Links 24/03/2023: GNU Grep 3.10 and Microsoft Accenture in a Freefall

Posted in News Roundup at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux GizmosFramework presents new DIY upgradeable laptops

        Framework introduced today their Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition compatible with the AMD Ryzen 7040 Series processors and 13th Gen Intel processors. These highly customizable laptops are available to pre-order starting at $849.00.

      • Systemd 76The Quality Assurance Process with Levi

        Curious about our quality assurance process? Levi, our QA Lead, takes you through a general overview of how QA approaches a new product, from testing firmware to acoustics and everything in between.

    • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Free Desktop2023 X.Org Board of Directors Elections timeline extended, request for nominations
        We are seeking nominations for candidates for election to the X.org
        Foundation Board of Directors. However, as we presently do not have
        enough nominations to start the election - the decision has been made to
        extend the timeline by 2 weeks. Note this is a fairly regular part of
        the elections process.
        The new deadline for nominations to the X.org Board of Directors is
        23:59 UTC on April 2nd, 2023.
        The new deadline for membership application or renewals is April 9th,
        2023. Membership is required to vote on the elections.
        The Board consists of directors elected from the membership. Each year,
        an election is held to bring the total number of directors to eight. The
        four members receiving the highest vote totals will serve as directors
        for two year terms.
        The directors who received two year terms starting in 2022 were Emma
        Anholt, Mark Filion, Alyssa Rosenzweig and Ricardo Garcia. They will
        continue to serve until their term ends in 2024. Current directors whose
        term expires in 2023 are Samuel Iglesias Gonsálvez, Manasi D Navare,
        Lyude Paul and Daniel Vetter.
        A director is expected to participate in the fortnightly IRC meeting to
        discuss current business and to attend the annual meeting of the X.Org
        Foundation, which will be held at a location determined in advance by
        the Board of Directors.
        A member may nominate themselves or any other member they feel is
        qualified. Nominations should be sent to the Election Committee at
        elections at x.org.
        Nominees shall be required to be current members of the X.Org
        Foundation, and submit a personal statement of up to 200 words that will
        be provided to prospective voters. The collected statements, along with
        the statement of contribution to the X.Org Foundation in the member's
        account page on http://members.x.org, will be made available to all
        voters to help them make their voting decisions.
        Nominations, membership applications or renewals and completed personal
        statements must be received no later than 23:59 UTC on April 2nd, 2023.
        The slate of candidates will be published April 10th 2023 and candidate
        Q&A will begin then. The deadline for Xorg membership applications and
        renewals is April 9th, 2023.
        Ricardo Garcia, on behalf of the X.Org BoD
    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Easily Run a Vulnerability Scan Using Nmap

        Nmap (network mapper) can be used for vulnerability scanning to identify known vulnerabilities. While Nmap is not primarily a vulnerability scanner,

      • APNICRPKI ROA for IP resources in the IX segment

        Guest Post: The status of ROA registration in the IX segment, and the way forward.

      • TecAdminUnderstanding 2>&1 in Bash: A Beginner’s Guide

        Bash is a popular shell used in most Linux distributions. It provides various I/O redirection techniques that allow users to control how input and output are processed in their commands and scripts. One of the most commonly used I/O redirection techniques is 2>&1, which redirects standard error (stderr) to standard output (stdout).

      • TecAdminUnderstanding the difference between ‘git pull’ and ‘git fetch’

        Git is a powerful version control system that helps developers manage code efficiently and collaborate with their teams. Two essential Git commands for working with remote repositories are “git pull” and “git fetch”. Although they seem similar, understanding their differences is crucial for streamlining your Git workflow and maintaining a clean project history.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install OpenCart on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this article, we will guide you on how to install OpenCart on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. OpenCart is a popular open-source e-commerce platform that allows users to create online stores and sell products.

      • TecAdminHow to Check if a Program Exists in Linux

        A shell script is a powerful tool for automating tasks on Unix-based systems. One common requirement when writing shell scripts is checking if a particular program or command exists on the system. This article will guide you through different methods to perform this check, allowing you to make your script more robust and reliable.

      • TecAdminHow to Choose the Best Shebang (#!) for Your Shell Scripts

        The shebang, also known as a “hashbang” or “sharpbang”, is an essential part of Bash scripts and other executable scripts in Unix-based systems.

      • TecAdminUser-Friendly SSH Clients for Windows with Advanced Functionality

        Remote access to servers and other devices is a critical task for many professionals, including system administrators, developers, and IT technicians. SSH (Secure Shell) is a popular protocol used to connect to remote devices securely, and SSH clients are used to establish these connections.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Printrun on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Printrun on Ubuntu systems Printrun is a comprehensive and versatile 3D printing software that is highly recommended for managing and monitoring 3D printing tasks.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install HardInfo on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        HardInfo is a system profiler and benchmark tool for Linux systems that provides detailed information about hardware and software components installed on a computer.

      • UNIX CopHow To Install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 LTS

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Concrete5 CMS on Ubuntu systems Concrete5 is a free, open-source Content Management System (CMS) used for building and managing websites. It is written in PHP and uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern.

      • UNIX CopHow to install ProcessWire CMS on Ubuntu 22.04

        ProcessWire is a free open-source content management system which is developed in PHP language. It is a powerful CMS that allows you to upload content easily over the internet.

      • It’s FOSSTerminal Basics #6: Delete Files and Folders in Linux

        You have learned to create files and directories. Now it is time to learn about deleting files and folders in the command line.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • Enterprisers Project8 tips to upskill your IT team with data literacy

        The past decade has been driven by rapid technology innovation and immense business pressure to increase revenue and improve customer and employee experiences. Yet McKinsey research shows 70 percent of digital transformation efforts during that era failed to meet their goals.

        Why did so many of these initiatives fail? Did leaders set the wrong goals?

      • Enterprisers Project3 must-have skills for software developers

        Leaders must start reassessing the desired skills they seek in developers. Amid an already tight talent market, 51 percent of developers are considering quitting their jobs or finding a new one in the next 12 months, opening the door to a new way of thinking about the talent landscape.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu NewsUbuntu 20.04.6 LTS Released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products. Unlike previous point releases, 20.04.6 is a refresh of the amd64 installer media after recent key revocations, re-enabling their usage on Secure Boot enabled systems.

      • Ubuntu FridgeThe Fridge: Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS Released

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products.

        Unlike previous point releases, 20.04.6 is a refresh of the amd64 installer media after recent key revocations, re-enabling their usage on Secure Boot enabled systems.

        Many other security updates for additional high-impact bug fixes are also included, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Base.

        To get Ubuntu 20.04.6

        In order to download Ubuntu 20.04.6, visit:


        Users of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will be offered an automatic upgrade to 20.04.6 via Update Manager. For further information about upgrading, see:


        As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

        We recommend that all users read the 20.04.6 release notes, which document caveats and workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:


        If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

        #ubuntu on irc.libera.chat

        Help Shape Ubuntu

        If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:


        About Ubuntu

        Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, clouds and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

        Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:


        More Information

        You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:


        To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:


        Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Mar 23 14:21:41 UTC 2023 by Graham Inggs, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

      • UbuntuSnapping out of Docker: a robotics guide for migrating Docker to Snap

        In this blog post, we are going to see when and how to migrate a ROS application currently deployed with Docker to Snap.


        • During the development and testing stage, the use of Docker containers is a good way to reproduce the application environment consistently, reducing the risk of unexpected behaviour. Just like Docker, you could do the same with other container technologies like LXD, reducing issues with missing dependencies or differences in system configurations.
        • When transitioning from development to deployment and maintenance, Docker’s limitations in the robotics field become apparent. Docker lacks dedicated high-level interfaces for accessing low-level hardware. It also lacks a robust update system and state transactionality. Docker containers are also not integrated in terms of network. All of these limitations require the user to implement workarounds that can be challenging, and expose our application to security issues.
    • Open Hardware/Modding

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Events

      • Fedora ProjectFedora Community Blog: Fedora at SoCal Linux Expo 20x

        The Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) returned to Pasadena, CA and Fedora came back as an exhibitor. It was a very successful year for Fedora: attendees voted us “Most Memorable Booth”!

      • foss-north – Just one month left

        As I blogged about earlier, life has been challenging the past months, but now things are getting back to normal. This means that some things are late, but also that I really want to do some things. foss-north is among these things.


        In one month, April 23-25, foss-north 2023 will take place at Chalmers Conference Centre, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Silicon AngleOracle’s MySQL HeatWave gets embedded machine learning capabilities
        Building on its growing momentum in the market for hybrid transactional/analytical database management systems, Oracle Corp. today added machine learning capabilities, new automation features and improved performance on the Amazon Web Services Inc. cloud to its MySQL HeatWave product.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • How your donations helped LibreOffice and TDF in 2022

        Donations to The Document Foundation help us to grow our community, run our infrastructure, organise events and share knowledge. And as a result, LibreOffice keeps on improving for all users! Many thanks to all of our supporters. Here’s a quick infographic showing how we used your donations in 2022: [...]

    • GNU Projects

      • GNUgrep @ Savannah: grep-3.10 released [stable]
         This is to announce grep-3.10, a stable release,
        fixing a bug with -P and \d. TL;DR, grep-3.9 would do this:
        $ LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8 grep -P '\d' <<< ٠١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩
        It should print nothing, like it has always done.
        For more detail, see https://lists.gnu.org/r/bug-grep/2023-03/msg00005.html
        Thanks to Paul Eggert for catching the \D variant and to Bruno Haible
        for assiduously tending gnulib and for testing grep on so many
        different systems.
        There have been 12 commits by 2 people in the 17 days since 3.9.
        Jim Meyering (8)
        Paul Eggert (4)
        [on behalf of the grep maintainers]
        Here is the GNU grep home page:
        or run this command from a git-cloned grep directory:
        git shortlog v3.9..v3.10
        https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.10.tar.gz (2.7MB)
        https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/grep/grep-3.10.tar.xz (1.7MB)
        7d3d830703183532f0b66619f0b148827e86eda7 grep-3.10.tar.gz
        3nsh2OM0jqZWnG/Vc06QoxFp72JCnqPc5Ipvwd2F0mA= grep-3.10.tar.gz
        b8413017681fcd6249e0d0fb9c78225944074f23 grep-3.10.tar.xz
        JO+ltZX7WnEAh5tRuIaKC7h6ccGD0CxMYCYzuIr2hVs= grep-3.10.tar.xz
        gpg --verify grep-3.10.tar.gz.sig
        pub rsa4096/0x7FD9FCCB000BEEEE 2010-06-14 [SCEA]
        Key fingerprint = 155D 3FC5 00C8 3448 6D1E EA67 7FD9 FCCB 000B EEEE
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <jim@meyering.net>
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@fb.com>
        uid [ unknown] Jim Meyering <meyering@gnu.org>
        gpg --locate-external-key jim@meyering.net
        gpg --recv-keys 7FD9FCCB000BEEEE
        wget -q -O- 'https://savannah.gnu.org/project/release-gpgkeys.php?group=grep&download=1' | gpg --import -
        gpg --keyring gnu-keyring.gpg --verify grep-3.10.tar.gz.sig
        Autoconf 2.72a.92-8db0
        Automake 1.16i
        Gnulib v0.1-5916-gf61570c0ef
        * Noteworthy changes in release 3.10 (2023-03-22) [stable]
        With -P, \d now matches only ASCII digits, regardless of PCRE
        options/modes. The changes in grep-3.9 to make \b and \w work
        properly had the undesirable side effect of making \d also match
        e.g., the Arabic digits: ٠١٢٣٤٥٦٧٨٩. With grep-3.9, -P '\d+'
        would match that ten-digit (20-byte) string. Now, to match such
        a digit, you would use \p{Nd}. Similarly, \D is now mapped to [^0-9].
        [bug introduced in grep 3.9]
    • Programming/Development

      • Didier StevensUpdate: oledump.py Version 0.0.73

        A small update to plugin_msi_info to provide extra info on streams. Indicator ! marks PE and CAB files. Indicator ? marks files that are not images (and are not marked with !). The idea is to first inspect streams marked with ! and ?.

      • KDABPimpl for Small Classes

        The familiar solution for thick value classes that want to preserve binary compatibility is to use the pimpl pattern (private implementation), also known as d-pointer (pointer to data). In future versions of our class, we can freely change the contents of the pimpl (i.e. adding, removing, and/or modifying data members) but the binary compatibility of the public class gets preserved.

        There’s a minor variation of the pimpl pattern that can enable some performance improvements by not allocating the private data in all cases. The idea is pretty simple: move (some of) the data members in the public class, while still keeping a d-pointer data member.

        This optimization makes a lot of sense, if the class that we’re pimpling does not hold a lot of state. In general, there are multiple reasons why one may want to conditionally allocate the private data: [...]

      • GNOMEChristian Hergert: libpeas-2

        Now that GNOME 44 is out the door, I took some time to do a bunch of the refactoring I’ve wanted in libpeas for quite some time. For those not in the know, libpeas is the plugin engine behind applications like Gedit and Builder.

        This does include an ABI break but libpeas-1.0 and libpeas-2 can be installed side-by-side.

        In particular, I wanted to remove a bunch of deprecated API that is well over a decade old. It wasn’t used for very long and causes libpeas to unnecessarily link against gobject-introspection-1.0.

        Additionally, there is no need for the libpeas-gtk library anymore. With GTK 4 came much more powerful list widgets. Combine that with radically different plugin UI designs, the “one stop plugin configuration widget” in libpeas-gtk just isn’t cutting it.

        Now that there is just the single library, using subdirectories in includes does not make sense. Just #include <libpeas.h> now.

  • Leftovers

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


Links 23/03/2023: RSS Guard 4.3.3 and OpenBSD Webzine

Posted in News Roundup at 9:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Liliputing Kubuntu Focus Xe Gen 2 is a 14 inch Linux laptop with Intel Alder Lake-P for $895 and up

        The Kubuntu Focus Xe Gen 2 is a thin and light notebook computer with a 14 inch full HD display, support for up to up to an Intel Core i7-1260P processor, up to 64GB of RAM, and PCIe 4 NVMe storage. It ships with the Kubuntu 22.04 LTS GNU/Linux distribution pre-installed.

        An upgrade over the original Focus Xe, which launched in 2021, the new model brings up to a 60-percent boost in multi-core performance while keeping the same $895 starting price as its predecessor. It’s available now from Kubuntu Focus website.

      • HowTo Geek The New Kubuntu XE Could Be the Linux Laptop for You

        There are more choices than ever for a great Linux laptop, especially from companies like System76 and Framework. Now, the Kubuntu Focus team wants to launch the definitive Linux laptop — with the new, second-gen Focus XE laptop.

        The Kubuntu Focus XE Gen 2 laptop has arrived, promising to deliver the best out-of-the-box Linux experience for users that don’t necessarily need what a dedicated GPU has to offer. By ditching things like a dedicated GPU, the Kubuntu Focus team said that it can sell a pretty affordable package all-in-all. We wouldn’t exactly call it affordable at $895, but at least its specs make up for it.

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNHeuristics for software-interrupt processing

        The kernel’s software-interrupt (“softirq”) mechanism was added prior to the 1.0 kernel release, but it implements a design seen in systems that were already old when Linux was born. For much of that time, softirqs have been an impediment to the kernel community’s scalability and response-time goals, but they have proved resistant to removal. A recent discussion on a proposed new heuristic to mitigate a softirq-related performance problem may have reinvigorated interest in doing something about this subsystem as a whole rather than just tweaking the parameters of how it operates.

        Hardware interrupts are generated when some component of the system needs the CPU’s attention to, for example, deal with a completed I/O operation. The processing of hardware interrupts is one of the highest-priority tasks in the kernel; an interrupt will preempt almost anything else that might be running, so the amount of work done in interrupt handlers must be kept to a minimum to avoid adversely affecting the rest of the system. The softirq mechanism was designed to allow hardware-interrupt handlers to set aside work to be done urgently — but not quite as urgently as hardware-interrupt processing.

      • LWNAn EEVDF CPU scheduler for Linux

        The kernel’s completely fair scheduler (CFS) has the job of managing the allocation of CPU time for most of the processes running on most Linux systems. CFS was merged for the 2.6.23 release in 2007 and has, with numerous ongoing tweaks, handled the job reasonably well ever since. CFS is not perfect, though, and there are some situations it does not handle as well as it should. The EEVDF scheduler, posted by Peter Zijlstra, offers the possibility of improving on CFS while reducing its dependence on often-fragile heuristics.

    • Applications

      • NeowinRSS Guard 4.3.3

        RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It’s free, it’s open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services – this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

      • LWNInterview: the FreeCAD Project Association

        The sustainability of free software continues to be mostly uncharted waters. No team is the same as any other, so copying, say, the Blender Foundation’s approach to governance will, most likely, not work for other projects. But there is value in understanding how various non-commercial organizations operate in order to make informed decisions for the governance of new ones. In late 2021, the FreeCAD team launched the FreeCAD Project Association (FPA) to handle the various assets that belong to this free 3D CAD project. In this interview, Yorik van Havre, a longtime FreeCAD developer — and current president of the Association — guides us through the process of starting and managing the FPA.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • FOSSLinuxThe guide to configuring PulseAudio in Linux Mint

        PulseAudio is a sound server used in many Linux distributions, including Linux Mint. It provides advanced features like network transparency, software mixing, and per-application volume controls. However, configuring PulseAudio can be challenging for new users. In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up and customizing PulseAudio in Linux Mint.

      • ZDNetHow to share folders across your network from Fedora Linux | ZDNET

        Fedora Linux makes it incredibly easy to share your Public folder, without having to install any third-party software or touch the command line.

      • BeebomHow to Shutdown Linux Using Command Line and GUI | Beebom

        For a fairly new Linux user, things can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. While the robustness and unlimited customizability options are attractive, performing basic tasks can be daunting, especially if you are unaware of the proper commands to use. For instance, you need to shut down your system, but as a new user, you are struggling to figure out the right commands to turn off your Linux computer. Though shutting down may seem like an easy task, if done incorrectly, can result in loss of data or worse – could end up corrupting your system. So, if you are a novice Linux user looking to avoid any mishaps, follow this guide to learn the safest methods to shutdown a Linux system, both through the command line and the graphical user interface (GUI).

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • LinuxiacProxmox VE 7.4 Comes with an Updated Virtualization Stack

      Proxmox VE (Virtual Environment) is an open-source server virtualization management platform. Based on Debian GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE supports a variety of virtualization technologies, including KVM and LXC Linux Containers. In addition, Proxmox VE also supports various storage types, including local storage, networked storage, and software-defined storage solutions.

      The platform is often used in data centers and other large-scale IT enterprise environments where server virtualization is critical for efficient resource utilization and management. However, due to its ease of use and flexibility, it is also suitable for smaller-scale deployments, such as home labs and small businesses.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • LWNZephyr: a modular OS for resource-constrained devices

      Writing applications for devices with a lot of resource constraints, such as a small amount of RAM or no memory-management unit (MMU), poses some challenges. Running a Linux distribution often isn’t an option on these devices, but there are operating systems that try to bridge the gap between running a Linux distribution and using bare-metal development. One of these is Zephyr, a real-time operating system (RTOS) launched by the Linux Foundation in 2016. LWN looked in on Zephyr at its four-year anniversary as well. Seven years after its announcement, Zephyr has made lots of progress and now has an active ecosystem surrounding it.

      Zephyr is an RTOS for connected, resource-constrained devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, Bluetooth trackers, heart rate monitors, smartwatches, and embedded controllers. A typical device running Zephyr has a microcontroller with a clock frequency below 100MHz, no MMU, 32KB to 256KB of static RAM, and 512KB or less of on-chip flash memory.

    • LWNRules as code for more responsive governance

      Using rules as code to help bridge the gaps between policy creation, its implementation, and its, often unintended, effects on people was the subject of a talk by Pia Andrews on the first day of the inaugural Everything Open conference in Melbourne, Australia. She has long been exploring the space of open government, and her talk was a report on what she and others have been working on over the last seven years. Everything Open is the successor to the long-running, well-regarded linux.conf.au (LCA); Andrews (then Pia Waugh) gave the opening keynote at LCA 2017 in Hobart, Tasmania, and helped organize the 2007 event in Sydney.

      Andrews said that she has a dream of a world where government policy is built in a way that is accountable, participatory, humane, adaptive, and accessible. Those who are affected by these policies should be able to easily understand, apply, and question them; policies should not be written in some ivory tower, but should be created in conjunction with those who must follow them. She dreams of policies that are based on human values, rather than only on what is good for the economy, since relying solely on the latter has not worked out so well, she said; “make what’s good for people and then the economy will follow”. Rather than just writing policy once and “throwing it out in the ether and hoping”, it should be iterated upon, so that even bad policy has a chance to become good based on looking at its actual impact on people. That description of her public-policy dream was met with a good bit of applause.

  • Leftovers

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • The day after a hard day’s work

        It’s been a particularly wet and windy winter here in northern California.

        My parents run a horse boarding operation and they’ve had close to 20 trees come down over the past few months. They’re both getting older now and things that they used to be able to do have gotten a lot harder, especially for my dad. They’re both still very mobile and capable, but they can only do physically intensive tasks for a few hours, with breaks. Before my job at the store, I was working there a few days a week to do what my parents either didn’t have time for or physically couldn’t do. In the first few weeks of January, before school started, any day I didn’t have work at the store, I was up there helping clear out the trees that had fallen. When school started up I had to cut it down to once a week, and then when my manager tacked on an additional shift, it was dropped down to just the afternoon on one day.

      • Relocating Gornate Forest to Burdock’s Valley

        OK, def do not read this post if you are playing in an Arden Vul campaign.

        It’s for DMs only.

        I found that the module The Forest of Gornate fits pretty well in Burdock’s Valley and it’s also for 1e. Hopefully a good mashup.

      • Re: Computer Addiction

        Edward Willis over at encw.xyz wrote recently* about computer
        addiction[1]. No earth-shattering revelations, especially for people
        who use gopher I think. But still worth reading and remembering.

    • Technical

      • Search Result Quality For Multiple Terms

        Marginalia’s search result quality has, for a long while, been pretty good as long as your search query is a single term, but for multiple search terms it’s been a bit hit-and-miss. Marginalia was never great at this, but the quality of results in this usage pattern has taken a bit of a dive recently due to a re-write of the index last fall.

        During The Grand Restructuring, the opportunity arose to isolate the code responsible for result ranking and expose it to some well-needed scrutiny. It turns out it was pretty broken.

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

Experiencing 15 Years of LibrePlanet Celebration Firsthand as a Volunteer: 2023 – Charting the Course

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 9:15 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by Marcia K Wilbur

LibrePlanet logo

Welcome from LibrePlanet 2023!

This year, LibrePlanet was hybrid with on-site and online options from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

It was a breezy and chilly weekend outside. The Boston St. Patty’s day parade was scheduled around the corner for Sunday. What a great time to be in Boston!

Although I wanted to be there earlier, 9ish was time for me to come in from being out in the cold, for the 15-year celebration — Free Software Foundation’s LibrePlanet.

Charting the Course was the theme. We were on board!

Event: Office party

My intention was to attend the office party early in the evening. However, I ended up on the wrong Franklin Street and was late. As I arrived, Craig was at the front and directed me to the refreshments and a contact, Illan, who would use me if there was a need.

Several people registered at the FSF offices for the conference starting the next day. The office party was a lot of mingling, talk about USENET, signal, privacy, makerspaces and much much more. The snacks were fresh and there was a variety of beverages including wine.

As the office party and evening came to a close, we were so entertained with lively conversation, we did not even realize the party was ending. I always recommend this party as a great meet and greet opportunity for free software enthusiasts. Again, this was a welcoming environment with no known issues. It was a great time!

Logistics and Venue

Parking was convenient and there was a driver with a cart to take you right to registration and the event!

The venue was comfortable and the event was welcoming!

Upon arrival at the convention center, a friendly security officer approached me, “Are you here for the tech event?”


He gave information about parking and the area. He mentioned the cart would be ready to take me up to the event. This was very pleasant.

The cart driver was very friendly and drove right up to registration.

There at registration, Craig greeted participants with a warm and welcoming smile. For this event, I was a volunteer at registration.

I was glad to be there.

Hallway Track

In between sessions and during lunch or just roaming around, we found ourselves in the hallway drinking coffee, discussing privacy, surveillance, Internet of things, AI/ML ethics, disaster recovery, and copyleft. Some discussions were about the state of healthcare, gaming and food!

The hallway track was a comfortable area to freely discuss interesting topics, share stories and meet peers.

Coffee was hot, always fresh and hot coffee was available throughout the entire event.

All required bill of materials were available: sugar, half and half, oat milk, milk, etc.

Bowls of fruit were lined up near the coffee station. The fruit was fresh and I appreciated the snack as my own snack, a yogurt from the hotel, burst in my sweater pocket during the journey!

There were areas to sit, eat, converse and work on your laptop.

GNU Press set up on the other side of Room 4. Past LibrePlanet swag as well as current swag was available. At any given time you could find people in legacy t-shirts (happy hacking) or FSF hoodies.

Oh, volunteers were given a free t-shirt – so we match. Let’s do this! The volunteer at the shop smiled and looked in a box for the tee. The shirt was wrapped with my name printed on the label. I thought, cool. Very organized.

Registration Desk

We sat and assisted participants, speakers and attendees. The process was efficient and smooth.

“Which color lanyard?”

Green = Yes, photos are ok
Yellow = Ask me first, please
Red = No pictures

I remember this from past LibrePlanet but for some reason, assisting attendees this time, I gained a deeper appreciation of the respect for each individual’s privacy consideration.

There were some familiar faces passing through registration, and a lot of new acquaintances to be made!


During volunteer training we went over the safe space policy. The language seemed much better than other codes of CONduct.

I saw no safety issues, I witnessed none and I felt not only safe there, but welcome!

We were prepared with protocols for any potential safety issues, but I was there for the Friday party, the Saturday event and Sunday morning with 0 issues.

Big Blue Button

We used bbb for presentations where the presenter spoke from a distance. This technology allows us to gain insight and information from all over the world. I attended the Libre Software in Africa and the JShelter presentation done in this manner.

A combination of IRC and IRL questions were taken during the Q and A portion. Again, this gave ample opportunity for free communication during this hybrid event.

Some Presentations

Opening Keynote

The keynote speaker on Saturday was Erin Rose Glass. She spoke about Education and the Future of Software Freedom.

Some of the topics discussed focused on data privacy, surveillance and education technology. She informed attendees about some of the darker truths to educational technology tools and companies. The presentation will be found here (soon).

The speaker understood the 4 freedom factors and applied these during the talk. Spoiler alert, she asked the audience to think about the pivoting moment leading to your decision to take the free software path.

The information discussed included remote proctors, turnitin tool used to check for copyright violations, and learning management tracking (SCORM and more).

Having worked in the field of education and with a focus in privacy matters, I found this keynote not only informative but also inspiring!

A practical demonstration of least authority services via free software

Sean O’Brien and Mikalai Birukou

This presentation about 3NWeb use cases including encrypted and storage is definitely worth watching for any privacy-minded individuals.

Life 0.01 – Free software for the end times

Kevin Shockey

Kevin Shockey has insight and traveled from Puerto Rico to discuss the “survival stack”. After Hurricane Maria his efforts are focused on food shortages, disaster survival and climate.


Libor Polčák

JShelter presentation used Big Blue Button. Libor Polčák discussed fingerprinting prevention, limitations of rich Web APIs, and browsers. JShelter fingerprinting report and other feedback can be used by future security research.

Libre Software in Africa

Benson Muite

Benson Muite discussed localization and the need great translation. There is a contest available here.

What I gained from this presentation was a potential need for documentation efforts further using po and .pot files or some other portable object.

There was much much more to be seen at the conference and the videos will soon be available here.

More Information

From the FSF…

Day 1: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/reporting-back-from-day-one-of-libreplanet-charting-the-course
Day 2: https://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/from-freedom-trail-to-free-boot-and-free-farms-charting-the-course-at-libreplanet-day-2

List of presentations: https://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/manual/html_node/PO-Files.html

Also: Experience the fifteen years of LibrePlanet celebration firsthand as a volunteer

Survey: https://my.fsf.org/node/59/


Overall, this event is in the top 5 conferences I ever attended and, they put me to work! I truly enjoyed the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere and sincerely hope the FSF will maintain charting the course in this direction!

I want to thank the staff, presenters, participants and volunteers for contributing to this event in providing an enjoyable experience!

See you next year!

“With a little perseverance you can get things done.”

Corey Hart

[Meme] Grabinski the Opportunity

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Opportunists from Germany, hijacking Europe’s legal system for patents under the auspices of “EU”

President Putin to Klaus Grabinski: Make me a court that always supports me

Summary: Reports of European Patents being invalidated (judges do not tolerate fake patents) have become so common that a kangaroo court becomes a matter of urgency for the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; will the EU and the EPO’s Administrative Council go along with it, helping to cover up more than a decade of profound corruption?

Union Syndicale Fédérale Cautions the EPO’s Administrative Council About Initiating an Illegal Kangaroo Court System for Patents (UPC) While EPO Breaks Laws and Sponsors the Ukraine Invasion

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC is Unacceptable and a Risk to the EU (for many reasons)

Video download link | md5sum 4742e57afe3feef00433b302d09ba6d1
USF Writes to AC and EU
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) is once again speaking out in support of the staff union of Europe’s second-largest institution, which lacks oversight and governance because of profound corruption and regulatory capture

Repeating a pattern of offences, utter disregard for the law, and routine violations of the law (turning diplomatic immunity into unbridled impunity), the EPO‘s management incurs the wrath of NGOs; the same group that berated Benoît Battistelli for his crimes is reporting António Campinos to the people who can hold him accountable but never will (he’s bribing them to be entirely complicit); this systemic breakdown or the collapse of the legal system (at least in the context of patents) merits far more media attention, but the media is connected to the same regimes and corporations that benefit financially from the corruption of the EPO.

[USF] Union Syndicale Fédérale on SUEPOThe video above goes through the latest relevant letter, dated 3 days ago. It also takes stock of this latest nonsense (warning: epo.org link) entitled “Digital transformation & Unitary Patent: users updated”. As we noted already in Daily Links, the EPO had once again promoted an illegal, unconstitutional ploy. The EPO is run by gangsters who sponsor Belarus and its war on Ukraine. The summary/outline says “Members of SACEPO Working Party on Rules discussed latest changes,” but SACEPO is industry, not people who are impartial.

Anyway, the letter discussed above was reproduced here by the staff union. Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF). To quote:

Union Syndicale Fédérale
Letter of support from the President of USF to Mr. Josef Kratochvil, Chair of the Administrative Council, regarding SUEPO’s open letter to the Administrative Council on the Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a.
Read the letter of support here
The German, French and Dutch translation of the letter of support will be available soon.

The USF page states: “The petition launched in October 2022 by Union syndicale in the European Patent Office (EPO) has met with no response. A petition to the Administrative Council of the EPO expressing the view that a Conference of the Ministers of the Contracting States provided by Art.4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) is now long overdue. Therefore, Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF) wishes to support and to join the SUEPO (Staff Union of the EPO) claim to convene a Conference of the Ministers of the Contracting States under Art.4a of the EPC. Read the letter of support from Nicolas Mavraganis, the President of USF to Mr. Josef Kratochvil, Chair of the Administrative Council, regarding SUEPO’s open letter to the Administrative Council on the Conference of Ministers of the Contracting States under Article 4a.”

Below we reproduce the letter itself (it’s just an image, produced by Microsoft Office without any text).

USF SUEPO letter

Investigation Underway: Sirius ‘Open Source’ Embezzled/Stole Money, Robbed Its Own Staff

Posted in Fraud, Free/Libre Software at 8:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 8e04ead83596e651305116cc77175bd0
Investigation Underway
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: In light of new developments and some progress in an investigation of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (for fraud!) we take stock of where things stand

IT hurts to know that a company which describes itself as Britain’s most respected “Open Source” company did this to us, but it did. Money laundering would be even worse, but we’re still looking into various allegations pertaining to privacy breaches, contract violations, and illegal contract-signing. To paraphrase the company’s own boss, “it doesn’t look good…”

“This series won’t end any time soon.”We recently learned some additional disturbing things. They will be published here at a later date. The video above focuses on what was published yesterday. It’s one thing for an “Open Source” company to go out of business. To end up collapsing under a weight of abuse and even crime would hurt the image of Free software, including in the eyes of the British public sector (many of our clients were not private companies). This series won’t end any time soon.

[Meme] Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensions: Schemes or Scams? Giving a Bad Name to Open Source…

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Such behaviour stains the brand “Open Source”

Who is responsible for demolishing the company? The CEO, his wife, and the PA.

Summary: What Sirius ‘Open Source’ did to its staff is rightly treated as a criminal matter; we know who the perpetrators are

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Under Investigation for Pension Fraud, Several Pension Providers Examine the Facts

Posted in Deception, Finance, Fraud, Free/Libre Software at 12:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Standard Life probe

Summary: 2 pension providers are looking into Sirius ‘Open Source’, a company that defrauded its own staff; stay tuned as there’s lots more to come. Is this good representation for “Open Source”? From a company that had many high-profile clients in the public sector?

THIS is taking a much longer time than initially estimated, but it has certainly progressed. The process is moving on. It’s typically like this when dealing with authorities. YMMV.

It is a very sad thing that regulatory agencies and even police are politicised to the point where one needs high-level (personal) connections, business links, bribes etc. in order to get things moving and for criminals to be actually held accountable, even prosecuted. Very sad. It should not be like this. In a functioning democratic society there’s no room for “yes, well, they committed a crime, but it’s not our problem and investigating this is ‘expensive’ to us…”

Anyway, the good news, in this particular case, is that not one but two pension providers are on the case. 2 pension providers that know Sirius. They wrote about and opened formal investigations (this week).

We’re pleased with this progress and here is some background:

  1. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension
  2. Sirius Finished
  3. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: An Introduction
  4. When the Pension Vanishes
  5. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate (Sirius Financial Crisis): Company May Have Squandered/Plundered the Pensions of Many People
  6. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: Pension Providers That Repeatedly Lie to the Clients and Don’t Respond to Messages
  7. NOW: Pensions Lies to Its Customers and Protects Abusers
  8. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: It’s Beginning to Look Like a Criminal Matter and Sirius is in Serious Trouble
  9. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: A Long Story Merits Many Videos
  10. An Update on Sirius ‘Open Source’ Pensiongate: It’s Looking Worse Than Ever

In additional to the letter above, which arrived 2 days ago (it is redacted sufficiently), I’ve also spoken to the manager of another pension provider (probably the third manager I’ve spoken to; some of them I spoke to 3 or 4 times over the telephone). Here is what he said some days ago:

NOW Pensions – Employer Issues

Hi Roy,

Thank you for your call today, apologies for the bad communication and service you have had from us regarding you concerns with your employer Sirius Corporation.

As discussed,.

– I will arrange for a letter to be sent to you and or email with assurances that your pension money is safe with Now Pensions
– I will alert the team that deals with your employer that the CEO is wanted for embezzlement and that he effectively scammed all his employers previously
– through a pension scheme with Standard Life
– they put on hold/review any financial requests from the company
– request what due diligence they do when acquiring employers to use NOW Pensions

Please feel free to add to the above list with any further assurances that you would like and call or email me.

Have a good evening

Yours sincerely

██████████ ███████████████

I had to remind him to make some progress, so I wrote: “Can I please have an update on this? I cannot stress strongly enough that this is a matter of great urgency, implicating many people, and we have already lost 2 months due to your slow response. Your delays have given time for fraudsters to adapt and curtail prosecution. We have evidence to prove this. ”

And again this week:

NOW Pensions – Employer Issues

Morning Roy,

I have raised your concerns directly with NOW Pensions (who deal with the employers) including your previous emails, and have chased them today, once I get the response, I will send onto you.

You did mention your wife’s NOW Pension too, due to data protection I would have to receive the request from her directly to investigate her record separately.

Yours sincerely

I politely responded as he should know we still expect some letters (promised to us in vain for several months; they kept lying about it):


Hers is covered in the call with ███████████████ made almost 2 months ago and recorded by you. Her case is more or less the same as mine.

Kind regards,

“The plot thickens,” a friend told me, and “as I suspected, looks like your ‘pension’ money was embezzled before it even got to your pension. If that’s the case you’ll see him in court.”

I was also in touch with other victims of this fraud. We’ll be covering that in the near future.

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