Services and Users TRApped in Telescreen-Running Apps

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 11:13 pm by Guest Editorial Team

New article by Alexandre Oliva (FSF Board, Linux-libre etc.)

Summary: TRApp, term that lends its name to this article, is short for "Telescreen-Running App". It sounds just like "trap". Any similarity is not purely coincidental.

I‘ve noticed a worrisome pattern, in Brazil, wherein companies and even governments entice users to install apps on portable telescreening devices, handheld versions of the telescreens in George Orwell's 1984, also known as smart mobile telephones, pocket electronic ankle tag, or Stalin's dream. They advertise benefits to customers over the same services previously delivered preferentially through web sites and browsers, when these alternatives aren't removed entirely.

As Big Bad Wolf disguised as grandma would respond, "my TRApps are so big the better to see you, dear, and the tighter to hold you." That's surveillance capitalism at work. But do they have any teeth?

First, allow me to detail my observations. It's not just multiple utilities, private businesses and governments advertising they now have apps on both major (nonfree) mobile TRApp stores, that offer similar services to those already available on a web site, but now without the alleged hassle of authenticating every time. It's not just that, while you hold on the phone waiting for a human attendant, recorded messages are played insisting for you to try the TRApp.

What catches my attention is when online merchants offer significant discounts, store credit or free shipping, but only if you make the purchase in the TRApp, rather than their web shop. That gas station chains offer discounts when you pay for your fuel using their TRApp rather than even cash or bank transfer. When banks want you to use their TRApps so bad that they won't just stop adding features to the web site, as if it was legacy abandonware, but will discontinue features that used to be available on the web site, for no reason other than to force you into their TRApps.

Various government agencies now issue virtual documents, such as id card, driver's and car license, voter id, proof of military service and of vaccination, proof of purchases, the list goes on and on… but though they look essentially the same as their paper equivalents, and several of them contain even QR codes for validation, some of them are only valid when displayed by the official TRApp. Taking and carrying a digital picture of the paper document won't do, even when a paper copy of the document would!

Most businesses and government agencies had to adopt online customer and citizen attention after the COVID-19 pandemic started. Many now offer chatbots to get the interaction started, but several insist you use their own TRApp for that. Others require you, for no reason, to have a phone number and an account with a third-party messaging TRApp to get their service. I'd have complained about that to the consumer protection office, but I didn't because I learned they were only holding audiences with Zoom during the pandemics. Oh, the irony!

Not long ago, the federal government launched gov.br, a unified portal for government services to citizens. Though there is a web site under that name, there are also TRApps on both major TRApp stores, and many of the services are only available to users TRApped in the duopoly of freedom-depriving mobile operating systems. I'm told they don't work on devices that have been unlocked (rooted or jail-broken), i.e., they demand them to be under someone else's control.

Why would businesses insist on TRApps, to the point of seemingly sacrificing their profits, when web interactions would do? They won't disclose their ulterior motives, so we can only speculate. Could it be that most of the target audience is presumed or known to carry portable telescreening devices, and web browsers for those dominant (double meaning intended) platforms suck? Could it be that TRApp provide higher user engagement than web sites? Could it be that developers of TRApps have become cheaper or easier to find than web developers? Could it be that suppliers of TRApps and mobile operating systems are driving this trend, and that they are in bed with Big Data? ("What great Big Data, grandma!") Could it be that, like Pinocchio's nose, the more they lie to us, the bigger their collection of data about us grows?

Imposing freedom-depriving software has long been used as a means to control users' computing and, ultimately, to control the users themselves. It used to be the case that nonfree software running locally was less dangerous to users, freedom-wise, than software running on somebody else's computer, under somebody else's control, a computing malpractice presented as powered by heavenly magical mist to users with clouded judgment. The reason for this difference was that you could keep the locally-running software from sharing your data or getting new commands from the mothership by unplugging your computer from the network (do not try this at home, Winston, not even with your portable telescreen!), whereas you had to give your data to the remote program without a chance to know what's done with it: such computing processes are covered by a thick mist. You don't even get binary programs to reverse engineer, reimplement, or run at will, remaining at the mercy of the service provider.

Ironically, this difference does not apply to most TRApps, that are little more than a front-end, a tentacle controlled by remote brains. They bring into the local computer the lack of user control typical of misty computing, while escaping the browser sandboxing that limited, even if just a little, the amount of abuse the remote programs could impose on their victims.

Despite elaborate permission systems offered by major mobile operating systems, TRApps often ask for and get permissions over seemingly legitimate purposes, but one can hardly ever tell whether they abuse the granted permissions without the freedom to study the source code. If they're found to abuse the granted permissions, one can hardly ever fix that without the freedom to adapt them so that, on the user's computer, with the user's data plan or network connection, they serve the user rather than some third party who controls them remotely.

Consumers are entitled to know what is in products they acquire, even if as a requirement to receive services, and to use their own property as they see fit. Businesses should not abuse consumers, not even by reframing or turning them into products. Requiring us to give up our freedom and privacy to use (or be used by) their service is abusive, unacceptable business practice.

Now, it's not everybody that has the skills to audit or modify code, so consumers also need the freedom to share every such program with someone they trust to study it, adapt it, and improve it for them. Summing it up, consumers need software to be free software.

The lack of these freedoms is an even more egregious offense when it comes to software used to interact with the government. Nonfree software constrains behavior, not only of the computer, but also of the user. "The system won't allow it" is often given as a reason, or rather excuse, to refuse, without legal backing, citizens's reasonable requests. Code becomes law, as Lawrence Lessig wrote, but democratic law is supposed to be public and transparent, available for the people's scrutiny, and adopted through transparent democratic processes, whereas rules imposed through secret nonfree code lack the transparency and legitimacy required of democratic powers: the secrecy of the source code implies the rules are opaque to the public, and came to be through opaque and undemocratic processes, that can seldom be challenged and fixed. Democratic governments must not impose such illegitimate rules on anyone, let alone on their own citizens.

There is yet another very undesirable consequence of the push from WWW standards-based interactions to TRApps: it reinforces and strengthens the duopoly of nonfree mobile operating systems and their TRApp stores. Both big players ("What great big players, grandma!") engineer their systems to control the users, to make sure the suppliers have more control over the devices than their buyers and presumed owners. This may be good for those who lay the TRApps, but it's very dangerous and harmful to the paying customers they wish to capture.

It would surely be in the best interest of free societies to enable and foment the introduction of other mobile operating systems that respected users and enabled them to control their digital lives. Depending on TRApps that lock users to either preexisting competitor, and on cooperation from their carefull curated but incurably anti-competitive TRApp stores are major impediments to such desirable developments. Oligopolies are bad enough for consumers, but walking down a path that inescapably and deliberately locks us to a duopoly is far more serious!

“Wow, grandma, what a great big problem that is!” “Yes, dear,” answers the actual grandmother, “a great big problem with great big, sharp and ugly teeth. Watch out, it bites! We should all make a big stink about TRApps, dear, and insist on being able to get equivalent service without them!“

Copyright 2022-2023 Alexandre Oliva

Copyright 2023 FSFLA

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this entire document worldwide without royalty, provided the copyright notice, the document's official URL, and this permission notice are preserved.


Links 19/03/2023: Release of Libreboot 20230319 and NATO Expanding

Posted in News Roundup at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Great Things Brewing

Posted in Site News at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: We’ve been very busy behind the scenes this past week; we expect some good publications ahead

OVER the past few days we’ve barely published anything because we did lots of work related to tooling and workflow instead. Files were added to Git last night and we’ve just caught up with a lot of links. Daily Links are very important, orginal articles ideally contain exclusive (original) material. Trying to hold my former employer accountable for actual crimes takes a lot of time and in addition to this we’ve been investing in the site’s future by writing a bunch of supportive programs. Python, Perl, Bash…

“Over the past few days we stumbled upon some truly encouraging news too.”This coming week or fortnight we expect to have some exclusive EPO material. It might even be historic. We want to hold António Campinos accountable; his appointer, Benoît Battistelli, was never held accountable for some very serious crimes, which should really embarrass Europe.

Over the past few days we stumbled upon some truly encouraging news too. We intend to write about some of them, seeing that the media and social control media aren’t willing to.

Windows share: Buried. Can't say that, can we?

Techrights is serving a likely unprecedented 7-8MB/second this weekend. It’s mostly because of the RMS talk and partly because of Ken Thompson.

Links 19/03/2023: LLVM 16.0.0 and EasyOS Kirkstone 5.1 Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

    • Kernel Space

      • It’s FOSSLinux Jargon Buster: What is LUKS Encryption

        Linux Unified Key Setup – LUKS is a disk encryption specification created by Clemens Fruhwirth in 2004 and was originally intended for Linux. It is a well-known, secure, and high-performance disk encryption method based on an enhanced version of cryptsetup, using dm-crypt as the disk encryption backend. LUKS is also a popular encryption format in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

        LUKS can also be used to create and run encrypted containers. Encrypted containers feature the same level of protection as LUKS full-disk encryption. LUKS also offers multiple encryption algorithms, several modes of encryption, and several hash functions – a little over 40 possible combinations.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mike Blumenkrantz: Overdue
        I Meant To Write This Some Time Ago But Then I Didn’t

        The blog has been there before, it’ll be there again, I’m over it.

        Let’s talk about the only thing anyone cares about on this blog for the 23.1 release cycle: perf.

        What does it mean? Who knows.

        How does one acquire it? See above.

        But everyone wants it, so I’ve gotta deliver like a hypothetical shipping company that delivers on-time and actually rings the bell when they drop something off instead of just hucking a box onto my front porch and running away to leave my stuff sitting out to get snowed on.

        Unlike such a hypothetical shipping company which doesn’t exist, perf does exist, and I’ve got it now. Lots of it.

        Let’s talk about what parts of my soul I had to sell to get to this point in my life.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Linux CapableHow to Create a New User and Grant Permissions in MySQL

        MySQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that helps businesses manage large amounts of data efficiently. One of the key features of MySQL is its ability to create multiple users with different permissions, allowing businesses to control who has access to what data.

      • Linux CapableHow to Remove Docker Images, Containers, and Volumes

        Docker has become an indispensable tool for developers and system administrators. It enables them to run applications in isolated containers, making it easy to manage dependencies and streamline deployment processes. However, as you work with Docker, you may accumulate unused images, containers, and volumes, which can occupy valuable storage space.

      • How to Write Bash Script with User Input
      • Linux CapableHow to Install and Configure UFW Firewall on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

        This in-depth guide will walk you through installing and configuring the Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) on Ubuntu 22.04 and 20.04. We will provide multiple configuration examples, detailed explanations of each command, and discuss additional features such as logging, application profiles, and remote connections.

      • Linux CapableHow to Configure Security Headers in Nginx

        In this article, we will discuss how to improve the security of your web server by implementing various security headers in NGINX. By utilizing security headers, you can safeguard your website against a wide range of web-based attacks and ensure the protection of user data. What are Security Headers in Nginx?

      • ID RootHow To Install MariaDB on Fedora 37

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install MariaDB on Fedora 37. For those of you who didn’t know, MariaDB is a popular open-source database management system that is widely used in web applications.

      • LinuxiacHow to Configure Linux Mint 21 Automatic Updates

        Keep your Linux Mint 21 up-to-date and bug-free with automatic updates. Learn how to set them up with our step-by-step guide.

      • FOSSLinuxLinux Mint User and Group Management

        This article will provide an overview of managing users and groups in Linux Mint, a popular Linux distribution. It will cover the basics of user management, including adding and deleting users, modifying user settings, and managing user groups.

      • Linux CapableHow to Get a Directory Size in Linux: Practical Examples

        Getting a directory size in Linux is common for administrators and users who want to manage their disk space effectively. This article will explore 10 examples of how to get the size of a directory in Linux using various commands and scripting techniques.

      • Linux CapableHow to Use Fail2ban Commands in Linux

        Fail2Ban is an intrusion prevention software framework that protects computer servers from brute-force attacks. It does this by monitoring system logs for repeated failed login attempts and blocking the offending IP addresses.

      • Linux CapablePython Variables: Concepts and Examples

        Python is a versatile and powerful programming language popular among developers for its readability and ease of use. In this article, we will explore the concept of variables in Python and understand how to use them effectively. We will cover ten topics with three unique examples and break them down into relevant sections.

      • Linux CapableHow to Create a Systemd Service in Linux

        This comprehensive guide focuses on mastering systemd services—an integral aspect of contemporary Linux systems. By delving into the structure of systemd service files and understanding how to create custom services for root and normal users, readers will acquire the knowledge and expertise necessary to manage and develop systemd services proficiently.

      • Net2How to Delete a Git Branch Locally and Remotely

        In Git, people often make different branches to work on new features and bug fixes, while keeping them separate from the main codebase. But when the work on a feature is done, it’s a good idea to remove the branch to keep things tidy and clear.

      • Trend OceansStatus Resolved: Failed! Error: SET PASSWORD has no significance for user ‘root’@’localhost’

        Getting error: “Failed! Error: SET PASSWORD has no significance for user ‘root’@’localhost”? Then read the steps here to fix it up. When you run the mysql_secure_installation command in your terminal window, it will ask you to enter the root password and set up security options for your MySQL installation.

      • UNIX CopManaging Large-Scale Web Applications with NGINX on Linux

        Introduction NGINX is a popular open-source web server known for its high performance and scalability. It is commonly used to manage large-scale web applications that require high availability and performance.

      • UNIX CopLinux Shell Scripting: Automating Tasks and Streamlining Workflows

        Introduction Linux shell scripting is writing scripts to automate tasks and streamline workflows in the Linux operating system. With the power of the Linux command line interface and a range of scripting languages available, users can write scripts to automate repetitive tasks, perform complex data manipulations, and even build entire applications.

      • UNIX CopBuilding a Real-Time Data Pipeline with Apache Kafka on Linux

        Introduction Building a real-time data pipeline is a common requirement for modern data-driven applications. Apache Kafka is a popular distributed streaming platform allowing developers to build scalable, fault-tolerant, highly available real-time data pipelines.

      • UNIX CopConfiguring a Load Balancer on Ubuntu Server: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

        This tutorial will show you how to configure a load balancer on Ubuntu Server. Introduction Load balancing is a critical component of modern web applications, allowing them to distribute traffic across multiple servers to improve performance, scalability, and availability.

      • ID RootBoost Your Network Performance: How To Clear DNS Cache on Linux

        As a Linux user, you might have experienced slow internet connections or the inability to access some websites. Often, this issue can be traced back to your DNS cache.

      • It’s UbuntuFix “Updating from such a repository can’t be done securely” Error In Linux

        How to fix the “Updating from such a repository can’t be done securely” error in Linux You might have encountered this error while trying to run the apt update or the apt upgrade command.

      • Linux HandbookEverything You Need to Know About UFW Logs

        Learn all about UFW logs and how to use them effectively. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about UFW logs.

      • The New Stack Check for Container Image Vulnerabilities with Trivy

        Security should be one of the most important aspects of container deployments, especially for enterprise production environments that depend on highly scaled applications and services that will not only see massive demand but that will also interact with other services, servers, APIs, etc.

        If you skimp on security, you could leave your company open to hacking. All it takes is one hacker gaining access to a single container and they could wind up with the keys to your kingdom.

        You don’t want that.

        The thing is security has to start from the ground up, otherwise, everything is susceptible. Think of it this way: You cannot build a house on a foundation with cracks, holes, and other vulnerabilities and expect it to be secure. Eventually, that house could crumble. Containers are the same way. If you build them on a foundation with vulnerabilities, there’s no way they’ll be secure.

      • Make Use Of6 Ways to Find a Raspberry Pi’s IP Address

        Quite often, it is necessary to know the IP address of your Raspberry Pi. You will need the IP to configure any service related to networking, such as SSH. Also, you need to know the IP when using the Pi as a web server, a file server, or a print server.

        It is easy to find the Raspberry Pi’s IP address using the GUI, command line, or network scan, which are all discussed here.

      • Make Use OfHow to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network on Ubuntu Server

        Ubuntu Server is a powerful server operating system. It’s very much similar to Ubuntu Desktop but comes without the GUI. You interact with the system primarily via the terminal.

        If you are used to connecting Ubuntu to Wi-Fi from the GUI, you might find it a bit tricky to connect to Wi-Fi from the command line. Don’t worry though, here’s how you can connect to Wi-Fi on Ubuntu Server.

      • ID RootHow To Install Printrun on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Printrun on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

      • 2 ways Install Nomacs on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 LTS

        Learn the steps to install Nomacs, an open-source image viewer — editor on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Linux using the command terminal.

      • What are Tar and Gz? Difference between them.

        While working in Linux you would have seen files downloaded from the internet ended up with either “.tar” or “.tar.gz”.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install OpenLDAP Server and Client on Rocky Linux 9

        OpenLDAP is a software implementation of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). In this guide, you will install and set up OpenLDAP on a Rocky Linux 9 server. You will install the OpenLDAP server, configure the OpenLDAP server manually, and enable secure SSL/TLS on the OpenLDAP server.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Audacity on Fedora Linux

        Audacity is a powerful, open-source audio editing and recording software that has gained immense popularity among professionals and enthusiasts alike. It offers a comprehensive set of features that cater to various audio-related tasks, including podcast creation, music production, and audio restoration.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install LEMP on Fedora Linux

        LEMP is an acronym for a popular web server software stack consisting of Linux (the operating system), Nginx (the web server), MariaDB (the database server), and PHP (the programming language). LEMP has gained popularity in web development due to its high performance, stability, and flexibility.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Fail2ban with Firewalld on Fedora Linux

        Fail2Ban is a widely-used, open-source intrusion prevention software that helps protect Linux servers from various attacks, including brute-force login attempts, DDoS attacks, and malicious bots. Fail2Ban operates by scanning log files for suspicious activity, such as multiple failed login attempts, and subsequently banning the associated IP addresses for a specified duration.

      • TecAdminSpecial Variables in Zsh

        Zsh is a powerful shell that provides a wide range of features and functionalities to enhance the user’s experience. One of the key features of Zsh is its support for special variables, which allow users to perform various tasks easily and efficiently.

      • Trend OceansHow to Install a Non-Snap/.deb Version of Firefox on Ubuntu 22.04

        Having issues with Snap based Firefox? Then read the mentioned steps to ditch the Snap version of Firefox for the classic/regular Firefox on your Ubuntu 22.04 system.

      • UNIX CopHow to get the latest version of GCC on Debian 11 / 10

        Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to get the latest version of GCC in Debian 11 / 10. GCC is the compiler of the GNU project for C language, and one of the most important bases that we have on Linux.

      • ID RootHow To Check Disk Space on Linux: Simple Steps for Better Disk Management

        In the world of Linux, checking disk space is an essential task for any system administrator.

      • It’s Ubuntu3 Ways To Fix “No Space Left on Device” Error In Linux

        Fix “No Space Left on Device” Error In Linux Are you going through an error like…

      • TecAdmin21 .htaccess tricks that everyone should know

        The .htaccess file is a powerful configuration file used by web servers to control the behavior of websites. It can be used to perform a wide range of functions, including URL redirection, password protection, caching, and more.

      • TecAdmin10 Strace Command Examples for Effective System Analysis in Linux

        Strace is a powerful tool in Linux that can be used to trace system calls, signals, and other related information. It is a valuable tool for system administrators, developers, and programmers to debug issues and optimize system performance. With Strace, you can gain deep insights into how your system is working and identify potential issues.

      • TecAdminMastering the Strace Command in Linux: A Complete Guide

        Strace is a powerful command-line tool that can be used for tracing system calls and signals in Linux. It is an essential tool for system administrators, developers, and programmers to debug issues and optimize system performance.

      • TecAdminWorking with Processes and Services in Linux: A Beginner’s Guide

        Linux is a popular open-source operating system used by developers, system administrators, and everyday computer users around the world. One of the most powerful features of Linux is its ability to manage processes and services.

      • FOSSLinuxTmux Essentials: Start Using Terminal Multiplexing

        In this article, we will discuss the essential commands to start using Tmux. Tmux is a terminal multiplexer that allows you to run multiple terminal sessions in a single window. By the end of this article, you will have a good understanding of Tmux and be able to use it efficiently.

      • FOSSLinuxTmux vs. Screen: Choosing the Right Multiplexer

        Explore the primary differences between Tmux and Screen, two popular terminal multiplexers. Learn their unique features and benefits to make an informed choice.

      • FOSSLinuxThe Ultimate Guide to Linux Mint Network Configuration

        In this article, we’ll explore the different ways to configure network settings in Linux Mint, including managing network interfaces and configuring DHCP and static IP addresses.

      • FOSSLinuxHow to use a proxy server in Linux Mint

        By following the steps outlined in this guide, users can enhance their online privacy, improve security, and gain access to geo-restricted content. Users will gain a thorough understanding of the proxy server concept and its benefits, as well as practical knowledge to implement it seamlessly on their Linux Mint machine.

      • FOSSLinuxMastering Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

        Master the art of Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts with this comprehensive guide. Boost your productivity and enhance your user experience by unlocking the full potential of your Linux-based system.

      • ID RootHow To Install Xfce Desktop on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Xfce Desktop on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Xfce is a lightweight, open-source desktop environment that is based on the GTK+ toolkit.

      • ID RootHow To Install BleachBit on Debian 11

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install BleachBit on Debian 11.

    • WINE or Emulation

      • Wine development release 8.4 is now available for Linux FreeBSD and macOS

        The Wine development release 8.4 is now available.

        What’s new in this release:

        • Initial step of the Wayland graphics driver.
        • Cleanups in IME support.
        • A number of test fixes.
        • Various bug fixes.

        The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations. 

      • WINE Project (Official)WineHQ – Wine Announcement – The Wine development release 8.4 is now available.

        The Wine development release 8.4 is now available.

        What’s new in this release:
        – Initial step of the Wayland graphics driver.
        – Cleanups in IME support.
        – A number of test fixes.
        – Various bug fixes.

        The source is available at:


        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:


        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation

        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.

        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.

      • NeowinWine 8.4 released with initial native support for Wayland
    • Games

    • Godot EngineRelease candidate: Godot 4.0.1 RC 2

      Adding finishing touches to the first patch release of Godot 4, here comes 4.0.1 Release Candidate 2. It brings even more urgent fixes, and documentation improvements.

    • Ubuntu HandbookRetroArch 1.15.0 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04

      RetroArch emulator released version 1.15.0 a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 22.10, Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04 via PPA. The new 1.15.0 release feature steam support for macOS user, though macOS 10.13 or later is required.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOMEAlexander Mikhaylenko: Libadwaita 1.3

        Another cycle, another release. Let’s take a look at what’s new.


        AdwBanner is a brand new widget that replaces

        Jamie started implementing it before 1.2 was released, but we were already in the API freeze so it was delayed to this cycle instead.

      • Sam Thursfield: Status update 17/03/2023

        Hello from my parents place, sitting on the border of Wales & England, listening to this excellent Victor Rice album, thinking of this time last year when I actually got to watch him play at Freedom Sounds Festival, which was one of my first adventures of the post-lockdown 2020s.

        I have many distractions at the moment, many being work/life admin but here are some of the more interesting ones: [...]

      • This Week in GNOMEFelix Häcker: #87 Editable Shortcuts

        Update on what happened across the GNOME project in the week from March 10 to March 17.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

      • Barry KaulerEasyOS Kirkstone-series version 5.1 released

        Version 5.0 was released on February 26:


        Version 5.1 brings a couple of small bug fixes, plus Samba now
        builtin — in 5.0 it had to be installed via the “pkg” icon (PKGget
        package manager).

        The single biggest change from 5.0 is a new application, “AppImage
        Installer”, which does what the name suggests, it is for installing

      • Barry KaulerAppImage Installer bug-fix and more apps

        When the Installer installs an .AppImage file, it creates a folder /files/apps/<name>, for example /files/apps/audacity. This is a convenience, the app can be set to save files in this folder.

        However, the Installer creates the folder, for example ‘audacity’
        with owner:group = root:root, which means that Audacity does not have
        permission to write into that folder. Auadacity is running as user
        ‘audacity’, so this is the fix: [...]

      • Barry KaulerAppImage Installer simplified info window

        There are some snapshots of the AppImage Installer here:

        There are changes in the first window, including now shows size of each AppImage.

        The final information window contains details that might not interest
        non-technical users. In fact, I received an email informing me of that
        fact. That last information window can be simplified.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogSUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.4 Public RC is out!

        We are thrilled to announce the Public Release Candidate (RC 2) of SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.4! SLE Micro is an ultra-reliable, lightweight operating system purpose built for edge computing. Please check out our Product page to learn more, but for the beta program, please refer to our dedicated beta page.

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogSUSE Manager and the A-REST API

        What is SUSE Manager?  SUSE Manager is an open-source infrastructure management solution designed to simplify and secure your entire mixed Linux environment.

      • Dominique LeuenbergeropenSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2023/11

        Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

        This week, I had the sad duty to discard one snapshot due to a bug that snuck through staging and was only identified later in the full product test suite (systemd 253, restarting some services failed weirdly). But as we know from the past, users prefer no snapshot as opposed to one that breaks their system in weird ways. And despite that, 6 snapshots have been delivered during this week (0309 … 0313 & 0315)

        The most relevant changes in these snapshots are:

        • Linux kernel 6.2.2 (lockdown patches disabled) & 6.2.4
        • NetworkManager 1.42.4
        • Apache 2.4.56
        • LibreOffice
        • KDE Frameworks 5.104.0
        • GStreamer 1.22.1
        • Mesa: patch to address multiple crashes seen in gnome-shell since Mesa 23.0
        • git 2.40.0
    • Arch Family

      • Arch Linux: February

        Arch Linux in February 2023 # Git packaging sources # All major workflow and usability requirements for the pkgctl tooling have been finished and a experimental devtools-git-poc package has been put into the repositories. Furthermore the proof of concept sandbox environment has been set up and rolled out to anyone interested in testing. In the current phase we will collect feedback to catch bugs and further usability improvements [0]. We are still very eagerly seeking for more testers.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2023-11

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

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

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: CPE Weekly update – Week 11

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

        We provide you both infographics and text version of the weekly report. If you just want to quickly look at what we did, just look at the infographic. If you are interested in more in depth details look below the infographic.

        Week: 13 March – 17 March 2023

    • Debian Family

      • DebianBits from the Release Team: bookworm in hard freeze
        Hi all,
        According to schedule, we have frozen bookworm a bit more
        (2023-03-12). This means that we are one step closer to the release of
        bookworm. Like mentioned before we expect everyone to follow the
        freeze policy [1]. This means that from now on key packages [2] and
        packages without significant autopkgtest coverage need to be unblocked
        by the release team to be able to migrate from unstable to testing. If
        you need to request an unblock, check that your request is in line
        with the freeze policy and use $(reportbug release.debian.org) in
        order to get the meta data correct and get the template that helps us
        get the right information.
        Note that packages that are not on the key-packages list, with
        non-superficial autopkgtests that succeed on all architectures and
        don't cause regressions will migrate without an unblock after 20
        days. If you're unsure about the current migration status of your
        package, you can check it at [3].
        Now is a good time to help testing installations [4] and upgrades to
        find as many issues as possible. There's still a bunch of RC bugs [5],
        so fixing those helps a lot too.
        Please also remember to file bugs against the release-notes pseudo
        package if you know of issues that deserve being mentioned in the
        release notes. We welcome reports that include a proposed text or
        merge requests on salsa [6], but even if you can only point us at
        issues that's already appreciated.
        On behalf of the Release Team,
    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • OMG UbuntuUbuntu Wants You to Test its Steam Snap

        Remember when Ubuntu said it was getting serious about gaming? Well, it hasn’t forgotten entirely — it’s once again asking gamers to take part in a fresh bout of testing for its Steam snap. Steam is available on Ubuntu through traditional packaging methods but Canonical sees its Steam snap as the real future of the games platform on Ubuntu. That kinda of makes sense: it’s a tad easier to cater for the tangle of 32-bit libraries older games require using a sandboxed, separated Snap file system.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • CNX SoftwareA first look at GL.iNet GL-S200 Thread Border Router kit with three nRF52840 Thread boards

        The gateway runs OpenWrt 21.02 with a Linux 5.4 kernel.

        Let’s now have a look at the Thread Dev boards included with the kit.

        The other antenna should be for WiFi using the electronics hidden under a metal shield for EMC/EMI compliance. People interested in messing with the OS will also find a 4-pin UART header on the left side of the board.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Medevel11 Open Source Free Customer Feedback Tools

      Open source customer feedback tools are software solutions that allow businesses to gather and analyze customer feedback. These tools are typically free to use and can be customized to meet the specific needs of the business.

    • Medevel12 Open Source Libraries to Build Telegram Bots

      Telegram bots are special accounts that automatically handle messages. Users can interact with bots by sending commands in private or group chats. They are useful tools for many people around the world, offering an interface to communicate with customers and manage Telegram channels.

    • MedevelTremor is a Complete Dashboard Components Library for React and Next.js

      Tremor is a free, open-source library that aids developers in building data-rich dashboards. With Tremor, you can create simple and modular components to build insightful dashboards with ease. The library is fully open-source and was made by data scientists and software engineers with a sweet spot for design.

    • IT Pro Today7 Open Source Tools That Benefit IT Operations Teams

      Open source tools are often more flexible and cheaper than commercial alternatives. These seven can assist ITOps teams with their work.

    • Events

      • We were at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2023!

        In the LibreOffice community, most of our activities take place online: development, design, QA, localisation, marketing and so forth. But we like to meet face-to-face too, at events and conferences – and last weekend we did just that, at the Chemnitzer Linux-Tage 2023 in Germany.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

    • FSF

    • GNU Projects

      • GNU Health: Leading Public Mental Health Hospital in Argentina embraces GNU Health

        The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

        Unfortunately, this definition is far from being a reality in our societies. Instead of embracing the system of health, we live in the system of disease, ruled by a reactive, reductionist and unsustainable model of healthcare. The beautiful noble art and science of medicine is ill. Financial institutions and giant technological corporations are removing the human factor from medicine, transforming people and patients into clients. They are reducing the non-negotiable human right to healthcare to a privilege of a few.

        Coming back to the formal definition of health, in the current system of disease very little is taken into account from the social and mental well-being . Today, many people with mental health conditions not only have to deal with the physiopathological aspects of the disorder, but also with the stigma, exclusion and invisibilization from the society.

    • Programming/Development

      • Perl / Raku

        • Why Python Mostly Replaced Perl

          Both Perl and Python are powerful scripting languages that are used extensively in software development, system administration, and data analysis. Here are some key differences between the two languages: In recent years, Python has become the preferred language for many tasks, particularly in the areas of data science, machine learning, and web development.

      • Java

  • Leftovers

    • France24US actor Lance Reddick, ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’ star, dies at 60

      Actor Lance Reddick who played steely Baltimore police lieutenant Cedric Daniels in hit TV show “The Wire” has died, his publicist said Friday. He was 60.

    • Xe’s BlogMy Coffee Isekai

      Coffee is one of the most important parts of my daily ritual. Historically, I had never really drank coffee regularly; and I had never really had good coffee before. Sure, I’ve drank coffee from time to time, but I usually had to get it double-double and drown out the bitterness with other flavors. This did make something that was pleasant to drink, but I didn’t really get to understand or appreciate the flavor of the coffee in particular.

    • Andrea Corbellini: On ignoring mistakes, resilience, and the hidden dangers therein

      As a scuba diver who often explores new places, I can say that I have found
      myself in some dangerous situations, but I always made it back to the surface
      without facing any negative consequences. Does this mean that I never made any
      mistakes? Absolutely not: mistakes were made, and lessons were learned.

      We can all agree that learning from mistakes is good, but sometimes, when
      mistakes happen and consequences don’t manifest themselves immediately, we run
      the risk of not noticing them, not learning from them, repeating them, and over
      time developing a false sense of confidence, which can drive us to believe that
      our repeated mistakes are actually good practices.

      Why do we ignore mistakes? Because sometimes outcomes are positive even if we
      make mistakes. “I made it out of water even this time, this means that my dive
      was executed perfectly.” This is a common way of reasoning, but in reality,
      things are much more complex than that. There is a difference between correct
      and successful outcome, and the two should not be confused. In
      fact, everyone should know from experience that goals can be achieved even if
      the execution was sloppy and full of mistakes. Catastrophic consequences may
      happen if we fail to see that.

    • Tom MacWrightCompetition

      For the last few jobs, I’ve kept a private are.na
      board of competition. Every time I saw something that looked like it was
      competing with Observable, or Placemark, or val.town I’d add it to the list.
      Eventually I’d have a big gallery of screenshots of all the other companies
      and projects doing something similar to what I was building.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Support Means Supporting

        I don’t support women’s rights. I once supported refugees – I cut onions to make lots of soup for refugees. I couldn’t get them any of the information they wanted, but at least they had some soup.

        I don’t support any refugees any more.

        I hear far too much of people ‘supporting’ by simply declaring ‘I support’. I sounds an awful lot like saying ‘you should ask for that request to be in writing so you won’t be [legally] liable for sharing admin passwords with interns, but this isn’t legal advice’.

        I that really not advice? Does it not pertain to law? Is it not advice about law?

    • Technical

      • emacs and elfeed and youtube oh my

        i’m fully aware that this is a weirdly precise setup for a weirdly niche group of folks, but it took me some time to figure out! so i’m sharing it, in case i have to do it again.
        i watch youtube to chill. various different youtubers. from weird minecraft folks, to techie guys all the way round to vlogs. i’ve been collecting subscriptions for years, and was happily paying for youtube premium since i watch so much of it, and i hate ads as much as the next guy.
        recently, youtube has decided to up the fee for premium from a fairly reasonable 15 bucks, to a much less reasonable 24 bucks. that’s almost 10 bucks jump! i don’t know if that’s reflecting over to paying youtubers, but considering how many of them beg for patreon users, members, twitch follows, merch stuff, etc. i’m going to assume no one is getting paid but some big wig at google headquarters.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Moving to my own server

          Howdy Y’all smol.pub folks

          I decided to host my own server and start posting there, figured I’d let you guys know. I’ll still be lurking around these parts though so don’t go bad-mouthing me (I jest).

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

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