Like Zemlin, Like Linux.com

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The editor of Linux.com posted this tweet some hours ago. It explains or helps clarify what the Linux Foundation is (and stands for).

Mac and Linux.com
Notice who liked it; SJVN, who as recently as yesterday wrote praises about Microsoft over at ZDNet (with shameless openwashing of the proprietary software giant)

Summary: We’ve long thought of the sole editor of Linux.com as a marketer lying about being a "journalist" and "filmmaker" (no films made). But he’s no marketer; he’s a MAC-eter, just like Jim Zemlin. Linux Foundation people are using Windows and Macs, not Linux. And they’re repeatedly bragging about this in public. That’s how grim things have become.

Last Chance (in 2019) to Tip Us for the Work We Do

Posted in Site News at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Need more potion

Roy's desktop
The work setup

Summary: The year is about to end, we’ve just cross another milestone (26,500 blog posts) and we welcome support from readers who find the site informative

THIS morning we published our 26,500th post. I had slept only 5 hours and woke up early to prepare articles for the site. There’s not much time left for 2019 (even if you live in Japan or Australia), but please consider buying some coffee to keep the momentum going. Even a couple of dollars can help, at the very least as means of moral support. We have plenty planned for 2020, even some drafts already in the making.

Why Large Nations Like China and Russia Will Gradually Move to GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunday’s news report suggests that China proceeds with its GNU/Linux migration

'Two security researchers have developed a new technique that essentially bypasses all of the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system...'~Dennis Fisher, August 7th, 2008

Summary: Microsoft Windows is an imperialistic operating system (or bootable malware) and it is therefore imperative for nations that pursue real sovereignty to wean themselves off it altogether

IN a recent public talk of Richard Stallman he succinctly explained in very clear terms that many people are led to assume that they give instructions to computers they use. They think they’re actually the owners of these computers, whereas the topology is all ‘in reverse’; in practice, owing to the way software was coded or hard-coded, the real owner is the company behind the software and instructions are transmitted to the computers by this company instead of the user. To them, the user is just something to be exploited, ‘monetised’ (when the user is spied on there’s data to be sold, as we noted yesterday in relation to Phoronix). Windows, for example, is designed for data-mining and therefore — by its very design — it’s optimises for insecurity (remote access, harvesting) rather than security. Windows will never be secure because it’s not supposed to be. Those who think that Windows can be made secure evidently fail to grasp what Windows actually is and who it works for.

In countries that wish to control their computing — including their servers — Free software is imperative. Thankfully we’ve been seeing policies implemented by large governments in recent years that will bring rise to GNU/Linux use, even on desktops and laptops.

Michael S. Rogers
“I don’t want a back door. I want a front door.” — Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), 2015

With Byfield at the Wheel FOSSForce is a Force Against Richard Stallman (and What GNU Stands for)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A site of butterflies doesn’t need worms which will never mature and develop into butterflies

FOSSForce butterflies
B.B. will never become a butterfly because he spent a decade and a half attacking pro-FOSS people

Summary: It’s a bit perplexing; FOSSForce spent a number of years passionately combating for FOSS, but nowadays it’s mostly run by a person with anti-FOSS history

THE site FOSSForce has historically been a very good one. I get along rather well with its founder, I did an interview there (with the former editor of Linux.com, who unfortunately died about a year later). The site’s tone changed less than a year ago after a long period of complete silence. In 2019 it became active again. No articles at all in 2018 and 23 articles this year, about 19 of them composed by the same person, the Stallman-bashing Bruce Byfield, who in yesterday’s article wrote about Stallman that he “has had an injured tendon in his leg since 1998.”

What does that have to do with verbal and intellectual advocacy of GNU? He’s not an athlete.

“I will fondly remember the FOSSForce of Christine, Phil, Robin and Ken.”We’ve repeatedly seen many condemnations (e.g. in social control media) of his articles about Stallman, at times name-calling in response to apparent mischaracterisations. Over a decade ago Byfield misattributed rude quotes to me (making me look bad based on things I never even said!) and often sparred with us, defending Mono, Microsoft, Novell, OOXML and so on (overlapping the Jono Bacon modus operandi). He also sparred with Groklaw. For a while he wrote “GNU/Linux”, but he no longer does. Byfield nowadays writes many “hit pieces” on Stallman and he did at least one on us (for Linux.com a very long time ago).

I will fondly remember the FOSSForce of Christine, Phil, Robin and Ken. But Bruce? No thanks.

Explanation of Internal Debian Affairs at Debian Community News

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It goes well beyond Devuan, systemd and the whole init system dispute

Debian Community News

Summary: The Web site called “Debian Community News” provides a rather unique — and likely accurate — take on the state of Debian, where key facts are hidden away for the project’s image to be artificially ‘sanitised’ (and ‘pesky’ developers ostracised) while taking corporate money, e.g. from Google and Microsoft

“We believe that a free and independent news site helps raise standards of leadership, governance and accountability in Debian and the wider Free Software community,” says Debian Community News, a site that recently emerged as a source of news about internal affairs at the Debian camp/project.

“We’ve long needed independent news sites about GNU/Linux, which include anonymity, especially for sources and sometimes for authors.”The site currently contains 16 stories, mostly from this year (except one, which is about the death of Ian Murdock, the “Ian” in “DebIan”).

We’ve long needed independent news sites about GNU/Linux, which include anonymity, especially for sources and sometimes for authors. Free software needs free speech, as secrecy tends to breed suspicion and shelter mischief. This is why we began — or resumed — publishing IRC logs on a daily basis, as we had done until about a decade ago (frequency of publication changed due to the amount of work required). We barely keep secrets other than identity of many sources of ours. In the context of GNU/Linux divulging identity of sources can result in community friction, whereas in the case of European Patent Office (EPO) leaks sources being revealed can result in destruction of lifelong careers.

Speaking of careers being destroyed and even lives ended, here’s what the site said of Murdock:

The report talks about somebody (no suggestion that it was even Ian) “trying to break into a residence”. Let’s translate that from the spin-doctor-speak back to English: it is the silly season, when many people have a couple of extra drinks and do silly things like losing their keys. “a residence”, or just their own home perhaps? Maybe some AirBNB guest arriving late to the irritation of annoyed neighbours? Doesn’t the choice of words make the motive sound so much more sinister? Nobody knows the full story and nobody knows if this was Ian, so snippets of information like this are inappropriate, especially when somebody is deceased.

Did they really mean to leave people with the impression that one of the greatest visionaries of the Linux world was also a cat burglar? That somebody who spent his life giving selflessly and generously for the benefit of the whole world (his legacy is far greater than Steve Jobs, as Debian comes with no strings attached) spends the Christmas weekend taking things from other people’s houses in the dark of the night? The report doesn’t mention any evidence of a break-in or any charges for breaking-in.

If having a few drinks and losing your keys in December is such a sorry state to be in, many of us could potentially be framed in the same terms at some point in our lives. That is one of the reasons I feel so compelled to write this: somebody else could be going through exactly the same experience at the moment you are reading this. Any of us could end up facing an assault as unpleasant as the tweets imply at some point in the future. At least I can console myself that as a privileged white male, the risk to myself is much lower than for those with mental illness, the homeless, transgender, Muslim or black people but as the tweets suggest, it could be any of us.

The story reports that officers didn’t actually come across Ian breaking in to anything, they encountered him at a nearby street corner. If he had weapons or drugs or he was known to police that would have almost certainly been emphasized. Is it right to rush in and deprive somebody of their liberties without first giving them an opportunity to identify themselves and possibly confirm if they had a reason to be there?

The report goes on, “he was belligerent”, “he became violent”, “banging his head” all by himself. How often do you see intelligent and successful people like Ian Murdock spontaneously harming themselves in that way? Can you find anything like that in any of the 4,390 Ian Murdock videos on YouTube? How much more frequently do you see reports that somebody “banged their head”, all by themselves of course, during some encounter with law enforcement? Do police never make mistakes like other human beings?

When a felon is convicted of a crime, there is always a lot of discussion about whether they apologize and show remorse. What is staggering about police communications, like this one, is that there is never any hint that they may have any responsibility, nobody saying “he was in our care, and we failed”, no sign of regret or humility.

I wrote about this episode several times back then. To me, based on all the reports that I saw (virtually all of them were listed and documented carefully in Tux Machines), the police abused him based on rather false or trumped-up pretexts, humiliated him, and later lied about the whole thing. This sort of cover-up was part of a pattern for that particular Police Department, based on press reports that appeared the following year in light of protests.

Like many things in life, Police Departments (PDs) aren’t a pretty thing. There’s lots of abuse and lots of lying inside them. One more week to go and hopefully the Seattle PD will finally hand over some redacted documents about Bill Gates. To quote the PD, “we anticipate having a response/installment to you on or about 1/8/2020.”

They will probably get pressured not to… but we shall see.

A couple of years later Torvalds was silenced and this year Stallman was ‘canceled’ — in both cases on rather questionable grounds.

Links 31/12/2019: Fwupd 1.3.6, Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.7

Posted in News Roundup at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The trials and tribulations of UI scaling on Linux

        A little over a month ago I wrote about an issue I was having in Linux, where playing a video would cause processor usage to skyrocket, and hence, increase the heat output considerably, causing the fans in my laptop to spin up loudly. This behaviour was Linux-specific, as it didn’t happen when using the same laptop in Windows.

        I experienced the problem on KDE Neon and the latest KDE release and on Linux Mint running Cinnamon. After publication of the article, and at the suggestion of lakerssuperman2, I tried the latest release of Ubuntu running GNOME, but there, too, I experienced the problem. Many other readers were quite helpful in trying to get the problem fixed – or at least diagnosed – but I wasn’t getting anywhere.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • 5 open source innovation predictions for the 2020s

          The concepts of containers and microservices were merely concepts before 2010, Ferris said. Then Docker launched in 2013, planting the early seeds of the container industry.

          At the same time, microservices — and the technologies to make them possible — were borne in open source through the Netflix OSS project.

          Docker went on to become one of the most influential technologies of the 2010s, giving rise to a myriad of new open source projects, including Kubernetes, which launched in 2015.

          Today, he noted, Kubernetes is the largest open source project on the planet. Companies are using the platform to transform monolithic application architectures, embracing containerized microservices that are supported by service mesh capabilities of projects such as Istio.

          “In the next decade, we anticipate that open source projects such as Istio, Kubernetes and OKD will focus on making containers and microservices smaller and faster to serve the needs of cloud-native development and to reduce the container’s attack surface,” Ferris said.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Kernel prepatch 5.5-rc4

        The 5.5-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing.

      • Graphics Stack

        • VGA Signal In A Browser Window, Thanks To Reverse Engineering

          [Ben Cox] found some interesting USB devices on eBay. The Epiphan VGA2USB LR accepts VGA video on one end and presents it as a USB webcam-like video signal on the other. Never have to haul a VGA monitor out again? Sounds good to us! The devices are old and abandoned hardware, but they do claim Linux support, so one BUY button mash later and [Ben] was waiting patiently for them in the mail.

          But when they did arrive, the devices didn’t enumerate as a USB UVC video device as expected. The vendor has a custom driver, support for which ended in Linux 4.9 — meaning none of [Ben]’s machines would run it. By now [Ben] was curious about how all this worked and began digging, aiming to create a userspace driver for the device. He was successful, and with his usual detail [Ben] explains not only the process he followed to troubleshoot the problem but also how these devices (and his driver) work. Skip to the end of the project page for the summary, but the whole thing is worth a read.

        • Mesa’s Radeon R600 Gallium3D Driver Now Has NIR Support Under Review

          Similar to the trend with other Mesa drivers, the Radeon R600g driver for supporting Radeon HD 2000 through Radeon HD 6000 series graphics cards has been seeing experimental work to introduce a NIR back-end for this modern intermediate representation. That R600 NIR support now has a merge request open meaning it could possibly land still for Mesa 20.0.

          The R600g NIR support has been worked on by Gert Wollny and currently targets Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” graphics cards with support for other AMD GPU generations handled by this Gallium3D driver not yet supported. Additionally, this NIR back-end only supports vertex / fragment / geometry shaders for now and other features missing.

        • Playing with EGL+OpenGL Off-screen Multi-Card

          So I’ve now spent the last day and a half playing with getting EGL offscreen rendering working on Linux. There are two major ways to do off-screen rendering with EGL and OpenGL. In the first, you use a pbuffer surface, that surface is basically a purpose-defined surface-type for off-screen backing of a renderer. When I use the EGL enumeration API we always seem to get pbuffer compatible visuals (and *not* window compatible ones).

          On Ubuntu 18.04 the enumeration API seems to be… problematic, lots of segfaults, particularly with the VirtualBox driver that shows up in the enumerations. On Ubuntu 19.10 the behaviour is much more reliable, with all 3 GPUs in my prime-based nVidia/Intel laptop (including the VirtualBox GPU) completing the OpenGL query for version, extensions, etc. The missing bit is being able to specify which GPU to use, as the EGL query API doesn’t seem to have a way to get a “name” that a user would recognise to describe the card.

    • Benchmarks

      • How The Radeon RX 5700 XT Navi Linux Performance Has Evolved Since Launch

        As part of our year-end articles we already provided benchmarks looking at the Radeon OpenGL / Vulkan driver performance for 2019. That testing was done using Polaris and Vega given their GPU support prior to 2019, but for those wondering about the Radeon RX 5700 “Navi” performance for these GPUs that launched this summer, here are some end-of-year tests.

        This comparison is looking at the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT performance for the August 2019 state of the Linux graphics driver compared to the latest driver state as of this week. The testing was done with the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, and the reference Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card.

    • Applications

      • Notepad++ Alternatives For Linux

        This article aims to introduce you to some of the most popular Notepad++ alternatives for Linux including the installation, basic features and functions.

      • Fwupd 1.3.6 Firmware Updater Released With Initial Windows Support

        Fwupd 1.3.6 was released today for ending out a very successful year for this firmware updating utility that works in-step with the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) for allowing hardware firmware/BIOS updating on Linux systems.

        This year has been a lot of accomplishments for Fwupd/LVFS with more hardware vendors becoming involved, Google devices beginning to require their partners provide Fwupd/LVFS-compatible updates, and other hardware support improvements. With Fwupd 1.3.6 there are new plug-ins around TPM (Trusted Platform Module) support, ensuring the device protocol matches the meta-data value, and other improvements.

        There are also a number of fixes around the version formatting for the Dell BIOS version, various quirks, vendor ID handling improvements, and other minor items.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Indie building and automation sim ‘Factorio’ has surpassed two million sales while in Early Access

        Wube Software announced recently that their indie building, mining, crafting and automation game Factorio has now managed to pass two million sales before it’s even finished as noted in their recent blog post.

        Factorio is currently in Early Access and it’s been in development for over eight years, so they’ve had a long time to hit that two million sale milestone. Not to detract from it, that’s still an amazing number for an indie game that doesn’t go on sale—incredible really!

        As a reminder, Factorio is set to launch the big 1.0 on September 25, 2020. Before that though, they still have a lot of work to do and it seems the newer tutorials are being thrown out in favour of them tweaking what they originally had. Why? Apparently they just didn’t show newer players the way the game needed to be played.

      • Deep open-world survival game Vintage Story adds a big new weather system

        It’s getting a lot more difficult to hold myself back on that buy button on Vintage Story, with so many huge updates to it lately. Another is now in testing, adding in a big new weather system.

        This new weather system is location-bound, meaning different biomes will see different weather patterns. There’s also various degrees of wind, snow, hail and other effects. Weather will also affect certain game mechanics, like rain putting out fire.

      • GOG are finishing their Winter Sale by giving away the RPG Tower of Time

        Grab the excellent real-time dungeon crawling RPG, Tower of Time, completely FREE from GOG during the final days of their Winter Sale.

        I’m a big fan of Tower of Time, it has a wonderful setting to explore and the real-time combat is certainly something that feels a little more unique. The developer, Event Horizon, are also working on a new RPG called Dark Envoy and you can find more details on that here.

      • Monolith: Relics of the Past extends the excellent shooter with a ridiculous amount of extra content

        Monolith’s twin-stick rogue-lite room to room shooting is practically perfection, it didn’t need an expansion but I’m glad Relics of the Past exists so I can sit and play a huge amount more.

      • You can now easily grab all the extra items for Two Point Hospital from The Superbug Initiative

        The Superbug Initiative in Two Point Hospital is a pretty sweet social feature, where people come together to solve big goals and it then unlocks special items for you.

        However, it does require you to be an active player participating in them all. For some who don’t have time to constantly play, you could feel like you’re missing out. Well, no more.

        Two Point Studios have setup what they’re calling a Hospital Pass but don’t worry it’s not a paid-pass like other games. It gets you to sign in with your Steam account to give you a hidden DLC, then it will ask you to sign up to their newsletter. Once done, you will instantly get the Golden Toilet, Golden Sink and Golden Hand Dryer to make your hospital look truly shiny.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Interview with Eka Icydust

          have a HUGE problem in picking favorites, copy others’ styles when I’m lazy (hehe), ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO DRAW, play Minecraft, BlockstarPlanet, extra extra, horrible at controller, all my friends have a TV or TVs and I dont , hate Roblox but can still play it in Roblox banned countries and I basically love dark and creepy AND I’m not girly or boyish.

          Birthday on November 30th so now I’m 12.

          I have a lot of books (I love reading).

          I also hate putting the signature after I draw cause it seems annoying in my bad handwriting.

        • Trinity Desktop Environment R14.0.7 Released!

          The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new TDE R14.0.7 release. TDE is a complete software desktop environment designed for Unix-like operating systems, intended for computer users preferring a traditional desktop model, and is free/libre software.

          R14.0.7 is the seventh maintenance release of the R14.0 series, and is built on and improves the previous R14.0.6 version. Maintenance releases are intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability through the avoidance of both major new features and major codebase re-factoring.

        • Trinity Desktop R14.0.7 Released For Keeping KDE 3 Spirit Alive In 2020
        • LearnPyQt — One year in, and more to come.

          Back in May I was looking through my collection of PyQt tutorials and videos and trying to decide what to do with them. They were pretty popular, but being hosted on multiple sites meant they lacked structure between them and were less useful than they could be. I needed somewhere to put them.

          Having looked the options available for hosting tutorials and courses I couldn’t find something that fit my requirements. So I committed the #1 programmer mistake of building my own.

          LearnPyQt.com was born, and it turned out pretty great.

          The site uses a freemium model — long detailed text tutorials, with an upgrade to buy video courses and books for those that want them. Built on the Django-based Wagtail CMS it has been extended with some custom apps into a fully-fledged learning management system. But it’s far from complete. Plans include adding progress tracking, certificates and some lightweight gamification. The goal here is to provide little hooks and challenges, to keep you inspired and experimenting with PyQt (and Python).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Designing an Icon for Your App

          You’ve designed your app’s interface, and found the perfect name for it. But of course a great app also needs a great icon before you can release it to the world.

          After the name, the app icon is the most important part of an app’s brand. The icon can help explain at a glance what the app does, and serves as an entry point to the rest of the experience. A high quality icon can make people want to use an app more, because it’s a stand-in for the quality of the entire app.

          Think of the app icon like an album cover for your app. Yes, technically the music is the same even if you have a terrible cover, but a great cover can capture the spirit of the album and elevate the quality of the thing as a whole.

    • Distributions

      • And the best distro of 2019 is …

        Another year comes to a close. Another year of distro testing, surprises, illusions, disillusionment, some happiness, some sadness, and most of all, not the year of Linux after all. But while the dream may be fading, there’s still reasons to be jolly. Or at least content. Because some pretty nice and solid Linux distros did come out in 2019, and we need to crown the bestest of them.

        Last year, the winner was MX Linux MX-17 Horizon. It delivered a good, whole desktop experience. A pleasant twist, one sorely needed in the lethargy-bound world that is home Linux nowadays. Which makes for an interesting little competition this year, because it’s not just about boring technical details, it’s also about giving users something they can proudly run and enjoy, beyond the rudimentary point-and-click essentials. I’ve already given you my take on the Plasma, Gnome and Xfce winners, so now we need to put all that together, and see what comes out. Let’s do it.

      • New Releases

        • ExTiX Deepin 20.1 live based on Deepin 15.11 (latest) with Skype, Spotify, Refracta Snapshot and kernel 5.5.0-rc3 :: Build 191230

          1.You can run ExTiX from RAM. Use boot alternative 3 (load to RAM) or Advanced. A wonderful way to run Linux if you have enough RAM. Everything will be super fast. When ExTiX has booted up you can remove the DVD or USB stick.
          2. You will have the opportunity to choose language before you enter the Deepin 15.11 Desktop. All main languages are supported.
          3. I have replaced Deepin Installer with the Reborn version of Deepin Installer. Works better in every way.
          4. I have replaced kernel 5.3.0-rc6-exton with kernel 5.5.0-rc3-exton.
          5. Spotify and Skype are pre-installed.
          6. You can watch Netflix while running Firefox.
          7. You can install ExTiX Deepin also in VirtualBox/VMware using Deepin Installer. (In previous versions you had to “chroot” into the install partition and install Grub).
          8. While installing ExTiX Deepin to a USB stick using Rufus 3.8 you can create a persistent

        • Trisquel 9 Graphical ISO available for testing

          Note that the text installer is expected to be for the wrong Trisquel version at this time. Please only test the “Try Trisquel without installing” options and the graphical installer for now.

      • Slackware Family

        • New handbrake and mkvtoolnix packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current

          I was a couple of releases behind on the Handbrake video transcoding software. I am always a bit hesitant with upgrading Handbrake. It has a history of being hard to compile on the stable Slackware releases.

          Most notably it is the GTK+3 based GUI for which our Slackware libraries are often too old. And indeed, with the latest 1.3.0 release I found that this would not compile on Slackware 14.2 despite the hack I already used for the previous package (1.2..2) which I created earlier in 2019. It took me a day to come up with a second patch that allows Handbrake 1.3.0 to compile against our gtk+3 3.18.9 while in fact the program’s GUI component wants gtk+3 3.20.0 or higher.
          So, Slackware 14.2 users – please tell me if you find that some functionality of the GUI is not working… it should all work properly but you never know.
          In addition, I had to add a patch to make the new dav1d AV1 decoder compile on Slackware 14.2 but luckily I could just re-implement what I had already done for VLC.

      • Arch Family

        • BlackArch Linux Scheduled It’s Launch on 1st January 2020!

          BlackArch Linux Scheduled its Launch!! Today, the developers of BlackArch Linux announced that the new release of BlackArch ISO and OVA image files are scheduled on 1st January 2020 (Sunday)

        • BlackArch Linux 2020.01.01 Released With Kernel 5.4.6 And 120+ New Tools

          We have a wide range of options when it comes to Linux distributions. However, if we talk specifically about operating systems that have ethical hacking tools, BlackArch Linux is one of the most popular ones.

          Now, BlackArch Linux OS has received its first release for the upcoming 2020 and the new version brings more than 120 new tools at our disposal.

        • BlackArch Linux 2020.01.01 Now Available To Download With 120 New Tools

          BlackArch Linux developers have come up with their first ISO release for 2020. The latest version of the penetration testing and ethical hacking operating system, BlackArch Linux 2020.01.01, comes with 120 new tools.

          Powered by Linux kernel 5.4.6, the new release also includes an updated installer. It is said to feature a number of improvements along with bug fixes to provide users with better hardware detection and support. As the developers put it, the latest release fixes the annoying ‘cannot open tools via menu blah blah crying‘ bug.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora Update Weeks 46—52

          It’s been another little while since the last update. Mostly, this has been because the home Internet has been down for a while, so I’ve not been doing much Fedora stuff the last month. Prior to that little break though, updates were relatively steady.

          As a followup to the last update, I’ve now removed automated Suggests when they do not exist in Fedora yet from R packages that I do not own. This is a continuation of the work mentioned in the last update where I removed Suggests from my own packages.

          In any case, it looks like this will be the last update of the year. Over the last year, I’ve made ~1000 commits, created 133 new packages, and issued 1944 updates. This is about 4% of all Fedora updates over the past year.

      • Debian Family

        • The results from the Debian init-system GR

          The results from the Debian general resolution vote on init systems are in; the project’s developers chose the option titled “Systemd but we support exploring alternatives”. It makes systemd into the preferred init system, and allows packages to use systemd-specific features; packagers are not required to support other init systems, but support for other systems is encouraged where it is practical.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Handheld retro game console runs Linux on RK3326

          Hardkernel is prepping a $55 “Odroid-Go Advance” retro game console that runs Ubuntu 18.04 on a Rockchip RK3326 and offers a 3.5-inch color display, gaming controls, and a 10-hour battery.

          Hardkernel has posted specs for a handheld retro game console that will launch in late January for $55. The Odroid-Go Advance is a more powerful update to the ESP32-based, Arduino programmable Odroid-Go handheld player, which still sells for $32. The new player advances to running Linux on a 64-bit quad-core, Cortex-A35 based Rockchip RK3326 clocked at 1.3GHz with a Mali-G32 MP2 GPU. As a result, instead of being limited to 8-bit retro games, it can play 16- and 32-bit games.

        • ODROID-GO Advance: $55 Linux Gaming Console Launching Next Month

          After witnessing the success of Arduino-compatible handheld gaming console ODROID-GO, the board making company HardKernel is back with a successor.

          ODROID-GO Advance is the latest retro gaming console that packs a faster processor and an updated display. The device runs Ubuntu, which means not only users can play retro games but also use the handheld as a Linux computer.

        • Ubuntu: 10 Years, 10 Defining Moments

          With the leading desktop Linux distribution about to enter a brand new decade — along with the rest of it — it’s sure to face new challenges and new opportunities.

          So taking a look backwards, to appreciate how far Ubuntu has come in past ten years, feels rather appropriate.

          From the successes that helped Ubuntu’s popularity balloon, to the controversies that nearly punctured it irreparably.

          Wherever you are and whichever distro you’re now running, pop open a can of Ubuntu cola and scroll down to relive ten of Ubuntu’s most defining moments.

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 611

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 611 for the week of December 22 – 28, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Linux and open-source rules: 2019′s five biggest stories show why

        I’ve covered Linux and open source since Linus Torvalds was a grad student and before “open source” was a thing or, for that matter, before “free software” was its frenemy. From those very early days when Richard M. Stallman created the GNU General Public License (GPL), one of the main narratives was small plucky us–open-source and Linux supporters–versus the enormous, proprietary corporate them–with The Evil Empire Microsoft as enemy number one. That story is as out of touch with reality as a Hallmark Christmas movie is with small town economies.

      • Jussi Pakkanen: How about not stabbing ourselves in the leg with a rusty fork?

        Corporations are funny things. Many things no reasonable person would do on their own are done every day in thousands of business conglomerates around the world. With pride even. Let us consider as an arbitrary example a corporation where every day is started by employees stabbing themselves in the leg with a rusty fork. This is (I hope) not actually done for real, but there could be a company out there where this is the daily routine.

        If you think that such a thing could possibly never happen, congratulations on having never worked in a big corporation. Stick with that if you can!

        When faced with this kind of pointless and harmful routine, one might suggest not doing it any more or replacing it with some other, more useful procedure. This does not succeed, of course, but that is not the point. The reasons you get back are the interesting thing, because they will tell you what kind of manager and coworkers you are dealing with. Here are some possible options, can you think of more?

      • What is FOSS, and how does it differ from Freeware

        The rise of the Linux operating system, in all its various distributions, over the past few decades has catapulted the popularity of Free and Open Source Software.

        Unfortunately, many new Linux users are often confused about what exactly FOSS is, and all that it entails. There’s no shame in that, and it can be confusing.

        In simple terms, FOSS is software that all allows users to not only freely run the program for any purpose, but also provides users access to the code. Moreover, it also allows them to modify as they wish, as well as freely distribute copies of the original version or their altered version.

      • Signal: A Secure, Open Source Messaging App

        Signal is an open source application with a keen focus on privacy. It is recommended by privacy advocates like Edward Snowden.

        It may not have as many features as Telegram or WhatsApp – but if you want to enhance your privacy while having a conversation, this is a solid open-source solution.

        You can install it on your smartphone (iOS/Android) and it is also available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

      • EY Open-Sources Tech It Says Slashes Cost of Private Ethereum Transactions

        In the updated code, EY said it’s made additions that allow private transactions at scale by batching up to 20 ZKP transfers in one transaction – a factor it says “significantly” reduces costs. One 20-batch transaction would cost around $0.05, according to the announcement.

        ZPKs enable the sharing of information proofs between parties without revealing the information itself and, thus, removing the need for trust. The latest additions to EY’s ZPK tech include batching tools and an enhancement that cuts the size of on-chain Merkle trees – a data structure fundamental to blockchains.

        A key factor of the advance, EY said, is that lowering the costs of transactions in this way makes the public ethereum blockchain more competitive with private blockchain networks.

      • Sorry Steve, Open Source beat you

        CNBC Explores released a 14-minute documentary this month called “The Rise Of Open-Source Software” that open-source software “has essentially taken over the world”.

        It points out that companies in every industry, from Walmart to Exxon Mobile to Verizon, have open-sourced their projects. Even Microsoft, whose former CEO, the shy and retiring Steve Ballmer (pictured) called open source “a cancer” has completely changed its point of view and is now seen as a leader in the space.

        In 2016 the US government even promised to open-source at least 20 percent of all its new custom-developed code.”

      • Funding

        • Odoo Closes $90 Million Minority Investment Led By Summit Partners

          Odoo, an open source all-in-one business software company, has closed a $90 million minority investment led by global growth equity investor Summit Partners.

          Odoo said its executive management team and existing investor SRIW and its affiliate Noshaq also participated in the share sale.

      • FSF

        • Who Will Succeed the Current Free Software Leaders

          Most FOSS leaders came into prominence during the 1980s and 90s and are now approaching, or have passed, the age when most people retire. Are free software organizations ready for the change that appears to be just around the corner?

          Richard Stallman’s recent resignation raises issues that nobody likes to talk about: what happens when the current leaders of free software need to be replaced? What mechanisms are in place to find a new leader? Who, if anyone, should succeed? What provisions should be made? Answers to these questions are especially needed in projects where the idea of the Benevolent Dictator for Life prevail. Moreover, in coming years the urgency can only increase.

        • Last chance to help us reach our membership goal in 2019!

          The pace and demands of modern life pressure us to carry computers in our pockets laden with nonfree software (our cell phones), and new threats to our privacy are popping up on every street corner, via proprietary Amazon Ring cameras, and on many kitchen counters, via “smart” home devices. Back when our movement was born, software freedom was only of great concern to people who were actively involved in development. Today, nobody in the world can afford to ignore the crucial importance of knowing what our software is doing, and keeping it from doing us harm.

          As the battles and triumphs of 2019 fade into the past and the new challenges of 2020 emerge, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) continues our commitment to the goal we’ve had from our earliest days: a future in which all software is free, and can be trusted to serve the needs and best interests of every user. Our strength depends on your support: we need you to boldly carry the message and goal of software freedom to everyone you know, bring them into the fold, and help us mobilize them to use and talk about free software.


          We’re spending the end of this year making plans to make 2020 the best year for the FSF ever: you can read about some of these plans in the reports from our tech team, licensing and compliance team, and campaigns team. Will this be the year that we make user freedom a kitchen table issue? We’ll never stop trying – and we hope you’ll be by our side all the way.

      • Programming/Development

        • 10 Front-end Web Development Tools for 2020

          Web development is evolving very quickly, with many libraries and frameworks appearing and replacing other, less efficient, tools. If you want to keep up-to-date with all the latest news and find out what best suits your web application project, keep up with the tools listed below.

        • MLIR Lands In LLVM – Boosting LLVM For Heterogeneous Hardware, Machine Learning

          Landing as a great Christmas present for LLVM developers interested in heterogeneous hardware compilation, TensorFlow and other machine learning use-cases was MLIR within the LLVM source tree.

          MLIR is the Multi-Level Intermediate Representation open-sourced by Google earlier this year. MLIR aims to be a common IR/format between machine learning models and frameworks.


          With the recently covered Google IREE project they are also experimenting with MLIR for the likes of accelerating machine learning on Vulkan.

        • Perl / Raku

        • Python

          • Minimizing context switching between shell and Python
          • Python Timer Functions: Three Ways to Monitor Your Code

            While many developers recognize Python as an effective programming language, pure Python programs may run slower than their counterparts in compiled languages like C, Rust, and Java. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll see how to use a Python timer to monitor how fast your programs are running.

          • 2019 qutebrowser crowdfunding – reminder

            Just like in the 2017/2018 crowdfundings, it’ll be possible to get t-shirts and stickers again. I’ll also add some new swag to the mix :)


            Somewhen after 2020 comes around the corner (and probably after my birthday on the 2nd) I’m going to adjust the perks accordingly.

          • Training on batch: how do you split the data?

            With increasing volumes of the data, a common approach to train machine-learning models is to apply the so-called training on batch. This approach involves splitting a dataset into a series of smaller data chunks that are handed to the model one at a time.

          • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Saul Pwanson

            This week we welcome Saul Pwanson (@saulfp) as our PyDev of the Week! Saul is the creator of VisiData, an interactive multitool for tabular data. If you’d like to see what Saul has been up to, then you should check out his website or his Github profile. You can also support Saul’s open source endeavors on Patreon. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Saul better!

            Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

            I grew up in Chicagoland in the 80s, was on BBSes in the early 90s, and IRC in college and thereafter. I’ve been once to the Recurse Center in New York, twice to Holland, and six times to Bruno’s in Gerlach, NV. I like crossword puzzles, board games, and point-and-click adventures. One day I’d like to finish my “board simulation” of the awe-inspiring mechanics inside mitochondria.

            Why did you start using Python

            It was for a job at a startup back in 2004. It’s really great as a scripting language, and the standard library makes most common things easy by itself, with the rest of the ecosystem providing not just one but usually about 4 different ways of doing any task, often including one that works really well. I tip my hat to all the unsung deve

          • Moshe Zadka: Meditations on the Zen of Python

            Python contributor Tim Peters introduced us to the Zen of Python in 1999. Twenty years later, its 19 guiding principles continue to be relevant within the community.

            The Zen of Python is not “the rules of Python” or “guidelines of Python”. It is full of contradiction and allusion. It is not intended to be followed: it is intended to be meditated upon.

            In this spirit, I offer this series of meditations on the Zen of Python.

  • Leftovers

    • A Progressive Wish List for 2020

      If we work hard and stay focused, 2020 can be the year we make huge gains.

    • 10 Good Things About 2019

      Remembering some of the gains in the difficult year of 2019 can help inspire us for the critical struggles ahead.

    • Science

      • If you think the millennium bug was a hoax, here comes a history lesson

        It’s not hard to find echoes of the late 1990s in the zeitgeist. Now as then, impeachment is on many peoples’ minds, and films such as The Matrix and The Sixth Sense continue to influence culture. Another feature of the same era that perhaps has a more important, if subtler, influence is the infamous Y2K bug.

        Y2K was the great glitch in computer systems that looked capable of destroying civilisation at the stroke of midnight on the millennium. In the end, however, nothing much went wrong. Some people started to wonder if we had been misled all along. In fact, they couldn’t have been more mistaken. Y2K is in danger of becoming one of those moments in history from which exactly the wrong lessons have been drawn.

      • Hold on, the decade still has another year to run
    • Health/Nutrition

      • Self-Enlightenment v. Social Change

        Baba Ram Dass (ne: Richard Alpert) was different from the host of gurus and their followers who came out of the 1960s and 1970s. He worked with prisoners and the dying for a time, but was part of the self-enlightenment ethos that enticed so many from the generation of baby boomers (Dass was older than the generation of baby boomers). Born into comfort, he dabbled with psychedelic drugs, worked with Timothy Leary, gave up fancy cars and motorcycles, and earned a Ph.D. (“Baba Ram Dass, Proponent of LSD Turned New Age Guru, Dies at 88,” New York Times, December 23, 2019).

      • The Mount Sinai Scandal Shows Everything That’s Wrong With US Health Care

        Left Voice speaks with a physician who has worked for several years in hospitals throughout New York City. With the physician’s experience as a healthcare provider, they give a riveting account of everything that is wrong with the U.S. healthcare system and how capitalism creates these conditions.

      • 3 Years In, No Sign of Trump Alternative to Obamacare

        As a candidate for the White House, Donald Trump repeatedly promised that he would “immediately” replace President Barack Obama’s health care law with a plan of his own that would provide “insurance for everybody.”

      • White Nationalism and Public Health

        There is a trend across much of the world toward the strongman ruler, the Trump/Putin/Erdogan/Duterte/Jong-un model, but that is reversible. Nothing about this is permanent or inevitable. We always have a choice. 

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (debian-lan-config, freeimage, imagemagick, libxml2, mediawiki, openssl1.0, php5, and tomcat8).

          • What is Samsung Secure Wi-Fi?

            Samsung Galaxy and Note smartphones come with a pre-installed app called Samsung Secure Wi-Fi. The app can’t be uninstalled from the app manager on the device. Scroll to the bottom of the article for uninstallation instructions.

            Samsung is thin on the details and doesn’t say much about what the service does. Every time you connect to a Wi-Fi network it sends you the following promotional push-notification.

          • Wyze Data Leak Exposes Personal Information of Nearly 2.5 Million Customers

            We talk often at IoT Tech Trends about the potential of important personal information being vulnerable because of smart home Internet of Things devices. Many times, it seems the device manufacturers aren’t very upfront about the lack of security and data breaches.

            But Wyze is different. Regrettably, the company suffered a data leak that exposed the personal information of 2.4 million customers. However, they are owning up to it and taking quick action to mend the situation. It does nothing to change the leak, but it is a refreshing change.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • UK Metropolitan Police Admit They’ve Finally Shelved ‘Investigation’ Into Journalists Who Reported On Snowden Docs

              It’s well known that the UK doesn’t have nearly as strong press protections as the US does, but it was still somewhat shocking to discover that the Metropolitan Police in London had opened an investigation into journalists who reported on the Snowden documents back in 2013. The Metropolitan Police had refused to confirm or deny such an investigation before finally acknowledging it in 2015.

            • Activists Worldwide Face Off Against Face Recognition: 2019 Year in Review

              We’ve all heard the expression, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” We might hope that what we do and where we go will only be known to those who were there in person. Yet maintaining such anonymity and privacy in public spaces is becoming ever more difficult. 2019 has marked the year where a growing digital rights network around the world is pushing back against governments and companies’ use of face recognition technologies in public spaces. This year, in an attempt to prevent people from having their movement and actions meticulously tracked, these activists took action against face recognition in countries all over the world.

            • NIST Study Of 189 Facial Recognition Algorithms Finds Minorities Are Misidentified Almost 100 Times More Often Than White Men

              The development and deployment of facial recognition tech continues steadily, but the algorithms involved don’t seem to be getting much better at recognizing faces. Recognizing faces is pretty much the only thing it’s expected to do and it can’t seem to get the job done well enough to entrust with it things like determining whether or not a person is going to be detained or arrested.

            • Data protection policy void threatens privacy rights of citizens and refugees in Jordan

              In November 2018, at the 31st session of the Universal Periodic Review, Jordan received for the first time in its history two recommendations on the right to privacy. Both Estonia and Brazil called attention to the need to respect citizens’ privacy. However, Jordan’s experience has shown threats to privacy and digital rights come not only from the government but also from international agencies and corporations including Internet Service Providers and tech start-ups.

              In the absence of a privacy law, how is personal data being handled in Jordan today by public, private, and international actors? And will the enactment of a data protection law reinforce privacy protections in the country?


              In 2018, the government proposed amendments to the Cybercrime Law which included “applications” to the list of “information systems” that can be subjected to government inspection. The prosecutor was also granted more surveillance powers. During a parliamentary session in February 2019, the majority of members voted in favour of the draft amendments.

              To make matters worse, in the absence of a data protection law, the Jordanian government is imposing on its citizens mandatory smart IDs that store biometric data, and a mandatory SIM card registration plan that will require citizens to submit their fingerprints to register a new phone number.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Whose Democracy in Brazil?

        The impact of inequalities in elections in Brazil is reflected in the important political underrepresentation of women, blacks and minorities. Fortunately, it is possible to identify what needs to change so that those who do not have a political opportunity today can have it tomorrow.

      • The Main Result of the Impeachment Process

        The House Democrats have impeached the president, but the Senate will surely acquit him Thus the wistful plan to turn enough Republicans to make a difference won’t work. Meanwhile, Trump’s base has remained at around 42% throughout. The hearings appear to have consolidated the Trump base. Fundraising has reportedly “gone through the roof.” In short, the impeachment hearings have not succeeded, either in disillusioning Trump supporters or in reducing his prospects for a second term.

      • The Tail Don’t Wag the Dog: Israel and the United States

        The tail don’t wag the dog, and the United States government was not somehow infiltrated and manipulated into supporting the capitalistic, ever-expansive, angry, and war-like successive governments in Israel, nor was it manipulated into supporting the right-wing Israeli settlers who undermined every attempt at peace any Israeli president ever made.  The United States government did these things of its own free will.  The tail don’t wag the dog.

      • A Decade in Review: Palestinians Who Stood Out, and Took a Stand, Over the Last 10 Years

        While the political situation often seems bleak and hopeless, these Palestinians, these changemakers, continue to try to make a difference, no matter how big or small, in the hopes that they can do better for their community.

      • ‘Bombshell’ Glosses Over the Horrors of Fox News

        Countless anchors and executives, including owner Rupert Murdoch, have made it one of the most destructive forces in American life.

      • America in Black and White
      • Michael Moore: Democrats Must Not Ignore Voters of Color

        Last week on Democracy Now!, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore predicted Donald Trump would win re-election if Democrats don’t choose a candidate to run against him who excites their base of voters. His comments prompted President Donald Trump to respond on Twitter, “He made [the] same prediction in 2016. Nobody ever said Michael was stupid!” But Moore’s comments went further than Trump’s tweet alluded to. He said the working class in the United States is mostly women, people of color and young people — all groups who tend to vote Democratic. Moore, who supports Bernie Sanders, said Democrats can win if they focus on these voters and on bold proposals like Medicare for All.

      • ‘Destruction of Checks and Balances’: WH Lawyers Reportedly Argued Trump Could Override Congress to Freeze Ukraine Aid

        “That’s unconstitutional. If they had a real legal justification, they wouldn’t resort to such absurd claims.”

      • White House Lawyers Argued Trump Could Override Congress to Freeze Ukraine Aid

        In an attempt to retroactively justify President Donald Trump’s decision to place a hold on nearly $400 million in congressionally-appropriated aid to Ukraine, top lawyers in the White House budget office — in concert with the Justice Department — reportedly developed an argument that Trump could simply override Congress and flout relevant laws by simply asserting his authority as commander-in-chief.

      • 2019 Wasn’t Just About Trump. It Will Be Remembered for Global Resistance.

        For the dominant media, the biggest political story of 2019 was undoubtedly the impeachment of President Trump. After all, impeachment is an all-consuming force on Capitol Hill, where the debate over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine devolved into partisan blood sport over the past few months. Meanwhile, the world continues to turn, and it would be a disservice to the millions of people doing remarkable things to simply remember 2019 as the year the Trump Show finally aired its impeachment episode.

      • Get Ready for a Stop-Bernie Onslaught Like You’ve Never Seen

        A central premise of conventional media wisdom has collapsed. On Thursday, both the New York Times and Politico published major articles reporting that Bernie Sanders really could win the Democratic presidential nomination. Such acknowledgments will add to the momentum of the Bernie 2020 campaign as the new year begins — but they foreshadow a massive escalation of anti-Sanders misinformation and invective.

      • Did Sanders Play a Role in Hillary’s 2016 Defeat?

        Hillary Clinton has once again stirred the pot. In an appearance on the Howard Stern show on December 4, 2019, she claimed – without any substantiation – that Bernie Sanders hurt her chances of being elected in 2016. In effect, Hillary regurgitated the flawed talking point of the Democratic establishment that Bernie somehow contributed to her defeat because he did not endorse her right after she won the primaries.

      • Red No Matter Who

        We all know the question one is asked by liberal Democrats during the primary season. It is not: which candidate do you support? It is rather: will you vote for the Democratic candidate, no matter who it is? Now this presumes two unexpected assumptions, both of which are in support of Bernie Sanders. The first assumption is that you (common person) support Bernie Sanders. The second assumption is that even though this is true Bernie will not win the nomination (the system is not democratic).

      • ‘New Day’ for Queens Democratic Machine as Sanders and Warren Supporters Defeat Attempt to Ram Through Biden Endorsement

        Backers of the 2020 bids of Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were “united behind a transparent inclusive process.”

      • Ralph Nader: Democrats Stand Between Trump and Tyranny

        Against Donald J. Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted narrow impeachment charges, despite key House Committee Chairs’ arguments for broadening the impeachment charges. These veteran lawmakers, led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, urged Speaker Pelosi to include the ten obstructions of justice documented in the Mueller Report. These House Committee Chairs also wanted to add a count of bribery regarding Ukraine – a stance Pelosi took herself in a November 14, 2019 press conference. She then overruled her chairs and rejected the bribery count.

      • Trump and Machiavelli: Does Morality Matter?

        Anyone familiar with President Donald Trump’s behavior since taking office can be excused for believing that morality and politics are unrelated. Perhaps the current state of affairs in Washington is normal. Perhaps it can’t be any other way.

      • Because of Small Donations, Sanders ‘Out-Raised Literally Everyone Else in the Field’ in 2019

        #PresidentSanders trended on Twitter as the senator approached 5 million donations for the year.

      • UN to form cybercrime committee in move opposed by US, EU

        The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved a resolution that aims to create a new international convention on cybercrime.

        The Russian-sponsored resolution was approved by a 79-60 vote with 33 abstentions, according to The Associated Press.

        The resolution was approved over objections from both the European Union and the United States, as many fear language in the resolution will allow for crackdowns on expression.

      • UN gives green light to draft treaty to combat cybercrime

        The resolution establishes an expert committee representing all regions of the world “to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.” It says the committee will meet in August 2020 to agree on an outline of its activities.

      • Sudan sentences 29 to death for teacher’s killing in custody

        Ahmad Al-Khair’s case drew widespread attention in Sudan, and his killing fuelled the protests against the 75-year-old Bashir. A huge crowd rallied outside the court in Omdurman, the twin city of the capital, Khartoum, to hear the verdict.

        At least 170 people were killed during the months-long crackdown against the protest movement. Bashir was eventually overthrown by the military, 30 years after he took power in a coup.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Our Journalists Stopped Calling People Hard-to-Reach and Listened to Them. Here’s What Worked.

        In August, we spent an evening hand-addressing more than 200 letters, mostly to residents of Memphis, Tennessee. The city is the second-poorest large metropolitan area in the country, with nearly 1 in 4 residents living below the poverty line. About half of the letter recipients had been sued by a private-equity backed doctors group because of unpaid medical bills. The other half had been sued by a separate company.

        Our team, led by reporter Wendi C. Thomas of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, was investigating the way large institutions profit off people who are poor in Memphis. She had already reported that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, the area’s largest hospital system, had aggressively sued poor people — and the hospital quickly suspended the practice.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Raising Rates Again — Average Internet Bill Surpasses $80

        Broadband cable provider Comcast is raising rates once again across the board, with its price for Internet service notably spiking.

      • Protecting the Legal Foundation of the Internet: 2019 in Review

        When someone says something unlawful online, they should be the one held responsible for it, not the website or platform where they said it. Section 230—the most important law protecting free speech online—reflects that common-sense principle. This year, EFF defended Section 230 in Congress, the courts, and on the Internet.

        In 2018, Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA, the only change to Section 230 in its 23-year history. SESTA/FOSTA includes broadly-worded provisions aimed at holding websites liable for sex trafficking. This has given platforms little choice but to become more restrictive in what types of posts they allow, censoring innocent people in the process. Faced with the impossible task of complying with the law, some forums have shut down altogether. SESTA/FOSTA also cast legal doubt over important harm reduction activities in the sex work community, putting sex workers in direct danger.

      • DOJ Antitrust Boss Delrahim Ignored Hard Data As He Rubber Stamped T-Mobile Merger

        Technically, the head of the DOJ’s antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, is supposed to enforce antitrust law and derail harmful monopolies when they arise. But that’s certainly not what’s happening with the DOJ review of T-Mobile’s $26 billion merger with Sprint, which antitrust experts (and even the DOJ’s own economists) have repeatedly warned will indisputably reduce competition, raise rates, and result in thousands of layoffs as duplicative positions are eliminated.

      • 10 top distributed apps (dApps) for blockchain

        Because smart contracts, or self-executing business automation software, can interact with dApps, they’re able to remove administrative overhead, making them one of most attractive features associated with blockchain. While blockchain acts as an immutable electronic ledger, confirming that transactions have taken place, smart contracts execute pre-determined conditions; think about a smart contract as a computer executing on “if/then,” or conditional, programming.

        “DApps interact with smart contracts that are on the blockchain. So dApps support the user interface into the back-end smart contract that writes data to the blockchain,” said Avivah Litan, a vice president of research at Gartner.

        DApps run the gamut, from digital asset exchanges like LBank to online gambling like PokerKing and games like Cryptokitties. (LBank holds the equivalent of more than $1.4 billion in cryptocurrency.)

    • Monopolies

      • 5 Ways to Prevent Corporations From Destroying Labor for Good

        Artificial intelligence, robots, and other advanced technologies are already transforming the world of work – and their impact is just beginning. They’ll grow the economy and make it more efficient. But unless American workers are involved, that growth and technological change will benefit only those at the top.

      • Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law

        The passage of A.B. 5, which takes effect Wednesday, has set in motion a bitter dispute about the rights of Uber drivers, food couriers and other people who derive their income from apps made in Silicon Valley working as independent contractors.

      • Patents

        • Persion Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Alvogen Malta Operations Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a District Court decision (by Circuit Judge Bryson, sitting by designation) in an ANDA litigation, finding obvious claims asserted for treating patients having mild to moderate hepatic impairment with extended release opioid formulations, in Persion Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Alvogen Malta Operations Ltd. In reaching this obviousness determination, Judge Bryson made recourse to the concept of inherent disclosure in questions of obviousness, which while limited in scope, the Federal Circuit found their colleague properly applied.

          The case involved infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2) of Orange Book-listed U.S. Patent Nos. 9,265,760 and 9,339,499, which claimed extended release hydrocodone formulations for treating patients with hepatic impairment, who were known in the prior art to be at greater risk for opioid overdose; Persion’s drug product was marketed as Zohydro ER.


          The Federal Circuit did not reach the District Court’s decision on the written description issue, but noted that the decisions were not inconsistent based on the differences in scope that the District Court considered in invalidating the asserted claims on § 103 and § 112 grounds.

          Application of inherency to obviousness determinations here was facilitated by the description in the prior art of Persion’s extended release formulation, and the patentee’s reliance on the pharmacokinetic properties of this formulation to distinguish their claimed method from how these drugs were administered (and to whom) in the prior art. It was those very properties that were inherent and thus could not be used to distinguish the prior art on the obviousness question. Also, the negative limitation, “and wherein the starting dose is not adjusted relative to a patient without hepatic impairment,” was directly related to the absence of any in vivo difference between effectiveness or toxicity (i.e., risk of overdose) between patients with hepatic impairment and those with normal liver function. Under these facts, and in view of the deferential standard of review the Court must give to a district court’s factual determinations, Federal Circuit affirmance of the District Court’s decision was not particularly remarkable.

        • Until When Can Patent Claims Be Limited in Civil Proceedings? Swiss Federal Patent Court Relaxes Strict Practice

          In a patent invalidity proceeding (either as a separate lawsuit or in defense of an infringement action), the limitation of the scope of the patent-in-suit in order to overcome arguments related to lack of novelty or of inventive step, is a classic and popular means of defense. The point in time at which this defense is raised, probably more than any other defense, is a strategic issue. A limited patent claim necessarily re-opens questions that have already been argued (at least in part) and necessitates a fresh analysis of both invalidity and infringement.


          In a decision dated 28 October 2019, the FPC has departed from this practice. The lawsuit related to the distribution in Switzerland of an artificial joint prothesis. The patentee, Stemcup Medical Products, sued Implantec and Endoprothetik Schweiz for infringement of the Swiss part of EP 1 411 869. After the second exchange of briefs, the technical judge issued a technical opinion, finding the patent-in-suit to be invalid.
          In response, Stemcup requested and was granted by the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (FIIP) a limitation of the Swiss part of the patent-in-suit, thereby avoiding the technical judge’s invalidity arguments. It then filed the limited patent claims in the pending proceedings.
          The FPC issued a second technical opinion based on the new claims, finding the patent to be valid and infringed. After the main hearing, the FPC confirmed the second technical opinion and issued a permanent injunction against the defendants.
          The FPC reasoned that a limitation granted by the FIIP created a genuine new fact within the meaning of the Code of Civil Procedure. That this new fact had been deliberately created by the patentee is not relevant. Ignoring the limitation of the claims would lead to a situation in which the decision would not be based on the patent-in-suit as it is registered at the time of the decision, but on a version of it that no longer exists. In this case, therefore, the lawsuit should be dismissed, meaning that the patentee would have to re-start the proceedings anew based on the limited patent. This would not be in the interest of efficiently conducting patent proceedings.
          The FPC also dismissed the defendants’ argument that the limitation, made so late in the proceedings, had been done so in bad faith. The Patent Act explicitly provides for the possibility of limiting the patent with the FIIP. Art. 138(3) EPC also explicitly requires that “in proceedings before the competent court or authority relating to the validity of the European patent, the proprietor of the patent shall have the right to limit the patent by amending the claims.”
          Underscoring the controversial nature of the matter, a minority of the court published a dissenting opinion (a highly unusual move in Swiss civil law). The dissent considers that if the limited patent is indeed a “new fact”, it should be considered as having resulted from bad faith conduct by the patentee at this late stage. The patentee could have requested the same limitation in the Patent Office at the time of the second exchange of briefs, as the relevant arguments of invalidity had already been on file.

      • Copyrights

        • Domain Seizures Give ACE Anti-Piracy Portal a Massive Traffic Boost

          Just over two years ago, relatively few people had heard of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. Today, it is widely recognized as the most formidable anti-piracy association on the planet. After dozens of domain seizures, it now boasts close to 2.3 million visits to its website every month, a figure that most pirate sites would struggle to match.

        • Piracy Highlights of The Decade: From Limewire to IPTV

          With the decade nearing its end, we review some of the most pivotal events that took place in the piracy landscape. What’s clear is that people’s preferred ways to access infringing content switched from downloading to streaming. While there was no shortage of enforcement efforts, piracy only appears to have grown during the past ten years.

Richard Stallman’s 1984 (Talk)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Videos at 2:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Credit: Banana Retro

As WebM:

IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 30, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:06 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



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