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04.19.19

Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Back in the Day: UNIX, Minix and Linux

    I don’t remember my UCSD email address, but some years later, I was part of the admin team on the major UUCP hub hplabs, and my email address was simply hplabs!taylor.

    Somewhere along the way, networking leaped forward with TCP/IP (we had TCP/IP “Bake Offs” to test interoperability). Once we had many-to-many connectivity, it was clear that the “bang” notation was unusable and unnecessarily complicated. We didn’t want to worry about routing, just destination. Enter the “@” sign. I became taylor@hplabs.com.

    Meanwhile, UNIX kept growing, and the X Window System from MIT gained popularity as a UI layer atop the UNIX command line. In fact, X is a public domain implementation of the windowing system my colleagues and I first saw at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. PARC had computers where multiple programs were on the screen simultaneously in “windows”, and there was a pointer device used to control them—so cool. Doug Englebart was inspired too; he went back to Stanford Research Institute and invented the mouse to make control of those windows easier. At Apple, they also saw what was being created at PARC and were inspired to create the Macintosh with all its windowing goodness.

    Still, who doesn’t love the command line, as Ritchie and Kernighan had originally designed it in the early days of UNIX? (UNIX, by the way, is a wordplay on a prior multiuser operating system called Multics, but that’s another story.)

  • Desktop

    • Entroware launches desktop-grade Helios laptop lineup with Ubuntu Linux

      Entroware is a relatively new UK-based company that specializes in Linux-based laptops. There are several lineups designed for specific budgets and almost all of these are now getting upgraded components up to gen 9 Intel CPUs and RTX 2080 GPUs. Additionally, Entroware is introducing the Helios high-end lineup with desktop-grade components.

      The budget-oriented Apollo 14-inch laptop has been updated with Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs up to Core i7-8565U, while the RAM capacity has been upped to 32 GB of DDR4-2400, and the total storage space can be expanded to 6 TB (2 TB SATA SSD + 2 TB NVME SSD + external 2 TB HDD). Prices for this model start from ~US$850. The similar 15-inch Proteus model has prices starting at ~US$1,000.

    • This is how System76 does open hardware

      Most people know very little about the hardware in their computers. As a long-time Linux user, I’ve had my share of frustration while getting my wireless cards, video cards, displays, and other hardware working with my chosen distribution. Proprietary hardware often makes it difficult to determine why an Ethernet controller, wireless controller, or mouse performs differently than we expect. As Linux distributions have matured, this has become less of a problem, but we still see some quirks with touchpads and other peripherals, especially when we don’t know much—if anything—about our underlying hardware.

      Companies like System76 aim to take these types of problems out of the Linux user experience. System76 manufactures a line of Linux laptops, desktops, and servers, and even offers its own Linux distro, Pop! OS, as an option for buyers, Recently I had the privilege of visiting System76′s plant in Denver for the unveiling of Thelio, its new desktop product line.

    • 9 Essential Linux Classroom Tools

      Educators face a constant variety of challenges that can impact classroom management and the learning process. An inattentive audience, mobile phone texting, disruption by unruly students, absenteeism, time constraints, students forced to take a course they would rather have avoided, and regular changes to the curriculum are just a few examples of the difficulties faced by teachers. Fortunately, there are many different ways for those involved in education, whether in teaching, training, or leadership, to help to improve student’s learning in the classroom, and overcome the obstacles that are encountered.

      Information and communications technology (ICT) plays an important role in the planning, delivery, assessment and recording of classroom lessons. The software featured in this software offers indispensable ways to help manage a computer-based classroom, and provide the freedom to offer an exciting, creative, and challenging environment.

      With this software, educators can create, administer, and grade tests, help manage a computer-based classroom, create an interactive whiteboard, and produce modular courses. All of the software featured in this article is released under a freely distributable license and can be downloaded without charge. With even tighter constraints facing the public sector, cost is an important consideration for any ICT solution.

      To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 9 of the finest classroom tools covering a wide variety of different ways to effectively integrate ICT into the classroom. Here’s our verdict.

    • Linux survival guide: These 21 applications let you move easily between Linux and Windows

      In this article, we’re spotlighting 20 applications that are functionally identical (or at least pretty similar) between Windows and Linux.

      While there aren’t absolute brand-for-brand equivalents for about 30 percent of the applications, there are workable substitute solutions.

      In the following slides, I’ll show you the applications that are either exact matches across platforms, or which work as solid substitute solutions when jumping between platforms and still needing to get the job done.

  • Server

    • Newer isn’t always better when performance is critical

      Some years before I formalised my engineering education, I was working as an instrument technician on a seismic survey vessel mapping an area off West Africa. These ships map the geology under the sea bed as the first stage of marine oil exploration. In full production, a single vessel will generate a revenue of several hundred thousand dollars a day. So you need to have a good excuse for when the recording system fails and you leave a hole in the survey coverage, especially when you have an ex-military Norwegian built like the proverbial Viking as party manager.

      The recording system was crashing; no error warnings, no smoke or fire. It just stopped recording. Repeatedly. The survey was looking like a cartoon Swiss cheese that had been attacked by hungry mice. What had changed? To save money the company had developed its own recording system, replacing Old Faithful with New Unreliable. I had my reservations when the prototype was tested in parallel with Old Faithful leading to my tearing out the connection between the two systems with under a minute to the start of a production line to go. I was younger then and could handle the excitement.

    • Minikube: 5 ways IT teams can use it

      As far as tool names go, Minikube is a pretty good reflection of what it does: It takes the vast cloud-scale of Kubernetes and shrinks it down so that it fits on your laptop.

      Don’t mistake that for a lack of power or functionality, though: You can do plenty with Minikube. And while developers, DevOps engineers, and the like might be the most likely to run it on a regular basis, IT leaders and the C-suite can use it, too. That’s part of the beauty.

      “With just a few installation commands, anyone can have a fully functioning Kubernetes cluster, ready for learning or supporting development efforts,” says Chris Ciborowski, CEO and cofounder at Nebulaworks.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E02 – Light Force

      This week we have been upgrading disk drives (again) and playing Elite Dangerous. We discuss Mark’s homebrew Raspberry Pi based streaming box, bring you some command line love and go over your feedback.

      It’s Season 12 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Kernel Space

    • Did Linux’s inventor chastise social media?

      Collaboration, messaging, sharing and dissemination of information – all those possibilities and more. Plus, the platform is developed by what’s termed “the community,” a loose, unorganized bunch of developers, designers, administrators, geeks, bug testers and tech-types who stand to gain nothing (in most cases) by way of monetary gain. Distributed for free, and freely, it represents everything great and good about the human race, the epitome of what this nascent race of ours is capable.

      But Linux’s founder, inventor and guiding (some would say) father figure, Linus Torvalds recently summed up the other side of what the internet enables humans to do: socialize and communicate with others in despicable ways. In an interview with Linux Journal, he stated, “[…] I absolutely detest modern social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. It’s a disease. It seems to encourage bad behavior. I think part of it is something that email shares too, and that I’ve said before: “‘On the internet, nobody can hear you being subtle.’”

    • Linux Foundation

      • Zend Framework Headed to the Linux Foundation as Open Source Laminas Project

        Core framework used by enterprise application developers for PHP is moving to an open governance model.

        Nearly 14 years after Zend started its effort to build a PHP competitor to the .NET and JavaEE development frameworks, the company is gearing up to contribute the Zend Framework to seed the new Luminas open-source project at the Linux Foundation.

        Zend Framework as an idea was first discussed back in October 2005. The 1.0 release debuted nearly two years late in July 2007 and has been steadily improved over the last dozen years. In 2015, however, Zend was acquired by software development firm Rogue Wave, which has now decided to transition the Zend Framework.

        “Over the years, Zend Framework has seen wide adoption across the PHP ecosystem, with an emphasis on the Enterprise market,” Matthew Weier O’Phinny, principal engineer at Zend by Rogue Wave Software wrote in a blog. “It has formed the basis of numerous business application and services including eCommerce platforms, content management, healthcare systems, entertainment platforms and portals, messaging services, APIs, and many others.”

      • Open Hardware Group – CHIPS Alliance – Building Momentum and Community with Newest Member Antmicro

        CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common, open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced Antmicro is joining the organization. Antmicro is a software-driven technology company focused on introducing open source into strategic areas of industry, especially edge AI. Announced just last month, the CHIPS Alliance welcomes Antmicro among its initial members Esperanto Technologies, Google, SiFive, and Western Digital.

        CHIPS Alliance is a project hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of more efficient and flexible CPUs, SoCs, and peripherals for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project hosts and curates high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code relevant to the design of open source CPUs, RISC-V-based SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon. Members are committed to both open source hardware and continued momentum behind the free and open RISC-V architecture.

        “The RISC-V Foundation directs the standards and promotes the adoption of the open and free Instruction Set Architecture. This enables organizations to innovate for the next generation of hardware development. CHIPS Alliance is a natural extension for companies and universities who want to collaborate and create RTL based on RISC-V and related peripherals,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of the RISC-V Foundation.

      • Blockchain 2.0 – What Is Ethereum [Part 9]

        In the previous guide of this series, we discussed about Hyperledger Project (HLP), a fastest growing product developed by Linux Foundation. In this guide, we are going to discuss about what is Ethereum and its features in detail. Many researchers opine that the future of the internet will be based on principles of decentralized computing. Decentralized computing was in fact among one of the broader objectives of having the internet in the first place. However, the internet took another turn owing to differences in computing capabilities available. While modern server capabilities make the case for server-side processing and execution, lack of decent mobile networks in large parts of the world make the case for the same on the client side. Modern smartphones now have SoCs (system on a chip or system on chip) capable of handling many such operations on the client side itself, however, limitations owing to retrieving and storing data securely still pushes developers to have server-side computing and data management. Hence, a bottleneck in regards to data transfer capabilities is currently observed.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit – Introduction

        Let me introduce the brand new NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit, which is basically a quad-core 64bit ARM Cortex-A57 CPU with 128 GPU cores – suitable for all kinds of maker ideas: AI, Robotics, and of course for running Docker Containers…

      • Mesa’s Vulkan Drivers See More Extension Work Ahead Of The 19.1 Branching

        Mesa 19.1 is due to be released at the end of May and for that to be the feature freeze is in two weeks followed by the weekly release candidates. With the feature development ending soon for this next quarterly Mesa release, the Radeon “RADV” and Intel “ANV” Vulkan driver developers in particular have been quite busy on their remaining feature work.

        On the RADV front, this morning brought VK_EXT_inline_uniform_block support. This is the Vulkan extension to let uniform blocks be backed directly with descriptor sets.

      • VIRTIO 1.1 Released With 2D Graphics Support, Evdev Input Device

        The Virtual I/O Device standard has christened its VIRTIO 1.1 specification this month. This is the virtualization standard around network/storage/graphics/other-hardware in mind for cross-hypervisor compatibility.

        VIRTIO 1.1 brings a GPU device type at this stage providing 2D acceleration that pairs with the VirGL efforts.

    • Benchmarks

      • Running Intel MKL-DNN On 2 x Xeon Platinum 8280 CPUs With GCC 9 “Cascadelake” Tuning

        On the dual Xeon Platinum 8280 server built on a Gigabyte Xeon Scalable barebones setup while running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, I did some quick tests of this initial MKL-DNN profile while using the current GCC 9.0.1 compiler. The GCC9 compiler will debut as stable in the next few weeks in the form of “GCC 9.1″ as the first stable release and with this annual GNU compiler update is the initial “cascadelake” target that includes enabling AVX-512 VNNI support over the existing “skylake-avx512″ target that is used for 1st Gen Xeon Scalable CPUs. I ran MKL-DNN benchmarks both when built by GCC9′s skylake-avx512 target and then again with cascadelake while “-O3″ was also part of the CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • LabPlot 2.6 released

        We are happy to announce the next release of LabPlot! As usual, in the release announcement we want to introduce the major points in the new release. Some of the new developments were already described in the previous blog posts were we reported on the ongoing achievements. Many other smaller and bigger improvements, bug fixes and new features were done in this release. The full list of changes that are worth to be mentioned is available in our changelog.

        LabPlot has already quite a good feature set that allows to create 2D Cartesian plots with a lot of editing possibilities and with a good variety of different data sources supported. Analysis functionality is also getting more and more extended and matured with every release. Based on the overall good foundation it?s time now to take care also of other plot types and visualization techniques. As part of the next release 2.6 we ship the histogram…

      • KDE Applications 19.04 Released For Linux Distros And Plasma Desktop

        The KDE community bundles all its open source applications as the KDE Applications Bundle. This software suite keeps getting updated from time-to-time, bringing new features and improvements to popular apps like Kdenlive, Dolphin, Kmail, Kate, Konsole, Gwenview, KmPlot, KMail, KOrganizer, Okular, Kontact, etc.

        As a result of three months of development, 2019’s first KDE Applications release is here in the form of KDE Applications 19.04. The bundle comes with more than 150 bugs that cover a wide variety of small, big changes.

        Here’s a brief run-down of the major changes; you can read the complete list of changes in the announcement post.

      • Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

        Kipi Plugins is a set of app plugins for manipulating images. They use libkipi which is released as part of KDE Applications. It used to get standalone releases and was then moved to be part of Digikam releases. Since Digikam 6 they have been deprecated by Digikam in favour of their new plugin framework DPlugins. While in KDE Frameworks the Purpose Framework is another newer project covering similar features.

        However Kipi Plugins are still supported by KDE apps KPhotoAlbum, Gwenview, Spectacle so they shouldn’t disappear yet.

        I’ve made a new release available for download now.

      • Kdenlive Video Editor 19.04 Arrives with Major Changes in Tow

        A major update to the Kdenlive video editor is now available for download.

        Kdenlive 19.04 ships as part of KDE Applications 19.04, released on April 19.

        This is the vaunted “refactoring” release we’ve written lots about, as the release announcement explains further:

        “Kdenlive has gone through an extensive re-write of its core code as more than 60% of its internals has changed, improving its overall architecture.”

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Condres OS Conjures Up Pleasing Arch Linux Transition

        Working with an Arch-based Linux distro put me out of my Debian Linux comfort zone. I was pleased by how quickly I acclimated to Condres OS. The Condres/Arch-specific software was intuitive to use. The few times I needed to clarify an issue regarding software, the answer was readily available. Hopping from Linux Mint to Condres OS was an easy move.

        That said, the other Condres OS desktop offerings should not pose any technical or usability challenges for new users coming from other computing platforms. For that matter, Condres OS in any desktop flavor should be a comfy fit on any hardware.

        I tested Condres OS on one of the oldest laptops in my lingering collection. I ran the live session ISO on both new and old gear without experiencing any glitches. I installed it on a laptop running an Intel Core 2 DUO processor with 3GB RAM for more extensive testing. The next step is to install it on my primary desktop computer in place of the troublesome Linux Mint.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tint 0.1.2: Some cleanups

        A new version 0.1.2 of the tint package is arriving at CRAN as I write this. It follows the recent 0.1.1 release which included two fabulous new vignettes featuring new font choices. The package name expands from tint is not tufte as the package offers a fresher take on the Tufte-style for html and pdf presentations.

        However, with the new vignettes in 0.1.1 we now had four full-length vignettes which made the package somewhat bulky. So for this release I reorganized things a little, added two new shorter vignettes with links to the full-length vignettes but keeping the size more constrained.

      • Molly de Blanc: developer

        I became a Debian Developer towards the end of 2018. I started the process in August 2017 at DebConf in Montreal. Over the course of 17 months I wrote emails, searched the Debian wiki, and learned a lot about the project.

      • Iustin Pop: Debian DPL election 2019

        As planned for this long weekend (in Switzerland), I went and re-read the platforms, and cast my vote. Which made me very happy, because I voted in the elections for the first time in a long while…

        But it didn’t start like that. The first call for nominations ended up with no (valid) nominations, and the follow-up thread was a bit depressing (high load for the DPL role, unclear expectations, etc.) For a time, it looked like the project is drifting, and some of the trolling on the list definitely didn’t help. I managed to prod a bit the thread and there was a nice reply from Lucas which seems to open the gates—the discussion livened up, and after many more meaningful mails, we ended up with 4 candidates. That’s, in my memory, a very good result.

      • Paris BSP and this blog

        I’ve never had a blog up to today, and apparently now I do. Why? Well, it happened that there was a Debian Bug Squashing Party in Paris a few weeks ago, and I thought that it might be nice to go, meet some nice people and humbly help releasing Buster. Great news is that the Debian project is willing to reimbourse its members some of the expenses for taking part to a BSP, asking in return to communicate publicly about what you do during a BSP so that others are motivated to participate as well.

        So I guessed that might be the occasion for me to start a blog, and start writing something about what I do in Debian. Here it goes!

        It was my first BSP ever, and I am very happy of it. We met for a couple of days at very nice Mozilla’s office in Paris (I think they are moving and we were at the old one, though). We were probably around 15 people, mostly from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and UK (which is not surprising if you look at the high-speed rail map in Europe; or any map of Europe, as a matter of facts).

        The great thing of a BSP is that you have a very short loop to other developers. Since a BSP is all about getting RC bugs closed, it is useful to talk directly to Release Team members, and discuss whether they would unblock your fix or not when you are not sure. This saves a lot in terms of human bandwidth and context-switching. Also, I had the occasion to watch more experienced developers in action and learn how to tackle issues I haven’t dealt with ever before, like bumping up a library SONAME.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical announces Ubuntu 19.04 – Software – Press Release

            Ubuntu 19.04 integrates recent innovations from key open infrastructure projects – like OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Ceph – with advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-prem operations – from bare metal, VMware and OpenStack to every major public cloud.

            OpenStack Stein brings AI and NFV hardware acceleration with GPGPU and FPGA passthrough. Ceph Mimic provides multi-site replication and the latest Kubernetes 1.14 enables enterprise storage and the new containerd direct runtime.

            Optimised Ubuntu Server 19.04 and Minimal Ubuntu 19.04 images are available on all major public clouds.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Desktop Installation Guide with Screenshots

            Canonical has released its non-LTS Ubuntu 19.04 Operating system for Desktop and Servers on 18th April 2019, Code name for Ubuntu 19.04 is “Disco Dingo”. As it is non-LTS release, so we will get latest packages and patches for next 9 months (January 2020) from canonical.

          • What’s new in Ubuntu 19.04

            In this video, we look at what is new in Ubuntu 19.04.

          • What to do after installing Ubuntu 19.04

            In this video, we look at some of the new features in Ubuntu 19.04.

          • Ubuntu 19.10 To Be The Eoan ________

            With Ubuntu 19.04 out the door, it’s time to kick off Ubuntu 19.10 as the next six-month installment of Ubuntu Linux and the last before Ubuntu 20.04 as the next LTS release.

            The full codename of Ubuntu 19.10 has yet to be revealed, but it will start with “Eoan.” Ubuntu Eoan is now in the archive and this distro-info-data bug report from today confirms it will be EOAN EANIMAL. Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s codename’r in chief (among other roles), has yet to officially announce the EE codename or cycle objectives.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 ‘Disco Dingo’ Released
          • Ubuntu 19.04 overview | Fast, secure and simple.

            In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu 19.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

          • Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 Released with Budgie 10.5 Desktop and Brand-New Theme

            The Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 operating system arrived today as part of the major Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) release, adding several new features, a new look, and other improvements.

            Shipping with the latest Budgie 10.5 desktop environment by default with the latest budgie-applets, the Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 operating system replaces the Nautilus file manager with Nemo from the Cinnamon desktop environment as it retains desktop icons capability and integrates with the Catfish search utility.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

            Canonical released today Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo), the latest version of one of the world’s most popular Linux-based operating systems incorporating the newest GNU/Linux technologies and the most recent Open Source software.
            The 30th release of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, Ubuntu 19.04, is dubbed as the Disco Dingo because it’s a fun release consisting of up-to-date components. It’s a release for the bleeding-edge Ubuntu user who wants to have the latest GNU/Linux software and technologies on his/her personal computer.

            Ubuntu 19.04 has been in development during the past six months and it’s the obvious upgrade to last year’s Ubuntu 18.10 (Cosmic Cuttlefish) release. Of course, users can also update from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) or a previous LTS release, but it’s not recommended to do so because of the short lifespan.

          • How To Upgrade Ubuntu 18.10 To Ubuntu 19.04?

            Ubuntu 18.10, the latest release of the world’s most popular open source operating system, is finally here. Codenamed Disco Dingo, this Linux distro comes with major changes like Linux 5.0, GNOME 3.32, Mesa 18.0, etc.

            If you haven’t tried Linux and you’re willing to make a change, Ubuntu is a fine place to start. However, there are many other beginner-friendly distros as well that you can try. In any case, all the distros have detailed documentation on their websites that you can follow and start your Linux journey.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” Released, Eclipse Foundation’s 2019 IoT Developer Survey Results, OpenSSH 8.0 Now Available, digiKam 6.1.0 Is Out and Three New openSUSE Tumbleweeds Released

            Canonical this morning announced the release of Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo”. According to the press release, Ubuntu 19.04 is “on open infrastructure deployments, the developer desktop, IoT, and cloud to edge software distribution”. Of the release, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth says, “The open-source-first on Ubuntu movement in telco, finance, and media has spread to other sectors. From the public cloud to the private data center to the edge appliance or cluster, open source has become the reference for efficiency and innovation. Ubuntu 19.04 includes the leading projects to underpin that transition, and the developer tooling to accelerate the applications for those domains”. You can download Ubuntu 19.04 from here.

          • Ubuntu Studio 19.04 Released!

            The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 19.04, code-named “Disco Dingo”. This marks Ubuntu Studio’s 25th release, and is its largest and most feature-full release in a long while. This release is a regular release and as such, it is supported for 9 months.

            For those requiring longer-term support, we encourage you to install Ubuntu Studio 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” and add the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA, which will keep 18.04 supported through April 2020. Please do not install Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS anymore as it reaches end-of-life (EOL) on April 21, 2019.

            Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

          • What’s New In Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo”

            Honestly speaking, this release does not ship with a huge list of new features. Actually, there are a few new things that you won’t even notice easily without reading a review. So you must be thinking that it’s not even worth reading a review then. Well, not really.

            Ubuntu 19.04 might not ship with so much cool stuff for your eyes, but it does make Ubuntu better by improving its performance to a great level. You will quickly notice improved performance on the very first boot.

            And that’s what we have been noticing for the past few Ubuntu releases. It is more focusing on performance rather than pre-loading your system with new features. But don’t worry the new features are also worth checking out.

          • Open infrastructure, developer desktop and IoT are the focus for Ubuntu 19.04

            Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 19.04, focused on open infrastructure deployments, the developer desktop, IoT, and cloud to edge software distribution.

            “The open-source-first on Ubuntu movement in telco, finance, and media has spread to other sectors. From the public cloud to the private data center to the edge appliance or cluster, open source has become the reference for efficiency and innovation. Ubuntu 19.04 includes the leading projects to underpin that transition, and the developer tooling to accelerate the applications for those domains” said Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical.

            Open infrastructure from cloud to edge

            Ubuntu 19.04 integrates recent innovations from key open infrastructure projects – like OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Ceph – with advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-prem operations – from bare metal, VMware and OpenStack to every major public cloud.

            OpenStack Stein brings AI and NFV hardware acceleration with GPGPU and FPGA passthrough. Ceph Mimic provides multi-site replication and the latest Kubernetes 1.14 enables enterprise storage and the new containerd direct runtime.

            Optimised Ubuntu Server 19.04 and Minimal Ubuntu 19.04 images are available on all major public clouds.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 Makes Linux a Snap

            Canonical announced the release of the open-source Ubuntu 19.04 Linux distribution on April 18, with new versions for cloud, server and desktop users.

            The Ubuntu 19.04 update is code-named the “Disco Dingo” and is a standard release, which means Canonical will support it for nine months. The 19.04 update is largely an evolutionary step forward, extending features that Ubuntu has been building on for the last several releases. Among the most noteworthy aspects of Ubuntu 19.04′s evolutionary path is the use of “snaps,” an approach for packaging, delivering and updating software in a highly agile manner.

            In a video interview with eWEEK, Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth outlines the growing importance of snaps in the Ubuntu 19.04 update.

          • Ubuntu 19.04 Flavours Available to Download

            Ubuntu 19.04 is out, and so too are new versions of official ubuntu flavors, including Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and more. We recap the key changes.

          • 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 19.04

            In this article we share our list of essential things to do after you install (or upgrade) to Ubuntu 19.04.

            That’s not to say Ubuntu isn’t perfectly usable out of the box — it is — but with a couple of post-install tweaks you can easily get more from it.

            We’ve published one of these ‘things to do after installing Ubuntu’ articles for the past 20 Ubuntu releases, starting way back in 2009 with the launch of Ubuntu 9.04 ‘Jaunty Jackalope’.

            While the exact list of ‘things to do’ changes for each release but our overall aim hasn’t: we list practical, actionable items rather than idly suggesting “zomg ruin ur desktop by adding alpha software!!1” tweaks.

          • First Half of Ubuntu 19.10 Codename Revealed, And It’s Obscure

            The first part of the Ubuntu 19.10 codename has been revealed — but it’s probably not a word any of us would’ve guessed!

            Yes, I know: you’ve barely had time to soak up all of the Ubuntu 19.04 features on offer in the latest release, yet planning for the next version of Ubuntu is already underway!

          • Ubuntu 19.04 released with focus on IoTs, open infrastructure

            Canonical has rolled out a new version of its Ubuntu software.

          • Pydio: How to Install on Windows 10 or Ubuntu 19.04
          • SD Times news digest: Ubuntu 19.04, Zephyr LTS release, and Mozilla’s Pyodide project

            Canonical, providers of the Ubuntu operating system, released version 19.04 of its flagship product, which focuses on open infrastructure, developer desktop and IoT.

            Ubuntu 19.04 integrates innovative open infrastructure projects such as OpenStack, Kubernetes and Ceph with advanced life-cycle management for multi-cloud and on-prem operations. In 19.04, multiple instances of the same snap can be installed for CI/CD, testing or phased rollouts.

            In addition, Ubuntu 19.04 introduces GNOME 3.32, a free and open-source desktop environment with higher frame rates, quicker icon load times and reduced CPU/GPU load, and smoother startup animations than earlier versions.

          • How to install Plex media server on Ubuntu 19.04 -Simplest method

            Are you looking for the simplest and easiest method to install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 19.04? Here is that. Single command of snap will setup Plex server for you…

            Plex Media server doesn’t need an introduction however, those are not acquainted with it; the Plex Server is a software which is free to use and cross-platform. This means it is available for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, NAS and MacOS along with a wide range of Client apps to stream videos from Plex Medi server. Not only videos, but the users can also stream music files too locally as well as remotely along with TV shows, and photos on PC, Chromecast, Android or iOS smartphone, tablet, ROKU etc.

            We are going to use the Snap package manager for the installation Plex server here. The benefit of using SNAP is it makes everything so simple. No need to download and install each file separately.

          • What’s New in Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo,” Available Now
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) Released!

              Thanks to all the hard work from our contributors, Lubuntu 19.04 has been released! With the codename Disco Dingo, Lubuntu 19.04 is the 16th release of Lubuntu and the second release of Lubuntu with LXQt as the default desktop environment.

            • Xubuntu 19.04 releases with latest Xfce package releases, new wallpapers and more

              The team behind Xubuntu, have released a new update for the lightweight, GTK-based desktop environment built around Ubuntu. Xubuntu 19.04 is available since yesterday as a part of the Ubuntu 19.04 “Disco Dingo” launch. New features include latest Xfce package releases, new wallpapers/artwork, re-addition of GIMP to ISO, and various other changes. Xubuntu 19.04 also halts the production of x86 32-bit install images.

            • Xubuntu 19.04 released!

              The Xubuntu team is happy to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 19.04!

              Xubuntu 19.04 is a regular release and will be supported for 9 months, until January 2020. If you need a stable environment with longer support time, we recommend that you use Xubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

              The final release images are available as torrents and direct downloads from xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

              As the main server might be busy in the first few days after the release, we recommend using the torrents if possible.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 8 Best Kodi Sports Addons For Streaming Live Sports In 2019

    Kodi media player is a boon for cord cutters. In an era where subscription-based streaming services are popping left and right, Kodi presents an easy method to watch movies free online. By installing some of the best Kodi addons and top Kodi repositories, you can access hundreds of millions of movies and TV shows.

  • NVMe Driver Now Available

    Due to the awesome work by long-time developer waddlesplash, nightly images after hrev53079 have read/write NVMe support built-in.

    What is NVMe? For those not keeping up with the latest advances in tech, NVMe is a M.2 form-factor flash-based storage device which attaches directly to the system’s PCI Express bus. These flash devices are present in modern desktops and laptops and offer transfer speeds of several GiB/s.

    These devices now show up in /dev/disk/nvme/ and are fully useable by Haiku.

  • Haiku OS Picks Up An NVMe Storage Driver

    Back during the BeOS days of the 90′s, NVM Express solid-state storage obviously wasn’t a thing but the open-source Haiku OS inspired by it now has an NVMe driver.

    Haiku that aims to be an open-source OS based off BeOS now has support for NVMe SSDs. This driver didn’t make last September’s Haiku R1 beta but now being found within the latest development code is for NVMe SSD hardware.

  • Events

    • Join Us In New York City

      OSI Board Directors have broad backgrounds and experience, working in a variety of roles—Chief Open Source Officer, Chief Information Office, Chief Technology Officer, Open Source Program Manager, Community Manager, Developer, Architect, Engineer, Attorney—for both corporations and communities—Clojure Community, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Debian Project, Free Software Foundation, Github, Google, Kubernetes Community, Microsoft, One Laptop Per Child, Open edX, Oracle, Python Software Foundation, Red Hat, Salesforce, Sun Microsystems , The Document Foundation, Wikimedia, Zalando… and many, many, more.

  • Web Browsers

    • Android Browser Choice Screen in Europe

      Today, Google announced a new browser choice screen in Europe. We love an opportunity to show more people our products, like Firefox for Android. Independent browsers that put privacy and security first (like Firefox) are great for consumers and an important part of the Android ecosystem.

      There are open questions, though, about how well this implementation of a choice screen will enable people to easily adopt options other than Chrome as their default browser. The details matter, and the true measure will be the impact on competition and ultimately consumers. As we assess the results of this launch on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android, we’ll share our impressions and the impact we see.

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing Mozilla WebThings

        The Mozilla IoT team is excited to announce that after two years of development and seven quarterly software updates that have generated significant interest from the developer & maker community, Project Things is graduating from its early experimental phase and from now on will be known as Mozilla WebThings.

      • The Mozilla IoT Team Announces Mozilla WebThings, LibreOffice 6.2.3 Released, LabPlot 2.6 Now Available, OpenJDK 11 Is Now the Default in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 19.04, and Zend Framework Heads to The Linux Foundation as the Laminas Project

        The Mozilla IoT team announces that its Project Things is moving on from its experimental phase and now will be known as Mozilla WebThings. The team’s mission is to create a “Web of Things” implementation that helps “drive IoT standards for security, privacy and interoperability”. Mozilla WebThings is “an open platform for monitoring and controlling devices over the web” and includes WebThings Gateway (“a software distribution for smart home gateways focused on privacy, security and interoperability”) and WebThings Framework (“a collection of reusable software components to help developers build their own web things”).

      • Mozilla “WebThings” No Longer An Experiment

        Mozilla WebThings is what was formerly known as “Project Things” while serving as an experiment around a platform for IoT devices on the web.

        Project Things has moved on from being just an experiment to now being promoted to Mozilla WebThings as part of their IoT effort for ensuring an open and accessible web down to connected devices. Mozilla WebThings is an open platform for monitoring and controlling of devices.

        WebThings Gateway is their component designed for smart home gateways while the WebThings Framework are reusable software components. Mozilla looks forward to “a future in which Mozilla WebThings software is installed on commercial products that can provide consumers with a trusted agent for their “smart”, connected home.” But at this stage it doesn’t appear Mozilla has landed any deals for WebThings-powered devices. At this stage they are working on an OpenWrt-based offering for showing off the WebThings Gateway.

      • Mozilla Announces Pyodide – Python in the Browser

        Mozilla announced a new project called Pyodide earlier this week. The aim of Pyodide is to bring Python’s scientific stack into the browser.

        The Pyodide project will give you a full, standard Python interpreter that runs in your browser and also give you access to the browsers Web APIs. Currently, Pyodide does not support threading or networking sockets. Python is also quite a bit slower to run in the browser, although it is usable for interactive exploration.

        The article mentions other projects, such as Brython and Skulpt. These projects are rewrites of Python’s interpreter in Javascript. Their disadvantage to Pyodide is that they cannot use Python extensions that were written in C, such as Numpy or Pandas. Pyodide overcomes this issue.

      • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n report: April edition

        The deadline to ship localization updates in Firefox 67 is quickly approaching (April 30). Firefox 68 is going to be an ESR version, so it’s particularly important to ship the best localization possible. The deadline for that will be June 25.

  • LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Indie Web Server 8.1.1: Reverse proxy (local mode)
    • This site now runs on Indie Web Server

      In the interests of eating my own hamster food1, I just switched this site from nginx to Indie Web Server.

      The only complication in the process was that I had to update the hostname of the server to match the domain name.

    • Administrating Nextcloud as a Snap

      As I’ve described in both my Linux in Action book and Linux in Motion course, Nextcloud is a powerful way to build a file sharing and collaboration service using only open source software running on your own secure infrastructure. It’s DropBox, Skype, and Google Docs all rolled into one, but without the vendor lock-in, security, and privacy fears.
      While the platform is certainly well-designed and polished, the initial installation can be tricky. Looking for proof? Try manually installing Nextcloud on an Ubuntu 18.04 server using any one of the detailed instructions available around the internet. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, but not always. You might encounter packages no longer supported by the official upstream repositories or changed dependencies. Don’t blame the people who wrote those guides: blame the pace of change in official Linux software repositories.

    • FOSS Project Spotlight: Drupal

      Drupal is a content management framework, and it’s used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance and excellent security. What sets Drupal apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need. With Drupal, you can build almost any integrated experience you can imagine.

    • Carlos Soriano: DrupalCon

      Last week I went to DrupalCon in the lovely city of Seattle invited by Tim, the executive director of Drupal.

      Our plan was to have a panel discussion about the tooling we use in FOSS organization such as GNOME, Debian, Drupal, etc. Specially since we recently transitioned to GitLab. The panel discussion was between Tim himself, Alex Wirt from Debian, Eliran Mesika and Tina Sturgis from GitLab and me. We were 5 out of 9 featured speakers!

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Why Companies Open Source Their Software?

      When a company releases its code as open source and contribute it to foundations like CNCF, it literally loses control over the project. What benefit is there in doing so? Why would you want to lose control over the very project you created? Dan Lahl of SAP has an answer: that’s the beauty of Open Source.

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 8.0 released; addresses SCP vulnerability and new SSH additions

      Theo de Raadt and the OpenBSD developers who maintain the OpenSSH, today released the latest version OpenSSH 8.0.

      OpenSSH 8.0 has an important security fix for a weakness in the scp(1) tool when you use scp for copying files to/from remote systems. Till now when copying files from remote systems to a local directory, SCP was not verifying the filenames of what was being sent from the server to client. This allowed a hostile server to create or clobber unexpected local files with attack-controlled data regardless of what file(s) were actually requested for copying from the remote server. OpenSSH 8.0 adds client-side checking that the filenames sent from the server match the command-line request.

      While this client-side checking added to SCP, the OpenSSH developers recommend against using it and instead use sftp, rsync, or other alternatives. “The scp protocol is outdated, inflexible and not readily fixed. We recommend the use of more modern protocols like sftp and rsync for file transfer instead.“, mention OpenSSH developers.

    • CFT for FreeBSD + ZoL

      We’re pleased to make available images allowing testing of FreeBSD using ZFS on Linux. During this development cycle, the ZoL code has been made portable, and available in the ports tree as sysutils/zol and sysutils/zol-kmod, for userland/kernel bits respectively. While some have used these for testing, we felt it necessary to generate some installation images which are an easier method of getting up and started using ZoL. These images are built against FreeBSD 12-stable and 13-HEAD and will install a world / kernel with the base system ZFS disabled and the sysutils/zol ports pre-installed.

      It is possible to these with both UFS or ZFS on root, and we’re looking for feedback on any stability issues or other regressions that you see vs the legacy ZFS in base.

    • FreeBSD Images Reworked With ZFS On Linux Code Up For Testing

      Last year FreeBSD developers decided to re-base their ZFS file-system code based on the “ZFS On Linux” port rather than the Illumos source tree where they originally had been acquiring the support for this BSD. There’s now FreeBSD 12 and FreeBSD 13/Head images available for testing of this re-worked ZFS file-system support.

      Kris Moore of iXsystems has been involved in this large undertaking to get the FreeBSD ZFS code re-based over ZoL. They are still working on this big effort but have now spun some FreeBSD 12-STABLE and 13-HEAD installation images for those easily wanting to test out this ZoL’ed FreeBSD.

    • The SSH Tarpit | BSD Now 294

      A PI-powered Plan 9 cluster, an SSH tarpit, rdist for when Ansible is too much, falling in love with OpenBSD again, how I created my first FreeBSD port, the Tilde Institute of OpenBSD education and more.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • X-Gimp 2.10.10 [rev25]

      Image editors are ten-a-penny nowadays, so anything which wants attention from a divided audience needs to offer something quite special. X-Gimp is the portable version of GIMP (or the GNU Image Manipulation Program), which is one of the most powerful free image editors available and is frequently described as being a free alternative to the likes of Photoshop.
      This is a highly versatile tool which can be used as a basic drawing program but can also be employed to edit digital photographs to a professional level. Despite being free of charge, opting to use GIMP does not mean having to compromise on features. Layers, masks, channels, filters and special effects, in addition to the usual range of editing tools, are all on hand to make image editing as easy as possible.
      Powerful tools such as the correction mode which allows for the correction of barrel distortion and perspective problems are usually only found in expensive packages but are included here for anyone to try out. Whether you are an amateur digital photographer or a professional graphic artist, GIMP has something to offer you.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Avalanche Noise Generator Notes

        I’ll probably go through another iteration of tweaking before final integration, but afaik this is the smallest, lowest power open-source avalanche noise generator to date (slightly smaller than this one).

  • Programming/Development

    • COBOL, C, C++ all due for updates in early 2020s

      You have never heard of Chris Tandy, a Toronto-based programmer for IBM since 1985, but his work in standardizing computer programming languages is vital to everything you do as a software developer.

      Tandy chairs the American INCITS PL22 group and is an officer in the global ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 committee, which are the primary standards bodies responsible not only for pivotal languages such as COBOL, C, and C++, but also for historic ones like Ada, APL (famously named as “A Programming Language”), and Fortran. They also deal in esoterica—try your hand at coding in PL/1 or REXX.

      Future versions of the COBOL standard are now entirely in ISO hands, while before it was mostly an American project, Tandy explained. The ISO working group members intend to have the next version, known as an FDIS (final draft international standard), done in 2020.

    • PyPy 7.1.1 Bug Fix Release

      The interpreters are based on much the same codebase, thus the double release.

      This bugfix fixes bugs related to large lists, dictionaries, and sets, some corner cases with unicode, and PEP 3118 memory views of ctype structures. It also fixes a few issues related to the ARM 32-bit backend. For the complete list see the changelog.

    • Generators in Python
    • Immutability in Python
    • Completing Account Deactivation on Building SaaS with Python and Django
    • About psychopy tool.
    • Python’s dynamic nature: sticking an attribute onto an object
    • Packaging Python inside your organization with GitLab and Conda

      Python Packaging has recently been discussed a lot, but the articles usually only focus on publishing (open source) code to PyPI.

      But what do you do when your organization uses Python for in-house development and you can’t (or don’t want to) make everything Open Source? Where do you store and manage your code? How do you distribute your packages?

    • Getting started with social media sentiment analysis in Python

      Natural language processing (NLP) is a type of machine learning that addresses the correlation between spoken/written languages and computer-aided analysis of those languages. We experience numerous innovations from NLP in our daily lives, from writing assistance and suggestions to real-time speech translation and interpretation.

      This article examines one specific area of NLP: sentiment analysis, with an emphasis on determining the positive, negative, or neutral nature of the input language. This part will explain the background behind NLP and sentiment analysis and explore two open source Python packages. Part 2 will demonstrate how to begin building your own scalable sentiment analysis services.

    • Building scalable social media sentiment analysis services in Python

      The first part of this series provided some background on how sentiment analysis works. Now let’s investigate how to add these capabilities to your designs.

    • Creating a GUI Application for NASA’s API with wxPython

      Growing up, I have always found the universe and space in general to be exciting. It is fun to dream about what worlds remain unexplored. I also enjoy seeing photos from other worlds or thinking about the vastness of space. What does this have to do with Python though? Well, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a web API that allows you to search their image library.

      You can read all about it on their website.

      The NASA website recommends getting an Application Programming Interface (API) key. If you go to that website, the form that you will fill out is nice and short.

    • Custom Home Automation System source release

      I am happy to announce the release of my generation 1 home automation system source code. I will be releasing Generation 2, the code which is currently in-use in the next couple of days to a week. If you would like to be informed of the Generation 2 code drop, please watch the BitBucket repo to be informed.

      First, a little bit of history. I originally started writing this code back in 2015 to run exclusively on my Raspberry Pi connected to an external speaker. It was controlled using HTTP URL endpoints, which can be hit using various NFC tags throughout my home. Eventually I bought a 7″ touch-screen and an additional Raspberry Pi. This is when my automation system began to grow and mature more into what it is today. The first external display was placed in my bedroom, and ran PyCARS, another project I wrote for my home automation system. As a result, the original Raspberry Pi running the home automation system no longer needed an attached speaker, and instead a UDP broadcast packet was sent on my home network to notify any listening HUD(a PyCars device).

    • Wing Tips: Using Anaconda with Wing Python IDE

      Anaconda’s key advantage is its easy-to-use package management system. Anaconda comes with a large collection of third party packages that are not in an installation of Python from python.org. Many additional packages can be installed quickly and easily as needed, from the command line with conda install.

      Anaconda’s marketing focuses on data science and machine learning applications, but its extensive packages library makes it a good option also for other types of desktop and web development.

      There is much ongoing work in the world of Python packaging but, at least for now, Anaconda seems to fail less often than other solutions for resolving dependencies and installing necessary packages automatically.

    • Python’s dynamic nature: sticking an attribute onto an object
    • PyCharm at PyCon 2019: The Big Tent

      Last week we announced our “big tent” at PyCon 2019 with the blog post PyCharm Hosts Python Content Creators at Expanded PyCon Booth. Next week we’ll announce more on each individual piece.

    • GStreamer 1.16.0 new major stable release

      The GStreamer team is excited to announce a new major feature release of your favourite cross-platform multimedia framework!

      The 1.16 release series adds new features on top of the previous 1.14 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

    • Why Django Is The Popular Python Framework Among Web Developers?

      Nowadays, a lot of backend web development programs are developed and run with Python. Python has been one of the most popular programming languages for web development and its agility and versatility are strong reasons for its growing success. From developing simple codes to data analytics and machine learning, Python has become the go-to language for many developers.

      There are a lot of frameworks that work with Python and these frameworks basically allow the developers to choose a platform on which they can customize their website and test it freely according to their preferences. Among all the frameworks of Python, Django seems to be the most popular option. In fact, in the Stack Overflow Survey of 2018, Django was included as one of the most loved frameworks with 58% of the developers voting for it.

    • Not all OpenJDK 12 builds include Shenandoah: Here’s why

      A little history: Shenandoah, a high-performance low-pause-time garbage collector, is a Red Hat-led project. When we first proposed to contribute Shenandoah to OpenJDK, Oracle made it clear that they didn’t want to support it. That’s fair enough: OpenJDK is free software, so you don’t have to support anything you don’t want. We told Oracle that we’d work with them to design a really clean pluggable garbage-collector interface that allows anyone easily to select the garbage collectors to include in their builds. We did that together, and Shenandoah went in to JDK 12.

      Evidently Oracle has chosen not to build Shenandoah. They aren’t doing anything strictly wrong by excluding it, but something doesn’t feel right to me. These builds aren’t supported by Oracle—you need their commercial binaries to get support—so why exclude Shenandoah? It might simply be that they used their standard build scripts to build their open source binaries. However, in a rather feature-light OpenJDK release, I find it odd for open source builds to exclude one of the most significant contributions. I really appreciate Oracle providing GPL-licensed OpenJDK builds, but I wish they’d build all of it.

    • Announcing OpenJDK 11 packages in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

      OpenJDK 11 is now the default Java package in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, replacing OpenJDK 10, the previously supported rapid release version and original package default for Ubuntu 18.04. This OpenJDK package is covered by the standard, LTS upstream security support and will also be the default package for the upcoming Ubuntu 19.04 release.

      Version 11 is the latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of the open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE). It incorporates key security improvements, including an update to the latest Transport Layer Security (TLS) version, TLS 1.3, and the implementation of ChaCha20-Poly1305 cryptographic algorithms, a new stream cipher that can replace the less secure RC4.

    • Learn Ansible By Doing With These Courses And Hands-On Labs

      Infrastructure as code has changed the way that we plan, deploy, and maintain infrastructure. One of the technologies that made this transformation possible is Ansible. Ansible is a popular orchestration tool used by many individuals and small to large scale organizations, so knowing how to use it can provide a lot of opportunities.

      Even if you end up needing to learn other tools in the future such as Puppet, Chef, Salt, or Terraform (read: Ansible vs. Terraform), understanding Ansible and how it works will make it much easier to then learn how to use these other technologies. So don’t worry about the “which tool should I learn first?!” question. Just pick one, learn it, and you’ll be setup for the future.

    • Qt 6 Might Drop Their Short-Lived Universal Windows Platform Support

      While the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is needed for targeting the Xbox One, Microsoft HoloLens, and IoT, The Qt Company is thinking about gutting out their UWP support in the big Qt 6 tool-kit update.

      The Qt Company is busy brainstorming changes for Qt 6, which is expected to see its maiden release in late 2020 barring any delays. One of those fundamental changes being tossed around is eliminating the Universal Windows Platform coverage with Qt 6.0.

    • Qt 6 Planning: Consideration of dropping support for UWP applications

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Diet and colorectal cancer in UK Biobank: a prospective study

      In conclusion, in this systematic analysis of a contemporary cohort of half a million men and women from the UK population, we found that consumption of red and processed meat and alcohol was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. We also found that fibre from bread and breakfast cereals was associated with a reduced risk. The current recommendation by the UK Government Department of Health is that people should not eat more than 90 g of red and processed meat a day.29 Participants in the highest category of red and processed-meat consumption were consuming an average of 76 g of red and processed meat per day and thus this group was on average meeting the current recommendation but still had a 20% (95% CI: 4–37) increase in risk of colorectal cancer compared with those who ate an average of 21 g of red and processed meat per day. Therefore, our results suggest that reductions in meat intake below the current recommendation may further reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

    • Even ‘Moderate’ Consumption of Red and Processed Meat Increases Colon Cancer Risk, Study Finds

      For over five years, experts at the University of Oxford, University of Auckland and the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed the diets and cancer rates of people who voluntarily participate in the UK Biobank research project.

      The findings, published Wednesday in the International Journal of Epidemiology, align with previous research and subsequent warnings from public health experts about the risks of colon cancer, also known as bowel or colorectal cancer.

      “Our results strongly suggest that people who eat red and processed meat four or more times a week have a higher risk of developing bowel cancer than those who eat red and processed meat less than twice a week,” said coauthor Tim Key, deputy director of Oxford’s cancer epidemiology unit.

  • Security

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Assange and WikiLeaks: A view from Kenya

      In August 2007, very few people in Kenya had heard of Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, his “uncensorable system for untraceable mass document leaking and public analysis”. The organisation was barely a year old and had posted a handful of documents.

      Then they leaked the Kroll report – an investigation commissioned in 2003 by the newly elected Mwai Kibaki administration in an attempt to uncover where the former dictator, Daniel arap Moi, and his family and cronies had stashed away the hundreds of millions of dollars they had stolen from Kenyans in the previous quarter of a century.

      Kroll Associates, the consultancy firm hired to lead the investigation, eventually traced over $1.3bn in cash and assets spread out in nearly 30 countries. The report, which provided a rare comprehensive look at the scale of the looting, was submitted to the Kenyan government in 2004, by which time the Kibaki government had not only lost the appetite to fight corruption, but was itself deeply engaged in “gluttonous eating”. So, the report was buried.

    • Ecuador Judge Orders Detention for Ex-minister Connected to Assange

      A judge in Ecuador has ordered former foreign minister Ricardo Patino be held in pre-trial detention on a so-called instigation charge, the attorney general’s office said on Thursday, but the ex-official’s whereabouts are unknown.

      The administration of President Lenin Moreno has said that Patino, who served as foreign minister under the previous government of President Rafael Correa, is connected to WikiLeaks.

      Moreno stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of his diplomatic asylum last week. Assange was given refuge in the London embassy in 2012 by Correa, but Moreno has accused WikiLeaks and Assange of violating his privacy by publishing private family photographs.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Chemists can turn carbon dioxide into coal

      Australian scientists have found a way to take carbon dioxide and turn it back into something like coal.

      It is as if they had translated the hundred-million-year process of making fossil fuel – a natural process powered in the Carboniferous Era by immense amounts of time, massive pressures and huge temperatures – in a laboratory in a day.

      They used liquid metal catalysts – a catalyst is a compound that can midwife chemical change without itself being changed – to convert a solution of carbon dioxide into solid flakes of carbon.

      And in a second reminder of the high levels of ingenuity and invention at work in the world’s laboratories, as chemists, physicists, biologists and engineers confront the twin challenges of climate change and efficient use of renewable energy, Swedish scientists report that they know how to make timber transparent and heat-storing. That is, they have a way of fashioning wood that can transmit light, and at the same time insulate the building it illuminates.

    • ‘A New Day in New York’: City Council Passes Visionary Climate Bill

      The New York City Council passed the world’s “largest single carbon reduction effort that any city, anywhere, has ever put forward” on Thursday afternoon, marking a major milestone in the fight against the climate crisis.

      The Climate Mobilization Act contains 10 provisions for a greener New York.

    • Chevron and Exxon Say They Can Turn Around the Failed Finances of Fracking Industry

      After a decade of the American fracking industry burning through hundreds of billions of dollars more than it earned, this industry previously dominated by shale drilling specialists is entering a new phase. The oil majors — a group of multinational companies that typically have divisions throughout the oil supply chain — now are investing heavily in fracked oil and gas operations.

    • Climate science supports youth protests

      The global youth protests demanding action on climate change are having a marked effect.

      In their thousands, concerned climate scientists, backed by colleagues from other disciplines, are voicing support for the school students and other young people who are staying away from lessons to urge more resolute political action to protect the climate.

      The campaign to support the protesters has been launched by an international group of 22 scientists spanning a range of disciplines; several of them are renowned climate specialists.

    • Comment: Judge in Peter Ridd Case Says Trial Was Not About Climate Science or Freedom of Speech

      Sacked Australian scientist and hero of climate science deniers everywhere — Dr. Peter Ridd — has won his case against former employer James Cook University (JCU).

      Judge Salvatore Vasta, in Australia’s circuit court, said actions the university took to censure and ultimately fire Ridd were all “unlawful.”

      In a long statement, JCU said it was “considering its options” and said it disagreed with the judgment, adding it “does not refer to any case law, nor any authority in Australia to support its position.”

    • Climate change: Sir David Attenborough warns of ‘catastrophe’

      Sir David Attenborough has issued his strongest statement yet on the threat posed to the world by climate change.
      In the BBC programme Climate Change – The Facts, the veteran broadcaster outlined the scale of the crisis facing the planet.
      Sir David said we face “irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies”.

    • David Attenborough Gives Stark Warning in New BBC Climate Change Special

      The hour-long program, called Climate Change—The Facts, marked Attenborough’s strongest warning to date on the dangers posed by global warming, BBC News reported.

      “In the 20 years since I first started talking about the impact of climate change on our world, conditions have changed far faster than I ever imagined,” Attenborough said in the film. “It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.”

    • Air Permit OK’d After New Evidence of Carcinogens at Enbridge’s Planned Gas Facility in Massachusetts Left out

      In the Greater Boston area, Enbridge is planning to build a controversial natural gas facility at a densely populated site which already has elevated levels of previously unreported carcinogens, documents obtained by DeSmog suggest.

      Despite receiving new information indicating the current presence of these pollutants in the air around Enbridge’s proposed gas compressor station in Weymouth, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) did not include the data in the project’s health impact assessment (HIA) which it oversaw. The assessment, which was published 10 days later, found that human health likely will not be affected by direct exposure to the station.

    • Guinness to Ditch Plastic Packaging

      Guinness’s parent company, Diageo, announced that the iconic Irish stout will no longer use plastic rings or shrink wrap. Instead, the company will invest $21 million to replace plastic with 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable cardboard, according to CNN Business. The change, which will be introduced in Ireland in August and the rest of the world by August 2020, also applies to Guinness’s other products, Harp and Smithwick’s.

      “Great packaging is essential for our products,” said David Cutter, Diageo’s chief sustainability officer added, reported the The Telegraph. “Consumers expect our packs to look beautiful, be functional, and sustainable. I am proud to announce this investment, through which we have been able to combine all three. We have been working tirelessly to make our packaging more environmentally friendly.”

    • MEPs Decide not to Punish Exxon for Failure to Show at Climate Denial Hearing

      ExxonMobil will retain its ability to lobby the European Parliament after MEPs refused to take away their badges.

      The ability of the oil major to meet with Brussels decisionmakers was under question after the company refused to attend a hearing on their history of climate denial, citing ongoing litigation in the US.

      Party presidents within the European Parliament decided against banning ExxonMobil in a meeting last week. Instead, they pushed the decision to a smaller group of MEPs, known as ‘quaestors’, and to Klaus Welle, the Secretary General of the European Parliament.

    • It Will Take 10 Million Years to Recover From This Man-Made Apocalypse

      The climate crisis humanity has caused has us spiraling towards higher temperatures while also knocking out marine life and insect species at an alarming rate that continues to accelerate. But, just how long will it take Earth to recover? A new study offers a sobering answer: millions of years.

    • Morphospace expansion paces taxonomic diversification after end Cretaceous mass extinction

      Highly resolved palaeontological records can address a key question about our current climate crisis: how long will it be before the biosphere rebounds from our actions? There are many ways to conceptualize the recovery of the biosphere; here, we focus on the global recovery of species diversity. Mass extinction may be expected to be followed by rapid speciation, but the fossil record contains many instances where speciation is delayed—a phenomenon about which we have a poor understanding. A probable explanation for this delay is that extinctions eliminate morphospace as they curtail diversity, and the delay in diversification is a result of the time needed for new innovations to rebuild morphospace, which can then be filled out by new species. Here, we test this morphospace reconstruction hypothesis using the morphological complexity of planktic foraminifer tests after the Cretaceous–Palaeogene mass extinction. We show that increases in complexity precede changes in diversity, indicating that plankton are colonizing new morphospace, then slowly filling it in. Preliminary diversification is associated with a rapid increase in the complexity of groups refilling relict Cretaceous ecospace. Subsequent jumps in complexity are driven by evolutionary innovations (development of spines and photosymbionts), which open new niche space. The recovery of diversity is paced by the construction of new morphospace, implying a fundamental speed limit on diversification after an extinction event.

    • Heavy Pollution in Southwest Detroit Will Worsen With the Gordie Howe Bridge

      Champions of the Green New Deal have a powerful argument to make in industrial centers like Michigan, as the proposal would prioritize communities saturated by pollution from highways, power plants and manufacturing facilities, and it would ensure that those communities are involved in the planning of new infrastructure projects. Cities like Detroit are precisely why these provisions exist.

      Head south from the stately skyscrapers downtown to southwest Detroit, a community rich in culture, but suffocating in pollution. The predominantly Hispanic community is known for its colorful murals, Spanish groceries, historic churches and Mexicantown, one of the top tourist destinations in the city. But southwest Detroit has another, more ignominious claim to fame as one of the most polluted places in Michigan, surrounded, as it is, by three busy highways, a coal-fired power plant, a gas-fired power plant, an oil refinery, a steel mill and a wastewater treatment plant. If that weren’t enough, the state is now building a six-lane bridge through the middle of the neighborhood.

    • Major Threats to New Zealand’s Environment Highlighted in Government Report

      New Zealand’s pristine image as a haven of untouched forests and landscapes was tarnished this week by a brand new government report. The Environment Aotearoa 2019 painted a bleak image of the island nation’s environment and its future prospects.

    • Missed Connections: How Climate Change Is Imperiling Pollinators

      Amy Boyd never planned to study climate change.

      Boyd, a biology professor at Warren Wilson College, was researching sweet shrub (Calycanthus floridus), a native woodland plant that thrives in forests near her office in Asheville, North Carolina, when she noticed something was off.

      Each spring, when Boyd ventured out into the forest to check bloom time of the sweet shrub, she separated the petals and watched as sap beetles (Nitidulidae) flowed out. As their name suggests, sap beetles are known for feeding on sap, often in the wounds of trees. The plump black beetles also nosh on flowers, fruits and fermenting plant tissues and are attracted to sweet shrub for its pungent rotting-fruit fragrance. On the sweet shrub, Boyd noticed the beetles bedded down in the shelter of the reddish-brown petals before they unfurled. Sap beetles, the main pollinators of sweet shrub, populated the plant in significant numbers. “They would come out like clowns out of a clown car at a circus. You can’t even imagine how many beetles were hiding in there!” Boyd recalls.

    • New EPA Asbestos Rule Falls Short of Full Ban

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed a new rule on asbestos Wednesday that it says will “close the door” on new, unapproved uses. But public health advocates warn the rule could actually open the door to increased use of the carcinogenic fibrous material.

    • Trump Order to Allow LNG by Rail Would Expand ‘Bomb Train’ Risks

      On April 10, first responders in Durham, North Carolina, responded to a suspected natural gas leak. While they were evacuating people from the area, the gas exploded, killing one person and injuring at least 25.

      The same day Durham was dealing with the aftermath of a deadly natural gas explosion, President Donald Trump was issuing an executive order directing federal regulators to create new rules allowing rail companies to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) by train in the next 13 months, or less.

    • When Does Plant and Animal Species Loss Become a Societal Crisis?

      It’s heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia’s Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.

    • This Adorable Seal Returns to the Sea After 5 Months of Rehab

      On Nov. 21, Seal Rescue Ireland— Ireland’s only seal rescue center — found five to six week old Sesame underweight at only 13 kilos with deep lacerations all over her body. Waves from big storms had likely thrown her against the rocks when she was less than 2 months old. Today she’s at a healthy weight of 42 kilos and ready to return home.

  • Finance

    • Green Party statement on fielding joint remain lists

      The Green Party welcomes the European Elections and the enthusiasm being shown for them by those who, like us, believe we must do everything possible to stay in the European Union. The Green Party is the largest remain party in the EU Parliament, with the largest number of MEPs and is currently the lead remain party in the polls. We are the most credible choice for pro-EU voters.

      In terms of joint lists, the deadline for formal arrangements passed before the EU Council meeting on 10 April, which granted the “flextension” that makes fighting the European elections possible. As far as informal arrangements are concerned, no party has made any approach to us about them, and claims that we have turned down overtures are untrue, since none have been made. We understand, however, that Change UK has in any case ruled them out.

      While we agree with other remain parties on continued membership of the European Union, we have fundamental ideological differences on other issues – not least on the urgent priority of bold action on the accelerating climate crisis, and on major economic transformation.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • The UK’s Dubious Plan For Age-Based Porn Filters Begins On July 15

      Undaunted by the fact that internet filters never actually seem to work, the UK continues its quest to censor the internet of all of its naughty bits.

      The UK has long implemented porn filters in a bid to restrict anybody under the age of 18 from accessing such content. New age verification controls were also mandated as part of the Digital Economy Act of 2017. But as we’ve previously noted, the UK government has seen several fits and starts with its proposal as it desperately tries to convince the public and business sectors that the ham-fisted effort is going to actually work. This week the country formally announced that its filter proposal officially now has a start date: July 15.

    • Supreme Court Again Ducks A Chance To Clarify First Amendment Protections

      The First Amendment is getting no help from the nation’s highest court. Yet again, the Supreme Court is declining an opportunity to answer a very important question about free speech: where is the dividing line between threats and violent — but protected — speech?

      The Supreme Court already punted on this issue in 2015 with the Elonis v. United States case. In that case, Anthony Elonis posted a bunch of nasty stuff online about his ex-wife. He ended up being jailed for these, with the court finding his posts — which he claimed were merely him venting in the form of ultraviolent rap lyrics — constituted threats.

      His appeal went all the way to the top but the Supreme Court had nothing for him. It did overturn his conviction, but it left the First Amendment question unanswered. The Supreme Court said the trial court adhered to the wrong negligence standard — one that said Elonis should have known his posts were threatening if any “reasonable person” would find them threatening. The correct standard to use was mens rea, meaning the government needed to prove Elonis knew his posts were illegal (i.e., that they were “genuine threats”) when he posted them.

      As for the First Amendment, the Supreme Court seemed happy to avoid this issue completely. Having decided the wrong standard was used by the trial court, the Supreme Court declared it did not need to hand down an opinion on the First Amendment implications, leading to the mess we’re in now, with lower courts drawing disparate conclusions about the line between threats and protected speech.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Californians Want and Deserve Stronger Privacy Laws

      California made strides to protect privacy last year with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This year, we want to make sure that the state has tools necessary to make sure it can enforce that law, and that everyone will be able to stand up for their own privacy without fear of discrimination.

      That is why we are supporting both A.B. 1760 and S.B. 561: two essential bills to provide Californians with the privacy protection they want and deserve. We stand fully behind these bills and their authors, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks and Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

      Wicks’ bill, A.B. 1760, would give California consumers the knowledge and protection to defend their privacy rights. It makes sure that they can learn which companies have received their personal information through a sale or other form of sharing. The bill also requires that all companies that share data, as well as those that sell it, get the consumer’s opt-in consent to do so.

    • DARPA is Working on an Anonymous Mobile Communication System

      The United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is behind the many innovative and useful technologies such as Unix, GPS, Tor, etc. The agency usually works on technologies required by or can help the US army in any way. But sometimes, DARPA also makes some breakthrough technologies available for common people as well.

    • Facebook Exposed Millions Of Instagram Passwords By Storing It In Plaintext

      Just a month ago, Facebook admitted it had mistakenly exposed hundreds of millions of passwords by storing them in plaintext where employees could access them.

      Facebook had announced back then that thousands of Instagram passwords were also leaked in the unencrypted storage blunder. Now, the company has quietly added a major update to that news: not “tens of thousands” but “millions” of Instagram users were actually affected by the leak.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • California Attorney General Must Investigate Improper Database Searches on Community Observers at Controversial Police Event

      For the last two years (2017 and 2018) of the Urban Shield weapons expo and SWAT drill in Alameda County, I was a community observer. I went as a citizen to see how my tax dollars were being spent, and as an activist/journalist so I could describe the event to others and to the media. What I didn’t know is that in exchange the Alameda County Sheriff would access my driving record, parking tickets and legal history through CLETS, the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.

      Urban Shield, as a Homeland Security-funded regional training exercise for SWAT, Fire and Emergency Services, was not open to the public, although some volunteers were solicited to role-play victims and perpetrators in the counterterrorism scenarios. So the great battle that sprung up around the event starting in 2013 with protests in Oakland dislodging the weapons expo from the Downtown Marriot, reporters getting thrown out of the event, civil disobedience outside the gates, and finally bloodied heads at a Berkeley City Council meeting debating the city’s possible withdrawal from the event, was largely waged by people who had never seen the event, but knew that militaristic training of local law enforcement wasn’t helping the growing problems with excessive use of force and the deaths of unarmed people.

    • Tennessee Sheriff Defends Department’s Armored Vehicle With A String Of Non Sequiturs

      Recently, the Greene County (TN) Sheriff’s Department spent the day being owned on Twitter. It wasn’t necessarily the sheriff’s fault. The Tennessee Dept. of General Services decided to show off the Sheriff’s armored vehicle, obtained via the Defense Department’s 1033 program. This program allows agencies like the GCSD to obtain military equipment so they can ensure the safety of [checks census figures] the 68,000 residents of Greene County.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • White House Won’t Share Data On Whether It Interfered In AT&T Merger Review

      The late 2017 DOJ announcement that it would be suing to stop AT&T’s $86 billion merger with Time Warner turned more than a few heads. While the DOJ insisted that the move was driven entirely by an interest in protecting consumers, the decision was utterly discordant with the Trump administration’s often facts-optional assault on consumer protections that have bipartisan support, ranging from net neutrality to basic environmental protections. And the DOJ’s sudden concern about the impact of media consolidation was in stark contrast to Trump’s FCC, where demolishing decades-old media consolidation rules has been a top priority.

      At the time of the lawsuit, many wondered if some other motivations were really at play. After all, Rupert Murdoch had been pushing Trump for more than a year to scuttle the deal for anti-competitive reasons. Time Warner rejected a News Corp. acquisition offer in 2014, and more recently AT&T rebuffed the company’s attempt to buy CNN… twice.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Federal Circuits decides that 100% is different than One Hundred Percent

      In 2014, DuPont sued Unifrax for infringing its patented flame-barrier that is both lightweight and thin. U.S. Patent 8,607,926 (“Composite Flame Barrier Laminate for a Thermal and Acoustic Insulation Blanket”). The jury sided with DuPont — finding the asserted claims infringed and not proven invalid. Over a dissent from Judge O’Malley, the Federal Circuit has affirmed — finding that substantial evidence supports the verdict. (Majority authored by Judge Reyna and joined by Judge Hughes).

      When 90% counts as 100%: A key issue on appeal was the meaning of the claim term “100%.” DuPont’s claims required an “inorganic refractory layer” made of “platelets in an amount of 100% by weight.” That particular limitation was added during prosecution to get around a prior art reference that taught a platelet concentration of less than 100%.

      The accused product layer approximates 100% platelets, but has some small amount of residual dispersant that didn’t fully evaporate. Prior to trial, the district court sided with DuPont on claim construction and ruled that “100%” be interpreted as allowing for “some residual dispersant.” This substantially foreclosed Unifrax’s non-infringement argument that it had hoped to take to the jury.

      [...]

      The claim language is actually quite mess in the same clause it indicates that the refractory layer comprises “platelets in an amount of 100% by weight” but may also have a moisture content of up to 10% by weight. 110% by weight concentration is not ordinarily allowed in physics. However, we do sometimes talk about “110% effort” and Cecil Quillin has reported a USPTO’s patent grant rate as greater than 100% (by comparing original filings to all patents issued in the resulting family).

      I pulled up the prosecution history and found that the 100% and 10% elements were added at the same time in the same amendment with the statement that the claim now “requires a refractory layer containing 100% platelets (and also requires . . . a defined residual moisture content).” In my mind, this works strongly in the patentee’s favor — that the 100% allows for residual moisture. Still, it is unfortunate that the ultimate holding is a rejection of the defendant’s argument that “‘100%’ means one hundred percent.”

    • MOAEC Techs. patent determined to be likely unpatentable

      On April 17, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 6,232,539, owned and asserted by MOAEC Technologies, a General Patent Corporation subsidiary and well-known NPE. The ’539 patent, directed to a music organizer and entertainment center, was recently determined to cover ineligible subject matter by the Delaware District Court in three cases involving Spotify, SoundCloud, and Deezer. Those cases are currently pending appeal.

    • The Federal Circuit Goes Through The Looking Glass

      The process of claim construction—interpreting the meaning of the words used in a patent claim—can be confusing at the best of times. At its worst, as in the Federal Circuit’s Dupont v. Unifrax decision this week, it most closely resembles an exchange from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

      [...]

      100% by weight is fairly clear. 100% of the layer, when dry, must be platelets (and must weigh from 15-50 gsm). But that language isn’t clear-cut if you’re the Federal Circuit. According to two CAFC judges1, instead of the plain meaning of “100% by weight”, what the patentee actually meant by this was “[t]here is no carrier material such as resin, adhesive, cloth, or paper in addition to the inorganic platelets. There may be some residual dispersant arising from incomplete drying of the platelet dispersion.” They did this based on various brief passages in the specification which mention other embodiments that aren’t 100% platelets by weight and a related patent, but ignore portions of the specification that contradict this and the patentees’ amendment during prosecution to get around prior art that had a platelet layer, but not a 100% platelet layer.

      According to the Federal Circuit, reading a limitation from the specification into the claims is “one of the cardinal sins of patent law.” But here, the Federal Circuit did exactly that, taking a clear term—“100% by weight”—and reading in limits from the specification to stretch the meaning out to mean only that it’s 100% of the platelet material and 0% carrier, but we can safely ignore things that are neither platelet material nor carrier.

      So a layer which is composed of 80% platelets and 20% dispersant by weight? That, according to the Federal Circuit, meets a limitation which—on the patent’s face—says “100% by weight.”

    • Patent case: Omega Patents, LLC v. CalAmp Corp., USA

      In a patent infringement suit brought by Omega Patents against CalAmp Corp. alleging infringement of Omega’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,346,876 (’876 patent), 6,756,885 (’885 patent), 7,671,727 (’727 patent), and 8,032,278 (’278 patent), the federal district court in Orlando’s judgment of no invalidity of the asserted claims was affirmed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has decided. However, multiple errors required reversal of findings of infringement with respect to each of the patents-in-suit, requiring remand for a new trial on these issues. In addition, the lower court’s judgment was vacated and remanded for a new trial on its compensatory damages award, the jury’s willfulness finding, and the court’s enhanced damages and attorney fees award (Omega Patents, LLC v. CalAmp Corp., April 8, 2019, Dyk, T.).

    • Japanese Nobel laureate seeking to gain the support of the public to raise royalty rate for Opdivo patents

      Reportedly, in 2006, Honjo and Ono entered a license agreement for the patents on PD-1 which was applied to the cancer drug Opdivo (nivolumab). However, in 2011 when Opdivo was along in development, Honjo requested the raise of royalty rate. The negotiation has not proceeded as he expected. So, finally on April 10 2019, Honjo took the step of publishing the background and the outline of the agreement to gain the support of public.

      The agreement specifies that Ono has the exclusive right to use the joint patents between Honjo and Ono, and Ono pays a certain of royalties to Honjo. Ono has paid the cumulative amount JPY 2.6 billion (about USD 23.6 million). However, dissatisfied Honjo has not received it and deposited the entire amount with the Legal Affairs Bureau.

    • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc. (D. Del. 2019)

      Last week, in Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. v. Par Pharmaceutical Inc., District Judge Richard G. Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted a Motion for Estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2) filed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. Defendant Par Pharmaceutical Inc. had taken no position on the estoppel issue.

      The dispute between the parties began when Novartis filed three suits against Par (as well as related suits against Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. and West-Ward Pharmaceutical Corp.), with the parties agreeing that the validity of the patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 5,665,772, would be tried only once. Defendants challenged the validity of claims 1-3, 7, and 10 of the ’772 patent, arguing that the claims were obvious in view of 27 references.

      [...]

      In addition, the Court pointed out that “one of the policy objectives behind the introduction of IPR proceedings was an intention to conserve judicial resources,” adding that “[a]llowing an IPR petitioner to have two bites at the apple by holding back certain obviousness combinations runs counter to both the clear language and purpose behind § 315.” Despite Breckenridge’s argument that IPR estoppel should not apply after a district court has held trial, the Court indicated that it did “not think the application of IPR estoppel is dependent on the order in which certain events occur,” and stated that “[t]he plain language of the statute does not indicate that Congress intended for there to be a time limitation upon the estoppel effect of a final written decision of an IPR.”

      On the issue of whether estoppel should apply to the 27 references put forward by Defendants at trial, Novartis argued that the 27 references all “could reasonably have been raised” in the IPR proceeding because they were used in the September 2016 trial which occurred before the reply due date in the IPR. The District Court therefore determined that Defendants were precluded from pursuing a § 103 invalidity argument as to claims 1-3 and 8-10 of the ’772 patent. However, because no IPR was instituted as to claim 7 of the ’772 patent, the Court determined that IPR estoppel did not apply for this claim. Nevertheless, Novartis had withdrawn its infringement contention as to claim 7 and had agreed to provide Par with a covenant not to sue on that claim. The Court therefore granted Novartis’ Motion for Estoppel with respect to claims 1-3 and 8-10 of the ’772 patent.

    • Trademarks

      • Beebe and Fromer: Study on the Arbitrariness of 2(a) Immoral or Scandalous Refusals

        For those who have not had the pleasure of seeing it, I recommend the fascinating and, honestly, fun, new study by Barton Beebe and Jeanne Fromer on the arbitrariness and unpredictability of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s refusals of trademarks that are deemed to be “immoral” or “scandalous.”

        The study, entitled Immoral or Scandalous Marks: An Empirical Analysis, has been posted on SSRN. This paper served as the basis for Professors Beebe and Fromer’s amicus brief in Iancu v. Brunetti.

        This study follows up on Megan Carpenter and Mary Garner’s prior 2015 paper, published in the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal and Anne Gilson LaLonde and Jerome Gilson’s 2011 article, Trademarks Laid Bare: Marks That May Be Scandalous or Immoral.

      • Dallas Mavericks Fail To Get Trademark For Its Star Player’s Nickname

        We’ve not been shy about pointing out that the recent practice by famous athletes of trademarking their nicknames all seems somewhat silly. The whole thing smacks of some combination of a money-grab over terms often not coined by the athletes themselves, and the kind of protectionism by the famous that is just all the rage these days. A recent incidence of this concerning the trademark application for Luka Doncic’s nickname carried with it a twist, however, in that the applicant was not by Doncic himself, but by the Dallas Mavericks, the team for which he plays. The thrust of our post on the matter was roughly: well, that seems kind of shitty. After all, NBA players tend not to play for the same teams forever, though it’s worth pointing out that the Mavericks pulled this off with Dirk Nowitzki, so there’s that. Still, should Doncic move to another team, what happens to that trademark on his nickname?

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