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Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Huawei MateBook laptops now come with Linux

      Huawei has launched a new range of its popular MateBook series of laptops powered by Linux but unfortunately, you'll have to be in China to pick one up.

      The launch of the last MateBook in the US was canceled following the US government's decision to add the Chinese networking giant to its Entity List alongside other companies that are banned from trading with the US without a special license.

      Now Huawei has released a new, slightly cheaper, version of its MateBook 13 which runs the Chinese made Linux distro, Deepin. The device is physically identical to other MateBooks which run Windows except for the fact that the Windows key now reads “start”.

    • SUSE

      • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 84

        The YaST Team finished yet another development sprint last week and we want to take the opportunity to let you all glance over the engine room to see what’s going on.

        Today we will confess an uncomfortable truth about how we manage the Qt user interface, will show you how we organize our work (or at least, how we try to keep the administrative part of that under control) and will give you a sneak peak on some upcoming YaST features and improvements.

        Let’s go for it!

      • Lunar Vacation Planning

        HPE, one of SUSE’s most important partners in High-Performance Computing and the advancement of science and technology, is now building NASA’s new supercomputer named “Aitken” to support Artemis and future human missions to the moon. HPE’s “Aitken” supercomputer will be built at NASA’s Ames Research Center and will run SUSE Linux Enterprise HPC (co-located where the Pleiades supercomputer – also SUSE-based – has been advancing research for several years). Aitken will run extremely complex simulations for entry, descent and landing on the moon as part of the Artemis program. The missions include landing the next humans on the lunar south polar region by 2024 (on the rim of the Shackleton crater, which experiences constant indirect sunlight for a toasty -300 degrees Fahrenheit).

    • Server

      • Powering Docker App: Next Steps for Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB)

        Last year at DockerCon and Microsoft Connect, we announced the Cloud Native Application Bundle (CNAB) specification in partnership with Microsoft, HashiCorp, and Bitnami. Since then the CNAB community has grown to include Pivotal, Intel, DataDog, and others, and we are all happy to announce that the CNAB core specification has reached 1.0.

        We are also announcing the formation of the CNAB project under the Joint Development Foundation, a part of the Linux Foundation that’s chartered with driving adoption of open source and standards. The CNAB specification is available at Docker is working hard with our partners and friends in the open source community to improve software development and operations for everyone.

      • CNAB ready for prime time, says Docker

        Docker announced yesterday that CNAB, a specification for creating multi-container applications, has come of age. The spec has made it to version 1.0, and the Linux Foundation has officially accepted it into the Joint Development Foundation, which drives open-source development.

        The Cloud Native Application Bundle specification is a multi-company effort that defines how the different components of a distributed cloud-based application are bundled together. Docker announced it last December along with Microsoft, HashiCorp, and Bitnami. Since then, Intel has joined the party along with Pivotal and DataDog.

        It solves a problem that DevOps folks have long grappled with: how do you bolt all these containers and other services together in a standard way? It’s easy to create a Docker container with a Docker file, and you can pull lots of them together to form an application using Docker Compose. But if you want to package other kinds of container or cloud results into the application, such as Kubernetes YAML, Helm charts, or Azure Resource Manager templates, things become more difficult. That’s where CNAB comes in.

      • IBM

        • CentOS 8 To Be Released Next Week

          The CentOS Project has announced that CentOS 8.0 will be available for download beginning Tuesday, September 24. This release was deferred so that work to release CentOS 7.7 could be completed, which means that CentOS 7.7 will be out shortly as well (and 7.7 it is already beginning to appear in mirrors and repos). This comes 20 weeks to the day from the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

        • RHEL8-Based CentOS 8.0 Slated To Be Released Next Week

          It looks like CentOS 8.0 as the community and cost-free re-spin of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 will finally ship next week.

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 was released in early May that then set off the races for the CentOS developers to work on this next major release, some of which developers are employed by Red Hat. Good progress was made early on and in June we heard CentOS 8.0 could ship in a month or two but that didn't happen.

        • [CentOS-announce] Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1908) on the x86_64 Architecture
          Release for CentOS Linux 7 (1908) on the x86_64 Architecture

          We are pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 7 (1908) for the x86_64 architecture. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 7 and is tagged as 1908, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.7 Source Code.

          As always, read through the Release Notes at : - these notes contain important information about the release and details about some of the content inside the release from the CentOS QA team. These notes are updated constantly to include issues and incorporate feedback from the users.
        • CentOS 7.7 Released As The Last Stop Before CentOS 8.0
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Grey Havens | Coder Radio 375

        We say goodbye to the show by taking a look back at a few of our favorite moments and reflect on how much has changed in the past seven years.

      • 09/16/2019 | Linux Headlines

        A new Linux Kernel is out; we break down the new features, PulseAudio goes pro and the credential-stealing LastPass flaw.

        Plus the $100 million plan to rid the web of ads, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3 kernel bundles new, cuddlier, swear-free Torvalds with AMD Radeon Navi graphics support

        A softer, gentler Linus Torvalds released the Linux 5.3 kernel over the weekend and swung open the doors on 5.4.

        Things were held up a little this time around, something Torvalds attributed to his travel schedule rather than anything more sinister. He was, however, pleased to note that the extra week meant that a few last-minute fixes could be squeezed in.

        While not an earth-shattering release, the 5.3 kernel has brought support for the new AMD Radeon Navi graphics cards, such as the Radeon RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT and x86 Zhaoxin CPUs. Other silicon-supporting tweaks included improvements to Intel Icelake graphics and Intel HDR display support.

      • Linux Kernel 5.3 released and here is how to install it

        What’s new in Linux kernel 5.3

        Driver support for AMD Navi GPUs. Support for Zhaoxin x86 CPUs. Better management of PIDs on Linux that solves PID reuse problems. Improved power management for Xeon CPUs that supports Intel speed select technology. Linux now supports the IPv4 range. Please note that it is not declared as standards and followed by other operating systems. But it now a valid IPv4 address range, allowing for 16 million new IPv4 addresses. The ACRN hypervisor IoT device. The ACRN created with real-time and safety-criticality in mind, optimized to embedded development. Support improved and added for tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and mouses. Apple MacBook and MacBook pro keyboard support for Linux desktop users File systems have improved for NFS, CIFS, AFS, CODA, OCFS2, Ceph, ext4, Btrfs, and XFS. Linux support for measuring the boot command line during kexec New support for TCG2 event logs on EFI systems Kernel has the ability to filter audit records based on the network address family and more.

      • Linux 5.4 Adds Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Supports Some Newer ARM Laptops

        The ARM SoC platform and driver changes landed on Monday during the first full day of the Linux 5.4 merge window. There is some exciting ARM hardware support improvements for this kernel while doing away with some older platforms.

      • Linux 5.4 Continues Sound Open Firmware, Improvements For AMD/NVIDIA HDMI Audio

        Linux 5.4 will sound better. Well, at least provide audio support on more hardware with this next kernel release thanks to the latest batch of open-source sound improvements.

      • Linux 5.4 Dropping Support For The Itanium IA64-Powered SGI Altix

        With Intel having ended the Itanium CPU family at the beginning of the year and much of the open-source/Linux software support for IA64 already having been on the decline for years, the Linux kernel is beginning to remove more IA64 bits. This comes following IA64 support being deprecated for GCC 10 and likely removed for the GCC 11 release in 2021. Once that IA64 support is gone from GCC, chances are the Linux kernel support for IA64 will be dropped entirely since there isn't any other compiler capable of building the Linux kernel and supporting IA64 as well as GCC.

      • Linux 5.4 Scheduler Changes Bring Better AMD EPYC Load Balancing, Other Optimizations

        The Linux 5.4 scheduler changes are fairly exciting on multiple fronts.

        One of the Linux 5.4 scheduler changes we have been looking forward to is improved EPYC load balancing and that work is indeed part of today's pull request. The better EPYC load balancing is a scheduler topology improvement to better deal with load balancing across NUMA nodes on EPYC 2P servers. I'll be running some benchmarks of this EPYC-specific scheduler change in the days ahead.

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD EPYC 7302 / 7402 / 7502 / 7742 Linux Performance Benchmarks

        Last month we provided launch-day benchmarks of the AMD EPYC 7502 and 7742 under Linux in both 1P and 2P configurations for these exciting "Rome" Zen 2 server processors. For your viewing pleasure today is a fresh look at not only the EPYC 7502 and 7742 processors under the latest Linux 5.3 kernel but we've also expanded it to looking at the EPYC 7302 and EPYC 7402 processors as well with those processors recently being sent over by AMD. Under Ubuntu 19.04 with Linux 5.3, these four different AMD EPYC 7002 series SKUs were benchmarked along with some of the older AMD Naples processors and Intel Xeon Gold/Platinum processors for a fresh look at the Linux server performance.

    • Applications

      • Flathub vs. Snap Store: Which App Store Should You Use?

        Linux package management has come a long way from the nightmare it used to be. Still, the package managers provided by distributions aren’t always perfect. The Snap and Flatpak formats have made it much easier to install software no matter what distro you’re running.

        Both Snap and Flatpak files are often available on a given app’s website, but both of these formats have their own centralized marketplaces. Which one is right for you? It’s not an easy question to answer.

      • Zotero and LibreOffice

        If you’re working with LibreOffice and need to create a bibliography, this software makes it simple to manage your citations.

        You can tell how few people use LibreOffice’s Bibliography Database by the fact that a bug that would take 10 minutes to fix has survived since 2002. Instead, those who need bibliographies or citations rely on other software such as Zotero, which can be integrated into LibreOffice with an extension.

        That robust bug is that the Citation Format in the database table is called the Short Name in the input fields. Even more confusing, the examples give an arbitrary name, when to work with the citation insertion tool in Insert | Table of Contents and Index | Insert Bibliography Entry, it should in a standard form, such as (Byfield: 2016) for the MLA format. Add the fact that a single database is used for all files – an absurdity in these memory-rich days – and the neglect of the Bibliography Database is completely understandable.

      • PulseCaster 0.9 released!

        For starters, PulseCaster is now ported to Python 3. I used Python 3.6 and Python 3.7 to do the porting. Nothing in the code should be particular to either version, though. But you’ll need to have Python 3 installed to use it, as most Linux bistros do these days.

        Another enhancement is that PulseCaster now relies on the excellent pulsectl library for Python, by George Filipkin and Mike Kazantsev. Hats off to them for doing a great job, which allowed me to remove many, many lines of code from this release.

        Also, due the use of PyGObject3 in this release, there are numerous improvements that make it easier for me to hack on. Silly issues with the GLib mainloop and other entrance/exit stupidity are hopefully a bit better now.

        Also, the code for dealing with temporary files is now a bit less ugly. I still want to do more work on the overall design and interface, and have ideas. I’ve gotten way better at time management since the last series of releases and hope to do some of this over the USA holiday season this late fall and winter (but no promises).

      • Lifeograph is an encrypted journal application for Windows, Linux and Android

        Keeping a journal is a nice way to reflect upon oneself. It can help you become a better person, nurture good habits, can be used for research, making budgets, make health related notes, or jot down anything else that you may want to keep a record of.

        When it comes to a diary application on computers, there aren't a lot of options. RedNotebook is probably the best one I have used. I wanted something better and that's how I stumbled across Lifeograph.

      • PulseAudio 13.0 release notes
      • PulseAudio 13.0 Released With Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Support

        PulseAudio 13.0 brings Meson build system support, it adopted the Code of Conduct, passthrough support for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio is now available, card profile selection support for ALSA cards, support for the SteelSeries Arctis 5 USB headset, new options, and a ton of other improvements with this PulseAudio sound server update more than one year in the making.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Lenna's Inception, the Zelda-like action-adventure RPG is looking brilliant in the latest trailer

        Lenna's Inception, a name I've honestly not heard of since 2013 is closing in on release with a brand new trailer and some big news about the development.

        It's being created by Bytten Studio, which is comprised of Jay Baylis and Tom Coxon, who both left Chucklefish recently to go full-time with Bytten Studio and Lenna's Inception. Chucklefish were going to be publishing it still, however, they announced on Twitter earlier today that they will be "self-publishing Lenna's Inception" so they're as indie as you can get now.


        Awesome news! Not only are we seeing another sweet looking game, it's being made by a Linux developer too. That's still quite uncommon and always surprises me.

      • ScummVM 2.1.0 is now ready for testing with support for more major classics

        ScummVM, the clever bit of software enabling many classic point-and-click adventure games to run nicely on modern systems has a big new release in need of some testing.

      • Build and manage your very own vineyard in Terroir, now available for Linux on GOG

        GOG have added another Linux game to their DRM-free collection recently with the tycoon vineyard building game Terroir now up.

      • Linux 5.4 To Fix Many Newer 64-bit Windows Games On Wine / Steam Play

        A kernel patch from CodeWeavers is landing in the Linux 5.4 kernel and will help some 64-bit Windows games run nicely under Wine (and the likes of CrossOver / Valve's Proton) with newer Intel and AMD systems.

        With the few x86 Assembly patches for Linux 5.4 is a UMIP addition by CodeWeavers' Brendan Shanks that ends up being quite important for running a number of Windows games under Proton/Wine on newer AMD/Intel Linux systems.

      • You may want to hold off on Linux Kernel 5.3 and systemd 243 if you use a gamepad

        Did you do a big system upgrade recently and notice you're having gamepad issues? You're not alone. Time to downgrade perhaps.

        To be clear this might only be an issue for the more bleeding-edge distributions which update more often, or those of you who are doing some manual updates to their system. The distributions that update more slowly like Ubuntu are likely unaffected right now.

      • Cascade – a turn-based text arcade game

        I wrote this game about 20 years ago. Glad to see it still compiled out of the box on the latest Linux distro! Download it from here. If anyone can remember the name or any details of the original 1980s MS-DOS game that I copied the idea from, please let me know in the comments.

      • PyGame: A Primer on Game Programming in Python

        When I started learning computer programming late in the last millennium, it was driven by my desire to write computer games. I tried to figure out how to write games in every language and on every platform I learned, including Python. That’s how I discovered pygame and learned how to use it to write games and other graphical programs. At the time, I really wanted a primer on pygame.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • New Website Showcases KDE Plasma Desktop

          The KDE Plasma desktop environment is, if based on nothing other than readers’ comments alone, pretty well regarded.

          So when I heard about a shiny new website to showcase the KDE Plasma desktop and its compelling feature set had gone live, I had to write about it.

          KDE Developer Carl Schwan describes the revamped landing page as a “huge improvement [over] the old website, which didn’t show any screenshots and didn’t list any Plasma features.”

          Through some web magic the website guides new and existing users alike through the core KDE Plasma desktop GUI, like the Plasma launcher and system tray, while surfacing other details, like the Discover software store.

        • SFXR Qt 1.3.0

          I just released version 1.3.0 of SFXR Qt, my Qt port of the SFXR sound effect generator.

        • Chocolatey package for LabPlot available

          While we’re spending quite some time now finalizing the next release of LabPlot which will be announced soon, we continue getting feedback from our users and we try to incorporate as much as possible into the upcoming release.

          This feedback usually consists of different discussions around the existing features in LabPlot or features that need to be added in near future, around bugs, etc. Recently we’ve got a somewhat different feedback informing us about the availability of a Chocolatey package for LabPlot.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Molly de Blanc: Meet the GNOMEies: Sammy Fung

          Sammy is a freelancer, community organizer, and GNOME enthusiast from Hong Kong. For almost 20 years, Sammy has been using, GNOME and building community in Asia.

        • Bin Li: GUADEC 2019

          Thessaloniki is very peaceful place, every morning I liked to walk along the seaside to the venue. As usual, it was a great and enjoyable GUADEC, thanks to everyone who helped to make it.

          In core days I attended a lot of great talks in this year, I learned a lot of latest status of GNOME, and here are my favorite talks, “Managing GNOME Sessions with Systemd“, “State of the Shell“, “Packing up Boxes“, “Modernizing Desktop Linux Development with Containers“, “Is the Linux Desktop Really Dead?“.

          I also enjoy watching Lighting talks every year. In this year Britt Yazel’s lighting talks, I knew the GUADEC App was based on Connfa, and it’s also an open source project. This App is very convenient, I could check schedule at any time.

        • Towards a UX Strategy for GNOME (Part 3)

          This post is part of a series on UX strategy. In my previous two posts, I described what I hope are the beginnings of a UX strategy for GNOME. In the first post, I described some background research and analysis. In the second post, I introduced what I think ought to be the high-level goals and principles for the UX strategy.

          Now it’s time for the fun bit! For this instalment, I’m going to go over recent work that the GNOME design team has been doing. I’m doing this for two reasons. First: I want to show off some of the great work that the design team has been doing! Second, I want to show this design work fits into the strategic approach that I’ve previously described. A key element of that plan was to prioritise on areas which will have the biggest impact, and I’m going to be using the prioritisation word a lot in what follows.

        • Getting GNOME 3.34 on Various GNU/Linux Distros

          like to list out popular GNU/Linux distros that already ship latest desktop environment. For GNOME 3.34 case, currently I found Desktop Live distros that include it built-in to be Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE. You can download them and immediately test GNOME. Other names worth mentioning but I don't present them here are Alpine GNU/Linux, Debian, and Mageia. I write this at 17 September so things might change by day later. By this article, I also want to introduce several special distros like GNOME:Next and a certain awesome community service like Repology for you. Enjoy GNOME 3.34!

        • GNOME 3.34: Between Fedora Rawhide and openSUSE GNOME:Next
    • Distributions

      • Oracle Built a Raspberry Pi Super Computer That Looks like a TARDIS

        Oracle think so, as it’s is showing off a super computer it’s built — baked? — from 1024 Raspberry Pi’s, 49 custom printed Pi holders, 22 network switches, 18 USB power supplies, and lots and lots of wiring.

        And just to ram home the “big things often come in small packages” mantra fully the chassis housing the cluster apes the TARDIS, the trans-dimensional time machine piloted by the titular character in British Sci-Fi series ‘Doctor Who’.

        The Pi-packed machine is running Oracle Autonomous Linux and Java (naturally). It’s currently being put to use advancing scientific understanding rendering selfies at the Oracle OpenWorld event happening in San Francisco, USA between September 16-19.

      • Oracle announces Oracle Autonomous Linux

        Oracle on Monday announced Oracle Autonomous Linux, an autonomous operating system. Autonomous Linux provisions itself, scales itself, tunes itself and patches itself while running.

        "Autonomy is the defining technology of a second generation cloud," Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison said in his keynote address at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Two years ago, Oracle introduced the Autonomous Database . The company's ultimate goal, he said, is to build "the world's first complete and truly autonomous cloud."

      • Oracle launches completely autonomous operating system

        Together, these two solutions provide automated patching, updates, and tuning. This includes 100 percent automatic daily security updates to the Linux kernel and user space library. In addition, patching can be done while the system is running, instead of a sysadmin having to take systems down to patch them. This reduces downtime and helps to eliminate some of the friction between developers and IT, explained Coekaerts.

      • How App Stores Are Addressing Fragmentation in the Linux Ecosystem

        According to DistroWatch, 273 Linux distributions are currently active, with another 56 dormant and 521 discontinued. While some of these have shared underpinnings, it still makes for an extremely varied landscape for companies and developers.

        It means developers must create multiple versions of their applications to be able to provide their software to all Linux users or just address a fraction of the market. Also, developers require multiple versions of build tools, which inevitably results in significant resource overhead.

        Desktop application distribution is complex across all operating systems in general; in Linux, this is further compounded by such fragmentation and inter-dependencies both in the packaging and distribution of software.

        For example, Fedora uses the RPM packaging format, while Debian uses the .deb format. Moreover, packages built for one version of a Linux distribution are often incompatible with other versions of the same distribution and need to be built for each version separately.

      • New Releases

        • Manjaro 18.1.0 (Juhraya) Officially Released

          Philm has announced the new release of Manjaro 18.1.0, after six months of development.

          This new version of the Manjaro 18.1 is named as “Juhraya”.

          This release brings the Xfce, KDE and Gnome desktop versions.

          This release includes a number of improvements. But the main improvement in this release is the choice of office applications.

          Until now, only LibreOffice has been pre-installed. But starting from Manjaro 18.1, you have the option to install LibreOffice or Free Office.

          FreeOffice 2018 seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office. It natively uses the current Microsoft file formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

        • Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

          Drobbins has announced the new release of Funtoo Linux 1.4 on Sep 11, 2019.

          This release is based on a 21 June 2019 snapshot of Gentoo Linux with significant updates to key parts of the system, such as compiler and OpenGL subsystem.

          This is the fourth release of the Funtoo Linux 1.x series, which may be the last update of this release, as the developer said he would start developing 2.0 a month later.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Community Blog: GSoC summer 2019: Fedora Gooey Karma

          The day GSoC projects list was published I started sorting out all the organizations that I’d enjoy working with. Being a Linux user/enthusiast I filtered down to a bunch of Linux distros and desktop managers. Sorting out all the projects, Fedora-Gooey-Karma seemed to be a project that suited the skills I have.

          Once I was sure that Fedora Gooey Karma is a project that I would love to work on during the summer, I mailed @sumantro about the project. We talked about the project on mails.

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-37

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 Beta is go!

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • PHP version 7.2.23RC1 and 7.3.10RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests (for x86_64 only), and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 7.3.10RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.2.23RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 29 or remi-php72-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Karsten Hopp: Onboarding Fedora Infrastructure

          I'm using / working on Fedora since FC-1 and just recently joined the Infrastructure team.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day 2019-09-18

          Wednesday, 2019-09-18 is the Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.34 in Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • EPEL Bug: Bash errors on recent EL-8 systems.

          Last week, I got asked about a problem with using EPEL-8 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 8 where trying to install packages failed due to bad license file. I duplicated the problem on RHEL-8 which had not happened before some recent updates.

        • Fedora 31 Beta Released With GNOME 3.34, Guts i686 Hardware Support
        • Announcing the release of Fedora 31 Beta

          The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Fedora 31 Beta, the next step towards our planned Fedora 31 release at the end of October.

          The newest release of the GNOME desktop environment is full of performance enhancements and improvements. The beta ships with a prerelease, and the full 3.34 release will be available as an update. For a full list of GNOME 3.34 highlights, see the release notes.

        • Fedora Linux 31 Beta is here

          Fedora may not be the flashiest or most exciting Linux distribution, but it is very reliable. You can always depend on the operating system to be rock solid and very modern. Best of all, it focuses on true open source ideology -- there are no non-free packages by default. I tend to "distro hop" out of curiosity, but no matter what, I always find my way back to Fedora.

          Fedora 31 is due later this year, but first, there needs to be some beta testing. And so, today, Fedora 31 Beta is made available for download. Unfortunately, details surrounding version 31 are a bit sparse. With that said, one big change involves Fedora users with ARM 64-based single board computers, such as a Raspberry Pi. Those folks will get access to an additional desktop spin -- the lightweight Xfce.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Fedocal and Nuancier are looking for new maintainers

          Recently the Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team announced that we need to focus on key areas and thus let some of our applications go. So we started Friday with Infra to find maintainers for some of those applications. Unfortunately the first few occurrences did not seem to raise as much interest as we had hoped. As a result we are still looking for new maintainers for Fedocal and Nuancier.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The 32-Bit Packages That Will Continue To Be Supported Through Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Earlier this year Canonical announced they would be pulling 32-bit support from Ubuntu ahead of next year's 20.04 LTS. But following public backlash, they stepped back to provide 32-bit support for select packages. Today they announced the 199 32-bit packages that will continue to be supported through Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Based upon popularity when looking at i386 packages that are not x86_64 (AMD64) packaged as well as feedback from their customers/partners, they have come up with a list of the 32-bit packages they will continue to support. Their list is 52 packages but with dependencies comes out to about 199 packages in the i386 realm they will continue to support.

        • Ubuntu Devs Detail Plan for 32-bit Support in Ubuntu 19.10
        • Design and Web team summary – 17 September 2019

          This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & design team at Canonical. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 596

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 596 for the week of September 8 – 14, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Introduction to MicroK8s – Part 1/2

          Every developer, systems admin and tech enthusiast is interested in learning Kubernetes. Kubernetes is a complex container orchestration tool that can be overwhelming for beginners. Kubernetes has been the buzzword in the tech industry and for good reason. If you’re itching to get started with Kubernetes and not looking forward to the complexities involved, this first blog of a series is for you. We’ll walk you through getting up and running in a jiffy with a Kubernetes deployment using MicroK8s. The following blogs will do a deeper dive into add-ons and usage.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Artificial Intelligence Confronts a 'Reproducibility' Crisis

        Lo and behold, the system began performing as advertised. The lucky break was a symptom of a troubling trend, according to Pineau. Neural networks, the technique that’s given us Go-mastering bots and text generators that craft classical Chinese poetry, are often called black boxes because of the mysteries of how they work. Getting them to perform well can be like an art, involving subtle tweaks that go unreported in publications. The networks also are growing larger and more complex, with huge data sets and massive computing arrays that make replicating and studying those models expensive, if not impossible for all but the best-funded labs.

        “Is that even research anymore?” asks Anna Rogers, a machine-learning researcher at the University of Massachusetts. “It’s not clear if you’re demonstrating the superiority of your model or your budget.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Moving Firefox to a faster 4-week release cycle

            We typically ship a major Firefox browser (Desktop and Android) release every 6 to 8 weeks. Building and releasing a browser is complicated and involves many players. To optimize the process, and make it more reliable for all users, over the years we’ve developed a phased release strategy that includes ‘pre-release’ channels: Firefox Nightly, Beta, and Developer Edition. With this approach, we can test and stabilize new features before delivering them to the majority of Firefox users via general release.

            And today we’re excited to announce that we’re moving to a four-week release cycle! We’re adjusting our cadence to increase our agility, and bring you new features more quickly. In recent quarters, we’ve had many requests to take features to market sooner. Feature teams are increasingly working in sprints that align better with shorter release cycles. Considering these factors, it is time we changed our release cadence.

            Starting Q1 2020, we plan to ship a major Firefox release every 4 weeks. Firefox ESR release cadence (Extended Support Release for the enterprise) will remain the same. In the years to come, we anticipate a major ESR release every 12 months with 3 months support overlap between new ESR and end-of-life of previous ESR. The next two major ESR releases will be ~June 2020 and ~June 2021.

          • Examining AI’s Effect on Media and Truth

            Today, one of the biggest issues facing the internet — and society — is misinformation.

            It’s a complicated issue, but this much is certain: The artificial intelligence (AI) powering the internet is complicit. Platforms like YouTube and Facebook recommend and amplify content that will keep us clicking, even if it’s radical or flat out wrong.

            Earlier this year, Mozilla called for art and advocacy projects that illuminate the role AI plays in spreading misinformation. And today, we’re announcing the winners: Eight projects that highlight how AI like machine learning impacts our understanding of the truth.

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Governments should work to strengthen online security, not undermine it

            On Friday, Mozilla filed comments in a case brought by Privacy International in the European Court of Human Rights involving government “computer network exploitation” (“CNE”)—or, as it is more colloquially known, government hacking.

            While the case focuses on the direct privacy and freedom of expression implications of UK government hacking, Mozilla intervened in order to showcase the further, downstream risks to users and internet security inherent in state CNE. Our submission highlights the security and related privacy threats from government stockpiling and use of technology vulnerabilities and exploits.

            Government CNE relies on the secret discovery or introduction of vulnerabilities—i.e., bugs in software, computers, networks, or other systems that create security weaknesses. “Exploits” are then built on top of the vulnerabilities. These exploits are essentially tools that take advantage of vulnerabilities in order to overcome the security of the software, hardware, or system for purposes of information gathering or disruption.

            When such vulnerabilities are kept secret, they can’t be patched by companies, and the products containing the vulnerabilities continue to be distributed, leaving people at risk. The problem arises because no one—including government—can perfectly secure information about a vulnerability. Vulnerabilities can be and are independently discovered by third parties and inadvertently leaked or stolen from government.

          • Time for some project updates

            I’m going to begin with some of the less-loved things I’ve been working on, partially in an attempt to motivate some forward-motion on things that I believe are rather important to Mozilla.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LineStyle Extension for LibO

          I update the LineStyles for LibreOffice for the 6.4 release but in addition I made an Extension for all users how like to have > 20 different predefined LineStyles.

        • BPMN Shapes for LibreOffice

          Two months ago I post my todo list for LibreOffice 6.4 and I my work is already available via LibreOffice extensions.

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 19.09 Now Available

          GhostBSD 19.09 has some considerable changes happened, like moving the system to STABLE instead of CURRENT for ABI stability with the integration of the latest system update developed by TrueOS. This also means that current users will need to reinstall GhostBSD unless they were running on the development version of GhostBSD 19.09. GhostBSD 19.09 marks the last major changes the breaks updates for software and system upgrade.

        • GhostBSD 19.09 Provides A Good BSD Desktop Built Off TrueOS & FreeBSD 12

          TrueOS changing direction was a disappointment back in 2018 with having done away with their desktop version that had been around for years since formerly being known as PC-BSD. But at least there are a few viable alternatives that continue advancing for a nice out-of-the-box BSD desktop experience like GhostBSD and MidnightBSD.

          GhostBSD 19.09 was released this week as a big update to this FreeBSD-powered desktop-focused operating system. GhostBSD 19.09 is built off FreeBSD 12.0-STABLE while also pulling in TrueOS packages, GhostBSD 19.09 also has an updated OpenRC init system, a lot of unnecessary software was removed, AMDGPU and Radeon KMS are now valid xconfig options, and a variety of other improvements and fixes.


        • Richard Stallman resigns from Free Software Foundation after defending Jeffrey Epstein behavior

          Richard M. Stallman (RMS) has been known for his work. He created the Emacs text editor and the GCC family of compilers. His work on the Gnu Public License (GPL) defined free software and, a term he hates, open-source software. For that work, he has earned accolades such a MacArthur Genius award. More recently, he's become known more as being a crank who insists that Linux should be known as Gnu Linux and alienated many of his closest supporters over the years.

        • Michael Meeks: 2019-09-17 Tuesday.

          Up earlyish, train to Nurnberg. Really disappointed to see the outcome with RMS: I've seen Richard at a number of conferences, and I'm personally not a fan of his liberal approach to intimacy. I might be inclined to warn women of the risk of being propositioned by him in advance (arguably his door-plate is a strong hint). However, I'm aware that attitudes to this ebb & flow in the culture on this topic. I can only believe that RMS' E-mail defence of Minsky is based on knowing him personally, his character and ethics, and preferring to believe he would not knowingly force himself on an unwilling minor. I would hope that my friends might defend my character posthumously. I fear there is a deeply worrying, 'lynch mob' mentality about this, where truth is de-emphasized in favour of outrage, in an attempt to right a wrong.

        • Molly de Blanc: Thinkers

          Deb is one of the many people who have helped and continue to help shape my ideas, teach me things. Allison Randall, Asheesh Laroia, Christopher Lemmer-Webber, Daniel Khan Gilmore, Elana Hashman, Gabriella Coleman, Jeffrey Warren, Karen Sandler, Karl Fogel, Stefano Zacchiroli — these are just a few of the individuals who have been necessary figures in my life.

          We don’t need to find new leaders and thinkers because they’re already here. They’ve been here, thinking, writing, speaking, and doing for years.

          What we need to do is listen to their voices.

          As I see people begin to discuss the next president of the Free Software Foundation, they do so in a context of asking who will be leading the free software movement. The free software movement is more than the FSF and it’s more than any given individual. We don’t need to go in search of the next leader, because there are leaders who work every day not just for our digital rights, but for a better world. We don’t need to define a movement by one man, nor should we do so. We instead need to look around us and listen to what is already happening.

        • Rekado: Thoughts on GNU and Richard Stallman

          As a co-maintainer of GNU packages (including Guix, the Guix Workflow Language, the Guile Picture Language, etc), and as a contributor to various other GNU software, I would like to state that while I'm grateful for Richard Stallman's founding of the GNU project and his past contributions to GNU, it would be wrong to continue to remain silent on the negative effects his behaviour and words have had over the past years. His actions have hurt people and alienated them from the free software movement.

          When I joined GNU I used to think of Richard as just a bit of a quirky person with odd habits, with a passion for nitpicking and clear language, but also with a vision of freeing people from oppression at the hands of a boring dystopia mediated by computers. Good intentions, however, aren't enough. Richard's actions over the past years sadly have been detrimental to achieving the vision that he outlined in the GNU Manifesto, to benefit all computer users.

        • GNOME relationship with GNU and the FSF

          In my capacity as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, I have also written to the FSF. One of the most important parts of my role is to think of the well being of our community and the GNOME mission. One of the GNOME Foundation’s strategic goals is to be an exemplary community in terms of diversity and inclusion. I feel we can’t continue to have a formal association with the FSF or the GNU project when its main voice in the world is saying things that hurt this aim.

        • Richard Stallman jumps from MIT after controversial Epstein comments

          OPEN-SOURCE LEGEND Richard Stallman has announced his resignation from MIT, as well as his presidency of the Free Software Foundation, the group he formed that hailed the start of the open-source revolution.

          The decision comes after comments by Stallman about fellow luminary and AI pioneer Marvin Minsky, related to the Jeffery Epstein case. These were distributed in an email chain to the mailing list of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and later published by Motherboard.

        • Richard Stallman Resigns From The Free Software Foundation

          Richard M Stallman has resigned as president from the Free Software Foundation and from his Board of Directors post.

          Richard Stallman had started the GNU Project and founded the Free Software Foundation while long being known for being vocal in the free software movement. But now he is out at least in an official capacity.

          His resignation stems from comments made last week, as outlined in Vice and elsewhere.

          The Free Software Foundation confirmed RMS' resignation on

          In addition to resigning from the Free Software Foundation, he also resigned from his post at MIT.

        • Richard Stallman resigns from the FSF

          With a brief announcement, the Free Software Foundation has let it be known that founder Richard Stallman has resigned both as president and from the board of directors.

        • Amid Epstein Controversy, Richard Stallman is Forced to Resign as FSF President

          If you are not aware of the context, let me provide some details.

          Richard Stallman, a 66 years old computer scientist at MIT, is best known for founding the free software movement in 1983. He also developed several software like GCC, Emacs under the GNU project. The free software movement inspired a number of projects to choose the open source GPL license. Linux is one of those projects.

          Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire American financier. He was convicted as a sex offender for running an escort service (included underage girls) for the rich and elites in his social service. He committed suicide in his prison cell while still being tried for sex trafficking charges.

          Marvin Lee Minsky was an eminent computer scientist at MIT. He founded the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT. He died at the age of 88 in 2016. After his death, an Epstein victim named Misky as one of the people she was “directed to have sex” with on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island while she was a minor.

        • Richard Stallman has resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT

          Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation has resigned and he's also left his position in CSAIL at MIT.

          Why is this significant? Stallman and the FSF were responsible for the creation of the GNU Project, widely used GNU licenses like the GPL, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and more that were used in the creation of Linux.

          Posted on the FSF website last night was this notice:

          On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors. The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on

          Stallman also noted on how he's stepped away from MIT as well, with the below statement:

          I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.

        • Richard Stallman Does Not and Cannot Speak for the Free Software Movement

          We are passionate about software freedom because we know it is a necessary precondition to safe and effective software that we can rely on in the long term. We fight for copyleft because it is a powerful tool to help us actually control the technology that is being increasingly embedded in our lives. The fight for diversity, equality and inclusion is the fight for software freedom; our movement will only be successful if it includes everyone. With these as our values and goals, we are appalled at recent statements made by the President and founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman, in his recent email to the MIT CSAIL mailing list.

          When considered with other reprehensible comments he has published over the years, these incidents form a pattern of behavior that is incompatible with the goals of the free software movement. We call for Stallman to step down from positions of leadership in our movement.

        • Richard M. Stallman Resigns

          Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns from MIT Over Epstein Comments

        • Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Resigns From MIT Over Epstein Comments

          Famed free software advocate and computer scientist Richard Stallman has resigned from MIT, according to an email he published online. The resignation comes after Stallman made comments about victims of child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, including that the victims went along with the abuse willingly.

          "I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT," Stallman wrote in the email, referring to MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations."

        • Richard M. Stallman resigns

          On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.

        • [libreplanet-discuss] Is Stallman nuts?
          I've been an associate member of the FSF since 2012; an attendee of
          LibrePlanet every year since 2013; and using, developing, and advocating
          for free software longer than that.  I have other organizational
          affiliations, however I am writing in my personal capacity and opinions
          expressed herein are my own.  Also, my apologies to those on this list
          who want this thread to just be over, but there have been many false
          statements around this issue that are important to correct.  With all
          that said...

          The Vice article takes one specific quote out of context and removes key words from it to change the meaning into a clickbait headline and story. The article explains that Stallman insists that Epstein's victims were "entirely willing" to be trafficked, which is a blatant misquote. What Stallman actually wrote in the e-mail thread [1] is that, because Virginia Giuffre was coerced by Epstein, Epstein would have surely forced her to conceal the coercion from people like Marvin Minsky. Therefore she would have presented herself to Minsky as "entirely willing" and Minsky would not have needed to force himself onto her.

          The article's headline and entire premise that Stallman claimed that Giuffre was "willing" to be trafficked is completely disproven later in the thread when Stallman wrote, in no uncertain terms, "We know that Giuffre was being coerced into sex -- by Epstein. She was being harmed." He also wrote on his Web site a month ago [2] that he believes the accusations against Epstein of sex trafficking and that rape is unconditionally wrong. More recently he also agreed [3] that Joi Ito had to resign after admitting to covering up Epstein's donations to the MIT Media Lab (the original subject of the thread in question), and he clarified and reiterated that he always condemned Epstein [4].

          The purpose of Stallman's message is his usual pedantry, to point out that "assault" is vague. Since the sex between Minsky and Giuffre was non-violent and Minsky may have believed Giuffre to have given him consent, Stallman's argument is that Minsky's actions don't necessarily rise to "sexual assault", a term which implies violent non-consensual sex. (I don't intend to defend Stallman's argument here -- only to clarify it.)

          The center of Stallman's pedantry here reads, "The word 'assaulting' presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex." Anyone on the csail-related mailing list or otherwise who doesn't regularly read his Web site or the GNU "Words to Avoid" Web page or who isn't familiar with his linguistic prescriptivism may very easily misunderstand this statement as condoning non-consensual but non-violent sex. But based on his previous condemnations of rape, I fully believe that he condemns any form of non-consensual sex, even if non-violent. I suggest that he should have been clearer there to avoid such an easy misunderstanding.

          Of course, his defense of Minsky (after presuming he indeed had sex with a minor) appears to rely on his unpopular but somewhat well known belief that "voluntarily [sic] pedophilia" doesn't harm children [5]. He seems to have taken for granted that Minsky should have had no reason to hesitate over having sex with a minor, as long as she appeared to him to be willing. Reportedly though, Stallman's views "changed significantly" by 2016 [6], and he confirmed on Saturday that "personal conversations in recent years" have convinced him that sex between an adult and a child is wrong [7]. This timeline between changing views in "recent years" and this thread from last Wednesday would in fact suggest that he didn't necessarily intend to exonerate Minsky at all. Instead, it suggests to me that Stallman's only intention was to seek clarification of exactly what Minsky had done. Minsky engaged in non-violent and seemingly consensual (but actually coerced by Epstein) sex with a minor. While such an act is ethically and legally wrong, Stallman is arguing that violent non-consensual sex is worse. He, pedantic as he is, wanted only to avoid conflating Minsky's actions with more violent assault. (Again, I'm explaining, not necessarily defending.)

          Now, we could have had a reasonable debate around whether Minsky's actions do rise to the level of "sexual assault" or we should be more specific in our terminology. We could argue that all forms of non- consensual sex are equally wrong, with or without physical violence or the appearance of consent, and that Stallman is wrong to try to disambiguate such forms. This is certainly a debatable topic, however the media immediately shut down any useful debate by going off in a completely different direction with sensationalized false claims of something Stallman definitely did not say. It's just a frustratingly and obviously absurd clickbait straw man, and one that wasn't even at all necessary in order to find controversy in what Stallman said. There was already a decent story in there, without having to lie about it.

          Some people have also taken this opportunity to bring up some of Stallman's other social and technical behaviors. While I share some of these concerns, this is not the time to conflate so many issues. Let's focus for now on the accusation at hand.

          So, I'll express some of my own pedantry by urging readers to consider not the sophistry woven by Vice, but what Stallman actually said. Base your decisions not on the false premise that he defended Epstein and insisted that Epstein's underage victims were "entirely willing" to be trafficked, but instead on his pedantic disambiguation of the term "sexual assault". Read the source material and reach your own conclusions, ignoring what Vice puts out to maximize their advertising revenue.

          I, for one, will not be ending my FSF associate membership over this incident. Despite any other concerns I may have regarding Stallman's leadership of the GNU Project and representation of the FSF and the broader software freedom movement, I will not be demanding his departure as FSF President over the recent csail-related e-mail thread.

          On a personal note, nothing in my message should be construed to imply that I in any way condone any form of non-consensual sexual encounters, by any name. While I thankfully have no first-hand experience and can't imagine the trauma endured by the victims, I do have a certain emotional connection to child sexual assault and would neither take the issue lightly nor defend someone I believe to be a sexual assault apologist. I also cringe at every knee-jerk reaction against accusers (for example the term "SJW"), so I ask that we all remain civil about what is (understandably) quite an emotional subject for everyone. And thanks to anyone who managed to read this far.
        • Scientist Defends Epstein Associate in Leaked MIT Emails

          Joichi Ito, the Media Lab’s director, resigned after an article was published in The New Yorker, exposing the matter.

          In an email to the provost and president of the university Ito wrote, “After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as Director of the Media Lab and as a Professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately.”

          According to the NY Times, Ito acknowledged receiving $1.7 million from Epstein, including $1.2 million for his own investment funds.

        • MIT Scientist Says He Doesn't Think Pedophilia Is Okay Any More

          Prominent MIT computer scientist Richard Stallman shared a bold opinion on Saturday: perhaps adults shouldn’t have sex with children.

          Stallman got widely roasted last week when he made some appalling comments about Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes, suggesting that the financier’s victims somehow consented to the sex trafficking scheme. But now, in the face of near-universal backlash — and scrutiny of even worse comments he’s made in the past — the storied programmer and activist is walking it back.

        • MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations'

          The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) computer scientist who said the alleged victims of an associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein were “entirely willing" has resigned.

          Richard Stallman, a famed open-source advocate, announced his departure in an email published online Monday.

        • Famed MIT Computer Scientist Who Defended Epstein Resigns
        • MIT Scientist Richard Stallman, Who Defended an Associate of Epstein, Resigns From CSAIL
        • MIT scientist who appeared to DEFEND Jeffrey Epsteinin alleged rape case resigns from his post
        • Richard Stallman quits positions at both Free Software Foundation and MIT
        • GNU founder Richard Stallman resigns from MIT, Free Software Foundation
        • GNU-Founder Richard Stallman ‘Quits’ Free Software Foundation & MIT CSAIL
        • Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid Epstein email storm
        • Computer scientist Richard Stallman resigns from MIT after defending Jeffrey Epstein
        • Richard Stallman, author of the GNU manifesto, resigns from the Free Software Foundation
        • MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations'
        • Richard Stallman resigns from MIT over Epstein comments
      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • When Biology Becomes Software

            If this sounds to you a lot like software coding, you're right. As synthetic biology looks more like computer technology, the risks of the latter become the risks of the former. Code is code, but because we're dealing with molecules -- and sometimes actual forms of life -- the risks can be much greater.


            Unlike computer software, there's no way so far to "patch" biological systems once released to the wild, although researchers are trying to develop one. Nor are there ways to "patch" the humans (or animals or crops) susceptible to such agents. Stringent biocontainment helps, but no containment system provides zero risk.

      • Programming/Development

        • I got 99 problems but a switch() ain't one: Java SE 13 lands with various tweaks as per Oracle's less-is-more strategy

          Oracle on Monday announced the release of Java SE 13 (JDK 13), saying it shows the tech titan's continued commitment to make innovation happen faster by sticking to a predictable six-month release cycle.

          No evidence was provided to demonstrate that enterprise innovation is actually accelerating as a consequence of biannual platform revisions. Oracle at least deserves credit for its commitment to consistency.

          Word of JDK 13 arrived on Monday as Oracle's co-located OpenWorld and Code One conferences got underway in San Francisco. The Code One keynote, preceded as in previous years with a disclaimer that investors shouldn't rely on anything said at the show, opened with an overview of quantum computing by Jessica Pointing, a doctoral student in quantum computing at Stanford University.

        • post modern C tooling - draft

          Some of the C++ people have pulled off one of the cleverest and sneakiest tricks ever. They required 'modern' C99 and C11 features in 'recent' C++ standards. Microsoft has famously still clung onto some 80s version of C with their compiler for the longest time. So it's been a decade of hacks for people writing portable code in C. For a while I thought we'd be stuck in the 80s with C89 forever. However, now that some C99 and C11 features are more widely available in the Microsoft compiler, we can use these features in highly portable code (but forget about C17/C18 ISO/IEC 9899:2018/C2X stuff!!).

        • Reading and Writing YAML to a File in Python

          In this tutorial, we're going to learn how to use the YAML library in Python 3. YAML stands for Yet Another Markup Language.

          In recent years it has become very popular for its use in storing data in a serialized manner for configuration files. Since YAML essentially is a data format, the YAML library is quite brief, as the only functionality required of it is the ability to parse YAML formatted files.

          In this article we will start with seeing how data is stored in a YAML file, followed by loading that data into a Python object. Lastly, we will learn how to store a Python object in a YAML file. So, let's begin.

          Before we move further, there are a few prerequisites for this tutorial. You should have a basic understanding of Python's syntax, and/or have done at least beginner level programming experience with some other language. Other than that, the tutorial is quite simple and easy to follow for beginners.

        • Python Multiple Inheritance (with Examples)

          In this tutorial, we’ll describe Python Multiple Inheritance concept and explain how to use it in your programs. We’ll also cover multilevel inheritance, the super() function, and focus on the method resolution order.

          In the previous tutorial, we have gone through Python Class and Python (Single) Inheritance. There, you have seen that a child class inherits from a base class. However, Multiple Inheritance is a feature where a class can derive attributes and methods from more than one base classes. Hence, it creates a high level of complexity and ambiguity and known as the diamond problem in the technical world. We’ll be taking up this problem later in this tutorial.

        • Adding Methods Retroactively

          Imagine you have a "shapes" library. We have a Circle class, a Square class, etc.

          A Circle has a radius, a Square has a side, and maybe Rectangle has height and width. The library already exists: we do not want to change it.

          However, we do want to add an area calculation. If this was our library, we would just add an area method, so that we can call shape.area(), and not worry about what the shape is.

        • To meet up or not to meetup

          I didn’t regret going to the meetup – quite the contrary – and I’ve since been to several, but it’s dreadful how low the turnout typically is. I’ve verified my numbers with some of the organizers of prior meetups: [...]

        • A look at development environments with specific tooling for Apache Camel Language

          A growing set of editors and IDEs provides specific tooling for development of applications based on Apache Camel. Historically, there was only Eclipse Fuse Tooling, which was based on the Eclipse Desktop IDE. Then, an IntelliJ plugin was created. Both of these tools are tightly coupled to the specific IDE APIs. Consequently, they have the drawback of not easily sharing the development effort.

        • mozregression update: python 3 edition

          For those who are still wondering, yup, I am still maintaining mozregression, though increasingly reluctantly. Given how important this project is to the development of Firefox (getting a regression window using mozregression is standard operating procedure whenever a new bug is reported in Firefox), it feels like this project is pretty vital, so I continue out of some sense of obligation — but really, someone more interested in Mozilla’a build, automation and testing systems would be better suited to this task: over the past few years, my interests/focus have shifted away from this area to building up Mozilla’s data storage and visualization platform.

          This post will describe some of the things that have happened in the last year and where I see the project going. My hope is to attract some new blood to add some needed features to the project and maybe take on some of the maintainership duties.

        • @Autowire MicroProfile into Spring with Quarkus

          Eclipse MicroProfile and Spring Boot are often thought of as separate and distinct APIs when developing Java microservices. Developers default to their mental muscle memory by leveraging the APIs that they use on a daily basis. Learning new frameworks and runtimes can be a significant time investment. This article aims to ease the introduction to some popular MicroProfile APIs for Spring developers by enabling them to utilize the Spring APIs they already know while benefiting from significant new capabilities offered by Quarkus.

          More specifically, this article covers the scope and details of the Spring APIs supported by Quarkus so Spring developers have a grasp of the foundation they can build on with MicroProfile APIs. The article then covers MicroProfile APIs that Spring developers will find helpful in the development of microservices. Only a subset of MicroProfile is covered.

        • Microsoft Makes Their C++ Standard Library Open-Source (STL)

          Microsoft has begun their next open-source expedition by open-sourcing an important piece of MSVC / Visual Studio... STL, their C++ standard library.

          In a surprising move, this week announced their C++ Standard Library used by their MSVC tool-chain and Visual Studio is now open-source. Microsoft's C++ Standard Library is available under an Apache 2.0 license and with the LLVM exception regarding linking, so all is well on that front.

        • Top programming languages of 2019 [Ed: Too reliant on biased Microsoft data such as GitHub]

          The most popular languages according to the world’s largest organization for engineering and applied science.

          It can be hard to gauge which programming language to learn — should you go for the most widely used language, the language developers enjoy using, or maybe the highest paid language?

          There’s no one right answer, but luckily there are no shortage of top programming languages lists ranking languages according to different criteria.

          The latest is the The Top Programming Languages 2019 list from IEEE Spectrum, the magazine for the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and the applied sciences.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • Wi-Fi Certified 6 Program Available for Products based on Broadcom, Cypress, Intel, Marvell, and Qualcomm 802.11ax Chips

          Last year the WiFi alliance introduces a new naming scheme for WiFi using numbers instead of IEEE standards so that WiFI 4 is 802.11n, WiFi 5 is 802.11ac, and WiFi 6 is the latest 802.11ax standard...

        • The Wi-Fi 6 Launches Officially for the Next Generation of Wi-Fi

          Wi-Fi Alliance announced today the availability of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program for vendors to provide customers with the latest and greatest Wi-Fi experience.

          Unveiled last year in October, Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) launches officially today with up to 37 percent faster speeds than the previous Wi-Fi generation (802.11ac), increased bandwidth for greater performance with low latency, higher data rates for greater network capacity, as well as MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output) support for greater download performance on more devices at once.

        • Setting up a mail server with OpenSMTPD, Dovecot and Rspamd

          I’ll say it again:

          I don’t think that either one of the Big Mailer Corps are are evil or bad, I use some of their services on a daily basis, and most of the people operating them are genuinely seeking the greater good… however they have grown too big and there needs to be a balance in power because who knows how they’ll evolve in the next ten years, who knows how the politics of their home country will evolve in the next ten years, and recent news doesn’t paint them as heading in the right direction.

          I’ll conclude by recommanding that you see this excellent presentation by Bert Hubert (@PowerDNS_Bert) from PowerDNS, about how a similar problem is starting to happen with DNS and the privacy and tracking concerns that arise from this. Many, many, many key points are also valid for mail services.

        • #StopHindilmposition: Indian tweeps respond to Amit Shah's 'Hindi as national language' comment

          But, Twitter India doesn't agree. Why? India does not have a national language. Part XVII of the Indian Constitution designates Hindi as the 'official language' of the Union. And, English is used in official purposes such as parliamentary proceedings, judiciary, communications between the Central Government and a State Government. States within India have the liberty and powers to specify their own official language(s) through legislation. In addition to the official languages, the constitution recognises 22 regional languages, which includes Hindi but not English, as scheduled languages. The number of native Hindi speakers is about 25% of the total Indian population;

          The number of native Hindi speakers is only about 25 per cent of the total Indian population and 43 per cent of India’s population use Hindi as their first language. In some states, especially in the southern regions, Hindi is not used at all.

        • Hindi spoken most, can unite country: Amit Shah

          According to the Official Languages Act, 1963, Hindi and English are the official languages for the Union government and Parliament.

          A total of 22 languages of the country are recognised under the Eight Schedule of the Constitution.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Textbooks Are Lying to Students About Climate Change

        All 13 of these books earned an F. Our committee is in the midst of sending letters to each publisher informing them that its book is out of compliance with Portland school district policy on climate education. We are also sending letters to teachers who may be using these books, alerting them to our findings and urging them to use alternatives, and to engage students in critical reading activities to dissect the problems with these texts’ ho-hum approach to climate change.

        Do we expect to influence these corporations’ treatment of the climate crisis in their textbooks? No. The corporate giants that publish school textbooks have no interest in raising critical questions about the frenzied system of extraction and consumption at the root of climate change — a system from which they benefit. Our aim is to build an argument that we cannot look to conventional sources of curriculum to educate our students about the causes of climate change and the kind of fundamental social transformation needed to address the crisis.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Monday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (ansible, faad2, linux-4.9, and thunderbird), Fedora (jbig2dec, libextractor, sphinx, and thunderbird), Mageia (expat, kconfig, mediawiki, nodejs, openldap, poppler, thunderbird, webkit2, and wireguard), openSUSE (buildah, ghostscript, go1.12, libmirage, python-urllib3, rdesktop, and skopeo), SUSE (python-Django), and Ubuntu (exim4, ibus, and Wireshark).

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 161 - Human nature and ad powered open source

        Josh and Kurt start out discussing human nature and how it affects how we view security. A lot of things that look easy are actually really hard. We also talk about the npm library Standard showing command line ads. Are ads part of the future of open source?

      • Skidmap malware drops LKMs on Linux machines to enable cryptojacking, backdoor access

        Researchers have discovered a sophisticated cryptomining program that uses loadable kernel modules (LKMs) to help infiltrate Linux machines, and hides its malicious activity by displaying fake network traffic stats.

        Dubbed Skidmap, the malware can also grant attackers backdoor access to affected systems by setting up a secret master password that offers access to any user account in the system, according to Trend Micro threat analysts Augusto Remillano II and Jakub Urbanec in a company blog post today.

        “Skidmap uses fairly advanced methods to ensure that it and its components remain undetected. For instance, its use of LKM rootkits – given their capability to overwrite or modify parts of the kernel – makes it harder to clean compared to other malware,” the blog post states. “In addition, Skidmap has multiple ways to access affected machines, which allow it to reinfect systems that have been restored or cleaned up.”

      • Skidmap Linux Malware Uses Rootkit Capabilities to Hide Cryptocurrency-Mining Payload

        Cryptocurrency-mining malware is still a prevalent threat, as illustrated by our detections of this threat in the first half of 2019. Cybercriminals, too, increasingly explored new platforms and ways to further cash in on their malware — from mobile devices and Unix and Unix-like systems to servers and cloud environments.

        They also constantly hone their malware’s resilience against detection. Some, for instance, bundle their malware with a watchdog component that ensures that the illicit cryptocurrency mining activities persist in the infected machine, while others, affecting Linux-based systems, utilize an LD_PRELOAD-based userland rootkit to make their components undetectable by system monitoring tools.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Farewell, John Bolton

        The firing (or, he insists, the resignation) of John Bolton as national security special assistant is being treated by some observers as a great loss for coherence and professionalism in the conduct of US foreign policy. Josh Rogin at the Washington Post, for example, writes on September 11: “Republicans on Capitol Hill lost a key interlocutor and a key ally inside the White House. Many fear Trump will replace Bolton with someone who will feed Trump’s own desire to drastically pull back on U.S. commitments and alliances abroad. Even Democrats acknowledge Bolton was somebody who they knew and trusted to — at the very least — push back against Trump’s worst instincts or false beliefs.”

      • Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu

        Do you want to know the real reason Trump canceled the peace talks with the Taliban? Okay, here’s the hot poop. Our satellites detected goats. Yes, you read that correctly, goats, goats in goated communities. There was no mistake. Goats grazed on some of them there hills in Afghanistan. Now of course, goats, by themselves, are no problemo. The intelligence community has briefed Trump of this at the highest possible level. But goats are a marker for mountains, and mountains are hard on our high tech prying eyes in the sky. We’re not good at seeing through rock. Osama bin Laden hid in the mountains of Tora Bora for ten years after he was dead.. Terrorists might conceal weddings in the valleys, and “wedding,” let’s face it, is just another name for “terrorist pow-wow.”

      • Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.

      • Why Mattis is No Hero

        Last week the corporate media were going all out to lionize former Marine General and Secretary of Defense James Mattis in tandem with the publication of Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, his memoir of his lengthy career (Co-authored with former Undersecretary of Defense, Bing West, also a marine officer and veteran of Vietnam). As this celebratory gala of war and warrior hood lapses yet another military idol will have joined the pantheon. When George H.W. Bush launched Desert Storm in 1991 and “kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all” he also claimed to re-elevate the glory of the American way of war whereby the exceptional U.S. would defend the underdogs of the world against the predations of Hitlers reborn. Thereafter “Mad Dog” Mattis’s career would unfold.

      • The U.S. Military Is Destroying the Environment

        The increasingly horrific warning signs on climate change include the suggestion that the Earth already has warmed 1.5 degrees Celsius since the start of the Industrial Revolution and that we have only 12 years at which we can sustain this level, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

      • The Pentagon’s $1.5 Trillion Addiction to the F-35 Fighter

        Five years after that 60 Minutes exposé and 13 years after its first flight, the F-35 unsurprisingly remains mired in controversy. Harper’s Magazine’s Andrew Cockburn recently used it to illustrate what he termed “the Pentagon Syndrome,” the practice of expending enormous sums on weapons of marginal utility. The F-35, he noted, “first saw combat [in 2018], seventeen years after the program began. The Marines sent just six of them on their first deployment to the Middle East, and over several months only managed to fly, on average, one combat sortie per plane every three days. According to the Pentagon’s former chief testing official, had there been opposition, these ‘fighters’ could not have survived without protection from other planes.”

        So far, in other words, the F-35 has had an abysmally low rate of availability. [...]

      • Indian Navy tracks 7 Chinese warships in Indian Ocean region

        Seven Chinese Navy warships are operating in and around the Indian Ocean Region, including an over 27,000 tonnes amphibious vessel, which have been tracked closely by the Indian Navy using its American-origin P-8I anti-submarine warfare spy planes and other surveillance assets.

        In exclusive pictures accessed by ANI, Chinese Landing Platform Dock Xian-32 can be seen passing through the Southern Indian Ocean Region before it entered the Sri Lankan waters earlier this month.

      • Navy tracks Chinese vessels operating in Indian Ocean Region

        At any point of time, the Chinese Navy deploys around six to seven warships in the region in the name of carrying out anti-piracy drills in the Gulf of Aden but looking at the requirements there, the deployment seems to be more than what is needed.

        Sources added that the main aim of the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Navy seems to be power projection in the Indian Ocean Region as they want to spread their influence in the area from where a majority of their trade passes through.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal?

        According to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, a whistleblower who lodged an urgent complaint about wrongdoing within the intelligence community has gone ignored and left unprotected. In a letter released on Friday, Schiff accused a “top intel official of illegally withholding” a “whistleblower” complaint described as “urgent” by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) — and one that could implicate the White House.

      • Missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis likely died in kayaking accident, police say

        "The police have concluded that Mr Kamphuis most likely suffered an accident in the evening of August 20, 2018, while kayaking in the Skjerstad Fjord a few kilometres north of the village of Rognan in Nordland County in northern Norway, and was subsequently lost at sea," the police said in a statement.


        The mystery deepened when a phone linked to Kamphuis was briefly switched on in an area near the south-western city of Stavanger, located 1,600 kilometres from Bodo, on August 30 last year.

      • Snowden Hopes France Will Grant Him Asylum

        On January 2018, the U.S. Congress renewed a bill to continue the warrantless [Internet] surveillance program for six years. The bill allows the NSA to resume eavesdropping on electronic communications via companies such as Facebook and Google once the U.S.

        The relevance of the information blew a lid on the U.S.’ global surveillance program on governments and individuals. He soon became a household as the information was published by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

      • Edward Snowden wants asylum in France

        To date, more than a dozen countries have turned down requests to take in the 36-year-old, leading him to question their reasoning and "the system we live in".

        "Protecting whistle-blowers is not a hostile act," he said.

      • After 6 Years in Exile, Edward Snowden Explains Himself

        That long-lost [Internet], Snowden writes, offered its inhabitants a “reset button for your life” that could be pressed every day, at will. And he still pines for it. “To be able to expand your experience, to become a more whole person by being able to try and fail, this is what teaches us who we are and who we want to become,” Snowden told WIRED in an interview ahead of his book’s publication tomorrow. “This is what’s denied to the rising generation. They’re so ruthlessly and strictly identified in every network they interact with and by which they live. They’re denied the opportunities we had to be forgotten and to have their mistakes forgiven.”

    • Environment

      • A Handful of Super-Corporations Control The Fate of The World, Chilling Report Shows

        In a new study, an international team of researchers suggests that this elite cadre of dominant transnational corporations (TNCs, sometimes also called multinationals) may wield an outsized influence over the planet and its inhabitants.

        "The scale at which TNCs operate, and the speed and connectivity they galvanise across the world is unprecedented in history," the researchers, led by environmental scientist Carl Folke from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, explain in their new paper.

      • Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

        Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.

        The Green Party is now the clear frontrunner in Bristol as the countdown continues to the next elections, after the party saw spectacular results in the 2019 EU election, receiving 35% of the vote across the city. This was 17,606 votes clear of the nearest contender and more than double the Labour vote - a fall in vote share which was widely attributed to Labour’s shifting and ambiguous national policy on Brexit.

        Carla Denyer, who is credited as having started the national movement on Climate Emergencies in the UK by proposing the first one here in Bristol, has been a long-standing activist, and Bristol City Councillor since 2015.

      • Naomi Klein: Gearing up for the Political Fight of Our Lives
      • Why Next Monday’s UN Climate Action Summit Matters
      • Mountainsrich in species still puzzle science

        Life on Earth is ultimately a mystery. Even more of a riddle is why there are so many mountains rich in species.

      • Brazil: Criminal Networks Target Rainforest Defenders

        Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is driven largely by criminal networks that use violence and intimidation against those who try to stop them, and the government is failing to protect both the defenders and the rainforest itself, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.€ 

      • The Democrats and the Climate Crisis

        CNN€ performed a public service with its Climate Crisis Town Hall in late August 2019.


        Democratic presidential candidates (Joe Biden (D-former vice president in the Obama administration), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN), Beto O’ Rourke (D-former Congressman from Texas), Julian Castro (D-former Secretary of Housing, Obama administration) and Andrew Yang (D-businessman), spoke eloquently about the policies they would advocate and advance, should they become president.

      • New Report Details 10 'Critical Transitions' to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Feed the World

        "We can either seize the opportunity to transform our food and land use systems or frankly, sleepwalk our way into an ecological and human disaster."

      • Greta Thunberg on the Climate Fight: “If We Can Save the Banks, Then We Can Save the World”
      • Land Without Bread: The Green New Deal Forsakes America's Countryside

        Days after the heart-stopping Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in April, Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg trained her eyes on the United Kingdom’s parliament and chastised its meager response to climate change. “I want you to panic,” the baby-faced sixteen-year-old quietly instructed the adults in the room. “Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking.

      • Energy

        • Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
        • Fossil Fuel Ad Campaigns Emphasize 'Positives' After Climate Science Denial PR Lands Industry in Hot Seat

          Public relations experts keep a careful eye on the multitude of ways that PR can go wrong: tracking the year’s biggest “PR blunders,” assessing flopped ads for lessons learned, and noting when to remain silent and when to circulate a particular point of€ view.

        • Taking a taxi is cheaper than owning a car, finds comparison by Vertaa Ensin

          The Finnish website for comparing a variety of financial products examined the costs of the two forms of transport for a person who uses a car to get to and back from work every day and do the grocery shopping twice a week.

          The length of the commute was 10.5 kilometres in one direction and the distance from home to the grocery shop five kilometres, amounting to a weekly total of 125 kilometres.

          The cost of using your own car amounted to 730 euros a month. The total consists of fuel, tyre, maintenance, inspection and parking costs; insurance and vehicle tax costs; and interest, depreciation and loan repayment costs.

          Taking a taxi for the daily commutes and twice-weekly trips to the grocery shop, in turn, cost a total of 724 euros.

        • Paris wants to give €500 subsidies for e-bikes

          Starting from February 2020, the 10 million residents of Paris and its surroundings may have access to up to €500 in financial aid to put towards the purchase of an electric bicycle. Valerie Pecresse, president of the regional transport agency ÃŽle-de-France Mobilités, told Le Parisien in an exclusive interview that she has submitted a proposal to provide a subsidy for half the cost of an e-bike — capped at €500 — to all residents of ÃŽle-de-France, the region surrounding Paris, "regardless of their economic situation."

          A good e-bike can cost, on average, up to €2,000.

          "I want all residents to have the same right to electric mobility and a cleaner type of transportation, particularly in small- and medium-sized areas with lots of hills,” said Pécresse.

    • Finance

      • Trump, Trade and China

        Rarely a day passes when one or another U.S. ruling class institution or personality fails to criticize President Trump’s unilateral imposition of ever increasing and broad-ranging protective tariffs against Chinese imports. Trump’s critics include the Democratic Party as well as leading Republicans, the prestigious corporate “newspaper of record,”€ The New York Times€ and the aptly dubbed “ruling class think tank,” the Council on Foreign Relations. The latter’s September/October 2019€ Foreign Affairs,€ headlined, “How A Global Trading System Dies,” features five articles and essays warning U.S. policy makers against Trump’s course.

      • ‘Tighter integration than the EU’ Details leak about new economic unification of Russia and Belarus

        The newspaper Kommersant has published the first details of a Russian-Belarusian economic integration agreement signed by the two countries’ prime ministers on September 6. Neither Moscow nor Minsk has yet published the document officially, but a source in the Russian government confirms that Kommersant obtained a copy of the text.

      • New York Prosecutors Reportedly Subpoena Trump's Tax Returns

        New York City prosecutors have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

      • We Need a Homes Guarantee. Now

        I lost everything during the financial crisis. The government decided that the perpetrators of the crisis were “too big to fail” and bailed them out with our money. I was not bailed out.Today, a decade after the crisis, I’m part of a grassroots-led effort to ensure every person in the United States has safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing.

      • Fears of 'Collateral Damage to Democracy' as Trump Weighs Withdrawing From Global Postal Pact

        Election officials fear thousands of votes could go uncounted...

      • Central Bankers' Desperate Grab for Power

        Central bankers are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, admitted as much in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August. “In the longer-term,” he said, “we need to change the game.” The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in a recent interview with Bloomberg. “Really, there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”

      • American Plutocrats Are Taking Food Off Families' Tables

        While the Trumpistas are presently plowing a multibillion-dollar subsidy into big grain farms, they’re using a tangle of federal red tape to deny a meager level of food assistance to millions of poor families.

      • Sanders Responds to Biden's Praise for Pharma Companies: 'Their Behavior Is Literally Killing People Every Day'

        "America needs a president who isn't going to appease and compliment drug companies—we need a president who will take on the pharmaceutical industry, whether they like it or not."

      • 'When We Fight, We Win': Protesting Stagnant Wages as GM Rakes in Record Profits, 50,000 Auto Workers Go On Strike

        "We are standing together in unity and solidarity for our members, their families, and the communities where we work and live."

      • Trump’s NLRB, Trying to Cut Protections for Millions of Temps and Fast-Food Workers, Trips Up Again

        Under the Trump administration, the National Labor Relations Board has been trying to roll back an Obama-era decision that made companies more responsible for temporary staffers, fast-food-franchise workers and others who work for them indirectly. The first attempt was foiled in early 2018 when a Trump appointee to the board was found to have a conflict of interest.

        Now, as the NLRB tries to undo the rule for a second time, it’s facing questions from two Democratic representatives about another potential conflict of interest — and this one involves the NLRB’s own use of temporary staffers. In May, the labor board engaged a company called Ardelle Associates to supply lawyers and paralegals to help review public comments on the proposed overhaul of the provision in question, which is known as the “joint-employer rule.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Billy Mitchell Threatens To Sue The Guinness World Record Folks For Removing His Records

        Last time we wrote about Billy Mitchell -- a man who appears to be famous for playing video games and pissing people off -- he was losing his legal fight against Cartoon Network for having a character that was a parody of Mitchell named Garrett Bobby Ferguson on its "Regular Show." The court was not impressed.

      • Poland challenges copyright upload filters before the CJEU

        The EU Member States (and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) have until 2 October 2019 to submit an application to the CJEU to intervene in this case, as defined by Chapter 4 of the CJEU’s Rules of Procedure (RoP). Member States can intervene to support, in whole or in part, either Poland’s position on Article 17 or the Council and Parliament’s position on Article 17.

      • We grew up from childhood hating, cursing Jews

        His crime? His indictment says he was guilty of “insulting Islam” and “producing what would disturb public order, religious values and morals.”

        His real crime, in fact, can be summarized in one sentence: He believed in his fundamental right to express his opinion.

        Freedom of expression is at the heart of Raif’s case.

      • Saudi Activist Says She Was Raised to Hate Jews. Now She Aims to ‘Eliminate’ Anti-Semitism

        “We all have a responsibility to stand firmly against anti-Semitism and denial of the Holocaust,” Haidar wrote. “Since childhood, we grew up on hatred of Jews and taught to curse them. We have to insist on repudiating this message and work actively to eliminate them.”

        Badawi ran a website called Saudi Arabia Liberals, where he wrote myriad critiques of the Saudi government, including denouncing the Saudis’ treatment of women in public and that the regime is “backward thinking.” He also condemned Hamas for promoting a “culture of ignorance and death.”

      • EU official: Release of Asia Bibi shows promise for religious freedom

        In meeting with officials, he “spoke about the importance of dignity and justice for all Pakistanis, especially minorities” and stressed that Bibi’s case was being closely watched internationally. He emphasized that the status quo of commercial relations between the EU and Pakistan was insufficient, and he asked the country to comply with international treaties that protect minorities.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Saying He Would Return to US for Fair Trial, Snowden Wants People to Know 'Why I Did What I Did'

        "Was it better for the United States? Did it benefit us? Or did it cause harm? They don't want the jury to be able to consider that at all."

      • Millions of Americans’ Medical Images and Data Are Available on the Internet. Anyone Can Take a Peek.

        Medical images and health data belonging to millions of Americans, including X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, are sitting unprotected on the internet and available to anyone with basic computer expertise.

        The records cover more than 5 million patients in the U.S. and millions more around the world. In some cases, a snoop could use free software programs — or just a typical web browser — to view the images and private data, an investigation by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk found.

      • Vic drivers' licence data to be used for facial recognition

        Data from drivers' licences issued in Victoria will be uploaded to the Federal Government's National Driver Licence Facial Recognition Solution, following an agreement reached by the Council of Australian Governments.

      • Up to 2,000 passengers screened for knives each hour in police body scanner trial

        British Transport Police is using the new Thruvision scanners, which work by revealing objects hidden inside clothing that block body heat. Sensitive cameras capable of screening 2,000 passengers an hour will enable officers to see the size, shape and location of any blade or gun.

        Thruvision can scan commuters 30ft away as they ride an escalator or enter ticket barriers without slowing them or requiring a physical search, according to its British inventor. The trial will also seek to identify how officers can use technology to detect if an individual is carrying a knife, potentially reducing reliance on controversial stop and search powers.

        Thruvision is already used on the Los Angeles Metro, which last year became the first mass transport system in the US to adopt it.

        The initial five-day trial at Stratford will be run by BTP with support from the Metropolitan Police.

      • Permanent Record: the life of Edward Snowden

        A fantastic personal narrative of his life and thinking process. The book does not get into technical details, but, it will make sure that people relate to the different events mentioned in the book. It tells the story of a person who is born into the system and grew up to become part of the system, and then learns to question the same system.

        I bought the book at midnight on Kindle (I also ordered the physical copies), slept for 3 hours in between and finished it off in the morning. Anyone born in 80s will find so many similarities as an 80s kid. Let it be the Commodore 64 as the first computer we saw or basic as the first-ever programming language to try. The lucky ones also got Internet access and learned to roam around of their own and build their adventure along with the busy telephone lines (which many times made the family members unhappy).

        If you are someone from the technology community, I don't think you will find Ed's life was not as much different than yours. It has a different scenario and different key players, but, you will be able to match the progress in life like many other tech workers like ourselves.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • SVT: Iranian journalist seeks asylum in Sweden, directed to Finland

        However, he said that all asylum seekers who arrive to Europe are subject to the Dublin rules and that each international protection application should be processed by the state which carries that responsibility.

        Montin noted that, according to news reports, it appears the journalist likely entered the country with a visa, as Iranian citizens who enter the Schengen area are required to have them.

      • Press freedom in Turkey remains in crisis, mission concludes

        Over three days this week, the international press freedom delegation held meetings with journalists, civil society, the judiciary and the authorities to assess planned reforms and the continued crackdown facing journalists in Turkey. Convened by the International Press Institute (IPI), the delegation also comprised representatives from Article 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), PEN International, Norwegian PEN, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

        A Judicial Reform Strategy, announced in May 2019 by the Turkish government to address flaws in the justice system, will not be credible unless it guarantees judicial independence in both law and practice and ends the persecution of journalists, the press freedom delegation said today.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • 'Choose People Over Profits': Never Again Action Fights ICE Detention Center in Rhode Island

      "We once again call on the members of the board of directors to fulfill their obligation to the communities they represent by either voting against this agreement or resigning from their positions immediately."

    • New Mexico City Starts Crowdfunding Effort To Pay For Its Stupid Defense Of Constitutional Violations

      Is it good for governments to supplement their normal crowdfunding efforts (taxes) with something more voluntary? That's the question posed by this great Legally Weird post, which provides a number of examples of city governments asking citizens to dig a little deeper to pay for government things.

    • Chanting in absolute silence Russian actor sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, after National Guard officer dislocates shoulder while arresting him at protest

      Moscow Tverskoy District Court Judge Alexey Krivoruchko has sentenced Pavel Ustinov, a young up-and-coming actor, to 3.5 years in prison for supposedly attacking a member of Russia’s National Guard at a protest on August 3. Prosecutors asked the court to incarcerate him for six years.

    • Getting away with torture in Russia's criminal justice system

      Every year, Russian courts issue about 1,000 sentences under Article 286, Part 3 of Russia’s Criminal Codex. While there is no formal definition of “torture” in Russian criminal law (which makes government torture very difficult to track), it is Article 286, Part 3 that punishes violent overreach by government officials and members of the military. While 1,000 convictions per year may sound like a lot, that number has been gradually declining: In 2009, more than 1,800 convictions were issued under the statute, while in 2018, that number sank to less than 800. While acquittal rates in all Russian criminal cases are extremely low, they are relatively high in Article 286 cases. A new report by attorney Maxim Novikov, who works with the human rights group “Zona Prava” (Rights Zone), adds hard to find-context to those statistics and many others. The report, titled “Violence by Security Forces: Crime Without Punishment,” examines more than 250 court rulings as well as judicial statistics. Because some rulings were redacted to exclude information about torture or the compensation civilians received, Novikov used 109 rulings as the primary basis for his report.

    • After her students dressed up as punks and goths, this Russian principal is on trial for embezzlement. Her ‘victims’ say police forced them to testify.

      In the Russian Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad, a former school principal is on trial. Lyudmila Osipova had led the region’s prestigious Lyceum Number 49 for 30 years when, in 2017, a scandal unfolded.

    • End Corporal Punishment in Pakistan’s Schools

      Hunain Bilal€ failed to memorize a lesson at school. As punishment, his teacher severely beat him.€ Hunain died later that day, September 5.

    • India: Free Kashmiris Arbitrarily Detained

      Indian authorities should immediately release detained Kashmiris who have not been charged with a recognizable offense.

    • Note to Media: Having A Penis Thrust In Your Face Is Not Harmless Fun and Jesus What Is Wrong With You People

      The latest news that Justice Lying Beer Bong is a serial sexual predator - and that the louts in power worked to cover it up - is dismally unsurprising. More unexpected is the unholy mess the New York Times made of the story: They buried the news, ran it as "opinion," then teased it by vilely positing a drunken dick shoved in your face "may seem like harmless fun.” Say what?

    • Facing State Felony Charges for Disrupting 'Critical Infrastructure,' Greenpeace Activists Denounce Fossil Fuel 'Bullying Tactic'

      "The most dangerous thing about that shipping channel wasn't the activists—it was and continues to be fossil fuel executives' reckless plans to push us further towards climate chaos."

    • Trump’s Infatuation With Dictators Will Be Our Undoing
    • Hindus fear for their lives after Pakistan blasphemy riots

      Rights activists have demanded reforms of controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. Activists say the laws have little to do with blasphemy and are often used to settle petty disputes and personal vendettas.

      According to rights groups, around 1,549 blasphemy cases have been registered in Pakistan between 1987 and 2017. More than 75 people have been killed extra-judicially on blasphemy allegations. Some of them were even targeted after being acquitted in blasphemy cases by courts.

    • A mathematical technique originally developed to help build the atomic bomb is now used to figure out how much CEO pay packages are worth — like with Elon Musk

      In the years since the Manhattan Project, Monte Carlo simulation methods have become very common in many branches of science and finance. One of those applications is estimating the value of complex CEO pay packages. Like Ulam's solitaire games and neutron reactions, many modern executive compensation packages involve several variables interacting with each other to determine what a CEO eventually actually gets paid.

      In the last several years, it's become increasingly common for CEOs and other top executives at public corporations to have their compensation packages tied to various financial or market performance goals. A CEO might receive some number of shares or stock options based on the company's stock price or profitability on some given date during their tenure.

    • Press Release: The Death Penalty and Illegal Executions in Saudi Arabia

      States should not participate in the G20 Summit to be held in Saudi Arabia next year unless the executions are ended and human rights standards are upheld.

      Today, on 12 September 2019, a side-event to the 42nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council was held which addressed the alarming rise in state executions in Saudi Arabia. It highlighted the illegal and arbitrary executions taking place in Saudi Arabia and the human rights abuses surrounding the death penalty for both detainees and their families.

    • I Am Free — but Turkey Is Not

      Austrian media and government officials watched our trial closely (and possibly did more than just watch), which certainly helped our cause. But that alone wouldn’t have been enough: in the days following our acquittal, both an Austrian and a German citizen were found guilty on various terror charges.

      What was different? First, they were of Turkish or Kurdish origin — and crucially, their cases flew under the radar. I was the beneficiary of a solidarity campaign from the very beginning that spanned from Vienna to New York and which brought my case to the attention of mainstream media outlets and Austrian state officials. This is critical to note because it shows what international solidarity can achieve.

      Still, we shouldn’t overestimate the importance of pressure from the West. Domestic issues in Turkey played an important role in our acquittal, particularly in two ways.

    • Kylie Moore-Gilbert named as woman sentenced to 10 years' jail in Iran

      Amnesty International's Eilidh Macpherson said this week she was concerned the Australian detainees may have been subjected to “serious human rights violations, including denial of access to a lawyer and even torture or other ill-treatment".

      The exact charges Moore-Gilbert was facing have not been confirmed.

    • 'We Don't Want To Die': Women In Turkey Decry Rise In Violence And Killings

      That year, she said, the Justice Ministry initially recorded the killings of 953 women in the first seven months of the year — then revised it to 171 for the entire year.

      "The government ignores the problem because they're complicit," she says. "Politicians imply that men and women are not equal, that women are given by God to man to care for. They want a family controlled by men, where everyone in the family obeys the men."

      And male honor depends on women's obedience and men's control of women's sexuality, says gender studies scholar Fatmagul Berktay, a professor emeritus of political science at Istanbul University.

    • Is Turkey’s Strongman Caught in a Web of His Own Making?

      It is easy for Westerners to underestimate the political character of Islam. Under the influence of our Christian heritage, we tend to think religion first and foremost a matter of faith. Under Muhammad, something of the sort may have been true for Islam. But, under the caliphs who succeeded him, it became what it is to this day: a religion of holy law. The word “Islam” means, in Arabic, “submission,” and that to which one is called upon to submit is God’s law. Barring a transformation of Islam far more fundamental than what happened within western Christendom with the coming of the Reformation and the rise of the nation-state, pious Muslims will never be satisfied with secular republicanism. The theologico-political problem is alive and well within the Muslim world.

      This is especially true within Sunni Islam, which admits of no distinction between religious and political authority. In effect, as pious Sunni Muslims recognized from the outset, Atatürk’s attempt to confine religion to the private sphere was a direct assault on their religion. It is in no way a surprise that, when free elections were instituted in 1950 under American pressure by Atatürk’s successor Ismet Inönū, Islam once again gained political leverage. It grew thereafter in halting steps. In the mid-1980s, when I lived in Istanbul and traveled in Thrace and throughout Anatolia, the depth of the political divide over Islam was everywhere evident.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Some Investors Are Fed Up With AT&T's Costly Obsession With Merger Mania

      This wasn't how it was supposed to go for AT&T. In AT&T executives' heads, the 2015, $67 billion acquisition of DirecTV and the 2018 $86 billion acquisition of Time Warner were supposed to be the cornerstones of the company's efforts to dominate video and online video advertising. Instead, the megadeals made AT&T possibly one of the most heavily indebted companies in the world. To recoup that debt, AT&T has ramped up its efforts to nickel-and-dime users at every opportunity, from bogus new wireless fees to price hikes on both its streaming and traditional video services.

    • Grant for the Web, a $100m Plan to Spur New Business Models for Online Creators

      Good news for people and groups working on ways to empower creators: Today, Coil announced Grant for the Web, a new $100 million fund to benefit creators and promote the open Web Monetization standard.

    • Rep. Ro Khanna To Introduce Bill To Study Impact Of FOSTA On Sex Workers

      FOSTA was sold to Congress and the public as a way to "protect women," who (we were told) were being sex trafficked because of a "loophole" in the law. As we warned over and over again at the time, FOSTA would actually put women at even greater risk, and that has been supported by nearly all of the evidence we've seen to date. Beyond the fact that the number of women who are actually victims of sex trafficking has been greatly exaggerated or completely made up to the point of ridiculousness, so far there have been multiple reports showing that the actual impact of FOSTA was to increase sex trafficking by putting sex workers at much greater risk, driving them into the greedy arms of traffickers who promise protection. This has resulted in more women dead and even police admitting that the law has made it more difficult for them to catch traffickers.

    • Russian producer releases horror series for Snapchat

      The producer Timur Bekmambetov has created a zombie apocalypse series for Snapchat, the popular American social platform in which photo or video messages are deleted from the receiver’s device after they are viewed. TASS reported that the series, Dead of Night, is shot for a vertical screen from the perspective of a young woman recording the apocalyptic events around her as she attempts to survive.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Why you may have to wait longer to check out an e-book from your local library

      Gutierrez says the Seattle Public Library, which is one of the largest circulators of digital materials, loaned out around three million e-books and audiobooks last year and spent about $2.5 million to acquire those rights. “But that added 60,000 titles, about,” she said, “because the e-books cost so much more than their physical counterpart. The money doesn’t stretch nearly as far.”

    • Libraries are fighting to preserve your right to borrow e-books

      Libraries don't just pay full price for e-books -- we pay more than full price. We don't just buy one book -- in most cases, we buy a lot of books, trying to keep hold lists down to reasonable numbers. We accept renewable purchasing agreements and limits on e-book lending, specifically because we understand that publishing is a business, and that there is value in authors and publishers getting paid for their work. At the same time, most of us are constrained by budgeting rules and high levels of reporting transparency about where your money goes. So, we want the terms to be fair, and we'd prefer a system that wasn't convoluted.

      With print materials, book economics are simple. Once a library buys a book, it can do whatever it wants with it: lend it, sell it, give it away, loan it to another library so they can lend it. We're much more restricted when it comes to e-books. To a patron, an e-book and a print book feel like similar things, just in different formats; to a library they're very different products. There's no inter-library loan for e-books. When an e-book is no longer circulating, we can't sell it at a book sale. When you're spending the public's money, these differences matter.

    • Nintendo's ROM Site War Continues With Huge Lawsuit Against Site Despite Not Sending DMCA Notices

      Roughly a year ago, Nintendo launched a war between itself and ROM sites. Despite the insanely profitable NES Classic retro-console, the company decided that ROM sites, which until recently almost single-handedly preserved a great deal of console gaming history, need to be slayed. Nintendo extracted huge settlements out of some of the sites, which led to most others shutting down voluntarily. While this was probably always Nintendo's strategy, some sites decided to stare down the company's legal threats and continue on.

  • Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent - 09/16/19

        The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent are in again. 'Dark Phoenix' tops the chart this week, followed by ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum'. 'Aladdin' completes the top three.

      • Lawsuit Targets Best Buy & Staples For Selling “Pirate Devices” & Giving “Piracy Advice”

        A lawsuit filed in Canada targeting Best Buy, Staples and other retailers, claims the companies knowingly sold "pirate devices" to customers. Filed by Super Channel owner Allarco Entertainment, the suit further alleges that staff gave advice to customers on how to pirate content or have devices modified to do so. While currently unnamed, the lawsuit states that up to 50,000 customers could potentially become part of the legal action.

      • CC Names Cable Green as Interim CEO

        Interim CEO Cable Green has been a key member of the Creative Commons staff for the past eight and a half years. As CC’s Director of Open Education, he has been one of the world’s most effective advocates for open licensing policies, and has worked extensively with the global open education community to improve access to effective open educational resources. Cable will continue to spearhead our efforts to advance open education as he takes on this new interim leadership role at CC.

      • TekSavvy Protests Push for Pirate Site Blocking in Court

        Through the Federal Court, Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA are hoping to obtain the first Canadian pirate site blocking order. The companies believe that website blocking is an effective way to deal with pirate sites but Internet provider TekSavvy sees things differently. The ISP describes the proposed measures as ineffective and inappropriate.

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