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Links 23/10/2022: 4MLinux 40.1 and Kirigami Addons 0.5

Posted in News Roundup at 2:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Ubuntu Pit5 Free and Open-source School Management Software for Linux

        Managing an educational institution is quite a difficult task, which can be made simpler with the help of school management software. School management software helps educational institutions to manage student data, staff payroll, fee payments, and other tasks. There are many school management software available, both paid and free. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular free and open-source school management software available for Linux.

        While many commercial options are available, open-source software offers some compelling advantages. Here are five school management software programs that won’t cost you a dime and work on Linux.

      • Carl SchwanKirigami Addons 0.5 release

        Just a small note that Kirigami Addons 0.5 was released yesterday. This update only contains some small cleanups here and there (e.g. moving some implementation details from the public api to the private one).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ID RootHow To Install Anaconda on Rocky Linux 9 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Anaconda on Rocky Linux 9. For those of you who didn’t know, Anaconda is an open-source package manager and distribution of Python. It is used for scientific computing, data science, machine learning, and statistical analysis. The Anaconda environment includes over 250 data science packages automatically installed, and over 7,500 additional open-source packages that are compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of Anaconda Python on Rocky Linux. 9.

      • Ubuntu HandbookReplace Manufacturer Logo in Ubuntu 22.04 | 22.10 Startup Screen | UbuntuHandbook

        Ubuntu shows your computer manufacturer logo in the startup animation screen since 20.04 LTS. User can however replace it with system logo. And, this simple tutorial will show you how.

        Most Linux’s boot animation screen is handled by Plymouth with specific theme. By editing the theme configuration file can do the trick to disable the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) logo, and changing the background image to use system logo instead.

      • CitizixHow to Setup Central Logging Server with Rsyslog in Ubuntu 22.04

        Rsyslog is an open-source software utility used on UNIX and Unix-like computer systems for forwarding log messages in an IP network. It is an open-source utility for log processing. It permits the logging of data from different types of systems in a central repository. Rsyslog is a Syslog protocol with more extensions, features, and benefits.

      • Barry KaulerFirst baby steps to running as user zeus

        I posted about giving a non-root user administration privileges…

      • Data SwampSearch in OpenBSD packages with openports.pl

        This blog post aims to be a quick clarification about the website openports.pl: an online database that could be used to search for OpenBSD packages and ports available in -current.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • OMG UbuntuKDE neon is Now Based on Ubuntu 22.04 ‘Jammy Jellyfish’

          KDE neon (it’s stylised with a lowercase ‘n’) has rebased on top of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, bringing many of the LTS’ foundations new features to users of this ‘not a distro’.

          The developers beavering away on the KDE-centric Linux project announce they have successfully rebased KDE neon atop Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ‘Jammy Jellyfish’, the first version of which was released back in April.

          With the bump to Jammy, KDE neon users unlock access to a newer set of packages, third-party tools, and hardware drivers. A more recent Linux kernel is also offered, providing improved hardware support.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • OMG UbuntuNew App Lets You Save Clipboard Content as a New File on Ubuntu – OMG! Ubuntu!

          Every copied a block of text to your clipboard and wished you could quickly save it as a file?

          Well, open source developer Marcos Costales (of Folder Color fame) has released a new app that does precisely that.

          When you have the ‘Clipboard to File’ tool installed you get a new right-click context-menu entry in Nautilus file manager (or the Nemo and Caja file managers, which are also supported). When you select it, it saves your clipboard content as a new text file or, if you copied an image, saves the image as a PNG file.

          I often copy a chunk of text to my clipboard, launch Gedit (or another Linux text editor), paste the clipboard content in, hit ‘save’, pick a filename, choose a location, etc. It’s not hard but it is a minor hassle given there is, now, a much faster workaround.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • 4MLinux Blog4MLinux 40.1 STABLE released.

        This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.18.19. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.54, MariaDB 10.8.5, and PHP 7.4.30 (see this post for more details).

        You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

    • Slackware Family

      • Eric HameleersFlatpak on Slackware | Alien Pastures

        A while ago, someone e-mailed me with a request to add Flatpak to my repository. At the time, I had no interest in Flatpak, had not actually bothered to investigate it, so I said “sorry, no” and dismissed it.

        Still, my curiosity was piqued, because I have been having long-time struggles getting our company version of MS Teams up and running on my Slackware desktop, and Flatpak could offer resolution. I am an advocate of running natively compiled code on your Slackware OS, and the software that I am using regularly is all available in my repository as packages that have been compiled on Slackware from source. But Open Source is all about choice, and more power to you, right?

        I am realistic enough to see how self-contained binary software distributions can have an appeal to people. These days, more and more new software releases are made available as AppImages, Snaps or Flatpaks. The developers won’t have to worry about maintaining friendly relationships with distro packagers who may or may not do the packaging work for them every release. In fact, distribution mechanisms like Flatpak finally place niche distros like Slackware on the same level as their more widely used brethren like Ubuntu or Mint. The Flatpak app will run on all of them, unmodified.

        The downside of course, is that this bundling of a program plus all its dependencies will increase the size of the on-disk installation. A natively-compiled package relies on dynamic linking to the libraries which are provided by the OS, but the Flatpak needs to bundle its own compatible copies of all those libraries. Lean versus bloat. Convenience has its own sacrifices.

        For me as a Slackware packager and coreteam member, it is more important to offer options than to be a zealot. If a tool like Flatpak brings you more joy using Slackware on your computer, who am I to deny it to you?

    • Arch Family

      • LinuxiacArch Linux vs. Manjaro: Differences Between Them Explained

        One of the most significant advantages, but at the same time confusing for novice Linux users, is its vast diversity. There are hundreds of distributions to choose from, and it might be challenging to choose one.

        However, some Linux distros stand out from the crowd. Because of their proven reliability, they have gained popularity and many supporters and are often used to compare which one is better.

        This is precisely the case with Arch vs. Manjaro – two leading Linux distros with undeniable qualities, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • SparkFun ElectronicsMeet the Person Sensor from Useful Sensors!
      • SparkFun ElectronicsMissing The AVC?

        If you’re feeling nostalgic for SparkFun’s Autonomous Vehicle Competition, we might have something that will help. When Tawn Kramer’s friends competed in the AVC and he couldn’t make it, he wrote a simulator so that he could feel like a part of the action. The best part? It’s open source and you can use it too!

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • R

        • Hillshade, colors and marginal plots with tidyterra (I) | One world

          This is the first post of a series of two, showing how to overlay a SpatRaster on top of a Hillshade background. Next post would show how to add marginal plots including information of the values of the raster by longitude and latitude. See more posts on tidyterra

        • rOpenSci | Maintain or Co-Maintain an rOpenSci Package!

          The rOpenSci suite of packages is mainly composed of packages contributed by the community through peer-review, but also includes some packages maintained by staff. Over time, the commitments and availability of the original developers of a package can change. This leads to some maintainers stepping down from their maintainer role, or other maintainers looking to lower their workload through more teamwork and therefore looking for co-maintainers.
          We’re so grateful for all our community maintainers and want to make sure that they feel good about the work they do and not burdened by the responsibility. This is why we started conducting annual maintainer surveys, to ensure that maintainers feel supported and feel free to say when they need help, or are ready to move on. Following our recent annual maintainer survey, we have projects looking for both new maintainers and co-maintainers. Therefore, we say thank you! to our maintainers looking to move on, and in this blog post we will explain why you might want to help, and we’ll list the packages currently up for adoption or collaboration.

        • How to keep yourself updated with the latest R news?

          It is true that R, being open source (meaning that everyone can contribute), is evolving rapidly. This means that even if I am using R for several years and on a daily basis, I like to stay informed in order to stay up to date with the program and the latest coding practices.

        • Understanding the Basics of Package Writing in R

          Writing a package sounds big – and it can for sure be. But in its simplest form, it’s not that much more than putting a function in a package structure. The R community is great and came up with multiple great helpers that make your life easier!

        • Efficiency comparison of dplyr and tidyr functions vs base R | R with White Dwarf

          A couple of years ago I was interested in the efficiency of R when it comes to time processing and management of memory and I read a few blog posts about this topic, particularly pointing at the fact that R hasn’t been designed to be a very efficient language, especially when it comes to big data processing, and this could be its doom at some point in the future. By that time I also read a great article or blog post regarding the complexity of using the tidyverse family of packages in R, especially with the task of teaching R to beginners. The text made excellent points discussing how the syntax of tidyverse packages is so different from the base R functions that it might confuse the people trying to learn R from scratch. Thus, the narration continued towards the use of the packages data.table instead, which maintains a syntax closer to that of base R. And from there, the author also took the opportunity to discuss efficiency of both packages. I apologize for the lack of sources but I could not find the link to the post(s) I’m referring to, if any of you knows the post I’m talking about please, share the link with me, I’d be greatly thankful.

        • How to create Radar Plot in R-ggradar

          How to create Radar Plot in R, The same-named function in the package requires a data frame as input, with the first column containing the names of the groups and each subsequent column containing a variable.

        • Little useless-useful R functions – R Solution with O(n) Time and O(n) Space complexity for CanSum() problem | TomazTsql

          CanSum problem is a problem where a given array of integers (nums) and a target integer (target), return boolean (TRUE \ FALSE) indicating, that the target integer can be calculated using two or more numbers in array nums.

          You may assume that each integer from the array can be used multiple times. You can also assume, that any integer (in nums or in target) is from 0 to +1e9 and the length of the nums array is from 2 to 1000 elements.

        • MediumSplitting Text in R

          If you’ve worked in a spreadsheet application before, you’re likely familiar with the “text-to-columns” tool. This tool allows you to split one column of data into multiple columns based on a delimiter. This same functionality is also achievable in R through functions such as the “separate” function from the “tidyr” library.

        • Interesting Uses of censo2017 a Year After Publishing

          This post is about the surprising uses I’ve noticed and the questions about the censo2017 R package, a tool for accessing the Chilean census 2017 data, I’ve gotten since it was peer-reviewed through rOpenSci one year ago. The original post about the package one year ago didn’t cover the different examples I present here, including a Python port of the R package.

        • New Repositories Working Group – R Consortium

          The R Validation Hub is happy to announce the Regulatory R Repository Working Group, which will be tasked with designing and prototyping the tools to support a cross-pharma, collaborative repository of regulated use case suitable R packages – You can imagine the end result as being a CRAN-like service for systematically vetting packages for regulated use and providing access to high-quality packages. For this, we are looking for new contributors and expertise.

        • How to create a Sankey plot in R? – Data Science Tutorials

          How to create a Sankey plot in R?, You must install the ggsankey library and modify your dataset using the package’s make_long function in order to produce a Sankey diagram in ggplot2.

      • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Hackaday2022 Cyberdeck Contest: QAZ Personal Terminal

      The slabtop form factor has had a resurgence in the cyberdeck community, and [Greg Leo] has designed the QAZ Personal Terminal to be about as small as a slabtop could be while still having full-sized keys.

    • HackadayVelomobile Gets Electric Assist

      What do you get when you throw all accepted bicycle designs out the window and start fresh? Well, it might look a bit like [Saukki’s] velomobile.

    • Tim BrayOnline Shopping, But…

      Now, late in my adult life, I’ve become convinced that perhaps the central pathology of our time is the relentless pursuit of efficiency, which has overshot its mark and become oppressive.

    • CoryDoctorowBackdooring a summarizerbot to shape opinion

      What’s worse than a tool that doesn’t work? One that does work, nearly perfectly, except when it fails in unpredictable and subtle ways. Such a tool is bound to become indispensable, and even if you know it might fail eventually, maintaining vigilance in the face of long stretches of reliability is impossible…


      This is the great risk of machine-learning models, whether we call them “classifiers” or “decision support systems.” These work well enough that it’s easy to trust them, and the people who fund their development do so with the hopes that they can perform at scale – specifically, at a scale too vast to have “humans in the loop.”

      There’s no market for a machine-learning autopilot, or content moderation algorithm, or loan officer, if all it does is cough up a recommendation for a human to evaluate. Either that system will work so poorly that it gets thrown away, or it works so well that the inattentive human just button-mashes “OK” every time a dialog box appears.

    • Barry HessThey Might Be Giants Flood Tour :: Barry Hess :: bjhess.com

      This past Saturday my family all had plans, so I took the opportunity to try something I’ve been meaning to try for a while: attend a concert alone. The advantage of loner concert attendance is that you can often get last-minute tickets in good seats for a great price. My friend, Patrick, also suggests that going alone can be quite fun as you aren’t concerned with making sure your friends are having a good time; you can just enjoy your experience.

    • Financial TimesVolvo plans to install laser sensors on all new cars to increase safety [Ed: Just making cars vastly more expensive to maintain and repair for almost no practical benefit]
    • No More Butts in Seats? Measuring Productivity in a Hybrid-Work Environment
    • Science

      • The Register UKArecibo telescope to be replaced by education center • The Register

        The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has decided not to rebuild Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, shut down in August 2020 due to damage accrued three years earlier.

        In its place, the NSF has solicited bids to create “a new multidisciplinary, world-class educational center” for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

        The Arecibo Center for STEM Education and Research (ACSER), as center is being called, “would serve as a hub for STEM discovery and exploration by building upon existing programs and opportunities currently in place at the Arecibo Observatory site, while also creating and implementing new STEM education, research, and outreach programs and initiatives,” the solicitation says.

      • NISTA Machine Learning-Based Solution Could Help Firefighters Circumvent Deadly Backdrafts

        A lack of oxygen can reduce even the most furious flame to smoldering ash. But when fresh air rushes in, say after a firefighter opens a window or door to a room, the blaze may be suddenly and violently resurrected. This explosive phenomenon, called backdraft, can be lethal and has been challenging for firefighters to anticipate.

        Now, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have hatched a plan for informing firefighters of what dangers lie behind closed doors. The team obtained data from hundreds of backdrafts in the lab to use as a basis for a model that can predict backdrafts. The results of a new study, described at the 2022 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference, suggest that the model offers a viable solution to make predictions based on particular measurements. In the future, the team seeks to implement the technology into small-scale devices that firefighters could deploy in the field to avoid or adapt to dangerous conditions.

      • TechXploreHydrogels pave the way for the future of soft robotics

        Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering have created an open-source, commercially available fiber extruder to benefit future research with hydrogels and soft robotics.

        As their name suggests, hydrogels begin in liquid form as monomers. This viscous liquid, which can be made of synthetic or natural materials from polyester to sodium alginate, can be used as ink for 3D printing. The ink is first loaded into a syringe, then pumped through the needle as a thin filament and solidified following 3D printing to form a multidimensional structure, in the same way that Jell-O is mixed up first as a liquid before turning into a soft, bendable dessert. When hydrogels are placed in the right environment, the monomers in the liquid crosslink to form polymers, which gives shape to the hydrogel and lets it trap water.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Andrew HelwerWhat’s the difference between a computer and a rock?

        We are trying to define the essence of a computer, in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions. Once we have found these conditions, we can use them to decide whether any given physical object is a computer. We want our definition to exclude things which are obviously not computers - like rocks - while including things which obviously are computers - like CPUs. We’d also like the definition to be “nice” - simple, precise, unambiguous, and avoiding arbitrary or disagreeable conditions.


        Computers are artifacts humans use to speed up calculations. Are the brains of nonhuman animals not computers? Does a cell not compute when it reads a string of DNA to assemble a protein?

      • John GruberMonica Chin Reviews the New Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

        Intel’s chip offerings are clearly to blame, but that very much is a Lenovo problem. A huge problem, really. ThinkPads are supposed to be top-tier industry-leading laptops. It’s a proud brand with a great history. But now they’ve released a $2,400 notebook that gets crap battery life and only stays cool and quiet when you stick to basic productivity tasks.

      • The VergeLenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 review: we’ve seen this all before

        Lenovo did its part, but Intel dropped the ball

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Medicare for All Remains Best Cure for Sick Healthcare System

        Early voting in the 2022 midterm elections has begun in many states, and inflation, the economy, and recession are top concerns for most voters, according to polls. Democratic political consultant James Carville’s 1992 presidential campaign quip, “It’s the economy, stupid,” has been getting lots of use lately. If true, it’s odd that healthcare has hardly been raised as a campaign issue, even though it accounts for 20% of the U.S. economy. U.S. healthcare is a complex patchwork of public and private entities and programs, resulting in the most expensive per capita healthcare in the world. Yet, the health of people in this country, on average, is worse than in other wealthy nations.

      • Sabine HossenfelderSabine Hossenfelder: Backreaction: Why are we getting fatter?

        Today I want to talk about personal energy storage. I don’t mean that drawer we all have that’s full of batteries in the wrong size, I mean our expanding waistlines that store energy in form of fat. What are the main causes of obesity, how much of a problem is it, and what are you to make of the recent claims that obesity is caused by plastic? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

        Obesity is common and becoming more common, so common in fact that the World Health Organization says “the issue has grown to epidemic proportions.” The proportions of the issue are, I guess, approaching that of a sphere, and the word “epidemic” just means it’s a widely spread health problem. Though, interestingly enough, obesity is in some sense infectious. Not because it’s spread by a virus, but because eating habits spread in social networks. If your friends are obese, you’re more likely to be obese too.

      • Xe’s Blog10 years of Barkley Pie’s Slam Jam Slam Song – Xe

        10 years ago I was a vastly different person than who I am today. I had just gotten out of a high school experience that I don’t look back on fondly. I was a ball of depression and I was sent out to college because that’s what I was supposed to do. Needless to say, I ended up getting a PhD in dropping out.

        Depression is not something I usually like talking about on this blog. It’s usually a very personal thing that I have been societally trained into not talking about out of the ideas of “austerity” or “being tough”. I want to work on breaking those stigmas, and one of the ways that I feel I can do that is to talk about this openly. Depression sucks and if you are struggling with it please don’t give up hope that things can get better. They can get better.

        I was very depressed in college and one of the few things that started to turn things around was stumbling across the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and the community of college aged and adult fans around it. Most of the online communities I had been in before the brony fandom had been places filled with hatred, toxicity, and ego. This was different. It was full of passionate, kind people that wanted to get away from the hate.

    • Proprietary

      • MacRumorsHP Accidentally Uses macOS Screenshot in Ad for Windows Laptop

        Windows PC maker HP appears to believe that “the perfect laptop” is one that runs macOS — at least according to an ad the company promoted on Reddit. The ad shows an HP laptop with a macOS screenshot in what is clearly a Photoshop job gone wrong.

    • Privatisation/Privateering

      • This multi-billion dollar corporation exacerbated the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi

        The City of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, is in crisis. Its 150,000 residents lack access to safe drinking water. Many have not had enough water to bathe or flush their toilets. Those with enough water pressure are being instructed to shower with their mouths closed. Public schools have been closed.

        The immediate crisis was brought about by severe flooding, which caused a water treatment plant to fail. But the problems with Jackson’s water supply date back decades.

    • Security

      • Franz DillEncountered and Reported Security Issues in MS Office

        In the most recent ‘ Security Now ‘Podcast #893′ by Steve Gibson, he discussed the fact that Microsoft has chosen not to fix a well understood security vulnerability currently in their OME (Office Method Encryption), that has existed for years, a commonly used system, which claims to have a means to encrypt text in Office, say before sending it or storing it.

        BUT they use ECB ‘Electronic Code book’ as a ‘secure’ method, which is well known to leak information. ECB is well known to be insecure. Microsoft has refused to fix or patch the Windows Office method. I have personally examined ECB in the past, and its problems are obvious and well known. Especially for cases like stolen or diverted data. (Ransomware?) A major issue for assumed security in MS Office.

      • MandiantThe Defender’s Advantage Cyber Snapshot Issue 2 — More Insights From the Frontlines | Mandiant

        In the latter half of this year we’ve reported on a number of threats from information operations campaigns to widespread campaigns targeting Microsoft 365, Duo Authentication, and cryptocurrency platforms, and our continued tracking of activity from advanced state-sponsored threat actor groups.

      • Stacey on IoT
        How Matter is a key step forward for cybersecurity
        [Ed: Equating surveillance with "cybersecurity"?]

        One of my favorite things about the Matter home interoperability protocol is that even if it doesn’t make it easy to manage my crazy complex smart home right from the beginning — or ultimately, ever — it does mandate some basic security requirements for connected devices. This is a big deal!

      • Integrity/Availability/Authenticity

        • HackadayWhen [Elon] Says No, Just Reverse Engineer The Starlink Signal

          We all know that it’s sometimes better to beg forgiveness than ask permission to do something, and we’ll venture a guess that more than a few of us have taken that advice to heart on occasion. But [Todd Humphreys] got the order of operations a bit mixed up with his attempt to leverage the Starlink network as a backup to the Global Positioning System, and ended up doing some interesting reverse engineering work as a result.

        • uni TorontoWhat it means to see a ‘bad’ certificate in TLS Certificate Transparency logs

          I don’t have an answer to this, but we can ask a related question: what does it mean if your CT log monitoring turns up a TLS certificate for your domain that you don’t know about?

          I think that there are four things that it could mean, which I’ll order from the least likely to the most likely. First, the Certificate Authority could be compromised and the attacker has chosen to burn that compromise (and probably the entire CA) in order to get a TLS certificate for your host or domain. This is probably the least likely option but the most valuable thing for the overall TLS ecology to detect.

          (‘Compromised’ here includes the government of the CA’s jurisdiction turning up with an order for it to issue some TLS certificates.)

          Second, the CA’s processes for issuing TLS certificates could have problems that have been exploited (deliberately or accidentally), what’s sometimes called a ‘mis-issuance’. Historically mis-issuance has come in all sorts of forms, including trying to trick the CA about your identity (corporate or otherwise). Mis-issuance is a CA issue that the CA is going to have to fix right away once it’s detected, complete with officially revoking the mis-issued TLS certificates (for all the good that will or won’t do). Mis-issuance is tragically still not completely stamped out.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • BloombergSouth Korea Aims to Boost Economy with Digital IDs on Blockchain [Ed: Big Bropther Surveillance with some "blockchain" thrown in for hype's sake]

          South Korea intends to offer its citizens a blockchain-secured digital identity in order to improve economic growth. The nation will launch digital IDs in 2024, expecting 45 million citizens to be using them within two years. The IDs will be embedded into mobile devices like smartphones. Suh Bo Ram, director-general of South Korea’s digital-government bureau, said a decentralized identity framework will prevent the government from accessing data on individual phones, including whose digital IDs are used, how they are used, and where. Hwang Seogwon at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute said although digital IDs can be highly beneficial economically, “there has to be more risk assessment technologically to make sure the danger doesn’t outweigh the benefits.

        • Stacey on IoTWhy the new Roku Smart Home is a safe bet for the company [Ed: Surveillance, not "smart"]

          Add another smart home company to your list: Roku, the digital media streaming brand today introduced Roku Smart Home. The platform initially supports seven types of connected devices with relatively low prices and subscription options. It achieves this through a partnership with Wyze, a maker of capable but inexpensive connected cameras, locks, a video doorbell, and lighting. The new Roku Smart Home products are available online today and exclusively in 3,500 Walmart stores starting on October 17.

        • The Texas TribuneTexas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues Google for compiling Texans’ biometric data

          The lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims Google illegally collects and indefinitely stores information about Texans’ facial geometry and voiceprints without their consent, even if they’re not the ones using Google devices.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: Europe’s Self Destruction

          Despite the economically disastrous impact the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage will have on Europe, Western media still holds its tongue about it.

        • David RosenthalDSHR’s Blog: The Power Of Ethereum’s Merge

          The laudable goal of Ethereum’s “Merge”, the long-awaited transition from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake, was to eliminate more than 99% of the massive environmental damage caused by Ethereum’s consuming about half as much power as Bitcoin. There are many reasons to criticize Proof-of-Stake, but the Merge definitely achieved this goal. We can no longer point the finger at Ethereum and its users and claim they are wrecking the climate half as much as Bitcoin.

          However, as usual when cryptocurrency advocates tout claims like “more than 99%” it is necessary to apply skepticism. From the planet’s point of view the issue is not whether the Merge reduced Ethereum’s carbon emissions, but whether the Merge reduced the carbon emissions of cryptocurrencies as a whole. The answer is “not so much”. Below the fold I discuss the details and estimate the real reduction to be ~35%, because most of the power has been diverted to mining Bitcoin.

    • Finance

      • Michael West MediaJudgement day is coming for Sports Rorts, other Coalition grants schemes – Michael West

        “Sports Rorts” and assorted grants schemes manipulated for political gains by the former Coalition government are not merely corrupt but probably illegal too, writes Vince O’Grady. O’Grady found the political bias persisted not only in Sports allocations but throughout the more than $7bn in grants programs. And that is before even analysing the almost half a trillion in government contracts since 2013.

        We all know about the colour coded spreadsheets. They were leaked to the ABC following the damming report on the Sports infrastructure scheme. But that is where the majority of the media left it.

      • [Old] ‘We are slaves to the company’

        Maize seed farmers in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh have been waiting for their dues from a faraway seed company for over a year. Such delays are common, and the farmers’ loans and losses are growing

      • ScheerpostHow Corporations ‘Get Away With Murder’ To Inflate Prices on Rent, Food and Electricity

        Antitrust expert Hal Singer shows how big businesses in certain industries are taking advantage of inflation worries to jack up prices far beyond their cost increases, all the while raking in robber-baron profits.

      • GeorgeBook Review – Safe Haven: Investing for Financial Storms

        The issue here is that the author, understandably so, equates wealth with money.

      • John GruberDaring Fireball: More on Twitter’s Absurd Headcount

        Another angle of pushback is that Twitter needs thousands of employees because their business model is different from WhatsApp’s. Twitter’s business model sucks. I mean it doesn’t just suck, it infamously sucks. Twitter arguably has the worst ratio of user attention to revenue of any media company in history. And again, even if I concede that Twitter needs a massive ad sales staff — and I won’t concede that point — that’s irrelevant to their massive engineering and design headcount.

      • John GruberDHH (and Fred Brooks) on Twitter’s Headcount

        WhatsApp circa 2014 — with 50 employees and 500 million users — is a good counterpoint.

      • 37signals LLCNeed it take 7,500 people to run Twitter?

        When WhatsApp was sold to Facebook in 2014, it had almost half a billion monthly users, but a team of just 50 people running everything. Compare this to Twitter, which today has a staff of 7,500 to manage half the number of users. Yet Musk is the crazy one here for suggesting that maybe Twitter could operate with a mere TWO THOUSAND employees? Please.

      • IEEEInflation-Adjusted Income for U.S. Engineers Drops

        HOW MUCH DOES a tech professional in the United States earn? In 2021, the median income of U.S. engineers and other tech professionals who were IEEE members hit US $160,097, up from $154,443 in 2020. That bump in pay is revealed in the IEEE-USA 2022 Salary & Benefits Survey.

        This apparent increase turns into a nearly $3,500 dip, however, when converted to real dollars [see chart, below]. It’s the first significant dip in median tech salary in terms of spending power recorded by IEEE-USA since 2013.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Common DreamsOpinion | If Tulsi Gabbard Falls in the Woods, Should It Make a Sound?

        The announcement by former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard that she was leaving a Democratic Party driven by “cowardly wokeness,” under the “control of an elitist cabal” which is stoking “anti-white racism,” was met with mixed media enthusiasm. While the New York Times and Washington Post passed on the story, other major centrist media (NPR, 10/12/22; CNN, 10/11/22; USA Today, 10/11/22; Guardian, 10/11/22; LA Times, 10/11/22) thought it worth a headline.

      • Common DreamsArmed ‘Poll Watchers’ in Arizona Heighten Alarm Over Right-Wing Voter Intimidation

        The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office told a local ABC affiliate that it is investigating several individuals who were watching a Mesa voting location on Friday. The department confirmed that two individuals at the site were armed.

      • AntipopeStrong and Stable! – Charlie’s Diary

        So, La Trussterfuck’s career is approximately over. At 45 days, she’s the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British parliamentary history; she’s been in and out of office so fast there hasn’t even been time for an episode of Doctor Who to air during her tenure (caveat: there’s a Doctor Who special due this Sunday and she’s not out-out until they elect a new leader, but this is very much a transitional period: she has definitely resigned).

        There is now going to be a leadership run-off in the 1922 Committee. My original belief that it was going to be a rigged one-horse race has apparently been quashed: mooted contestants so far include Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, and … Cthulhu save us … Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the latter undeterred by the fact that he’s still under investigation by the Parliamentary Standards Committee for lying to Parliament which means he technically can’t hold office (in other news: the PSC is also investigating whether bears shit in sylvanian settings, Popes are Catholic, and the sun rises in the east).

        Reader: if they select Clownshoes Churchill again, the Conservative Party is dead. Arguably it’s a dead party walking anyway, but that’d be an classic symptom of denial-of-reality.

      • Michael West MediaGaming the Machine: pokies bosses to sign up politicians Perrottet and Minns for another 4 years – Michael West

        Security guards for the powerful pokies lobby threw reporter Callum Foote out of the ClubsNSW annual meeting Friday afternoon but not before members were told Clubs would be signing up both Premier Dominic Perrottet and Opposition leader Chris Minns to another favourable deal on poker machine regulations. Callum reports.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • TruthOutThis Holiday Season Could Be Watershed Moment for Amazon Organizers
      • Business InsiderThis chart shows how union membership has declined over the years

        President Joe Biden said in a Labor Day speech on Monday at Laborfest in Milwaukee that he is encouraging unions, adding he has been doing this “from day one.”

        “The labor movement represents workers in America, and this administration is very pro-worker,” Marty Walsh, US secretary of labor, told Insider’s Juliana Kaplan. “When the labor movement calls on something where the president can be helpful, he is.”

        With September 5 being Labor Day, Insider looked back at how the union membership rate has changed over the past few decades.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Jeff GeerlingStreaming services lost the plot

        Physical media was still the preferred way to consume media. Besides sports content, and some TV shows that were cable-exclusive for a time, most people would run by Blockbuster and pick up a movie.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Daniel Miessler[CG] Art Will Push the Top 1% to Human Artists

          One effect I think we’ll see from all this AI-generated art is magnified status for those who insist on the opposite, i.e., manual, human art. The more manual the better. The more human the better. Ideally there’d only be one of whatever you have, and it’d only be yours.

          Why is this? It’s because when we talk about people making art for things, there are really two games being played. The first is the base need for an image of some sort. Like for a blog post, or an article. It’s something visual to complement the text. But the second axis is the most important one, which is status.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

    • Politics

      • Turning Legitimate Criticism into “Alternative Facts”

        I was reading through /r/Canada on Reddit this morning and stumbled

        across a thread on a story about Danielle Smith in the National Post

        newspaper. I don’t have a Reddit account, so I thought I’d respond here.

        I know, I know. I’m shouting into the void.

        Smith is the new premier of the province of Alberta. She was chosen by

        her party after the previous premier, Jason Kenney, stepped down. His

        departure followed a leadership review in which he gained the support of

        just over 50% of party members. He stepped down voluntarily given the

        low level of support within his own party.

    • Technical

      • Internet/Gemini

        • enabling-gemlog-comments-over-email

          From what I gather, the most common ways to enable easy replies/comments
          on gemini is by encoding the reply in a url and making a request, or
          using http.

          The space in a url is very limited; something like 1024 characters, and
          using http works, but it sort of defeats the point.

          So I was thinking about a solution. Gemini is mostly a write-only
          medium, but a little more interaction when so desired would be nice.

      • Programming

        • Octo progress, burning out…

          I feel a bit burnt out. I had a good month of relatively clear thinking, but feel a bit brainfogged again. Things that were obvious a couple of weeks ago strain my abilities.

          A lot of chores are piling up and I will have to travel shortly. So I am trying to wrap up the loose ends in order to avoid losing the thread of this project. I have a dozen (or more?) directories with projects like this sitting abandoned.


          Sometimes I wonder why I do this. But then I look at this amazing machine chugging away, constructing these tables and indirecting through them without missing a beat, and it makes me feel good.

          I miss Lisp, however. I wish I could figure out a way to apply this tech to a Lisp interpreter, but that seems like a much larger project. Or is it? A simple Lisp metacircular interpreter is only a handful of functions, really. And function application is not that different, I suppose, than what I am doing. Hmm..

        • About mandating tools to developers

          The point I am trying to make is this: for me, computer screens are 80×24 characters, monospace font, shell interface (I’m using the i3/sway window managers on Linux systems). That’s how I got raised. That’s how my pattern recognition works. I can find interesting things in logfiles, just by scrolling through them. Of course I rely on “search” a lot. By the way: “less” got me to change from “more” literally in seconds, because it could move “backwards”.

          I understand, that people socalized in another epoch find other things normal. But please leave me alone, if you would please be so kind as to. I do learn new tools if I need them, e.g. git wasn’t always there. Someone remember RCS? It was quite capable at its time.

          To explain, what I’m doing at dayjob: I’m not a computer science major, but one of physics. I work in a role as a systems integrator. I receive hardware, I use serial interfaces and very awkward things to build a first stage boot loader, I use C and make to build a second stage boot loader (u-boot) matching the board. I build a linux kernel and a minimal userland. In other words: I write shell scripts to automate all this. Emacs shell-mode and flycheck work faster and further than my brain does. If I did a good job, then copying “the image” onto said hardware will make it boot up, come to live, talk to it’s hardware environment and do its job. Hardware does not have a screen, so no GUI! :)


          Another long time ago in some psycho team booting whatever bullshit event, I found a nice gem. The lady running the event asked us to find a profession, the connotations of which would describe, how we actually worked.

          I chose a seaman/skipper.

          Why? I want to understand the operation to be carried out. I want to choose the tools, resources and if possible people to run the operation. Then we would set sail. And I do not want to be bothered until we return. Especially, I don’t want to learn, that the thing was canceled, or that the goal is moved every week. If we run into trouble exceeding our capacities or knowledge, I’m going to ask for help.

          Guess what. It never works like this. But it has helped me understand, why I would quit on the spot.

          Never forget that the super fancy white collar manager can not make a release or fix a bug. Literally. They are totally dependant on all the other people, not only the developers. If I am not making the release, because I know, it is not ready for primetime, there is no release. This might cost your job, so use it wisely.

        • Modern Wonders 6: Programming Microcontrollers at Home

          Isn’t “Programming Microcontrollers at Home” a modern wonder of our time as well, that many just take for granted? Especially after the appearance of the Arduino hw/sw system, seemingly out of the blue?


          I would like to get the point across, how unbelievably high this pile of individual wonders is to create another, greater wonder. And I would like to encourage anyone, who has not travelled this road, to feel a bit more humble about all the technological wonders we move through our hands maybe daily, and without paying much attention. I would like get the point across, that the CPU in your smart phone is a very big brother of the humble microcontroller mentioned, and the magic incantations are a lot more involved to get this big brother to life.

          I tend to understand “paying by credit card” as an experiment, and I tend to cheer at the cashier, when the experiment works. I don’t take it for granted.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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DecorWhat Else is New

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    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 02, 2023

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  3. The Developing World Abandons Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux at All-Time Highs on Desktops/Laptops

    Microsoft, with 80 billion dollars in longterm debt and endless layoffs, is losing the monopolies; the media doesn’t mention this, but some publicly-accessible data helps demonstrate that

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  6. Links 02/06/2023: Arti 1.1.5 and SQL:2023

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  7. Gemini Links 02/06/2023: Vimwiki Revisited, SGGS Revisited

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  8. Geminispace/GemText/Gemini Protocol Turn 4 on June 20th

    Gemini is turning 4 this month (on the 20th, according to the founder) and I thought I’d do a spontaneous video about how I use Gemini, why it's so good, and why it’s still growing (Stéphane Bortzmeyer fixed the broken cron job — or equivalent of it — a day or two after I had mentioned the issue)

  9. HMRC Does Not Care About Tax Fraud Committed by UK Government Contractor, Sirius 'Open Source'

    The tax crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ were reported to HMRC two weeks ago; HMRC did not bother getting back to the reporters (victims of the crime) and it’s worth noting that the reporters worked on UK government systems for many years, so maybe there’s a hidden incentive to bury this under the rug

  10. Our IRC at 15th Anniversary

    So our IRC community turns 15 today (sort of) and I’ve decided to do a video reflecting on the fact that some of the same people are still there after 15 years

  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 01, 2023

  12. Links 02/06/2023: NixOS 23.05 and Rust 1.70.0

    Links for the day

  13. Gemini Links 02/06/2023: Flying High With Gemini and Gogios Released

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  14. Links 01/06/2023: KStars 3.6.5 and VEGA ET1031 RISC-V Microprocessor in Use

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  15. Gemini Links 01/06/2023: Scam Call and Flying High With Gemini

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  16. Links 01/06/2023: Spleen 2.0.0 Released and Team UPC Celebrates Its Own Corruption

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  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

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  18. Tux Machines Closing the Door on Twitter Because Twitter is Dead (for a Lot of People)

    Tux Machines recently joined millions of others who had already quit Twitter, including passive posting (fully or partly automated)

  19. Links 31/05/2023: Inkscape’s 1.3 Plans and New ARM Cortex-A55-Based Linux Chip

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  20. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Personality of Software Engineers

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  21. Links 31/05/2023: Armbian 23.05 Release and Illegal UPC

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  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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  23. Gemini Protocol About to Turn 4 and It's Still Growing

    In the month of May we had zero downtime (no updates to the system or outages in the network), which means Lupa did not detect any errors such as timeouts and we’re on top of the list (the page was fixed a day or so after we wrote about it); Gemini continues to grow (chart by Botond) as we’re approaching the 4th anniversary of the protocol

  24. Links 31/05/2023: Librem Server v2, curl 8.1.2, and Kali Linux 2023.2 Release

    Links for the day

  25. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Bayes Filter and Programming Wordle

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  26. [Meme] Makes No Sense for EPO (Now Connected to the EU) and Staff Pensions to be Tied to the UK After Brexit

    It seems like EPO staff is starting to have doubts about the safety of EPO pensions after Benoît Battistelli sent money to reckless gambling (EPOTIF) — a plot that’s 100% supported by António Campinos and his enablers in the Council, not to mention the European Union

  27. Working Conditions at EPO Deteriorate and Staff Inquires About Pension Rights

    Work is becoming a lot worse (not even compliant with the law!) and promises are constantly being broken, so staff is starting to chase management for answers and assurances pertaining to finances

  28. Links 30/05/2023: Orc 0.4.34 and Another Rust Crisis

    Links for the day

  29. Links 30/05/2023: Nitrux 2.8.1 and HypoPG 1.4.0

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