But if it was, I have a feeling the Steam Deck would set a new record later this year. Every new game console is built to play new games, yet inevitably it will attract a community of amazing homebrew programmers eager to tap into that power to play old games, too. The Steam Deck, though, will be the first prominent handheld device poised to support a huge swath of existing emulators from day one. It was a big deal when emulator authors got Super Nintendo games running on Sony’s PSP or Vita, but the Steam Deck may well be able to play decades of games—even from the Nintendo Switch—and play them well.

        “Everyone I know has relatively high hopes for the Steam Deck right now,” says JMC4789, a contributor to GameCube/Wii emulator Dolphin. JMC4789 is optimistic about how well Dolphin could run on the Steam Deck—and so are the developers of Yuzu, the leading Nintendo Switch emulator.

      • Steam Deck killed any need for A Total War Saga: Troy’s Linux port

        The port was paused when the game was made an Epic Game Store exclusive last year. EGS has no Linux support, so the exclusivity delayed any work Feral had planned. In the meantime, Valve’s work on Proton and SteamOS, designed to allow Windows titles to run on Linux so people are able to access their entire Steam library on Valve’s portable device, has killed off any need for a native port.

        Gaming On Linux spotted Feral’s tweet: “The Linux port was put on hold while Troy was exclusive to Epic, and we are not resuming development for the Steam release. We will continue to assess the feasibility of porting games to Linux, but there is generally less demand for native titles since Valve’s launch of Proton.”

        In the comments of the Gaming On Linux article, user “Leopard” stated that their EGS version of the game already runs well with “Wine+DXVK”. So Linux users won’t even have to wait until SteamOS is released for the game to be playable.

      • O3DE Game Engine Quickly Settling Its Linux Support – Phoronix

        Less than one month since Open 3D Engine was announced based on Amazon’s Lumberyard engine, the Linux support is nearly in a pleasant state.

        As written about in mid-July, the O3DE Linux editor was getting squared away after initially the Linux support was in rough shape, which was rather unfortunate considering O3DE and the new Open 3D Foundation is backed by the Linux Foundation.

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux 21 Enters Beta Testing Based on Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” and Xfce 4.16

        Dubbed “Wildflower” and derived from the Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” and MX repositories, MX Linux 21 is powered by the long-term supported Linux 5.10 LTS kernel series and uses the latest and greatest Xfce 4.16 desktop environment.

        Highlights of this first beta release include new and updated applications, a new installer partition selection area with LVM support, as well as new UEFI live system boot menus that make it easier to select boot options directly from the boot menu and submenus.

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 is here to replace Microsoft Windows 11 on your PC

          Thankfully, there is an arguably better option — just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems are very well-supported and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 11). Linux Lite, which uses the Xfce desktop environment, is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

          Today, Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 (release candidate) becomes available, and it is based on Ubuntu 20.04.2. The operating system uses Linux kernel 5.4.0-80, but other kernels are available too, ranging from 3.13 to 5.13. This new version of Linux Lite also comes with some excellent software packages, such as Firefox 89.0.2, Thunderbird 78.11.0, LibreOffice, VLC, and GIMP 2.10.18.

      • BSD

        • OPNsense 21.7 released

          For more than 6 and a half years, OPNsense is driving innovation through
          modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable
          firmware upgrades, multi-language support, fast adoption of upstream software
          updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

          21.7, nicknamed “Noble Nightingale”, is one of the largest iterations of
          code changes in our recent history. It will also be the last release on
          HardenedBSD 12.1. We are planning to start the work on FreeBSD 13 as soon
          as next week for the 22.1 series.

          The installer was replaced to offer native ZFS installations and prevent
          glitches in virtual machines using UEFI. Firmware updates were partially
          redesigned and the UI layout consolidated between static and MVC pages.
          The live log now contains the actual rule ID to avoid mismatches after
          adjusting your ruleset and the firewall aliases now also support wildcard
          netmasks. For a complete list of changes see below.

        • OPNsense 21.7 Released With New Installer Offering Better ZFS Support – Phoronix

          OPNsense as the FreeBSD/HardenedBSD-based firewall and routing platform long ago forked from pfSense is out with its newest major release.

          OPNsense 21.7 is “one of the largest iterations of code changes” in their recent history but is still based on HardenedBSD 12.1, the BSD effort around further security hardening of FreeBSD 12.1. OPNsense developers now following this release are beginning to transition to FreeBSD 13 for their OPNsense 22.1 release due out early next year.

        • OPNsense® 21.7 “Noble Nightingale” released

          With over 1000 commits in its core and plugin repository since the last major, this 14th major release is again packed with improvements, new and updated plugins as well as new drivers such as the new AMD XGBE driver.

          Amongst the improvements are the newly designed – API enabled – firewall states diagnostics, firewall live log template support and a full firmware update revamp.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How we built one of the best places to work in IT

          Culture is something that is talked about a lot when it comes to the workplace. It can be what attracts people to a company in the first place and it is what keeps associates at an organization in the long run. And let’s be clear, culture is about much more than free snacks and ping pong tables. It’s about how we work together. But creating and maintaining a culture takes work and it’s something we take seriously at Red Hat. And it’s with that in mind that I’m proud to share that we’ve been ranked #3 on IDG’s Insider Pro and Computerworld’s list of “2021 Best Places to Work in IT.”

        • Community management and dealing with the bias of the loud

          In any form of community management, there is very often the “bias of the loud.” This is my name for it, it may have others. I’m sure a lot of people smarter than me have done studies on what metaphorically gets expressed in English as “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” We don’t want our wheels ungreased, but it’s also important to hear from the entire community and not just the loudest

          Bias of the loud is the loudest voices in the community tending to dominate the discussions. The danger is that they will drive away other participants who have as much (or more) to contribute, but don’t want to participate in a shouting match.

          So, as a community architect, how do you balance different personalities and help all members feel heard?

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “Bullseye”: Release date has now been set

          The Debian development team has set the release date for the upcoming version 11 (“Bullseye”) of the Linux distribution Debian on August 14, 2021. “To avoid doubts: this is no longer a provisional date,” emphasized developer Paul Gevers and thanked everyone who would have made this release date possible.

          “Bullseye” remains very close to the two-year cycle between two releases that the developers are aiming for: Debian 10 (“Buster”) was released on July 6, 2019. The – expressly provisional – date for the Debian 11 release was initially July 31st.

        • Debian Linux Running Bare Metal on Apple’s M1 SoC

          If you loathe Apple’s MacOS but envy the M1′s performance and power efficiency, the door has just been opened for a sunnier future on your side of the OS wars. Alyssa Rosenzweig, a Linux developer leading the Panfrost and Asahi graphics drivers, has tweeted a running Debian GNU/Linux installation running bare metal on Apple’s shining star SoC.

          This isn’t the first time that we have seen Linux on the M1 but make no mistake that this takes nothing away from Rosenzweig’s work. Rosenzweig’s development follows months of work in reverse engineering the M1 SoC’s workings, and represents one of the most complicated tasks in the software world – porting a working OS to what amounts to a hardware blackbox. While we’re still a relatively long time before a set-it-and-forget-it installation process for Linux on M1, the work done by Alyssa and co opens up the frontier for that to happen. The current installation already features a working upstream mainline kernel with USB support, adding flexibility to further developments. The objective is to enable any Linux distro to be installed on and run through the M1 SoC, with ecosystem support and mainline kernel updates.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Lalo Luevano, restaurateur and co-founder of Bodega wine bar [Ed: Mozilla has been reduced to tweets (cannot access without proprietary JS) and Instagram (same). Go ahead and tell us what this has to do with Firefox (the whole blog has become like that)]

            The internet has touched restaurants in so many ways, like social media, third party delivery services, review sites and even maintaining a website. How have any of these touched restaurant life for you?

          • Celebrating Mozilla VPN: How we’re keeping your data safe for you [Ed: If you think Mozilla protects your data, you are deluding yourself [1, 2, 3]]

            A year goes by so quickly, and we have good reason to celebrate. Since our launch last year, Mozilla VPN, our fast and easy-to-use Virtual Private Network service, has expanded to seven countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland adding to 13 countries where Mozilla VPN is available. We also expanded our VPN service offerings and it’s now available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS platforms. We have also given you more payment choices from credit card, paypal or through Apple in-app purchases. Lastly, our list of languages that we support continues to grow, and to date we support 28 languages. Thousands of people have signed up to subscribe to our Mozilla VPN, which provides encryption and device-level protection of your connection and information when you are on the Web.

            Developed by Mozilla, a mission-driven company with a 20-year track record of fighting for online privacy and a healthier internet, we are committed to innovate and bring new features to the Mozilla VPN through feedback from our community. This year, the team has been working on additional security and customization features which will soon be available to our users.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Yugabyte CTO outlines a PostgreSQL path to distributed cloud

          Back in that day, it was important to use a restrictive license — like GPL — to encourage people to contribute and not just take stuff from the open source and never give back. So that’s the reason why a lot of projects ended up with GPL-like licenses.

          Now, MySQL did a really good job in adhering to these workloads that came in the web back then. They were tier two workloads initially. These were not super critical, but over time they became very critical, and the MySQL community aligned really well and that gave them their speed.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Brit reseller given 2022 court date for £270m Microsoft SaaS licence sueball’s first hearing

          British software licence reseller ValueLicensing has a trial date for the first part of a £270m legal showdown against Microsoft after accusing the US behemoth of breaking UK and EU competition laws.

          A High Court hearing of Microsoft’s attempt to strike out ValueLicensing’s case will take place on 30-31 March 2022, the British company announced in a statement today.

          Jon Horley, founder and MD of ValueLicensing, said: “This High Court claim covers the damage to our business through Microsoft’s abuse of its dominant market position, effectively destroying the pre-owned software market for desktop products. We are not the only victim to have suffered loss as a result of Microsoft’s anticompetitive activity since 2016.”

          Redmond, alleges ValueLicensing in particulars of claim served on Microsoft, has been playing fast and loose with software licences in the hope of killing off the second-hand software licence market. Established law says once a vendor has sold a software licence, that licence becomes a tradeable commodity.

        • Security

          • VMware’s security boss suddenly bails
            [Ed: VMware is back doors, not security. Maybe it takes time for insiders to realise EMC's commitments.]

            VMware’s security products boss has bailed.

            Tom Corn, until last week the company’s Senior Vice President of Security Products, tweeted the news on Thursday.

          • Kaseya obtains REvil decryptor, starts sharing it with afflicted customers [Ed: Microsoft issues]

            Software-for-services providers business Kaseya has obtained a “universal decryptor key” for the REvil ransomware and is delivering it to clients.

            A brief Thursday update to the company’s rolling security advisory states the company received the key on July 21st.

          • [Older] Kaseya restores SaaS, then ‘performance issues’ force a do-over
          • [Older] REvil ransomware gang’s websites vanish soon after Kaseya fiasco, Uncle Sam threatens retaliation
          • NPM is Now Providing Malware – or was until recently [Ed: Microsoft is pumping malware into people's servers and then tells the media to blame "Linux"]

            Another malicious library has been spotted in the JavaScript-oriented NPM registry, underscoring the continued fragility of today’s software supply chain.

            Like other software package registries – repositories of code libraries for specific tasks – NPM, which was acquired last year by Microsoft’s GitHub, has proven to be an effective mechanism for spreading malicious software. Developers tend to trust the modules they download from such services and typically incorporate them into their projects without much scrutiny.

          • You, too, can be a Windows domain controller and do whatever you like, with this one weird WONTFIX trick

            Microsoft completed a vulnerability hat-trick this month as yet another security weakness was uncovered in its operating systems. And this one doesn’t even need authentication to work its magic.

          • The cockroach of Windows, XP, lives on in London’s Victoria Coach Station

            Windows XP is coming up to a 20th birthday yet it is heartening to see that the OS can still be guaranteed to take its place as one of the three horsemen of the borkpocalypse.

            While not actually on a screen of blue, the ugly face of Windows XP has shown itself nestled between a CMOS error and another screen that has simply decided to end it all.

          • Attackers Rely on ‘Exotic’ Languages for Malware Creation [Ed: The term "exotic" is misleading, meaningless, and barely appropriate in this technical context]

            Malware developers increasingly are relying on “exotic” programming languages – such as Go, Rust, DLang and Nim – to create malicious code that can avoid security detection by tools and add a layer of obfuscation to an attack, according to a report released Monday by BlackBerry.

          • Hackers turning to ‘exotic’ languages for next-gen malware, report warns
          • Open Source is Revolutionizing Careers in Cybersecurity – What You Need to Know

            The Linux Foundation’s 2020 Open Source Jobs Report states that “Open Source is still the leading software development environment for SMBs and the enterprise despite the current economic downturn and pandemic”, continuing to provide abundant career opportunities – most notably in security and DevOps. A recent RedHat survey confirms that an open source revolution is underway, citing that 86% of IT leaders believe that the most innovative companies are using open-source software. The demand for open source skills and talent currently exceeds the number of people available to fill positions with these requirements, making individuals who posess this increasingly valuable skill set highly sought after by companies worldwide.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • England’s controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time • The Register

              NHS Digital has again delayed plans for what has been called the biggest data grab in NHS history, introducing new caveats to the extraction of personal medical information. No new implementation date as been set.

              In the first significant policy shift since Matt Hancock left office as health secretary last month, primary care and health promotion minister Jo Churchill has written to all GPs setting out new proposals for siphoning off personal health histories of 55 million people in England into a central store, under the controversial General Practice Data for Planning and Research project.


              The announcement is the second delay to the controversial programme. The first came in June, following pressure from professional body the Royal College of GPs and doctors’ union the British Medical Association (BMA).

              Concerns over GPDPR are such that groups of GPs were set refuse to share data with the scheme in its previous form.


              It pointed out that “as data controllers and doctors with a duty of confidence to their patients, GPs are obliged to ensure that patients are properly informed of significant new data processing and that their permission has been sought prior to us sharing their data – and that this data is and will be handled responsibly, securely, and transparently.”

              It said GPDPR did not “meet these fundamental requirements” in its current state.

              LMCs are groups of family doctors who contribute toward BMA policy and are represented by the powerful doctors’ union.

              Critics of the GPDPR scheme have argued that NHS Digital’s approach to communicating its plans to patients amount to a notice on its website, a few tweets, and a downloadable poster for GP practices to print out.

            • Google updates timeline for unpopular Privacy Sandbox, which will kill third-party cookies in Chrome by 2023

              Google has updated the schedule for its introduction of “Privacy Sandbox” browser technology and the phasing out of third-party cookies.

              The new timeline has split the bundle of technologies in the Privacy Sandbox into five phases: discussion, testing, implementation in Chrome (called “Ready for adoption”), Transition State 1 during which Chrome will “monitor adoption and feedback” and then the next stage that involves winding down support for third-party cookies over a three-month period finishing “late 2023.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • UK watchdog fines biz £130k for 900,000+ direct marketing calls to folk who had opted out

        A home improvement biz based in East Sussex is facing a fine of £130,000 for making upwards of 900,000 unsolicited marketing calls to individuals and businesses that had enrolled on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

        Colour Coat of St Leonards-on-Sea made almost 970,000 connected calls between 1 August 2019 and 31 March last year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found, of which more than 452,000 were to folk or entities registered with TPS or the corporate equivalent.

      • Slacking off? It used to be there was pretty much one place to chat with your fellow developers: IRC

        IRC is crusty, ancient, and still far and away the best group chat system currently available. IRC is the best chat system precisely because it is a system. It is a protocol, not just an app, and even better it is a loosely federated protocol.

        The IRC system is a federated protocol around which a galaxy of clients (apps if you prefer) orbit. No one person or corporation controls IRC.

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  1. Links 18/9/2021: LibreOffice 8.0 Plans and Microsoftcosm Uses WSL to Badmouth 'Linux'

    Links for the day

  2. Links 18/9/2021: GIMP 2.10.28 Released and Azure Remains Back Doored

    Links for the day

  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 17, 2021

  4. Links 17/9/2021: Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS, Manjaro 21.1.3, “2021 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop”

    Links for the day

  5. Links 17/9/2021: WSL Considered Harmful

    Links for the day

  6. [Meme] Microsoft Loves Linux Bug/Back Doors

    Microsoft is just cementing its status as little but an NSA stooge

  7. Lagrange Makes It Easier for Anybody to Use Gemini and Even Edit Pages (With GUI)

    Gemini protocol and/or Gemini space are easy for anyone to get started with or fully involved in (writing and creating, not just reading); today we take a look at the new version of Lagrange (it was first introduced here back in March and covered again in April), which I installed earlier today because it contains a lot of improvements, including the installation process (now it’s just a click-to-run AppImage)

  8. IBM is Imploding But It Uses Microsoft-Type Methods to Hide the Demise (Splits, Buybacks, and Rebranding Stunts)

    A combination of brain drain (exodus) and layoffs (a lack of budget combined with inability to retain talent or attract the necessary staff with sufficiently competitive salaries) dooms IBM; but the media won't be mentioning it, partly because a lot of it is still directly sponsored by IBM

  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 16, 2021

  10. [Meme] 70 Days of Non-Compliance

    António Campinos would rather fall on his sword than correct the errors or work to undo the damage caused by Team Battistelli, which is still at the EPO

  11. EPO “Board 28” Meeting: Imaginary Dialogue Between EPO President Campinos and the Chair of the Administrative Council, Josef Kratochvíl

    The EPO‘s chaotic state, which persists after Benoît Battistelli‘s departure, is a state of lawlessness and cover-up

  12. Links 16/9/2021: Linux Mint Has New Web Site, LibreOffice 7.2.1, KDE Plasma 5.23 Beta, and Sailfish OS Verla

    Links for the day

  13. If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

    In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://

  14. Techrights Examines a Wide Array/Range of Gemini Clients/Browsers

    After spending many months examining an array of different types of software for Gemini (including but not limited to clients/browsers) we take stock of what exists, what's supported (it varies a bit), and which one might be suitable for use by geeks and non-geeks

  15. Links 16/9/2021: KStars 3.5.5 and Chafa 1.8

    Links for the day

  16. Trusting Microsoft With Security is a Clown Show

    A quick and spontaneous video about this morning's post regarding a major new revelation that reaffirms a longstanding trend; Microsoft conflates national security (back doors) with security

  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 15, 2021

  18. Microsoft Azure and Back/Bug Doors in GNU/Linux: Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me)

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," goes the old saying...

  19. Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

    Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project

  20. Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

    Links for the day

  21. Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

    Links for the day

  22. Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

    Square is joining OIN, but it's another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them

  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 14, 2021

  24. (Super)Free Software As a Right – The Manifesto

    "Software text has long been recognized as “speech”, and is covered under the very same copyright laws as conventional printed matter."

  25. Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

    Links for the day

  26. Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

    This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)

  27. Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

    The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”

  28. Twitter -- Like Google's YouTube -- is 'Hiding' Tweets From People Who Follow You

    So-called 'entertainment' platforms disguised as 'social' aren't the future of media; they need to be rejected

  29. How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

    Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we're stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) 'construction'; here's a status update

  30. Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

    Links for the day

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