Search Results: "robert"

17 November 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, October 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Every month we review the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Please find the report for October below. Debian project funding We re looking forward to receiving more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In October 12 contributors were paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available below. Evolution of the situation In October we released 34 DLAs.

Also, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 37 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 22 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

4 November 2021

Mike Gabriel: Call for Translations: Ayatana Indicators 0.9.x Release Series

We (Robert Tari, the UBports developers team, myself) are very close to releasing Ayatana Indicators 0.9.x. The work on Ayatana Indicators is currently nearly completed funded by the UBports Foundation and over the past half year, many many changes, improvements and clean-ups have been added to the code. Ayatana Indicators 0.9.x will be the first release series to be in the development tree of Ubuntu Touch 20.04 (which is currently under very heavy development). Ayatana Indicators 0.9.x will also be used in various other desktop environments available in upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, such as Ubuntu MATE, Xubuntu, (optionally in) Ubuntu Budgie (please correct my wording, if you know better), (send me a note, if I forgot your desktop env), etc. So, to all Ubuntu Touch, Ubuntu MATE, Xubuntu, etc. users. If you not already are a translator of Ayatana Indicators and you are good in English and fluent in at least one other language, please consider helping out with translating or improving translations of Ayatana Indicators. The translation work needs to be done on Hosted Weblate [1], please sign up for an account (if you haven't done so, yet) and chime in. Thanks so much for your contributions! light+love
Mike https://hosted.weblate.org/projects/ayatana-indicators/

3 November 2021

Dirk Eddelbuettel: RDieHarder 0.2.2 on CRAN: Simpler Build, Fixes

An updated version 0.2.2 of the random-number generator tester RDieHarder (based on the DieHarder suite developed / maintained by Robert Brown with contributions by David Bauer and myself) is now on CRAN. I should dub this the due to Brian Ripley release. He sent me a detailed five-point email a few days ago which detailed a change I could not have tested ( no access ), a change I would not have known ( somewhat obscure C language bit-level manipulation ), a change I had missed (how my build setup failed for M1mac), another advanced C level fix, and one more simple fix I actually knew. Speechless. The man (I presume) does not sleep and is just so generous with his time and expertise. So based on the input I rejigged the package over the weekend and made two more (substantial) changes. First, extending on what 0.2.0 brought, I will no longer attempt to use an external libdieharder library (or build one on the fly) that was issue one. Now we just declare all C files as dependents of the package shared library, and things are simpler and more consistent. Sadly, that also implies everything is in the package so I had to edit out a metric ton of stdout or exit() reference with the appropriate R C API hooks to appease the CRAN Policy deities. Win some, loose some. But the package is now simpler, and cleaner, and should be in good standing. (Or so one hopes. Earlier today, and within hours of it hitting CRAN, I got an issue ticket from a motivated user about yet another ( mostly harmless in the Douglas Adams sense) compiler warning Good now too.) Thanks to CRANberries, you can also look at the most recent diff. If you like this or other open-source work I do, you can now sponsor me at GitHub.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

19 October 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, September 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding Folks from the LTS team, along with members of the Debian Android Tools team and Phil Morrel, have proposed work on the Java build tool, gradle, which is currently blocked due to the need to build with a plugin not available in Debian. The LTS team reviewed the project submission and it has been approved. After approval we ve created a Request for Bids which is active now. You ll hear more about this through official Debian channels, but in the meantime, if you feel you can help with this project, please submit a bid. Thanks! This September, Freexian set aside 2550 EUR to fund Debian projects. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In September, 15 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In September we released 30 DLAs. September was also the second month of Jeremiah coordinating LTS contributors. Also, we would like say that we are always looking for new contributors to LTS. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 33 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 26 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

4 October 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, August 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In August, we put aside 2460 EUR to fund Debian projects. We received a new project proposal that got approved and there s an associated bid request if you feel like proposing yourself to implement this project. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In August, 14 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In August we released 30 DLAs.

This is the first month of Jeremiah coordinating LTS contributors. We would like to thank Holger Levsen for his work on this role up to now.

Also, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Jeremiah if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 73 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 29 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

25 August 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, July 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In July, we put aside 2400 EUR to fund Debian projects. We haven t received proposals of projects to fund in the last months, so we have scheduled a discussion during Debconf to try to to figure out why that is and how we can fix that. Join us on August 26th at 16:00 UTC on this link. We are pleased to announce that Jeremiah Foster will help out to make this initiative a success : he can help Debian members to come up with solid proposals, he can look for people willing to do the work once the project has been formalized and approved, and he will make sure that the project implementation keeps on track when the actual work has begun. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In July, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In July we released 30 DLAs. Also we were glad to welcome Neil Williams and Lee Garrett who became active contributors. The security tracker currently lists 63 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 17 packages needing an update. We would like to thank Holger Levsen for the years of work where he managed/coordinated the paid LTS contributors. Jeremiah Foster will take over his duties. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

17 July 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, June 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In June, we put aside 5775 EUR to fund Debian projects for which we re looking forward to receive more projects from various
Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In June, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In June we released 30 DLAs. As already written last month we are looking for a Debian LTS project manager and team coordinator.
Finally, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 41 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 23 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

15 June 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, May 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In May, we again put aside 2100 EUR to fund Debian projects. There was no proposals for new projects received, thus we re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Please do not hesitate to submit a proposal, if there is a project that could benefit from the funding! We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In May, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In May we released 33 DLAs and mostly skipped our public IRC meeting and the end of the month. In June we ll have another team meeting using video as lined out on our LTS meeting page.
Also, two months ago we announced that Holger would step back from his coordinator role and today we are announcing that he is back for the time being, until a new coordinator is found.
Finally, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 41 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 21 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

11 June 2021

Mike Gabriel: Linux on Acer Spin 3

Recently, I bought an Acer Spin 3 Convertible Notebook for the company and provided it to Robert Tari for his daily work on Ayatana Indicators (which currently is funded by the UBports Foundation via my company Fre(i)e Software GmbH). Some days ago Robert reported back about a sleepless night he spent with that machine... He got stuck with a tricky issue regarding the installation of Manjaro GNU/Linux on that machine, that could be -- at the end -- resolved by a not so well documented trick. Before anyone else spends another sleepless night on this, we thought we'd better share Robert's solution. So, the below applies to the Acer Spin 3 series (and probably to other Spin models, perhaps even some other Acer laptops): Acer Spin 3 Pre-Inst Cheat Codes Before you even plug in the USB install media:
  1. Go to UEFI settings (i.e. BIOS for us elderly people) [F2]
  2. Security -> Set Supervisor Password [Enabled]
  3. Enter the password you'll use
  4. Boot -> Secure Boot -> [Disabled] (you can't disable it without a set supervisor password)
  5. Exit -> Exit Saving Changes
  6. Restart and go to UEFI settings again [F2]
  7. Main -> [Now press CTRL + S] -> VMD Controller -> [Disabled]
  8. Exit -> Exit Saving Changes
  9. Now plug in the install USB and restart
Esp. the disabling of the VMD Controller is essential. Otherwise, GRUB won't find any partition nor EFI registered boot items after the installation and drops into the EFI recovery shell. Robert hasn't tested the Wacom pen that comes with the device, nor the fingerprint reader, yet. Everything else works out-of-the-box. light+love
Mike Gabriel (aka sunweaver)

1 June 2021

Robert McQueen: Next steps for the GNOME Foundation

As the President of the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors, I m really pleased to see the number and breadth of candidates we have for this year s election. Thank you to everyone who has submitted their candidacy and volunteered their time to support the Foundation. Allan has recently blogged about how the board has been evolving, and I wanted to follow that post by talking about where the GNOME Foundation is in terms of its strategy. This may be helpful as people consider which candidates might bring the best skills to shape the Foundation s next steps. Around three years ago, the Foundation received a number of generous donations, and Rosanna (Director of Operations) gave a presentation at GUADEC about her and Neil s (Executive Director, essentially the CEO of the Foundation) plans to use these funds to transform the Foundation. We would grow our activities, increasing the pace of events, outreach, development and infrastructure that supported the GNOME project and the wider desktop ecosystem and, crucially, would grow our funding to match this increased level of activity. I think it s fair to say that half of this has been a great success we ve got a larger staff team than GNOME has ever had before. We ve widened the GNOME software ecosystem to include related apps and projects under the GNOME Circle banner, we ve helped get GTK 4 out of the door, run a wider-reaching program in the Community Engagement Challenge, and consistently supported better infrastructure for both GNOME and the Linux app community in Flathub. Aside from another grant from Endless (note: my employer), our fundraising hasn t caught up with this pace of activities. As a result, the Board recently approved a budget for this financial year which will spend more funds from our reserves than we expect to raise in income. Due to our reserves policy, this is essentially the last time we can do this: over the next 6-12 months we need to either raise more money, or start spending less. For clarity the Foundation is fit and well from a financial perspective we have a very healthy bank balance, and a very conservative 12 month run rate reserve policy to handle fluctuations in income. If we do have to slow down some of our activities, we will return to a steady state where our regular individual donations and corporate contributions can support a smaller staff team that supports the events and infrastructure we ve come to rely on. However, this isn t what the Board wants to do the previous and current boards were unanimous in their support of the idea that we should be ambitious: try to do more in the world and bring the benefits of GNOME to more people. We want to take our message of trusted, affordable and accessible computing to the wider world. Typically, a lot of the activities of the Foundation have been very inwards-facing supporting and engaging with either the existing GNOME or Open Source communities. This is a very restricted audience in terms of fundraising many corporate actors in our community already support GNOME hugely in terms of both financial and in-kind contributions, and many OSS users are already supporters either through volunteer contributions or donating to those nonprofits that they feel are most relevant and important to them. To raise funds from new sources, the Foundation needs to take the message and ideals of GNOME and Open Source software to new, wider audiences that we can help. We ve been developing themes such as affordability, privacy/trust and education as promising areas for new programs that broaden our impact. The goal is to find projects and funding that allow us to both invest in the GNOME community and find new ways for FOSS to benefit people who aren t already in our community. Bringing it back to the election, I d like to make clear that I see this reaching the outside world, and finding funding to support that as the main priority and responsibility of the Board for the next term. GNOME Foundation elections are a slightly unusual process that filters our board nominees by being existing Foundation members, which means that candidates already work inside our community when they stand for election. If you re a candidate and are already active in the community THANK YOU you re doing great work, keep doing it! That said, you don t need to be a Director to achieve things within our community or gain the support of the Foundation: being a community leader is already a fantastic and important role. The Foundation really needs support from the Board to make a success of the next 12-18 months. We need to understand our financial situation and the trade-offs we have to make, and help to define the strategy with the Executive Director so that we can launch some new programs that will broaden our impact and funding for the future. As people cast their votes, I d like people to think about what kind of skills building partnerships, commercial background, familiarity with finances, experience in nonprofit / impact spaces, etc will help the Board make the Foundation as successful as it can be during the next term.

28 May 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, April 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In April, we put aside 5775 EUR to fund Debian projects. There was no proposals for new projects received, thus we re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Please do not hesitate to submit a proposal, if there is a project that could benefit from the funding! Debian LTS contributors In April, 11 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In April we released 33 DLAs and held a LTS team meeting using video conferencing. The security tracker currently lists 53 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 26 packages needing an update. We are please to welcome VyOS as a new gold sponsor! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

30 April 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, March 2021

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In March, we put aside 3225 EUR to fund Debian projects but sadly nobody picked up anything, so this one of the many reasons Raphael posted as series of blog posts titled Challenging times for Freexian , posted in 4 parts on the last two days of March and the first two of April. [Part one, two, three and four] So we re still looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article! Debian LTS contributors In March, 11 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In March we released 28 DLAs and held our second LTS team meeting for 2021 on IRC, with the next public IRC meeting coming up at the end of May. At that meeting Holger announced that after 2.5 years he wanted to step back from his role helping Rapha l in coordinating/managing the LTS team. We would like to thank Holger for his continuous work on Debian LTS (which goes back to 2014) and are happy to report that we already found a successor which we will introduce in the upcoming April report from Freexian. Finally, we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. For a last time, please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 42 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 28 packages needing an update. We are also pleased to report that we got 4 new sponsors over the last 2 months : thanks to sipgate GmbH, OVH US LLC, Tilburg University and Observatoire des Sciences de l Univers de Grenoble ! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

11 April 2021

Jonathan Dowland: 2020 in short fiction

Cover for *Episodes*
Following on from 2020 in Fiction: In 2020 I read a couple of collections of short fiction from some of my favourite authors. I started the year with Christopher Priest's Episodes. The stories within are collected from throughout his long career, and vary in style and tone. Priest wrote new little prologues and epilogues for each of the stories, explaining the context in which they were written. I really enjoyed this additional view into their construction.
Cover for *Adam Robots*
By contrast, Adam Robert's Adam Robots presents the stories on their own terms. Each of the stories is written in a different mode: one as golden-age SF, another as a kind of Cyberpunk, for example, although they all blend or confound sub-genres to some degree. I'm not clever enough to have decoded all their secrets on a first read, and I would have appreciated some "Cliff's Notes on any deeper meaning or intent.
Cover for *Exhalation*
Ted Chiang's Exhalation was up to the fantastic standard of his earlier collection and had some extremely thoughtful explorations of philosophical ideas. All the stories are strong but one stuck in my mind the longest: Omphalos) With my daughter I finished three of Terry Pratchett's short story collections aimed at children: Dragon at Crumbling Castle; The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner and The Time-Travelling Caveman. If you are a Pratchett fan and you've overlooked these because they're aimed at children, take another look. The quality varies, but there are some true gems in these. Several stories take place in common settings, either the town of Blackbury, in Gritshire (and the adjacent Even Moor), or the Welsh border-town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo. The sad thing was knowing that once I'd finished them (and the fourth, Father Christmas's Fake Beard) that was it: there will be no more.
Cover for Interzone, issue 277
8/31 of the "books" I read in 2020 were issues of Interzone. Counting them as "books" for my annual reading goal has encouraged me to read full issues, whereas before I would likely have only read a couple of stories from each issue. Reading full issues has rekindled the enjoyment I got out of it when I first discovered the magazine at the turn of the Century. I am starting to recognise stories by authors that have written stories in other issues, as well as common themes from the current era weaving their way into the work (Trump, Brexit, etc.) No doubt the Pandemic will leave its mark on 2021's stories.

22 March 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, February 2020

A Debian LTS logo
Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In February, we put aside 5475 EUR to fund Debian projects. The first project from this initiative was finished and thus Carles Pina was able to issue the first invoice! We are looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams and contributors. Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In February, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In February we released 28 DLAs (including one regression update) and we held an internal team meeting using video chat.
Finally, as every month we would like to remark once again that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested! The security tracker currently lists 46 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 34 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

15 February 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, January 2020

A Debian LTS logo Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In January, we put aside 2175 EUR to fund Debian projects. As part of this Carles Pina i Estany started to work on better no-dsa support for the PTS which recently resulted in two merge requests which will hopefully be deployed soon. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In January, 13 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation In January we released 28 DLAs and held our first LTS team meeting for 2021 on IRC, with the next public IRC meeting coming up at the end of March. During that meeting Utkarsh shared that after he rolled out the python-certbot update (on December 8th 2020) the maintainer told him: I just checked with Let s Encrypt, and the stats show that you just saved 142,500 people from having their certificates start failing next month. I didn t know LTS was still that used!

Finally, we would like to welcome sipgate GmbH as a new silver sponsor. Also remember that we are constantly looking for new contributors. Please contact Holger if you are interested. The security tracker currently lists 43 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 23 packages needing an update. Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

27 January 2021

Jonathan Dowland: 2020 in Fiction

Cover for Susanna Clarke's Piranesi
Cover for Emily St. John Mandel's Station 11
I managed to read 31 "books" in 2020. I'm happy with that. I thought the Pandemic would prevent me reaching my goal (30), since I did most of my reading on the commute to the Newcastle office, pre-pandemic. Somehow I've managed to compensate. I started setting a goal for books read per year in 2012 when I started to use goodreads. Doing so started to influence the type of reading I do (which is the reason I stopped my Interzone subscription in 2014, although I resumed it again sometime afterwards). Once I realised that I've been a bit more careful to ensure setting a goal was a worthwhile thing to do and not just another source of stress in my life. Two books I read were published in 2020. The first was Robert Galbraith's (a.k.a. J K Rowling's) Troubled Blood, the fifth (and largest) in the series of crime novels featuring Cormoran Strike (and the equally important Robin Ellacott). Nowadays Rowling is a controversial figure, but I'm not writing about that today, or the book itself, in much detail: briefly, it exceeded expectations, and my wife and I really enjoyed it. The other was Susanna Clarke's Piranesi: an utterly fantastic modern-fantasy story, quite short, completely different to her successful debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I really loved this book, partly because it appeals to my love of fantasy geography, but also because it is very well put together, with a strong sense of the value of people's lives. A couple of the other books I read were quite Pandemic-appropriate. I tore through Josh Malerman's Bird Box, a fast-paced post-apocalyptic style horror/suspense story. The appeal was mostly in the construction and delivery: the story itself was strong enough to support the book at the length that it is, but I don't really feel it could have lasted much longer, and so I've no idea how the new sequel (Malorie) will work. The other was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This was a story about a group of travelling musicians in a post-apocalyptic (post-pandemic) North America. A cast of characters all revolve around their relationship (or six degrees of separation) to an actor who died just prior to the Pandemic. The world-building in this book was really strong, and I felt sufficiently invested in the characters that I would love to read more about them in another book. However, I think that (although I'm largely just guessing here), in common with Bird Box, the setting was there to support the novel and the ideas that the author wanted to get across, and so I (sadly) doubt she will return to it. Finally I read a lot of short fiction. I'll write more about that in a separate blog post.

22 January 2021

Robert McQueen: Launching Endless OS Foundation

Passion Led Us Here

How our for-profit company became a nonprofit, to better tackle the digital divide. Originally posted on the Endless OS Foundation blog.

An 8-year journey to a nonprofit On the 1st of April 2020, our for-profit Endless Mobile officially became a nonprofit as the Endless OS Foundation. Our launch as a nonprofit just as the global pandemic took hold was, predictably, hardly noticed, but for us the timing was incredible: as the world collectively asked What can we do to help others in need? , we framed our mission statement and launched our .org with the same very important question in mind. Endless always had a social impact mission at its heart, and the challenges related to students, families, and communities falling further into the digital divide during COVID-19 brought new urgency and purpose to our team s decision to officially step in the social welfare space.
On April 1st 2020, our for-profit Endless Mobile officially became a nonprofit as the Endless OS Foundation, focused on the #DigitalDivide.
Our updated status was a long time coming: we began our transformation to a nonprofit organization in late 2019 with the realization that the true charter and passions of our team would be greatly accelerated without the constraints of for-profit goals, investors and sales strategies standing in the way of our mission of digital access and equity for all. But for 8 years we made a go of it commercially, headquartered in Silicon Valley and framing ourselves as a tech startup with access to the venture capital and partnerships on our doorstep. We believed that a successful commercial channel would be the most efficient way to scale the impact of bringing computer devices and access to communities in need. We still believe this we ve just learned through our experience that we don t have the funding to enter the computer and OS marketplace head-on. With the social impact goal first, and the hope of any revenue a secondary goal, we have had many successes in those 8 years bridging the digital divide throughout the world, from Brazil, to Kenya, and the USA. We ve learned a huge amount which will go on to inform our strategy as a nonprofit.
Endless always had a social impact mission at its heart. COVID-19 brought new urgency and purpose to our team s decision to officially step in the social welfare space.
Our unique perspective One thing we learned as a for-profit is that the OS and technology we ve built has some unique properties which are hugely impactful as a working solution to digital equity barriers. And our experience deploying in the field around the world for 8 years has left us uniquely informed via many iterations and incremental improvements.
Endless OS designer in discussion with prospective user
With this knowledge in-hand, we ve been refining our strategy throughout 2020 and now starting to focus on what it really means to become an effective nonprofit and make that impact. In many ways it is liberating to abandon the goals and constraints of being a for-profit entity, and in other ways it s been a challenging journey for me and the team to adjust our way of thinking and let these for-profit notions and models go. Previously we exclusively built and sold a product that defined our success; and any impact we achieved was a secondary consequence of that success and seen through that lens. Now our success is defined purely in terms of social impact, and through our actions, those positive impacts can be made with or without our product . That means that we may develop and introduce technology to solve a problem, but it is equally as valid to find another organization s existing offering and design a way to increase that positive impact and scale.
We develop technology to solve access equity issues, but it s equally as valid to find another organization s offering and partner in a way that increases their positive impact.
The analogy to Free and Open Source Software is very strong while Endless has always used and contributed to a wide variety of FOSS projects, we ve also had a tension where we ve been trying to hold some pieces back and capture value such as our own application or content ecosystem, our own hardware platform necessarily making us competitors to other organisations even though they were hoping to achieve the same things as us. As a nonprofit we can let these ideas go and just pick the best partners and technologies to help the people we re trying to reach.
School kids writing on paper
Digital equity 4 barriers we need to overcome In future, our decisions around which projects to build or engage with will revolve around 4 barriers to digital equity, and how our Endless OS, Endless projects, or our partners offerings can help to solve them. We define these 4 equity barriers as: barriers to devices, barriers to connectivity, barriers to literacy in terms of your ability to use the technology, and barriers to engagement in terms of whether using the system is rewarding and worthwhile.
We define the 4 digital equity barriers we exist to impact as:
1. barriers to devices
2. barriers to connectivity
3. barriers to literacy
4. barriers to engagement
It doesn t matter who makes the solutions that break these barriers; what matters is how we assist in enabling people to use technology to gain access to the education and opportunities these barriers block. Our goal therefore is to simply ensure that solutions exist building them ourselves and with partners such as the FOSS community and other nonprofits proving them with real-world deployments, and sharing our results as widely as possible to allow for better adoption globally. If we define our goal purely in terms of whether people are using Endless OS, we are effectively restricting the reach and scale of our solutions to the audience we can reach directly with Endless OS downloads, installs and propagation. Conversely, partnerships that scale impact are a win-win-win for us, our partners, and the communities we all serve. Engineering impact Our Endless engineering roots and capabilities feed our unique ability to build and deploy all of our solutions, and the practical experience of deploying them gives us evidence and credibility as we advocate for their use. Either activity would be weaker without the other.
Our engineering roots and capabilities feed our unique ability to build and deploy digital divide solutions.
Our partners in various engineering communities will have already seen our change in approach. Particularly, with GNOME we are working hard to invest in upstream and reconcile the long-standing differences between our experience and GNOME. If successful, many more people can benefit from our work than just users of Endless OS. We re working with Learning Equality on Kolibri to build a better app experience for Linux desktop users and bring content publishers into our ecosystem for the first time, and we ve also taken our very own Hack, the immersive and fun destination for kids learning to code, released it for non-Endless systems on Flathub, and made it fully open-source.
Planning tasks with sticky notes on a whiteboard
What s next for our OS? What then is in store for the future of Endless OS, the place where we have invested so much time and planning through years of iterations? For the immediate future, we need the capacity to deploy everything we ve built all at once, to our partners. We built an OS that we feel is very unique and valuable, containing a number of world-firsts: first production OS shipped with OSTree, first Flatpak-only desktop, built-in support for updating OS and apps from USBs, while still providing a great deal of reliability and convenience for deployments in offline and educational-safe environments with great apps and content loaded on every system. However, we need to find a way to deliver this Linux-based experience in a more efficient way, and we d love to talk if you have ideas about how we can do this, perhaps as partners. Can the idea of Endless OS evolve to become a spec that is provided by different platforms in the future, maybe remixes of Debian, Fedora, openSUSE or Ubuntu? Build, Validate, Advocate Beyond the OS, the Endless OS Foundation has identified multiple programs to help underserved communities, and in each case we are adopting our build, validate, advocate strategy. This approach underpins all of our projects: can we build the technology (or assist in the making), will a community in-need validate it by adoption, and can we inspire others by telling the story and advocating for its wider use?
We are adopting a build, validate, advocate strategy.
1. build the technology (or assist in the making)
2. validate by community adoption
3. advocate for its wider use
As examples, we have just launched the Endless Key (link) as an offline solution for students during the COVID-19 at-home distance learning challenges. This project is also establishing a first-ever partnership of well-known online educational brands to reach an underserved offline audience with valuable learning resources. We are developing a pay-as-you-go platform and new partnerships that will allow families to own laptops via micro-payments that are built directly into the operating system, even if they cannot qualify for standard retail financing. And during the pandemic, we ve partnered with Teach For America to focus on very practical digital equity needs in the USA s urban and rural communities. One part of the world-wide digital divide solution We are one solution provider for the complex matrix of issues known collectively as the #DigitalDivide, and these issues will not disappear after the pandemic. Digital equity was an issue long before COVID-19, and we are not so naive to think it can be solved by any single institution, or by the time the pandemic recedes. It will take time and a coalition of partnerships to win. We are in for the long-haul and we are always looking for partners, especially now as we are finding our feet in the nonprofit world. We d love to hear from you, so please feel free to reach out to me I m ramcq on IRC, RocketChat, Twitter, LinkedIn or rob@endlessos.org.

20 January 2021

Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian s report about Debian Long Term Support, December 2020

A Debian LTS logo Like each month, have a look at the work funded by Freexian s Debian LTS offering. Debian project funding In December, we put aside 2100 EUR to fund Debian projects. The first project proposal (a tracker.debian.org improvement for the security team) was received and quickly approved by the paid contributors, then we opened a request for bids and the bid winner was announced today (it was easy, we had only one candidate). Hopefully this first project will be completed until our next report. We re looking forward to receive more projects from various Debian teams! Learn more about the rationale behind this initiative in this article. Debian LTS contributors In December, 12 contributors have been paid to work on Debian LTS, their reports are available: Evolution of the situation December was a quiet month as we didn t have a team meeting nor any other unusual activity and we released 43 DLAs. The security tracker currently lists 30 packages with a known CVE and the dla-needed.txt file has 25 packages needing an update. This month we are pleased to welcome Deveryware as new sponsor! Thanks to our sponsors Sponsors that joined recently are in bold.

1 January 2021

Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in December 2020

Here s my (fifteenth) monthly update about the activities I ve done in the F/L/OSS world.

Debian
This was my 24th month of contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March last year and a DD last Christmas! \o/ Amongs a lot of things, this was month was crazy, hectic, adventerous, and the last of 2020 more on some parts later this month.
I finally finished my 7th semester (FTW!) and moved onto my last one! That said, I had been busy with other things but still did a bunch of Debian stuff Here are the following things I did this month:

Uploads and bug fixes:

Other $things:
  • Attended the Debian Ruby team meeting.
  • Mentoring for newcomers.
  • FTP Trainee reviewing.
  • Moderation of -project mailing list.
  • Sponsored golang-github-gorilla-css for Fedrico.

Debian (E)LTS
Debian Long Term Support (LTS) is a project to extend the lifetime of all Debian stable releases to (at least) 5 years. Debian LTS is not handled by the Debian security team, but by a separate group of volunteers and companies interested in making it a success. And Debian Extended LTS (ELTS) is its sister project, extending support to the Jessie release (+2 years after LTS support). This was my fifteenth month as a Debian LTS and sixth month as a Debian ELTS paid contributor.
I was assigned 26.00 hours for LTS and 38.25 hours for ELTS and worked on the following things:

LTS CVE Fixes and Announcements:
  • Issued DLA 2474-1, fixing CVE-2020-28928, for musl.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.1.16-3+deb9u1.
  • Issued DLA 2481-1, fixing CVE-2020-25709 and CVE-2020-25710, for openldap.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 2.4.44+dfsg-5+deb9u6.
  • Issued DLA 2484-1, fixing #969126, for python-certbot.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 0.28.0-1~deb9u3.
  • Issued DLA 2487-1, fixing CVE-2020-27350, for apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.11. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2488-1, fixing CVE-2020-27351, for python-apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.2. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2495-1, fixing CVE-2020-17527, for tomcat8.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 8.5.54-0+deb9u5.
  • Issued DLA 2488-2, for python-apt.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.4.3. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Julian.
  • Issued DLA 2508-1, fixing CVE-2020-35730, for roundcube.
    For Debian 9 Stretch, these problems have been fixed in version 1.2.3+dfsg.1-4+deb9u8. The update was prepared by the maintainer, Guilhem.

ELTS CVE Fixes and Announcements:

Other (E)LTS Work:
  • Front-desk duty from 21-12 until 27-12 and from 28-12 until 03-01 for both LTS and ELTS.
  • Triaged openldap, python-certbot, lemonldap-ng, qemu, gdm3, open-iscsi, gobby, jackson-databind, wavpack, cairo, nsd, tomcat8, and bountycastle.
  • Marked CVE-2020-17527/tomcat8 as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-28052/bountycastle as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-14394/qemu as postponed for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35738/wavpack as not-affected for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-3550 3-6 /qemu as postponed for jessie.
  • Marked CVE-2020-3550 3-6 /qemu as postponed for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-16093/lemonldap-ng as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-27837/gdm3 as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020- 13987, 13988, 17437 /open-iscsi as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35450/gobby as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-35728/jackson-databind as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Marked CVE-2020-28935/nsd as no-dsa for stretch.
  • Auto EOL ed libpam-tacplus, open-iscsi, wireshark, gdm3, golang-go.crypto, jackson-databind, spotweb, python-autobahn, asterisk, nsd, ruby-nokogiri, linux, and motion for jessie.
  • General discussion on LTS private and public mailing list.

Other $things! \o/

Bugs and Patches Well, I did report some bugs and issues and also sent some patches:
  • Issue #44 for github-activity-readme, asking for a feature request to set custom committer s email address.
  • Issue #711 for git2go, reporting build failure for the library.
  • PR #89 for rubocop-rails_config, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • Issue #36 for rubocop-packaging, asking to try out mutant :)
  • PR #212 for cucumber-ruby-core, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • PR #213 for cucumber-ruby-core, enabling RuboCop::Packaging.
  • Issue #19 for behance, asking to relax constraints on faraday and faraday_middleware.
  • PR #37 for rubocop-packaging, enabling tests against ruby3.0! \o/
  • PR #489 for cucumber-rails, bumping RuboCop::Packaging to v0.5.
  • Issue #362 for nheko, reporting a crash when opening the application.
  • PR #1282 for paper_trail, adding RuboCop::Packaging amongst other used extensions.
  • Bug #978640 for nheko Debian package, reporting a crash, as a result of libfmt7 regression.

Misc and Fun Besides squashing bugs and submitting patches, I did some other things as well!
  • Participated in my first Advent of Code event! :)
    Whilst it was indeed fun, I didn t really complete it. No reason, really. But I ll definitely come back stronger next year, heh! :)
    All the solutions thus far could be found here.
  • Did a couple of reviews for some PRs and triaged some bugs here and there, meh.
  • Also did some cloud debugging, not so fun if you ask me, but cool enough to make me want to do it again! ^_^
  • Worked along with pollo, zigo, ehashman, rlb, et al for puppet and puppetserver in Debian. OMG, they re so lovely! <3
  • Ordered some interesting books to read January onward. New year resolution? Meh, not really. Or maybe. But nah.
  • Also did some interesting stuff this month but can t really talk about it now. Hopefully sooooon.

Until next time.
:wq for today.

20 December 2020

Russ Allbery: Review: Can't Even

Review: Can't Even, by Anne Helen Petersen
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright: 2020
ISBN: 0-358-31659-6
Format: Kindle
Pages: 230
Like many other people, I first became aware of Anne Helen Petersen's journalism when her Buzzfeed article "How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation" went viral. Can't Even is the much-awaited (at least by me) book-length expansion of that thesis: The United States is, as a society, burning out, and that burnout is falling on millennials the hardest. We're not recognizing the symptoms because we think burnout looks like something dramatic and flashy. But for most people burnout looks less like a nervous breakdown and more like constant background anxiety and lack of energy.
Laura, who lives in Chicago and works as a special ed teacher, never wants to see her friends, or date, or cook she's so tired, she just wants to melt into the couch. "But then I can't focus on what I'm watching, and end up unfocused again, and not completely relaxing," she explained. "Here I am telling you I don't even relax right! I feel bad about feeling bad! But by the time I have leisure time, I just want to be alone!"
Petersen explores this idea across childhood, education, work, family, and parenting, but the core of her thesis is the precise opposite of the pervasive myth that millennials are entitled and lazy (a persistent generational critique that Petersen points out was also leveled at their Baby Boomer parents in the 1960s and 1970s). Millennials aren't slackers; they're workaholics from childhood, for whom everything has become a hustle and a second (or third or fourth) job. The struggle with "adulting" is a symptom of the burnout on the other side of exhaustion, the mental failures that happen when you've forced yourself to keep going on empty so many times that it's left lingering damage. Petersen is a synthesizing writer who draws together the threads of other books rather than going deep on a novel concept, so if you've been reading about work, psychology, stress, and productivity, many of the ideas here will be familiar. But she's been reading the same authors that I've been reading (Tressie McMillan Cottom, Emily Guendelsberger, Brigid Schulte, and even Cal Newport), and this was the book that helped me pull those analyses together into a coherent picture. That picture starts with the shift of risk in the 1970s and 1980s from previously stable corporations with long-lasting jobs and retirement pensions onto individual employees. The corresponding rise in precarity and therefore fear led to a concerted effort to re-establish a feeling of control. Baby Boomers doubled down on personal responsibility and personal capability, replacing unstructured childhood for their kids with planned activities and academic achievement. That generation, in turn, internalized the need for constant improvement, constant grading, and constant achievement, accepting an implied bargain that if they worked very hard, got good grades, got into good schools, and got a good degree, it would pay off in a good life and financial security. They were betrayed. The payoff never happened; many millennials graduated into the Great Recession and the worst economy since World War II. In response, millennials doubled down on the only path to success they were taught. They took on more debt, got more education, moved back in with their parents to cut expenses, and tried even harder.
Even after watching our parents get shut out, fall from, or simply struggle anxiously to maintain the American Dream, we didn't reject it. We tried to work harder, and better, more efficiently, with more credentials, to achieve it.
Once one has this framework in mind, it's startling how pervasive the "just try harder" message is and how deeply we've internalized it. It is at the center of the time management literature: Getting Things Done focuses almost entirely on individual efficiency. Later time management work has become more aware of the importance of pruning the to-do list and doing fewer things, but addresses that through techniques for individual prioritization. Cal Newport is more aware than most that constant busyness and multitasking interacts poorly with the human brain, and has taken a few tentative steps towards treating the problem as systemic rather than individual, but his focus is still primarily on individual choices. Even when tackling a problem that is clearly societal, such as the monetization of fear and outrage on social media, the solutions are all individual: recognize that those platforms are bad for you, make an individual determination that your attention is being exploited, and quit social media through your personal force of will. And this isn't just productivity systems. Most of public discussion of environmentalism in the United States is about personal energy consumption, your individual carbon footprint, household recycling, and whether you personally should eat meat. Discussions of monopoly and monopsony become debates over whether you personally should buy from Amazon. Concerns about personal privacy turn into advocacy for using an ad blocker or shaming people for using Google products. Articles about the growth of right-wing extremism become exhortations to take responsibility for the right-wing extremist in your life and argue them out of their beliefs over the dinner table. Every major systemic issue facing society becomes yet another personal obligation, another place we are failing as individuals, something else that requires trying harder, learning more, caring more, doing more. This advice is well-meaning (mostly; sometimes it is an intentional and cynical diversion), and can even be effective with specific problems. But it's also a trap. If you're feeling miserable, you just haven't found the right combination of time-block scheduling, kanban, and bullet journaling yet. If you're upset at corporate greed and the destruction of the environment, the change starts with you and your household. The solution is in your personal hands; you just have try a little harder, work a little harder, make better decisions, and spend money more ethically (generally by buying more expensive products). And therefore, when we're already burned out, every topic becomes another failure, increasing our already excessive guilt and anxiety. Believing that we're in control, even when we're not, does have psychological value. That's part of what makes it such a beguiling trap. While drafting this review, I listened to Ezra Klein's interview with Robert Sapolsky on poverty and stress, and one of the points he made is that, when mildly or moderately bad things happen, believing you have control is empowering. It lets you recast the setback as a larger disaster that you were able to prevent and avoid a sense of futility. But when something major goes wrong, believing you have control is actively harmful to your mental health. The tragedy is now also a personal failure, leading to guilt and internal recrimination on top of the effects of the tragedy itself. This is why often the most comforting thing we can say to someone else after a personal disaster is "there's nothing you could have done." Believing we can improve our lives if we just try a little harder does work, until it doesn't. And because it does work for smaller things, it's hard to abandon; in the short term, believing we're at the mercy of forces outside our control feels even worse. So we double down on self-improvement, giving ourselves even more things to attempt to do and thus burning out even more. Petersen is having none of this, and her anger is both satisfying and clarifying.
In writing that article, and this book, I haven't cured anyone's burnout, including my own. But one thing did become incredibly clear. This isn't a personal problem. It's a societal one and it will not be cured by productivity apps, or a bullet journal, or face mask skin treatments, or overnight fucking oats. We gravitate toward those personal cures because they seem tenable, and promise that our lives can be recentered, and regrounded, with just a bit more discipline, a new app, a better email organization strategy, or a new approach to meal planning. But these are all merely Band-Aids on an open wound. They might temporarily stop the bleeding, but when they fall off, and we fail at our new-found discipline, we just feel worse.
Structurally, Can't Even is half summaries of other books and essays put into this overall structure and half short profiles and quotes from millennials that illustrate her point. This is Petersen's typical journalistic style if you're familiar with her other work. It gains a lot from the voices of individuals, but it can also feel like argument from anecdote. If there's a epistemic flaw in this book, it's that Petersen defends her arguments more with examples than with scientific study. I've read enough of the other books she cites, many of which do go into the underlying studies and statistics, to know that her argument is well-grounded, but I think Can't Even works better as a roadmap and synthesis than as a primary source of convincing data. The other flaw that I'll mention is that although Petersen tries very hard to incorporate poorer and non-white millennials, I don't think the effort was successful, and I'm not sure it was possible within the structure of this book. She frequently makes a statement that's accurate and insightful for millennials from white, middle-class families, acknowledges that it doesn't entirely apply to, for example, racial minorities, and then moves on without truly reconciling those two perspectives. I think this is a deep structural problem: One's experience of American life is very different depending on race and class, and the phenomenon that Petersen is speaking to is to an extent specific to those social classes who had a more comfortable and relaxing life and are losing it. One way to see the story of the modern economy is that white people are becoming as precarious as everyone else already was, and are reacting by making the lives of non-white people yet more miserable. Petersen is accurately pointing to significant changes in relationships with employers, productivity, family, and the ideology of individualism, but experiencing that as a change is more applicable to white people than non-white people. That means there are, in a way, two books here: one about the slow collapse of the white middle class into constant burnout, and a different book about the much longer-standing burnout of being non-white in the United States and our systemic failure to address the causes of it. Petersen tries to gesture at the second book, but she's not the person to write it and those two books cannot comfortably live between the same covers. The gestures therefore feel awkward and forced, and while the discomfort itself serves some purpose, it lacks the insight that Petersen brings to the rest of the book. Those critiques aside, I found Can't Even immensely clarifying. It's the first book that explained to me in a way I understood what's so demoralizing and harmful about Instagram and its allure of cosplaying as a successful person. It helped me understand how productivity and individual political choices fit into a system that emphasizes individual action as an excuse to not address collective problems. And it also gave me a strange form of hope, because if something can't go on forever, it will, at some point, stop.
Millennials have been denigrated and mischaracterized, blamed for struggling in situations that set us up to fail. But if we have the endurance and aptitude and wherewithal to work ourselves this deeply into the ground, we also have the strength to fight. We have little savings and less stability. Our anger is barely contained. We're a pile of ashes smoldering, a bad memory of our best selves. Underestimate us at your peril: We have so little left to lose.
Nothing will change without individual people making different decisions and taking different actions than they are today. But we have gone much too far down the path of individual, atomized actions that may produce feelings of personal virtue but that are a path to ineffectiveness and burnout when faced with systemic problems. We need to make different choices, yes, but choices towards solidarity and movement politics rather than personal optimization. There is a backlash coming. If we let it ground itself in personal grievance, it could turn ugly and take a racist and nationalist direction. But that's not, by in large, what millennials have done, and that makes me optimistic. If we embrace the energy of that backlash and help shape it to be more inclusive, just, and fair, we can rediscover the effectiveness of collective solutions for collective problems. Rating: 8 out of 10

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