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Links 1/11/2019: More GNU/Linux Options at Dell, Vivaldi 2.9 and KaOS 2019.10

  • GNU/Linux

    • Next Pinebook Pro Pre-Order Window Opens Early November

      Linux laptop and general ARM computing enthusiasts alike will be able to pre-order the Pinebook Pro for $199 (excluding shipping costs) from November 6 direct from the Pine64 website.

      But if you plan on being among them you’ll want to act fast as the first batch of Pinebook Pros sold out crazily fast — so fast that by the time I hit publish on an article about it, they were all gone!

    • Linux's Marketing Problem

      Let’s look a little deeper into this problem as it relates to Linux and take a broad overview of the current state of operating system useage rates. For desktops and laptops, Windows has 87% of the market, with macOS trailing at around 10% and Linux under 4%. Both Microsoft and Apple have huge marketing budgets and also benefit from some institutional advantage here. But if we look at systems who do not rely on marketing for sales, such as the supercomputing or server worlds, Linux is dominant in every way. Virtually 100% of supercomputers use Linux now. How you define a webserver is contentious, and Linux figures range from 70% to 98% depending on whether you count cloud services and subdomains, but anyway Linux runs the vast majority of the web. Even smartphones are dominated by the Linux-powered Android, with about 65% of devices, 20% using iOS, and the rest being an amalgamation of fading Blackberries, Windows Phones, and others.

      From these numbers we can infer that there is some intrinsic benefit to working in a Linux environment. Not only does it have dominance when raw computing ability is needed, either in a supercomputer or a webserver, but it must have some ability to effectively work as a personal computer as well, otherwise Android wouldn’t be so popular on smartphones and tablets. From there it follows that the only reason that Microsoft and Apple dominate the desktop world is because they have a marketing group behind their products, which provides customers with a comfortable customer service layer between themselves and the engineers and programmers at those companies, and also drowns out the message that Linux even exists in the personal computing realm.

    • Desktop

      • Going from macOS to Ubuntu

        So, can Linux be my workhorse?

        Yes. But this is not a sales pitch. If you walk away thinking/knowing Linux is still too much trouble, that's a fair takeway. There are sacrifices and struggles and whether those are worth it to you depends on, well, you. I don't intend to win anybody over to either side.

        Ok let's dive in, I'll try to describe the things I ran into, the things I can't fix, and straight up howto's for the things I could.

      • Dell Brings Ubuntu to More Dell XPS 13 Configs

        The Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition laptop stands out at the forefront of Linux laptops.

        It’s powerful, it’s sexy, and it’s got class.

        And today it just got even better.

        Dell has announced that it will pre-load Ubuntu on more variations in the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition line in the United States.

        While this might be a British blog — you did notice the and dour tone, right? — a sizeable chunk of omg! readers sit stateside, making this news well worth covering.

      • Dell Now Offering More Ubuntu Developer Edition Options For Their Comet Lake XPS

        Dell has been offering the Dell XPS 7390 in "Developer Edition" form with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for this newest XPS generation using 10th Gen Comet Lake CPUs while now they have added more hardware configuration options.

        The latest-generation Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is now available in 18 different configurations from Core i5/i7 CPU options, varying RAM and storage capacities, and different FHD/UHD (and touch-screen) display options. These 18 different options is the most they have ever offered for their "Developer Edition" Ubuntu-loadd laptop options.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • Hypercalers Lead The Way To The Future With SmartNICs

          The RISC processor, invented by John Cocke at IBM Research in 1974, was originally intended to be put into a telephone switch that could handle the then-huge workload of 1 million calls per hour. But this 801 processor, as IBM called its first RISC chip, ended up as an intelligent controller in mainframe disk drives and eventually migrated down into the RT PC as the Unix workstation market was coalescing in the mid-1980s. With the rise of Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Data General in the Unix workstation and then server businesses, IBM launched project “America,” which put a revamped RISC architecture, known as Power, with lots of oomph at the center of a new line of systems, called the RS/6000. Ironically, IBM’s System/38 and AS/400 minicomputers, launched in 1978 and 1988, respectively, had a relatively modest CISC engine – we always thought this CISC processor was a licensed Motorola 68K processor with its memory addressing and processing extended from 32 bits to 48 bits, and that was because these systems had what IBM called “intelligent I/O processors” that ran chunks of the operating system microcode remotely from the CPUs. And these IOPs were all based on Motorola 68K chips. So why not keep the architecture all similar and make a funky 48-bit 68K? In any event, IBM eventually consolidated the AS/400 and RS/6000 minicomputer designs, and one of the things that got dropped into the bucket of history was the IOP; all of the I/O processing was brought back into the processor. And here we are, now two decades later, and it looks like the industry is getting ready to offload it back onto SmartNICs because, once again, CPU processing is to be cherished and optimized.

        • Building Cloud Native Apps that Scale with NuoDB on OpenShift – OpenShift Commons Briefing

          In this briefing, Joe Leslie, Senior Product Manager for NuoDB and Tom Gates (lead Operator developer) gives us an update/overview on Nuodb’s recently developed NuoDB Operator for OpenShift developed in Go. Joe walks us thru building cloud-native applications with a container-native SQL database leveraging OpenShift and NuoDB.

          He demos the NuoDB Operator, deploy a NuoDB database, a SQL workload, and on-cluster NuoDB Insights visual monitoring. He shows how to scale the database using OpenShift and create failure events to demonstrate auto-recovery.

        • OpenShift Commons Gathering on AI and ML – San Francisco [Slides and Videos]

          The OpenShift Commons Gathering on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in San Francisco at ODSC/West brought together data scientists and Kubernetes experts from all over the world to discuss the container technologies, operators, the operator framework, best practices for cloud-native application developers and the open source software projects that underpin the OpenShift ecosystem to help take us all to the next level in delivering cloud-native computing resources for AI & ML workloads. This gathering featured data scientists, developers, project leads, cloud architects, operator builders, sysadmins, and cloud-native practitioners coming together to explore the next steps in making container technologies successful and secure at scale.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Interview with Lukasz Erecinski of Pine64, GNOME vs Trolls, Ubuntu’s New Desktop Director – DL145

        Lukasz Erecinski of Pine64 (Interview) Pinebook Pro Pinetab Specs Pinephone Pinetime (Smartwatch) Gnome Won’t Back Down From Patent Trolls Canonical Has A New Ubuntu Desktop Director

      • 2019-10-31 | Linux Headlines

        SUSE comes to Oracle Cloud, it's time to move on from openSUSE LEAP 15.0, a new home for Vulkan code samples, and Google's AI takes on StarCraft II.

      • A Chat with mergerfs Developer Antonio Musumeci | Jupiter Extras 28

        Alex, Drew from ChooseLinux, and Brent (of the Brunch fame) sit down with Antonio Musumeci, the developer of mergerfs during the JB sprint. It is a union filesystem geared towards simplifying storage and management of files across numerous commodity storage devices, it is similar to mhddfs, unionfs, and aufs.

        mergerfs makes JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Drives) appear like an ‘array’ of drives. mergerfs transparently translates read/write commands to the underlying drives from a single mount point, such as /mnt/storage. Point all your applications at /mnt/storage and forget about how the underlying storage is architected, mergerfs handles the rest transparently. Multiple mismatched size drives? No problem.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E30 – Quadralien

        This week we’ve been live streaming, we discuss our time at OggCamp 2019, bring you some command line love and go over all your amazing feedback.

        It’s Season 12 Episode 30 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Systemd Has A New Logo As Other Features Build Up For The Next Release

        The newest feature of systemd is... a new logo.

        At the end of September the quiet Wiki was updated pointing to a new logo. As of Wednesday, the GitHub README was also updated with this new logo as well.

      • VirtualBox Guest Shared Folder Support Coming To The Mainline Linux Kernel

        The mainline Linux kernel continues to see better support for Oracle VM VirtualBox with more of the guest drivers reaching the mainline kernel to provide a vastly better out-of-the-box experience.

        Red Hat's Hans de Goede has been working to nurse many of the open-source VirtualBox drivers into the mainline kernel. The most recent is getting the "VBOXSF" driver queued into Greg KH's staging-linus branch. With it hitting the staging-linus branch overnight rather than staging-next, it's likely this VirtualBox VBOXSF driver is going to be sent in shortly as a fix/addition for the Linux 5.4 kernel cycle since there is little risk of regression.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan Releases Unified Samples Repository

          Today, The Khronos€® Group releases the Vulkan €® Unified Samples Repository, a new central location where anyone can access Khronos-reviewed, high-quality Vulkan code samples in order to make development easier and more streamlined for all abilities. Khronos and its members, in collaboration with external contributors, created the Vulkan Unified Samples Project in response to user demand for more accessible resources and best practices for developing with Vulkan. Within Khronos, the Vulkan Working Group discovered that there were many useful and high-quality samples available already (both from members and external contributors), but they were not all in one central location. Additionally, there was no top-level review of all the samples for interoperability or compatibility. This new repository project was created to solve this challenge by putting resources in one place, ensuring samples are reviewed and maintained by Khronos. They are then organized into a central library available for developers of all abilities to use, learn from, and gain ideas.

        • The Khronos Group has launched a unified samples repository for Vulkan learning

          Today, The Khronos Group announced their newest Vulkan initiative with the Unified Samples Repository. A new place to find what they say are high-quality Vulkan code samples reviewed by their team.

          Made in response to user demand, to have an accessible place to learn Vulkan with working samples hopefully this might help increase adoption of the open graphics API. It's a big collaboration between Khronos, AMD, Arm, NVIDIA, Samsung, Sascha Willems and more.

        • Khronos Launches An Official Collection Of Vulkan Samples

          The Khronos Group has launched the Vulkan Unified Samples Repository, a Git repository on GitHub for Khronos-reviewed, high-quality Vulkan code samples.

          The Vulkan Unified Samples Repository aims to make it easier for new and existing Vulkan developers to dive into quality, open-source code samples.

        • Intel's ANV Vulkan Driver Overhauls Its Buffer Allocation Code

          With Mesa 19.3 having been branched yesterday, hitting Git master today as an early change for Mesa 20.0 is an overhaul to the Intel "ANV" open-source Vulkan driver's buffer object (BO) allocation code.

          The set of patches by Jason Ekstrand, one of Intel's original ANV Vulkan driver developers, changes their allocation code around so that now everything is allocated from the buffer object cache. With this fundamental change all allocations are within a single sparse array struct. This change ensures relocation updates can't crash, moving from a hash set to sparse array for buffer object tracking should be much faster ("this will be much more performant," says Jason), allows a lock in their softpin code to be removed, and is a code clean-up itself. With this change the Intel Vulkan driver is also zeroing out buffers on release to ensure the memory is cleared.

    • Applications

      • nnn is an excellent command line based file manager for Linux, macOS and BSDs

        The program nnn is one of the lightest file managers available for Linux, macOS, BSDs. It is not your traditional file browser though as it lacks a graphical user interface.

        Tip: if you are looking for a traditional file manager instead, check out File Commander.

        To install it, download one of the pre-compiled binaries from the releases page. Since it is a command line interface app, fire up a terminal and type nnn to launch it. There you go, a file manager inside the terminal. I came across it in a YouTube video by Luke Smith and was intrigued by it.

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi 2.9: Adding more to the Vivaldi Menu

          Vivaldi 2.9, the new desktop version of the Vivaldi browser has arrived. You can now access features quicker with the enhanced Vivaldi Menu. You can also put a stop to unwanted website notifications. In addition to this, you’ll find the overall performance snappier and can run audio and video more smoothly.


          There are different ways to access various features in Vivaldi such as Keyboard Shortcuts, Mouse gestures and Quick Commands. The Vivaldi Menu is one of them.

          If you are on Windows or Linux, you can set the Vivaldi Menu just the way you want – as the Vivaldi icon, or set it horizontally across the top of the window. You can even choose the menu style icon, adding more flair to it. Simply go to Settings > Appearance > Menu.

          In this new version, we have touched quite a bit upon the Vivaldi Menu enhancing its structure even more. Adding more options and flexibility to it, you can access your preferred features more intuitively and much faster.

          Many users prefer to access important functionality using the Menu Bar. And with this release, keyboard navigation and mouse handling of the menus have been improved tremendously.

        • Vivaldi 2.9 Released with Global Control Site Permissions

          Vivaldi web browser 2.9 was released today with enhanced Vivaldi menu, globally block site permissions, and other changes.

        • Vivaldi 2.9 Released with Much-Improved Vivaldi Menu and Better Performance

          Vivaldi Technologies have released today the Vivaldi 2.9 web browser for desktop platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows, a release that adds various improvements. Based on the latest Chromium 78.0.3904.72 open-source web browser, Vivaldi 2.9 is here one and a half months after Vivaldi 2.8 to add a bunch of enhancements to the Vivaldi Menu in an attempt to make it more flexible, intuitively, and faster than ever before.

          These include the ability to access custom Web Panels from the top menu, including websites added to Vivaldi's sidebar, and the ability to access the Tab Bar with a simple click, as well as to hide it for more screen real estate.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Humble 'Hambleween' Sale has some seriously good deals

        Humble Store have just launched their own Halloween sale, a little later than everyone else giving you a bit longer to look around and get a good deal.

      • The Automation update for Volcanoids adds some serious new toys to play with

        Volcanoids certainly mixes up the survival genre, giving you a great big mobile drillship base to build up and the Automation update looks seriously good.

        Set on a volcanic island that has frequent eruptions, your drillship is your main lifeline. You need to get underground quick at times and now things are about to get much busier. This update adds in a huge amount more for you to build and tinker with, the developer said they were going for a style of making your drillship "look like the inside of a WW2 submarine".

      • Rob banks as anthropomorphic animals in the co-op game Put 'Em Up!

        Pewter Games (The Little Acre) and LoPoly (The Legend of Danny Crask) have teamed up for Put 'Em Up!, a ridiculous looking co-op game where you're in control of anthropomorphic animals and you get up to a whole bunch of mischief.

        There's a lot of silly physics going on so you will be pushing, shoving and throwing everything around and it honestly looks really funny. It's not just the amusing sounding physics you're dealing with, you also have to overcome the AI security and other AI characters.

      • Fan-made sequel to The 7th Guest, The 13th Doll is finally out

        Just in time for Halloween to give you a little fright, an officially licensed fan-made sequel to the classic FMV game The 7th Guest named The 13th Doll is out with Linux support.

        It started life back in 2004 as a proper fan-made game in their spare time, but it proved to be a bit too ambitious and development dragged on for years. Source code was lost, the resolution was too low given how much PCs had advanced over the years and so they mostly started over. After a Facebook post they made got noticed, the owners of The 7th Guest contacted them to offer a license to do it properly. Attic Door Productions was then formed and a Kickstarter campaign was launched in 2015, which went onto be successfully funded with around $60,000.

      • Retrospective: As Sony Clearly Wins This Generation's Console Wars, Let's Recall How It All Began

        In these modern times, it seems almost silly to say just how long ago 2013 feels. Six years is nearly an eternity in most respects these days, but when it comes to the video game industry, even an eternity feels like it falls short. I bring this up because 2013 is the year that both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One were released, kicking off the latest battle in a thirty year console war between Microsoft and Sony. Sony released a couple pieces of information over the past few weeks, both of which will be of interest to gamers. First, the Playstation 5 is on the way. Second, Sony released new lifetime shipping figures for the Playstation 4, noting that total shipments of the console are now over 102 million in total.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS 2019.10

          Quite a few big changes for this release, probably the biggest news for this release is for the first time the default install is python2 free. Python2 will be depreciated by the end of this year, so it is time to get this distribution ready for this change. The repositories still contain python2 packages, but those are in the process of being phased out too.

          Next change is a new GCC 9.2.0/Glibc 2.30 based Toolchain. Normally KaOS stays about one year behind major new GCC versions, but the changes between 8 and 9 are not as big as usual and all in the repositories have caught up to GCC 9, thus it is now available six months after the initial release. A big part of the core repository was rebuild in this new Toolchain, plus the whole Glib2 and Boost stacks were updated. This meant moving to Glib2 2.62.2, Boost 1.71.0, Gobject-Introspection 1.6.20 among the many moved to their latest version. Systemd is now also available in the most recent release, 243.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Sam Thursfield: What I did in October

          October in Galicia has a weather surprise for every week. I like it because every time the sun appears you feel like you gotta enjoy it – there might be no more until March.

          I didn’t do much work on Tracker this month, beside bug triage and a small amount of prep for the 2.3.1 stable release. The next step for Tracker 3.0 is still to fix a few regressions causing tests to fail in tracker-miners.git. Follow the Tracker 3.0 milestone for more information!

        • Sajeer Ahamed: I was there at GNOME.Asia Summit 2019

          I was there at Gnome Asia Summit 2019 in Gresik, Indonesia as a speaker. Since I am very new to open source community this was a great experience. I conducted the New comers workshop with my pal Gaurav Agarwal from India. We had our parallel class on day 0 (which is actually day 1) on the premises of University of Muhammadhiya.

          Let me run through my experience in Gresik and in the conference. I and Guarav landed on 10th of October 2019 in Surabaya. Mr. Firdhous from local community came to pick us up and we had the hotel already booked in Gresik. They dropped us in Hotel Santika Gresik which was fabulous. On the next day I went to the conference and met with people from local community and open source community. I had my talk after lunch and It went very well. We used our personal experience and getting started with Gnome guide to steer the participants towards open source development. On the first day we were taken to this beautiful hangout spot in a hilly area. I forgot the name of the place ;). All the speakers and organizers were there. we introduced our self and had a great dinner. People in Gresik were so nice.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • OSMC's October update is here with Kodi 18.4

          OSMC's October update is now here. We didn't release an update in August or September as we waited to collate a significant number of improvements and stabilise Kodi 18.4 for our users. We are working on a number of significant improvements that will take some more time, but wanted to delay this update no further and maintain our commitment to regular updates.

          We continue our development for 3D Frame Packed (MVC) output for Vero 4K / 4K + and a significantly improved video stack which will land before the end of the year.

          Our work on preparing Raspberry Pi 4 support continues.

          Team Kodi recently announced the 18.4 point release of Kodi Leia. We have now prepared this for all supported OSMC devices and added some improvements and fixes.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE High Availability Cluster Services – How to stop, start or view the status

          This blog post aims to summarize the starting and stopping options available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) High Availability (HA) cluster stack operations. I will offer brief answers to a few questions that have been commonly asked by our customers and partners.

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise Now Available On Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

          SUSE makes available its enterprise Linux server distribution for use on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

        • How to Keep Customers Happy and Liking Us a Lot, part 1

          We’re all here for various reasons, such as paychecks, a love of great open source software, creativity, wanting to build cool products to help people, nice offices full of colleagues and treats…whatever our reasons, SUSE exists as a business to sell enterprise open source software. Or, perhaps more accurately, to build great open source software and sell first-rate services and support. It is very difficult to build a successful business on open source software. It’s like the restaurant business: there is no secret sauce, no magic, no lock-in. Restaurants use the same food and recipes that anyone can use. What they’re really selling is a good experience for the customer: good food, good service, pleasant atmosphere, convenience. Anyone can open a restaurant, just like anyone can launch a new open source software project, so there is a lot of competition. Restaurants have very high rates of failure. Just like restaurants, to succeed as a commercial open source business you have to be better: much, much better. You can’t rely on lock-in and scary restrictive contracts like the closed-source proprietary software companies do.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora 31 overview | Welcome to Freedom.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Fedora 31 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • Join us in #redhat-cpe on Freenode

          Many moons ago, Red Hat merged the CentOS infrastructure team with the Fedora Infrastructure team, into a team known as "Community Platform Engineering" (CPE). Most of the individuals on the combined team have mostly continued to focus on the project they were assigned to before the merger, but as time has gone by we have looked for opportunities to collaborate more.

        • Miroslav Suchý: New hope for Packages app

          Jun Aruga and I worked on a rewrite of Fedora Packages

          While this application is useful, it is written in Python 2. To quote current maintainer Clement Verna:

          “… the big problem is the technology stack it is built on TurboGears2 and making heavy use of Moksha (, while TG2 is still active upstream, this is not the case with Moksha and some of the TG2 dependencies the application has. The effort to move away from these two frameworks is quite high, and I don’t think we currently have the cycles for it…”

          We offered help and rewritten the application in Python 3, Flask, and PatternFly. We were able to rewrite around 40 percent of the code/templates. T

        • Fedora-related FOSDEM activities

          FOSDEM is a free-to-attend event held every year in Brussels, Belgium. It is a community-run event for developers to meet and work together. In 2020 it will be held on 1–2 February—the weekend following DevConf.CZ. The main track proposals are closed, but there are a few Fedora-related or -adjacent activities if you’re interested.

      • Debian Family

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities October 2019
        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in October 2019

          Whilst anyone can inspect the source code of free software for malicious flaws almost all software is distributed pre-compiled to end users.

          The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

        • Sparky news 2019/10

          The 10th monthly report of 2019 of the Sparky project:

          ● Sparky 5.9 based on Debian stable “Buster” released ● Linux kernel updated up to version 5.3.8 & 5.4-rc5 ● Perl updated to 5.30 in Debian testing repos, so libgtk2-perl has been removed and -> obmenu-generator as well, from the Openbox edition (rolling/testing line only) ● sparky-obmenu installs and automatically configures obmenu for Openbox users, instead of obmenu-generator ● and the Rescue edition’s menu has been reconfigured as well ● Sparky rolling 2019.11 is on the way, stay tuned

        • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS - October 2019

          Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and Debian Extended Long Term Support (ELTS), which extend the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

          In October, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability - I was assigned 22.75h for LTS (out of 30 max) and 20h for ELTS (max).

          There was a bit of backlog during my LTS triage week and for once I didn't make a pass at classifying old undetermined issues.

          MITRE was responsive for public (non-embargoed) issues in common free software packages, when I submitted new references or requested a CVE to identify known issues. There was more ball passing and delays when there was an another CNA (CVE Numbering Authorities).

        • Jonathan Wiltshire: Daisy and George’s Corfian Holiday

          Daisy and George have worked hard all year being diplomats in Arabia, helping test Debian CDs and writing best-selling books.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 19.3 'Tricia' is coming — here's what we know

          The upcoming version of Linux Mint will be named Tricia. Why is this? Well, the developers always name the releases after women. For major version-number updates, such as going from 18 to 19, they even change the first letter of the woman's name. For instance, version 18 had "S" names, such as Sonya and Sylvia, while 19 has had "T" names, such as Tara, Tessa, and Tina. And now, we have Tricia.

          Beyond the name, there is not a ton to know, but the Linux Mint developers have shared a bit. For instance, there will be three available desktop environments -- Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce. This is not surprising, as that trio of DEs is typical for Mint. What is fairly shocking, however, is that Linux Mint is sticking with 32-bit. As other Linux distributions kick the outdated 32-bit to the curb and go all-in on 64-bit, Mint keeps supporting those obsolete chips.

        • Light Desktop Theme for Ubuntu Eoan

          If you dislike dark theme, here's how you can have bright theme for Ubuntu Desktop. We can use XONE Catalina Shell Theme in mix with Yaru Light GTK Theme. I hope this can make your desktop look brighter and clearer for you. This includes some drawbacks, but I also includes some secrets below. Enjoy!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Product vs. project in open source

        Open source is a good thing. Open source is a particularly good thing for security. I've written about this before (notably in Disbelieving the many eyes hypothesis and The commonwealth of open source), and I'm going to keep writing about it. In this article, however, I want to talk a little more about a feature of open source that is arguably both a possible disadvantage and a benefit: the difference between a project and a product. I'll come down firmly on one side (spoiler alert: for organisations, it's "product"), but I'd like to start with a little disclaimer. I am employed by Red Hat, and we are a company that makes money from supporting open source. I believe this is a good thing, and I approve of the model that we use, but I wanted to flag any potential bias early in the article.

        The main reason that open source is good for security is that you can see what's going on when there's a problem, and you have a chance to fix it. Or, more realistically, unless you're a security professional with particular expertise in the open source project in which the problem arises, somebody else has a chance to fix it. We hope that there are sufficient security folks with the required expertise to fix security problems and vulnerabilities in software projects about which we care.

      • The emergence of governance norms in volunteer-driven open source communities

        Free and open source software communities develop their governance norms and practises as they grow from small to medium to large sized social groups. Communities with a small number of participants typically organise informally. As the community grows, the need for coordination grows as well and at some point, a more structured organisation becomes necessary. The growth stages are defined by the coordination mechanisms applied – ad-hoc coordination for the initial small group, consensus focused auto-organisation for the medium sized group, and structured, more formalised coordination for the large sized group. The main interest of the communities is to attract and retain contributors and to facilitate contributions to their products. The communities studied in this qualitative embedded multiple-case study, exhibit governance related debates and conflicts, as they reached a large size, leading to difficulties in further growing the number of involved contributors and sustaining the community activities. The paper researches the emergence of governance norms in these communities and the role these norms, once established, play in the management of the communities in their then current stage. The study finds that the governance norms in communities are commonly developed by participants that do not think them necessary, for a community that does not want them at the time. The result is frequently implicit, under-documented norms that increase barriers to entry for newcomers and allow incumbent contributors the instruments to derail unwanted decisions. The paper focuses on the essential contradiction between the communities’ aim to maintain devolved authority at the contributor level and a requirement for effective decision making and policing mechanisms to implement and maintain that. It recommends that communities, instead of deferring or down-playing the need to set up explicit governance norms, purposefully develop norms that explicitly define structure and processes so that they support, enforce and protect the devolved authority their participants should have and encourages new participants.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome 79 Beta Adds The WebXR Device API For VR On The Web

            Following last week's release of Chrome 78, Google today promoted Chrome 79 to their beta channel.

            The Chrome 79 Beta most notably comes with WebXR Device API support for supporting VR head-mounted displays from the browser. The WebXR Device API will be the cross-browser standard for VR content on the web.

        • Mozilla

          • The Lounge on Dokku

            Mozilla has hosted an enterprise instance of IRCCloud for several years now, and it’s been a great client to use with our IRC network. IRCCloud has deprecated their enterprise product and so Mozilla recently decommissioned our instance. I then saw several colleagues praising The Lounge as a good self-hosted alternative. I became even more interested when I saw that the project maintains a docker image distribution of their releases. I now have an instance running and I’m using via this client and I agree with my colleagues: it’s a decent replacement.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Firefox to discontinue sideloaded extensions

            Sideloading is a method of installing an extension in Firefox by adding an extension file to a special location using an executable application installer. This installs the extension in all Firefox instances on a computer.

            Sideloaded extensions frequently cause issues for users since they did not explicitly choose to install them and are unable to remove them from the Add-ons Manager. This mechanism has also been employed in the past to install malware into Firefox. To give users more control over their extensions, support for sideloaded extensions will be discontinued.

            During the release cycle for Firefox version 73, which goes into pre-release channels on December 3, 2019 and into release on February 11, 2020, Firefox will continue to read sideloaded files, but they will be copied over to the user’s individual profile and installed as regular add-ons. Sideloading will stop being supported in Firefox version 74, which will be released on March 10, 2020. The transitional stage in Firefox 73 will ensure that no installed add-ons will be lost, and end users will gain the ability to remove them if they chose to.

          • Facebook Is Still Failing at Ad Transparency (No Matter What They Claim)

            Yesterday, Jack Dorsey made a bold statement: Twitter will cease all political advertising on the platform. “Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale,” he tweeted.

            Later that day, Sheryl Sandberg responded: Facebook doesn’t have to cease political advertising… because the platform is “focused and leading on transparency.” Sandberg cited Facebook’s ad archive efforts, which ostensibly allow researchers to study the provenance and impact of political ads.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Linux Foundation introduces strict telemetry data collection and usage policy for all its projects

          Last week, the Linux Foundation introduced a new policy around the collection and usage of telemetry data.

        • Linux, Dell and IOTA team up for Project Alvarium, IOT/USD price falls

          The Linux Foundation has recently announced that it will be using tech from the IOTA Foundation. The Linux Foundation will reportedly launch a project aimed at building trust and confidence in data transferred across various systems. Dubbed as “Project Alvarium,” the venture also plans to utilize code from Dell Technologies, according to a Linux Foundation press release. The Foundation says...

        • Cloud Foundry open-sources its Certified Developer Exam course

          The Cloud Foundry Foundation, home to the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud, has announced it will open-source its educational material to help prepare developers for its Cloud Foundry Certified Developer Exam.

          The Foundation isn't the only one turning to the community for documentation. At the Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon, France, Megan Byrd-Sanicki, a Google Open Source Strategist, announced they're working on a new program that brings new technical writers to open-source projects without sufficient resources to do documentation right: Season of Docs.

          This, Byrd-Sanick said, is "similar to our Google Summer of Code, which matches students with projects to work on code, but with Season of Docs, we are hiring tech writers and paying them to work on project documentation. I am really pleased that this year, we are working with 50 different open-source projects, and we have already secured the tech writers and the work is underway."

        • Linux Foundation Training Announces a Free Online Course-Exploring GraphQL: A Query Language for APIs

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced enrollment is now open for a new, free, course – Exploring GraphQL: A Query Language for APIs. This course is offered through edX, the trusted platform for learning.

          GraphQL is revolutionizing the way developers are building APIs for web, mobile and even databases. But what exactly is GraphQL? GraphQL is an open source data query and manipulation language for APIs, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data.

          This course explains what GraphQL is and why it is getting so much attention from software engineers. It covers the advantages over REST, what types of software architectures to use it with, and why it benefits both frontend and backend developers. The student practices GraphQL queries in an interactive playground, and learns advanced topics such as how to implement a GraphQL server on the backend, how to use a GraphQL server with a client, and how to keep the GraphQL server secure. The course content was originally created by Prisma, and updated and maintained by Novvum.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Native GTK Dialogs in LibreOffice

          The LibreOffice UI was traditionally implemented with its own VCL toolkit which via theming emulated the host desktop toolkit.

          Then we migrated the file format the dialogs were described in to the GtkBuilder file format. But still implemented with VCL widgetry, though with additional GTK-alike layout widgets.

          Then migrated the translation format to gettext .mo files, which added plural form translation support we had lacked.

          Then incrementally migrated the code driving the dialogs to a new API with two implementations, one for VCL widgetry and one for GTK.

          Over the last few major releases the GTK version of LibreOffice has increasingly had true GTK dialogs and less VCL dialogs and in master, as of this week, there are now no direct uses of the VCL dialog APIs.

      • Education

        • Top 20 Best Open Source School Management System in 2019

          Managing school is a mammoth and painstaking job that requires substantial endeavor to get every job done accordingly. A school merely does not consist of pupils moreover; faculties, staff, parents as well as other stakeholders are also a crucial part of it. In addition to that, students’ admission, fees maintenance, taking the examination, making results, and report cards are almost continuous activities. Furthermore, teachers require making course outline, assignments, developing course materials. What is more, staff management, HR and payroll, and students’ class attendance need to monitor on a regular basis.

          On top of that, parents want to know their kids’ performance, promotion, result cards, and so on. Handling manually all the activities are pretty much difficult; hence, school management software is required. In fact, there are great ranges of open source school management system that are incredibly handy to get the work done accordingly.

      • BSD


        • GIMP 2.10.14 Released

          This is basically the first shot at the previously missing feature set, so expect more to land to GIMP at some point in the future. Making selection tools work outside the canvas sounds like a sensible next stop. Then maybe we can seriously talk about boundless canvas.

          This new feature is closely related to out-of-canvas viewing and editing and was also contributed by Ell.

          Now when you e.g. rotate a single-layer image, you can use this transform type to automatically expand the canvas to include all of rotated pixels when using the default Adjust clipping mode. The switch is right next to layer/path/selection toggle at the top of any transform tool’s settings.

        • GIMP 2.10.14 Released With Better HEIF Support, More Filters Ported To Using GEGL
        • Last call for Free Software Awards nominations: Submit by 11/6

          The nomination period for the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s annual Free Software Awards is drawing to a close on November 6th. If you haven't done so already, now's your last chance to honor the outstanding individuals and projects that have either furthered or made significant use of free software in their work toward a free society. This year, we're also recognizing newcomers in a special award category called the Award for Outstanding New Free Software Contributor. We look forward to the award ceremony at this year's LibrePlanet in March in the Boston area.

          We value the community's input to identify the movement's most significant new contributors and projects. We rely on award nominations from free software users and activists around the world to help bring those deserving activists to the spotlight. It's been a joy for us to see the nominations that have already come in, and to learn about so many different people and projects in the free software movement. As with the movement itself, every voice matters, and our committee judges every submission we receive very carefully.


          We hold the Free Software Awards as a way to invigorate all those in the free software movement. As free software users, developers, authors of documentation, and community organizers, we all depend on each other to achieve our vision of a world in which all computer users can do all of their work in complete freedom. Let's take a moment to show the people in our community who inspire us that we care, and nominate them today.

      • Programming/Development

        • Efficient Flask Web Development with Wing 7

          Wing can develop and debug Python code running under Flask, a web framework that is quick to get started with and easy to extend as your web application grows.

          To create a new project, use New Project in Wing's Project menu and select the project type Flask. If Flask is not installed into your default Python, you may also need to set Python Executable to the full path of the python or python.exe you want to use. This is the value of sys.executable (after import sys) in the desired Python installation or virtualenv.

          Next, add your files to the project with Add Existing Directory in the Project menu.

        • The Demos for PySimpleGUI

          The PySimpleGUI project has a lot of interesting demos included with their project that you can use to learn how to use PySimpleGUI. The demos cover all the basic widgets as far as I can tell and they also cover the recommended design patterns for the package. In addition, there are a couple of games and other tiny applications too, such as a version of Pong and the Snake game.

          In this article, you will see a small sampling of the demos from the project that will give you some idea of what you can do with PySimpleGUI.

        • Python Datetime Tutorial: Manipulate Times, Dates, and Time Spans

          Dealing with dates and times in Python can be a hassle. Thankfully, there’s a built-in way of making it easier: the Python datetime module.

          datetime helps us identify and process time-related elements like dates, hours, minutes, seconds, days of the week, months, years, etc. It offers various services like managing time zones and daylight savings time. It can work with timestamp data. It can extract the day of the week, day of the month, and other date and time formats from strings.

          In short, it’s a really powerful way of handling anything date and time related in Python. So let’s get into it!

        • PyCharm: 2019.3 EAP 7

          A new Early Access Program (EAP) version for PyCharm 2019.3 is now available! If you wish to try it out do so by downloading it from our website.

        • The 2019 Python Developer Survey is here, take a few minutes to complete the survey!

          In 2018, the Python Software Foundation together with JetBrains conducted an official Python Developers Survey for the second time. Over 20,000 developers from almost 150 different countries participated..

          With this third iteration of the official Python Developers Survey, we aim to identify how the Python development world looks today and how it compares to the last two years. The results of the survey will serve as a major source of knowledge about the current state of the Python community and how it is changing over the years, so we encourage you to participate and make an invaluable contribution to this community resource. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

        • Implementing the langserver protocol for RQL

          One of our next project for cubicweb and its ecosystem is to implement the langserver protocol for the RQL language that we are using in CW. The langserver protocol is an idea to solve one problem: to integrate operation for various languages, most IDE/tools needs to reimplement the wheel all the time, doing custom plugin etc... To solve this issue, this protocol has been invented with one idea: make one server for a language, then all IDE/tools that talks this protocol will be able to integrate it easily.

        • Generating Python code from SymPy

          and iterate Hn to find a root of f(x). When n = 2, this is Newton’s method. In yesterday’s post I used Mathematica to find expressions for H3 and H4, then used Mathematica’s FortranForm[] function to export Python code. (Mathematica doesn’t have a function to export Python code per se, but the Fortran syntax was identical in this case.)

          Aaron Muerer pointed out that it would have been easier to generate the Python code in Python using SymPy to do the calculus and labdify() to generate the code. I hadn’t heard of lambdify before, so I tried out his suggestion. The resulting code is nice and compact.

        • 'No more room for wars in the new world'? Who are you and what have you done with Microsoft? [Ed: Microsoft Tim is at it again with pro-Microsoft spin]

          In a post to the OpenJDK mailing list, Bruno Borges, Microsoft's principal product manager for Java development, said: "Microsoft and its subsidiaries are heavily dependent on Java in many aspects" – not least among these would be that many customers run Java on the Azure cloud platform.

          Earlier this month, for example, the company announced a partnership with Pivotal to run the Java-based Spring Cloud on Azure.

          Microsoft's Java engineering team is led by principal engineering group manager Martijn Verburg, formerly of jClarity, a company acquired by Microsoft in August this year. jClarity was a co-founder of AdoptOpenJDK, a free distribution of the OpenJDK.

        • Thank you, Guido

          After six and a half years, Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, is leaving Dropbox and heading into retirement. From the beginning, we knew Guido would be a great addition to our company. In fact, his contributions to Dropbox date back to day one. Our CEO Drew Houston’s very first lines of code for Dropbox were written in Python.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • U.S. Universities Get Failing Grades for DMARC Adoption

          According to an analysis from Red Sift shared with Threatpost, only 3 percent of the top 200 schools in the 2020 WSJ/THE College Rankings have the DMARC protocol configured at its fullest protection level.

          DMARC (which stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is an industry standard that ensures emails are authenticated before they reach users’ mailboxes and confirms that they have been sent from legitimate sources. If configured correctly, potential phishing emails can be stopped at the gateway, or redirected to the junk folder.

  • Leftovers

    • Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark

      The horror film is hands down the most woefully underrated genre in cinema. Art at its very finest provokes and there is no subject more provocative than death. Death is the only existential constant in the human experience. Like it or not, we are all born to die. So it only follows that human beings should be both fascinated and terrified by death in equal measure. This fascination is precisely what powers the commercial drive behind the horror industry. There has never been a time since cinema’s infancy when audiences haven’t flocked to the theater to be frightened. People are drawn to fear but when that fear is followed through with analysis they become too uncomfortable to enjoy the cheap thrill of being terrified without consequences. But there are always consequences.

    • Scorsese Closes the Book on the Mafia Genre

      A World War II soldier hardened by killing hires on as a truck driver during peacetime. His efficiency in following orders—at the wheel and with a gun—serves the bosses of organized crime and organized labor.

    • Nate Silver Is Making This Up as He Goes

      There is a scene in “Hail, Caesar!” the Coen brothers’ black, Golden Age Hollywood satire, in which a confused George Clooney, playing a dumbed-down 1950s version of himself, awakes after being kidnapped by a group of ineptly idealistic communist screenwriters and is exposed, for the first time, to a materialist view of history.

    • DoD JEDI contract: Following old plot lines?

      AFCAC 251 wasn’t the only federal IT megacontract that didn’t quite live up to its billing. A string of similar deals exposed the government’s cumbersome IT acquisition process and an inability to deliver up-to-date technology. The less-than-stellar contracting practices led to federal procurement reform in the 1990s. The upshot: agency buyers would eventually be able to purchase PCs and other hardware via credit card, using vehicles such as the General Services Administration Schedule 70 contract.

      Against that backdrop, the DoD JEDI contract seems like a step back to the megacontract era. It’s far too early to determine whether the contract will reach the $10 billion milestone or fall short. In the meantime, it’s important to note that JEDI is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, as was AFCAC 251. An IDIQ contract gives the winning vendor the ability to sell products or services, but provides no assurance customers will actually hit the contract’s spending ceiling. The Pentagon guarantees $1 million for JEDI’s two-year base contract period, and anticipates an estimated $210 million in spending during that period. The contract could run up to 10 years, if DoD exercises all of its options.

      Another consideration: JEDI isn’t the only cloud pact in town. Microsoft faces other cloud services competitors for the government’s dollar. And that competition seems likely to increase.

    • Science

      • A Touch of Plagiarism: the Nazari Precedent

        The academy is filled with wonder. There are professors who cannot teach. There are associate professors who cannot write. There are tenured academics who have been promoted on the basis of being able to be the fourth author on all their papers, able to put and patch together an abstract and jot down a signature. And there are those tagging types, the sort that come to the intellectual show once it has been played, attaching their names to a monograph they have never written. All make sure about one thing: to spell their name correctly and hail the merits of the work.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Security updates for Thursday

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (italc and python-ecdsa), Fedora (php and sudo), openSUSE (binutils and docker-runc), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (firefox and sudo), SUSE (ardana-ansible, ardana-glance, ardana-horizon, ardana-input-model, ardana-manila, ardana-neutron, ardana-nova, ardana-octavia, ardana-tempest, crowbar-core, crowbar-ha, crowbar-openstack, crowbar-ui, galera-3, grafana, mariadb, mariadb-connector-c, novnc, openstack-cinder, openstack-glance, openstack-heat, openstack-horizon-plugin-neutron-vpnaas-ui, openstack-keystone, openstack-monasca-installer, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-gbp, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, python-amqp, python-ovs, python-pysaml2, python-python-engineio, python-urllib3, release-notes-suse-openstack-cloud, rubygem-easy_diff, rubygem-rest-client-1_6, venv-openstack-keystone, dbus-1, firefox, php7, and samba), and Ubuntu (file, freetds, and whoopsie).

      • India Says Nuclear Power Plant Was Affected by Computer Malware [Ed: Windows[

        Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd., the country’s monopoly atomic power producer, said malware infected a computer network used for administrative functions at one of its nuclear installations, while leaving core plant systems unaffected.

      • Chinese Hackers Steal SMS Messages from Linux Routing Servers [Ed: This isn't about Linux, but this site has an agenda against "Linux" -- one that ZDNet adopted as well (same writers)]

        Chinese hackers deployed a new cyber-espionage tool on Linux servers belonging to a telecommunications network provider to steal SMS message content for specific recipients.

        The threat actor's activity on the compromised machines extended to stealing call records from individuals of interest to intelligence services in China.

        The campaign is attributed to APT41, a state-sponsored group of advanced hackers running espionage activity on behave of the Chinese government. The activity of this group traces back to 2012.

      • Norsk Hydro's cyber insurance has paid just a fraction of its breach-related losses so far

        Norsk Hydro received an insurance payout of $3.6 million following a highly publicized cyberattack earlier this year, the company revealed in its third quarter earnings report.

        The insurance payout represents about 6% of the $60 million to $71 million in costs created by the incident through the third quarter, the company said. The Norwegian aluminum and energy giant expects more compensation will come as more costs are totaled.

      • Norsk Hydro reveals initial cyber insurance payout

        Yesterday (October 23) the aluminium supplier reported: “The cyberattack on Hydro on March 19 affected the entire global organisation, with extruded solutions having suffered the most significant operational challenges and financial losses.

        “The financial impact of the cyberattack is estimated to around NOK550-650 million (€£47-55 million) in the first half year with limited financial effects for the third quarter.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Why Those "Endless Wars" Must Never End

        Let us stipulate at the outset that Donald Trump is a vulgar and dishonest fraud without a principled bone in his corpulent frame. Yet history is nothing if not a tale overflowing with irony. Despite his massive shortcomings, President Trump appears intent on recalibrating America's role in the world.

      • Keeping the Peace Is Far More Complicated Than Waging War

        Another shocking, divisive€ police video€ pops up in the news.

      • Six-year-old murdered during preschool naptime in northern Russia

        A man has killed a six-year-old boy with a knife in Naryan-Mar, Russia, the country’s Investigative Committee reported. The murder took place during quiet hour at the child’s daycare center, according to

      • An Open Letter to Donald Trump: You Are Putting the World at Grave Risk

        Sir:I am writing to you in the name of many peace-loving people from all over the world, who are worried about our future and that of our children. A future that your dangerous policies put in terrifying danger.

      • Five Russian mercenaries reported killed and then beheaded in Mozambique

        Five Russian hired soldiers working for the Wagner private military company (PMC) have reportedly been killed in Mozambique, Carta de Moçambique reported. Sources told the outlet that the mercenaries were killed during an insurgent ambush on local security forces. RBC and other outlets soon recounted that reporting for Russian readers. However, the local Russian embassy told Interfax that it had not received any information about such an attack and was “very surprised” at the news.

      • Baghdadi Had No Real Answer for the Crumbling of His Caliphate

        The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis and the self-declared caliph of Islamic State, will be a serious, though not terminal,€ blow to the ferocious jihadi€ movement he has headed since 2010.

      • Crimea: Conscription Violates International Law

        Russian authorities are conscripting males in occupied Crimea to serve in the Russian armed forces, Human Rights Watch said today. International humanitarian law explicitly forbids Russia from compelling Crimean residents to serve in its armed forces.€ 

      • Myanmar: Actors Convicted of Criticizing Army

        The Myanmar authorities should immediately quash the convictions of five theater performers for criticizing the military and drop all remaining charges against troupe members.

      • More Aid Workers Killed in South Sudan

        Three more aid workers, this time staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have been killed in South Sudan.

      • CIA-Trained Afghan Forces Behind War Atrocities, Report Finds

        Heavily armed men burst into the home in the middle of night, hustling four brothers into separate rooms, their hands bound. Afghan special forces then shot them in the head and heart. The operation, the CIA-trained Afghan unit said, targeted Islamic State militants in a remote region of eastern Nangarhar Province.

      • 'Terrorizing the Populace': Report Finds CIA-Backed Death Squads in Afghanistan Committing War Crimes, Atrocities

        "The CIA has enabled abusive Afghan forces to commit atrocities including extrajudicial executions and disappearances."

      • China terms J&k bifurcation ‘unlawful, void’; India calls it ‘internal affair’

        Reacting to China’s statement, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh were an integral part of India. “China is well aware of India’s consistent & clear position on this issue. The matter of reorganization of erstwhile state of J&K into UTs of J&K and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India,” Kumar said.

        “We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” the MEA spokesperson said.

      • China "Illegally Acquired Indian Territories...": India Hits Back On J&K

        Foreign Minister S Jaishankar visited China in August, shortly after the centre announced its decision on Article 370. Mr Jaishankar told his counterpart, Wang Yi, that revocation of special status was an internal matter and did not affect either external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

        "There was no implication for either the external boundaries of India or the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. India is not raising any additional territorial claims. The issue related to changes is a temporary provision of the Constitution of India and was the sole prerogative of the country," the Foreign Minister told China.

      • Self-Determination for Syria! U.S. Out Now!

        A furious bi-partisan warmongering outburst of opposition met President Trump’s mid-October announcement that U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Northeastern Syria. Engineered by the Democrats, and joined by the top spokespersons of the twin parties of war, racism and environmental destruction, they denounced Trump and passed an instant congressional resolution demanding that the estimated 1,000 U.S. troops remain in Syria.

      • Russia Isn't Getting the Recognition It Deserves on Syria

        At a time when the credibility of the United States as either an unbiased actor or reliable ally lies in tatters, Russia has emerged as the one major power whose loyalty to its allies is unquestioned, and whose ability to serve as an honest broker between seemingly intractable opponents is unmatched.

    • Environment

      • Finnish lawmakers voice frustration with lack of progress in climate debate

        “Finland is having a public debate about whether the views of those who ‘doubt’ [the climate crisis] should be taken more into consideration. This is taking place while the global scientific community has constantly amplified its message that there is strong evidence of the increasingly dangerous pace of climate change and the impact of human activity.”

        He also levelled criticism at the government of Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP), reminding that over four-fifths (82%) of the public cast their vote for parties that had pledged to take action to limit global warming to 1.5€°C in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

        “Rinne’s government has postponed major climate actions,” he said. “We can do better. We must back our words with actions. Finns deserve it.”

      • New elevation data triple estimates of global vulnerability to sea-level rise and coastal flooding

        Most estimates of global mean sea-level rise this century fall below 2 m. This quantity is comparable to the positive vertical bias of the principle digital elevation model (DEM) used to assess global and national population exposures to extreme coastal water levels, NASA’s SRTM. CoastalDEM is a new DEM utilizing neural networks to reduce SRTM error. Here we show – employing CoastalDEM—that 190 M people (150–250 M, 90% CI) currently occupy global land below projected high tide lines for 2100 under low carbon emissions, up from 110 M today, for a median increase of 80 M. These figures triple SRTM-based values. Under high emissions, CoastalDEM indicates up to 630 M people live on land below projected annual flood levels for 2100, and up to 340 M for mid-century, versus roughly 250 M at present. We estimate one billion people now occupy land less than 10 m above current high tide lines, including 250 M below 1 m.

      • Mumbai could be wiped out by rising sea by 2050, warns new report

        India's financial capital, Mumbai, is at the risk of being ''wiped out'' as rising seas could affect three times more population by 2050, new research has found. The research paper was produced by a New Jersey-based science organisation, Climate Central, and published in the journal ''Nature Communications''. However, the projections don't account for future population growth or land lost to coastal erosion.

      • First These Kentuckians Couldn't Drink The Water. Now They Can't Afford It

        This has become routine for some in Martin County, a rural, mountainous community on Kentucky's border with West Virginia. The area has made news for decades for its notoriously dirty water supply. But now, efforts to fix that have led to another crisis: Many are unable to afford their water bills.

        The water that comes out of Martin County taps can be cloudy at times. There are boil-water advisories and pipes so leaky that most of the water is lost before it reaches residents' taps. For years, residents received monthly advisories that some people exposed to the chemicals in their water "may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer."

        Local officials are trying to fix all that, and they say the water is now safe to drink, save for occasional problems. But this has taken a lot of money, and the cost of that has been passed on to customers. After a series of increases, water rates went up 41% last year alone.

      • Greta Thunberg Declines Nordic Environmental Award, Decrying Chasm Between Climate Science and Climate Action

        "What we need," said the 16-year-old Swede, "is for our politicians and the people in power start to listen to the current, best available science."

      • 'Horrifying' New Research Shows Rising Sea Levels Could Wipe Out Major Cities, Displace 150 Million People by 2050

        "Climate change is shrinking the planet, in the scariest possible way."

      • Extinction Rebellion: We Need To Talk About The Future

        Dear everyone.This is a love letter to Extinction Rebellion.A movement that I devoted the last year of my life to. Lost jobs over. Got arrested with. Put everything on hold for. A movement that I believed in. A movement that believed in me. A movement that changed the debate. And that now needs to change.

      • Chile Scraps Asia-Pacific and Climate Summits Amid Protests

        SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said Wednesday that he is canceling two major international summits so he can respond to protracted nationwide protests over economic inequality that have left more than a dozen people dead, hundreds injured and businesses and infrastructure damaged.

      • Painting Over Greta

        It is incredible that Greta Thunberg’s fight for our climate began with a solitary school strike outside the Swedish Parliament in August 2018. And now, that singular act of protest by a fifteen-year-old has spread - involving millions of students world-wide.

      • Carbon capture is vital for planet, scientists say

        Carbon capture and storage is now proved to work and is essential to prevent global average temperatures exceeding 1.5€°C, Norwegian scientists say.

      • The Scariest Horror Movie of the Year Is an Environmental Documentary
      • Energy

        • 'It Happens Over and Over and Over and Over': Keystone Pipeline Leaks (at Least) 383,000 Gallons of Crude Oil in North Dakota

          "History has shown us time and again that there is no safe way to transport fossil fuels, and pipelines are no exception."

        • Public Health Experts Flunk Report Tying Pennsylvania Air Quality Improvements to Gas Drilling

          Today, the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) — an organization funded by oil and gas producers — released their own report€ that presents a different narrative about energy production and air quality in Pennsylvania, a state that’s become one of the nation’s largest producers of fossil€ fuels.

        • Nord Stream 2 clears major hurdle as Denmark OKs gas pipeline

          The Danish permit was the last needed for the 1,230-km-long (765-mile) pipeline from Russia to Germany. The United States and several eastern European, Nordic and Baltic countries have expressed concern that the project, led by state-owned Gazprom (GAZP.MM), will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.

          A U.S. Energy Department official said the project increases Russia’s grip over regional energy supply and threatens the security of European allies. “The United States will ... examine all tools at its disposal regarding this project,” the official said on condition anonymity, though it was unclear whether tools such as sanctions could stop it.

        • Denmark gives go-ahead for Nord Stream 2 Russian pipeline segment

          A left-wing party that supports Denmarks minority Social Democratic Party government, the Red-Green Alliance, said the DEA's decision was "disastrous for the climate and the European energy policy."

          Alliance member Mai Villadsen said: "It makes no sense to approve a huge new gas pipeline without assessing the consequences for the climate."

        • The message from the world’s biggest and wildest IPO

          Consider the imminent stockmarket flotation of Saudi Aramco, which produces 10m barrels of oil a day, or 11% of the global total. As well as Arabian super-light, Aramco pumps out superlatives and controversy (see Briefing). Worth well over $1trn, it could, once listed, be the world’s most valuable public firm, squeezing past Apple. The initial public offering has been delayed several times; a big Aramco processing plant was hit by a missile strike in September and the firm is ultimately controlled by Muhammad bin Salman, an autocratic royal with blood on his hands. But take a moment to look beyond this. Aramco’s underlying strategy is to be the last oilman standing if the industry shrinks, pointing to the upheavals to come.

        • Trump abandons plan to freeze fuel efficiency standards of cars

          The move could leave General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler in a lurch. The companies sided with the president in a legal battle over whether California could set its own fuel economy standards. From the outside, it seemed they capitulated to his demands, rather than the overwhelming evidence that vehicle emissions need to be cut in order to protect against climate change. Now, they may have squandered a lot of goodwill and damaged their reputations without getting what Trump promised.

        • California Burns…It Always Has

          As California burns, the press is offering all number of explanations for why this is so; naming everything from drought and climate change, to lack of sufficient acres of prescribed burns and forest thinning,€  to the failure of PG&E to properly maintain the electrical grid.€  The ‘problems’, or so the press would have the public believe, are fixable things (assuming climate change is actually fixable). I’ve yet to see it written anywhere that the problem is none of the above and that there isn’t, in fact, ‘a problem’ although that’s not to say, we aren’t in deep shit!

        • California Wildfire Cellular Outages Could Have Been Easily Avoided

          As rolling blackouts and wildfires rattle California this week, many impacted residents are unable to use their cell phones. According to FCC data (pdf), 874 of the state’s 26,000 cell tower sites were out of commission on Monday, up from 630 on Sunday. Of that 874, 702 were caused by a loss of power to the cell site, 88 inoperable towers were due to cut fiber lines leading to the tower, and just 60 were caused by actual wind or fire damage.

        • Wildfires Outside L.A. Threaten Homes, Spare Reagan Library

          A wind-whipped outbreak of wildfires outside Los Angeles on Wednesday threatened thousands of homes and horse ranches, forced the smoky evacuation of elderly patients in wheelchairs and narrowly bypassed the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, protected in part by a buffer zone chewed by goats.

        • We Need Publicly Owned Utilities

          Right now, thousands of Californians are fleeing raging wildfires, while millions sit in the dark. And for-profit utilities may be to blame.Pacific Gas & Electric—a private, for-profit utility in the state—has admitted that its equipment likely caused 10 wildfires this year alone.

        • 'Step Up or Step Aside': With California Engulfed in Flames, Climate Activists Occupy Nancy Pelosi's Office

          "Our rage has to burn as fiercely as every fire we witness. And we're going to keep sitting in and striking until our leaders feel it too."

        • 'Modern Day Slavery': Prisoner Firefighters Risking Their Lives in California Battling Wildfires an Example of System's Injustice, Say Critics

          "California fights fires with slave labor."

        • As Climate Crisis-Fueled Fires Rage, Fears Grow of an 'Uninhabitable' California

          As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

        • Environmentalists Slam 'Climate Criminal' Rex Tillerson for Spreading More Lies During Testimony in Exxon Trial

          "As wildfires rage across California and the West, it's momentous to see Exxon's former CEO in court, on the witness stand, testifying to his role in lying to investors about climate-related risks."

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • 'If These Miners Were Bankers, Congress Would Have Bailed Them Out Already,' Says Sanders as Bankrupt Murray Coal Threatens Pensions

        "My Green New Deal will protect the pensions workers were promised and provide a just transition for all fossil fuel workers."

      • 53206: The Poverty of Politics

        In a move resembling the fictionalized “People’s Front of Judea’s” struggles against Roman rule in Monty Python’s classic 1979 comedy Life of Brian, an alliance of anti-meat activists and higher office seeking politician just shut down a proposed meat processing plant straddling the edge of Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code. While opposing Roman suzerainty represented the good fight in Life of Brian, please remember what their strategy was for stopping the Romans: mass suicide…

        The proposed plant (Strauss Meats) straddles Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code, notorious for its de-industrialization induced blight and poverty. Century City is the rebranded 80 acre “business park” that once housed A.O. Smith, once the largest producer of auto and truck frames in the United States. At its peak, it employed nearly 8000 industrial union workers. These jobs delivered solid incomes to African-Americans in the 53206 and adjacent zip codes. A.O. Smith’s closure, along with a larger deindustrialization underway in Milwaukee, struck a death blow to middle-class aspirations for many of the city’s African-Americans. The ensuing socio-economic devastation there reminds one of Tacitus’ characterization of Carthage, put in the mouth of the Celtic chieftain Calgacus before the battle of Mons Graupius, of Rome’s victories, where “they make a desert and they call it peace.” While there was no intent to destroy Milwaukee’s north side African-American neighborhoods, the shuttering of its factories were nonetheless similar in effect to Carthage’s treatment at the hands of Rome. Both were rendered “deserts,” Carthage for farming and 53206 (and neighboring areas) for living-wage jobs.

        The City of Milwaukee has long tried bringing employment to the blighted Century City site. A long struggle was undertaken to bring high-speed rail to Wisconsin, with its $800 million construction costs fully funded by the Federal government. Spanish train manufacturer Talgo was brought to Century City to build train cars. Unfortunately, this project crashed on the shoals of then Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s presidential aspirations. Walker, supported and mentored by the dirty energy Koch Brothers, shut down the rail project. Talgo remains, but employs only a few people.

      • Deadspin Is Being Burnt To The Ground By Its New Management As Staff Quits Or Revolts

        If you're a sports fan and you're not familiar with, then, no, you're not a sports fan. The former Gawker property is certainly one of the most popular sports sites on the web and was a bright spot even when under Gawker Media's management. The charm of Deadspin has always been its irreverence, its humor, and its willingness to take on stories that fall outside of the realm of sports reporting. The fanbase of the site was built upon this editorial practice.

      • After Avalanche of Outrage Directed at Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, "Rahm Emanuel 2.0" Starts to Budge on Key Teachers' Demand

        "Lori Lightfoot is keeping this strike going, denying students instructional days, because she thinks she can defeat the working class. She's wrong."

      • 'When We Fight, We Win!': After 11-Day Strike, Chicago Teachers Reach Deal With Mayor

        Although CTU leaders remain frustrated with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, they are celebrating that "we have a better Chicago Public Schools as a result" of the strike.

      • 'A Collective Voice': NBC News Digital Staffers Vote to Unionize

        "If there was any doubt, recent weeks have been a stark reminder that there is strength in numbers, workers are better with job security, and the people doing the journalism should have seat at the table."

      • Reassessing Corporate Social Responsibility

        Should corporate social responsibility be voluntary or be mandated through federal chartering of large, public-held corporations?€  A recent statement by the Business Roundtable, “The Purpose of a Corporation,” argues the former; legislative proposals by Senators Warren and Sanders advocate the latter.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Donald Trump and the New, New World Order
      • Trump’s Hidden Attention to Detail…in Avoiding Accountability

        With each passing day, President Trump’s criminal syndicate looks weaker. Until recently, hoping for defections on the scale we’re seeing now might have seemed like a pipe dream, but it turns out that several of Trump’s former associates do have limits on what they will tolerate (even if it is sometimes puzzling where exactly they draw the line). Unfortunately, while several of these figures have been able to provide valuable testimony, none have had the power to hold Trump accountable directly. And conveniently, Trump has incapacitated those corners of the administration, like the Federal Election Commission (FEC) — which currently lacks a quorum and therefore cannot function — that are outside of his direct influence and therefore would have the power to hold him to account in the event of partisan defections.

      • Who Exactly Are Joe Biden's Wealthy, Well-Connected Bundlers?

        The Joe Biden campaign is short on cash, so short that it has moved from disavowing an outside super PAC earlier this year to throwing the door open to one last week. That begs the question: If Biden is compromising on this stance for a buck, what other things might he be willing to trade for fundraising help? And with whom?

      • Biden Plan 'Preserves Corporate Greed' Rotting Nation's Healthcare System, Says Sanders Campaign

        "Will Joe Biden tell the American people how many more of them he's willing to allow to go bankrupt? How many more people would die because they don't get to a doctor in time?"

      • Bernie, Liz, and Rosa

        “Bernard Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are from different parties but agreed on 93 percent of votes in the 115th Congress (2017-18). It is unusual for two members of different parties to agree on so many votes. Out of 583 votes in the 115th Congress, they agreed on 543 votes, including 40 major votes.”

      • After Sanders Says West Virginia Working-Class Base Will Support Bold Vision, Manchin Says His Vote "Wouldn't Be Bernie" in Head-to-Head With Trump

        "Just imagine the anger directed at the Bernie camp if a lawmaker supporting him (or even a prominent support of his) said they wouldn't support for the centrist Dem candidate against Trump."

      • Democrats Push Impeachment-Rules Package Through House

        Democrats rammed a package of ground rules for their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump€ through a sharply divided House Thursday, the chamber’s first formal vote in a fight that could stretch into the 2020 election year.

      • 'Just the First Step': House Democrats Approve Trump Impeachment Inquiry Resolution

        "This resolution ensures transparency, advancing public disclosure of deposition transcripts, and outlying the procedures for the transfer of evidence to the judiciary committee to use in its proceedings," said Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ahead of the vote...

      • United Kingdom—Brexit or No Brexit—Our Donald Trumps Your Boris

        Sorry, Britain, we win. And believe me, I’m sorrier about that than I can say.Because from where I sit, our criminal president, Cheeto Benito Trump, has got your dissembling, cheating Boris Johnson beat by a corrupt mile. Or corrupt kilometer, depending on the country.

      • A Message to Progressives: Adam Schiff Is Not Your Friend

        A huge national spotlight is now on Adam Schiff, the member of Congress leading the impeachment inquiry. In his tenth term, Schiff is really going places. But where is he coming from?€ € This year, as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, he has relentlessly built a case against a horrendous president.

      • The 'Saving Grace' of Donald Trump's Presidency

        Let us stipulate at the outset that Donald Trump is a vulgar and dishonest fraud without a principled bone in his corpulent frame. Yet history is nothing if not a tale overflowing with irony. Despite his massive shortcomings, President Trump appears intent on recalibrating America’s role in the world. Initiating a long-overdue process of aligning U.S. policy with actually existing global conditions just may prove to be his providentially anointed function. Go figure.

      • In Farewell Address, Rep. Katie Hill Decries 'Double Standard' and 'Misogynistic Culture' That Compelled Her Resignation

        "I will never shirk my responsibility for this sudden ending to my time here," Hill said. "But I have to say more because this is bigger than me."

      • 'A Stain on Our Democracy': Texas Democrats File Suit to Stop GOP Voter Suppression Efforts

        "We need to fight back in the courts and at the ballot box."

      • The Incredible Disappearing Farage, and Other Electoral Oddities

        For a decade Nigel Farage has been flung into our living rooms continually by the BBC. Even when UKIP barely registered a blip in the opinion polls, he was a regular on Question Time and the other news, current affairs and politics programme. Farage’s celebrity was a BBC creation. He served an important purpose. At a time when the wealth gap was growing exponentially, and working conditions and real incomes of ordinary people were deteriorating sharply, Farage helped amplify the Establishment message that the cause of these problems was not the burgeoning class of billionaires sucking up the world’s resources, but rather the poor immigrants also scratching to make a living.

      • Why Have a Forum on Reparations in Charleston and Why Now?
      • Ilhan Omar's Shameful Armenian-Genocide Statement

        On Tuesday, a historic vote took place in the House on a simple resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when Ottoman Turkey massacred 1.5 million Armenians and other Christian minorities in the Empire, including Assyrians and Greeks. For the descendants of victims of the Armenian genocide, congresswoman Ilhan Omar's attempt to justify her "present" vote when H.R. 296 was on the House floor was not only inappropriate, but featured the common denial tactics used by deniers of the Armenian genocide. Omar was the only Democrat to not vote in favor of the resolution, which was bipartisan and included only 11 nay votes (all Republicans).

      • Ivanka Trump Thinks Democracy Is for Losers

        The tweet is amazing for a couple reasons, the first being that Princess Purses’ reaction to lawmakers voting to move forward with a process laid out in the Constitution is to insist that these jealous losers are obviously making stuff up about her dad. Second is the implication that Donald Trump, a man who would sooner die than read a book and thinks a clause in the Constitution is “phony,” has a lot in common with one of the founding fathers. And finally, there’s the incredible fact that when Ivanka went searching for her “screw the haters” quote, she landed on one that was part of a letter written, most likely, in response to claims that Jefferson fathered a child with a slave—something that would now be considered rape considering the slave, Sally Hemings, wouldn’t have had a choice in the matter. In fact, those claims were entirely accurate!

      • 'Whoa': Twitter to End Paid Political Advertising on Platform, CEO Says

        "This isn't about free expression," said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "This is about paying for reach."

      • The Lies Corporate Media Tell When Bernie Sanders Is "Extreme" and Trump's GOP Is "Mainstream"

        Is a candidate a centrist? This question matters because many voters like to think of themselves as moderates or centrists. Other voters, not heavily engaged in the political process, are responsive to labels.

      • How ‘RT’ head Margarita Simonyan agreed to an interview with journalist Ksenia Sobchak, ran into some tricky questions, and walked out

        On October 30, celebrity media figure and former presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak released an interview with RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan. RT is a Russian government-run news outlet with branches that target international audiences. The following is a paraphrased summary of what Simonyan said during the interview with direct quotes marked accordingly.

      • 'A Full on Cover-Up': Official Testifies That Ukraine Call Transcript Trump Said Was 'Perfect' Left Out Key Details

        "It was a doctored transcript. The White House cut out some of his words, refused to restore them, and hid the transcript in a secure server."

      • Vindman’s Ukraine (Video)
      • 'A Mockery of Justice': Outrage Over One-Month Community Service Sentence for Israeli Soldier Who Shot Dead Palestinian Teen

        The sentence is "entirely disproportionate with the criminal act of killing an unarmed child protester," says a human rights organization.

      • Bernie Sanders Says Give Aid to Gaza and That Calling Out Netanyahu's Racist Government Isn't Anti-Semitism

        Bernie Sanders has almost single-handedly changed the discourse on Israel in the Democratic Party and in the United States more generally. But his appearance at the J-Street conference was a further tour de force, and the positions he has staked out clearly have put pressure on the other Democratic candidates to take a position on Israeli land-grabs in the Paletinian West Bank

      • Syphilitic Chimpanzees Inc.

        We can't even (again). The "president's" team just released a "fine art" poster for Halloween. Titled "HOAXUS POCUS!" it urges "STOP THE WITCH HUNT!" It (sort of) shows "Shifty Schiff, Nervous Nancy (and) Hack Jerry Nadler" as the witches in Hocus Pocus. It also shows Trump flying over D.C. It prompts many questions: Do they think witches are the hunters in a witch hunt?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Australia's Idiotic War On Porn Returns, This Time Using Facial Recognition

        For years now, governments around the world have attempted to block, filter, or otherwise restrict the public's access to porn. And for just as long those efforts have routinely and repeatedly fallen flat on their face. Whether it's the UK's bungled and incoherent plan to employ age-checks to restrict porn access, or Utah's seemingly endless efforts to fiter porn entirely, history is filled with examples of how trying to thwart porn simply doesn't work. Filters are easy to bypass and tend to cause more problems than they solve. Waging war on porn at scale always ends in wasted money and headaches.

      • Phony HTTPS Everywhere Extension Used in Fake Tor Browser

        ESET researchers recently discovered a false “trojanized” version of Tor Browser that collectively stole $40,000 USD in Bitcoin.

        This does not mean that Tor or Tor Browser itself is compromised in any way. It only means that attackers found a new, insidious way to create and distribute a fake version of the Tor Browser. In this case, attackers also faked EFF’s own HTTPS Everywhere extension using a modified manifest.json file with a few settings changes. The attackers used a fake HTTPS Everywhere extension in their campaign because Tor does in fact package the HTTPS Everywhere and No Script extensions into its browser. Including details like normal extensions in the trojanized version of Tor could prevent eagle-eyed users from catching red flags that indicate they’re using a fake browser.

      • The FBI is Tracking Our Faces in Secret. We’re Suing.
      • Facebook Under Pressure to Follow Twitter Lead on Political Ads

        Twitter’s ban on political advertising is ratcheting up pressure on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to follow suit. But so far, that doesn’t appear likely to happen.

      • Sometimes The Cost Of Revenue Is Too High: Twitter Bans Political Ads As Facebook Deals With Ongoing Shitshow

        There's been a lot of talk in the last few weeks about political ads online, kicked off by Facebook "clarifying" that its fact checking rules for regular advertisements don't apply to political ads, after President Trump's campaign ran some ads that were laughably inaccurate. That kicked off a series of political stunts, including Elizabeth Warren taking out her own misleading ads to call out Facebook (though, as we noted, that whole stunt seemed particularly silly since she had previously complained that Facebook shouldn't be blocking political ads -- when they were her own). The debate rages on with everyone insisting that their viewpoint is correct, and with few acknowledging that there is no good answer.

      • Facebook allowed news site to pay to promote ‘false’ content

        An American website that pumped out uncorroborated articles about Canadian politics during the federal election campaign was allowed to promote its content via paid ads on Facebook despite the fact that its articles have been repeatedly deemed false by news organizations, including by one of Facebook’s own fact-checking partners.

      • Facebook reports more than $6B US net income in 3rd quarter

        Facebook on Wednesday reported solid third-quarter results showing steady growth in its user base even as it faces broad regulatory threats and criticism over its power and negative effects on society.

        Facebook said Wednesday that it earned $6.09 billion US, or $2.12 per share, in the July-September quarter, up 19 per cent from $5.14 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

      • Gambling monopoly Veikkaus on new strategy: "We haven't done enough to reduce addiction"

        The gambling monopoly has also decided to bring forward the adoption of compulsory identification on slot machines by one year, starting a gradual rollout that will be completed by January 2021. The new identification requirement will apply to all Veikkaus gaming, excluding scratch cards and casinos.

      • Zuckerberg's View of Speech on Facebook Is Stuck in 2004

        Meanwhile, Zuckerberg is still lecturing us with the sophistication of a college student about the importance of free speech in politics. And he's showing up in public forums like Congress woefully unprepared—or unwilling—to answer the obvious questions about those views. Why couldn’t he answer the simplest questions about his position on false ads from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last week? It wasn't a trick question. It was the same question that had been in the news for two weeks before Zuckerberg appeared in Congress.

      • Facebook’s political ad ban created a disaster in Washington state

        There’s one place in America where that’s already the case. Washington state boasts some of the strictest campaign finance laws in the country, and after threats of court battles last year, both Facebook and Google decided to ban political ads in the state entirely rather than figure out the nuances of compliance. But those bans haven’t stopped local politicians. Instead, it’s resulted in a tangle of uneven enforcement and confusing rules, making it a cautionary tale for what a poorly implemented ad ban might mean for the 2020 campaigns.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Max Blumenthal's Arrest Exposes the Limits of Press Freedom

        Grayzone€ editor Max Blumenthal, a prominent journalistic critic of US policy toward Venezuela,€  was arrested by DC police on Friday, October 25, in connection with a protest at the Venezuelan embassy, and held incommunicado. But if you rely on corporate media, or even leading “press freedom” groups, you haven’t heard about this troubling encroachment on freedom of the press.

      • White House Lawyer Rushed to Hide Transcript of Ukraine Call: Report

        White House lawyer John Eisenberg reportedly rushed to hide the transcript of President Donald Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader on a highly classified server shortly after National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman—who testified before House impeachment investigators Wednesday—raised alarm about the conversation.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Human rights group searched in Perm for ‘illegal logging’ after cleaning up Gulag memorial

        Leading Russian human rights advocate Pavel Chikov has posted on his Telegram channel saying that law enforcement officials searched the Perm office of the Memorial human rights organization on October 31. The search was reportedly conducted by police, investigators, and officials from the local Anti-Extremism Center.

      • The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Christians that Nobody is Talking About

        Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

      • ‘I'm making this bitch's life hell’ How a Russian hacker allegedly ordered the detective investigating him killed and committed countless dark web crimes in the process

        The BBC Russian Service has released an investigative report detailing the activities of Yaroslav Sumbayev, a hacker who allegedly ordered the widely publicized murder of Special Investigator Yevgenia Shishkina. The Georgian government extradited Sumbayev to Russia on October 24. He had previously fled the country to avoid prosecution in a case that Shishkina was investigating. Russian journalists have reported that the alleged murderer€ began his criminal career as a hacker and small-time con artist before allegedly acquiring a major dark web narcotics retailer.

      • Deputy Sued Over Forced Baptism Sued Again By A Minor Alleging Another Bizarre Mixture Of God And Invasive Searches

        Hamilton County (TN) Deputy Daniel Wilkey is one sick man. Recently, we covered his elevation into the ever-swelling ranks of Law Enforcement Officer What Have Been Sued. But Wilkey joined in the most spectacular fashion: he was sued twice in the same day.

      • Ghana Should Resist World Congress of Families’ Anti-LGBT Message

        It is worrying that the United States-based World Congress of Families (WCF), composed in part by organizations that promote exclusionary anti-LGBT rhetoric, is meeting in Accra today.

      • A New, Uncertain Era Begins for Kashmir

        The Indian government’s decision to revoke special constitutional autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir state and create two federally governed territories came into effect today.

      • Russia: New Law Expands Government Control Online

        The Russian government will gain even greater control over freedom of speech and information online when the country’s “sovereign internet” law goes into effect on November 1, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • ‘A human life isn’t meaningless to me’ The Moscow cop who refused to press charges against a protester explains why

        Samariddin Radzhabov is one of nearly 20 people charged with felonies supposedly committed at an opposition rally in Moscow this summer. His offense was throwing a plastic bottle at police officers on July 27. One of these officers, Vitaly Maksidov, refused to press charges against Radzhabov and later left the police force. Meduza asked the now former cop what he thinks about the city’s protests and why he resigned. His responses are reproduced below.

      • This Is About Human Beings

        Amidst Russia, Ukraine, corruption et al, it's still the cruelty that sticks in our gut. A recent, wrenching Abrazos no Muros/Hugs Not Walls event at the border offered a grievous glimpse of it as families, often divided for years, waited hours for a sternly supervised, precisely timed, invariably weeping three-minute hug in a culvert in the Rio Grande.

      • Abortion is Legal in All 50 States, and We Intend to Keep It That Way
      • After Baghdadi death, Nobel laureate Nadia Murad asks: What about the rest?

        A U.N. investigative team, created by the U.N. Security Council, is collecting and preserving evidence of acts by Islamic State in Iraq that may be war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide. Murad and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney had long pushed Iraq to allow U.N. investigators to help.

        “Those captured alive need to be brought to justice in an open court for the world to see. Justice is the only acceptable course of action,” Murad wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

        “We must unite and hold #ISIS terrorists accountable in the same way the world tried the Nazis in an open court at the Nuremberg Trials.”

      • Nobel Peace Prize Winner Welcomes Death of 'Coward' Baghdadi, Calls for Isis Fighters to Be Tried Like the Nazis at Nuremberg

        Murad said she was grateful to the U.S. government and their allies to took part in and supported the operation targeting Baghdadi.

        But she added that that captured ISIS fighters need to be held accountable in the same way that Nazis were at the Nuremberg Trials, adding it is the "only acceptable course of action."

      • Morocco backpacker murders: Court confirms death penalty for killers

        The four had been convicted in July for decapitating Danish student Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, and Norwegian Maren Ueland, 28, in the High Atlas mountain range last December.

        They had pledged allegiance to the extremist group "Islamic State" in a video shot days before the women's bodies were discovered near the summit of Mount Toubkal.

      • Death penalties confirmed for murder of Scandinavian hikers

        A Moroccan anti-terrorist court confirmed death sentences given to three men convicted of beheading two Scandinavian tourists last December, and sentenced a fourth man to be executed.

        All four defendants had been convicted at a trial in July, but the fourth defendant was originally sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of the two women, killed while hiking in the High Atlas mountains.

      • South Asians and Africans are no longer Hong Kong’s ‘ethnic other’ – now it’s the mainland Chinese

        The government of Hong Kong has of course been continuously emphasising Hong Kong’s Chineseness. In opposition to this, the attitude of these localists was that of Hong Kong as “anything but Chinese.” This attitude is that in order to preserve Hong Kong’s distinctiveness as against mainland China, it must be international- unlike mainland China – and it must maintain its complete distinctiveness from mainland China.

        While the refugees I know, as well as other members of minority ethnicities in Hong Kong, generally report a far higher degree of acceptance and welcoming among Hong Kong young people than among their elders, many of the mainland Chinese students I know report a very different situation. Some of the mainland students have been terrified to leave the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) campus; several have reported being harassed when they speak Putonghua on the street in Hong Kong. The destruction by protesters of mainland-linked stores in Hong Kong furthers these students’ sense of fear and alienation from Hong Kong: “Hong Kong hates people like me!” a mainland student exclaimed, in a comment repeated in various ways by a number of the mainland students I know and teach in Hong Kong.

        Protesters I know say, “we don’t hate Chinese people, we hate the Chinese government and the Communist Party.” [...]

      • A Kenyan doctor is seeking to legalize female genital mutilation

        She wants the Kenyan government to annul the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011 and the board set up to enforce the law disbanded.

        FGM is widely condemned in the country and across parts of Africa but Kamau argues in a 2017 petition filed against the government, that it is an age-old Kenyan tradition and that an outright ban infringes on a woman's right to exercise her cultural beliefs.

      • A Democracy-Killing Duo: How the Supreme Court and the Morbidly Rich Are Ruining Democracy in America

        People being killed by wildfires in California and people dying because they can’t afford their insulin are the same thing. Both represent the capture of government by corporations—in other words, both are symptoms of democracy in the United States being replaced by a corporate state with little regard for morality, life or the law.

      • Popular Protest: Just How Effective Is It?

        If there is one theme, beyond corruption and a host of economic and social grievances, that have driven protests—large and small, local, sectoral and national—across the globe, it has been a call for dignity.

      • America Can't Wait Any Longer for Reparations

        Amid revived calls for reparations to benefit the descendants of United States slavery, reports have emerged recently that experts have found the wrecked slave ship€ Clotilda€ in waters near Mobile, Alabama. The€ Clotilda€ is the last known slave ship to reach the United States. Descendants of the€ Clotilda’s owner and the descendants of the human cargo aboard that ship continue to reside in areas of Alabama near the located shipwreck. Some local residents say that the family members descended from the owner of the€ Clotilda€ have always know the location of the ship’s wreckage and they report several attempts by that family to destroy the evidence of their importing of African slaves—which was a crime in 1860, the year that the€ Clotilda€ offloaded African slaves and was scuttled near Mobile.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Getting native IPv6 over Fibre To The Home

        Conveniently enough there’d been a thread on the debian-uk mailing list about server-friendly ISPs. I’m not looking to run services on the end of my broadband line - as long as I can SSH in and provided a basic HTTPS endpoint for some remote services to call in that’s perfect - but a mention of Aquiss came up as a competent option. I was already aware of them as I know several existing users, and I knew they use Entanet to provide pieces of their service. Enta are long time IPv6 supporters, so I took a look. And discovered that I could move to an equivalent service to what I was on, except over fibre and for cheaper (because there was no need to pay for phone line rental I wasn’t using). No brainer.

        So last Thursday an engineer from Openreach turned up. Like last time the job was bigger than expected (I think the Openreach database has just failed to record the fact the access isn’t where they think it is). Also like last time they didn’t just go away, but instead arranged for another engineer to turn up to help with the two-man bit of the job, and got it all done that day. The only worrying bit was when my existing line went down - FTTP is a brand new install rather than a migration - but that turned out to be because they run a new hybrid cable from the pole with both fibre and copper on it. Once the new cable was spliced back in the existing connection came back fine. Total outage was just over an hour - something to be aware of if you’re trying to work from home during the install like I was. Thankfully I have enough spare data on my Three contract that I was able to keep working.

        A picture of the ONT as installed is above; it’s a new style one with no battery backup and a single phone port + ethernet port. I had it placed beside my existing master socket, because that’s where everything is currently situated, but I was given the option to have it placed elsewhere. There’s a wall-wart for power, so you do need a free socket. The ethernet port provides a GigE connection (even though my line is currently only configured for 80M/20M), and it does PPPoE - no VLANs or anything required, though you do need the username/password from your ISP for CHAP authentication, which looks exactly like a normal ADSL username/password.

      • TCP/IP over LoRa radios

        The AX.25 protocol did indeed turn out to be well-suited to this. It’s simple and works. The performance is, predictably, terrible; ping times around 500-600ms, but it does work. I fired up ssh, ran emacs, did a bit with bash, and — yep! Very cool. I tried mosh as well, thinking it would be great for this, but for some reason it just flooded the link with endless packets and was actually rather terrible.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Uber and Lyft Fight a Law They Say Doesn't Apply to Them

        Politics can be funny. Three mainstays of the gig economy—Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash—this week launched a $90 million campaign to overturn a California law they say doesn’t apply to them anyway.

        The law, known as Assembly Bill 5, or AB5, would transform many gig workers into employees. On Tuesday, a small crowd of workers for the companies joined in Sacramento to kick off the campaign, which, if it receives enough support to reach the statewide ballot, would be voted on by Californians in November 2020.

      • Copyrights

        • YouTube Creator Lindsay Ellis Slapped With a Universal Music Copyright Claim, Loses Her Audible Sponsorship

          Universal Music Group’s copyright claim was filed against Ellis’ video, ‘Woke Disney.’ A clip of the song, “Song of the Roustabouts,” appears in the video. The claim now directs any advertising revenue to UMG. That system is supposed to allow creators to leave a video up while revenue goes to the right entity.

          The problem, in this case, is that Ellis’ video wasn’t running ads in the first place. The video contains a sponsorship spot with Audible, which requires other advertising to be disabled. When YouTube allowed UMG to put ads on the video, it put Ellis in violation of her contract with Audible.

        • Copyrights

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