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Links 17/07/2022: Microsoft's Ramped Up Attacks on GNU/Linux, Sparky 2022.07 Special Editions



  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux LinksLinux Around The World: USA - Maryland - LinuxLinks

      Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to its east.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • FudzillaMicrosoft stopped Lenovo from booting Linux

        Are the days of Steve Ballmer back?

        There is concern that Microsoft, which once dubbed Linux as a cancer on its operating system, might be returning to its old ways.

        Vole has been a staunch supporter of Linux but it seems news this week suggests it might be up to its old tricks.

        It all started when a security engineer found himself unable to boot up a copy of Linux on his Lenovo laptop due to restrictions that are apparently insisted upon by Microsoft.

        Matthew Garrett, an information security architect, was keen to check out Lenovo's laptop but found himself unable to boot Linux from a USB stick "for no obvious reason."

        Pluton is Microsoft's latest effort to secure PCs and can act as both a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) or as a non-TPM security co-processor. It emerged in 2020, with Microsoft saying Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm were all onboard. While Acer launched tech with the kit in May, Dell is not keen and Lenovo started the year saying it wouldn't be turned on by default.

      • Ruben SchadeRubenerd: The reason Linux something something

        I wonder what I was thinking? It could have been so profound, life changing, or brilliant. If only I could reach back into my 2019 brain and see exactly what it was I was about discuss. Probably systemd.

      • IT ProChrome OS Flex turns old PCs and Macs into Chromebooks | IT PRO

        Chrome OS Flex was announced earlier in the year and offered to selected users via preview access with some 600 bugs resolved during the beta period.

        The aim is to make Chrome more widely available to organisations, specifically those that have older hardware. Google has been testing it on a range of Windows-based devices from Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo and so on, as well as some MacBooks, including 10-year-old models. More than 400 devices are certified to work with Chrome OS Flex, according to Google and its installation is a simple USB process.

      • AboutChromebooksWhy Google ChromeOS Flex is quickly becoming a big deal

        On its blog today, Google shared some updates on ChromeOS Flex. This software can repurpose older PCs and Mac computers to run a base version of ChromeOS that powers Chromebooks. The company says it now certified over 400 compatible devices, up from 100 models in March. Announced in February as early access, this free software is now generally available for anyone to try on certified devices.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • E41: Real-time Analytics Powered by Startree & Apache Pinot by Open Source Startup Podcast

        Kishore Gopalakrishna is Co-Founder & CEO of Startree, the real-time analytics platform that provides a managed service on top of the open-source distributed data store Apache Pinot.

        Kishore is also the co-creator of Apache Pinot, which was started while he was at LinkedIn. Since leaving to build Startree, Kishore and his team have raised $28M from investors including GGV, Bain Capital Ventures, and CRV.

      • E42: Earthly, a CI/CD Framework that Can Run Anywhere by Open Source Startup Podcast

        Vlad Ionescu is Founder & CEO of Earthly, the CI/CD framework that can run anywhere. Earthly's open source project, also called earthly, has over 7K GitHub stars and a slack channel with over 500 community members. Earthly has raised $3M from investors including 468 Capital, Uncorrelated Ventures, Hack VC, and Bessemer.

        In this episode, we discuss the distinction between source available and open source (and why source available works better for databases), company inspiration from the build process at Google, scoring an open source launch, positioning and messaging in a new category, and much more!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • The New StackHow to Deploy GitLab Server Using Docker and Ubuntu Server 22.04

        Have you ever wanted to host your own GitLab repositories to ensure your code never falls into the wrong hands? Although hosting your repositories on a third-party cloud host has plenty of advantages (such as availability and reliability), there’s something to be said about having total control over your repositories so that no one can access it without your approval.

        With the help of both Ubuntu Server 22.04 and Docker, you can do just that. And I’m going to show you how it’s done. It’s not overly complicated, but there are a number of steps required. And so, without further ado, let’s get to work.

        To accomplish this task, you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu Server 22.04 and a user with sudo privileges. The instance of Ubuntu can be hosted on your LAN, or even in your cloud-hosted account (although hosting it via a third-party kind of defeats the purpose of a self-hosted repository). Either way, you’re ready to make some magic.

      • Hacker NoonHow To Use The Linux Command Line

        This is a fairly straightforward article that I wrote so that I can refer to it when I need something in the future. I tried to cover the fundamentals as well as some incredibly magical things that will give every new Linux user the feeling that they have superpowers at their fingertips.

        In this article, we will start with the most basic Linux commands and progress to understanding how everything works in Linux terminals until learning about some super cool stuff like the pipe command, including the tee and xargs commands & at the same time you will also learn about various commands and utilities that we will use while we are practicing the same, and at last, we will use some very handy Linux utilities to enhance the productivity, so without further ado, let's get started.

      • Export man pages in .html or .pdf format by installing mandoc on Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distributions

        To access the man page for a specific linux command or application, you would enter the following command in the terminal. In the example below I am requesting the manual page for the ls command

      • TechTargetHow to use SSH tunnels to cross network boundaries
      • LinuxOpSysHow to Install Terraform on Ubuntu 22.04

        erraform is an infrastructure as a code platform developed by HashiCorp. You can simply write code in the human-readable format following HashiCorp Configuration Language (HCL) and deploy it to get the infrastructure in the cloud. Terraform is supported in many cloud providers like Google, Amazon, Alibaba, etc.

        Here in this guide, we are going to install the latest version of terraform on Ubuntu. We are performing terraform installation on Ubuntu 22.04. You can do the same procedure on all other Linux Distributions.

      • LinuxOpSysHow to Check File System Type in Linux

        Every object in a Linux computer is considered a file. A Linux file system is an organization that is used to store and manage files on a storage device. The storage device is logically divided using the file system to keep different types of files arranged for effective search, access, deletion, and modification. Linux supports various file systems, including ext2, ext3, and ext4. Every file system supports different structure, security, and logic.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to identify file system type in Linux. We will use different methods such as df, mount, lsblk, and lfs.

      • LinuxOpSysHow to Delete UFW Rules in Ubuntu

        One of the most common tasks when managing a firewall is updating or deleting the rule. Deleting a firewall rule should be done carefully because any mistake can expose the server to unwanted traffic.

        In this guide, we will learn how to delete UFW rules on Ubuntu.

    • Games

      • Xe's BlogAnbernic Win600 First Impressions - Xe

        When I had SteamOS set up, I did find something that makes the Win600 slightly better than the Steam Deck. When you are adding games to Steam with Emulation Station you need to close the Steam client to edit the leveldb files that Steam uses to track what games you can launch. On the Steam Deck, the Steam client also enables the built-in controllers to act as a keyboard and mouse. This means that you need to poke around and pray with the touchscreen to get EmuDeck games up and running. The mouse/controller switch on the Win600 makes this slightly more convenient because the controllers can always poorly act as a mouse and keyboard.

        When you are in KDE on the Win600, you don't get a soft keyboard at all. This is mildly inconvenient, but can be fixed with the moonlander yet again. Here's a screenshot of what my KDE desktop on the Win600 looks like...

        [...]

        Overall, SteamOS is a lot more ergonomic in my opinion and will let you play games to your heart's content.

        The D-pad feels really good. I love how it responds. When I did a little bit of Sonic Mania I never felt like I was inaccurate. There were some weird audio hitches on Sonic Mania though where the music would cut out randomly. Not sure what's going on with that. I could play through entire Pokemon games with that D-pad.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Remy Van ElstOpenVMS 9.2 for x86 will be released tomorrow (2022-07-14), so exciting!

      On July 8th, a few days ago, I saw the following post on the VMS Software Inc (VSI) blog, titled 'Release of OpenVMS V9.2 for x86 Scheduled for July 14, 2022'. That is tomorrow! I'm so excited, I can't wait to start playing around with it. This short post goes over the announcement and the status of the community license, and hopes to make you just as enthusiastic as I am for the coming release!

    • BSD

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • InfoWorldRocky Linux 9.0 rocks new build system | InfoWorld

        Rocky Linux 9.0, the latest version of the open source enterprise OS designed to be fully bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), is now generally available. The update includes new security and networking features, and a new open source build system called Peridot.

        Released July 14, Rocky Linux 9.0 has all of the build chain infrastructure tools for developers to pick up Rocky Linux or extend or reproduce the OS, should a developer want to do something independently of the community or any upstream supporting organization. A primary goal behind developing the new, cloud-native build system was assuring that new versions of Rocky can be released within one week of new RHEL version releases, project representatives said.

    • Debian Family

      • Sparky 2022.07 Special Editions – SparkyLinux

        There are new iso images of Sparky 2022.07 Special Editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue ready to go.

        Changes between Sparky Special Editions 2022.04 and 2022.07: – all packages updated from testing repos as of July 16, 2022 – Linux kernel 5.18.5 (5.18.12 & 5.15.55-LTS in sparky unstable repos) – All: added Onboard, Nala, zstd; removed: Florence – Rescue: added Timeshift – Multimedia: added Hypnotix – ‘sparky-upgrade’ cli tool uses ‘nala’ instead of ‘apt’ now, if nala is installed – GRUB 2.06 doesn’t detect other operating systems as default; so added an option to GRUB config: ‘GRUB_DISABLE_OS_PROBER=false’ do make os-prober working back

    • Devices/Embedded

      • SunFounder Raspberry Pi 7 Inch Touchscreen review - The Gadgeteer

        I have been a fan of the Raspberry Pi computer for many years and have been using a couple of them in my studio to give me instant viewable access to the desired information. Until about a month ago, I had my Raspberry Pi connected to a large monitor that was mounted some distance away from me. At times, reading fine print was a problem. I am happy to no longer have that problem because of this SunFounder Raspberry Pi 7 Inch Touchscreen.

      • TechTargetSelect the right OS for IoT devices

        Tizen is a Linux-based free, open source IoT OS. Hosted by The Linux Foundation and developed by Samsung Electronics, this OS connects everything, including wearable devices, smartphones, smart TVs and wearable IoT devices. Tizen supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Matter and Thread protocols. Admins can use HTML5, C and C++ programming languages and Arm, Arm64, x86 and x86-64 platforms for IoT device development.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • J Piepermoteus firmware release 2022-07-11 | A Modicum of Fun

      Flexible I/O subsystem: This release includes the new flexible I/O subsystem. This adds support for many new encoder types and lets you connect them up in a wide variety of ways.

    • Forbes16 Low-Cost And Open-Source Tools And Platforms Tech Experts Recommend

      The right technology tools can have a near-exponential effect on organizational productivity. Small-business owners looking to improve their processes may be discouraged because they think that the top-performing tech tools are priced well out of their reach. But there’s a robust marketplace of open-source and low-cost software tools and platforms that can offer many of the same functionalities as high-priced tech products.

      If they take a look, small-business owners may be surprised at the variety of open-source and low-cost software tools, platforms and ecosystems out there, and they may wonder which of them can really make an immediate difference for them. Below, 16 industry experts from Forbes Technology Council share free or low-cost software tools and platforms that can genuinely compete with “name-brand” products, and why they’re so effective.

    • ERP

      • Linux Links15 Best Free Linux ERP Software - LinuxLinks

        Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) manages the information and functions of a business. It provides an integrated system by which the entire business can be managed. Not only does ERP improve the efficiency of an organisation it also serves to help the firm’s management make more informed decisions.

        Businesses constantly face a moving target. With globalization, competition from emerging countries, and technological improvements, organisations need to change. Traditional communication tools such as the facsimile have long been replaced by email. The internet has meant that information needs to be available at all hours of the day, not merely the working day. A modern business system needs to adapt accordingly. ERP software helps firms to rise to this challenge.

        ERP software is an integrated suite of applications which commonly cover areas such as distribution, accounting, inventory, invoicing, shipping, logistics and manufacturing. Such software is not only beneficial for large multinational organisations, as small and medium size enterprises can gain significant improvements in their efficiency by deploying ERP software.

        All of the software featured in this article is released under a freely distributable license. Some of the software applications have proprietary versions too, which add custom features and additional functionality.

        To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 15 high quality free Linux ERP software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wishes to enhance their organisation’s efficiency.

    • Programming/Development

      • RlangNetwork Graphs in R | R-bloggers

        Network graphs are an important tool for network analysis. They illustrate points, referred to as nodes, with connecting lines, referred to as edges. Since network graphs are such useful tools, there are many options for graph generation. In this posting, I will demonstrate three different techniques for developing network graphs in r.

        This is part 3 of a series which is based on the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. This project was originally inspired by the work of Thu Vu where she created a network mapping of the characters in the Witcher series.

        In the first part of the project, we scrapped the Coopermind website to create a verified character name list. This scrapping was performed with the rvest package. The list was then cleaned up and saved for further use.

      • RlangRandom Forest Machine Learning Introduction

        We frequently utilize non-linear approaches to represent the link between a collection of predictor factors and a response variable when the relationship between them is extremely complex.

      • Matt RickardThe Remix IDE [Ed: Sadly this reuses Microsoft trash and is hosted by Microsoft proprietary prison]

        If you're deploying applications on Ethereum, you might use the web-based Remix IDE. It bundles a working set of the different tools you need to write Solidity code, deploy it to a test environment, debug it, and eventually run it in production.

      • EarthlyThe Slow March of Progress in Programming Language Tooling - Earthly Blog

        My thesis is that the tooling and developer experience for programming languages is improving over time, but mainly in new languages. It goes like this: Tooling innovation happens, new languages adopt and standardize on it, and end up incrementally better than existing languages. If you add up enough of these increments, the older languages, which may have pioneered some of these innovations, seem painful and antiquated.

        It will make more sense once I give some examples. So here is a partial list of programming language innovations that aren’t the language’s syntax or semantics.

      • Tom MacWrightActivation - macwright.com

        In the course of building Placemark, I’ve been learning about a corner of web standards that’s pretty underdiscussed and underdocumented. It’s odd enough that even MDN, the gospel for web standards documentation, doesn’t mention it very often.

        The thing is called user activation. It’s existed in a de-facto form for years, but only recently earned itself a web standard within the HTML spec.

        The essence of user activation is that there are certain APIs that do disruptive or annoying things like opening pop-up windows or saving a file that shouldn’t be callable arbitrarily. Classically, it’s annoying to open a browser window and get a pop-up ad.

        To crack down on pop-up ads and other annoyances, browsers implemented restrictions to these APIs, mostly in the form of tying them to the “click” event. Calling window.open on a setTimeout is forbidden, but calling window.open within the event handler of a click on a button is totally fine. Unfortunately, every browser did something slightly different, which prompted the folks at Google to propose a new standard with consistent behavior.

      • Ariadne ConillHow efficient can cat(1) be? – Ariadne's Space

        There have been a few initiatives in recent years to implement new a new userspace base system for Linux distributions as an alternative to the GNU coreutils and BusyBox. Recently, one of the authors of one of these proposed implementations made the pitch in a few IRC channels that her cat implementation, which was derived from OpenBSD’s implementation, was the most efficient. But is it actually?

      • Pulumi

        • EarthlyPulumi vs Terraform - Earthly Blog

          If you’re looking to quickly learn and use one of these tools, you’ll probably find that Pulumi is easier to pick up. This is because Pulumi allows you to use your preferred programming language to define your infrastructure stacks—there’s no need to learn a specific DSL.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Daniel MiesslerMy Ultimate Zsh and Vim Config [ July 2022 Version ]

          I feel most at home inside of a shell. Specifically a zsh shell.

          I’ve done dozens of shell optimization posts over the years, and I thought it was time for an update. Here’s what I’m currently using and why.

          Every shell I use on every box looks identical to this.

      • Rust

        • Amos WengerWhen rustc explodes

          One could say I have a bit of an obsession with build times.

          I believe having a "tight feedback loop" is extremely valuable: when I work on a large codebase, I want to be able to make small incremental changes and check very often that things are going as expected.

          Especially if I'm working on a project that needs to move quickly: say, the product for an early-stage startup, or a side-project for which I only ever get to do 1-hour work bursts at most.

        • Wesley MooreResuming Read Rust Tweeting

          The Read Rust Twitter account crossed over 10K followers in the last few days. Amazingly 4350 of those coming after I stopped regular posting. This got me thinking about the account and how I might be able to use it to benefit the community while avoiding the overhead that led me to winding things down in Sep 2020.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Associated PressWhy captions are suddenly everywhere and how they got there | AP News

        People with hearing loss have a new ally in their efforts to navigate the world: Captions that aren’t limited to their television screens and streaming services.

        The COVID pandemic disrupted daily life for people everywhere, but many of those with hearing loss took the resulting isolation especially hard. “When everyone wears a mask they are completely unintelligible to me,” said Pat Olken of Sharon, Massachusetts, whose hearing aids were insufficient. (A new cochlear implant has helped her a lot.)

        So when her grandson’s bar mitzvah was streamed on Zoom early in the pandemic, well before the service offered captions, Olken turned to Otter, an app created to transcribe business meetings. Reading along with the ceremony’s speakers made the app “a tremendous resource,” she said.

  • Leftovers

    • Ali Reza HayatiDo judge a book by its cover - Ali Reza Hayati

      Why not judge a book by its cover? Isn’t the cover there to show what’s in the book? Sure there are some idiots who ruined the true meaning and purpose of cover but that doesn’t change the fact that the cover is there for the single purpose of introducing the book.

      One of my favorite comedians of all time, if not my most favorite one, is George Carlin. Carlin explains language and our fear of using straight language very well. He explains how we invent new words to satisfy or avoid our fears.

      I think our way of thinking right now is very much influenced from our new fears. Media has a big impact on our way of thinking and media, I believe, is the biggest source of our fears. These fears have changed us a lot and one of its effects is our language.

      The sole purpose of language is communication. When we change the meaning behind words, we change our way of communication. We change the way we interact and we change the way we live. This affects a lot of other parts of our lives as well.

      Language can also deliver feelings and words are very much important in that matter. New language we’re speaking, the one with newly-invented mild words, fails to deliver our feelings correctly.

      George Carlin gives a pretty good example about it. There’s a condition in combat, most people know about it, when a fighting person nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and maximum, can’t take any more input, the nervous system is either snapped or is about to snap, in the first world war that condition was called shell shock.

    • Lawrence TrattLaurence Tratt: How I Clean my Glasses

      Becoming frustrated, I guessed that the way I clean my glasses might be causing the lenses to degrade quicker than necessary. I used to just breathe on them, and wipe them with whatever came handy (a shirt or whatever). Then I switched to using a dry microfibre cloth which I would wash whenever it started leaving horrible smear marks on the lens. Then I used small quantities of soap and water with a microfibre cloth. Each of these changes seemed to slightly improve the situation, but I wondered if I could do better. The internet seemed mostly full of people telling me to do what I was already doing, which wasn't what I was hoping for. I eventually realised that one group of people whose profession is based on lenses might have better advice: and, indeed, photographers have developed a number of techniques for cleaning camera lenses.

    • Data SwampSolene'% : The Old Computer Challenge V2: day 5

      I can handle most of my computer needs offline. When I use Internet, it's now for a solid 15 minutes, except when I connect from my phone for checking something quickly without starting my computer, I rarely need to connect it more than a minute.

      This is a very different challenge than the previous one because we can't stay online on IRC all day speaking about tricks to improve our experience with the current challenge. On the other hand, it's the opportunity to show our writing skills to tell about what we are going through.

      I didn't write the last days because there wasn't much to say. I miss internet 24/7 though, and I'll be happy to get back on the computer without having to track my time and stop after the hour, which always happen too soon!

    • ACMEurope's Blockchain: A Solution Struggling to Find a Problem

      The European Commission (EC) has been investing a lot of resources in the European Blockchain Services Infrastructure (EBSI). During an online Demo Day, six 'use cases' were demonstrated, although they all were still at the pilot level.

      Outside experts have mixed feelings about the initiative.

      Early Adopters Demo Day in late May was the provisional culmination of a major technology project initiated by the EC in 2018. EBSI was to become a European Union (EU)-wide service to verify credentials like driving licenses and diplomas. EU citizens have the right to live, work and study in every EU member state, with hardly any restrictions. A European digital identity and digitally verifiable credentials should make it much easier for citizens to move to another member-state, and to decrease the administrative burden for them and for governments.

      The six use-cases presented all had a similar structure: a Trusted Accreditation Organization (TAO) can certify various Issuers (for instance, a university) to issue a verifiable credential (like a diploma) to a Holder (a student). The Holder stores this in his or her digital wallet (on a cellphone, for instance). When asked by a Verifier (another university or an employer) to supply proof of having a diploma, the Holder sends this verifiable credential from her digital wallet to the Verifier.

      This chain of trust is protected against fraud by digital signatures. It starts with a TAO–typically a government authority, which issues accreditations secured by a digital signature. Other parties down the chain also sign credentials with digital signatures, all encrypted with the secret key of the issuer. Every receiver down the chain of trust can decrypt this signature with the public key of that issuer. The fact that decryption produces a readable message, not gibberish, proves to the receiver that the signature is authentic. This chain of trust is similar to the system of QR (Quick Response) codes widely adopted in the EU to prove the holder had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

    • Science

      • METIS: a `wise counsel` for synthetic biology | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

        Machine learning is transforming all areas of biological science and industry, but is typically limited to a few users and scenarios. A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology led by Tobias Erb has developed METIS, a modular software system for optimizing biological systems. The research team demonstrates its usability and versatility with a variety of biological examples.

      • ACMToward Systematic Architectural Design of Near-Term Trapped Ion Quantum Computers

        Trapped ions (TIs) are a leading candidate for building Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) hardware. TI qubits have fundamental advantages over other technologies, featuring high qubit quality, coherence time, and qubit connectivity. However, current TI systems are small in size and typically use a single trap architecture, which has fundamental scalability limitations. To progress toward the next major milestone of 50–100 qubit TI devices, a modular architecture termed the Quantum Charge Coupled Device (QCCD) has been proposed. In a QCCD-based TI device, small traps are connected through ion shuttling. While the basic hardware components for such devices have been demonstrated, building a 50–100 qubit system is challenging because of a wide range of design possibilities for trap sizing, communication topology, and gate implementations and the need to match diverse application resource requirements.

      • New ScientistA quantum computer could catch its own errors on any calculation | New Scientist

        A quantum computer made of charged atoms can catch its own errors when performing any operation – a meaningful step towards more reliable and practical quantum computers.

        Conventional computers routinely flag and correct their own errors, so to truly outperform them, quantum computers will have to do the same. However, quantum effects can make errors cascade quickly through the qubits, or quantum bits, that make up these devices.

      • NISTNIST Announces First Four Quantum-Resistant Cryptographic Algorithms | NIST

        The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has chosen the first group of encryption tools that are designed to withstand the assault of a future quantum computer, which could potentially crack the security used to protect privacy in the digital systems we rely on every day — such as online banking and email software. The four selected encryption algorithms will become part of NIST’s post-quantum cryptographic standard, expected to be finalized in about two years.

        “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in securing our sensitive data against the possibility of future cyberattacks from quantum computers,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Thanks to NIST’s expertise and commitment to cutting-edge technology, we are able to take the necessary steps to secure electronic information so U.S. businesses can continue innovating while maintaining the trust and confidence of their customers.”

      • IEEEQuantum Error Correction: Time to Make It Work - IEEE Spectrum

        DATES CHISELED INTO an ancient tombstone have more in common with the data in your phone or laptop than you may realize. They both involve conventional, classical information, carried by hardware that is relatively immune to errors. The situation inside a quantum computer is far different: The information itself has its own idiosyncratic properties, and compared with standard digital microelectronics, state-of-the-art quantum-computer hardware is more than a billion trillion times as likely to suffer a fault. This tremendous susceptibility to errors is the single biggest problem holding back quantum computing from realizing its great promise.

        Fortunately, an approach known as quantum error correction (QEC) can remedy this problem, at least in principle. A mature body of theory built up over the past quarter century now provides a solid theoretical foundation, and experimentalists have demonstrated dozens of proof-of-principle examples of QEC. But these experiments still have not reached the level of quality and sophistication needed to reduce the overall error rate in a system.

        The two of us, along with many other researchers involved in quantum computing, are trying to move definitively beyond these preliminary demos of QEC so that it can be employed to build useful, large-scale quantum computers. But before describing how we think such error correction can be made practical, we need to first review what makes a quantum computer tick.

      • New York TimesRobot Might Recreate the Elgin Marbles of Greece - The New York Times

        Few cultural disputes inflame British passions more than the disposition of the Parthenon Marbles. Public debate about the statuary has raged since the early 1800s, when the sculptures and bas-reliefs, which date from 447 B.C. to 432 B.C., were stripped from the Parthenon and other Classical Greek temples on the Acropolis of Athens by agents of Thomas Bruce, a Scottish statesman and seventh earl of Elgin. The marbles were purchased — some say looted — by Elgin during his time as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, the occupying power; they have resided in the British Museum since 1817.

        Greek campaigners have repeatedly called on Britain to repatriate the works, arguing that the Turks were a foreign force acting against the will of the people they had invaded. The works, commonly known as the Elgin marbles, would instead be exhibited in Athens, in a purpose-built museum at the foot of the Acropolis. In May, the country’s culture minister, the archaeologist Lina Mendoni, said in a statement to the Guardian, “Lord Elgin used illicit and inequitable means to seize and export the Parthenon sculptures, without real legal permission to do so, in a blatant act of serial theft.”

      • What is your crisis quotient?

        The 20th century gave us an enduring two-part shorthand for describing the intellectual horsepower and emotional skills needed to work effectively with people: first, there was IQ, which is a measure of intelligence, introduced in 1912, then 78 years later, in 1990, came EQ, which tracks how well people perceive and understand emotions. The 21st century has already made it clear that endless disruption, constant crises, and heightened ambiguity and complexity are going to be the norm. And so it seems we need to add another Q to help identify the skills that allow some people to thrive in these kinds of conditions.

      • Scientific AmericanShould Machines Replace Mathematicians? - Scientific American

        Pure mathematics fascinates me, precisely because it is so inaccessible. I envision it as a remote, chilly, perilous realm, like Antarctica’s Sentinel Range. The hardy souls who scale the heights of mathematics seem superhuman.

        I once asked André Weil, a legendary climber of mathematical peaks, if it bothered him that few people knew of his accomplishments in number theory and algebraic geometry, and fewer still understood them. He seemed puzzled by the question. No, he replied, “that makes it more exciting.” In his autobiography, Weil says his work transports him into “a state of lucid exaltation in which one thought succeeds another as if miraculously.”

        Perhaps because I romanticize mathematicians, I’m troubled by the thought that machines might replace them. I broached this possibility in “The Death of Proof,” published in the October 1993 Scientific American. In response to the growing complexity of mathematics, I reported, mathematicians were becoming increasingly reliant on computers. I asked, “Will the great mathematicians of the next century be made of silicon?”

      • News Detail - TUM School of Life Sciences

        Machine learning is playing an ever-increasing role in biomedical research. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed a new method of using molecular data to extract subtypes of illnesses. In the future, this method can help to support the study of larger patient groups.

      • ACMWhere is the Cradle of the Computer?

        The digital computer of today arose in the first half of the 1940s independently in three different countries: Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.

        In Berlin, the computer was the work of a single person, and elsewhere universities, government agencies, or industry played an important role. For political reasons, the German inventor was largely cut off from the outside world.

        The English worked under top-secret conditions, because the focus was on the decoding of encrypted radio messages.

        Within the Unites States, on the other hand, a certain exchange of information took place. Today's digital computer thus had several protagonists (see Table 1).

      • Can computers understand complex words and concepts? | UCLA

        In “Through the Looking Glass,” Humpty Dumpty says scornfully, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Alice replies, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

        The study of what words really mean is ages old. The human mind must parse a web of detailed, flexible information and use sophisticated common sense to perceive their meaning.

        Now, a newer problem related to the meaning of words has emerged: Scientists are studying whether artificial intelligence can mimic the human mind to understand words the way people do. A new study by researchers at UCLA, MIT and the National Institutes of Health addresses that question.

        The paper, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, reports that artificial intelligence systems can indeed learn very complicated word meanings, and the scientists discovered a simple trick to extract that complex knowledge. They found that the AI system they studied represents the meanings of words in a way that strongly correlates with human judgment.

      • uni MITQ&A: Neil Thompson on computing power and innovation | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

        Rapid increases in the speed and power of microchips have fueled innovation in many industries, but the future trajectory of that incredible progress may be in jeopardy.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • IATP[Older] Letter to Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack on USMCA and Mexico

        Congratulations on your recent confirmations. We are organizations representing family-scale farmers, ranchers and fishermen, farm workers, rural communities and producer advocates that promote fair trade and agroecological, sustainable farming practices. We appreciate statements by both of you recognizing the need for greater equity and a balancing of public interests in the policies of the Department of Agriculture and in our trade agreements. Ambassador Tai’s acknowledgement in her confirmation hearing that trade has failed to “bring up standards with respect to workers and environmental protection,” instead often producing “a race to the bottom,” and her work to improve the environmental, labor and public health provisions of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are an important frame on which to build this future policy.1

        Thus, we read with concern the March 22, 2021 letter to you from food and agricultural trade associations raising objections to health, consumer and farmer protections and agricultural policies of the government of Mexico and seeking your intervention. Among other complaints, which appear to be based on unspecified provisions governing trade, the letter objected to front of package nutrition warning labels (NOM-051) that came into force on October 1, 2020, and policies to reduce and gradually phase out the use and importation of glyphosate and genetically modified corn.

      • [Old] Another False Start in Africa Sold with Green Revolution Myths

        Since the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) was launched in 2006, yields have barely risen, while rural poverty remains endemic, and would have increased more if not for out-migration.

        AGRA was started, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, to double yields and incomes for 30 million smallholder farm households while halving food insecurity by 2020.

      • RetailWireCan up-tempo music move shoppers to buy more green goods?

        New university research finds up-tempo, major mode music can offer a way for green companies to overcome the consumer “attitude-behavior gap” where what consumers say differs from what they actually do.

        Researchers from the University of Bath noted that studies have shown that about 30 percent of consumers claim to care about brand ethics but that a mere three percent translate their words into action. A similar number claim to care about green consumption but only five percent purchase green products.

        Their research found major mode music was effective in reducing the attitude-behavior gap by 40 percent to 50 percent. The reason was attributed to the type of music being associated with positive emotions (i.e., happiness, joy) while minor mode music is linked with negative emotions (i.e., sadness, anger).

    • Proprietary

      • Matt RickardDistribution in a Downturn

        Proprietary distribution is the foundation of most successful businesses. Would customers come regardless of how much the company spends on acquiring them? Distribution advantages that are not proprietary get competed away. Take a look at the numerous open-source competitors that most SaaS apps have.

        Even many forms of proprietary distribution are no longer proprietary. Content marketing is possible for any company through a newsletter writer's venture fund (at the right price). Successful shows on Netflix get replicated on Prime Video. Users game web3 airdrops and don't stick around.

        [...]

        As money gets more expensive, it will be interesting to see what distribution turned out to be proprietary and what wasn't.

    • Privatisation/Privateering

      • Michael West MediaAustralian Hospitals Gifted to the Caymans - Michael West

        Private equity vultures KKR are close to pitching a $20bn takeover bid for Australia’s largest private healthcare group, Ramsay Health Care which could see most of Australia’s private health system being controlled in foreign tax havens.

    • Linux Foundation

      • BMW Group Joins the Linux Foundation's Yocto Project

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that BMW Group is joining the Yocto Project as a member.

        BMW Group's membership restates their commitment to work with, and in, sustainable ecosystems and software and to support open source and key tools they use to build their products. The Yocto Project welcomes this support and looks forward to benefiting from their input and experience. They are joining other members including Intel, Comcast, Arm, Cisco, Facebook (Meta), Xilinx, Microsoft, Wind River, and AWS.

    • Security

      • Security Week[Older] SMA Technologies Patches Critical Security Issue in Workload Automation Solution

        A critical vulnerability in the SMA Technologies OpCon UNIX agent results in the same SSH key being deployed with all installations.

        Aimed at financial institutions and insurance firms, OpCon is a cross-platform process automation and orchestration solution that can be used for the management of workloads across business-critical operations.

        Tracked as CVE-2022-2154, the issue results in the same SSH key being delivered on every installation and subsequent updates, the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) at Carnegie Mellon University explains in an advisory.

      • SANSInfoSec Handlers Diary Blog - SANS Internet Storm Center

        In diary entry "Houdini is Back Delivered Through a JavaScript Dropper", Xavier mentions that he had to deal with an obfuscated BASE64 string.

        I want to show here how this can be done through statistical analysis of the encoded payload.

        First of all, Xavier mentions a great method to quickly find payloads inside scripts: look at the longests strings first.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Michael West MediaBouncer, get your virtual hands off me - Michael West

          If Australians knew the extent of the collection and abuse of their online activities and biometric information, they would be marching in the streets demanding decent regulations that protect them against such violations. Unfortunately, when it comes to tech, legislation is either uninformed, out of date, or just embarrassing. That left tech companies on their own to self-regulate, and it’s often in favour of the investors and shareholders. What’s worse, Australians are left in the dark and unprotected when it comes to their digital rights.

          cent weekend when I went to Sydney’s Ivy Precinct. I was asked to stand before a kiosk camera to verify my ID. The kiosk had the NSW Gov logo attached to it with another tiny logo, barely seen in the dark, it read PatronScan. Suspecting that this was a camera with facial recognition technology, I declined my photo to be taken by this kiosk before I could understand who the hell is PatronScan. The security guard at the door asked me to step back and leave.

        • uni MITSmart textiles sense how their users are moving

          Researchers develop a comfortable, form-fitting fabric that recognizes its wearer’s activities, like walking, running, and jumping.

        • Help Net SecurityResearchers defeat facial recognition systems with universal face mask - Help Net Security

          Can attackers create a face mask that would defeat modern facial recognition (FR) systems? A group of researchers from from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Tel Aviv University have proven that it can be done.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ForbesHawks’ Arguments For Jacking Up Pentagon Spending Make No Sense

        Congress is starting work on next year’s Pentagon budget, and the hawks like Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) are already pushing to authorize tens of billions of dollars more than the Pentagon even asked for. But throwing more money at the Pentagon doesn’t make sense. In fact, overspending on defense will make us less safe by increasing the chances of unnecessary wars and diverting resources from more urgent challenges.

        For starters, it’s important to understand just how enormous the Biden administration’s Pentagon budget proposal is, even before Congress moves to add billions more. At $813 billion, the Biden request would be one of the highest levels of spending ever — far more than was spent at the peak of the Korean or Vietnam wars and over $100 billion more than at the height of the Cold War.

      • Fueling the Warfare State - TomDispatch.com

        This March, when the Biden administration presented a staggering $813 billion proposal for “national defense,” it was hard to imagine a budget that could go significantly higher or be more generous to the denizens of the military-industrial complex. After all, that request represented far more than peak spending in the Korean or Vietnam War years, and well over $100 billion more than at the height of the Cold War.

        It was, in fact, an astonishing figure by any measure — more than two-and-a-half times what China spends; more, in fact, than (and hold your hats for this one!) the national security budgets of the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. And yet the weapons industry and hawks in Congress are now demanding that even more be spent.

        In recent National Defense Authorization Act proposals, which always set a marker for what Congress is willing to fork over to the Pentagon, the Senate and House Armed Services Committees both voted to increase the 2023 budget yet again — by $45 billion in the case of the Senate and $37 billion for the House. The final figure won’t be determined until later this year, but Congress is likely to add tens of billions of dollars more than even the Biden administration wanted to what will most likely be a record for the Pentagon’s already bloated budget.

      • Ruben SchadeRubenerd: Sri Lanka in 2022

        Alongside the illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, I’ve felt nothing but frustration and anger at what’s happening in Sri Lanka. DW News Asia presented a sobering summary documenting the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the deteriorating economic and social situation.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Michael West MediaHitting the green accelerator: Labor's renewables target ambitious but achievable - Michael West

          Prepare for a great acceleration in renewable energy build, despite the policy fracas between Labor and the Greens. To achieve its 82% target, Labor has to build renewables around five times faster than the past two decades, and build storage at about 10 times the rate of the past five years. Energy economist Bruce Mountain offers a blueprint.

          Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has delivered his first major climate change speech, touting Australia’s future as a renewable superpower and promising Labor’s ambitious new renewable target would “unlock $52 billion of private sector investment.”

          This follows Labor’s election commitment to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by the end of the decade, while boosting renewable electricity production to 82% of our electricity supply.

          These goals are entwined. To cut emissions, we have to rapidly switch to renewables. That’s because the largest and cheapest emissions reductions are found by shifting electricity production to renewable sources. Since winning office, the Labor government has left no doubt about its commitment to these goals.

    • Finance

      • Michael West MediaThanks Alan! Qantas outsourcing debacle leaves taxpayers propping up Chinese baggage handling giant - Michael West

        Alan Joyce’s disastrous cost-cutting binge not only cost Qantas customers one lost bag in ten, it has also cost taxpayers another $20m, according to the latest accounts for baggage handling group Swissport. What’s the scam?

        The scam is Qantas management outsourced baggage handling to Swissport, a multinational controlled by shady Chinese group HNA. Swissport was quick out of the blocks begging for JobKeeper and other subsidies when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Then the unions won a case in the Federal Court that Qantas had illegally sacked 1700 baggage handlers (Qantas is appealing to the High Court).

        Now there are reports that one in ten customer bags are lost in transit because Swissport can’t find enough staff who want to work for $23 an hour. Yet taxpayers are subsidising this debacle via $20m in “training” subsidies for Swissport. The financial statements for the Australian subsidiary of the Chinese multinational baggage handling mob show Swissport picked up the $20m on top of its jump in Qantas income from $76m in 2020 to $107m last year. Now *that* is a hell of a mess.

      • VoxA huge H1-B visa backlog is blocking high-skilled immigration to the US - Vox

        Multiple analyses of historical immigration patterns show that more migrants to a region correlates with a higher rate of innovation and related economic growth.

      • Michael West MediaExecutive bonus bonanza: Afterpay CEOs' quarter billion pay juiced by Jobkeeper - Michael West

        Two Sydneysiders made their fortune on the back of short-term loans to cash-strapped customers. JobKeeper helped. Callum Foote reports on executive pay and public subsidies.

        The Morrison government developed JobKeeper to save the economy at the height of the Covid lockdowns. MWM has examined the side-effects of the cash splash.

        A new report has revealed the extraordinary CEO pay in Australia for FY2021 with the ghost of JobKeeper giving a helping hand to the quarter-billion windfall Afterpay CEOs Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar were granted.

        The report commissioned by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and prepared by Australian governance advisory firm Ownership Matters has been running since 2014 and analyses trends in ASX 200 CEO pay over the financial year.

        The headline grabber for this report is the staggering $246 million payout received by the CEOs of Afterpay, an Australian financial technology company popular for its buy-now, pay-later service. At roughly a quarter of Afterpay’s revenue, that’s a big win for Molnar and Eisen, especially as Afterpay has been a heavy loss-maker.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Michael West MediaBarilaro padded resume in advance of New York gig - Michael West

        Fresh out of Parliament and in anticipation of a plum job in New York, John Barilaro updated his LinkedIn qualifications to match his ambitions.

        Gone are the cert IV for Construction and Building Services that the former NSW deputy premier used to claim himself a tradie, Barilaro has now moved into the corporate world.

        Sporting three new graduate diplomas at three and a half thousand dollars a pop and an advanced diploma for $2000 from Churchill Education, Barilaro looked to bolster his CV in advance of his expected trade envoy position.

      • Ruben SchadeThe Uber files

        The cynic in me isn’t surprised, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. If anything, I expected it to be far scummier. But cynicism provides cover. This is jaw-dropping behaviour, and they shouldn’t be let off the hook for any of it. This is our industry at its unfettered worst.

      • Michael West MediaThe world won’t listen: African dream died long before a despot - Michael West

        The lack of interest in the death of a former African leader wasn’t just business as usual in the story of a continent, but a reflection on what we find important in our media diet, writes Mark Sawyer.

        It’s been quite a few days. The former leader of the world’s third biggest democracy was gunned down. Much-loved actors James Caan and Tony Sirico, who embodied gangsterdom in The Godfather and The Sopranos, were whacked for real, so to speak (I mean no disrespect!). Boris Johnson both quit and hung on for dear life as prime minister of the UK.

        The Australian media every now and then does some hand-wringing about its whiteness. ‘’We’re going to devote more attention to the wider world, not just London and Washington,’’ is the pledge.

      • BloombergElon's Out

        So this April, Musk announced that he wanted to buy Twitter Inc. Why not? Musk seems to get a lot of joy out of using Twitter, and pretending to buy Twitter is a good way to create drama on Twitter. At the time, I assumed that, as with Tesla, he was doing a bit. “Ordinarily,” I wrote, “if a billionaire chief executive officer of a public company offers to buy a company, the odds that he is kidding are quite low. When it’s Elon Musk, the historical odds are, like, 50/50.”

        But he surprised me by quickly lining up financing (paying millions of dollars of fees to banks for commitment letters) and signing a merger agreement with Twitter. If he was pretending he was going to buy Twitter, those were pretty elaborate lengths to go to? But he frequently goes to elaborate (and expensive) lengths for a joke — he sold 20,000 branded flamethrowers to make a joke about flamethrowers, and also founded Boring Co. to make a joke (???) about tunnels — so who knows. Would he line up billions of dollars of financing and sign a binding merger agreement with a specific-performance clause and a $1 billion breakup fee as a joke? I mean! Nobody else would! But he might! [...]

        Still, one should remain open to the possibility that he was kidding when he first signed the deal. “Elon Musk had a well-thought-out business and financial plan for Twitter that worked in the economic conditions of early April 2022, but conditions have changed and the model no longer works” does not strike me as the most plausible description of what is going on here. “Elon Musk whimsically thought it might be fun to own Twitter, so he signed a merger agreement without taking it too seriously and then lost interest a week later” feels more true to the situation. My first reaction to his proposal to buy Twitter, that it was a joke, may have been the correct one. He was just a lot more committed to the bit than I expected.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Ish SookunThe Number Resource Organisation (NRO) writes to the Government of Mauritius

        There are five Regional Internet Registries (RIR) in the world tasked with the responsibility to manage and allocate Internet number resources in specific parts of the world.

      • RetailWireWill Walmart become the go-to shopping destination for cord cutters? – RetailWire

        Walmart is teaming up with Roku to let users of the streaming platform purchase products they see on their screens.

        The companies claim that their partnership will do nothing less than “change the way customers interact and shop TV and video content.” Roku, the nation’s biggest streaming platform based on hours of viewing, according to Hypothesis Group, provides Walmart with access to its users. Walmart offers the product selection and fulfillment.

        “We’re working to connect with customers where they are already spending time, shortening the distance from discovery and inspiration to purchase,” William White, chief marketing officer, Walmart, said in a statement. “No one has cracked the code around video shoppability. By working with Roku, we’re the first to market retailer to bring customers a new shoppable experience and seamless checkout on the largest screen in their homes — their TV.”

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

    • Technical

      • In Transit

        Unfortunately, this airline’s network engineers know how to restrict access to just messaging. I keep getting incomplete headers whenever I try to connect to a Gemini server. I guess there’s a whitelist or something that allows certain domains only, e.g. WhatsApp, iMessage, &c.

      • Sefaria proxy

        I'm glad at least one other person finds my Sefaria proxy useful :D Also wanted to write that I haven't forgotten about the bugs in the proxy. I'm working on fixing them, I just have 5 million projects I'm working on for gemini, lol.

      • Science

        • PC MagAI-Enhanced System to Track Players for Offside Calls at 2022 World Cup | PCMag

          Offside calls are notoriously controversial, sometimes resulting in nullified goals and irate players and coaches. Meanwhile, the line referee stands straight up with their flag in the air, unwavering in their confidence in the call.

          It’s a familiar scene that can add some much-needed drama to a long match, but a bad offside call ultimately harms the players, coaches, fans, and the integrity of the game.

          That’s why the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has announced(Opens in a new window) a new technology intended to assist referees in making offside calls. The system has already been tested at the 2021 Arab Cup and the 2021 Club World Cup, and it's now ready(Opens in a new window) for the World Cup.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Cyber attack over Gemini is now a thing

          This morning I logged into the server hosting TLGS, my Gemini search engine, and updated a few things. Then I go through the logs to see if anything intresting happened. Ohh... There were attempts to SQL inject through the search query! Yup, Gemini is big enough for security to matter now! It is done by (I guessed) a skilled attacker. The attack is done manually over ~45 minutes. And various injections techniques are tried. Blind injection, avoid keywords, etc...

          Looking at the logs, I guess the attacker is thinking that he could inject through TLGS' search filter feature. Which you can't. The filter is a (very basic) DSL getting parsed on the search engine and applied locally. The parsed result is never sent to SQL. Good attempt though.

        • Drafting A Publishing Script

          Its coming up on a year now that I have been writing gemini stuff on pubnix through the terminal emulator. I have come a long way since the birth of my capsule and have learned much about various aspects of having a site.

          Today I realized how exhausted I was with my current writing process and a lightbulb went on in my head. Why not use scripts to make my life easier and save me some repetitive stress injury. Y'know, the exact thing they were meant to do.


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



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