Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • MINISFORUM DeskMini UM700: Mini-PC re-launches with Manjaro Linux, starting at US$499 – NotebookCheck.net News

        MINISFORUM has re-released the EliteMini UM700 as the DeskMini UM700, a mini-PC that it launched in November 2020. Initially, the mini-PC arrived for US$539 running Windows 10 Pro, an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H APU, along with up to 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. Now, MINISFORUM sells the DeskMini UM700 with Manjaro Linux and for cheaper than its Windows sibling.

        Currently, the Linux version of the DeskMini UM700 costs US$499, US$70 less than the cheapest Windows model that MINISFORUM sells. However, it is worth noting that the Linux model starts with 8 GB of RAM, not 16 GB like the Windows version. MINISFORUM sells a comparable 16 GB of RAM SKU too though, US$40 cheaper than the Windows version. Additionally, MINISFORUM offers the DeskMini UM700 with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage for US$569.

      • Lenovo Will Not Enable Microsoft’s Pluton Processor by Default [Ed: Microsoft operative Paul Thurrott downplaying Microsoft’s attacks on Linux]

        Lenovo recently announced that it would be the first hardware maker to ship PCs with Microsoft’s Pluton security chipset. But now it says that it will not enable this functionality by default.

    • Server

      • 5 distributions of Linux to consider for your server in 2022

        Linux servers are everywhere. There’s a good chance a number of your favorite websites are running on infrastructure that’s powered by Linux, not to mention streaming services, social media platforms, gaming networks, the list goes on. The only thing more staggering than the number of Linux servers there are in the wild, is how many distributions you have to choose from. The distros that are available for download are countless, and the purpose of each ranges from general purpose operating systems, to task-oriented tools such as Clonezilla. If you’re just getting started with deploying Linux in your data center, choosing the right distribution can be confusing. If you utilize a cloud provider for your Linux infrastructure, the number of choices is at least somewhat curated, but you still have a choice to make. Which distribution is right for your environment? In this article, we’ll discuss some important concepts to keep in mind – and we’ll go over the finer points of some of the more popular options. There’s no shortage of opinions online regarding desktop distros, but in this article – we’re going to focus on server deployments.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 161

        Why some people use Mint instead of Ubuntu, and your feedback. Plus all sorts of discoveries including programming lights, Ceefax, and a FOSS alternative to Sonos.

      • GNU World Order 444

        The **kde** software series continues with the **Akregator** RSS feed reader.

      • Five Screenshot Applications For Linux – Invidious

        Which screenshot tool do I use? Well, today I will discuss several screenshot programs that I have used on Linux. While they all have some similar functionality, there are small differences that may make one of these apps the right tool for you. ERRATA: When I show the region select with Flameshot, I was using the appimage version of Flameshot. he appimage was messed up, which is why I switched to the standard package, but I forgot to re-record the clip with the region select. Oops. So all of the circles surrounding the rectangle selection should have displayed icons. Those icons let you do things to edit the image.

      • Flatseal: Control Flatpak Permissions With Ease – Invidious

        It’s not often you have to change flatpak permissions but when you do doing so can be a little bit annoying so how about with simplify it with a GUI, and that’s exactly what Flatseal does.

    • Kernel Space

      • Netfilter project: Settlement with Patrick McHardy

        The netfilter project, which works on packet-filtering for the Linux kernel, has announced that it has reached a settlement (English translation) with Patrick McHardy that is “legally binding and it governs any legal enforcement activities” on netfilter programs and libraries as well as the kernel itself. McHardy has been employing questionable practices in doing GPL enforcement in Germany over the last six years or more. The practice has been called “copyright trolling” by some and is part of what led to the creation of The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement.

      • Linux 5.17 Is Bringing Big Improvements For AMD Hardware – Phoronix

        Thanks to hiring more Linux developers and preparing to ramp up for next-generation hardware support, the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel is going to be another exciting step forward for AMD Linux customers.

      • UDP/IPv6 Optimization Patches Pending For ~5% Improvement In CPU Bound Test – Phoronix

        Among the many new features in Linux 5.17 are several notable network optimizations. Optimizing network performance is a never-ending game and already for a future kernel are a new set of UDP/IPv6 optimizations being worked on.

        Developer Pavel Begunkov recently posted a set of Linux kernel networking patches focused on UDP/IPv6 optimizations but some of the patches also benefit TCP. In CPU-bound testing at least, these patches have shown to provide measurable benefit.

      • New ASUS Sensor Driver For Linux Aims For Greater Flexibility & Faster Sensor Reading – Phoronix

        It’s just with the in-development Linux 5.17 kernel that the “asus_wmi_ec_sensors” is making its debut for greatly expanded sensor support for modern ASUS desktop motherboards. However, there is already a new driver that has been in development that ultimately aims to be superior to this still-new driver.

        The “asus_wmi_ec_sensors” driver relies upon the WMI interface (Windows Management Instrumentation) for sensor reading on a wide-range of modern ASUS motherboards. As with most desktop sensor drivers, this code was developed by the community.

    • Applications

      • SimpleX Is a Chat Network That Preserves Metadata Privacy

        SimpleX is an open-source decentralized client-server network that uses disposable nodes to asynchronously pass the messages, providing receiver and sender anonymity.

        Messaging apps make it easy to communicate and connect with people around the world. However, with new ways to communicate and connect via technology, there are also new ways for your privacy and security to be breached.

        SimpleX is one of the most private and secure chat and applications platform that you can find out there. The main difference of SimpleX Chat is that it does not use any form of identity at all for message routing, requiring to establish initial connection either out of band or via some touch points that do not participate in the message routing, so the only way to build connections of SimpleX network is by observing IP packet times.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Observing the difference between kernel configs after make config was executed to see if anything was changed from last kernel config (Gentoo)
      • Confused of Debian versions? Read this. | FOSS Linux

        Debian is one of the most versatile Linux distributions as the functionality and services are unmatched. It is one of the most stable distros of Linux, supported by a large community, open-source and 100% free, supports several computer architectures, and is ideal for Desktops and Servers.

        If you have been confused about various releases of Debian versions over the years and want to clarify how and when different versions were released, then you have come to the right place. This article will explain the release pattern and the order of release of the major Debian versions.

      • How to install and configure MongoDB on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        MongoDB is a well-known open-source NoSQL document-oriented database written in C++. It is a schema-less DB making it easier to add new fields. In MongoDB, files can vary from doc to doc since the stored data is flexible and is presented in JSON-like docs. Besides, MongoDB does not need a predefined schema, and their data structures can be altered over time. Data recovery in Mongo DB is instant and reliable since it is a distributed system.

        This article guide is tailored to illustrate step-by-step how to install MongoDB on Ubuntu. as you might already know, Ubuntu is one of the widely known robust Linux-based OS. It is open-source. Hence, you can try it out without fear of incurring additional costs. Before diving into the installation process, please ensure you have all the prerequisites mentioned herein:

      • How to Fix Error 404 Not Found on WordPress | RoseHosting

        When visiting a website, we might ever see an Error 404 Page Not Found message in the web browser. The issue is usually on the webserver, on the server level, or on the application level. Like any other HTTP status code, for example, error 502 on WordPress, an Error 404 page not found message is fairly easy to fix.

      • How a Hypercore P2P innovation could bring more privacy to IPFS

        The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), like many other peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks, has a privacy problem. IPFS clients constantly broadcast what they want to download and what is available for upload. Anyone that can observe your network traffic, like an internet service provider (ISP) or other snoops, can see what you’re sharing.

        IPFS clients exchange data over encrypted connections. That’s currently a meaningless privacy precaution when it’s so trivial to determine what’s being transferred. This is a fundamental problem with how IPFS is implemented.

      • Here’s how to update a tar file from the Linux file manager – TechRepublic
      • How to Install Apache Solr on Rocky Linux

        Apache Solr or Solr is a free and open-source search platform based on the Apache Lucene library. Solr is stands for Searching On Lucene with Replication, it is an enterprise-grade search platform written in Java.

        Solr is a highly scalable and reliable search platform with fault-tolerant and distributed indexing. Also, it comes with replication and automated failover and recovery.

        In most cases, Solr is used to build enterprise-grade applications that deliver high performance. Solr is used by some internet large sites like Adobe, Bloomberg, AT&T, Magento, Netflix, Instagram, etc.

        In this guide, you will learn how to install Apache Solr on the Rocky Linux system, enable Solr basic authentication, set up max open files limit and max processes limit for Solr deployment, and how to create the first Solr core from the command line.

      • How to Install Adminer on CentOS – Linux Stans

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install Adminer on CentOS. This tutorial will work for any CentOS version, including CentOS 7 and CentOS 8, as well as Rocky Linux and Alma Linux.

        Adminer is a database management editor in a single PHP file. A great alternative to phpMyAdmin. You can use Adminer with MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL, Oracle, Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and others.

      • How to Create Fillable PDF Forms on Linux with ONLYOFFICE

        PDF (Portable Document Format) was invented many years ago by Adobe. It is currently the most popular format for sharing information due to its ease of use, security, reliability, and compatibility with all devices we use on a daily basis.

        This format ensures that a file does not alter its original structure under no circumstances when we open it on, for example, computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Moreover, PDF makes it possible to add fields that other users can fill out with the required information.

      • How to Install PHP on CentOS – Linux Stans

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install PHP on CentOS. Beginner-friendly, step-by-step instructions on how to install different versions of PHP on different versions of CentOS.

      • How to Install OpenStackClient in Rocky Linux | AlmaLinux 8 – Linux Shout

        OpenStack Client (aka OSC) is an open-source tool developed by the OpenStack community to provide a set of command-line tools. That will help the users to manage various elements of OpenStack such as Computing, Identity, Image, Object Storage, and Block Storage APIs together in a single shell with a uniform command structure.

        This program is written in python, hence we need it and its package manager PIP already installed on our system. Hence, let’s quickly see the commands required to install OpenStackClient on Rocky Linux or Almalinux 8.

      • How to Install MongoDB in CentOS 8 – Unix / Linux the admins Tutorials

        MongoDB is a source-available cross-platform document-oriented database program. Classified as a NoSQL database program, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas. MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc. and licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL).

        MongoDB is a popular document-based and general-purpose NoSQL database engine that stores data in JSON format.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install MongoDB on CentOS 8.

      • How to Take a Scrolling Screenshot on Any Android Device

        You probably take screenshots all the time, but what if you need to send a screenshot of an entire web page that is beyond your mobile’s screen size? Instead of bombarding your friends with multiple screenshots, you can take and send a scrolling screenshot on Android, which is one long screenshot that covers an area that you have to scroll through to see in full. Doing this is not as hard as you think, especially now that you can do it natively on Android 12. Follow this guide to learn how to take a scrolling screenshot on any Android device.

      • How to Set Up External Drives in the Chromebook Linux Environment

        You may access external drives from the Files app on your Chromebook, but if you want to access them in the Linux environment, also known as Crostini, you may look in a directory like /media, and they aren’t there. What gives?

        It’s easy to set up any external optical, USB, or SD media for command-line access on your Chromebook. Here’s how to do it.

      • How to Install an Optimized WordPress Stack with SlickStack

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install a fast, secure, and optimized WordPress stack on an Ubuntu server with SlickStack. The tool is easy to use and beginner-friendly.

        SlickStack is a great alternative to Centmin Mod and EasyEngine.

      • How to Install Portainer CE in standalone Docker on Linux

        Portainer Community Edition is a lightweight service delivery platform for containerized applications that can be used to manage Docker, Swarm, Kubernetes and ACI environments. It is designed to be as simple to deploy as it is to use. The application allows you to manage all your orchestrator resources (containers, images, volumes, networks and more) through a ‘smart’ GUI and/or an extensive API.

        Portainer consists of a single container that can run on any cluster. It can be deployed as a Linux container or a Windows native container. It works seamlessly in the cloud, on prem and at the edge to give you a consolidated view of all your containers.

        Portainer consists of two elements: the Portainer Server and the Portainer Agent. Both run as lightweight containers on your existing containerized infrastructure. The Portainer Agent should be deployed to each node in your cluster and configured to report back to the Portainer Server container.

      • How to set up a Private Ethereum Blockchain (Proof of Authority) with Go Ethereum – Part 1 | HackerNoon

        This article will go through the steps necessary to set up a Private Ethereum Blockchain using Go Ethereum (Geth) – the official Go implementation of the Ethereum protocol. This is useful when developers do not want to rely on the public testnets such as Rinkeby, Ropsten, Goerli.

        The private blockchain will be deployed on the cloud Ubuntu server (AWS). We will also integrate with Metamask by creating a custom RPC URL, and look at some important web3 JSON RPCs. The Metamask integration and RPCs will be covered in Part 2 of this article.

      • How to install mlocate on CentOS8

        locate command is one of the best tools for quickly finding files by filename. The locate command reads one or more databases prepared by updatedb and writes file names matching at least one of the patterns to standard output, one per line.Pre-Flight Check

      • How to install Olive video editor on Zorin OS 16 – Invidious
      • How to install Albion Online on a Chromebook in 2022

        Today we are looking at how to install Albion Online 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.

      • 1 Nagios xi server container Fast and Easy

        Provides monitoring of all mission-critical infrastructure components, including applications, services, operating systems, network protocols, systems metrics, and network infrastructure. In addition, hundreds of third-party addons provide for monitoring of virtually all in-house applications, services, and procedures. Provides a central view of your entire IT operations network and business processes.

        Nagios Xi has powerful dashboards that provide at-a-glance access to robust monitoring information and third-party data. Statements provide users with quick access to the information they find most useful. Automated, integrated trending, and capacity planning graphs allow organizations to plan for infrastructure upgrades before outdated systems catch them by surprise.

        Alerts are sent to IT staff, business stakeholders, and end-users via email or mobile text messages, providing them with outage details to start resolving issues immediately.

      • Quick Install Your Webserver With OpenLiteSpeed

        Welcome Back! Today we will see how to configure your webserver with OpenLiteSpeed. Without putting any extra costs on hardware or infrastructure, OLS servers can perform in a real-time production environment. The server is 100% open-source and compatible with WordPress.

        Both enterprise and community server editions of the webserver are developed by the same team and come with similar features. We can describe the server as a “Secure, Scalable, Optimized and reliable server with good speed”.

      • Hosting my static sites with nginx

        Originally I thought that running my own servers would require a lot of maintenance and be a huge pain, but I was chatting with Wesley about what kind of maintainance their servers require, and they convinced me that it might not be that bad.

        So I decided to try out moving all my static sites to a $5/month server to see what it was like.

        Everything in here is pretty standard but I wanted to write down what I did anyway because there are a surprising number of decisions and I like to see what choices other people make.

      • How To Install Wireshark on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Wireshark on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Wireshark is a free and open source software (FOSS) allows users to easily capture and analyze packets. In real scenarios Wireshark was useful to detect anomalies in network traffic. Wireshark can be also used to sniff traffic. Wireshark is a cross-platform software that is available for various Linux/UNIX distributions, Mac-OS, Solaris, BSD & Windows, etc.

        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 Wireshark network protocol analyzer on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How to Install Python 3.10 (or 3.11) on CentOS – Linux Stans

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install Python (the latest version) on CentOS with step-by-step instructions. This tutorial includes instructions for Python 3.10 and Python 3.11 on CentOS 7 and CentOS 8.

      • How to Route Traffic to Docker Containers With Traefik Reverse Proxy – CloudSavvy IT

        Traefik is a leading reverse proxy and load balancer for cloud-native operations and containerized workloads. It functions as an edge router that publishes your services to the internet.

        Traefik routes requests to your containers by matching request attributes such as the domain, URL, and port. The proxy incorporates automatic service discovery so you can add new containers in real-time, without restarting the Traefik service.

        In this guide, we’ll put together a simple Traefik v2 deployment that will publish multiple Docker containers. This lets you use one Docker installation to provide several services over the same port, such as a web application, API, and administration panel.

      • How to convert Centos 8 Linux to Alma Linux 8

        CentOS Linux 8 was discontinued at the end of 2021. Check out more information about that in this in this article CentOS Linux 8 will end in 2021 and shifts focus to CentOS Stream.

        The team at CentOS decided to shift focus to CentOS stream, an upstream version of RHEL. CentOS stream places itself between Fedora Linux and RHEL. It is not 100% RHEL clone but ahead of RHEL development. Other distros that are 100% compatible with RHEL 8 have come up including Rocky Linux and Alma Linux.

        In this guide, we will learn how to convert an existing CentOS 8 distribution into Alma Linux without reinstalling a new operating system. The Alma Linux team provides an automated script for this purpose. An in-place upgrade does not require formatting of hard disk and due to that fact all settings, programs, and files on your current CentOS 8 system will be preserved.

      • LFCS – Creating LDAP on Ubuntu | Linux.org

        I hope you have looked over the previous article to set up OpenLDAP on CentOS 7 system found here. This will build on that article somewhat.

        We are going to install and configure OpenLDAP on Ubuntu and create an initial database. I did not do some things done here in the previous article, so you may learn something useful here for CentOS or Ubuntu.

      • Easy pairing and shell session sharing with tmate – Invidious

        tmate allows you to share your shell sessions with friends! It gives you a local tmux session that someone can connect to from anywhere, which makes pairing and troubleshooting easy.

      • How to install PrestaShop on Ubuntu/Debian

        PrestaShop is an e-commerce solution which allows you to create a beautiful online shop easily. It provides an efficient solution and let users create an e-commerce platform to sell their inventory or products. It provides many solution like inventory management, shipping tracking, support for multiple payment gateways, ,auto invoicing etc.

      • Why choose Rocket.Chat for your open source chat tool | Opensource.com

        Created in 2015, Rocket.Chat is a fully open source and customizable communications platform designed for communities and organizations with high standards for data protection. Rocket.Chat enables communication through federation, and over 12 million people are using it for team chat, customer service, secure file sharing, and much more. Rocket.Chat is in many ways the world’s most comprehensive open source communications platform.

      • How to install Minikube on Rocky Linux – NextGenTips

        In his tutorial, we are going to learn how to install Minikube on Rocky Linux. I am going to use Docker as a containerization platform. You can either VirtualBox, Podman, KVM, etc.

        Minikube is a tool that makes it easy to run Kubernetes locally. Minikube runs a single-node Kubernetes cluster inside a VM on your local machine. Kubernetes quickly set up a local Kubernetes cluster on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

        It is always advisable before diving into Kubernetes, you will need a minimal Kubernetes setup. Such a setup should spin up fast and integrate well with other tools.

      • How To Install Cloudron With Ubuntu 20.04 Server

        Welcome again! Today we will see how to install Cloudron with Ubuntu 20.04 Server (Headless). This turn-key solution lets you run apps such as WordPress, Rocket.Chat, GitLab, OpenVPN, and many more. App deployment services provided by this server include provisioning databases, automated DNS setup, certificate management, centralized user management, and periodic backups. The out of the box hosting server is an ideal solution for modern days application deployment and management. Applications like WordPress, rocket chat, and the next cloud can be installed quickly. Here, in our example, we will be using Ubuntu headless server for better performance. Let’s go through the features first.

      • How to install ExpressJS on Debian 11?

        In this post, you will learn how to install ExpressJS on Debian 11.

        Hello, developer friends and all. If you are just starting in front end development it is convenient some tutorials that may seem easy but at the beginning to a novice is complicated.

      • How to Install Python on Ubuntu – Linux Stans

        In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to install the latest version of Python on Ubuntu. Step-by-step, beginner-friendly instructions.

      • 3 Best SSH GUI Client Tools for Linux distros – Linux Shout

        If you are using a Linux Desktop such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, CentOS, RedHat… and want to access SSH using a GUI client then here are some best ones to try.

        The Secure Shell (SSH) is a protocol that allows programs (clients) to access a remote computer and execute commands or actions on it. This is very common in PCs and servers running Linux or any other Unix-like operating system and is the preferred choice for many administrators for remotely configuring and maintaining a computer. Due to its high functionality and efficiency, SSH has established itself as one of the most popular tools for accessing a computer over the network. In addition, the majority of Internet Service Providers (ISP) offer their customers web hosting with SSH to provide an easy and flexible way to access their files. Well, operating ssh is pretty easy, however, the remote server or pc must have an active SSH server such as OpenSSH, then only we can access them remotely using any SSH client.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.9.4 Enables Performance Optimizations and DLSS Support for God of War

        Coming less than two weeks after DXVK 1.9.3, the DXVK 1.9.4 release is here to enable performance optimizations and DLSS support for the God of War video game, which needs the Proton Experimental branch of Valve’s compatibility tool for Steam Play based on Wine.

        To improve both accuracy and GPU-bound performance, DXVK 1.9.4 also enables strict D3D9 float emulation by default on future versions of of the Radeon Vulkan (RADV) graphics driver. Moreover, this release improves memory allocation behavior to further reduce memory usage in games that create multiple processes or D3D devices.

      • DXVK 1.9.4 Released With Better Support For God Of War – Phoronix

        DXVK 1.9.4 is now available for this Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan API implementation used by Valve’s Steam Play (Proton) and other software.

    • Games

      • GOG have a big New Year Sale now live with tons of good deals | GamingOnLinux

        Looking for something to keep you warm during these cold weeks? GOG.com might have the answer with their New Year Sale.

        It starts off with a Flash Deal on the epic Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition that has 85% off and there will be new Flash Deals every couple days. No giveaways this time though it seems.

      • Linux game development on Ubuntu: Godot and Unity | Ubuntu

        A new year, a new instalment of our gaming on Ubuntu blog series! This month we’re covering Linux game development tools on Ubuntu Desktop, something that may be particularly useful for anyone taking part in the upcoming Global Game Jam.

      • Godot Engine – Major milestone ready for testing: Godot 4.0 alpha 1 is out!

        The new year is often the time for new beginnings, and 2022 is on schedule to mark a new chapter in Godot’s history. Slowly but surely we are getting to the release of the new major version of the engine — Godot 4.0. But to get there, we first need to test the new version rigorously, and like many times before we are looking to our amazing community to help with the efforts.

        This marks the start of the alpha development phase, and we invite everyone to start experimenting with upcoming preview versions of the engine. Be aware that during the alpha stage the engine is still not feature-complete or stable. There will likely be breaking changes between this release and the first beta release. Only the beta will mark the so-called “feature freeze”.

        As such, we do not recommend porting existing projects to this and other upcoming alpha releases unless you are prepared to do it again to fix future incompatibilities. However, if you can port some existing projects and demos to the new version, that may provide a lot of useful information about critical issues still left to fix. There will be frequent alpha releases and the engine will gradually become more stable along the way, as our contributors fix the issues reported by alpha testers.

      • Godot Engine 4.0 Alpha 1 is out with Vulkan support, rendering overhaul | GamingOnLinux

        Free and open source game dev tech Godot Engine is jumping up a few levels today with the absolutely massive release of Godot Engine 4.0 Alpha 1. This is going to change the game in huge ways.

        This version has been in development for multiple years, with an aim to bring Godot closer to the graphical power and standards being set by the bigger lot (Unity / Unreal etc). All work being done has been in addition to the usual updates to the 3.x branch that is still ongoing too. Godot 4 though brings with it massive changes to the very core of Godot.

      • Godot 4.0 Alpha 1 Released With Vulkan Renderer & Other Shiny Features – Phoronix

        The first alpha release of the huge Godot 4.0 is now available! Godot 4.0 has been shaping up to be a massive update for this open-source game engine.

        In development for over two years, Godot 4.0 brings Vulkan API support, many improvements to its graphical rendering system, OpenGL improvements, new physics capabilities, GDScript scripting enhancements, better audio support, many multi-player improvements, and a hell of a lot more.

      • Lutris game manager adds support for Origin integration | GamingOnLinux

        The free and open source game manager Lutris continues expanding the stores it supports installing games from, with Origin now being added into the mix. Currently Lutris supports installing games (both native Linux builds and Windows games with Wine) for Humble Bundle, GOG, Steam, Epic Games and Emulators so adding Origin sounds like a good idea.

      • Valve sponsors more work to improve Linux graphics drivers | GamingOnLinux

        More improvements will be coming to Linux graphics drivers, as Valve have sponsored work towards continuous integration (CI) testing. Focused on AMD GPUs of course, since that is what the Steam Deck will be using so it’s good news for both the Linux desktop and Valve’s upcoming handheld.

      • LTT says Linux isn’t good for online gaming… but what IS it good for? – Invidious

        I’m still not over the LTT Daily Driver Challenge. There’s a lot we can still learn from that series. So here we are. Talking about it. I would love to know what you guys think Linux is good for! Lemme know in the comments.

      • Them’s Fightin’ Herds developer Mane6 acquired by Maximum Games | GamingOnLinux

        The team at Mane6 will now be part of Maximum Games, as the official announcement from the Them’s Fightin’ Herds developer has confirmed. Maximum Games own Modus, a “full-service publishing label focused on bringing AAA publishing services to the best independent developers around the world”.

        Sounds like it will be good news for players though, as it will give Mane6 more resources to grow their team and improve the game as a whole. There’s some big plans to expand the game too including new characters, a finished story mode by the end of 2022, translations into other languages, level 3 super moves and plenty more.

      • RetroArch 1.10.0 out with Vulkan fixes, Wayland improvements, GameMode support | GamingOnLinux

        The RetroArch frontend application for emulators, game engines and media players has a new release up and there’s plenty of great sounding improvements for Linux users. This should make it play even better with the Steam Deck!

        Netplay was a particular focus for RetroArch 1.10.0. Their relay system to help players connect together is now online, along with some improvements like adding custom relay server support. uPnP support also had a “complete overhaul”.

      • The 2012 strategy game Oil Rush from Unigine is now free | GamingOnLinux

        Released all the way back in 2012, Oil Rush from Unigine is a naval strategy game and they’ve now decided to set it free by removing the price. Back at release, it was probably one of the most graphically demanding games available for Linux at the time, feels like it’s part of our history at this point.

        Why is it free now? Tomorrow, January 25, it’s the tenth anniversary of the release. Writing about it the developers said: “It’s been 10 years since the release of UNIGINE’s first game. We want to pay tribute to the thing that showed the world not only what our product is capable of, but also became an evidence of our team’s abilities. Oil Rush made us acknowledge our potential, opened a lot of doors for us and showed us opportunities that we’ve been taking ever since.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell ‘Extensions Manager’ App Gets a Big Ol’ Update – OMG! Ubuntu!

          Remember that new app for installing GNOME extensions I wrote about earlier this month? Well, it just got its first major update.

          And it adds a ton of much-requested features.

          For those unfamiliar with it, Extension Manager is a desktop app that lets you search, browse, manage, and install GNOME extensions without having to use a web browser. The app is built in GTK4 and libadwaita and is available to install from Flathub.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Windows box won’t boot? SystemRescue 9 may help • The Register

          The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft’s finest.

          It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

          SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn’t loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There’s also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

          Usefully, there’s also a full local copy of the website and all documentation, including a console-mode web browser to read it with.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • They see us Cinnamon Rolling, they’re rating: GeckoLinux incorporates kernel 5.16 with familiar installation experience

          Most distros haven’t got to 5.15 yet, but openSUSE’s downstream project GeckoLinux boasts 5.16 of the Linux kernel and the latest Cinnamon desktop environment.

          Some of the big-name distros have lots of downstream projects. Debian has been around for decades so has umpteen, including Ubuntu, which has dozens of its own, including Linux Mint, which is arguably more popular a desktop than its parent. Some have only a few, such as Fedora. As far as we know, openSUSE has just the one – GeckoLinux.

          The SUSE-sponsored community distro has two main editions, the stable Leap, which has a slow-moving release cycle synched with the commercial SUSE Linux Enterprise; and Tumbleweed, its rolling-release distro, which gets substantial updates pretty much every day. GeckoLinux does its own editions of both: its remix of Leap is called “GeckoLinux Static”, and its remix of Tumbleweed is called “GeckoLinux Rolling”.

          In some ways, GeckoLinux is to openSUSE as Mint is to Ubuntu. They take the upstream distro and change a few things around to give what they feel is a better desktop experience. So, while openSUSE has a unified installation disk image, which lets you pick which desktop you want, GeckoLinux uses a more Ubuntu-like model. Each disk image is a Live image, so you boot right into the desktop, give it a try, and only then install if you like what you see. That means that GeckoLinux offers multiple different disk images, one per desktop. It uses the Calamares cross-distro installation program.

        • Brazilian telecoms giant accelerates innovation with SUSE | SUSE Communities

          “SUSE Rancher makes it easier for our IT staff to manage and scale a large container environment. As a result, we can spend less time on repetitive manual tasks and more time on value-added development.” Marcos Borges, Telco/DC Application Manager, Algar Telecom.

      • Arch Family

        • Am getting the hang of it…. [Ed: archbang-winter-2201-x86_64.iso has been released]

          With a bit of spare time on my hands between decorating and cooking, been slowly setting up dk tiling window manager. Did try lemonbar as a panel but I soon lost interest and went back to tint2, more the fact I am used to it more. One thing I have added is super + a which fires up rofi showing open windows, not only that it tells you which workspace window is on. Was trying out floating windows and just moved them to workspace 10 to test them out only they would not return to full screen. Found it very odd so tried them on 9 and they worked fine. So thought I would take a look at dkrc file and sure enough there is a line that sets windows, gaps and borders on workspace 10.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Budgie Sets its Sights on Gamers

          Ubuntu Budgie is already a well-designed Linux desktop distribution. With a pleasant UI that makes interacting with Linux incredibly simple. But with the upcoming release of 22.04, the developers are adding a new layer of goodness to the platform.

          First and foremost, the new release will include tools to vastly improve the gaming experience. Gamers will find things like MangoHUD (a Vulkan and OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, temperatures, CPU/GPU load, and more), CoreCtrl (allows you to control computer hardware with application profiles), Polychromatic and OpenRGB (RGP lighting management).

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache Weekly News Round-up: week ending 21 January 2022

        We’re wrapping up another great week with the following activities from the Apache community…

      • Programming/Development

        • DIY “Solid State Drive” Puts Four Bytes In Your Pocket | Hackaday

          In a relatively short amount of time, the average capacity of USB flash drives has skyrocketed. It wasn’t so long ago that two and four gigabyte drives were considered to be on the high end, but today you can grab a 512 GB drive for less than $50 USD. In fact they’ve gotten so large that it can feel wasteful using them for some tasks, and we occasionally find ourselves wishing we could find some modern USB drives that didn’t rival the storage capacity of our whole computer.

          That said, this USB-C tetrabyte drive created by [Glen Akins] might be slightly too small for our tastes. No, that’s not a typo. As in the Greek tetra, this drive can hold a massive four bytes at a time. Even better, you don’t need a computer to write to it: the 32 DIP switches let you key in the content on the fly, bit-by-bit.

        • TSDgeos’ blog: Okular: Signing of unsigned signature fields has landed

          Up to today, Okular would kind of error out when opening a PDF file that contains a signature field that was unsigned (think like the old space in paper forms saying “sign here”)

        • LLVM Clang Now Defaulting To The DWARFv5 Debug Format – Phoronix

          Following GCC, the LLVM Clang C/C++ compiler front-end is now defaulting to using the DWARFv5 debugging data format.

          DWARFv5 was published in 2017 and offers faster symbol searching, better debugging for optimized code, improved data compression, improve descriptions for some elements of the code, new language codes, and other improvements over the decade old DWARFv4. The DWARFv5 specification and more details can be found at dwarfstd.org.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: Iterative golfing
          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2022.04 Unsigned Merge

            This week’s good news is that the about 2 months of work of Stefan Seifert to properly support native unsigned integers, was merged. This work, and Daniel Green‘s work on using the mimalloc memory allocation library, however caused some unexpected ecosystem fallout. Instead of reverting all of this work (which would have been a big task in itself), it was decided to move forward by skipping the 2022.01 Rakudo Compiler release: the next release will be 2022.02. Which has an odd symmetry to it!

        • Python

          • Matthieu Caneill: Debsources, python3, and funky file names

            Rumors are running that python2 is not a thing anymore.

            Well, I’m certainly late to the party, but I’m happy to report that sources.debian.org is now running python3.


            While transitioning to python3 and juggling left and right with str, bytes and unicode for internal objects, files, database entries and HTTP content, I stumbled upon a bug that has been there since day 1.

            Quick recap if you’re unfamiliar with this tool: Debsources displays the content of the source packages in the Debian archive. In other words, it’s a bit like GitHub, but for the Debian source code.

            And some pieces of software out there, that ended up in Debian packages, happen to contain files whose names can’t be decoded to UTF-8. Interestingly enough, there’s no such thing as a standard for file names: with a few exceptions that vary by operating system, any sequence of bytes can be a legit file name. And some sequences of bytes are not valid UTF-8.

            Of course those files are rare, and using ASCII characters to name a file is a much more common practice than using bytes in a non-UTF-8 character encoding. But when you deal with almost 100 billion files on which you have no control (those files come from free software projects, and make their way into Debian without any renaming), it happens.

            Now back to the bug: when trying to display such a file through the web interface, it would crash because it can’t convert the file name to UTF-8, which is needed for the HTML representation of the page.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • How To Optimize Your Workspace: Analyze How You Work | Hackaday

        [Jay Carlson] has shared some fantastic guidance on how to optimize one’s home workspace, and you just might want to emulate some of his layout, especially if you routinely juggle multiple projects. He makes the important point that different people have different needs, so one size does not fit all. Optimizing one’s workspace must first take into account what kind(s) of work one does, and many of his tips and tricks are pretty broadly applicable.

      • Silicone Devices: DIY Stretchable Circuits | Hackaday

        Flexible circuits built on polyimide film are now commonplace, you can prototype with them at multiple factories, at a cost that is almost acceptable to your average hacker. Polyimide film is pretty tough for something so thin, but eventually it will tear, and with larger components, bend radii are quite restricted. But what about stretchable circuits, as in circuits you can flex, twist and stretch? Let us introduce silicone devices. A research group from Hasselt University, Belgium, have been prototyping making truly flexible, silicone-based circuit substrates, managing to integrate a wide range of SMT component types with a dual layer interconnect, with vias and external contacts.

        It should be possible to reproduce the process using nothing more special than your average Makerspace CO2 laser cutter, and a couple of special tools that can be easily made — a guide for that is promised — it is purely a matter of gathering a few special materials, and using off-cuts you have lying around for the rest. The interconnect uses Galinstan, which is a low melting point alloy of gallium, indium, and tin. Unfortunately, this material is fairly expensive and cannot be shipped by air due to the gallium content, without specialised handling, at considerable expense. But that aside, other than some acrylic sheets, some vinyl, copper foil and a few sprays, nothing is beyond reach.

      • Domesticating Old Server Hardware In The Age Of Shortages | Hackaday

        Our own [Dave Rowntree] started running into bottlenecks when doing paid work involving simulations of undisclosed kind, and resolved to get a separate computer for that. Looking for budget-friendly high-performance computers is a disappointing task nowadays, thus, it was time for a ten-year-old HP Proliant 380-g6 to come out of Dave’s storage rack. This Proliant server is a piece of impressive hardware designed to run 24/7, with a dual CPU option, eighteen RAM slots, and hardware RAID for HDDs; old enough that replacement and upgrade parts are cheap, but new enough that it’s a suitable workhorse for [Dave]’s needs!

      • Portable Pizza Oven Has Temperature Level Over 900 | Hackaday

        While it’s possible to make pizza from scratch at home right down to the dough itself, it’ll be a struggle to replicate the taste and exquisite mouthfeel without a pizza oven. Pizzas cook best at temperatures well over the 260°C/500°F limit on most household ovens while pizza ovens can typically get much hotter than that. Most of us won’t have the resources to put a commercial grade wood-fired brick oven in our homes, but the next best thing is this portable pizza oven from [Andrew W].

      • Can Robots Give Good Hugs?

        We could all use a hug once in a while. Most people would probably say the shared warmth is nice, and the squishiness of another living, breathing meatbag is pretty comforting. Hugs even have health benefits.

        But maybe you’re new in town and don’t know anyone yet, or you’ve outlived all your friends and family. Or maybe you just don’t look like the kind of person who goes for hugs, and therefore you don’t get enough embraces. Nearly everyone needs and want hugs, whether they’re great, good, or just average.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Atlassian Bitbucket

          Atlassian Corporation Plc is a software company founded in 2002 that develops products for software developers, project managers and other software development teams. It employs over 7,000 people and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

          Atlassian produces a range of proprietary software including software for collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for teams. Atlassian dominates several markets where it still has intense competition.

          Broadly speaking, they offer software in three large buckets: These are software development tools; help desk software, or IT service management; and workflow management software. When you think of Atlassian, think project management and collaboration tools.

          Many of their programs use a number of open source components. And their GitHub repositories hold lots of open source code. But their main range of software is proprietary. This series looks at free and open source alternatives to Atlassian’s products.

        • Obsidian is a Notion Alternative for Hardcore Markdown Users for Creating Knowledge Graph of Notes [Ed: Why does a site that calls itself "It's FOSS" so enthusiastically promote non-FOSS? And not the first time, either]

          Initially, I thought that Obsidian was an open source software. It was only when I was looking for their source code repository (after I finished writing this article) that I realized it is free-to-use application but not FOSS (free and open source software). Which is a shame because it’s a damn good application and hence I continued to feature it here.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation launches Open Source Software Development, Linux, and Git certification [Ed: Paid-for LF spam by SJVN at ZDNet. ‘Obligatory’ articles for sponsors.]

                Want a good-paying programming job? By ZipRecruiter’s count, the average annual pay for an open-source developer in the United States is $123,411. That’s not bad.

                There’s also a lot of demand for Linux and open-source pros. The Linux Foundation and edX, the leading massive open online course (MOOC) provider, reported in their 2021 Open Source Jobs Report that the pair found more demand for top open-source workers than ever.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, golang-1.7, golang-1.8, pillow, qtsvg-opensource-src, util-linux, and wordpress), Fedora (expat, harfbuzz, kernel, qt5-qtsvg, vim, webkit2gtk3, and zabbix), Mageia (glibc, kernel, and kernel-linus), openSUSE (bind, chromium, and zxing-cpp), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (java-11-openjdk and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (java-11-openjdk), SUSE (bind, clamav, zsh, and zxing-cpp), and Ubuntu (aide, dbus, and thunderbird).

          • LogJ4 Security Inquiry – Response Required

            On Friday January 21, 2022 I received this email. I tweeted about it and it took off like crazy.

            The email comes from a fortune-500 multi-billion dollar company that apparently might be using a product that contains my code, or maybe they have customers who do. Who knows?

            My guess is that they do this for some compliance reasons and they “forgot” that their open source components are not automatically provided by “partners” they can just demand this information from.

            I answered the email very briefly and said I will be happy to answer with details as soon as we have a support contract signed.

            I think maybe this serves as a good example of the open source pyramid and users in the upper layers not at all thinking of how the lower layers are maintained. Building a house without a care about the ground the house stands on.

            I believe this email is genuine and my reply was directed to a big-company .com email address domain that did not bounce. In my tweet and here in my blog post I redact the name of the company. I most probably have the right to tell you who they are, but I still prefer to not. (Especially if I manage to land a profitable business contract with them.) I suspect we can find this level of entitlement in many companies.

          • Trend Micro : Analysis and Impact of LockBit Ransomware’s First Linux and VMware ESXi Variant [Ed: Ransomware is predominantly a Windows issue, but there attempts are to shift attention and manipulate perceptions]

            The release of this variant is in line with how modern ransomware groups have been shifting their efforts to target and encrypt Linux hosts such as ESXi servers. An ESXi server typically hosts multiple VMs, which in turn hold important data or services for an organization. The successful encryption by ransomware of ESXi servers could therefore have a large impact on targeted companies. This trend was spearheaded by ransomware families like REvil and DarkSide.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • As Myanmar junta extends control over telcos, surveillance and privacy risks increase – Access Now

              Norway’s Telenor is obligated to mitigate the human rights risks of its sale to local operators before the telco imminently changes hands and passes on the private information of millions of people in Myanmar to a military-linked operator, Shwe Byain Phyu Group.

              “It is clear the military wants control over Telenor’s Myanmar private customer data through proxy ownership,” said Dhevy Sivaprakasam, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. “This decision to sell to an operator who may well sit in the military’s back pocket — made without transparency or accountability — is its latest effort to extend surveillance through domination of the telecom sector. Telenor and all other operators must push back to protect people’s rights to privacy, free expression, and security.”

              On January 21, Reuters reported that the Myanmar military had privately approved the partnership of M1 Group and Shwe Byain Phyu Group, with the latter as majority shareholder in the entity that will be taking over Telenor Myanmar’s operations. This decision was not made public, but is a clear indicator that the Myanmar military is continuing to tighten control of the country’s telecommunications. The risk of surveillance and the abuse of people’s privacy are extreme, and all actors in the telecom sector in Myanmar must urgently act to enforce data protection and privacy safeguards.

            • What your doormat, body odor, or wandering gaze can tell us that we don’t already know. [Ed: Some sorts of surveillance should be considered a crime and their purveyors prosecuted.]

              Regardless of the accuracy of its assessment, FaceCode represents the frontier of biometric applications for the recognition of body features for personal identification. Rather than seeking just to recognize a person’s face, the creators of FaceCode go beyond the superficial markers to develop an AI application that—so they claim—can uncover something of a person’s genetic makeup and map the facial physiognomy of their expressions to their DNA.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Floating Solar Farms Are Taking The World’s Reservoirs By Storm | Hackaday

          Photovoltaic solar panels are wonderful things, capable of capturing mere light and turning it into useful electricity. They’re often installed on residential and commercial rooftops for offsetting energy use at the source.

          However, for grid-scale generation, they’re usually deployed in huge farms on tracts of land in areas that receive plenty of direct sunlight. These requirements can often put solar farms in conflict with farm-farms — the sunlight that is good for solar panels is also good for growing plants, specifically those we grow for food.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Burkina Faso must immediately end its internet shutdown

        The government of Burkina Fast must stop any and all attempts to control expression, communication, and access to information through arbitrary internet shutdowns.

        Yesterday, January 23, authorities made the decision to shut down the internet for the third time within months, targeting mobile internet in the country. The shutdown was implemented amid reports that the country’s president is allegedly being detained by mutinying soldiers, with gunfire allegedly heard last night around the presidential palace and at barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou. The government has denied the arrest of the president and ruled out any coup attempt according to media reports.

        Mobile internet was again disrupted in Burkina Faso on January 10 at approximately 15:30 local time without any explanation from the government or internet service providers operating in the country. Although access was restored the following day, reports indicated that Facebook remained blocked. Last week, the government confirmed that they shut down Facebook for “national security” reasons.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Digital Right to Repair Coalition Letter of Support: SMART

        On behalf of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition (“The Repair Association”), an organization representing over 400 member companies across a variety of industries, I’m writing to ask for your support of consumer choice and right to repair by advancing H.R.3664 – Save Money on Auto Repair Transportation (SMART) Act. The Repair Association is centered around a simple principle: consumers should have the right to repair the products they own. We believe that competition is an essential component of any market, including automotive repairs, and is better for consumers. We are dedicated to fighting against anti-competitive practices that stifle innovation, restrict small businesses, and disadvantage consumers, regardless of industry.

        Right to repair is a growing, consumers-first movement that is expanding as more people recognize that the law should put consumers first. The growing momentum around repair restrictions for electronics and consumer appliances has spurred companies like Microsoft and Apple to commit to taking action to expand their repair offerings. There’s much more work to be done. According to a new national survey from the CAR Coalition, an overwhelming majority (78%) of vehicle-owning voters support the federal right to repair legislation that protects against design patent abuse in the automotive industry, such as the SMART Act, and makes vehicle data more readily available. The Repair Association believes the SMART Act is an essential step forward in answering consumers’ call for stronger right to repair protections in the automotive repair industry and would serve as an example to other industries.

Proprietary Software is Pollution

Posted in Apple, Hardware, Microsoft at 1:00 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Authored by Dr. Andy Farnell

The global pollution
The global pollution crisis has contributing factors

Summary: “My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology,” Dr. Andy Farnell says. “This is my attempt to put into words for “ordinary” people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old.”

Proprietary waste

It remains mostly unnoticed that proprietary (non-free) technology is an indirect but enormous contributor to planetary pollution through e-waste and inefficiency. If you value the environment, stop buying it.

“Most likely you bought a phone, tablet or other gadget that uses proprietary software. Proprietary software cannot be reused.”Electronic waste is wrecking planet Earth. 50 million tons of phones, household appliances, computers and gadgets are disposed of annually. Most of it is illegally shipped to India, China and Africa where it’s shredded and burned by child workers who are poisoned. Large amounts of toxic “forever chemicals”, dioxins, micro-plastics and heavy metals are released into the environment poisoning life all around the planet. (See Dannoritzer 2014 Dannoritzer14)

But we need technology, so what can you do? Well, one cause is that software goes out of date long before physical devices grow old. Most of what we throw away works perfectly. It would last another 10 years. So, this waste and pollution is quite preventable.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle are the three ways we can eliminate waste and protect our environment” according to official US and European policies. Yet when it comes to electronic waste, governments do almost nothing to give force to these common sense ideas. Instead they support, by laws and propaganda, active opposition to ecologically sound practices by corporations.

A massive contributor to e-waste is avoidable obsolescence through non-replaceable software. So called “digital rights management” (DRM) has a direct impact on e-waste because region locking means all kinds of goods from DVDs to phone handsets are rendered useless. DRM chips embedded into everything from game consoles to printer ink cartridges are designed to make sure perfectly usable goods must be destroyed. There are even laws, lobbied for by corporations, which make it illegal to try reusing or recycling electronic devices. This has to stop.

Most likely you bought a phone, tablet or other gadget that uses proprietary software. Proprietary software cannot be reused. It cannot be repaired, shared, or modified. Electronic devices often come locked so that you cannot update obsolete software. Would you buy a disposable car that could not be refuelled? Or imagine buying a flashlight for which you cannot replace the battery. That is literally how Apple iPhones are designed. It is how Microsoft makes computers so that its awful “Windows” operating system cannot be replaced with something better.

Yet cheap new batteries and fuel are metaphorically available to everyone as Free Software. If you have freedom to install fresh software on your own devices we call that Software Freedom. You have “Food Freedom”, because you are allowed to buy food from any shop. Just as you may fill your car from any gas station, people have an inalienable right to put fresh software of their own choosing on their own devices. I call the alternative “Consumer Communism”.

Don’t feed the landfill

To avoid contributing to toxic pollution when purchasing new electronic goods an environmentally conscious buyer will look out for these major problems:

  1. Locked boot-loaders
  2. Digital rights management
  3. “Software as a service” contracts
  4. “Smart” connected devices

Locked boot-loaders mean that you cannot install your own choice of operating system or applications on your gadget. When the supplied software fails due to age or security faults you won’t be able to extend its life. Even if you personally wouldn’t want to service the device it still means that engineers at a recycling centre or thrift shops who refurbish devices cannot salvage them.

Digital rights management (which are really digital restrictions) make it illegal for people to fix broken devices. Like boot-loader locking they can also be used to enforce other kinds of crippling and ‘regioning’. This is what makes your perfectly good devices stop working when you move to another city.

Everyone has heard of the scam where you buy something online, and receive only a picture of it. Increasingly we are sold gadgets that don’t actually come with the necessary software to work, but just a ‘link’. Instead the software resides “in the cloud”. The company then charges you to access it. At a whim they can change the price, or even what the software does. Or they can discontinue that software. You are left with a useless gadget, ‘a brick’ that must be thrown away.

“Software as a service” is increasingly pushed by big corporations like Adobe, Microsoft and Google. You should avoid products whose business model rests on constant internet connection, because this is precarious, wasteful and disruptive.

Software should be secure for its user. However, it is expensive to test and remove bugs. Because that cuts into profit weakly-tested code is shipped prematurely. Increasingly, vendors use false “security updates” to sneak in disabling updates or malware, which is corrosive to trust. We have normalised code as “work in progress” and got people used to unmonitored updates as “fixes”. In fact this is a clever excuse for “always connected” applications that are not under the user’s control.

Secure software can also protect its owner from the vendor. There is an unspoken conflict of interests in all discussions around cyber-security. Big companies ship insecure software not because they are stupid, but because they intend to. They are lazy, tight and dishonest.

So-called “smart” connected devices are very often like this. They are also completely unnecessary. Do you need to have a camera or microphone in your “Smart TV”. No. Is there any advantage for you to do so? No. Do you want your kids exposed to inappropriate advertising forced through these devices? No.

Yet companies subsidise the prices of “Spy TVs” because they can make lots of money selling your personal data. When people learn of this they want to get rid of their Spy TV, especially if they have children who they do not want perverts watching. These rogue products could be fixed by replacing the software to permanently change how they work. But they are designed to be very hard to repair using Free Software. Manufacturers may even have the law in their side to stop you neutralising threats to your own family.

When thinking about computer security it is no longer sufficient to presume a shared value that makes life safer for everyone. We must ask “Security for who?”, “Security from whom or what?”, and “Security to what end?”. The needs of end users, vendors and governments are increasingly at odds. There is no longer any such thing as ‘bare security’.

In particular, vendors and publishers want security from the end user. That’s you! You are not a “trusted” party on your own property. If that sounds insane, that’s because it is. It’s a colossal abuse and bastardisation of every facet of property, agency and freedom established by rule of law in liberal democracies in the last century – and it needs stamping on like the sticky creepy-crawly of cloaked fascism that it is.

By buying proprietary digital products you contribute to this and to literal toxic pollution. Other than childish bragging rights and shallow vanity, what use is an internet connected toaster? Companies have run out of ways to add value to electronic products, so they foist pointless features on buyers. Not only are “smart” features used to spy on you, but also to break products by remote actions. This way you have to buy new ones.

Let’s talk about the priority of sane ecological policy. Reduction is better than reuse, and repair/reuse is better than recycling. We have the options to:

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

Politely refuse

These are choices you need to assert to avoid technological tyranny not unlike that of the petroleum and tobacco industries of the last century. Modern digital technologies have a bullying aspect to them. So I have long argued that there is a fourth R we miss, to refuse.

Most of the companies making phones and computers have lost sight of what is good for all our futures. They only want to make and sell more. But we already have enough, and what we have is good enough.

We have departed from rational, informed and voluntary market choices. Technologies are increasingly forced upon us. The benefits are diminishing returns on increasing social and environmental costs. Not buying new digital goods is a rational move for preserving the environment, our mental wellbeing and personal safety.

Breathless language is all around us in the media telling us how overuse of “ubiquitous” technology is “necessary”, “required”,
“essential”, “inevitable”, and a “new normal”. Recognise it as propaganda and marketing from trillion dollar mega-corporations who make their fortunes from technological waste. False rationales like “efficiency” and “security” increasingly proffered are dishonest.

Technology overuse is making us all less efficient and more insecure. More of it won’t help. We need to build better, simpler, less wasteful and more humane technology. Much of that can be achieved by reprogramming hardware that already exists. For example, the circuits from an iPhone3 can make an amazing solar powered web-server, eliminating the carbon footprint of an energy guzzling data-centre rack. Yet most older iPhones are destroyed because they are not easy to reprogram.

So always remember, the first option you have is to refuse. Don’t be suckered into upgrading to new devices, services or software updates designed to exploit your uncertainty about “being left behind”. Does what you have work well enough? If so it should continue to work well enough. If that changes, it means somebody broke it. If that happens, they ought to pay you compensation and fix what they broke, so that it works as you purchased it. As it is, tech companies act like they sold you a house, then come around a month later and smash all your windows. “Oh sorry” they say, “your house isn’t ‘supported’ any longer, you’ll need to buy a new one”.

A massive difference you can make is to only buy electronic goods that will run Free Software. Free Software enables you to have a police force that will stop these hoodlums trespassing on your property and doing criminal damage. When GNU/Linux software such as Debian or PineOS replaces the wasteful proprietary software on your device it also means old computers and phones can be refurbished for use in schools, or simply kept working longer in businesses. That’s great for the environment. So, for the sake of our planet, please stop contributing to e-waste by buying devices that only run bullying proprietary software.

Life on this planet is dying because of things we do. One of those things involves simple choices about what electronic gadgets we buy. E-waste and its relation to proprietary software is a big factor not just in pollution but energy use. Wrongly calling wanton consumption “growth” or “progress” is dishonest. Does your latest iThing really do anything your last one didn’t?

Many countries are implementing legislation to enforce our “Right to repair”. Support this. Insist on more and stronger rights. This is also a right not to forced to waste energy or create pollution. We urgently need to recognise the role of proprietary software, DRM, so called “trusted computing” not just as choice/freedom issues but as direct attacks on the environment. It is a form of pollution.


This work is licensed under version 4.0 of the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license. Please share amongst your friends or include on your website.


  • [Dannoritzer14] Cosima Dannoritzer, The E-Waste Tragedy, ARTE, Media 3.14 (2014).

Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 10:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists
  2. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement
  3. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud
  4. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IV — Mr. MobileCoin: From Mono to Plagiarism… and to Unprecedented GPL Violations at GitHub (Microsoft)
  5. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part V — Why Nat Friedman is Leaving GitHub
  6. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VI — The Media Has Mischaracterised Nat Friedman’s Departure (Effective Now)
  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VII — Nat Friedman, as GitHub CEO, Had a Plan of Defrauding Microsoft Shareholders
  8. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley’s Long Career Serving Microsoft’s Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub’s GPL Violations Machine)
  9. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him
  10. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part X — Connections to the Mass Surveillance Industry (and the Surveillance State)
  11. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XI — Violence Against Women
  12. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XII — Life of Disorderly Conduct and Lust
  13. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XIII — Nihilistic Death Cults With Substance Abuse and Sick Kinks
  14. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XIV — Gaslighting Victims of Sexual Abuse and Violence
  15. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Cover-Up and Defamation

Video download link | md5sum 9a5736a666f001b15e157ca9c36c52ab
What We Know So Far About GitHub
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)

DUE to the hardware crash of last Monday we weren’t able to publish this part until now (we try to publish one installment each week, typically on Mondays). But that’s OK, as not much new stuff has happened since then. There was a court hearing, but not much more…

Here’s a quick recap: Well more than a week ago we published the arrest record of Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley and the arrest report too had been published. He was a manager at Microsoft GitHub and his scandals may have contributed to the downfall of his best friend, GitHub’s CEO Nat Friedman. I say a little more about it in the video above.

“It might not be a crime if he hijacks the identity of his victim online, but it’s extremely unethical and no judge would tolerate such behaviour.”Based on our research, Mr. Graveley may be impersonating the victim (we have good reasons to believe it's a sockpuppet, an imposter). It might not be a crime if he hijacks the identity of his victim online, but it’s extremely unethical and no judge would tolerate such behaviour.

Meanwhile, Twitter is — or certainly seems to be — silencing the victims [1, 2] and Microsoft gaslighting them. Remember that these companies pretend to be all about tolerance and media claims they’re “woke” or whatnot, relying on their public messaging rather than actual policies and actions.

[Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as ‘Studies’

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Team UPC, Alexander Ramsay, and European politician

António Campinos, Patent trolls; Great for SMEs!

Summary: The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap [1, 2, 3] and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)

Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO and Life

Summary: The “Mafia” which took over the EPO (the EPO’s own workers call it “Mafia”) isn’t getting its way with a proposal, so it’s preventing the states from even voting on it!

TODAY we have some better news to share about the EPO, which participated in the parade of UPC lies a few days ago, in effect promoting illegal agenda (António Campinos keeps showing he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli, he’s just equally good at lying and breaking the law).

“New Ways of Working,” [euphemism warning] according to the Central Staff Committee of the EPO, got “[s]topped by the [Administrative] Council” (wait, what??? The Administrative Council ‘stopped’ something proposed by the Office???).

In the words of the Central Staff Committee: “The guidelines on New Ways of Working (CA/77/21) were originally tabled for opinion on the agenda of the 169th meeting of the Administrative Council (CA/69/21) on 14 December 2021. On the day of the meeting, the document was rescheduled as for information only. The meeting report published on 21 December 2021 by the Office remains silent about the details. In fact, major concerns expressed by Member States, in particular host states and large states, took away the hope of a positive opinion. The topic of the New Normal remains controversial with the potential to drift into a governance crisis and further attacks on staff working conditions. Today, there is no certainty as to whether these issues will be solved in the March or June 2022 Administrative Council meetings, or even later in the future. More than one year after the Willis Towers Watson survey, the New Normal [euphemism warning] topic is now back to square one.”

“Citizens of Europe deserve to know better (than the face-saving whitewash in the EPO’s site) what’s happening in Europe’s second-largest organisation…”Circulated among staff of the EPO was the following publication — a “paper [which] explains in detail what happened in the Council,” according to the Central Staff Committee.

You don’t get to enjoy both immunity and secrecy. Citizens of Europe deserve to know better (than the face-saving whitewash in the EPO’s site) what’s happening in Europe’s second-largest organisation and in light of recent violations of the law on an unprecedented scale (Trojan horse for European software patents and many other bad things) it is imperative that full transparency is moreover imposed, revealing the gory situation of an ill patent office which hopes to hijack and subvert all patent courts across the EU, just as it subverted its own tribunals.

The Central Staff Committee has explained things as follows:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 21-01-2022
sc22001cp – 0.2.1/4.2.2/4.4

New Ways of Working: Stopped by the Council

The guidelines on New Ways of Working (CA/77/21) were originally tabled for opinion on the agenda of the 169th meeting of the Administrative Council (CA/69/21) on 14 December 2021. On the day of the meeting, the document was rescheduled as for information only. The meeting report published on 21 December 2021 by the Office remains silent about the details. In fact, major concerns expressed by Member States, in particular host states and large states, took away the hope of a positive opinion. This paper explains what happened.

Warning signs in Board 28

Board 28 is a sub-group of the Administrative Council. It usually meets a few weeks before the coming meeting of the Administrative Council. According to the minutes of the Board 28 meeting of 19 November 2021 (B28/8/21), there were already warning signs that the guidelines on New Ways of Working remained controversial among the delegations:

“Some members indicated that their internal consultation process was not finalized yet. Some asked for clarification about the future organization of the activities of the Office or the potential impact on the social package benefitting EPO employees” (emphasis added)

From “for opinion” to “for information”

The guidelines on New Ways of Working (CA/77/21) were originally tabled “for opinion”, this means that a vote were to take place and, if positive, the Guidelines could be implemented by the Office.

Shortly before the meeting of the Administrative Council on 14 December 2021, Mr Campinos received various feedback from the delegations showing that the text “New Ways of Working” remained controversial. The document was then rescheduled as for information only. This is rather unusual. In this way, a vote on the document is postponed and no implementation can take place.

During the meeting, the delegations which took the floor against the document were essentially the host states and founding countries of the European Patent Convention:

Major concerns: too generous, governance issues and lack of clear legal basis


As a host state, Germany considered that it should have been involved earlier in the consultation process, as the guidelines have the potential to change the working basis of the Organization. Germany referred to Article 6 EPC which states that the Organization shall be located and have its headquarters in Munich. Germany found that it would be difficult to reconcile Article 6 EPC with the minimum compulsory presence of only 20 days. Indeed, an employee may combine 20 days of work in the Office in Munich with 20 days in Berlin to meet the requirement of 40 days per year in the Office.

Germany pointed out that the rules of the EU Commission required a stronger link to the place of employment. In this respect, Germany asked that the length of the “pilot” should be reduced from three years to one or two years to allow frequent revision. In its view, a period of three years allows staff to change their way of life and bears the risk that EPO employees get used to the new situation irreversibly. In addition, Germany pointed to a lack of a legal basis of the guidelines. Indeed, the Office does not foresee any amendment to the Service Regulations although Article 55a ServRegs still defines that “Permanent employees in active employment shall normally perform their work on the Office’s premises”. Furthermore, Germany asked for an impact assessment on the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI).

Germany considered that the document did not address the concerns raised earlier on the sense of belonging and the quality of the work. In its view, the Office was currently capitalizing during the pandemic on already existing strong teams and staff used to work with each other efficiently. On the other hand, the Office was not taking active measures to integrate new employees. Furthermore, Germany wondered whether all appropriate measures were currently being taken to ensure the confidentiality of unpublished patent applications.

Finally, Germany noted that working conditions of EPO employees could be reduced by shortening the home leave for instance.


France expressed concerns on the reduction of the minimum presence at work and considered that a better balance should be found. It also saw in the proposal decentralization aspects difficult to reconcile with collaboration, the sense of belonging and the development of an international Office culture. France even asked that the Office issues a report on the “New Normal” every six months.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands supported the positions of Germany and France and found the proposed guidelines too generous and difficult to revert: “Granting rights is easier than revoking rights.” It requested further discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador for International Organizations. In its view, the proposal raised many questions on the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (PPI) even after the latest updates provided by Mr Ernst (Vice-President International and Legal Affairs). The Netherlands added that the role of the Office was to provide a consistent service and asked how data protection rules would apply if employees worked from their home country. Without specifically addressing the expatriation allowance, the Netherlands wondered whether the generous compensations and benefits would still make sense with teleworking. Finally, in its view Information Security would be at risk because it would also depend upon the behavior of employees working in other EPC Contracting States.


Denmark stated that teleworking may become irreversible and that the Building Investment Program should be adapted accordingly. In its view, the Office should not have been so generous in granting teleworking at the beginning of the pandemic. The duration of the pilot should be reduced with a yearly revision. Otherwise, it would be difficult for the Office to solve potential problems arising from a lack of consistency in the work and quality. The minimum presence of 40 days in the Office per year was too low and would endanger the sense of belonging. The 60 days of teleworking in another EPC contracting state combined with other leave would amount to almost 6 months outside the country of employment. In this respect, Denmark asked for a revision of the salaries and allowances. Finally, Denmark pointed out the lack of clarity in the limitation or suspension of teleworking (Article 7(4) of the guidelines) and the exceptional circumstances (Article 5(1)) triggering compulsory teleworking.

Other countries

Croatia supported the intervention of Germany, remained very skeptical with respect to IT Security with increased teleworking and wondered why the office was only lately applying for an ISO 27001 certification on information security management. The United Kingdom supported the idea of reducing the period of the “pilot” and asked whether the Building Investment Program would be postponed by another three years. Sweden, Italy and Finland supported United Kingdom’s view. Sweden noted that the concrete proposals made in the guidelines were far-reaching. In its view, the world is fast-changing and a pilot project should therefore be shorter. Italy asked for a benchmark with other International Organizations (European Commission, WIPO, EUIPO). Although supportive of the document, Spain also acknowledged risks in the sense of belonging. Switzerland warned that staff might use German IP addresses not corresponding to their actual location to circumvent the rules. It also saw a risk of unequal treatment among staff in the application of the rules leading to an increase in conflicts at the EPO.


The 169th session of the Administrative Council in December 2021 showed again that the topic of the New Normal remains controversial with the potential to drift into a governance crisis and further attacks on staff working conditions. Today, there is no certainty as to whether these issues will be solved in the March or June 2022 Administrative Council meetings, or even later in the future. More than one year after the Willis Towers Watson survey, the New Normal topic is now back to square one.

The Central Staff Committee

Notice that they describe as “too generous” the working conditions that already deteriorate, along with salaries. So the motivations or the rationale of the sceptics may be exceedingly insincere. Is there a glimmer of hope for oversight? Or does the Council want the Mafia (running the Office) to be even crueler to the staff?

[Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Unified Patent Court is a Fake Common Court and Violates CJEU’s Jurisprudence of the Last 10 Years, Will Explode at launch, Says Professor Jaeger

Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC
Hang on, lads. The VAR is checking.

Summary: Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)

Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: January 23rd, 2022

      This week has been a bit slow in releases, but we did got a few gems, including a major Wine release for your Linux gaming, a new VirtualBox release for your virtualization needs, as well as a new Scribus release for your desktop publishing and page layout needs.

      On the distro side of things, we got a new GeckoLinux ROLLING release for openSUSE Tumbleweed aficionados, a new Deepin Linux release for fans of this beautiful distro, and a new Ubuntu MATE release for the GPD Pocket 3 mini computer. Also, Ubuntu 21.04 reached end of life and EdeavourOS ARM now offers 64-bit installs for the Raspberry Pi 4.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • There’s now an official Ubuntu MATE build for GPD Pocket 3

        The GPD Pocket 3 is a fully-featured modular pocket PC and now you can happily run Linux on it with an officially released build of Ubuntu MATE. Something of a tradition for the MATE team who have produced builds for previous versions of the GPD devices.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Desktop-deprived Linus Torvalds releases first release candidate of ‘not huge’ kernel 5.17 [Ed: Latest clickbait garbage from Simon Sharwood]

        The first release candidate for version 5.17 of the Linux kernel has rolled off the production line – despite fears that working from a laptop might complicate matters.

        Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds is currently on the road and, when announcing the release of Linux 5.16 predicted that the version 5.17 release merge window would be “somewhat painful” due to his travels, and use of a laptop – something Torvalds said “I generally try to avoid.”

        Torvalds’ laptop aversion comes from the fact that he likes to do lots of local testing on his beastly workstation powered by a 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper. Linus’ lappie appears not to match his desktop, so he ends up using more automated build testing in the cloud.

        “And so [i] really hope that everything has been properly cooking in linux-next so that there are no unnecessary issues that pop up when things hit my tree,” he wrote.

      • LVFS Exploring Alternate, Open-Source Firmware For Capable End-Of-Life Devices – Phoronix

        The Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) with Fwupd for firmware updating on Linux could soon be making it easier to transition older, end-of-life devices off official firmware packages and onto the likes of open-source Coreboot for capable aging PC hardware. This not only would make the system run on more free software but would extend the life of the hardware with firmware updates where the vendor has ceased their support.

        Lead LVFS/Fwupd developer Richard Hughes of Red Hat stoked a community question, “Hypothetically, if a legal entity (like the LVFS) started distributing Coreboot firmware security updates for EOL hardware like the ThinkPad X220 (with the vendors blessing) how does that feel? You’d have to explicitly opt-in and it would be clear all OEM warranty is gone.”

    • Applications

      • Scribus 1.5.8 Powerful Desktop Publishing App Brings More Improvements, Qt 6 Porting Begins

        Scribus is powerful program that brings professional page layout to Linux, supporting professional publishing features like color separations, ICC color management, versatile PDF creation, as well as CMYK and spot colors.

        The new release, Scribus 1.5.8, is here with a focus on mostly fixing nasty issues present in previous releases and code optimizations that lead to improved reliability and speed of the software.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Modern public TLS is a quite different thing than it used to be

        If you’re not deeply involved with TLS, it probably seems that the state of public TLS today is much the way it used to be a decade ago, or even five years ago, including things like the fundamental problem with TLS on the web (which is that your browser trusts a ton of Certificate Authorities). This is not actually the case, for at least three reasons. Two of them are logistical changes, while the third is a dramatic change to the security of TLS in practice.

      • How to Create Sudo User on RHEL | Rocky Linux | AlmaLinux

        Sudo user is the regular user in Linux which has admin or root privileges to perform administrative tasks. But, by default all regular users in Linux are not sudo users, root user has to manually assign sudo rights to the user by adding it to wheel group.

        In RHEL distributions like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux, a group with name ‘wheel’ is created during the installation and its entry is already defined in system’s sudoers file.

      • How to Install and Configure NFS on Ubuntu 22.04/20.04

        The concept of NFS (Network File System) empowers a user on a client computer to have read and write privileges on shared file directories on a server computer.

        This over-the-network file-sharing concept is implementable by anyone due to its open-source attribute. Before this article guide teaches us how to implement the NFS protocol, we first need to understand some of the NFS footprints.

        Since it is the server computer that hosts the shareable files, it is also the one that decides the implementable depth of file-sharing permissions and access rights.

        This article guide assumes that you have access to an Ubuntu 20.04/22.04 server and a client computer. It also assumes that you have root or Sudo user access on both operating system environments.

      • Install GNOME Tweaks on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        GNOME is a popular desktop used on many Linux distributions, including Debian. The GNOME Tweaks tool allows users to modify and change the cosmetics in their GNOME desktop environment, which is popular amongst users that are not satisfied entirely with the GUI.

        Some of the things you can do with GNOME Tweaks are edit font colors and scaling, disable animations for desktop speed improvement, change themes, manage GNOME extensions, bar changes, and much more.

        Depending on the installation you choose when installing Debian 11, this may already be installed on your desktop.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install GNOME Tweaks on Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • Getting started with Tkinter for Python tutorial

        Tkinter stands for “Tk interface”: the package with the same name on many Linux distributions provides the Python bindings for the Tcl/Tk GUI toolkit. Although other graphical toolkit can be used from Python, like Qt or GTK, Tkinter is the standard (the Python IDLE editor and development environment is written using this toolkit, for example) and probably the easiest to work with. In this tutorial we see the basic concepts behind the usage of Tkinter and how to create and interact with some of the most used widgets.

      • Download entire website
    • Games

      • Playing Wordle in R

        The logic behind the game is pretty simple, so I thought I’d code up an R version so that those of you who can’t get enough of it can play it on your own! The full code is available here.

      • Valve playing with open-source Radeon Linux GPU drivers for Steam Deck | TweakTown

        Valve is helping out developers with more funding to research open-source Radeon Linux GPU drivers for the Steam Deck handheld, with more testing of Mesa commits + Radeon GPU drivers.

        Charlie Turner, programming consultant for Igalia, created a merge request on FreeDesktop’s Mesa site for more dEQP runners. The agency itself “specializes in the growth of innovative projects and solutions” with the new request asking Valve to help with AMD Radeon GPU Linux drive testing, and since the Steam Deck is powered by an AMD RDNA 2-based GPU it makes sense for Valve to commit more resources to Radeon Linux GPU drivers.

      • Quake II RTX 1.6.0 adds AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) | GamingOnLinux

        Quake II RTX from Lightspeed Studios and NVIDIA just recently gained another big upgrade, this time with some AMD tech thanks to community-provided code. This is possible since it’s open source. Still quite surprising though but goes to show how people just want to make gaming better, regardless of hardware vendor politics.

        With the release of Quake II RTX 1.6.0 it didn’t just bring AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) but upgraded many parts of the game with new features too.

      • Borealis on Chromebook (Steam Gaming): All the Things You Need to Know!

        Gaming on Chromebook is something that no one talks about, and rightly so. However, with the advent of cloud gaming platforms such as Google Stadia and Nvidia GeForce Now, things have gotten a lot better. But now, Google is aiming to bring native desktop-level gaming to Chromebooks, thanks to a project called Borealis. It’s a new Linux container that will host Steam with all the packages, latest drivers, and dependencies for seamless gameplay, just like Windows PCs. So if you want to learn more about Borealis on Chromebook, follow our in-depth explainer on Steam gaming below.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • LXLE Review: A Lightweight Linux Distro for Older Computers

          When you visit the official LXLE official site its mantra – ‘Revive that Old PC’ – is boldly captured. And this is exactly what LXLE aims to do.

          Based on the Ubuntu/Lubuntu LTS release, LXLE is a lightweight Linux distribution that is resource-friendly and ideal for old PCs or systems with low system specifications. In fact, LXLE features prominently among the best Linux distributions for old machines.

          Out of the box, LXLE ships with an optimized LXDE desktop environment, which is a lightweight and minimal desktop environment that is easy on system resources while providing a neat, elegant, and intuitive UI for a smooth experience.

    • Distributions

      • Booting Linux from CD, in 2022

        Ubuntu Oneiric ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso, at 695MB, is the newest 32-bit graphical Ubuntu live image that will fit on a 700MB CD-R.

        If I was doing this again, I’d consider: Puppy Linux, far more up-to-date, supports 32-bit, fits on a CD, can choose to be based off Debian packages.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to IBM SPSS Modeler – LinuxLinks

          International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York. They sell computer hardware, middleware and software employing over 370,000 people.

          IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019. But you can trace IBM’s history of open source far further back. They were one of the earliest champions of open source, backing influential communities like Linux, Apache, and Eclipse, advocating open licenses, open governance, and open standards.

          IBM also collaborates with Linux organisations. For example, IBM works with Ubuntu in areas like containers, virtualization, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, big data analytics and DevOps to provide reference architectures, support solutions and cloud offerings, both for enterprise data centres and cloud service providers.

          The company is involved in many open source projects. For example, they helped to create the Apache Software Foundation, and were also a founder member of the OpenJS Foundation, responsible for the development of the Node.js platform, Appium, Dojo, jQuery and many other products.

        • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to IBM’s Products

          International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York. They sell computer hardware, middleware and software employing over 370,000 people.

          IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019. But you can trace IBM’s history of open source far further back. They were one of the earliest champions of open source, backing influential communities like Linux, Apache, and Eclipse, advocating open licenses, open governance, and open standards.

        • Digital transformation: 3 do’s and 2 don’ts | The Enterprisers Project

          Digital transformation has been the buzzword du jour for the last several years, and for good reason. With benefits from automation, improved workforce management, and better business insights, its value is clear. And whether it was expedited by the sudden need for remote work or building on initiatives already in place, the discussion around digitizing modern business won’t end anytime soon.

          But digital transformation can become problematic when it’s viewed as a fix-all for the enterprise. In fact, when not implemented properly it can cause problems from day-to-day frustrations to costly system errors and downtime.

          So how do businesses take advantage of the gains while avoiding the potential mishaps of digital transformation? Start by taking a hard look at some best practices – the do’s – along with common missteps – the don’ts.

        • IT talent and the Great Resignation: 8 ways to nurture retention

          Experienced IT leaders know that skilled technology professionals are hard to find. And these days, they’re even harder to keep.

          It’s the anticipated Great Resignation writ large in record-high turnover numbers reported by technology organizations and functions. More than a third of respondents to an August 2021 survey conducted by Everest Group had seen their attrition rates increase more than 11 percent over the previous quarter, with the average rise in attrition across respondents coming in at 10.5 percent.

          Technology employees have never had more opportunities than they do right now to advance their skills online, network at virtual events, and work remotely without relocating to tech hubs. They can dip their toes in multiple pools and switch streams relatively easily. And after months of toiling to keep their organizations going amid turbulent times, the urge to seek out calmer (or more rewarding) seas is strong.

        • Git hooks: How to automate actions in your Git repo | Enable Sysadmin

          If you administer a Git server, you know that lots of unexpected tasks come up over the lifecycle of a repository. Contributors commit to the wrong branch, a project manager might want to implement an approval process, developers may need a specific review process, you might call for certain actions to be taken after a successful push. There are lots of little convenience features that Git can provide, but to take advantage of them, you need to learn about Git hooks.

          Git hooks are shell scripts found in the hidden .git/hooks directory of a Git repository. These scripts trigger actions in response to specific events, so they can help you automate your development lifecycle.

          Although you may never have noticed them, every Git repository includes 12 sample scripts. Because they’re shell scripts, they’re extremely flexible, and there are even some Git-specific data you have access to within a Git repository.

        • Create entitled builds for Red Hat subscriptions in OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

          Entitlements add security to deployments in Red Hat services and Red Hat OpenShift. However, entitled builds require extra work. This article details the process step-by-step. We will start with getting the entitlements, certificate authority (CA), and configuration files, and end with a BuildConfig in OpenShift.

          Recently, I was engaged in a project where I had to create a Jenkins Maven agent with Selenium Server and Google Chrome. I realized that to install the Chrome client, I needed several repositories on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS. I followed the official OpenShift documentation and did other research to achieve the deployment. This article shows my process.

        • Travis CI enhancements for IBM Power – IBM Developer

          Travis CI announced build support for the IBM Power architecture (ppc64le) in November 2019. Since then, the IBM Power Open Source Ecosystem Team, in partnership with Travis CI has striven to provide additional support for Power. As a result, we are happy to announce that Power builds now run faster and more reliably on Travis CI.

        • I’m using journalctl’s –since option now to speed up checking logs

          I’ve probably had an ambient awareness of journalctl’s –since option to show the systemd journal since some particular time ever since I read enough of the manpage to find options like ‘-u’ (used to see only logs for a single unit) and ‘-b’ (used to select which system boot you want to start from). But for a long time I didn’t really use it, even when I mentioned it in my entry on ‘-u’. Recently that’s been changing and I’ve been finding myself using –since more and more often, generally in two different situations.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Add Playback Controls to the Spotify Dock Icon in Ubuntu

          Admittedly, we’re not short of ways to control Spotify in Ubuntu. There is the MPRIS2 music applet in the notification shade, the app itself has player controls, and like most distros Ubuntu support keyboard media keys too (though mine don’t work).

          But this is also true of Rhythmbox, Ubuntu’s default music app. Yet that app also comes with a right-click “quick list” menu in its dock item that makes it easy to skip forward, back, or pause music entirely.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Coral Dev Board Micro combines NXP i.MX RT1176 MCU with Edge TPU in Pi Zero form factor

        Coral Dev Board Micro is the latest iteration of Google’s Edge AI devkit with an NXP i.MX RT1176 Cortex-M7/M4 crossover processor/microcontroller coupled with the company’s 4 TOPS Edge TPU, a camera, and a microphone in a board that’s about the size of a Raspberry Pi Zero SBC.

        The new board follows the original NXP i.MX 8M-based Coral Dev board that was introduced in 2019, and Coral Dev Board mini based on MediaTek MT8167S processor launched in 2020, and keeps with the trend of providing more compact solutions with lower-end host processors for edge AI.

      • Building a NanoPi M4V2 based All-in-One Linux PC running Armbian (Ubuntu/Debian)

        At the end of my review of “RPI All-in-One” PC with Raspberry Pi 4, I noted the system also appeared to be compatible with NanoPi M4V2 single board computer. I’ve now tried it out, and assembling the board inside the 10.1-inch display is even easier than I initially thought. That means I now have a NanoPi M4V2 All-in-One PC running Ubuntu Hirsute or Debian Buster with XFCE desktop environment from Armbian, and most features work including the display and wireless connectivity, but I still have an issue with the touchscreen function.

      • Raspberry Pi RP2040 Discovered in 3D Printer Control Board

        It’s hard to believe, but the Raspberry Pi RP2040 microprocessor has already been a part of our lives for an entire year. One of the most exciting aspects of the RP2040 is the potential for its use in third-party boards. Today we’re sharing one of the first RP2040-based 3D printer control boards we’ve ever seen, known as the BTT SKR Pico V1.0 Control Board by Big Tree Tech.

        The RP2040 is acting as the main processor for the control board. So even though the board has Pico in the name, it’s only using the RP2040 processor and not a complete Pico module.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Brief thoughts on right to repair issues people don’t think about

          While making devices more repairable is pretty much seen as universally a good thing, right? Unfortunately, engineering involves tradeoffs, but some of those tradeoffs that are seen as bad for repair (or are actually desirable in spite of it), or actually improves reliability. These are some things I suspect right to repair advocates forget.

          This article is intended to unify some disparate thoughts on the subject I’ve had on Lobsters comment, this blog (i.e. the ThinkPad one), etc. as one post. I intend to do this more often for other things…

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7 strategies for success when contributing to open source

        I was in college when I learned about the Linux operating system. That was also when I first heard about open source. Hoping to understand more about Linux and how it came to be, I got involved with a Linux user group called DGPLUG, where I learned the extent of open source projects. This was more than just an operating system. There was a whole world of collaborative coding out there.

        It didn’t take much. I quickly acquired a deep interest in writing code, meeting amazing people, and joining communities that motivated me to contribute to open source projects.

        I started to learn new programming languages and technologies. I also began implementing what I was learning in my Computer Science Bachelor course hands-on. I got involved with the Fedora community through IRC and contributed to the Fedora Infrastructure project codebase, Fedora Tests. I also got the opportunity to contribute to many other projects simultaneously as I came across more bugs and features, and I connected with developers worldwide.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Atlassian’s Products

        Atlassian Corporation Plc is a software company founded in 2002 that develops products for software developers, project managers and other software development teams. It employs over 7,000 people and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

        Atlassian produces a range of proprietary software including software for collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for teams. Atlassian dominates several markets where it still has intense competition.

        Broadly speaking, they offer software in three large buckets: These are software development tools; help desk software, or IT service management; and workflow management software. When you think of Atlassian, think project management and collaboration tools.

        Many of their programs use a number of open source components. And their GitHub repositories hold lots of open source code. But their main range of software is proprietary. This series looks at free and open source alternatives to Atlassian’s products.

      • Education

        • The Basics of R (in Spanish!)

          Hello everyone! This blog post is a bit different from usual posts in that I’d like to make a very exciting announcement about an upcoming course launch.

          Part of my vision with R for Ecology is to make as accessible as possible to as many people as possible—especially ecologists and other scientists. Understanding how to work with, organize, visualize, and analyze data is essential for doing good science. Either way, I’m very fortunate to have partnered with a fantastic biologist and ecologist from Argentina named Joaquin Cochero who has done an outstanding job translating my entire Basics of R (for ecologists) course into Spanish!

        • 10 New books added to Big Book of R

          We’re off to a great start (book wise!) for 2022. Here’s 10 new additions to Big Book of R. Quite a few more paid versions of books in this round and they look good.

          Thanks to Burak Aydin, Manika Lamba, Mauricio Vargas Sepúlveda, Samrit Pramanik , Kurt Taylor Gaubatz for some of the additions.

      • Programming/Development

        • [Old] ldd arbitrary code execution

          The ldd utility is more vulnerable than you think. It’s frequently used by programmers and system administrators to determine the dynamic library dependencies of executables. Sounds pretty innocent, right? Wrong!

          In this article I am going to show you how to create an executable that runs arbitrary code if it’s examined by ldd. I have also written a social engineering scenario on how you can get your sysadmin to unknowingly hand you his privileges.

          I researched this subject thoroughly and found that it’s almost completely undocumented. I have no idea how this could have gone unnoticed for such a long time. Here are the only few documents that mention this interesting behavior: 1, 2, 3, 4. [...]

        • The best free, open-source supply-chain security tool? The lockfile

          tl;dr: Lockfiles often protect you from malicious new versions of dependencies. When something bad happens, they empower you to know exactly which systems were affected and when, which is critical during incident response. This posts discusses “why lockfiles” and the details of setting them up properly across ~9 different package managers.

        • SWAR explained: parsing eight digits

          It is common to want to parse long strings of digits into integer values. Because it is a common task, we want to optimize it as much as possible.

          In the blog post, Quickly parsing eight digits, I presented a very quick way to parse eight ASCII characters representing an integers (e.g., 12345678) into the corresponding binary value. I want to come back to it and explain it a bit more, to show that it is not magic. This works in most programming languages, but I will stick with C for this blog post.

  • Leftovers

    • Just one in 20 young adults watch BBC programmes live

      The BBC is facing a “demographic time bomb” as young people ignore its programmes at a time when the broadcaster must carry out swingeing cuts and its entire funding model is under threat.

      Only one in 20 of those aged 18-30 said that they watched any BBC television channels live every day, compared with close to half of the over-65s, according to a YouGov poll for this paper.

    • Education

      • 3 New Books About Dark Skies On Our Reading List

        Whether to spark a child’s imagination or educate and inspire an adult to take action against light pollution, books are a fantastic tool in the fight to protect the night. So naturally, we’re always on the lookout for new books about dark skies and light pollution. Here are three recently released books that are on our reading list: [...]

      • [Old] Ronald Reagan stuck it to millennials: A college debt history lesson no one tells

        Had anyone at my reunion complained about the complacency of today’s students or bragged about how they got through school without taking on staggering debt, I could have reminded them that the class of ’84 was the last to have a higher percentage of grants than loans. Today’s imbalance leads too many students to buy the lie that the humanities are exclusively for rich kids. They worry that those in the 99 percent studying Aristotle or Virginia Woolf are destined for permanent residency in their parents’ basements and, if they are lucky, positions as baristas.

      • [Old] The war on public education

        The war on public education began when Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, gutted one of the best university systems in the U.S. Cutting funding for higher education by 20 percent and ending free tuition, Reagan famously said California “should not subsidize intellectual curiosity.” He also cut funding to public kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) schools in the state, devastating already poor and inner-city schools.

        Once he became president, Reagan tried to shut down the Department of Education. Failing that, he appointed William Bennett to head it. That heartless reactionary relentlessly attacked teachers’ unions.

        Reagan cut federal funding to education by half. The most destructive part of his legacy came from his creation of a so-called “blue ribbon” commission that produced a 1983 report entitled “A Nation at Risk.” The report promoted the lie that the U.S. educational system was a “rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”

      • Ronald Reagan’s ghost runs the UC system. Expect strikes until that changes

        This trend, in line with nationwide hiring patterns, is often decried as an existential threat to higher education. And it is true that the increasing presence of a class of underpaid and overworked lecturers operating without the guarantees of tenure indicates an ominous subordination of American higher education to the prerogatives of the market. But in California and elsewhere, nontenured faculty are here to stay. This workforce deserves its own protections and the opportunity to educate students with stability and support.

        In November, the UC system took a major step in this direction. After nearly three years of negotiations and nearly two without a contract, a deal reached Nov. 17 between the institution’s administration and UC-AFT — the union representing the University of California’s lecturers — averted a strike planned across the state-wide system. The union hailed the agreement signed with UC, as the “best contract in its history.” Lecturers received a 30% raise in wages over the six years of the contract, along with guarantees of greater job stability year over year.

      • How Being a Stalled Novelist Led to an Unexpected Career in Data Science

        I took mathematics courses at a local university. Instead of writing in the evenings after work, I studied math. On a whim, I enrolled in a computer science course, and I was hooked. I loved the theory and its broad applicability. A computer scientist, I thought, could contribute to any field. It also helped that writing code reminded me of the good parts of writing fiction. They both begin with a goal. There are many ways to accomplish it, and the quality of the end-product lies in part on the virtue of those decisions. As a bonus, the functionality of a completed computer program can be verified. You won’t have one beta reader telling you to change the very thing another beta reader loved.

    • Hardware

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Toxic PCBs Festered at This Public School for Eight Years as Students and Teachers Grew Sicker

        For Michelle Leahy, it started with headaches, inflamed rashes on her arms and legs, and blisters in her mouth.

        Some students and staff at Sky Valley Education Center, an alternative public school in Monroe, also had strange symptoms: cognitive problems, skin cysts, girls as young as 6 suddenly hitting puberty.

      • Navy cites ‘operator error’ in fuel spill linked to families’ tainted water

        The November Navy fuel spill linked to the water contamination affecting thousands of military families in Hawaii was likely the result of “operator error,” a Navy official told lawmakers Tuesday.

        The Navy will also comply with the Hawaii Department of Health’s emergency order to drain the fuel tanks at the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, which is at the center of the water crisis, officials said.

        The crisis has affected more than 9,000 Navy, Army and Air Force households at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the Army’s Aliamanu Military Reservation and Red Hill communities, which are on the Navy water system, said Vice Adm. Yancy Lindsey, commander of Navy Installations Command.

      • Vaccine Hucksterism: VAERS and the War on Medical Science

        Anti-vaxxer disinformation activists are intensifying their attacks on medical efforts to combat the pandemic, utilizing pseudoscience to manipulate public opinion. One example is the perversion of the VAERS database, which is used to drum up opposition to vaccination against Covid-19. VAERS – the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System – is a data tool run by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. It was created in 1990 to provide citizens with one central location to report their experiences with potential side effects of vaccines. This database has become a key piece of “evidence” used by anti-vaxxers to cultivate public distrust of vaccines.

      • Hungary allows 4th jab, Orbán caps food prices, Völner sinks deeper, and Lakmusz is launched

        The Hungarian government allowed the 4th vaccine against the Covid-19, in a bid to curb the fifth wave of the pandemic, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s office declared in a press conference.

        “Anyone who asks can get the fourth vaccine,” Gulyás said. “Anyone can get his or her fourth vaccination following a medical consultation,” Gulyás added.

      • Pandemic Accommodations Proved We Can Vastly Expand Disability Access If We Try
      • Poz.com and Peter Staley are drug company shills, and here’s yet another article that proves it. – BaronHK’s Rants

        Peter Staley fashions himself as an activist, because he used to be one, but the drug companies turned him a long time ago, and today he’s little more than a salesman covering for bad actors who are profiteering off of the AIDS crisis.

        Years ago, he started some websites like one called AidsMeds.com, is affiliated with Poz.com as a “blogger” and “editor” since the two organizations merged.

        The problem is that these websites refuse to point out the facts about HIV/AIDS medication, such as that it’s absolutely scandalous and morally bankrupt for such medicine to cost over $120 per pill.


        The patents will make sure that we go forever and most people won’t see any of the usual price benefits of drugs going generic. I know many people with HIV, and none of them take anything that’s generic. As soon as drugs go generic, dirty doctors stop prescribing them.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • WhatsApp may soon let you transfer your chats from Android to iOS

          WhatsApp might be working on a feature that lets you migrate your chat history from Android to iOS, as reported by WABetaInfo via (Android Central).

          The feature was first spotted in the latest WhatsApp beta version 22.2.74 for iOS, and appears to corroborate WABetaInfo’s previous discovery in beta version for Android. Both updates point towards a feature that may let you transfer your WhatsApp chats from Android to iOS using the Move to iOS app.

        • Court orders YouTuber to stay off Roblox

          An Oakland, California court has ordered Roblox YouTube creator Ruben Sim to stay off the popular gaming platform from which he’s been banned for several years, according to court documents obtained by Polygon.

          The Roblox Corporation filed a lawsuit against Sim in November, accusing the YouTuber of leading a “cybermob” that terrorized the platform. The company was originally looking for $1.6 million in damages, but decreased that amount to $150,000 in a dually agreed-upon stipulated order and final judgment by the court.

        • Pervasive Apple Safari Bug Exposes Web-Browsing Data, Google IDs

          A security vulnerability in Apple’s browsers for macOS, iOS and iPadOS can lead to information disclosure, researchers have warned. Apple has just marked the issue as “resolved,” but it will take some time for the fixes to roll out, they said, so users should implement mitigations.

          According to researchers at FingerprintJS, the bug is a same-origin policy violation. Typically, a web browser permits scripts on one web page to access data on a second web page only if both pages have the same origin/back-end server. Without this security policy in place, a snooper who manages to inject a malicious script into one website would be able to have free access to any data contained in other tabs the victim may have open in the browser, including access to online banking sessions, emails, healthcare portal data and other sensitive information.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • US athletes told to use burner phones at Beijing Winter Olympics

              The advisory was reportedly sent out twice last year to warn athletes about the possibility of digital surveillance while in China. “Every device, communication, transaction and online activity may be monitored,” the bulletin states. “Your device(s) may also be compromised with malicious software, which could negatively impact future use.” As noted by the WSJ, Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands have also cautioned athletes against bringing their personal electronics into the country.

            • Security researchers spot flaws, surveillance in official Beijing Olympics app

              As the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gears up to host the 2022 Winter Olympics from Feb. 4, security researchers in Canada have highlighted “serious security flaws” in a compulsory app for all participants.

              The app, “MY2022″, is mandated for use by all attendees of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, and contains a “simple but devastating flaw” where encryption protecting users’ voice audio and file transfers can be trivially sidestepped, the Toronto-based Citizen Lab reported.

            • Data breach in Malta: 65.000 € fine for C-Planet

              Following a complaint by noyb, the Information & Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) imposed a fine of 65 000 € on the IT company C-Planet. The company had illegally collected data of 98% of Maltese voters, including political preferences and failed to take appropriate data-protection measures. C-Planet notified neither the users nor the data protection authority about the data breach.

            • Many ‚tracking-free‘ apps in iOS secretly track users

              It reads like a fairly simple statement: „Data not collected“. Apple introduced such clear privacy labels for apps on its mobile operating system iOS over a year ago. They are supposed to show whether and which data the app passes on to its operators or third parties.

              A sizeable portion of apps claim not to collect any data from users. But many of these labels are clearly false, as a technical analysis shared exclusively with netzpolitik.org has shown. Computer scientist Konrad Kollnig from Oxford University examined 1,682 randomly selected apps from Apple’s App Store. 373 of the apps tested (22.2 percent) claim not to collect personal data. However, four out of five, 299 apps in total, contacted known tracking domains immediately after the first app launch and without gaining user consent. (Data to be published soon, more details on the method here.)

            • Army wife uses AirTag hack to track her movers while PCSing

              Military families in the midst of moving continue to suffer as shipping disruptions leave them without their household goods for extended periods of time after they’ve arrived at their new duty stations.

              One Army wife, Valerie McNulty, deployed a brilliant solution to help track down her family’s household goods as they made a permanent change of station move from Fort Carson, Colorado, to Fort Drum, New York. Concerned about lost or delayed items, McNulty attached an Apple AirTag to one of the boxes prior to the move.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Leaked Report Suggests Impunity for IDF Troops in Deadly Stop of Palestinian-American Elder

        Human rights advocates reacted angrily Sunday to a leaked report suggesting that no Israeli soldiers are likely to be charged in connection with the fatal detention of an elderly Palestinian-American man by occupation forces in a West Bank town earlier this month.

        “Yet another example of why Israel cannot be trusted to investigate its own violations.”

      • Start the Steal: New MAGA Emails Reveal Plot to Hand Arizona to Trump

        The emails show how a group of fringe election sleuths pressed state legislators on a plan to disrupt the 2020 election certification and potentially change the vote count in a battleground state that helped deliver Joe Biden the presidency. The emails also reveal that several Trump advisers, including campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis and legal adviser Bernie Kerik, were included in the discussion.

      • Tibetan monks beaten, arrested for sharing Buddha statue destruction news

        Authorities in western China’s Sichuan province are beating and arresting Tibetan monks suspected of informing outside contacts about the destruction of a sacred statue, Tibetan sources say.

        The 99-foot tall Buddha which stood in Drago (in Chinese, Luhuo) county in the Kardze (Ganzi) Tibetan Autonomous Region was targeted for demolition in December by officials who said the statue had been built too high.

      • France: Man with a Qur’ an in his pocket intends to kill passers-by and police officers with a knife

        The police were called at around 10 am. According to this relative, the 30-year-old was in possession of a knife and a Qur’ an and intended to “kill policemen and civilians”.He was so far not known for any alleged radicalisation, but was already known to the police for committing a number of offences.

      • Jihadi video shows child fighters executing Nigeria soldiers

        The video, she said, “demonstrates the immense focus ISIS is placing on Africa” and puts a “spotlight on Nigeria as one of its strongholds and projecting itself as an adaptive, enduring force to the world.”

        The 27-minute video also shows child fighters training in open fields and classrooms. In one scene, masked fighters who looked as young as 10 are seen in a classroom as an older scholar takes them through the Islamic State’s teachings and doctrines. In another scene, the fighters are seen training with rifles.

      • EXCLUSIVE: Boko Haram Mounts Checkpoints On Borno Highways, Now Collects ‘Taxes’ From Travellers

        Military sources told SaharaReporters that the terrorists mounted roadblocks in the Gubio Local Government Area on Wednesday, issuing tax receipts to travellers.

        SaharaReporters gathered that defaulters were forced by the insurgents to pay while the mobile phones of those who didn’t have money were seized.

    • Environment

      • Opinion | Ending the Fossil Fuel Era Is the Only Way to Halt Global Warming and Stop Environmental Injustice

        Environmental justice is a crucial component of the broader struggle for a sustainable, resilient, and equitable future. So is the end of the fossil fuel era; in fact, decarbonization and environmental justice go hand in hand.

      • Wildfire in Big Sur Forces Residents to Evacuate

        The blaze swept through an area with little or no fire history, according to the National Weather Service. “Pictures on social media suggest some pretty surreal fire behavior given the wet Oct and Dec that was observed across the region,” the National Weather Service said on Twitter.

      • ‘Surreal’ wildfire burning near iconic California coastal highway prompts evacuations

        A section of California’s famous Highway 1 was closed Saturday morning as a fire burning near the Pacific Ocean prompted evacuations close to the state’s Big Sur region.

      • California wildfire forces evacuations between Carmel, Big Sur

        Firefighters on Saturday were battling a wildfire that broke out in the rugged mountains along Big Sur, forcing hundreds of residents on this precarious stretch of the California coast to evacuate and authorities to shut its main roadway.

        The fire started Friday night in a steep canyon and quickly spread toward the sea, fanned by strong winds up to 50 mph. The blaze burned at least 2.3 square miles of brush and redwood trees, said Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

      • Wildfire along California’s Big Sur forces evacuations

        The fire broke out Friday night in a steep canyon. Fanned by wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph), it quickly burned at least 2.3 square miles (6 square kilometers) of brush and redwood trees, said Cecile Juliette, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

      • Exxon Is Using an Unusual Texas Law to Intimidate Critics of Its Climate Denial
      • Opinion | Why Climate Justice Must Transcend Borders

        We are not drowning, we are fighting” has become the rallying call for the Pacific Climate Warriors. From UN climate meetings to blockades of Australian coal ports, these young Indigenous defenders from twenty Pacific Island states are raising the alarm of global warming for low-lying atoll nations. Rejecting the narrative of victimization – “you don’t need my pain or tears to know that we’re in a crisis,” as Samoan Brianna Fruean puts it – they are challenging the fossil fuel industry and colonial giants such as Australia, responsible for the world’s highest per-capita carbon emissions.

      • Alaska Tribes Are Fighting Back Against Plans to Open Colossal Gold Mine
      • Energy

        • The Revenge of the Hot Water Bottle

          Imagine a personal heating system that works indoors as well as outdoors, can be taken anywhere, requires little energy, and is independent of any infrastructure. It exists – and is hundreds of years old.

        • Two Looming Battlegrounds for NFTs

          It is impossible to move an NFT bought on a proprietary blockchain to a private wallet. While that’s a savvy business move ensuring that the minter takes a share of any future sale of NFT trading cards — the smart contract being put into full corporate effect — this means that NFT collectors will have multiple wallets in the future with no way to collate their collection into one place.

        • Why are people falling for NFTs?

          Twitter recently introduced the misguided feature of NFT avatars. The move has been championed by scammers and the duped, and met with howls of derision by everyone else. Twitter didn’t jump the shark, they launched it into space.

          Given NFTs consist only of a hashed URL to an image that can be arbitrarily changed, are backed by technology that’s easily and regularly manipulated, aren’t a legal contract, nor confer any ownership, their popularity is bizarre. But then, if people were informed, no blockchain-backed technology would be taken seriously.

        • Cryptocurrency Is a Giant Ponzi Scheme

          This should surprise no one who understands how cryptocurrency works. Blockchains are, at their core, simply append-only spreadsheets maintained across decentralized “peer-to-peer” networks, not unlike those used for torrenting pirated files. Just as torrents allow users to share files directly, cryptocurrency blockchains allow users to maintain a shared ledger of financial transactions without the need of a central server or managing authority. Users are thus able to make direct online transactions with one another as if they were trading cash.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Cruelty to animals. I found a dog in the road. Someone left him tied up in the cold, then someone else ran over him and fled.

          On Thursday morning, I got up to take my spouse to work. On the way back, I noticed a Husky dog dragging himself down the street by his front legs.

          I turned the car around and called 911, seeing that the dog was in trouble and that someone ran him over. I explained to the dispatcher where I was and asked that they please send animal control out to help the dog.

          Unfortunately, it was too late, and the dog’s injuries were far too severe. He suffered for about 45 more minutes before they could get down there, while looking in my eyes and occasionally howling because of the pain.

          He was dragging a leash with him that was connected to a stake that someone tied him into their yard with. The temperature was about 2 degrees F according to my car, and all I could do was take the leash off of him and wait with him.

          I called later to see if they were able to help him and was told he had to be euthanized.

          People who tie a dog up in the cold are not only assholes, but they’re breaking the law. That dog is their responsibility, and they should consider him their family and their friend. But there’s also something seriously wrong with whoever hit the dog and didn’t call the cops and at least report that they hit him.

          We live in a world full of criminals and people with no respect for anything, and it sickens me what has happened to this country of ours.

          Ever since I moved from Indiana to Illinois, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of depravity over here like I’ve never seen before. In Indiana, you tend to know your neighbors. Most people are at least polite.


          I doubt whoever left that poor Husky dog on the road will ever get their day in court because our system is so overwhelmed with crime that the case will never get worked, and the state itself is off assisting murderers and stating that it’s not a crime if you do it quickly enough.

          I can’t imagine that a government like this would prioritize a dog if it doesn’t care about children.

          I wonder how Illinois can be so close to Indiana and yet so far away. Illinois is stacked from top to bottom with degenerates, and I actually really do miss my home state.

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Is Woke Capitalism the New Trickle-Down Economics?

        Just like the trickle-down economics of a generation ago, stokeholder capitalism provides a moral justification for the pursuit of corporate self-interest while inequality gets worse and worse.

      • Digital cash gets a look from the Fed

        The paper is meant to act as “the first step in a discussion,” and doesn’t advocate for actually creating a “central bank digital currency” (or CBDC). Still, the creation of a digital dollar would be a massive shift in how big a role the government would play in our finances. Potential downsides could include making commercial banks less attractive to consumers, and affect the Fed’s ability to influence the financial system. The Fed is now inviting comments, including on anything the paper may have missed.

      • Fed releases long-awaited study on a digital dollar but doesn’t take a position yet on creating one

        The Federal Reserve on Thursday released its long-awaited exploration of a digital dollar but took no position on the issuance of a central bank digital currency.

        Instead, the central bank’s 40-page document explores a plethora of issues and notes that public comment will be solicited.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • America’s deepest and most dangerous divide isn’t between Democrats and Republicans

        Other surveys around that time told a similar story. In 2011, Time magazine reported a poll showing that the U.S. was going through “one of its longest sustained periods of unhappiness and pessimism ever,” adding that it was “hard to overstate what a fundamental change this represents.” Two-thirds of Americans believed the past decade was one of decline, not progress, for the U.S. (68%), and that the greatest threat to the long-term stability of the U.S. came from within, not from outside, the country (66%).

      • European Parliament approves initial proposal to ban some targeted ads

        On Thursday, the European Parliament voted to approve the initial draft of a bill that aims to curb Big Tech’s invasive advertising practices (via Bloomberg). The Parliament adopted the draft with 530 votes of approval, 78 against, and 80 absentations.

        The Digital Services Act, which was first introduced in 2020, will prevent platforms, like Google, Amazon, and the Meta-owned Facebook, from using sensitive information, such as sexual orientation, race, and religion for targeted ads. It will require services to give users the ability to easily opt out of tracking, and pressures platforms to remove illegal content and products online, including hate speech or counterfeit goods.

      • Turkish Twitch streamer Pqueen investigated for dancing to a nationalist song

        Famous Turkish Twitch streamer Pelin Baynazoğlu, known by her nickname Pqueen, has announced that an investigation was launched against her over a dance move she made in one of her streams.

      • Smedley Butler Helped Build American Empire. Then He Turned Against It.

        Butler published a short book, War Is a Racket, collecting the key themes of his orations in 1935. Later, in an essay in the socialist magazine Common Sense, Butler confessed to having been a “racketeer for capitalism,” elaborating that, as “a member of our country’s most agile military force,” he had served as “a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers.” In 1936, Marine Corps informants sent to spy on the ex-general observed him speaking on a panel alongside self-identified Communists and reported that “the General appeared to us to be either insane or an out and out traitor.”

      • ‘Exactly Right’: Progressives Back Arizona Dems Censure of Sinema

        Citing Kyrsten Sinema’s obstruction of her own party’s pro-democracy agenda, a pair of progressive U.S. lawmakers said Sunday that they support the Arizona Democratic Party’s decision to censure the stymying senator.

        “I think what the Arizona state party is saying is that ‘Kyrsten Sinema no longer reflects our values.’”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Governor looks to target Missouri Sunshine Law during legislative session

        Amending Missouri’s open records law to permit government agencies to withhold more information from the public — and charge more for any records that are turned over — is among Gov. Mike Parson’s priorities for the 2022 legislative session.

        The changes, which were outlined in a presentation to Parson’s cabinet that was obtained by The Independent through an open records request, include a proposal to allow government agencies to charge fees for the time attorneys spend reviewing records requested by the public.

        Such a change would reverse a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling against Parson’s office that found attorney review time was not “research time” under the Sunshine Law and thus could not be charged.

      • Thousands Sign Petition Supporting Assange Release

        Led by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), more than 26 antiwar groups and 2,500 individual peace and justice advocates have cosponsored a statement (tinyurl.com/2p9fb4es) calling for the immediate release of publisher Julian Assange and commending him for his contributions toward global peace.

      • Southern Africa: A preview of FoE trends to pay attention to in 2022

        In the year 2022, it is highly likely that the press will experience another wave of attacks in the region.

        Gauging from the 2021 Reporters Without Borders Index, the attacks and threats on media freedom are going to escalate.

        Only three Southern African countries made progress according to the 2021 Index, namely, Botswana, Malawi and Zambia, moving up by one, seven and five steps, respectively, compared to previous rankings.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Beware the Cult of Cadwalladr
      • ‘Lying Flat,’ ‘Antiwork’ And The ‘Great Resignation’ Spreads Worldwide As Young People Protest Against System

        The younger generation may be the first group in modern history that won’t do better financially than their parents. With tens or hundreds of thousands in student-loan debt, young adults find it almost impossible to purchase a home, get married and start a family. The debt burden, along with rising home prices and inflation, doesn’t leave them with sufficient funds to afford the lifestyle that Baby Boomers took for granted.

      • Days After Microsoft Deal, Workers at Activision Blizzard-Owned Developer Announce Union

        Just three days after the news broke that Microsoft will buy Activision Blizzard, workers at a developer owned by the video game holdings company, Raven Software, announced that they were forming a union.

        Quality assurance workers at the Wisconsin-based developer, which is behind Call of Duty: War Zone and Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, have aligned themselves with labor giant the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and are calling their group the Game Workers Alliance Union. The CWA is also behind the union at Vodeo Games, recently voluntarily recognized by management, which the CWA called the first certified union at a video games studio in North America.

      • A cop fatally struck a nurse. His actions after the crash shock the victim’s loved ones.

        In those two hours, Santiago drove home with Dymka’s body in the back seat and then returned to the crash site having never called 911 or attempted to render aid to the man, prosecutors say.

        “Put that body back where you hit it,” Annette Santiago allegedly told her son when he showed up at their home, according to prosecutors.

        He’s now facing 12 felony charges, including reckless vehicular homicide and endangering an injured victim. Guzman and Santiago’s mother were also charged with allegedly tampering with evidence and other offenses.

      • Taliban storm Kabul apartment, arrest activist, her sisters

        The Taliban stormed an apartment in Kabul smashing the door in and arresting a woman rights activist and her three sisters, an eyewitness said Thursday. A Taliban statement appeared to blame the incident on a recent women’s protest, saying insulting Afghan values will no longer be tolerated.

        The activist, Tamana Zaryabi Paryani, was among about 25 women who took part in an anti-Taliban protest on Sunday against the compulsory Islamic headscarf, or hijab, for women. A person from the neighborhood who witnessed the arrest said about 10 armed men, claiming to be from the Taliban intelligence department, carried out the raid on Wednesday night.

        Shortly before she and her sisters were taken away, footage of Paryani was posted on social media, showing her frightened and breathless and screaming for help, saying the Taliban were banging on her door.

      • Chechnya’s Kadyrov Says ‘Real Prison’ Awaits Prominent Lawyer’s Mother

        Zarema Yangulbayeva, the 52-year-old mother of Abubakar Yangulbayev, a lawyer of the Committee Against Torture NGO, was taken from her apartment in Nizhny Novgorod on the evening of January 20 by masked men who introduced themselves as Chechen police officers.

      • Khamenei’s Niece Kept Incommunicado In Tehran Prison, Brother Says

        A civil activist and niece of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is being held in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin prison following her detention last week after she took part in a celebration praising the widow of the ousted shah, her brother has told RFE/RL.

        Farideh Moradkhani, a daughter of Khamenei’s sister known for her activism against the death penalty, was detained on January 14 at her home in the Iranian capital.

      • My Son Was Incarcerated at 13. Six Years Later, It’s Clear the State Failed Him.
      • No Justice in Case of Elderly Christian Woman Stripped Naked Publicly

        In mid-December 2020, the Minya Criminal Court acquitted the three defendants in the case of Thabet. An appeal was set forth in January 2021 and submitted in February 2021 for the Court of Cassation to challenge the ruling that set her assailants free. To date, no hearings have been set, no reparation has been provided, and no courts have sought to move the case forward.

      • ‘Now There Is No One’: The Lament of One of the Last Christians in a Syrian City

        The past decade has been particularly brutal as the upheavals have left Christians in parts of Iraq, Syria and beyond under the control of Islamist militants. They were subject to the whims of their new rulers, who banned their religious practices, seized their properties and even singled them out for death at times.

        Over nine decades, Mr. al-Jisri went from being a member of a Christian community in Idlib that blended easily into the city’s social fabric to one of only three known Christians who remain there.

      • Abortion Rights Defenders Are Calling on Legislators to Codify Roe
      • It’s Time for Biden to Fulfill His Pledge to End the Federal Death Penalty
    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • WOW! Must Share Personal Details of Most Prolific ‘Pirates’ with Filmmakers

          Internet provider WOW! must share the personal details of hundreds of subscribers with a group of filmmakers. The requirement, signed off by a Colorado federal court, is part of the discovery process in an ongoing legal battle. The targeted accounts are limited to the IP addresses that were most frequently flagged for alleged copyright infringements.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:12 am by Needs Sunlight

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