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Links 4/2/2021: LXHotkey 0.1.1, WordPress 5.6.1

  • GNU/Linux

    • Plex: Windows vs Linux – Which is better?

      So, ultimately, a lot of it comes down to tech-savviness and patience. If you fancy yourself brave and looking to become a little savvier, it can never hurt to install Linux on an old machine to practice and play with. It is a fantastic way to build up your skills and understanding of the complexities of computers and how they operate behind the scenes vs fancy GUI interfaces that do everything for you. Linux can be used in so many ways to build stable environments for various services (ie, Plex, Octopi for 3D printing, PiHole for network-wide ad-blocking, other complex custom firewall solutions, web servers, and more).

      If you are tech-savvy, usually Linux is always going to be your best bet. You can build it, configure it, and generally let it sit there until you are ready to update something.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 615: OBS.Ninja - Steve Seguin, Open Source Video Conferencing

        Steve Seguin of OBS.Ninja joins Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb to discuss his exciting open source project. OBS Ninja gives you a peer-to-peer way to do video conferencing and much more via your browser as it features super-low latency and other tools to make your video conference experience better. The UI and performance qualities are so good, in fact, that we enjoyed using OBS Ninja to produce this week's episode of FLOSS Weekly.

      • New Sudo Exploit Effects Most Linux Systems

        Every so often a new sudo exploit is discovered but usually they require some special configuration or non standard install, the Baron_Samedit buffer overflow exploit however, effects every linux install that has an /etc/sudoers which is basically every single one of them

      • BSDNow 388: Must-have security tool

        FreeBSD Q4 2020 Status report, a must-have security tool from OpenBSD, Bastille Port Redirection and Persistence, FreeBSD Wall Display Computer, etymology of command-line tools, GhostBSD 21.01.15 Release Notes, and more.

      • Bad Voltage 3×22: Phantom Power

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we take what Jono calls an avant-garde and everyone else calls a ridiculous improvised approach to the set list.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 892

        pixel 4a, oneplus nord 10, couchbase backups, chromebook woes, certification

      • Better Living Through Bots | Coder Radio 399
    • Kernel Space

      • Helping Out With LTS Kernel Releases
        A recent email thread about “Why isn’t the 5.10 stable kernel listed as supported for 6 years yet!” on the linux-kernel mailing list ended up generating a bunch of direct emails to me asking what could different companies and individuals due to help out. What exactly was I looking for here?

        Instead of having to respond to private emails with the same information over and over, I figured it was better to just put it here so that everyone can see what exactly I am expecting with regards to support in order to be able to maintain a kernel for longer than 2 years...

      • Kroah-Hartman: Helping Out With LTS Kernel Releases

        Greg Kroah-Hartman has a suggestion for anybody who would like to help him maintain long-term-stable kernel releases.

      • Linux 5.10.13
      • Linux 5.4.95
      • Linux 4.19.173
      • Linux 4.14.219
      • Linux 4.9.255
      • Linux 4.4.255
      • Preserving the mobility of ZONE_MOVABLE

        Memory fragmentation has long been a problem for Linux systems, to the point that, for years, finding even two physically contiguous pages was an uncertain affair. That said, the situation has improved considerably in the last decade or so thanks to a number of changes implemented by the memory-management developers. One of those changes is the creation of "movable" memory zones where pages can be relocated if need be. All that work is for nothing, though, if somebody comes along and pins down a page in one of these movable zones. This patch set from Pavel Tatashin seeks to prevent that from happening, but may risk creating problems elsewhere. The Linux kernel allocates and frees pages of memory at a high rate; at any given time, there is no real way to predict which pages will be free, and which will be in use. Those in-use pages have an annoying tendency to be spread out across physical memory, making it hard to find a range of free, physically contiguous pages. The increasing use of huge pages, though, has increased the demand for contiguous regions — regions that will not be available if the kernel does not make an active effort to create them.

        Contemporary systems can also face a related problem: hotpluggable memory. While there are machines with memory that can be physically yanked out of the box, hotplugging is more commonly used in the context of virtualization. Virtual machines experiencing memory thrashing can have more memory "plugged" into them by the hypervisor, while those that are not fully using the memory they have can be made to give some back to the system. Unplugging memory can be seen as a special case of the "large, physically contiguous region" problem — the whole range of memory must be made to be free so it can be unplugged without data loss — with the added constraint that the region must be located at a specific address. It is fair to say that this rarely happens by chance.

      • Avoiding blocking file-name lookups

        As a general rule, when one attempts to open a file with a system call like openat2(), the expectation is that the call will not return until the job is done. But there are times where the desire to open the file is conditional on being able to open it immediately, without blocking. Linux has never supported that mode well, but that may be about to change with this patch set from Jens Axboe. Opening a file can be a complex operation. Simply resolving the name of the file can require traversing a series of directories that may be located on different filesystems; each step may also require performing I/O and taking locks to serialize changes that might otherwise create unwelcome surprises. Once the file has been found, there may be more I/O required to perform the open itself. Each of these steps has the potential to block the opening task for an unknown period of time.

        Axboe's patch set creates a new internal flag called LOOKUP_CACHED, which is then made available to callers of openat2() as RESOLVE_CACHED. This flag requests the kernel to only carry the open to completion if that can be done using only data that is cached in memory — without performing I/O, in other words. If it becomes clear during the attempt that I/O would be required, the openat2() call will fail with an EAGAIN error. The caller can then retry the operation without RESOLVE_CACHED — in a setting where blocking is tolerable — to successfully open the file.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Best practices for adapting Phoronix Test Suite to benchmark Linux performance

          The Phoronix Test Suite (PTS) is a comprehensive testing and benchmarking platform, which is widely used to help assess the performance of Linux systems. We have been using PTS to understand and track the performance of Oracle Linux (OL) over time, particularly while running on cloud instances, such as those provided by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Further, we also measure PTS performance on cloud instances running other versions of Linux, such as CentOS and Ubuntu.

          A key requirement of using workloads to track performance is result repeatability. If run-to-run variability is too high, then the workload results can not be used to accurately determine changes in performance. While using PTS, we started with the default installation and execution (parameter) settings; however, we noticed that, in several cases, results were highly variable. Detailed analysis helped us identify the reasons for this behavior, showing us the need to modify how we run certain workloads so that more consistent results are achieved, allowing us to detect smaller changes as statistically significant.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Mo Cards Mo Problems

          Thanks once again to my generous sponsors at Valve, as well as a patch from a GLX guru with the very accurate commit log “I hate everything.”, I put in a little time today and came up with this

        • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Now Works Atop NVIDIA's Linux Driver - Phoronix

          Zink as the generic OpenGL implementation built atop the Vulkan API while leveraging Mesa's Gallium3D can now work atop NVIDIA's proprietary graphics driver.

          To date the Zink code within Mesa has been tested against Intel's ANV and AMD Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers. But now thanks to Mike Blumenkrantz, who is being funded by Valve for this graphics driver work, it can now run on the NVIDIA proprietary Vulkan driver.

        • OpenGL on top of Vulkan with Zink to work with NVIDIA drivers on Linux

          Here's a short and sweet update on the work for Zink, the upcoming OpenGL on top of Vulkan implementation announced by Collabora which has been progressing steadily.

          As a quick refresher: Zink is a Mesa Gallium driver that leverages the existing OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available. More on the why can be found here.

        • Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan driver 'v3dv' continues advancing, watch the talk at FOSDEM 21

          Interested in keeping up with the Vulkan driver development on the Raspberry Pi 4? We have a new update for you and an upcoming event you might want to watch.

          While the v3dv driver is now part of Mesa and was released along with Mesa 20.3.0 back in December 2020, work has not stopped on it. There was still plenty of areas it could improve upon from features to performance, with developer Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias writing on their blog about recent work.

    • Applications

      • Ventoy 1.0.34

        Ventoy is an open source tool to create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files. With Ventoy, you don't need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)EFI files to the USB drive and boot them directly. You can copy many files at a time and ventoy will give you a boot menu to select them. Both Legacy BIOS and UEFI are supported in the same way. Most type of OS supported (Windows/WinPE/Linux/Unix/Vmware/Xen...)

      • 12 of the Best Image Editors for Linux

        Linux has become a trustworthy platform for professionals like graphic designers and animators. There is a wide range of tools that make it super simple to paint, draw, and edit images in Linux. This guide outlines twelve of the best image editors for Linux.

        Linux has become a trustworthy platform for professionals like graphic designers and animators. There is a wide range of tools that make it super simple to paint, draw, and edit images in Linux. This guide outlines twelve of the best image editors for Linux.

      • The 7 Best Linux Apps To Download

        Linux continues to be an underappreciated OS. Despite its large presence in the tech industry and among tech enthusiasts, many ignore Linux in favor of more popular OS's, such as Windows and MacOS. There's a reason for Linux's small(er) fanbase: its learning curve. Sure, some Linux distros promote themselves as beginner-friendly, but for the most part, it's difficult for those not invested into tech to use Linux. Furthermore, many programs that work on Windows are not compatible with Linux.

        What programs do work? Today, let's go over seven of the best Linux apps that are both free and compatible with Linux straight out of the box.

      • Top 4 Screenshot Tools For Ubuntu / Debian Desktop

        need to take screenshots while doing your regular work. There is plenty of software/tools supported in Linux to take screenshots. Not only taking screenshots, but you may also be required to edit, add some text, change color, highlight them. In this article, I am going to describe some popular open-source free screenshot software for Ubuntu (Debian based Linux).

        That’s all from this article, above is the lists of best free screenshot tools available for Ubuntu / Debian. Please do share your experience with the screenshot tools that you are using. Thank you.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • A Review of the Semantic Web Field:

        Been along follower of semantic Webs, that is webs that aim to capture and readily make usable human, corporate and systems knowledge. It forms the background of things like a knowledge graph. Been involved now in several attempts to mine and store the knowledge of parts of corporate knowledge and including related process knowledge. Even a example of RPA linked process. I have to say that none of these efforts was completely successful. That is ending up as a ongoing way to create, store and test substantial knowledge in context. Have talked about this frequently here. Still we learned much. But why not? Still a student of the practice. Reading this piece, hopefully to better understand why. Will try to revisit the journey here. - FAD

      • How To Increase Memory And CPU On Vagrant Machine - OSTechNix

        Having performance issues with your Vagrant machine? It is probably because of insufficient Memory or CPU. Simply add more RAM and CPU core to Vagrant machine to improve its performance. This brief guide explains how to increase Memory and CPU on Vagrant machine in Linux from commandline.

        The other day I noticed that the dnf package manager keeps getting terminated immediately when I run any package management operations, such as update, install, remove etc., in my Fedora vagrant virtual machine I can't even update the repository lists.

      • How To Install Genymotion on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Genymotion on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Genymotion is an Android operating system emulator that is downloaded and installed on computers to fulfill the role of emulating an Android phone or mobile device. It is primarily intended for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. You can use Genymotion with Android Studio as well to run your app while you develop them. Genymotion is a great tool for Android developers. It is also a great tool if you want to play Android games on your computer.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Genymotion Android Emulator on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Add Text to the Beginning of File in Linux

        Linux command line users are familiar with the concept of redirection operators, which can write output to a file, or read input from a file.

        The operator '>' writes output to a new file, or to an existing file; in which case it wipes off everything which is previously present in the file. The operator '>>' on the other hand appends output at the end of an existing file. However, there is no dedicated operator to write new text to the beginning of a file.

        Today, we will see two ways to add text to the beginning of a file in Linux: one with a workaround, and one with a command.

      • How to Display System and Hardware Details in Linux Mint 20

        Every computer system has certain specifications and sometimes you feel the need to know the details of a particular system component. In such scenarios, you should know all the ways through which you can extract the relevant information about a particular component.

        This tutorial will show you a wide range of commands and tools to display hardware details of your computer on Linux Mint 20. The same commands will work on Ubuntu Linux and Debian too.

      • How to Install RPM Packages in CentOS, RHEL & Fedora

        RPM (Formerly short for Red Hat Package Manager, now a recursive acronym for RPM Package Manager) is the name of both the package manager for installing software in Red Hat and RedHat based Linux distribution, and of the file format of these packages.

        RPM package files with extension '.rpm' are similar to deb files in Debian and its derived distributions. They contain the application files and the metadata for the software.

      • How to Install Webmin System Administration Tool on RHEL 8

        Webmin is a modern web-based Linux management tool (similar to Cockpit Web Console) that allows you to monitor various system metrics. With Webmin, you can also perform administrative tasks such as manage user accounts, change settings and configure DNS settings.

        Webmin provides a GUI that displays system metrics such as CPU, RAM, and Disk utilization. This information can be used to diagnose any issues that are potentially affecting your system’s performance.

      • How to Search in Nano – TecAdmin

        Nano is an popular, feature rich command line text editor for Unix/Linux based systems. After the vim/vi a large number of users preferred nano as command line editor. This article describes you to how to search in nano on command line interface.

      • How to import WireGuard profile using nmcli on Linux - nixCraft

        I have multiple wireguard profiles on Linux. Is there any way to import WireGuard profile (/etc/wireguard/wg{0,1,2}.conf files) using nmcli on Linux? I don’t want to become root and run systemctl start wg-quick@wg0. How can I import an existing WireGuard profile from using NetworkManager command-line interface?

        WireGuard is easy to set up and opensource virtual private network (VPN) techniques to create secure point-to-point connections in various configs. It works on Linux, *BSD, macOS, and mobile devices. However, this page explains how to import the existing WireGuard profile file using nmcli on a Linux desktop.

      • How to install ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors on Manjaro Linux

        ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is a free open-source office suite pack that comprises offline editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It’s also possible to connect the application to the cloud (ONLYOFFICE, Nextcloud, ownCloud) for online collaboration on docs. The source code of the app is available on GitHub under AGPL v.3.0 license.

      • How To Manipulate PDF Files in Linux With PDFtk

        One would think that being called a “swiss army knife” would be the highest compliment a tool or utility could aspire to. Yet, the expression is oddly insufficient when describing PDFtk, an incredibly versatile utility that can be used to manipulate PDF files in myriad ways. According to its man page, if PDF is electronic paper, then PDFtk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses.

        There’s a number of operations you can perform on PDF files, such as merging, splitting, rotating, breaking into single pages, encrypting and decrypting, applying or removing watermarks, compressing or decompressing, etc. PDFtk, which stands for PDF toolkit can manage all these tasks, and more. PDFtk has been around for years and is available in the software repositories of most popular desktop distributions.

      • A Simple, Delay-Tolerant, Offline-Capable Mesh Network with Syncthing (+ optional NNCP)

        A little while back, I spent a week in a remote area. It had no Internet and no cell phone coverage. Sometimes, I would drive in to town where there was a signal to get messages, upload photos, and so forth. I had to take several devices with me: my phone, my wife’s, maybe a laptop or a tablet too. It seemed there should have been a better way. And there is.

        I’ll use this example to talk about a mesh network, but it could just as well apply to people wanting to communicate on a 12-hour flight that has no in-flight wifi, or spacecraft with an intermittent connection, or a person traveling.

      • Install PostgreSQL in Ubuntu 20.04

        PostgreSQL is RDBMS ( relational database management system ) that is used to store, retrieve data using standard query language SQL. It is also known as Postgres which is provided free with an open-source license. PostgreSQL supports JSON, XML, and materialized views where other database management software doesn’t.

      • How to Install and Manage RPM Packages on Ubuntu/Debian System

        The RPM packages are built and compiled to use in Fedora and Red Hat-based Linux distributions. The RPM stands for RPM Package Manager. Ubuntu and other Debian distributions use the .deb package. Sometimes, you would not find your desired Debian package for your Ubuntu Linux, but it might be available in RPM compiled version. In that case, some methods allow you to install RPM packages on your Ubuntu Linux system.

      • Linux head Command – Print First X Lines from File

        Today we are going to discuss another handy text utility that is part of the GNU Core Utilities package. The head command allows you to display the beginning of a file. In this short tutorial we will discuss how to use the head command, it’s options, and show some real world examples.

      • Inkscape Tutorial: Valentine's Hearts & Background

        Valentine's Day is coming up, and sometimes I wish I could make something completely different for a card for a loved one. The cards we get at the store are always beautiful, but sometimes home-made is the best. I saw this tutorial that looked really fun so I thought we could try it. This has a sun-ray sort of background that I wanted to create, so we'll do that first.

        Open Inkscape, and start by drawing a long triangle. Duplicate it, flip it, and position the two triangles with their points touching. Group them together.

      • Sharing A USB Drive From Your Wi-Fi Router

        Many modern routers have a built-in USB port which allows you to easily share an attached drive with all of the computers on your home network -- wired or via Wi-Fi. I attempted to set this up with our Wi-Fi router (a TP-Link AC4000) and an old Seagate Barracuda HD (80 GB) that was already in a 3.5" external drive enclosure. You may use any type of drive with a USB connection -- external HDD or SSD, portable HD or even a high-capacity flash drive.

      • Firefox Tips, Tricks & Easter Eggs

        It might not be the most popular web browser out there. Its popularity peaked in 2009 with a little over 32 percent of the browser "market." Today, depending on who is reporting the data, Firefox enjoys between three and nine percent of the browser market share. But, it has persevered and it is responsible for helping to shape many of the web standards we enjoy today. Plus, it certainly pre-dates most of its competition.

        Having started "life" as Netscape's open source browser, born out of Netscape's Mozilla community after AOL (remember them?) bought Netscape, Firefox has been with us for quite a long time. In fact, it has been around since 2002. In full disclosure, I have been a Firefox user since its inception. For me, Firefox is THE standard to which I hold all other web browsers.

      • How to install Sublime Text on Linux Mint 20.1 - YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Sublime Text on Linux Mint 20.1.

      • How to keep Ubuntu clean

        Currently, if you are a frequent computer user with an Internet connection, it is likely you have a lot of data stored. This is not only a bunch of personal documents or multimedia files but also data related to programssuch as cache or temporary files. Over time, operating systems would slowly accumulate unnecessary files that could saturate them. The good news is that modern operating systems incorporate tools and solutions for this problem and Ubuntu is no exception.

      • How to fix WiFi not working on Ubuntu

        A WiFi connection is a common issue that can be either a software or a hardware issue. In Ubuntu, the NetworkManager makes the connection to wifi without you having to perform any manual task. At times however unexpected things might occur and you will have to configure or adjust the connection settings by yourself.

        Before we delve into some of the solutions to this issue, you first need to make sure that the problem is not related to the router or the modem. Try first to reboot these devices before proceeding to the troubleshooting steps. You might also want to verify your computer WiFi switch in case you have a laptop for instance.If you have a mobile phone or another PC, make sure the wifi connection is up and running and that the signal is strong enough.

      • How to Install WordPress with LEMP on Ubuntu 20.04

        WordPress is a free, open-source, and most popular content management system that allows you to create a blog on the Internet. It powers more than a third of websites including 33% of the top 10 million websites. WordPress comes with powerful features, beautiful designs and gives you the freedom to build anything you want.

      • How to bulk-copy images only of certain size in Linux

        Behold, an interesting problem - or requirement, if you will. You have a folder full of images, say dozens or hundreds. And they are of different sizes, say height of 480 or 600 or 1024 pixels, and width of 200, 320 or 9000 pixels, and you would like to copy only high-quality, large-size images out of this folder into a separate location. Doing this manually can be a chore.

        In this article, I'd like to show you a relatively simple command you can run in a terminal window, which will let you filter out your images by size, and then only copy those with an attribute that you like. Now, please be aware that there are dozens of different ways you can accomplish this, and my solution is no way unique or comprehensive (for every possible usecase), but it should do the trick just fine. Let's begin.

      • Command to logout all the users in one command
      • How to enable Hibernate Mode on Linux Mint

        f you ask a Linux community user why their love and loyalty for Linux Mint continues to be undeterred, you will get a colorful response. This community-driven Linux distro never disappoints in its elegance. The UI, together with the desktop environment, is comfortable enough. It is up-to-date and easy to use. Since it is Ubuntu-based, you are guaranteed a wide variety of free and open-source system software applications at your disposal. It also supports proprietary software like multimedia codecs for users seeking complete out-of-the-box multimedia support.

      • How to install melonDS on a Chromebook - a Nintendo DS emulator

        Today we are looking at how to install melonDS, a Nintendo DS emulator, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • Install Checkmk on Ubuntu 20.04 Server (Linux Nagois Monitoring)- Tutorial

        Do your want a Linux-based Website or IT infrastructure monitoring tool? Try out Checkmk on Ubuntu Linux, which is an open-source but enterprise-level Linux platform to monitor the health and activity of various servers and machines available in the network. Its monitoring kernel is based on Nagios.

        When you have multiple machines in a network or cluster of servers then knowing their condition is extremely important. In such situations, we can use Checkmk like open-source Linux software for network monitoring, which meant to handle thousands of computers and devices. Pretty much everything from the router to the ink level in the printer to running processes on Windows computers can be monitored. And sensors, services, databases, websites, cameras, and so on. Would you like to be get alerted on hacker attacks? Provision for that is also available on Check_mk.

      • Install Checkmk on Ubuntu 20.04 Server (Linux Nagois Monitoring)- Tutorial

        Do your want a Linux-based Website or IT infrastructure monitoring tool? Try out Checkmk on Ubuntu Linux, which is an open-source but enterprise-level Linux platform to monitor the health and activity of various servers and machines available in the network. Its monitoring kernel is based on Nagios.

        When you have multiple machines in a network or cluster of servers then knowing their condition is extremely important. In such situations, we can use Checkmk like open-source Linux software for network monitoring, which meant to handle thousands of computers and devices. Pretty much everything from the router to the ink level in the printer to running processes on Windows computers can be monitored. And sensors, services, databases, websites, cameras, and so on. Would you like to be get alerted on hacker attacks? Provision for that is also available on Check_mk.

      • Install Libreoffice 7.1 On Ubuntu / LinuxMint / CentOS & Fedora | Tips On UNIX

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install LibreOffice 7.1 on Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Centos 8, Fedora 33, and LinuxMint 20.1.

        LibreOffice released the newer version in the 7 series as 7.1.0 and it comes with new features and bug fixes and program enhancements.

        All users are requested to update to this version as soon as possible.

    • Games

      • Join me in being excited for Kaiju Wars with the Steam page now up | GamingOnLinux

        Did you enjoy Into the Breach from Subset Games as much as me? Kaiju Wars looks like it will be somewhat similar as another fantastic strategy game with small contained levels.

        Mentioned previously in this article back in early January, Kaiju Wars actually now has a Steam page up to follow it on and there's a whole lot more detail on what you will be doing in the game. The idea is that you're playing the military inspured by some retro Kaiju movies as you're hopelessly outclassed. Slow the Kaiju down with tanks, construct buildings to distract them and deploy experimental weapons to buy some more time.

      • Free and open source space sim Pioneer updated with new UI and better combat | GamingOnLinux

        Pioneer is another classic example of a long-running free and open source game doing well, with a brand new release up that overhauls plenty of important parts.

        The Pioneer 2021-02-03 release has been a year in the making and implements their new UI system built on top of the powerful and open source ImGui. They also mentioned vastly improved combat with some aim assist, better trading, you can now actually rotate the camera with the middle mouse button for better camera control and plenty more.

      • Albion Online's next major update is a Call to Arms with Faction Warfare 2.0

        Albion Online is the sandbox classless MMO that has Linux support and it's going strong, with another major update announcement that will bring Faction Warfare 2.0.

        That's the big headline feature, bringing on the next stage of City Faction Warfare which will give you the ability to control entire regions and a special front-line battle system to encourage fighting. There will also be a big bunch of rewards too, along with powerful Faction Mounts to grab. Also teased is a new Faction with a unique playstyle aimed at advanced players. More map changes to help with this too including the Royal Continent to see an expansion.

        Hellgates, the special system where two teams fight through a dungeon engaging in both PvE and PvE will also see a major expansion. It will have an option for 10v10, better graphics, a bunch of new layouts to prevent it getting stale, a new and better matchmaking system, a new rising lava mechanic to prevent one team stalling, new creatures to fight and a dedicated Hellgate Infamy system for rewards and track success. Sounds like Hellgates are going to get awesome.

      • Shelter 3 from Might and Delight has a new trailer and a launch in March | GamingOnLinux

        Might and Delight have certainly created some unique experiences, with the Shelter series putting you directly into the shoes of various animals and it's back in Shelter 3.

        It's a role-playing game but not one where you're fussing with skills and equipment, instead it's about the rawness of nature itself and animal survival. A game where wisdom, empathy and leadership play an important role in your survival, according to the developer.

        "As a new mother you must protect your calf, but you must also take responsibility for the whole herd, protecting old and young from lurking predators and the threat of starvation. What’s more, the matriarch has given you the responsibility of steering the herd to an important destination and difficult choices will need to be made on the way."

      • Total War: WARHAMMER III announced and confirmed for Linux by Feral Interactive | GamingOnLinux

        Total War: WARHAMMER III has just been formally announced by SEGA / Creative Assembly and the good news is that porter Feral Interactive have right away confirmed it's being supported on Linux (and macOS).

        "The cataclysmic conclusion to the Total War: WARHAMMER trilogy is coming. Rally your forces and step into the Realm of Chaos, a dimension of mind-bending horror where the very fate of the world will be decided. Will you conquer your Daemons… or command them?"

      • Steam Game Festival February 2021 edition is live now with lots of demos | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to try the next set of upcoming games on Steam? Wait no more, as the Steam Game Festival February 2021 edition is now live with plenty to take a look at.

      • New communication platform for Godot contributors

        Up until recently, engine contributors favored the tried and trusted IRC protocol on Freenode as their main chat communication platform, but we are now moving all developer channels to the new Godot Contributors Chat...

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • LXHotkey 0.1.1 released.

        After some quiet time it happened again. We started to release. This time it was the key strikes configurator to be first. Some little fixes done and new version is ready for you! Stay tuned, yet some other updates will be for you soon!

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Apps Update for February 2021 Introduces Kongress, a New Conference Timetable App

          Just in time for this year’s FOSDEM free event for software developers, KDE’s Apps update for February 2021 introduces a brand-new app called Kongress, which acts as a conference companion to let you browse the timetable, maintain favorite talks, set notifications for favorite talks, and adjust times to your local timezone.

          Conferences can be organized by day, by category, or in full. Kongress is designed to work on both desktop and mobile platforms, so if you have a PinePhone Linux phone with the Plasma Mobile UI, it can be installed there too if it’s more convenient to use.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 takes a few bold steps to improve the desktop
          GNOME is not everyone's cup of tea--it's different. Since the inception of GNOME Shell, this particular desktop tossed aside tradition to reinvent a wheel that had been turning smoothly for a very long time. For some, those changes were welcome, as the new desktop metaphor made great strides in getting out of the way of work. For others, the change was too great and seemed to be made simply because they could.

          Fortunately, the GNOME developers stuck to their design and continued to slowly improve their desktop environment. Those changes seemed to have always been minuscule, so what we see now is pretty similar to what was originally released--only with a greatly improved performance and reliability). In other words, GNOME Shell is still GNOME Shell.

        • Hang out with GNOME at FOSDEM 2021

          FOSDEM is online this year and we’re going to be there with a stand, volunteers, and GNOMEies of all varieties.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • PCLinuxOS 64 KDE 2020.1015 in Review

          This is a consumer oriented distribution formerly based on the long defunct Mandrake Linux that is now independently developed but still shares some characteristics with other systems based on that family, distant cousins so to speak that can usually be identified by them using the former Mandrake Control Center. Once upon a time PCLinuxOS, or PCLOS in short, was at the top of the Distrowatch rankings but has currently dropped to 24th place. Regardless, I loved the 2007 edition still utilising KDE 3.5 in those days and ran it on a desktop and a laptop for two years straight before switching over to Slackware. So how is it doing?

          PCLOS offers KDE, XFCE and MATE editions and from time to time community releases. Currently these are LXQT, Openbox, TDE mini using the Trinity desktop and a larger Trinity BigDaddy edition. This one wants to revive the feel and flair of the classic PCLOS 2007. There also used to be a KDE Full Monty edition now called the Magnum version which is 3.8 GB. 2020.1015 is the latest release. As the one with KDE is the main, default or standard edition I opted to use this for my trials. After the download completed it took 2.7 GB on my XFS formatted partition but its size is stated as 2.4 GB on the download page. A more trimmed mini version of 1.2 GB is also available.

          This Full version ISO comes with the standard compliment of KDE applications plus LibreOffice. Some additional applications include Timeshift, photo and image editing software, Megasync, Anydesk, Kodi pre-installed, the Calibre book reader, the Skrooge banking software and the Spotify client plus Firefox, Thunderbird, Strawberry music player and the VLC video player.

      • New Releases

        • Solus 4.2 “Fortitude” Released with Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS, Mesa 20.3, and Much More

          Solus 4.2 distribution is now available for download. This release comes with Linux kernel 5.10 LTS, Mesa 20.3, FFmpeg 4.3, dav1d AV1 decoder, Pulseaudio 14.1, and latest Budgie, GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE desktops.

        • Solus Sees a New Version Release After a Year: Here’s What’s New!

          Solus 4.2 is a much-awaited release after more than a year of development with updated kernel support, latest desktop environments, and more.

        • Solus 4.2 Fortitude Linux distro is here with Budgie, GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE
          So far, 2021 is a definite improvement over 2020, but it's not all great. Due to the ever-mutating COVID-19 virus, many of us remain isolated in our homes. Thankfully, we computer nerds have been training most of our lives for this -- we have experienced plenty of extended time away from other humans, instead tinkering with our computers.

          One thing I have enjoyed doing to pass the time during the pandemic is installing Linux distributions. Distro-hopping isn't just fun, but educational too. Today, Solus 4.2 becomes available for download, and it is an operating system you should check out. It is offered with your choice of four great desktop environments -- Budgie, GNOME, KDE Plasma, and MATE.

        • EndeavourOS Kicks Off 2021 with New ISO Release Powered by Linux 5.10 LTS and Xfce 4.16

          It’s been five months since the last ISO release of EndeavourOS, and those who want to try a well-done Arch Linux-based distribution, and one that’s friendly with beginners, can now download a new ISO image powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.10 LTS long-term supported kernel series.

          Of course, Linux kernel 5.10 LTS means better hardware support, so if you’ve tried EndeavourOS before and it didn’t work well with your PC, you should give the new ISO a try. In addition to the new kernel, EndeavourOS’s first ISO release in 2021 brings the latest Mesa 20.3 graphics stack series for improved gaming, along with the latest Nvidia 460.39 proprietary graphics driver for NVIDIA GPUs.

        • Our first release of 2021 has arrived

          Our last ISO was from September and we do realize that this new release is a bit overdue, to say it lightly, but to kick it off on a positive note, we rather say it is fashionably late. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been wasting time during our hiatus on development. No, on the contrary,

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Repo Review: FSearch

          FSearch is a very fast standalone file search utility inspired by the Windows-only Everything search engine. FSearch indexes file directories and builds a database, allowing you to get almost instant search results as you type. This makes FSearch extremely fast when compared to many other search tools built into file managers.

          The interface is fairly simple and well designed, making FSearch quick and easy to use. The search results will appear as a list below the search bar. Down at the bottom of the screen are indicators showing how many files have been found, and how many files have actually been indexed.

        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: cdbc

          2005. My first was Fedora. Somewhere I stumbled upon PCLinuxOS and I've been here ever since. I got fed up with winblows, as simple as that.


          I've two Lenovo Laptops for business and a shiny red HP laptop for play. All of them are running PCLinuxOS, one 32 bit LXDE and the other two 64 bit KDE.

        • Welcome From The Chief Editor
        • Screenshot Showcase
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • A guide for using CentOS Project code

          Many people have approached us asking about how we will publish the CentOS sources and if we are making changes because of the announcements on 8 December 2020 that we are focusing on CentOS Stream. In short, we are not making any changes to this process.

          The CentOS sources will still be published to in repositories that contain dist-git style sources. If you are looking for public access to the code, this will be the place to go.

          If you’re considering using this code in your own project – especially if that project has the goal of producing a Linux distribution – we’ve put together some guidance to help you comply with the Red Hat services agreements and trademark guidelines. This guidance is not exhaustive.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases Ubuntu Core 20 for Iot Devices and Embedded Systems.

          Canonical released a minimal containerised version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (released early 2020) specifically for IoT devices and embedded systems. Ubuntu Core is an operating system for industry and consumer devices. It is available for both x86 and ARM computers. Additional features compared to previous Core operating systems are secure boot, full drive encryption, and secure device recovery. An enormous benefit in terms of security is reducing the attack surface due to both the containerization of the OS and the included app store. In the app-store you can download so-called ‘snaps’, which are running in a strictly confined and isolated setting. This limits the damage in case an application running on the OS is compromised.


          Ubuntu has been pushing hard to be the go-to operating system for robotics. One example of an existing robotics application running Ubuntu is the one of Plus One Robotics. They build robot perception software and solutions for material handling in industrial settings. Their software builds on the ROS ecosystem, which makes the step from development to production smaller. Although ROS 2 currently runs on Ubuntu, Mac and Windows, most ROS developers are still running Ubuntu to program and control their robotics applications.

        • Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04.2 Released with GRUB2, Artwork Refinements

          Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04.2 is here as part of Canonical’s forthcoming Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) point release, which should also be available later today. As such, it inherits the upstream kernel and graphics stacks based on Linux kernel 5.8 and Mesa 20.3.

          In addition, this release enables the GRUB2 bootloader by default on both BIOS and UEFI systems, adds the Transmission open-source and cross-platform torrent downloader in the default selection of apps, and introduces a new in-house built tool called fixer, which fetches fixes (scripts) for issues/bugs from a server and applies them.

        • Let's Go Snapping

          During a meeting to on-board a new member of the team at work today, I went through a similar process as my last blog post. This time I chose a different application, so I thought I’d write it up here. I’ve previously explained how I browse the various GitHub Trending pages for each language. Today was no different, we browsed the trending rust projects then moved on to trending Go projects.


          It’s a command line Go application, which tend to snap up very well. We typically end up with a small standalone binary, which will compress down nicely on disk, and won’t usually need many additional libraries to be bundled. I checked the existing issue tracker and pull requests to see if anyone had already made a start. I also checked the snap store to ensure there wasn’t already a snap of this published. I had a good gut feeling from the screenshots that the application would likely only need network access to pull stock prices and display them on the screen. No weird permissions would likely be needed, so it could be strictly confined and published quickly.

          All good, looks like a fine candidate to snap. Let’s get started.


          Lastly I will file an issue and pull request against the upstream project, offering the developer to have the snap name transferred to them, with the configuration created above. I’d way rather the upstreams for projects had their own snaps under their name rather than me publish them. But if they don’t want to, that’s fine too.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Know, Prevent, Fix: A framework for shifting the discussion around vulnerabilities in open source | Google Open Source Blog [Ed: Google pretends to value real security while putting back doors in a lot of things and spying for its government]

        The security of open source software has rightfully garnered the industry’s attention, but solutions require consensus about the challenges and cooperation in the execution. The problem is complex and there are many facets to cover: supply chain, dependency management, identity, and build pipelines.

      • Google Proposes "Know, Prevent, Fix" Framework For Dealing With Security Vulnerabilities - Phoronix

        Google engineers are proposing a new framework called "Know, Prevent, Fix" in dealing with open-source security vulnerabilities.

        Google is hoping the industry will get behind their "Know, Prevent, Fix" framework in dealing with open-source security issues. The effort is around metadata and identity standards, new development processes to ensure sufficient code review for critical pieces of the infrastructure, and similar efforts.

      • OSPO Series: How governments want to use OSPOs to transform themselves

        OSPOs (Open Source Programme Offices) are becoming the norm in private sector companies working with software and the public sector is catching up. Why do governments create OSPOs now and what are they hoping to achieve?

        A central unit in charge of Open Source software is not new in government. Yet, if one would try to find an OSPO in a given government, one would find only a few, more recent creations. The OSPO term is relatively new in the context of governments and historically an organisation with a similar, yet not identical, purpose would be called an Open Source competence centre.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • The endless browser wars

            The term "browser wars" typically refers to Microsoft's attempts to dominate the World Wide Web with its Internet Explorer browser in the 1990s. That effort was thwarted by antitrust efforts and the rise of the free browser now known as Firefox; ever since, the web has been defined by free software. Or so some may have thought. In the 2020s, the browser wars continue with the growing dominance of Chrome and, it would seem, the imminent removal of Chromium from many Linux distributions. Chrome, of course, is Google's proprietary browser, bundled with Android and widely installed on other systems as well. The Chrome browser, though, is built on top of Chromium, which is an open-source project; in theory, anybody can build Chromium and get a browser of nearly equal capability, minus perhaps some proprietary DRM modules. In practice, Chromium users are a tiny fraction of the browser-using population, while Chrome becomes increasingly dominant. Current estimates suggest that 60-70% of web users are running on Chrome.

            Chromium users do exist, though, and many Linux distributions package a version of the Chromium browser; it's a way to deal with the increasing number of "only works on Chrome" web sites without having to run proprietary code.

            Or so it seems. Much of what appears to be Chrome (or Chromium) functionality is, in truth, provided by servers in Google's data centers. These include bookmark synchronization, the safe-browsing feature, search suggestions, spell-checking, and more. These features are not part of Chromium, but Google has long provided API keys for distributors of Chromium builds to use, ensuring that Chromium users had equal access to them.

            That era is coming to an end, though. On January 15, the Chromium blog carried this brief notice that, as of March 15, non-Chrome builds of Chromium would lose access to these APIs. The loss of the bookmark-synchronization API, in particular, has drawn a fair amount of attention, but there are quite a few others that, it seems, will be restricted as well. After that date, users wanting to use those features will have to run Chrome to do so.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox: Sunsetting Stream Notifier

            I have decided to halt any plans to maintain the extension and focus on other spare time open source projects instead. I should have probably made this decision about seven months ago, when Twitch integration broke, however this extension means a lot to me. It was my first browser extension that still exists and went through a lot of transformations. All said and done, however, I don’t really have a personal need for it anymore and don’t like some of the changes I’d have to make to it to keep it working.

            I’ve archived the GitHub repository and pushed out one last version that informs any remaining users of the demise of the extension (and possibly bringing you here). I will delist the extension a couple days after that update, once I’m satisfied it will have reached most people it could reach. The reason I’ve made the extension non-functional is so I can retire the API credentials used by the extension.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Improving Cross-Browser Testing, Part 2: New Automation Features in Firefox Nightly

            In our previous blog post about the web testing ecosystem, we described the tradeoffs involved in automating the browser via the HTTP-based WebDriver standard versus DevTools protocols such as Chrome DevTools Protocol (CDP). Although there are benefits to WebDriver’s HTTP-based approach, we know there are many developers who find the additional functionality and ergonomics of CDP-based test tools compelling.

            It’s clear that WebDriver needs to grow to meet the capabilities of DevTools-based automation. However, that process will take time, and we want more developers to be able to run their automated tests in Firefox today.

            To that end, we have shipped an experimental implementation of parts of CDP in Firefox Nightly, specifically targeting the use cases of end-to-end testing using Google’s Puppeteer, and the CDP-based features of Selenium 4.

            For users looking to use CDP tooling with stable releases of Firefox, we are currently going through the process to enable the feature on release channels and we hope to make this available as soon as possible.

            The remainder of this post will look at the details of how to use Firefox with CDP-based tools.

          • Will Kahn-Greene: Socorro: This Period in Crash Stats: Volume 2021.1

            In 2020q3, Roger and I worked out a new Breadcrumbs crash annotation for crash reports generated by the android-components crash reporter. It's a JSON-encoded field with a structure just like the one that the sentry-sdk sends. Incoming crash reports that have this annotation will show the data on the crash report view page to people who have protected data access.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • The Unexpected Find That Freed 20GB of Unused Index Space

          Every few months we get an alert from our database monitoring to warn us that we are about to run out of space. Usually we just provision more storage and forget about it, but this time we were under quarantine, and the system in question was under less load than usual. We thought this is a good opportunity to do some cleanups that would otherwise be much more challenging.

          To start from the end, we ended up freeing more than 70GB of un-optimized and un-utilized space without dropping a single index or deleting any data!

          Using conventional technics such as rebuilding indexes and tables we cleared up a lot of space, but then one surprising find helped us clear an additional ~20GB of unused indexed values!

          This is what the free storage chart of one of our databases looked like in the process: [...]

        • CUBRID launches CUBRID 11, Open Source DBMS for OLTP

          The CUBRID 11 focuses on performance improvement, new features adding, and security and convenience enhancement. In the meantime, CUBRID 11.0 license has been changed from GPL to Apache License 2.0, while CUBRID 10.2 or lower versions still adopt GPL v2 or higher license.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Released. This is What's New.

          The Document Foundation announces the release of LibreOffice 7.1 - Community edition. This release brings the latest features, bug fixes of this free and open-source office productivity suite which is one of the best free replacements for Microsoft Office.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Released, Download Now

          LibreOffice 7.1 has been released. LibreOffice 7.1 Community, the volunteer-supported version of the best open-source office suite is now available to download. LibreOffice 7.1 is built with document conversion libraries from the Document Liberation Project.

      • FSFE

        • Coming soon: I Love Free Software Day 2021

          People around the world work hard to maintain Free Software and we rely on Free Software to keep us connected. On this year's I love Free Software day let us think about the developers, contributors, designers, those who promoted the use of Free Software and many more who spend their time to share, improve and create Free Software. On 14 February we show our love and thank those who work for Free Software.

          Free Software is created and supported by people who put a lot of hard work into it. Physical distancing in recent months dramatically showed us how important Free Software is to keep us connected with our loved ones. It is Free Software that enabled us to participate in conferences, university or school classes, or to simply enjoy virtual lunch breaks with our colleagues. The people behind those tools have outgrown themselves to provide us with a good user experience, to fix bugs and implement wishes.

          For this year's I love Free Software Day, let us think about all those who worked for our favourite piece of Free Software, and especially those people who called for and promoted the use of Free Software.

      • FSF

        • Thank you for your generous support as we move freedom forward

          When the Free Software Foundation (FSF) officially ended our annual membership drive on January 18, the freedom train banner progress bar read 487/500 new members. With 500 new members in eight weeks being an ambitious goal, that's already an incredibly strong show of support! But there's more -- because of massive delays with the United States Postal Service due to the pandemic, we are still receiving new member signups that were mailed during the fundraiser. And there are gift memberships that were purchased but don't count until they are redeemed. This means that when all is said and done, we think we did reach our target of 500. This support has put us in a strong position to do our work in 2021, holding the line for your freedom and making new inroads against the proprietary establishment. We are beyond grateful for your generous support and your help in creating awareness about free software.

          Whether you've been around for some of the thirty-five years that we've been an organization, or just joined us, we hope that you'll continue to support our efforts for a world where users are in full control of the software that powers all of their devices.

          We closed our fundraiser with the launch of a new cyberpunk-themed animated video called Fight to Repair, emphasizing the crucial need for users to be able to modify and fix the software components in the hardware they rely on in daily life. It's been inspiring to see the response the video has received in the free software community, and since its release, thanks to volunteers everywhere, eleven translations are on their way, helping to make our message accessible to more viewers around the globe. Fight to Repair is one more way we're bringing free software to the kitchen table, making it easier to let your friends and loved ones know how important it is to protect and fight for their software freedom. This video is only the beginning, and we will continue fighting for your right to repair, in partnership with other like-minded groups -- keep an eye on our new campaign page for more information.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Elastic promises "open"—delivers proprietary

            Open-source software is famously able to be used by anyone for any purpose; those are some of the keystones of the open source definition. But some companies that run open-source projects are increasingly unhappy that others are reaping some of the profits from those projects. That has led to various efforts of "license reform" meant to try to capture those profits. So far, those efforts have just led to non-open-source licenses, thus projects that are no longer open source. We are seeing that play out yet again with Elastic's mid-January announcement that it was changing the license on some of its projects.

            Elastic is switching the license of the Elasticsearch search-engine software and its data-visualization counterpart, Kibana, away from the Apache Software License version 2 (ASL) to the Server Side Public License (SSPL) starting with version 7.11. As with previous versions, those projects will be dual-licensed with the Elastic License, so that users who do not want to (or are unable to) comply with the SSPL can purchase a license from Elastic.

            We have seen this movie before, of course, but this time around the disingenuous way that Elastic is presenting its move is raising hackles within the FOSS community. It is clear that the company is quite unhappy with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for turning Elasticsearch and Kibana into for-profit products that compete with Elastic's own offerings. It is less clear that the license switch really addresses the problems that Elastic is complaining about, however. Beyond that, AWS is using the components under the license that Elastic freely chose when the ASL suited its objectives. Now that the ASL apparently does not suit Elastic, it is rather ridiculous for the company to proclaim that switching to a proprietary license is "doubling down on open"—it manifestly is not.

      • Programming/Development

        • How to help developers keep secrets out of code | BluBracket

          That’s a good question. But if you’re here, you probably already understand what a secret is, with regards to software engineering. You also understand that once code has been merged, detecting and fixing security related defects in code can cost your business time, money, and expose your organization to security risks. And the later in the lifecycle these issues are detected, the more costly the issue can be. Because of this, the best way to help developers keep secrets and passwords out of code is to shift security left.

        • Jan Schmidt: Rift CV1 – Testing SteamVR

          I’ve had a few people ask how to test my OpenHMD development branch of Rift CV1 positional tracking in SteamVR.

        • Python

          • How to Display System and Hardware Details in Linux Mint 20

            In this tutorial, I will show you how to follow the same idea but for Python applications alone. This is going to be useful for both users and developers.

            I’ll be using a minimal Python image. Once you've modified and revised that image, you'll no longer need to worry about installing your Python Application on different operating systems. You'll be able to straightaway run your Python application with Docker every single time. So, you can bid goodbye to those host-based installation hiccups!

          • The Rust module system for Python users

            Every time I go back to Rust, I have to figure out how the module system works again. Here are some of my notes comparing it to Python’s module system.

          • Recursion in Python. Having fun writing code to help out unhappy kids

            The only purpose of python coding below is to prevent kids from straight forward calculations, which actually are boring rather then difficult. In doing so I intend to learn my students pretty old principle "Just think first"

          • Understanding Logistic Regression Using Python

            Logistic Regression is a linear classification model that uses an S-shaped curve to separate values of different classes. To understand Logistic Regression, let's break down the name into Logistic and Regression

          • A year of Python in Fedora

            Distribution developers do a lot of work to keep a language ecosystem working well within the distribution. It is relatively thankless work that normally only becomes visible when there is a problem or complaint. But Miro Hrončok recently put together a look back at what the Fedora Python team did during 2020. While it is, obviously, Fedora-specific, it provides something of a look inside at the kinds of things that distribution teams work on.

            In his announcement post to the Fedora devel mailing list, Hrončok said that he was inspired to create the report by a similar effort for the Cool Other Package Repo (Copr) team by Miroslav Suchý. That report was well-received, so Hrončok followed suit. Perhaps it will catch on with other Fedora teams as well as for other distributions.

            Hrončok is on the Python maintenance team at Red Hat as well as a member of the Fedora Python special interest group (SIG). He noted that 2020 was special in the Python world because the Python 2 series reached its end of life on January 1 (notwithstanding the commemorative 2.7.18 release in April). Support for Python 2.7 from the core developers has ceased, but the Red Hat maintainers will still be making security updates to it for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for some time to come.

        • Rust

          • Lang team February update

            Today the lang team held its first planning meeting (minutes). From now on, we're going to hold these meetings on the first Wednesday of every month.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Why I Still Use RSS

        However it wasn't until I began working from home and everything in my life moved online that I really began to notice how beneficial RSS could be with relation to Digital Wellbeing. By selecting only the sites, blogs, creators etc. that I had a serious interest in, I could effectively remove the negative effects of social media and excessive online usage from my life. It was easier to get involved in serious Deep Work as I had no social feeds to endlessly scroll through. It was easier to stay informed as I could only see the latest items rather than being given an algorithmic infinite feed of supposedly “breaking news.” I could open my reader maybe twice a day, skim through the latest items and continue on with my work, a process that could be over and done with in under 5 minutes - a far cry from opening Twitter and suddenly 2 hours have passed…

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • National Library reconstruction set to begin in 2022

        The National Library building is the newest building under heritage protection in Estonia, having been completed in 1993. The controversially designed brutalist building has since depreciated with reconstruction works designed by architecture bureau Sirkel & Mall set to begin this year. The €65 million investment is among the highest in Estonian culture and infrastructure over the previous decades.

    • Hardware

      • This is How Intel Gets Out of Manufacturing

        The suggestion of spinning off Intel’s manufacturing is nothing new. In fact, I recommended it approximately seven years ago. As the cost of operating a fab, and developing new process technologies and new manufacturing equipment has increased over the past 20 years, most semiconductor companies have outsourced most, if not all, manufacturing, while the rest, including Intel, have adopted a hybrid strategy leveraging some foundry resources when it makes sense.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple reports partial outages for services including iCloud Drive, Photos, Mail, and Notes

          A number of Apple’s cloud services are currently dealing with disruptions and partial outages, according to the company’s system dashboard. Photos, iCloud Drive, iCloud Mail, Notes, Contacts, Find My, and iCloud Backups are a few of the services that have been hit by the problems, which Apple’s site reflected as of 1:13PM ET (10:13AM PT) with a message acknowledging that “users may be unable to use this service.”

        • TikTok now has an official Android TV app, sort of

          The Android TV take on TikTok looks remarkably similar to the TikTok app that arrived on Samsung TVs in the United Kingdom. Videos play vertically (just like in the phone app) in a scrollable main feed, with access to specific categories of videos, and your profile is also available to browse. I haven’t been able to download it on my Chromecast with Google TV to test, but it appears to be a more fully featured option than what TikTok launched on Amazon’s Fire TV, which got a curated selection of videos from TikTok that didn’t require an account to see.

        • [Old] After 12 Years, Malware’s puzzling Nuisance Worm Conficker Refuses To Die

          That’s the thing about Conficker. Quickly abandoned by its unknown makers, it has stuck around. It’s not unusual for old malware for to linger but the scale of Conficker’s initial success allied to its wormlike design have sealed what is turning into a remarkable longevity.

          Five years later, Trend Micro reckoned it was still detected it almost two million times, among the top malware infections that year by volume. It quickly dropped to hundreds of thousands of PCs, but in 2017 it was still popping up on the detection radar 20,0000 times a month.

          And there, it seems, it has stayed with anti-malware company BitDefender telling me it still registers up to 150,000 Conficker detections per month, predominantly in Brazil, India, Thailand, and the Philippines.

        • Announcing Newton for Linux and M1 Macs!

          We are finally bringing the Newton goodness to our community of Linux users. This app is optimized for Linux and is as zippy and smooth as our Mac offerings.

        • Newton email app adds support for M1 Macs and Linux with latest update

          Newton shared the news in a blog post today, focusing a bit more on the Linux release but also highlighting the leap forward Apple has made with the first M1 Macs.

        • Email app Newton now supports M1 Macs and Linux

          Alongside the addition of M1 support, Newton now also has a Linux version for users to take advantage of. I'm told that the new Linux version not only runs well, but it runs just as well as the exiting Mac version that we're all familiar with.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • WordPress 5.6.1 Maintenance Release

            This maintenance release features 20 bug fixes as well as 7 issues fixed for the block editor. These bugs affect WordPress version 5.6, so you’ll want to upgrade.

            You can download WordPress 5.6.1 directly, or visit the Dashboard → Updates screen and click Update Now. If your sites support automatic background updates, they’ve already started the update process.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (open-build-service and openldap), Fedora (jasper, libebml, and tcmu-runner), openSUSE (segv_handler), Red Hat (thunderbird), Scientific Linux (kernel), SUSE (cups and openvswitch), and Ubuntu (apport and ca-certificates).

          • Cisco fixes critical code execution bugs in SMB VPN routers

            Cisco has addressed multiple pre-auth remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities affecting several small business VPN routers and allowing attackers to execute arbitrary code as root on successfully exploited devices.

            The root user is the system's superuser on Unix operating systems, a special user account usually used only for system administration tasks.

          • MacBooks are vulnerable to a dangerous unpatched hack — how to protect yourself | Laptop Mag

            While macOS has the reputation of being the more secure operating system, it is certainly not without its vulnerabilities at times just like any other operating system. However, Apple is traditionally pretty fast to respond to such problems.

          • MacBook security alert — all Macs can be hacked using this flaw | Tom's Guide

            A newly discovered flaw in macOS could let anyone — or anything — that has access to a regular user account seize control of the computer.

          • Apple’s macOS is also vulnerable to the root exploit affecting Linux

            Over the years, we’ve seen a number of scary Linux-based exploits make the spotlight. Just a few days ago, when the researchers over at Qualys disclosed a privilege escalation vulnerability in the “Sudo” program, they predicted that the bug might impact other operating systems of the Unix family. Well, they were right: security researcher Matthew Hickey has confirmed that the CVE-2021-3156 vulnerability (AKA “Baron Samedit”) can easily be adapted to gain root access on Apple macOS.

          • Linux root exploit vulnerability found to also affect macOS

            A recently discovered root exploit vulnerability in Linux has been found to affect Apple Inc.’s macOS as well.

            The vulnerability allows for an attacker to trigger a so-called heap overflow in Sudo, a program for Unix-like computer operating systems. It allow users to run security privileges of another user in order to gain access to other accounts on the operating system to which they shouldn’t otherwise have access.

            Researchers at Qualysis Inc. first identified the vulnerability Jan. 26 and said that they had found it in Ubuntu 20.04 (Sudo 1.8.31), Debian 10 (Sudo 1.8.27) and Fedora 33 (Sudo 1.9.2) but also noted that it may affect other operating systems. Matthew Hickey, the co-founder of Hacker House, has since discovered that the vulnerability also affects macOS Big Sur, demonstrating Tuesday on Twitter how he was able to exploit it.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • South Sudan worked with Israeli surveillance company to monitor citizens, Amnesty finds

              The South Sudanese government obtained surveillance capabilities from an Israeli company between at least 2015 and 2017 in order to wiretap citizens’ phones, according to an Amnesty International investigation published Tuesday.

              The company, Verint Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of U.S.-based Verint Systems Inc., worked with the government of South Sudan to provide “communications interception equipment and annual support services,” according to documents reviewed by Amnesty International.

            • South Sudan: Rampant abusive surveillance by NSS instils climate of fear

              “These Walls Have Ears” – The Chilling Effect of Surveillance in South Sudan” presents new evidence of the South Sudanese authorities’ surveillance capabilities, and also highlights the role played by telecommunication and surveillance companies who enable the interception of phone calls without adequate legal safeguards.

              For example, Amnesty International discovered documents that show an Israeli company, Verint Systems Ltd., supplied communications interception technology to the South Sudanese government at least between 2015 – 2017, despite the high risk that the equipment could contribute to human rights violations.

            • South Sudan: "These Walls Have Ears": The Chilling Effect Of Surveillance In South Sudan

              2 February 2021, Index number: AFR 65/3577/2021

              The Government of South Sudan, primarily through the National Security Service (NSS), conducts communications surveillance with equipment bought in Israel, and likely with support from the telecommunication companies. The NSS also conducts physical surveillance through a widespread, cross-border network of informants and agents, penetrating all levels of society and daily life, by monitoring media and social media, and requiring event organizers to seek permission before holding any form of gathering. The NSS has used these forms of surveillance illegally, in breach of the right to privacy, to arbitrarily arrest and illegally detain individuals and infringe on press freedoms and the freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of assembly.

            • to cloud or not to cloud and what to cloud – this is the question

              Google, Microsoft & Amazon deal not only with physical but with virtual goods … data… BigData… and the more BigData (the more profiles with a lot of details) they can get their hands on… the more valuable is their BigData, that they will AI-analyze and re-sell to whoever wants it.

            • What Is Onion Routing and How You Can Get Your Privacy Back - Make Tech Easier

              When the word “privacy” comes to mind, you’re probably thinking about browsing the Internet through a proxy or VPN. Anyone who has tried the two knows that free proxies (and even some paid access ones) work at a snail’s pace and VPNs, although faster, tend to be centralized around one entity. Proxies and many VPNs also often keep logs of traffic that goes through them.

              Between these two options, there’s one unsung hero that presents most of the advantages of a VPN without the molasses speed of old-timey proxies: Onion routing, also known as OR. We take a look at what onion routing is, how it can benefit you, and even have a look at a special tool that can connect you to the TOR network with just a few clicks.

            • Short Topix: Your Smartwatch Could Help Detect COVID-19 Earlier

              A variety of smartwatches, including those from Apple, FitBit, Garmin and other manufacturers, could help detect persons infected with COVID-19 seven to nine days before they develop symptoms, according to a pair of studies.

              One study from Mount Sinai medical center found that measuring heart rate variability (HRV) with an Apple smartwatch, while wearers recorded and tracked any possible symptoms (fever or chills, tiredness or weakness, body aches, dry cough, sneezing, runny nose, diarrhea, sore throat, headache, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, itchy eyes, or none), found significant changes in HRV up to seven days before the patient started showing symptoms. HRV is a metric used to measure immune system health. HRV values change as inflammation develops in the body, and COVID-19 is a disease with high levels of inflammation. Ironically, researchers also discovered that seven to 14 days after the diagnosis of COVID-19, HRV returned to normal and was statistically no different from those who had not been infected.

              A second study out of Stanford University (beware: lots of mumbo jumbo technobabble) found that 81% of COVID-19 positive study participants were informed of an irregularity in their HRV up to nine days prior to the onset of symptoms using a variety of smartwatches from multiple sources and special apps to detect and analyze the detected/measured HRV.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Coup in Burma: Did Military Seize Power to Avoid ICC Prosecution for Rohingya Genocide?

        We speak with a Burmese dissident about the military coup underway in Burma as de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested. The coup unfolded hours before lawmakers were to take their seats in the opening of parliament, following a November election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won over 80% of the contested seats in the Burmese parliament and the military made unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Hundreds of lawmakers, activists and human rights defenders have also been detained since the coup, and telecommunications have been cut in parts of Burma, which the military calls Myanmar. “The military decided that they could no longer play this democracy game with Aung San Suu Kyi,” says Maung Zarni, co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition and the Forces of Renewal for Southeast Asia. “The military is completely outfoxed legally, as well as at the polls. That’s why the military decided to wreck the game.” He says the coup could also worsen the outlook for members of the Rohingya Muslim community, who have faced mass detention, killings and expulsion from Burma in a campaign widely recognized as genocide.

      • I Don’t Just Want Trump Impeached. I Want Him Jailed.

        I could go on, but the months of baseless accusations of election fraud are not the reason Trump was impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives on January 13. That’s because a week earlier, on January 6, Trump gave a two-hour speech to a mob of insurrectionists at a “Stop the Steal” rally. He incited the crowd to march on the Capitol and promised he’d be there with them. Some of the crowd took his orders literally and, immediately after the speech, laid siege to Congress.

        Bearing stun guns and actual guns, pocket knives and brass knuckles, and enough flags to lay claim to a quadrant of the moon, insurrectionists pushed past the under-prepared Capitol Police and sacked the building. Some merely looted and destroyed property, while others set out, again at Trump’s prodding, to find Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Congress and somehow “convince” them to declare Trump the winner of an election he lost. Some people erected a gallows and fitted it with a rope—presumably to hang elected officials they captured. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.

      • AOC’s Stirring Call to Reject Insurrection Amnesia

        This tendency is true not just of Republicans but also the media—and even some factions on the left. The late novelist Gore Vidal liked to quip that America should be called the United States of Amnesia. This national preference for willful forgetfulness is already evident in varied attempts to push the January 6 violence down the memory hole.

      • Kyndal McVey, Shot After Stealing Nazi Flag, Sues Shooter Alexander Feaster for Negligence

        According to police, on June 28, 2020, McVey was at a party in a house across the street from Feaster's home. Around 2:55 a.m. local time, McVey approached Feaster's residence and pulled down one of the two Nazi flags hanging outside of his home on a dare.

        When running back across the street with it, Feaster reportedly emerged from his front door and fired several shots with his rifle, striking her in the lower abdomen and legs. She was taken to the hospital and survived.

        While investigating, officers with the Waukomis Police Department noticed that Feaster had placed a chair facing his front door and had a large ashtray sitting nearby with several cigarette butts.

        "It appeared that Mr. Feaster was anticipating an incident to take place and had been watching from that spot," a sheriff's deputy reported.

      • The QAnon Delusion Has Not Loosened Its Grip

        According to Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, professors of political science at the University of Miami and Notre Dame, conspiracy theorists do not “hold coherent, constrained policy positions.” In a forthcoming paper, “Who Supports QAnon? A Case Study in Political Extremism,” Uscinski explores what he identifies as some of the characteristics of the QAnon movement: “Support for QAnon is born more of antisocial personality traits and a predisposition toward conspiracy thinking than traditional political identities and motivations,” he writes, before going on to argue that

        "While QAnon supporters are “extreme,” they are not so in the ideological sense. Rather, QAnon support is best explained by conspiratorial worldviews and a predisposition toward other nonnormative behavior."

      • How the Biden Administration Can Help Solve Our Reality Crisis

        Hoaxes, lies and collective delusions aren’t new, but the extent to which millions of Americans have embraced them may be. Thirty percent of Republicans have a favorable view of QAnon, according to a recent YouGov poll. According to other polls, more than 70 percent of Republicans believe Mr. Trump legitimately won the election, and 40 percent of Americans — including plenty of Democrats — believe the baseless theory that Covid-19 was manufactured in a Chinese lab.

        The muddled, chaotic information ecosystem that produces these misguided beliefs doesn’t just jeopardize some lofty ideal of national unity. It actively exacerbates our biggest national problems, and creates more work for those trying to solve them. And it raises an important question for the Biden administration: How do you unite a country in which millions of people have chosen to create their own version of reality?

    • Finance

      • Student Debt Relief Is Back on the Table

        At a press conference in November, two weeks after winning the 2020 election, Joe Biden fielded a question about student debt: Does student loan forgiveness factor into your plan, and would you take executive action to achieve it?

      • Parler CEO John Matze says he was fired by board
      • Parler CEO says board terminated his position: report

        Mercer, an heiress to a hedge fund fortune known for donations to right-wing causes, has also been a benefactor to Breitbart and its former chairman Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser.

        Parler billed itself as an unmoderated alternative to Twitter and drew heavy traffic from the far right, particularly those banned from Twitter.

        However, after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, both Apple and Google removed it from their respective app stores amid reports it had been used to coordinate the [insurrection]. Amazon Web Services announced it would pull its hosting of the platform unless it developed a content moderation policy, and the site went offline Jan. 10.

      • Parler CEO Matze Says He Was Dismissed by Social Network’s Board

        According to his note to employees, obtained by Fox, he didn’t leave voluntarily. “On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” the memo states.

        The company gained popularity as a platform for conservatives fleeing stricter content rules on Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. But because of its users’ role in planning violent [insurrection] at the U.S. Capitol in January, both Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. removed Parler from their app stores, while Inc. pulled cloud-hosting support, meaning the site has been offline for the past several weeks.

      • Robinhood CEO, regulators to testify at House hearing on GameStop frenzy

        The CEO of Robinhood, representatives from major financial regulators and some of the forces behind the GameStop stock frenzy are scheduled to participate in the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Reddit-driven stock rally, according to a preliminary plan obtained by The Hill.

        The Financial Services hearing, set for Feb. 18, will be split into two panels: one featuring government and industry investment regulators, and the other focused on the businesses and investors central to last week’s stock market chaos.

        The tentative plan for the hearing is not locked in yet, but would begin with a panel including representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the securities industry’s self-funded internal regulator; and the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp. (DTCC), the clearing house used by Robinhood to finalize stock transactions conducted on its platform.

      • PayPal’s Revenue Surges in Strong Finish to Blockbuster Year

        The company was one of last year’s big winners, with many consumers turning to its service for online shopping while sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. PayPal said total payments on its network climbed 39% to $277 billion in the final three months of the year, more than the $267 billion forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden Doesn’t Need and Shouldn’t Want the Votes of the Sedition Caucus or the Obstructionists

        President Biden is being told that, in the interest of “unity and bipartisanship,” he must cooperate with Senate Republicans who engaged in a seditious scheme to overturn his 2020 victory and who are now hellbent on preventing him from delivering on the campaign promises that won overwhelming support from the American people.

      • Microsoft backs Australian plan to make Google pay for news

        Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement that he and Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella had told Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher in an online meeting last week that “Microsoft fully supports” the so-called News Media Bargaining Code.


        Although Bing is Australia’s second most popular search engine, it has only a 3.6% market share, according to web analytics service Statcounter. Google says it has 95%.

      • Dems to Treasury Chief Yellen: The Time to Crack Down on Dark Money Is Now

        In a letter first obtained by Rolling Stone, Whitehouse and Warren wrote to Yellen urging her to reverse a years-long trend of pathetic oversight of thinly veiled political groups that use their tax-exempt status to shield the donors from the public. That oversight work falls to the IRS, which is part of the Department of the Treasury and which has seen its budget dramatically slashed in recent years by Congress. At the same time, dark money spending has surged, from roughly $5 million in 2006 to more than $300 million in the 2012 election cycle and nearly $128 million in the 2020 election, according to

        As Whitehouse and Warren write, this surge of anonymous money can be traced in part to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision and several follow-up decisions, which together triggered a seismic shift in the U.S. political landscape. Citizens United and its progeny allowed corporations, labor unions, and the ultra-wealthy to write unlimited checks to supposedly independent big-money bazookas called Super PACs to spend in elections. The decision also fueled, in parallel, an arms race among anonymous groups trying to influence elections and policy fights that were funded by people or corporations (a distinction that didn’t much matter to the Supreme Court’s conservative justices) that didn’t want their spending publicly revealed. As Whitehouse and Warren put in their letter, “Our most powerful political forces now hide from open debate and public accountability by virtue of having interposed a one-way mirror between themselves and the public sphere.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Kazakh Police Prevent Journalist, Activists From Attending Release Of Jailed Government Critic

        Police in Kazakhstan's northwestern city of Oral have prevented journalist Lukpan Akhmedyarov and several activists from traveling to the western city of Atyrau, where they planned to greet outspoken government critic Maks Boqaev upon his release from prison on February 4.

        Activists in Oral told RFE/RL that Akhmedyarov, the chief editor of the independent newspaper Uralskaya Nedelya, was stopped by police on his way to Atyrau on February 3 and held for questioning in an unspecified case.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Convicted British Academic Escapes Iran Over Mountains

        "I just simply left. I packed my bag with a shaving kit, a few books of mine, and a laptop," Ahmady told the BBC, adding: "And warm clothes, because I knew I had to smuggle myself out of that train in the mountains. It was very cold, very long, very dark, and very scary."

      • Kameel Ahmady: British academic facing jail escapes Iran over mountains

        Mr Ahmady was born of Kurdish stock in western Iran. But his parents sent him to Britain when he was 18 for his education.

        He remained there many years, studying at the University of Kent and the London School of Economics. Such was his affection for Britain that he applied for British citizenship before returning to Iran as an anthropologist.

        His research focuses on child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iran. This brought him to the attention of the authorities because he campaigned to raise the age at which girls can marry, which is currently set at 13 years old.

      • British academic facing jail in Iran makes daring escape to UK

        Kameel Ahmady, an anthropologist who studied female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Iran, was given a nine-year sentence and had been held in the notorious Evin prison before being placed under house arrest.

      • Kameel Ahmady’s Statement On His Trial And Subsequent Escape To Britain

        The research salary that I received from an NGO was called indecent, illegal income which now I have to return a hundred-fold to them. Infiltration in the parliament and government’s body for changing laws was my other accusation. As if, according to my chief interrogator, I had the potential for being a valuable asset, having all the elements: being a Kurd, coming from a Sunni background, being also British national, and doing research on sensitive social subjects, as well as being an activist in my own field of research. I had everything on me. “I was the full package”

        I know for sure that my prison term is a tool for the Iranian security services and the justice ministry to intimidate and pressure the remaining few people who are working on social issues such as civil activists, NGO and other researchers. I am fully aware that my departure will be claimed as a winning card for them. It will allow them to justify themselves to legitimise their accusations and harass people as part of their planned so called “scenario of the third infiltration”. But I decided to leave because I was unable to be indifferent to the fate of my only child. I could not allow them to silence a voice that had cried out about social problems for 10 years. My stay in a system that is opposed to any dialogue and concession would have given them a chance to take another human being as a hostage.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Spotify’s Daniel Ek Talks Podcasts, and How His Comment About Album Cycles Was Misconstrued

        While Ek and Vogel they demurred from a question about how the company was responding to Morgan Wallen’s racist slur revealed on Tuesday night, they did answer other questions as expansively as the short interview time allowed.

      • The High Cost of Chasing Netflix

        The shift to streaming was always going to be expensive. When Disney revealed plans to forgo licensing deals with Netflix as it prepped for the November 2019 launch of Disney+, it forecast that it would miss out on some $150 million in operating income on top of planned investments into technology and content for the service. WarnerMedia, meanwhile, projected that it would record $2 billion in expenses in 2020 related to the launch of HBO Max.

        Now, months into the biggest transformation that Hollywood has seen in decades, the entertainment conglomerates have shown that shoveling money into Netflix competitors can produce results, though it’s too early to know to what end. “I would still call this day one for streaming,” says LightShed Partners analyst Rich Greenfield. “The single biggest question for 2021 is, ‘Who’s going to commit the capital to be big enough to matter?’ Netflix is going to spend $17.5 billion. Who else is playing the game?”

    • Monopolies

      • Jeff Bezos to Quit as CEO, But Amazon’s “Predatory Business Model” Will Continue Unless Lawmakers Act

        Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced he will step down as CEO and move into a new role as executive chairman later this year, giving up the reins after nearly three decades during which he grew Amazon from an online book retailer into a sprawling business empire and became one of the world’s richest people in the process. Andy Jassy, the head of the company’s cloud computing division, is set to take over the top job, but Bezos will continue to be the largest Amazon shareholder and remain on the board of directors. The news comes as calls continue to mount for lawmakers to break up Amazon and other tech giants. “There’s no reason to think anything is going to change at Amazon because Bezos has taken this new role,” says Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. “Neither the economy nor our democracy can really function properly with fairness if Amazon is able to maintain its massive concentration of wealth and power.”

      • Can Amazon keep growing like a youthful startup?

        Amazon’s market capitalisation doubled to $734bn between 2016 and 2018. Since then it has close to doubled again. Its shares trade at 118 times earnings, compared with 25-35 times for Apple and Microsoft, the other members of the trillion-dollar-company club. Up and down Wall Street, brokers tell clients to hold Amazon shares if they have them, or buy them if they don’t.

        But Amazon is not without problems. Rivals have emerged in both e-commerce and the cloud. Questions are being raised about its treatment of workers and independent merchants on its platform. Politicians in many capitals would like to see it broken up. So would some investors, on the basis that they would see higher returns that way. “Day 2”, which Mr Bezos characterises as “Stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline”, has not yet dawned. But it is well past noon on Day 1.

      • What Jeff Bezos’ exit means for Amazon in India

        But his next visit, in January 2020, couldn’t have been any more different. Amazon’s India honeymoon had long ended and the company was by then being investigated for alleged anti-competitive behaviour by the country’s competition regulator. Bezos met several captains of industry but not a single minister or top government functionary, and it was rumoured that Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned down his request for an appointment.

        Bezos’s transition also comes at a time when Amazon is engaged in battle with India’s largest business conglomerate Reliance Industries over the acquisition of assets of Future Group, in which Amazon had made an investment. While a Delhi court ruled in Amazon’s favour on Tuesday by blocking the sale of Future Group to Reliance Industries, Amazon’s own deal with Future Group is now being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.

        Recent reports have suggested a possible further tightening of foreign direct investment norms in India, which could also adversely affect Amazon’s business here.

      • Patents

        • The CRISPR Chronicles: Enter Toolgen [Ed: Fanatics and profiteers are still trying to patent and those monopolise life and nature (which they certainly did not invent)]

          Seven months later, on November 17, 2015, the USPTO issued an Office Action from Primary Examiner Catherine S. Hibbert, rejecting the claims under 35 U.S.C. €§€§ 101, 103, and 112. The €§€§ 101 and 112 rejections were quickly dispatched by amendment, but rejections under €§ 103 persisted until the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reversed the Examiner in a decision handed down June 22, 2020. The basis for the obviousness rejection was, as a primary reference, the first Doudna et al. U.S. Application Publication No. US2014/0068797, claiming priority to provisional applications filed in May and September 2012, combined with references teaching nuclear localization signal modifications to target the Cas9 protein to the eukaryotic nucleus, and a reference for codon optimization for enhanced expression in human cells) or the Jinek 2012 Science paper (Jinek et al., 2012, "A Programmable Dual-RNA–Guided DNA Endonuclease in Adaptive Bacterial Immunity," Science 337: 816-21) combined with these secondary references. Toolgen responded by asserting that the skilled artisan would not have had a reasonable expectation to expect that CRISPR exemplified in bacterial cells would be operable in eukaryotic cells (a very similar argument to the one The Broad and colleagues used to prevail in the first Broad/CVC interference (see "PTAB Decides CRISPR Interference in Favor of Broad Institute -- Their Reasoning" and "Regents of the University of California v. Broad Institute, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2018): Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB in Appeal of CRISPR Interference").

        • FOSS Patents: Ericsson filing with Federal Circuit doesn't mention rumored Chinese A4SI, opposes Samsung's motion to expedite appeal

          Ericsson v. Samsung remains one of the most interesting patent disputes not only at this moment but even in a several years. It involves both standard-essential patents (SEPs) and non-SEPs. Cases between the parties are pending in China, the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

          Less than four months after I proposed a more mathematical notation for multiple-antisuit injunctions, I've finally decided to use that one on this blog--even in the headline of this post. When I read filings involving AxSIs, I notice how cumbersome it is to always count the "anti"s. The situation has gotten out of hand, and there's no end in sight.

        • Bridgegate and Property Law [Ed: No, Dennis, monopolies are not (and never were) "property"; stop using patent propaganda and deception.]

          An expansive notion of “property” also allows for expansive criminal prosecution. As an example, the Federal Wire Fraud statute makes it a crime to use the “wires” to move forward with “any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.” 18 U.S.C. €§ 1343.

          Case-in-point is Kelly v. U.S., 140 S. Ct. 1565 (2020). Kelly case involves George Washington Bridge lane closing scandal known lovingly as “Bridgegate.” In 2013, Chris Christie was Governor of New Jersey seeking reelection (he won). His deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelley (and others) had caused the bridge lanes to be closed (via text messages) “for a political reason—to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for refusing to support [Christie’s] reelection bid.” Kelly was prosecuted and criminally convicted for property fraud — both wire fraud as well as fraud on a federally funded program. The Second Circuit affirmed.


          The decision here offers an interesting dichotomy regarding property and property rights. On the one hand, the Court offers a broad conception of what counts as property — including a conclusion that an employer “owns” the time employees are spending working (this seems like a pre-civil war conclusion). On the other hand, the Court weakens property rights by reinforcing its prior conclusions that major regulatory actions that shift the owner’s ability to use its property do not count as property rights violations. This same dichotomy is seen in patent law with the advent of inter partes review; and is a longstanding element of zoning law.

        • Webinar Materials - The Trial Before the Trial — Eliminating Presumptions and Other Recent USPTO Rule Changes

          We reviewed the new USPTO-issued revised rules that officially went into effect on January 9, 2021. Controversial changes that eliminate evidentiary presumptions in favor of the Petitioner for purposes of institution on certain fact issues were discussed. We looked over the rule changes and how they have affected both Petitioners and Patent Owners.

        • Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation: Patent Pertinent to Lithium-ion Secondary Battery for Vehicles Granted

          Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (“MCC”; HQ: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and Representative Director: Masayuki Waga) and MU Ionic Solutions Corporation (“MUIS”; HQ: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President and Representative Director: Masaaki Tsuchiyama) announce the grant by the European Patent Office (“EPO”) of their jointly owned European patent pertaining to a lithium-ion secondary battery (European Patent Application Number: 06 83 2384.9; “the Patent”). The Patent, which relates to a lithium-ion secondary battery for vehicles, covers a combination of a nickel-containing positive electrode material, which is the standard choice in lithium-ion secondary batteries for vehicles, and an electrolyte comprising lithium difluorophosphate. The Patent, which has already been granted in Japan, US, China as well as South Korea, has now been additionally granted by the EPO with effect in Germany, where the demand for electric vehicles is increasing.

        • Software Patents

          • 1st China patent challenge against IdeaHub

            On February 3, 2021, Unified Patents filed its first Chinese invalidation request for CN103081504 owned by IdeaHub, Inc. CN103081504 is directed to media content streamed in accordance with the MPEG-DASH standard and to video-on-demand (VOD) systems. It is related to U.S. Patent 8,645,562, which IdeaHub's licensee, Helios Streaming, LLC, has used to sue Showtime, Vudu, Crackle, and Starz.

          • Examining EPO's Strict Approach To AI Patent Disclosure [Ed: Corrupt #EPO spreads "HEY HI" (AI) hype to justify granting illegal software patents]

            According to the European Patent Office, artificial intelligence inventions belong to the area of computer-implemented inventions and are patentable according to the criteria developed by the case law of the EPO Boards of Appeal and reflected in the EPO guidelines for examination.[1]

            However, the Dec. 5, 2020, EPO Boards of Appeal decision in T0161/18 (Äquivalenter Aortendruck/ARC SEIBERSDORF)[2] raises some questions about the EPO's approach when assessing disclosure requirements of AI inventions under Article 83 of the European Patent Convention.

            There may need to be changes in the way EPO applies Article 83 of the EPC requirements to consider the differences between...

      • Copyrights

        • IOC is Extremely Concerned About the Impact of Piracy on the Olympics

          The International Olympic Committee is extremely concerned about the impact online piracy could have on the planned Tokyo Olympics. The committee highlights Saudi Arabia as a problem area and it asks the US Government to intervene by placing the Middle Eastern country on its Special 301 Priority Watch List.

        • Activision Hit With Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Over Call of Duty Character

          Activision and Infinity Ward and have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. According to plaintiff Clayton Haugen, the companies made a direct copy of his character "Cade Janus", hiring the same people who helped him create her before renaming and placing "Mara" in the game as their own work.

        • Free-bruary: Free (Or Almost Free) Stuff For You

          Hey. Everyone likes to get something for free. So put your wallets and credit cards away. The internet is chock full of freebies, if you only know where to look.

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unproductive and dangerous approach
This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)
Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) & Debian obfuscated structure fooled suicide victim's family: the ultimate example of bad faith
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: What We Pass On and HTTP Header Viewer
Links for the day
Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty), Andres Garcia (ErConde) & Debian Deaths overworking
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Rising to 8% of Desktops/Laptops in Jordan?
what statCounter shows
[Meme] If Iraq Launches an Investigation Into How Microsoft Bought OpenAI Without Paying for It
fake "money" from Microsoft
Windows Has Fallen to 13% Market Share in Iraq (It was 100% Just 15 Years Ago), GNU/Linux Rose Sharply in Recent Years
In recent years Iraq was developing its own GNU/Linux distro
Springtime is Next, Here's What We Plan for March and April
This month and next month we expect to publish something unique about EPO abuses every day
Studying the Freedom of firefox-123.0.tar.bz2
The "F" in Firefox
Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Bribes, Keeping Regulators at Bay
crime and corruption
[Meme] The Quotas Came From Above
EPO targets
EPO Talent Planning & Architecture is Another Attack on EPO Staff and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) Explains Why
ignore the flowery words
[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
Links for the day
Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
Links for the day
Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
7 stories for today
Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
Links for the day