12.09.22

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 08, 2022

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:16 am by Needs Sunlight

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12.08.22

Links 08/12/2022: Deepin 20.8 and CERN, Fermilab Move to AlmaLinux

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Computing UKInterview: SoftIron, UK IT Industry Awards finalist

      Van Alstyne holds several system and methodology patents and is credited for the original publication outlining the procedure for utilising US Department of Defense smartcards on Linux.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • 9to5LinuxSystem76 Unveils the “Launch Heavy” Full-Size and Open-Source Configurable Keyboard

        Seven months after the release of the Launch keyboard and five months after the Launch Lite keyboard, System76 has prepared a nice Christmas present for all of us, the Launch Heavy keyboard, a new model that comes in full size and with new features.

        Apart from being a full-sized keyboard, the first of its generation, the Launch Heavy keyboard comes with 105 keys, including a function row, as well as additional extra keys, including the System76 logo, Pop!_OS logo, a rocket, and a robot as an alternative design for the Super key or another key of your choosing.

    • Server

      • Make Use Of3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Run Docker Without sudo

        Docker is one of the most used containerization platforms and is highly loved among software engineers. It comes with a powerful CLI tool for managing Docker containers and other related tasks.

        By default, you need root privileges to run any Docker-related commands on Linux. Of course, you can change this for convenience and run Docker commands without root privileges, but you should be aware of the security implications.

      • Istio / Support for Istio 1.14 ends on December 27th, 2022

        According to Istio’s support policy, minor releases like 1.14 are supported until six weeks after the N+2 minor release (1.16 in this case). Istio 1.16 was released on November 15th, and support for 1.14 will end on December 27th, 2022.

        At that point we will stop back-porting fixes for security issues and critical bugs to 1.14, so we encourage you to upgrade to the latest version of Istio (1.16). If you don’t do this you may put yourself in the position of having to do a major upgrade on a short timeframe to pick up a critical fix.

      • Upgrading to Oracle Linux Automation Manager 2.0

        Quick recording from Steen Schmidt that shows how to upgrade Oracle Linux Automation Manager to the latest 2.0 release.

      • IBM Old TimerIrving Wladawsky-Berger: Getting the Most Out of Cloud Investments

        Cloud emerged in the late 2000s as a new model of computing, – the third in the history of the IT industry after the mainframe-based centralized computing and the PC-based client-server models. The internet is the defining technology of the cloud model.

        Cloud has gone through three major stages over the past fifteen years. First came infrastructure-as-a-service, offering near unlimited scalability at very attractive prices. Then came software-as-a-service, offering a faster and less costly way of prototyping and deploying innovative applications with advanced tools like containers, Kubernetes, and microservices. Cloud computing has now entered the third stage, – a major engine of business transformation that’s helping companies adapt to the digitalization of the economy, – a digitalization which has significantly accelerated since the advent of Covid-19 in March of 2020.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • LWNYet another try at the BPF program allocator [LWN.net]

        The BPF subsystem, which allows code to be loaded into the kernel from user space and safely executed in the kernel context, is bound to create a number of challenges for the kernel as a whole. One might not think that allocating memory for BPF programs would be high on the list of problems, but life (and memory management) can be surprising. The attempts to do a better job of providing space for compiled BPF code have, to date, only been partially successful; now Song Liu is back with a new approach to finish the job.

      • LWNAverting excessive oopses [LWN.net]

        Even a single kernel oops is never a good thing; it is an indication that something has gone badly wrong in the system somewhere and a straightforward recovery is not possible. But it seems that oopsing a large number of times has the potential to be even worse. To head off problems that might result from repeated oopsing, there is currently work afoot to put an upper limit on the number of times that the kernel can be allowed to oops before just giving up and rebooting.

        An oops in the kernel is the equivalent of a crash in user space. It can come about for a number of reasons, including dereferencing a stray pointer, hardware problems, or a bug detected by checks within the kernel code itself. The normal response to an oops is to output a bunch of diagnostic information to the system log and kill the process that was running when the problem occurred.

        The system as a whole, however, will continue on after an oops if at all possible. Killing the system would deprive the users of the ability to save any outstanding work and can also make problems much harder to debug than they would otherwise be. So the kernel will do its best to continue executing even when something has clearly gone badly wrong. An immediate result of that design decision is that any given system can oops more than once. Indeed, for some types of problems, multiple oopses are common and may continue until somebody gets fed up and reboots the system.

        Jann Horn recently started to wonder whether perhaps the kernel should just give up and go into a panic (which will cause a reboot) if it oopses too many times. This could be a wise course of action in general; a kernel that is oopsing frequently is clearly not in a good condition and allowing it to continue could lead to problems like data corruption. But Horn had another concern: oopsing a system enough times might be a way to exploit security problems.

        An oops, almost by definition, will leave an operation halfway completed; there is usually no way to clean up everything that might need cleaning when something has gone wrong in an unexpected place. So an oops might cause locks to be left in a held state or might lead to the failure to decrement counters that have been incremented. Counters are a particular concern; if an oops causes a counter to not be properly decremented, oopsing repeatedly might well become a way to overflow that counter, creating an exploitable situation.

      • LWNRust in the 6.2 kernel [LWN.net]

        The merge window for the 6.1 release brought in basic support for writing kernel code in Rust — with an emphasis on “basic”. It is possible to create a “hello world” module for 6.1, but not much can be done beyond that. There is, however, a lot more Rust code for the kernel out there; it’s just waiting for its turn to be reviewed and merged into the mainline. Miguel Ojeda has now posted the next round of Rust patches, adding to the support infrastructure in the kernel.
        This 28-part patch series is focused on low-level support code, still without much in the way of abstractions for dealing with the rest of the kernel. There will be no shiny new drivers built on this base alone. But it does show another step toward the creation of a workable environment for the development of code in the Linux kernel.

        As an example of how stripped-down the initial Rust support is, consider that the kernel has eight different logging levels, from “debug” through “emergency”. There is a macro defined for each level to make printing simple; screaming about an imminent crash can be done with pr_emerg(), for example. The Rust code in 6.1 defines equivalent macros, but only two of them: pr_info!() and pr_emerg!(); the macros for the other log levels were left out. The first order of business for 6.2 appears to be to fill in the rest of the set, from pr_debug!() at one end through pr_alert!() at the other. There is also pr_cont!() for messages that are pieced together from multiple calls. This sample kernel module shows all of the print macros in action.

      • LWNLinux
        I'm announcing the release of the 6.0.12 kernel.
        
        
        All users of the 6.0 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        
        The updated 6.0.y git tree can be found at:
                git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-6.0.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        
        greg k-h
        
      • LWNLinux 5.15.82
      • LWNLinux 5.10.158
      • LWNLinux 5.4.226
      • LWNLinux 4.19.268
      • LWNLinux 4.14.301
      • LWNLinux 4.9.335
    • Graphics Stack

      • It’s FOSSApple Silicon GPU Driver is Now Available in Asahi Linux

        Asahi Linux aims to be a port of Linux for Apple Silicon Macs; work started on it back in 2020, right after the launch of Apple’s M1 chips at the WWDC event.

        A small team is behind all the development behind Asahi Linux and reverse engineering stuff; they have been quite busy since the last time we looked at their work.

        Previously, they worked on improving support for Apple SoCs such as the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max. They provided varying levels of support for devices that used these chips.

        It still is a work in progress, but promising results in 2022.

      • GamingOnLinuxIntel using DXVK (part of Steam Proton) for their Windows Arc GPU DX 9 drivers

        Intel recently announced a big driver update for their Arc GPUs on Windows, because their DirectX 9 performance wasn’t as good as it could have been. Turns out, they’re using code from the open source DXVK which is part of Steam Play Proton.

    • Applications

      • It’s FOSSConvert and Manipulate Images With ‘Converter’ GUI Tool in Linux

        Converter is an open-source graphical front-end that enables you to do that. It is a GTK4+libadwaita application.

        You can convert the images to various file formats that include png, webp, jpeg, heif, heic, and bmp. It is safe to say that you get support for the most popular image file formats. So, it should come in pretty handy.

      • It’s FOSSMastodon’s Adoption Gets a Boost With Vivaldi Browser Integration

        Vivaldi’s making an effort to have more users join Mastodon with its new update. That’s nice to see!

        Vivaldi browser is one of the best web browsers for Linux (Windows, macOS, and mobile platforms). I know it is not an open-source pick, but it gets all the lead with its tab management, customizability, and productivity features. And it treats me better than Firefox nowadays (Mozilla, we still need you to do better

      • OpenSource.comManage your file system from the Linux terminal

        I tend to enjoy lightweight applications. They’re good for low spec computers, for remote shells, for the impatient user (OK, I admit, that’s me), and for the systems we scrap together to fight the inevitable zombie apocalypse. In my search for a perfect blend of a lightweight application with all the modern conveniences we’ve learned from experience, I stumbled across a file manager called nnn. The nnn file manager exists in a terminal only, but it feels like a modern keyboard-driven application with intuitive actions and easy navigation.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 54: testing for the support of a selector

        Support for a CSS property isn’t the only thing you can check with @supports(), you can also check support for a selector.

        I knew you can check whether a property is supported by the current browser and apply styles accordingly.

      • Manuel MatuzovicDay 53: disabling pull-to-refresh

        On day 47, I introduced you to the overscroll-behavior property, and I showed you how to use it to disable scroll-chaining. There’s another feature we can disable using this property.

        In some mobile browsers, you can refresh the page by swiping down when the page is scrolled to the very top. That’s called pull-to-refresh. This is a great feature, but depending on what the user’s interacting with on the page, this can be undesirable.

      • University of TorontoMy story of using Linux libvirt/KVM to get an ad hoc remote desktop

        The other day, I was working from home and wanted to bisect Firefox versions with mozregression (in order to chase down my Firefox window to tab bug). This normally works okay, but this time around there were two intertwined problems with it. The first was that mozregression’s downloads were unusually slow, even for my home DSL link. The second is that having Firefox start up at random, delayed times is kind of disruptive to what else I was doing. The second factor is always there, but unpredictably slow downloads make it worse (when they’re fast enough, I don’t try to do anything else during a mozregression run).

      • Linux Shell TipsFixing “E: Unable to locate package” Error on Ubuntu

        The Linux command line environment has many functionalities. One of its primary roles is the installation and management of Linux software packages. There are several approaches to installing packages on Ubuntu Linux.

        One of them is via the apt package manager, which is used to install a Linux package and may or may not always yield results. Due to various to-be-explained reasons, package installation failure via apt may yield the error message E: Unable to locate the package.

      • Linux Shell TipsHow to Install Google Chrome on Ubuntu [GUI & Terminal]

        Google Chrome is arguably one of the most popular and widely used browsers across all computing platforms. It’s a fast, user-friendly, and intuitive browser that provides a vast array of features to provide a streamlined browsing experience.

        Unfortunately, Firefox is the default browser that ships with most graphical Linux distros. With that in mind, you need to go an extra step and practically install the Google Chrome browser on your distribution.

        This tutorial will teach you how to install Google Chrome on Ubuntu Linux. Basically, there are two main ways of installing Google Chrome on Ubuntu – Installing graphically and via the command line.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install Google Chrome on Rocky Linux 9 | Rocky Linux 8

        Rocky Linux users know that Firefox is, by default, installed on most Linux. This is no exception when it comes to Rocky Linux. However, as good as Firefox, desktop users may often prefer installing another web browser, in this case, Google Chrome which is still the most prominent used browser worldwide. With so many Google Chrome updates that are pushed as a result of being so popular, having the browser directly installed from the source instead of waiting for a maintainer from a third party to push it is better. Also, as a bonus, people who like testing edge software can install the beta or unstable repository builds using the same technique, with a bit of modification to the commands.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Google Chrome on Rocky Linux 9 or Rocky Linux 8 using the command line terminal and Google’s DNF repository for the latest version binary at all times. This ensures if an urgent update is required, you do need to wait for it to become live on a third-party repository.

      • Linux NightlyHow to Install Foobar2000 on Arch Linux – Manjaro – Linux Nightly

        Learn how to install Foobar2000 music player on Arch Linux and Manjaro using Wine, AUR, or Snap package manager.

      • How to Install Fish Shell (with Starship) in Linux

        The Fish is a modern (friendly interactive shell) program identical to its allies, like Bash and Zsh, but with sprinkles on top. What does that mean?

        You already know about the Bash shell (because it’s the default login shell for most Linux distros) and the Zsh shell (don’t know about it, check out our detailed guide article).

        Both shells are amazing, but one lacks a feature (referring to Bash) and the other requires manual configuration (referring to ZSH); taking advantage of that gap, Fish Shell arises.

      • How to Install Zsh (with Oh-My-Zsh) in Linux

        Bash is the default shell for most of the Linux distributions, but it is not the only one; there are other shell interpreters like ZSH (and Fish) that are available.

        Kali Linux and macOS Catalina were early adopters of ZSH as the default login shell, replacing the standard Bash (although Bash is available in this system as an alternative).

        But because Bash is the default on most Linux systems, people often forget about the Zsh shell. This is disgraceful, because once you try ZSH, you will never go back to Bash.

      • Linux NightlyHow to List Installed Packages With Pacman – Linux Nightly

        Learn how to list installed packages and dependencies with Pacman package manager. Also see how to count total number of installed packages.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow to analyze a Linux process’ memory map with pmap | Enable Sysadmin

        Use the pmap command to explore how a process is mapped in memory to monitor or troubleshoot memory usage.

      • LinuxConfigHow to go to root directory in Linux

        The root directory on a Linux system, which is represented by the / character, is the parent path to all files on the installation’s partition. All operating systems have a root directory. If you are familiar with Windows systems, they use the C:\ path as their root directory.

        You will see references to the root directory all of the time. Even when looking at the absolute path to a random file, such as /home/linuxconfig/example.txt, you can see the / at the very beginning of the file path, which indicates the root directory. From this path, we can also derive that home is directly inside of the root directory /.

        The term “root directory” can sometimes also be confused with the home directory for the root user account. This is typically located at /root, and resides one directory deep within the root directory /. The /root path is treated as any typical user’s home directory, and does not serve a similar purpose to that of the root directory /.

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to navigate to the root directory on a Linux system. This means both the top most directory in the file system, /, and the root user’s home directory /root. Read on to learn how.

      • InfoWorldHow to use the W command
      • Network WorldHow to use the TR command

        In this Linux tip, we’re going to look the tr command (translate) that is used to replace or remove characters in strings or files.

      • PC LinuxInkscape Tutorial: Stamp With The Spray Paint Tool

        I watched another tutorial recently by Rick at IronEcho Design. He has done several tutorials about making landscape scenes. In another tutorial, he shows us how to make “brushes” to use with the spray paint tool, and makes trees. Actually, the spray paint tool allows you to use any object you want as a brush. Since it’s close to the holidays, let’s make some trees. First, let’s look at the tool we’re going to use.

        If you open Inkscape and choose the spray paint tool, you’ll see that there are many settings. The first three on the left are the modes of the tool. You can set it so it paints copies, clones or paths.

      • Linux CapableHow to Install PHP 8.2 on Fedora 37/36/35

        PHP 8.2 has continued to build upon the renewed base set forth by PHP 8.0 and PHP 8.1 and was released on December 8, 2022, and introduced new features and improvements such as readonly classes, redact sensitive parameters in backtraces, allow constants in traits, fetch enum properties in const expressions, new mysqli_execute_query functions, and mysqli::execute_query method as much more.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to import the REMI PHP Module and install PHP 8.2 on Fedora 37/36/35 server or workstation desktop, along with some tips about configuring Nginx with FPM using the command line terminal.

    • Games

      • GamingOnLinuxUnciv the open source remake of Civilization V is heading to Steam

        Unciv is a popular open source remake inspired directly by Civilization V. It’s been around for a while now and it’s finally heading to Steam. Available cross-platform for Linux, Windows and Android it’s actually quite an impressive and expansive game that has been continuously upgraded for years.

      • Aurélien GâteauNovember 2022 monthly update, lots of releases!

        Pixel Wheels also got an article in issue 187 of Full Circle Magazine, an independent magazine about Ubuntu. Pretty happy about it!

      • HackadayRecreating The Sounds Of The ’90s With A YM3812 Synthesizer

        One reason the x86 PC became the dominant game platform in the early 1990s was the availability of affordable sound cards like the AdLib and Sound Blaster. These provided a quantum leap in sound quality compared to the PC speaker’s tinny beeps, thanks to Yamaha’s YM3812 chip, also known as OPL2. [Tyler] has made a detailed study of the various OPL series chips and wrote a comprehensive guide describing their operation.

      • GamingOnLinuxPolychromatic for managing Razer devices on Linux v0.8 out now

        Polychromatic, powered by OpenRazer, is a front-end UI for users to easily manage their Razer devices and a new release is out now with version 0.8.0.

      • TechdirtNintendo Shuts Down ‘Smash World Tour’ Over Licensing At The Last Possible Second

        It will come as no surprise to any regular reader here when I say that Nintendo is roughly the most annoyingly draconian protector of IP in the video game space. At this point, Techdirt posts discussing Nintendo’s copyright and trademark antics are legion. Notable among those posts for the purposes of this discussion are several online gaming tournaments that Nintendo has allowed to exist, often without a license, but which Nintendo has still been willing to shut down over the use of 3rd party tools that make it possible to stream older games on current hardware and over the internet better. Those shutdowns over the use of tools that have nothing to do with copyright infringement might seem ridiculous to you, but then you simply don’t know just how iron-fisted Nintendo likes to be when it comes to controlling anything that has to do with their products.

      • PC LinuxCrunch Time: The Dark Side Of Video Games1

        Have you ever wondered how many people sacrificed themselves so that you could defeat Bowser on your NES? Or Dr. Robotnik on your Sega Genesis? Well… You must be asking yourself: Sacrifice? What is this all about? Video games are just fun, where nobody gets hurt…

        I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but unfortunately, people get hurt in video games, and even die. Sadly, video games have a very dangerous dark side that few people talk about. I am referring to Crunch Time.

      • GamingOnLinuxProton 7.0-5 out now for Steam Deck & Linux desktop, 14 newly playable games

        Valve has finished the current Proton Next testing, with Proton 7.0-5 now available as an update in your Steam Library replacing the previous Proton 7 version. Here’s a run over what’s new.

      • GamingOnLinuxEVERSPACE 2 developer gets a 1.65 million Euro grant from the German federal parliament

        EVERSPACE 2 appears to be quite a success for ROCKFISH Games, not only is it doing well on Steam with a Very Positive rating in Early Access but they just got a big bonus from the German federal parliament. They’ve been given a grant of 1.65 Million Euro to help them expand the game.

      • GamingOnLinuxDwarf Fortress on Steam is a smash hit, devs confirm future plans (like Linux support)

        It was pretty much a given that Dwarf Fortress was going to be popular on Steam, but the smash hit it has become is quite a surprise on just how well it’s doing.

      • GamingOnLinuxEA open source Fonttik, helps devs check text size & contrast — plus patent pledges

        As part of their original initiative about sharing patent pledge to not go after others on accessibility, EA have recently released Fonttik as open source to help game developers. Available on GitHub under the BSD license, Fonttik is a way for developers to check text size & contrast to help with accessibility.

      • GamingOnLinuxVampire Survivors: Legacy of the Moonspell arrives December 15th

        Vampire Survivors: Legacy of the Moonspell is the first expansion for the absolutely ridiculous smash-hit horde game. It releases on December 15th with a whole bunch of extra content.

      • GamingOnLinuxGuitar Hero inspired free game Clone Hero version 1.0 is out now

        Games like Guitar Hero were once massively popular but developers seem to have moved on, thankfully there’s Clone Hero which is a free game based on the idea. Available cross-platform with support for Linux, macOS, Windows and Android. You can play it with any 5 or 6 fret guitar controller, any midi drum kit, any game controller and even your keyboard.

      • GamingOnLinuxHumble Choice for December includes Wasteland 3 and GreedFall and other deals

        A fresh month and a new Humble Choice Bundle for subscribers to grab some more games, here’s a run over what’s included and the compatibility for Linux desktop and Steam Deck.

      • GamingOnLinuxAssassin’s Creed Valhalla is impressive on Steam Deck

        Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has launched on Steam and that means getting it on Steam Deck and Linux desktop is much easier, since Valve have Proton. The experience on Steam Deck is surprisingly good too.

      • GamingOnLinuxHere’s how to fix Grounded from Obsidian on Steam Deck

        Grounded seems like a genuinely fun survival adventure, where you or you and friends can run around as miniturized people and survive against all kinds of critters. Out of the box on Steam Deck it’s completely broken, so here’s how to fully fix it.

      • OMG UbuntuCheck Out This Awesome Adwaita Theme for Steam Linux Client – OMG! Ubuntu!

        Are you an avid gamer who loves the look of GNOME’s Adwaita theme? If so, there’s now an unofficial Adwaita theme for the Steam games client.

        It’s called (no surprises) ‘Adwaita for Steam‘ and, by and large, it does exactly what you think it does: it makes Steam look (almost) like a regular GTK app. As Steam sports a dark appearance by default this third-party skin is also dark (fyi: are no plans to create a light version, sadly).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • The Register UKFresh version of Xfce revealed in recent Xubuntu builds • The Register

        Xfce is the slow-moving, sensible Linux desktop option, and new versions only appear every year or two. Version 4.18 is coming soon, and you can try it in the early test builds of Xubuntu 23.04.

        The next short-term release of Ubuntu will be 23.04, scheduled for April, and as the company’s official Twitter page hinted, it will be called “Lunar Lobster.”

        This release cycle, the desktop that may see the biggest changes is Xfce. Xfce 4.16 appeared in 2020, and the new version is nearly ready.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Testers Wanted: Plasma Browser Integration Manifest v3

          Over the past couple of days I ported Plasma Browser Integration to Manifest v3. While I believe it is working well, I need your help to give it a thorough real-world test! Here’s how you can help…

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Gear 22.12 Improves Dolphin, Gwenview, Kate, Kalendar, KDE Connect, and Many Apps

          KDE Gear 22.12 supersedes the KDE Gear 22.08 software suite and brings improvements to the Dolphin file manager with the ability to manage permissions remotely, a new feature called Selection Mode that makes it easier to quickly and easily select the files you want to work with, along with a new toolbar at the bottom of the view with various options of what you can do with the selected files.

          The Gwenview image viewer app received the ability to adjust the brightness, contrast, and gamma of images as you preview them and the ability to open .xcf files created with the GIMP image editor, the Kate and KWrite text editors now feature a welcome window that makes it easier to create new files or open existing ones, as well as a new Keyboard Macro tool that you can activate in Settings > Configure Kate… > Plugins.

        • KDEKDE Gear 22.12 is Here!

          KDE Gear is back with exciting new features, performance boosts, and bugfixes for all your favorite KDE apps!

          In this release: Kate extends a warm welcome, Dolphin offers you more choices, and a lot of apps serve up hamburgers galore!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Aryan Kaushik: GNOME Asia 2022 Experience

          During the summit I presented on two topics – Topic 1: “Starting the open-source journey, and sharing my GSoC experience” which was of 30 Minutes and Topic 2: “Pitivi – GTK4 port” which was of approx 5 min.

          The conference was filled with amazing experience, but the journey to the stage was quite hard.

          The tough times began with the unavailability of appointments for my passport, which delayed it to November, which got again delayed due to issues with address verification as I just started living in hostel.

          But, fortunately, due to the constant support of my family, and my undying dedication to attending the conference, we got everything under control, then comes the visa. In a pleasant surprise, unlike others I got it in under 2 hours, the thing I was most scared of got to be the easiest lol.

          Then what, with the help of the GNOME Foundation, I got my tickets confirmed (Thanks Melissa), and I got ready to fly, btw, this was my first ever flight, I never had the chance to even fly domestically, so exploring the airport, immigration, customs, the security check was all an adventure for me.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Reviews

      • DebugPointKumandar Linux: Lightweight Debian – Xfce Spin with Windows 7 Look

        A new Linux distribution Kumandar Linux is under development (Alpha stage), and it makes switching to Linux easier with a default Windows 7 look.

        [...]

        At first glance, it reminds you of the Windows 7 look, which is the default window manager GTK theme used here. Per the team, the drive to make this distro is to provide Linux users with a friendly user interface (which peaked in Windows 7 from Microsoft and went downhill after that). In addition to the look, it also promises a lightweight distro experience with Debian stable and Xfce desktop environment at the core.

    • New Releases

      • Deepin 20.8 is officially released! – Deepin Technology Community

        Deepin is the top Linux distribution from China, devoted to providing a beautiful, easy-to-use, safe, and reliable operating system for global users. (Global Ranking)

        In deepin 20.8, a new application “Deepin Home” is added, which breaks the “information barrier” between the deepin team and users, and will work on product quality, software and hardware ecology to better serve deepin users. What is more, we have upgraded Qt to version 5.15.6, updated the DTK development library, fixed the underlying vulnerabilities, and further improved system compatibility and security. Besides that, we have developed and integrated a great number of practical functions based on the community users’ feedback. Welcome to try it!

      • Beta Newsdeepin Linux 20.8 can replace Microsoft Windows 11 on your laptop or desktop

        Once of the most beautiful operating systems is a Linux distribution from China called deepin. If you are dissatisfied with Windows 11 or macOS, and you are intrigued by Linux, deepin can be a great choice — especially if you highly value beauty and well-designed user interfaces.

        The newest version of that operating system, deepin 20.8 is now ready to be downloaded. This version of deepin gets improvements to the loading times of Wine apps from the App Store, plus new features in the File Manager app. The most notable change in 20.8 is the inclusion of the all-new Deepin Home app.

        “In deepin 20.8, a new application ‘Deepin Home’ is added, which breaks the ‘information barrier’ between the deepin team and users, and will work on product quality, software and hardware ecology to better serve deepin users. What is more, we have upgraded Qt to version 5.15.6, updated the DTK development library, fixed the underlying vulnerabilities, and further improved system compatibility and security. Besides that, we have developed and integrated a great number of practical functions based on the community users’ feedback,” explains the deepin development team.

      • LinuxiacDeepin 20.8 Comes with a Brand-New Deepin Home App

        Deepin 20.8 is available for download powered by Linux kernel 5.15 LTS, bringing a new set of desktop features and improvements.

        Deepin is a Debian-based distro well-known among Linux users who value a visually appealing desktop. Aimed at the average computer user, Deepin sets itself apart from all others with the in-house developed DDE, one of the best-looking Linux desktop environments.

        The quest for the best possible user experience continues in the just-released Deepin 20.8. So let’s have a look at what has changed.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • PC LinuxRepo Review: Free Download Manager

        Free Download Manager is a popular download accelerator and organizer with many powerful features. It is available for most major platforms, and was recently added to the PCLinuxOS repositories. Some of its features include support for HTTP, BitTorrent, downloading videos, speed throttling, download scheduling, web browser integration, and more.

        It has a nice, clean and modern look to the interface, and is very easy to use. From the toolbar at the top, you can add new downloads, pause and resume current downloads, and delete or move finished downloads. Tags can be used to help organize your downloads, allowing you to sort them by their type, such as torrents, music, videos, or your own custom tags.

      • PC LinuxFrom The Chief Editor’s Desk…

        I had originally planned to have part three of my PDF article series ready for the December issue. But, influenza A had other ideas. The time I had set aside to write the third part of my article series was consumed by getting over influenza. So, the PDF article series will just have to resume with the January 2023 issue.

      • PC Linux[New PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
      • PC LinuxMeemaw’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
      • PC LinuxDavid’s 2022 Top 10 Holiday Gift Picks
      • PC LinuxPaul’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • OpenSUSEGLib, GTK, NetworkManager update in Tumbleweed

        The first six days of December have brought openSUSE Tumbleweed users six snapshots and developers plenty of conversation.

        More than 200 messages about changing parts of the rolling release’s microarchitecture have been posted this past week on the Factory mailing list, but during this time Tumbleweed keeps rolling forward updating packages like vim, mutt and more.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • The Register UKCERN, Fermilab select AlmaLinux as standard for big science • The Register

        AlmaLinux, a somewhat popular free Linux distribution derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), received a vote of confidence on Thursday from the European and American science communities.

        CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, based in Switzerland, and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), based in the US State of Illinois, said they will offer AlmaLinux as the standard Linux distribution for experiments at their facilities, based on discussions with researchers.

        “AlmaLinux has recently been gaining traction among the community due to its long life cycle for each major version, extended architecture support, rapid release cycle, upstream community contributions, and support for security advisory metadata,” the two research organizations said in a joint statement. “In testing, it has demonstrated to be perfectly compatible with the other rebuilds and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • GamingOnLinuxLinux Mint 21.1 now in Beta with full Flatpak support

        Linux Mint 21.1 is now available in Beta to get testing, based upon Ubuntu 22.04 with kernel 5.15 it’s a long-term support release so you’ll be able to continue using it until 2027 before needing a major update.

      • Ubuntu.NET for Ubuntu hosts and containers is now available on Arm-based platforms [Ed: Canonical is once again promoting Microsoft instead of Software Freedom]

        Canonical is proud to announce the addition of support for Arm® architecture to .NET for Ubuntu. Through this collaboration between Arm, Microsoft and Canonical, innovators worldwide can now enjoy the freedom of a best in class .NET experience on whatever platform best suits their needs.

      • UbuntuApplication migration: best practices for success

        Large enterprises usually have more than 1,000 systems running. Even smaller organisations may have hundreds of applications in their public cloud spaces or on their servers. In this world of IT systems, application migrations are common for the following reasons:

        In addition to these three general motivations, there is a growing repatriation trend. The public cloud provides the optimal environment for most systems but not for all. For some systems, private cloud hosting can be more cost-efficient. Bringing back or “repatriating” an IT system from the public cloud to the private cloud can save companies significant costs.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Stacey on IoTHow I secure my smart home devices and my home network

        This week we learned that Anker, the company behind the Eufy brand of connected devices, actively lied about serious security flaws in its smart home cameras. In the meantime, I spent the last few days immersed in discussions about privacy and cybersecurity.

        So I figured it’s probably a good time to explain what I do to protect my home network and how I think about the risks of using various connected devices in my day-to-day life. Feel free to take any of this for your own use, and to ask questions (or tell me about flaws in my thinking) at stacey at staceyhigginbotham dot com.

      • Linux Hint5 Ways to Put Raspberry Pi to Good Use

        If you own a Raspberry Pi 4 board and are looking for ways to put it to good use then we must tell you that there are so many good uses for Raspberry Pi boards. The Raspberry Pi board has numerous applications from DIY to full-fledged electronic projects. In this article, we have presented the 5 ways smart ways to use Raspberry Pi 4 in a good way.

      • Linux Hint10 Useful Networking Commands for Raspberry Pi Linux

        Network commands are used in Linux-based systems like Raspberry Pi OS to get network system information and troubleshoot network settings. There are four major network types in Raspberry Pi that are configured and include a DNS network, static IP address, Wi-Fi, and a gateway network. In the article below we have enlisted the 10 useful networking commands for Linux that are equally useful for Raspberry Pi.

      • Linux HintA Complete Guide to Setup DAKboard on Raspberry Pi through Browser

        DAKboard is a customizable dashboard that connects through WIFI and provides a customizable display for photos, calendar, news, weather and much more. You can organize this dashboard according to yourself. It works as a digital calendar and can easily be sync with iCloud Calendar, Google Calendar and more. It is beneficial when someone wants to use the device for digital signage, like creating beautiful and informative welcome boards, scheduling meetings by displaying the schedule on the board and more.

      • CNX SoftwareGowin R86S mini PC offers 2.5GbE and 10GbE networking for $310 and up – CNX Software

        Gowin R86S (aka GW-R86S) is an affordable Intel Celeron N5100 or Pentium N6005 Jasper Lake mini PC, router, and firewall appliance with 2.5GbE and 10GbE networking that sells for $310 and up on Aliexpress.

        10GbE used to be reserved for the enterprise market due to the cost of hardware, but costs have gone down a lot as illustrated by the Gowin R86S system with up to three 2.5GbE ports, two 10GbE SFP+ cages, as well as ports that you would typically find a mini PC such as HDMI 2.0 video output, M.2 socket for NVMe SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, and a WiFi module.

        [...]

        The system comes pre-loaded with OpenWrt, but the company also lists Linux, Windows, Ubuntu, Proxmox, CentOS, and pfSense operating systems.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Linux HintESP32 with PIR Motion Sensor using Interrupts and Timers – Arduino IDE

        ESP32 is an IoT based microcontroller board which can be used to interface, control and read different sensors. PIR or motion sensor is one of the devices we can interface with ESP32 to detect movement of an object in the range of motion sensor using ESP32.

        Before we start interfacing ESP32 with PIR sensor we must know how interrupts work and how to read and handle them in ESP32. Next we must understand the core concept of delay() and millis() function in ESP32 programming.

      • Linux HintESP32 – Bluetooth Classic vs Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

        Let’s discuss the use of Bluetooth technology inside ESP32.

      • Linux HintESP32 NTP Client-Server: Get Date and Time – Arduino IDE

        Working with ESP32 or any other microcontroller time is very important as the inbuilt timer is not that accurate so we can use a NTP server to fetch real time and can store it inside a variable that can be used later inside ESP32 code.

      • Linux HintESP32 Digital Inputs and Digital Outputs Using Arduino IDE

        ESP32 is a microcontroller board having multiple input output pins. ESP32 like Arduino can read and control both digital input and digital output. So here in this article we will cover how to control ESP32 output and how to read digital input from external peripherals.

      • Raspberry PiReflecting on what we teach in computing education and how we teach it

        Reflecting is important within any line of work, and computing education is no different. Reflective practice is always valuable, whether you support learners in a non-formal setting, such as a Code Club or CoderDojo, or in a more formal environment, such as a school or college. When you reflect, you might for example evaluate a session or lesson and make changes for next time, or consider whether to reorder activities and learning across a longer time period, or even think broadly about what you teach and how you teach it.

      • [Old] Nicole ExpressThe Apple II Yellowstone Floppy Interface

        The Apple ][ is the master work of engineer Steve Wozniak. But just as important as the Apple ][ was its disk drive system: the Disk ][. The genius of the Disk ][ comes from its decision to break with industry standards. At the time, most floppy disk drives were their own computer, and communicated with the PC over a standard bus like the parallel IEEE-488. But Wozniak reasoned that the Apple ][ had a perfectly good CPU right there, and if it controlled the floppy drive directly, it wouldn’t need to transfer the data over at all.

      • AdafruitM.2 Key M to mini PCIe adapter

        Tobias Schramm has a project is aimed at providing an option for fast, high reliability NVMe-based storage in devices that do not have any M.2 Key M but only mini PCIe slots.

        One example of such a device is the PCengines APU2, an AMD64 network platform with up to two PCIe-enabled miniPCIe slots.

      • AdafruitUSB NeXT Keyboard with an Arduino Micro

        Ladyada and pt had an old NeXT keyboard with a strong desire to get it running on a modern computer. These keyboards are durable, super clicky, and very satisfying to use! However, they are very old designs, specifically made for NeXT hardware, pre-ADB and pre-USB! That means you can’t just plug the keyboard into an ADB or PS/2 port or PS/2 to USB converter (even though it looks similar). In fact, I have no idea what the protocol or pinout is named, so we’ll just call it “non-ADB NeXT Keyboard”

      • ArduinoMonitoring environmental pollution with the Arduino MKR WAN 1300 | Arduino Blog

        The scourge of air pollution claims several million lives globally each year, with industrial processes and energy production accounting for much of it. Because of its harmful nature, governments often set up air quality monitoring stations, although they have to cover large areas and yield low resolution data. To monitor the air quality of a neighboring ecological reserve, Guillermo Perez Guillen created a small, portable toolkit that can record data from almost anywhere and send it to the cloud.

        Guillen’s system relies on two Arduino MKR WAN 1300 boards, which communicate with each other over the LoRaWAN long-range network, along with a Nano 33 IoT for sending the received data to a web API endpoint over WiFi. The transmitting MKR WAN 1300 is connected to a suite of sensors that measure temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. Then, at preset intervals, each sensor is read and the resulting measurements are sent to an awaiting receiver MKR WAN 1300 board.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • LWNMicroblogging with ActivityPub [LWN.net]

      As of late, concerns about the future of Twitter have caused many of its users to seek alternatives. Amid this upheaval, an open-source microblogging service called Mastodon has received a great deal of attention. Mastodon is not reliant on any single company or central authority to run its servers; anyone can run their own. Servers communicate with each other, allowing people on different servers to send each other messages and follow each other’s posts. Mastodon doesn’t just talk to itself, though; it can exchange messages with anything that speaks the ActivityPub protocol. There are many such implementations, so someone who wants to deploy their own microblogging service enjoys a variety of choices.

      ActivityPub is a W3C Recommendation that describes how servers can exchange messages in the form of JSON Activity Streams. The ActivityPub protocol is highly flexible and is used for all sorts of things, but the scope of this article is limited to software that uses it to provide a Twitter-like microblogging service. The idea of federated microblogging was pioneered by a project called StatusNet, which was the software that originally ran at identi.ca, an early Twitter alternative. Instances of StatusNet, and eventually other software, were federated with each other using a protocol called OStatus.

      ActivityPub and OStatus are not interoperable, but they have some parentage in common; Evan Prodromou, the creator of StatusNet, subsequently created pump.io and changed identi.ca to use it. Though development on pump.io seems to have stalled, its API formed the basis of ActivityPub. Some projects continue to support both protocols; Mastodon removed support for OStatus in 2019.

      All of the various servers running this software exist in a federation somewhat like email, colloquially known as “The Fediverse”; usernames are similar to Twitter handles, but also include a domain component that identifies the server hosting the account. For example, LWN has an account at @LWN@fosstodon.org; it is hosted on Fosstodon, which is a Mastodon server for people interested in free and open-source software.

    • Web Browsers/Web Servers

      • dwaves.de- Evil JavaScript embedded in SVG (Vector Graphic) allows for malicious NFTs to steal other NFTs #Argh | dwaves.de

        JavaScript screwed up …. AGAIN!

      • Sean ConnerNotes on configuring Apache mod_md

        I’ve been tweaking my Apache configuration for the past two days, trying to figure out what I need and don’t need, and these are just some notes I’ve collected on the process. I’m using mod_md for managing the secure certificates, and there isn’t much out on the Intarwebs about how a configuratin for a website should look like. I can find plenty of pages that basically regurgitates the Apache documentation for mod_md, but nothing on how it all goes together. So here’s an annotated version of a configuration for one of my less important sites: [...]

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

    • FSF

      • Free Software FoundationIDAD is coming soon: Stand with us in support of the freedom to share on December 16 | Defective by Design

        The sixteenth International Day Against DRM (IDAD) is next week, and all of us that contribute to the Defective by Design campaign are calling on you to help us send a message to purveyors of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) around the world, letting them know that DRM is unacceptable in any and all of its forms. This year’s Day Against DRM will be held next Friday, on December 16, 2022.

        In this year’s IDAD, we want to celebrate and call attention to an increasingly rare, almost magical ability that most forms of media used to have, and which all ethical digital media still does today: the ability to be shared with a friend.

        In our year-end fundraiser, we’ve been stressing the importance of sharing. Though sharing is the basis of human culture, the most staunch defenders of unjust copyright legislation would have you believe that every creative work is dropped wholesale out of the sky, without influence from anything that came before it. In 2022, monolithic mega-corporations would have you believe that these creative works should be “temporary,” something that “expires” after it’s seen once or twice under a restrictive license on restricting technology. (See, for example, section 3.a.ii of the Disney Plus Subscriber Agreement.)

        This year, let’s remind everyone that things didn’t use to be this way, but more importantly, that they don’t have to be this way. Just as DRM crept into our lives one choice at a time, it can be weeded out in the same way: with one conscious decision after another and support from a community of like-minded activists.

    • Programming/Development

      • PHP 8.2.0 Released!

        The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 8.2.0. This release marks the latest minor release of the PHP language.

      • LWNPHP 8.2.0 released

        Version 8.2.0 of the PHP language is out.

      • PHP: PHP 8.2.0 Release Announcement

        PHP 8.2 is a major update of the PHP language.It contains many new features, including readonly classes, null, false, and true as stand-alone types, deprecated dynamic properties, performance improvements and more.

      • Amos WengerDay 7 (Advent of Code 2022)

        Before we tackle any tree-like structures, let’s first write a nom parser for the input.

      • Frank DelporteHiveMQ Cloud, part 4 – Sending sensor data from Raspberry Pi Pico W to HiveMQ Cloud

        Exactly one year ago, in December 2021, I published three articles of MQTT messaging with Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi Pico and HiveMQ Cloud. On June 30th of 2022, Raspberry Pi released a new product, that is the subject of this post: the Pico W. Yes, a new version of the original Pico, but with Wi-Fi. The new board is for sale for 6$, compared to the 4$ of the original Pico.

        In this post, we will rework the third project of the posts from December last year, where data was sent to HiveMQ Cloud using a Pico, separate Wi-Fi module and distance sensor. We can simplify that project now by using the new Pico W, removing the need for that separate Wi-Fi module.

      • Daniel LemireFast midpoint between two integers without overflow

        Let us say that I ask you to find the number I am thinking about between -1000 and 1000, by repeatedly guessing a number. With each guess, I tell you whether your guess is correct, smaller or larger than my number. A binary search algorithm tries to find a value in an interval by repeating finding the midpoint, using smaller and smaller intervals. You might start with 0, then use either -500 or 500 and so forth.

      • HackadayThe 10 Kinds Of Programmers That Use Calcutron-33

        It is interesting how, if you observe long enough, things tend to be cyclical. Back in the old days, some computers didn’t use binary, they used decimal. This was especially true of made up educational computers like TUTAC or CARDIAC, but there was real decimal hardware out there, too. Then everyone decided that binary made much more sense and now it’s very hard to find a computer that doesn’t use it.

      • Stacey on IoTAre you ready for new smart home device triggers?

        The ability to use one device’s information as a trigger event for one or more other devices to change state is what I’d consider the next step forward for the smart home. It may not sound like a huge step, but it’s an important one. And as devices from different brands begin to communicate with one another through the new Matter standard, consumers will be able to get more value from the hardware and devices they buy or already own.

      • Terence EdenEverything is simple, until you’re an expert

        As an outsider, it is probably functionally impossible to accurately criticise the way any complex system works. It’s possible to criticise the outcomes. Or the impact. Or the the way it makes you feel. But I don’t think non-experts can meaningfully diagnose complex, multidisciplinary, or systemic issues.

      • Nicholas Tietz-SokolskyBuilding Molecule Reader in one day

        Reading on screens is very difficult for me. I just cannot focus on the articles, especially when there are notifications coming in or even just other content on the screen1. I have a reMarkable tablet (RM), which I love dearly2 and much prefer to read on. But it’s annoying getting articles onto it.

        To put a blog post onto my RM, I copy the link from Firefox (my usual browser), open Chromium, load the page, and print it with the “Read on reMarkable” printer (which is only for Chrome-based browsers). And when I have five or ten articles I want to read, I have to repeat this for each one manually. Ouch.It’s also annoying how the articles end up. I’d like to have them all tidy in one folder where I can read them, or even in one continuous document. If I send each one individually, they just litter the home screen (since you can’t print to a specific folder) and displace other things I’m reading.

        I decided to solve this by writing a web app to bundle up my reading and send it to my RM!

      • ButtondownMaking ChatGPT Useful

        Now I don’t know about you, but everybody I know in tech is talking about the new “GPT-3.5” (https://chat.openai.com/). Give it a prompt and it generates text that matches that prompt. And if that prompt is a request for code, the code it generates can be surprisingly accurate. So far it’s solved several days of advent of code, passed the 2022 AP CS A test, and mimicked a virtual machine. It can even take a code snippet and inject a bug, and then explain what the bug is!

      • OpenSource.com7 pro tips for using the GDB step command

        A debugger is software that runs your code and examines any problems it finds. GNU Debugger (GBD) is one of the most popular debuggers, and in this article, I examine GDB’s step command and related commands for several common use cases. Step is a widely used command but there are a few lesser known things about it which might be confusing. Also, there are ways to step into a function without actually using the step command itself such as using the less known advance command.

        Troubleshoot your code with the GNU Debugger. Download the cheat sheet.

      • OpenSource.comOur favorite markup languages for documentation

        Documentation is important for so many reasons. Readable documentation is even more so. In the world of open source software, documentation is how to use or contribute to an application. It’s like the rulebook for a game.

        There are many different types of documentation:

        We asked some of the Opensource.com contributors about their technical documentation workflow, which markup language they preferred, and why they might use one over the other. Here’s what they had to say.

        Markdown standards are as diverse as they are popular. This cheat sheet provides you with a solid baseline of common commands along with some of the most fun, and unique…

      • Python

        • Louis-Philippe Véronneau – Debian Python Team 2022 Sprint Report

          This is the report for the Debian Python Team remote sprint that took place on December 2-3-4 2022.

        • LWNPython and hashing None [LWN.net]

          The recent discussion of a proposed change to the Python language—the usual fare on the language’s Ideas forum—was interesting, somewhat less for the actual feature under discussion than for the other issues raised. The change itself is a minor, convenience feature that would provide a reproducible iteration order for certain kinds of sets between separate invocations of the interpreter. That is a pretty limited use case, and one that could perhaps be fulfilled in other ways, but the discussion also highlighted some potentially worrying trends in the way that feature ideas are handled in the Python community.

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • HackadayA Wheatstone Bridge Matches Your Pots

      Sometimes the simplest hacks can be the most useful or ingenious, and such is the case with [Keri Szafir]’s method of ensuring that potentiometers used in audio devices are matched. If you consider a typical stereo amplifier for a moment, you’ll see two amplifiers in one box with a single volume control. Two channels, one knob? Volume knobs are ganged stereo potentiometers.

    • The NationPalestine: The Unexpected Star of the 2022 World Cup

      When Morocco defeated Spain in a penalty shootout, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 men’s World Cup, players celebrated by posing for their victory photos with a Palestinian flag. This World Cup featured memorable performances on the pitch—and powerful statements of solidarity with the Palestinian cause off it.

    • The NationThe Myth of the Knicks

      The Miami Heat are the hardest-working team in today’s NBA. If you pay attention to the league, you will consistently hear this message. It’s an identity sold by the team, its players, and the media in and outside of Miami. The organization gets the best out of its players because of a militaristic approach to conditioning and a team-first attitude and tireless work ethic. This is “Heat Culture.” It’s not for everyone, only those willing to put in the work.

    • The NationThe Political Story of Charles Barkley

      This week we speak to Tim Bella author of the new “definitive” biography of hoopster and Hall of Fame talker Charles Barkley. We talk to Bell about how Barkley’s upbringing and experiences shaped Chuck into the person that we see every week on our TV sets.

    • Science

      • HackadayLove AI, But Don’t Love It Too Much

        The up-and-coming Wonder of the World in software and  information circles, and particularly in those circles who talk about them, is AI. Give a magic machine a lot of stuff, ask it a question, and it will give you a meaningful and useful answer. It will create art, write books, compose music, and generally Change The World As We Know It. All this is genuinely impressive stuff, as anyone who has played with DALL-E will tell you. But it’s important to think about what the technology can and can’t do that’s new so as to not become caught up in the hype, and in doing that I’m immediately drawn to a previous career of mine.

      • HackadayTransparent Metal (Hydroxide) Without Mr. Scott

        There’s a famous scene in one of the Star Trek movies where Scotty, who has traveled to the past, teaches a metal company to create the transparent aluminum he needs to bring some whales back to the future. But [The Action Lab] shows that we already have see-through metal, just not aluminum. You can see a video about why metals are normally opaque.

      • HackadayMicroscopic Metal 3D Printing With Gels

        Everyone wants to 3D print with metals, but it is a difficult task. You need high temperatures and metals with high thermal conductivity make the problem even worse. Researchers at Caltech have a way of printing tiny metal structures. The trick? They don’t print metals at all. Instead, they 3D print a hydrogel and then use it as a scaffold to form metallic structures. You can read the full paper, if you are interested in the details.

      • TechdirtDebate Continues Over What To Do About The Fact That Starlink, Other Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite Systems Are Causing Irreversible, Research-Harming Light Pollution

        For years, scientific researchers have warned that Elon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband constellations are harming scientific research. Simply put, the light pollution Musk claimed would never happen in the first place is making it far more difficult to study the night sky, a problem researchers say can be mitigated somewhat but never fully eliminated.

    • Education

      • SparkFun ElectronicsHappy Computer Science Education Week!

        Happy Computer Science Education Week, everyone!

        The field of computer science has changed a lot over the past century or so (and even further back than that), and every new generation gets to learn about it in a different way. My dad studied computer science in college back in the 80s, and he loves telling stories about the punchcards they had to use to communicate with the computer – especially the one where his classmate dropped a box containing the ordered cards for a completed project down a flight of stairs. Trial and error was a time investment, and you had to make one entire statement for one machine instruction. The value in computers wasn’t that they were smart – they weren’t. But they were fast. As long as you told it exactly what to do, it’s computational speed made it worth all the fuss.

      • Project CensoredRural Area Students Face Barriers to Higher Education – Validated Independent News

        Many rural schools face a “dire shortage” of teachers. At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, for example, the state of Colorado had 380 openings for educators in its public schools serving rural communities, and more than half of these remained unfilled by the end of the school year, Dobo reported. Consequently, schools had no choice but to hire staff that had not received proper training to become school teachers, especially in specialized courses.

      • Project CensoredThe Need for Black Male Teachers in Public Education – Validated Independent News

        Nevertheless, Bose reported, a variety of social factors have been driving “teachers of all demographic backgrounds” out of the field, including low wages, increased public scrutiny, micromanagement, and other issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black male teachers and teachers from other underrepresented groups have been particularly impacted.

      • Project CensoredThe Metaverse is Not Virtual Reality for Education – Validated Independent News

        Distinguishing between the metaverse and virtual reality, Glenn Platt, a professor of emerging technology at Ohio’s Miami University, told the Hechinger Report that the metaverse is focused on the creation of digital identities: In a true metaverse experience, digital identity persists across the physical and virtual worlds. But, Platt noted, adopting metaverse technology could aggravate the already existing “digital divide,” a term used to explain the consequences of unequal access to digital technologies. “I know it’s shiny, and I know it’s really exciting. But I think we would all be better served if we could think about creating these types of experiences for the technology that the students have in hand right now,” Platt stated.

      • Counter PunchAgainst the Corporate University: Speech to Striking Students at McMaster

        Your struggle today, along with ongoing struggles for a wide range of democratic rights–extending from justice for Indigenous and trans people to the struggle for students, workers, women, and others–speaks to a future of possibility that refuses to be contained in the shackles of the present. Your demands for a meaningful wage increase, relief from higher tuition increases, and guaranteed access to TA work in Year 5 testify to your willingness to fight for labor conditions and a work environment that do justice to your sense of dignity,  professionalism, and your willingness to stand firm against a university whose model of governance refuses to take seriously how education and democracy inform each other. I mention dignity, because it is hard to believe that this administration does not recognize the hardship imposed on TAs whose wages have barely kept up with inflation, especially when combined with the extreme cost of housing. Such policies steal your time and crush your spirits. This is more than an act of imperious disregard; it is an act of moral and social irresponsibility.

        My argument today is not restricted to McMaster University, but to higher education more broadly, especially in North America. Your strike cannot be separated from wider struggles over the university as site of critical teaching and learning, a site that embodies a vision of social justice, and a vision that refuses to turn the university into an adjunct of corporate ideology and values. The university is more than a market; it is more than a space in which the only interactions that matter are based on a commercial exchanges, and it is more than a site in which higher education is harnessed to the demands of the warfare state, fossil fuel industries, and the needs of corporations. You have refused a corporate-based ideology that defines you as commodities, a casual labor force, and consumers. Your vision is much larger than this repressive view of higher education. Your struggle is fundamental to the success of the university as a public good and its potential role as an invaluable resource for defining itself as a critical institution in the service of civic society, civic courage, social responsibility, and democracy itself. Your refusal to give up brings to life an image of the university as a site of critique, academic freedom, and social justice, while making clear that it has a noble civic purpose that rejects a corporate model that often confuses education with a form of training and sterile management methods.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Artificially Intelligent Chatbots Will Not Replace Teachers

        Education pundits are a lot like the guy in the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme.

    • Hardware

      • Linux GizmosMini-PC features Tiger Lake processors and up to 6x 2.5GbE LAN ports

        The HUNSN RJ17 is a fanless mini-PC which supports the i7-1165G7 11th Gen Intel processor. The device is offered as barebone or it can be configured with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage.

      • Jeff Geerling1 Million Watts of RF – how the FM Supertower works

        But in this blog post, I’ll guide you through some of the highlights, and maybe you’ll learn a bit more about how talk and music radio makes its way to your car speakers—at least here in the US—using a technology less than 100 years old and rife with technological change.

      • Make Tech EasierUEFI vs. BIOS: Which One You Should Use – Make Tech Easier

        At their cores, UEFI and BIOS are two firmware interfaces for computers. The sole purpose behind them is to act as interpreters between the operating system and the computer firmware. Both are used at startup to initialize the hardware components and load the operating system onto the hard drive.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • NPRMaryland is the latest state to ban TikTok in government agencies

        The Republican governor announced an emergency cybersecurity directive to prohibit the platforms’ use, saying they could be involved in cyberespionage, government surveillance and inappropriate collection of sensitive personal information.

        “There may be no greater threat to our personal safety and our national security than the cyber vulnerabilities that support our daily lives,” Hogan said in a statement, adding: “To further protect our systems, we are issuing this emergency directive against foreign actors and organizations that seek to weaken and divide us.”

      • The NationIs Eric Adams Bringing Back the Asylum?

        Last Tuesday, New York Mayor Eric Adams announced an immediate expansion of an involuntary hospitalization policy in the city, alongside a harrowing legislative proposal aimed at peeling back many of the few legal and administrative barriers that prevent involuntary psychiatric commitments. In his administration’s announcement, the plan is billed as a “compassionate new vision” to address mental illness, invoking a “moral mandate” to “deliver for our most vulnerable.”

      • Crank fight! “Reasonable” cranks vs Died Suddenly

        Two weeks ago, I wrote a not-so-Respectfully Insolent review in my own inimitable fashion of a video entitled Died Suddenly. As you might recall, this 68-minute pseudodocumentary went viral, positing a conspiracy theory in which COVID-19 vaccines are supposedly causing young healthy people to “die suddenly.” The cause as claimed in the film is massive clots caused by the spike protein produced by the mRNA vaccines, and the “evidence”—such as it was—includes anecdotes by embalmers relating how supposedly they’ve been finding more and more clots in bodies that they have been embalming. Chief among these is an embalmer named Richard Hirschman, whom we’ve met before feeding clots to Mike Adams to incompetently analyze by mass spectrometry and determine that they are not clots but rather “self-assembling nanostructures.” More recently, an experienced embalmer named Benjamin Schmidt subjected himself to the movie, and his take on Hirschman’s claims that the clots he was finding in bodies was not positive. To boil it down, Schmidt points out that (1) the clots shown in the movie are nothing unusual (in fact, they’re normal); (2) there’s no evidence presented that embalmers are finding more clots in the recently deceased; and (3) Richard Hirschman is a talented embalmer but an utterly incompetent scientist, given how easily he’s taken in by confirmation bias, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.

      • Pro PublicaDo Blocked Railroad Crossings Endanger Your Community? Tell Us More.

        In communities across America, trains come to a stop at railroad crossings, sometimes blocking traffic for hours. The federal government has amassed tens of thousands of reports of such incidents in the past year alone from nearly every state.

        This is more than an inconvenience: Our reporters have heard from emergency medical workers and patients about trains blocking crossings in ways that have kept ambulances and those in need of assistance from hospitals, and members of fire and police departments have told us about delayed responses to calls. We have witnessed people climbing through or over the cars of stationary trains, including students trying to get to school.

      • Pro PublicaWorkers at Olin’s McIntosh Alabama Plant Recall Asbestos Exposure

        When LaTunja Caster started working at the Olin Corp. chemical plant outside of McIntosh, Alabama, she had no idea that asbestos was used in the production process. But when she became a union safety representative around 2007, she started to pay attention. In certain parts of the plant, “you would see it all the time,” she said. “You definitely breathed it in.”

      • MeduzaMoscow calls new UN data on Russian HIV infection rates ‘propaganda’ — Meduza

        Russia’s Health Ministry has denied the accuracy of new data from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) that lists Russia among the five countries in the world with the highest HIV infection rates.

      • Counter PunchWhen Global Leaders Won’t Save Our Food System, Cities Must Take the Lead

        Amidst the lackluster headlines spanning these events, though, Guterres—whose own agencies have warned of industrial animal agriculture’s climate perils for more than 15 years—issued a more grassroots plea.

        Speaking to the leaders of the C40 cities who gathered last month at a climate summit of their own, he declared, “With more than half of the world’s population, cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost.”

    • Proprietary

      • LinuxiacCygwin 3.4.0 Is Here as the Last Release Supporting Windows 7 and 8 [Ed: In 2022 people would be far better off using something like VirtualBox with a GNU/Linux distro]

        Cygwin, a Linux-like environment for Windows, released version 3.4.0, comes with full ASLR enabled by default.

        Cygwin is a well-known tool among computer users who, in the recent past, have been looking for a way to run Linux emulation on Windows. But, of course, we’re talking about days when Windows and Linux were on opposite sides of the fence, and concepts like Windows Subsystem for Linux seemed more like a script for a science-fiction movie.

        Let’s explain in a few words what Cygwin is. It is a set of open-source tools that enable Linux applications to be compiled and executed on a Microsoft Windows from a Linux-like command line interface. The tool was developed by Cygnus Solutions, which Red Hat later acquired.

      • Yahoo NewsMicrosoft could face its first antitrust fight in years over ‘Call of Duty’

        Microsoft fired its opening salvo in what could be a major confrontation with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the tech giant’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. On Monday, Microsoft President Brad Smith penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal saying that the deal would benefit gamers and developers by making Microsoft more competitive with rival Sony.

      • Bleeping ComputerMicrosoft: November updates break ODBC database connections

        Microsoft is working to address a new known issue affecting apps using ODBC database connections after installing the November 2022 Patch Tuesday Windows updates.

        According to Redmond, affected apps might fail to connect to databases via connections using the Microsoft ODBC SQL Server driver.

        “After installing this update, apps that use ODBC connections through Microsoft ODBC SQL Server Driver (sqlsrv32.dll) to access databases might not connect,” Microsoft explains.

      • ABCCyberattack on top Indian hospital highlights security risk [iophk: Windows TCO]

        More than 173,000 hospitals have registered with a federal program to digitize health records since its launch in September 2021. The program assigns patients numbers that are linked to medical information stored by hospitals on their own servers or in cloud-based storage. Experts fear that hospitals may not have the expertise to ensure digital security.

      • Matt RickardGoogle Takeout and Data Portability

        Google Takeout has been around for a decade. It’s a feature that allows you to export your entire Google data history in a series of zip files. Google search history, Google Docs, Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Wallet, Voice, and many other Google products are included in the data export. Other companies like Meta have similar services.

        However, nobody really uses these data export tools. There are no competing products that make use of this data. Other than a few curious downloaders or some tin-foil programmers who want to keep backups of their data, it seems more like a failed exercise in data portability.

    • Security

      • TechdirtAnker Tries To Bullshit The Verge About Security Problems In Its Eufy ‘Smart’ Camera

        Anker, the popular maker of device chargers and the Eufy smart camera line, proudly proclaims on its website that user data will be stored locally, “never leaves the safety of your home,” footage only gets transmitted with “end-to-end” military-grade encryption, and that the company will only send that footage “straight to your phone.”

      • PC LinuxShort Topix: If Your Password Is Listed, CHANGE IT NOW!

        The team behind NordPass, the same people behind NordVPN, have released their 2022 list of the 200 most common passwords. Many of these notoriously WEAK passwords can be hacked in less than one second.

        The number one most common (and exceptionally weak) password is … drum roll … password. Perennial favorites like “123456789″ or “7654321″ or “1234554321″ are also on the list, and are all capable of being guessed by a hacker in under one second.

        We’ve run password security articles so many times during my 13.5 years tenure as the editor of The PCLinuxOS Magazine that I’ve actually lost count. I’ve attempted to go through past issues several times to count the number of times we’ve run password security articles, but I keep coming up with a different number every time. Your mileage may vary.

        But, there are common and recurring themes. To better protect your private, personally identifiable information, adhere to these basic security rules that follow.

      • Help Net SecurityIntroducing the book: The Security Analyst’s Guide to Suricata – Help Net Security

        In this Help Net Security video interview, Eric Leblond, CTO at Stamus Networks, talks about The Security Analyst’s Guide to Suricata, a book he co-wrote with Peter Manev.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (dlt-daemon, jqueryui, and virglrenderer), Fedora (firefox, vim, and woff), Oracle (kernel and nodejs:18), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and redhat-ds:11), Slackware (python3), SUSE (buildah, matio, and osc), and Ubuntu (heimdal and postgresql-9.5).

      • CISACISA Releases Three Industrial Control Advisories | CISA

        CISA has released three (3) Industrial Control Systems (ICS) advisories on 08 December 2022. These advisories provide timely information about current security issues, vulnerabilities, and exploits surrounding ICS.

      • CISACISA Releases Phishing Infographic | CISA

        Today, CISA published a Phishing Infographic to help protect both organizations and individuals from successful phishing operations. This infographic provides a visual summary of how threat actors execute successful phishing operations. Details include metrics that compare the likelihood of certain types of “bait” and how commonly each bait type succeeds in tricking the targeted individual. The infographic also provides detailed actions organizations and individuals can take to prevent successful phishing operations—from blocking phishing attempts to teaching individuals how to report successful phishing operations.

      • Bruce SchneierLeaked Signing Keys Are Being Used to Sign Malware – Schneier on Security

        A bunch of Android OEM signing keys have been leaked or stolen, and they are actively being used to sign malware.

        [...]

        This is a huge problem. The whole system of authentication rests on the assumption that signing keys are kept secret by the legitimate signers. Once that assumption is broken, all bets are off…

      • Ars TechnicaSamsung’s Android app-signing key has leaked, is being used to sign malware
      • Fear, Uncertainty,
        Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

        • ForbesSecurity Expert Warns ‘Update Google Chrome Now’ As CISA 0Day Deadline Revealed [Ed: Microsoft media operative Davey Winder looking to distract from tons of CISA warnings about Windows?]

          Google has confirmed yet another zero-day vulnerability impacting the Chrome web browser client, the ninth this year. In a posting to the official Chrome releases blog, Google states that users of Chrome on the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms as well as Android, are impacted by the high-severity CVE-2022-4262 0day security vulnerability. An urgent update has started rolling out across all platforms, and Google is withholding the technical details of the zero-day until a majority of Chrome users have updated.

      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • NPRTwo women who allege they were stalked and harassed using AirTags are suing Apple

          Two women are suing Apple over its AirTags, claiming the trackers made it easier for them to be stalked and harassed.

          The women filed a class-action lawsuit Monday in the U.S. Northern District Court of California and said Apple has not done enough to protect the product from being used illicitly.

        • CoryDoctorowEU to Facebook, ‘Drop Dead’

          A leak from the European Data Protection Board reveals that the EU’s top privacy regulator is about to overrule the Irish Data Protection Commission and declare Facebook’s business model illegal, banning surveillance-based ads without explicit consent:

          https://noyb.eu/en/noyb-win-personalized-ads-facebook-instagram-and-whatsapp-declared-illegal

          In some ways, this is unsurprising. Since the GDPR’s beginning, it’s been crystal clear that the intention of the landmark privacy regulation was to extinguish commercial surveillance and ring down the curtain on “consent theater” – the fiction that you “agree” to be spied on by clicking “I agree” or just by landing on a web-page that has a link to some fine-print.

        • AccessNowApple doesn’t poison privacy, takes action to embolden security [Ed: This is NOT end to end (Apple controls all sides). They are perpetuating false claims from Apple.]

          Apple has taken a long needed step forward for human rights by introducing new security features, and rolling back the previously proposed client-side scanning feature that would undermine end-to-end encryption, expanding the scope for surveillance and unauthorized access. This is a welcome brick in people’s online privacy and security wall.

          Access Now supports Apple’s commitment to strengthening its Communication Safety features and urges the company to continue engaging with stakeholders to build robust online safety mechanisms.

          “Encryption bolsters privacy and security for all, and undermining it to achieve online safety is an oxymoron. Collective efforts must focus on building long-term solutions that don’t sacrifice the right to privacy, and consequently free expression, for the mere possibility of any increase in safety — one cannot exist without the other,” said Namrata Maheshwari, Policy Counsel at Access Now. “Apple’s decision to roll back the client-side scanning feature puts the company’s privacy commitments into practice, and strengthening Communication Safety features helps protect its most vulnerable stakeholders.”

        • EFFVICTORY! Apple Commits to Encrypting iCloud, Drops Phone-Scanning Plans

          We applaud Apple for listening to experts, child advocates, and users who want to protect their most sensitive data. Encryption is one of the most important tools we have for maintaining privacy and security online. That’s why we included the demand that Apple let users encrypt iCloud backups in the Fix It Already campaign that we launched in 2019. 

          Apple’s on-device encryption is strong, but some especially sensitive iCloud data, such as photos and backups, has continued to be vulnerable to government demands and hackers. Users who opt in to Apple’s new proposed feature, which the company calls Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, will be protected even if there is a data breach in the cloud, a government demand, or a breach from within Apple (such as a rogue employee). Apple said today that the feature will be available to U.S. users by the end of the year, and will roll out to the rest of the world in “early 2023.”

          We’re also pleased to hear that Apple has officially dropped its plans to install photo-scanning software on its devices, which would have inspected users’ private photos in iCloud and iMessage. This software, a version of what’s called “client-side scanning,” was intended to locate child abuse imagery and report it to authorities. When a user’s information is end-to-end encrypted and there is no device scanning, the user has true control over who has access to that data.

      • Confidentiality

        • Cryptography EngineeringWhy encrypted backup is so important

          In the rest of this post I want to zero in on end-to-end encrypted iCloud backup, and why I think this announcement is such a big deal.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • NPRChina lends billions to poor countries. Is that a burden … or a blessing?

        “I would guess at least some Middle East and North African [MENA] officials would not wish to air any problems or dissatisfaction with China lest this compromise their relationship,” he says.

        Custer says that the participants were afforded various levels of anonymity, but she cannot exclude the possibility that some may have felt intimidated.

      • NPRMy dad witnessed the horror of Pearl Harbor firsthand. But his letters never let on
      • Common DreamsGermany Arrests 25 Over Alleged Far-Right Plot to Violently Overthrow Government

        In early morning raids on Wednesday, authorities arrested 25 alleged members and supporters of a far-right terrorist organization accused of plotting to violently overthrow the German government.

        Roughly 3,000 officers took part in the raids across Germany, and two people were arrested in Austria and Italy, according to a lengthy statement from federal prosecutors. The organization was formed last year and those detained include members of the right-wing extremist Reichsbürger (Citizens of the Reich) movement and people influenced by QAnon conspiracy theories.

      • TechdirtSan Francisco Legislators Greenlight Killing Of Residents By Police Robots… And Then Kill It…

        Update: So we had this post about SF supervisors approving the killer robots in their initial vote, and had a note at the end that it still needed one more round of approvals by the Supervisors… and apparently widespread protests last night convinced the board to drop the proposal! The original (mostly obsolete) post is below.

      • EFFVICTORY! San Francisco Bans Killer Robots…For Now

        In one week, San Francisco and the greater Bay Area rallied to tell the Board that this policy was unacceptable. That rallying cry was so loud and undeniable that it was impossible for the Board, and the world, to ignore. The campaign to stop killer robots was covered by news outlets all over the world as people waited to see what kind of precedent would be set for law enforcement. Opponents staged a rally against the policy, and over 50 local organizations signed a coalition letter demanding that the Board reverse course on killer robots,  … and they did.

        But even as we take this moment to celebrate, make no mistake: the fight to stop killer robots in San Francisco, and around the country, is not over.

        The Board sent the killer robot back to its Rules Committee. We may have to debate all over again the rules for police robots in San Francisco. The community will have more opportunities to give public comments. So will the police. They may try to find a more reasonable way to sell the idea of armed robots. We will stay vigilant and engaged.

      • FAIRMedia’s Crime Hype and Scapegoating Led to Crackdown on Unhoused People

        For some time now, news media have been conflating crime, homelessness and mental illness, demonizing and dehumanizing people without homes while ignoring the structural causes leading people to sleep on subways and in other public spaces. With New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ latest announcement that he would hospitalize, against their will, unhoused people with mental health conditions—even those deemed to pose no risk to others—in the name of “public safety,” the local papers once again revealed a propensity to highlight official narratives and try to erase their own role in conjuring the crime hysteria that drives such ineffective and pernicious policies.

      • Common Dreams100+ Groups Urge Congress to Back Sanders’ Yemen War Powers Resolution

        A coalition of more than 100 advocacy, faith-based, and news organizations on Wednesday urged members of Congress to adopt Sen. Bernie Sanders’ War Powers Resolution to block U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, where the recent expiry of a temporary cease-fire has renewed suffering in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

        “We, the undersigned 105 organizations, welcomed news earlier this year that Yemen’s warring parties agreed to a nationwide truce to halt military operations, lift fuel restrictions, and open Sanaa airport to commercial traffic,” the signatories wrote in a letter to congressional lawmakers. “Unfortunately, it’s been almost two months since the U.N.-brokered truce in Yemen expired, violence on the ground is escalating, and there is still no formal mechanism preventing a return to all-out war.”

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Bloated Pentagon Budget Is Indefensible

        Can you imagine the audacity to fail a multi-trillion dollar audit of public funds, and then ask for even more of those taxpayer dollars?

      • Meduza‘Only God knows the future’ A cleric from the historically Moscow-linked Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Kyiv’s recent raids — Meduza

        In late May 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church declared its full independence from the Moscow Patriarchate (though it didn’t sever relations with the Russian institution completely; for example, its primate is still confirmed by the Moscow Patriarchate). Six months later, the Ukrainian Security Service began conducting raids on Ukrainian Orthodox Church sites, including the historic Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, in search of “weapons or members of sabotage and reconnaissance groups.” According to Ukrainian authorities, intelligence officers found “symbols” of the now-banned pro-Russian party Opposition Platform — For Life in the churches, as well as “brochures calling for a peace deal with the ‘brotherly Russian people’ and glorifying the ‘Russian land’ and ‘Russian soldiers.’” In response, Kyiv imposed sanctions against multiple Ukrainian Orthodox Church priests, and Volodymyr Zelensky issued a decree banning the activities of “religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in Russia.” Meduza spoke with Ukrainian Orthodox Church representative Metropolitan Kliment about these developments.

      • MeduzaTeacher in Komi Republic charged with ‘justifying terrorism’ for online post about Crimean Bridge — Meduza

        Nikita Tushkanov, a history and social studies teacher in Russia’s Komi Republic, was arrested on charges of “justifying terrorism” on Wednesday, local media and OVD-Info reported.

      • Telex (Hungary)NATO Secretary General: We knew last fall that Russia was preparing an attack, and we notified the Hungarian government about it
      • MeduzaIn new interview, Russian POW and former Wagner fighter recounts recruitment process and pleads not to be swapped — Meduza

        In a new interview with Ukrainian journalist Yury Butusov, Russian POW and convict Alexander Bolchev recounts joining the war in Ukraine after being recruited by PMC Wagner.

      • The NationChange Can’t Wait: Students Protest Sexual Violence at American University
      • Counter PunchHow Russia is Countering the West’s Economic Sanctions

        The Russian “economy contracted for the second quarter in a row,” according to a November 16 article in the Financial Times, which attributed this downturn to the Western sanctions. Undermining the sanctions through a variety of methods, including cooperating with other countries with sanctions evasion experience, has become an even greater priority for the Kremlin.

        Russia has decades of history in helping other countries evade sanctions. In recent years, Russia has exported oil to North Korea and employed its laborers in Siberia in violation of international sanctions, while Russian entities have also been sanctioned for aiding North Korea’s weapons programs.

      • MeduzaHundreds of miles past the border Why Ukraine’s recent strikes on Russian air bases could signal a turning point in the war — Meduza

        Two days in a row this week, the Ukrainian Armed Forces used drones to strike targets deep within Russia. Satellite images from December 5 show that Ukraine hit the Engels air base near Saratov and the Dyagilevo air base near Ryazan. Within a few hours, the Russian Aerospace Forces used aircraft and cruise missiles from those same airfields to launch strikes in Ukraine. Then, on December 6, a Ukrainian drone hit another target at a Russian air base: an oil storage tank in Kursk. That same day, a drone targeting Crimea’s Belbek air base was reportedly shot down by Russian air defenses. This new wave of Ukrainian strikes on Russian territory could prove to be a turning point in the war; Kyiv has now shown that it, too, is capable of striking infrastructure targets on enemy territory. Meduza lays out what we know about Ukraine’s drone capabilities and what that portends for the coming months.

      • MeduzaArmed Wagner Group deserter arrested in Rostov region — Meduza

        An armed man in military fatigues who opened fire at the local police officers on December 6 has been arrested near the mining city of Novoshakhtinsk.

      • MeduzaAppeals court upholds 22-year sentence in Ivan Safronov’s treason case — Meduza

        The First Appellate Court of general jurisdiction has dismissed the journalist Ivan Safronov’s appeal, upholding the 22-year sentence issued by the Moscow Municipal Court, which found Safronov guilty of treason. The journalist’s sentence is now coming into effect. Safronov will soon be transferred to a penal colony.

      • Counter PunchUnderstanding Russian National Security

        These administrations could not have been more wrong, and it is important to know why. The Reagan administration was dealing in disinformation, using the politicized intelligence of the Central Intelligence Agency led by two ideologues—Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates.  I was a Soviet analyst at the CIA in those years and testified to Gates’ deceit in his controversial confirmation hearings in 1991.  My testimony contributed to the decision of a newly-elected president, Bill Clinton, to end Gates’ stewardship of the agency in 1993.  Sadly, the Clinton administration then turned around and, resorting to misinformation, ignored the commitments of the George H.W. Bush administration to foreswear expansion of NATO and unnecessarily expanded the military alliance against Russia.

        The conservatives in the Reagan administration (e.g., Casey, Gates, Secretary of Defense Weinberger, Deputy Defense Secretary Perle) never understood the importance of arms control agreements to the Kremlin. The SALT and ABM treaties in 1972 from the Soviet point of view meant that the United States finally recognized Soviet power as legitimate and natural and that detente with the United States would include European detente as well. The significance of the West German ratification of the Renunciation of force Agreement between Bonn and Moscow was similarly not appreciated.  The treaty signaled Bonn’s acceptance of the post-war territorial status quo and served as a catalyst for East-West detente.

      • MeduzaPresidential Human Rights Council gets ready to tread carefully in meeting with Putin — Meduza

        In advance of the Russian president’s annual meeting with members of the Presidential Human Rights Council (“SPCh”), the Kremlin and the SPCh head Valery Fadeyev have finalized a list of topics not to be raised by council members in conversation with Putin.

      • MeduzaSurveyor at Birobidzhan nature reserve arrested on treason charges — Meduza

        Russian FSB agents in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region, have arrested geodetic surveyor Valery Kachin on suspicion of state treason, TASS reported on Wednesday.

      • MeduzaA ‘necessary quantity of mothers’ Putin held a highly publicized meeting with ‘mothers of the mobilized.’ Here’s who those women actually are. — Meduza
      • MeduzaRussian opposition politician Ilya Yashin’s sentencing hearing postponed due to court evacuation — Meduza

        Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin’s sentencing hearing has been rescheduled from December 7 to December 9, according to the press service of Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court.

      • dwaves.deGood & bad culture and use of technology – 1930 – Albert Einstein – about cows and the wonders of radio telecommunication

        As with all new technologies, Einstein was hopeful, that this new technology will be used for good to bring peace by better understanding between nations and individuals alike.

        Of course – everybody knows – what happened in 1933 and what it was used for then.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • TruthOutTrump Organization Found Guilty on All 17 Counts of Tax Fraud
      • Counter PunchBaguette Listings: Why Food is Politics

        The list, for which UNESCO is responsible for observing, includes some 678 traditions from 140 countries. The Slovenians have beekeeping, for instance; Tunisia has harissa; Zambia can call upon the significance of the Kalela dance.  Such traditions can span several countries: the listing of states for the Lipizzan horse breeding tradition reads like an inventory of the lost Austro-Hungarian empire, echoing Joseph Roth’s Radetzkymarsch.

        The baguette, one of France’s grandest gastronative examples, is celebrated as a labour-intensive product marked by patience.  Lengthy periods of fermentation are required, including wheat of appropriate quality, leaving a distinct gold crispness.  Fats are eschewed, as are any improvers or additives, which are prohibited by the decree of September 13, 1993.  The characteristic cuts with 14 facets act like ceremonial scars.  It is also the hallmark of the traditional boulangeries, which are struggling, notably in rural areas, to survive.

      • Counter PunchBiden Wants to Prevent a Strong Primary Challenge. He Shouldn’t Get Away With It.

        The White House and mainstream journalists have echoed each other to assert that Biden would face no serious challenge to renomination if he runs again. But his blatant intrusion into the DNC’s process for setting the primary calendar is a sign of anxiety about potential obstacles to winning renomination.

        Unlike all other states under consideration for early primaries, South Carolina is not a battleground state. Everyone knows that the Democratic ticket won’t come close to winning in deep-red South Carolina in 2024. But that state — which Biden obviously sees as vital to his renomination — has a party apparatus dominated by Biden’s powerful corporatist ally, Congressman James Clyburn.

      • Michael GeistScoping User Content Out of Bill C-11: Senate Committee Makes Much-Needed Change, But Will the Government Accept It?

        The widespread concern over Bill C-11 has largely focused on the potential CRTC regulation of user content. Despite repeated assurances from the government that “users are out, platforms are in”, the reality is that the bill kept the door open to regulating such content. The language in the bill is clear: Section 4.2 grants the CRTC the power to establish regulations on programs (which includes audio and audiovisual content by users). The provision identifies three considerations for the Commission, most notably if the program “directly or indirectly generates revenues.” The revenue generation provision is what led many digital creators to argue they were caught by the bill and for TikTok to conclude that any video with music would also fall within the ambit of the legislation.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | Living for Politics Or ‘Just Living’?

        “Welcome back!” read my friend Allan’s email. “So happy to have you back and seeing that hard work paid off. Thank you for all that you do. Please don’t cook this evening. I am bringing you a Honduran dinner—tacos hondureños and baleadas, plus a bottle of wine.” The tacos were tasty indeed, but even more pleasing was my friend’s evident admiration for my recent political activities.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | US Supreme Court Wants to Make America More Bigoted Again

        The Supreme Court appears hell-bent on making America bigoted again. Step-by-step, they’re undoing every bit of progressive legislation from the past 80 years that they can find.

      • Common Dreams‘Why Is It This Close? Why?’ Narrow Warnock Win Sparks Fears of Ominous Doom for Democrats

        With more than 95% of voting precincts reporting results in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election on Wednesday, Sen. Raphael Warnock had beaten Republican challenger Herschel Walker by fewer than three percentage points—prompting sighs of relief among Democrats while a number of progressive observers suggested the close margin was hardly cause for celebration.

        “That Walker had any support is a sign of enduring problems in our democracy.”

      • TechdirtHello! You’ve Been Referred Here Because You’re Wrong About Twitter And Hunter Biden’s Laptop

        Hello! Someone has referred you to this post because you’ve said something quite wrong about Twitter and how it handled something to do with Hunter Biden’s laptop. If you’re new here, you may not know that I’ve written a similar post for people who are wrong about Section 230. If you’re being wrong about Twitter and the Hunter Biden laptop, there’s a decent chance that you’re also wrong about Section 230, so you might want to read that too! Also, these posts are using a format blatantly swiped from lawyer Ken “Popehat” White, who wrote one about the 1st Amendment. Honestly, you should probably read that one too, because there’s some overlap.

      • Common DreamsDems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

        Corporate Democrats in the U.S. House tightened their hold on the caucus Tuesday as Rep. Abigail Spanberger was elected by a group of 53 lawmakers from swing states to represent them to the party’s leadership team, winning out over the more progressive Rep. Matt Cartwright.

        The Virginia Democrat was elected to become the party’s first battleground leadership representative, a position created with the passage of a new rules amendment late last month.

      • Common DreamsOpinion | The Independent State Legislature Theory, in Any Form, Poses an Extraordinary Threat to US Elections

        By now, word is out about the election-detonating dangers posed by the so-called “independent state legislature theory.” So in recent months, the theory’s proponents have tried to persuade the Supreme Court and the broader public that there are more moderate, less problematic variants of the theory out there. But there’s no “lite version” of the independent state legislature theory. The gerrymanderers who put the theory on the Supreme Court’s doorstep in Moore v. Harper are asking for a radical upending of election law and all the chaos that comes with it, no matter how they try to soft-pedal it.

      • Common DreamsSolidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

        Friends and family of Tyler Evans—a designer for progressive movements and leaders, including Sen. Bernie Sanders—have launched a GoFundMe to raise money for the Evans family in the wake of his hospitalization.

        The “solidarity fund” webpage explains that “Tyler has been in ICU care for the last week with subdural and epidural hematoma (blood accumulation between the brain and skull). He will have a road to recovery once he leaves the hospital, which will take several months, potentially up to a year.”

      • The NationAfter Decades of Corruption, Donald Trump Has His First Adverse Legal Verdict

        After two impeachments, a private charity and university shuttered thanks to fraud charges and other financial irregularities, a special prosecutor’s investigation (with another one now pending), more than 20 sexual assault allegations, and a private-sector career riddled with allegations of fraud and self-dealing, Donald Trump now boasts his first adverse legal verdict. A state jury in Manhattan has found the Trump Organization guilty on 17 charges, including falsifying business information, a scheme to defraud, tax fraud, and conspiracy.

      • Counter PunchWhat’s in a Speech? Rebuilding a Welcoming Political Culture

        With these words, Herschel Walker conceded the Georgia Senate run-off. He also echoed the calm, often gracious, concession speeches made across the country a few weeks earlier by candidates of both parties.

        As we enter the holiday season, can extend this political calm? Research shows we can. Those concession speeches are a key.

      • TruthOutHerschel Walker Is Trumpism’s Latest Loser. Where Will the GOP Go From Here?
      • Counter PunchThe Rule of Law or the Rule of Lie

        Stated another way, the American Bar Association defines the rule of law as a set of principles, or ideals, for ensuring an orderly and just society.

        Many countries throughout the world strive to uphold the rule of law–where no one is above the law; where everyone is treated equally under the law; where everyone is held accountable to the same laws; where there are clear and fair processes for enforcing laws; where there is an independent judiciary; and where human rights are guaranteed for all.[2]

      • FOSSLifeTwitter Now “Irrelevant” in Open Source

        Like almost all modern software companies, Twitter depends on open source, says Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. In the aftermath of Elon Musk’s purchase, however, the company’s relationship to open source has shifted dramatically.

        Will Norris, Twitter’s former open source lead, “believes Twitter has become irrelevant in open source communities.” In an exclusive interview with Vaughan-Nichols, Norris said: “Open source communities are built on relationships and trust, and now Twitter has neither with these groups. They’ve lost any ability to participate meaningfully in those communities.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Common DreamsRevealing He Too Had Manning Leaks, Ellsberg Dares DOJ to Prosecute Him Like Assange

        Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on Tuesday dared U.S. prosecutors to come after him like they have Julian Assange by revealing in a BBC News interview that the WikiLeaks publisher sent him a backup of leaked materials from former military analyst Chelsea Manning.

        “Let me tell you a secret. I had possession of all the Chelsea Manning information before it came out in the press,” Ellsberg said to BBC’s Stephen Sackur in the on-camera interview. “I’ve never said that publicly.”

      • Scheerpost‘Free Julian Assange!’ Say Latin America’s Leftist Leaders: Lula, AMLO, Petro, Maduro, Ortega, Kirchner, Evo, Zelaya

        Latin America’s leftist presidents are leading the campaign to free Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks journalist has the support of Brazil’s Lula da Silva, Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro, Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and Honduras’ Manuel Zelaya.

      • Common DreamsJournalism Defenders Push for Passage of ‘Game-Changing’ PRESS Act

        Free press advocates this week urged people to contact Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office and ask the New York Democrat to pass legislation protecting journalists from government abuses during the closing days of the current Congress.

        “Now is crunch time to make the PRESS Act the law of the land before this Congress adjourns.”

      • MeduzaPutin welcomes idea of criminalizing leaked personal data use — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded enthusiastically to the idea of criminalizing the use of leaked personal data, including the leaked databases often utilized by investigative journalists.

      • Democracy NowFuturo Media Probes Deadly U.S. Border Policy & NY Drug Trafficking Trial of Mexico’s Former Top Cop

        In “Death by Policy,” the newly launched investigative unit of Pulitzer Prize-winning Futuro Media reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol’s policies push migrants attempting to cross from Mexico to the U.S. into dangerous areas, especially the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The longstanding “prevention through deterrence” approach, which funnels people into unsafe migration routes, has contributed to thousands of deaths since the 1990s. For more, we speak to Futuro Media’s Maria Hinojosa, who hosts the new podcast on Latino USA and draws connections to the new bipartisan immigration Senate reform bill. We also speak with Peniley Ramírez, co-host of the unit’s new five-part podcast series ”USA v. García Luna,” which looks at Mexico’s former secretary of public security, García Luna, who will soon become the highest-ranking Mexican official ever to face trial in the United States for his alleged role in drug trafficking. “This person was at the same time, according to the accusation, working for the Mexican government, working for the Sinaloa Cartel and cooperating with U.S. agencies, especially the DEA,” says Ramírez.

      • MeduzaLatvian Association of Journalists defends TV Rain — Meduza

        The Latvian Association of Journalists came to the defense of TV Rain, whose broadcast license Latvian authorities revoked earlier this week.

      • MeduzaIvars Abolins, Latvian official who stripped TV Rain of broadcast license, praised Putin during Crimea annexation — Meduza

        Following the revocation of TV Rain’s broadcast license by the Latvian National Electronic Media Council (NELPLP), social media users unearthed a trove of past tweets by the agency chairman Ivars Abolins, in which Abolins deprecated Ukraine and praised Putin.

      • MeduzaPutin: ‘no need at present’ for a second wave of mobilization — Meduza

        Russian President Vladimir Putin denies that authorities will launch a second wave of mobilization in Russia in the near future. He made an announcement to that effect during a meeting with members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • [Old] ABCCourt OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

        A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

      • [Old] NPRMilitary-Trained Police May Be Less Hasty To Shoot, But That Got This Vet Fired

        In Afghanistan, the rules of engagement sometimes were stricter than use-of-force rules for civilian police in America. Erica Gaston, a human rights lawyer who studied the military’s rules of engagement in Afghanistan, said that especially was true in the later years of the war.

      • Project CensoredOregon Community Debates Hiring of Nonbinary Elementary School Teacher – Validated Independent News

        As the Advocate reported, critics of the hiring, such as Kathy Hischar, argued that Medford’s children “should not have to question why their teacher is a girl but dresses like a boy.” Another district resident, Tanner Fairrington, whose children are home-schooled, said that “exposure to the complexity of preferred pronouns and gender roles is not appropriate for this age group.”

      • EFFDC Circuit Evades Important Questions in Disappointing Ruling on Section 1201 of the DMCA

        We partnered with law firm Wilson Sonsini to file this case in 2016 because Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act violates the First Amendment by threatening security research, remix video, media literacy education, access to culture for disabled people, and even the right to understand how your car works so you can repair it. Originally designed to inhibit copyright infringement of DVD, CDs, and books, the law has come to reach far more broadly, thanks to the proliferation of software. That’s because the law forbids accessing any copyrighted work – including the code in your devices – if you’d have to bypass a technical protection measure (aka DRM) to do it.

        Section 1201’s prohibition was a departure from previous copyright law and the traditional rules that allow people to make fair uses and make use of the non-copyrightable ideas in a copyrighted work. While the law traditionally protected research, remix, and so on, Section 1201 makes that work impossible unless you fall within narrow exceptions or get permission (which must be renewed every three years) from the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress.  Our appeal was supported by amicus briefs from independent filmmakers, disability advocates, media literacy educators, copyright scholars, and those seeking to understand technology in order to exercise their right to repair.

        The DC Circuit refused to consider either the challenge to the law on its face or most of the speech harms caused by the law, focusing instead on a narrower question of whether the First Amendment protected the plaintiffs’ rights to publish code that included instructions for circumvention. Dr. Green sought to publish a book on security research, including code snippets and other speech that would teach a reader how to circumvent access controls in the course of doing security research. Dr. bunnie Huang and his company Alphamax sought to publish code that would let people read the data in an encrypted video stream in order to analyze it, adapt it, and otherwise make lawful uses of it. bunnie also sought to use this technology himself for video analysis, translations, education, and archiving.

      • Common DreamsNew York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

        Over 1,000 New York Times workers are planning a full-day walkout and afternoon rally on Thursday, December 8 amid ongoing negotiations with newspaper management about pay and healthcare contributions.

        Times Guild members, represented by the NewsGuild of New York, are pushing for a $65,000 salary floor and “funding employees’ health insurance sustainably.”

      • The NationAsylum Seekers
      • The NationWarnock Wins, but Jim Crow and Liberal Self-Sabotage Are Still Alive in Georgia

        Now that Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock is headed back to do his job in Washington, D.C., while Republican Hershel Walker heads God knows where, but likely to his actual home in Texas, can we finally talk about what a shit show these last few months have been?

      • ScheerpostWarnock Defeats Walker in Georgia, Giving Democrats 51-49 Senate Majority

        “Tonight, the people—young, Black, Brown, and working people—expanded the Senate majority, neutralized the power of Joe Manchin, and defeated yet another fascist,” the Sunrise Movement cheered.

      • Democracy Now“The People Have Spoken”: Sen. Warnock Wins in Georgia in Victory Over GOP Voter Suppression Efforts

        Senator Raphael Warnock makes history defeating Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia’s closely watched Senate runoff, becoming the first Black senator to be elected to a six-year term in Georgia. His victory in Tuesday’s special election will give Democrats control of 51 seats in the Senate. It also marks a major defeat for former President Donald Trump, who had handpicked Walker, a former football star who had no political experience, to be the standard-bearer in Georgia. Walker is the eighth Trump-backed Senate candidate to lose this year, despite earlier predictions that Republicans would regain control of the Senate. Warnock received 51.4% of the vote compared to Walker’s 48.6%. LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, says intense on-the-ground organizing was able to put Warnock over the top, but she warns that the tight result is a “red flag” signaling the continued threat from Trump. “We’re still fighting voter suppression. We’re still fighting fascism,” says Brown.

      • The NationKanye, the Religious Right, and the Upsurge in Anti-Semitism

        Kanye West’s appearance on the Alex Jones show, where the singer praised Hitler and Nazism, has brought the problem of anti-Semitism to the fore. To take up the issue, I spoke with Sarah Posner, a columnist at MSNBC and author of the valuable book Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump.

      • TruthOutCongress Is Set to Codify Respect for Marriage Act — But It Has Some Limitations
      • TruthOutIs Iran in the Midst of a Feminist Revolution?
      • Counter PunchWhat Do We Need a State For, Anyway?

        But nowhere do these basically autonomous troops combine into larger associations, nowhere do members of the same species, though clearly knowing themselves to be essentially related, attempt to create large- scale units of social control. “Superorganizations, alliances made up of two or more troops,” as anthropology expert John Pfeiffer notes, “have never been observed among baboons or any other nonhuman primates.”

        In a healthy brain, though there are many major processes operating at once, there is none, either physical or psychological, that is dominant. In the words of neurologist Gary Walter:

      • Project CensoredMassachusetts Community Models Successful Programs to Support Latinx Students – Validated Independent News

        Southern Berkshire County has seen a large increase in Latinx speaking families, with ten percent of its public school students being non-native English speakers. Parents, Latinx organizations, and teachers have rallied together to provide academic, emotional, and legal support for Latinx students, who can struggle with the language barrier.

      • EFFVICTORY! The Safe Connections Act is Now Law

        Thankfully, a bill to change that just became law.

        The Safe Connections Act (S. 120) was introduced in the Senate on January 2021 by Senators Brian Schatz, Deb Fischer, Richard Blumenthal, Rick Scott, and Jacky Rosen and in the House (H.R. 7132) by Representatives Ann Kuster and Anna Eshoo. This common sense bill would make it easier for survivors of domestic violence to separate their phone line from a family plan while keeping their own phone number. It also requires the FCC to create rules to protect the privacy of the people seeking this protection. This bill overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Congress, and it was signed by the President on December 7, 2022, making it Public Law 117-223. 

        Telecommunications carriers are already required to make numbers portable when users want to change carriers. So it should not be hard for carriers to replicate a seamless process when a paying customer wants to move an account within the same carrier. EFF strongly supports this bill.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Torrent FreakPirate IPTV Man Charged After Police Raid Caught Suspect Red Handed

          A man arrested by Swedish police in 2021 has been charged with crimes relating to pirate IPTV service, Smart IPTV. The indictment, which contains a seizure order worth $1.2 million, reveals the man was logged into email accounts and crypto wallets during a police raid. An earlier case, involving IPTV, an uncooperative defendant, and a crypto hardware wallet, delivered quite a surprise at the 11th hour.

        • Torrent FreakISPs Sued Over Pirate Movie Hosters Fembed, Uqload, Upvid, & Uvideo

          Powerful French movie industry groups have filed a lawsuit against several major ISPs. The action has the ultimate goal of blocking access to a quartet of file-hosting platforms – Fembed, Uqload, Upvid, & Uvideo. This is the first attempt to have so-called cyberlockers blocked in France but if successful, could undermine operations at dozens of other sites.

        • Torrent FreakScammers Exploit EU’s Website to Advertise ‘Pirate’ Sites

          Scammers are abusing official European Union platforms to advertise ‘pirate’ sites. The advertisements come in the form of keyword-filled PDF files that have now made their way to the top results in search engines. The advertisements link to dubious platforms that appear to use false piracy promises to lure people to malicious sites.

        • Walled CultureHow to redeem big, bad music streaming so that it serves artists, fans – and local communities – Walled Culture

          Music streaming services are great – for listeners, who gain access to huge quantities of music, even if they don’t end up owning any of it. But it’s hardly a secret that streaming services produce very little income for the musicians involved – even the big names earn a pittance – with most of the money ending up with the recording companies. That doesn’t mean that streaming services are beyond redemption. It just requires a little imagination to think of ways in which they can be great for artists and audience alike.

          [...]

          What’s also notable is that this approach is built on local music. It means that the music already has a link with the people who are likely to try it out. That sense of connection is a vital element for all art, and is sometimes missing with the global streaming services, which can seem distant and deracinated in comparison. MUSICat is a great example of how a technology can be radically re-thought for the benefit of artists, their fans and the community they are part of.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Being in the moment is…

        Being in the moment is more important than capturing it!

      • 🔤SpellBinding: AYKLRWD Wordo: KAIAK
      • Going Electric

        I’m a gearhead. I grew up in and around cars, my grandparents and parents had a Citroën dealership. Before I studied Computational Linguistics, I did a three-year apprenticeship for automobile technician, and I still consider it one of the best times of my life.

      • My Ethics Are Driving Me Insane

        I shop at the Unpackaged Store. Stuff that comes without packaging is weirdly twice as expensive as the packaged alternatives. Local, seasonal vegetables, they cost an arm and a leg compared to the apple from New Zealand. It’s probably the correct price if I want everyone to be paid fairly and not externalize costs, but boy, I can only afford this because I have a good job. When I haul my expensive groceries home on my cargo ebike, along a narro, bumpy bicycle lane that surely leads to broken eggs unless I packaged them really well in the material I brought along, car traffic flows by on a smooth road — when it flows, as the road is too narrow for all the parked SUVs and the ones being driven by angry people doing a quick shop at Lidl, yes I’ll have a bag, thank you.

      • After a bad night’s sleep

        Don’t take a day off after not sleeping enough the previous night. That would be wasting the holiday allowance. It wouldn’t be possible to enjoy my free time anyway, so why not just work? There’s still a way for an IT Engineer to be productive (sometimes even more) with half or less of the concentration power available!

      • Fellow humans

        My best take would be: In the daily lives of most people, most of the time, “reality” doesn’t actually matter. Politics don’t affect them right then, right here. What matters is walking to the groceries, not falling off your bike, driving your car, cooking your food, eating, sleeping, anger management, looking at flowers, raising your kids, talking to your friends, raising a family. All of these things you can do with “fast thinking” (Kahneman), or “feelings”. Sure, as somebody from the outside, you might feel like saying that voting matters, that politics matter, that international politics matter, but as an individual, you might respond: all that matters is what affects me directly, and what I can affect directly. Everything else is an illusion, a fantasy. You are getting worked up over nothing.

      • Deadly Encounters vs Deadly Dungeons

        One of the most common misplaced concerns about DMing I see online is that the player characters are winning most of the time.

      • Wheels I have reinvented

        In college I played a lot of music. I was in the university orchestra a couple years, playing bassoon. I joined the improv music collective, which I played in for four years. I eventually even took electronic music history and production classes, opera (music history), ethnomusicology, and composition classes. I DJed on the college radio station as well, a program dedicated to experimental and electronic music. All this is to provide some background to attest that I’m supposedly not a totally complete idiot when it comes to music! Okay, with that said, onto my story:

      • Work

        I’ve been working part-time for most of this year. 20 hours a week, 4 hours a day, half the pay. I just changed back to full time this week after one of my managers resigned and his responsibilities were distributed between the team.

        Firstly: after some time of part time, I’ve come to realize that half time = half pay is mightily wrong. More is done on the first four hours of work than on the last. Let’s be generous and say 60% on the first 4h, 40% on the later 4h. And yet you’re seen like a bit of a slacker when someone calls or emails you after you’ve done your time and answer with “sorry, I just clocked out, I’ll do it first thing tomorrow”. I mean, you should be thankful I’ve even picked up the phone.

      • Epsom Salt Crystal Photos

        I grew some epsom salt crystals in a jar. I saturated hot water with the crystals, poured some in a jar, and set the jar on a shelf for about a week. After about half the water evaporated, a thin layer of crystal on top of the water was slowing down further evaporation, so I just dumped out the remaining water and and let it dry for another night. I placed a small piece of purple sponge in the jar, which made the photos a little more interesting. Here is a photo of the jar:

      • The Peripheral (Amazon Prime)

        I’ve been enjoying this show, based on a 2014 William Gibson novel. The first season is trickling out and is almost complete.

        No spoilers; just watch it. It is pretty satisfying, if all y’all can get over the Texas drawl of a number of main characters. It’s Gibson all the way; jack in and enjoy the ride.

        While I am at it, I do need to bitch about the video quality of Amazon algorithms. It’s sharp, but it sucks in a terrible and pedestrian way: the foreground high contrast images are sharp and good, but out-of-focus backgrounds kind of freeze in a blotchy way, and update at the rate of a few blotches per second.

    • Technical

      • The Tinkerer

        When I did my apprenticeship as automobile technician, we were assigned different stations in the workshop, each lead by another master technician. Herr Drexl was the one I admired most. He was an expert in rebuilding automatic transmissions, and when they left his hands, they worked better than when they came from the factory brand-new. He built his own tools to measure tolerances perfectly — tools they didn’t even have at the factory.

      • More (good) work, BQN

        Its real: I got the ok from my company to migrate them to free software.

        I have totally free reign and as long as there is a working system at the end of it i can do whatever i want to migrate (at least our workstations) to Linux. I think it helped a little that the big company on the other side of the industrial complex where we reside did make this step last year and got good coverage about this in our local newspapers.

      • The Death of Fosshost

        Fosshost, a hosting provider that offered free VPS hosting for FOSS projects is officially shutting down.

      • PICO-8 textured raycaster (Dark Streets devlog #2)

        Adding wall textures, camera height, and fixing the fish-eye effect in the PICO-8 raycaster.

      • Update Proprietary Media Codec for Vivaldi on Manjaro

        I noticed that the Vivaldi package on Manjaro stopped updating the proprietary media codec after installing or updating. It appears that some Linux distributions have gotten spooked. And maintainers have started to withdraw support for proprietary codecs in general.

        On my system, hardware acceleration is provided by a proprietary Nvidia driver. So, I just need the codec to restore video performance.

        You can update the Vivaldi codec yourself by running the update script like the package used to.

      • CMUS colour scheme and persistent settings

        cmus[1] uses a file called autosave (~/.config/cmus/autosave) to store configuration settings. This file is loaded every time cmus is launched. Settings changed during a session will be written to autosave on exit. This can make changing settings a bit finicky. A few times I’ve accidentally changed a setting by pressing the wrong hotkey, and then not been able to change it back. There is another file called rc (~/.config/cmus/rc) which can store persistent settings. These settings are loaded after autosave and will not be overwritten on exit.

      • Quote of the day – privacy edition

        Some people say that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. I saw the best response: “I need privacy, not because my actions are questionable, but because your judgement and intentions are questionable.”

      • Alpine on the Olimex A20 OLinuXino Lime2

        The Olimex OLinuXino LIME2 is an open hardware board with 1GB RAM, 1Gbps LAN and optional onboard eMMC/NAND storage and SPI flash. This guide will explain how to install Alpine Linux 3.17.0 on it, including how to compile the U-Boot bootloader.

        Note: Throughout this guide I use the command ‘doas’ to run commands with root privileges. Your distribution might instead be using ‘sudo’, so simply replace ‘doas’ with ‘sudo’ if it does not work.

      • Emacs Youtube

        One of my goals for 2023 is to use YouTube as little as possible.

        However, I still want to be able to watch videos occasionally, I just don’t want the ‘time-suck’ element of youtube, where you end up with an endless stream of (admittedly interesting) content thanks to the suggestions provided by the algorithm.

      • Science

        • Binocular observation of Jupiter and the moon

          When I was young, I used to be quite into astronomy (I was into a lot of things before computing came along and hypnotised me to the exclusion of much else for a big chunk of my life which I’ll never get back). I never owned a telescope or even, as far as I recall, binoculars, and to be honest I’m not sure I even felt the need. I grew up somewhere moderately remote, where light pollution wasn’t really an issue, so you could just go outside and look up on a clear night and behold the Milky Way whenever you felt like it. Shooting stars and satellites were things you could easily spot multiple times on any given night. I had one of those little rotating cardboard wheel star chart things, and I learned my way around the sky pretty well and spotted plenty of planets. I guess maybe all of this is more what you would call “stargazing” rather than amateur astronomy per se, although maybe that’s a bogus and snobbish distinction to draw. I guess it took a while even after the internet and computing appeared in my life for this interest to completely wane, I remember taking a degree of geeky pride in making the objectively unwise decision to interrupt my sleep at some ungodly hour the night before my final high school physics exam in order to watch a meteor shower (I still did fine). And I was even in my university’s astronomy club, although to be honest that was mostly just a social club for hypernerds and any kind of genuine astronomy-based event was outnumbered more than ten to one by quiz nights, video nights, fundraising BBQs, etc. Good times, to be sure, but I spent more time staring at the skies by myself as a kid. Until very recently, it had been definitely over a decade since I’d done *anything* like any of the above.

        • Franken-Peugeot updates

          I am kind of burned out on writing more or less exclusively about my “big picture” thoughts on ideas at the intersection of computing technology and environmental sustainability. I’m still very much interested in and thinking about and reading about those issues, and rest assured you Shall Not Be Spared the future walls of text which will inevitably arise from this. But nobody wants to read that kind of stuff all the time. I don’t even want to *write* that stuff all the time, writing exclusively in negative tones, beating dead horses. Here on the small internet I’m largely preaching to the choir anyway. I miss how much more casual and varied and uncontrived my writing used to be in “the good old days” (my phlog is over five years old now, I missed the anniversary once again). So I’m going to try to kick myself back into that groove for a bit. Excluding my upcoming ROOPHLOCH entry, which is going to talk mostly about how the post was made, I’m setting myself the goal to write three posts this year which have nothing to do with computers, nothing to do with the internet, and nothing to do with the terrifying realisation that the sun isn’t going to die for another five billion years and even the greenest Utopian fantasy vision of future civilisation has no hope of lasting that long without running into some kind of problem.

        • Thinking about “AI”

          It’s shaping up to be a long week. I’m preparing a longer post on the subject of so-called “AI” models, the longtermist ideology that is driving their technical development, and their effect on human dignity – but that’s a post for another day. Instead I’ll simply drop off a couple of links that resonate with me tonight.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Generating a gemini Atom feed

          The WP2Smol plugin now generates an Atom feed at /gemlog/atom.xml for purposes of updating CAPCOM[1], et al when new posts are made.

        • Returning to gemspace

          Following the recent exodus of Twitter users to Mastodon, the Fediverse saw a lot of chatter from new users talking about the superiority of the Fediverse over other solutions. This reminded me somewhat of Gemini’s popularity a couple of years ago, which saw a lot of users announcing their departure from the clear web to embrace Gemini full-time. I made a jokey post about it based on my experience with Gemini back in the day.

        • verified sites

          Mastodon has a feature which enables you to verify that a website in your profile belongs to you [1], and I’ve now added the same capability for website and blog links in Epicyon [2].


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

[Meme] Sirius Corporation Run by Dummies

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Humour at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius Corporation run by dummies: Management For Dummies by dummies

Summary: At Sirius ‘Open Source’, the fish rots from the head down

Code of Conduct-Like Culture at Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Managers Never Held Accountable for Anything, Other Staff Blamed for Management’s Failures)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sirius ‘Open Source’, where bullying and unwarranted bollocking against ‘low-level’ staff became the ‘norm’.

Sirius ‘Open Source’ talk

Summary: Sirius was abandoned a week ago (my wife and I resigned with immediate effect), leaving a skeleton crew that’s about 50% ‘management’ (barely qualified or not qualified at all) and 50% 'low-paid' geeks (what’s left of them); guess who’s blaming who and who always gets punished

IMAGINE working for a company that’s not only breaking rules but also lying to clients and lying to staff. It has long reminded me of the EPO and I planned my exit for a long time. Pandemic wasn’t a good time to leave (especially a job done purely from our own home).

Yesterday and the day before that we illuminated the payslips and pension scandals, elucidating further with some meticulously-redacted examples (safeguarding people’s and clients’ privacy, even the pension provider’s name).

As we shall show later in the series, when mistakes are made by management there’s no admission of guilt, no responsibility, just deflection of blame along with breathtaking cover-up attempts. No sane person would tolerate that for much longer. I challenged this and spoke out against this many times (internally). There were attempts to spin my polite communications as lacking in manners (totally false). This is a typical Code of Conduct-like manoeuvre. In practice, it helps corporations and heads of corporations (e.g. shareholders, managers) suppress messages from critics.

From the report issued and sent at the start of this month:


“Rules for Thee and Not for Me”

As noted above, with further examples to come later, management was given the liberty to make up all the colourful excuses and no disciplinary procedures were pursued when managers failed to do very essential and sometimes utterly simple jobs (sending payslips is very trivial). In the commercial world this qualifies as gross incompetence. As shall be explained later on, the management oftentimes seems or feels like it’s “missing in action”, like spending several weeks stalking staff, fishing for ‘dirt’ online and inflating or taking out of context the content (which does not infringe privacy, let alone company policies).

Companies worldwide must recognise that every staff member has a personal life too. We don’t live in bunk beds inside the office. Similarly, managers fundamentally enjoy and have a personal life. How would managers feel if staff spent weeks digging years into the past into anything they ever said, even in small private conversations? Or even in public, e.g. the Sirius founder’s Twitter account promoting an insurrectionist, Donald Trump. There seems to be disproportionate selective enforcement and symmetric relationship; the bosses can do anything they want, even violate their own rules, whereas precarious staff is treated as disposable and presumed guilty at all times (e.g. judged based on prejudice and vindication without due process and without regard for access to lawyers, i.e. qualified legal advice). More on that later, for this is a key motivation for this document to put together and carefully crafted with privacy in mind.

Virtually (i.e. Online) and for Only One Hour the EPO’s Staff Representation Was Allowed to Discuss Many Lingering Concerns

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 470e4580b03d232fa4b96e4993a089e5
EPO Staff Affairs in Munich
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: “Report on the LSCMN meeting with VP4 of 9 November 2022″ (i.e. one month ago) is being circulated this week; “On 9 November 2022,” says the union or the local officials (Staff Union of the EPO, or SUEPO for short, has overlaps), “the Local Staff Committee Munich (LSCMN) met with VP4, Ms Nellie Simon, to discuss a number of prevailing local matters in a virtual meeting which had been scheduled, as had the previous one, for one hour only.” (the usual; they intentionally don’t allocate sufficient time)

THE LSC Munich City, Haar and Brussels (LSCMN) has published and circulated a 6-page publication about internal EPO affairs, based on a meeting with Benoît Battistelli associates (like Madame Bergot, now promoted again) and the buddies imported by António Campinos from Alicante.

The video above goes through this document with personal remarks added along the way; here’s the text as HTML (and later as plain text and GemText):

Örtlicher Personalausschuss München Innenstadt, Haar und Brüssel
Local Staff Committee Munich City, Haar and Brussels
Le Comité local du Personnel de Munich Ville, Haar et Bruxelles

München/Munich, 29.11.2022
sc22030mp – 0.2.1/1.3.1

Report on the meeting of the Local Staff Committee Munich City, Haar and Brussels with the Site Manager of Munich City, VP4 Nellie Simon

On 09 November 2022 the Local Staff Committee Munich City, Haar and Brussels (LSC Munich) met the Site Manager of Munich City, VP4 Nellie Simon, for the second time in 2022 to discuss a number of prevailing local matters, notably building and canteen matters, in a virtual meeting which had been scheduled, as had the previous ones last year, for one hour only.

Since on some topics (*) little or no progress had been made (see link to last meeting report here), we had requested the administration to put them on the agenda again.

The agenda was as follows:

1. Introduction of Deputy Site Manager
2. Office hardware
3. Canteens and Cafeterias
4. Underground garages
5. Buildings
6. DE Kindergeld vs. EPO Dependants’ allowance *
7. Dependency status *
8. Delays in treating HR requests and education allowance

Topics which were not discussed

i. Buildings – Bringing Teams Together (BTT)
ii. Education allowance matters

Topics (i) and (ii) were dropped due to time constraints, (i) was revisited in a dedicated meeting for
participants from all sites on 21.11.2022, for which a separate report will follow.

Present for the administration: Elodie Bergot (EB), Jan Boulanger (JB), Frédéric Brunelle (FB), Fiona Dullenkopf (FD), Diego Eguidazu Alonso (DEA), Edda Franz (EF), Mohamed El Hadouchi (MEH), Konstantinos Kortsaris (KK), Andreas Sattler (AS) and Nellie Simon (VP4)


1. Introduction of Deputy Site Manager

The administration wished to share their idea of introducing a deputy site manager for the large sites Munich and The Hague as well. Previously, deputy site managers had only been used in the smaller places of employment Vienna and Berlin. It was still under discussion who the deputy site manager would be. VP4 was working with VP1 on this1.

Upon our question as to the consequences for Brussels and Haar. NS replied that Brussels was very small and Haar was independent. In any case, no deputy site manager was yet apparent for Haar.

2. Office hardware

We inquired why staff was being ordered to return Dell monitors used at home to the Office. The administration noted that this was a central issue, but nevertheless chose to discuss it. It was explained that the problem was that many staff members had taken two monitors home, then had a 38” monitor delivered. In some cases, these staff members had a new office assigned subsequently, equipped in standard fashion with 2 monitors, so they ended up with five monitors. Conversely others filling in the vacated original office returned to the office to find no monitors.

Hence a distribution problem arose. This was compounded by the endeavour of the Office to equip the Offices for a Day (OfD) with monitors. To solve this issue the Office was therefore asking staff to bring their monitors from home, although going forward the issue should soon be solved because there were overall 16 000 monitors in the Office, more than enough to equip everyone. It was confirmed that staff members could still order a 38” monitor for home. As a side note it has been mentioned that new models of LG 38” screens were currently being tested by 70-80 beta testers. The new models should overcome some technical limitations of the current model. The idea was to equip day offices with 38” screens.

3. Canteens and Cafeterias

We explained why several staff members were asking for at least cafeterias or bistros in BT’s 7 and 8 of Pschorr Höfe. The queues in the PH 1-4 canteen and cafeteria were often very long, the total waiting time frequently exceeding 20 minutes. Factually the number of cafeterias and canteens was much lower than before, i.e. from 4 (5 if you count Arche Noah as well) down to 1. The coffee machines were not always working, there were no napkins or cups provided, the outdoor Sky Bar, which was the only outdoor space in the whole Pschorr Höfe complex, had no chairs or tables.

The administration replied that the bigger picture had to be looked at. The SV Group had won the tender for the canteens a year ago. Performance was being measured against the contract with KPIs, which included price, level of service and quality. The caterer was operating at his own risk, the

____
1 In the meantime, Elodie Bergot has been appointed deputy site manager for Munich and Frederic Brunelle to the corresponding position in The Hague, see here


operation needed to be sustainable. 1200 staff had been at the PH buildings on the previous day (Tuesday), i.e. a 40% building occupancy. Of these, 70% use the canteen, which, in the opinion of the administration, is a good take-out rate. On Fridays and Mondays, the occupancy rate is 30%. Queues of 20 minutes had not been observed by management, rather 3 to 4 minutes. Staff could always use the self-service coffee machines. It was not reasonable to compare the situation today to that pre-pandemic. As for the outdoor Sky Bar, it was now winter, but tables and chairs could be put out there later. As for the lack of cups provided for the coffee machines, surely it was better to avoid disposable cups? Data shows that the self-service coffee machines are used very frequently. Data furthermore showed that the time needed for lunch at canteen and cafeteria remained “constant” and did not worsen.

We suggested that VP4 or EF as head of Facility Management had lunch with staff representatives to judge by themselves. Preferably between Tuesday and Thursday, when the canteen was expected to be quite busy. We demanded that the Office should bring back the canteen committee, especially since a “completely different situation” (the words of EF) was now present vs. pre-COVID. Moreover there had been complaints about the quality of the food. A survey of users was needed as well.

EF replied that although the canteen committee would not be returning, informal exchanges could take place. Feedback could be given to the SV Group via the SV Group app. Feedback could be shared with staff representatives. More staff should use the app of the canteen, as this opportunity for feedback was not being used enough.

We wondered when the situation would be looked at again, to see, in particular, if the canteens and cafeterias in BT-7 and BT-8 could be opened. It was replied that the time to consider that was in two years (May 2024), when the New Ways of Working trial project came to an end. VP4 declined to do a survey of staff, because the canteen app was considered good enough. EF added that in any case, small issues could be sorted out in the meantime, and she could be approached at any time.

4. Underground garages

We inquired why there were no charging stations for e-bikes. Conversely, what was the cost of the extra e-car charging stations? Furthermore, we found it bizarre that the security doors leading into the building were still sealed, despite rapid evacuations being needed with e.g. burning e-car batteries and the associated very toxic fumes. Still further, we desired to know if it was seriously considered safe to have water sprinklers above e-car charging stations, moreover to extinguish burning lithium batteries with them, i.e. an electrical fire.

Yet still further, we could not help but note that on one hand, the Office was “freezing” cold but on the other hand, free energy to charge private cars was provided. We wondered whether this was in line with the Offices objective to provide for more “sustainability”? We inquired as to the fate of our letter sent to VP4 (on 04.11.2022) in that respect.


VP4 replied that we would certainly get an answer to that letter. We had sent a letter, consequently we would get an answer. We should therefore not “waste precious time” discussing such matters at the meeting.2

On a more general note, we asked how the renovation works were progressing.

Facility management replied that all sustainability and safety issues were being looked at. E-bike charging stations already existed and bike repair possibilities were also provided for. The e-car charging stations were safe and could be used for both long and short charging periods. The security doors were sealed for physical security issues 5-6 years ago. A card reader would not sort security issues out. Concerning work in the garage, plans were being put in place to deal with wear and tear. There was a €50m Euro budget for buildings with 19 different projects being worked on. Some projects had already started. Health and safety and business continuity was always prioritised.

5. Buildings

Upon our question whether the ISAR Daylight project progressed according to plan and within budgetary boundaries considering the high inflation, we were informed that the ISAR Daylight project has now been completed.

6. Kindergeld

We reiterated our displeasure with the lack of progress on this topic.

The administration stressed that staff members had not been given bad advice and indeed had a duty to inform themselves what the rules were. We strongly disagreed with this. Staff members had been told by the Office that they had the choice whether to accept Kindergeld or not. This was a wrong information. Unloading the blame on staff now could be perceived as cynical, moreover in view of the large sums of money involved for some.

The administration went on to say that the many different Familienkassen were external from the Office. However, staff members could always ask the HR department for help.

We replied that colleagues had not been informed by HR that when they started at the EPO, they should tell the Familienkasse. We added that some staff join the Office already having children and may end up reimbursing substantial amounts of money to the Familienkasse if they make the mistake of splitting the allowance between DE and the EPO (incidentally saving the Office a lot of money) and the Familienkasse finds out about it.

The administration countered that newcomers are explained what to do. In fact, 93% of staff members had correctly filed their allowance requests. The administration was not aware that colleagues are in

_____________
2 The letter to VP4 was sent on 04.11.2022. As of the day of publication of this report (30.11.2022) no answer to the letter has reached us.


an unclear situation. There was on the one hand an HR page on the Intranet for staff to help them3, and on the other hand the Familienkasse clearly stated that any additional money from any other source must be declared as well as any changes. A box needed to be crossed on the application form. In brief, our management appears to be of the opinion, that a correct declaration of the EPO dependant’s allowance in the formulars of the Familienkasse will prevent the respective colleagues from any reclaims.

7. Dependency status vs dependent allowance

The administration explained that the Office was preparing to change the Service Regulations regarding a grace period of six months to provide peace of mind to staff. This would be brought to the GCC and AC in December.

8. Delays in treating HR requests and education allowance

We explained our understanding that HR delays were due to problems with the education allowance, and that the software used to process requests was not working properly.

The administration replied that sorting out HR delays was of highest priority. It was admitted that there had been “hiccups”, moreover this time of year was when HR was busiest. There were also change management issues and publications from the Local Staff Committee The Hague had not helped as they had asked staff to file for the full education allowance amount, even though this was not permitted within the current rules. HR had been working hard to help everyone who had registered and not yet filed reimbursement requests. The aim of the team was to be more efficient, and additional resources were now being used to help get through the peak. The plan was not to reduce staffing levels; indeed, two extra staff members were dealing with the issue and others had offered to help. However, for the next fourteen years there would be problems because of the transitional measures. Despite HR being thankful that BIT had helped to digitalise the process and the tool was very much appreciated, it was clear that further improvement to the tool was needed and would come.

We further proposed dedicated meetings to sort out the increased bureaucratic burden to both staff and HR that we had been made aware of by colleagues. We were assured that the Office was looking into that.

_____________
3 See here; we note that the “Special Situation for Germany” section only appeared very recently, even after the New Intranet had already started.


9. Conclusions

As previously, we noted that more regular meetings with Site Management were needed to discuss the topics, which are typically of both broad scope and great impact.

While VP4 agreed that it had been a good meeting, she thought that twice a year for formal meetings was enough, although informal meetings could happen more often. Both VP4 and EF agreed to have lunch with the LSC Munich before the end of the year.

Your Local Staff Committee

[omitted]

Some time soon we’ll publish some posts about the EPO’s Web site and the UPC. It’s not going as they planned it.

[Meme] António Campinos-Controlled (EPO-Commissioned) Surveys Are Just for Show (to Help ‘Validate’ Lies)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Survey says.... verified by Team UPC

Summary: The real EPO survey is not that one conducted by (and for) António Campinos

European Patent Office (EPO) on the Decline, According to the Fifth Edition of the Technologia Staff Survey

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 0f71344373943bcdcdd3d20a10de436b
EPO 2022 Staff Survey
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Today we share some documents that circulated amongst EPO staff yesterday; it’s about this year’s staff survey that was not conducted by the EPO itself (to serve EPO management and its twisted agenda)

THE French dictator Benoît Battistelli turned Europe’s second-largest institution into Hell and his French friend António Campinos continues this legacy, based on this year’s staff survey. Summary, ODF version of the corresponding presentation, and results along with a message from the union are included here because copies need to be made available to the general public, which is affected profoundly by EPO affairs, as the video above explains.

It goes beyond European software patents; the video gives the example of COVID-19, with the article below in mind (it was published 2 days ago):

‘Heartbreaking’ and ‘Pathetic’: US Obstructs Patent Waiver for Covid Tests and Treatments

Global health campaigners denounced U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration for refusing to support a temporary suspension of patents for Covid-19 tests and treatments this year, a move that further delays the possibility of securing a World Trade Organization intellectual property waiver aimed at increasing access to lifesaving medical tools in developing nations.

In a statement released on Tuesday morning, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that “over the past five months, USTR officials held robust and constructive consultations with Congress, government experts, a wide range of stakeholders, multilateral institutions, and WTO members.”

Here, in turn, is the message from the EPO’s union:

Fifth Edition of the Technologia Staff Survey 2022 Results – Executive Summary and Presentation of the Results

On 23 June we informed you of the results of the fifth Technologia Survey and that a letter had been sent to the Administrative Council with two annexes: the Frequency Table in English and the “Présentation des résultats” in French.

An Executive Summary of the Survey is now available as well as a presentation of the results in English attached herewith. For practical and efficiency reasons not all captions in the figures and tables of the presentation of the results have been translated into English. Hopefully this is not a problem for any of you since the interpretation of these captions is straightforward.

Imagine European politicians actually paying attention to it. Some time soon we’ll show that we’ve managed to get some journalists interested in UPC scandals. Expect some press coverage.

Free Software is So Robust That Its Opponents Need to Travel 12 Months Back in Time in Order to Find Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) Material

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 2521ff1243920b037ed847d0cd1d1fdd
Security FUD Pieces About Very Old News
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Microsoft- and Linux Foundation-connected sites help smear or stigmatise Free software (citing hostile ‘experts’); this week they borrow news from 12 months ago to make a point

THE VIDEO above responds to very recent FUD against Free software (or “Open Source” as they call it). We saw the same FUD patterns coming from Jim Zemlin's mouth recently, as the Linux Foundation gets paid by Microsoft proxies that promote FUD. The Foundation also works with Mr. Shimel, whose site is still milking the flaw a year after it was patched. “FOSSLife”, another Microsoft- and Linux Foundation-connected site, did the same this week. Seeing the pattern yet? If not, follow the money…

“Not only does Microsoft fail to secure its products; when clients have their systems breached Microsoft refuses to step in or actually help (by providing patches) while Microsoft goes out of its way to provide back doors for the NSA and its international affiliates (“Six Eyes”).”As an aside, the video also shows more FUD from the truly awful TechRadar [1, 2] (attributing to “Linux” something that is not Linux at all). There are many more examples like these which we put in Daily Links but never do videos about (due to lack of time and capacity). Gross media bias distorts perceptions and helps distract from the very worst culprit: Microsoft (where security is never the goal). Not only does Microsoft fail to secure its products; when clients have their systems breached Microsoft refuses to step in or actually help (by providing patches) while Microsoft goes out of its way to provide back doors for the NSA and its international affiliates (“Six Eyes”). Then they have the audacity to blame "supply chain" (which they control). Don’t fall for these scapegoating tactics. They know exactly how they’re lying to us. It is intentional.

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