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Debian

Miriam Ballhausen & Debian Money, DebConf Online, insulting a volunteer at a time of grief

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Debian

DebConf20 was due to take place in Haifa, Israel this year (a separate controversy about Debian censoring Palestine) but it was moved online due to the pandemic.

Therefore, what happens to all the sponsorship money collected in 2020?

For the first time ever, Debian paid somebody to work on DebConf fundraising as an Outreachy intern, generating a lot of gossip that is unfair to the woman concerned. Naturally, as in any business, fundraising salaries and other costs of acquiring sponsors are the first things that will be deducted from the budget. We share the view of those who feel she was underpaid: the woman is a highly experienced event organizer. Debian paid a total of $6,000 for her services, $2,000 per month. $500 was deducted by Outreachy administrator, Sage Sharp. This is also controversial, as Sage Sharp does the same work that Debian's GSoC Administrators do, Sage Sharp receives a cut of the money but the Debian GSoC Administrators don't receive anything. If the intern was employed at an event management company in Israel, she would have received more than $6,000 every month, overtime pay, illness and accident insurance, pension, maternity rights and a performance bonus. Many non-profit organizations give their fundraising staff at least 10% of all revenues as salary and bonus.

After deducting the $5,500 Outreachy salary and $500 Sage Sharp fees, what does Debian do with the rest of the money from these sponsors? As we are online in 2020, there are no venue expenses, no travel and accommodation expenses.

Will this money be used to pay all the volunteers for the next DebConfs? Or will it be used for other Debian purposes?

Let's have a look at DebConf13 to find the answer.

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Twenty years with Debian on the desktop – and no regrets

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Debian

It was in August 2000 that I finally took the plunge to use Linux without the back-up of a dual-boot system, reasoning that if I did not cut the strings at some point, it would never happen.

My choice of Linux distribution was Debian, something I have never regretted in the years since, as I have grown from a nervous novice to someone who can negotiate this operating system with something approaching confidence.

Prior to that, for about two years, I experimented with other Linux distributions, running first Red Hat and then Slackware, and trying to learn what I could to make the switch. I had to give up on both these distributions because they lacked a proper mechanism to update the whole system.

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PureOS for Creatives Part 2: Audio Engineering with the Librem 15

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OS
Debian

PureOS, the operating system that powers Librem’s range of Purism products – is built upon a powerful Debian-based foundation that is stable, reliable and secure–perfect for today’s digital content creators.

One use-case scenario, is using the Librem Mini, Librem 15, or the upcoming Librem 14 as the centerpiece of your music studio. There are several programs available for free in the PureOS Store that will turn your computer into a multi-track recording studio, like the powerful and professional-grade DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Ardour.

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How was Linux Australia coerced to change stance on Jacob Appelbaum?

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Linux
Debian

We've recently read that Debian Developer Russell Coker spread the vendetta against Jacob Appelbaum from Debian to Linux Australia. It is a vendetta that has spread through the entire free software community in a manner not unlike coronavirus.

Shortly after that, on 22 June 2016, Linux Australia publicly stated they would wait for the matter to become clearer before deciding if any response was necessary.

Eight days later, on 1 July 2016, Linux Australia published a long email publicly denouncing Jacob Appelbaum. They reached the decision to do that in just eight days, but four years later, the situation hasn't actually changed: not one person ever filed a police complaint against Appelbaum.

blackmail
What forces influenced Linux Australia to set their principles aside?

Fellowship has a lot of experience of these things and we want to put them in the open.

[...]

Many large free software organizations have been infiltrated by companies like Google. This means there are Google employees who are members and sometimes board members in non-profit organizations like Linux Australia. If one of these companies decided that Jacob Appelbaum is bad for business, their employees would have been ordered to make the kill.

Corporate infiltrators rarely reveal when they are acting on company orders like this. Remember the Google motto: don't get caught doing evil.

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Sparky 2020.08 Special Editions

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GNU
Linux
Debian

Special editions of Sparky 2020.08 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

Changes:
• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of August 24, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.7.10 (5.8.3 & 5.9-rc2 in Sparky unstable repos)
• added Memory Test and Hardware Detection to the live config
• installed qt5ct + added qt5ct config to Openbox & Xfce desktops
• GCC 9 removed; the default compiler is GCC 10 now
• Xfce 4.14
• Firefox 79.0
• LibreOffice 7.0.1~rc1
• VLC 3.0.11
• Calamares 3.2.24
• removed packages from GameOver iso: balder2d, crrcsim, flare, frozen-bubble
• added new packages to GameOver iso: gamemode
• small improvements

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Septor 2020.4

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GNU
Linux
Debian

Tor Browser is fully installed (9.5.4)
System upgrade from Debian Buster repos as of August 25, 2020
Update Linux Kernel to 5.7.10
Update Thunderbird to 68.11.0-1
Update VLC to 3.0.11
Update ffmpeg to 4.1.6.1
Update Youtube-dl to 2020.07.28

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Debian falsified harassment claims in Appelbaum expulsion

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Debian

In 2016, there was an enormous amount of noise about Jacob Appelbaum from the Tor Project and winner of the Henri Nannen Prize for journalism.

An anonymous web site had been set up with allegations of harassment, abuse and rape. Unlike the #MeToo movement, which came later, nobody identified themselves and nobody filed a police complaint. It appears that the site was run by people who live in another country and have no daily contact with Appelbaum. Therefore, many people feel this wasn't about justice or immediate threats to their safety.

Long discussions took place in the private mailing lists of many free software communities, including Debian. Personally, as a I focus on my employer, clients and family and as there are so many long email discussions in Debian, I don't follow most of these things. I've come to regret that as it is now clear that at least some claims may have been falsified, a serious injustice has transpired and this could have been easily detected.

I don't wish to discount the experiences of anybody who has been a victim of a crime. However, in the correspondence that was circulated within Debian, the only person who has technically been harassed is Jacob Appelbaum himself. If Appelbaum does have a case to answer then organizations muddying the waters, inventing additional victims, may undermine the stories of real victims.

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Molly de Blanc & Debian: pushing volunteers boundaries, DebConf orgy

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GNU
Linux
Debian

Looking at the Jacob Appelbaum allegations again, somebody tweeted that he had used their work in 2007 without properly crediting them in a research paper. This is a serious issue in the academic world. Nonetheless, we can see exactly the same behavior in Debian: multiple people have been removed from the list of Debian Developers, while Debian continues to distribute their work and take credit for it. The most blatant example of this was Dr Preining, who was told to keep working as a Debian Maintainer, like an apprentice, but he wouldn't be credited for his work as a Debian Developer. Ironically, the software that Dr Preining packages is the LaTeX software. This is the same software that is typically used to format the academic research papers that Jacob Appelbaum is accused of creating from other people's work. How could Debian deny Dr Preining full and proper credit for his work while adding weight to accusations of plagiarism against another volunteer, Appelbaum?

It is not clear if the tweet about plagiarism is noteworthy. Genuine mistakes with crediting authors are not unprecedented and are usually fixed behind the scenes by releasing an updated copy of the paper and a thank-you note on a blog. Many of the Appelbaum allegations are simply misunderstandings that have been hyped by the media.

Back into the domain of pushing people's boundaries, as alleged by Lunar, when you read the self-deprecating confession-apology that Dr Preining wrote, it should be clear that this was not written spontaneously and under his own free will: in Debian, consent is rarely taken seriously. Dr Preining's boundaries were pushed by three months of blackmail.

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Erinn Clark & Debian: Justice or another Open Source vendetta?

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Debian

In criminology research, between thirty and fifty percent of women surveyed typically indicated they have experienced sexual violence or rape.

Experience of the authorities also tells us that on average, over ninety percent of crime reports are true yet between five and ten percent of accusations are proven to be false, motivated by money, vendettas and women with mental illness.

In 2016, a small group of people came to the debian-private (leaked) gossip network to tell us what they thought about Jacob Appelbaum. Why did they choose to air stories from their friends in this way instead of going to the police to make a sincere statement under oath?

[...]

Why does Debian put so much effort into software licensing rights, as proclaimed in the Debian Free Software Guidelines, but ignore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? After all, even software licenses are derived from UDHR Article 22, cultural rights.

We know for a fact that at least some of the accusations spread with Debian resources are false. The case of Dr Norbert Preining, expelled for Thought Crime™ just days before Christmas 2018, is one of the most well known.

The misuse of Debian's name and resources, denouncing people in a manner that achieves maximum damage to their reputation, is the only crime that has ever been proven by visible evidence.

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Laura Arjona Reina & Debian, Carnival Mafia murders

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Debian

One of the revelations from the expulsion of Dr Norbert Preining is the role of Laura Arjona Reina (larjona) sending him nasty emails a few days before Christmas.

Drawing attention to an email chain like this inevitably encourages other victims to ask for help. We now know that Dr Preining isn't the only recipient of harassment and abuse from Arjona. With that in mind, we are doing a more thorough analysis to see if other victims of the Anti-harassment team will come forward.

Dr Preining has contributed many years of effort maintaining the LaTeX packages. Debian records show that Arjona is only a novice, non-developing Developer who has been present for a much shorter period. Unlike Dr Preining, Arjona never contributed a single package.

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