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Links 18/07/2022: More on Microsoft's Assault Against Free Software

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • The Register UKImprove Linux performance with this one weird trick ● The Register

        A cryptic website with a single line of text promises to make your Linux box more responsive – if you are willing to accept some risk.

        Another day, another bleed-ing vulnerability. New speculative-execution attacks keep being discovered, and OS kernel developers keep finding ways to block them – at the cost of some CPU performance for each mitigation. But what if you run an isolated, standalone box? What if you just … turned off all the mitigations?

        Many years ago my then-lodger – a Perl and Linux guru – attempted to show me a quick way to move some stuff from one Linux box to another. He was very surprised to discover that I didn't have SSH enabled, and that there was no way to access any of my Linux boxes from any of the others. This was and is the default setting for the desktop versions of Ubuntu and Mint, and for a lot of people, that's what you want: a computer that is sealed off to the outside world.

        If that describes your needs, then you might find Jean-Michaël Celerier's admirably terse useful. The site is a little dated – you only need all of the switches if you're running a kernel older than version 5.1.13. These days, just the last one is enough. Add it to the end of the kernel line in /etc/default/grub, run update-grub and reboot.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Red Hat / IBM

      • Fedora MagazaineCommunity container images available for applications development

        Fedora containers are based on the latest stable Fedora content, and CentOS-7 containers are based on components from the CentOS-7 and related SCLo SIG components. And finally, CentOS Stream containers are based on either CentOS Stream 8 or CentOS Stream 9.

        Each container, e.g. s2i-php-container or s2i-perl-container, contain the same packages which are available for a given operating system. It means, that from a functionality point of view these example containers provides the PHP interpreter or Perl interpreter,respectively.

      • Red HatSimplify client connection configurations with service contexts | Red Hat Developer

        The latest release of rhoas, the command-line interface (CLI) for Red Hat OpenShift application services, adds a powerful and flexible feature called service contexts that makes it easier than ever to connect clients to your instances of OpenShift application services. This article illustrates this new feature and shows how it can accelerate your development workflows for stream-based applications.

      • Enterprisers ProjectIT talent: How upskilling can help boost digital transformation

        “Many organizations are struggling with the digital transformation efforts that they have begun,” says David Rogers, author of The Digital Transformation Playbook and professor at Columbia Business School, in the latest Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report sponsored by Red Hat.

      • Enterprisers Project5 ways fear can derail your digital transformation strategy

        What could go wrong with digital transformation?

        You might think the main problems would spring from something technical such as a bug, a virus, or maybe incompatibility. Seldom do we think about the people who are expected to use these tools – but they may be the most dangerous part of your new digital infrastructure. That’s because, with humans, fear is in control.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Licensing / Legal

      • TechCrunchDissecting Microsoft’s proposed policy to ban commercial open source apps – TechCrunch

        Bradley M. Kuhn is a free and open source software (FOSS) activist who serves as “hacker-in-residence” at Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that provides support and legal services for open source software projects. In the aftermath of Microsoft’s policy change, Kuhn and his colleague Denver Gingerich penned an in-depth blog post outlining their issues with the new policy (as well as more long-standing gripes with Microsoft’s attitude to open source), and the main thrust of their argument was that the very nature of open source software is that it’s free of restrictions, with no favoritism over who can and can’t monetize it.

        “We believe that the rights ensured by FOSS, as is well-enshrined in the licenses themselves, allow everyone to monetize FOSS,” Kuhn told TechCrunch. “FOSS licenses have always treated all commercial and non-commercial actively equally. It’s free as in freedom, but also it’s free as in market.”

        While there are many different kinds of open source licenses available (whether they are all truly “open source” is a debate for another day), Kuhn is referring specifically to so-called “copyleft” licenses. Such licenses have few restrictions, but they do mandate that any software derived from the original open source project must be released under a similar open source license. This runs in contrast to more “permissive” licenses that don’t impose such restrictions (meaning that private companies can easily adopt an open source project as part of a proprietary product).

        Put simply, the spirit of open source is all about the freedoms it permits.

        “Copyleft licenses require that you provide correct, complete, and corresponding source code to all customers, and have various rules about patents, but there are otherwise generally not intended to be serious restrictions on the ability monetize FOSS,” Kuhn said.

        A recurring discussion point around Microsoft’s proposed policy change is how it may protect trademarks or avert “brand confusion.” But Kuhn argues that this is already well-provisioned for in existing laws, and it’s not specifically a FOSS problem — it’s a problem relating to software in general.

        “Trademark rules control the rights to name and market a product under a particular name,” Kuhn said. “Trademark restrictions on using a name are completely compatible with FOSS and have long been encouraged. Now, this is not a FOSS-specific problem, but cloned software by fly-by-night entities and malware on app stores is a broader problem.”

        While all of this is probably true, independent open source developers generally don’t have the resources to pursue what are often faceless entities over trademark violations (assuming that they actually own the trademark at all). And that is precisely why a policy that deters “fly-by-night” developers from capitalizing on the hard work of others will likely be well received whenever it’s finally introduced.

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayIt Turns Out You Can’t Just Fly A Drone Under Water

      The differences between a drone and an underwater remote-operated vehicle (ROV) aren’t actually that large. Both have powerful motors that move large volumes of fluid (yes, air is a fluid), a camera, a remote, and an onboard battery. So when [RCLifeOn] got his hands on a cheap used drone, he reckoned that it could fly underwater just as well as it did in the air.

    • HackadayObserve Airflow Using Smartphone And Background-Oriented Schlieren

      Multiple people have recently€ shared this exciting demonstration (nitter) with us – visualizing airflow using a smartphone, called ‘background-oriented schlieren’. On a hot summer day, you might see waves in the air – caused by air changing density as it warms up, and therefore refracting the light differently. Schlieren photography is an general set of techniques for visualizing fluid flow, but of course, it can also be applied to airflow. In this case, using some clever optical recognition tricks, this schlieren method lets you visualize flow of air using only your Android smartphone’s high resolution camera and a known-pattern printed background!

    • Education

      • Counter PunchStudents, Campuses and Dominant Corporate Power

        Much of campus activity these days focuses on diversity, tuition, student loans,€ “politically correct” speech demands and conforming conduct.

        This campus environment is strangely oblivious to the corporate abuses of our economy, culture and government. This indifference extends to the endless grip of corporate power over the educational institutions that the students attend.

    • Hardware

      • HackadayA Home Made Sewing Machine May Be The Only One

        The sewing machine is a tool that many of us will have somewhere around our workshop. Concealed within it lies an intricate and fascinating mechanism. Some of us may have peered inside, but very few indeed of us will have gone to the effort of building our own. In case you had ever wondered whether it was possible, [Fraens] has done just that, with what he claims may be the only entirely homemade sewing machine on the Internet.

      • HackadayBeautiful Inductors, Now Not Such A Lost Art

        As ferrite technology has progressed into a mastery of magnetic permeability, the size of inductors has gone down to the point at which they are now fairly nondescript components. There was a time though when inductors could be beautiful creations of interleaving layers of copper wire in large air-cored inductors, achieved through clever winding techniques. It’s something that’s attracted the attention of [Brett], who’s produced a machine capable of producing something close to the originals.

      • HackadayRobot Arm Has The Touch

        [Maurizio] built a robot arm, which is always a great accomplishment. But his project includes a very cool touch interface for an Android device that sets it apart from many other similar projects.You can see a very fast summary of the construction in the video below.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • OracCan you get Omicron every three weeks?

        I have been very critical of the€ Great Barrington Declaration€ (GBD) ever since it was first published in October 2020. The GBD, as you might recall, was a document published as a result of a meeting held in Great Barrington, MA at the headquarters of the right wing libertarian free market think tank€ American Institute for Economic Research€ (AIER). The reason that I’ve been so critical of the GBD—calling it right from the beginning€ “magnified minority” and eugenics—is because it advocated a “natural herd immunity” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic; i.e., what we referred to as as a “let ‘er rip” approach in which SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, should be allowed to spread through the “low risk” young and “healthy” population, in order to produce “natural immunity” in enough people to reach herd immunity, meanwhile using “focused protection” (never well defined) to keep the elderly and those with chronic health conditions that rendered them susceptible to death and the worst complications of the virus. (Remember, this was a couple of months before the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines received emergency use authorization.) It’s an approach that€ never would have worked, given the practical difficulties and the observation (predicted even in October 2020) that “natural” postinfection immunity was not likely to be durable, given the rise of immune-evading variants like Omicron. Even given the history of the last two years, GBD adherents€ still claim that “herd immunity” would be a mere 3-6 months away if we just followed their plan. Worse, GBD authors like Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya have€ pivoted€ to help spread€ antivaccine disinformation, along with the “spiritual child” of the GBD, the€ Brownstone Institute€ (for which€ Kulldorff is the scientific advisor), which has apparently never seen a public health intervention that it liked—although it does very much like comparing public health to€ fascism€ and€ Communism.

    • Privatisation/Privateering

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The FBI Is Still Targeting Black People for Entrapment

        Romeo Langhorne is the latest victim of an FBI phony terror entrapment scheme. On July 7, 2022 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for uploading a bomb-making video. Langhorne didn’t make a bomb. He uploaded a video while under the direction of an FBI informant. The video had in fact been produced by the government.

      • Counter PunchGet Gota: Holding a War Criminal Accountable

        There have been various efforts in train regarding a man who ruthlessly concluded his country’s civil war in an orgy of mass killing. The war itself, waged between the forces of Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism and the minority Tamils seeking independence, was the rotten fruit of discrimination, exclusion and ethnocratic politics heralded by the passage of the Sinhala Only Act in 1956. That legislative instrument, implemented by Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandaranaike, made Sinhalese the country’s official language while banishing Tamils from important positions of employment.

        Gotabaya’s entry into Sri Lankan politics was a fraternal affair. His brother Mahinda, on becoming president in 2005, picked him as defence secretary. Prior to that, “Gota” worked as a computer systems administrator at Loyola School in Los Angeles, during which time he became a US citizen.

      • Counter PunchMaasai Evictions Trigger Frankfurters’ Fake Condemnation

        It’s also the first time – and the two “firsts” are connected – that the violence inherent in a conservation land grab has been broadcast around the world in real time. Within a few minutes of Maasai uploading mobile phone footage it was in the public domain, with its unarguable drama: the thuds of the bullets; the Maasai fleeing in their red robes, overtaking others who hadn’t yet seen the danger; the shakiness of a cameraman close to the line of fire.[3] This was cinéma-vérité on a level previously unimaginable in the history of conservation.

        People like me, who have been campaigning against similar crimes for decades, were able to assess the footage, appreciate its genuineness and relay it on in just a couple of minutes. By the time the Tanzanian authorities realised the scale of the exposure, and were making a feeble effort to deny it had happened, the horse had bolted.

      • Telex (Hungary)Western allies puzzled by Hungary' mild reaction to Russia's hacking
      • Common Dreams'Remember Abu Ghraib,' MBS Tells Biden When Pressed on Khashoggi: Report

        Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly told President Joe Biden during their meeting in Jeddah Friday that while the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is "regrettable," U.S. hands are not clean and other journalists are killed with impunity.

        "Bin Salman's smarmy reply underlines the way in which the U.S. government's lawlessness... and its weird commitment to Israeli apartheid... undermine its moral standing."

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Plotting War on Iran

        The United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia are plotting a war with Iran. The 2015 Iranian nuclear arms accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump€ sabotaged, does not look like it will be revived.€  U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) is reviewing options to attack if Teheran looks poised to obtain a nuclear weapon and Israel, which opposes U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations, carries out military strikes.

      • Counter PunchPalestinian Universities are Once Again Under Attack

        Later this month, the Israeli authorities are expected to put into effect€ a€ 97-page ordinance, called Procedure for Entry and Residence for Foreigners in Judea and Samaria Area (PDF), which would grant the Israeli Ministry of Defence and thus, the military, absolute power to determine how many and which foreign academics and students can visit, study or work at all 15 Palestinian universities and colleges in the West Bank.

        The “procedure” limits the number of staff allowed to work for any of these 15 universities and colleges to no more than 100 “distinguished lecturers and researchers,” noting that “applications for a permit under this section will be approved if it is demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the authorised [military] official, that the lecturer contributes significantly to academic learning, to the area’s economy, or to advancing regional cooperation and peace”.

      • Scheerpost“The American Production System”: The Rise and Fragmentation of a Manufacturing Empire

        It can be said that since the 1960s, the U.S. government and elites have had a persistent manufacturing anxiety.

      • ScheerpostChris Hedges on Trauma and Teaching Writing in Prison

        Joining Mansa Musa on Rattling the Bars, Hedges speaks about his book and the transformations he witnessed among the men he taught behind prison walls.

      • ScheerpostPatrick Lawrence: The Imaginary War

        It began when the Biden regime and the press misrepresented Russian aims in Ukraine. All else has flowed from it.

      • TruthOutLet's Replicate Chicago's Antiwar Organizing Victory Against Boeing
      • Counter PunchThe Second Amendment and Gun Violence in the U.S.

        The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on December 15, 1791, reads:€ A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. This amendment was inspired by the right to keep and bear arms recognized in the English common law, and by the English Bill of Rights of 1689 that prevailed in the American colonies. The scope and prerogatives arising under the Second Amendment have been the subject of considerable controversy, and its vague interpretation has had serious legal consequences.

        Opponents of gun control emphasize the last part of the sentence, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” neglecting that this constitutional entitlement is centered on a “well regulated militia,” which at the time was deemed€ “necessary to the security of a free state.”€ As noted by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, a well regulated militia is€ “the most natural defense of a free country.”

      • Counter PunchThe West Is Experiencing a Contraction of Its Power, Not Necessarily Its Decline

        Meanwhile, what Westerners understood by the West was changing. It began as Christianity and colonialism, then changed to capitalism and imperialism, and then metamorphosed into democracy, human rights, decolonization, self-determination, and “rules-based international relations”—it was made clear that the rules would be established by the West and would only be followed when they served its interests—and finally into globalization.

        By the middle of the last century, the West had shrunk so much that several newly independent countries made the decision to align themselves neither with the West nor with the bloc that had emerged as its rival, the Soviet bloc. This led to the emergence, from 1955-1961, of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). With the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991, the West seemed to go through a time of enthusiastic expansion. It was around this time that former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev expressed his desire for Russia to join the “common home” of Europe, with the support of then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush, a desire reaffirmed by Vladimir Putin when he took power in 2000. It was a short historical period, and recent events show that the “size” of the West has since shrunk drastically. In the wake of the Ukraine war, the West decided, on its own initiative, that only those countries applying sanctions against Russia would be considered part of the pro-Western camp. These countries comprise about 21 percent of the UN member countries, which constitute only€ 16 percent€ of the world’s population.

    • Environment

      • Common DreamsOver 1,000 Die as Record-Breaking Heat, Wildfires Scorch Europe

        Record-breaking heat has killed over 1,000 people in Western Europe over the past week, while firefighters battle to contain blazes scorching swathes of three countries amid a worsening climate emergency, officials said this weekend.

        El País reports heat killed 360 people in Spain between July 10 and July 15. This follows the heat-related deaths of more than 800 people last month, according to the Spanish government's Carlos III Health Institute. Madrid-Barajas International Airport recorded an all-time high temperature of 108€°F Thursday, while some Spanish municipalities registered highs of 110€°F to 113€°F.

      • Counter PunchNuclear Power is Not the Solution to Climate Change

        Although reducing carbon emissions is critical to slowing the pace of climate change, it must not be our only litmus test for moving toward a “clean” energy future, similarly to how our overall health cannot be measured solely by our blood pressure or weight.

        In the case of nuclear power, we must consider its high cost compared to renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. According to Climate Nexus, the minimum cost per megawatt hour to build a new nuclear plant is almost 3 times higher than utility-scale solar ($112 vs. $46, respectively) and almost 4 times higher than wind power ($122 vs. $30, respectively). That’s like paying $70,000 for a car when you could purchase an equivalent car, in terms of its overall value, for one-third or one-quarter of the cost.

      • TruthOutThe National Weather Service Is Unwittingly Obscuring Reality of Global Warming
      • Energy

        • Common DreamsOpinion | Petro, Lula, and the 2024 Venezuelan Election

          Last month I followed Colombia’s elections very closely. Unlike many of my countrymen, I’m very passionate about the history and affairs of our closest neighbor. To be completely honest, I thought Petro was not going to make it.

    • Finance

      • Counter PunchDoes the Future Belong to People Who Profit Off Our ‘Excessive Wealth Disorder’?
      • Counter PunchJames Webb Space Telescope and Feeding the Hungry

        But if we saw Putin and Trump each misusing power that unleashed unnecessary death and havoc, on that same ordinary day we also saw humans at their extraordinary best. Approximately 20,000 scientists from all over the world celebrated as they shared with us some of the first images downloaded from the Webb telescope, or, as they would like it called, either the JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) or the Webb Observatory.

        It took a quarter of a century of highly technical creative work, involving 14 countries, $9.7 billion, and most of all a scientific spirit of cooperation that sadly feels far rarer than it ought to be on our small planet, to put those microscopically aligned mirrors millions of miles out beyond the distortions of our atmosphere. Three hundred forty-four procedures, “points of failure,” any one of which gone wrong would have completely halted the mission, had to go exactly right over the deployment period of 30 days. And every one of them did, including the launch of the reliable Arianne rocket, the intricate unfurling of the layers of protective foil that keep the instruments from overheating, and the mind-bogglingly complex imaging technology that has now begun to send back crystal-clear images of the early universe, a gift to all of us on earth.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Counter PunchThe Age of Weird Men: Gonzo Politicians From Berlusconi to BoJo

        These scholars of the future will have the great advantage of knowing how the story ended and what long term scars were left by “Johnsonism”, a curious coalition of plutocrats, media magnates, traditional conservatives and populist English nationalists. This combination may fragment or may live on like “Trumpism”, which survived Donald Trump’s loss of the White House, and is poised to win back Congress this year and the presidency in 2024.

        People in England prefer to compare their politics to America rather than Italy, but it was Silvio Berlusconi – dominant in Italian politics from 1994 to 2011 – who first used the political skill set later adopted by Trump and Johnson. I do not mean that they consciously imitated him, but they chose the same political formula to win power. Its ingredients are not easy to identify because to use them effectively, a leader has to be a chameleon, making false and contradictory promises to different parts of his electoral support.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Common DreamsOpinion | House Panel Told Pregnant Patients Without Abortion Access Face 'Death Sentence'

        Witnesses told a U.S. House committee this week that pregnant patients who can’t obtain abortions will face higher mortality rates if they are forced to carry their pregnancies to term.

      • Counter PunchBeyond Crisis: The Possibilities and Growing Challenges in Building a Left Asian American Politics

        The two white men who attacked Chin, while Chin was out celebrating at a bar with friends, did so believing he was Japanese. At the time, much like China now, Japan was viewed as the major economic competitor of the U.S., and therefore, the main reason for the economic downturn in cities like Detroit. Aside from the fact that Japan wasn’t the main reason for why there was another U.S. economic recession, Chin had as much control over the machinations of global capitalist order as any individual working person, which was none.

        “They made him a scapegoat,” said Annie Tan, Chin’s cousin.

      • Counter PunchLGBT Adults Are More Likely to Experience Mental Health Hardships, But Less Likely to Get Needed Help

        To inform policy and other discussions around LGBTQIA+ mental health, this article uses the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS) to document mental health disparities by gender identity and sexual orientation. Consistent with prior research, it documents that LGBT adults are more likely to report experiencing mental health hardships than non-LGBT respondents (the analysis is limited to LGBT adults because the HPS does not include sufficient questions to cover the full range of LGBTQIA+ identities). Yet at the same time, LGBT respondents were less likely to get the counseling and therapy they needed.

        About one in two LGBT adults (48 percent) reported feelings of anxiety for more than half the days in the two weeks prior to responding to the survey, compared to less than one-quarter (23.5 percent) of non-LGBT adults.

      • TruthOutNLRB Is Understaffed and Underfunded at Critical Moment for Labor Movement
    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why Internet Access Needs to Be Considered a Basic Human Right

        When United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the global effort required to get back on track towards achieving the sustainable development goals in his report in 2021, he specifically called out the need for universal access to the internet, among the other issue areas.

        “Now is the time to renew the social contract between governments and their people and within societies,” he said. “[The contract should] include updated governance arrangements to deliver better public goods and usher in a new era of universal social protection, health coverage, education, skills, decent work and housing, as well as universal access to the internet by 2030 as a basic human right.”

        Acknowledging internet access as a human right follows an announcement by the UN in 2016 that “measures to intentionally prevent or disrupt access to or dissemination of information online (is) in violation of international human rights law.”

      • Resilience Amid Oppression in Myanmar’s ‘Digital Coup’

        Over a year since the coup that brought Myanmar back under military dictatorship, the country continues to face serious digital threats and numerous human rights violations. The ongoing push to enact a draconian cybersecurity bill and the sale of Telenor’s Myanmar telecom unit to a military-linked company are just some of the developments fuelling fears of further digital oppression in the country.

        In this episode of Pretty Good Podcast, Asia-Pacific analyst and Access Now’s Myanmar lead Wai Phyo Myint elaborates on how these developments are affecting the efforts of Myanmar’s resilient digital rights actors, individuals, and organisations to restore democracy in the country. She also shares concrete ways that the international community can continue to or update their support for changemakers.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Game RantAnalyst Thinks Microsoft Could Acquire Netflix

        Microsoft is currently aggressively acquiring video game studios for its Xbox subsidiary. The pace of acquisitions has slowed somewhat due to the ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard, in part due to the publisher's size and the amount of international oversight involved. But one analyst believes that Microsoft could have an even bigger acquisition in mind. They believe that once Activision Blizzard closes, Microsoft may consider exploring the possibility of acquiring video streaming service Netflix.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Counter PunchPublic University Patents are a Racket

          But if I gave your neighbor Bob a million dollars of YOUR money to invent that mousetrap, on the same conditions, you’d probably take issue with the idea.

          Even if you were interested in investing in mousetrap innovation, you’d probably want a return on your investment.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Technical

      • Science

        • HackadayPeer Into Space Through This James Webb-Style Hexagonal Mirror

          The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) generated considerable excitement when its first test images were released earlier this year: they proved that the instrument was working and helped its engineers to set up all systems for maximum performance. But the real proof of the pudding came last week, when the first batch of beautiful full-scale pictures was unveiled. If you thought those pictures were pretty enough to hang on your wall, you’re not the only one: [Fredrik], als known as [Cellar Nerd], built a wall-mounted display, shaped like the JWST’s main mirror, that cycles through images taken by the space telescope.

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

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