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08.22.19

Links 22/8/2019: GNOME 3.33.91, Systemd 243 RC2, Cockpit 201, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10, FreeIPMI 1.6.4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop

      • Dell releases latest Linux developer laptop with Comet Lake CPU

        When it comes to Linux laptops for professionals, it’s hard to beat Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition. Now, with its latest Ubuntu-Linux powered XPS 13 release, Dell continues to set the standard for high-end programmer laptops.

        These new laptops are built on the 10th-generation Intel Cor i5-10210U processor, Comet Lake. These will arrive on Sept. 5. In October, Dell will upgrade its laptop still further with six-core Intel Core Comet Lake CPUs. Can you say fast? I knew you could.

        For networking, the latest XPS 13s use the Killer AX1650 (2×2) built on Intel Wi-Fi 6 Chipset. This supports the latest Wi-Fi standards and Bluetooth 5.0. That means, if your routers support Wi-Fi 6 (aka 802.11ax), you’ll see significantly faster network speeds.

        It also comes with up to 16GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader, a narrow bezel around its 14-inch InfinityEdge display, as well as a 100% sRGB color gamut. Another nice upgrade in this system is the webcam has finally been moved to the top of the display. So, we can finally say good-bye to the “nose cam.”

        These new laptop models will run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This Ubuntu will be supported for 10 years. That means, if you wanted, you could still be running this laptop in April 2028.

      • Dell XPS 13 7390 developer edition – Best laptop for Ubuntu in 2019 ?

        I love this laptop as it is preloaded with Ubuntu 18.04(LTS-Long Term Support), so you don’t have to format it and install Ubuntu as I normally do:-). And hardware-wise the specifications look brilliant as it has the latest 10th Generation Intell core i5(Quad-core) and i7 (hexacore) processors and a beautiful infinity edge display. Combined with the low power hungry the LPDDR3 RAM (Low-Power Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory or Mobile DDR), you can expect a very good battery life as well. The Bluetooth 5.0 version supports dual audio and twice as much faster speed than that of Bluetooth 4.2. We are not quite sure about the price yet, so keep looking at the Dell official website for updates. One thing to note is that if you are in the US / Canada, you should look in the “For Work” Section instead of “For Home” section.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Announced with Ubuntu

        With the Ubuntu and Linux operating systems as a whole are being popular day-by-day, more OEMs are coming up with options includes pre-installed the popular free and open-source operating system Ubuntu. System76 and Dell is on the forefront on this venture and giving users a breathing space from tiring Windows and its fees. Earlier Dell announced the launch of Precision series of laptops powered by Ubuntu Operating system.

        Dell announced the launch of Dell XPS 13 Developer edition (7390) which soon be available in US, Europe and Canada. This Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS pre-loaded Laptop is part of Dell’s newly unveiled consumer PC portfolio unveiled in IFA 2019.

        [...]

        Pricing of the Dell XPS 13 is still unknown at the moment. Do keep a watch on official Dell website for your country.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition with Ubuntu Linux, Intel Comet Lake coming in September

        Dell’s new XPS 13 970 laptop with an Intel Comet Lake processor and Windows 10 software goes on sale August 27th for $900 and up.

        Want a model with Ubuntu Linux instead? You’ll be able to get one starting September 5th.

        Dell’s Barton George has announced that the company is updating its XPS 13 Developer Edition laptops with a new 9th-gen model based on the new Dell XPS 13 7390.

      • Dell XPS 13 (7390) Developer Edition laptop comes with Ubuntu Linux, Wi-Fi 6, and 10th Gen Intel Core CPU

        There are so many great Linux distributions these days, such as Netrunner, Deepin, and Zorin OS to name just a few. With that said, Ubuntu remains a great option for many. Since Canonical switched from Unity to GNOME, Ubuntu has been better than ever.

        If you want a computer pre-loaded with Ubuntu, I highly recommend you check out System76′s new Adder WS — it looks to be a beast. If you want a laptop that it thinner and lighter, however, Dell’s XPS 13 Developer Edition notebooks are definitely worth your attention. They have historically been very well-received by consumers, and no, they aren’t just for developers. Today, Dell unveils the latest XPS 13 Developer Edition, and it is chock full of modern hardware.

      • Dell’s Refreshed XPS 13 Laptop Gains Intel 10th Gen Hexa-Core Comet Lake Muscle

        Systems will come preloaded with either Windows 10, or in the case of the XPS 13 Developer Edition, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

      • Dell XPS 13 Range Refreshed With New 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake CPUs: Price, Availability, More

        The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has also been refreshed to offer the latest CPUs, and it is already available at $999 (roughly Rs. 71,600) on the company website. It comes with a 13.4-inch touch display, up to 512GB SSD, up to 16GB RAM, and Intel Iris Plus Graphics.

      • How the Linux desktop has grown

        first installed Linux in 1993. At that time, you really didn’t have many options for installing the operating system. In those early days, many people simply copied a running image from someone else. Then someone had the neat idea to create a “distribution” of Linux that let you customize what software you wanted to install. That was the Softlanding Linux System (SLS) and my first introduction to Linux.

        My ’386 PC didn’t have much memory, but it was enough. SLS 1.03 required 2MB of memory to run, or 4MB if you wanted to compile programs. If you wanted to run the X Window System, you needed a whopping 8MB of memory. And my PC had just enough memory to run X.

      • Google’s Chrome OS 76 Improves Support for Multiple Accounts on Chromebooks

        Google promoted the Chrome OS 76 operating system for supported Chromebook devices to the stable channel, and it is now rolling out to users from around the world with new features and improvements.
        Based on the latest Google Chrome 76 web browser release, which brings many new features and improvements on its own, Chrome OS 76′s probably most exciting is a unified account management for those who use multiple Google accounts on their Chromebook, either by you or if the devices is shared with other people.

        Users can check out the new account management feature under Settings > Google Accounts, and they should keep in mind that they can now apply all the permissions and access granted to apps, add-ons, websites, Google Play, and in Chrome to all of their signed-in Google accounts.

        [...]

        Chrome OS 76 is now rolling out to all supported Chromebook devices. You can update your Chromebook to Chrome OS 76 by going to Chrome settings and accessing the About Chrome OS section. The new version will be automatically downloaded and installed on your Chromebook. A restart is required for Chrome OS 76 to be successfully installed.

    • Server

      • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

        Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development.

        From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack.

        Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

      • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

        Intel’s Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation’s Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego.

        Clear Linux’s Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.

      • IBM

        • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

          Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container?

          If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code?

          We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

        • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

          I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a “DevOps technology” tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

        • How DevOps is like auto racing

          When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race.

          To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome.

          [...]

          Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 543: OpenSMTPD

        OpenSMTPD is a FREE implementation of the server-side SMTP protocol as defined by RFC 5321, with some additional standard extensions. It allows ordinary machines to exchange emails with other systems speaking the SMTP protocol.

      • mintCast 315.5 – On OggCamp with Les and Dan

        In the second half, we interview Dan and Les about OggCamp and get more than we bargained for.

        Then, in our security update, we talk about how Chrome’s Incognito mode can be detected.

        Finally, we share feedback and point out a few things we found interesting this fortnight.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 822
      • Why Package Managers | BSD Now 312

        Valuable research is often hindered or outright prevented by the inability to install software. This need not be the case.

      • PCLinuxOS + Hugo | Choose Linux 16

        We check out a great tool for learning web development basics, and Distrohoppers brings us mixed experiences.

        Plus which of the 10 commandments for Linux users we agree with.

      • Celery In A Shiv App – Building SaaS #31

        In this episode, we baked the Celery worker and beat scheduler tool into the Shiv app. This is one more step on the path to simplifying the set of tools on the production server.

        I started the stream by reviewing the refactoring that I did to conductor/main.py. The main file is used to dispatch to different tools with the Shiv bundle.

    • Kernel Space

      • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

        The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the “SWAPGS vulnerability” known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as “Grand Schemozzle” to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel.
        Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value.

        As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

      • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

        Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel’s page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file’s backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file’s on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked “V1,000,002″) from Ira Weiny.
        The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file’s pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached.

        Weiny’s new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

      • Linux Begins Preparing For Intel’s New “Lightning Mountain” SoC

        Linux kernel development activity has shown light on a new Intel SoC we haven’t anything about to date… Lightning Mountain.

        We haven’t seen Intel Lightning Mountain referenced elsewhere yet but in our original monitoring of the various Linux kernel patch flow, this is a new Atom SoC on the way.

      • Linux Foundation

        • IBM OpenPOWER to Join Open Source Linux Foundation

          IBM has announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor.

        • IBM joins Linux Foundation AI to promote open source trusted AI workflows

          “AI, as it matures, needs to mature in a way that is something that the general public can put their confidence and trust in,” Todd Moore, IBM’s VP of Open Technology, told ZDNet. “Too often, what we hear is the AI is a black box, they don’t understand how it got to its results, there’s bias in the models, there needs to be more fairness… We’ve heard that loud and clear, and we felt it was time to help the industry move forward.”

        • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Others Launch Confidential Computing Consortium for Data Security

          Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use.

        • Intel, Google, Microsoft, and others launch Confidential Computing Consortium for data security

          Major tech companies including Alibaba, Arm, Baidu, IBM, Intel, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Red Hat today announced intent to form the Confidential Computing Consortium to improve security for data in use. Established by the Linux Foundation, the organization plans to bring together hardware vendors, developers, open source experts, and others to promote the use of confidential computing, advance common open source standards, and better protect data.

          “Confidential computing focuses on securing data in use. Current approaches to securing data often address data at rest (storage) and in transit (network), but encrypting data in use is possibly the most challenging step to providing a fully encrypted lifecycle for sensitive data,” the Linux Foundation said today in a joint statement. “Confidential computing will enable encrypted data to be processed in memory without exposing it to the rest of the system and reduce exposure for sensitive data and provide greater control and transparency for users.”

        • Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat Open Source Tools for ‘Confidential Computing’

          Members of the Linux Foundation, including Arm, Baidu, Google Cloud, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Swisscom and Tencent, will start promoting the use of Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs), also called secure enclaves, for both cloud computing and PC applications.

          The participants in the newly formed group, called the Confidential Computing Consortium, plan to make open source multiple projects related to securing data in use. Intel will open source the SDK for its Software Guard Extension (SGX) chip feature.
          The SGX solution protects sensitive code and data of an application from being stolen or modified by malicious actors that may have taken over the operating system or virtual machine. Applications such as the end-to-end encrypted messenger Signal use SGX for private contact discovery without the need for the server to store users’ contacts in plaintext and unprotected.
          Microsoft also contributed the Open Enclave SDK, a framework for building app enclaves that work across various Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) architectures to the CCC. Each application that uses the Open Enclave SDK can be split into two components, an untrusted one that runs on the untrusted operating systems and a trusted one that’s protected from operating system malware.

        • Microsoft and others join the Linux Foundation’s Confidential Computing Consortium

          Microsoft, Google, Red Hat, IBM and Intel are among those to join the newly formed Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC). The new organization will be hosted at the Linux Foundation, having been established to help define and accelerate the adoption of confidential computing.

        • Google, Microsoft, Intel Join Hands With Linux Foundation To Protect Your Data

          Major tech companies including Google, Microsoft, Intel, Alibaba, Arm, IBM, Red Hat, Baidu, etc., have come together to form the Confidential Computing Consortium.

          Established by the Linux Foundation, the aim behind this consortium is to improve security for data in use. The organization aims to bring together developers, vendors, and other experts to promote the use of confidential computing to protect data better.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s New OpenGL Driver Is Looking Really Great With The Upcoming Mesa 19.2

          Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver “Iris” Gallium3D that has been in development for the past two years or so is getting ready to enter the limelight. Months ago they talked of plans to have it ready to become their default OpenGL driver by the end of the calendar year and with the state of Mesa 19.2 it’s looking like that goal can be realized in time. With our new tests of this driver, in most games and other graphics applications the performance of this Gallium3D driver is now beyond that of their “classic” i965 Mesa driver.

          Over the past year we’ve been looking a lot at the Intel Gallium3D performance and it’s been a remarkable journey from the performance starting out well below their decade old OpenGL driver to now mostly exceeding that classic Mesa driver and often times by wide margins. The Intel Gallium3D driver is also largely now to feature parity in terms of OpenGL extensions and other capabilities. With all of their bases covered, this summer for the upcoming Mesa 19.2 release we’ve been seeing a lot of performance optimizations land. Back in April is when they indicated they hope to have it become the default by end of year 2019 and viable by Mesa 19.2.

    • Benchmarks

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Milestone 2 Released, OpenBenchmarking.org Serves 42 Millionth Download

        The second development release of the forthcoming Phoronix Test Suite 9.0-Asker is now available for testing.

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Milestone 2 continued evolving the brand new result viewer being introduced with PTS 9.0 and various new graphing visualizations. Various fixes and other improvements have landed into this new release. Screenshots and more details on the new result viewing experience soon.

    • Applications

      • How To Share Files Anonymously And Securely: Linux Alternatives to Google Drive

        The ability to share files regardless of the physical distance and almost instantaneously is one of the greatest characteristics of the Internet. With 4.3 billion Internet users at the beginning of 2019, the amount of data transferred over the Web is almost unimaginable.

        But not all file-sharing services are created equal. In the era where personal data is the most valuable currency we can spend, it is important to ensure we send files over the Internet in a secure and anonymous way.

        Read to find out why mainstream file-sharing services are not your best bet and how to pick an alternative solution.

      • Akaunting: a web-based accounting system

        One of these years, LWN will have a new accounting system based on free software. That transition has not yet happened, though, despite the expending of a fair amount of energy into researching alternatives. Your editor recently became aware of a system called Akaunting, so a look seemed worthwhile. This tool may have the features that some users want, but it seems clear that your editor’s quest is not done yet.

        As an aside, additional motivation for this effort came in the form of an essentially forced upgrade to QuickBooks 2019 — something that QuickBooks users have learned to expect and dread. There appear to be no new features of interest in this release, but it does offer a newly crippled data import mechanism and routine corruption of its database. If your editor didn’t know better, he might just conclude that proprietary software is buggy, unreliable, and unfixable.

        [...]

        The system is written in PHP and JavaScript; the code is licensed under GPLv3. Akaunting is able to use MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite to store the actual data. It is, as one might expect given the implementation languages, designed to run as a web application; one can install it on a handy machine, but Akaunting (the company) also offers to host accounts free of charge on its own servers. The company promises “we cover it, for free, forever” — a pretty big promise for a free-software startup with a minimal track record.

      • Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

        The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app.

        Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website.

      • Raccoon – APK Downloader for Linux, MacOS, and Windows

        We’ve covered APK stories before in articles like the one about F-Droid and Google Play Downloader, but never have we covered an app as cool as this one with a name inspired by the North American mammal, Raccoon.

        Raccoon is a free and modern open-source APK downloader application that enables you to safely download any Android app available on Google Play Store to your Linux, Windows, or Mac desktop.

        The incentive of Raccoon is to enable users to install Android apps without sending any kind of information to Google. It also works to store APK files locally, use a “Split APK” format, bypass application region restrictions, and aims to improve your phone’s battery life.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Try the first demo of the dino MMO Path of Titans, we have some testing keys to give away

        After Alderon Games successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for their dino themed survival MMO Path of Titans, the developer reached out to gather more Linux testers.

        They’ve released a first demo and it’s currently quite limited with the character creation ability the only thing possible. However, once a month they will be deploying a big new feature for it like the ability to run around, AI, quests and so on.

      • Steam Play passes six thousand Windows games playable on Linux, according to ProtonDB

        On the day of Steam Play hitting the big one year anniversary (August 21st), it seems another milestone has been reached in terms of compatibility.

        According to ProtonDB, the handy (but unofficial) tracking website, over six thousand games are now working. At time of writing, exactly 6,023 “games work” against the 9,134 total of games that currently have user reports to see if they run or not. That’s quite an impressive number!

        It’s worth noting though, that with little over nine thousand games currently reported, Steam does host well over thirty thousand so there’s a huge amount that hasn’t yet been tested.

        How about a question for you to answer in the comments: What does Steam Play mean to you? I’ll start.

      • From 0 To 6000: Celebrating One Year Of Proton, Valve’s Brilliant Linux Gaming Solution

        This week, Valve’s Proton turns one year old, and it has unarguably propelled the notion of gaming on Linux further than I would have thought possible. It has led to noticeably more mainstream press and YouTube coverage of desktop Linux, including this gem from Linus Tech Tips titled “Linux Gaming Finally Doesn’t Suck.”

        [...]

        Has Linux gaming finally reached parity with Windows? In terms of total number of games playable, not remotely. ProtonDB — which crowdsources hardware information from Linux gamers and compatibility ratings — has collected reports for roughly 9000 of the more than 30,000 games available on Steam for Windows, and 6000 are deemed playable. A little north of 1000 titles are rated Platinum, meaning they exhibit the same smooth gameplay and performance via Steam Play and Proton as they do on Windows.

      • Rocket Pass 4 is coming to Rocket League on August 28th, with a new rally-inspired Battle-Car

        The fourth Rocket Pass is due to arrive in Rocket League soon, along with the start of Competitive Season 12.

        For those of you wanting to rank up and ensure you get the best rewards possible, Season 11 is ending really soon on August 27th. A day later, Rocket Pass 4 is going to be released.

      • Roguelike Stay Safe: Labyrinth of the Mad now has a Linux beta, sounds quite unique

        Stay Safe: Labyrinth of the Mad from Yellowcake Games is a roguelike with plenty of random generation, including an interesting way of generating the world.

        When starting a new game, the developer said you can use files on your PC or a combination of keyboard/gamepad button presses to generate the dungeon, items and gems. That’s not all that makes it somewhat unique, there’s also another feature where you will come across a copy of other players. It’s a single-player game, so you’re not directly facing other people only a shadow of what they had. Although that feature is entirely optional.

      • OBS Studio has a fresh release candidate available for a major new version

        OBS Studio, the free and open source video livestreaming and recording software is my one and only stop for video capturing and it continues to mature.

        The upcoming 24.0 release has a first release candidate now available and it has some fun new features. For starters, you can now actually pause recordings to easily cut away parts you know you don’t need. I’ve tested that and it works perfectly. It does need you to have separated encoders for streaming and recording though, so you can’t have the recording encoder set to “same as stream”.

      • Little Red Dog Games announce Rogue State Revolution, a political thriller roguelike

        Little Red Dog Games (Precipice, Deep Sixed, Rogue State) have announced Rogue State Revolution, what they say is the “first” political roguelike game.

        It’s being published by Modern Wolf, a new indie publisher who doesn’t believe in crunch who say they treat their developers “like partners, not like cogs in a machine”.

        [...]

        Doesn’t seem to have a trailer yet, will let you know what it does. They’re also continuing to use the FOSS game engine Godot Engine again, nice to see!

      • Hello Games appear to be keeping an eye on Steam Play with No Man’s Sky, temp fix needed for NVIDIA

        No Man’s Sky recently had an absolutely ridiculous update to add in tons of new features and greatly expanded multiplayer. This update also added in Vulkan support too!

        It seems Hello Games are keeping an eye on Steam Play as well, with a recent update changelog noting “Fixed Steam VR in Linux.”. Quite interesting! However, there is a bit of a problem for NVIDIA users with Steam Play on Linux, with the game performing quite poorly. Although, there’s a slightly amusing workaround.

      • Things are about to get weird in the Two Point Hospital: Close Encounters expansion

        Two Point Studios and SEGA just announced the next expansion for their amusing hospital building sim with Two Point Hospital: Close Encounters.

        It’s coming soon too! Their plan is to release it on August 29th next week. This will be the third expansion following on from Bigfoot and Pebberley Island. Two Point Hospital is already quite weird but this is really…out there. It will be adding in 3 new hospitals full of patients to cure, 34 new illnesses although they say only 11 of these are new visually along with a promise of “new” gameplay, new music and so on.

      • Classic inspired RTS Loria is now available DRM-free on GOG

        If you’re like me and you enjoy a good real-time strategy game, Loria is actually pretty good. It added Linux support on Steam earlier this year and now it’s also available on GOG.

        While it’s inspired by titles like Warcraft II, it’s not just a retro RTS. There’s a few RPG-like elements including hero units, item collection, quests and more.

      • The Underlords are actually coming to Dota Underlords, plus a new Duos mode

        Valve continue to push out changes rapidly to their auto-battler Dota Underlords, with some of their upcoming plans now being detailed in a fresh update.

        One big new feature planned to be available in a few weeks is a new Duos game mode. Valve say it’s a new way to play cooperatively with a friend. You party up and battle against other teams and it will support both Casual and Ranked play.

        The actual Underlords are going to be making an appearance soon too. This feature Valve said they’re “excited” about, as they’re a “core part of the game”. They haven’t said how they will work but they will “add a layer of fun and strategy to every match” so I’m very curious to see what happens.

      • Steam for China Is Called ‘Zhengpi Pingtai’

        The digital games service will be run almost entirely independent of Steam and by Valve’s Chinese partner company Perfect World.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Day 88 [Ed: Karina Passos on her time in KDE GSoC]

          Today, I’ll talk about my GSoC experience and won’t focus so much on Khipu, even because i still have some things to do, so in the next days I’ll publish a post about Khipu and what I’ve done.

          As I said in the old posts, the begin was the most complicated part for me. I made a project thinking that I’d be able to complete, I started studying the code and the things I’d make many weeks before the start. But I couldn’t understand the code and I think it’s my fault. I even lost three weeks after the start stuck in this situation. It was hard for me, because I was really scared about failing and at the same time dealing with my college stuff, because in Brazil, our summer (and our summer vacation), is in December-February, in July we have a three week vacation, but GSoC lasts three months. I wasn’t having a good time at college as well, but with the help of my therapist and my mentors I found a way to deal with the both things and as everything went well.

          After this complicated start, to not fail, my mentor suggested that I could change my project. My initial project was to create new features to Khipu and Analitza (Khipu’s main library) to make it a better application and move it out from beta. Then, my new project was to refactor Khipu (using C++ and QML). I was scared because I didn’t know if I’d be able to complete it, but the simplicity of QML helped me a lot, and before the first evaluation (approx. two weeks after I decided my new project) I finished the interface, or at least most of it.

          [...]

          And, of course, I’d like to say to KDE, Google and my mentors: thanks for this opportunity.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.34 Desktop Gets a Second Beta, Final Release Lands September 11th

          The GNOME 3.34 beta 2 release is now available for public testing, coming only two weeks after the first beta release, which made a lot of noise due to the fact that numerous packages have been updated since the beginning of the development cycle, as it usually happens during beta testing.

          The GNOME 3.34 beta 2 is released as technical version number 3.33.91, and it comes with fixes for last minute bugs and regressions, as well as the usual updated translations. To see what’s new in the GNOME 3.33.91 release, check out all the details in the changelogs in the NEWS file.

        • GNOME 3.33.91 released
          Hi developers,
          
          GNOME 3.33.91 is now available. This is the second beta version towards 3.34.
          
          If you want to compile GNOME 3.33.3, you can use the official
          BuildStream project snapshot:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.33.91/gnome-3.33.91.tar.xz
          
          The list of updated modules and changes is available here:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.91/NEWS
          
          The source packages are available here:
          
          https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.91/sources/
          
          WARNING!
          --------
          This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is
          buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
          purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development
          status.
          
          For more information about 3.33, and the full schedule, please see our
          3.33 wiki page:
          
          https://www.gnome.org/start/unstable
          
          Cheers,
          
          Abderrahim Kitouni
          GNOME Release Team
          
        • GNOME 3.34 Beta 2 Brings Last Minute Improvements To GNOME Shell, Mutter & Friends

          GNOME Shell and Mutter are also out today with their new beta releases albeit missed the cut-off for making it formally as part of this new GNOME beta release. On that front for these key components there is:

        • ARB_gl_spirv and ARB_spirv_extension support for i965 landed Mesa master

          And something more visible thanks to that: now the Intel Mesa driver exposes OpenGL 4.6 support, the most recent version of OpenGL.

          As perhaps you could recall, the i965 Intel driver became 4.6 conformant last year. You have more details about that, and what being conformant means in this Iago blog post. On that blog post Iago mentioned that it was passing with an early version of the ARB_gl_spirv support, that we were improving and interating during this time so it could be included on Mesa master. At the same time, the CTS tests were only testing the specifics of the extensions, and we wanted a more detailed testing, so we also were adding more tests on the piglit test suite, written manually for ARB_gl_spirv or translated from existing GLSL tests.

    • Distributions

      • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair Of The openSUSE Board

        Seasoned open source leader Gerald Pfeifer has been appointed chair of the openSUSE board. Pfeifer’s new responsibilities will begin immediately and run concurrently with his role as SUSE CTO in EMEA. Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

      • Gerald Pfeifer Appointed Chair of the openSUSE Board

        Current chair Richard Brown, who was appointed in July 2014, is resigning after five years of excellent service for a combination of personal reasons and his desire to focus on his career at SUSE®, from where he will continue his contribution to openSUSE. Brown and Pfeifer will work closely together to transition responsibilities.

        The openSUSE board, with Pfeifer’s support, will continue to provide input, governance and assistance to the openSUSE Project, the developer of leading infrastructure software and application delivery tools, including several Linux operating systems.

        Based in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Pfeifer, in his role as SUSE CTO, is charged with leading strategic dialogue with customers, partners and open source communities globally. He was previously responsible for the creation and progression of SUSE’s broad portfolio of open source enterprise software.

        “I could not be more excited and humbled to participate in the openSUSE Project as board chair,” Pfeifer said. “Collaboration in the openSUSE community has contributed to remarkable Linux distributions, and I’m looking forward to ongoing growth in both the community and the openSUSE distributions – Linux and beyond – and tools. openSUSE is at the leading edge of a historic shift, as open source software is now a critical part of any thriving enterprise’s core business strategy. This is an exciting time for the openSUSE community as well as open source at large.”

        SUSE is deeply committed to openSUSE’s development model and to being a sponsor and supporter of the project. This partnership has created a unique and deeply collaborative working relationship that can be seen in projects like Open Build Service and openQA. While the relationship has its roots in Linux, in recent years it has expanded as a growing number of new infrastructure software standards are built on and from open source innovation. As the world’s largest independent open source company, SUSE will continue its support for openSUSE.

      • 11 Best Linux Distro for hacking and programming

        When it comes to choosing a Linux distribution for hacking or programming, there are a number of points that you should keep in mind. The operating system should run smoothly on your system, and if you are installing one on your primary computer, you should always go for the one that you know how to use properly.

        But using an operating system for more specific purposes like cybersecurity, which I have discussed here, isn’t that straightforward.

        Kali Linux is one of the best cybersecurity operating systems, but there are many which offer more streamlined functionalities. I recommend you to try out at least a few of the most intriguing Kali Linux alternatives I have discussed here before you finally make your decision.
        So that was my list of top 10 Kali Linux alternatives, that is worth your time. Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment on the same down below.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora/Red Hat

        • Flock’19 Budapest

          This was the first occurrence of the conference for me to attend. Its an annual Fedora Community gathering, which happens in a new city of Europe every year. This time it was in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, last year it was hosted in Dresden. Dates for the same were: 8th Aug through 11th Aug 2019. Also I got an opportunity to present there on my proposal: “Getting Started with Fedora QA”.

          Day 1 Started with a Keynote by Mathew Miller (mattdm). In here he spoke about where we as a community are and where we need to go further. It was a knowledgeable discussion for a first timer like me who was always looking out for the Vision and Mission of Fedora community. There are people who are with Fedora since its first release and you get to meet them here at the annual gathering.

          [...]

          Groups were formed and people decided for themselves where they wanted to go for the evening hangout on the Day 1. We were 7 people who decided to hangout at the Atmosphere Klub near the V.Kerulet and left at around 9:00 pm by walk.

          Day 2 started with a keynote by Denise Dumas, Vice President, Operating System Platform, Red Hat. She spoke on “Fedora, Red Hat and IBM”. I woke up late, 20 minutes before the first session as I went to bed late last night and had walked for around 11 kms the day before.

        • Fedora 30 : Set up the Linux Malware Detect.
        • Cockpit 201

          It’s now again possible to stop a service, without disabling it. Reloading is now available only when the service allows it.

          Furthermore, disabling or masking a service removes any lingering “failed” state, reducing noise.

        • Systemd 243 RC2 Released

          Released nearly one month ago was the systemd 243 release candidate while the official update has yet to materialize. It looks though like it may be on the horizon with a second release candidate being posted today.

          Red Hat’s Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek has just tagged systemd 243-RC2 as the newest test release for this new version of this de facto Linux init system. Over the past month have been new hardware database (HWDB) additions, various fixes, new network settings, resolvectl zsh shell completion support, bumping timedated to always run at the highest priority, and other changes.

      • Debian Family

        • Netrunner Linux 19.08 “Indigo” Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster”

          The Netrunner community announced the release and general availability of the Netrunner 19.08 operating system series, a major update that adds updated components and a new Debian base.
          Dubbed “Indigo,” the Netrunner 19.08 release is based on the recently announced Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series and features the KDE Plasma 5.14.5 desktop environment, accompanied by the KDE Applications 18.08 and KDE Frameworks 5.54 open-source software suites built on top of Qt 5.11.3.

          Under the hood, the Netrunner 19.08 operating system is powered by the Linux 4.19.0~5 kernel and ships with updated components, including the Mozilla Firefox 60.8.1 ESR web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 60.7.2 email and news client, as well as all the latest security patches from the Debian Stable repositories.

          “Switching Firefox to Firefox-ESR allows our users to enjoy a stable long term supported version which gets regular security updates provided by Debians security team,” explain the devs. “KDE Plasma 5.14.5 provides a stable and advanced desktop environment that you can tweak to your needs.”

        • Hardening the “file” utility for Debian

          In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter.

          Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the “changes” made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations.

          In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 Released With Device Fixes, Support For Draft Messages

          The UBports community that maintains the (currently 16.04 LTS derived) Ubuntu Touch have now shipped OTA-10 as their newest over-the-air feature update.

          Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 has been in testing since earlier this month and mostly offers fixes ranging from addressing Google sign-in issues to wireless display issues to a number of hardware problems. Some of the hardware work includes several fixes for the Fairphone 2, audio and video sync issues are resolved with the Google Nexus 5 and OnePlus One, and other annoying items resolved.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 Officially Released for Ubuntu Phones, Here’s What’s New

          Coming three and a half months after the OTA-9 release, the Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 update is now available with better hardware compatibility for Fairphone 2, Nexus 5, and OnePlus One smartphones by implementing proper camera orientation and audio routing on the Fairphone 2, and fixing audio and video sync problems on the Fairphone 2 and OnePlus One.

          Additionally, Ubuntu Touch OTA-10 improves the reliability and speed of Wi-Fi based geolocation functionality by removing the “wolfpack” tool, which used the Geoclue service for gathering approximate location data. However, it may take more than 20 minutes for some users to have their location retrieved after updating to Ubuntu Touch OTA-10.

        • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 now links up with Windows and Mac PCs via supercharged DeX app

          And there’s a big bonus here in the form of being able to drag-and-drop files directly from your phone to your PC, and vice versa. So you could take a photo from your Note 10 and whip it onto the PC to tweak it up in a proper heavyweight image editor, for example.

          Furthermore, as XDA Developers observes, Linux on DeX is available via the DeX app, allowing you to create a container and run an Ubuntu Linux image, giving you even more flexibility and options here.

          It’s not clear what Samsung intends to do in terms of giving users with older Galaxy handsets backwards compatibility, but at the moment, this is strictly a Galaxy Note 10-only affair, as mentioned.

          Finally, it’s worth noting that the app does warn that your phone might get hot running the DeX application, although exactly how hot likely depends on what you’ve got the hardware doing, of course.

        • Useful security software from the Snap Store

          Once upon a time, password management was a simple thing. There were few services around, the Internet was a fairly benign place, and we often used the same combo of username and password for many of them. But as the Internet grew and the threat landscape evolved, the habits changed.

          In the modern Web landscape, there are thousands of online services, and many sites also require logins to allow you to use their full functionality. With data breaches a common phenomenon nowadays, tech-savvy users have adopted a healthier practice of avoiding credentials re-use. However, this also creates a massive administrative burden, as people now need to memorize hundreds of usernames and their associated passwords.

          The solution to this fairly insurmountable challenge is the use of secure, encrypted digital password wallets, which allow you to keep track of your endless list of sites, services and their relevant credentials.

          KeePassXC does exactly that. The program comes with a simple, fairly intuitive interface. On first run, you will be able to select your encryption settings, including the ability to use KeePassXC in conjunction with a YubiKey. Once the application is configured, you can then start adding entries, including usernames, passwords, any notes, links to websites, and even attachments. The contents are stored in a database file, which you can easily port or copy, so you also gain an element of extra flexibility – as well as the option to back up your important data.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open Source platforms to now help students

        The technical institutes in the State are now asked to use free and open-source software developed by a team, headed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The MHRD has also promoted their FOSSEE (Free and Open Source Software for Education) projects which uses tools so that students can easily use them.

        Recently, the MHRD made a decision that FOSSEE should be promoted amongst the student community so they can aim at reducing dependency on proprietary software in educational institutions. The MHRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank too took to twitter urging students to use FLOSS tools in various languages to meet academic and research requirements.

      • Octo Acquires Connexta to Enhance Open Source Software Development Capabilities

        Octo, a premier provider of next-generation services for the Federal market, today announced its acquisition of Connexta, a Phoenix, Arizona-based global leader in open source software development and secure discovery solutions for government and commercial customers

      • Square Crypto’s Open Source Endeavor, Fostering Bitcoin Development will Witness Matt Corallo On Board

        Square, Inc. is a mobile payment company based in San Francisco, California. The company markets software and hardware payments products and has expanded into business services. Square Crypto the division of parent company Square, Inc. is a payments solutions provider and focuses on open source Bitcoin development.

        Jack Dorsey, CEO of the Square, Inc. foresees a bullish vehement regarding the acceptance of Bitcoins and the urge to conceptualize Bitcoin as a utopia invigorates the formation of this new team which will be headed by Steve Lee, a former director at Google and Matt Corallo as the first development engineer.

      • Google open-sources gesture tracking AI for mobile devices

        Real-time hand shape and motion trackers are an invaluable part of sign language recognition and gesture control systems, not to mention a number of augmented reality experiences. But they’re often hobbled by occlusion and a lack of contrast patterns, preventing them from performing reliably or robustly.

        Those challenges and others motivated scientists at Google to investigate a new computer vision approach to hand perception — one bolstered by machine learning. They say that in experiments, it managed to infer up to 21 3D points of a hand (or multiple hands) on a mobile phone from just a single frame.

      • Asterisk Celebrates 25 Million Downloads

        Sangoma Technologies Corporation (TSX VENTURE: STC), a trusted leader in delivering Unified Communications solutions for SMBs, Enterprises, OEMs, and Service Providers, both on-premises and in the cloud, today announced that September will mark the 25 millionth download of Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open source communications software.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • WebAssembly Interface Types: Interoperate with All the Things!

            People are excited about running WebAssembly outside the browser.

            That excitement isn’t just about WebAssembly running in its own standalone runtime. People are also excited about running WebAssembly from languages like Python, Ruby, and Rust.

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Bryce and Brady

            I’m thrilled to share this update with you today. Bryce and Brady have joined us last week and will be able to help out on Support for some of the new efforts Mozilla are working on towards creating a connected and integrated Firefox experience.

            They are going to be involved with new products, but also they won’t forget to put extra effort in providing support on forums and as well as serving as an escalation point for hard to solve issues.

          • FPR16 delays

            FPR16 was supposed to reach you in beta sometime tomorrow but I found a reproducible crash in the optimized build, probably due to one of my vain attempts to fix JavaScript bugs. I’m still investigating exactly which change(s) were responsible. We should still make the deadline (September 3) to be concurrent with the 60.9/68.1 ESRs, but there will not be much of a beta testing period and I don’t anticipate it being available until probably at least Friday or Saturday. More later.

          • Mozilla Mornings on the future of EU content regulation

            On 10 September, Mozilla will host the next installment of our EU Mozilla Mornings series – regular breakfast meetings where we bring together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

            The next installment will focus on the future of EU content regulation. We’re bringing together a high-level panel to discuss how the European Commission should approach the mooted Digital Services Act, and to lay out a vision for a sustainable and rights-protective content regulation framework in Europe.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • GSoC final report

          The idea of this GSoC project was to implement new Domain-Specific language for LibreOffice to be used in UI testing by logging the user interactions with LO applications then generate the python code needed for the python UI framework which asaswill make testing easier. Also, the project aims to improve the logger that logs all the user interaction to be logged in the new DSL syntax to be more readable. Then we can use this replaying all the user interactions as a UI test.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • FreeIPMI 1.6.4 Released

          o In libfreeipmi, add additional workarounds for packets that are
          re-ordered during sensor bridging.
          o In libfreeipmi, add additional sensor / event interpretations.
          o In libfreeipmi, fix error return value on bridging requests.
          o Add workaround in ipmi-sel for QuantaPlex T42D-2U motherboard,
          whichlists a SDR record that makes no sense.
          o Add workaround for Dell Poweredge FC830, which have an error
          when reading the last SDR record on a motherboard.
          o Support Supermicro X10 OEM dimm events.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • The world’s first mobile phone type crypto digital currency hardware cold wallet officially opened source code

          Recently, the world’s first mobile phone type crypto digital asset hardware cold wallet SAFEGEM officially opened source code [...] The cryptography-based blockchain technology is characterized by openness, transparency, and traceability. As an crypto digital asset management system based on blockchain applications, it should have the same characteristics and should have higher security. Therefore, the SAFEGEM development team decided to open up all source code, open source follows the GPL agreement, defines the business boundary, uses open source code for commercial use, and chooses not to open source.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • This Week in Rust 300
        • Python String Interpolation with the Percent (%) Operator

          There are a number of different ways to format strings in Python, one of which is done using the % operator, which is known as the string formatting (or interpolation) operator. In this article we’ll show you how to use this operator to construct strings with a template string and variables containing your data.

        • Your Guide to the CPython Source Code

          Are there certain parts of Python that just seem magic? Like how are dictionaries so much faster than looping over a list to find an item. How does a generator remember the state of the variables each time it yields a value and why do you never have to allocate memory like other languages? It turns out, CPython, the most popular Python runtime is written in human-readable C and Python code. This tutorial will walk you through the CPython source code.

          You’ll cover all the concepts behind the internals of CPython, how they work and visual explanations as you go.

        • Python 3.8 support in PyCharm

          The release of Python 3.8 brought new features to the Python coding realm. The language is evolving according to its community’s needs by addressing cases where new syntax or logic become necessary. From new ways of assigning expressions to restriction of usage of function declarations, calls, and variable assignations, this latest release presents new options to code. Of course, PyCharm couldn’t get behind, so we now support some of the major features coming with this new version.

          This article will walk you through the features currently supported by our latest PyCharm release. To try them out, get the latest version of PyCharm and download the current beta release of Python 3.8 from here. From there you will just need to switch to Python 3.8 as your interpreter in PyCharm (if you’re not sure how to switch the interpreter, jump into our documentation for help).

        • Python Arrays in a Nutshell

          Python arrays are homogenous data structure. They are used to store multiple items but allow only the same type of data. They are available in Python by importing the array module.

          Lists, a built-in type in Python, are also capable of storing multiple values. But they are different from arrays because they are not bound to any specific type.

          So, to summarize, arrays are not fundamental type, but lists are internal to Python. An array accepts values of one kind while lists are independent of the data type.

        • Announcing Qt for MCUs

          Today we announce the launch of Qt for MCUs – a comprehensive toolkit to deliver smartphone-like user experience on displays powered by microcontrollers. What started as a research project is now in the final leg of its journey to being released as a product.

          Connected devices found in vehicles, wearables, smart home, industrial and healthcare often have requirements that include real-time processing capabilities, low power consumption, instant boot time and low bill of materials. These requirements can be fulfilled by a microcontroller architecture. However, as devices get smarter and offer more features and capabilities, users expect an enhanced and intuitive experience on par with today’s smartphones. Qt for MCUs delivers an immersive and enriching user interface by utilizing a new runtime specifically developed for ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers and leveraging on-chip 2D graphics accelerators such as PxP on NXP’s i.MX RT series, Chrom-Art Accelerator on STM32 series and RGL on Renesas RH850.

        • Qt for MCUs – Qt Announces support for Microcontrollers

          About Qt for MCUs Qt- The well known opensource toolkit for creating graphical interface announced their new release: Qt for MCUs, targeting MCU’s.

        • The Qt Company Is Now Working On Qt For Microcontrollers

          There have been a lot of announcements pertaining to Qt as of late, most of which have been about forthcoming efforts around Qt 6 development. A new announcement out of The Qt Company catching us off-guard is their plans for the tool-kit on micro-controllers.

          Qt for MCUs is the company’s newest commercial endeavour. In particular, they are working on the Qt tool-kit for displays powered by micro-controllers for smartphone-like user experiences. Qt for MCUs has been a research project at the company but is now being worked out as a new commercial offering. Considering how well though Qt works on mobile devices, it’s only another step down catering it to low-power micro-controllers.

        • Excellent Free Books to Learn Go

          Go is a compiled, statically typed programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. It’s a general purpose programming language with modern features, clean syntax and a robust well-documented common library, making it a good candidate to learn as your first programming language. While it borrows ideas from other languages such as Algol and C, it has a very different character. It’s sometimes described as a simple language.

          Go is an open source project developed by a team at Google and many contributors from the open source community. Go’s first release was in 2009, and it’s distributed under a BSD-style license.

          This article selects the best open source books that will give readers a firm foundation in developing Go applications.

        • Corner cases and exception types

          Some unanticipated corner cases with Python’s new “walrus” operator—described in our Python 3.8 overview—have cropped up recently. The problematic uses of the operator will be turned into errors before the final release, but just what exception should be raised came into question. It seems that the exception specified in the PEP for the operator may not really be the best choice, as a recent discussion hashed out.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp now used by 1750 CRAN packages

          Since this morning, Rcpp stands at just over 1750 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time.

          Rcpp was first released in November 2008. It probably cleared 50 packages around three years later in December 2011, 100 packages in January 2013, 200 packages in April 2014, and 300 packages in November 2014. It passed 400 packages in June 2015 (when I tweeted about it), 500 packages in late October 2015, 600 packages in March 2016, 700 packages last July 2016, 800 packages last October 2016, 900 packages early January 2017,
          1000 packages in April 2017, 1250 packages in November 2017, and 1500 packages in November 2018. The chart extends to the very beginning via manually compiled data from CRANberries and checked with crandb. The next part uses manually saved entries. The core (and by far largest) part of the data set was generated semi-automatically via a short script appending updates to a small file-based backend. A list of packages using Rcpp is availble too.

          Also displayed in the graph is the relative proportion of CRAN packages using Rcpp. The four per-cent hurdle was cleared just before useR! 2014 where I showed a similar graph (as two distinct graphs) in my invited talk. We passed five percent in December of 2014, six percent July of 2015, seven percent just before Christmas 2015, eight percent last summer, nine percent mid-December 2016, cracked ten percent in the summer of 2017 and eleven percent in 2018. We are currently at 11.83 percent: a little over one in nine packages. There is more detail in the chart: how CRAN seems to be pushing back more and removing more aggressively (which my CRANberries tracks but not in as much detail as it could), how the growth of Rcpp seems to be slowing somewhat outright and even more so as a proportion of CRAN – just like one would expect a growth curve to.

      • Standards/Consortia

        • US Hangs Tough on Restricting Huawei’s Participation in Standards Development

          Ninety-odd days ago, the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added Huawei and 68 of its affiliates to its “Entity List.” BIS added another 46 Huawei affiliates last week (collectively, “Huawei”), thereby making it illegal for US individuals and entities to disclose certain technology and software to Huawei and such blacklisted affiliates without a license. At the same time, it tempered the blow by issuing a Temporary General License that, among other things, allowed US entities to continue to participate with Huawei to develop 5G standards.

          For all other standards, Huawei’s continued participating would be legal only to the extent a given standard setting organization (SSO) either applied for, and received, a license from the BIS, or could credibly analogize its processes to an exception recognized under existing Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The closest exceptions are disclosures at public conferences and in connection with coauthoring journal articles. Ever since, standards setting organizations (SSOs) counting Huawei as a member have been scrambling, trying to figure what they can and cannot allow Huawei to do.

          On Monday of this week, three things happened that provided some answers. But almost all the answers were bad.

          The first thing BIS did was to roll over the Temporary General License for another 90 days, thereby allowing Huawei customers and partners more time to adapt. That was helpful, but the second was to remove the 5G standards development exception. And the third was to issue a General Advisory Opinion Concerning Prohibited Activities in the Standard Setting or Development Context When a Listed Entity is Involved. Unfortunately, the Advisory Opinion leaves most questions unanswered.

  • Leftovers

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • NSA Researchers Talk Development, Release of Ghidra SRE Tool

        The National Security Agency released its classified Ghidra software reverse-engineering (SRE) tool as open source to the cybersecurity community on April 4. NSA researchers Brian Knighton and Chris Delikat shared how Ghidra was built and the process of releasing it at Black Hat 2019. Ghidra is a framework developed by the NSA’s Research Directorate for the agency’s cybersecurity mission. It’s designed to analyze malicious code to give security pros a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities in their networks and systems.

      • Linux Is Being Hit with Zero-Day Exploits/ Zero-Day Attacks [Ed: This is not news. If you have a system that is unpatched for months, despite many warnings, it is a risk, no matter the OS/kernel.]

        It was once the popular opinion that Linux was immune to zero-day exploits. However, even before the Equifax exploit, vulnerabilities were found in Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu. In particular, back in 2016, a security researcher discovered that you could exploit a Linux system by playing a specific music file. Then, in 2017, a group of attackers used Struckshock vulnerability to carry on the attack on Equifax. These zero-day attacks are Advanced Persistent Attacks that exploit recently discovered vulnerabilities. Read on to learn more about what are zero-day exploits and how they can affect a Linux system.

    • Environment

      • Climate denial is reported more than science

        Rich and poor countries see the challenge of the growing crisis quite differently: for the wealthy it revolves around climate denial, while for those in poverty it’s a matter of life and death.

        In the developing world, climate news is presented by the media as an international problem. In the rich world newspapers, broadcasters and websites tend to see it as a political issue, according to researchers at the University of Kansas.

        And in the richest country of all, climate news is presented as a contentious issue. That is, according to a massive study by Californian scientists, the people who say climate change is not happening, or not a problem, get 49% more coverage than the scientists who have the evidence that it represents a serious and accelerating crisis.

        Even in the mainstream outlets, distinguished climate scientists tend to get no more visibility than those – often not scientists – who challenge their conclusions.

    • Finance

      • CEO of ‘investment scam’ found dead

        A TOP executive of an investment firm who was wanted in Davao since June 2019 was found dead on a grassy lot in the hills of Barangay Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019.

        Armando Bernaldez Oppus, 34, a resident of Doña Vicenta in Davao City, was the chief executive officer of Crowd Royals Real Estate Services based in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

        [...]

        He was identified from his passport that Balamban police had retrieved from a white sports utility vehicle that had been set on fire and thrown into a cliff in Barangay Sunog.

        Oppus and two other Crowd Royals officers, Edmon Corona Quiñones of finance and Judy Ann Delatina-Estrella of marketing, are wanted in the Davao region for large-scale estafa.

        Crowd Royals Real Estate Services, set up on May 22, 2019 in Digos City, Davao del Sur, promises to double its investors’ money in a short time.

      • Potentially Big News: Top CEOs Realizing That ‘Maximizing Shareholder Value’ Isn’t A Great Idea

        For the better part of two years, I’ve been noodling on a post (I’ve half written it a bunch of times) talking about how perhaps the biggest problem with so much of what we see today can be tied up in two related concepts: “fiduciary duty to shareholders” and the idea of “maximizing shareholder value.” I talked a little about this a few weeks back in highlighting how almost all of the problems that people talk about when they complain about big tech can really be traced back to Wall Street and this idea of maximizing shareholder value.

        Conceptually, maximizing shareholder value makes some sense, but only if you don’t think about it for more than a few minutes. Because the whole thing falls apart as soon as you ask “over what time frame?” I first wrote about this back in 2006, in what I called the “time function of profits,” in trying to understand why so many people were claiming that Craigslist’s approach to grow slowly (but massively) by leaving most of their site free and not doing all sorts of icky stuff, was seen by some as “leaving money on the table” or even being anti-capitalist. As I pointed out then, that only made sense if you thought in the very short-term. Taking a longer term view suggests that “maximizing” profits in the short run is likely to create significant problems in the long run, whether it be competition or customers annoyed at you and the like. In a follow up post I did in 2008, I pointed out that maximizing profits shouldn’t mean screwing your customers. The real issue is the time frame. If you want to maximize profits for just this quarter, then, yes, screwing over your customers is a viable strategy.

        However, if it’s more long term, then the incentives should change quite a bit. It’s just like the Prisoner’s Dilemma. If you are playing that game once, the incentives are heavily weighted towards cheating. However, if you’re playing it many, many times, the incentive structure changes, and it should move to a more cooperative model. For some reason, however, this hasn’t happened that much in real life. Many businesses (and many folks on Wall Street) assume that having a “fiduciary duty” to “maximize shareholder value” or “shareholder profits” means squeezing out every penny of profits right away, with no concern for the future.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Pragmatic’: How Corporate Media Praise Dems Who Abandon Progressive Values

        The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is dominating the news cycle, and two of the three clear frontrunners in polls, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, draw their support from the resurgent left of the party. Sanders in particular describes himself as a democratic socialist and a threat to the establishment. The third favorite, Joe Biden, presents himself not as the representative of the conservative wing, but as a pragmatic, centrist reformer (FAIR.org, 7/17/19).

        Across corporate media, the choice is being portrayed as between progressive idealism and a more credible pragmatism—not left vs. right, but left vs. realistic: “Should Democrats Be Going Big or Getting Real?” asked the Associated Press (7/31/19), while the LA Times (7/31/19) defined the choice as between those who “call for big, ambitious policies” and those with a “more centrist, pragmatic approach.”

      • MICHAEL WHITE: Brexit strategy is no clearer as time ticks on

        Don’t laugh, but I was greatly cheered by a recent visit to the cinema where we saw Richard Curtis & Danny Boyle’s romantic comedy, Yesterday. Suffused with Beatles nostalgia and an heroic role for the Leave-voting Norfolk port of Gorleston-on-Sea, the film’s only comic villain was a rapacious Hollywood producer. Yesterday’s inclusive warmth made me think of an Ealing Comedy. “Perhaps this country really can come together again after Brexit,” I mused.

        The upbeat mood didn’t last and not just because two days later I saw John Malkovich’s monstrous portrayal of a Harvey Weinstein predator in David Mamet’s strangely flawed play, Bitter Wheat. Hard to stay cheerful after such a pummelling in a week when Q2 GDP dropped 0.2% and the bond market signalled looming recession. There was also John Bolton’s menacing visit to promise an early US/UK trade deal he can’t deliver – Arghh! – and Nigel Farage’s attack on the Windsors, made on the lucrative speaking circuit in Sydney. Was that a portent of alt-right republicanism to come if Brexit goes badly wrong? Shades of Napoleon III’s “democratic” French coup in 1848.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • WSJ Rightly Attacks Senator Josh Hawley’s ‘Nannyish’ Laws Regarding The Internet

        Hawley, of course, has been grandstanding a lot lately about how the “cosmopolitan elite” are the problem. He conveniently leaves out the fact that he attended Stanford and Yale Law School, clerked for the Supreme Court, worked at a massive “cosmopolitan” law firm (based in DC and London), Hogan Lovells, and then became Attorney General for Missouri before becoming Senator. Hawley is about as “cosmopolitan” a Senator as you can find. But apparently, in grandstanding to what he seems to believe is a very, very gullible base, he wants to convince them that he’s standing up to the “elites” and that the only innovation that matters is innovation that comes from “the Heartland” or some such nonsense.

        [...]

        Given the willingness of the WSJ to publish anti-internet nonsense of late, it’s nice to see Kessler able to get at least something sensible through.

      • Apartheid-era flag outlawed by court in Johannesburg

        Restrictions on public displays of South Africa’s apartheid-era flag have been imposed by a court in Johannesburg.
        The equality court ruled on Wednesday that gratuitous display of the national flag from the era of white minority rule would constitute hate speech and harassment.
        Judge Phineas Mojapelo said the old orange, white and blue banner would not be completely banned from public display, as its use was protected by law for artistic, academic, journalistic and other public-interest purposes.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Communities Across the Country Reject Automated License Plate Readers

        Recent months have seen a wave of cities and counties around the country rejecting the use of automated license plate readers in their communities, citing privacy concerns posed by the technology. Added to recent local level victories barring the use of face recognition technologies, it is encouraging to see local governments across the nation lead the way in proactively stemming the tide of invasive surveillance technologies.

        Automated license plate readers (ALPRs) are camera systems that scan vehicle license plates and build a searchable database of drivers’ historical travel patterns. ALPRs, often installed on patrol vehicles, streetlights, freeway overpasses and the like, indiscriminately scan every vehicle in a given area and collect data on all drivers regardless of whether their vehicle is under suspicion. Location-based information collected over time can reveal intimate details of a person’s life, such as where they work and live, where they pray, where they seek medical treatment, and who their friends or romantic partners are.

        In June, the California State Auditor launched a probe into the use of ALPRs by local law enforcement agencies, which is a valuable step towards improved information about how government agencies are collecting, using, and storing ALPR data. Even better, there’s been a recent surge of cities and counties rejecting ALPRs. This shows the power that local governments and residents have when they speak up and voice concerns over threats to their privacy. That’s how a community can curb the spread of this dangerous technology.

      • California Police Officers Are Handing Out Free Doorbell Cameras In Exchange For Testimony In Court

        Snitches no longer get stitches. In the year of our lord two-thousand-nineteen, snitches get street surveillance gear from Amazon.

        Amazon’s Ring doorbell — which sports a handy camera to catch all those package thieves — has swallowed up more than 200 police departments with its charm offensive. Cops get doorbell cams at a discount and hand them out for free to locals with the assumption residents will repay the favor by granting officers warrant-free access to footage any time they ask.

        To decrease friction, Ring — which has final edit approval on police publicity efforts — nudges people towards its snitch app, Neighbors, which encourages users to post any suspicious footage they capture. Ring also nudges law enforcement towards more social media interaction with Ring users to blur the line between sharing with neighbors and sharing with government employees.

        The push continues. Amazon sees a market worth cornering and cops see a handy way to turn multiple doorsteps into extensions of their existing surveillance network. Win-win for all involved, I guess, except those who want to secure their homes without feeling obligated to hand over footage whenever the government thinks it might be helpful.

        The advantages for law enforcement are obvious. And that has led to more… um… proactive efforts by law enforcement to spread the good word about these doorbell cameras. Louise Matsakis reports for Wired that a California law enforcement agency recently offered Ring doorbells to citizens in exchange for some help with their cop work.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • As Corruption Runs Rampant In Alabama Prisons, Officers Thwart Organizing Outside Holman Facility

        Unheard Voices OTCJ is a group of organizers working to confront injustices in the United States’ systems of mass incarceration. Two volunteers were conducting outreach to family members of prisoners at Holman Prison in Alabama on the side of a highway when law enforcement insisted they were trespassing on state property.

        On August 18, an officer, who identified himself as Sergeant Davis, urged volunteers to go to a “designated protest area,” away from where visiting family members turn.

        Mona Song and Queen Dara stood on the side of Route 21. They were able to give leaflets to at least eight people who stopped to speak with them.

        Video shows Song saying, “Everyone that we’ve talked to that’s going to visit family so far has been really encouraging and receptive to what we’re doing.” They discussed how visitation may be eliminated by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and connected it to a trip planned for Washington, D.C., where organizers intend to travel with family of prisoners to speak their truth at an event in September.

        Unheard Voices OTCJ would like to ramp up pressure on the Justice Department to go beyond their report on abuses and corruption in the Alabama prison system and take action to hold officials accountable in some manner.

      • Federal Prosecutor Blames Philadelphia DA For Shootout That Wounded Six Philly PD Officers

        While McSwain was bitching about a prosecutor he doesn’t like, DA Larry Krasner was praising the Philadelphia PD — which saw six of its officers wounded — for their handling of the volatile situation.

        McSwain also suggested the federal branch would step in to directly control the actions of the Philly DA. His exact words were “We’re going to provide some adult supervision.” As Adam Steinbaugh points out, that’s not how federalism works. Someone must have pointed that out McSwain, who walked back this comment (but none of his press conference remarks) less than two hours later.

        Perhaps the federal prosecutor was just being reflexively defensive. The person who allegedly shot all of these cops was a federal snitch who got a break on his most recent prison sentence because of how helpful he was.

      • EU has ‘zero incentive’ to break open ‘trilogue’ deals

        It does not happen often that EU directives attract so much public attention that it leads to protests on the streets.
        Yet this is what happened in Berlin and other European cities last March, when protesters called on the European Parliament to reject the EU’s copyright reform.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Google Cloud charging for IPv4, but proper IPv6 support is still missing in action

        Google is increasing the prices for Google Compute Engine (GCE) VMs using external IPv4 addresses, starting in 2020, according to messages sent to Google Cloud Platform customers. Starting on January 1, 2020, a standard GCE instance will cost an additional $0.004 per hour, with preemptable GCE instances costing an additional $0.002 per hour, if they use an external IPv4 address—essentially, an extra $2.92 or $1.46 per month, respectively. Unused static IP will remain unchanged at $0.01 per hour ($7.30 per month).

        While that price increase is by no means wallet-busting, the increase can add up quickly for users of multiple VMs. The natural solution to that would be NAT, but prices are also changing for Cloud NAT Gateway, with Google indicating that they “will charge $0.0014/hr for each VM instance up to a maximum of $0.044/hr (32 or more instances). Gateways that are serving instances beyond the maximum number are charged at the maximum rate.” Users with fewer than 32 nodes will be charged less, while users with more will see no difference.

      • NY Investigates Frontier Communications As US Telcos Slowly Implode

        We’ve long explored how the nation’s phone companies don’t really even want to be in the broadband business. They routinely refuse to upgrade their networks despite millions in subsidies, yet often lobby to ensure nobody else can deliver broadband in these neglected footprints either. US telcos have a bizarre disdain for their paying customers, delivering the bare minimum (slow DSL) at the highest rates they can possibly charge without a full-scale consumer revolt. It’s not surprising then that many telco DSL customers are fleeing to cable, assuming they even have a second broadband option.

        This dynamic often results in some absurd dysfunction. Like in West Virginia, where incumbent telco Frontier has repeatedly been busted in a series of scandals involving substandard service and the misuse of taxpayer money. The graft and corruption in the state is so severe, state leaders have buried reports, and, until recently, a Frontier executive did double duty as a state representative without anybody in the state thinking that was a conflict of interest.

    • Monopolies

      • Cracks Showing In Epic Store’s PR War As Developers Have To Plead With Public To Not Harass Them

        We’ve been discussing the new PC gaming platform wars that kicked off with Epic releasing their own Epic Store to rival Valve’s Steam and attempting to power it with game exclusives built on a more generous split with publishers. There has obviously been a lot to talk about in this new rivalry, from Steam’s response, to Epic’s flubbing of its store’s main purpose, to the effect Epic’s exclusivity deals are hampering the use of crowdfunding to get more games made. But one of the most interesting aspects of this whole ordeal is how clearly Epic’s leadership has attempted to frame this all as a PR war above all else. Essentially, Epic is combating the public’s natural distaste for exclusivity deals by pointing the finger back at Steam, stating that none of this would be an issue and the exclusive deals could go away tomorrow if Steam mirrored Epic’s revenue splits. The argument is that what Epic is really after is a better gaming industry that makes more and better games, something that should benefit the very fans now complaining about the company’s tactics.

        So, how’s that PR battle plan working? Not terribly well, judging by some of the peripherals. For instance, when part of the announcement for a game publisher releasing exclusively on Epic includes the company begging gamers not to hurl vitriol at it in response, that’s an indication the gaming public hasn’t been swayed.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Anticipat has fully transitioned to new data source for PTAB appeals data

          Over the past few years, the USPTO has modernized its data offerings with new websites and APIs. Just recently, the USPTO confirmed completion of a new PTAB site with successfully migrated appeal decisions. Anticipat has now fully transitioned to using this new data source.

          [...]

          We will continue to provide the same type of curated content for ex parte appeal decisions at the PTAB. Only now with a more modern and robust data source, the potential insights are even greater.

        • Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last week, the Federal Circuit reversed findings of non-obviousness and affirmed (over Chief Judge Prost’s dissent) a finding that claims asserted in ANDA litigation were not invalid for failure to satisfy the written description requirement in Nalproprion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Actavis Laboratories FL, Inc.

          ANDA litigation arose over Nalproprion Pharma’s Contrave® extended-release tablets of the combination of naltrexone hydrochloride and buproprion hydrochloride, for treatment of obesity, and Orange Book-listed U.S. Patent Nos. 7,375,111; 7,462,626; and 8,916,195.

          [...]

          Important to the Chief Judge’s reasoning, inter alia, were arguments from the prosecution history where the patentee appeared to rely on the dissolution profile (and the manner of determining it) to distinguish the claims from the prior art. The Chief also disagreed with the District Court’s (and the majority’s) disregard for defendant’s expert testimony and found his assertion that the USP1 an USP2 methods would not have produced the same dissolution profile results to have been relevant to the written description issue before each court.

        • Chamberlain’s Garage Door Opener invalid as an Abstract Idea

          Chamberlain’s asserted patents cover various garage door opening inventions.

          U.S. Patent No. 7,224,275 in particular claims a garage door opener that includes a status-condition-data-transmitter to know if the door is open or closed without looking. The jury found that Techtronic willifully infringed and the patent not invalid. The district court then awarded enhanced damages, attorney fees, and injunctive relief.

          On appeal , the Federal Circuit has overturned the verdict — holding that the claims are invalid as directed toward the abstract idea of “wirelessly communicating status information about a system.” Alice Step 1. Further, the claims do not include any inventive concept under Alice Step 2. All of the physical elements in the claim were admittedly “well understood in the art” and claimed in a generic fashion. The only arguably new element is that the actual information being transmitted is “a status condition signal that: corresponds to a present operational status condition (open or closed).

        • District Court Finds Amazon Lockers Qualify as a Regular and Established Place of Business

          Recently, in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute et al v. Amazon.com, Inc., a district court weighed in on whether Amazon’s lockers constituted “a regular and established place of business” for the purposes of determining whether venue was proper. Amazon was sued for patent infringement in the Northern District of New York. In response, Amazon argued that venue was improper under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) because Amazon contended it had no regular/established place of business within the district.

          In patent infringement cases, venue is proper in the district (1) “where the
          defendant resides” or (2) “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).

          [...]

          Amazon also argued that a place of business required “the presence of employees or agents of the company to carry out the business,” and, since no Amazon employees or agents conducted no business at the lockers, the lockers were not a place of business. In looking at cases cited by the plaintiff and Amazon, the court determined that the relevant question was whether Amazon has agents conducting its business at the lockers – not whether Amazon’s agents are present at all times at the lockers.

          The court cited to facts showing Amazon uses third-party technicians to assemble and maintain the lockers at the locations. Furthermore, the court found that the third-party technicians serve as Amazon’s agents.

        • Audio Compression Improvements are Patent-Eligible

          The Northern District of California recently held that claims directed to data compression to improve audio signal processing are eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as improvements to computer operation. Hybrid Audio, LLC v. Asus Comput. Int’l, Case No. 3:17-cv-05947-JD (N.D. Cal. Jul. 11, 2019).

          Hybrid Audio sued Asus for infringement of U.S. Reissue Patent No. RE40,281. The patent is directed to audio signal processing for compression systems for formats such as MP3. Defendant moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), alleging that the claims of the ‘281 patent were ineligible abstract ideas with no inventive concept. Under the first part of the two-part test of Alice v. CLS Bank, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), if a claim is not directed to an abstract idea, then the claim is eligible under Section 101 and the second step need not be considered.

        • Organizing Security System Display Data Survives Patent-Eligibility Challenge

          The defendants argued that the claims were directed to “information processing steps, including the collecting, analyzing, and dispatching of information concerning alarm or warning system.” But the court bought the plaintiff’s argument that the claims survived Alice because they were “directed to a specific way of providing users with graphical information concerning a monitored event in a premises—embodied by using dynamically-rendered, event-specific, graphical floor plan.”

          To find the claims not directed to an abstract idea, the court emphasized that the patent specification “and the prosecution history focus on improving real-time notification capabilities of security systems by using a dynamically-rendered, event specific, graphical floor plan that pinpoints exact location and condition of events.” And the court emphasized the USPTO’s statement of reasons for allowance stating that the claims were inventive over prior art.

        • Determining Patent-Eligibility Requires Claim Construction!(?)

          In a decision that Judge Lourie in dissent described as “based on a claim construction issue that is little more than a mirage,” a Federal Circuit panel vacated and remanded a district court’s Rule 12(c) judgment on the pleadings of patent-ineligibility, under the Alice test and 35 U.S.C. § 101, of claims directed to updating Internet toolbars. MyMail, Ltd. v. ooVoo, LLC, Nos. 2018-1758, 2018-1759 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2019) (precedential). Judge Reyna’s majority opinion, joined by Judge O’Malley, found error in the district court’s decision not “to resolve the parties’ claim construction dispute before adjudging patent eligibility.”

          The patents-in-suit were US 8,275,863 and 9,021,070, the ’070 patent being a continuation of the ’863 patent. I will not reproduce the lengthy claims here – they can be found at the above links – suffice it to day that the claims of both patents were all about updating Internet toolbars.

          [...]

          The effect of this precedential decision can only be to create more uncertainty in – and, by effectively requiring more claim construction when Rule 12 patent-eligibility motions are brought, complexify and prolong – patent suits. An area of the law that needs to be simplified keeps getting murkier.

      • Copyrights

        • The DOJ Should Keep Its Historic Role Guarding Competition and Innovation in the Music Business

          If you want to play music as part of your business, either live or recorded, chances are you are going to have to pay the two big performing rights organizations. The American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license the rights to a lot of music, and without safeguards in place, could easily abuse their position. They’ve done so before. That’s why the Department of Justice should keep up its historic role overseeing those licensing societies.

          In June, the DOJ announced that it was reviewing its “consent decrees” with ASCAP and BMI, the two major performance rights organizations. The consent decrees are agreements with the U.S. government. They were originally done in 1941 to settle antitrust lawsuits, and they have been modified several times over the years. The federal district court in Manhattan (the Southern District of New York) has jurisdiction over the consent decrees and has the authority to accept or reject any changes.

          These consent decrees impose important limits on ASCAP and BMI’s ability to restrict competition and access to licenses that allow public performances of music compositions. Most importantly, the decrees require ASCAP and BMI to set license fees fairly and to charge uniform fees to similarly situated users. That helps copyright law serve its ultimate goal of spurring creativity and public access to creative works.

          Given the importance of the limits the consent decrees impose, EFF joined allies including Public Knowledge, the Consumer Technology Association, and the R Street Institute in voicing its opposition to any changes would chip away at the consent decrees’ protections against anti-competitive conduct by ASCAP or BMI. The consent decrees have become an integral part of the music publishing industry and continue to promote competition. There’s simply no good reason to get rid of these structural mechanisms that allow markets to thrive while limiting opportunities for anti-competitive conduct by dominant firms.

        • YouTube’s New Lawsuit Shows Just How Far Copyright Trolls Have to Go Before They’re Stopped

          YouTube has taken a stand against a particularly pernicious copyright troll who was not only abusing the takedown system to remove content but was also using it in an extortion scam. While this gives the weight—and resources—of a large corporation in a fight that will benefit users, it also serves as a reminder of how flawed part of the DMCA is.

          The “safe harbor” provision of the DMCA protects platforms like YouTube from liability for copyright infringement done by users. As long as these services do certain things, they cannot be liable for damages. These requirements include having a registered agent to receive copyright complaints, promptly removing content after receiving a complaint, a counter-notice system where the person who’s content has been removed can get it back up, and—most at issue in YouTube’s case—a way to deal with “repeat” infringers.

          YouTube’s way of fulfilling that last requirement is its copyright strikes system. Getting DMCA complaints filed against you means accumulating strikes. If an account accumulates three strikes at once, YouTube will terminate the account and remove all of the videos. People who make their living through their videos, and have worked hard to build an audience there, will suddenly find their lives ruined. Unsurprisingly, videomakers will go to a lot of effort to avoid getting strikes.

          In this case, YouTube v. Brady, Christopher Brady is alleged to have filed false DMCA claims—claiming he either owned things he did not or claiming videos were infringing that were not. That alone is prohibited by the DMCA, which requires the person sending the takedown to affirm that they either own the work or are an agent of the owner and that the notice is being sent in good faith—that is, that they actually believe it is infringement. Someone who thinks a video is fair use but doesn’t like what it’s saying is not allowed to send a DMCA claim. And people who send DMCA claims can’t pretend that fair use rights don’t exist—they have to consider whether the uploader may have been protected by fair use.

        • Screenplay litigation in Nigeria: Missed opportunities in Raconteur Productions Limited v Dioni Visions Entertainment Limited and Others

          This case garnered a lot of interest at its inception because the plaintiff had first obtained an interim injunction from the court restraining the defendants from holding their planned premiere for the feature film entitled Okafor’s Law. The crux of the plaintiff’s application for the injunction was that the screenplay for this feature film was substantially similar to and infringing of its screenplay with a similar title registered with the Writers Guild of Canada. The court subsequently lifted the interim injunction holding that it was granted based on insufficient evidence, as the copyright claim was yet to be determined.In order to resolve the question of whether the defendants’ screenplay in the feature film was infringing of the plaintiff’s screenplay, the court accepted that the plaintiff needed to establish these 3 elements: ownership of a valid copyright; proximity and access by the defendants to the work in which the plaintiff claims copyright and copying of constituent elements of the work that are original and/or substantial similarities between the constituent elements of the plaintiff’s work and that put out by the defendant. See pages 16 and 17 of the judgment.

          [...]

          Since the court could not address these issues on the merits, guidance for screenplay litigation will be a matter for another day. In the light of the absence of a crucial evidentiary item (i.e. the alleged infringed screenplay), an appeal court cannot even save the day since it rarely considers or deals with facts.

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    Links for the day



  18. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  19. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  20. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  21. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  22. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  23. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  24. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day



  26. Links 12/9/2019: GNU/Linux at Huawei, GNOME 3.34 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/9/2019: Manjaro 18.1 and KaOS 2019.09 Releases

    Links for the day



  28. EPO: Give Us Low-Quality Patent Applications, Patent Trolls Have Use for Those

    What good is the EPC when the EPO feels free to ignore it and nobody holds the EPO accountable for it? At the moment we're living in a post-EPC Europe where the only thing that counts is co-called 'products' (i.e. quantity, not quality).



  29. Coverage for Sponsors: What the Linux Foundation Does is Indistinguishable From Marketing Agencies' Functions

    The marketing agency that controls the name "Linux" is hardly showing any interest in technology or in journalism; it's just buying media coverage for sponsors and this is what it boils down to for the most part (at great expense)



  30. Watch Out, Linus Torvalds: Microsoft Bought Tons of Git Repositories and Now It Goes After Linux

    Microsoft reminds us how E.E.E. tactics work; Microsoft is just hijacking its competition and misleading the market (claiming the competition to be its own, having "extended" it Microsoft's way with proprietary code)


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