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Links 16/4/2020: KWinFT, LibreOffice 6.4.3, White House/Trump Influence Suspected in JEDI Award to Microsoft

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux housekeeping: Handling archives and backups

        Every sysadmin knows, or should know, that performing and managing backups is an essential part of being a system administrator. If you read 5 Linux backup and restore tips from the trenches, you know how to perform and manage backups. But managing the space required to perform those backups is a very different topic. This is part of Linux housekeeping that you need to consider in your daily workflow.

      In this article, I touch on critical pieces of backup management such as location, retention, disposal and disposition, and automation. Your environment and policies will dictate solutions that you implement for backup space management, but these guidelines and recommendations will help you if you're struggling to handle a growing amount of idle data stored on your network.

    • Server

      • Cockpit 217
        When a machine is connected to Red Hat Insights, the Health card on the Overview page now shows more details. Following PatternFly’s revised design guidelines, button placement in all modal dialogs has been changed to improve usability and accessibility.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 853

        librequest, icewm, drone repair, 3d printing

      • 2020-04-15 | Linux Headlines

        IBM unveils two new Linux-ready mainframe platforms, Inkscape is looking for testers ahead of its 1.0 release, and the Open Mainframe Project is helping reskill out-of-work developers to tackle the needs of legacy systems.

      • FLOSS Weekly 574: FLOSS News

        RIP John Conway and COVID-19 Open Source Applications

        This week on FLOSS Weekly, Randal Schwartz, Jonathan Bennett, and Dan Lynch talk about current news within the realm of open-source.

    • Kernel Space

      • F2FS Added Zstd Compression With Linux 5.7 While Now is Working On LZO-RLE

        With Linux 5.6 the flash-focused F2FS file-system added LZO and LZ4 compression support for enhancing performance and ideally extending flash storage life by reducing the amount of writes. Added meanwhile for the current Linux 5.7 cycle was F2FS Zstd compression support. Now looking ahead to Linux 5.8, it looks like LZO-RLE support is being baked.

        The LZO-RLE extension provides Run-Length Encoding that is designed to improve the LZO algorithm in scenarios where many zeros may be present, such as on file-systems. Linux's Zram already uses LZO-RLE by default and now the Flash-Friendly File-System is toying with LZO-RLE as another compression option for better performance and reducing the writes to disk.

      • Seven Changes We've Been Waiting On That You Will Not Find In Linux 5.7

        There are many new and exciting features of Linux 5.7 but also some material that didn't make the cut this window that we are now hoping will see mainline status for Linux 5.8 or another kernel this year.

        FGKASLR - Intel has been working on Finer-Grained Kernel Address Space Randomization for making relative addresses within the kernel less predictable by employing function reordering on top of KASLR. FGKASLR can further increase the Linux kernel security but we haven't seen any major strides on it for mainlining since the initial patch series came out in February.

    • Applications

      • TightVNC review

          TightVNC is remote access software that’s free, easy to install, and has a tiny footprint. Virtual Network Computing (VNC) viewers are available for all popular operating systems, so by using TightVNC you can control your Windows machine remotely from your PC, Mac, or smartphone.

        TightVNC first became popular because it performed well on low bandwidth connections. But with bandwidth now less of a constraint and so many more advanced remote computer access solutions available, is TightVNC still a top choice?

      • Inkscape, Audacity, GIMP, & HitFilm: Free Software to Be Creative While in Coronavirus Lockdown

        Despite the dire circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, some people are spending their downtime picking up new skills, and these four free programs should help anyone interested in improving their ability to be creative using their computer. Inkscape, GIMP, Audacity, and HitFilm are all creative tools that, either in combination or separately, should help people create most kinds of content.

        Social distancing due to the coronavirus has put many people in a scenario where they have more time than money. This has varying levels of gravity for each person, but typically, left with more free time, people are learning they can invest those hours into themselves. Learning any kind of creative skill is usually its own reward, but the variety of professional benefits one can gain from improving their digital artistry is hard to overstate. Developing efficiency with creative software right now could impact a person's career profoundly.

      • 7 Best Free Linux Photo Management Software

          Photo management software is a type of computer application that helps users to organize their digital image collection.

        One of the biggest culprits of a cluttered hard disk are images taken with a digital camera. This device enable users to take literally hundreds or even thousands of photos storing them on a single small memory device. The photos are then transferred to a computer hard disk for sharing with family and friends, editing, and to print to a photo printer or one of the many online digital photo printing services.

        Anyone with a large photo collection will know that cataloging and finding a specific picture can be very time consuming. The purpose of this article is to identify Linux software that helps manage your collection by using a number of different techniques including tagging and albums. Good software makes the task of deciding which photos to keep and which to delete less time consuming.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Fallout 76 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play
      • F1 2020 announced for release on July 10 with Google Stadia support

        While we don't yet know if the F1 series will make a return to the Linux desktop, it's at least confirmed that the new F1 2020 will be released on Google Stadia so you can stream it.

        Previously, Feral Interactive ported F1 2015 and F1 2017 to Linux (no F1 2016 due to low sales) but they then skipped 2018 / 2019 and we've heard nothing from them yet about F1 2020. With Stadia now being open to anyone with two months free Pro, taking into account supported countries, more Linux gamers will be able to play F1.

      • Challenging turn-based open world RPG 'Stoneshard' has a huge update

        Looking over the vast changelog there's a lot that sounds fun. There's a new boss, two entirely new skill trees for your character to progress through, save slots (hooray!), you can now rob graves, new animals, all animals now have a dedicated meat, a new fast travel system to go between villages, two new hidden quests, three new points of interest and lots of new dialogue. There's even a whole new type of dungeon to explore!

      • Top-down content-filled 2D racer 'Ultimate Racing 2D' now has Linux support

        Developer Applimazing has announced that their 2D racer, Ultimate Racing 2D, has added Linux support.

        The developer said the idea for Ultimate Racing 2D came about back in 2016, when they wanted to make an extended version of the mobile game Formula Racing 2D. They said that while "there were many 3D racing games with a wide variety of racing disciplines, this was not the case for 2D racing games" so they set out to make what they thought would be the ultimate top-down 2D racer. Seems like they did quite well, with a "Very Positive" rating on Steam and it's highly rated on mobile too.

      • Open-world vehicle building adventure 'TerraTech' free to play until April 21

        British indie team Payload Studios have put their Linux game, TerraTech, up on a long Steam Free Weekend so you can download and play for free now until April 21.

        Releasing in full back in 2018, this open-world creative vehicle building and adventure game can be a huge amount of fun. There's a couple different game modes including a a single-player and co-op campaign, creative building mode, online death-match and more. Through a mix of crafting, combat and exploration you gather an assortment of blocks to snap together to create cars, tanks and planes and whatever else you can make move.

      • Riot Games, maker of League of Legends, installs rootkit with their new hit game Valorant

        If an application from a Chinese company installed a kernel driver onto your system with complete access to your computer, but they pinky-promised not to abuse this access and power, would you install the application? Well, if you’re interested in Riot Games’ new hit game Valorant, that’s exactly the question you’re going to have to answer.

        Riot Games, the company behind one of the most popular games in the world, League of Legends, recently starting publicly beta testing their new game, Valorant. Two months ago, the company penned a rather condescending blog post detailing their future anti-cheat technology, which would include a Windows kernel driver (running in ring 0, in x86 parlance). Valorant is their first game using this kernel driver, and as it turns out, this kernel driver starts at boot, and due to its very nature has full system access, even when you’re not running Valorant.

        According to Riot Games, we just have to trust them on their blue eyes that their kernel driver is fully secure and won’t be exploited by malicious third parties, and that the company won’t use it to spy on people or otherwise violate their privacy. Riot states on Reddit that “multiple external security research teams” have reviewed the driver, but as far as I can tell, these reviews have not been published for public vetting.

        What we’re dealing with here is a rootkit, a method more and more anti-cheat systems are employing in the fight against cheating. The argument is that game developers need full, complete, and total access to your system in order to prevent you from cheating, and a kernel driver is how they do it.

      • Steam Play Proton 5.0-6 is out to help DOOM Eternal, Rockstar Launcher and more on Linux

        After a short Beta period to help find issues, today Valve / CodeWeavers have release the latest version of Steam Play Proton.

      • Steam Play's Proton 5.0-6 Released With DOOM Eternal Fix, Other Game Improvements

        Following the Proton 5.0-6 release candidate from earlier this month that brought out-of-the-box support for DOOM Eternal under Linux, Valve today promoted Proton 5.0-6 to being officially available.

        Proton 5.0-6 has the fixes around DOOM Eternal DRM failures to allow the game to work nicely with Steam Play, assuming you also have the very latest Radeon (RADV) and NVIDIA Vulkan drivers.

      • Dirt Rally 2.0 | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play

        Dirt Rally 2 running through Steam Play (Proton 5.0-4) Game runs very good, wheel worked without FFB, but as mentioned in the video...

      • Logistics sim 'STATIONflow' has you direct thousands of passengers across complex 3D layouts

        Out today is STATIONflow, a 3D logistics puzzle simulation game that has you manage a busy metro station with thousands of passengers passing through.

        The idea is that you're not just managing the station, you're also building it. You need to connect everything up with paths, stairs, setup signs to direct people around and all of this while keeping within a budget. The more people you direct to the correct place, and quickly, the more money you can make. This full release comes with a good amount of new features too. There's map editing with Steam Workshop support, 5 more official maps, difficulty settings and a sandbox mode plus some Steam Achievements too.

      • RADV+ACO Outperforming AMDVLK, AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan Drivers For X-Plane 11.50 Flight Simulator

          Released this month was the X-Plane 11.50 beta flight simulator that introduced a Vulkan renderer for this cross-platform, realistic flight simulator that long relied upon an OpenGL pipeline. Last week we published OpenGL vs. Vulkan X-Plane 11 benchmarks for both NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics. In this article is a look at the X-Plane 11.50 beta Vulkan performance across the different Radeon Vulkan driver options.

        As outlined last week, X-Plane 11.50 on Radeon with the Mesa RADV driver performs quite well with the ACO compiler back-end and that was how the comparison was facilitated last week on the AMD GPUs. When using the default AMDGPU LLVM back-end, the shader compile times were dreadfully slow that effectively rendered it useless.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The KWinFT project

          I am pleased to announce the KWinFT project and with it the first public release of its major open source offerings KWinFT and Wrapland, drop-in replacements for KDE's window manager KWin and its accompanying KWayland library.

          The KWinFT project was founded by me at the beginning of this year with the goal to accelerate the development significantly in comparison to KWin. Classic KWin can only be moved with caution, since many people rely on it in their daily computing and there are just as many other stakeholders. In this respect, at least for some time, I anticipated to be able to push KWinFT forward in a much more dynamic way.

        • KDE's window manager KWin gets forked with 'KWinFT' to accelerate the development and better Wayland

          Stick a fork in it! KDE's window manager KWin officially has a full fork with a new project called KWinFT, with an aim to support modern development practices and further expand Wayland support.

          Announced by Roman Gilg, the same developer who became a contractor for Valve last year and part of that work was actually to improve KWin so it looks like this may have come as a result of that. What's interesting about KWinFT, is that it's supposed to be a "drop-in replacements for KDE's window manager KWin and its accompanying KWayland library" making it easy to get started with it.

          Gilg said they did this because "Classic KWin can only be moved with caution, since many people rely on it in their daily computing and there are just as many other stakeholders" so they can push through more advanced changes and overhauls.

        • KWinFT: KDE's KWin Forked To Focus On Better Wayland Support, Modern Technologies

          Longtime KDE developer and former Blue Systems engineer, Roman Gilg, has announced his forking of KDE's KWin window manager / compositor and the subsequent first release of this new KWinFT project.

          KWinFT is out with its first public release as a drop-in replacement for the upstream KWin window manager as well as its KWayland library. Replacing the KWayland library is Wrapland as its new fork. KWinFT + Wrapland has been underway since the start of 2020 to "accelerate the development significantly in comparison to classic KWin."

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell UX Plans

            With GNOME 3.36 out the door, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next. Those of us who work on GNOME UX are really proud of the latest GNOME shell release. It includes some major updates, particular the new lock screen and updated visuals, as well as a host of smaller improvements. 3.36 feels really nice to use, and has got a great response.

          The lock screen work that we landed in 3.36 was the outcome of a long-running programme of UX work, which we first put together at the GNOME UX hackfest in London, back in 2017. There are still some outstanding pieces of the login/unlock experience that need to be filled in, and this is something that we hope to work on over the coming development cycle. However, we are also turning our attention to other aspects of the shell, which we have wanted to update for some time.

        • GNOME's UX Team Working On More 2020 Improvements To The Shell
          While GNOME 3.36 shipped just last month, the GNOME user experience team is already working on improvements that could potentially make it into GNOME 3.38 this autumn for further polishing the UX of the desktop.

          GNOME UX team member Allan Day has shared some of the areas they have been collaborating on for further improving in the GNOME Shell moving forward. Some of the areas being discussed for further improving include...

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS, an Arch Linux based distro gets major updates
          EndeavourOS, the lightweight and lean Arch Linux based distro, has a new April 2020 release with some new features and improvements. This new release includes a universal ISO boot, an enhanced version of Calameres, the system installer framework that comes shipped with the distro, a new mirror for repo, and some new in-house developed apps to boost the EndeavourOS experience.

        • deepin Linux 20 Beta Now Available for Download
          The first thing you’ll notice after installing the new beta is the revamped user interface, which uses rounded window corners and new animations effects. Icons are now more colorful than before, which according to the developing team should power “an exciting user experience.”

        • Linux Distro Alert: The Deepin 20 Beta Is Finally Available

            Following a period of hype which quickly dissolved into silence and uncertainty with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (the developers are based in Wuhan, China), the Deepin 20 Beta has been quietly released after being expected in January 2020.

          All things Deepin are seeing a surge in visibility this month, which was kicked off by the beta release of UbuntuDDE. That new distribution features Ubuntu 20.04 coupled with the Deepin Desktop Environment, and should be an exciting one to watch evolve.

        • deepin Linux 20 Beta ready for download
          Some unfortunate people are so obsessed with COVID-19 coming from China that they forget all the positive things that come from the country, such as almost everything we buy in the USA. Yes, folks, many of the great products we enjoy daily, such as clothing and electronics, come from China, and it is important to remember that. Look, we are all humans, and borders are man-made -- there is no room for xenophobia in the world.

          Most importantly, our friends in China have brought us one of the best desktop Linux distributions on the planet -- the Debian-based deepin. The Chinese developers have been teasing the upcoming deepin 20, and the DDE (deepin desktop environment) looks absolutely amazing. Today, I am excited to say we can all begin testing the operating system, as deepin 20 Beta is finally here!

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD progress on Slimbook Base14

          Two-and-a-half years ago, I got a KDE Slimbook, and it was an excellent machine – price-competitive with similar hardware, but supporting the Free Software world. I think it came with KDE neon pre-installed, but it has run many other things in the meantime.

          This Christmas, my son’s second-hand Dell laptop power brick exploded (the battery was already dead) and so there was one obvious solution: get myself a new Slimbook, and hand down the KDE Slimbook to him. So he now has my Gitlab diversity sticker, and a nopetopus, and a KDE neon installation on a fine – but somewhat battered looking – laptop.

          I have a new shiny thing, the Slimbook Base 14. Again, price-competitive, Free Software positive, and a nice shiny machine. It has a Purr sticker and also a Run BSD sticker, openSUSE and adopteunchaton. Cats seem to be the thing for this laptop.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Reasons To Give OpenSUSE A Try

          Probably the most special thing about openSUSE is YaST2: The complete control center capable of configuring everything on a Linux system. It comes by default on SUSE & openSUSE distributions. YaST2 is awesome because it contains a lot of options and functionalities.

        • SUSECON Digital – Everything You Hoped For (Except the Guinness)

          For nearly a decade, I have been very fortunate to lead the SUSECON team at SUSE. We have enjoyed double-digit attendance growth every year, and along the way we have made both fans and lifelong friends. Everyone who attends SUSECON comes away with great memories. When asked what the best things about the event were, they reply, “outstanding technical content, open access to subject matter experts, and a true feeling of community.”

          A few weeks ago, for reasons we all know too well, we were presented with a challenge: create an on-line experience that will deliver outstanding technical content, allow for open access to the people who create that content, and still maintain a feeling of community. Since that time, we have been hard at work to create a virtual SUSECON experience that will be as memorable as our live event.

        • Jitsi instance on

          In the times of Covid-19 and the people staying at home it is an adventure to get the tools to work from home without missing the benefits of face-to-face meetings.

          There are a lot of solutions out in the wild. But one promising solution is Jitsi. Until now we used the instances provided by other people.

          But now we are able to introduce:

          Our own Jitsi instance

          It is based on openSUSE Leap 15.1 and uses docker containers to deploy Jitsi. The current security warnings were also considered, furthermore the setup uses secure LDAP and HTTPS.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The Linux Setup – Jared Domínguez, Red Hat

          Jared’s perspective as someone whose job is to get Linux running on different hardware is interesting. I never thought about the planning it takes to coordinate future hardware and software releases. Reading through this, I kept thinking about how much Jared had to live in the future. I also appreciated how Jared found his way to Linux through his father. It’s sweet to think about a little kid seeing all of these terminals and tapes and wanting to know how it all works. It’s part of the reason I try to announce ‘Linux’ every time my daughter wanders up to my computer.

        • How IBM’s New CEO Plans to Beat Microsoft, Amazon & Google in Cloud

          While IBM’s way behind its big cloud rivals in growth rates and perceived status, it can beat bigger and better-positioned cloud rivals Microsoft, Amazon and Google by “winning the architectural wars,” says new IBM CEO Arvind Krishna.

          In a recent interview with CNBC’s Jon Fortt, Krishna made the case that the deep-tech trio of Linux, containers and Kubernetes position IBM for victory in the Cloud Wars against its much larger and faster-growing competitors.

          Highlighting the range of cloud technologies IBM acquired in its $33-billion acquisition of Red Hat, Krishna said, “As people embark on this transformation to cloud, there is going to be an architectural war. And in that war, we believe the winning architecture is going to be Linux, containers and Kubernetes, which is part of Red Hat’s portfolio.”

          That’s a nice hand for the hybrid-cloud market, to be sure. But every single one of IBM’s well-heeled and well-regarded rivals can make the case that it sports a tech trio as good as or better than IBM’s. For comparison’s sake: in my Cloud Wars Top 10 rankings, Microsoft is #1, Amazon #2, Google #4, and IBM #7.

        • “The Open Source Way has proven itself as the leading way to develop software solutions”

          The modern world of software development is characterized by open source. Today, around 80 percent of IT stacks in companies worldwide are composed of open source software (OSS). Jan Wildeboer, EMEA open source evangelist at Red Hat, explains in our interview how this has come to be, and why it would be wise to increase this figure. And not only does he go into the definition of OSS, he also clarifies the differences between free and open source software. Lastly, he introduces the new “Culture-as-a-Service” concept that he is currently developing at Red Hat.


          The use of proprietary software is plummeting. Last year, our respondents indicated that about half (55%) of the software they used was proprietary. This year, it’s 42%. Two years from now, they say proprietary software will be down to 32% of their software stacks.

          Maybe it doesn’t surprise you that proprietary software is losing favour—expensive and inflexible proprietary software licenses result in high capital expenditures (CapEx) and vendor lock-in. However, the rate at which organisations are abandoning proprietary software is notable, especially given how slowly change usually comes to the enterprise software space.

        • Come Socialize at the Fedora Social Hour!

          Our first few Fedora Social Hour events have proven to be pretty successful so we’re going to do it again! Tomorrow at 2300 UTC! (If this time isn’t friendly to your time zone, we’ll swap to an earlier time next week, alternating as we go.)

          We set up a Matrix room for Fedora Social Hour and we’ll use it as our home base each week to meet up and lay out what we’ll do. It could be an online game or other activity we take up in another window outside of Matrix. Come on by the Matrix room and hang out with us!


          We will be hosting this social meetup on! No need to download a client, although you’ll need to sign up for an account to participate if you do not already have one. You can view the chat before signing up to see if you want to participate.

          Do know that is an open source client for, which is an open source chat protocol (kind of like a next-gen IRC) ?

        • Terminal Talk interview: Rock-solid code with Captain COBOL

          One of IBM Distinguished Engineer Frank De Gilio’s favorite sayings is “I’m working on the whole bi-location thing, and as soon as I have it figured out, I’ll let you know.” That’s his way of saying it’s impossible to be in two places at the same time. Traveling all over the place, making sure all the right people know what’s new in IBM Z and how they can immediately put it to use is a rewarding task, but we needed a way to get the word out that would be easily accessible and hopefully a little fun.

          So Frank and I created the Terminal Talk podcast, and our first episode went out June 20, 2017. From the very beginning, we’ve sought to deliver straight mainframe talk for people who want to learn more about this wonderful platform. We seek out enthusiastic experts who can’t help but share their knowledge with a larger audience — and listenership has grown steadily, current reaching over a thousand listeners per episode.

        • Take the Build Smart on Kubernetes Challenge

          As Kubernetes continues to dominate the enterprise development space due to the growth of containers and microservices, are you feeling like you’re getting left behind? Or are you the leader in the pack that is forging new paths for your team? In either case, we’ve got the coding challenge for you. The Build Smart on Kubernetes Challenge will help you build applications and deploy containers with simplicity and security built in. Best part? You can win some cool prizes!

          The Kubernetes with Red Hat OpenShift World Tour is a series of hands-on workshops that empowers developers to innovate and ship faster with the leading hybrid cloud, enterprise container platform. Join us at a workshop in your region and get hands-on experience to build applications with speed, agility, and confidence. New workshop dates and regions are added regularly. IBM Developer is dedicated to helping you on your journey in innovating and modernizing your applications. As a part of our mission to help you, IBM Developer kicked off the Kubernetes with Red Hat OpenShift World Tour in October 2019. With more than 100 meetups in more than 20 countries, we’re taking this world tour to a new level: an all-digital, Kubernetes-focused coding challenge. Ready to challenge your knowledge and skills on Kubernetes, whether or not you have attended an event? This digital contest is for you.

        • Learning to love systemd

          systemd—yes, all lower-case, even at the beginning of a sentence—is the modern replacement for init and SystemV init scripts. It is also much more.

          Like most sysadmins, when I think of the init program and SystemV, I think of Linux startup and shutdown and not really much else, like managing services once they are up and running. Like init, systemd is the mother of all processes, and it is responsible for bringing the Linux host up to a state in which productive work can be done. Some of the functions assumed by systemd, which is far more extensive than the old init program, are to manage many aspects of a running Linux host, including mounting filesystems, managing hardware, handling timers, and starting and managing the system services that are required to have a productive Linux host.

          This series of articles, which is based in part on excerpts from my three-volume Linux training course, Using and administering Linux: zero to sysadmin, explores systemd's functions both at startup and beginning after startup finishes.

      • Debian Family

        • Craig Small: WordPress 5.4

          Debian packages for WordPress version 5.4 will be uploaded shortly. I’m just going through the install testing now.

          One problem I have noticed is, at least for my setup, there is an issue with network updates. The problem is that WordPress will ask me if I want to update the network sites, I say yes and get a SSL error.

          After lots of debugging, the problem is that the fsockopen option to use SNI is turned off for network updates. My sites need SNI so without this they just bomb out with a SSL handshake error.

          I’m not sure what the real fix is, but my work-around was to temporary set the SNI in the fsockopen transport while doing the site updates.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • First Look: Discover Ubuntu 20.04 LTS in 20 Screenshots

            It is, after all, still only in beta.

          So consider this run-through of visible end-user changes in Focal Fossa a pack of pre-release spoilers or, depending on how you look at it, a pinch of pragmatic pre-install preparation.

          Either way, let’s dive in!

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Guide

          This Ubuntu 20.04 guide introduces the new Ubuntu 20.04 and explains how to get this operating system and how to install it on your computer. It also provides you with comprehensive instructions on how to use Ubuntu 20.04.

          We include the introduction to command line and bash scripting, followed by things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04 with the focus on software recommendations for the Ubuntu 20.04 system.

          We also provide you with some useful Ubuntu 20.04 tricks and discuss using Ubuntu 20.04 on such devices as Android smartphone and Raspberry Pi.

        • LXD pod commissioning data

          MAAS is built to manage machines, including the operating systems on those machines. Enlistment and commissioning are features that make it easier to start managing a machine – as long as that machine has been configured to netboot. Enlistment enables users to simply connect a machine, configure the firmware properly, and power it on so that MAAS can find it and add it.

          Enlistment happens when MAAS starts; it reaches out on connected subnets to locate any nodes – that is, devices and machines – that reside on those subnets. MAAS finds a machine that’s configured to netboot (e.g., via PXE), boots that machine into Ubuntu, and then sends cloud-init user data which runs standard (i.e., built-in) commissioning scripts. The machine actually adds itself over the MAAS API, and then requests permission to send commissioning data.

          Since MAAS doesn’t know whether you might intend to actually include these discovered machines in your cloud configuration, it won’t automatically take them over, but it will read them to get an idea how they’re set up. MAAS then presents these machines to you with a MAAS state of “New.” This allows you to examine them and decide whether or not you want MAAS to manage them.

        • Design and Web team summary – 15th April 2020

          Heya, I’m Lilyana (Лиляна)!

          I’m a senior UX designer and have been working primarily on MAAS since I joined Canonical two years ago. I love solving complex problems and learning more about the fascinating technology that drives the digital world.

          Before Canonical, I worked in an education technology start-up, working towards making the lives of everyone working in schools in the UK easier. I, similarly to Zihe whose profile you might have read in our update two weeks ago, graduated with an MSc in Human-Computer Interactions with Ergonomics from UCL and have a BSc in Computer Science from the University of York.

          Outside of work, I’m a devoted gym-goer and I love modern art and live music, thankfully all of those are within easy reach of our lovely London office! (And in this time of quarantine – even more easily available online haha!)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 4 innovations we owe to open source

          Ask someone to list a few open source innovations, and they'll likely come back with "Linux," "Kubernetes," or some other particular project. (Mea culpa.) Not Dr. Dirk Riehle, the professor of Open Source Software at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Riehle has been researching and writing about open source for well over a decade, and when he writes about open source innovations, he's thinking of more foundational elements that yield innovative code.

        What are open source's four biggest innovations, according to Riehle? If you picked "GPL vs. Apache-style licensing," well, you're only sort of wrong.

      • The 30 Best Free and Open Source Cybersecurity Tools

          Should your enterprise embrace open source cybersecurity tools? What can free and open source cybersecurity tools offer your enterprise? Also, what open source cybersecurity tools exist for the three major branches of business InfoSec: Identity Management, Endpoint Security, and SIEM?

        Open source cybersecurity tools, as the name suggests, open their cybersecurity designs to the public for easy modification and customization. Therefore, your IT security team could deploy one of these tools and modify it to fit your organization’s use case.

        Additionally, almost all open source cybersecurity tools are free to use, which can help enterprises save on their IT budgets. During the coronavirus pandemic and the era of social distancing, this could certainly appeal to businesses of all sizes.

        However, these tools don’t offer the same functionality, capabilities, or optimal performance of a full-fledged solution. For example, open source identity and access management can’t offer the capabilities of full identity governance or privileged access management solutions. At the same time, these tools could help bridge gaps while you seek out a more robust solution or while you sort your cybersecurity budget.

        Thus, Solutions Review presents the top 30 free and open source cybersecurity tools.

      • Open source, open science: the coronavirus crisis is when openness comes into its own

        Open source figures frequently on this blog. That’s in part because Private Internet Access is a long-time supporter of free software, and is in the process of open-sourcing its own software. But more generally, privacy is deeply bound up with open source, for reasons a recent post explained. The importance of open source in the context of privacy is underlined by developments in the fast-moving world of the coronavirus pandemic. Many governments want to use smartphone apps to help trace people who have been in close proximity to those infected with Covid-19. That’s a laudable intention, but privacy organizations are rightly worried that this new form of surveillance might become a permanent addition to the authorities’ toolkit for controlling citizens. Hence a new emphasis on building privacy safeguards into such tracing apps from the start. One essential prerequisite for that is releasing the code as open source. Closed-source software cannot be trusted, which means that “black box” tracing apps need to be viewed with suspicion and avoided.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • This Week in Glean: How Much Does That Data Cost?

            I’ve written before about data, but never tackled the business perspective. To a business, what is data? It could be considered an asset, I suppose: a tool, like a printer, to make your business more efficient.

            But like that printer and other assets, data has a cost. We can quite easily look up how much it costs to store arbitrary data on AWS (less than 2.3 cents USD per GB per month) but that only provides the cost of the data at rest. It doesn’t consider what it took for the data to get there or how much it costs to be useful once it’s stored.

            So let’s imagine that you come across a decision that can only be made with data. You’ve tried your best to do without it, but you really do need to know how many Live Bookmarks there are per Firefox profile… maybe it’s in wide use and we should assign someone to spruce it up. Maybe almost no one uses it and so Live Bookmarks should be removed and instead become a feature provided by extensions.

          • Design Sprinting During Trying Times: Thinking Through Firefox for iOS and Private Browsing

            Eight people from the Firefox for iOS team spent four days last week in a Google Ventures-style, remote design sprint. The team was inspired to gather for a sprint by existing Firefox user research about privacy and mobile devices and some business challenges that Firefox for iOS is facing.

            In many ways, the sprint was traditional in its format. The two-year goal we set for the sprint was for Firefox to be the iOS browser people choose first for privacy.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 6.4.3 available for download

            The Document Foundation announces the availability of LibreOffice 6.4.3, the 3rd minor release of the LibreOffice 6.4 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users. LibreOffice 6.4.3 includes several bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

          LibreOffice 6.4.3 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites, and as such is not optimized for enterprise class deployments, where features are less important than robustness.…

      • Programming/Development

        • How I've adjusted my work-from-home habits

          I've been a remote worker during various chapters in my career, and have tried to carry those lessons into each new remote work experience. At the end of last year, I switched to a job that lets me work from home. Fast forward to the COVID-19 outbreak; even though I was no WFH novice, I found myself having to adapt just like the many other workers who've been suddenly thrust into remote work.

          In hopes of easing that transition, here are some healthy remote work habits to adapt during a pandemic.

        • GCC's libstdc++ Continues Landing C++20 Changes Around The Spaceship Operator

          The GCC compiler's libstdc++ library has continued receiving more last minute C++20 work.

          In particular, in recent days Red Hat's Jonathan Wakely has been merging more C++ standard library changes needed around C++20's spaceship operator and in particular the modifications laid out by p1614r2, better known as "The Mothership has Landed" with the changes to the C++ standard library around the new operator.

        • The 12 Habits of Highly Effective Software Developers

          I’ve worked with many software developers, some of them fresh out of college, others seasoned professionals. This article lists some of the traits these people seem to have in common.

        • Blend2D For 2D Rendering Now Has Multi-Threaded Support

          Blend2D, a software-based 2D renderer with JIT pipeline construction with aims to be a high performance vector graphics engine, is now faster thanks to multi-threading.

          A new Blend2D beta release is out today that increases its performance potential thanks to now supporting up to 32 threads for multi-threading. Blend2D continues to aim to compete (and outperform) the likes of Cairo, SKIA, Qt, and other 2D rendering libraries.

        • Python

          • NLTK Trainer Updates

            I’ve recently pushed some updates to nltk-trainer, so that it now supports Python 3.7 and NLTK 3.4.5 or greater. NLTK also just released version 3.5.

            One significant change is that the default part of speech tagger is now the PerceptronTagger, originally written by Matthew Honnibal (author of spacy) before it was ported to NLTK.

          • Django Custom Tags in PyCharm Professional 2020.1

            PyCharm started its life with Django support and our new release adds some useful improvements for Django coding. Let’s take a look at support for custom Django tags in PyCharm Professional 2020.1.

          • RMOTR Joins freeCodeCamp to Offer Data Analysis with Python Course

            RMOTR is proud to partner with freeCodeCamp to release a brand new, free course, Data Analysis with Python. This in-depth tutorial, led by RMOTR founder Santiago Basulto, is ideal for beginners and covers NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Seaborn, and more. Data Analysis has been around for a long time. Until a few years ago, however, it was practiced using closed, expensive, and limited tools like Excel or Tableau. Modern tools like Python, SQL, and other open libraries have since changed Data Analysis forever.

          • Montréal-Python 76 – Tonic Glacier

            Montréal-Python 76, Tonic Glacier, is almost to our doors and we know you are just as enthusiasts as we are to hit COVID-19 hard with your mechanical keyboard. Here is where we are.

          • Building a Rule-based Chatbot in Python

            Chatbots have become extremely popular in recent years and their use in the industry has skyrocketed. They have found a strong foothold in almost every task that requires text-based public dealing. They have become so critical in the support industry, for example, that almost 25% of all customer service operations are expected to use them by 2020.

            In the first part of A Beginners Guide to Chatbots, we discussed what chatbots were, their rise to popularity and their use-cases in the industry. We also saw how the technology has evolved over the past 50 years.

            In this second part of the series, we’ll be taking you through how to build a simple Rule-based chatbot in Python. Before we start with the tutorial, we need to understand the different types of chatbots and how they work.

          • Type Checking in Python

            Type checking or hinting is a newer feature of Python that was added in Python 3.5. Type hinting is also known as type annotation. Type hinting is adding special syntax to functions and variable declarations that tell the developer what type the argument or variable is.

            Python does not enforce the type hints. You can still change types at will in Python because of this. However some integrated development environments, such as PyCharm, support type hinting and will highlight typing errors. You can also use a tool called Mypy to check your typing for you. You will learn more about that tool later on in this article.

          • Sorting Algorithms in Python

            Sorting is a basic building block that many other algorithms are built upon. It’s related to several exciting ideas that you’ll see throughout your programming career. Understanding how sorting algorithms in Python work behind the scenes is a fundamental step toward implementing correct and efficient algorithms that solve real-world problems.

          • Announcing The Startup Row Lineup At PyCon 2020

            Each year since 2011, PyCon has reserved a special place for early-stage startups to show off what they're working on to the Python community.

            As its name might suggest, Startup Row is a row of booths for startups at PyCon. Due to the ongoing global public health crisis, Startup Row, like the rest of PyCon 2020, has gone virtual.

            Before we get started, a quick note: Even in the best of times, starting and running a startup is very challenging. Founders and early employees take on significant risk and expansive workloads to build something new and get it off the ground.

            Obviously, these are not the best of times. Now more than ever, early-stage startups need support. If any of these companies seem neat to you, try their products. Get in touch with the teams. Give feedback. Work for them. Become a customer or refer them to people who might find their work interesting.

          • Facebook: Building the Future Together [Ed: PyCon proud to be controlled by surveillance and espionage firms. It did this for Microsoft before, so why not this too?]

            We’re thrilled to have the support of Facebook as a PSF and PyCon Principal Sponsor for 2020!

            Facebook would like to share with PyCon 2020 Online attendees how they are innovating ways for people to connect. Additionally, Facebook is investing in augmented and virtual reality and have released several category-defining technologies and experiences.

          • PyCon 2020 Online Launch!

            We are pleased to present talks and tutorials by Russell Keith Magee, Marlene Mhangami, Eric Ma, and so many more under the PyCon 2020 YouTube channel! There will be new presentations and content added to the PyCon Online page weekly.

            PyCon 2020 Online would not be possible without our sponsors. This year we are highlighting sponsors via the Virtual Expo Hall. If you are looking for a job or information about their tools and products, be sure to check it out!

  • Leftovers

    • Be Like Ben and Mindy: On Hope and Love and Getting Through
    • Microsoft Releases (and Deletes) an Ad With Elite Occultist Marina Abramovic
    • Chinese BBSes and Unicode ANSi Art

      After doing my serie on Taiwanese BBSes (first part, second part), I also took some screenshots from two Chinese BBS systems, but only found those files again recently.

    • Science

    • Education

      • Working-Class Students Doing Double Duty During Coronavirus

        CUNY students struggling to complete their current courses under stressful conditions, while also working to provide for themselves and their families, exemplify preexisting inequities that the unprecedented pandemic have only amplified.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Vendetta reporting How a Russian state news agency invented a story about Boris Johnson needing a ventilator

        Last week, RIA Novosti was the only major media outlet in the world to report that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson required mechanical ventilation while he was hospitalized for COVID-19. The story turned out to be false. Meduza has learned how a Russian state news agency cooked it up in the first place.

      • ‘We’ll end up in church all the same’ With Easter approaching, whole dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church are fighting Moscow’s late effort to close Holy Week services to the public

        Patriarch Kirill has called on Russian Orthodox Christians to pray at home this year during Holy Week and Easter and avoid going to church, to curb the spread of coronavirus. The Moscow Patriarchate also ordered priests and monks throughout the capital to close churches and monasteries to the public, citing a directive from Russia’s surgeon general. But not all bishops and priests support these measures and some clergy members are openly advocating the sabotage of containment efforts by the city’s church and state officials, urging Russian Orthodox Christians to attend services during the denomination’s holiest of weeks.€ 

      • Russian public health officials say almost 30 percent of detected COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic

        The number of coronavirus cases detected in Russia that cause no changes to the carrier’s health is on the rise, federal public health chief Anna Popova said in an interview with Channel One.

      • The American World That Covid-19 Reveals

        The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) virus, which causes Covid-19, seemed to emerge from deepest history, from the Black Death of the 14th century and the “Spanish Flu” of 1918. In just months, it has infected more than 1.5 million people and claimed more than 88,000 lives. The virus continues to spread almost everywhere. In no time at all, it’s shattered the global economy, sent it tumbling toward a deep recession (possibly even a depression), and left much of a planet locked indoors. Think of it as a gigantic stress test.

      • Lockdown Burden on Little Shoulders in Latur

        Paras Madikar reacted to the shutdown of his school in Latur city as quite a few 11-year-olds might. He was delighted that his Class 4 exams had been cancelled and looked forward to an extended vacation.

      • 213 Moscow COVID-19 patients involuntarily hospitalized for violating quarantine in the last 24 hours

        Over the course of a single day, 213 Moscow residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were found to have violated quarantine regulations.

      • Lines crowded Moscow subway entrances early Wednesday due to COVID-19 travel permit checks

        As digital passes for most Moscow residents to use public transit became mandatory on April 15, crowds lined up at subway station entrances to have their passes checked. Social media users wrote that the delays were due to the time it takes for police officers to check each person’s digital permit.

      • Trump's OSHA Rebuked for 'Sitting on Its Ass' as Covid-19 Infections and Deaths Surge Among Frontline Workers

        "More than 9,000 U.S. healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19 and 27 have died. The biggest workplace catastrophe ever to hit the nation's healthcare workers."

      • Indictment of Trump and a Warning: 90% of US Coronavirus Deaths Could Have Been Prevented With Swifter Action

        Eight Republican governors still have not issued statewide stay-at-home orders as deaths in the U.S. top 26,000.

      • Portent of Pandemic

        Just months ago, few would have thought it possible that a submicroscopic ball of genetic coding could bring the world’s wealthiest powers to their knees. But it has. In the space of a few months the Covid-19 virus projected its spiky arms not only into the delicate cells of the human lung, but into the very membrane of the global economic and political order itself. The United States, being the emblem of this order, has also become the biggest example of its enormous failure. In desperation, the American Empire, the wealthiest and most powerful one humanity has ever known, is flailing in spasms and fits of insanity, denial and outright cruelty. It is robbing from its allies and client states masks and ventilators, as it lashes out even more furiously at nations which have defied its hegemonic control. And, while it bails out corporations and the richest industries, it has abandoned its citizenry to fend for themselves amidst a raging storm where nearly every “non-essential” business has been shut down, the for-profit healthcare system is beginning to buckle, the bodies of the dead are mounting, and the mass graves are being dug. Amidst this assault on humanity, there is a growing assault on the living earth itself. The US is rapidly stripping the last meager protections for the environment, accelerating climate change and the collapse of the biosphere itself.

      • Despite CDC Warning of 'Significant Risk' of Lifting Stay-in-Place Orders, Right-Wingers Launch Anti-Lockdown Movement

        "These selfish and out-of-touch fringe groups are throwing a temper tantrum at the expense of public safety and health."

      • US Hospitals Are Sick With COVID-19. Here's the Treatment.

        Moving towards a Medicare for All healthcare system will not just stem the financial losses that hospitals are now experiencing, but will ensure that we are prioritizing care and equity in our healthcare system.

      • Pandemic Exposes Navajo Nation’s Water Access Crisis and Health Disparities

        As the COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in the U.S., fear is mounting that the spread of the virus could devastate tribal communities. We look at how the coronavirus is impacting Indian Country with Dean Seneca, a citizen of the Seneca Nation and epidemiologist who spent nearly 20 years as a senior health scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Navajo activist and artist Emma Robbins, director of the Navajo Water Project, a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines. “One of the hardest things right now is being able to wash your hands in the Navajo Nation,” says Robbins. The Navajo Nation is the largest tribal nation in the United States and the hardest hit by the outbreak, with nearly 30 deaths and more than 830 confirmed cases.

      • Letter From America: COVID-19 Strikes Home

        Friday, April 10, 2020: The news came yesterday.€ € For a couple of days I thought we might escape the worst of COVID-19 here in my small midcoast Maine town of Belfast, population 6,700.€ € We started social distancing before our county, Waldo County, had a single confirmed case.

      • Trump Accused of 'Actively and Knowingly' Spreading Coronavirus to Central America Through Deportations

        Trump seen as "global health threat" as Guatemalan health minister claims 75% of people on a recent deportation flight from the U.S. tested positive for the virus.

      • Africa Is Relying on its Own Forces in Fight Against Covid-19

        The African Union must, more than ever, reinforce the scientific cooperation among its member states in order to insure our common health sovereignty.

      • Ventilators Aren’t Going to Cure COVID-19. Here’s What They Can Do.

        From the first days of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, hospitals and elected officials began scrambling to amass ventilators.

        So long as we had enough of the devices, the idea went, people’s lives would be saved. “It’s all about the ventilators,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said in a March 18 press briefing, adding that the state could need 37,000 ventilators at the peak of the outbreak, compared with an existing capacity of 3,000.

      • I Take Hydroxychloroquine. Please Don't Hoard It.

        To prevent hoarding and protect public health, we need to move towards universal care and lower-cost drugs.

      • Boris Johnson and COVID-19

        BoJo Johnson was admitted to hospital on 5th April, after spending several days at his residence in self-isolation as a result of testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. When his condition worsened while in hospital he was put in intensive care, where he spent 3 nights before being discharged on 12th April. He is expected make a slow recovery.

      • Trump Administration Officials Warned Against Halting Funding to WHO, Leaked Memo Shows

        An internal memorandum written by U.S. officials and addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns that cutting funding to the World Health Organization, as President Donald Trump said he would do Tuesday, would erode America’s global standing, threaten U.S. lives and hobble global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

        The memo, which was prepared before Trump’s Rose Garden announcement, was written by officials within the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and includes a detailed list of how U.S. funding to the WHO helps countries in the Middle East control the pandemic.

      • The CDC and WHO Have Already Said Mosquitoes Don’t Spread Coronavirus. Now USDA Will Study It, Too.

        The U.S. Department of Agriculture is studying whether the novel coronavirus can be spread by mosquitoes, although the theory was ruled out last month by the World Health Organization and independent experts say such transmission is virtually impossible.

        The research effort is cited in an internal briefing memo on the coronavirus response dated last week and reviewed by ProPublica. The memo does not say how much money the study will cost, and the USDA did not respond to questions.

      • COVID-19 Put Her Husband in the ICU. She Had to Be Hospitalized Next. The State Demanded to Know: Who Would Care for Their Children?

        On the afternoon of March 24, as her symptoms from the coronavirus worsened, Laura Whalen found it difficult to talk. She would run out of breath before finishing a sentence. If she moved, even slightly, she coughed.

        Her friend Robin, a nurse, grew alarmed at the wispy sound of her voice and urged her to go to the hospital. “Laura,” she said on the phone, “you need to go.”

      • Open Innovation in Medical Technology Will Save Lives

        Experts from the world’s top engineering programs have come together to share knowledge about medical technology, hoping to make life-saving treatments more widely available. Importantly, they’re ensuring that patents, copyrights, and other legal restrictions don’t get between that knowledge and the people who need it most.

        The availability of ventilators has emerged as a limiting factor in treatment of the COVID-19 virus, prompting researchers to imagine alternatives to the proprietary machines most commonly in use, which cost $30,000 each. At the forefront of this wave of innovation are experts at universities like MIT and Rice, demonstrating that open innovation isn’t just the realm of do-it-yourself hobbyists, but the world’s top engineering and medical minds.

      • How China Broke the Chain of Infection

        On March 31, 2020, a group of scientists from around the world—from Oxford University to Beijing Normal University—published an important paper in Science. This paper—“An Investigation of Transmission Control Measures During the First 50 Days of the COVID-19 Epidemic in China”—proposes that if the Chinese government had not initiated the lockdown of Wuhan and the national emergency response, then there would have been 744,000 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases outside Wuhan. “Control measures taken in China,” the authors argue, “potentially hold lesso[n]s for other countries around the world.”

      • COVID-19 and the Return of a Dangerous Idea, Austerity

        The past decade delivered powerful lessons of what not to do in an economic crisis. Many countries pursued, or had imposed on them, austerity policies. That is, cutting government spending when the economy tanks in order to balance the books. The idea is that with less spending now, taxes will be lower later on, which will make people feel more confident now, thereby shortening the recession. It’s a nice idea. But it actually makes things worse.

      • Episode 76 – The COVID Chronicles #1: Mobile, Alabama - Along The Line Podcast
      • 3,388 new coronavirus cases bring Russia's official count to almost 25,000

        As of the morning of April 15, 24,490 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Russia. In the last 24 hours, that number has grown by 3,388, with new cases coming forward in 65 different regions. The largest increases were seen in Moscow (+1,774), the Moscow region (+272), the Murmansk region (+137), and St. Petersburg (+130), with significant jumps occurring in less populated regions as well. On the previous day, 2,774 new cases were recorded nationwide.

      • COVID-19 Is Exposing the Violence of US Foreign Policy as Virus Spreads

        On Wednesday morning, the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide trembled on the brink of 2 million people, with more than 127,000 recorded deaths. These numbers are probably an undercount, given the state secrecy of some nations, and because people were dying of COVID-19 before anyone knew its name.

      • Pandemic Shines a Light on Critical Water Issues — Will Congress Fund Solutions?
      • 37,000 More Americans May Die Because Trump Did Not Take COVID-19 Seriously

        Two epidemiologists, writing an op-ed together in The New York Times on Wednesday, are suggesting that earlier efforts to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus — even implementing social distancing measures by just a week or two — could have saved tens of thousands of American lives.

      • ‘I’ve never written so many death certificates’: Is Sweden having second thoughts on lockdown?

        Karolinska hospital has issued guidelines to doctors indicating that patients 80 years old and above would not be admitted into intensive care units, nor those between 60 and 80 with pre-existing conditions.


        “I’m a scientist, I only trust data and the data says we are heading for catastrophe. We are now part of an experiment without informed consent.”

      • Health Care Workers Are Being Fired for Speaking Out About a Lack of Supplies

        One powerful example is the struggle of doctors, nurses, and health care workers who have been fired or disciplined for telling the truth about health and safety conditions. It might seem like an important but narrow fight, affecting a relatively small group of essential workers. But if we learn the right lessons, and if we organize, it could point the way to fundamental change in employer/employee relations for all American workers.

        From the beginning of this crisis, health care workers have been sounding the alarm about inadequate preparation for the pandemic, a shameful lack of personal protective equipment, and heartbreaking conditions inside hospitals, nursing homes, and health centers. While the public has responded with an outpouring of support and gratitude, far too many employers have reacted with anger and censure.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Google to ‘Significantly’ Slow Hiring in 2020: Full CEO Memo

          Google parent Alphabet Inc. is “significantly” slowing hiring for the remainder of the year, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told employees in an email on Wednesday.

          Here’s the full memo: [...]

        • The coronavirus shows the limits of our digital-first world

          What's happening: Overnight, the videoconferencing system Zoom became almost as essential to work and social life as the phone. Despite security holes, it has managed to scale up its daily users from at most 10 million before the pandemic to more than 200 million by the end of March.

        • Intel Fixes High-Severity Flaws in NUC, Discontinues Buggy Compute Module

          One of the high-severity flaws stems from a compute module (MFS2600KISPP) used in Intel’s modular server system, which is a blade system for Intel motherboards and processors first introduced in 2008. The vulnerability stems from an improper conditions check, which could allow an unauthenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege (via adjacent access). The flaw (CVE-2020-0578) ranks 7.1 out of 10 on the CVSS severity scale.

          In addition to this flaw, two medium-severity flaws were also discovered in the same compute module: A buffer overflow (CVE-2020-0576) vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated attacker to launch a DoS attack (via adjacent access); and an insufficient control flow glitch (CVE-2020-0577) that allows an unauthenticated user to potentially escalate privileges via adjacent access.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open source made the cloud in its image

                “The cloud was built for running open source,” Matt Wilson once told me, “which is why open source [has] worked so well in the cloud.”

              While true, there’s something more fundamental that open source offers the cloud. As one observer put it, “The whole intellectual foundation of open interfaces and combinatorial single-purpose tools is pretty well ingrained in cloud.” That approach is distinctly open source, which in turn owes much to the Unix mentality that early projects like Linux embraced.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Billionaire Jeff Bezos Makes US$24 Billion More Amid Pandemic

              Former presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Senator Bernie Sanders, tweeted Wednesday the Forbes report pointing out how the wealth increases of Bezos and other billionaires contrast with the millions of citizens in the United States (U.S.) who are struggling because of the ongoing public health crisis.

            • Linux Foundation

              • Video: Kubernetes v1.18.0 – Linux Foundation Training Course Content Updated
              • Dragonfly Brings Peer-to-Peer Image Sharing to Kubernetes

                Dragonfly, a peer-to-peer image and file-sharing technology developed by Alibaba Cloud, is now an incubation-level hosted project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The software provides a way to quickly distribute images across large cloud native deployments, eliminating the dependency on a single registry to distribute all the copies of an image.

                “Dragonfly is one of the backbone technologies for container platforms within Alibaba’s ecosystem, supporting billions of application deliveries each year, and in use by many enterprise customers around the world,” said Li Yi, Alibaba senior staff engineer said, in a statement.

                Alibaba Cloud created Dragonfly in 2015, originally to ease file distribution. By 2017, when it was adopted to share containers within Kubernetes environments, it was being used by the Chinese cloud service to share 3.4PB each month. It was originally accepted into the CNCF Sandbox program in October 2018.

              • Linux Foundation Executive to Give Keynote Webinar on Momentum, Direction of Open Source Networking & Edge

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, will host a keynote webinar — “The State of Open Source Networking & Edge” — featuring Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge, & IOT. The webinar takes place April 30 at 9:00 AM PT and is open to anyone interested in attending.

                Hosted by LF Networking (LFN) and LF Edge, the webinar serves as a virtual update on the current state of the open networking and edge landscapes. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Open Networking & Edge Summit (ONES) North America, which was initially scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, Calif. later this month, has been rescheduled to September 28-29. However, the important work of the ecosystem continues and it’s time for an update on that progress.

                “We are all learning to adapt and be more nimble than ever before,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “While we aren’t able to meet face to face with our communities physically, we continue to accelerate community collaboration and momentum while evolving critical industry initiatives that impact how the world accesses information. Please join us April 30 to hear how open networking and edge communities are moving the needle.”

              • What the Administration is Missing About Huawei and 5G

                A few weeks ago it seemed likely that the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), would issue new guidance that might free standards setting organizations (SSOs) from the difficult position they have found themselves in for almost a year. But that didn’t happen. Instead, most SSOs have concluded that they still cannot allow Huawei and its affiliated companies to return to the working groups that are creating the essential standards that will make the roll-out of 5G networks become possible.

                How much does that matter in the context of the overall U.S.-Chinese confrontation? The answer is a great deal, as continuing to bar Huawei and other Chinese telecom giants from standards development may weaponize the patent portfolios of those companies in a way that could prove disastrous for the U.S. and other Western nations.

                First, some background for those that have not been monitoring this story. On May 16, 2019, BIS added Huawei, the dominant 5G telecommunications company, and scores of its affiliated companies to its “Entity List.” The purpose of that list is to place US companies on notice of companies that the government has determined might use such technology to the competitive disadvantage of US industry. The Trump (and prior U.S. administrations) have for years asserted that China has pressured U.S. companies to share their most valuable technologies in order to gain access to Chinese markets, and also that Chinese companies (and perhaps government agents) have repeatedly hacked into the servers of U.S. companies to steal valuable trade secrets, including the complete designs of stealth aircraft).

                The addition of Huawei to the BIS list was therefore not a surprise (and, in fact, ZTE, another Chinese telecommunications firm had previously been added to the list), in particular due to a separate but unrelated concern: that Huawei might embed “back doors” or other vulnerabilities into its 5G networks. Once so embedded, the Chinese government might force Huawei to provide the digital keys, as it were, to those backdoors, thereby enabling the Chinese government to monitor the voice and data communications of the world.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • GitHub Completes Its Acquisition Of The NPM JavaScript/Node.js Package Manager

              Following the surprise announcement last month that Microsoft's GitHub would be acquiring NPM Inc, the company behind the popular JavaScript package manager, that acquisition is now complete.

              The popular NPM package manager for JavaScript and Node.js software is now owned by GitHub and in turn parent company Microsoft.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (git, graphicsmagick, php-horde-data, and php-horde-trean), Mageia (apache, gnutls, golang, krb5-appl, libssh, libvncserver, mediawiki, thunderbird, tor, and wireshark), openSUSE (chromium, nagios, and thunderbird), Oracle (kernel and krb5-appl), Red Hat (elfutils, kernel, nss-softokn, ntp, procps-ng, and python), Scientific Linux (firefox), Slackware (git), SUSE (git and ruby2.5), and Ubuntu (git).

          • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, April 2020 Edition

            Microsoft today released updates to fix 113 security vulnerabilities in its various Windows operating systems and related software. Those include at least three flaws that are actively being exploited, as well as two others which were publicly detailed prior to today, potentially giving attackers a head start in figuring out how to exploit the bugs.

          • Top 5 Open-Source Serverless Security Tools [Ed: This title is misleading; these are proprietary software tools from companies that mostly demonise FOSS]

            In the last few years, serverless architecture has gained popularity to accelerate the development of applications. A serverless infrastructure has several advantages, such as supporting quick scalability, improving developers’ productivity, decreasing operational cost, and enhancing user experiences across various geolocation. This allows one to focus more on development and other core businesses, than managing infrastructure maintenance.

            However, there are numerous security risks like broken authentication, insecure serverless deployment, etc. that can hinder user experience. Consequently, one needs to continuously monitor the security through the development lifecycle to eliminate the vulnerabilities before delivering it in the market.

          • Know Your Enemy: Honeynets
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Container environments targeted by Kinsing malware attacks

              Cybersecurity researchers at Aqua Security have identified a malware campaign that targets misconfigured open Docker Daemon API ports with thousands of attempts taking place daily. The researchers warn, “These are the highest numbers we’ve seen in some time, far exceeding what we have witnessed to date.”

            • Decade of the RATs: Is Linux Secure?

              Just recently, LinuxSecurity published a feature article exploring the rise in attacks targeting Linux, their implications for Linux users and the conclusions that can be drawn about the security of the operating system based on this disheartening trend. Now, yet another frightening attack campaign exploiting Linux has come to light.

              In a new report, security researchers from BlackBerry reveal that Chinese state hackers have been successfully infiltrating critical Linux servers with little to no detection since 2012. The researchers identified a previously undocumented Linux malware toolset including two kernel-level rootkits and three backdoors. BlackBerry’s research has also linked this “decade of Chinese RATs” (remote access trojans - or programs that enable covert surveillance or provide threat actors with the ability to gain unauthorized access to a victim PC) to one of the largest Linux botnets ever discovered, concluding that the campaign - which has impacted a significant number of organizations - has been “highly profitable” and “the duration of the infections is lengthy”. The cross-platform aspect of these attacks is also particularly concerning, given the security challenges that have arisen as a result of the sudden increase in remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


              Although Linux is becoming increasingly popular and mainstream due to the advantages it offers users including high levels of flexibility and security, the OS still holds a mere 1.71% of the global desktop operating system market share, compared to 77.1% for Windows. Initially - this may give the impression that attacks targeting Linux are relatively insignificant. What often gets overlooked is that Linux powers 75% of all web servers and major cloud service providers and 98% of the world’s most advanced supercomputers. BlackBerry’s report reinforces the importance of these persistent RAT infections by listing all of the organizations that use Linux, which include the US Department of Defense and most other US government agencies, Google, Amazon and Yahoo. Needless to say, the role that Linux - and the attacks against it - plays in most of our lives is pretty significant, whether we recognize it or not. Cornelius evaluates, "The machines running Linux are extraordinarily important devices but they are in the minority." Nevertheless, the security of Linux servers is a critical issue.


              These attacks do; however, serve as a much-needed wakeup call for the security community that more needs to be done to protect Linux servers. BlackBerry’s report reveals that security solutions and defensive coverage available within Linux environments is “immature at best”. Endpoint protection, detection and response products are inadequately utilized by too many Linux users, and endpoint solutions available for Linux systems are often insufficient in combating advanced exploits. Cornelius evaluates: “Security products and services that support Linux, offerings that might detect and give us insight into a threat like this, are relatively lacking compared to other operating systems, and security research about APT use of Linux malware is also relatively sparse.”

            • How Chinese hackers exploited Linux servers undetected for eight years [Ed: Not only Linux]
            • Chinese hackers targeting Linux servers [Ed: Not "Linux" per se]
            • China-backed Hackers Attacked Linux Servers For A Decade: Report [Ed: Reading the same 'script]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Telling Police Where People With COVID-19 Live Erodes Public Health

              In some areas of the United States, local governments are sharing the names and addresses of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 with police and other first responders. This is intended to keep police, EMTs, and firefighters safe should they find themselves headed to a call at the residence of someone who has tested positive for the virus.

              However, this information fails to protect first responders from unidentified, asymptomatic, and pre-symptomatic cases. It may also discourage people from getting tested, contribute to stigmatization of infected people, reduce the quality of policing in vulnerable communities, and incentivize police to avoid calls for help because of fear of contracting the virus.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Attorney General Barr Refuses to Release 9/11 Documents to Families of the Victims

        Months after President Donald Trump promised to open FBI files to help families of the 9/11 victims in a civil lawsuit against the Saudi government, the Justice Department has doubled down on its claim that the information is a state secret.

        In a series of filings just before a midnight court deadline on Monday, the attorney general, William Barr; the acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell; and other senior officials insisted to a federal judge in the civil case that further disclosures about Saudi connections to the 9/11 plot would imperil national security.

      • Corporate Media Cover for US Mob Threats Against Venezuela

        The Trump administration unveiled on March 31 a “democratic transition” plan to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office, in favor of a “council of state” composed of both opposition and ruling party loyalists.

      • Lawmakers cry foul as Trump considers retreating from Open Skies Treaty

        The Open Skies Treaty allows the pact's 35 signatories, including the United States and Russia, to fly unarmed observation flights over each other's territories with the intention of providing transparency about military activities to avoid miscalculations that could lead to war.

        Administration officials insist a review is ongoing as four top Democrats warned this past week that withdrawing "in the midst of a global health crisis is not only shortsighted, but also unconscionable."

    • Environment

      • Joe Biden still has to fight for the climate vote

        350 Action had previously endorsed Sanders and Warren, and it’s one of the environmental groups that holds sway among young, progressive voters. For it and similar organizations, a much tougher stance on fossil fuels from Biden could be the difference between a lackluster Democratic voter turnout for “anyone but Trump,” and a campaign that excites climate-concerned voters — particularly when it comes to youth.

        “Our goal is to turn out our generation to defeat Donald Trump, and as it stands right now it’s going to be significantly harder for us to do that. Unless Joe Biden really shows young people that he’s ready to fight for us, then our job is going to get harder,” says Stephen O’Hanlon, a spokesperson for Sunrise Movement, a youth-led environmental organization that previously endorsed Sanders. It’s an influential group that has pushed for the Green New Deal and helped candidates like Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) win over young voters.

      • New Evidence: How China Turned Off the Tap on the Mekong River

        China is impounding much more water than it ever has in the past. After the completion of the Nuozhadu dam in 2012, China’s dams collectively impounded considerably more water than the previous 20 year period and also began restricting much more water than they released.

      • Facing Our Other Crises With Lessons From COVID-19

        As we prepare to bring our economies back from their pause, it is time to work hard for a just and green recovery. We have the resources, the scientific and technical knowledge, and the proven policies for all of us to live well.

      • Abrupt Ecosystem Collapse

        A new study in Nature (April 2020) casts a disturbing light on the prospects of abrupt ecosystem collapse. The report analyzes the probabilities of collapsing ecosystems en masse, and not simply the loss of individual species. (Source: Trisos, C.H. et al, The Projected Timing of Abrupt Ecological Disruption From Climate Change, Nature, April 8, 2020)

      • Energy

      • Life

        • Saving Smokey Bear

          The adversity we are all facing in this pandemic has revealed the character of millions of people; doctors, nurses, neighbors and countless others have demonstrated their character by putting themselves at personal risk to help the most vulnerable among us.

    • Finance

      • Ninety-Six Words

        It takes a virus to strip away the veneers, focus everyone’s attention, and reveal capitalism in all its repulsiveness. It’s shown that, in these times of COVID-19, millions of people are worrying about how to survive as the flimsy structure of finance finagling, otherwise called the “economy”, is falling down around the ears of everyone except the rich who have personal fortunes bigger than the GDPs of many countries, and that those most afflicted are vulnerable people who are copping all the associated injustice and grief. I’ve also been made to see how contaminated by money our ideas and behavior are, how even talking about it is indecorous and somehow suspect. You don’t talk about money problems because people might think you’re indirectly asking for a handout. I know money’s just a means of exchange, I say it’s not important, but it turns out I’m just as trapped in the fetishism as plenty of other people. In COVID-19 confinement, I’ve watched my income plummeting and have been wondering how I’m going to pay the rent. Even with a close and loving family, close and loving friends who were offering to help, I couldn’t accept it because I doubt that I could pay it back. My form of escapism was telling myself fatalistically that many of us are in the same boat, as if we were going to start a revolution or something.

      • The Post-Pandemic Economy

        We have a lot of economist type people telling us how awful the economy will be once we get through our near-term shutdown period. At the risk of being accused of unwarranted optimism, I am not sure I buy the pessimists’ story.

      • Woody’s Wicked Levity and Wicked-er Gravity

        A few decades ago I lived in low-rent East Hollywood among junkies, assorted burn-outs, and people playing extras — in movies and in life.€  A California native, my move there from the East Coast was a kind of homecoming.€  Fit a typical bill, I imagine: living with friends in a bungalow, working as an IBM temp through Manpower, smoking a lot of dope, reading Nietzsche, listening to Wagner, learning to play violin, writing poetry, eating next door at Shakey’s pizza joint (ragtime music, cheap beer, cheap eats), and, finally (maybe even inevitably), being invited to be an extra in a movie (Raid on Entebbe, Israeli commando).

      • 'Catastrophic for Democracy': Experts Warn Trump Assault on Postal Service Threatens November Elections

        "All the plans we have for a safe and legitimate general election in November depend heavily upon the ability to expand vote-by-mail. Yet those plans would be completely upended if the United States Postal Service collapses."

      • Outrage Erupts as Trump’s Vanity Stunt Delays Delivery of Stimulus Checks

        The Treasury Department, in an unprecedented move, is including President Donald Trump’s name on all paper checks for stimulus funds that will be delivered to Americans over the next few weeks.

      • 'Appalling Betrayal of Global Solidarity': Trump Condemned for Halting US Funding to World Health Organization Amid Pandemic

        "President Trump's decision to defund WHO is simply this—a crime against humanity."

      • Millions of Americans Might Not Get Stimulus Checks

        Congress has approved billions of dollars of checks for Americans hard hit by the biggest round of layoffs in U.S. history. But millions of Americans will have to wait months for that money — and millions more may never get the money at all.

      • Threatening Military Intervention in Venezuela During a Pandemic?

        With cities in Venezuela under lockdown and the country struggling to address a looming public health crisis and yet another economic shock, it is clear that the Trump administration sees a new opportunity to exercise "maximum pressure" to try to achieve regime change.

      • Intensifying Sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Trump Is Weaponizing Coronavirus

        As the entire world grapples with the most devastating pandemic of the modern era, the United States is pouring kerosene on the fire in Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. government has maintained punishing sanctions against the people of Iran and Venezuela to engineer regime change. But instead of ending the sanctions to help Iranians and Venezuelans fight the coronavirus, the Trump administration has expanded them and exacerbated the danger they pose.

      • GOP Buried Overwhelming Benefits for Millionaires in COVID-19 Relief Package

        Democratic lawmakers and progressive critics expressed outrage Tuesday after a nonpartisan congressional body found that nearly 82% of benefits from a Republican tax provision in the most recent coronavirus relief package will go to the nation’s millionaires and billionaires and cost taxpayers an estimated $90 billion this year alone.

      • 'Biggest Coronavirus Stimulus of All': Richest Man in the World Jeff Bezos Now $24 Billion Richer Amid Pandemic
      • Is There Any Form Of Corruption Senator Burr Didn't Engage In?

        Senator Richard Burr, the head of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee sure seems to be engaged in a bunch of sketchy looking activities. First, there was the revelation from a few weeks back of selling off a bunch of hotel stock after being briefed about COVID-19 (while simultaneously telling the public it was nothing to worry about -- and that the US was "in a better position than any other country to respond," which now looks laughable in retrospect). The latest, as revealed by ProPublica, is that Burr sold his DC townhouse to a lobbyist who has had issues before Barr's committees, in a "private" unlisted sale for what appears to be above market rates.

      • 100+ Lawmakers Demand Moratorium on Utility Shutoffs to Ensure Access to Services 'Essential to Survive' During Coronavirus Crisis

        "There is absolutely no excuse left for Congress to exclude basic human needs from the next coronavirus stimulus package, or in general," said Food & Water Action's Rianna Eckel.

      • Wapo Should Go to Columbus to Find Out How Economy Will Reopen, Not Perpetuate Trump’s Myths About It

        I complained last Friday about a long WaPo story describing how Trump thinks he’ll reopen the economy next month that, in its ninth paragraph, undermines the entire premise of the story by noting that, “The White House cannot unilaterally reopen the country.” The same paragraph falsely claims that states are following CDC guidelines, when the official social distancing guidelines fall far short of what most governors have now imposed.

        In spite of all the focus this week on the fact that Trump doesn’t have that authority, WaPo continues to write stories like that.

      • Millions of Americans Might Not Get Stimulus Checks. Some Might Be Tricked Into Paying TurboTax to Get Theirs.

        Congress has approved billions of dollars of checks for Americans hard hit by the biggest round of layoffs in U.S. history. But millions of Americans will have to wait months for that money — and millions more may never get the money at all.

        That’s because the rescue legislation left it to the IRS, an agency gutted by Congress, to organize the complex logistics of delivering the money to those entitled to it. As the IRS has struggled, for-profit tax preparation companies, notably Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, have stepped in with websites to help people get their checks.

      • WATCH: Sanders to Hold Livestream Discussion on Future of US Economy

        The senator will talk with workers' rights advocates including economist Jeffrey Sachs and labor leader Sara Nelson.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Kremlin reportedly caves to requests for May 9 Victory Day parade to be postponed

        Four anonymous sources have told the business newspaper RBC that after extensive speculation about the fate of Russia’s 75th-anniversary Victory Day parade, Vladimir Putin has ultimately decided to postpone the celebration to a later date.

      • Bernie’s Campaign Suspension Shows How Far We Have to Go

        The movements that drove the Sanders campaign are still fighting for a better world.

      • Lines crowded Moscow metro entrances early Wednesday due to COVID-19 travel permit checks

        As digital passes for most Moscow residents to use public transit became mandatory on April 15, crowds lined up at metro station entrances to have their passes checked. Social media users wrote that the delays were due to the time it takes for police officers to check each person’s digital permit.

      • Waiting on Chechnya’s justice system ‘Novaya Gazeta’ chief editor Dmitry Muratov responds to Ramzan Kadyrov’s latest threats

        On April 13, during a live stream on Instagram and then later on his Telegram channel, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov condemned a recent report written by Novaya Gazeta journalist Elena Milashina about the spread of coronavirus inside the Chechen Republic. Milashina’s story described shortages of protective gear among doctors and mass arrests of people who violate the government’s strict self-isolation requirements. Kadyrov accused Russia’s Federal Security Service of “aiding and abetting” Novaya Gazeta and demanded that the intelligence community “stop these monsters,” adding, “If you want us to commit a crime and become criminals, just say so! One [of us] will take on this responsibility and serve his time, as required by law. He’ll do his time and then he’ll be released!” On April 15, Russia’s federal media censor, Roskomnadzor, forced Novaya Gazeta to unpublish Milashina’s article (which is archived and still accessible here), after state prosecutors argued that the text included “inaccurate information” that posed a threat to public safety (though officials never actually identified the supposedly false information).€ Editors at Novaya Gazeta say Kadyrov’s comments are a threat and point out that Milashina was attacked earlier this year in Grozny. Meduza spoke to the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Dmitry Muratov, about this latest confrontation with Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • American Politics Without Sanders

        The decision of Senator€ Bernie Sanders€ to withdraw from the Democratic presidential contest is a blow to the prospects of democracy in America.

      • Those Dasteredly Russians!

        Those dastardly Russians! They are at it again!

      • King Lear and Donald Trump: Two Peas in a Pod

        In his “Poetics,” Aristotle was likely to have been the first critic to have formally outlined the structure and guiding principles by which 5th century BC Greek dramatists had to abide.

      • Trump’s Failed Coronavirus Response

        At every point, Trump has used this crisis to compliment himself.

      • Democracy Wins in Wisconsin

        Republicans fail in their effort to win Supreme Court seat by putting lives at risk.

      • Beyond Bernie: The Next Challenge for Progressives

        Once the mourning is over, we must build on his campaign and turn this movement into greater leverage and power.

      • U.S. probe unable to rule out White House influence on JEDI contract awarded to Microsoft, not Amazon

        Known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, the cloud computing contract is intended to give the military better access to data and technology from remote locations.

        “We could not definitively determine the full extent or nature of interactions that administration officials had, or may have had, with senior DoD officials regarding the JEDI Cloud procurement because of the assertion of a ‘presidential communications privilege,’” the report said, referring to the Department of Defense by its acronym.

      • Pentagon Watchdog Clears Microsoft’s Cloud Win Over Amazon

        The 317-page report issued Wednesday by the inspector general’s office also found that giving the JEDI contract to a single company -- Microsoft -- rather than dividing it among competitors was “consistent with applicable acquisition standards.”


        But the report also said the White House limited cooperation with the inquiry. The inspector general said the assertion of a “presidential communications privilege” resulted in the Defense Department general counsel instructing officials “not to answer our questions about potential communications between White House and DoD officials about JEDI.”

      • The Many Times The Trump Administration Exploited The Coronavirus Crisis

        President Donald Trump’s administration, as well as corporations, believe they can never let a crisis go to waste, and they definitely have not wasted the coronavirus crisis. The following is a list of stories we’re following, which show officials and business executives are employing what journalist Naomi Klein called the “shock doctrine.” In other words, these examples show they are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to push their agenda for the markets.If you see any stories we missed, we encourage you to send them to We will keep updating as the United States remains on lockdown.


      • Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Corporate Media From Crusading Against Universal Healthcare

        There’s nothing like a global pandemic to demonstrate that a universal single-payer healthcare system like Medicare for All is not an idealistic fantasy, but an immediate, urgent necessity. When over 16 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits within the last three weeks, it’s clear that the American system of making health insurance a privilege only for those who work—or for those poor and old enough to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare—has made the US especially vulnerable to Covid-19.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Officials order ‘Novaya Gazeta’ to delete article on COVID-19 in Chechnya following Kadyrov’s threats to have the author attacked

        The major Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta has deleted an article that described a chaotic and harsh COVID-19 response in Chechnya. An archived version of the article can still be found in Russian here.

      • Gayle Tzemach Lemmon China's coronavirus diplomacy is rewriting the narrative, as Trump and Europe watch

        But even as it seeks to keep dissent quiet at home, China's leadership is also seeking to reframe the narrative and turn itself from an agent of obfuscation to a global goodwill ambassador. And by running short on medical supplies for their own people, the United States and the European Union have left an opening for Beijing to deploy coronavirus assistance as a diplomatic tool.

      • China to ban online gaming, chatting with foreigners outside Great Firewall

        The communist regime is said to have noticed an authority vacuum in online multiplayer games, which enables people to freely socialize without monitoring. Local metropolises are scrambling to draft laws to expand the scope of online censorship in video games and even prohibit gamers from meeting and chatting with people on the other side of the Great Firewall, according to LTN, which cited news from a Chinese gaming forum.

        One-player online games will also be subject to surveillance, as a new real-name mechanism is going to be implemented in China. Also, the new law will not allow for zombies and plagues, map editing, roleplaying, as well as organizing a union in games — regulations which are believed to be inspired by the sensitive content made by Joshua Wong.

      • Pope Francis said whisky is 'real holy water' in censored clip

        The clip showed the Pope accept a bottle of Oban malt from some Scottish student priests at an event at the Apostolic Palace last year.

        Vatican media said the quip should be cut from the film before it could be broadcast this weekend.

        Director Tony Kearney who made the one-hour documentary Priest School for the BBC with his company Solus Productions said they’d filmed the Pope’s meeting with the students during the 18-month project.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Dish's Wireless Network, A Cornerstone of the T-Mobile Merger, Is Already On Shaky Ground

        If you recall, the biggest downside of the $26 billion Sprint T-Mobile merger was the fact that the deal would dramatically reduce overall competition in the U.S. wireless space. Data from around the globe clearly shows that the elimination of one of just four major competitors results in layoffs and higher prices due to less competition. It's not debatable. Given U.S. consumers already pay some of the highest prices for mobile data in the developed world, most objective experts recommended that the deal be blocked.

      • Major US ISP Frontier Files For Bankruptcy, Monopolistic Apathy Isn't A Business Model.

        The nation's phone companies don't really want to be in the residential broadband business. They routinely refuse to upgrade their networks despite millions in taxpayer subsidies, yet often lobby to ensure nobody else can deliver broadband in these neglected footprints either. US telcos have a bizarre disdain for their paying customers, delivering the bare minimum (slow DSL) at the highest rates they can possibly charge without a full-scale consumer revolt. It's not surprising, then, that many telco DSL customers are fleeing to cable broadband monopolies like Comcast, assuming they even have the choice.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Medtech patent filings continue to grow - data shows

          The data reveals that there were 13,833 patent applications in the field of medtech in 2019, up from 13,707 in 2018. This represents an increase of 126, or approximately 1%.

          Growth in medtech innovation in 2019 has been slower than in 2017 and 2018, when the field was been the largest single category for patent filing at the EPO. 2019 has seen medtech become the second largest source of patents, with digital communications having taken the top spot following a near 20% increase in patent filing at the EPO.

          The EPO’s latest annual report shows patent applications to the EPO up 4% on the previous year. Related healthcare fields such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals have also seen increases in 2019, up around 1.6% and 4.4% respectively.

          Medtech innovation in the UK has also increased, and outperformed the global medtech filing growth, with medtech filings up 3.1% on 2018.

          Dr Thomas Prock, a partner at intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk, said: “The latest figures from the EPO reveal the scale of innovation in the medtech sector, and the increasingly important role medtech has in delivering better, more intelligent healthcare. The healthcare challenges of the 21st century – whether it’s ageing populations or antimicrobial resistance – need smart solutions, and medtech is key in delivering better diagnostic and sensory technologies which empower people to take charge of their own health.

          “It is unsurprising to see digital and computer technologies surge in the latest EPO filing data. AI and digital communications are reshaping the world economy, and every industry will benefit from the innovation they bring.

      • Trademarks

        • JaM Cellars Sues Franzia For Trademark Over 'Jammy', An Incredibly Common And Descriptive Term In Wines

          The alcohol trademark wars continue! Now, usually when we talk about trademark disputes in the booze business, those disputes tend to center around creative names and trade dress of specific craft brands. This is most common in the craft beer arena, but it also happens in wine and liquor. While the sudden turn towards corporatism in the craft alcohol industries is more than mildly annoying, it is at least understandable when there is a trademark fight over the more unique aspects of branding.

      • Copyrights

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