Links 6/3/2020: Mesa 20.0.1, Kdenlive 19.12.3, Systemd Comes /home

Posted in News Roundup at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • My Linux sysadmin survival kit

        Linux sysadmins are an enterprising lot. We work long hours. We typically see few people during our workdays. And, we’re collectors of tools, techniques, scripts, websites, physical tools, and other goodies that help us in our jobs. This article describes my own personal sysadmin survival kit that consists of all of the above, plus one that you might not have considered.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #330: The Weekender XLIII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • My 5 favorite Linux vloggers

        Even though I write a lot about Linux myself and I am in the humble impression that I am getting a little better each time I write down my thoughts about my beloved operating system and related software, that does not mean that I think I am the only source for usable Linux information for you to follow. There are lots of great sources out there that bring information in an accessible and user friendly way. Like everyone, I also have my heroes and some of them are my favorite bloggers and vloggers that I like to visit regularly who provide me with great Linux related news and information. In this article I would like to introduce you to five Linux vloggers who have their own unique way of bringing Linux and open source information and who deserve a visit from you all.

      • Brunch with Brent: Nuritzi Sanchez | Jupiter Extras 61

        Brent sits down with Nuritzi Sanchez, Senior Open Source Program Manager at GitLab, former GNOME Foundation President and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Founding Member of Endless, Inc. We explore her current experiences at GitLab, her deep involvement in the growth of GNOME’s community, the evolution of the Linux App Summit, her involvement with Endless, and why she is so drawn to the human aspects of technology.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.5.8

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.5.8 kernel.

        All users of the 5.5 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.5.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.5.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 5.4.24
      • Linux 4.19.108
      • systemd 245 released
        A new, official systemd release has just been tagged. Please download the tarball here:
        Changes since the previous release:
                * A new tool "systemd-repart" has been added, that operates as an
                  idempotent declarative repartitioner for GPT partition tables.
                  Specifically, a set of partitions that must or may exist can be
                  configured via drop-in files, and during every boot the partition
                  table on disk is compared with these files, creating missing
                  partitions or growing existing ones based on configurable relative
                  and absolute size constraints. The tool is strictly incremental,
                  i.e. does not delete, shrink or move partitions, but only adds and
                  grows them. The primary use-case is OS images that ship in minimized
                  form, that on first boot are grown to the size of the underlying
                  block device or augmented with additional partitions. For example,
                  the root partition could be extended to cover the whole disk, or a
                  swap or /home partitions could be added on first boot. It can also be
                  used for systems that use an A/B update scheme but ship images with
                  just the A partition, with B added on first boot. The tool is
                  primarily intended to be run in the initrd, shortly before
                  transitioning into the host OS, but can also be run after the
                  transition took place. It automatically discovers the disk backing
                  the root file system, and should hence not require any additional
                  configuration besides the partition definition drop-ins. If no
                  configuration drop-ins are present, no action is taken.
                * A new component "userdb" has been added, along with a small daemon
                  "systemd-userdb.service" and a client tool "userdbctl". The framework
                  allows defining rich user and group records in a JSON format,
                  extending on the classic "struct passwd" and "struct group"
                  structures. Various components in systemd have been updated to
                  process records in this format, including systemd-logind and
                  pam-systemd. The user records are intended to be extensible, and
                  allow setting various resource management, security and runtime
                  parameters that shall be applied to processes and sessions of the
                  user as they log in. This facility is intended to allow associating
                  such metadata directly with user/group records so that they can be
                  produced, extended and consumed in unified form. We hope that
                  eventually frameworks such as sssd will generate records this way, so
                  that for the first time resource management and various other
                  per-user settings can be configured in LDAP directories and then
                  provided to systemd (specifically to systemd-logind and pam-system)
                  to apply on login. For further details see:
                * A small new service systemd-homed.service has been added, that may be
                  used to securely manage home directories with built-in encryption.
                  The complete user record data is unified with the home directory,
                  thus making home directories naturally migratable. Its primary
                  back-end is based on LUKS volumes, but fscrypt, plain directories,
                  and other storage schemes are also supported. This solves a couple of
                  problems we saw with traditional ways to manage home directories, in
                  particular when it comes to encryption. For further discussion of
                  this, see the video of Lennart's talk at AllSystemsGo! 2019:
                  For further details about the format and expectations on home
                  directories this new daemon makes, see:
                * systemd-journald is now multi-instantiable. In addition to the main
                  instance systemd-journald.service there's now a template unit
                  systemd-journald@.service, with each instance defining a new named
                  log 'namespace' (whose name is specified via the instance part of the
                  unit name). A new unit file setting LogNamespace= has been added,
                  taking such a namespace name, that assigns services to the specified
                  log namespaces. As each log namespace is serviced by its own
                  independent journal daemon, this functionality may be used to improve
                  performance and increase isolation of applications, at the price of
                  losing global message ordering. Each instance of journald has a
                  separate set of configuration files, with possibly different disk
                  usage limitations and other settings.
                  journalctl now takes a new option --namespace= to show logs from a
                  specific log namespace. The sd-journal.h API gained
                  sd_journal_open_namespace() for opening the log stream of a specific
                  log namespace. systemd-journald also gained the ability to exit on
                  idle, which is useful in the context of log namespaces, as this means
                  log daemons for log namespaces can be activated automatically on
                  demand and will stop automatically when no longer used, minimizing
                  resource usage.
                * When systemd-tmpfiles copies a file tree using the 'C' line type it
                  will now label every copied file according to the SELinux database.
                * When systemd/PID 1 detects it is used in the initrd it will now boot
                  into initrd.target rather than default.target by default. This should
                  make it simpler to build initrds with systemd as for many cases the
                  only difference between a host OS image and an initrd image now is
                  the presence of the /etc/initrd-release file.
                * A new kernel command line option systemd.cpu_affinity= is now
                  understood. It's equivalent to the CPUAffinity= option in
                  /etc/systemd/system.conf and allows setting the CPU mask for PID 1
                  itself and the default for all other processes.
                * When systemd/PID 1 is reloaded (with systemctl daemon-reload or
                  equivalent), the SELinux database is now reloaded, ensuring that
                  sockets and other file system objects are generated taking the new
                  database into account.
                * systemd/PID 1 accepts a new "systemd.show-status=error" setting, and
                  "quiet" has been changed to imply that instead of
                  "systemd.show-status=auto". In this mode, only messages about errors
                  and significant delays in boot are shown on the console.
                * The sd-event.h API gained native support for the new Linux "pidfd"
                  concept. This permits watching processes using file descriptors
                  instead of PID numbers, which fixes a number of races and makes
                  process supervision more robust and efficient. All of systemd's
                  components will now use pidfds if the kernel supports it for process
                  watching, with the exception of PID 1 itself, unfortunately. We hope
                  to move PID 1 to exclusively using pidfds too eventually, but this
                  requires some more kernel work first. (Background: PID 1 watches
                  processes using waitid() with the P_ALL flag, and that does not play
                  together nicely with pidfds yet.)
                * Closely related to this, the sd-event.h API gained two new calls
                  sd_event_source_send_child_signal() (for sending a signal to a
                  watched process) and sd_event_source_get_child_process_own() (for
                  marking a process so that it is killed automatically whenever the
                  event source watching it is freed).
                * systemd-networkd gained support for configuring Token Bucket Filter
                  (TBF) parameters in its qdisc configuration support. Similarly,
                  support for Stochastic Fairness Queuing (SFQ), Controlled-Delay
                  Active Queue Management (CoDel), and Fair Queue (FQ) has been added.
                * systemd-networkd gained support for Intermediate Functional Block
                  (IFB) network devices.
                * systemd-networkd gained support for configuring multi-path IP routes,
                  using the new MultiPathRoute= setting in the [Route] section.
                * systemd-networkd's DHCPv4 client has been updated to support a new
                  SendDecline= option. If enabled, duplicate address detection is done
                  after a DHCP offer is received from the server. If a conflict is
                  detected, the address is declined. The DHCPv4 client also gained
                  support for a new RouteMTUBytes= setting that allows to configure the
                  MTU size to be used for routes generated from DHCPv4 leases.
                * The PrefixRoute= setting in systemd-networkd's [Address] section of
                  .network files has been deprecated, and replaced by AddPrefixRoute=,
                  with its sense inverted.
                * The Gateway= setting of [Route] sections of .network files gained
                  support for a special new value "_dhcp". If set, the configured
                  static route uses the gateway host configured via DHCP.
                * New User= and SuppressPrefixLength= settings have been implemented
                  for the [RoutingPolicyRule] section of .network files to configure
                  source routing based on UID ranges and prefix length, respectively.
                * sd-bus gained a new API call sd_bus_message_sensitive() that marks a
                  D-Bus message object as "sensitive". Those objects are erased from
                  memory when they are freed. This concept is intended to be used for
                  messages that contain security sensitive data. A new flag
                  SD_BUS_VTABLE_SENSITIVE has been introduced as well to mark methods
                  in sd-bus vtables, causing any incoming and outgoing messages of
                  those methods to be implicitly marked as "sensitive".
                * sd-bus gained a new API call sd_bus_message_dump() for dumping the
                  contents of a message (or parts thereof) to standard output for
                  debugging purposes.
                * systemd-sysusers gained support for creating users with the primary
                  group named differently than the user.
                * systemd-resolved's DNS-over-TLS support gained SNI validation.
                * systemd-growfs (i.e. the x-systemd.growfs mount option in /etc/fstab)
                  gained support for growing XFS partitions. Previously it supported
                  only ext4 and btrfs partitions.
                * The support for /etc/crypttab gained a new x-initrd.attach option. If
                  set, the specified encrypted volume is unlocked already in the
                  initrd. This concept corresponds to the x-initrd.mount option in
                * systemd-cryptsetup gained native support for unlocking encrypted
                  volumes utilizing PKCS#11 smartcards, i.e. for example to bind
                  encryption of volumes to YubiKeys. This is exposed in the new
                  pkcs11-uri= option in /etc/crypttab.
                * The /etc/fstab support in systemd now supports two new mount options
                  x-systemd.{required,wanted}-by=, for explicitly configuring the units
                  that the specified mount shall be pulled in by, in place of
                  the usual local-fs.target/remote-fs.target.
                * The https://systemd.io/ web site has been relaunched, directly
                  populated with most of the documentation included in the systemd
                  repository. systemd also acquired a new logo, thanks to Tobias
                * systemd-udevd gained support for managing "alternative" network
                  interface names, as supported by new Linux kernels. For the first
                  time this permits assigning multiple (and longer!) names to a network
                  interface. systemd-udevd will now by default assign the names
                  generated via all supported naming schemes to each interface. This
                  may be further tweaked with .link files and the AlternativeName= and
                  AlternativeNamesPolicy= settings. Other components of systemd have
                  been updated to support the new alternative names wherever
                  appropriate. For example, systemd-nspawn will now generate
                  alternative interface names for the host-facing side of container
                  veth links based on the full container name without truncation.
                * systemd-nspawn interface naming logic has been updated in another way
                  too: if the main interface name (i.e. as opposed to new-style
                  "alternative" names) based on the container name is truncated, a
                  simple hashing scheme is used to give different interface names to
                  multiple containers whose names all begin with the same prefix. Since
                  this changes the primary interface names pointing to containers if
                  truncation happens, the old scheme may still be requested by
                  selecting an older naming scheme, via the net.naming-scheme= kernel
                  command line option.
                * PrivateUsers= in service files now works in services run by the
                  systemd --user per-user instance of the service manager.
                * A new per-service sandboxing option ProtectClock= has been added that
                  locks down write access to the system clock. It takes away device
                  node access to /dev/rtc as well as the system calls that set the
                  system clock and the CAP_SYS_TIME and CAP_WAKE_ALARM capabilities.
                  Note that this option does not affect access to auxiliary services
                  that allow changing the clock, for example access to
                * The systemd-id128 tool gained a new "show" verb for listing or
                  resolving a number of well-known UUIDs/128bit IDs, currently mostly
                  GPT partition table types.
                * The Discoverable Partitions Specification has been updated to support
                  /var and /var/tmp partition discovery. Support for this has been
                  added to systemd-gpt-auto-generator. For details see:
                * "systemctl list-unit-files" has been updated to show a new column
                  with the suggested enablement state based on the vendor preset files
                  for the respective units.
                * "systemctl" gained a new option "--with-dependencies". If specified
                  commands such as "systemctl status" or "systemctl cat" will now show
                  all specified units along with all units they depend on.
                * networkctl gained support for showing per-interface logs in its
                  "status" output.
                * systemd-networkd-wait-online gained support for specifying the maximum
                  operational state to wait for, and to wait for interfaces to
                * The [Match] section of .link and .network files now supports a new
                  option PermanentMACAddress= which may be used to check against the
                  permanent MAC address of a network device even if a randomized MAC
                  address is used.
                * The [TrafficControlQueueingDiscipline] section in .network files has
                  been renamed to [NetworkEmulator] with the "NetworkEmulator" prefix
                  dropped from the individual setting names.
                * Any .link and .network files that have an empty [Match] section (this
                  also includes empty and commented-out files) will now be
                  rejected. systemd-udev and systemd-networkd started warning about
                  such files in version 243.
                * systemd-logind will now validate access to the operation of changing
                  the virtual terminal via a PolicyKit action. By default, only users
                  with at least one session on a local VT are granted permission.
                * When systemd sets up PAM sessions that invoked service processes
                  shall run in, the pam_setcred() API is now invoked, thus permitting
                  PAM modules to set additional credentials for the processes.
                * portablectl attach/detach verbs now accept --now and --enable options
                  to combine attachment with enablement and invocation, or detachment
                  with stopping and disablement.
                Contributions from: AJ Bagwell, Alin Popa, Andreas Rammhold, Anita
                Zhang, Ansgar Burchardt, Antonio Russo, Arian van Putten, Ashley Davis,
                Balint Reczey, Bart Willems, Bastien Nocera, Benjamin Dahlhoff, Charles
                (Chas) Williams, cheese1, Chris Down, Chris Murphy, Christian Ehrhardt,
                Christian Göttsche, cvoinf, Daan De Meyer, Daniele Medri, Daniel Rusek,
                Daniel Shahaf, Dann Frazier, Dan Streetman, Dariusz Gadomski, David
                Michael, Dimitri John Ledkov, Emmanuel Bourg, Evgeny Vereshchagin,
                ezst036, Felipe Sateler, Filipe Brandenburger, Florian Klink, Franck
                Bui, Fran Dieguez, Frantisek Sumsal, Greg "GothAck" Miell, Guilhem
                Lettron, Guillaume Douézan-Grard, Hans de Goede, HATAYAMA Daisuke, Iain
                Lane, James Buren, Jan Alexander Steffens (heftig), Jérémy Rosen, Jin
                Park, Jun'ichi Nomura, Kai Krakow, Kevin Kuehler, Kevin P. Fleming,
                Lennart Poettering, Leonid Bloch, Leonid Evdokimov, lothrond, Luca
                Boccassi, Lukas K, Lynn Kirby, Mario Limonciello, Mark Deneen, Matthew
                Leeds, Michael Biebl, Michal Koutný, Michal Sekletár, Mike Auty, Mike
                Gilbert, mtron, nabijaczleweli, Naïm Favier, Nate Jones, Norbert Lange,
                Oliver Giles, Paul Davey, Paul Menzel, Peter Hutterer, Piotr Drąg, Rafa
                Couto, Raphael, rhn, Robert Scheck, Rocka, Romain Naour, Ryan Attard,
                Sascha Dewald, Shengjing Zhu, Slava Kardakov, Spencer Michaels, Sylvain
                Plantefeve, Stanislav Angelovič, Susant Sahani, Thomas Haller, Thomas
                Schmitt, Timo Schlüßler, Timo Wilken, Tobias Bernard, Tobias Klauser,
                Tobias Stoeckmann, Topi Miettinen, tsia, WataruMatsuoka, Wieland
                Hoffmann, Wilhelm Schuster, Will Fleming, xduugu, Yong Cong Sin, Yuri
                Chornoivan, Yu Watanabe, Zach Smith, Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek, Zeyu
                – Warsaw, 2020-03-06
      • systemd 245 released

        Systemd 245 is out. As usual, the list of new features is long; perhaps the one that has gained the most attention is systemd-homed…

        There is also a new database for holding user and group data and a systemd-repart tool for the management of partitions on storage-devices at boot time.

      • Systemd 245 Enables Secure Management of Home Directories

        The systemd 245 init system for Linux-based operating systems is now available for download and it’s a major release that adds new features and enhancements.

        As you probably already heard, systemd 245 is the first version of the controversial init system to ship with systemd-homed.service, a new feature that enables secure management of /home directories with built-in encryption.

        Not only this feature addresses some old issues with the traditional ways of managing home directories, but it also unifies the entire user record data with the home directory. This means that /home directories can now be easily migrated. systemd-homed supports both LUKS and fscrypt disk encryption standards.

      • Systemd 245 Released – First Version Including Systemd-Homed

        Systemd 245 RC2 was released just earlier this week while now it has been succeeded by the stable release of systemd 245.

        Most notable with systemd 245 is the introduction of systemd-homed that reimagines/modernizes Linux home directory handling with better password and encryption support, more self-containment / portability to allow more easily migratable home directories, and other features. It will be interesting to see the adoption of systemd-homed by Linux distributions moving forward.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa 20.1 Lands OpenGL Threading Improvements

          Mesa’s OpenGL threading “glthread” support has been around for a while but come Mesa 20.1 next quarter will be further improvements to this performance feature.

          Well known AMD OpenGL open-source driver developer Marek Olšák has landed a large set of patches providing various improvements to the OpenGL threading implementation.

        • Mesa 20.0.1 Release Notes / 2020-03-05

          Mesa 20.0.1 is a bug fix release which fixes bugs found since the 20.0.0 release.

          Mesa 20.0.1 implements the OpenGL 4.6 API, but the version reported by glGetString(GL_VERSION) or glGetIntegerv(GL_MAJOR_VERSION) / glGetIntegerv(GL_MINOR_VERSION) depends on the particular driver being used. Some drivers don’t support all the features required in OpenGL 4.6. OpenGL 4.6 is only available if requested at context creation. Compatibility contexts may report a lower version depending on each driver.

          Mesa 20.0.1 implements the Vulkan 1.1 API, but the version reported by the apiVersion property of the VkPhysicalDeviceProperties struct depends on the particular driver being used.

        • Mesa 20.0.1 Released With First Batch Of OpenGL/Vulkan Driver Fixes For The Quarter

          Following the release of Mesa 20.0 in mid-February, the first point release to this quarter’s Mesa 3D feature series is now available.

          Intel’s Dylan Baker released Mesa 20.0.1 with representing the fixes that have accumulated since the 19 February debut of Mesa 20.0. For being the first point release, there is surprisingly not too many fixes. There are a number of core fixes, several Intel ANV and Iris driver fixes, a few ACO and LLVM fixes for Radeon, and other mostly mundane items.

    • Benchmarks

      • F2FS vs. EXT4 File-System Performance With Intel’s Clear Linux

        Intel’s performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution recently added support for using F2FS as the root file-system so we were curious to run some benchmarks on it for how it stacks up against EXT4.

        In our many tests over the years of the F2FS file-system it generally has performed quite well on solid-state storage for which it’s designed. While F2FS is seeing support from the likes of Google and Samsung in the Android space, on the Linux desktop there aren’t many Linux distributions supporting the Flash-Friendly File-System as an install-time option for the root file-system.

    • Applications

      • Useful Websites for Downloading DEB or RPM Linux Apps

        I’ve read a couple of blogs write about how installing software on Linux can be sometimes painstaking and that surprises me. Because if there’s anything I am sure about it is the fact that Linux has always had a convenient way for managing software via the repository and users could either use the package manager or the command line. Nowadays the software center is a lot more modern.

        I can’t deny though, there are times when you want an application and it is not in the software center or in the default repository and you’ll have to manually add a third-party repository.

        If you would rather download new software like you would install a .exe file on Windows then the Linux equivalent formats are DEB and RPM and here are the top websites from which you can get apps in those formats listed in alphabetic order.

      • 7 Best Linux Mailing List Managers

        An electronic mailing list offers the ability to efficiently distribute information to many internet users. It is similar in some ways to a traditional mailing list.

        Electronic mailing lists are normally automated using dedicated mailing software and a reflector address. Mailing lists are often used as a two-way method of discussion between interested parties, or a one-way dissemination of information where only selected individuals can make posts.

        Mailing lists provide a popular method of information exchange for both Linux developers and users. For example, the Linux kernel mailing list gets a high volume of traffic, acting as a focal point for sharing patches, discussing implementation details, reporting bugs, and new features. Many prominent companies participate in these discussions including Intel, IBM, Oracle, and VMware.

      • Colorpicker: Mininal But Complete Color Picker App

        There are quite a few color picker applications for Ubuntu Linux. Colorpicker is another one written with Electron, and works in Linux, Windows, and Mac OS.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Cyber Knights: Flashpoint, a tactical RPG is funded and on the way to Linux

        Cyber Knights: Flashpoint from Trese Brothers, a tactical RPG set in the neon-soaked future of 2231 is now funded on Kickstarter and on the way to Linux.

      • Frictional Games have now formally announced Amnesia: Rebirth, their next horror

        Amnesia: Rebirth is the newly announced title from the horror masters at Frictional Games, after teasing it for a few months we finally know what it is.

      • Windows Games on Linux | WINE Versions

        Windows Games on Linux | WINE Versions Applications, Gaming, and all the different ways Linux deals with Windows Programs. Almost every Windows program uses WINE albeit in through a different program like Steam Proton, CrossOver, PlayOnLinux, and Lutris.

      • Solarus is a free and open source cross-platform game engine for 2D action-RPGs

        Today thanks to a game developer, I was made aware of Solarus. It’s a cross-platform free and open source game engine, that’s designed for people making 2D action-RPGs.

        Sounds actually quite good too. Using an engine is programmed in C++, with the SDL library and an OpenGL back-end. The actual games made with it they call “quests” and you make them with Lua, so the game engine does the majority of the heavy lifting for developers—that’s the aim at least.

      • Oxygen Not Included has another big free update out with Banhi’s Automation Innovation Pack

        Oxygen Not Included continues getting bigger, with the free Banhi’s Automation Innovation Pack update out now. As the name of the pack suggests, it’s focused on automation.

        This new free pack includes new automation sensors: Counter Sensor, Timer Sensor, Wattage Sensor and Conveyor Rail Sensors. Also included is an Automation Ribbon, letting you sending up to 4 signals along a single tile. There’s also new automation output buildings, updated artwork, a Solid Filter building for Conveyor Rails and more. Two really useful little robots got added in too with the Sweepy Bot and Sweepy Dock, they’re not particularly smart but they can help with some of the more mundane tasks for your colonists—see the full list here.

      • Google rolls out 4K Stadia streaming on the web, plus Relicta and The Turing Test coming soon

        Stadia is finally starting to fulfil some of the marketing Google had surrounding it before launch with new features rolling out to their Linux-powered game streaming service. Time for another Stadia round-up.

        You’ve been able to streaming from Stadia in 4K since day-1 of the Founder/Premier edition launch, however that was only with the Chromecast Ultra. In a Chromium/Chrome browser, it was only a max of 1080p which has now changed. A post on Reddit mentioned a user had the option of 4K, and Google has now confirmed it’s done rolling out in a comment.

        This is another check off the list of features needed, although plenty are still missing. There’s no wireless play from their Stadia Controller to the web, that’s still marked as coming “soon”.

      • Valve’s latest Steam Labs experiment aims to unify game news and events

        Finally, Valve are looking to update their updates and news feed for the many tens of thousands of games on Steam with a brand new Steam Labs experiment.

        Steam Labs is the special section of Steam, where Valve collaborate with the community and pull in outside developers to make new features. It’s a great idea and we’ve already seen some cool stuff from it like the new filters in the Steam Search.

      • Dandara gets a big free update with the Trials of Fear Edition

        Dandara was quite a surprise, a metroidvania platformer with a gravity-defying movement mechanic that entirely changed you how play and it just got a big update with the Trials of Fear Edition.


        On Steam, from over 200 user reviews it’s managed to get a “Very Positive” rating so it’s clear that people have enjoyed the game. I definitely did appreciate it attempting to do something different with the mix of metroidvania exploration and platforming, being able to leap around the screen quickly was seriously fun and it makes the combat feel thoroughly different too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kdenlive 19.12.3 is out

          The last minor release of the 19.12 series is out with bug fixes and usability improvements. Next month we mark the one year anniversary of the refactored code base so stay tuned for many nifty features coming like pitch shifting, tagging and rating of clips in the project bin and the much anticipated preview scaling of monitors bringing a huge performance boost.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 94

          After some time of silent work (our previous blog post was published a month ago), the YaST Team is back with some news about the latest development sprint and some Hack Week experiments.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/10

          Tumbleweed – full steam ahead! There have been 6 snapshots in the last week, some with quite some changes. The snapshots were 0227, 0228, 0229, 0301, 0303 and 0304.

        • Reimagining SUSECON 2020

          The health and wellbeing of our customers, partners, colleagues, and communities are of the utmost importance to SUSE. In light of the growing concern around COVID-19, and as a precautionary measure, we have decided to transform SUSECON 2020 into SUSECON Digital 2020, a virtual event.

      • Arch Family

        • You Can Now Run ‘Manjaro Linux’ On Open Source ‘PinePhone’ And ‘PineTab’

          The Manjaro ARM project has announced the fourth ALPHA release for the open-source Linux smartphone ‘PinePhone‘ as well as on the upcoming ‘PineTab’ tablet. So Manjaro Linux fans can now run the OS on the Linux based smartphone as well.

          The Manjaro Linux ARM team has made significant progress so far. It recently announced a new development build of their Arch Linux-based distro for the PinePhone and PineTab devices.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Pushing DNF 5 Into Development For Improving The Package Manager

          The Yum successor DNF on Fedora and Red Hat Linux distributions (among other select RPM distributions) is soon embarking on its fifth major iteration.

          Red Hat developers are starting work on DNF 5 as the next major version of this RPM package management solution. DNF 5 is being developed now in order to allow for API/ABI breakage, particularly with moving away from PackageKit and in its place developing a new DBus service to provide an interface to GUI-based package management applications.

        • Announcing start of DNF 5 development
          Hello everyone,
          I'm pleased to announce start of DNF 5 development. We are planning to 
          deliver a module stream or a COPR repo during Fedora 33 development for 
          early adopters and tool developers and we're hoping in getting a stable 
          version into Fedora 34.
          More details follow.
          We've managed to drop a lot of redundant code across the whole DNF stack 
          in the past years, but we have reached a point when it's nearly 
          impossible to consolidate the code any further without breaking the 
          API/ABI. Especially with PackageKit being dead[1], we can't move with 
          the old "libhif" API in libdnf, because making any bigger changes to 
          PackageKit is clearly out of scope.
          That's why we decided to start working on a new version of the DNF 
          stack: DNF 5. And this is the plan:
          1. Consistency, documentation and user experience is the top priority.
          2. Compatibility on the command line level.
          3. Compatibility on the API level.
          The existing DNF 4 stack stays in the current Fedoras and Red Hat 
          Enterprise Linux 8. We'll keep maintaining it in dnf-4-master branches 
          on GitHub. PackageKit and rpm-ostree will stay on libdnf from the DNF 4 
          The existing Python API in DNF
          The Python API in DNF stays. We'll do our best to keep it working. If 
          there is an incompatible change, we'll communicate and document it properly.
          The new API in libdnf
          All business logic will move from DNF (Python) to libdnf (C++). This is 
          the only way to ensure that package managers work identically across the 
          whole distribution. We'll start with C++ API and auto-generated Python 
          bindings via SWIG. We'll focus on the Python bindings which are required 
          by DNF and we will do our best to provide bindings for Go, Perl5 and 
          Ruby as well. C API will be created later when the C++ API is stable. At 
          that moment rpm-ostree will be ported to the new C API.
          Hawkey Python API is going away and will be replaced with libdnf Python API.
          DNF stays as the primary command-line package manager. The overall 
          functionality remains. We don't anticipate any negative impact of the 
          API rewrite on the end-users. We have built an extensive test suite 
          (over 1400 scenarios) that will help us to ensure that. The argument 
          parser and outputs may slightly change in some cases to provide a more 
          consistent user-experience. All such cases will be properly documented.
          Microdnf is becoming important because it's part of many containers
          due to its small footprint. We're getting feedback that users would
          appreciate something closer to DNF. We'll focus on implementing a subset 
          of DNF's functionality and improving the user experience. 100% feature 
          parity with DNF is currently out of scope.
          DBus service
          DNF team has decided to create a new DBus service replacing PackageKit 
          to provide an interface to GUI applications. It's probably going to take 
          a while because we're planning to start from scratch.
          Roadmap (tentative)
          * Mar 2020 - making the bigger API changes, upstream code barely compiles
          * May 2020 - COPR repo with first development snapshots
          * Jun 2020 - F33 module available for early adopters and tool developers
          * Oct 2020 - DNF 5 landing in F34 Rawhide
          * Feb 2021 - DNF 5 replacing DNF 4 in stable Fedora
        • Who’s winning in the multicloud world? Actually, it’s still a wide-open race

          Multicloud computing has emerged as one of the hottest trends in enterprise technology over the past couple of years as companies increasingly adopt a range of public cloud platforms to host their workloads.

          The trend is accelerating because cloud is winning in the marketplace. It no longer makes sense for a company to invest millions of dollars building data centers in a day and age when they can simply pay for what they use. The public cloud is slowly killing off on-premises workloads for a whole host of different reasons, and multicloud is just the next evolution of that trend.

        • Can Deutsche Bank’s PaaS help turn the bank around?

          Back in 2015 – following an executive bloodbath and shortly before it would be deemed the world’s most dangerous bank by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a small team of engineers in Deutsche Bank’s London office were tasked by their new management with transforming the bank into operating “everything-as-a-service.”

          Now, three years on, those engineers have built Fabric, an internal platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that is already being used by thousands of Deutsche Bank employees to run thousands of applications, all with the aim of running 80 percent of workloads on Fabric by 2022. Built on top of Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS, Fabric incorporates a slew of features specific to the highly regulated banking industry to accelerate application development and deployment.

        • Announcing Gluster Storage Release 6 for Oracle Linux

          The Oracle Linux and Virtualization team is pleased to announce the release of Gluster Storage Release 6 for Oracle Linux, bringing customers higher performance, new storage capabilities and improved management.

          Gluster Storage is an open source, POSIX compatible file system capable of supporting thousands of clients while using commodity hardware. Gluster provides a scalable, distributed file system that aggregates disk storage resources from multiple servers into a single global namespace. Gluster provides built-in optimization for different workloads and can be accessed using an optimized Gluster FUSE client or standard protocols including SMB/CIFS. Gluster can be configured to enable both distribution and replication of content with quota support, snapshots, and bit-rot detection for self-healing.

        • PHP version 7.3.16RC1 and 7.4.4RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

        • Women of Industry X: Shaping our Future Societies ft. Red Hat
        • Women in Ops

          The push for diversity within tech is definitely needed, but there is one group left behind in most efforts: women in operations.

          Now, operations tend to be the forgotten members of tech until something goes wrong. If they do their job correctly you’ll never know they’re even there as systems are deployed and remain online without any fanfare. When something breaks, they either take the heat, as it’s their fault, or they’re the heroes for saving the day and rarely anything in between.

          Even the need for continuing education and networking for operators tends to be forgotten with most tech conferences being focused on development. There are exceptions such as DevOps Days, Operator Days, and even some operations tracks at some of the bigger conferences.

          As the lack of diversity has become more of a focal point in tech, there has been an increase in the number of diversity-related groups. Grace Hopper is one of the largest tech conferences and is focused on women, but with little focus on operations. However, most of these groups are more developer-focused with little thought of increasing diversity on the operations side of the house.

        • How I learned about burnout the hard way

          In early 2017, I was mentally in a bad spot. It was the perfect storm of stress, the kind that no one asks for, but you deal with the hand you’re dealt. Work was piling up to a point where I couldn’t process all the things that were expected of me. I was training for spring half-marathons, which should have been stress relief, but I was putting too much pressure on myself to perform at a high level. And then on top of the everyday family obligations, a surgery in our household turned us into a one-car family and seriously added to the mounting pressure on me to provide and take care of the family.

          Then I broke.

          It wasn’t one thing. It was the culmination of things. And it hit me from the blind side, unexpected. I never thought I would be a victim of burnout. I was aware of it and thoughtful about the community I was managing. But “not me,” I thought to myself, “I’ve got this under control.” I remember thinking that something was wrong; something was off. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on the source.


          I didn’t have much of an appetite. I was tired all the time. I was sleeping in, and not because of jet lag. I was exercising but wasn’t getting the endorphins I was used to. And I wasn’t motivated to do the work that I normally love to do. I was very blah and meh about getting work done or hanging out with people I love. These are all signs of depression and burnout.

          After the trip, I scheduled my annual physical and talked to my doctor about my situation, who recommended I see a psychologist. I sat on the couch and talked things out. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety, which was enough for me to know that I didn’t want to know what true depression felt like.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Community News: International Women’s Day 2020, Debian’s cover-up of harassment, abuse and exploitation

          In computer science education, approximately thirty percent of students are female. This drops to ten percent in the workforce. In free software organizations, the representation of women is far worse: a little bit over one percent of Debian Developers are female. With the recent concerns about Outreachy internships, harassment and abuse, there couldn’t be a better time to consider some of the hard facts and recent scandals that keep things this way.


          These appear to be legitimate concerns but they are dismissed as a smearing campaign. They person who added smearing campaign to the subject line is Ulrike Uhlig, a former recipient of Outreachy money herself. Why can’t other volunteers ask questions about this money?

          Up to 2017, the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Outreachy internships were paid at the same rate, $US5,500 per intern. Google cut the pay-out so that many students in developing countries get only half of the old rate. Outreachy payments are the same as before. This has created an arbitrage situation: as the work is done remotely, a talented male student may get more money if they help a female friend complete Outreachy. The male student usually completes all the work up to the mid-point payment. At this point, he can blackmail the woman: give me all of the mid-point payment or I don’t help you finish the second half of Outreachy. Some women have approached mentors to ask for help in situations like this.


          Yet Debian Developers who attended their events discovered irregularities. The number of women applying to outside events or participating in technical activities was far lower than the number of women who appeared at the original conference. After follow-up discussions with some women, a few patterns were discovered.

          First of all, the salaries for young women in the region are incredibly low. A female student may only earn €10 per day in a part time job. When a tech conference receives thousands of euros from sponsors in rich countries, they can use €200 to pay twenty young women to show up. As a bonus, these volunteers are offered meals and other opportunities.


          Free software organisations talk endlessly about community building. Yet some people take one look and call it by a different name: exploitation.

          In one case identified on debian-project, a woman had volunteered for six years before being offered one of those insecure three-month Outreachy internships. If you divide the $5,500 Outreachy payment over six years, what is the real hourly rate this woman achieved?

          Yet when the LibOCon organizers started to engage, they found exactly the same problems that Debian had ignored and it was clear to them that the problems were entirely local in the group. The Debian Developer who had witnessed problems before wasn’t even there for LibOCon.

        • Elive Beta With Enlightenment Is Brilliant, but Don’t Get Lost in the Maze

          If you take the time to fiddle with Elive’s design controls, you can finesse its desktop appearance and functionality like a painter creating a scene on a canvas. Do not get too involved with configuring all of the settings, though, or you will find yourself in a timeless void.

          The default settings work fine. Take your time to get used to the default settings. Then investigate all that you can do to modify the appearance and functionality as you become more “enlightened.”

          If you have lots of time to devote to learning something new within something old, check out Enlightenment — but do it through a distro built around it. Do not try to do your own Enlightenment integration by manually adding Enlightenment packages to your current Linux distro.

          Baggen includes several self-help displays and clear documentation to teach you the basics, along with some advanced tips.

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS (February 2020)

          In February 2020, I have worked on the Debian LTS project only for 5.75 hours (of 20 hours planned). I gave back 12 hours to the pool and reduced my availability to 8 hours per month.

          Unfortunately, last month I got too distracted by other interesting and challenging projects, and also by some intense personal topics.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Feeling Creative? You Can Now Remix the Ubuntu 20.04 Wallpaper

          Source files for the new wallpaper, including a pair of suitably versatile .svg mascot artwork files, are now available to download thanks to Ubuntu desktop lead Martin Wimpress.

          The artwork drop gives FOSS-loving creatives the chance to ‘remix’ the Focal Fossa wallpaper into something that’s bold, distinctive and different, or simply a subtle riff on the original.

          And, for those who wanted it, there’s a fossa-free version of the new background, giving you a plain canvas on which to work/stare…

        • Ubuntu Blog: The State of Robotics – February 2020

          In 2020 we are already seeing the world of robotics hit the ground running. So far this year new and exciting things have been cropping up in every industry. The mainstream media pick up ROS stories and big-name robotics companies are no longer just on the factory floors. Here we talk about MoveIt for ROS2, ROS best practices, a robotics competition, Boston Dynamics, Otto motors, and more. But there is certainly a lot of we have missed. If you’re working on any robotics projects that you’d like us to talk about, be sure to get in touch. Fire an email to robotics.community@canonical.com, we’d love to hear about it and share it with our audience. For now, though let’s look at the state of robotics in February.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Controls Application Access & Provides More Privacy & Security!!

          Ubuntu 20.04: The latest version of Ubuntu is 20.04 and it is going to be released in April 2020. The team Canonical is the core developers of this Ubuntu 20.04 version. They mentioned that Ubuntu 20.04 will be the best release ever. Yeah, we know many new features are going to arrive with Ubuntu 20.04 which includes Finger Print Sensor Detection, Multiple Screen Options, Default Dark Theme and Changes in Home Icons and many more.

          Now, one of the Ubuntu users found that Ubuntu 20.04 controls the application access! These features will let you control the applications to maintain your privacy and data security.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • foss-north 2020 Community Day

          Let me tell you about the foss-north 2020 community day. It has been an idea for many years, but it all started last year. The idea is that we welcome open source projects to a day of hacking, workshoping, teaching and fun the day before the conference.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • AMD Inside | TechSNAP 424

            Cloudflare recently embarked on an epic quest to choose a CPU for its next-generation server build, so we explore the importance of requests per watt, the benefits of full memory encryption, and why AMD won.

            Plus Mozilla’s rollout of DNS over HTTPS has begun, a big milestone for Let’s Encrypt, and more.

          • Firefox 74 new contributors

            With the release of Firefox 74, we are pleased to welcome the 29 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 27 of whom were brand new volunteers!

          • Mike Hoye: Brace For Impact

            I don’t spend a lot of time in here patting myself on the back, but today you can indulge me.

            In the last few weeks it was a ghost town, and that felt like a victory. From a few days after we’d switched it on to Monday, I could count the number of human users on any of our major channels on one hand. By the end, apart from one last hurrah the hour before shutdown, there was nobody there but bots talking to other bots. Everyone – the company, the community, everyone – had already voted with their feet.

            About three weeks ago, after spending most of a month shaking out some bugs and getting comfortable in our new space we turned on federation, connecting Mozilla to the rest of the Matrix ecosystem. Last Monday we decommissioned IRC.Mozilla.org for good, closing the book on a 22-year-long chapter of Mozilla’s history as we started a new one in our new home on Matrix.

          • Week notes – 2020 w08 – worklog – pytest is working
          • Getting Closer on Dot Org?

            Over the past few months, we’ve raised concerns about the Internet Society’s plan to sell the non-profit Public Interest Registry (PIR) to Ethos Capital. Given the important role of dot org in providing a platform for free and open speech for non-profits around the world, we believe this deal deserves close scrutiny.

            In our last post on this issue, we urged ICANN to take a closer look at the dot org sale. And we called on Ethos and the Internet Society to move beyond promises of accountability by posting a clear stewardship charter for public comment.

      • CMS

        • People of WordPress: Mary Job

          Mary remembers when cybercafés started trending in Nigeria. She had just finished high school and was awaiting her results for admission to university. She spent all of her time (10 hours a day) and all of her pocket money buying bulk time online at cafes. All the way through university that was true, until in 2008 she graduated with a degree in philosophy and bought her own computer and modem.

          She started blogging in 2009. Initially, she tried out Blogger, Hubpages, and WordPress—but found WordPress too complicated.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt Creator 4.12 Beta released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.12 Beta!

          Here are some excerpts from our change log:
          Language Server Protocol Client

          If your server supports Markdown for hover information, we’ll show these much more beautiful tool tips to you.

          The document outline is available through the dropdown menu in the editor tool bar.

          We also use a server’s formatting capability now, if available.

          We added lots of options for when to build what, when to stop what, project wide environment settings, running targets directly from the target selector, and more.

          We improved the UI responsiveness while parsing projects.

        • Performance when using QPainter with QSceneGraph

          When using a profiler to look into your programs, sometimes it feels like looking behind the stage of magician and suddenly grasping the trick behind the magic… Quite recently, I had an application in front of me, which demanded surprisingly much CPU time. In a nutshell, this application has some heavy computational operations in its core and (primarily) produces a rectangular 2D output image, which is rendered by QPainter to display the results. This output is updated once every few milliseconds and is embedded inside a QtQuick window. The handover of the rendered QImage is done by a harmless looking Q_PROPERTY.

          So, I wondered: How big can the impact of handing over a QImage to the QSG renderer be? In particular — as we all know — copying a big chunk of memory is a CPU expensive operation which should be avoided if possible. For getting proper profiling results, I created a simple test application. This application just creates a QtQuick scene with a QQuickPaintedItem derived render object, which updates its output every millisecond (thus renders whenever the render-loop iterates). I use a big output rectangle of 640×640, because I want to focus on the memory copying effect, which is more obvious with bigger outputs.

        • LLVM 10.0-RC3 Released With The Final Expected Soon For This Big Compiler Update

          LLVM 10.0 was supposed to be released at the end of February but is running slightly behind schedule and now there is a third and unscheduled final release candidate.

          LLVM 10.0-RC3 was unexpectedly released this week due to the time that has passed since RC2 in mid-February with there having been more commits than anticipated late in the cycle. LLVM 10.0-RC3 has just under one hundred commits/fixes since RC2, but nothing appears to be too dramatic.

        • Why is agile so much more successful than waterfall?

          Agile continues to take the world by the storm. The latest report from the Standish Group Chaos Study presents interesting findings: Projects based on agile principles have significantly higher success rates than traditional projects based on the waterfall methodology.

        • Make Git easy with Git Cola

          Git is a Linux command to help you manage versions of your work. It’s been ported to BSD, macOS, Windows, and more. It serves as the basis for popular code-hosting services, including open source services like GitLab and NotABug, and even to popular proprietary services. In short, Git has taken software development (and a few other industries) by storm.

        • Python

          • Episode 3 – Views On Django

            On this episode, we look at views, a major component within Django and a primary place where your code will run.

          • PyCharm: PyCharm 2020.1 EAP 6

            We have a new Early Access Program (EAP) version of PyCharm that can be now downloaded from our website.

            In PyCharm 2020.1 EAP 6, we have been working out some of the kinks to make this release cleaner and more reliable for all our PyCharm users.

          • “Let’s use Kubernetes!” Now you have 8 problems

            If you’re using Docker, the next natural step seems to be Kubernetes, aka K8s: that’s how you run things in production, right?

            Well, maybe. Solutions designed for 500 software engineers working on the same application are quite different than solutions for 50 software engineers. And both will be different from solutions designed for a team of 5.

            If you’re part of a small team, Kubernetes probably isn’t for you: it’s a lot of pain with very little benefits.

            Let’s see why.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Standards and Open Source News Summary – March 5, 2020

        Is there nowhere to hide? Streamlined targeted advertising comes to television. The on-line world has seen ever more laser-like ad targeting of viewers, particularly on dominant platforms like Google and Facebook. The same practice has existed in the print world in a more limited way for even longer, where sophisticated regional printing centers swapped ads in national magazines based on zip codes or other data. But what about television?

        Cable TV stations in the US have had similar capabilities, and that practice will now be streamlined and broadened by the release of a new targeted advertising specification from the HbbTV Association, a membership-based standards developer, “dedicated to providing open standards for the delivery of advanced interactive TV services through broadcast and broadband networks for connected TV sets and set-top boxes.” A simultaneously issued companion specification offers a standardised signalling mode for advertisement substitution in live TV broadcasts.

        Defining terms: A new standard to facilitate AI in healthcare. Perhaps the first standards developed by humans were words – abstract sounds that primitive peoples agreed would signify specific objects or actions. We’ve been creating taxonomies, schemas and other standardized vocabularies ever since in order to ensure accuracy of understanding and facilitate the interoperable exchange and merging of data.

        In the case of medicine and health care, the process has been ongoing for decades with mixed results, and with the advent of artificial intelligence – AI – that challenge takes on a new dimension, and has generated a new standard for the use of AI in healthcare. The goal is to assign definitions for sometimes vague or inconsistently used terms in order to increase data integrity and create more trusted AI solutions. The AI in Healthcare standard was developed by more than fifty major IT vendors, like Amazon and Microsoft, as well as startups and healthcare companies, all members of the Consumer Technology Association.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Fundamental Health Reform Like ‘Medicare for All’ Would Help the Labor Market

        Job loss claims are misleading, and substantial boosts to job quality are often overlooked.

      • Children’s Health Defense: Ten lies about vaccines

        Today is a day dedicated to #DoctorsSpeakUp/#NursesSpeakUp/#PublicHealthSpeakUp/#ParentsSpeakUp on Twitter and other social media. What does that mean? It’s basically a plan to make March 5 a day for healthcare workers and those who care about public health to speak up for vaccines and out against antivaccine misinformation. So, as I mentioned yesterday, I figured I had to do a post about vaccines today. But what should I write about? What…should…I…write…about? Oh, thanks, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Through Twitter and your antivaccine propaganda organization Children’s Health Defense, I learned of this:

      • Community Clinics Fighting Coronavirus Could Soon Lose Federal Funding

        Washington Gov. Jay Inslee had originally planned to visit a community health center in Seattle this week to promote Cascade Care, the first statewide public insurance option in the United States. The health center, International Community Health Services, offers care in multiple languages and is treating more uninsured people than usual, thanks in part to the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants and refugees. Cascade Care will provide more Washington residents with health coverage and allow the clinic to recoup revenue.

      • Trump’s Ludicrous Handling of the Coronavirus

        What Alex Azar appears to be saying is that a coronavirus vaccine, once it is developed, will be left to the private marketplace rather than to government procurement.

      • ‘Hospitals Not Prepared,’ Warn Nurses as Nationwide Survey Shows ‘Fractured’ System Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

        “We just don’t have the capacity in the hospitals and health systems to deal with a massive influx of patients and keep them isolated.”

      • As CDC Says ‘Do Not Go to Work,’ Trump Says Thousands With Coronavirus Could Go to Work and Get Better

        “These are really dangerous lies.”

      • ‘This Is Not a Drill’: WHO Urges the World to Fight Virus

        The global march of the new virus triggered a vigorous appeal Thursday from the World Health Organization for governments to pull out “all the stops” to slow the epidemic, as it drained color from India’s spring festivities, closed Bethlehem’s Nativity Church and blocked Italians from visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes.

      • A Pandemic of Fear

        A microscopic virus has been unsettling global business as usual: killing people all over the world, hospitalizing countless others, and spreading a pandemic of fear. The Los Angeles Times reported March 1, 2020, the novel corona virus “sends shudders daily across the planet.”

      • Seventh coronavirus case reported in Russia

        Rospotrebnadzor, Russia’s consumer welfare agency, has registered a new case of COVID-19. The patient is an Italian citizen studying at Mechnikov Medical University in St. Petersburg, according to the locally based outlet Fontanka.

      • I Lived Through SARS and Reported on Ebola. These Are the Questions We Should Be Asking About Coronavirus.

        I grew up in Hong Kong and was 13 when SARS swept through the city, infecting about 1,750 people and killing nearly 300. As a teenager, the hardest part was being stuck at home and missing my friends. I only started to pay attention to the daily death toll after my parents decided that’s what would dictate when I could go back to school. But the experience shaped me. I picked up personal hygiene habits, like pressing elevator buttons with my knuckles. And I developed a deep respect for front-line medical workers, many of whom labored around the clock until they, too, succumbed.

        That was only my first experience with an outbreak.

      • 70+ Groups Demand Trump Prohibit Coronavirus Profiteering by Big Pharma

        “We the People have driven coronavirus research and development—not pharma corporations.”

      • Coronavirus Outbreak in Nursing Home Highlights Risk in Elder Care Facilities

        An outbreak of coronavirus disease in a nursing home near Seattle is prompting urgent calls for precautionary tactics at America’s elder care facilities, where residents are at heightened risk of serious complications from the illness because of the dual threat of age and close living conditions.

      • The Coronavirus May Provide the Best Argument for Medicare for All

        On Wednesday, House lawmakers passed an $8.3 billion emergency spending package for combating coronavirus, as the death toll from coronavirus has reached 11 in the United States. California recorded its first coronavirus death yesterday. The virus has also spread to New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a directive requiring health insurers to waive cost sharing for coronavirus tests. We go to two ground zeroes of the COVID-19 outbreak — New York and Seattle — and host a roundtable on whether coronavirus presents a clear argument for healthcare for all. We are joined by Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a primary care physician and the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program; New York state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester, where four people have been diagnosed with coronavirus; Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York and co-founder of the Health Care for All New York campaign; and Kshama Sawant, socialist city councilmember in Seattle, where a ninth person has died from the virus.

      • Cruise Ship Is Held Off California Coast for Virus Testing

        Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship to hold off the California coast Thursday to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected.

      • It’s Medicare or Coronavirus-for-All

        “My co-workers make impossible choices daily because a lot of us don’t have access to affordable health insurance,” Vladimir Clairjeune, a passenger service representative at JFK airport, said at a training session Wednesday, learning to deal with the coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic. “[We] choose not to see a doctor for a health problem because it could be the difference between paying the rent, taking care of family or getting needed care.”

      • The Coronavirus Could Wreck the Economy. These Steps Would Help Limit the Damage

        Though we don’t yet know the extent of its threat, a widespread coronavirus epidemic in the United States is increasingly possible. In addition to the downright scary health consequences, we think the virus will quickly do serious damage to the U.S. economy, reducing growth in at least the first half of this year, pushing up unemployment and possibly ending the historically long expansion. And we’re far from alone.

      • A Terrifying Scenario: Coronavirus in ‘Quarantined’ Gaza

        What if the Coronavirus reaches the besieged Gaza Strip?

      • St. Petersburg International Economic Forum cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

        The organizers of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum have announced that the annual business conference will be cancelled, Interfax reported.

      • Moscow institutes state of heightened preparedness amid coronavirus spread

        A new order signed by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has placed the city under a state of heightened preparedness. The order covers both ambulatory and stationary health care services as well as city management and transport systems.

      • ‘Give Us an Hour on MSNBC’: Sanders Says He Would Love to Debate Medicare for All vs. For-Profit System With Joe Biden

        “We’re spending twice as much per capita on healthcare as the people of any other country and yet 27 million are uninsured, 30,000 people die, half a million people go bankrupt every year because of medical-related debt, and we spend far and away the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. You want to defend that system?” Sanders said. “Let’s do it.”

      • She Persists: A Reflection on Elizabeth Warren’s Sense of Shared Humanity

        Warren has been and ever will be the kind of powerful, American woman I will look up to with wonder and gratitude.

      • Following Warren Exit, Dying Medicare for All Activist Ady Barkan Says, “I’m All In” for Bernie Sanders

        “It’s not about him. It’s about us.”

      • Sanders Says He Would Love to Debate Biden on Medicare for All

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday night said he would “love to debate Joe Biden on this issue” — the difference between a Medicare for All plan that dozens of studies show would cover all people for less overall cost and the for-profit status quo that leaves an estimated 28 million Americans uninsured and tens of millions more underinsured, vulnerable to bankruptcies, or lacking care due to financial reasons.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • ACLU Sues ICE Over Its Deliberately-Broken Immigrant ‘Risk Assessment’ Software

          A couple of years ago, a Reuters investigation uncovered another revamp of immigration policies under President Trump. ICE has a Risk Classification Assessment Tool that decides whether or not arrested immigrants can be released on bail or their own recognizance. The algorithm had apparently undergone a radical transformation under the new administration, drastically decreasing the number of detainees who could be granted release. The software now recommends detention in almost every case, no matter what mitigating factors are fed to the assessment tool.

        • Security

          • Linux Kernel Live Patching: What It Is and Who Needs It

            Live patching is a way of updating a running system without stopping it. It is best known as a technique for keeping Linux servers updated to the latest security levels without affecting downtime. This article provides some background to the technique and explains the advantages of using it.

            What is Live Patching?

            Live patching lets you keep Linux server kernels up-to-date with the latest security updates without the need to reboot. Although the practice is a decade old – once seen as a convenience tool easing the lives of system administrators – it is now coming to the attention of security managers and CISOs in the wake of the recent flurry of Linux-related kernel vulnerabilities.

            Until the advent of live security updates, server managers had to choose between running their systems with known vulnerabilities, or taking their servers down to install security updates. System administrators now see Linux kernel live security updates are becoming an essential component of an enterprise’s cybersecurity toolkit, not merely a convenience for system maintainers.

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, opensc, opensmtpd, and weechat), Debian (jackson-databind and pdfresurrect), Fedora (sudo), openSUSE (openfortivpn and squid), Red Hat (virt:8.1 and virt-devel:8.1), Scientific Linux (http-parser and xerces-c), and SUSE (gd, kernel, postgresql10, and tomcat).

          • Intel chipsets have another security issue, this time it’s ‘unfixable’

            Researchers have uncovered a fun new vulnerability in Intel processors, and this one has a claim attached that it’s not possible to fix it.Sound familiar? Yeah, there’s been a lot of problems over at Intel in the last couple years. We reported on some back in January and it seems it’s not getting any better.

            This issue, found and reported by Positive Technologies, mentions CVE-2019-0090 which as the numbered year suggests was already announced last year. However, the plot thickens. If you have an Intel chipset and/or SoC older than the 10th Generation (so anything in the last few years), you will be affected by this.

          • ‘Unfixable’ boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell ‘utter chaos’ for DRM, file encryption, etc.
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Senators Hawley & Feinstein Join Graham & Blumenthal In Announcing Bill To Undermine Both Encryption And Section 230

              In late January, we had an analysis of an absolutely dreadful bill proposed by Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal — both with a long history of attacking the internet — called the EARN IT Act. The crux of the bill was that, in the name of “protecting the children,” the bill would drastically change Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, making companies liable for “recklessly” failing to magically stop “child sexual abuse material” — opening them up to civil lawsuits for any such failures. Even worse, it would enable the Attorney General — who has made it quite clear that he hates encryption — to effectively force companies to build in security-destroying backdoors.

            • This is where workplace surveillance leads: towards algorithmic, automated management

              A couple of years ago, Privacy News Online wrote about a new kind of surveillance, taking place in the workplace. The aim of these systems back then was to keep an eye on workers, and they were often designed to spot problems. But two years is a long time in today’s digital world, and things have moved on considerably. For example, in 2017 artificial intelligence (AI) was already applied to workplace monitoring, but largely to help analyse working patterns, and to flag up anomalies. Today’s AI is more capable, and much more interventionist. It is no longer content to sit back metaphorically and merely watch workers go about their business; now it is starting to control them actively. A report from Data & Society describes this as “algorithmic management“:

            • Inquiry wants porn viewers’ faces scanned

              Labor co-chair Sharon Claydon said while her party wouldn’t dissent from the recommendations more research was needed.

            • Inquiry wants porn viewers’ faces scanned

              The committee recommended Australia’s online safety watchdog develop a road map to verify people’s ages online and said third parties should also be allowed to provide verification services.

            • DOJ Plans to Strike Against Encryption While the Techlash Iron Is Hot

              Why now? What’s changed since 2016, when we had the great Apple vs. FBI showdown? According to Demers, two things: (1) the “techlash” by Congress and the public “in the wake of myriad privacy scandals” and the 2016 election; and (2) Australia’s 2018 passage of the Assistance and Access Act, which followed on the heels of similar legislation in the United Kingdom in 2016. Demers “hopes these laws will create a model for how lawmakers in the United States might limit encryption.”

              These two factors lay out, straight from the horse’s mouth, what I’ve been saying for a while. It comes as something of a relief for a high-ranking DOJ official to finally acknowledge publicly the playbook I could see they were running to try to get Congress to finally ban strong encryption. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

            • The EARN IT Act Is a Sneak Attack on Encryption

              Though it seems wholly focused on reducing child exploitation, the EARN IT Act has definite implications for encryption. If it became law, companies might not be able to earn their liability exemption while offering end-to-end encrypted services. This would put them in the position of either having to accept liability or remove encryption protections altogether.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Prospect of Peace in Afghanistan is Real…and Pakistan is the Key Player

        The chasm between illusion and reality in politics remains perennial. Wars seldom ended according to the script of peace agreements. The fall of Saigon in April 1975 ending the Vietnam War, with defeated Americans hastily retreating in helicopters from the rooftop of their embassy, was not anticipated in the Paris Peace Accords of January 1973 that were painstakingly negotiated by Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese politburo member Le Duc Tho.

      • ‘Total Win!’: Human Rights Groups Welcome ICC Probe of US Torture and War Crimes in Afghanistan

        “This decision vindicates the rule of law and gives hope to the thousands of victims seeking accountability when domestic courts and authorities have failed them.”

      • Yet Another Betrayal of Humanitarianism: EU Policies at the Greece-Turkey Border

        If fascism now comes wrapped in an American flag, it is accompanied and conjured by historical amnesia in Europe.

      • Trump’s Harsh Iran Policy Helped Hardliners Win Iran’s Elections

        The landslide victory for hardliners in Iran’s recent parliamentary elections confirms that whoever occupies the White House next year won’t have an easy time dealing with Iran.

      • Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

        Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation: Look at who we have come to bury!

      • Russia, Turkey Announce Cease-Fire in Northwestern Syria

        The presidents of Russia and Turkey said they reached agreements on a cease-fire to take effect at midnight Thursday in northwestern Syria, where escalating fighting had threatened to put forces from the two countries into a direct military conflict.

      • Russia and Turkey agree on ceasefire in Idlib

        Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have come to a ceasefire agreement regarding the ongoing conflict in Idlib Province, Syria. The two heads of state conducted negotiations for more than six hours and announced the results in a press conference.

      • “Islamic” text on Utrecht tram shooter’s weapon reported as terrorism trial begins

        Suspect Gökmen T. wrote references to Islam, Sharia and Allah on the firearm used to commit a mass shooting in Utrecht in March last year, “reliable sources” told RTL Nieuws. Soon after the shooting on 24 Oktoberplein on March 18th, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) revealed that text was written on the weapon, but never said what it stated.

      • Hundreds of thousands forced to flee as attacks continue in Burkina Faso

        Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes in Burkina Faso as Christian communities are targeted in a spiral of Islamist killings.

        The surge of attacks has forced some families to flee and leave everything behind, and the violence is threatening to spread to other countries, said Jennifer Overton, West Africa regional director for Catholic Relief Services.

      • Pushed to the brink in Cameroon

        Boko Haram began stepping up its attacks on isolated Christian villages in Far North Cameroon in early 2019, in its effort to establish an Islamic caliphate stretching from its base in north-eastern Nigeria across northern Cameroon and other countries of West Africa. The rampaging jihadists have reduced scores of villages to smouldering ruins, looted homes, plundered food stores, stolen livestock and devastated crops. The Cameroonian military are struggling to combat them.

        The UN estimates that more than 170,000 people, mostly Christians, have fled the violence. Many now “hide out” in the mountains and bush, or travel to a town for safety rather than risk a night in their own beds.

    • Environment

      • Michigan says Flint residents took too long to sue, despite water assurances

        The case is among a series of class-action suits working their way through the courts. It is the suit that seeks monetary damages from Michigan’s government, which oversaw Flint’s finances and failed to ensure proper corrosion control chemicals were added to corrosive river water that caused lead to leach from aging pipes and into the municipal supply.

        Supreme Court justices heard dueling attorney arguments in an appeal by the state, which wants the case tossed. A legal defense team in Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office contends plaintiffs are trying to establish a novel constitutional right and did not file their suit soon enough to meet a legal deadline.

        It will likely be months before the court renders a decision.

      • Sandy beaches may succumb to rising seas

        Ever higher seas are already eroding shorelines and flooding coasts. Soon the waves could wash away half the world’s sandy beaches.

      • ‘The Story of Our Lifetime and Our Planet’ — Environmental Journalism in Troubled Times
      • Energy

        • Is the U.S. Fracking Boom Based on Fraud?

          As Fastow explained, in finance, the difference between a loophole and fraud isn’t always easy to identify. And that may be something the U.S. fracking industry is working to its advantage.

        • Climate Change And Jobs: It’s Not An ‘Either/Or’ Proposition

          Workers and unions have long led the way on action to tackle climate change, writes Giri Sivaraman.

        • ‘Ruin Our Territory—for What?’

          Long-simmering tensions began to boil over at the end of 2019, after a BC court cleared the way for the pipeline construction and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs delivered an eviction notice to Coastal GasLink in response. The RCMP raided encampments that the Wet’suwet’en had set up on their land to block construction—and solidarity actions spread across the country. Over the past two months, Indigenous groups and their supporters have staged mass demonstrations, sit-ins, and blockades of major railway lines, ports, and city streets from BC to Nova Scotia. Other First Nations, including Mohawks in Ontario and Quebec and Gitxsan in northern BC, have mobilized to support the Wet’suwet’en, and Indigenous youth in particular have emerged at the forefront, demanding that Canada recognize and respect Indigenous rights. Instead of calling themselves “protesters,” many prefer what they see as a more accurate term: “land defenders.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Tropical Forest Shift Raises the Alarm of Climate Scientists

          A new study published Wednesday adds to mounting evidence that the world’s tropical forests could soon stop serving their climate crisis-mitigating role of carbon sinks.

        • Saving salmon means taking down hydroelectric power dams—and it’s not easy

          By the year 2000 there were only ninety-eight fish left, and the tribes decided to act. They captured the fish struggling below the dam and trucked them to Baker Lake for natural spawning. Once the fry grew to smolts ready for the sea, they trucked them back below the dam. When this did not save enough salmon, they started a hatchery. In 2016 there were 56,000 Baker Lake sockeye. The tribes estimate the fish will become an important income source when they get to 120,000.

    • Finance

      • Markets Plunge as Critics Say Trump’s “Keep the Stock Market Calm” Approach Has Backfired

        “Trump staking his presidency on a good stock market was once just an annoying tic,” said The Nation’s Jeet Heer. “But now there’s a situation that makes it actively harmful.”

      • Creating a National Insecurity State: Spending More, Seeing Less

        Hold on to your helmets! It’s true the White House is reporting that its proposed new Pentagon budget is only $740.5 billion, a relatively small increase from the previous year’s staggering number. In reality, however, when you also include war and security costs buried in the budgets of other agencies, the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion, as the Trump administration continues to give the Pentagon free reign over taxpayer dollars.

      • Farmworkers Step Up Pressure on Wendy’s Shareholders to Protect Workers’ Rights

        For years, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has waged a campaign to convince Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program, an internationally renowned human rights partnership that protects farmworkers from abuse and ensures better wages. Many big retail food companies, from Walmart and McDonald’s to Chipotle and Burger King, have joined the Fair Food Program — but not Wendy’s.

      • Local Housing Authorities Give Themselves Perfect Scores. Renters Disagree.

        When it comes to helping low-income people find housing outside struggling neighborhoods, the federal government lets local housing authorities grade themselves on their success.

        And despite data showing the poor have great difficulty finding housing in nicer neighborhoods, authorities say they’re doing amazingly well.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How a Mockingbird Can Kill a Legacy

        Each morning after working on my maiden novel from 5 am to 8:30 am I do what I always do: heat some filtered water in my electric kettle, carry it to the bedroom with an empty large cup, and watch the early morning news shows for a mental respite — MSNBC’s Morning Joe being my favorite.

      • A Giuliani-Trump Foreign Policy?

        Rudy’s coup at Foggy Bottom.

      • Rudy Giuliani Has Emerged as Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State

        Imagine, just for the sake of argument, that the president of the United States was an arrogant, information-challenged, would-be autocrat with a soft spot for authoritarian leaders from China, Russia, and North Korea to Egypt (“my favorite dictator”), Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And then, suppose that very president, while hollowing out the State Department and slamming its diplomats as “Deep State” troublemakers, were to name a voluble wheeler-dealer attorney as his unofficial, freelance White House go-between with shady characters worldwide. Imagine further that the president would do an end run around the professionals of the U.S. intelligence community — more Deep Staters, natch — and rely instead on conspiracy theories trundled back to Washington in that attorney’s briefcase.

      • How (in half a dozen rounds of voting) Russia is going to pass Putin’s constitutional amendments
      • Digging a Hole
      • The Democratic Establishment Strikes Back

        What follows is an original report by Jaisal Noor of The Real News Network. Read a transcript of their conversation below or watch the video at the bottom of the post.

      • WaPo Prints Study That Found Paper Backed an Undemocratic Bolivia Coup

        President Evo Morales won re-election in Bolivia’s presidential election last October 20, as pre-election polls predicted. He received 47% of the vote in an election with 88% turnout. He beat his nearest rival by just over 10 percentage points, which meant a second round was not required.

      • Elizabeth Warren Ends ‘Brilliant’ and Issue-Focused Presidential Campaign—What Does She Do Next?

        “I will not be running for president in 2020,” Warren said, “but I guarantee I will stay in the fight for the hardworking folks across this country who have gotten the short end of the stick over and over. That’s been the fight of my life and it will continue to be so.”

      • A Profound and Historic Question for Elizabeth Warren: Which Side Are You On?

        How Warren answers that question might determine the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. In the process, she will profoundly etch into history the reality of her political character.

      • Elizabeth Warren Must Decide Which Side She’s On

        The night before Super Tuesday, Elizabeth Warren spoke to several thousand people in a quadrangle at East Los Angeles College. Much of her talk recounted the heroic actions of oppressed Latina workers who led the Justice for Janitors organization. Standing in the crowd, I was impressed with Warren’s eloquence as she praised solidarity and labor unions as essential for improving the lives of working people.

      • Thank You Elizabeth
      • A Heartfelt thanks to Elizabeth Warren

        My congratulations and gratitude for your extraordinary campaign – your bold and detailed policy proposals; your eloquent advocacy of them and of your vision for America; your thoughtfulness and courage in standing up for women, for people of color, for working Americans, the poor and the oppressed; your kindness and patience in dealing with everyone (including fans who wanted selfies); your tirelessness and your decency; and your devotion to this country.

        Your campaign was a model of substance and tenacity. You made your points about America’s misallocation of power, and the need for structural change, powerfully but without rancor. In a better America and at a better time, you would have sailed to victory.

        You have inspired – and continue to inspire – millions. Thank you for everything you’ve done, and will continue to do.

      • Warren Ends 2020 Presidential Bid After Super Tuesday Rout

        WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren, who electrified progressives with her “plan for everything” and strong message of economic populism, dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Thursday. Her exit came days after the onetime front-runner couldn’t win a single Super Tuesday state, not even her own.

      • ‘We Know She’ll Continue the Fight Alongside Us’: Progressive Chorus for Warren to Join Forces With Sanders Intensifies

        Sanders, for his part, said that “I know that she’ll stay in this fight and we are grateful that she will.”

      • The True Meaning of Super Tuesday

        We are not yet the nation we are struggling to become, but the Sanders campaign, however it fares in 2020, is helping to shape that future. It’s doing so one voter at a time, whether or not their vote is counted.

      • Long Lines, Closed Polling Places Hurt Black, Latinx and Student Voters

        Long wait times plagued polling places in Texas throughout Super Tuesday, especially in districts with high numbers of Black and Latinx voters and college students. Many voters reported waiting in line for more than three hours to cast a ballot. At least 750 Texas polling sites have been shuttered since 2013, when the Supreme Court slashed federal oversight of Texas and other Southern states under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There were long lines, too, in Los Angeles, where many polling places reported problems with a brand-new $300 million voting system. The Sanders campaign sued to keep polling places open an extra two hours, saying voters were denied their constitutional right. The county registrar denied that request. For more, we speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones magazine and author of Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.

      • In the Land of the Gerontocrats

        As much as I like Bernie Sanders and hope he prevails in the Democratic primary, I confess that there’s something gray and depressing about a crusty, seventy-something, New-Deal liberal representing the great electoral hope of the American left. There are, of course, a number of engaging young progressives in office now, but the fame and near-celebrity profiles of newcomers like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez belie the still fundamentally local power bases of these congresswomen, none of whom has yet been tested even in a statewide election. Victories at the state and local levels have been far outpaced by gains by so-called moderates and centrists, and even these barely dent the thousands of seats and offices lost to radical conservatives during the desultory administration of Barack Obama.

      • Can Bernie Sanders or Bart Starr Jr.—or Anyone—Save Nate Woods From Execution?

        Sanders probably has little, if any, influence with Gov. Ivey. But he does have the ability to bring national attention to an issue just by mentioning it.

      • Elizabeth Warren Drops Out of 2020 Race Without Announcing Endorsement

        Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., suspended her presidential bid Thursday after failing to finish as one of the top two contenders in any state on Super Tuesday.

      • The Myth of Sanders’ “Socialism”

        Fox News has an all-out frontal assault on Bernie Sanders’ purported “socialism.” It is a sad statement on the level of ignorance in this country that anyone could take seriously the charge that Sanders is a socialist. What Sanders is advocating is something approaching the social-welfare systems of other economically developed countries and that’s a far cry from the socialism Fox News is using as a boogeyman to frighten conservatives. The “socialism” Fox is decrying is the old-fashioned Stalinist-Maoist kind where all important industries are nationalized, most of the private property of the wealthy is seized by the state, and there are no such things as individual rights and freedoms because the very idea of “individuals” is considered capitalist propaganda.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Court Explains 1st Amendment To Tulsi Gabbard In Dismissing Her Ridiculous Lawsuit Against Google

        Just a week after the 9th Circuit easily upheld the dismissal of Dennis Prager’s silly lawsuit against Google for supposed anti-conservative bias, a district court has easily dismissed Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s quite similar lawsuit against Google for… anti-Tulsi bias or some such nonsense. As we pointed out when the lawsuit was first filed, the case stood no chance at all, and was using completely debunked and rejected legal theories.

      • Donald Trump And Charles Harder Continue Their Assault On The 1st Amendment, Suing The Washington Post

        It appears whatever modest amount of restraint that our President had regarding his early promise to “open up our libel laws” have gone away. As you may recall, during the campaign he made such a promise, perhaps not realizing that defamation laws are not under the purview of the federal government — and any changes at the state level are limited by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution (not something he can write away with an executive order). Right before he was inaugurated, he seemed to back down a little on that promise — telling the NY Times that someone had pointed out to him that with more open libel laws, he was more likely to get sued as well.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Russian investigators order psychological examination for ‘Meduza’ journalist falsely charged with drug possession

        Russia’s Investigative Committee has ordered Meduza special correspondent Ivan Golunov to appear for a psychological examination, according to Golunov himself.

      • Espionage Act Reform Bill Would Protect Journalists Like Julian Assange

        Under legislation proposed in Congress, the United States government would not be able to prosecute journalists like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who publish classified information.Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Ro Khanna introduced the Espionage Act Reform Act to reaffirm “First Amendment protections for journalists” and ensure “whistleblowers can effectively report waste, fraud, and abuse to Congress.” Wyden declared in a press statement, “The Espionage Act currently provides sweeping powers for a rogue attorney general like Bill Barr or unscrupulous president like Donald Trump to target journalists and whistleblowers who reveal information they’d rather keep secret. This bill ensures only personnel with security clearances can be prosecuted for improperly revealing classified information.”It would protect the rights of members of the press that “solicit, obtain, or publish government secrets” from prosecution. The legislation would also protect disclosures of classified information related to signals intelligence to any member of Congress.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • FISA Court Bans FBI Agent Who Lied To The Court About Carter Page

        The FBI’s inability to rein in its agents is causing it more pain. The Inspector General’s report released late last year showed agents performed some very selective editing of probable cause to unlawfully prolong the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump adviser, Carter Page.

      • When Gown Crushes Town: The Corporatization of Oberlin College

        Only the strongest actions from Alumni are likely to prevent the carnage that the College is about to unleash on these workers, on the community so dependent upon it, and on itself.

      • ‘Don’t Look Away. This Nation Is So… Cruel’: Rights Advocates Decry Execution of Nathaniel Woods by Alabama

        “Not justice. Not closure. Not peace. Just more pain, more trauma, more death. Shameful.”

      • New PR Group Pushes Private Prison Industry Talking Points

        In late 2019, the three largest private prison operators joined forces to establish a new group to push pro-industry talking points to the press and on social media: the Day 1 Alliance. Why is the private prison industry going on the offensive to improve its public image and secure positive earned media?

      • MLK Jr’s Son Among Justice Advocates Urging Alabama Governor to Halt Execution of Nathaniel Woods

        “Killing this African American man, whose case appears to have been strongly mishandled by the courts, could produce an irreversible injustice. Are you willing to allow a potentially innocent man to be executed?”

      • UN Women Imagines ‘Equiterra,’ A New Utopian World Where Gender Equality Reigns

        “Seems like such a nice place… When can the world move in?”

      • The Trump-Modi Lovefest: a Hideous Pseudo-Event

        Donald Trump is back in the US from his trip to India. His visit overlapped with some of the time I spent in Delhi, and watching the saturation media-coverage of the visit was in turns painful (because of the grotesquerie on display) and an absolute hoot (again, because of the grotesquerie on display).

      • The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?

        Elites have ruled over people and commanded the surplus produced by their labor for many millennia. It is this long history we have to contend with in today’s crisis of capitalism that has produced endless wars and environmental catastrophes as corporate billionaire rulers continue to promote business as usual while preparing to fight each other with armed forces and nuclear weapons. This has all been “normalized.” Concentrated elite power ends up massively distorting people’s understanding of the nature of big business rule. Their highly paid spokes people even shamelessly deploy concepts like “freedom” and “liberty” to rationalize the enslaving and killing of millions for profits in resource wars. But we also need to understand that despite this long reign of (t)error, human beings lived for most of their evolutionary history (a much longer period of time than that during which elites have ruled) in nomadic hunter-gatherer societies where life conditions produced a rough equality among the Paleolithic family groups. If there was anything that could be called freedom here, it was a consequence of a primitive subsistence level that demanded participation from all in obtaining the means of survival while providing minimal incentives for large-scale social conflicts. Cooperation was primary; it is what made human societies — not competition. These conditions also kept the human populations low and in balance with available resources, while as some anthropologists speculate (see Marshall Sahlins), providing significant amounts of free time for cultivating social ties.

      • The Alex Salmond Trial and Censorship
      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Means To An End’ By Sepultura

        For over three decades the pioneering Brazilian heavy metal band has never been afraid to address political issues.

        One of Sepultura’s more political albums, “Chaos A.D.” (1993), features “Refuse/Resist,” a hard hitting anti-police anthem, and “Territory,” which references the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

      • Dubai ruler threatened ex-wife, abducted daughters, UK court says

        The threats, the judge said, continued even after she arrived in the UK. Sheikh Mohammed used the state apparatus “to threaten, intimidate, mistreat and oppress with a total disregard for the rule of law,” the judge said.

      • Dubai’s ruler abducted daughters and threatened former wife, UK judge rules

        As part of the custody case, Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Court division in England and Wales, made a series of “findings of fact” about allegations raised by Haya, 45, during hearings over the last nine months.

        McFarlane said he accepted her claim that Mohammed arranged for his daughter Shamsa, then aged 18, to be kidnapped off the streets of Cambridge in central England in 2000, and had her flown back to Dubai.

        He also ruled it was proved that the sheikh had arranged for Shamsa’s younger sister Latifa to be snatched from a boat in international waters off India by Indian forces in 2018 and returned to the emirate in what was her second failed escape attempt.

      • Asylum-Seeking Families Separated by U.S. Government Experienced Torture, PHR Concludes in New Investigation

        According to PHR’s report, based on in-depth psychological evaluations of 26 asylum seekers (nine children and 17 parents), the U.S. government’s forcible separation of asylum-seeking families constitutes cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and, in all cases PHR evaluated, meets criteria for torture.

      • Saudi Arabia: UN women’s rights committee urges Loujain Al-Hathloul’s release from detention

        The UN women’s rights committee has urged Saudi Arabia to release human rights defender Loujain Al-Hathloul from prolonged pre-trial detention and ensure without further delay her right to a fair trial.

        On 27 February 2018, Al-Hathloul attended a public meeting in Geneva to brief members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on the human rights situation of women in Saudi Arabia. Her briefing formed part of the Committee’s review of Saudi Arabia’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.*

        A few weeks later, on 15 May 2018, she was arrested in Saudi Arabia on national security grounds and has been in detention ever since. According to the charges, her arrest was partly based on her engagement with CEDAW.

      • HRW accepts Saudi funds to not criticize repression of gays

        The Jerusalem Post can report that last year Roth praised Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a tweet, after he defended his regime’s execution of gays.

        Roth wrote in July 2019: “In my recent dealings with him [Zarif], he: 1. Helped secure UN investigation of Myanmar for atrocities against Rohingya. 2. Vowed Iran wouldn’t join Syrian attacks on Idlib civilians.”

      • Saudi Arabia: Raab to press ‘valued partner’ on human rights

        Human rights groups have accused Saudi Arabia’s ruling royal family of condoning the torture of political opponents as part of a sustained crackdown on dissent in the past couple of years – something the regime has rejected.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix Continues To Release CYOA Content, Doesn’t Refer To It As ‘CYOA’…For Now

        This Chooseco and Netflix trademark dispute story gets more and more interesting. To catch you up, Netflix produced the Black Mirror iteration entitled Netflix which both was, and was marketed as, a “choose your own adventure” production, similar to the CYOA books from our youth. There was also some dialogue within the production itself that referenced “choose your own adventure.” For this, Chooseco, which has a trademark on the phrase, sued Netflix. Netflix tried to get the case tossed on First Amendment grounds, failed, and has since counterclaimed to have Chooseco’s trademark cancelled entirely.

    • Monopolies

      • It’s Rubbish to Trash China

        In Munich this past weekend at the Security Conference the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, nailed her anti-Chinese colours to the mast. Despite being a liberal on many issues and the leader of the fight to impeach President Donald Trump, she has joined forces with Trump in preaching that the West must not allow itself to be penetrated by Huawei’s 5G phone technology, (which is cheaper than any Western counterpart).

      • So Wait, People Seriously Think Bill Barr Will Rein In Tech Monopoly Power?

        So we’ve noted for a while how while a lot of the anger against “big tech” is certainly justified, there’s a sizeable segment of this growing DC chorus that’s being quietly orchestrated by telecom giants. Companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast just effectively convinced the FCC to self-immolate, dismantling huge swaths of its broadband consumer protection authority (what could go wrong?). At the same time, the DOJ and FCC have been rubber stamping every terrible telecom merger than comes down the pike. When it comes to telecom monopolies, you’ll hear nary a peep from the Trump administration.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • $2,000 Cash Prize for Prior Art on Kioba Processing Patent

            On March 6, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest with a $2,000 cash prize for prior art submissions for USRE45006. The ’006 patent generally relates to “marketing and more particularly to a method and system for differentiated customer promotion.” The patent is owned by Kioba Processing, LLC, an NPE. To protect innovation and deter future frivolous assertions, Unified is offering a $2,000 cash prize for the best prior art on this patent.

      • Copyrights

        • Hellboy Makers Want $270,000 in Piracy Damages from MKVCage Operator

          The rightsholder of the movie Hellboy wants the alleged operator of popular torrent site MKVCage to pay $270,000 in copyright infringement damages. The damages, which are calculated based on the film’s purchase price, are part of a proposed default judgment the company submitted to a federal court in Hawaii. MKVCage, meanwhile, remains missing in action.

        • French ISPs Block Dozens of Pirate Sites Following Movie Industry Action

          For several weeks, French Internet users have reported difficulty accessing dozens of unlicensed streaming and torrent sites. It now transpires that following legal action by several movie industry groups, a Paris court handed down a ruling ordering some of the country’s top ISPs to prevent their customers from accessing around 36 platforms.

        • Important CC Global Summit Update

          Unfortunately, given the current concerns around the global spread of COVID-19 (and in the wake of scores of major conferences being canceled around the world), we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s in-person Summit.

After the Death of the UPC the Next Casualty is the Credibility of Media That Promotes It

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC Dies, Team UPC: Nothing has changed!

Summary: The media is filled with UPC misinformation/disinformation no more credible than 'tweets' or ‘troll farms’ (it’s the agenda that counts, not the accuracy or underlying facts)

THE UPC is dead and good riddance to it. One can easily tell who it’s for based on who’s lobbying for it and lying about it (to push it through and demonise resistance).

Yesterday the FFII’s President was quoting from Kluwer’s response, “UPC: Judges in the morning, barristers in the afternoon…”

There are many technical and legal issues associated with the UPC. That’s why constitutional complaints exist (and aren’t being dismissed even 3 years later).

As we’ve said from the start, the death of the UPC would be accompanied by 'military-grade' propaganda. The liars would become more vocal and the lies ever more hilarious. The liars have become laughing stocks even in the legal community and several Bristows workers who spent years lying about the UPC recently left. Good riddance to them too…

Liar in Chief Alexander Ramsay is next to go. His job is obsolete now, unless he wants to reinvent himself as an undertaker (“preparatory” as in embalming). How are those robes?

Rich Pinckney of Bristows has nothing left to say, so he’s just copy-pasting from the Liar in Chief Alexander Ramsay. Nice copy-paste you got there, Mr. Pinckney: “In light of last week’s UPC news on the UK’s position (reported here), the UPC Preparatory Committee has today published here the following message from its Chair, Alexander Ramsay: “Following the UK government’s decision not to pursue remaining in the Unified Patent Court and in the Unitary Patent, work on the implementation of the Unified Patent Court continues. Once Germany will be in a position to ratify the UPC Agreement and the Protocol on the Provisional Application, arrangements will be made to deal with the practical implications of the UK‘s departure. These will be published in due course.””

“Welcome to Team UPC of 2020. It’s a chain of letters containing nothing but lies.”So one liar quotes another as if to disclaim or rid oneself from responsibility for these lies.

“Trump said…”

“Xi said…”

Welcome to Team UPC of 2020. It’s a chain of letters containing nothing but lies.

And holy crap, look at this prank! JUVE continues to print lies as headlines for Team UPC and Alexander Ramsay.

Well done, JUVE, you are now officially a compromised publication — the complete opposite of what you used to be.

When can you be labeled a lying tabloid?

Mathieu Klos amplified these lies when he tweeted: “We don’t expect major disruption to the UPC,” says Alexander Ramsay, chair of its Preparatory Committee, following the announcement of UK withdrawal. JUVE Patent caught up with Ramsay to see if he’s still optimistic for the UPC’s future. Full interview…”

“Well done, JUVE, you are now officially a compromised publication — the complete opposite of what you used to be.”So they don’t fact-check. They just print and reprint lies, even with lies as headlines!

Amy Sandys does it again. Is this journalism or vandalism?

Shame on you, JUVE. Shame on you.

I miss the old JUVE, the JUVE that cared about facts and actually exposed or (un)covered EPO abuses.

Has the business model changed?

Anyway, JUVE isn’t the sole culprit. One might say that it’s merely the echo of the litigation industry (neither science nor jurists).

Over at Lexology, for instance, Mayer Brown’s Christoph J. Crützen, Mark A. Prinsley, Oliver Yaros and Ulrich Worm have just amplified their article entitled “UK confirms that it will not become a member of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court” (well, there’s no Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court… it’s dead. You cannot participate in things that do not exist!)

Here’s what they say:

It is currently unclear how the UK government’s decision will impact the implementation of the UPC, particularly given the UK’s involvement in the UPC project to date. Such involvement includes the UK (alongside Germany and France) being one of three signatories whose ratification was required for the UPC to come into force. Likewise, a central division of the UPC was to be located in London and was set to host patent disputes concentrated on the life sciences sector.

Wait… set to host? That’s ignoring so many issues/obstacles to that, even other than Brexit…

But the litigation people carry on telling that this is merely a delay, a slight inconvenience to their agenda.

Also in Lexology and in its own site, Novagraaf is acting as if UPC already exists (it does not). It will never exist. UPC propaganda in FAQ form?

Here’s one part of it:

Companies can avoid using the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court altogether by opting instead to file a national application (or to opt-out of the UPC system when filing and validating an EP application) in the individual European countries of their choice. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to both options. For example, depending on the countries selected, national filings can be more costly (e.g. because of translation requirements). In comparison, EP and/or Unitary Patent application can be filed in English, and no translations are required until grant.

Notice how bad this advice seems; the readers are led to believe that UPC already exists!

Novagraaf has also just published “UK confirms withdrawal from the Unitary Patent” (and a lot more than that).

Withdrawal from something that does not exist? Not only was this promoted for a fee; the original says:

Despite fears that Brexit would halt negotiations, the UK ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) agreement in April 2018. At the time, this was considered an important milestone, as the UK was one of three mandatory signatories required for the agreement to come into force. The announcement last week that the UK is withdrawing from the system could represent the end of the line for the UPC, which is also waiting on the outcome of a challenge in Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court.

The outcome? It barely even matters anymore. Germany is not going to ratify. The British ratification is now moot. This leaves only France, one of three nations that must ratify. So UPC is perpetually dead. It’s finished. They might rename and start something similar in the future (a campaign without the UK), but that’s not UPC anymore…

Managing IP, a megaphone of chronic liars at the EPO, is still propping up or squeezing its love affair with Campinos in London. The person responsible for the puff piece wrote: “EPO President Antonio Campinos tells @ManagingIP International Patent Forum thats it’s “a great pity” that the UK will not seek to be a part of the UPC. However he insists the UPC can still work and be an attractive system. [] Campinos: “Some will say it’s a blow but is it the decisive blow? No.” He adds that with the political will and effort there are “1,000 ways to make it work.”

1,000 ways [citation needed]…

“Not at all appropriate for media to be this close to [the] EPO unless it’s not really media but [a] peripheral PR department,” I’ve told him after he again promoted the “Full story on Campinos’s #UPC comments…”

“Germany is not going to ratify. The British ratification is now moot. This leaves only France, one of three nations that must ratify.”We’ve meanwhile stumbled upon some other new nonsense from Team UPC. “The European Commission, via its IP Helpdesk,” one of them wrote, “seems to acknowledge the news reported by ⁦ @IAM_magazine⁩ that UK will not participate in #UPC. http://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/news/uk-will-not-participate-unified-patent-court-system …”

This comes from a person who's rude to the judges, just like the EPO's management. Another new tweet says “UPC DE constitutional complaint, as of 2nd half of Feb 2020: „[The Court] expects a ruling in case 2 BvR 739/17, concerning the complaint against German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement ‘within the next few months’. An FCC spokesman has declared this [...].“

He’s citing something seemingly irrelevant, in fact citing an old Kluwer (Team UPC) tweet, predating the final blow to UPC (the UK’s announcement)! How convenient….

This is what he cites: “UPDATE: Ruling of German Federal Constitutional Court in case 2 BvR 739/17, concerning German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, expected ‘within the next few months’…” (Brexit and the latest announcement can delay this further).

So again we see subtle lies. People now cite something from last month, which also refutes Managing IP‘s claims that we can expect a decision by this month’s end.

The FFII’s President recalls and quotes: “UPC: Poland and the Czech Republic backed out because the UP and UPC system turned out to incur high economic costs, rather than benefits…”

“It’s not hard to guess which side litigators are on. They’re with the liars.”“Team UPC never or rarely brings that up,” I responded. “It might scare away those whom they lie to.”

They still pretend that if the FCC in Germany dismisses the complaint, then all will be rosy. But the government in Berlin already stated that it would not ratify in light of Brexit and the latest situation. Team UPC is now hanging onto outdated barriers.

It’s not hard to guess which side litigators are on. They’re with the liars.

“Progress towards the Unitary Patent System has been delayed” is a quote we saw this morning in Open Access Government.


Not delayed.

It’s dead.

Stop spreading lies in the media…

Here’s the whole thing in context:

As well as taking steps to facilitate AV-related innovation activity and prepare the way for driverless motoring, many EU member states have simplified the process of securing patent protection for new inventions.

The planned introduction of a pan-European Unitary Patent System, which the UK is already signed up to regardless of what happens with Brexit, promises to simplify the patent system considerably. Under the new system, businesses will be able to apply for a single Unitary Patent, spanning all participating countries of the EU, without the need to validate the patent at the jurisdictional level. For innovators of AV-related technologies, the new system could provide a cost-effective way to secure commercial protection across the EU, allowing time for markets and regulatory environments to continue to evolve.

Progress towards the Unitary Patent System has been delayed due to Brexit and a constitutional challenge in Germany. However, once these hurdles are overcome, the newly-harmonised system should bring benefits for European innovators and help to attract investment.

Among those set to benefit most from the incoming changes to the patent system are innovators in dynamic or evolving markets, such as the AV industry. A single renewal fee will be payable annually on each Unitary Patent, which will be equivalent to the current cost of renewal fees in the ‘top four’ European countries – UK, Germany, France and Holland.

Under the current system, once a European patent is granted, the patent owner will normally validate it in just a handful of EU countries. By contrast, with a new Unitary Patent, innovators will have the potential in time to cover 26 of the 27 member states for a similar cost. The coverage provided in these ‘bonus’ countries could deliver unexpected benefits to some companies, particularly if there is uncertainty about where market opportunities could arise in the future due to the evolving regulatory and technological landscape.

This is wrong; whoever wrote this certainly hasn’t been keeping up with the news (or is intentionally ignoring the news).

Pro-UPC law firms keep reposting their stuff in more sites (e.g. JD Supra for this article we took note of yesterday) and it’s hard to keep abreast of all this misinformation due to its sheer volume.

They bombard everything, everywhere with misleading ‘information’ or ‘advice’.

Here in Mondaq Herbert Smith Freehills has just published “UK Will Not Be A Part Of The UPC – Government Confirms” (well, there’s no UPC anyway).

“They bombard everything, everywhere with misleading ‘information’ or ‘advice’.”To quote: “The UK Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed (27.02.20) that the UK will not be participating in the UPC system saying: “Participating in a court that applies EU law and bound by the CJEU is inconsistent with our aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation.” Perhaps not surprising, given the wider signs emerging from Downing Street of late and whilst it may be a negotiating tactic, we wouldn’t bet on it. It will be interesting now to see what happens next with the UPC project, post this UK government announcement. All eyes will now turn to Germany and the approach they intend to take. What is certainly clear is that the UPC will be less attractive to business without the UK’s participation in it.”

Well, there’s no UPC. So that’s kind of a pointless statement, isn’t it?

Mondaq has also just republished for J A Kemp LLP, which pretends this is about non-participation rather than the whole UPC collapsing (it cannot exist without this participation of the UK). To quote:

Following publication of the UK Government’s paper relating to the future relationship of the UK with the EU, a government spokesperson has confirmed that the UK will “not be seeking involvement in the UP/UPC system”.

The UP/UPC system is an EU initiative to establish a Unitary Patent (UP) having unitary effect throughout the EU member states, and to establish the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to hear disputes relating to the Unitary Patent, and also relating to European patents having effect in the EU member states.

Last but not least, just to remind readers how corrupt the media has become, watch this ‘prank’ from something called “Scottish Legal News”. Is it even Scottish? It seems to us like this is a fake news site with similar for “Irish” (“Irish Legal News” as noted here); when it says “industry” it means lawyers and it posts identical puff pieces full of lies under different countries’ names. Maybe they should also register “US Legal News” and “Canadian Legal News” in which to drop the same pack of lies, claiming to represent American/Canadian “industry”.

Don’t fall for the lies of Team UPC. These people are so desperate at this stage and they would consciously lie to everyone.

UPC boat sinks

EPO Corruption Has Killed in Germany and the Netherlands Far More Than Coronavirus (Covid-19) Did

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CIPA: Prepare for exam... Gotta go, bye!

Summary: Europe has an epidemic of corruption, but there’s only panic in the media when it’s of a medical nature (direct deaths)

THE European Patent Office (EPO), just like most institutions, is impacted by the virus everyone talks about. And sure, Team Campinos/Battistelli is like a parasite inside the EPO.

“At the time of writing, Campinos continues lying to the media and to his staff about patent policy.”It’s probably fair to say, based on the latest figures (0 as in no deaths in Germany and the Netherlands), that coronavirus killed fewer in Europe’s ‘patent capitals’ than the EPO’s cabal had killed. Not to mention how many companies in Europe were killed by illegal software patents granted by the EPO.

At the time of writing, Campinos continues lying to the media and to his staff about patent policy. They make it more expensive to challenge the process, hence discouraging full exposure of patent quality’s decline. Meanwhile, the crooked ResearchAndMarkets again advertises a so-called ‘Workshop’ on “EPO Oppositions and Appeals”. To quote:

Drawing on case law and the experience of the expert speakers, this seminar considers the present complex workings of the opposition and appeal procedures at the European Patent Office (EPO).

It provides an in-depth summary of both background and recent developments at the EPO, including the new Rules of Procedure that entered into force on 1 January 2020, and explains how these will impact on your day-to-day practice. It will give you the knowledge and skills to navigate this highly technical area and adapt to the recent changes.

Notice how they changed the rules this year, making it more expensive. Nobody in the media bothered analysing or mentioning what that means to patent quality. There’s another new press release celebrating another monopoly on cancer — a controversial subject [1, 2]. To quote the press release: “Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SLRX), a clinical-stage oncology company targeting cancers caused by dysregulated gene expression, today announced the continued enhancement of the U.S. and global intellectual property (IP) portfolio governing its lead investigational drug candidate, Seclidemstat. Seclidemstat is now in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer, and a Phase 1/2 trial in advanced solid tumors (AST). The European Patent Office (EPO) has recently issued a notice of allowance for Patent EP274430 exclusively licensed to Salarius from the University of Utah Research Foundation indicating that the agency is satisfied that the patent application meets all EPO requirements.”

The EPO requirements aren’t steep anymore; just ask the examiners (discreetly) or take a look at leaks from the inside.

The EPO of the recent years (5+ years) bets on granting loads of low-quality patents. It’s akin to what the US had done before some overdue reforms and what China nowadays (still) does.

Should we be surprised that the EPO is, in an official tweet, openly propping up patent extremists who attack judges (for being strict)?

The EPO wrote: “Giving visibility to a company & its technology in the early stages is not an easy task; however, there are many ways to draw attention to successful transactions. Gene Quinn at @IPwatchdog talks about this in this video…”

This sort of connection says all you need to know about radicalisation of the EPO. It wasn’t long ago that the EPO invited the most notorious patent trolls to its panel.

Of course much of the population ignores all that stuff because the media isn’t mentioning it (not anymore).

Last night Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) wrote some “news from and about Eponia,” starting with the UPC by stating that “no one following our blogs regularly (see e.g. 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019) should be greatly surprised about the UK’s decision to back out of the Unitary Patent System…”

We’ll cover the UPC separately in our next post.

Bausch continues:

….the EPO continues to be a source of funny, sad, sometimes outrageous and sometimes boringly dull news of all sorts. Today is yet another example of such days.

Let’s begin with some sad news for which the EPO is not to be made the main culprit though, at least in my view. The EQE 2020 has been cancelled in view of Covid-19 concerns. My deepest sympathy is with the thousands of trainees most of whom have worked so hard over the past weeks and months to pass this difficult hurdle. It must be frustrating when you are being told so shortly before the exam (less than two weeks) that it will not happen this March and may (but without any guarantees) be postponed to later this year. I guess that the majority of them will still sort of understand the EPO’s decision, but perhaps I should take this opportunity to remind the EPO (and our EPI representatives) that it would be so much better and easier for trainees and their employers if this exam were to regularly take place at least two times a year. Perhaps the sad events of this year offer a good opportunity to generally reconsider the set up of the EQE. In the end no one is helped by holding back capable and well-educated scientists and engineers from practicing in their desired profession.

Sadly, this (and the UPC) is all the media seems to be covering, and poorly…

Bausch then mentions the many EPC violations and adds:


A lot of very good questions, I would think. I guess, the Federal Constitutional Court might also want to know the answer to some of them. Whether the representatives will get good (i.e. meaningful) answers back by the German Ministry of Justice, though, will remain to be seen. I would not hold my breath. But stay tuned, I will try to follow up on this. Transparency is important.

Transparency is a big problem at the EPO; hence the many EPO leaks. There have been a lot of openwashing tweets composed by the EPO this past week (centered around Open Data), but no transparency at all.

In terms of news, all we’ve seen is this “Update on Coronavirus” (warning: epo.org link; updated again the following day, so a slightly different URL). To quote: “We are cancelling all duty travel scheduled for March and April as of 5 March 2020. [...] We understand this may cause some business disruption and apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are continuously monitoring the situation and will provide updates as necessary.”

Still no official word regarding the UPC. Nothing. Campinos with Team UPC in London said something about it and the EPO’s Twitter account then retweeted the lie. And that’s about it.

The EPO did find plenty of time to pretend that it values the health of staff, writing a couple of tweets [1, 2] about coronavirus with funny emojis in them: “⚠️Update on Coronavirus: The EPO is cancelling duty travel for EPO staff & postponing its events in March & April. Participants will be contacted by organisers on an individual basis. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Details: https://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2020/20200304.html [...] All EQE candidates have been or will be contacted and informed individually about the decision of the EQE Supervisory Board. Thank you for your understanding.”

Yes, EQE is affected and IP Kat not only mentioned “Cancellation of MARQUES Spring Meeting 2020″ but also “EQE and pre-EQE postponed until further notice”. There are loads of comments in there, some expressing great frustration, e.g.:

Its a pretty rubbish statement from CIPA. Why cast doubt in already stressed minds by saying:

“At this stage, CIPA has not received official confirmation of the cancellation and our plans to host the EQE in Walsall remain in place.”

Sort it out behind closed doors, then issue a statement.

“If I were to guess,” another person wrote, “I’d say the chances of postponement are small. Missing a year would be terrible for all concerned…”

Here’s what CIPA said:

Erp, hold on, seems CIPA (and the other organisers?) weren’t informed and want the decision reversed:

“Statement on EQE cancellation
The news of the cancellation of this year’s European Qualifying Exams by the Supervisory Board of the EQE has come as a tremendous shock to candidates, their employers and to CIPA. Our student members invest a large part of their professional and personal lives in preparing to qualify as European Patent Attorneys and we share the sense of uncertainty, frustration and disappointment that they must be feeling this morning.

At this stage, CIPA has not received official confirmation of the cancellation and our plans to host the EQE in Walsall remain in place. We will be communicating our concerns about the impact this decision will have on the UK profession to the Supervisory Board of the EQE. We will be asking that this decision be reversed and that all other options are considered. We will update members as soon as we know more.”

So, on behalf of the hundreds of UK candidates wondering if they should cancel their hotel and travel books right now or now, let me ask: What on earth is going on?

Another person wrote: “Let’s hope the EPO decide whether to reschedule (and if so, when) or cancel sooner rather than later. Are we all meant to remain in a revision limbo whilst we await a new date for the exams?”

One more: “It is regrettable and certainly preparing for the pre-exam and EQEs is not a trivial matter. However, in the interest of minimising the risks of contracting the disease and/or someone unknowingly spreading the virus, postponement should always be considered. And implemented. Better to get qualified slightly later than to end up with pneumonia or worse.”

“This is big news,” said another person. “I suspect this is in large part the result of the situation in Italy though the rest of Europe may soon be as bad. An exam that has to be sat simultaneously across the continent is surprisingly vulnerable to this kind of thing.”

We’ve reviewed all these comments (up to this morning). Here’s one from a directly-impacted person.

“I’m doing all 4 papers this year and I’m absolutely gutted. all that preparations and time sacrificed,” said this comment.

“More evidence as to why having an approach of coursework/exam mixture is good,” said this comment. “Relying entirely on exams as we see in this situation has too much of a large impact on everyone.”

Maybe it’s time to call off the PEB ‘scam’ of CIPA. It’s another (albeit related) matter.

All in all, everyone is talking about the virus right now instead of the EPO’s abuses. This very much suits the EPO’s management, which wishes to paint itself as caring and responsible. The rest of the news concerns UPC and we’ll cover it separately later today.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 05, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:04 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 6/3/2020: Istio 1.5, Zorin OS 15.2 and Collabora Online 4.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Dell’s XPS 13 For Penguin Lovers

        Dell’s 2019 XPS 13 DE ships with Ubuntu 18.04 installed and ready to go, no tweaking required but certainly not forbidden if you so desire. Ars Technica is looking at the pros and cons of picking up a developer laptop right now, or waiting for the newest model to arrive. The 2019 model they have investigated is powered by a Comet Lake i7-10710U, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB solid state drive and a 13″ InfinityEdge, 4K IPS touchscreen and was a decent improvement over the previous model.

        The 2020 edition will sport a 10th generation Core processor and similar memory and storage but the screen will be changed to a 16:10 aspect ratio as opposed to the 16:9 of the current. This might not sound like much but for a 13″ laptop it does add screen real estate, not to mention allowing for a larger keyboard. Drop by for a look at their thought process as they ponder Dell’s new workstation.

      • New Color Options Means More Character for Thelio

        System76 began with the mission to inspire users to create, make, and build their imaginations into existence. And in 2018, we built an inspiring computer of our own. As an open hardware computer, Thelio was the culmination of our vision of an open source future. We infused Thelio with design elements that best represented our journey and began manufacturing these computers in our founding city of Denver, Colorado.

        Hundreds of iterations and over a year later, we’re expanding our color options for Thelio to include Neptune Blue, Martian Red, and Dark Matter wood stains. These colors give Thelio a modernized aesthetic that’s fitting for creators, makers, and builders on the cusp of new discoveries.

    • Server

      • Istio 1.5 introduces simpler architecture, improving operational experience

        One thing we’ve heard from the mesh administrators and operators who use Istio is that its complexity makes it hard to adopt and integrate with their current stack. I’ve been involved with the development of Istio since Istio 0.6, and I’ve seen it become increasingly complex over time.

        Enter Istio 1.5. This release has many new features, but those features are dwarfed by a major improvement. The improvement I’m most excited about is an architectural simplification of Istio that consolidates the control panel into a single binary called istiod. Essentially, istiod dramatically simplifies Istio’s architecture, which we think will improve the feasibility of making improvements to the project.

      • De-construct the Monolith: How Serverless Modernizes Infrastructure & Refactors Apps

        With serverless, there are no long running servers, virtual machines or containers that need to be managed by engineers. Functions execute when needed as a service and the backend infrastructure is all managed in the cloud by a service provider. Serverless basically allows you to just focus on the business and application logic, so you can gracefully refactor an application and not worry about reconstituting the underlying plumbing to run a new set of services. This is a hard detour from the cloud-native path of moving to Kubernetes clusters and orchestration management, which is more complex and just as costly than anything we’ve done in the past.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-03-05 | Linux Headlines

        Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman has announced he won’t be running again, Let’s Encrypt scrambles to deal with millions of improperly issued certificates, and openSUSE is again looking to fill a board seat after recent resignations.

      • Project Catch Up | Choose Linux 30

        We revisit some of the projects we have covered in previous episodes to see what we’ve stuck with and what we haven’t.

        Qubes OS and Tails, a handy Android app, building websites, easy Arch, the cloud, hardware hacking, and more.

      • Check My Sums | BSD Now 340

        Why ZFS is doing filesystem checksumming right, better TMPFS throughput performance on DragonFlyBSD, reshaping pools with ZFS, PKGSRC on Manjaro aarch64 Pinebook-pro, central log host with syslog-ng on FreeBSD, and more.

      • Python Bytes: #171 Chilled out Python decorators with PEP 614
    • Applications

      • 5 productivity apps for Linux

        I’ve had a soft spot for Elementary OS since I first encountered it in 2013. A lot of that has to do with the distribution being very clean and simple.

        Since 2013, I’ve recommended Elementary to people who I’ve helped transition to Linux from other operating systems. Some have stuck with it. Some who moved on to other Linux distributions told me that Elementary helped smooth the transition and gave them more confidence using Linux.

        Like the distribution itself, many of the applications created specifically for Elementary OS are simple, clean, and useful. They can help boost your day-to-day productivity, too.

      • Get Google Drive Integration on Ubuntu (Linux) with Insync

        Insync is a great app for Ubuntu that lets you integrate your Google Drive to Ubuntu. Not just that, you can also sync multiple Google Drive accounts.

        Some years ago Gmail wasn’t as popular as it is today, neither was Google Drive and many other Google services. Thanks to the massive success of Android though, these services had a great ride to success themselves. Most of us have an Android device and most of them do come pre-installed with Google Drive already. Anyone who’s not already using another cloud service will find it easier to just use Google Drive. It also provides PC clients for Mac and Windows so your files are available across all your devices. On Linux (and thus, Ubuntu) though, using Google Drive is not a great experience. But it can be if you are ready to shell out a few bucks for Insync.

      • Gala Sky 2.25 Released Today! Comes with Major Bug Fixes!!

        Gala Sky 2.25 Released Today: Gala Sky is a 3D virtualization software developed by Gaia group of the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ZAH, University Heidelberg). This application is an open-source and cross platform application and it runs on Windows, Linux and MAC operating systems.

      • Manage tasks and projects on Fedora with Taskwarrior

        There are a multitude of applications to manage your todo list. One of these apps is Taskwarrior, it allows you to manage your task in the terminal without a GUI. This article will show you how to get started using it.

      • PipeWire, the media service transforming the Linux multimedia landscape

        PipeWire 0.3 was released a few days ago, marking a big step forward in the effort of making this emerging media service the core layer of all multimedia on Linux.

        A huge effort is currently underway to bring the Linux desktop into the future with the help of containerization technologies such as Flatpak. One of the goals of this exercise is to create a clear security barrier separating the applications from each other and from the system. The media stack is one area where the applications normally fail to co-operate with this model, requiring direct access to the hardware because large amounts of data need to be exchanged and a low latency is often critical. PipeWire is the missing piece to this puzzle, allowing applications to access hardware devices in an efficient, yet secure manner.

      • Bouzas: PipeWire, the media service transforming the Linux multimedia landscape

        Over on the Collabora blog, Julian Bouzas writes about PipeWire, which is a relatively new multimedia server for the Linux desktop and beyond.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine’s Vulkan Code Seeing Performance Improvements, Further Enhancing DXVK

        D9VK (now part of DXVK) developer Joshua Ashton has proposed a set of patches to Wine’s Vulkan library (Winevulkan) that should help with performance.

        Ashton’s patch-set works to reduce heap allocations in many of the Vulkan commands and instead is using alloca to place the small items on the stack. These excessive heap allocations in Winevulkan were happening “thousands of times per second” and “these structures and arrays of structures are small, and this is all super duper hot path code.”

    • Games

      • Build your own Paradox Interactive bundle over on Humble and save monies – plus more sales

        Humble Bundle and Paradox Interactive have teamed up for something a little more unusual, instead of a standard Humble Bundle they’re letting you build it yourself with the games you want.

        A nice idea and a good way to build up your collection of fine strategy games, especially since so many support Linux thanks to Paradox.

      • Terminal Phase v1.1 and Spritely Goblins v0.6 releases!

        Aside from time travel, there aren’t many new features, though I plan on adding some in the next week (probably powerups or a boss fight), so another release should be not far away.

      • Fallen London the browser-based adventure from Failbetter now has a sweet looking city

        Admittedly, Fallen London is not a game I played until this week when learning of the 10 year anniversary and this browser-based narrative adventure certainly does capture your attention.

        In Fallen London, you start off with nothing and click your way through different stories to attempt to make a name for yourself. Through your actions, you gain experience towards various skills that will affect how you progress through what becomes your own unique story. It’s stylish, it has great writing and it will suck away your time.

        While the majority of the game is text based, as it’s “a literary RPG of sorts” they did just give it a nice fresh upgrade. Originally, the city map was just a flat image with a few locations marked on it but now they’ve given it quite the overhaul and it does look quite fantastic. You can zoom in and out, hover over locations to get a description and scroll around. All very modern looking.

      • The Longing is out today so you can begin your own 400 day adventure

        The Longing is highly unusual, a game that takes 400 real-time days to come to a conclusion. As soon as you load it up, a timer will start counting down even when you’re not in the game. Note: Copy provided for GOL from the publisher before the release.

        A game about loneliness and solitude based on the Kyffhäuser legend, created as a passion project by German indie developer Anselm Pyta of Studio Seufz and publishing by the wonderful Linux-friendly team at Application Systems Heidelberg.

        Presented in the classic point and click style, you explore a vast underground network of caves that over time change and allow you to access new areas. You can see something of a preview I did recently here, and today I decided to come back to it for the release to explore some more. Part of what’s great about The Longing, is being able to come back to it days and weeks later to do more. We’re talking about a game where opening a door can take a few hours, however I have managed to explore even more of the cave system as I continued travelling around.

      • Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – A World Betrayed announced, coming to Linux ‘shortly’ after Windows

        Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – A World Betrayed was announced today as the latest expansion, it looks and sounds good and a release isn’t far away. Arriving for Windows on March 17, the porting studio Feral Interactive announced the Linux version will see support for it “shortly after Windows”.

        A World Betrayed portrays a seminal moment in the history of the Three Kingdoms. Taking place following the Three Kingdoms conflict from 194 CE, many of the iconic warlords of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS have now passed on, a catalyst that has spurred a new generation of warlords into making a play for their own dynasties.

      • SuperStarfighter, a free and open source multiplayer game has a big new release out

        The key thing about SuperStarfighter is the accessibility, the controls are super simple and it’s easy for anyone to get into for some family-friendly fun. It uses a single button plus movement, so there’s really no fussing around.

        With this big update you can now actually customize the experience more to your liking. Choose with game modes to play, how many stars are needed to win and more. However, if you do have people to play with the 3/4 player arenas have been redesigned to give more room and be more fun to play. There’s even a brand new game mode “slam-a-gon”, along with a new playable character.

      • Free and open source event-driven game engine ‘GDevelop’ has a new release up

        Creating awesome 2D games can be made quite easy, thanks to tools like GDevelop, the free and open source game engine that has an events-driven system so even beginners can use it.

        Instead of writing out tons of lines of code (well, you can still do that), you drag and drop events around and add actions to things. It’s clever and it does work quite well. They’re quickly improving the game engine and editor for GDevelop too with a new release up.

      • Co-op submarine sim Barotrauma has a massive ‘Quality of Life Update’ out now

        Barotrauma from FakeFish, Undertow Games and Daedalic Entertainment is a 2D co-op submarine sim with survival and horror elements that showed a lot of promise and they’re now trying to make it a smoother experience.

        Just recently they put up the “Quality of Life Update”, which as the name suggests focuses on easing as many pain-points in it as possible. From bugs to performance, there’s a massive amount that’s changed with it. The entire user interface had a graphical and functional overhaul, the cursor now changes based on what you’re hovering over to give more context, plus a ton more visual adjustments to make the game clearer.

        Performance was a major focus they said too, with a big physics optimization and they’ve now made it multi-threaded. Optimizations were done all across the game too from items not updating when not active (which for a big submarine can make a huge difference), characters aren’t rendered when off-screen which for a big game can again be a welcome improvement and AI bots got improved performance too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Releases March 2020 Apps Update, Here’s What’s New

          The KDE Applications 19.12.3 update is now available as the last in the series. It comes with the Choqok 1.7 microblogging app, which now supports Twitter’s 280 character limit, the ability to disable accounts, and support for extended tweets.

          Also included in the March 2020 apps update is the KDE Partition Manager 4.1.0 disk formatting program with support for MINIX filesystems, and KPhotoAlbum 5.6 image viewer and organizer, which better handles tagging of a large number of images, improved thumbnail view, and support for KDE’s purpose plugin framework.

          This release also improved support for Samba (SMB) shares in the Dolphin file manager by adding the ability to create and paste files on Samba shares, support for file attributes, the ability to view available amount of free space, correctly hide files, the ability to specify the domain, and support for cifs:// URLs as valid paths.

        • GCompris is back on Patreon

          In case you missed the news: last month I decided to make the full version of GCompris gratis for all platforms! I hope that this move will make it easier for all the children in the world to get access to the best educational software.

          Now in order to support my work on GCompris development, I will rely only on Patreon.

          Each month I will publish a News post there to keep patrons informed of the work done. All the patrons will have their name on the donation page of GCompris website, except those who select the “Hidden Cats” tier.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • What’s new in Files (and GVfs) for GNOME 3.36?

          After Carlos Soriano and Ernestas Kulik left Files (Nautilus) development, António Fernandes and I are now officially new maintainers. Given the limited manpower, the focus is more on fixing bugs, but some neat new features have been added to Files and GVfs as well. I just explain shortly that GVfs provides access to various protocols and remote shares for Files among others. I hope I will find some time soon to write a new post about GVfs in general. But let’s move back to the news in this release.

        • The Ultimate Free and Open Source conference explanation video

          Have you ever wondered what the best community-oriented open source conference events look like? Ever wanted to attend one, but never dared to? Or need something to convince your boss to support you in attending as part of your work?

          For many veteran FLOSS contributors who are part of big established projects, it is easy to take things for granted and just go to those events without hesitation; we forget how mysterious and intimidating this can be for casual or new contributors. We don’t typically spend the time to articulate what makes these events great, and why we spend so much effort organizing and attending them.

          It also seems quite mysterious to our non-technical friends and family members. They sometimes know that we’re travelling to some mythical “computer conference” event in some faraway land, suspiciously held in a different city every year (as is the case with GNOME’s GUADEC), but it’s hard to explain why we’re mostly going there for a few days to spend time “indoors in some auditorium” instead of sipping margaritas on the beach.

          Well, I have the solution for this longstanding communication problem.

        • Introducing Shotwell profiles

          I just uploaded a new unstable release version of Shotwell, 0.31.1. Why that took roughly a year and why that still doesn’t contain everything I wanted it to contain will be the content for some following posts.

          Previously, there was already a way to have separate databases, but you would share the settings and thus the import folder between the two databases. Even more so, developing on the machine where you have your own photo collection caused me to import test data into my collection more than once.

        • GNOME’s Genius Math Tool Finally Ported To GTK3

          GNOME Genius, one of the oldest GNOME programs and what served as the desktop’s original calculator, has finally been ported to GTK3 and seen a new release in 2020.

          GNOME Genius has been around since 1997 as one of the longest standing GNOME programs. While it was born as a calculator, with time it has tacked on 2D/3D plotting, an extensive numerical language, and a wide range of extra math features beyond what normally finds in a conventional desktop calculator.

        • ANNOUNCE: GENIUS 1.0.25 the “Is GTK3 considered stable?” release

          The new thing here is port to this newfangled GTK3 by Yavor Doganov. A
          couple of new functions and bugfixes, but mostly it is just the new port.

          In any case, Genius is one of the oldest GNOME projects going back to late
          1997. It was the original GNOME calculator before I got wild ideas about it
          doing absolutely everything. It is programmable, has a powerful language and
          handles many fun features including support for matrices, rational numbers,
          and nice 2D and 3D plotting. The GUI version requires GNOME2 (at least glib2
          if you don’t want a GUI) a recent enough GMP library and the MPFR library.
          You can still use the command line version if you prefer non-gui interface.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 15.2 is Released: Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.

          With over 900,000 downloads since its release nine months ago, Zorin OS 15 has been our biggest and most advanced release ever. 2 in every 3 of these downloads were coming from Windows and macOS, reflecting our mission to bring the power of Linux to people who’ve never had access to it before. None of this could be possible without the help of you – the community – who have spread the word and helped the project to grow. We would like to thank all of you for making this release as enormous as it has been!

        • Zorin OS 15.2 Released, Based on Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

          Based on the Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (Bionic Beaver) release, Zorin OS 15.2 is here to update the installation medias of all supported Zorin OS editions with the latest software versions and security patches to provide the community with better hardware compatibility and stronger security.

          Just like Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, this new Zorin OS 15 update uses the Linux 5.3 HWE (Hardware Enablement) kernel the Canonical backported from the Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) operating system release. This adds support for AMD Navi GPUs like the Radeon RX 5700, 10th Gen Intel CPUs, and newer MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards and touchpads.

          With that in mind, Zorin OS continues its mission on delivering a free and powerful computer operating system to the masses, as a replacement for Windows or macOS. It also looks like the Zorin OS 15 release it’s close to one million downloads since its release in June 2019.

        • Zorin OS 15.2 Released, Now Available to Download

          Zorin OS 15.2 is now available to download. The update serves as the latest point release in the Zorin OS 15.x series which debuted last year.

          A raft of software updates, bug fixes and security patches are included, as is a new Linux kernel (Linux 5.3) courtesy of Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS and its Hardware Enablement (HWE) stack.

          Updated versions of core apps like Firefox, LibreOffice and GIMP also feature.

          Zorin OS 15 has been a huge hit since its release last summer, clocking up an impressive 900,000 downloads since then.

          The success is testament to the design and development choices taken by the Zorin OS team, who tailor the distro towards Windows switchers and Linux newbies who just want a system that ‘just works’ out of the box.

          It’s for this reason Zorin OS 15 snared a spot on our list of the best Linux distros in 2019.

        • Zorin OS 15.2 Linux distribution is here, and you should switch from Windows immediately

          Microsoft’s Windows 10 is hardly a new operating system anymore. In fact, it has been available to the public for damn near five years now. And yet, despite existing half a decade, it still feels very incomplete. The Control Panel still hasn’t been merged with Settings, for instance, and the user interface still feels like a work in progress. Hey, at least those terrible Live Tiles are seemingly on their way out. Ultimately, using Windows 10 feels like you are in a constant state of beta. It shouldn’t be this way — Microsoft’s operating system should be much better than it is. After all, the company essentially has unlimited resources.

          Thankfully, Linux is here to save the day. Yes, thanks to Linux distributions, computer users can experience a sane operating system — one that actually makes sense. There are countless great Linux-based operating systems, such as MX Linux 19.1, Netrunner 20.01, elementary OS 5.1.2, and Manjaro 19.0. One of my favorite Linux distros — particularly for those switching from Windows — is the excellent Zorin OS. Why? Well, it is very secure, looks great, offers a familiar user experience, and comes with some great free software. Today, a new version of that operating system — Zorin OS 15.2 — becomes available for download, and it looks awesome.

      • Arch Family

        • Here’s Manjaro Linux Running on the PinePhone and PineTab

          The Manjaro Linux ARM team recently announced a new development build of their Arch Linux-based distro for the PinePhone and PineTab devices, and it looks like they are making great progress so far.

          According to the developers, the latest alpha build introduces the brand-new Plasma Mobile interface, a couple of new apps, a Manjaro ARM wallpaper, as well as a new partition layout using extlinux.conf as configuration file.

          Moreover, the new build adds support for saving contacts in the Phonebook app, fixes brightness control, enables screen lock via the power button, improves the Favorites bar be correctly displayed, and changes the default user password to 1234.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What my day looks like as a sysadmin

          Before you join the sysadmin corps, let me show you what a typical day in the life of a sysadmin looks like. In fact, I would like to share a whole week. So, read on and enjoy.

          First, I would like to talk about what I actually do. I work in the central IT department of Bielefeld University. In my job, I take care of our virtualization platform, data center firewalls, and load balancer. I’m also one of several Linux admins running services on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


          As you could read from my week’s diary above, the sysadmin’s job is not only about hacking and configuring cool hardware, software, etc., it’s also a lot of email, meetings, and contract checking.

        • Fedora Council and the future of Modularity

          Since the “should we switch to systemd” discussion has finally settled down, few things have inspired passionate conversations on the devel mailing list like Fedora Modularity. Developing Modularity has been a long process and we finally shipped “Modularity for Everyone” in Fedora 29. But we know there are a lot of rough edges, and it’s not surprising that the response hasn’t been completely enthusiastic. Let’s be honest: we’ve ended up in a situation where a lot of Fedora developers hate Modularity.

          The Council agrees that Modularity serves a purpose that we really want to see Fedora, but we also understand the community frustrations. The packager experience is difficult, and handling upgrades needs additional work. We don’t want to throw away the work that’s been done, we want to take what’s there and make it work better.

        • Red Hat Summit 2020 moved to free virtual event

          Red Hat is canceling the physical Red Hat Summit presence in San Francisco and rebuilding it as a free, multi-day, virtual event from April 28-29, 2020.

        • What does UX content look like at Red Hat?

          User experience, or UX, is a lot more than prototypes and wireframes. To take a product and transform it into a human experience, you need multiple tools in your tool kit: insight, empathy, understanding, creativity, technical aptitude, and…content? Yes!

          Written content plays a huge role in UX, but not many people know that. It’s not the focal point of good UX design—and it shouldn’t be. Similar to many other design aspects like button placement and menu items, the best written content does its job so well that people don’t even notice it. What people typically notice, however, is how they feel when interacting with products, teams, and companies. And content can be a big factor in that.

          On Red Hat’s User Experience Design (UXD) team, we treat content the same way we treat products: the open source way. Everyone contributes ideas and feedback as we create content for all different channels, with one shared vision: to create the best user experiences possible. Here’s how we work together to write and distribute a variety of content for the user experience.

        • Self-hosted Load Balancer for OpenShift: an Operator Based Approach

          Some time ago, I published an article about the idea of self-hosting a load balancer within OpenShift to meet the various requirements for ingress traffic (master, routers, load balancer services). Since then, not much has changed with regards to the load balancing requirements for OpenShift. However, in the meantime, the concept of operators, as an approach to capture automated behavior within a cluster, has emerged. The release of OpenShift 4 fully embraces this new operator-first mentality.

          Prompted by the needs of a customer, additional research on this topic was performed on the viability of deploying a self-hosted load balancer via an operator.

          The requirement is relatively simple: an operator watches for the creation of services of type LoadBalancer and provides load balancing capabilities by allocating a load balancer in the same cluster for which the service is defined.

        • March 17 webinar: Introducing Red Hat OpenShift on LinuxONE

          Organizations aim to innovate faster and more efficiently through cloud-native applications — and they expect these applications to protect their data, scale smoothly, and be always available. Now you can meet both expectations by combining the leading container application platform with the leading enterprise computing platform: Red Hat OpenShift on LinuxONE.

      • Debian Family

        • 10 Reasons to Choose Debian Linux

          Debian is a free and open-source community-developed Linux operating system based on the Linux kernel and the basic system tools of the GNU project. It belongs to the operating system family of Unixoid systems (i.e. it implements the behavior of Unix) and is mainly supported and sponsored by the Debian project.

          Debian is one of the most reliable operating systems you can run on a computer whether for personal computing or server purposes. And did you know that it is the distro upon which the popular Ubuntu operating system is based on?

          Well, if you’re thinking about installing Linux on your workstation I’ve got a list of more relevant facts that go into my bag of the top reasons why you should not only try Debian out but make it the go-to distro for your day-to-day tasks.

        • I restored a Crostini backup of Debian Stretch to Buster and it worked (Update: no it didn’t)

          Frankly, I think nearly everyone should wait for that solution to arrive in the Stable Channel. You could manually upgrade but you never know what that might break in the hooks of Project Crostini.
          I had a thought though, because I use several Chromebooks, all with different versions or channels of Chrome OS. Some still have the older Debian Stretch containers while one has a new Buster container. I decided to try a container backup and restore from Stretch to Buster.

        • Debian leader Hartman says one year at the helm will do for now

          Debian project leader Sam Hartman has decided not to run for the post again this year, putting his decision down to the fact that the mix of problems facing the community GNU/L:Linux project for the next year don’t play to his strengths as much as those of the current year did. However, he did not rule out putting his hand up for the post again sometime in the future.

          When Hartman was elected leader in April last year, he told iTWire in an interview that one of his priorities was to improve the process of decision-making.

          And he says that during his tenure as leader, that problem has been tackled, at least to some extent. “I think we’ve made good progress figuring out how to make decisions,” he told iTWire.

          “Unfortunately, some of the decisions have had no easy answers. Feelings build up, and just because we’ve decided doesn’t magically make that go away. We need to remind ourselves that we are still a community and find a way to process these feelings. That’s something I am very interested in working on, but it’s not something I can work on alone.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Putting-On a New Hat

          Before I began leading Ubuntu Studio, I was using a “spin” of Fedora called Fedora Jam. It was a musician/audio “lab” for Fedora which seemed to work well for me. Think of it as Ubuntu Studio minus the non-audio/music stuff, and with KDE Plasma instead of Xfce.

          However, I knew of Ubuntu Studio’s importance in Linux-based production and creativity, and, as the story goes, I answered a call to help keep it alive.

          Fast-forward two years. Ubuntu Studio is doing very well. I have a team that I rely on to keep things running. I decided to look at Fedora to see how they were doing, only to find out Fedora Jam had not been released for Fedora 31, and there was an un-responded-to keepalive request for Jam.

          This got me thinking: what if something happens to Ubuntu Studio and Ubuntu/Debian became no-longer viable options for audio production? With that in mind, I decided to do something about it and stepped-in to become Fedora Jam’s new maintainer.

          As it stands now, Fedora Jam 32 looks like it will be a thing, although not quite what I have envisioned. Hence, even now, I’m working on items for inclusion in Fedora 33 that should make it an excellent choice for audio production on Linux.

          All this said, I want to make it clear: I am not leaving Ubuntu Studio. I am in a situation where I can adequately lead both Ubuntu Studio and Fedora Jam. Besides, this gives me a great deal of experience with packaging for Debian-based and .rpm-based Linux distributions.

        • Canonical’s Multipass 1.1 Brings Proxy Support, Fixes

          Multipass is the software developed by Ubuntu-maker Canonical that is advertised as “a mini-cloud on your workstation” that provides an Ubuntu command-line in “just a click” with native hypervisor support.

          Multipass is basically an easy means of spinning up Ubuntu VMs on Linux / Windows / macOS and similar in nature to Vagrant, but just focused on Ubuntu VMs. Multipass reached version 1.0 at the end of last year and doing the heavy lifting is KVM on Linux, Microsoft Hyper-V on Windows, and KyperKit on macOS. VirtualBox support also remains available.

        • Design and Web team summary – 5 March 2020

          This is the final week before the team is all off the Frankfurt for co-located sprinting on some features and products. So, watch this space. This was a fairly busy two weeks for the Web & Design team at Canonical. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Get started with an open source Windows package manager: Chocolatey

        Back in the 1990s, when Linux was a young operating system, Ian Murdock invented the concept of an app store in the form of what is now the apt command. This introduced the idea that a computer’s capacity was boundless, and literally any command should be available to you; all you had to do was copy it from a network repository to your local system. It seemed impossible at the time, and yet it’s commonplace now, whether you’re on a Linux machine with DNF or Apt, Mac OS with Homebrew, or Windows with Chocolatey.

        Chocolatey is software management automation for Windows that wraps installers, executables, ZIP files, and scripts into compiled packages. It’s modeled after Apt and yum and unlocks a new world of automatable and predictable package management to Microsoft’s operating system. Chocolatey is open source and encourages participation from the community. The more people who learn and use Chocolatey, the more its offerings of packages can grow.

      • 3 Reasons Why Integrators Should Embrace Open Source Systems

        The security industry has come a long way in the past decade. As companies strive to make their products more accessible to cater to end-user demands, system designs are changing. One of the most significant advancements we’ve seen is a migration from proprietary systems to systems that have the flexibility to work seamlessly with other equipment, regardless of the manufacturer.

        Open source systems are impacting all aspects of physical security, from development to installation. Thanks to the flexibility these systems provide, integrators can create individualized solutions tailored to their client’s unique needs. While the benefits are many, there are three key reasons to embrace open source systems to ensure you are providing your clients with the tools they need, now and in the future.

      • Events

        • FOSDEM 2020, pt. 1: Play by play

          This is my third time attending FOSDEM. I attended on behalf of RIT LibreCorps to represent our engagement with the UNICEF Office of Innovation and the Innovation Fund. For FOSDEM 2020, I arrived ready to give my talk (coming in pt. 2) and honestly to see where the weekend took me.

          Planning out FOSDEM is hard. So, my strategy is to figure it out as I go, since most of what I get out of FOSDEM comes from casual conversations and “hallway track.”

        • Canonical Cancels Physical Windows Subsystem for Linux Event, Now Online-Only [Ed: WSL is dead. Only Microsoft employees and their propaganda agents, like Bogdan Popa in this case, promote this Trojan horse that’s an attack on GNU/Linux. Microsoft is the virus, coronavirus blamed for lack of interest and participation (they desperately tried to invite us too).]

          The venue, which was originally projected to take place on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA, gives will now be live-streamed entirely as a safety measure against virus infections.

        • Canonical, Microsoft cancels onsite WSLConf, will now be online

          FOSS Linux shared news of the first-ever Windows Subsystem for Linux Conference, or WSLConf, with our readers September last year. However, concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have compelled the event’s sponsor, Canonical, and host, Microsoft, to cancel the onsite event and instead hold the event as a virtual event.

        • Red Hat Summit Switches to Online-Only Over Coronavirus Concerns

          Red Hat is the latest organization that decides to cancel one of its physical events, with the upcoming Red Hat Summit 2020 now moving to online-only due to coronavirus concerns.

          The event was projected to take place April 28-29, and Red Hat says the same content would be provided to those who connect to the live streaming, including keynotes, breakout sessions, and access to Red Hat experts.

        • KubeCon EU postponed; KubeCon China canceled

          It seems likely that these are not the last conferences that will be affected in our communities.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Four tips to refresh your relationship status with social media

            Can you even remember a world before selfies or memes? Things have escalated quickly. Social media has taken over our lives and, for better or worse, become an extension of who we are online. Our vacations, friends, major life milestones and really anything personal you can think of is put on display for all to see in our social profiles. We’re innocently connecting with friends or catching up on the latest social trends while snoopers (hello Joe from Netflix’s You) and advertisers are using it to learn all they can about us.

          • Mozilla VR Blog: Jumpy Balls, a little demo Showcasing ecsy-three

            Developing a 3D application is a complex task. While 3D engines like three.js provide a solid foundation, there are still many different systems that must work together (eg: app states, flow, logic, collisions, physics, UI, IA, sound…), and you probably do not want to rebuild all this from scratch on each project.

            Also, when creating a small experiment or simple technical demo (like those at https://threejs.org/examples), disparate parts of an application can be managed in an ad-hoc manner. But as the software grows with more interactions, a richer UI, and more user feedback, the increased complexity demands a better strategy to coordinate modules and state.

            We created ECSY to help organize all of this architecture of more complex applications and ECSY-Three to ease the process when working with the three.js engine.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Extensions in Firefox 74

            Welcome to another round of updates from Firefox Add-ons in Firefox 74.

          • Standing up the Cross-Compilation of Firefox for Windows on Linux

            I’ve spent the past few weeks, and will spend the next few weeks, setting up cross-compiled builds of Firefox for Windows on Linux workers on Mozilla’s CI.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Collabora Online 4.2.0

          This major update of Collabora Online comes with a fresh new user interface and is built on top of the stability and performance of our LTS version of LibreOffice: Collabora Office 6.2. This new Collabora Online includes many improvements in functionality and user-friendliness as well as a raft of bug fixes and polish. The most obvious new feature is the powerful sidebar, which allows users to easily change settings for text, tables, colours, charts and other objects in the documents. It gives Collabora Online almost the same feature- richness available in Collabora Office on the desktop. Furthermore there is a redesigned status bar, much-improved toolbars and a powerful function wizard now available in Calc online. Copy and paste of rich text and content is added for online functions, and our responsive user interface adapts attractively to smaller and mobile screen sizes.

        • Collabora Online 4.2 Arrives with a Fresh Look and New Features

          Collabora Productivity, the force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, announced today the availability of Collabora Online 4.2, a new major release of their LibreOffice Online office suite.

          Built on top of the long-term supported Collabora Office 6.2 office suite, Collabora Online 4.2 is here to introduce a fresh new look, giving users easy access to the most powerful features and tools. A new them and redesigned icons provides existing users with a fresher LibreOffice Online experience.

          On top of the new user interface improvements, Collabora Online 4.2 brings new functionality to the cloud-based office suite, including a powerful new sidebar that makes it easier for users to change text, chart, table, color, and several other settings in their documents. The new sidebar also allow users to quickly access rich chart functions.

      • FSF

        • Update on COVID-19 and LibrePlanet 2020

          LibrePlanet has an important role in building ties and collaboration in the free software movement, and we know how much many people look forward to it each year. The onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a stressful and devastating development. We are considering all possible measures that might need to be taken as we carefully track the latest news updates. We are committed to the safety of our attendees, staff, and their wider communities, so we are approaching these decisions carefully.

          At this time, the risk for Massachusetts residents remains low, and there are no travel notifications for the United States or Boston, MA. The latest update from the World Health Organization (WHO) from February 29 continues to advise against the application of any international travel restrictions, based on current information available. For the time being, we are remaining optimistic that LibrePlanet 2020 can continue as planned.

        • GNU Projects

          • coreutils-8.32 released [stable]
            This is to announce coreutils-8.32, a stable release.
            See the NEWS below for more details.
            Thanks to everyone who has contributed!
            There have been 100 commits by 18 people in the 51 weeks since 8.31
              Akim Demaille (1)       Jeff Layton (3)
              Andreas Dilger (1)      Jim Meyering (1)
              Assaf Gordon (6)        Kamil Dudka (4)
              Bernhard Voelker (6)    Kevin Locke (1)
              Bruno Haible (3)        Martin Castillo (2)
              Chris Meyering (1)      Mike Swanson (1)
              Colin Watson (1)        Paul Eggert (31)
              Emil Engler (1)         Pádraig Brady (38)
              Jan Nieuwenhuizen (1)   Shugo Maeda (1)
            Pádraig [on behalf of the coreutils maintainers]
            Here is the GNU coreutils home page:
            For a summary of changes and contributors, see:
            or run this command from a git-cloned coreutils directory:
              git shortlog v8.31..v8.32
            To summarize the 867 gnulib-related changes, run these commands
            from a git-cloned coreutils directory:
              git checkout v8.32
              git submodule summary v8.31
            Here are the compressed sources:
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/coreutils-8.32.tar.gz   (13MB)
              https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/coreutils/coreutils-8.32.tar.xz   (5.3MB)
            Here are the GPG detached signatures[*]:
            Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
            [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
            .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
            and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:
              gpg --verify coreutils-8.32.tar.xz.sig
            If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
            then run this command to import it:
              gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys DF6FD971306037D9
            and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
            This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
              Autoconf 2.69
              Automake 1.16.1
              Gnulib v0.1-3322-gd279bc6d9
              Bison 3.4.1
            * Noteworthy changes in release 8.32 (2020-03-05) [stable]
            ** Bug fixes
              cp now copies /dev/fd/N correctly on platforms like Solaris where
              it is a character-special file whose minor device number is N.
              [bug introduced in fileutils-4.1.6]
              dd conv=fdatasync no longer reports a "Bad file descriptor" error
              when fdatasync is interrupted, and dd now retries interrupted calls
              to close, fdatasync, fstat and fsync instead of incorrectly
              reporting an "Interrupted system call" error.
              [bugs introduced in coreutils-6.0]
              df now correctly parses the /proc/self/mountinfo file for unusual entries
              like ones with '\r' in a field value ("mount -t tmpfs tmpfs /foo$'\r'bar"),
              when the source field is empty ('mount -t tmpfs "" /mnt'), and when the
              filesystem type contains characters like a blank which need escaping.
              [bugs introduced in coreutils-8.24 with the introduction of reading
               the /proc/self/mountinfo file]
              factor again outputs immediately when stdout is a tty but stdin is not.
              [bug introduced in coreutils-8.24]
              ln works again on old systems without O_DIRECTORY support (like Solaris 10),
              and on systems where symlink ("x", ".") fails with errno == EINVAL
              (like Solaris 10 and Solaris 11).
              [bug introduced in coreutils-8.31]
              rmdir --ignore-fail-on-non-empty now works correctly for directories
              that fail to be removed due to permission issues.  Previously the exit status
              was reversed, failing for non empty and succeeding for empty directories.
              [bug introduced in coreutils-6.11]
              'shuf -r -n 0 file' no longer mistakenly reads from standard input.
              [bug introduced with the --repeat feature in coreutils-8.22]
              split no longer reports a "output file suffixes exhausted" error
              when the specified number of files is evenly divisible by 10, 16, 26,
              for --numeric, --hex, or default alphabetic suffixes respectively.
              [bug introduced in coreutils-8.24]
              seq no longer prints an extra line under certain circumstances (such as
              'seq -f "%g " 1000000 1000000').
              [bug introduced in coreutils-6.10]
            ** Changes in behavior
              Several programs now check that numbers end properly.  For example,
              'du -d 1x' now reports an error instead of silently ignoring the 'x'.
              Affected programs and options include du -d, expr's numeric operands
              on non-GMP builds, install -g and -o, ls's TABSIZE environment
              variable, mknod b and c, ptx -g and -w, shuf -n, and sort --batch-size
              and --parallel.
              date now parses military time zones in accordance with common usage:
                "A" to "M"  are equivalent to UTC+1 to UTC+12
                "N" to "Y"  are equivalent to UTC-1 to UTC-12
                "Z" is "zulu" time (UTC).
              For example, 'date -d "09:00B" is now equivalent to 9am in UTC+2 time zone.
              Previously, military time zones were parsed according to the obsolete
              rfc822, with their value negated (e.g., "B" was equivalent to UTC-2).
              [The old behavior was introduced in sh-utils 2.0.15 ca. 1999, predating
              coreutils package.]
              ls issues an error message on a removed directory, on GNU/Linux systems.
              Previously no error and no entries were output, and so indistinguishable
              from an empty directory, with default ls options.
              uniq no longer uses strcoll() to determine string equivalence,
              and so will operate more efficiently and consistently.
            ** New Features
              ls now supports the --time=birth option to display and sort by
              file creation time, where available.
              od --skip-bytes now can use lseek even if the input is not a regular
              file, greatly improving performance in some cases.
              stat(1) supports a new --cached= option, used on systems with statx(2)
              to control cache coherency of file system attributes,
              useful on network file systems.
            ** Improvements
              stat and ls now use the statx() system call where available, which can
              operate more efficiently by only retrieving requested attributes.
              stat and tail now know about the "binderfs", "dma-buf-fs", "erofs",
              "ppc-cmm-fs", and "z3fold" file systems.
              stat -f -c%T now reports the file system type, and tail -f uses inotify.
            ** Build-related
              gzip-compressed tarballs are distributed once again
          • GSoC 2020 and Outreachy May 2020 to August 2020 Status Report II

            We are happy to announce that GNU Guix participates in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC), under the aegis of the GNU project. We have collected project ideas related to GNU Guix. The list is far from exhaustive, so feel free to bring your own!

            The GNU Project participation was announced on Feb. 20. Thanks for the GNU org admins for organizing this.

            The application period is from March 16. to March 31. The final proposal submission deadline is March 31., 2020 at 20:00 CEST.

            The student projects are announced on April 27., 2020. We will have to provide the number of slots requested to the GNU project, so that they can accumulate the numbers to pass on to Google. This takes some time, so please prepare the decision early, so we don’t have to hurry when this information is requested. We kindly remind everyone involved not to communicate an intern selection decision before the official announcement.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Useful data sets for Call for Code

            More data is becoming freely available through initiatives such as institutions and research publications requiring that data sets be freely available along with the publications that refer to them. For example, Nature magazine instituted a policy for authors to declare how the data behind their published research can be accessed by interested readers.

            To make it easier for tools to find out what’s in a data set, authors, researchers, and suppliers of data sets are being encouraged to add metadata to their data sets. There are various forms for metadata that data sets use. For example, the US Government data.gov site uses the standard DCAT-US Schema v1.1 whereas the Google Dataset Search tool relies mostly on schema.org tagging. However, many data sets have no metadata at all. That’s why you won’t find all open data sets through search, and you need to go to known portals and explore if portals exist in the region, city, or topic of your interest. If you are deeply curious about metadata, you can see the alignment between DCAT and schema.org in the DCAT specification dated February 2020. The data sets themselves come in various forms for download, such as CSV, JSON, GeoJSON, and .zip. Sometimes data sets can be accessed through APIs.

            Another way that data sets are becoming available is through government initiatives to make data available. In the US, data.gov has more than 250,000 data sets available for developers to use. A similar initiative in India, data.gov.in, has more than 350,000 resources available.

      • Programming/Development

        • QML Type Registration in Qt 5.15

          Qt 5.15 provides a much improved way of exposing C++ types to QML. You can now specify your module name and version in a central place and there is no need to specify minor versions or revisions anymore. Furthermore, the specifics of the QML type registration can now be declared in the C++ class declaration.

          The common way to make C++ types available in QML so far was using the registration functions provided in the qqml.h header: qmlRegisterType(), qmlRegisterSingletonType(), qmlRegisterUncreatableType() etc. There are downsides to this approach:

          You always need to keep your type registrations in sync with the actual types. This is especially bothersome if you use revisions to make properties available in different versions of an import. Even if not, the fact that you need to specify the registration separately from the type is a burden as you can easily lose track of how you registered which types into which modules.

          Furthermore, as you register your types procedurally, any QML tooling cannot automatically tell which types are available in which import. Qt Creator indeed has some heuristics that try to detect common registration patterns in C++ code, but this is necessarily incomplete. Figuring out whether a specific registration will be executed by the program is equivalent to solving the halting problem. Simpler tools like qmllint or qmlformat have no information about the C++ code and need to analyze your QML code in isolation. Therefore, they won’t have any information about types registered from C++. In order to (partially) solve this problem the “qmltypes” files were introduced. When developing a QML plugin, you are encouraged to put a file called “plugins.qmltypes” next to the plugin binary. The qmltypes file contains meta-information about the types registered by the plugin. Qt Creator and other tools can then refer to this information in order to provide you
          with better analysis of your code. This works, but only for plugins. If you register your types directly from the main program, you’re still facing the same problem. Also, you end up specifying your types twice, once in C++ and once in qmltypes format. In order to (partially) solve the problem of redundant type specification, a tool called “qmlplugindump” is available. This tool will load your plugin in the same way the QML engine would load it. It will then extract information about all the types contained in it in order to produce a plugins.qmltypes file. This, however, will also execute unrelated code in your plugin, and it will only work if you are compiling your plugin for the same platform as qmlplugindump runs on. In practice, it does not work for cross-compiled builds.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Julia

          Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing by Alan Edelman, Stefan Karpinski, Jeff Bezanson, and Viral Shah. Julia aims to create an unprecedented combination of ease-of-use, power, and efficiency in a single language.

          It’s a homoiconic functional language focused on technical computing. While having the full power of homoiconic macros, first-class functions, and low-level control, Julia is as easy to learn and use as Python.

          Although Julia is a new language, first appearing in 2012, its roots are in Lisp, so it comes with mature features like macros and support for other metaprogramming techniques like code generation. Julia’s expressive grammar lets you write easy-to-read and easier-to-debug code, and its speed gets you through more work in less time. It’s a great choice whether you’re designing a machine learning system, crunching statistical data, or writing system utilities.

          Distinctive aspects of Julia’s design include a type system with parametric polymorphism and types in a fully dynamic programming language and multiple dispatch as its core programming paradigm. It allows concurrent, parallel and distributed computing, and direct calling of C and Fortran libraries without glue code.

        • Perl / Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 050: Merge Intervals and Noble Integer
          • k-Means k-Means-er

            As we take another lap around the k-Means race trace, the Porsche 914-2 and Volvo 142E are still neck and neck. This time we’ll try a straight-forward normalisation that linearly scales all values to the range [0,1] and see if they still end up in the same cluster.

            Curiosity finally got the better of me, so I looked up both of those models and they are actually quite similar cars from the early 1970s. Would I have dug so deep if I hadn’t has that misconception about what I thought the clustering should have produced? Probably not.

        • Python

          • Removing Stop Words from Strings in Python

            In this article, you are going to see different techniques for removing stop words from strings in Python. Stop words are those words in natural language that have a very little meaning, such as “is”, “an”, “the”, etc. Search engines and other enterprise indexing platforms often filter the stop words while fetching results from the database against the user queries.

            Stop words are often removed from the text before training deep learning and machine learning models since stop words occur in abundance, hence providing little to no unique information that can be used for classification or clustering.

          • How To Style Sign Up – Building SaaS #47

            In this episode, I added styling to the Sign Up page of the site. We chatted about CSS tools and frameworks, the benefit of feature flags to control what UI is displayed to users, and how to use Tailwind CSS to modify a design quickly.

            In the first portion of the stream, we focused on CSS frameworks. We compared Bootstrap, Semantic UI, and Tailwind CSS.

            After that discussion, I talked about feature flags. The project uses a feature flag to protect the sign up page and only displays the page when I turn on a flag. This control will be useful for me to gate which new users I would like to allow into my project as I open it up to others.

            Once the feature flag was on locally, we worked to style the signup form that was provided by django-allauth. I kept the form very basic with a plan to expand it in the future. We also talked about JS frameworks and my plans for which framework to use.

            We finished the development for the stream by fixing the notification messages. While testing the sign up flow, I noticed that multiple notifications appeared from django-allauth and my UI stacked them in a way that looked off. We used flexbox to fix the issues so that multiple notifications could display well together.

          • Python Anywhere: System updates on 3 and 5 March

            On 3 March we upgraded our EU-based system at eu.pythonanywhere.com to the latest version of our code, and this morning (5 March) we upgraded our US-based system at www.pythonanywhere.com to the same version.

          • Learn Python Set/Frozenset Data Structure – Part 4

            In this Part 4 of Python Data Structure series, we will be discussing what is a set, how it differs from other data structure in python, how to create set objects, delete set objects and methods of set objects.

          • Rotterdam python meetup

            In radiology, people take a long time to become experienced. Medical school, MD, certified radiologist… And when they’re 68 they’re off to a pension. What they did at Quantib was to try and “scale radiology experience with AI”.

            Detection and classification of prostate lesions. Same with breast MRIs. Brain shrinkage. They hope it increases the amount of MRI scans that can be processed. And also the quality of the analysis.

            He demoed the application. There’s detection of brain regions in the software, for instance. When you compare two MRI scans at different points in time, you can see the difference and compare that difference with what you would see in a healthy person.

            Hospital practice often means downloading radiology RMI images from a central hospital image storage server (“PACS”), taking them to a separate workstation for analysis and then going back with reports. This takes time, so it is sometimes omitted due to time pressure…

            What they’re working on now is to run their AI software on a server and connect it to the image storage service. They designed their software as a bunch of microservices. Storage service, import, dispatch, workflow service, processing.

          • Using __getattr__ for nicer configuration API

            __getattr__ is a hook method that’s called by Python when regular attribute lookup fails (not to be confused with the lower level __getattribute__, which is much harder to work with). You can use it to wrap the configuration dictionary. Here’s a small example.

        • Rust

          • This Week in Rust 328 [Ed: No, it cannot be openly developed on proprietary software platform of Microsoft]

            This Week in Rust is openly developed on GitHub.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Networking Foundation Launches Open Source Edge Cloud Platform

                The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has come up with its first open source platform called Aether for delivering Enterprise 5G/LTE-Edge-Cloud-as-a-Service.

                Built on the CORD and ONOS platforms, Aether runs in a Kubernetes orchestrated environment. It provides mobile connectivity and edge cloud services for distributed enterprise networks, all provisioned and managed from a centralized cloud.

                Based on open source components and optimized for cloud deployments, Aether simultaneously supports deployment on licensed (4G/5G) and unlicensed (CBRS) spectrum. It is easy to deploy, highly scalable and designed for rapid edge service onboarding in a multi-cloud environment.

              • 2019 CNCF Survey results are here: Deployments are growing in size and speed as cloud native adoption becomes mainstream

                Today we are excited to announce the results of our annual CNCF Survey for 2019!
                The survey of the community provides a better understanding of how and where cloud native technologies are being adopted. This is the seventh time we have conducted an assessment of the cloud native marketplace.
                As CNCF grows, we’re in an excellent position to measure the trends among users of open source technologies. We love learning about what our community is doing as members continue to push the envelope of innovation and open source.

              • CNCF Survey Reveals Massive Increase In Container Usage

                According to the recently published results of the CNCF Survey for 2019, the use of cloud native projects in production continues to grow with many projects reaching more than 50% use in production.

                This includes more than half of CNCF’s graduated projects: Kubernetes (78%), Prometheus (72%), CoreDNS (69%), Fluentd (64%), and contianerd (53%). Additionally, all graduated projects saw an increase in use in production.

                Overall, the results of the survey show that the use of many cloud native technologies has become ubiquitous. Cloud native software is simplifying the building of complex applications, while at the same time enabling organizations to build and deploy these applications faster.

              • Linux Foundation to Open More Open Source Doors with the Zephyr Project

                With so much emphasis on open source software and platforms, at times we lose sight of how hardware is continuing to advance, with its own community development and standardization efforts. The Linux Foundation recently announced their Zephyr Project, which is building a secure and flexible real-time operating system (RTOS) for the Internet of Things (IoT) in space-constrained devices, welcomes Adafruit, an interesting company that enables makers to build DIY electronic products.

        • Security

          • Let’s Encrypt Vulnerability

            I am seeing nothing on the Let’s Encrypt website. And no other details anywhere. I’ll post more when I know more.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (http-parser and xerces-c), Debian (tomcat7), Fedora (opensmtpd), openSUSE (openfortivpn and permissions), Red Hat (http-parser, openstack-octavia, python-waitress, and sudo), Slackware (ppp), and SUSE (kernel).

          • Ethical hackers swarm Pentagon websites

            Hackers are crawling all over the US Department of Defense’s websites. Don’t worry, though: they’re white hats, and DoD officials are quite happy about the whole thing.

            Four years after it first invited white hat hackers to start hacking its systems, the Pentagon continues asking them to do their worst – and a report released this week says that they’re submitting more vulnerability reports than ever.

            The DoD’s Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) handles cybersecurity for the DoD, and is responsible for tasks including cyber technical training and vulnerability sharing. It also runs the DoD’s Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP).

          • Node v10.19.0 LTS Version Released with Many Major Security Fixes!

            Node v10.19.0 LTS Released: Node.js is an open-source application, cross-platform application which is mainly used to interpret JavaScript. Ryan Dahl is the software engineer of the Node.js application. The team announced that the latest version of Node v10.19.0 LTS version has been released.

          • 10 Linux/Open Source Vulnerabilities of All Time

            New vulnerabilities are reported all the time in open source code and applications and that’s all good – it’s a healthy part of the ecosystem. By finding vulnerabilities, they can be fixed, rather than just staying dormant in the shadows for attackers to exploit. Over the past decade, there have been a few high profile open source vulnerabilities, that made some substantial impact. All of the issues were patched in short order by the upstream projects, but not every user patched quickly, leaving some exposed to risk.

          • New Microsoft Security ‘Nightmare’: Users Warned Your Passwords Are Now At Risk

            Microsoft security is under fire after new research, published here for the first time, exposes the serious risk of account hijack from compromised subdomains. Put simply, users visiting a genuine Microsoft web domain might actually be on a subdomain controlled by an attacker. Any information those users then share will be at risk—including usernames and passwords. Users are advised to take care the links they click, but if subdomains appear genuine, they will likely be tricked.

            “We are aware of such reports,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me, “and are taking appropriate action as needed to help protect services and customers.” While the lack of controls on Microsoft subdomains has been exposed before, this new report from Numan Ozdemir and Ozan Agdepe of Vullnerability.com includes a proof of concept video (see below) that shows how simple this is in practice.

            There are no claims that these exploits have been exploited in the wild yet. But the vulnerability is now in the public domain. It is only a matter of time before bad actors seek to exploit the issue and put users at risk. “Enterprise sprawl and a lack of internal domain controls has created a nightmare,” cyber expert Ian Thornton-Trump tells me. “I suspect in the wake of this, Microsoft will need to implement significant changes in how domains are managed.”

          • Cumulative Update 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 breaks SQL Server Agent

            Microsoft has admitted that Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server 2019 has a problem, and those using SQL Server Agent should either skip it or roll it back.

            Cumulative Update 2 appeared on 13 February and contains all manner of important fixes for database botherers aimed at boosting performance and improving stability.

            Alas, things seemed to go wrong pretty quickly for some database admins as users took to the DBA forums in StackExchange to complain that the SQL Server Agent seemed a bit poorly after applying the update.

            Seemingly random failures, problems with schedules and freezes were mentioned as users struggled to get to grips with what was going wrong. Microsoft’s own forums were similarly blighted, with one user making the important point: “In addition to not showing jobs they are also not being run so important jobs such as backups aren’t being done.”

            SQL Server Agent is responsible for running jobs such as backups and other maintenance tasks. It can also be found running T-SQL for all manner of purposes, so for it to be broken is not ideal.

          • Rootkit in the Cloud: Hacker Group Breaches AWS Servers

            A sophisticated hacker group pwned Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers, set up a rootkit that let them remotely control servers, then merrily funnelled sensitive corporate data home to its command and control (C2) servers from a range of compromised Windows and Linux machines inside an AWS data centre.

            That’s according to a report from the UK’s Sophos published late last week, which has raised eyebrows and questions in the security industry. The attackers neatly sidestepped AWS security groups (SGs); which, when correctly configured, act as a security perimeter for associated Amazon EC2 instances.

            The unnamed target of this attack had correctly tuned their SGs. But with a rootkit installed on their AWS servers that gave attackers remote access, the compromised Linux system was still listening for inbound connections on ports 2080/TCP and 2053/TCP: something that eventually triggered Sophos’ intervention.

          • Intel x86 Root of Trust: loss of trust

            The scenario that Intel system architects, engineers, and security specialists perhaps feared most is now a reality. A vulnerability has been found in the ROM of the Intel Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME). This vulnerability jeopardizes everything Intel has done to build the root of trust and lay a solid security foundation on the company’s platforms. The problem is not only that it is impossible to fix firmware errors that are hard-coded in the Mask ROM of microprocessors and chipsets. The larger worry is that, because this vulnerability allows a compromise at the hardware level, it destroys the chain of trust for the platform as a whole.

            Positive Technologies specialists have discovered an error in Intel hardware, as well as an error in Intel CSME firmware at the very early stages of the subsystem’s operation, in its boot ROM. Intel CSME is responsible for initial authentication of Intel-based systems by loading and verifying all other firmware for modern platforms. For instance, Intel CSME interacts with CPU microcode to authenticate UEFI BIOS firmware using BootGuard. Intel CSME also loads and verifies the firmware of the Power Management Controller responsible for supplying power to Intel chipset components.

          • Intel x86 Root of Trust: loss of trust

            The Positive Technologies blog is reporting on an unfixable flaw the company has found in Intel x86 hardware that has the potential to subvert the hardware root of trust for a variety of processors.

          • Critical PPP Daemon Flaw Opens Most Linux Systems to Remote Hackers

            The US-CERT today issued advisory warning users of a new dangerous 17-year-old remote code execution vulnerability affecting the PPP daemon (pppd) software that comes installed on almost all Linux based operating systems, as well as powers the firmware of many other networking devices.
            The affected pppd software is an implementation of Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) that enables communication and data transfer between nodes, primarily used to establish internet links such as those over dial-up modems, DSL broadband connections, and Virtual Private Networks.
            Discovered by IOActive security researcher Ilja Van Sprundel, the critical issue is a stack buffer overflow vulnerability that exists due to a logical error in the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) packet parser of the pppd software.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Graham-Blumenthal Bill: A New Path for DOJ to Finally Break Encryption

              Members of Congress are about to introduce a bill that will undermine the law that undergirds free speech on the Internet. If passed, the bill known as the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act, will fulfill a long-standing dream of U.S. law enforcement. If passed, it could largely mark the end of private, encrypted messaging on the Internet.

              The Department of Justice and the FBI have long seen encryption as a threat. In 1993, the Clinton administration promoted the installation of a “Clipper Chip” in consumer devices that would allow for easy government eavesdropping using key escrow. When researchers repeatedly demonstrated that this flawed idea would compromise privacy and security for everyone, not just criminals, the idea was scrapped. But U.S. law enforcement agencies spent the next 25 years villainizing the widespread adoption of encryption and highlighting a series of awful criminal acts in their efforts to scare elected officials into requiring backdoors.

            • T-Mobile Cares So Much About Consumer Privacy, It’s Fighting The FCC’s Flimsy Fine For Location Data Sharing

              T-Mobile, like many mobile carriers, insists in highly values consumer privacy. But that hasn’t really been reflected in the company’s response to ongoing SIM hijacking scandals. Nor was that dedication particularly apparent when T-Mobile (along with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) were all caught selling access to user location and 911 data to pretty much any nitwith with a nickel.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A World No Longer Shaped by Atlantic Powers

        The annual Munich Security Conference that took place February 14-16 this year turned out to be an iconic event, drawing comparison with the one held in the same Bavarian city on February 10, 2007, where in a prophetic speech Russian President Vladimir Putin had criticized the world order characterized by the United States’ global hegemony and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force—military force—in international relations.”

      • Yet Another Mass Shooter Was a Military Veteran

        Thursday yet another mass shooting was committed by a military veteran, this one in Milwaukee. Virtually all military veterans are not mass shooters. Many peace activists are veterans. Many everything under the sun are veterans. But mass shooters are very disproportionately military veterans.

      • The Pentagon Loves Wasting Our Tax Money

        Hold on to your helmets! It’s true the White House is reporting that its proposed new Pentagon budget is only $740.5 billion, a relatively small increase from the previous year’s staggering number. In reality, however, when you also include war and security costs buried in the budgets of other agencies, the actual national security figure comes in at more than $1.2 trillion, as the Trump administration continues to give the Pentagon free reign over taxpayer dollars.

      • They Have the Watches, We Have the Time; US and Iran Hardliners Still Want War

        When I was in Afghanistan, I often heard a Pashtun saying attributed to the Afghan Taliban strategy for war with the United States: “They have the watches, but we have the time”. I do not know the provenance of this saying and I do not know if the saying exists in other Muslim or Asian societies, but it certainly has held true in warfare over the centuries whether you understand it in terms of the United States Revolution, the Vietnamese war for liberation against the French, Japanese and the US, or the decades long struggle against apartheid in South Africa. It is a saying that, if translated from Afghanistan’s Pashto to Iran’s Farsi, could be very applicable to Iran right now.

      • Trump’s Afghanistan Deal Prioritizes Bragging Rights Over Lasting Peace

        It’s true that the Trump administration signed a “peace deal” with the Taliban — something that eluded both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — but a closer look at the agreement reveals it to be riddled with conditions that are fraught with obstacles.

      • Ending the Myth That Trump Is Ending the Wars

        Trump has sent more new troops to the Middle East than he’s bringing home from Afghanistan.

      • International court backs Afghan war crimes probe

        The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday authorized an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan. The probe targets US, Afghan and Taliban forces as well as intelligence personnel.
        The ruling came only days after the US and the Taliban signed an ambitious peace deal to end conflict in Afghanistan.

        The Hague-based international court upheld an appeal by prosecutors against an earlier deision to block an investigation.

        Pretrial judges last year acknowledged that widespread crimes had been committed in the war-torn Asian country and that there was sufficient basis for the investigations. However, they rejected a probe on the basis that too much time had passed and that the anticipated lack of international cooperation would also result in a likely unsuccessful inquiry.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Mixed Returns for the Huawei Bashing Tour

        The US imperium is rattled, so much so it’s letting everyone else know about it. Move over the trade war with its bitchy insistence on redressing imbalances, surpluses and deficits; the next phase of conflict with China is being waged in matters of technology, with Huawei’s 5G prowess featuring prominently. As the veteran Australian journalist Tony Walker soberly notes, “The ultimate destination of this conflict is unclear, but its ramifications will scar international relationships for decades to come.”

      • Right On Cue, Post-Merger T-Mobile Layoffs Begin

        US courts and regulators recently rubber stamped the T-Mobile Sprint merger, ignoring forty years of history showing how US telecom megamergers almost always result in less competition, higher prices, and fewer jobs. Eliminating one of just four US wireless carriers is likely to result in higher prices (see: Canada or Ireland). Wall Street analysts and unions alike predict the deal could eliminate anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 jobs, and data suggests the consolidation could result in employees across the sector making less money even if they work at other companies.

      • Why Do Cars Kill More People in Unequal Nations?
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Librarians Could Be Jailed or Fined Under Proposed Censorship Law

        A bill pending in Missouri’s legislature takes aim at libraries and librarians who are making “age-inappropriate sexual material” available to children.

      • Ninth Circuit: Private Social Media Platforms Are Not Bound by the First Amendment

        The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held in Prager University v. Google that YouTube is not a government actor bound by First Amendment limits simply because it hosts a forum for public speech. Rather, as EFF argued in an amicus brief, YouTube is a private entity whose editorial decisions cannot be challenged under the First Amendment, because YouTube itself has First Amendment rights to manage its platform as it sees fit.

        Prager University (“PragerU”) is not an actual university, but rather is an educational and media nonprofit with a conservative and Judeo-Christian perspective. It operates a YouTube channel where it posts videos about various social and political issues. It objected to YouTube tagging some if its videos as “mature content” appropriate for Restricted Mode, meaning that users who had enabled Restricted Mode could not see the videos.

      • Yahoo!, AOL, OneSearch results biased in favor of parent company Verizon Media’s websites

        Verizon Media, formerly Oath, owns the two search engines Yahoo! and AOL. Three months ago, it also launched another search engine called OneSearch. OneSearch promises to provide “unfiltered” and “unbiased” search results on its front page.

        Verizon Media’s search engines are powered by Microsoft Bing. Bing does the crawling, indexing, and ranking of the web and resells its search results to meta-search-engines like the three owned by Verizon Media. Other meta-search-engines like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia also operate this way.

        There’s a huge conflict of interest in a media company that owns several high-profile websites — including Engadget, HuffPost, and TechCrunch — owning several search engines.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Internet Loses One of its Biggest, Best Advocates: EFF Special Counsel Jim Tyre

        EFF has just learned that our dear friend Special Counsel Jim Tyre—one of the biggest and best Internet advocates you may never have heard of—has passed away. We don’t have a lot of information yet, except that there will be a funeral in Los Angeles on Friday. We will update this post when we have more we can share.

        We are mourning Jim today for countless reasons. He was a larger-than-life personality, and was well loved for his kindness, generosity, and sense of humor. But Jim was also one of the original Internet lawyers, and his knowledge and thoughtfulness on digital civil liberties issues was intimidatingly broad. His wisdom and judgement on complex litigation was foundational for EFF, and he set the bar high for our legal work. In fact, I used to call Jim EFF’s “adult supervision.” Later he was also named our own staff “pirate” since he had to wear a very stylish eye patch after his first detached retina. Anyone who has worked at EFF since about 2000 knows that Jim always participated actively in our internal conversations, despite never leaving his beloved Los Angeles.

      • .ORG Isn’t Broken, and We Don’t Need Private Equity to ‘Fix’ It

        Ethos Capital—the private equity firm poised to purchase the .ORG domain registry for $1.1 billion—and Public Interest Registry (PIR, the entity Ethos wants to buy) have been attempting to respond to the concerns raised by the .ORG community. These after-the-fact changes just make clear that while there is nothing currently wrong with .ORG, there is a lot that could go wrong if this deal moves forward. 

        Last week, we wrote about a proposal by Ethos Capital to add certain “Public Interest Commitments” to the contract governing the operation of the .ORG domain registry. Our post explained why that proposal doesn’t solve the problems with the planned sale. Since then, Ethos and PIR have hosted two webinars to discuss how their plan supposedly addresses the concerns that EFF and over 800 other organizations—along with Members of Congress, UN Special Rapporteurs, and state charity regulators [pdf]—have raised. Nothing said on those webinars changed our analysis. Instead, they only further reinforced that Ethos’s plan for a for-profit PIR is one that’s unsound at its very foundation.

    • Monopolies

      • Relationships are Not the Monopoly of the State and Its Appendages

        Human for those who labor under the delusion that the curtailment of civil liberties in Kashmir and persecution of minorities in Delhi are “internal” matters: India chose democracy, secularism, and socialism as its goals in 1947.

      • Turns Out Most People Still Don’t Hate ‘Big Internet’ As Much As Politicians And The Media Want Them To

        “The narrative” over the past few years concerning internet companies has clearly shifted. It went from one that generally praised the wonders and power of the internet to one that now blames the internet for everything. The hagiographc coverage of the past clearly went too far, but the current “techlash” seems to have gone way too far in the other direction as well — much of it from people grasping at straws over why things they don’t like have happened in the world. The good folks over at The Verge have done a big consumer survey of people’s general opinions of various big internet companies and it shows that most people still like these internet services, and believe, on the whole, that they make their lives better, not worse. Even the services that get the “worst” grades, still get over a 60% “favorable” rating, while Amazon, Google, YouTube, Netflix, Microsoft, and Apple all come in over 80% positive (with Amazon, Google, and YouTube breaking 90%).

      • Patents

        • Talking IP and Patent Policy with Patent Attorney Russ Krajec

          This is my discussion about patent and IP policy with a fellow patent attorney, Russ Krajec, who produces the “Patent Myth Podcast“. I tried to persuade him patents are evil, or at least, understand why he doesn’t agree.

        • Inherency as an Element of Obviousness

          Hospira lost at the district court on obviousness — with the court finding its asserted Claim 6 of US8648106 invalid as obvious.


          Hospira’s basic arguments here are (1) that inherency for obviousness must be proven with clear and convincing evidence and (2) that inherency for obviousness only ‘counts’ if necessarily present in the proposed combination, not merely likely or possibly present.

          In their 2005 paper on Inherency, Professors Dan Burk and Mark Lemely took the position that inherency should have almost no role in the obviousness analysis because of its hindsight approach.

        • CyWee, ZTE, and the PTAB v. the Public Interest

          In an order issued this week in IPR2019-00143, a panel of PTAB judges decided that the public has no interest in ensuring that only valid patent claims issue from the Patent Office.

          That’s not an exaggeration—if anything, it understates the case. In fact, the PTAB order states that “the public is generally likely to benefit from claim amendments during an inter partes review.” (emphasis added). In other words, this PTAB panel thinks that members of the public should be happy that the PTAB is amending a claim—even if no one is challenging its validity.


          Before Aqua Products, the patent owner bore the burden of showing patentability for claims they wanted to add during an IPR. But in Aqua Products, the Federal Circuit determined that the USPTO’s current rules were not permissibly enacted and that, by default, petitioners bear the burden of proving an amended claim is invalid in IPR. The various opinions also set out a way in which the USPTO could issue rules that place the burden back on the patent owner.

          The USPTO did no such thing. Instead, it issued rules to place the burden on the petitioner. The problem with that—as I identified in CCIA’s comments on the proposed rule—is that sometimes, as with ZTE, petitioners don’t have an incentive to prove the claims invalid. In that situation, the party that bears the burden of proof just gives up—and the amended claims are granted without any form of substantive opposition or examination.

          That’s not ideal in any circumstance—and it’s part of why the USPTO should have placed the burden on the patent owner. But the ZTE case goes one step further, because there’s a party who’s actively willing to provide that substantive opposition—and the PTAB won’t let them.


          In a complete abdication of its statutory role, as described by the Supreme Court, the PTAB panel in this case decided that ZTE—in the face of all logic—remained an “active participant” and that LG would not be permitted to argue against the proposed amendment. And to add insult to injury, the PTAB did so while claiming that the public would benefit from the issuance of this unexamined amended claim.

          The PTAB is intended to protect the public from patent monopolies that go beyond their legitimate scope. That’s not the result this PTAB panel has ordered. Director Iancu should step in, trigger a Precedential Opinion Panel, and hold that if a party to an IPR is actively willing to oppose an amendment otherwise unopposed, it is permitted to do so even if the primary petitioner remains in the case.

          Or better yet, when the USPTO issues its final rulemaking on amendment burden, Director Iancu should throw out the idea that petitioners should bear the burden and place the burden of proving patentability where policy and common sense says it should lie—on the party asking for a new patent claim, the patent owner.

        • Patent Docs: Life Sciences Court Report [Ed: "Life science" is mostly a propaganda term lawyers use to justify patents on life itself]

          Synopsis: Allergan asserts infringement of the ’202 and ’896 patents. Allergen develops, manufacturers, and distributes dermal filler products including JUVEDÉRM® Ultra XC, JUVEDÉRM® Ultra Plus XC, and JUVEDÉRM® VOLUMA® XC. Prollenium makes, uses, sells, offers to sell, and/or imports into the United States Revanesse® Versa+TM, a dermal filler. Allergen asserts that Revanesse® Versa+TM infringes one of more claims of the ’202 and ’896 patents.

        • Proving Unintentional Delay

          The UPSTO has published a new Federal Register notice titled “Clarification of practice for revival, reinstatement, and delayed priority petitions.”

          Here, the PTO is explaining that it is going to require patent applicants to submit “additional information” to explain its claim of “unintentional” delay in meeting a particular deadline.

        • Software Patents

          • Universal Cipher (formerly Cumberland Systems) settles with Unified Patents

            On March 5, 2020, a joint motion to terminate pursuant to settlement was filed in IPR2019-00498 by Unified Patents and Universal Cipher, LLC (f/k/a Cumberland Systems), an NPE. The ’647 patent, directed to encrypting of a password or other secret information, has been asserted in twenty-four district court cases, all of which have been terminated.

      • Copyrights

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