Links 9/12/2021: Kali Linux 2021.4 Released and GNOME Shell 42 Plans Outlined

Posted in News Roundup at 8:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • How much does a Linux desktop OS cost? – nixCraft

        Let us say you want to support Linux and buy an actual Linux desktop OS like you buy Windows desktop operating system from the market. How much would it cost price-wise, and what would you get in return when you buy a yearly subscription?

        We have some well-known Linux vendors that only target enterprise Linux desktop users. For example, a software developer working in a bank, government, or research facility will likely buy an enterprise Linux desktop subscription. In addition, these vendors have tie-up with OEMs such as Dell or HP to offer pre-installed Linux desktop workstations or laptops.

      • My Recommendations for the Most Secure Librem 14 Configuration – Purism

        The Librem 14 is our most secure laptop to date. We aim to make the Librem 14 as secure as possible out of the box for the widest range of customers while also taking ease-of-use and overall convenience into account. We also avoid security measures that take control away from you and give it to us. While we think you should trust us, you shouldn’t have to trust us to be secure.

        While we always keep the average customer’s security in mind, we also have a number of customers who face more extreme threats and are willing to trade some convenience for extra security. Those customers have sometimes asked me which combination of options would make their Librem 14 order the most secure.

        In this post I will provide what I think are the highest security options you can apply to a Librem 14 order, along with some additional steps to take once you receive your Librem 14. Before I get started though, I want to note that even with these recommendations, there are still additional, more extreme steps a person could take. While I’m providing high security recommendations, my goal here is still to strike a reasonable balance between high security and some level of convenience. For those of you facing even more extreme threats with a higher tolerance for inconvenience, treat these recommendations as a baseline to build on.

    • Kernel Space

      • What to do in response to a kernel warning [LWN.net]

        The kernel provides a number of macros internally to allow code to generate warnings when something goes wrong. It does not, however, provide a lot of guidance regarding what should happen when a warning is issued. Alexander Popov recently posted a patch series adding an option for the system’s response to warnings; that series seems unlikely to be applied in anything close to its current form, but it did succeed in provoking a discussion on how warnings should be handled.

        Warnings are emitted with macros like WARN() and WARN_ON_ONCE(). By default, the warning text is emitted to the kernel log and execution continues as if the warning had not happened. There is a sysctl knob (kernel/panic_on_warn) that will, instead, cause the system to panic whenever a warning is issued, but there is a lack of options for system administrators between ignoring the problem and bringing the system to a complete halt.

        Popov’s patch set adds another option in the form of the kernel/pkill_on_warn knob. If set to a non-zero value, this parameter instructs the kernel to kill all threads of whatever process is running whenever a warning happens. This behavior increases the safety and security of the system over doing nothing, Popov said, while not being as disruptive as killing the system outright. It may kill processes trying to exploit the system and, in general, prevent a process from running in a context where something is known to have gone wrong.

        There were a few objections to this option, starting with Linus Torvalds, who pointed out that the process that is running when a warning is issued may not have anything to do with the warning itself. The problem could have happened in an interrupt handler, for example, or in a number of other contexts. “Sending a signal to a random process is just voodoo programming, and as likely to cause other very odd failures as anything else”, he said.

      • In search of an appropriate RLIMIT_MEMLOCK default

        One does not normally expect a lot of disagreement over a 13-line patch that effectively tweaks a single line of code. Occasionally, though, such a patch can expose a disagreement over how the behavior of the kernel should be managed. This patch from Drew DeVault, who is evidently taking a break from stirring up the npm community, is a case in point. It brings to light the question of how the kernel community should pick default values for configurable parameters like resource limits.

        The kernel implements a set of resource limits applied to each (unprivileged) running process; they regulate how much CPU time a process can use, how many files it can have open, and more. The setrlimit() man page documents the full set. Of interest here is RLIMIT_MEMLOCK, which places a limit on how much memory a process can lock into RAM. Its default value is 64KB; the system administrator can raise it, but unprivileged processes cannot.

        Once upon a time, locking memory was a privileged operation. The ability to prevent memory from being swapped out can present resource-management problems for the kernel; if too much memory is locked, there will not be enough left for the rest of the system to function normally. The widespread use of cryptographic utilities like GnuPG eventually led to this feature being made available to all processes, though. By locking memory containing sensitive data (keys and passphrases, for example), GnuPG can prevent that data from being written to swap devices or core-dump files. To enable this extra security, the kernel community opened up the mlock() system call to all users, but set the limit for the number of pages that can be locked to a relatively low value.

      • A different approach to BPF loops

        One of the key features of the extended BPF virtual machine is the verifier built into the kernel that ensures that all BPF programs are safe to run. BPF developers often see the verifier as a bit of a mixed blessing, though; while it can catch a lot of problems before they happen, it can also be hard to please. Comparisons with a well-meaning but rule-bound and picky bureaucracy would not be entirely misplaced. The bpf_loop() proposal from Joanne Koong is an attempt to make pleasing the BPF bureaucrats a bit easier for one type of loop construct.

        To do its job, the verifier must simulate the execution of each BPF program loaded into the kernel. It makes sure that the program does not reference memory that should not be available to it, that it doesn’t leak kernel memory to user space, and many other things — including that the program will actually terminate and not lock the kernel into an infinite loop. Proving that a program will terminate is, as any survivor of an algorithms class can attest, a difficult problem; indeed, it is impossible in the general case. So the BPF verifier has had to find ways to simplify the problem.

        Initially, “simplifying the problem” meant forbidding loops altogether; when a program can only execute in a straight-through manner, with no backward jumps, it’s clear that the program must terminate in finite time. Needless to say, BPF developers found this rule to be a bit constraining. To an extent, loops can be simulated by manually unrolling them, but that is tiresome for short loops and impractical for longer ones. So work soon began on finding a way to allow BPF programs to contain loops. Various approaches to the loop problem were tried over the years; eventually bounded loop support was added to the 5.3 kernel in 2019.

      • Bootlin is now a Qualiopi certified training provider – Bootlin’s blog

        Bootlin has been delivering training courses in the field of Embedded Linux since its creation in 2004, delivering over 430 courses to more than 4500 engineers just since 2009, in over 40 countries, with a high-level of quality and a full transparency, with fully open training materials and publicly available training evaluations.

      • Graphics Stack

        • wayland 1.20.0
          Wayland 1.20.0 is released!
          This release contains the following major changes:
          - FreeBSD support has been entirely upstreamed and has been added to
            our continuous integration system.
          - The autotools build system has been dropped. Meson has replaced it.
          - A few protocol additions: wl_surface.offset allows clients to update
            a surface's buffer offset independently from the buffer,
            wl_output.name and description allow clients to identify outputs
            without depending on xdg-output-unstable-v1.
          - In protocol definitions, events have a new "type" attribute and can
            now be marked as destructors.
          - A number of bug fixes, including a race condition when destroying
            proxies in multi-threaded clients.
          Commit history since RC1 below.
          Simon Ser (2):
                meson: override dependencies to ease use as subproject
                build: bump to version 1.20.0 for the official release
          git tag: 1.20.0
        • Wayland 1.20 Released With Proper FreeBSD Support, Protocol Additions

          Wayland 1.20 is out today as the latest version of the reference Wayland library/support code and core protocol.

          While work on the core Wayland code itself has slowed down in recent years, Wayland 1.20 is a fairly notable update. In particular, this first Wayland release in nearly one year is bringing fully upstreamed FreeBSD support. All of the FreeBSD support patches have worked their way upstream into Wayland 1.20 and it’s ready to be supported with this release. There is also now FreeBSD continuous integration (CI) test coverage to ensure the FreeBSD support remains in good shape and hopefully won’t regress.

        • Cross-compiling with icecream – Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez’s blog

          One of the big issues I have when working on Turnip driver development is that when compiling either Mesa or VK-GL-CTS it takes a lot of time to complete, no matter how powerful the embedded board is. There are reasons for that: typically those board have limited amount of RAM (8 GB for the best case), a slow storage disk (typically UFS 2.1 on-board storage) and CPUs that are not so powerful compared with x86_64 desktop alternatives.


          Icecream is a distributed compilation system that is very useful when you have to compile big projects and/or on low-spec machines, while having powerful machines in the local network that can do that job instead. However, it is not perfect: the linking stage is still done in the machine that submits the job, which depending on the available RAM, could be too much for it (however you can alleviate this a bit by using ZRAM for example).

          One of the features that icecream has over its alternatives is that there is no need to install the same toolchain in all the machines as it is able to share the toolchain among all of them. This is very useful as we will see below in this post.

        • Mesa’s Virgl Code Lands Optimization For Lowering Memory Use – Phoronix

          It is not too often getting to talk about performance optimizations for Mesa’s Virgl code that along with in conjunction with related “Virgil” components allows for hardware-accelerated 3D/OpenGL running within virtual machines. Hitting Mesa 22.0 this week though is some Virgl code improvements for allowing lower memory use within virtual machines.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Robert Haas: Surviving Without A Superuser – Part One

        PostgreSQL users and developers are generally aware that it is best to minimize the number of tasks performed as superuser, just as at the operating system level most Linux and UNIX users are aware that it’s best not to do too many things as root. For that reason, PostgreSQL has over the last few years introduced a number of predefined roles that have special privileges and which in some case can be used in place of the superuser role. For instance, the pg_read_all_data role, new in version 14, has the ability to read all data in every table in the database – not only the tables that currently exist, but any that are created in the future. In earlier versions, you could achieve this effect only by handing out superuser permissions, which is not great, because the superuser role can do much more than just read all the data in the database. The new predefined role allows for a very desirable application of the principle of least privilege.

        Unfortunately, the predefined roles which exist in current releases of PostgreSQL do not, in my view, really come close to solving the problem. It’s good that we have them, but there are still a large number of things which can’t be done without superuser privileges, and even if we make as much progress in the next 3 years as we have in the past 10, we still won’t be all that close to a full solution. We need to do better. Consider, for example, the case of a service provider who would like to support a database with multiple customers as tenants. The customers will naturally want to feel as if they have the powers of a true superuser, with the ability to do things like create new roles, drop old ones, change permissions on objects that they don’t own, and generally enjoy the freedom to bypass permission checks at the SQL level which superusers enjoy. The service provider, who is the true superuser, also wants this, but does not want the customers to be able to do the really scary things that a superuser can do, like changing archive_command to rm -rf / or deleting the entire contents of pg_proc so that the system crashes and the database in which the operation was performed is permanently ruined.

      • How to install Webull Desktop on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Webull Desktop on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How To Install GlassFish on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GlassFish on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, the GlassFish server is a free-ware, lightweight application server for the development and deployment of Java platforms and web technologies based on Java technology. It supports the latest Java platforms such as Enterprise JavaBeans, JavaServer Faces, JPA, JavaServer Pages, and many more. GlassFish comes with a simple and user-friendly administration console with an update tool for updates and add-on components.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the GlassFish on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • Learn Kubernetes basics – NextGenTips

        Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system for automating computer application deployment, scaling, and management.

        Kubernetes is a portable, extensible, open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation.

      • Hans de Goede: PSA: The 5.17 kernel will require some initrd generator changes for kms drivers

        Starting with kernel 5.17 the kernel supports the builtin privacy screens built into the LCD panel of some new laptop models.

        This means that the drm drivers will now return -EPROBE_DEFER from their probe() method on models with a builtin privacy screen when the privacy screen provider driver has not been loaded yet.

        To avoid any regressions distors should modify their initrd generation tools to include privacy screen provider drivers in the initrd (at least on systems with a privacy screen), before 5.17 kernels start showing up in their repos.

      • How to Change Notification Position in Ubuntu – OMG! Ubuntu!

        Want to change the position of notifications in Ubuntu?

        As you no doubt know, Ubuntu shows app and other notifications at the top of the screen, just beneath the clock (as in upstream GNOME Shell). This position makes sense within the default UX. The top of the screen in GNOME Shell is where status bar items sit, and notification toasts live in the calendar applet (which is accessed by clicking the clock).

        But you’re not everyone.

        Perhaps you want to move notifications to the top right of your display. This is where Ubuntu used to show notifications (and is where many other Linux distros and desktop environments still do).

      • Install aaPanel with Ubuntu 21.04

        Today, in this article we will learn how to install aaPanel with Ubuntu 21.04. aaPanel is an alternative to a web control panel like cPanel. Even the free version of this panel can fulfill basic needs. Provided with quick updates, rich documentation is provided. Today, in this article we will learn how to install aaPanel with Ubuntu 21.04.

      • How to install OpenGamePanel on Ubuntu/Debian -

        OpenGamePanel is a open-source server management panel based on PHP/MYSQL. It is a server management tool which provides alot of features. Most of the game servers/voice servers can be easily installed just by selecting it in the list. The main features includes : Custom Web FTP, Auto Updates, Easy installation of servers. There are several game server management panel available in the market but the once which is fairly easy to use and install is OpenGamePanel. It also provides prebuilt plugins for better and advanced experience. You can rent out servers to clients using the panel itself. We can also configure multiple machines to be used and managed by a single web panel.

      • Make music on Linux with Ardour

        If ever you’ve been curious about making music, you’ll be pleased to know that the open source digital audio workstation Ardour makes it easy and fun, regardless of your level of experience. Ardour is one of those unique applications that manages to span beginner-level hobbyists all the way to production-critical professionals and serves both equally well. Part of what makes it great is its flexibility in how you can accomplish any given task and how most common tasks have multiple levels of possible depth. This article introduces you to Ardour for making your own music, assuming that you have no musical experience and no knowledge of music production software. If you have musical experience, it’s easy to build on what this article covers. If you’re used to other music production applications, then this quick introduction to how the Ardour interface is structured ought to be plenty for you to explore it in depth at your own pace.

      • Ubuntu Blog: Raspberry Pi Tutorial: Host a Minecraft server on Ubuntu Desktop [Ed: Canonical/Ubuntu blog: Let's install proprietary software for Microsoft]
      • Kubernetes Features Explained In Detail – OSTechNix

        This is the continuation of Kubernetes introduction guide. In this article, we are going to learn about important features of Kubernetes which will help you to understand the functional concepts of Kubernetes in deeper level.

      • 13 Examples to Manage S3 Bucket Replication Rules using AWS CLI

        Using S3 replication, you can setup automatic replication of S3 objects from one bucket to another. The source and destination bucket can be within the same AWS account or in different accounts. You can also replicate objects from one source bucket to multiple destination buckets.

      • How to Install Haguichi (Graphical App for LogMeIn Hamachi) in Ubuntu 20.04, 18.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Use LogMeIn Hamachi VPN service? Haguichi is a graphical app to make easy to join, create and manage Hamachi networks in Linux.

        Haguichi is a free and open-source app that provides a stylish GTK UI for the official Hamachi for Linux. It has both dark and light window mode that shows a searchable and sortable network list in the left and details and actions in the right.

        It’s well integrated with the Gnome desktop with notifications and system tray indicator applet, and make it easy to backup and restore configuration, as well as manage customize commands via Preferences dialog. And, it supports a list of keyboard shortcuts to make network and command actions more efficient.

      • How to Securely Transfer Files and Directories on Linux – buildVirtual

        Knowing how to transfer files securely between Linux hosts is a useful skill to have if you are regularly working with Linux servers. You may just need to transfer a handful of files, or you may want to look at backing up files from one Linux host to another. What ever the reason, there are a number of ways you can transfer files securely on Linux. Continue reading to find out about some of the more common or popular ways to transfer files.

    • Games

      • BattlEye Anti-Cheat Works on ARMA3 with Proton – Boiling Steam

        Turns out that I have one of them, ARMA3, and I could test that it indeed works, by filtering for BattlEye only servers and trying to join such servers from Linux with Proton (note that you need to disable most of your mods if you intend on joining online competition). It seems like Steam downloads a specific BattlEye package before running ARMA3 after this update, so you don’t really have to do anything on your end.

      • New Humble Choice and multiple Humble Bundles are live | GamingOnLinux

        A fresh month has arrived and so it brings with it a new Humble Choice, the curated monthly bundle along with a few other game bundles to go over. Here’s a roundup of how they all work on Linux either natively or with Steam Play Proton.

        First up is Humble Choice for December. Here you pay for whatever tier you feel is the best value to get access to the Humble Trove (a ton of DRM-free games), a discount at the Humble Store and the ability to claim Steam keys (sometimes GOG keys) for multiple titles – the amount of which depends on what tier you buy into.

      • Loop Hero from Four Quarters hits a million sales | GamingOnLinux

        Looks like publisher Devolver Digital was right to back this one, as Loop Hero from developer Four Quarters has managed to hit a million sales on Steam.

        A game all about repetition. Loop Hero sees you constantly run through a procedurally generated map, where your character automatically walks around and engages in battle with various creatures. It’s also a deck-builder, although you deck are map tiles so you build up the map from a blank slate with each loop. It’s deliciously addictive to keep playing through while it reveals small bits of story.

      • Developer of The Falconeer looking at Linux builds for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        Another developer is looking into native Linux builds for their game, this time it’s Tomas Sala for The Falconeer in preparation for the upcoming Steam Deck handheld.

        “Soar through the skies aboard a majestic warbird, explore a stunning oceanic world and engage in epic aerial dogfights, in this BAFTA nominated air combat game from solo developer, Tomas Sala.

      • Check out Ashes 2063 and Ashes: Afterglow, fantastic Doom II total conversions | GamingOnLinux

        An incredibly impressive double-episode total conversation for Doom 2, we have Ashes 2063 and Ashes: Afterglow. The first episode our own BTRE talked a bit about back in 2018, and since then it’s been remastered and a second episode released only recently. Now, they’re both available easily from Mod DB.

        “Explore and scavenge through dozens of intricate maps, and use your scratched together arsenal to fight hordes of dangerous raiders and mutants in this expansive GZDoom TC. Ashes is part Duke Nukem 3D, part Doom, thrown into a blender with Mad Max, Fallout and Stalker for that refreshing post-apocalyptic twist.”

      • Euro Truck Simulator 2 & American Truck Simulator get big upgrades | GamingOnLinux

        SCS has upgraded both Euro Truck Simulator 2 & American Truck Simulator with some major improvements, and it seems they may work even better on the upcoming Steam Deck now.

        We’ll go over some of the extra content for each below, but first, some tech changes have come to each game. For starters, gamepad support on both has been greatly improved. A big change considering all the different controls needed, with the primary aim to allow navigating the entire UI without an addition device. They said they plan to keep making improvements on this too.

        Another big change is the inclusion of SDF (Signed Distance Fields) fonts, which “allows texts and fonts to be displayed perfectly in any resolution, scale, or distance”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 41.2 Is Here to Improve Software, Boxes, Orca, Calendar, and Other Apps

          GNOME 41.2 is here five weeks after GNOME 41.1 to update the Orca screen reader accessibility tool with improved behavior when the focused back/forward button is pressed, improved presentation of subscript and superscript elements, the ability to identify and present custom-element images, improved speech generator for browser alerts, support for handling name/description change floods in the event manager, improved presentation of indeterminate progress bars (busy indicators), and better Python 3.10 compatibility.

        • GNOME Shell 42 to have better mouse input that will help gaming
        • GNOME 42 To Finally Allow Input Events To Happen Full-Rate
        • An Eventful Instant: GNOME Shell 42

          If you have been following GNOME Shell development, you might have heard about this change before. Why it took so long to have this merged?

          The showstopper was probably what you would suspect the least: applications that are not handling events. If an application is not reading events in time (is temporarily blocking the main loop, frozen, slow, in a breakpoint, …), these events will queue up.

          But this queue is not infinite, the client would eventually be shutdown by the compositor. With these input devices that could take a long… less than half a second. Clearly, there had to be a solution in place before we rolled this in.

          There’s been some back and forth here, and several proposed solutions. The applied fix is robust, but unfortunately still temporary, a better solution is being proposed at the Wayland library level but it’s unlikely to be ready before GNOME 42. In the mean time , users can happily shake their input devices without thinking how many times a second is enough.

          Until the next adventure!

    • Distributions

      • Zorin OS 16 Lite: Better Xfce with Much More Simplicity

        If you want to switch to Linux but don’t know which distro to choose for your aging PC, Zorin OS 16 Lite is probably the perfect choice.

        Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. There are several ways you can get started with Zorin OS.

        There is Zorin OS Core which is the free edition of the distro and comes with GNOME as a desktop environment. If you prefer the Xfce, you can try Zorin OS Lite, which is targeted for basic use on low-spec PCs. On top of that, there is also a paid version which is called Zorin OS Pro.

        Ultimately the main difference between the Zorin OS Lite and the Core or the Pro version is that the Lite version is going to be using Xfce as the desktop environment while the other versions are going to be using a heavily modified version on GNOME.

      • Kali Linux

        • Kali Linux 2021.4 Release

          Seasoned Kali Linux users are already aware of this, but for the ones who are not, we do also produce weekly builds that you can use as well. If you cannot wait for our next release and you want the latest packages (or bug fixes) when you download the image, you can just use the weekly image instead. This way you’ll have fewer updates to do. Just know that these are automated builds that we do not QA like we do our standard release images. But we gladly take bug reports about those images because we want any issues to be fixed before our next release!

        • Kali Linux 2021.4 Released with Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W Support, GNOME 41, and New Hacking Tools

          Coming three months after Kali Linux 2021.3, the Kali Linux 2021.4 release is here with Linux kernel 5.14, support for the recently launched Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W single-board computer (unfortunately without Nexmon support), improved support for Apple Silicon (M1) Macs, extended compatibility for the Samba client to support almost all Samba servers out there, and easier configuration of package manager’s mirrors

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • OpenEmbedded

        • Claws Mail compiled in OE

          …some plugins are disabled due to missing dependencies. I don’t know if any of those are important. I threw in everything I could think of into the DEPENDS variable, but something is still missing.
          Well, if anyone reports that one of those missing plugins is required, I will have to hunt down the required dependencies.
          I have a particular interest in using Claws Mail to download everything from my gmail account. Need to sort that out, so that the downloaded emails will be permanently stored.

        • libetpan and bogofilter compiled in OE

          Two more optional dependencies of Claws Mail are ‘libetpan’ and ‘bogofilter’, now also compiled in OE. Recipe for libetpan…

        • Raspberry Pi Helps Forgotten Home Computer Rise From The Grave | Tom’s Hardware

          Who remembers the Sol-20? Us neither, but it was an important milestone on the path to where we, and our computers, are today. Without the Sol-20 the home computer world would be very different. This important point in home computer history is an excellent choice, then, for a retro computer reproduction project such as that carried out by Michael Gardi (and highlighted by Hackaday) using a Raspberry Pi in place of the Intel 8080 at the original computer’s heart.

          The first fully assembled microcomputer with both a built-in keyboard and a TV output, the Sol-20 had the misfortune to be released in 1976, a year before Apple, Commodore and Tandy came and stomped all over the market with the Apple II, Pet and TRS-80. Initially sold in three versions – a motherboard kit; the Sol-10 added a case, keyboard and power supply, but came with no expansion slots; and the Sol-20 beefed up that power supply and added five S-100 bus slots (the Sol-20 would be by far the most popular model). The computer stayed in production until 1979 and would sell around 12,000 units, making them incredibly rare today. For contrast, total Apple II sales would hit around six million, including a million in 1983 alone.

          For the 2021 version, having an authentic-looking case was a priority. The distinctive blue original was made of sheet metal with wooden sides, but Gardi reached for his 3D printer rather than his cutting torch to make the build more accessible to others. The sides are made from walnut, a material slightly befitting the aesthetic of the time.

          Gardi also made a matching display for the Sol-20, again 3D printed and embellished with walnut, it utilises a 4:3 LCD panel and connects to the Pi via an HDMI cable.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What’s new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 Container Tools?

          First, if you’ve been testing RHEL 9.0 Beta, you’ll notice that the versions of Podman, Buildah, and Skopeo are identical. This is because the AppStream channel in RHEL 8 and RHEL 9 are meant to be quite similar. The idea is that you’ll be able to upgrade much easier.

          You’ll notice this synchronization as RHEL 9 GA releases, and it is planned to continue until RHEL 8.10 when the versions of Podman, Buildah, and Skopeo will freeze. At this point, the RHEL 9 Container Tools Application Stream will be the source for the latest Container Tools.

        • BrickThru enables firefighters to save more lives

          When firefighters arrive on the scene of a fire, they often have only seconds to decide where to focus their attention to save the most lives. Visibility may be low and they may not have enough information about who is in a building or where they are located. How could technology be applied to help these everyday heroes make better split-second decisions?

          The Call for Code Honoring Everyday Heroes Challenge asked participants to develop new technology solutions to address challenges faced by first responders, delivery personnel, childcare workers, healthcare frontline workers, educators, and many more who have been invaluable to society during the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology solutions would need to run on a Samsung tablet, smartphone, and/or wearable device and use IBM open hybrid cloud technologies such as IBM Cloud and IBM Watson. Participants also had access to Samsung toolkits, as well as data from The Weather Company. Teams had four weeks to create promising, innovative new solutions that can be nurtured, improved, and put to work through the Call for Code incubation framework with IBM and Samsung Electronics.

        • Transitioning Red Hat’s EMEA leadership team

          Today, we are sharing that Werner Knoblich, Red Hat’s senior vice president and general manager for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region has decided to retire from Red Hat at the end of 2021. IT industry leader and Red Hatter Hans Roth, who is currently senior vice president and general manager of Global Services and Technical Enablement, will succeed him in the role beginning in January.

          Knoblich has been a strong and passionate advocate for our customers and Red Hatters throughout his tenure. His mantra, ‘know your culture first, then build your employee engagement into it,’ has consistently been at the heart of his leadership style in addition to a deep commitment to open source ways of working to create a highly engaged and results-driven team.

        • Gathering security data using the Red Hat Security Data API

          Red Hat Product Security is committed to providing tools and security data to help you better understand security threats. This data has been available on our Security Data page and is also available in a machine-consumable format with the Security Data API. By exposing a list of endpoints to query security data, this tool allows you to programmatically query the API for data that was previously exposed only through files on our Security Data page. To understand how we share our security data, take a look at this post.

          This post will cover how the Security Data API can be used to address real-world security use cases and concerns programmatically.

          These selected use cases are based on questions which were sent to the Red Hat Product Security team in recent months. Each of these examples can be easily modified to address your own needs.

        • Edge computing benefits and use cases

          From telecommunications networks to the manufacturing floor, through financial services to autonomous vehicles and beyond, computers are everywhere these days, generating a growing tsunami of data that needs to be captured, stored, processed and analyzed.

          At Red Hat, we see edge computing as an opportunity to extend the open hybrid cloud all the way to data sources and end users. Where data has traditionally lived in the datacenter or cloud, there are benefits and innovations that can be realized by processing the data these devices generate closer to where it is produced.

          This is where edge computing comes in.

        • The first students from Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences to complete courses through Red Hat Academy

          Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK) offers its 8,500 students high-quality education, which is built to meet the needs of the labor market.

          It is beneficial for both students and the job market in the region that student qualifications match the job requirements. JAMK has good relations with local companies and organizations, and 86% of JAMK computer science students are employed soon after studies. JAMK faculty and staff consider it important to listen with an attentive ear to the requirements set for experts in the future. Solutions based on open source are on the rise.

        • Fedora revisits the Git-forge debate

          A seemingly straightforward question aimed at candidates for the in-progress Fedora elections led to a discussion on the Fedora devel mailing list that branched into a few different directions. The question was related to a struggle that the distribution has had before: whether using non-free Git forges is appropriate. One of the differences this time, though, is that the focus is on where source-git (or src-git) repositories will be hosted, which is a separate question from where the dist-git repository lives.

        • Moshe Bar’s Codenotary Votes for AlmaLinux – Becomes a Platinum Member

          FOSS Force has learned that on Thursday the AlmaLinux Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind the eponymous freshman Linux distribution that’s positioning itself as a drop-in CentOS alternative, will announce that Codenotary has joined its governance board as its first top-tier Platinum member, and that AlmaLinux board member Jack Aboutboul has taken a job as VP of product at Codenotary.

          In an email exchange with FOSS Force, Aboutboul verified Codenotary’s Platinum membership, his employment there, and that he will continue to hold his positions at AlmaLinux.

          Houston-based startup Codenotary markets highly scalable open source software built around its immudb (for immutable database, a fast and cryptographically-verifiable ledger database) for helping companies protect their software supply chain, which has become increasingly important in the wake of the Solarwinds software supply chain attack that surfaced late last year. The company’s software is available for enterprises to run on their own equipment or in cloud instances, or through Codenotary’s Software as a Service offering called Codenotary Cloud.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • What FlutterFire’s announcement means for Desktop Developers

          At Canonical, we love Flutter and we can’t stop talking about it. Our Flutter developers have been working on bringing support to desktop operating systems since July 2020.

          This includes our new Ubuntu Desktop installer, built with Flutter, which will be the default user journey in our upcoming 22.04 LTS release. (If you want to see how it’s coming along you can test it out here.)

          Continuing our Flutter journey, we recently partnered with Invertase to bring FlutterFire support to Desktop and Dart. In this blog post, we’ll go over what Flutter’s Firebase announcement means for desktop developers, how to get started with Flutter on Desktop, and where to go to keep an eye on this exciting project!

        • Canonical joins Magma Foundation

          We at Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, are pleased to join hands with the Magma Foundation. Magma connects the world to a faster network by providing operators an open, flexible, and extendable mobile core network solution. Its simplicity and low-cost structure empower innovators to build mobile networks that were never imagined before.

          We decided to support this open source project because of our wider telco efforts. Our goal is to enable everyone to build an end-to-end private LTE or 5G based on open source tools. This is also the reason for Canonical committing efforts to projects, such as OpenRAN, OSM, and OMEC.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 change hostname

          The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to change the system hostname on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux. This can be done via command line or GUI, and will not require a reboot in order to take effect.

          The hostname of a Linux system is important because it is used to identify the device on a network. The hostname is also shown in other prominent places, such as in the terminal prompt. This gives you a constant reminder of which system you are working with.

          Hostnames give us a way to know which device we are interacting with either on the network or physically, without remembering a bunch of IP addresses that are subject to change. You should pick a descriptive hostname like “ubuntu-desktop” or “backup-server” rather than something ambiguous like “server2.”

        • Ubuntu 22.04 minimum requirements

          Are you considering downloading Ubuntu 22.04 but need to know the system requirements? In this article, we’ll go over the minimum recommended system requirements for running Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish. Whether you want to upgrade to Ubuntu 22.04, or install the operating system on a PC or as a virtual machine, we’ll help you make sure you have the required hardware.

          Ubuntu is an inherently lightweight operating system, capable of running on some pretty outdated hardware. Canonical (the developers of Ubuntu) even claims that, generally, a machine that can run Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or x86 OS X will be able to run Ubuntu 22.04 even faster. Let’s take a closer look at the hardware requirements below.

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

      • Open Source in Japan, virtually

        A year of virtual conferences that began with linux.conf.au will end on a high note next week as Collaborans will be presenting three talks at the Open Source Summit Japan + Automotive Linux Summit 2021, taking place entirely online December 14-15.

        Open Source Summit Japan is “the leading conference connecting the Japanese open source ecosystem under one roof”, while the Automotive Linux Summit “gathers the most innovative minds from automotive expertise and open source excellence, for discussions and learnings that propel the future of embedded devices in the automotive arena.”

      • Fedora Community Blog: Distributions Devroom at FOSDEM 2022

        The Call For Participation is now open for the Distribution Devroom at the upcoming FOSDEM 2022, to be hosted virtually on February 6th.

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Year in Review: How we’re curating the web with you and our top Pocket features

          Pocket has long been known as the go-to place to discover, save and spend time with great stories from around the web. As we look to the year ahead of us, we will continue to empower users to spend time with the stories that matters most to them and to help users discover the very best of the web.

        • Tor Browser 11.0.2 released. Tor site blocking extension. Possible attacks on Tor

          The release of the specialized browser Tor Browser 11.0.2 , focused on ensuring anonymity, security and privacy, is presented . When using the Tor Browser, all traffic is redirected only through the Tor network, and it is impossible to contact directly through the standard network connection of the current system, which does not allow tracing the user’s real IP address (in the event of a browser hacking, attackers can gain access to the system parameters of the network, so for a complete to block potential leaks, use products such as Whonix ). Tor Browser builds are prepared for Linux, Windows and macOS.

          For additional protection, the Tor Browser includes the HTTPS Everywhere add-on , which allows you to use traffic encryption on all sites where possible. To reduce the threat from attacks using JavaScript and block plugins by default, a NoScript add-on is included… To combat blocking and traffic inspection, alternative transports are used. To protect against highlighting visitor-specific features, the APIs WebGL, WebGL2, WebAudio, Social, SpeechSynthesis, Touch, AudioContext, HTMLMediaElement, Mediastream, Canvas, SharedWorker, WebAudio, Permissions, MediaDevices.enumerateDevices and screen.orientation are disabled or limited, and are also disabled telemetry sending tools, Pocket, Reader View, HTTP Alternative-Services, MozTCPSocket, “link rel = preconnect”, libmdns modified.

        • My best holiday shopping tip? Mozilla

          It’s that time of year again — when all of the mail carriers have overflowing trucks, malls are miraculously busy and budgets are tight. Yes, it is holiday shopping time. This year more than 84% of Americans plan to buy holiday gifts with estimates that Americans will spend at least as much on gifts as last year — $789 billion on people’s present purchases alone. And as much as we love our family and friends, buying gifts for them can be just stressful. While Mozilla can’t make your impossible-to-shop-for dad any easier to shop for or fix the supply chain issues, we can help make the process of holiday shopping more enjoyable.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

    • FSFE

      • 20 Years FSFE: Interview with Vincent Lequertier on AI

        In our sixth birthday publication we are interviewing Vincent Lequertier about crucial aspects of artificial intelligence, such as its transparency, its connection to Open Science, and questions of copyright. Vincent also recommends further readings and responds to 20 Years FSFE.

        A PhD candidate at the Claude Bernard university in Lyon who researches artificial intelligence for healthcare, Vincent supports software freedom and volunteers for the FSFE in his free time. He has been a part of the System Hackers, the team responsible for the technical infrastructure of the FSFE, for many years. His contribution was valuable in setting the foundation for the for the good state that the FSFE’s System Hackers team is today. Vincent is also a member of the FSFE’s General Assembly, and participates in the ‘Public Money? Public Code!’ campaign. In our interview, Vincent shares his thoughts answering questions about the current state of AI and its future implications.

    • FSF

      • Fall Bulletin: package management, e-books, AGPL, and more

        As we reach the close of another year of fighting for free software, and in what is for many people the most turbulent of times, we have finalized another Free Software Foundation Bulletin. Our biannual magazine is printed as well as presented online – if you’ve received in the mail, we encourage you to post a picture on social media with #fsfbulletin!

    • Programming/Development

      • APT for Advent of Code

        Advent of Code, for those not in the know, is a yearly Advent calendar (since 2015) of coding puzzles many people participate in for a plenary of reasons ranging from speed coding to code golf with stops at learning a new language or practicing already known ones.

        I usually write boring C++, but any language and then some can be used. There are reports of people implementing it in hardware, solving them by hand on paper or using Microsoft Excel… so, after solving a puzzle the easy way yesterday, this time I thought: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! as I somehow remembered an old 2008 article about solving Sudoku with aptitude (Daniel Burrows via archive.org as the blog is long gone) and the good same old a package management system that can solve [puzzles] based on package dependency rules is not something that I think would be useful or worth having (Russell Coker).

        Day 8 has a rather lengthy problem description and can reasonably be approached in a bunch of different way. One unreasonable approach might be to massage the problem description into Debian packages and let apt help me solve the problem (specifically Part 2, which you unlock by solving Part 1. You can do that now, I will wait here.)

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel/Thinking inside the box: qlcal 0.0.1 on CRAN: New Package

        A new package of mine arrived on CRAN yesterday in its inaugural 0.0.1 upload: qlcal.

        qlcal is based on the calendaring subset of QuantLib. It is provided (for the R package) as a set of included files, so the package is self-contained and does not depend on an external QuantLib library (which can be challenging to build). The only build requirements are Rcpp for the seamless R/C++ integration, and BH for Boost headers.

        qlcal covers over sixty country / market calendars and can compute holiday lists, its complement (i.e. business day lists) and much more.

      • Peter Czanik: Reducing the complexity of log management

        It is easy to over-complicate log management. Almost all departments in a company need to log messages for their daily activities. However, installing several different log management and analysis systems in parallel is a nightmare both from a security and an operations perspective and wastes many resources. You cannot always reduce the number of log analysis systems, but you can reduce the complexity of log management. Let me show you, how.

      • Intel, Arm & Khronos Feel Ready to Land SPIR-V Backend Within LLVM – Phoronix

        Engineers from Intel and Arm in cooperation with The Khronos Group feel ready now to begin landing their SPIR-V back-end within the upstream LLVM source tree! This SPIR-V back-end for LLVM would ultimately allow LLVM front-ends for different languages to more easily target this industry-standard shader representation so that it could be ingested by Vulkan / OpenCL drivers.

        Being worked on for a while has been this “LLVM-SPIRV-BAckend” as a means of generating SPIR-V binaries from LLVM. This back-end has been in the works for a while and unlike earlier SPIR-V + LLVM translation attempts this is a true back-end for LLVM. Intel for their part has been initially focused on OpenCL compute portion of SPIR-V while acknowledging the possibility of extending it to support 3D shaders for Vulkan.

      • BOLT Close To Merging Into LLVM For Optimizing Performance Of Binaries – Phoronix

        In addition to the LLVM SPIR-V back-end appearing ready for merging, also working through the final steps for being mainlined in the LLVM compiler stack is also Facebook’s BOLT project for optimizing the performance of binaries.

        Going on for the past several years has been Facebook’s BOLT to speed-up Linux binaries by collecting an execution profile for large applications/binaries and then BOLT optimizes the code layout of the binary.

      • Perl/Raku

        • My Favorite Warnings: shadow

          OK, Perl does not literally have a warning about a 1930′s pulp fiction and radio serial character. But Perl 5.28 introduced shadow as a new warning category for cases where a variable is redeclared in the same scope. Previously, such warnings were under misc.

        • Raku Advent Calendar: Day 9: Raku code coverage

          Although I love using Raku, the fact that it is still a relatively young language means that there is a fair amount that is lacking when it comes to tooling, etc. Until recently, this included a way to calculate code coverage: how much of the code in a library is exercised (=covered) by that library’s test suite.

          Now, truth be told, this feature has been available for some time in the Comma IDE. But this (together with other arguably essential developer tools like profiling, etc) is only available in the “Complete” edition, which requires a paid subscription.

          Still, I knew that the Raku compiler kept track of covered lines, so I always felt like this should be doable. It only needed someone to actually do it… and it looks like someone actually did.

      • Python

        • Python identifiers, PEP 8, and consistency [LWN.net]

          While there are few rules on the names of variables, classes, functions, and so on (i.e. identifiers) in the Python language, there are some guidelines on how those things should be named. But, of course, those guidelines were not always followed in the standard library, especially in the early years of the project. A suggestion to add aliases to the standard library for identifiers that do not follow the guidelines seems highly unlikely to go anywhere, but it led to an interesting discussion on the python-ideas mailing list.

          To a first approximation, a Python identifier can be any sequence of Unicode code points that correspond to characters, but they cannot start with a numeral nor be the same as one of the 35 reserved keywords. That leaves a lot of room for expressiveness (and some confusion) in those names. There is, however, PEP 8 (“Style Guide for Python Code”) that has some naming conventions for identifiers, but the PEP contains a caveat: “The naming conventions of Python’s library are a bit of a mess, so we’ll never get this completely consistent”.

          But consistency is just what Matt del Valle was after when he proposed making aliases for identifiers in the standard library that do not conform to the PEP 8 conventions. The idea cropped up after reading the documentation for the threading module in the standard library, which has a note near the top about deprecating the camel-case function names in the module for others that are in keeping with the guidelines in PEP 8. The camel-case names are still present, but were deprecated in Python 3.10 in favor of names that are lower case, sometimes with underscores (e.g. threading.current_thread() instead of threading.currentThread()).

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Bash For Loop Array: Iterate Through Array Values

          How do I use bash for loop to iterate thought array values under UNIX / Linux operating systems? How can I loop through an array of strings in Bash?

          The Bash provides one-dimensional array variables. Any variable may be used as an array; the declare builtin will explicitly declare an array. There is no maximum limit on the size of an array, nor any requirement that members be indexed or assigned contiguously. Arrays are indexed using integers and are zero-based. This page explains how to declare a bash array and then use Bash for Loop to iterate through array values.

      • Rust

        • Rust advances to become the second language of the Linux kernel

          Rust is called to do great things, to the extent that it has been proposed that Linux be rewritten, at least partially, in said programming language. Linus Torvalds did not close the door to this possibility, but the creator of the kernel, who is not very disruptive, showed some skepticism about how the technology from Mozilla would work when push comes to shove.

          However, the strong interest in bringing Rust to Linux, together with the enormous potential that the official implementation of the language holds, suggested that its introduction was going to take place sooner rather than later, and as has been seen recently, that’s how it will be, given that some developers are taking important steps to make Rust the second language of the Linux kernel.

          Before proceeding further, it is important to note that Linux, at least at the project level, not pure C for a long time. This means that Rust would not be the first outsider that “sneaks” into one of the projects that, to this day, remains one of the main bastions of the C language, which has endured and continues to endure as one of the great references of low-level programming.

        • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 420
  • Leftovers

    • Picking a masthead colour… [Off Topic]

      You may have noticed that the design of this site has changed a bit (mainly on desktop, though a few of the changes filter out to those of you who read from a narrower port of view). My main motivation is to make the site look a bit more punchy.

      As I’ve mentioned a few times in the past: I am not a designer. I really don’t know what I’m doing, other than making stuff “look nice” to my eyes, turning it into CSS, and rolling it out and hoping for the best.

      But I figured I would run a few things by you, the reader, since pleasing your eyes matters more than mine. Also: I very rarely ever mention design changes when we make them. This sometimes leads people to mail in reporting things as broken.

    • Science

      • Molding Complex Optics In A Completely Fluid System | Hackaday

        Traditional lensmaking is a grind — literally. One starts with a piece of glass, rubs it against an abrasive surface to wear away the excess bits, and eventually gets it to just the right shape and size for the job. Whether done by machine or by hand, it’s a time-consuming process, and it sure seems like there’s got to be a better way.

        Thanks to [Moran Bercovici] at Technion: Israel Institute of Technology, there is. He leads a team that uses fluids to create complex optics quickly and cheaply, and the process looks remarkably simple. It’s something akin to the injection-molded lenses that are common in mass-produced optical equipment, but with a twist — there’s no mold per se. Instead, a UV-curable resin is injected into a 3D printed constraining ring that’s sitting inside a tank of fluid. The resin takes a shape determined by the geometry of the constraining ring and gravitational forces, hydrostatic forces, and surface tension forces acting on the resin. Once the resin archives the right shape, a blast of UV light cures it. Presto, instant lenses!

      • Wearable Sensor For Detecting Substance Use Disorder | Hackaday

        Oftentimes, the feature set for our typical fitness-focused wearables feels a bit empty. Push notifications on your wrist? OK, fine. Counting your steps? Sure, why not. But how useful are those capabilities anyway? Well, what if wearables could be used for a more dignified purpose like helping people in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD)? That’s what the researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School aimed to find out.

        In their paper, they used a wrist-worn wearable to measure locomotion, heart rate, skin temperature, and electrodermal activity of 38 SUD patients during their everyday lives. They wanted to detect periods of stress and craving, as these parameters are possible triggers of substance use. Furthermore, they had patients self-report times during the day when they felt stressed or had cravings, and used those reports to calibrate their model.

      • The Challenges Of Finding A Substitute For Human Blood | Hackaday

        Throughout history, the human body has been the subject of endless scrutiny and wonder. Many puzzled over the function of all these organs and fluids found inside. This included the purpose of blood, which saw itself alternately disregarded as being merely for ‘cooling the body’, to being responsible for regulating the body’s humors, leading to the practice of bloodletting and other questionable remedies. As medical science progressed, however, we came to quite a different perspective.

        Simply put, our circulatory system and the blood inside it, is what allows us large, multi-celled organisms to exist. It carries oxygen and nutrients to cells, while enabling the removal of waste products as well as an easy path for the cells that make up our immune system. Our blood and the tissues involved with it are crucial to a healthy existence. This is something which becomes painfully clear when we talk about injuries and surgeries that involve severe blood loss.

        While the practice of blood transfusions from donated blood has made a tremendous difference here, it’s not always easy to keep every single type of blood stocked, especially not in remote hospitals, in an ambulance, or in the midst of a war zone. Here the use of artificial blood — free from complicated storage requirements and the need to balance blood types — could be revolutionary and save countless lives, including those whose religion forbids the transfusion of human blood.

    • Hardware

      • Ham Radio SSB Transceiver Fits In Pocket | Hackaday

        Talking about this Chinese ham radio transceiver requires a veritable flurry of acronyms: HF, SSB, QRP, and SDR to start with. [Paul] does a nice job of unboxing the rig and checking it out. The radio is a clone of a German project and provides a low-power radio with a rechargeable battery. You can see his video about the gear below.

        SSB is an odd choice for low power operation, although we wonder if you couldn’t feed digital data in using a mode like PSK31 that has good performance at low power. There are several variations of the radio available and they cost generally less than $200 — sometimes quite a bit less.

      • MAC TIP Diagnoses Your Old Zip And Jaz Drives | Hackaday

        Trouble In Paradise (TIP) was a popular Windows-only tool for troubleshooting Iomega Jaz and Zip drives way back when. The drives have fallen out of favor with PC, but the drives are still highly prized amongst classic Mac collectors, who use the SCSI versions as boot disks for the vintage machines. Thus, [Marcio Luis Teixeira] set about porting the TIP tool to the platform.

      • The Ins and Outs of Casting Lenses from Epoxy

        If you need a lens for a project, chances are pretty good that you pick up a catalog or look up an optics vendor online and just order something. Practical, no doubt, but pretty unsporting, especially when it’s possible to cast custom lenses at home using silicone molds and epoxy resins.

        Possible, but not exactly easy, as [Zachary Tong] relates. His journey into custom DIY optics began while looking for ways to make copies of existing mirrors using carbon fiber and resin, using the technique of replication molding. While playing with that, he realized that an inexpensive glass or plastic lens could stand in for the precision-machined metal mandrel which is usually used in this technique. Pretty soon he was using silicone rubber to make two-piece, high-quality molds of lenses, good enough to try a few casting shots with epoxy resin. [Zach] ran into a few problems along the way, like proper resin selection, temperature control, mold release agent compatibility, and even dealing with shrinkage in both the mold material and the resin. But he’s had some pretty good results, which he shares in the video below.

      • Keynote Video: Dr. Keith Thorne Explains The Extreme Engineering Of The LIGO Hardware | Hackaday

        The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a huge installation measured in kilometers that is listening for wrinkles in space-time. Pulling this off is a true story of hardware and software hacking, and we were lucky to have Dr. Keith Thorne dive into those details with his newly published “Extreme Instruments for Extreme Astrophysics” keynote from the 2021 Hackaday Remoticon.

        Gravity causes space-time to stretch — think back to the diagrams you’ve seen of a massive orb (a star or planet) sitting on a plane with grid lines drawn on it, the fabric of that plane being stretch downward from the mass of the orb. If you have two massive entities like black holes orbiting each other, they give off gravitational waves. When they collide and merge, they create a brief but very strong train of waves. Evidence of these events are what LIGO is looking for.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘Secretly’ Signed $275 Billion Deal With China in 2016
        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • The Cyber-Investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE) Becomes Part Of Linux Foundation

                The Linux Foundation has announced that the Cyber-investigation Analysis Standard Expression (CASE) is becoming a community project as part of the ​​Cyber Domain Ontology (CDO) project under the Linux Foundation. CASE is an ontology-based specification that supports automated combination and intelligent analysis of cyber-investigation information. CASE concentrates on advancing interoperability and analytics across a broad range of cyber-investigation domains, including digital forensics and incident response (DFIR).

                Organizations involved in joint operations or intrusion investigations can efficiently and consistently exchange information in standard format with CASE, breaking down data silos and increasing visibility across all information sources. Tools that support CASE facilitate correlation of differing data sources and exploration of investigative questions, giving analysts a more comprehensive and cohesive view of available information, opening new opportunities for searching, pivoting, contextual analysis, pattern recognition, machine learning and visualization.

              • Facing Economic Challenges‭: ‬Open Source Opportunities are Strong During Times of Crisis

                Our recently published Open Source Jobs Report examined the demand for open source talent and trends among open source professionals. What did we find?

              • LFX Platform: An Update on Growing and Sustaining Open Source [Ed: Tons of puff pieces from LF this week; can't help but wonder if in response to our criticisms earlier in the week and the IRS conundrum in particular]

                Open source fuels the world’s innovation, yet building impactful, innovative, high-quality, and secure software at scale can be challenging when meeting the growing requirements of open source communities. Over the past two decades, we have learned that ecosystem building is complex. A solution was needed to help communities manage themselves with the proper toolsets in key functional domains.

                From infrastructure to legal and compliance, from code security to marketing, our experience in project governance among communities within the Linux Foundation has accumulated years of expertise and proven best practices. As a result, we have spent the year productizing the LFX Platform, a suite of tools engineered to grow and sustain and grow the communities of today and build the communities of tomorrow.

        • Security

          • Elastic Announces New Osquery Manager Integration and Memory Threat Protection for macOS and Linux

            Elastic (NYSE: ESTC) (“Elastic”), the company behind Elasticsearch and the Elastic Stack, announced new integrations and enhancements across the Elastic Security solution in its 7.16 release, enabling users to accelerate detection and response, increase real-time visibility into their data, protect endpoints against advanced attacks, and streamline workflows.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (firefox, libopenmpt, matrix-synapse, vim, and xen), Mageia (gmp, heimdal, libsndfile, nginx/vsftpd, openjdk, sharpziplib/mono-tools, and vim), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (kernel-rt), and Ubuntu (bluez).

          • Google Shuts Down Glupteba Botnet, Sues Operators – Schneier on Security

            Google took steps to shut down the Glupteba botnet, at least for now. (The botnet uses the bitcoin blockchain as a backup command-and-control mechanism, making it hard to get rid of it permanently.) So Google is also suing the botnet’s operators.

          • CISA Releases Guidance on Protecting Organization-Run Social Media Accounts | CISA

            CISA has released Capacity Enhancement Guide (CEG): Social Media Account Protection, which details ways to protect the security of organization-run social media accounts. Malicious cyber actors that successfully compromise social media accounts—including accounts used by federal agencies—could spread false or sensitive information to a wide audience. The measures described in the CEG aim to reduce the risk of unauthorized access on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

          • Cisco Releases Security Advisory for Multiple Products Affected by Apache HTTP Server Vulnerabilities

            Cisco has released a security advisory to address Cisco products affected by multiple vulnerabilities in Apache HTTP Server 2.4.48 and earlier releases. An unauthenticated remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Improving the Quality of Publicly Trusted Intermediate CA Certificates with Enhanced Oversight and Automation

            In keeping with our commitment to the security and privacy of individuals on the internet, Mozilla is increasing our oversight and adding automation to our compliance-checking of publicly trusted intermediate CA certificates (“intermediate certificates”). This improvement in automation is important because intermediate certificates play a critical part in the web PKI (Public-Key Infrastructure). Intermediate CA keys directly sign server certificates, and we currently recognize nearly 3,000 intermediate certificates, which chain up to approximately 150 root CA certificates embedded as trust anchors in NSS and Firefox. More specifically, we are updating the Mozilla Root Store Policy (MRSP) and associated guidance, improving the public review of third-party intermediate certificates on the Mozilla dev-security-policy list, and enhancing automation in the Common CA Database (CCADB).


            With the CCADB, Mozilla has provided a variety of tools to examine the status of intermediate certificates where none existed before. These include improvements that allow us to automatically process CA audit reports using Audit Letter Validation (ALV), advise CAs on the status of their intermediate certificates, and provide CAs and root store operators with lists of tasks relevant to intermediate certificates listed in the CCADB.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • UK privacy chief denies conflict of interest in new role

              The UK’s outgoing information commissioner Elizabeth Denham is set to join global law firm Baker McKenzie, which previously defended Facebook against privacy enforcement by her office.

              Denham joined the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in 2016, where she oversaw the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, and is due to be replaced by current New Zealand privacy commissioner John Edwards.

            • The EU Digital Services Act won’t work without strong enforcement – Access Now

              The European Union is in the process of adopting its Digital Service Act (DSA), a law that will govern how content can be shared and viewed online. But this landmark legislation won’t help secure our rights without strong enforcement.

              The enforcement mechanism of the DSA hasn’t shared the same spotlight as other “hot topics” received throughout the ongoing legislative negotiations, but it is an incredibly important one. Without effective and properly-functioning enforcement, the future “content moderation rulebook” that should revolutionise the platform governance model will remain an empty shell.

              This is not the first time that the European Union has set itself up to be the forerunner in internet regulation. Back in 2018, the internationally acclaimed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was labelled as the new world standard for privacy and data protection. While the GDPR is a legislative success, it has been an enforcement failure.The blame is often placed at the feet of insufficiently funded and understaffed Data Protection Authorities (DPAs), whose slow action has left a huge number of complaints — from both individuals and NGOs — unaddressed. But, in reality, this is just one part of a much more complicated story.

              So what can the EU learn from its experience with the GDPR to ensure a strong enforcement of the DSA?

            • Use of Facial Recognition Technologies on a steep rise in India

              In November 2021, Amnesty International, along with the Internet Freedom Foundation and Article 19, drew attention to Hyderabad, a city in the Indian state of Telangana, which has established a ‘Command and Control Centre’ – a hundred and seven million dollar project that is meant to support the processing of over six hundred thousand surveillance cameras in Hyderabad at once. This, combined with Hyderabad police’s existing facial recognition software for identifying individuals will enable the police to track individuals across the city in real time.


              Currently, the Indian government is deliberating the third draft of a proposed Personal Data Protection Bill. The law comes with some important milestones regarding regulating cross-border data flows and prior consent before use of personal data, although experts concur that some of the most worrying aspects of the proposed bill are unchecked biases, overbroad authority of the government to bypass the law, and built-in obstacles to informing data subjects if there has been a breach of their personal data.

              The escalating use of FRT in India despite the absence of related legislation can be in part understood by examining how FRT has been used in the past, since this may help predict whether the future use of a large urban CCTV network along with FRT is likely to result in any effective oversight.

              In October 2021, in response to questions about uncovered footage of Hyderabad’s police forcing civilians walking on streets to remove their masks and capturing their photos and in some cases, also demanding their fingerprint, the local police stations stated that this was a part of ‘the patrolling cops official duty’ and that the police was scanning ‘suspicious persons only’.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Rohingya refugees file $150 billion lawsuit against Facebook for alleged content moderation malpractices

        On December 6, 2021, a refugee who fled Myanmar when she was sixteen, filed a class action lawsuit against Facebook in California’s Superior Court for alleged incitement to violence and facilitation of genocide in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The suit was on behalf of herself and all Rohingya who fled Myanmar on or after June 1, 2012, and who now reside in the USA as refugees or asylum seekers. A similar coordinated action is due in the United Kingdom representing Rohingya refugees in UK and Bangladesh, and a letter of notice to this effect was submitted to Facebook’s London office on the same day. The case comes two years after Facebook, in a statement, officially admitted that it hadn’t done enough to prevent its platform from “being used to foment division and incite offline violence in Myanmar.”

    • Government

      • The European Commission pledges to release more software

        The European Union and its legislative body, the European Commission continues to advance its digital strategy with open source software as one of the fundamental pillars. On this occasion it was the latter that announced news for the distribution of software developed to meet internal needs of the organization.

        According to the published information, the European Commission has approved a new regulation that favors free access to the software they produce as long as there are potential benefits for ‘citizens, businesses or other public services’, which from theory to practice may well encompass everything that unfolds under its roof.

        This new provision is supported in turn by a recent study also carried out by the Commission on the impact of open source software in areas such as technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in the economy of the European Union. The objective is to find solid evidence with which to shape European open source policies for the next few years.

        In economic terms, in fact, the calculations are most optimistic and point to a strong economic impact, of billions of euros of savings per year -by way of example, it is estimated between 65 and 95 billion euros in 2018 alone- and, with a minimal increase in the bet, there could be a growth in the EU’s GDP of around 100 billion euros.

      • OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission

        OSI welcomes the Decision of the European Commission on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software. The December 8 Decision means that Commission services may choose to make Commission software available under open source licenses, something OSI has long advocated and which opens great opportunities both for individuals and companies.

        OSI encourages every part of the Commission to make the most of this new Decision, both for economic and civil reasons. A recent report for the Commission by Open Forum Europe (an OSI Affiliate) estimates that “open source software contributes between €65 to €95 billion to the European Union’s GDP” and observed that “if open source contributions increased by 10% in the EU, they would generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% (around €100 billion) to the bloc’s GDP.” But as observed in the 2018 UNESCO “Paris Call” report, a document that OSI contributed to, software is also an essential element of our cultural heritage and legislators need to “create an enabling legal, policy and institutional environment where software source code can flourish as an integral part of knowledge societies” and especially leverage open source licensing to “enable effective independent auditing of software source code used to make decisions that may affect fundamental rights of human beings”.

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Could India Be The Crucial Battleground For Open Access To Scientific Research? | Hackaday

          One of the hottest topics in the world of scientific publishing over the last couple of decades has been the growing pressure to release the fruits of public-funded scientific research from the paywalled clutches of commercial publishers. This week comes news of a new front in this ongoing battle, as a group of Indian researchers have filed an intervention application with the help of the Indian Internet Freedom Foundation in a case that involves the publishers Elsevier, Wiley, and the American Chemical Society who have filed a copyright infringement suit against in the Delhi High Court against the LibGen & Sci-Hub shadow library websites.

          The researchers all come from the field of social sciences, and they hope to halt moves to block the websites by demonstrating their importance to research in India in the light of unsustainable pricing for Indian researchers. Furthermore they intend to demonstrate a right of access for researchers and teachers under Indian law, thus undermining the legal standing of the original claim.

Fedora (Re)Starts Discussing Plan to Delete GitHub (Quit Microsoft Dependence)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 29c28d5246b753a89f1de4eb04f6e357

Summary: There’s active debate about whether or not Fedora can (and should) self-host its Git projects; it’s well overdue and it’s time to do it

A COUPLE of weeks ago we revisited the sad situation of Fedora Project being a prisoner of Microsoft, not just IBM [1, 2] (the context or the focus being “master” branch*). It harms the credibility of the project, which already lost a lot of the volunteers (the actual community, not IBM staff “100% of the time”). What IBM did to CentOS a year ago** was an eye-opener; why would it treat Fedora any better than CentOS?

“IBM announced its takeover of Red Hat the same year Microsoft announced its takeover of GitHub.”I’ve used Fedora many times before. I used the first and second releases and then I occasionally used it again over the years. Long term too, for years at a time… so I truly care about how IBM assassinates the community, including long timers whose name I’ve known for over a decade. What is IBM hoping to accomplish?

IBM announced its takeover of Red Hat the same year Microsoft announced its takeover of GitHub. Why hasn’t IBM helped distance Fedora from GitHub? We wrote about the subject many times before and since then many alternatives to GitHub have either emerged or evolved to the point of feature parity. Even over Gemini Protocol we have more and more options (Git over Gemini clients instead of Web browsers).

“It’s hard to tell why Miller is so pessimistic.”IBM’s Miller likes to pretend that there’s nothing they can do, but this new in-depth article from LWN says “Catanzaro was unconvinced by Miller’s assertion that Fedora could not run its own open-source GitLab instance.”

What baloney! To quote: “If GNOME and KDE and freedesktop.org and Debian and Purism can all do it, I’m pretty sure Fedora can too.”

Of course it can. But maybe there’s a lack of will because of back room deals of Microsoft and IBM? Just like in the days of ODF vs OOXML wars? It’s hard to tell why Miller is so pessimistic. Heck, we’ve crafted our very own ‘CMS’ for Git @ Techrights and we’re just a couple of people. Surely IBM has far more resources (money and people) than us…
* For Git, the word “master” has long been a convenient convention that made branch names predictable. Now that IBM looks to eradicate it some choose “dev” and “devel” instead (inconsistent), which is also confusing because “dev” typically means “test” in conjunction with “live”. So they’re harmed clarify, increased confusion, and raised the access barrier, making adoption of Git even harder and some literature obsolete (bad for poor people who can only afford old books and bad for the environment).
** Even IBM seemed to regret what it had foolishly done, seeing it obky led to more clones of RHEL. Not to mention growing disdain and distrust when it comes to IBM.

Addendum: XFaCE has produced a better and more clearly-phrased version of the same article.

A COUPLE of weeks ago we revisited the Fedora Project and it being held prisoner by Microsoft in addition to IBM/Red Hat. [1, 2] Focusing on non-issues such as the “problematic” naming of the “master” branch further compromises the credibility of an already compromised project, one that has already lost a lot of real community volunteers (not re-assigned IBM staff “100% of the time”). IBM’s decimation of the CentOS project a year ago** is proving a harbinger of its current neglect and mismanagement of Fedora.

I’m a recurring Fedora user, having deployed the initial and second releases full-time with occasional usage over the years for long periods of time. It pains me how IBM alienates the community, including long timers whose names I’ve known for over a decade. What productive good is IBM hoping to accomplish?

IBM announced its takeover of Red Hat the same year Microsoft announced its own acquisition of GitHub. Since then IBM has not raised a figure to distance Fedora from GitHub and its now Microsoft-controlled infrastructure. This is especially glaring given the many feature-parity GitHub alternatives that have emerged from that time until now. Many Gemini-based options have even been developed, forgoing web browser-based environments in favour of Gemini clients.

IBM’s Miller presents the narrative that the GitHub lock-in is beyond IBM’s control, but this is contradicted by a new in-depth article from LWN, which states that “Catanzaro was unconvinced by Miller’s assertion that Fedora could not run its own open-source GitLab instance”.

Catanzaro noted the obvious that “If GNOME and KDE and freedesktop.org and Debian and Purism can all do it, I’m pretty sure Fedora can too.”

Of course IBM has the resources and the ability to wean off the GitHub teet, but is held back by an apparent lack of will. Given the current incestuous state of Linux Foundation-linked companies, we can safely speculate that back room deals between Microsoft and IBM play a role, just like in the days of ODF vs OOXML wars and the many corrupted parties. Without that context it’s hard to understand why Miller would be so pessimistic. Heck, we’ve crafted our very own ‘CMS’ for Git at TechRights despite being a couple of people. Surely IBM is capable of far more with vast capital and employee resources… █
* For Git the word “master” has long been a convenient convention that mad branch names predictable. Now that IBM looks to eradicate it, some have chosen “dev” and “devel” instead inconsistently. There is also further confusion of “dev” typically means “test” in contrast to a “production” state. IBM’s antics here have harmed clarity, increased confusion, and raised the access barrier to Git adoption. Much documentation and other literature on the subject is becoming obsolete (detrimental for fiscally-constrained people who can only afford old books and bad for the environment).
** Even IBM seemed to regret what it had foolishly done given the plethora of RHEL forks. This is in addition to the disdain and distrust tarnishing IBM’s reputation.

Links 9/12/2021: EU Antitrust Probe Against Microsoft, Tor Browser 11.0.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Pod Security Graduates to Beta

        With the release of Kubernetes v1.23, Pod Security admission has now entered beta. Pod Security is a built-in admission controller that evaluates pod specifications against a predefined set of Pod Security Standards and determines whether to admit or deny the pod from running.

        Pod Security is the successor to PodSecurityPolicy which was deprecated in the v1.21 release, and will be removed in Kubernetes v1.25. In this article, we cover the key concepts of Pod Security along with how to use it. We hope that cluster administrators and developers alike will use this new mechanism to enforce secure defaults for their workloads.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Blender 3 comes with great improvements and changes at the GPU level

        Blender 3.0 It is now available as the new major version of the well-known three-dimensional graphics creation and rendering solution, which is also one of the prides of free software as its base components are licensed under GPLv2 (although there are parts and plugins under other licenses such as Apache ).

        Much has been done to beg the third major version of Blender, since version 2.0 was released in August 2000, which is 21 years apart. Blender 3 has come with the intention of being a turning point for a project that has gone from being a relatively small player to competing with the great professional and proprietary solutions of the sector, which has ended up generating many interests around it by receiving supported by giants such as Ubisoft, Epic Games, Unity Technologies, AMD, NVIDIA, Adobe, Canonical, and Microsoft. After explaining the situation a bit, we go with the most important changes and news.

        Blender 3 includes changes and new features on all or almost all fronts, covering internals, animation, navigation between assets, wax brush, modeling, nodes and physics, Python API, Cycles for rendering physics, user interface, virtual reality, sculpting, painting and textures.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install LAMP Stack on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install LAMP Stack on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, the LAMP stack is a known combination of Linux, Apache, MariaDB, and PHP. Here Linux is an operating system, Apache is the popular web server developed by Apache Foundation, MariaDB is a relational database management system used for storing data and PHP is the widely used programming language. With LAMP it is possible to develop and deploy web applications created in PHP.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Apache, MariaDB & PHP (LAMP Stack) on a Fedora 35.

      • How to Change WordPress Port in Apache and Nginx

        When installed or running applications and/or services want to communicate (send and receive data), they need to be assigned a specific/default port. These ports facilitate multiple communication sessions within a defined network address.

        When you successfully install your WordPress site on a local or server machine, you have the option of it being powered by popular web servers like Apache and Nginx.

      • How to colourise black & white pictures with OpenVINO™ on Ubuntu containers (Part 2) | Ubuntu

        This blog is the last part of a series – don’t miss parts one and zero. We’re on a mission to demonstrate OpenVINO™ on Ubuntu containers; from the consistently outstanding developer experience to the added trust to your software supply chain. In this blog, I’ll guide you on your way to building and deploying an AI colouriser app on MicroK8s. The demo will give you a better feel of the Ubuntu in containers experience and how it makes developers’ lives easier, especially in complex environments like AI/ML.

        The story so far: I misplanned my Christmas shopping and had to find a last-minute present for my grandparents (still hoping they’re not reading). Fortunately, I came across this blog. It gave me the best Christmas present idea ever: a handcrafted photo book of their childhood pictures, colourised using deep learning. Easy peasy, you think (sarcastically). But seriously, thanks to OpenVINO™ and Ubuntu containers, it is much easier than it sounds! You’ll see.

      • How to Sort Top Command in Linux Based on Memory Usage

        As a Linux user, you cannot avoid the top command. This simple command gives an overview of the all running system process. It refreshes the stats every three seconds and gives you the feeling of continuously monitoring the processes.

        By default, the output of the top command is sorted on the CPU consumption. This means that you see the processes that consume the most CPU is on the top of the command.

        But what if you want to see the processes that consume the most of the RAM? You can sort top command based on memory usage instead of CPU consumption.

      • How to Install Samba on RHEL and CentOS Stream

        Operating system users might have different egoistic opinions on which operating system distribution is better but always find a common ground when it comes to issues like finding ideal file sharing solutions.

        Samba is such a solution. Whether you are on a Windows or Linux operating system environment, Samba makes it possible to flexible share files among remote operating system users.

      • How to use wall command in linux – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        wall (an abbreviation of write to all) is a Unix command-line utility that displays the contents of a computer file or standard input to all logged-in users. It is typically used by root to send out shutting down message to all users just before poweroff.

      • How to install and set up Gitlab CE Server on Debian 11

        GitLab allows you to host an on-premise Git repository that can be accessed from either your local LAN or (if you have an available public IP address) from outside your company. GitLab is an open-source repository manager based on Rails developed by GitLab Inc. It is a web-based git repository manager that allows your team to collaborate on coding, testing, and deploying applications. GitLab provides several features, including wikis, issue tracking, code reviews, and activity feeds.

        In this guide, we will install the GitLab CE on the Debian 11. We will install the GitLab CE using the ‘omnibus’ package provided by GitLab.

      • How to install Postman client on Ubuntu 21.10 – NextGenTips

        Postman is an API platform for building and using APIs. Postman simplifies each step of the API lifecycle and streamlines collaborations so you can create better APIs faster.

        So what is API? API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other.

        In this tutorial, I will take you through the installation of Postman on Ubuntu 21.10

      • How to install Docker on Ubuntu 22.04

        The purpose of this tutorial is to show how to install Docker on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Linux. Docker is a tool that is used to run software in a container. It’s a great way for developers and users to worry less about compatibility with an operating system and dependencies because the contained software should run identically on any system.

        Docker is available for download and installation on Ubuntu 22.04 as well as most other distributions of Linux. After Docker is installed, you can use it to install software packages much the same way you would use your distro’s package manager to download an app. The difference of using Docker is that everything is more automated, with compatability and dependencies no longer being potential issues.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Docker on Ubuntu 22.04 and get started with installing containerized software.

      • 20 YUM Commands for Linux Package Management

        In this article, we will learn how to install, update, remove, find packages, manage packages and repositories on Linux systems using YUM (Yellowdog Updater Modified) tool developed by RedHat.

        The example commands shown in this article are practically tested on our RHEL 8 server, you can use these materials for study purposes, RHEL certifications, or just to explore ways to install new packages and keep your system up-to-date.

      • 2 Best ways to Install Skype on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy – Linux Shout [Ed: bad idea; it's a spyware that wiretaps calls]

        If you don’t know about Skype then you either don’t spend much time on the internet or you haven’t come into contact with messengers yet. Well, in both scenarios, if you are a Linux then this tutorial will help you to understand what is Skype and how to install it on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Linux.

        Skype is Microsoft’s Voice over IP Messenger. Using it you can make free internet telephony and use instant messaging functions and data transfer. Video call is also possible.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • CrossOver 21.1 supports running GTA V and recovers Outlook 2016/365 – itsfoss.net

        CodeWeavers has announced the publication of CrossOver 21.1, the first maintenance release of version 21 that comes with enhancements for some of the most popular Windows applications. For the lost, this software is the commercial implementation of Wine, developed by the main contributor to the compatibility layer (Wine leader Alexandre Julliard is an employee of CodeWeavers), and is available for Linux, macOS, and Chrome OS. .

        The main novelty of CrossOver 21.1 is that now the popular video game Grand Theft Auto V is officially supported on Linux and macOS, including also GTA Online. The game can be run both through Steam (we assume the Windows version of the application) and through Rockstar’s own launcher. Despite having appeared in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and seen the light in 2015 for PC, GTA V it is still one of the most popular video games today.

        For Linux, support for Outlook 2016/365 has been restored, one of the most recent versions of the mail client that is part of the well-known Microsoft office suite. On the other hand, dependency problems have been resolved to offer a better experience with Chrome OS and macOS Monterey is officially supported as of this release.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Gear 21.12 Software Suite Released as a Massive Update, Here’s What’s New

          After several months of development, KDE Gear 21.12 is now ready for mass deployment with an improved Dolphin file manager that now makes it easier than ever to locate and identify files and folders, shows previews for .cbz comic book files that contain WebP images, and improves icon zooming.

          Dolphin is also one of the first KDE app to adopt the new mechanism for saving volatile state data, such as window position and size, into a separate config file instead of the one that explicitly stores configurable settings. More KDE apps will adopt this major new feature in future updates.

        • KDE Gear 21.12

          KDE Gear 21.12 has landed and comes with a massive number of updates and new versions of applications and libraries. Literally, dozens of classic KDE everyday tools and the specialised sophisticated apps you use to work, be creative and play, are getting refreshers with design improvements, new features and performance and stability enhancements.

          And the whole set of packages comes just in time for the season of giving. Hanukkah/the Winter Solstice/the Generic Mid-Winter Holiday/Christmas/whatever-you-celebrate is just around the corner, so why not share with those that are less fortunate, that is, those who do not use KDE software yet?

          Install Plasma for your friends and family and deck them out with the brand new versions of KDE’s utilities and programs!

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 16 Lite is the Windows 11 alternative you’ve been waiting for

          So, if you want something new and feel like switching to Linux but don’t know which operating system to choose for your old PC, we might be able to help you with that.

          Zorin OS 16 Lite, which was actually released today, should be an excellent Linux-based Windows 11 alternative for aging devices.

          Although its distribution is based on Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS and uses Xfce 4.16 as its desktop environment, Zorin is actually going to feel rather familiar to Windows users.

          It comes with pre-installed software, which makes it great for beginners, who can start using it right after installation, and, it even offers a simple way to install and run Windows programs.

          And it even looks almost exactly like Windows 11, making this transition even smoother than you might actually expect.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 10 tips for machine learning experiment tracking and reproducibility: Do it yourself approach without additional tooling – IBM Developer

          As machine learning practitioners, we invest significant time and effort to improve our models. You usually do it iteratively and experimentally by repeatedly changing your model, running an experiment, and examining the results, then deciding whether the recent model change was positive and should be kept or discarded.

          Changes in each iteration might involve, for example, changing a value for a hyperparameter, adding a new input feature, changing the underlying machine learning model (for example, by using gradient boosting classification instead of random forest classification), trying a new heuristic, or trying an entirely new approach.

          Experimentation cycles can cause a great deal of confusion. It’s easy to get lost, forgetting what changes you made in the recent experiments and whether the latest results are indeed better than before. A single experiment can take hours or even longer to complete. So, you try to optimize your time and execute multiple experiments simultaneously. This makes it even less manageable, and the confusion gets even worse.

          In this blog, I share lessons and good practices that I learned in my recent machine learning projects. Although I call it a “Do it yourself” approach, some might call it “The caveman way.” I am fully aware that nowadays there are many experiment tracking and management platforms, but it is not always possible or convenient to use them. Some platforms require that you execute your experiments on their platform. Sometimes you can’t share sensitive information outside of your organization, not just the data sets but also results and code. Many platforms require a paid subscription, which can also be a problem in some cases. Sometimes you just want full control of your experiment management approach and data.

          The following practices are easy to implement and do not require additional tooling. They are mostly suitable for small to medium machine learning projects with a single researcher or a small team. Most of the artifacts are saved locally, and adaptations might be required if you want to use a shared storage. As a seasoned developer of production systems, I’m aware that a few of the tips might be considered ‘code-smells’ or bad practices when it comes to traditional development of such systems. However, I believe that they have their place and are justified for short-term research projects. I would like to emphasize that the tips reflect my personal journey and point of view, and not necessarily any official views or practices.

        • Goodbye, CentOS … and welcome back, CentOS 9 Stream – itsfoss.net

          The last couple of years have been messy for the CentOS project and, coinciding with the final stages of this couple of years, there have been announcements that have shaped the new reality of it, whose outcome is fulfilled, following tradition, when we are ending this year. That’s why we say goodbye to CentOS, as we welcome you to CentOS 9 Stream All in a somewhat figurative way, it should be added.

          Recomposing the facts for those who are not up to date, in September 2009 Red Hat announced two releases of its community distribution: CentOS 8, which as always up to that point had been built directly from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL); and CentOS Stream, a new variant in format rolling release It was never quite clear how it would fit into the project org chart, given the nature of CentOS, whose pillars have always revolved around stability, long-term support, and a professional solution approach.

        • How we use Linux Test Project to test and improve Linux | Enable Sysadmin

          The Linux Test Project (LTP) is a general-purpose, integrated test suite designed to help organizations using and developing Linux better understand what things work and what still needs work. It is comprised of regression and conformance tests designed to confirm the behavior of the Linux kernel and glibc. Its tools and test suites aim to verify the Linux kernel and related subsystems.

          In short, the Linux Test Project (LTP) is aimed at testing and improving Linux. Its goal is to deliver a suite of automated testing tools for Linux and publish the results of the tests they run. For example, we use LTP tests on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to improve the Linux kernel and system libraries.

        • DevSecOps jobs: 3 ways to get hired | The Enterprisers Project

          In the specialty of DevSecOps, demand for talent has outpaced supply. Many organizations have realized that the traditional siloed development structure is no longer adequate for maintaining application security in light of the ever-increasing pace of software development and delivery. To remedy this problem, many have started shifting security left – having developers run tests and fix security issues in their code.

          As a result, DevSecOps, a function tasked with continuous AppSec testing throughout the DevOps pipeline, has become essential. However, this is a tough field to break into, and figuring out the right path can be challenging. With such a huge demand in the industry for DevSecOps expertise, those who are looking for new opportunities should understand the skills and qualifications needed for this emerging role.

        • Get started with Gradle plugins for Eclipse JKube

          Eclipse JKube is a collection of plugins and libraries to help Java developers containerize and deploy their applications. At the end of the Summer of 2020, Eclipse JKube published its first stable release (see the article, Cloud-native Java applications made easy: Eclipse JKube 1.0.0 now available ). The Eclipse JKube team has just released Eclipse JKube v1.5.1, which includes Gradle plugins for Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift.

          This article introduces the new Gradle plugins in Eclipse JKube. You will learn how to build a Java application into a container image and deploy it onto either vanilla Kubernetes or an OpenShift cluster using Gradle.

        • Fedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly Update – Week of December 6th – 10th

          This is a weekly report from the CPE (Community Platform Engineering) Team. If you have any questions or feedback, please respond to this report or contact us on #redhat-cpe channel on libera.chat (https://libera.chat/).

        • Printf-style debugging using GDB, Part 3

          Welcome back to this series about using the GNU debugger (GDB) to print information in a way that is similar to using print statements in your code. The first article introduced you to using GDB for printf-style debugging, and the second article showed how to save commands and output. This final article demonstrates the power of GDB to interact with C and C++ functions and automate GDB behavior.

        • How Node.js uses the V8 JavaScript engine to run your code | Red Hat Developer

          Ever wondered how your JavaScript code runs seamlessly across different platforms? From your laptop to your smartphone to a server in the cloud, the Node.js runtime ensures that your code is executed flawlessly regardless of the underlying architecture. What’s the magic that makes that possible? It’s the V8 JavaScript engine.

          This article discusses how our team enhanced V8 to handle certain platform differences, notably big-endian versus little-endian byte order.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 13 Best Free and Open Source Build Systems

        Build automation is the process of automating the creation of a software build and the associated processes including: compiling computer source code into binary code, packaging binary code, and running automated tests.

        This type of software takes as input the interdependencies of files (typically source code and output executables) and orchestrates building them, quickly.

        In the beginning, Make was the only build automation tool available beyond home-grown solutions. Make has been around since 1976. Make remains widely used, especially in Unix and Unix-like operating systems. But there are lots of other high quality build systems

        Here’s our recommendations captured in a legendary LinuxLinks chart.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla/Web

          • litehtml compiled in OpenEmbedded

            Have received feedback that Balsa email client does not work in EasyOS 3.1.13. It’s email filtering is pretty weak anyway, so reckon that I will go over to Claws Mail.

            Claws Mail is optionally able to view HTML emails by the ‘litehtml’ library. Very interesting, the developer of litehtml also has a little browser, named ‘litebrowser’…

          • Kristen Trubey, Mozilla’s New Chief People Officer

            I am pleased to share that Kristen Trubey has joined Mozilla as our Chief People Officer. Kristen initially came to Mozilla in August in an interim capacity but she quickly settled in and made an immediate impact. Her expertise, experience and focus to create connections between company culture, employee experience, and business results proved to be exactly the kind of leadership we were looking for to lead our people teams.

            As Chief People Officer, Kristen will be responsible for all areas of HR and Organizational Development at Mozilla Corporation with an overall focus on ensuring we’re building and growing a resilient, high impact global organization to support Mozilla’s next chapter.

          • New Release: Tor Browser 11.0.2

            Tor Browser 11.0.2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory

            This version updates Firefox on Windows, macOS, and Linux to 91.4.0esr. This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

      • FSF

      • Public Services/Government

        • The European Commission Will Make its Software Solutions Open Source for Public Benefit – It’s FOSS News

          The EU Commission is known for its strong take on privacy and open-source. A year ago, they asked their staff to use Signal for messaging instead of WhatsApp.

          Now, they plan to make their software solutions publicly accessible for the benefit of society. In other words, anything that the EU uses for its internal work will be made open-source.

          Public Money, Public Code

          Considering that the taxpayers pay for the operations and fund the software, the code should also be available to the public.

  • Leftovers

    • What We Can Learn From Sports Fandom’s Moral Drift

      If you think that the true focus of the recent World Series was what the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves were doing on the field, you were either living in Texas or Georgia or on some billionaire’s space station. In the world that lies somewhere between rabid fandom and total baseball disinterest, the fall classic actually proved to be a contest pitting the cheaters against the racists with a disturbing outcome that might be summed up this way: To the spoiled belongs the victory.

    • Elizabeth Hardwick’s Life of the Mind

      “Until someone has the temerity to write a biography of Elizabeth Hardwick,” Hilton Als remarked in 1998, “we will have to rely on her work for its powerful evocation of the life of her mind, and on hearsay from friends and acquaintances for the details of the life itself.” That someone is Cathy Curtis, whose biography of Hardwick, A Splendid Intelligence, is the first comprehensive portrait of the writer, critic, professor, and cofounder of The New York Review of Books, from her working-class origins in Kentucky to an insider of “New York’s cultural A-list” until her death in 2007, at the age of 91.

    • EFF, Partners Launch New Edition of Santa Clara Principles, Adding Standards Aimed at Governments and Expanding Appeal Guidelines
    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • The Non-Winter of Our Discontent

        Montana’s hunting season just went by without a shred of snow on the ground. As hunters can tell you, it’s mighty handy to be able to track deer and elk in the snow if you’re trying to fill the freezer for your family. Likewise, without heavy snows to push them down to lower elevations, the elk in our mountains stay up high and well away from the roads and hunters. As a consequence, many of those family freezers will not see their normal yearly harvest.

        What will appear, however, is Omicron, the latest variant of the extremely persistent COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever progress was made against the virus once Trump got booted out of office is now at stake as, once again, the travel and social shutdowns begin — and with them the inevitable negative economic impacts.

      • Omicron and the Travel Ban Itch

        History’s record of humanity’s response to plagues, pandemics and disease is one of isolation, marginalisation, and exclusion.  The infected shall be kept away and sealed off from the healthy and wealthy.  This, inevitably, results in partiality, prejudice and distinctions.  Omicron, having been pumped with the prestige of a potential COVID super variant, has given dozens of countries grounds to stop travel, halt movement and stem flights.  As always, these measures have been applied unevenly and hypocritically.

        First reported by South Africa, the country now has the distinction of being, along with a range of other Southern African countries, pariahs in terms of international travel.  Little wonder that individuals such as the Chair of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee are alarmed at what was essentially a replay of the initial global response to COVID-19.

      • The Origins of Covid-19: What Were the Final Steps?

        Instead, the main controversy has been how the pandemic virus originated. While this debate has been exceptionally rancorous, what is not generally recognized is how much agreement there is among the adversaries. Nearly everyone agrees that the virus, SARS-CoV2, is derived from a type of coronavirus that is endemic to, and tolerated by, bats, and that it emerged after a few genetic changes in the city of Wuhan, in the Huwei province of China.

        Those changes made the virus particularly well suited to attaching to human cells that line the respiratory tract and blood vessels, and particularly pathogenic in some vulnerable subpopulations – the old, the obese, the diabetic. It is also unpredictably fatal in some individuals with no obvious predispositions. But these random strikes are rare, leaving ample opportunity for people to live in fear, or alternatively, to disdain those who do, depending on temperamental proclivities that under the current situation inevitably align with political allegiance.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Missouri Governor Still Lying About Reporters Who Uncovered Ridiculous Bad State Computer Security; Still Insists They Were Hackers

            Missouri Governor Mike Parson is nothing if not committed to shamelessly lying. As you’ll recall, after journalists from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ethically informed the state that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website included a flaw that revealed the social security numbers of over 600,000 state teachers and school administrators, Parson responded by calling the reporters hackers and vowing to prosecute them. Again, the DESE system displayed this information directly in the HTML, available for anyone to see if they knew where to look. That’s not hacking. That’s incompetent computer security.

          • Canada Charges Its “Most Prolific Cybercriminal”

            A 31-year-old Canadian man has been arrested and charged with fraud in connection with numerous ransomware attacks against businesses, government agencies and private citizens throughout Canada and the United States. Canadian authorities describe him as “the most prolific cybercriminal we’ve identified in Canada,” but so far they’ve released few other details about the investigation or the defendant. Helpfully, an email address and nickname apparently connected to the accused offer some additional clues.

          • Microsoft error could open the door to the most damaging phishing scam to date

            A DS_STORE file was left open on a Microsoft-owned web server

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Their Children’s Unspeakable Gun Violence?

        When Ethan Crumbley, a troubled 15 year old, shot and killed four students at Oxford High School, in Oxford, Michigan, he was charged with terrorism and murder. The prosecutor, Karen McDonald, also indicted Crumbley’s parents for involuntary manslaughter, arguing that they should have known their son was a danger to his school and should have revealed that he had access to a handgun that was their early Christmas gift to him.

      • Mark Meadows Expected to Join Other Trumpists Charged With Contempt of Congress
      • ‘Reckless Misuse of Resources’: House Approves $778 Billion Military Budget

        In bipartisan fashion, the U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday passed a sprawling military policy bill that contains nearly twice as much funding on an annual basis as Democrats’ flagship social spending and climate bill.

        That reality led Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, to slam the $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act as “a reckless misuse of resources, a windfall for war profiteers, and proof positive that most in Congress have little concern for the actual security of people in the United States or around the world.”

      • House Passes $778 Billion Military Bill as Other Priorities Stall
      • How Congress Loots the Treasury for the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

        The U.S. military’s incredible record of systematic failure—most recently its final trouncing by the Taliban after twenty years of death, destruction and lies in Afghanistan—cries out for a top-to-bottom review of its dominant role in U.S. foreign policy and a radical reassessment of its proper place in Congress’s budget priorities.

        Instead, year after year, members of Congress hand over the largest share of our nation’s resources to this corrupt institution, with minimal scrutiny and no apparent fear of accountability when it comes to their own reelection. Members of Congress still see it as a “safe” political call to carelessly whip out their rubber-stamps and vote for however many hundreds of billions in funding Pentagon and arms industry lobbyists have persuaded the Armed Services Committees they should cough up.

      • The United States Can Solve the Ukraine Crisis

        If the United States could find a way to acknowledge this betrayal and to concede that additional membership for Ukraine and Georgia would threaten Russia’s geopolitical universe, it would be possible to pursue a compromise to the current crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin reasonably wants guarantees that NATO must halt its eastward expansion and not deploy certain weapons systems on its borders. In return, the United States should insist on the return to the Minsk II agreement in 2015 that was designed to ensure a bilateral ceasefire, to create security zones on the border between Ukraine and Russia, and to decentralize political power in eastern Ukraine (the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions).  Russia would be required to withdraw all foreign mercenaries from the regions.

        Washington and Moscow were able to create a process for removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991; they should be able to find a compromise that recognizes Ukraine’s sovereignty but limits the Western military presence on Russia’s borders.  Arms control negotiations opened the door to Soviet-American detente in the 1980s.  A compromise on Ukraine would allow for improved bilateral relations in key areas between the United States and Russia.

      • There’s a Nonsensical Propaganda Campaign to Make China Look Bad in Uganda

        The article in the Daily Monitor, which was written by Yasiin Mugerwa, said that the Chinese authorities were going to take control of the airport because of the failure of Uganda to pay off the loan. A few days after the Daily Monitor article, U.S. media company Bloomberg also ran a similar article on November 28 without providing any further details on this news development, as did other U.S. and international outlets. The story by the Daily Monitor, meanwhile, went viral on Twitter, WhatsApp, and beyond.

        The story is not new. On October 28, the Ugandan Parliament Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) held a hearing on the loan with the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija (member of parliament [MP] for Buyanja County) in attendance, according to NTV Uganda. Several members of parliament grilled Kasaija about the loan, with Nathan Itungo (MP from Kashari South) asking him if he and his department had been “doing due diligence” within the negotiating framework. Answering this question, Kasaija said, “I think we did, by looking at other agreements that have been signed along the same lines.” While explaining why the government went ahead with the loan agreement for the Entebbe International Airport, the finance minister said of the agreement that Uganda was looking at the “cheapest alternative, and we jumped on it.”

      • Is There Rule of Law in Iraq?

        Human rights advocates in Iraq use these descriptions all the time when we refer to the men with guns behind the killings, abductions, and torture of protesters, activists, journalists, and communities seen to have been close to ISIS in Iraq.

        In recent days we have seen these men go further than ever before, including a brazen effort on November 7 to assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in his home, using three armed drones.

    • Environment

      • Revealed: US Public Pension Funds Are ‘Quiet Culprits of Climate Chaos’

        As banks, insurance companies, and institutional investors face mounting criticism worldwide for their contributions to the destruction of the planet, a report published Wednesday exposes how U.S. public pension funds are “bankrolling the climate crisis.”

        “With 10 years of data, there’s hard evidence: Divestment is a winning financial strategy.”

      • Opinion | What Can Individual Bank Customers Do for Climate Justice? Unite.

        For years now, climate activists have been campaigning hard on U.S. banks. They have shut down bank branches, disrupted Wall Street CEOs public speaking events, organized shareholder revolts and swamped bank executives with thousands of phone calls and millions of emails, demanding that they stop funding fossil fuels. But there is one major block of power that climate activists have yet to activate: bank customers.

      • The US Biofuels Mandate Helps Farmers, But Does Little for Energy Security and Harms the Environment

        With the recent rise in pump prices, biofuel lobbies are pressing to boost that target to 15% or more. At the same time, some policymakers are calling for reforms. For example, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has introduced a bill that would eliminate the corn ethanol portion of the mandate.

        Enacted in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the RFS promised to enhance energy security, cut carbon dioxide emissions and boost income for rural America. The program has certainly raised profits for portions of the agricultural industry, but in my view it has failed to fulfill its other promises. Indeed, studies by some scientists, including me, find that biofuel use has increased rather than decreased CO2 emissions to date.

      • Energy

        • ‘Alarming’: ALEC’s New Model Bill Would Penalize Banks for Divesting From Fossil Fuels

          Progressives are sounding the alarm about a recently launched right-wing campaign that seeks to preempt green investment policies throughout the United States by portraying the financial sector’s potential turn toward clean energy as discriminatory—and introducing legislation that would punish banks and asset managers for divesting from fossil fuels.

          “This bill cannot stop the reality that continued investments in fossil fuels are bad for communities and the planet.”

        • ‘Like a Teenager Promising to Clean Their Room in 30 Years’: Biden Net-Zero Climate Goal for 2050 Ridiculed

          Progressive climate campaigners on Wednesday overwhelmingly called U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan for the federal government to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 an inadequate attempt to address the worsening climate emergency.

          “Biden cannot make an announcement like this and also reopen oil and gas leasing, nor approve more oil and gas permits on federal lands. That’s taking one step forward and two steps back.”

        • UK’s Tax Breaks for Oil and Gas ‘Unlawful’ and Harm Climate Action, Court Hears

          The strategy being pursued by the UK government’s oil and gas regulator and business secretary is “unlawful” because it fails to regulate tax breaks for oil and gas companies, a court has been told.

          The hearing today at the Royal Court of Justice in London also heard that the latest Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) strategy, which came into force in February, is not consistent with the government’s legal commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • When You’re a Billionaire, Your Hobbies Can Slash Your Tax Bill

        When the Kentucky Derby allowed spectators to return this spring, after the pandemic had curtailed attendance in 2020, the mood was euphoric. Under cloudless skies, ladies swanned about in colorful broad-brimmed hats and gentlemen donned seersucker suits, the trademark pageantry of the sport of kings.

        The sport’s royalty, including the billionaire owners of thoroughbreds, was well represented. Basking in the glory of their racehorses’ appearance on the most prestigious stage in the world, they knew all but one of them would see their colt or filly suffer defeat. A victory would bring not only a seven-figure purse, but possibly also tens of millions of dollars in breeding rights over years to come.

      • Opinion | Socialism Creeps Into Dilbert’s Office

        To the delight of some and the dismay of others, the socialist idea continues to slowly, if very belatedly, make its way throughout the channels of American culture. Of particular recent note was its appearance in Dilbert, the daily comic strip send-up of the foibles of corporate office life. Of course, since it is the office’s peripatetic do-nothing Wally who has experienced a socialist awakening, we get the lazy man’s take on the subject. Still, the simple fact of “socialism” making it to the “funny pages” of the nation’s remaining newspapers—has to qualify as some kind of news in itself.

      • Nail-Biter in Seattle as Recall of Socialist Kshama Sawant Remains Too Close to Call

        The outcome of the recall effort targeting socialist Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant was still too close to call early Wednesday, as supporters pointed to her 2019 electoral win as a sign she may still have a chance to fend off the challenge.

        “Big business and the right wing want to remove Kshama because she’s such an effective fighter for working people.”

      • ‘It Is Urgent’: Progressives Push for Bill to Expand and Improve Social Security

        House Democrats and outside groups this week are urging the U.S. Congress to quickly take up legislation that would strengthen Social Security.

        “There is a fierce urgency of now to vote on Social Security. Seniors, people with disabilities, widows, and other beneficiaries cannot wait.”

      • Biden Should Cancel Student Debt or Watch $85 Billion Evaporate From US Economy: Analysis

        With a suspension of student loan payments scheduled to end early next year, three congressional Democrats on Wednesday cited a new economic analysis as they urged President Joe Biden to immediately cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

        “The cancellation of up to $50,000 of student debt would relieve an enormous burden from borrowers while pumping billions of dollars per year back into our national economy.”

      • Warren Slams Hertz for Raising Prices 147 Percent While Pursuing $2B in Buybacks
      • As Columbia’s Endowment Grows to $14 Billion, Student Workers Demand Living Wage
      • Report Showcases How Elon Musk Undermined His Own Engineers And Endangered Public Safety

        For a long time now, it’s been fairly clear that consumer safety was an afterthought for some of the more well known companies developing self-driving technology. That was made particularly clear a few years back with Uber’s fatality in Tempe, Arizona, which revealed that the company really hadn’t thought much at all about public safety. The car involved in the now notorious fatality wasn’t even programmed to detect jaywalkers, and there was little or no structure at Uber to meaningfully deal with public safety issues. The race to the pot of innovation gold was all consuming, and all other considerations (including human lives) were afterthoughts.

      • Top Democrat Says US Tax Havens ‘A Stunning Indictment’ of Policy Failures

        During Wednesday’s hearing on the Pandora Papers and Hidden Wealth, Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell condemned the “dangerous” growth of tax shelters in the United States and insisted that lawmakers must enact reforms to ensure that the wealthy cannot avoid paying their fair share in taxes.

        “The ultra-wealthy and powerful live under a different set of rules than everyone else.”

      • Given Cover by Red-Baiting GOP, Corporate Dems Rebuked for Tanking Biden Nominee for Top Bank Regulator

        While a number of Democratic senators joined the White House is decrying the “red scare McCarthyism” that Republicans lobbed at President Joe Biden’s nominee for a top bank regulatory position, progressives on Wednesday argued that the GOP’s attacks on Saule Omarova simply gave cover to corporate Democrats who also objected to the nomination.

        Omarova on Tuesday withdrew herself from consideration to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is tasked with regulating the largest banks in the country, telling the White House that it was “no longer tenable” for her to continue in the confirmation process.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Matt Gaetz Says He’s Talked to Donald Trump About Becoming Speaker of the House
      • Marxism, Anarchism, and The Dawn of Everything

        They identify the Enlightenment as the source of many of the ways of thinking with which we are stuck. They trace how many of the good ideas that came out of the Enlightenment, particularly about freedom, were cribbed from Native Americans like Kandiaronk (a philosopher-statesman from the Wendat Confederacy, people living around the Great Lakes under French colonial rule in the late 18th century). They describe how the conceptualization of human history as a series of material stages came about. This conventional narrative starts with small bands of hunter-gatherers, progresses through the invention of agriculture, the founding of cities (where some priest or king tells everybody else what to do), to your workplace (where your boss tells you what to do). Other than how it ends up at socialism, then communism, the Marxist conception of human history does not differ greatly from the contemporary conventional narrative. While such evolutionary accounts of human history are now commonplace, it is important to keep in mind that until Darwin and the fossil record came to be accepted, educated Western thought simply accepted the biblical story of the creation of the Earth.

        The book is so long because Graeber and Wengrow lay out the case for why this conventional narrative is simply a just-so story, i.e. wrong. Much of the evidence marshalled is a recounting of archaeology that has happened in the last thirty years. Some of it is Wengrow’s own work. To appreciate it properly, one has to have a maps program open, so one can look up just where Göbekli Tepe (Turkey), Poverty Point (Louisiana), or Taljanky (Ukraine) are. The archaeological finds already in museums are reinterpreted, e.g. Minoan Crete as a polity ruled by women. Societies dependent on hunting and gathering are shown to have been organized on regional scales. Cities are shown to have been organized without the central authority of priests or kings. In the end, The Dawn of Everything demonstrates that humans have been less tolerant of bosses and more creative in how they come together in societies than we usually give them credit for.

      • Elections: Is There Light at the End of the “Big Lie” Tunnel?

        There’s nothing new about claims that an election was stolen, or is about to be. The phenomenon stretches back into the 19th century —  most famously the 1876 presidential election, which was arguably stolen from Democrat Samuel J. Tilden on behalf of Republican Rutherford B. Hayes.

        Of the six presidential elections since 2000, at least four have generated loud claims of fraud. Democrats complained of judicial  skulduggery in Florida in 2000 and voting machine rigging in 2004. In 2016, Democrats asserted “Russian meddling” to explain Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump, while Trump (and Republican supporters) insisted in both 2016 and 2020 that he could only lose (and lost) if the election was “rigged.”

      • Senate Rejects Sanders’s Resolution to Block $650M Weapons Sale to Saudi Arabia
      • Why I Oppose the Saudi Weapons Deal

        Thank you, M. President. Let me begin by thanking my colleagues Senator Paul and Senator Lee for their years of work reclaiming Congress’s Constitutional war powers. The understanding that it is Congress that has the Constitutional responsibility to authorize war, not the president, should transcend partisan disagreements.

        On November 18th, we introduced a Congressional resolution of disapproval to block the sale of 280 air-to-air missiles, 596 missile launchers, and other weapons and support – totaling some $650 million – to Saudi Arabia. And that is what we will be voting on in a few moments.

      • Critics Warn Biden ‘Summit for Democracy’ Will Highlight Democrats’ Failures at Home

        Leading up to U.S. President Joe Biden’s so-called Summit for Democracy this week, critics suggested Wednesday that the two-day virtual event will show how the American leader and congressional Democrats have failed to address relevant issues at home while pointing fingers abroad.

        “While the notion of advancing democracy around the world is noble, America’s democracy is in a state of emergency and demands our attention and focus just as urgently.”

      • Ayanna Pressley Introduces Resolution to Remove Lauren Boebert From Committees
      • Pressley Leads Resolution Targeting Boebert’s Islamophobia as Hill Staffers Fear ‘Incendiary Rhetoric’

        With Rep. Ilhan Omar reportedly facing mounting death threats following racist comments from Rep. Lauren Boebert comparing Omar to a terrorist, progressive lawmakers on Wednesday signaled that they were losing patience with the Democratic leadership’s failure to hold the right-wing lawmaker accountable, as Rep. Ayanna Pressley announced a resolution calling for Boebert to be stripped of her committee assignments.

        Pressley (D-Mass.) was joined by nearly a dozen co-sponsors in introducing the resolution, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), all of whom have demanded House leaders take decisive action to make clear that racist attacks on lawmakers won’t be tolerated in the House.

      • Opinion | Will Democracy Summit Address US Role in Supporting Authoritarianism?

        The Biden administration’s upcoming Summit of Democracy sets out a noble goal: bringing together democratic governments to defend against authoritarianism, address and fight corruption, and promote respect for human rights. Coming after President Trump spent four years overtly courting authoritarians and undermining America’s democratic institutions—culminating in a riot targeting the peaceful transfer of power—President Biden clearly hopes that the Summit can restore American leadership and start to buck the trend of illiberal and oligarchic authoritarianism that has spread across the globe and found roots in the Republican Party.

      • As Putin Asserts Russia’s Right to Defend Against NATO, US Urged to Avoid ‘New Cold War’

        As Russian President Vladimir Putin responded Wednesday to NATO provocations along his nation’s western frontier by warning that his country reserves the right to defend itself, peace advocates stressed the need for U.S. self-awareness and restraint in order to avoid a “new Cold War.”

        “We can see Russia as a partner rather than an adversary in Eastern Europe.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • China Unleashed Its Propaganda Machine on Peng Shuai’s #MeToo Accusation. Her Story Still Got Out.

        When inconvenient news erupts on the Chinese internet, the censors jump into action.

        Twenty minutes was all it took to mobilize after Peng Shuai, the tennis star and one of China’s most famous athletes, went online and accused Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier, of sexual assault.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Twitter Briefly Restricts Account Of Writer Reporting From The West Bank (2021)

        Summary: In early May 2021, writer and researcher Mariam Barghouti was reporting from the West Bank on escalating conflicts between Israeli forces and Palestinian protestors, and making frequent social media posts about her experiences and the events she witnessed. Amidst a series of tweets from the scene of a protest, shortly after one in which she stated “I feel like I’m in a war zone,” Barghouti’s account was temporarily restricted by Twitter. She was unable to post new tweets, and her bio and several of her recent tweets were replaced with a notice stating that the account was “temporarily unavailable because it violates the Twitter Media Policy”.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange Christmas Card
      • The Media Bias Wars: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

        The Kyle Rittenhouse Saga. What happened? It’s easy to get lost in the Minotaur’s Maze that the MSM’s coverage of any important national topic of public interest turns into these days. But, nevertheless, here’s a succinct recounting of the shooting of the 29-year-old Jacob Blake, front of his children, followed by predictable marches and protests by Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters, followed by the Rittenhouse shootings. It should be noted, as it was in court, that the 17-year-old Rittenhouse crossed from Illinois into Wisconsin with a gun because of the protesting he knew to be going on there. Here’s how the timeline went, according to ABC News in this brief video recounting:

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Drowning in the Channel Courtesy of the Tories

        Since the start of 2020, more than 30,000 people have risked their lives making the 21mile/34km crossing on inflatable dinghies, a miscellany of small boats, and even kayaks.

        On a personal note, while an undergraduate in the 60s at my English university I’d make this crossing in a small but seaworthy sailboat owned by a fellow student who was a very experienced sailor. The Channel was a chock-a-block sea route even then, and keeping an eye on large ships required constant vigilance. An ocean-going ship could never manoeuvre in time to avoid a small boat, so the onus was entirely on the small vessel to take evasive action.

      • The Charges Against Ethan Crumbley’s Parents

        On the 6th of January 2001, two Presa Canarios got loose in a hallway of a San Francisco highrise apartment building. The dogs, owned by Cornfed Schneider of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, had been abused and were known to be extremely aggressive. On that January day, they attacked another resident of the building. Diane Whipple died from 77 bite wounds.

        Lawyers Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller were keeping the dogs for Schneider. Knoller, who lost control of them, was convicted of second-degree murder. The jury agreed with the prosecutors, who described the dogs as ticking time bombs and said Knoller’s conduct transcended negligence and rose to the level of implied malice. The second-chair prosecutor, it might be remembered, was Kimberly Guilfoyle.

      • Opinion | Draconian UK Law Puts Vulnerable Asylum Seekers at Risk

        Perhaps the most draconian immigration bill in the United Kingdom’s history is moving swiftly through parliament, currently in its final days of scrutiny in the Commons. The Nationality and Borders Bill seeks to dismantle core tenets of the international refugee regime, one which the UK helped establish. It would see vulnerable Afghans and other asylum seekers being criminalized and imprisoned for up to four years; pushed back at sea; sent abroad for offshore asylum processing, and afforded lesser rights as refugees simply for exercising their basic right to seek asylum in the UK.

      • Opinion | The American Psychological Association Still Owes Guantanamo’s Victims an Apology

        Next month will mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In the years since January 11, 2002, nearly 800 “detainees”—few with any meaningful connections to international terrorism—have been imprisoned there, where they have been subjected to abuse and, in some cases, torture. From the outset, members of my own profession—psychologists—played key roles in operations at Guantanamo, CIA “black sites,” and other overseas detention facilities. Their involvement included designing and implementing inhumane conditions of confinement and brutal techniques of interrogation.

      • Students in Arizona Launch Hunger Strike to Pass Freedom to Vote Act
      • California to Become Abortion Sanctuary If Supreme Court Upends Roe Protections
      • Abortion is a Class Issue

        Was it not moralism that drove Manifest Destiny and the genocide of Native Americans? Is it not moralism that the American Empire runs on, as each year there appears to be another crisis of democracy that only America can solve by murdering civilians? Is it not moralism that drives mass incarceration, as a barbaric abuse of human beings mostly without a trial becomes the evidence of a civilized society?

        In a land of freedom what really drives America is the ability to restrict the freedom of others. This wholly negative conception of freedom indeed drives America’s adoration of the rich and famous where people are admired for putting their boots on the neck of others. For America, this is what freedom looks like and we do not question this definition but hope that somehow we could achieve it ourselves even as the odds become more stacked against us.

      • Opinion | What It’s Like to Live In a Country With Restricted Abortion Rights
      • Democrats Are Running Out of Time to Pass Voting Rights Legislation
      • ‘S.O.S.!’: Groups in Red States Nationwide Plead With Democrats to Pass Voting Rights Bill

        A coalition of more than 75 progressive advocacy groups based in Republican-led states sent a letter Wednesday imploring Democrats in the U.S. Senate to “do whatever it takes” to quickly pass the Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise bill that would help counter the GOP’s nationwide assault on the franchise.

        “In many of our states, our ability to participate in our democracy is under attack by Republican-led legislatures and Republican governors,” reads the new letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “These legislators went to work almost immediately after the 2020 election to pass extreme voter suppression laws, and many are now in the midst of drawing highly gerrymandered congressional maps to undermine the political power of hundreds of thousands of people who live in our respective states.”

      • ‘They Are Taking Aim at Our Fundamental American Right to Protest’

        The December 3, 2021, episode of CounterSpin included an archival interview with the ACLU’s Vera Eidelman about anti-protest laws. Janine Jackson originally interviewed Eidelman for the July 2, 2021, show. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Opinion | Indian Farmers Score Major Victory After Year-Long Strike

        India’s farmers have mobilized to create one of the world’s most vibrant protests in history, camping on the outskirts of New Delhi for an entire year.

      • Striking Columbia Student Workers Demand Living Wage as School’s Endowment Grows to $14 Billion

        In the largest strike happening right now in the United States, 3,000 student workers at New York City’s Columbia University are on their fifth week of strike. Today the student workers are calling on others to help them shut down the university. Striking student worker, Johannah King-Slutzky, accuses Columbia’s administration of an “illegal form of retaliation” for threatening to replace the striking student workers who do not return to work by Friday. On Monday, many Columbia faculty members walked out of their classes in a show of solidarity. “Graduate student labor is the invisible labor of the university,” says Jack Halberstam, professor of gender studies and English at Columbia University. “We’re bankrupting a whole generation in order to provide more profits for the university.”

      • ‘Media Bears a Responsibility’ – Protesters Demand Justice for Survivors amid Maxwell Trial
    • Monopolies

      • Microsoft’s $19.7B Nuance buy hits a snag with EU antitrust probe

        Several months after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) signed off on Microsoft’s plan to acquire the artificial intelligence software developer Nuance Communications, its watchdog counterpart across the pond is taking a closer look at the proposed buyout.

        The European Commission’s competition authority is quizzing the companies’ clients and competitors about their views of the transaction, according to a report from Reuters, which viewed one of the questionnaires compiled in November.

      • Microsoft Office prices going up 20% for some business clients unless they move from monthly to annual subscriptions
      • Social media giants have released their Compliance Reports for the month of September. We’ve analysed them.

        Google (including YouTube), Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Twitter have released their reports in compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 for the month of September. The reports continue to suffer from the same deficiencies – lack of reporting on government requests, use of misleading metrics, and lack of transparency on algorithms used for proactive monitoring. You can read our analysis of the previous reports here. We have also analysed the compliance report of ShareChat and transparency reports of LinkedIn and Snap this time!


        As per its reports (which now has a Meta logo instead!), Facebook and Instagram adopt the metrics of (i) ‘content actioned’ which measures the number of pieces of content (such as posts, photos, videos or comments) that they take action on for going against their standards and guidelines, (ii) proactive rate which refers to the percentage of ‘content actioned’ that they detected proactively before any user reported for the same. This metric is problematic because the proactive rate only gives a percentage of that content on which action was taken, and excludes all content on Facebook (which may otherwise be an area of concern) on which action was not taken. This problem in the metric becomes a glaring concern in light of the documents leaked by Frances Haugen which show that Facebook has boasted of proactive removal of over 90% of identified hate speech in its “transparency reports” when internal records showed that “as little as 3-5% of hate” speech was actually removed. These documents confirm what civil society organizations have been asserting for years, that Facebook has been fueling hate speech around the world because of its failure to moderate content and its use of algorithms to amplify inflammatory content.

        Be that as may, as per the metrics provided, the proactive rate for actioning of content for bullying and harassment still stands at the lowest at 48.7% which has fallen from last month’s 50.9%. This figure is particularly low as compared to 8 other issues (including hate speech and violent content) where the rate is more than 96%. This means that maximum user complaints were received under this category, and that Facebook is consistently failing to curb the menace of bullying and harassment.

      • Patents

        • $25 Billion Pentagon Budget Boost Alone Could Fund Enough Vaccines for the World: Analysis

          The extra $25 billion that the U.S. Congress is moving to pour into the Pentagon’s overflowing coffers is the exact sum researchers say is needed to produce enough coronavirus vaccines to achieve widespread global inoculation and end the pandemic, which is still raging a year after the first vaccine dose was administered.

          “With a $25 billion investment in vaccine production, we could vaccinate the world and end the global pandemic.”

      • Copyrights

        • YouTube Copyright Transparency Report Shows The Absurd Volume Of Copyright Claims It Gets

          Any cursory look at Techdirt for stories involving YouTube and copyright issues will give you a very accurate impression of the state of all things copyright for the platform: it’s a complete shitshow. You will see all kinds of craziness in those posts: white noise getting hit with a copyright claim, labels claiming copyright on songs in the public domain, and all kinds of issues with automated systems like ContentID causing chaos. That really is a sample platter rather than the whole meal, but it’s also worth noting that YouTube knows this is a problem.

Linux.com Has Become Microsoft Spam and Spamnil

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Spamnil is Spamming Linux.com

Screenshot from only minutes ago

Spamnil's channel
Not even 100 views (all combined)

Summary: Go to a site called Linux.com, first word is “MICROSOFT” and it’s just a spamfarm promoting Spamnil’s videos; he wipes what he can off that site, which had taken decades to make (and build reputation for); The Linux Foundation has killed the news site, in spite of having no cash deficit; its priorities are now whitewashing and greenwashing Microsoft (mentioned positively about a dozen times in the new Linux Foundation report), whereas the site has been turned into a sort of spamfarm, used by Microsofters and opportunists to get some views for failing, spammy videos (pure marketing, usually proprietary software)

Links 9/12/2021: Pgpool-II 4.3.0 and European Commission Releases Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Reptilian Power Play | Coder Radio 443

        We peak in on one of the nastiest corporate moves in a while, and Chris has a big confession.

      • FLOSS Weekly 659: Open Source and Amateur Radio – Steve Stroh

        Steve Stroh (N8GNJ) joins Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennett (KG5IAR) for an hour of conversation regarding the world of wireless communication, HAM radio and open source. It’s quite the masterclass as he discusses how HAM radio modeled and still practices openness for the world, packet radio, TNCs, SDRs (and transceivers) WSJT, Helium, LoRa, the ups and downs of crypto, WSPRnet, CHIRP, disaster recovery, making antennas, StarLink, mesh networks and much more.

      • Freespire 8.0 Run Through – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at Freespire 8.0.

      • Freespire 8.0

        Today we are looking at Freespire 8.0. It is based on Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Kernel 5.4, XFCE 4.16, and uses about 900MB – 1.5GB of ram when idling.

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD Linux EDAC Driver Prepares For Zen 4, RDDR5 / LRDDR5 Memory – Phoronix

        AMD’s Linux engineers continue preparing for next-gen EPYC server processors based on Zen 4 and supporting DDR5 memory.

        In addition to recent work like preparing for up to 12 CCDs per socket, temperature monitoring, and other bits, out today is a set of patches for AMD’s EDAC (Error Detection and Correction) driver code for the next-generation Zen 4 server processors.

        The work sent out today includes adding support for RDDR5 and LRDDR5 memory support to the driver (conventional DDR5 support was already mainlined). This is for Registered DDR5 memory support as well as Load-Reduced DDR5 memory support. LRDDR5 support is for the higher memory density servers, similar to LRDIMMs with prior DDR generations.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RADV Working On ETC2 Emulation Support For Newer Radeon GPUs To Satisfy Android – Phoronix

          Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” is implementing emulated support for ETC2 texture compression to use with newer AMD GPUs to improve compatibility with Google’s Android operating system.

          ETC2 is the royalty-free texture compression standard developed by Ericsson that has worked its way into the OpenGL and OpenGL ES specifications. RADV already supports ETC2 with Radeon GPUs having the support, but that is rather limited to the likes of AMD Stoney APUs and Vega/GFX9 graphics processors. Unfortunately, the ETC2 support on the AMD GPU side has been rather spotty and not supported by newer APUs/GPUs.

        • XWayland gets DRM leasing support for helping VR on Linux

          A big improvement has been merged into XWayland called DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) Leasing, which should allow good VR support under Wayland. Something we’ve been waiting on!

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Terminal Based Linux Monitoring Tools

        We are going to explore the 5 best terminal based monitoring tools that you can use on your Linux systems to keep you fully aware of their status.

        Everyone will agree that Linux monitoring tools are required to ensure a healthy Linux infrastructure. Hence, a performance monitoring solution becomes important to observe the health, activities, and capability of your Linux systems.

        Fortunately, there are many Linux monitoring tools available out there. In this article we are going to talk about 5 lightweight terminal-based and free-to-use tools to monitors servers and desktops running Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to – Inkscape – rounded corners
      • Install WPS Office on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster Linux

        The free office suite “WPS Office Free” which was earlier known as Kingsoft Office Free is one of the best free alternatives available for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is not open source like LibreOffice but readily available for Linux systems. Here we learn the commands or steps to install WPS Office on Debian 11 Bullseye.

        The WPS office package supports and opens all documents saved in Microsoft file types such as DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX. Functionally, the three modules offer a professional range of services: from the spell checker, thesaurus and mail merge function via formula editor, WordArt function, and target value search for tables to saving presentations as MPEG videos. The creation of PDFs is also possible with “WPS Office Free”.

      • GNU Linux bash – analyze get detailed info on hardware summary with inxi
      • Understanding the PHP values in the php.ini configuration file

        In this tutorial, we are going to explain what contains the “php.ini” configuration file and what is used for. The PHP ini configuration file is a special file for PHP applications used to control PHP settings what users can or can not do with the website.

        When PHP is installed the server is configured to use the default PHP settings, but sometimes we need to change the behavior of the PHP at runtime and this is when this configuration file comes to in use.

      • Using whois/jwhois on Linux | Network World

        The whois and jwhois commands allow you to retrieve a lot of information on Internet domains–likely a lot more than you might imagine. Here’s how these commands work and how they can be useful.

      • How To Install Siege Benchmarking Tool on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Siege Benchmarking Tool on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Siege is one of the popular HTTP load testings and benchmarking utility tools to measure the performance of web servers under stress. You can perform a stress test using a single URL with a specific number of users or you can put all URLs in files and stress them simultaneously. Siege reports the total number of hits recorded, bytes transferred, response time, concurrency, and return status. Siege supports HTTP/1.0 and 1.1 protocols, the GET and POST directives, cookies, transaction logging, and basic authentication.

        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 Siege open-source regression test and benchmark utility 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.

      • Find out who Edited Files in Linux – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to find out who edited files in Linux. Linux provides user space tools for security auditing called auditd (Audit daemon). auditd keeps track of all the changes happening on the system and generate logs that can be analyzed so as to get an insight into system security posture. This include finding out who edit what files at what specific time.

      • Linux Fu: The Ultimate Dual Boot Laptop? | Hackaday

        I must confess, that I try not to run Windows any more than absolutely necessary. But for many reasons, it is occasionally necessary. In particular, I have had several laptops that are finicky with Linux. I still usually dual boot them, but I often leave Windows on them for one reason or another. I recently bought a new Dell Inspiron and the process of dual booting it turned out to be unusually effective but did bring up a few challenges.

        If you ever wanted a proper dual-booting laptop, you’ll be interested in how this setup works. Sure, you can always repartition the drive, but the laptop has a relatively small drive and is set up very specifically to work with the BIOS diagnostics and recovery so it is always a pain to redo the drive without upsetting the factory tools.

        Since the laptop came with a 512 GB NVMe drive, I wanted to upgrade the drive anyway. So one option would have been to put a bigger drive in and then go the normal route. That was actually my intention, but I wound up going a different way.

    • Games

      • The Dramatic Rise of Esports Worldwide

        The Boiling Steam Matrix Room is full of surprises. Turns out that one of our readers, @Grazen, is in a senior leadership role at an Esports company. Since Esports are growing like crazy these days, it was a great opportunity to ask him for more details about the market and where everything is headed (and if Linux fits anywhere currently).


        Adam: I play all of them, badly, but I keep trying. I would say Overwatch is my favorite to play but tough to master. Overwatch and League of Legends also work well via Lutris in Linux so it makes it easier for me to play as I don’t generally use Windows or OSX. There’s of course a native Linux version of Counter-Strike but I don’t believe it’s as well optimized as the Windows version. Call of Duty isn’t playable on Linux due to the anti-cheat system used.

      • Assistive Tech And Video Games | Hackaday

        The basic premise of the circuit is pretty simple. She DIY’d a few contact switches using conductive plates made of cardboard, duct tape, and aluminum foil. The output of the switch is read by analog input pins on an Arduino Leonardo. When the switches are off, the analog input pins are pulled HIGH using 1 MegaOhm resistors. But when the user hits their head on one of the four conductive pads, the switch is engaged, and the analog input pins are shorted to ground.

      • How to install Grapple! by Barji on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Grapple! by Barji on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • This Extension Reproduces Old Fashioned Desktop Cube in GNOME 40 / 41

          Remember the old fashioned Desktop Cube effect? Almost 10 years ago, Ubuntu user may enable this Compiz effect, so press and hold Ctrl+Alt key and drag the mouse will turn Desktop into a rotatable cube.

        • State persistence for apps and sessions: Endless Orange Week | Philip Withnall

          Those two bullet points hide a lot of complexity, and it’s not surprising that I didn’t get particularly far in this project! It requires coordinated changes in a lot of components: GLib, GTK, gnome-session and applications themselves.

          A lot of these changes have been prototyped or worked on before, by various people, but nothing has yet come together. In fact, gnome-session used to fully support restoring apps to a certain degree — before it was ported away from XSMP, it used to support saving the set of apps when closing a session, and re-starting those apps when starting the session again. It did not support restoring the state of each app, though, just the fact that it was running.

        • GstVA in GStreamer 1.20 – Herostratus’ legacy

          It was a year and half ago when I announced a new VA-API H.264 decoder element in gst-plugins-bad. And it was bundled in GStreamer release 1.18 a couple months later. Since then, we have been working adding more decoders and filters, fixing bugs, and enhancing its design. I wanted to publish this blog post as soon as release 1.20 was announced, but, since the developing window is closed, which means no more new features will be included, I’ll publish it now, to create buzz around the next GStreamer release.

        • Carlos Garnacho: An Eventful Instant

          Traditionally, GNOME Shell has been compressing pointer motion events so its handling is synchronized to the monitor refresh rate, this means applications would typically see approximately 60 events per second (or 144 if you follow the trends).

          This trait inherited from the early days of Clutter was not just a shortcut, handling motion events implies looking up the actor that is beneath the pointer (mainly so we know which actor to send the event to) and that was an expensive enough operation that it made sense to do with the lowest frequency possible. If you are a recurrent reader of this blog you might remember how this area got great improvements in the past.

          But that alone is not enough, motion events can also end up handled in JS land, and it is in the best interest of GNOME Shell (and people complaining about frame loss) that we don’t need to jump into the JavaScript machinery too often in the course of a frame. This again makes sense to keep to a minimum.

        • ‘Video Trimmer’ GTK App Adds Dark Mode, New Encode Option

          Among the changes offered in Video Trimmer 0.7.0 is a new checkbox for “accurate trimming with re-encoding” to the output file selection dialog. Whenever you need a frame-perfect result you may want to make use of this option — though it can sometimes result in lower quality, so YMMV.

          As well as more accurate trimming, the look of the app has been given a once-over. The design of Video Trimmer is said to better match the GNOME Adwaita theme, and the app now sports a dark style/dark mode (and uses this by default, in-keeping with other editing tools).

          Finally, the app makes finding your exports a touch easier. When video trimming is complete the app shows a(n in-app) notification. As of this release that notification gains a “Show in Files” button. This lets you quickly locate the resulting clip.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Meet Calculate Linux 22!

          We are pleased to announce the release of Calculate Linux 22.

          With this new version, you will be able to smoothly update your system after a long period of time. We also ported the Calculate Utilities to Python 3, and set PipeWire as the default sound server.

          Calculate Linux Desktop featuring the KDE (CLD), Cinnamon (CLDC), LXQt (CLDL), Mate (CLDM) or Xfce (CLDX and CLDXS) desktop, Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS) are now available for download.

        • Tails 4.25 launches new graphical backup tool

          We already have between us Tails 4.25, the latest version of “Portable operating system that protects you from surveillance and censorship”, or at least that’s how the project describes itself. For those who are lost, it is a Linux distribution belonging to the Tor Project and a live session aimed at those who seek security and anonymity.

          Tails 4.25 arrives with some important news. The first is the new graphical utility to backup persistent storage to another Tails USB stick, which automates the backup process described in the project documentation and requires using the command line. The tool is quite basic for now, but those responsible hope to improve it in the future. At least it is a step forward in carrying out a process that may be important to the users of this distribution.

          The other important novelty of Tails 4.25 is the adding an entry called “Tails (External Hard Disk)” in the GRUB boot loader. This feature has been added to be able to start the system from an external hard drive or a USB memory that used to return the following error: Unable to find a medium containing a live file system (Cannot find a media that contains a live file system.)

      • Debian Family

        • Install WPS Office on Debian 11 Bullseye or 10 Buster Linux

          The free office suite “WPS Office Free” which was earlier known as Kingsoft Office Free is one of the best free alternatives available for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It is not open source like LibreOffice but readily available for Linux systems. Here we learn the commands or steps to install WPS Office on Debian 11 Bullseye.

          The WPS office package supports and opens all documents saved in Microsoft file types such as DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX. Functionally, the three modules offer a professional range of services: from the spell checker, thesaurus and mail merge function via formula editor, WordArt function, and target value search for tables to saving presentations as MPEG videos. The creation of PDFs is also possible with “WPS Office Free”.

        • How to Install Zend OPcache in Debian and Ubuntu

          This article was earlier written for APC (Alternative PHP Cache), but APC is deprecated and no longer working with PHP 5.4 onwards, now you should use OPcache for better and faster performance as explained in this article…

          OpCache is an advanced caching module based on opcode that works similar to other caching solutions. It significantly improves PHP performance, and your website by extension, by storing your site’s pre-compiled PHP pages in shared memory. This eliminates the need for PHP to constantly load these pages on each request by the server.

        • How to install the latest version of nano text editor – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

          First, install Homebrew from the project’s website. In our chaos, I have opted for Debian for the demo. So, read our post

          How to install Homebrew on Debian 11?

          After the installation has been successful. It is then convenient to uninstall the version of nano that we have on the system.

        • Ana Guerrero Lopez, Aurelien Jarno, EDF, ESA & Debian toxic woman

          Here in the Debian Community News Team, we are disgusted about violence against women. Yet we also want to tell the truth: every time a toxic woman like Ana Guerrero Lopez makes a conspiracy, many innocent women and volunteers suffer.

          Ana thinks she is special. She works for a nuclear company in France. Her husband works for the European Space Agency. Therefore, she can write this horrible defamation and she will never suffer any consequences. Other women will suffer for Ana’s arrogance.

          Ana never created any real software for Debian users. Ana became a Debian Developer by going to DebConf and meeting the men. Ninety-nine percent of the code in a Debian release comes from real developers. People like Ana are imposters, they take our code, they put it into packages and they create these big titles for themselves to hide the developers who did the real work.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The 10 Best Ubuntu-Based Linux Distributions of All Time

          Ubuntu, the Debian-based Linux OS, has been around since 2004; ever since, it has spawned some excellent distributions that are, in turn, based on Ubuntu’s source code.

          These distributions continue to mete out varying degrees of success for serving diverse use cases. The following list of community-maintained Ubuntu distributions is technology’s current creme.

          Without further ado, let’s find out what makes each of these Ubuntu-based distros tick.

        • Zorin OS 16 Lite is a great Linux-based Windows 11 alternative for older PCs

          I’m a big fan of Windows 11, and I highly recommend it. With that said, the operating system has a huge problem — it is incompatible with many older computers. This is by design, as Microsoft purposely blocks some older hardware. While there are ways to bypass the compatibility check, Microsoft can close them at any time, including possibly blocking future updates. It just isn’t worth the hassle, folks. Ultimately, if the Windows 11 installer says your PC is incompatible, you should either stay on Windows 10 while it is supported or switch to Linux.

        • Revisiting default initramfs compression
          Hi all,
          some time ago, the default compressor for initramfs was changed
          from lz4 -9 to zstd -19. This caused significant problems:
          - it is very slow
          - it uses a lot of memory
          The former is a problem for everyone, the latter means that
          zstd just crashes on a Pi Zero.
          This is an analysis of what we have in terms of time spent,
          memory spent, and file size achieved, and where we can
          go from here.
        • Ubuntu Rethinking Its Initramfs Compression Strategy – Phoronix

          While Ubuntu switched from LZ4 to Zstd for compressing its initramfs, they now are finding they were too aggressive in defaulting to Zstd with the highest compression level of 19. Due to speed and memory consumption concerns, they are looking at lowering their Zstd compression level.

          Ubuntu had switched from LZ4 at its maximum compression level of 9 to going with Zstd, which is wonderful, and has a maximum level of 19. But with that highest compression level they have found the initramfs decompression to be too slow and consumes too much memory. In particular, for low-end devices and embedded hardware like the Raspberry Pi Zero with just 512MB of RAM, it just crashes.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • SiFive adds mid-range Essential 6-Series RISC-V cores, including two Linux-ready models

          SiFive announced a “21G3” release of its RISC-V cores, including a new, embedded focused “Essential 6-Series” featuring the Linux-ready, 64-bit U64 and a similar U64-MC designed for quad-core SoCs.

          Leading RISC-V core and SoC vendor SiFive, which last week unveiled a Cortex-A77 like SiFive Performance P650 core for up to 16-core SoCs, has released a 21G3 update to its entire product line. SiFive also announced a new mid-range line of 64-bit and 32-bit Essential 6-Series core IP, including Linux-friendly, 64-bit U64 and U64-MC models.

        • Two 64-bit RISC-V cores debut: StarFive Dubhe and CAS Nanhu

          StarFive has launched its 64-bit RISC-V “Dubhe” core with up to 2GHz @ 12nm performance plus Vector and Hypervisor extensions. Meanwhile, the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced a similarly Linux-friendly, 14nm RISC-V RV64GC “XiangShan Nanhu” core that also clocks to 2GHz.

          Chinese RISC-V chipmaker StarFive, which recently showed off a VisionFive V1 SBC with a StarFive JH7100 SoC with dual Cortex-A55 like SiFive U74 cores, has announced the “delivery” of its own RISC-V core called Dubhe. In other China-related RISC-V news, the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed a line of open source XiangShan RISC-V cores that run Linux, including a new, high performance XiangShan Nanhu design (see farther below).

        • An Easy Music Visualizer With The Arduino Nano | Hackaday

          Flashing LEDs are all well and good, but they’re even better if they can sync up with ambient sounds or music. [mircemk] has built the LUMAZOID visualizer to do just that, relying on some staple maker components to do so.

          The build is open-source, and designed to work with strings of 60, 120, or 180 WS2812B LEDs. An Arduino Nano is charged with running the show, capturing audio via its analog-to-digital converter. A sensitivity pot enables the input level to be set appropriately.

        • 3D Printed Lithographic Moon Lamp | Hackaday

          After years of being a software developer, [Chris] was excited to get back into embedded development and we’re glad he did. His 3D printed lithographic moon lamp combines a number of hacker and maker skills, and is sure to impress.

          3D-printed lithographic moons have gotten pretty popular these days, so he was able to find a suitable model on Thingiverse to start with. Gotta love open-source. Of course, he needed to make a few modifications to fit his end design. Namely, he put a hole at the bottom of the moon, so he could slide the LED and heatsink inside. The 3 watt LED is pretty beefy, so he definitely needed a heat sink to make sure everything stayed cool.

        • Simple Design Elevates This Mechanical Dot Matrix Display | Hackaday

          Don’t get us wrong — we love unique displays as much as anyone. But sometimes we stumble across one that’s so unique that we lack the basic vocabulary to describe it. Such is the case with this marble-raising dot-matrix alphanumeric display. But it’s pretty cool, so we’ll give it a shot.

          The core — literally — of [Shinsaku Hiura]’s design is a 3D-printed cylinder with a spiral groove in its outside circumference. The cylinder rotates inside a cage with vertical bars; the bars and the grooves are sized to trap 6-mm AirSoft BBs, which are fed into the groove by a port in the stationary base of the display. BBs are fed into the groove at the right position to form characters, which move upwards as the cylinder rotates. Just watch the video below — it explains it far better than words can.

        • PicoVoice offline Voice AI engine gets free tier for up to 3 users – CNX Software

          PicoVoice offline Voice AI engine has now a free tier that allows people to create custom wake words and voice commands easily for up to three users on any hardware including Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards.

          I first learned about PicoVoice about a year ago when the offline voice AI engine was showcased on a Raspberry Pi fitted with ReSpeaker 4-mic array to showcase the company’s Porcupine custom wake word engine, and Rhino Speech-to-Intent engine. The demo would support 9 wake words with Alexa, Bumblebee, Computer, Hey Google, Hey Siri, Jarvis, Picovoice, Porcupine, and Terminator.

        • This Arduino device can detect which language is being spoken using tinyML | Arduino Blog

          Although smartphone users have had the ability to quickly translate spoken words into nearly any modern language for years now, this feat has been quite tough to accomplish on small, memory-constrained microcontrollers. In response to this challenge, Hackster.io user Enzo decided to create a proof-of-concept project that demonstrated how an embedded device can determine the language currently being spoken without the need for an Internet connection.

          This so-called “language detector” is based on an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense, which is connected to a common PCA9685 motor driver that is, in turn, attached to a set of three micro servo motors — all powered by a single 9V battery. Enzo created a dataset by recording three words: “oui” (French), “si” (Italian), and “yes” (English) for around 10 minutes each for a total of 30 minutes of sound files. He also added three minutes of random background noise to help distinguish between the target keywords and non-important words.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • The intriguing implications of SFC v Vizio

            A couple of weeks ago, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) filed suit against television maker Vizio, alleging that Vizio took advantage of open source software without playing by open source rules—a scenario akin to joining in a friendly, come-one, come-all community game of soccer then taking the ball and running away with it.

            The suit alleges that Vizio incorporated software covered by two General Public License agreements into its SmartCast platform for streaming content from services like Apple’s AirPlay and Google’s Chromecast to its TVs, but Vizio didn’t make its source code publicly available. After several years of diplomacy and numerous unsuccessful appeals on the part of SFC to Vizio to provide the source code out of a duty to fair play, the SFC is now asking a California state court to force Vizio to share the source code.

            I encourage you to read the full copy of the complaint, because it’s a great treatise on “why it matters.” In Section D, SFC argues that defending software freedom benefits the public and offers three practical examples. First, developers could add features that protect the user’s privacy and personal data. (Vizio previously paid a $17 million settlement in a 2017 case for collecting consumer data with its Smart TVs without consumer consent.) Second, developers could also improve SmartCast accessibility to accommodate those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or disabled. And third, developers could “maintain and update the operating system should Vizio or its successor ever decide to abandon it or go out of business. In these ways, purchasers of Vizio smart TVs can be confident that their devices would not suffer from software-induced obsolescence, planned or otherwise.

          • Open source year in review: 2021 – TechRepublic

            Vizio lawsuit

            The Software Freedom Conservancy sued Vizio for abusing the GPL by using software like BusyBox, U-Boot, bash, gawk and tar within SmartCast OS. In turn, Vizio failed to release the source code (which puts them in breach of the GPL). Instead of rectifying the situation, Vizio filed a request to have the case removed from the California State Court. To make matters worse, Vizio took this one step further and asked that the California court to agree that consumers not only have no right to ask to be supplied with source code but residents of the state have no right to ask the court to consider the question. In effect, Vizio is saying anyone who purchases their SmartCast OS-powered TVs has no right to the source code or even make a request for the source code to the company or the court. Clearly, Vizio has no idea how open source works.

            Trump’s Truth Social violates open-source license

            Speaking of license violations, Donald Trump’s beta of his rumored Truth Social platform was discovered to violate the AGPLv3 open-source license. Turns out the site used code from the popular open-source Mastodon project and failed to release the code to the public. As soon as the organization was made aware of the violation, the site was taken down. However, users who set up accounts on the site (before it was taken down) were not given access to the code, which is in direct violation of the license, and the Trump organization continues to ignore requests for the source, though it has admitted that it used the code from Mastadon.

      • Programming/Development

        • The European Commission is making its software open source to benefit society

          If you’re wondering what sort of code the EC could offer to the world, it gave two examples. First, there’s its eSignature, a set of free standards, tools, and services that can speed up the creation and verification of electronic signatures that are legally valid inside the EU. Another example is LEOS (Legislation Editing Open Software) which is used to draft legal texts.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #34: Less Is More

          Welcome to the 34th post in the rambunctiously refreshing R recitations, or R4. Today’s post is about architecture.

          Mies defined modernism. When still in Europe, I had been to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin which provides a gorgeous space for the arts. Twenty-five years ago, I worked next to his Toronto-Dominion Center in Toronto. Here in Chicago we have numerous buildings: the Federal Center (the Dirksen, the Kluczynski and the US Post Office rounding out the square in the Loop), multiple buildings on the Illinois Tech (aka IIT) Campus where he taught in the architecture department he created and lead, the (formerly called) IBM Plaza building at the river and more.

          Structure and minimalism, often based on the same core elements of black steel beams and glass, are a landmark of these buildings. One immediately senses that there is nothing left to take away.

        • Rust

          • Launching the 2021 State of Rust Survey | Rust Blog

            It’s that time again! Time for us to take a look at who the Rust community is composed of, how the Rust project is doing, and how we can improve the Rust programming experience. The Rust Community Team is pleased to announce our 2021 State of Rust Survey! Whether or not you use Rust today, we want to know your opinions. Your responses will help the project understand its strengths and weaknesses, and establish development priorities for the future.

  • Leftovers

    • Manufacturers Coupon History: Running Discounts, With Scissors

      In a world where browser extensions basically deliver discounts to e-commerce sites as soon as they’re needed, it can be strange to consider the printed coupon in that context. That dotted-line block of discounts and fine print, a mainstay of newspapers and mailboxes alike, is actually relatively new in the historic sense, representing one of the first modern forms of marketing, but in recent years, the value proposition has shifted because of the rise of e-commerce and the mobile phone. But printed coupons still have their fans, and they remain steady drivers of what’s left of the Sunday newspaper. Today’s Tedium talks coupons, where they came from, and how they evolved into a culture of their own.

    • Complete Hobo Stove Cooking System Could Get You Through The Apocalypse | Hackaday

      Let’s face it, times are hard, and winter is imminent in the northern hemisphere. No matter how much you have to your name, there’s nothing like a cup of hot tea or a warm meal on a cold day. So if you need a snow day activity, consider preparing for whatever may come to pass by building yourself a complete hobo stove system out of empty cans.

    • Science

      • Spacing Out: Telescopes, Politics, And Spacecraft Design | Hackaday

        Perhaps the most highly anticipated space mission of the moment is the James Webb Space Telescope, an infra-red telescope that will be placed in an orbit around the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point from which it will serve as the successor to the now long-in-the-tooth Hubble telescope. After many years of development the craft has been assembled and shipped to French Guiana for a scheduled Ariane 5 launch on the 22nd of December. We can only imagine what must have gone through the minds of the engineers and technicians working on the telescope when an unplanned release of a clamp band securing it to the launch vehicle adapter sent a vibration throughout the craft. Given the fragility of some of its components this could have jeopardised the mission, however after inspection it was found that no damage had occurred and that space-watchers and astronomers alike can breathe easy.

    • Education

      • [Old] I Set Out to Build the Next Library of Alexandria. Now I Wonder: Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?

        These are not small mom-and-pop publishers: a handful of publishers dominate all books sales and distribution including trade books, ebooks, and text books. Right now, these corporate publishers are squeezing libraries in ways that may render it impossible for any library to own digital texts in five years, let alone 25. Soon, librarians will be reduced to customer service reps for a Netflix-like rental catalog of bestsellers. If that comes to pass, you might as well replace your library card with a credit card. That’s what these billion-dollar-publishers are pushing.

        The libraries I grew up with would buy books, preserve them, and lend them for free to their patrons. If my library did not have a particular book, then it would borrow a copy from another library for me. In the shift from print to digital, many commercial publishers are declaring each of these activities illegal: they refuse libraries the right to buy ebooks, preserve ebooks, or lend ebooks. They demand that libraries license ebooks for a limited time or for limited uses at exorbitant prices, and some publishers refuse to license audiobooks or ebooks to libraries at all, making those digital works unavailable to hundreds of millions of library patrons.

      • The Middle East Studies Association’s Shameful Betrayal of Academic Freedom

        Those campus environments help incubate and promote lethal politics and terroristic activity, both on campus and in Palestinian society in general. Nor is Islamic University alone in its role in helping to germinate radical Islam and jihadism. Matthew Levitt, director of the Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy, noted, for instance, that the 11,000-student An-Najah is the largest university in the territories, and “the terrorist recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization of students for which An-Najah is known typically take place via various student groups,” among them the Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc. “Of the thirteen members of An-Najah’s 2004 student council, eight,” Levitt wrote—“including the chairperson—belong to Hamas’s Islamic Bloc.”

      • Machine Learning is the most acquired skill in India on Coursera in 2021

        As per Future of Jobs 2020 by the World Economic Forum, AI and Machine Learning Specialists, Data Analysts and Data Scientists are emerging job roles. Therefore, graduates and professionals are keen to explore the domain and gain specialized skills. ‘Machine Learning’ course by Stanford University is the most popular course on the platform.

      • ‘Cheugy,’ ‘omicron’ among 2021′s most mispronounced words

        The list released Tuesday identifies the words that proved most challenging for newsreaders and people on television to pronounce this year.

        The caption company said it surveyed its members to generate the list, which is now in its sixth year and was commissioned by Babbel, a language-learning platform with headquarters in Berlin and New York.

    • Hardware

      • Made To Spec: The Coming Age Of Prototyping As A Service | Hackaday

        Just over a decade ago, ordering Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) was an expensive (nay, too expensive) ordeal for the hobbyist. Getting a single board made would cost you several hundred US dollars at the PCB fab house. The issue wasn’t the price per board. It was the up-front manufacturing cost to push the board through the factory. Sadly, PCBs just aren’t made one-at-a-time. They’re consolidated with other copies of the same PCB onto a larger panel to simplify the fixturing process when moving the design from machine to machine in manufacturing.

        But soon after, a small company called OSH Park did something wildly different. Acting as middle-agent, they consolidated different PCBs from various designers onto a shared panel and sent that panel design out for manufacturing instead. The result was that hobbyists could order a single PCB through OSH Park for a fraction of the cost of needing to place a batch order directly. And what was once a professional process became available to the after-hours engineer for a few dollars and a few weeks lead time.

      • Squishy Robot Hardware Does Well Under Pressure | Hackaday

        If your jealousy for Festo robots is festering, fret not! [mikey77] has shown us that, even without giant piggy banks, we can still construct some fantastic soft robotics projects with a 3D printer and a visit to the hardware store. To get started, simply step through the process with this 3D Printed Artificial Muscles: Erector Set project on Instructables.

        In a nutshell, [mikey77] generously offers us a system for designing soft robots built around a base joint mechanism: the Omega Muscle. Fashioned after its namesake, this base unit contains an inflatable membrane that expands with pressure and works in tandem with another Omega Muscle to produce upward and downward angular movement. Each muscle also contains two endpoints to connect to a base, a gripper, or more Omega Muscles. Simply scale them as needed and stack them to produce a custom soft robot limb, or use the existing STLs to make an articulated soft gripper.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • What New Data On Gun Recoveries Can Tell Us About Increased Violence In 2020

        ATF data shows that in 2020, police recovered almost twice as many guns with a short “time-to-crime” — in this case, guns recovered within a year of their purchase — than in 2019. Law enforcement officials generally view a short time-to-crime as an indicator that a firearm was purchased with criminal intent, since a gun with a narrow window between sale and recovery is less likely to have changed hands. Altogether, more than 87,000 such guns were recovered in 2020, almost double the previous high. And almost 68,000 guns were recovered in 2020 with a time-to-crime of less than seven months (meaning they were less likely to have been purchased the prior year).

      • The Right’s Bad-Faith Argument About Bodily Autonomy

        But these claims willfully ignore crucial differences. A pregnant person, of course, has the right to the autonomy of their own body, which includes the choice of whether to carry a pregnancy to term. And while the government should not send shock troops into homes to force needles into people’s arms, no one has the right to carry a deadly disease into public space and possibly infect the bodies of others, at least not when easy and affordable mitigation tools are at hand.

      • Instagram chief gets bipartisan grilling over harm to teens

        Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle grilled Instagram chief Adam Mosseri Wednesday over steps his platform has taken to protect young users.

        The hearing, in front of the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, was Mosseri’s first before Congress and showed rare bipartisan agreement on the harms being caused by social media.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • EndeavorOS, 4MLinux, MX-21, elementary OS, VSCode, Vivaldi … [Ed: “TechStoney” is promoting a Microsoft PASSWORD STEALER and other proprietary software, spyware]


        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Germany’s new government will firmly defend encryption, key Social Democrat says – EURACTIV.com

            According to Jens Zimmermann, the German coalition negotiations had made it “quite clear” that the incoming government of the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the business-friendly liberal FDP would reject “the weakening of encryption, which is being attempted under the guise of the fight against child abuse” by the coalition partners.

            Such regulations, which are already enshrined in the interim solution of the ePrivacy Regulation, for example, “diametrically contradict the character of the coalition agreement” because secure end-to-end encryption is guaranteed there, Zimmermann said.

            Introducing backdoors would undermine this goal of the coalition agreement, he added.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (nss), Fedora (rubygem-rmagick), openSUSE (xen), Red Hat (firefox and nss), SUSE (kernel and xen), and Ubuntu (mailman and nss).

          • Security: This new Firefox feature could stop zero-day flaws in their tracks | ZDNet

            Mozilla has released Firefox 95 and shipped it with its new security sandboxing technology called RLBox for Firefox on Windows, Linux and macOS.

          • Mozilla Releases Security Updates for Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird | CISA

            Mozilla has released security updates to address vulnerabilities in Firefox, Firefox ESR, and Thunderbird. An attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.

            CISA encourages users and administrators to review the Mozilla security advisories for Firefox 95, Firefox ESR 91.4.0, and Thunderbird 91.4.0 and apply the necessary updates.

          • Protect your PHP websites with CrowdSec

            PHP is used by 79% of the websites for which we know the server-side programming language, according to W3Techs’ usage statistics. It is evident that we needed to provide a PHP bouncer to help you secure your websites. This day has finally come.

            CrowdSec bouncers can be set up at various levels of your applicative stack: web server, firewall, CDN), etc. And today, we are looking at one more layer: setting up remediation directly at the application level.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • HAROI: Human Readable Authenticated Relay Operator Identifier

              below is a partial proposal draft for human readable relay operator IDs that are authenticated by directory authorities. If there is any interest in implementing something like this I’ll complete the draft and submit it via gitlab.

            • How to keep some of your Twitter data away from advertisers

              In April 2020, Twitter began sharing more of your information with advertisers. Notice came via a rather weird notification that said “your ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed” — which basically meant that Twitter was now sharing data such as which ads you looked at or interacted with, as well as the tracking identifier for your phone. Previously, you could turn that off — no longer. (Unless you live in the European Union or the UK, where there are extra protections.)

            • Russia Blocks Privacy Service Tor In Latest Move To Control Internet

              Russia’s media regulator has blocked the online anonymity service Tor in what is seen as the latest move by Moscow to bring the Internet in Russia under its control.

              Roskomnadzor announced it had blocked access to the popular service on December 8, cutting off users’ ability to thwart government surveillance by cloaking IP addresses.

            • Russia Blocks TorProject.org and Begins Blocking of Wider Tor Network

              On the orders of Russian authorities, ISPs in Russia have blocked TorProject.org, the main domain of the privacy-focused anti-censorship tool Tor. The move comes hot on the heels of moves to block access to the wider Tor network following allegations that the service helps people to access previously blocked sites and facilitates crime, including access to the dark web.

            • Instagram head says it’s bringing back the chronological feed

              The company’s algorithmically sorted feed, introduced in 2016, and then updated in 2017 to include recommended posts, is widely disliked by users who prefer to have their posts and their friends’ posts surface in a timely manner. The current feed uses AI to create what Instagram considers a more personalized feed, based on users’ activity. But it has remained generally unpopular among a vast swath of users, despite the company’s assertions otherwise.

              Mosseri appeared before the Senate subcommittee where he was grilled by senators about child safety issues on the app, prompted in part by revelations from whistleblower Frances Haugen, who provided internal documents to The Wall Street Journal that suggested the company was aware its app may be “toxic” for teenagers. “Have some empathy. Take some responsibility,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) chided Mosseri as the hearing wound down.

            • How to create an NFT — and why you may not want to

              NFTs have been a cultural phenomenon throughout 2021, constantly making headlines as celebrities dabble in the space and as shenanigans, scams, and legal fights ensue. With some creators making millions off NFTs, though, it’s understandable why you’d want to try your hand at it or play around with the tech to get a better feel for it.

              We’re going to go over how to create an NFT using two of the most popular marketplaces, but before we get to that point, let’s cover some of the basics of what an NFT is and the decisions you may have to make before deciding to sell one. (If you’re relatively up to speed, you can go to Step 3 to begin the journey of actually creating a token.)

            • Confidentiality

              • uBlock, I exfiltrate: exploiting ad blockers with CSS

                Ad blockers like uBlock Origin are extremely popular, and typically have access to every page a user visits. Behind the scenes, they’re powered by community-provided filter lists – CSS selectors that dictate which elements to block. These lists are not entirely trusted, so they’re constrained to prevent malicious rules from stealing user data.

                In this post, we’ll show you how we were able to bypass these restrictions in uBlock Origin, use a novel CSS-based exploitation technique to extract data from scripts and attributes, and even steal passwords from Microsoft Edge. All vulnerabilities discussed in this post have been reported to uBlock Origin and patched.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • How Bolivian lithium could help fight climate change

        Demand for lithium doubled between 2015 and 2020 to around 360,000 tonnes per year. Benchmark predicts it will soon outstrip supply by some 240,000 tonnes. The lithium market is highly speculative; past predictions of shortages have proven wrong, in part because people were slow to start buying electric cars. But the idea that sooner or later plug-in wheels will go mainstream has led to renewed interest in Bolivia. It has 21m tonnes of reserves, says the US Geological Survey. If it could extract more of its reserves, it would noticeably increase the global supply.

      • Energy

        • With Shell Abandoning the Cambo Project, the North Sea Urgently Needs a Serious Just Transition Plan

          By Dr Daria Shapovalova (School of Law) and Professor Tavis Potts (School of Geosciences), University of Aberdeen 

          News that Shell is pulling out of the proposed Cambo oilfield in the North Sea has been met with delight by the climate movement and concern by the oil and gas sector. The oil giant has said its decision is economically-motivated, but in reality it is a symptom of the public’s growing awareness of the urgent emissions cuts needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

        • New Report Throws Doubt on Overly Optimistic Fracking Forecasts From U.S. Government

          Oil and gas investors are anticipating hefty dividend checks to close out 2021. Following a decade of red ink — capped by a devastating 2020 when oil prices briefly went negative — fracking-focused companies finally made some money this year. High energy prices and a slower pace of drilling allowed North America’s shale firms to harvest a bumper crop of cash through the summer and fall. They’re now returning much of that bounty to investors, rather than just plowing it back into new wells.

          Yet a new analysis from earth scientist David Hughes, writing for the nonprofit Post Carbon Institute, suggests that the industry’s future may not be nearly so bright.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Today’s GOP Would Excommunicate Bob Dole

        When Bob Dole bid for the presidency in 1996, the very conservative Republican from Kansas ran a campaign that proudly announced he “supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965” and “played an instrumental role in extending the Voting Rights Act in 1982.”1

      • Restore the 4th Minnesota: Racking Up Victories in 2021

        The EFF Organizing Team caught up with Chris at RT4MN to hear about how they got organized and won victories this year for their communities.

        What is Restore the Fourth Minnesota?

        How did it come back together in 2019? Was restarting the chapter easier than starting it initially?

      • Google files lawsuit against Russian [crackers] as part of disrupting botnet

        As part of the effort, Google filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday against two Russian nationals, Dmitry Starovikov and Alexander Filippov, and more than a dozen other unnamed individuals for allegedly creating and running the “Glupteba” botnet. Google also worked with industry partners to disrupt infrastructure used by the group which means the individuals behind the botnet currently do not have control over it.

      • Estonian ID cards cannot be used to enter UK from October 1

        People who entered the UK before September 30 with an ID-card may require a passport to leave the country.

        It is possible to apply for a return certificate, which is a temporary single-use travel document for returning from the UK to Estonia.

      • Can a New University Really Fix Academia’s Free Speech Problems?

        To debate the free speech crisis — or lack thereof — on campuses, Jane Coaston brought together Greg Lukianoff, the president and C.E.O. of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and Mark Copelovitch, a professor of political science and public affairs and the director of the Center for European Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They discuss whether the new university can address deep-rooted issues on campus or will just fall into the same “thought bubble” that plagues other institutions.

      • Crumbling Constitution
      • US Should’t Be Invited to Summit for Democracy, Let Alone Be Its Host

        This week, the United States is convening a virtual “Summit for Democracy,” the first of its kind in what the State Department hopes to make an annual event.

      • Biden Shouldn’t Use the Summit for Democracy to Start More Cold Wars

        On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, US President Joe Biden will host a virtual “Summit for Democracy.” The gathering will bring together leaders from 110 countries who work in government, civil society, and the private sector, with the officially declared purpose of developing an agenda to renew democratic government and keep democracy’s ideals strong. (The guest list includes Pakistan, Ukraine, and Brazil.) As authoritarianism grows around the world, including in the United States, the administration says it seeks practical ideas and strong alliances against its spread. This article was produced by Globetrotter in partnership with ACURA. 

      • A One-Sided Narrative: U.S. Press Focuses on “Russian Aggression” While Ignoring U.S. Escalation

        During a virtual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Biden threatened to impose new economic sanctions and other measures if Russia invades Ukraine. The talks were held amid growing tension between the two countries over the expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe and Russia’s deployment of tens of thousands troops along the border of Ukraine. Editorial director and publisher at The Nation Katrina vanden Heuvel says the U.S. has a “one-sided narrative” of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that neglects to acknowledge its own role in escalating tensions. “This [the Russia-Ukraine conflict] is a civil war but it has become a proxy war between the United States, Russia, NATO.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • The political divide in the United States has become irreconcilable, study says

        Politics in the United States have become an increasingly polarized affair for decades, driven largely by the right moving further to the right. Observation of political polarization is not merely anecdotal; studies repeatedly bear this out.

        Now, some researchers say the partisan rift in the United States has become so extreme that the country may be at a point of no return.

        According to a theoretical model’s findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the pandemic failing to unite the country, despite political differences, is a signal that the U.S. is at a disconcerting tipping point.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Library display pairing Bible with explicit books removed

        The display was removed Tuesday; it’s not clear how long it had been in place. In a statement, Fairfax County Public Library Director Jessica Hudson said the “holiday reading display was intended to highlight the freedom to read and the fact that many library patrons have more time during the holidays to do so. It was not the intention of staff to create a display that could be construed as offensive.”

      • More than 600 authors, publishers condemn recent book bans in joint statement

        Wednesday’s statement condemning such acts of censorship was released by the National Coalition Against Censorship but included notable signatories, such as author Judy Bloom, publishing houses Penguin Random House and Scholastic, and the American Library Association, among others.

        “The First Amendment guarantees that no individual, group of individuals, legislator, community member, or even school board member can dictate what public school students are allowed to read based on their own personal beliefs or political viewpoint,” the statement reads. “It is freedom of expression that ensures that we can meet the challenges of a changing world. That freedom is critical for the students who will lead America in the years ahead. We must fight to defend it.”

      • RaymondIbrahim.com Banned as a ‘Pornographic’ Website

        As anyone who has visited my website since its inception 16 years ago knows, raymondibrahim.com focuses almost exclusively on the Islamic question: it looks at doctrinal and historical issues pertaining to Islam, that religion’s interactions with non-Muslims—with a strong focus on Christian minorities who are regularly persecuted by the adherents of the religion of peace—and contemporary Islamic terrorism.

      • Top censor Mutua received Sh3.1m excess salary

        Former Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua may be forced to refund Sh3.1 million in excess salary he was paid on the financial year ending June 2020.

        As of June 30, 2020, KFCB cumulatively paid Sh15.3 million, comprising Sh9.2 million and Sh6.1 million in the financial years 2019-20 and 2018-19, respectively.

        Auditor General Nancy Gathungu has flagged the excess payment as irregular, citing lack of approval by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

      • Knesset advances bill censoring ‘criminal’ social media posts

        Proposed law, allowing courts to remove content that incites violence or ‘endangers mental health,’ is met with pushback from right-wing leaders, who claim it will crimp speech

      • [Old] English schools banned from using anti-capitalist material in teaching

        The guidance reads: “Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Filipino, Russian Journalists to Receive Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

        Two journalists, one from the Philippines and the other from Russia, will receive the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo Friday. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said it was honoring the pair for their efforts to safeguard press freedom.

        The Nobel Peace Prize is the latest accolade for Filipino American journalist Maria Ressa, who has received numerous awards for her fight for press freedom in the Philippines. “There’s a part of me that is happy (to accept the Nobel Peace Prize), yes, but also angry, and hoping for a better future,” Ressa told reporters at the Manila airport Tuesday on her way to the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

      • Nobel laureate Ressa urges journalists to defend their rights

        Her visit to Oslo was long uncertain. Currently on bail pending an appeal against a conviction last year in a cyber libel case, she applied to four courts for permission to travel to Norway for the ceremony.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Free Speech Advocates Contemplate International Human Rights Obligations on Big Tech

        Whereas traditionally, citizens of a democracy can hold their governments accountable for decisions related to transparency of information, it is more difficult to that now with big technology companies being the gatekeepers, according to Barbora Bukoská, Senior Director for Law and Policy of international human rights organization Article 19.

        “On the [Internet], this is being more and more challenged because governments are no longer [the ones] who are in control of the information they hold about people,” said Bukoská. “More and more we see corporations, especially Big Tech, making decisions on a basis which we don’t know about.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Snowball Fights in Art (1400–1946) – The Public Domain Review

          What’s wondrous about browsing the images of snowball fights gathered here is how little changes across centuries and continents.

        • Little Switzerlands: Alpine Kitsch in England – The Public Domain Review

          Far from the treacherous peaks and ravines of Switzerland, Alpine cottages arose, unexpectedly, amid the hillocks and modest streams of 19th-century England. Seán Williams recovers the peculiar fad for “Little Switzerlands”, where the Romantic sublime meets countryside kitsch.

        • Roku settles YouTube dispute and locks down apps in ‘multi-year’ deal

          Roku has reached a deal with Google to continue distributing the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on its platform. The two had been at odds over a contract extension, sparring over what Roku described as onerous demands by Google for more data and more prominent placement on its devices.

          If they hadn’t reached an agreement by tomorrow, Google planned to pull the YouTube app from Roku — a loss for basically everyone involved, but especially Roku users who would have no longer been able to download a key video service.

        • Operation ‘IPTV Special’: 49 Pirate IPTV Resellers Fined €10,000 Each

          Following a 2020 raid in Italy that shut down a pirate IPTV provider, authorities have been making progress towards bringing those involved to justice. More than 70 people face complaints, with 49 resellers of the service now required to pay more than 500,000 euros in fines. Police are also working on a database of 65,000 customers to determine the next course of action.

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:34 am by Needs Sunlight

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