Links 19/11/2021: Ubuntu Touch OTA-20, Wine 6.22, and PureOS 10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • A German State Is Saying Goodbye Windows, Hello Linux

        The state parliament of Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany has already produced plans to make the state government almost 100% open source by the end of 2026.

        Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state in Germany, has plans to move almost entirely open source. By the time the dust settles, the regional government will have all but dropped Windows, Microsoft Office, Zoom and other proprietary software for Linux, LibreOffice, OnlyOffice, and Jitzi.

        FOSS Force first learned of the plans from a post by Mike Saunders, a marketing assistant for the The Document Foundation, the organization behind the open source office suite LibreOffice.

      • Change Desktop Environments on… iOS?

        While Apple’s modern operating systems may seem like they exist independently of the rest of the computing world, they are actually close cousins of modern versions of Linux. The primary link between the two is that Apple’s offerings are Unix-based and even though Linux isn’t Unix in the strict sense, it’s built to be extremely Unix-like. Plenty of Linux software is POSIX-compliant, meaning it is effectively compatible with true Unix. But what can we do with that information? Well, to start, we can run Linux desktop environments on top of an iOS install on your favorite iPhone or iPad.

        To be sure, we will be filing this hack in the “because you can” category. [Torrekie], the creator of this project, has plenty of builds (Google translate from Chinese) where the boundaries between things like Linux and Unix are either blurred or nonexistant. In this particular project, a jailbroken iOS device is essentially gifted a ported version of XFCE which is able to run fairly well on iOS thanks to its compatibility with Unix environments. Details on how this was accomplished are sparse without a full investigation of the source code right now, but you can head over to the repository if you are curious enough to try this for yourself. [Torrekie] does note that this will only work with iOS devices that have been jailbroken using the “unc0ver” jailbreak only though.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • KDE Floating Panels: ALMOST THERE! – Kockatoo Tube
      • Pi Server Upgrade | Self-Hosted 58

        This week we unlock the Pitential of the Compute Module 4 and turn it into a dual gigabit router and Jellyfin server.

        How far can we push it?

        Plus, Alex shares his thoughts on the state of mobile operating systems and the challenges they are imposing on DIYers.

      • Emacs Is A Gaming Platform for Windows, Mac and Linux – Invidious

        Emacs is much more than a text editor. It is its own complete environment

      • Hackaday Podcast 145: Remoticon is On, Movie FX, Cold Plasma, and The Purest Silicon

        With literally just hours to go before the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon kicks off, editors Tom Nardi and Elliot Williams still managed to find time to talk about some of the must-see stories from the last week. There’s fairly heavyweight topics on the docket this time around, from alternate methods of multiplying large numbers to the incredible engineering that goes into producing high purity silicon. But we’ll also talk about the movie making magic of Stan Winston and some Pokemon-themed environmental sensors, so it should all balance out nicely. So long as the Russian’s haven’t kicked off the Kessler effect by the time you tune in, we should be good.

      • How to install Lubuntu 21.10 – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Lubuntu 21.10.

      • How Apple’s self-service repair program reveals that they’ve lost their way. – Invidious

        Apple revealed their Self Service Repair program allowing their i̶n̶m̶a̶t̶e̶s̶ users to purchase replacement parts for their iPhones and (eventually) their M1-based Macs. I hope they prove me wrong on this, but I find this to be a cynical step on their part. But what I really want to talk about is the design of the artwork on their announcement post. It follows the “Big Tech” art style called “Corporate Memphis” (also referred to as “globohomo,” among other terms). Apple’s now chasing design trends rather than progressing them. If I didn’t know any better I would think this was just another phone manufacturer’s website.

    • Kernel Space

      • Collabora Brings Flicker-Free Multi GPU Boot and Rockchip H.264 Decoder to Linux 5.15

        Linux kernel 5.15 arrived on Halloween with many great new features, such as a brand new NTFS file system implementation contributed by Parangon Software to finally provide Linux users with fully functional NTFS support, realtime preemption locking, in-kernel SMB3 server, as well as DAMON (Data Access MONitor).

        On top of all that, Linux 5.15 is an LTS (Long-Term Support) kernel branch, which will be supported for at least a couple of years. As usual, Collabora have made some important contributions themselves to the Linux 5.15 LTS kernel series.

      • Linux ITMT Patch Fixes Intel “Alder Lake” Hybrid Handling For Some Systems – Phoronix

        There is a patch pending that improves the Linux kernel’s dealing with the hybrid P and E cores found with Intel’s new Alder Lake processors that will benefit some systems/motherboards.

        For those with Intel 12th Gen Core “Alder Lake” systems, one of the important tidbits of information I recently learned is that while Thread Director is hardware-based, the hybrid P/E core selection under Linux does depend upon the working Intel TurboBoost Max 3.0 / ITMT code path working. The CPU selection within Linux for Alder Lake relies on that ITMT (Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology) scheduling.

      • Updated AMD P-State Driver Posted For Improving Linux Power Efficiency – Phoronix

        A fourth iteration of the AMD P-State CPU frequency scaling driver patches for Linux have been sent out for review and testing.

        This is the amd-pstate driver aiming for better power efficiency on Linux by leveraging ACPI CPPC found with Zen 2 and newer processors. Valve collaborated with AMD on the creation of this new driver that aims to be superior to the generic ACPI CPUFreq driver currently used by AMD processors. This driver has been undergoing public review since September with aims to make it to the mainline kernel.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: The Finale

          It’s been a wild year for zink. Does anybody even remember how many times I finished the project? I don’t, but it’s been at least a couple. Somehow there’s still more to do though.

          I’ll be updating zink-wip one final time later today with the latest Copper snapshot. This is going to be crashier than the usual zink-wip, but that’s because zink-wip doesn’t have nearly as much cool future-zink stuff as it used to these days. Nearly everything is already merged into mainline, or at least everything that’s likely to help with general use, so just use that if you aren’t specifically trying to test out Copper.

          One of those things that’s been a thorn in zink’s side for a long time is PBO handling, specifically for unsupported formats like ARGB/ABGR, ALPHA, LUMINANCE, and InTeNsItY. Vulkan has no analogs for any of these, and any app/game which tries to do texture upload or download from them with zink is going to have a very, very bad time, as has been the case with CS:GO, which would take literal days to reach menus due to performing fullscreen GL_LUMINANCE texture downloads.

          This is now fixed in the course of landing compute PBO download support, which I blogged about forever ago since it also yields a 2-10x performance improvement for a number of other cases in all Gallium drivers. Or at least the ones that enable it.

          CS:GO should now run out of the box in Mesa 22.0, and things like PCSX3 which do a lot of PBO downloading should also see huge improvements.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft To Do

        Microsoft’s stance for decades was that community creation and sharing of communal code (later to be known as free and open source software) represented a direct attack on their business. Their battle with Linux stretches back many years. Back in 2001, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously tarnished Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches”. Microsoft also initiated its “Get the Facts” marketing campaign from mid-2003, which specifically criticized Linux server usage, total cost of ownership, security, indemnification and reliability. The campaign was widely criticized for spreading misinformation.

      • vifm: A Terminal File Browser for Hardcore Vim Lovers

        When it comes to navigating through the Linux directory structure in the command line, people often rely on the cd command.

        And nothing wrong with it because you’ll get the cd command on any Linux system you log in.

        However, if the system is maintained by you and you want to have a better view of the directories, a file manager does a lot better than the cd or tree command.

        Yes, you can get file managers in the terminal as well. They may not be as good as the GUI ones like Nautilus but still better than the plain old commands.

      • Ubuntu PPA for Annotator – Elementary OS Image Annotation Tool | UbuntuHandbook

        Linux has quite a few image annotation tools. “Annotator” is the one designed for Elementary OS with specific features. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 22.04 via PPA.

        Without using GIMP image editor, I sometimes uses Shutter to annotate image quickly. As well, Ksnip has some useful tools (e.g., drop shadow, invert color and add border) that I use regularly.

        Annotator is an app looks kinda like MacOS Preview. Like other tools, it allows to add text, rectangle, ellipse, sequence number, line, arrow, blur effect, crop and resize image. What makes it different is the “Magnifier” tool. It adds a circle on your image and enlarge the area inside. By right-clicking on the circle, it offers option to change magnification.

      • Ubuntu Blog: Top 10 apps to boost your productivity

        Winter is rolling in (for those in the Northern Hemisphere at least). Long summer evenings are on hold for now. In these colder months, it can be difficult to get back into work and feel efficient. But whether you are feeling tired, unorganised, or demotivated, there may be an application here to help you refocus and re-energise. Here are a few that have given us the boost we needed to get back on track. There are note-taking apps, habit trackers, calendar organisers, jira editors, drawing tools and even a snap to remind you to take regular breaks. Let’s look back at some of the top productivity-related applications from this year.

      • Firebird 3.0.8 Docker image is released

        Firebird 3.0.8 Docker image is released and the following tags can be used : 3.0, v3.0, v3.0.8 .

      • FWUPD 1.7.2 Released With Fixes, Faster & Smaller Daemon – Phoronix

        FWUPD 1.7.2 is out as the latest release of this leading open-source solution for handling firmware updates under Linux for devices from motherboard UEFI to peripheral firmware.

        FWUPD 1.7.2 adds support for handling exported MTD block devices, tweaking the compiler flags to reduce the install size by around 300 Kb, speeding up the FWUPD daemon startup by ~40% by postponing some work, and a variety of fixes. The fixes range from a possible DFU crash to DLI download troubles and other device-specific corrections.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Apache with Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache with Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority that provides free SSL certificates for websites. All SSL certificates provided by Let’s Encrypt can be used for production/commercial purposes without any costs or fees. This guide will tell you about installing the Apache web server, installing the Certbot, generating an SSL certificate with Certbot, and creating additional SSL configuration to get the A+ from the SSL test SSL Labs.

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

      • How to install and use the HTTP prompt in Linux

        In this article, we are going to discuss the installation process and use cases of HTTP Prompt. HTTP Prompt is an interactive command-line HTTP client which is used for testing and debugging purposes and built on HTTPie and HTTP Toolkit. It has a special feature of auto-complete, interactive, and syntax highlighting. It has other features as well such as auto cookies, Unix-like pipelines, OpenApi/Swagger Integration, and HTTpie compatibility.

      • How to run RethinkDB with Docker and Docker-Compose

        In this guide we are going to explore how to run RethinkDB locally with docker and docker compose. This can be helpful if you want to run RethinkDB locally without installing it in your machine or if you want to run multiple versions of RethinkDB seamlessly.

      • How to play Super Nintendo games on Linux with Higan

        Higan is a multi-system emulator. Previously, Higan was known as Bsnes, a super Nintendo emulator. However, Higan still supports Super Nintendo roms, and in this guide, we’ll show you how to play them with this app.

        Note: AddictiveTips in no way endorses using Higan to play Super Nintendo ROMS that have been illegally downloaded. Please only play games you’ve backed up from your collection.

      • How to Install VirtualBox on Linux and Create Your First Virtual Machine

        Setting up a virtual machine can be a great way to test software or alternative operating systems on your computer without altering or putting your current system at risk.

        Follow along to install VirtualBox on Linux and create your very first virtual machine.

      • How to customize VM and cloud images with guestfish | Enable Sysadmin

        Most sysadmins are used to dealing with base, guest, or gold images to provision new virtual machines (VM) or cloud instances in their traditional virtualization or cloud environments. The appeal of using these images is their slim size, standardization, simplicity, and basic configurations, from which it is possible to perform pre- or post-provisioning customization. Much of the customization takes place post-provisioning.

      • How to install and configure Redis 6 on FreeBSD 13

        Redis is an in-memory data structure store, used as a distributed, in-memory key–value database, cache and message broker, with optional durability. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

      • Container Layer Analyzer – openQA bites

        Today I’d like to point out an amazing new tool: The Container Layer Analyzer, written by Dan Čermák. Dan also wrote a comprehensive blog post about it, which explains it much better than what I do here.

      • How To Install cPanel on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install cPanel on cPanel 8. For those of you who didn’t know, cPanel is a commercial enterprise-grade web hosting control panel. It is designed for hosting needs and used by most of the hosting companies for dedicated hosting, semi-dedicated hosting, shared hosting as well as cloud VPS hosting providers. This is one of the best control panels for every web hosting service.

        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 cPanel on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, and Rocky Linux distributions.

      • How to Install Discord on Fedora Linux

        It is a boon to several communities, which helps them to expand their projects, reach out to more people, and maintain a community of fans and followers. It’s surprising considering that Discord was originally meant for gamers.

        Discord is available for various platforms, including Linux. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the steps for installing Discord in Fedora.

      • How to Install GlassFish Java Server with Nginx as a Reverse Proxy on Debian 11

        GlassFish is an open-source application server used for deploying Java applications. It supports different Java-based technologies including, JPA, JavaServer Faces, JMS, RMI, as well as many other Java-based technologies. It provides a web-based as well as a command-line interface for managing Java applications and their components. GlassFish allows you to create portable and scalable applications that can be easily integrated with legacy technologies.

        In this tutorial, I will show you how to install the Glassfish server with Nginx as a reverse proxy on Debian 11.

      • How to Install Nethogs on Centos 8 – ByteXD

        Nethogs is a small, free, open-source utility used to monitor network traffic for Linux. Nethogs behaves differently from other traffic monitoring tools, as it groups the bandwidth per process, instead of breaking the traffic down per subnet or a protocol. It doesn’t rely on kernel modules to be loaded. Therefore, Linux administrators using Nethogs can easily identify which program is generating utilization spikes.

        Nethogs relies on /proc, so most of the features are only available on Linux therefore, it doesn’t work well for other operating systems such as FreeBSD and Mac OS X. Nethogs tool will only display the connections on these systems without displaying the processes. Nethogs program is useful for monitoring real-time network traffic. Moreover, you can track a specific network interface or all network interfaces using this utility on your system.

        This article will show how to install nethogs on CentOS 8 and we will also explain how to monitor or track network traffic using the nethogs tool.

      • How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on Rocky Linux 8 – VITUX

        Running any operating system on a virtual box takes experience. You have to figure out various issues like connectivity issues and performance issues but out of all of them, the graphical issues is an exercise in patience. Not having fullscreen, shared clipboard, and file sharing limit your efficiency but also destroys the whole experience.

        VirtualBox Guest Additions is a beautiful piece of software that solves these issues in a single shot and ensures better display, performance, and overall functionality. Adding Virtualbox Guest Additions used to be very easy but there are a few errors and issues that are coming up with new versions of the operating systems. you have to ensure all the package dependencies are fulfilled.
        In this article, You will learn how to install VirtualBox Guest Additions in the up-and-coming Rocky Linux.

      • How to Install XanMod Kernel on Linux Mint 20 – LinuxCapable

        XanMod is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel with Linux Mint 20. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware. XanMod is popular amongst Linux Gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels, having multiple branches to choose from the stable, edge, and development.

        For users seeking to have their system kernel up to date and not wanting to manually install kernels or use the testing/unstable repositories, installing a third-party kernel may be for you.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to import the XanMod repository and install the latest Linux Kernel on your Linux Mint 20.xx operating system.

      • How to Install osTicket on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        Here in this tutorial, we will install the OSTicket open source support ticketing system on Debian 11 Bullseye using Apache, PHP, and MySQL, or MariaDB.

        osTicket offers free, open-source ticket management and customer care solutions for businesses of all sizes, especially small and medium-sized businesses. The software can be used to capture tickets and assign custom fields to each ticket, creating a list of data associated with each ticket that can be shared with customers in the knowledge base. You can create automatic reply templates for incoming email tickets, and rich text HTML lets you add your logo, images, and videos to tickets.

        With the ticket filter tool provided by osTicket, you can define routing rules for tickets so that tickets are sent to the correct person or department. Tickets can also be reassigned if not received by the correct person, and notes on all actions are logged in the ticket thread. The ticketing software helps to further streamline operations by preventing agent collisions using the ticket lock tool. Other features include an autoresponder, customer portal, and dashboard reports.

      • How to install Erlang on FreeBSD 13– Citizix

        Erlang is a functional, general-purpose, concurrent programming language and garbage-collected runtime environment built for concurrency, fault tolerance, and distributed application architectures. It is supported and maintained by Ericsson OTP product unit.

      • How to install pgAdmin 4 version 6.2 on Ubuntu 21.10

        In this tutorial guide I will be taking through the installation of pgAdmin 4 version 6.2 on Ubuntu 21.10.

        pgAdmin 4 is free and opensource management tool for Postgres. Its desktop runtime written in NWjs allows it to run standalone for individual users, or the web applications code may be directly deployed on a web server for use by the web browser.

        pgAdmin 4 is a complete rewrite of pgAdmin, built using Python and Java

      • How to install and configure Redis 6 on Ubuntu 20.04

        Redis is an in-memory data structure store, used as a distributed, in-memory key–value database, cache and message broker, with optional durability. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

        In this tutorial we are going to learn how to install Redis 6 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to install RabbitMQ in FreeBSD 13 – Citizix

        In this guide we will explore how to install the latest release of RabbitMQ On a FreeBSD Server or Workstation

        RabbitMQ is an open source message broker software that implements the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP). RabbitMQ works by receiving messages from publishers (applications that publish them) and routes them to consumers (applications that process them).

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.22 Announcement
        The Wine development release 6.22 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - Mono engine updated to version 7.0.0.
          - Exception unwinding on ARM.
          - More improvements to HID joystick support.
          - WoW64 thunks in a number of Unix libraries.
          - Beginnings of moving USER32 to Win32u.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 6.22 Released With Mono 7.0, Joystick Improvements

        Wine 6.22 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release of this open-source software for running Windows games and applications on Linux and other platforms like macOS and FreeBSD. Wine 6.22 brings more improvements while the Wine 7.0 stable release is inching closer.

        We’ll likely see the freeze begin in December for Wine 7.0. In fact, last year at this time down to the very week after Wine 5.22 the Wine 6.0 release preparations began in working towards its January release. The same dance will likely begin soon for Wine 7.0.

    • Games

      • Seek the truth

        After more than 10 years of development, the ScummVM Team is pleased to announce support for the psychological-horror adventure game Sanitarium.

      • Proton Experimental update fixes up DEATHLOOP, Forza Horizon 5 and more | GamingOnLinux

        More fixes made their way into Proton Experimental yesterday, with Valve / CodeWeavers fixing up some issues in a few different games. What is Proton? It’s a compatibility layer designed to run Windows games from Steam on Linux. See more about it in our full guide.

      • Deck-building RPG Xenotheria looks like it’s worth keeping an eye on | GamingOnLinux

        Ganymede Games have announced Xenotheria, a story-driven deck-building RPG with turn-based combat with plans to support Linux at the full release.

        “Xenotheria takes place on Wolf Prime, a sprawling desert planet that’s home to the galaxy’s most important trading port. A seemingly ordinary day quickly turns chaotic after a mysterious, cataclysmic event. What follows can only be described as a shower of spaceships, satellites and orbital stations raining down havoc on the innocent souls of Wolf Prime. One of those souls is Squiggles, a hard-working spaceship construction yard worker with a heart of gold.

      • Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands expansion is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands is a brand new expansion for the popular mix of strategy and exploration from publisher Raw Fury and developers Stumpy Squid / Fury Studios.

        This expansion brings with it a new land to explore, inspired by Norse Viking culture with a whole new campaign to expand the world. In Norse Lands, players can look forward to unleashing abilities drawn upon from Norse gods, commanding mighty units, building Viking- inspired armaments, solving challenging puzzles, and facing a new enemy Greed.

      • Nobodies: After Death is a point & click where you clean up after assassins | GamingOnLinux

        Nobodies: After Death is another point & click game where you’re part of the cleaning crew for a top-secret intelligence agency from developer Blyts. The second game of its kind from Blyts, following on from Nobodies: Murder Cleaner released in 2019 which was actually pretty good.

        “You are a ‘cleaner’ for a top-secret intelligence agency. Your mission is to hide all evidence of carefully planned murders, leaving no sign that you or the target were ever there.

      • Set off chain reactions in the explosive upcoming Bomb Club Deluxe | GamingOnLinux

        Bomb Club Deluxe is an upcoming casual comedy game about setting off many explosions across hundreds of levels from Antoine Latour and Lozange Lab (Swim Out / Rip Them Off).

        Looking over the details, it plays out like a puzzle game with you need to place the right type of bomb in the right location, to set off a chain reaction of all the other bombs going off to complete a level and it sure does look fun.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 15 Best GNOME Extensions for Ubuntu (2021 Edition)

          Well, how about here, with this list of the best GNOME Shell extensions for Ubuntu.

          This roundup makes an ideal starting point for anyone looking to experiment with GNOME extensions on their Ubuntu install, regardless of which version it is.

          Better yet, this roundup is fully up-to-date for 2021 and only includes GNOME extensions that are actively maintained and work with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (and up).

          Read on to discover some truly great add-ons!

        • Emmanuele Bassi: Fair Weather Friends

          Today I released libgweather-3.90.0, the first developers snapshot of GWeather 4….

        • Felix Häcker: #19 Updated Calculations

          Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from November 12 to November 19.

    • Distributions

      • Discover Slitaz, a 50MB Lightweight Desktop Operating System

        Slitaz GNU/Linux is an Swiss computer operating system that is user-friendly, super lightweight and very fast to install, with a spider logo, for both desktop and server. It can run on a quarter of a GB memory. Its installation image is only fifty megabytes, full desktop included, with LiveCD capability. We overview Slitaz in this article with short highlights on where you can get it, available versions and how its desktops and applications are. Happy discovering!

      • What is Clear Linux? — Most Powerful Operating System in 2022

        The most powerful Operating and Best Kept Secret of 2021. There is a new kid on the block, Clear Linux by Intel.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Ruby, Plasma, GTK Update in Tumbleweed

          There were a total of four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots released this week.

          Snapshot 20211117 gave KDE users the Plasma 5.23.3 update. The bug-fix release had changes for the systemsettings5 package, which had a fix for a touchscreen click. The plasma-desktop had a fix involving drag and drop that reset a position and overlap; the package also had a fix showing an inactive kwin console. The kwin package also made some fixes that prevented crashing of screencasting and provided a couple fixes for Wayland. The update of kplotting was the single KDE Frameworks 5.88.0 package updated in the snapshot; the rest came in the previous day’s snapshot. Xfce users also had an update in the snapshot with xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin 2.6.2, which provided a fix for the menu not toggling after pressing escape. The package also fixed shifting the background when showing the menu. Other packages to update in the snapshot were fribidi 1.0.11 and restorecond 3.3, which is a daemon that watches for file creation.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/46

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          This week, we had a little bit of a fight with our snapshots in openQA: not because of openQA, but actually because some issues could not have been in staging but became visible in the full product tests (e.g. ncurses memory leak, which manifested while installing a full Tumbleweed fro the net installer). So, out of the 7 snapshots produced and tested, we only managed to publish 3 (1111, 1116, and 1117).

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Dynamic scheduling of Tekton workloads using Triggers | Opensource.com

          Tekton is a Kubernetes-native continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) framework. It allows you to create containerized, composable, and configurable workloads declaratively through Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions (CRD).

        • Improve multicore scaling in Open vSwitch DPDK

          A new feature in version 2.16 of Open vSwitch (OVS) helps developers scale the OVS-DPDK userspace datapath to use multiple cores. The Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) is a popular set of networking libraries and drivers that provide fast packet processing and I/O.

          After reading this article, you will understand the new group assignment type for spreading the datapath workload across multiple cores, how this type differs from the default cycles assignment type, and how to use the new type in conjunction with the auto load balance feature in the poll mode driver (PMD) to improve OVS-DPDK scaling.

        • Hybrid work model: 3 ways to simplify yours

          Last year’s expedited shift to remote work did not give business leaders much time to map out a thoughtful out-of-office setup for employees. But the challenges leaders have faced over the past year and a half have led to a better understanding of how to lead a hybrid workforce – and how to simplify the hybrid work model.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.33, 7.4.26 and 8.0.13

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.13 are available in remi repository for Fedora 35 and remi-php80 repository for Fedora 33-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.26 are available in remi repository for Fedora 33-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.33 are available in remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Red Hat Satellite 6.10.1 has been released

          We are pleased to announce that Red Hat Satellite 6.10.1 is generally available as of November 18, 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.

        • Putting security into DevOps is tougher than it looks [Ed: Red Hat fluff. The Register is dead. “PAID FEATURE” it discloses at the top… so they’ve quit journalism and are just posting junk for deep-pocketed companies/people who pay them to do it; The Register has been increasingly compromised this past year.]

          If software development has absorbed a single lesson in the last two decades it’s that there’s an urgent need to integrate security at an early stage rather than leaving flaws to rot dangerously inside compiled code. Optimistically, dubbed shift left, the trick has been working out what this means in an era undergoing an historic transformation of development models.

          In monolithic, linear development, implementing shift left was about adding a security checking stage earlier in the coding lifecycle. This was never easy and, the complaint went, slowed everything down, but the pileup of vulnerability disasters told the industry something had to change. One case study was Microsoft’s then novel Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) of the early 2000s.

          Today, however, coding is increasingly defined by cloud native applications, agile development, and infrastructure as code (IaC), coordinated using continuous deployment platforms such as Kubernetes. In this world of high-velocity DevOps, the idea of early intervention is stretched to breaking point. Code is created, tested, and deployed at incredible speed.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-46

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          Fedora Linux 33 will reach end of life on Tuesday 30 November. The F35 retrospective survey is open through 4 December.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • Near Zero Downtime maintenance with RHEL for SAP Solutions [Ed: IBM Red Hat -- like SUSE -- is shilling SAP's proprietary software again, as if for GNU/Linux to win this is what's required]
      • EasyOS Development

        • Home button fixed in ROX-Filer

          At the top of a ROX-Filer window, there is an icon of a house, mouseover shows “Change to home directory”. Clicking that icon changes the window to the /root folder.

        • Mesa now has r600 and radeonsi drivers

          Folder /usr/lib/dri has drivers that provide hardware acceleration for libGL.

        • Package libxres compiled

          I was recently compiling a source package, forget what it was, might have been xfce, it required a dependency ‘libxres”. OK, it is a small library, might as well include it in the build, so now compiled in OpenEmbedded and added to the EasyOS package-list.

      • Debian Family

        • True Convergence is Here: PureOS 10 is Released for all Librem Products

          Purism has released its latest version of its convergent operating system (OS), PureOS 10, code named Byzantium. PureOS is a freedom respecting, free software OS that is neither based on Android nor iOS. Endorsed by the Free Software Foundation it is now the default operating system installed on all Librem products, including the

          PureOS is the first truly convergent operating system, where the same OS is used for laptops, desktops, and mobile.

          The new version, PureOS 10, is now the default for Purism’s Librem laptops, phones, and mini-computers. “Making the same OS convergent across mobile, laptop, and desktop computers is a dream many big technology companies have, but so far none have achieved. It’s taken a lot of investment and work to make PureOS 10 an OS with true convergence, and now it’s a dream come true.” said Kyle Rankin, Chief Security Officer at Purism.

        • Purism’s Librem 5 Linux smartphone costs $1199 after the latest price hike

          The Purism Librem 5 was one the most powerful smartphone capable of running mainline Linux software when the first units began shipping in limited quantities a few years ago. But it’s also one of the most expensive – and that’s even more true after a price hike that took effect this month.

          When Purism launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 5 in 2017, backers could pre-order the phone for $599. The price has gone up several times since then, and now the Librem 5 costs twice as much.

        • Raven Reader

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: Raven Reader

        • Neil Williams: git worktrees

          You could go to the trouble of making a new directory and re-cloning the same tree. However, a local commit in one tree is then not accessible to the other tree.

          You could commit everything every time, but with a dirty tree, that involves sorting out the .gitignore rules as well. That could well be pointless with an experimental change.

          Git worktrees allow multiple filesystems from a single git tree. Commits on any branch are visible from other branches, even when the commit was on a different worktree. This makes things like cherry-picking easy, without needing to push pointless changes or branches.

          Branches on a worktree can be rebased as normal, with the benefit that commit hashes from other local changes are available for reference and cherry-picks.

          I’m sure git worktrees are not new. However, I’ve only started using them recently and others have asked about how the worktree operates.

        • Bits from Debian: New Debian Developers and Maintainers (September and October 2021) [Ed: GNU/Linux is now used more than ever before, much of it in use is Debian-based distros, yet Debian got only one new developer (DD) per month lately]

          The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

          Bastian Germann (bage)
          Gürkan Myczko (tar)

          The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

          Clay Stan
          Daniel Milde
          David da Silva Polverari
          Sunday Cletus Nkwuda
          Ma Aiguo
          Sakirnth Nagarasa


      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Lilbits: A smartphone with a smartwatch on the back, mini PCs, and Linux for phones, PCs, and servers
        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-20 Release | UBports

          Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom-respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-20, our twentieth stable update to the system! OTA-20 will become available for the following supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next week:

          BQ E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
          BQ E5 HD Ubuntu Edition
          BQ M10 (F)HD Ubuntu Edition
          BQ U Plus
          Cosmo Communicator
          F(x)tec Pro1
          Fairphone 2
          Fairphone 3
          Google Pixel 2XL
          Google Pixel 3a
          Huawei Nexus 6P
          LG Nexus 4
          LG Nexus 5
          Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition
          Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition
          Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and LTE models)
          OnePlus 2
          OnePlus 3 and 3T
          Oneplus 5 and 5T
          OnePlus 6 and 6T
          OnePlus One
          Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (910F, 910P, 910T)
          Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo+ (GT-I9301I)
          Sony Xperia X
          Sony Xperia X Compact
          Sony Xperia X Performance
          Sony Xperia XZ
          Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE or Wi-fi only)
          Vollaphone X
          Xiaomi Mi A2
          Xiaomi Mi A3
          Xiaomi Mi MIX 3
          Xiaomi Poco F1
          Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/3sp (land)
          Xiaomi Redmi 4X
          Xiaomi Redmi 7
          Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro
          Xiaomi Redmi 9 and 9 Prime
          Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro Max and 9S

        • UBports releases its twentieth stable update of Ubuntu Touch

          Do you remember several years ago when all the tech firms wanted in on the mobile space but were more or less forced out due to Apple’s and Google’s market dominance? One of the players was Canonical which was aiming for true convergence across desktop, tablets, and phones. Canonical ended up shelving that ambitious goal but its mobile operating system, Ubuntu Touch, was picked up by the UBports Foundation and that organisation has just published OTA-20, the twentieth stable release of Ubuntu Touch.

          Building and maintaining an operating system is no easy job which explains why Ubuntu Touch OTA-20 is still based on the archaic Ubuntu 16.04 which came out more than five years ago. Nevertheless, the team is still working away on improvements. In this update, LED notification support was added for devices with the Halium 9 base. If your device is newer and doesn’t have an LED light, vibration support for incoming notifications has also been added. Other new features include support for Khmer and Bengali fonts and the ability to define a custom notification sound by picking any audio file.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-20 Released for Linux Phones, Here’s What’s New

          Still based on the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series, Ubuntu Touch OTA-20 is a maintenance update that introduces support for the notification LED and vibration for incoming notifications on Halium 9 devices, such as OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, Xiaomi Mi A2, Xiaomi Mi 6, and others.

          However, the devs note the fact that some recent devices with a Halium 9 base do not have a notification LED, so this new feature doesn’t apply to them. These include the Volla Phone and Google Pixel 3a.

        • Distrowatch Top 5 Distributions Review: Linux Mint

          Besides the couple of negatives I listed earlier, I really don’t have much negative to say about Linux Mint. It’s got graphical tools for driver installations, it’s got great support, it’s based on one of the most commonly used OS’s in the Linux World, and it’s a system that even first-time users can enjoy. Cinnamon is a gorgeous Desktop Environment for those who enjoy more traditional layouts similar to Windows, and it’s highly customizable too. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t used it yet, check this OS out.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open-Source Apache CloudStack 4.16 Improves Cloud IaaS

        The Apache CloudStack project’s second major milestone release of 2021 improves storage and Kubernetes integration for the cloud platform.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thousands of Firefox users accidentally commit login cookies on GitHub [Ed: Microsoft just doesn’t care about security and the media is paid to blame the victims for Microsoft’s own problems]

            Thousands of Firefox cookie databases containing sensitive data are available on request from GitHub repositories, data potentially usable for hijacking authenticated sessions.

            These cookies.sqlite databases normally reside in the Firefox profiles folder. They’re used to store cookies between browsing sessions. And they’re findable by searching GitHub with specific query parameters, what’s known as a search “dork.”

            Aidan Marlin, a security engineer at London-based rail travel service Trainline, alerted The Register to the public availability of these files after reporting his findings through HackerOne and being told by a GitHub representative that “credentials exposed by our users are not in scope for our Bug Bounty program.”


            “I’m frustrated that GitHub isn’t taking its users’ security and privacy seriously,” Marlin told The Register in an email. “The least it could do is prevent results coming up for this GitHub dork. If the individuals who uploaded these cookie databases were made aware of what they’d done, they’d s*** their pants.”

          • Mozilla Performance Blog: Upgrading Page Load Tests to Use Mitmproxy 7

            mitmproxy is a third-party tool that we use to record and play back page loads in Firefox to detect performance regressions.

            The page load is “recorded” to a file: the page is loaded while mitmproxy is running, and the proxy logs all requests and responses made and saves them to a file.

            The page load can then be played back from this file; each response and request (referred to as a “flow”) made during the recording is played back without accessing the live site.

            Recorded page load tests are valuable for detecting performance regressions in Firefox because they are not dependent on changes to the site we are testing. If we tested using only live sites, it would be much more difficult to tell if a regression was caused by changes in Firefox or changes in the site being tested.

            So, as we run these tests over time, we have a history of how Firefox performs when replaying the same recording again and again, helping us to detect performance regressions that may be caused by recent changes to our code base.

          • When you use Bing to search for Chrome or Firefox, this is what happens instead.

            Microsoft can’t just put on their big boy pants and admit that people don’t like Edge and don’t want to use Edge.

            This reeks of desperation. But then, we didn’t suspect it would end with the paid shitposting about Edge on GNU/Linux or with the million ways you can accidentally launch Edge in Windows Vista SP11. Did we?

      • Programming/Development

        • Mike Hommey: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.8

          Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

        • Evgeni Golov: A String is not a String, and that’s Groovy!

          Halloween is over, but I still have some nightmares to share with you, so sit down, take some hot chocolate and enjoy :)

          When working with Jenkins, there is almost no way to avoid writing Groovy. Well, unless you only do old style jobs with shell scripts, but y’all know what I think about shell scripts…

          Anyways, Eric have been rewriting the jobs responsible for building Debian packages for Foreman to pipelines (and thus Groovy).

        • Looking for Qt Champions – 2021!

          Who do you think should be a Qt Champion? Nominate the champions you know right now!

        • Perl/Raku

        • Rust

          • Rebecca Rumbul named new CEO of The Rust Foundation • The Register

            The Rust Foundation – the US non-profit behind the programming language since Mozilla let the team go – has picked a new CEO: Rebecca Rumbul, formerly director of research and engagement at digital democracy charity mySociety, and before that the Privacy Collective.

            Dr Rumbul’s appointment at the relatively new foundation reflects the growing importance of the Rust language – which can be seen from the foundation’s list of members. Facebook is using it, as is Google, Microsoft, various Linux kernel developers, and Linux lappy vendor System76. There are even a couple of Rust-based OSes, Redox and Theseus.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Popsicle-Stick Piano Sounds Sweet | Hackaday

      Technically, this is a kalimbaphone, and not a piano or even a chordophone since there are no strings. But this handcrafted instrument doesn’t just sound sweet, it’s also mellow, and it’s much nicer than you’re probably imagining. Go check out the short build video, which starts with a demo.

    • Electric Mini Rat Rod Starts ‘Em Young | Hackaday

      These days, a lot of people barely even say hello to their neighbors. But not [dewey302]. They’re so tight with the people next door that they built this bad-ass electric mini rat rod for the neighbors’ five-year-old kid. Talk about community!

      Nearly every bit of this rod is recycled — the body is a wheelbarrow, the transaxle is from a mobility scooter, and the frame was welded together from scrap tubing including the wheelbarrow itself, and old bike or two, and some broken lawn chairs. The rear wheels are also from the ‘barrow, though the front ones were purchased (one of few new parts. Power comes from a pair of 18 V tool batteries wired in series and running through the Curtis controller from the scooter. Depending on the weight of the driver, this baby will do 10-12 MPH.

    • Science

      • There were Almost Jet Packs on the Moon

        Here it is almost 2022 and we still don’t have our jet packs. But don’t feel bad. NASA astronauts wanted a lunar jetpack, but they didn’t get one either. [Amy] at The Vintage Space has an interesting video about what almost was, and you can see it below.

        Of course, a jet pack on the moon would be easier than an Earthbound one. The goal was to allow the crew to range further from their lander since they couldn’t carry very much and the lander didn’t have a lot of consumables, either. In addition, if you lost sight of the lander, getting back could be a problem since navigating on the moon was an unknown skill.

        In 1969 awarded exploratory contracts for lunar personal flying vehicles including one to Bell who had their Earth-bound jet pack that shows up every so often for example in Bond movies.

    • Hardware

      • Cheap Big Servo For Robot Arm | Hackaday

        [Skyentific] is looking to push the hobbyist robotics state of the art. Motors and their gears, the actuators, are typically the most expensive part. For his build, he realised he needed big servos capable of delivering plenty of torque. Thus, he set about creating a 3D-printed design to get the job done on a budget. (Video, embedded below.)

        Stepper motors are the order of the day here, chosen for their low cost compared to brushless solutions, particularly when taking control hardware into account. In this design, the stepper motor drives a sun gear as part of a bigger planetary gearbox with a high gear ratio. Cross-roller bearings are used to allow the servo to effectively handle both radial and axial loads. The servo as a whole is designed to fit neatly into the joints of the robot arm itself, and has external mounting points provisioned as such.

      • N64 Mini PC Conversion Includes All The Trimmings | Hackaday

        We’ve seen quite a few retro gaming consoles physically modded to house modern emulation hardware, but the NUC-64 by [RetroModder] stands out as one of the most impressive Nintendo 64 guttings that we’ve seen to date.

        Observed from the front, the NUC-64 almost resembles a stock Nintendo console. The project’s name is printed across the vestigial cartridge slot, and two suspiciously modern wireless networking antennas can be seen poking out from the back. The console’s modifications are fully revealed when looking at it from the rear – gone is the power brick socket, which now houses the I/O for the replacement motherboard. A custom 3D printed I/O shield keeps everything looking neat and tidy.

      • Pushing Photos Through Wires

        In some ways, when I became a graphic designer in the newspaper industry, I had it easy. By that time, wire photos were already being transmitted primarily over the internet, and those that weren’t could quickly be scanned into a digital format via a flatbed scanner. To place those images on the page, all I had to do was hit a key command, and suddenly, I was ready to paste an image in. A lot of things had to happen to get us to that point, and one of those things was a process called phototelegraphy. This concept, essentially, refers to the process of distributing images via wires or through the radio, something that we’ve covered in other ways previously, but not directly. In many ways, it cuts to the heart of why we call wire services wire services. And because I love newspapers, I’m going to tell you all about them. Today’s Tedium talks about formative efforts to spread photographs far and wide.

      • The Silent Dripper Dispenses Water Without Making Any Sound | Hackaday

        Engineering is all about making a design that conforms to a set of requirements. Usually those are boring things like cost, power consumption, volume, mass or compatibility with existing systems. But sometimes, you have to design something with restrictions you might have never considered. [Devon Bray] was tasked with designing a system that could dispense single drops of water, while making absolutely no noise. [Devon]’s blog describes in detail the process of making The Silent Dripper, which was needed for an art installation called The Tender Interval by [Sara Dittrich].

        The design process started with picking a proper pump. Centrifugal pumps can be very quiet due to their smooth, continuous motion, but are not suitable for moving small quantities of liquid. Peristaltic pumps on the other hand can generate single drops of liquid very accurately, but their gripping-and-squeezing motion creates far more sound. [Devon] still went for the latter type, and eventually discovered that filling up the pumping mechanism with lithium grease made it quiet enough for his purpose.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Dynatrace : Managed release notes version 1.230
        • Security

          • SkyFail. 6 million routers left exposed

            DNS rebinding is a technique that allows an attacker to bypass the Same-origin policy, a defence implemented in web browsers to prevent web applications interacting with different domains without the user’s consent.

            This can be exploited when a user visits a malicious web page under the control of the attacker.

          • diffoscope 193 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 193. T

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, grafana, kubectl-ingress-nginx, and opera), Debian (netkit-rsh and salt), Fedora (freeipa and samba), Mageia (opensc, python-django-filter, qt4, tinyxml, and transfig), openSUSE (opera and transfig), Red Hat (devtoolset-11-annobin, devtoolset-11-binutils, and llvm-toolset:rhel8), SUSE (php72 and php74), and Ubuntu (mailman and thunderbird).

          • This new Linux malware targets ecommerce sites ahead of Black Friday [Ed: Mayank Sharma should know better; this isn't the fault of Linux and moreover he has added the smear against Go just because people can write malicious programs in Go (as they can in any other language)]

            The malicious agent, dubbed linux_avp is written in Golang, and was discovered by researchers at Sansec, who were approached by an affected merchant who couldn’t seem to get rid of malware from his store.

          • New Rowhammer Technique [Ed: We have states and so-called 'tech' companies putting back doors in all their stuff and yet we're meant to focus on theoretical attacks of this oddball nature]

            Rowhammer is an attack technique involving accessing — that’s “hammering” — rows of bits in memory, millions of times per second, with the intent of causing bits in neighboring rows to flip. This is a side-channel attack, and the result can be all sorts of mayhem.

          • DDR4 memory protections are broken wide open by new Rowhammer technique

            Rowhammer exploits that allow unprivileged attackers to change or corrupt data stored in vulnerable memory chips are now possible on virtually all DDR4 modules due to a new approach that neuters defenses chip manufacturers added to make their wares more resistant to such attacks.

          • This Week in Security: Intel Atoms Spill Secrets, ICMP Poisons DNS, and The Blacksmith

            Intel has announced CVE-2021-0146, a vulnerability in certain processors based on the Atom architecture, and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is at the center of the problem. The goal of the system around the TPM is to maintain system integrity even in the case of physical access by an attacker, so the hard drive is encrypted using a key stored in a secure chip on the motherboard. The TPM chip holds this encryption key and provides it during the boot process. When combined with secure boot, this is a surprisingly effective way to prevent tampering or data access even in the case of physical access. It’s effective, at least, when nothing goes wrong.

            Earlier this year, we covered a story where the encryption key could be sniffed directly from the motherboard, by tapping the traces connecting the TPM to the CPU. It was pointed out that TPM 2.0 can encrypt the disk encryption key on the traces, making this attack impossible.

            The entire Trusted Compute Model is based on the premise that the CPU itself is trustworthy. This brings us back to Intel’s announcement that a debug mode could be enabled via physical access. In this debug mode, the CPU master key can be extracted, leading to complete compromise. The drive encryption key can be recovered, and unsigned firmware can be loaded to the Management Engine. This means data in the TPM enclave and the TPM-stored encryption key can be compromised. Updated firmware is rolling out through motherboard vendors to address the problem.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow

        Whitney joins RJ Eskow of the Zero Hour to discuss the efforts of Wall Street banks and Central banks to monetize and take ownership of the natural world through the recently created Natural Asset Corporations and the UN-backed Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • From Myanmar to Sudan, autocratic regimes have weaponised internet shutdowns. Time to fight back.

        Internet censorship is nearly as old as the internet itself. While much of the theorizing about the early internet viewed it as a free and open space for the exchange of new ideas, a number of governments had different ideas about its potential.

        While China is well-known for its sophisticated internet censorship apparatus, several governments across the Middle East and North Africa — including Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria—were early adopters of certain censorship tactics such as keyword filtering and DNS tampering. Similar to China, these countries targeted a range of content, including sites that offered information about human rights violations, sex, and certain religions, as well as those that encouraged political opposition.

        But in recent years, governments have taken the more decidedly extreme tactic of cutting off internet access entirely, depriving their citizens of a lifeline to the world…and each other, a tactic that Human Rights Watch has rightly called “collective punishment.”

      • Ideas | Facebook is bad at moderating in English. In Arabic, it’s a disaster. – Rest of World

        For many, the Facebook Papers come as no surprise. As a Palestinian digital rights advocate, the recent revelations perfectly describe and validate the archetypal experience of Palestinians and millions of others generating daily content outside the U.S.

        For years, activists and civil society organizations have warned of Facebook’s negligence of non-English speaking regions, and its deeply discriminatory content moderation structure which have served to silence globally marginalized voices, not empower them. Yet Facebook, at every ebb and flow, has chosen profit over people.

        The thousands of pages of leaked documents now provide incontestable evidence, finally laying to rest one of the biggest claims repeatedly made by Facebook and its leadership since the heyday of the Arab Spring: Safety and freedom of expression are not afforded to all users equally, but are rather dictated by the company’s market interests and bottom line.

      • Digital world seen moving into ‘authoritarian space’ | Reuters

        From blocking websites to forcing companies to share user data, governments – including democracies – are increasingly resorting to “authoritarian” methods to control the internet, tech experts warned on Thursday.

        Governments like China and Russia are blocking social media content, requiring firms to submit to data surveillance, and silencing journalists and activists online, panelists told the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference.

        “The digital world is increasingly moving into an authoritarian space,” said Alina Polyakova, head of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a U.S.-based think-tank.

      • Web trust dies in darkness: Hidden Certificate Authorities undermine public crypto infrastructure

        Security researchers have checked the web’s public key infrastructure and have measured a long-known but little-analyzed security threat: hidden root Certificate Authorities.

        Certificate Authorities, or CAs, vouch for the digital certificates we use to establish trust online. You can be reasonably confident that your bank website is actually your bank website when it presents your browser with an end-user or leaf certificate that’s linked through a chain of trust to an intermediate certificate and ultimately the X.509 root certificate of a trusted CA.

        Each browser relies on a trust store consisting of a hundred or so root certificates that belong to a smaller set of organizations. Mozilla’s CA Certificate List for example currently has 151 certs representing 53 organizations.

        Some of the more well-known CAs in the US include IdenTrust, DigiCert, Sectigo, and Let’s Encrypt.

    • Monopolies

EPO: We Support Women and Gay People, But We Also Support People Who Behead Them (in the Interest of Patent Profits)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 019a36a4fb36c48d082312ce7219d1b8

Summary: Misogynists and infamous abusers of human rights are partners of the EPO’s regime, serving to remind us that the EPO’s management cares about absolutely nothing but money

JUST a few months ago we responded to the EPO‘s persistent and repeated pinkwashing. Autocrats who crush people of all races and sexes (remember that Benoît Battistelli crushed two unionists who were female, one male, before proceeding to more staff representatives getting crushed psychologically and morally; António Campinos hires based on friendship and kinship, not diversity) love pinkwashing PR because them helps distract from what they really are.

“What message does that send to women and LGBT folks working for the EPO?”Earlier today the EPO published (warning: epo.org link) the item which I respond to in the video above. What are the ‘unwashed masses’ supposed to think if the EPO is bows down to regimes that barely matter to the EPO (in terms of number of European Patents pursued)? What message does that send to women and LGBT folks working for the EPO?

For the Second Month in a Row, Almost Half a Million Page Requests Over Gemini Protocol (gemini://)

Posted in Site News at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 1d7923ae1c2b91270f1899ddf9d294e2

Summary: Based on the latest stats (see below or the video above), we’re steady at around 15,000 page requests per day (on average) over gemini://, which is a new but very exciting protocol for hypertext on the Net

AROUND the same time last month we noted that we had reached the point where almost 500,000 pages are requested (per month) over gemini://, which is a new and simplified Internet protocol for pages (alternative to the bloated World Wide Web).

Bortzmeyer's Gemini statsAs I show in the video above, this month is similar and we’ve implemented improvements to the means of tracking traffic (the underlying code is in our self-hosted Git server and is freely available).

Earlier this week we pondered setting up our very own gemini:// -> https:// gateway. For practical reasons we gave up on it for the time being. Instead we encourage readers to download a proper Gemini client and access the capsule in the intended way, basically navigating to gemini://gemini.techrights.org, which is still considered the biggest capsule in Gemini space (the screenshot on the right is new).

There will soon be 1,800 known (to Lupa at least) capsules. “There are 1783 capsules,” it says at this moment. “We successfully connected recently to 1450 of them.”

Less than 11 months ago it was 506 and many of the today’s “top” capsules did not even exist back then. The third-biggest capsule (by Lupa’s metrics/reach) was fewer than 3,000 URLs in total. For comparison’s sake, today’s tenth-biggest is 5,711 URLs in total.

Techrights is for Whistleblowers and Suppressed Information Which Other Sites Refuse (or Are Afraid/Shy) to Publish

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Site News at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7aa038459e0ccd86155b67511e793914

Summary: We strive to publish material that other sites cannot or would not; our focus is software patents and Free software, but we’re open to anything else in the realms of tech, rights, and law

AT the start of this year we published Intel leaks, some EPO leaks (on the very first day of the year) and right now we do a series about GitHub leaks, refuting revisionism by the mainstream media (parroting Microsoft instead of actually investigating the facts).

What’s particularly interesting about these GitHub leaks is that some mainstream sites turned down the source, for reasons we’ll show in the coming months (we shall also name the culprits). The Web needs a place that’s willing to protect sources and publish what they have to say, even in the face of incredible pressure, including threats. Having successfully published 32,000 blog posts (and retracted not a single one in 15 years; also, no source was compromised) we’re probably well equipped to do more of the same. We’ve made ourselves relatively robust to censorship or takedown requests (related to pressure from hosters, including ‘Clown Computing’ providers).

As people can see in our IRC channels, we shun ClownFlare and aren’t interested in CDNs. They come at a (hidden) cost. In the video above I meant to refer to a company that’s not actually Singaporean but also operates in Singapore (notorious for oppressive Internet censorship). Well, the company I wanted to allude to is Imperva, which is connected to Incapsula and is generally “dodgy” for a number of reasons (many so-called ‘security’ companies are connected to states).

If you have something to send us discreetly, we do have encrypted means of communications, albeit some aren’t publicly advertised (it’s not just PGP, we can do voice as well). Get in touch with us. IRC is typically a good start (direct message or public).

32,000 Blog Posts

Posted in Site News at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Depending on whether one counts all posts, including drafts (or only published ones), this week we cross another important threshold and mark a milestone

THE site turned 15 earlier this month and around the same time our Gemini capsule exceeded 38,000 pages. We’re growing at a fast pace, owing to the hard work of sources and activists. We have some important revelations in the pipeline and we aren’t releasing them as fast as possible, mostly in the interest of impact (giving people time to catch up and digest material never seen elsewhere).

On the coding side, the past week has been eventful and this morning we came under a DDOS attack lasting about 10 minutes. We already have mitigation code in place — programs that improve over time to secure uptime/availability.

New Ways of Working for António Campinos, Even From One’s Own Home During a Crisis

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 2c262586c7d77d6801a59b7498527bf3

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) is taking advantage of a pandemic to take away basic rights of staff; in the video above, which is based on the document below, I give my personal views/thoughts

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote to António Campinos about his proposal for the pandemic, seeing that Europe is again the “epicenter” of the COVID-19 health crisis, with Germany on exceptionally high alert at the moment.

On “New ways of working,” the CSC wrote (alluding to something published by Team Battistelli/Campinos), much needs to be said. They were preparing for a meeting when they wrote it. “Proposal in preparation of the GCC meeting” was the title circulated with this open letter. “In a meeting with the President on 16 November,” they noted, “the Central Staff Committee (CSC) addressed some problematic aspects of “New ways of working”. We are now making concrete proposals in order to address the issues of core time and flexi-hours.”

That was 3 days ago. I’ve converted the letter into HTML and decided to record a quick video, seeing that this is a very “tech rights” issue, especially at times of significance change and when self-serving management exploits the pandemic the tilt the systems in their own favour at workers’ expense, often discarding basic rights, e.g. extensively spying on employees. A week ago the EPO’s President was promoting European software patents under the guise of “Hey Hi” (in relation to JPO), but today’s issue is less technical and more to do with human rights.

Here’s the open letter in full:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email


Reference: sc21133cl
Date: 18/11/2021

Preparation of the consultation on GCC/DOC 24/2021 (CA/77/21): “New ways of working”

Dear Mr President,

The topic of “New ways of working” is of interest to all staff and is essential for the performance and future of our Organisation. The Central Staff Committee believes that a jointly agreed text should be possible. Compared to the current applicable statutory regulations (especially on Part-Time Home Working), we appreciate your intention to extend geographical flexibility for all staff.

First, we take note that the period of notice according to Article 7(5) will be aligned with the current Part-Time Home Working provision and set at two months. Second, we welcome your willingness to extend the transitional provisions (Article 17) to children under the age of 4. Third, we understand that the entry into force (and presumably the period of the transitional measures) will be extended in accordance with the development of the pandemic.

There are however still some issues which need to be resolved and reflected in an amended version of the Circular for consultation in the General Consultative Committee (GCC). Our proposals are the following:

1. Core-time and flexi-hours

Current proposal:

Article 15(1): “All provisions of the Guidelines on arrangements for working hours concerning the accrual of flexi-hours and the establishment of core time are suspended by the Circular.”

Flexi-hours (as they are called) are a means for flexibility in managing one’s working time/schedule, when working on the Office premises. Teleworking is actually a means for flexibility in working location. Hence, the two concepts are entirely different. Creating one and removing the other does not mean increasing flexibility, rather it removes one form of flexibility and introduces another, where the beneficiaries are not the same.

A group of at least 25% of staff declared that they are not interested in geographical flexibility and others might not be allowed to make use of it due to the nature of their tasks. This group would be negatively affected by the reform as well as all others planning to work partly in the Office’s buildings.

In the current proposal, the Working time framework (Article 3 of the guidelines on arrangement for working hours, PART 4j CODEX) still sets the working day at a minimum of six hours (maximum ten hours) and the minimum working week at 35 hours (maximum 48 hours). The abolition of accrual of flexi-hours would remove any possibility for staff to deviate from this framework. In addition, flexi-hours accrual is very simple to administrate and gives visibility and predictability for management, while helping staff to manage their work-life balance.

The New Normal staff survey results show that 82% of staff want flexibility in working times and 73% are interested in the removal of core-hours. We understand that, for the Human Resources Department, both are linked. In order to meet both ends, we propose to abolish accrual of flexi-hours only on days of teleworking and to change the purpose of core-hours to define them as a preferred timeslot for joint meetings, thus also for strengthening the “sense of belonging”.

Our proposal:
Article 15(1): “All provisions of the Guidelines on arrangements for working hours concerning the accrual of flexi-hours on days of teleworking and the establishment of core time are suspended by the Circular. Core-time as set out in the Guidelines on arrangements for working hours should be the preferred timeslot for the purpose of Article 7(1)(b) and Article 8(1)(d).

2. Fast joint conflict resolution panel

The Circular does not define clear procedures and steps for negative decisions on teleworking, and the criteria remain vague. Teleworking has a significant impact on personal and family planning which cannot be reconciled with long delays incurred by the management review and internal appeal systems, let alone the AT-ILO as the ultimate end of any dispute.

We understand that the administration is currently reluctant to set up a fast joint conflict resolution panel.

In order to move forward, we propose that this topic be revisited at the time of the review. We also understand that in the meantime the staff and Office will try to solve arising conflicts expeditiously, using the existing internal means of redress.

Our proposal:
An addition in Article 16(1): “The review shall involve the monitoring of cases of conflict arising from the implementation of the Circular and an evaluation of the suitability of the existing means of redress on this topic.“

3. Health & Safety

We are still waiting for the opinion of the COHSEC with respect to Health & Safety matters on the document.

We are looking forward to a fruitful discussion in the GCC. We would appreciate receiving an amended text reflecting our proposals above and would of course agree to waive our right to the deadline for submission to the GCC.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The short story is, there is an ongoing inquiry (survey) about how staff feels after more than a year working from home, at least part of the time. Expect more of this in light of the Austrian news.

As we’ve seen many times before, ILO-AT (or AT-ILO, same thing) is clearly too slow to react to abuses against staff, especially a new modality of abuse (off-site labour). Working from home isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s not like being “on holiday”; there are health implications, lack of access to various facilities that are expected in an organised and centralised workplace, and no access to supportive supervisors (yes, some do exist and a good supervisor can provide help and comfort, not fear).

[Meme] Patent Searches and Examinations Without Colleagues to Help (and Line Managers You Cannot See)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO prior art search

Trying to get back to the office

EPO Line Managers

Summary: The EPO is transforming into a patent ‘production line’ (or pipeline) which lacks many of the safeguards that used to exist, including real-time collaboration among examiners and a work environment designed for the task; António Campinos does not care how staff feels or thinks, he just wants to ‘produce’ as many monopolies as possible for his ‘clients’

Links 19/11/2021: Arcan 0.6.1 and FreeBSD 12.3 RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Arcan 0.6.1

        Time for another fairly beefy Arcan release. For those thinking in semantic versioning still surprised at the change-set versus version number here (‘just a minor update?’) do recall that as per the roadmap, disregarding the optimistic timeline, we work with release-rarely-build-yourself thematic versions until that fated 1.0 where we switch to semantic and release-often.

        On that scale, 0.5.x was the display server role, 0.6.x is focused on the networking layer as the main feature and development driver. 0.7.x will be improving audio and some missing compatibility/3D/VR bits. Then it gets substantially easier/faster – 0.8.x will be optimization and performance. 0.9.x will be security — hardening attack surface, verification of protections, continuous fuzzing infrastructure and so on.

    • Server

      • Istio 1.12 Upgrade Notes

        When you upgrade from Istio 1.10.0 or 1.11.0 to Istio 1.12.0, you need to consider the changes on this page. These notes detail the changes which purposefully break backwards compatibility with Istio 1.10.0 and 1.11.0. The notes also mention changes which preserve backwards compatibility while introducing new behavior. Changes are only included if the new behavior would be unexpected to a user of Istio 1.12.0.

      • Istio 1.12 Change Notes
    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to use DD command and how to burn ISO using it – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Copying your data as well as backing them up is a day-to-day tasks that we perform regularly. Thus we need a utility to perform these tasks. And as in case of Linux, we can do what we want in various ways using different utilities. Then, our utility today is dd command. As we know everything in Linux is a file and is treated according to this rule even block devices. Which makes dd is useful to copy and backup our data.

      • How To Install Mono on Linux Mint 20 [Ed: Very bad idea. This is a Microsoft pandemic, trying to infect everything in order to undermine it.]
      • How to Upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 – Linux Nightly

        This guide will show how to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish, which is the latest LTS version of the operating system.

        Canonical releases new LTS (long term support) versions of Ubuntu every two years, in April. They also release interim editions every six months.

        It’s always recommended that you keep Ubuntu up to date with the latest LTS release. Interim versions are okay to skip, unless you want to get a sneak preview on new features to come.

      • Remove an expired key in APT – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, dear friends. Although it is not always recommended, many times to get recent versions of a package or a whole program, we need to add external repositories. Usually, these repositories have a GPG key that allows us to secure the installation. What happens when these GPG keys expire? Well, it is no longer possible to use the repository. So in this post, you will learn how to remove an expired key in APT.

      • How to Install Rundeck on Ubuntu 20.04

        Rundeck is a free open-source software for automation services. It gives self-service access to the processes and tools they need to get their job done. Using Rundeck you can create automation workflows from existing tools or scripts. It provides a web console, CLI tools, and a Web API to run automation tasks.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install the Rundeck community on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install AlmaLinux 8.5 Step by Step

        As CentOS 8 draws steadily to End of Life on December 31st, 2021, efforts have been made to come up with centos alternative distributions which will fill in the big shoes left by CentOS 8. This comes following RedHat’s decision to dump CentOS 8 in favor of CentOS Stream, something which has elicited mixed reactions.

        Many users have felt betrayed by RedHat’s move to cut short the life of CentOS 8 by 9 years. A good number have also expressed their concerns about the stability and security that CentOS Stream will provide.

      • Using MangoHud to check FPS, CPU & GPU usage on a ‘hackendeck’ – CNX Software

        Previously I followed Valve’s documentation to build a ‘hackendeck’ using a mini PC to emulate their highly anticipated Steam Deck. Interestingly the ‘hackendeck’ uses a Linux OS, specifically Manjaro, as whilst Valve based their earlier version of Steam OS on Debian, they have now switched to being based on Arch.

        If the ‘hackendeck’ had just been Steam on Windows then to review gaming performance I’d just use MSI Afterburner. Until now, however, for Linux, I’ve always had to estimate the average FPS as I’ve not been aware of a good reliable equivalent.

        Fortunately several ‘commenters’ recommended using MangoHud, a Linux open-source Vulkan/OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, CPU/GPU usage, and temperatures similar to MSI Afterburner. So now I’ve been able to capture the average frame rate for the games I previously tested and I’ll present them below.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • On (hopefully) taming Webkit and getting better privacy in GNOME Web with Privoxy.

          Really, it would be nicer if Apple would just double the amount of filter rules allowed in Content Blockers, but it seems they really can’t do much about users who take Privacy matters into their own hands, even on Mac OS, as Privoxy apparently works on Mac OS too!

          Privoxy has been around for 20 years or so and previously went under the name Internet Junkbuster. In fact, it was one of my ad blocking Hosts files that was used as the basis for the early Junkbuster list.

          I got fed up with ads and Windows adware in the late 90s and felt like I could take on the problem of blocking it, and for a while I was correct. However, HOSTS files are no answer for today’s problems on the Web, and Windows will try to revert any changes you make to it with “Defender” anyway if you use Windows.

          And if you successfully make it ignore that and allow the modifications, Windows Telemetry spyware is IMPOSSIBLE to block with the HOSTS file because it will ignore you if you ad their telemetry sites to it!

          You really should not use Windows….

          Back to Privoxy…. It will not interfere with your VPN software, or at least it shouldn’t (it doesn’t with my setup, using NordVPN), because it is a local proxy. It should enhance the privacy your VPN gives you. In fact, it used to be part of the Tor Browser Bundle.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.3-RC2 Now Available
          The second RC build of the 12.3-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          Installation images are available for:
          o 12.3-RC2 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.3-RC2 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.3-RC2 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.3-RC2 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.3-RC2 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.3-RC2 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 12.3-RC2 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.3-RC2 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.3-RC2 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/12.3" branch.
          A summary of changes since 12.3-RC1 includes:
          o Updates to the igc(4) driver.
          o BEAGLEBONE and RPI3 SoC images have been removed, due to late
            discovered issues.
          A list of changes since 12.2-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.3
          release notes:
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.3-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          The partition layout is:
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          To boot the VM image, run:
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla loading full page ads for their VPN (they just resell Mulvad VPN).

            This behavior is beyond annoying and not at all welcome on the part of the user. Not only does Mozilla do this over and over again (I had it happen more than once), but they load it in your private windows too.

            This time, there’s two more checkboxes to find (good luck). Hint: “recommend extensions as you browse” and “recommend features as you browse”. But this shouldn’t be necessary and using Mozilla software is becoming the literal….Look, next year Webster’s English Dictionary is going to have to put the Firefox logo as the definition of “annoying”.

            Brave, a competing web browser, has a regular “private” window which just means no history logging on your device, but also Private Windows with Tor. It also works atop your VPN if you want to access Tor hidden services.

          • Ring doorbells no longer support Firefox for live view. Recommend Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge.

            Mozilla could probably hack their way around this one with a UA quirk, but will just let company after company keep destroying what’s left of their browser business while they send “Web Compat” emails that go right into the trash to outfits like Facebook, Microsoft Skype, and now Amazon.

      • FSF

        • FSF Giving Guide: Freedom is the greatest gift of all

          It seems like the usual holiday sales just get earlier and earlier. Not content with just hammering us with ads, certain megalithic companies named after large rivers or fruits try to foist their “deals” on us as soon as they can. Given the degree to which our lives are mediated by technology, it’s no surprise that so many holiday sales focus on “devices,” that catch-all name we’ve given to those computers that run in our pockets, laps, and living rooms. Yet before you cave to pressure, you should make sure that gift isn’t putting your friend or family member under unjust control.

          For the last twelve years, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published our Ethical Tech Giving Guide as a way to help concerned individuals make sure that the gift they might plan on giving their loved ones doesn’t deprive them of their freedom. It’s natural to want the very best gift for that special person in your life. It’s also natural to want that gift to last them as long as possible. But if you plan on giving any devices, it’s important to carefully consider the gift that you choose and the message it sends. The Amazon Echo or Chromebook that you’re buying today has a good chance of being obsolete in the next few years, and more importantly, could set your friend or family member’s digital freedom back even longer.

          Freedom is the best gift you can give, and the one that keeps on giving. Rather than purchasing that new gadget, we encourage you to take the time to explore installing free software on one your friend or family member already owns. Taking your first steps to freedom often doesn’t just help you win back your digital autonomy: it provides an opportunity for you to deepen your relationship with the ones you care about through a shared learning experience, and inaugurates you into a worldwide community of users.

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel Releases ControlFlag 1.0 For AI-Driven Detection Of Bugs Within C Code – Phoronix

          Intel last month open-sourced “ControlFlag” for finding bugs within source code by using AI with training off more than a reported one billion lines of code. Intel has said they have successfully been using it within their software from applications down to firmware. The new milestone today is ControlFlag 1.0 being released.

        • Display Git Configuration

          From time to time I tend to forget what’s my effective Git configuration, so I have to check it somehow. Most of the time I’d simply do the following: [...]

    • Standards/Consortia

      • XMPP, A Comeback Story: A 20 Year Old Messaging Protocol For Robust, Private and Decentralized Communications

        XMPP has a huge potential to replace platforms like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp, although its use hasn’t reached mass consciousness. Rather then spread awareness of friendly and open technologies like these, big tech companies preferred to build their proprietary solutions ontop of XMPP and market those instead – so you may have been using XMPP this whole time without even knowing it.

        Instead of depending on proprietary centralized chat platforms like Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal we believe that truly decentralized platforms like XMPP can achieve and surpass our needs.

  • Leftovers

    • Surveying the Wreckage of the World and Wondering Where Habermas Fits in These Days

      A military rife with sexual abuse, universities that lack courage to defend freedom of inquiry, a healthcare system that is crumbling beneath too heavy loads, violence against stressed-out and fearful healthcare workers, governments that reek of incompetence of stupid decision-making, a culture that denies science and evidence, churches that advocate reconciliation without justice. God, is every institution, the NHL included, covering up bad and dirty deeds, demeaning some members of our society or sweeping the dirt under some grimy rug somewhere? An inquisitorial and accusatory spirit is roaming the land. Who and what might be next?

      Watched the news this morning, O boy, and learned that some healthcare workers don’t want to be vaccinated. What? The stability and surety of daily life is eroding before my eyes. Marx’s words in The Communist Manifesto of 1848 – “All that is solid melts into the air, all that is holy is profaned and man is at last compelled to face with sober sense, his real conditions of life, and his relation to his kind” – capture our dreadful time of troubles.

    • Inside the Hell That Is The Many Saints of Newark

      The long-running HBO series The Sopranos often ventured into Hell—or, more narrowly defined, into realms beyond death where things feel bad and very little changes. The Many Saints of Newark, a feature film prequel released this year, begins in Hell, with a snaking shot through a graveyard and, in voiceover, Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli), a central character in the original series, explaining how he died in the monotone of a man who has told this story many times before. “I met death on Route 23, not too far from here,” he says. Then we see a young Tony Soprano, in 1967, rushing down a pier in bright sunlight: “That’s my uncle.… He choked me to death.”

    • Reassessing the Legacy and Power of DC Hardcore – Censored Notebook

      Premised on the idea that the development, experience, and messaging of music are indivisible from geography and chronology, Shayna L. Maskell, professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University, interprets a lesser known version of Washington, DC history via “DC hardcore;” harDCore, as it was known in the vernacular. Politics As Sound examines this music as “a performance of self…complicated and contradictory,” as well as a presentation of the politics of its circumstances (3).

    • Education

      • Vilnius library builds book pickup lockers throughout city to stay contactless

        According to the library’s press release, the new service allows readers to order library books online and pick them up at a chosen locker at any time of the day.

        “The idea of book pickup lockers came during the quarantine when libraries were closed. At the time, we were looking for ways to keep in touch with readers and issue books in a secure contactless way,” said Rima Gražienė, head of Vilnius Central Library.

      • A Note About Recruiters

        Most people, including me, hate LinkedIn and are there just out of necessity. You’re simply expected to have a LinkedIn profile these days. What’s also true is that most people have turned off any form of emails and notifications from LinkedIn and visit it very rarely (unless actively looking for a job).

    • Hardware

      • Isolated Oscilloscope Design Process Shows How It’s Done | Hackaday

        [Bart Schroder] was busy designing high voltage variable speed motor drives and was lamenting the inability of a standard scope to visualise the waveforms around the switch transistors. This is due to the three phase nature of such motors being driven with three current waveforms, out of phase with each other by 120 degrees, where current flows between each pair of winding taps, without being referenced to a common notion of ground. The average scope on your bench however, definitely is ground-referenced, so visualising such waveforms is a bit of a faff. Then there’s the fact that the motors run at many hundreds of volts, and the prospect of probing that with your precious bench instrument is a little nerve-wracking to say the least. The solution to the issue was obvious, build your own isolated high voltage oscilloscope, and here is the Cleverscope CS448 development journey for your viewing pleasure.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Will You Storm the Capitol if the 2024 Election is Stolen?

        This is not a call to “understand” or “have compassion” for Trump voters.  Instead, it’s a call for a wholesale political and social indictment of Trump’s Big Lie, along with every elected Republican politician or media member who knows Trump lost but keeps perpetuating that Lie.

        If we fail, history may repeat itself and — this time — the result will be far worse than Bush’s lying us into two wars and privatizing Medicare.

      • Court Cases Show Colombian Government Role in Paramilitary Killings, US Implicated

        The 2016 agreement ending 50 years of armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Colombia’s government might have brought peace. Since the accord was signed, however, killers, presumably paramilitaries, have taken the lives of  292 former FARC combatants and 1241“social leaders.”

        Special Forces General William Yarborough, reporting on a U.S advisory mission to Colombia in 1962, recommended “a civil and military structure … [that could] execute paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist activities against known communist proponents.” Even so, paramilitary activities remained quiescent until the 1980s. From then on, paramilitary assaults multiplied in rural areas, leaving deaths, destitution and displacement in their wake.

      • The Pentagon and the Washington Post: Cold War Brothers-in-Arms

        One of the reasons why President Harry S. Truman created the Central Intelligence Agency, also in the National Security Act, was to have an independent civilian agency challenging the Pentagon’s self-serving briefings on Capitol Hill for increased defense spending.  The imperative for the military is to ensure the continued flow of funding for its arsenal.  To this end, it will always posit the worst case possible that it must defend against.

        The mainstream media should be well aware of the dangers of relying on military briefings and assessments when editorializing about the capabilities and intentions of putative adversaries such as Russia and China.  But the Washington Post, which has been beating the editorial drums for challenging Beijing, is currently using the Pentagon’s latest report to the Congress on China’s military strength to promote increased U.S. defense spending and additional military deployments in East Asia.  The Post and the New York Times regularly cite the U.S. Cold War with China, a very dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy if there ever was one.

      • Cubans More Excited About School Reopening Than Regime Change

        Even after the Cuban government denied the protesters a permit on the grounds that they were part of a destabilization campaign led by the United States, anti-government forces insisted that they were undeterred and were ready to take the risks. But in the end, their Field of Dreams turned out to be an illusion. What happened?

        Intimidation of dissidents was certainly a key factor. The leader of the Facebook group Archipelago, Yunior Garcia, was kept under virtual house arrest. Other leaders were threatened with arrest and repudiated by their pro-revolution neighbors.

      • The Fiscal-Military-Corporate State We Cannot Sustain

        A parade of weapons manufacturers is plying members of Congress with arguments for new weapons technologies and dollars for the next election cycle. Leading the way: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon Technologies.

        The top 20 Defense contractors contributed $47 million to federal candidates in 2020.  Lobbying efforts of defense contractors totaled more than $87 million in 2021.

      • Kyle Rittenhouse Is on Trial for Murder. Matt Gaetz Says He’d Be a Good Intern.
      • In Charlottesville, Rittenhouse and Arbery Cases, White Supremacy Is on Trial
      • Censure Is “Not Enough”: Rights Groups Call for Expulsion of Paul Gosar
      • Ed Dept. Opens Inquiry on District That Wanted “Opposing” Lessons on Holocaust
      • US Policy on Taiwan is a False and Dangerous Two-Step

        Biden, however, managed to score a double own goal on the subject of Taiwan by simultaneously justifying bad US foreign policy and endorsing Beijing’s false “One China” claim.

        On one hand, the US has neither any obligation nor any good reason to continue guaranteeing Taiwan’s  de facto independence from the mainland regime.

      • Gosar Censured Over AOC Murder Video, As AOC Slams GOP: “What Is So Hard About Saying This Is Wrong?”

        Republican Congressmember Paul Gosar is the first lawmaker to be censured in more than a decade for posting an animated video on social media where he murders Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacks President Biden. The U.S. House of Representatives also voted Tuesday to censure Gosar and strip him of committee assignments. He has refused to apologize and after the vote he retweeted the video. Speaking from the House floor before the vote Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez said: “This is not about me. This is not about Representative Gosar. This is about what we are willing to accept.” The co-sponsor of the censure vote, Congressmember Jackie Speier of California, said “Congressmember Ocasio-Cortez has become the go-to subject of the radical right to stir up their base, as too often is the case for women of color.”

      • Three White Supremacy Trials: Dahlia Lithwick on Charlottesville, Rittenhouse & Arbery Murder Case

        Jurors in Charlottesville, Virginia, are hearing closing arguments today in a civil trial that seeks to hold white supremacists accountable for organizing the deadly “Unite the Right” rally there in 2017, and conspiring to commit racially motivated violence. Two of the white supremacists have been defending themselves in the courtroom: Richard Spencer and Christopher Cantwell. They took the stand Tuesday, and tried unsuccessfully to have the judge dismiss the case for lack of evidence, even as they used racial slurs during the trial. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Friday. Both Spencer and Cantwell have “failed utterly to take responsibility for the roles they played,” says Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick, who lived in Charlottesville during the 2017 rally and is reporting on the trial, which is not being broadcast. She also discusses the homicide trial of white teenage gunman Kyle Rittenhouse and the broad use of the “self defense” argument by white supremacists on trial.

      • The Latest Round of Protests in Cuba Are a Bust—for Now

        Havana—After weeks of media hype, planned anti-government demonstrations that had been billed here as a nationwide March for Change fizzled out on Monday. Around the country, at least 11 protesters that did come out were arrested. In downtown Havana, handfuls of university students wearing white walked around looking for a march to join—but found only throngs of police and plainclothes state security officers.

      • Sanders Says Deficit Concerns ‘Seem to Melt Away’ When It’s Time to Fill Pentagon Coffers

        Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont noted in a floor speech Wednesday that concerns about the deficit curiously disappear on Capitol Hill when it’s time to authorize the annual U.S. military budget, which lawmakers are preparing to boost to $778 billion for fiscal year 2022.

        “All of this money is going to an agency, the Department of Defense, that continues to have massive cost overruns.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Data Shows LA Sheriff’s Department Is Stopping Tons Of Latino Bicyclists, Rarely Finding Anything Illegal

        Law enforcement doesn’t just engage in pretextual stops of cars. Bicyclists are on the radar as well, especially if they happen to be minorities. That’s according to data obtained by the Los Angeles Times, which shows the LA Sheriff’s Department (which has buried the needle on the far end of “problematic” for years) is targeting bike riders with tactics that fall somewhere between pretextual stop and stop-and-frisk.

    • Environment

      • ‘Encouraging’: Unlike Trump, Biden Backs Global Treaty for Plastic Pollution

        In stark contrast to the U.S. position under former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration on Thursday signaled support for developing a global treaty to tackle marine plastic pollution, winning swift applause from environmental campaigners.

        “As a major producer and exporter of plastic, the U.S. has a responsibility to take a leadership role.”

      • Dem Lawmakers, Climate Groups Urge Biden Administration to Support Kids Climate Case

        Four dozen federal lawmakers and scores of advocacy groups on Thursday sent President Joe Biden and other leaders within his administration letters in support of the yearslong climate case that accuses the U.S. government of violating young Americans’ constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property, and failing to protect essential public trust resources.

        “We urge the DOJ to reverse its position, stop fighting the youth, and bring to the settlement table tangible ideas to significantly address the youth’s concerns for a safe environment.”

      • Opinion | Bipartisan American Empire and Catastrophic Climate Change

        When the leaders of more than 100 nations gathered in Glasgow for the U.N. climate conference last week, there was much discussion about the disastrous effect of climate change on the global environment. There was, however, little awareness of its likely political impact on the current world order that made such an international gathering possible.

      • Markey Amendment Would Redirect 1% of Funds From ‘Bloated’ Pentagon to Address Climate Crisis

        Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts filed an amendment Thursday that would cut the Senate’s proposed $768 billion Pentagon budget by 1% and invest the resulting savings in global programs aimed at helping low-income nations build resilience against the climate crisis.

        “Unfettered military spending will not protect us from the destruction of the environment and worsening climate chaos.”

      • Opinion | Big Oil, Lurking in Shadows, Continues to Call Shots on Climate

        During the Second World War, no Canadian would have been satisfied to learn that, while the Allies were making progress, their efforts wouldn’t be enough to stop Hitler. Any possibility of Hitler winning was unacceptable; accordingly, the Canadian government devoted itself unwaveringly to mobilizing a national war effort against him.

      • Opinion | World Leaders Failed Us at COP26, but Change Always Comes From the Power of People

        If it wasn’t for the greenhouse effect, the Earth would be as cold and dead as the far side of the moon.

      • Imagine If Stopping Climate Change was More Important Than Creating More Climate Change Billionaires

        On the other side, some people did manage to get enormously rich from the pandemic. Specifically, those who had patent monopolies on the mRNA vaccines did very well, as the stock prices of both Pfizer and Moderna soared during the pandemic. Back in April, Forbes identified 40 people who became billionaires as a direct result of their ownership of stock in companies that were profiting off the pandemic. Three of these were from Moderna alone. The number has surely grown, as the stock market has gone up further in the last seven months.

        The reason why the Moderna billionaires might be especially upsetting is that so much of what they did was with government funding. The development of mRNA technology, beginning in the early 1980s, was accomplished almost entirely on the government’s dime. While Moderna did do further research to develop a foundation for producing vaccines, the money to actually develop and test Moderna’s vaccine came entirely from the government through Operation Warp Speed. The government also signed a large advance purchase agreement, which would have required it to pay for several million Moderna vaccines, even if other vaccines were superior.

      • COP26: Capitalism = Death

        For many, the U.S.-China deal, like much of the other proclamation made by government leaders at the conference, exemplified what Swedish climate activities Greta Thunberg dubbed the great “blah, blah, blah.”  As she said at the Youth4Climate summit in Milan (Italy) in September:

        Looking critically at COP26, Thunberg argued, “It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure. It should be obvious that we cannot solve the crisis with the same methods that got us into it in the first place.” She added, “The COP has turned into a PR event, where leaders are giving beautiful speeches and announcing fancy commitments and targets, while behind the curtains governments of the Global North countries are still refusing to take any drastic climate action.”

      • Energy

        • This City in Oregon is Making Moves to Ban Natural Gas in New Homes and Buildings

          The City of Eugene, Oregon, initiated a process on November 17 that could lead to a ban on new natural gas hookups in residential and commercial buildings, following in the footsteps of dozens of other cities around the country. The move would be the first in Oregon, and activists believe it could set off a domino-like trend in the state and more broadly across the Pacific Northwest. 

          The Eugene City Council approved a process in which they would consider a ban on new gas hookups in the coming months, with the ban tentatively planned to take effect in January 2023. Wednesday’s vote did not immediately approve the prohibition, but the apparent strong support from a majority of the City Council suggested that there is considerable momentum in that direction. 

        • Gulf Coast Tribe Vows to Resist Enbridge’s New Pipeline Expansion Plans
        • Applause for ‘All Who Fought’ as Boston City Council Votes to Divest From Fossil Fuels

          Progressives praised the Boston City Council after its members voted unanimously Wednesday to divest city funds from the fossil fuel industry, a major endorsement of clean energy investment that came as Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to debate how to allocate the state’s financial resources.

          “The climate crisis requires us to take immediate steps toward a cleaner future.”

        • From Glasgow to Gulf of Mexico, Fossil Fuel Industry Shows Us Who’s in Charge
        • HS: Peat has lost its significance for security of supply in Finland

          It is important to distinguish between the use and production of peat, reminded Helsingin Sanomat. Production, in particular, can fluctuate noticeably based on demand and weather conditions: heat production plants are this winter expected to burn through reserves left over from the good peat year that was 2018.

          Salo also pointed out that the production of energy peat has fallen from about 15–16 million cubic metres in the 2010s to about 6.5 million cubic metres in 2020 and possibly as low as two million cubic metres in 2021.

          Energy peat has typically made up 85–90 per cent of all peat produced in Finland. The other types of peat include white peat, which is used in greenhouses and livestock farming.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How Progressives Can Mobilize to Win

        This is a pivotal moment. In recent years we’ve witnessed the awakening and uprising of creative, courageous people demanding justice and equality—from #BlackLivesMatter to #protecttranskids, #LandBack to #MeToo and disability justice to immigrant rights. Politically, these movements have spurred progressive candidates at every level of government, from new members of the “Squad” in congress to diverse and bold progressive candidates winning at every level. Our multicultural and participatory democracy is within reach.

      • Finnish Democracy Is on the Brink

        Last week, a noose and an unprintably racist message were delivered to a Muslim lawmaker. The target wasn’t Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, as you might well have imagined, but—shockingly—Suldaan Said Ahmed, a first-term member of the Finnish Parliament. “This repulsive act is only part of the racist feedback and harassment I’ve faced during my time in politics,” said Ahmed. “I thought it was important to show what it’s like also publicly. This is what people still have to face in Finland in the 2020s. I want to work to make sure no child has to face anything like this in the future.”

      • Sunrise Endorses Cisneros Over Corporate-Backed Cuellar in Texas Democratic Primary Fight

        The Sunrise Movement announced Thursday its endorsement of progressive Jessica Cisneros in her primary challenge to oust Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and represent Texas’ 28th Congressional District.

        “She knows that it takes bold solutions to solve the crises we face.”

      • Opinion | Was Frederick Hayek a Bernie Sanders Socialist?

        Of course not! 

      • Texts Show Kimberly Guilfoyle Bragged About Raising Millions for Rally That Fueled Capitol Riot

        Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., boasted to a GOP operative that she had raised $3 million for the rally that helped fuel the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

        In a series of text messages sent on Jan. 4 to Katrina Pierson, the White House liaison to the event, Guilfoyle detailed her fundraising efforts and supported a push to get far-right speakers on the stage alongside Trump for the rally, which sought to overturn the election of President Joe Biden.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • High Profile Commission On Disinformation Unable To Solve Disinformation Despite Having Prince Harry On Board

        Dealing with disinformation is not an easy problem to solve. Part of the problem is that very few people even agree how to define disinformation, or how subjective it is. Indeed, as we’ve noted, most of the reporting on disinformation itself is misinformation (or, at the very least misleading). That said, I still had decently high hopes for the Aspen Institute’s “Commission on Information Disorder.” The Aspen Institute tends to do more credible and serious work on tech policy issues than many other groups. And the project was supported by Craig Newmark, who has been funding a bunch of important research over the past few years. And, while some of the choices for who was on the Commission struck me as odd (Prince Harry?!? Katie Couric?!?), there were some very serious and very thoughtful participants on the Commission itself, acting as “advisors” to the group, and who participated in the various discussions they held.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | John Oliver Just Aired the Best Anti-Union Busting Segment We’ve Ever Seen

        October saw the largest number of workers on strike in years, and 2021 has seen a dramatic rise in coverage of unionization efforts. John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, took aim on his show at the efforts by companies to keep unions out. Whether or not you are likely to see a union drive at your workplace, it matters that more Americans understand how union busting and corporate pressure tactics work; the more you know, the better you can push back against their deceitful propaganda.

      • Only Democracy Can Save One of America’s Greatest Unions

        Last month was Striketober. Fueled by historic labor shortages, 100,000 workers either went on strike or prepared to strike, in some of the largest coordinated labor actions in recent US history. This is encouraging. With gridlock in Congress holding up a social safety net bill, the United States needs strong unions more than ever. The trends are very clear: When unions are weak, the highest incomes go even higher, but when unions are strong, middle and lower incomes go up.

      • We Need Barcelona’s Hidden Radical History Now More Than Ever

        In the United States, there is a mighty and deeply reactionary movement for historical erasure. Its aims are nothing less than to prevent teaching the truth about the ugliest parts of the history of this country. The bewitching, paradoxical city of Barcelona presents a vision of what it could look like if such a movement were to reach its goals.

      • Uncivil War on Democracy
      • Morality Plays: When Entertainers Draw the Line

        Our ethics, however capricious they’ve become, evolve largely from the mega entertainment industry. Authors and athletes, singers and poet-rappers, television hosts and comedians, even though they sometimes do so unwittingly, guide our choices, consequently our values as well. Today’s A-list stars —oh, how we adore them—they are who pronounce what’s good and right, bad and wrong. At least we endow them with that power. Even when they don’t intend their statements to be a moral judgement, even after they’ve moved beyond whatever they’re charged with.

        Columnist Paul Street, addressing the weakening role of journalism, hints at the moral implications of that slide: “In the name of political neutrality”, he writes, “‘the news’ often produces moral (my emphasis) and intellectual paralysis in its consumers…”.

      • ‘Morally Repugnant’: Video Shows Israeli Troops Waking, Photographing Palestinian Kids

        Human rights groups this week reacted with outrage to video footage showing Israeli troops forcing Palestinian children from their slumber and photographing them outside their family home—an act that Israel’s military admits was “not proper.”

        “It seems that for the army, all Palestinians, including boys and girls of elementary school age, are potential criminals.”

      • ‘Drop the Charges’: Greece Delays Trial of Humanitarians Who Aided Refugees at Sea

        Human rights defenders expressed renewed demands on Thursday for charges to be dropped against a group of humanitarian activists now facing trial in Greece for aiding refugees at sea off the country’s coast.

        “All we have done is assist people seeking safety at a time of need.”

      • Yes, Even If You Think Project Veritas Are A Bunch Of Malicious Grifters, FBI Raid Is Concerning

        I am no fan of Project Veritas. They appear to be a group of malicious grifters, deliberately distorting things, presenting them out of context to fit (or make) a narrative. Even so (or perhaps, especially so), we should be extremely concerned about the FBI’s recent raid on Project Veritas’ founder James O’Keefe and two of his colleagues.

      • ‘Solidarity Forever’: 40,000 Kaiser Workers Set to Strike to Defend 700 Fellow Union Members

        “It’s so important for working people to stand together, and we hope that with the nurses by their side, Kaiser engineers will win meaningful change for working people, and for safe patient care conditions.”

      • “The Dawn of Everything”: David Wengrow & the Late David Graeber On a New History of Humanity

        In an extended interview, we speak with archeologist David Wengrow, who co-authored the new book “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” with the late anthropologist David Graeber. The book examines how Indigenous cultures contributed greatly to what we have come to understand as so-called Western ideas of democracy and equality, but argues these contributions have been erased from history. “What the broad sweep of history shows is that living in large-scale, densely populated, technologically sophisticated societies really doesn’t require people to simply give up social freedoms,” says Wengrow. The two completed the book just weeks before Graeber died unexpectedly last year at the age of 59. Graeber is credited with helping to coin the phrase “We are the 99%.” His book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” made the case for sweeping debt cancellation.

      • Julius Jones Will “Fight Another Day” — Death Sentence Commuted
      • There’s Still Time to Save Julius Jones

        UPDATE: Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt commuted Julius Jones’s death sentence to life without parole just hours before Jones was scheduled to be executed for a murder that he says he did not commit. Read more about the Justice for Julius movement here.

      • ‘Hallelujah!’: Justice Advocates Rejoice at 11th-Hour Halt to Julius Jones Execution

        Human rights advocates rejoiced Thursday after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt heeded the advice of his state’s pardon board—which found compelling evidence of the condemned man’s innocence—and commuted the death sentence of Julius Jones to life imprisonment without parole with just hours to go before his scheduled execution.

        “Now we organize to get Gov. Stitt out of office so Julius Jones can gain his full freedom back.”

      • IFF releases Legislative Brief on Digital Rights for Winter Session 2021

        Before the commencement of the Winter Session of the Indian Parliament, we have prepared our second Legislative Brief on Digital Rights. In our brief, we highlight some of the focus areas within the larger issues of data protection and digital rights that call for the extensive deliberation in the houses of the Parliament.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FCC Ponders A Hugely Problematic Tax On WiFi

        For years, we’ve noted how telecom and media giants have been trying to force “big tech” to give them huge sums of money for no reason. The shaky logic usually involves claiming that “big tech” gets a “free ride” on telecom networks, something that’s never actually been true. This narrative has been bouncing around telecom policy circles for years, and recently bubbled up once again thanks to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr.

      • .net Forever

        Let’s talk a bit about .net. No, not Microsoft’s .NET, but the other .net – one of the original top-level internet domains. Given how popular .com has become, I find it really strange that .net failed to reach such prominence. Even .org is more popular than .net!

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Windows Store causes errors in Firefox, makes Accessibility unusable.

        They shilled Microsoft’s new DRM store, and all they got were more bugs to fix, Edge using nasty tricks to steal their users from them, and this lousy T-shirt.

      • Apple’s Self Service Repair Program Must Live Up To Its Promises

        This is a major shift for the company, which has fought for years against movements to expand people’s right to repair their Apple products. Right-to-repair advocates have not only pushed the company to move on this issue, but also to get regulators and lawmakers to acknowledge the need to protect the right to repair in law. Apple’s announcement is only one illustration of how far the advocacy on the right to repair has come; in just the past two years, advocates have won at the ballot box in Massachusetts, received a supportive directive from the Biden Administration, changed policy at Microsoft, and made some gains at the Library of Congress to expand repair permissions.

        The Self Service Repair Program could be another feather in that cap. But now that Apple has announced the program, we urge them to roll it out in ways that truly expand their customers’ access and choice.

        It’s important that Apple’s program, or any program, does not come with strings attached that make it unworkably difficult or too expensive for a normal person to use. In the past, Apple has done both—as YouTuber and professional repairer Louis Rossman pointed out.

    • Monopolies

      • [Old] How Piracy Opens Doors for Windows

        “The first dose is free,” said Hal Varian, a professor of information management at UC Berkeley, facetiously comparing Microsoft’s anti-piracy policy to street-corner marketing of illicit drugs. “Once you start using a product, you keep using it.”

      • Trademarks

        • EFF Tells Court to Protect Anonymous Speakers, Apply Proper Test Before Unmasking Them In Trademark Commentary Case

          EFF filed its brief in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit after several anonymous defendants in a case brought by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund appealed a district court’s order that mandated the disclosure of their identifying information. Everytown’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants used its trademarked logos in 3-D printed gun part plans and sought the order to learn the identities of several online speakers who printed them.

          Unmasking can result in serious harm to anonymous speakers, exposing them to harassment and intimidation, which is why the First Amendment offers strong protections for such speech. So courts around the country have applied a now well-established three-step test when parties seek to unmask Doe speakers, to ensure that the litigation process is not being abused to pierce anonymity unnecessarily. But in granting the order in this case, the district court instead applied a looser test that is usually used only in P2P copyright cases. The court then ruled that the online speakers could not rely on the First Amendment here because “anonymity is not protected to the extent that it is used to mask the infringement of intellectual property rights, including trademark rights.”

          That ruling cannot stand. As we explained in our friend-of-the-court brief, “Although the right to speak anonymously is not absolute, the constitutional protections it affords to speakers required the district court to pause and meaningfully consider the First Amendment implications of the discovery order sought by Plaintiffs, applying the correct test designed to balance the needs of plaintiffs and defendants in Doe cases such as this one.”  By choosing to apply the wrong test, and even then in the most cursory way, the district court fell far short of its obligations.

      • Copyrights

        • Is Protecting Copyright More Important Than Saving Lives During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

          Although the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked terrible suffering across the world, we are fortunate that we already have several vaccines that have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the number of deaths and hospitalization rates. Discovering vaccines proved easier than expected, but ensuring that everyone – including people in developing countries – has access to them has proved much harder. The main reason for that is an intellectual monopoly: patents. Even though at least two of the main vaccines were developed almost entirely using public funds, which ought by rights to mean that the results are in the public domain, companies have obtained exclusionary patents on them. This has led to calls for a patent waiver of some kind to allow countries to produce their own supplies of medicines, without needing to pay licensing fees.

        • “The NFT Bay” Shares Multi-Terabyte Archive of ‘Pirated’ NFTs

          NFTs are unique blockchain entries through which people can prove that they ‘own’ something. However, the underlying images can be copied with a single click. This point is illustrated by The NFT Bay which links to a 19.5 Terabyte collection of ‘all NFTs’ on the Ethereum and Solana blockchains. And it comes with an important warning message too.

        • YouTubers Who Uploaded Movie Edits Receive Suspended Prison Sentences

          After being arrested earlier this year, three people have been handed suspended prison sentences and fines for uploading so-called “fast movies” to YouTube. Their trial, which took place in Japan, heard that the defendants uploaded minutes-long movie summary edits to YouTube with accompanying commentary. All three pleaded to criminal breaches of Japan’s copyright law.

        • CC Certificate Alumnus, Mostafa Azad Kamal on his work with open education policies and practice

          After launching in 2018, and certifying approximately 1000 graduates from 56 countries, Creative Commons (CC) is taking stock of the incredible community of Certificate participants and alumni. We are particularly interested in learning about local “case studies” of open licensing in local country contexts, and asking alumni about their experiences. CC Certificate alumni have used the certificate course in a number of ways—read about alumni testimonials here, and an in-depth adaptation one alumnus made of course content here. In this interview, we highlight one Certificate graduate’s work in Bangladesh, and celebrate the momentum he’s built in open education. 

        • ‘GTA’ Modding Group Doesn’t Fold, Fights Back In Court Against Take-Two, Rockstar [Ed: Delete Microsoft GitHub]

          We’ve been talking a great deal about Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games lately as it relates to their aggressive actions on modding communities for the Grand Theft Auto series. This new war on modders really kicked off over the summer, with the companies looking to shut down a bunch of mods that mostly brought old GTA content into newer games for retro fans. Then came one modding group managing to reverse engineer the game to create its own version of the source code, which it posted on GitHub. Rockstar DMCA’d that project, but at least one modder managed to get GitHub to put it back up. That project was called “GTA RE3″ and was supposed to be the basis to let other modders do all sorts of interesting things with the game from a modding standpoint, or to forklift the game onto platforms it wasn’t designed for, say on a Nintendo console. Take-Two and Rockstar then cried “Piracy!” and filed a lawsuit.

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