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03.08.20

Links 8/3/2020: GNOME Shell and Mutter 3.36, NomadBSD 1.3.1, APT 2.0 and GNU Guile Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • WireGuard’s Linux Kernel Support Likely To Change VPNs Forever

        It’s a fact: virtually all VPN servers run Linux. But coming as soon as the Linux kernel 5.6.x, Linux users should see full support for WireGuard. It’s code, which is released under GPL 2.0, is a mere 4,000 lines … versus the more than 100,000 lines of code that make up OpenVPN. From a security standpoint, one person can look over and comprehend its use and security, while a whole team of security experts would be hard pressed to make sense of the OpenVPN code base.

        One of WireGuard’s biggest fans happens to be Linus Torvalds. Via the Linux kernel maintainers mailing list, Linus said, “Can I just once again state my love for it and hope it gets merged soon? Maybe the code isn’t perfect, but I’ve skimmed it, and compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

        WireGuard’s code is already available on Android, Windows, macOS, BSD Unix, and iOS. While being even simpler and more svelte, WireGuard still incorporates state-of-the-art cryptography technologies, such as such as the Noise protocol framework, Curve25519, ChaCha20, Poly1305, BLAKE2, SipHash24, and HKD. An academic study has already shown WireGuard to be secure.

        Created in 2015, its creator, Jason Donenfeld, is still working out a few rough edges with the code. According to the WireGuard site, “some parts of WireGuard are working toward a stable 1.0 release, while others are already there.”

      • Thermal Pressure On Tap For Linux 5.7 So The Scheduler Can Be Aware Of Overheating CPUs

        Going back about two years has been work by Linaro on “thermal pressure” support for the scheduler so that it can make better task placement decisions among CPU cores when any of the core(s) are being restricted by running too hot. That work is now set to finally land this spring with the Linux 5.7 kernel.

        The Linux thermal pressure code is designed with ARM SoCs in mind for better performance by allowing the scheduler to be informed of the thermal “pressure” and that the affected cores may be down-clocked/limited for that reason. In turn, the scheduler can make more informed decisions and in turn that can help the performance. Up until now, the Linux kernel scheduler hasn’t been aware when a CPU’s capacity is reduced due to thermal issues / frequency capping.

      • The New Microsoft exFAT File-System Driver Is Set To Land With Linux 5.7 [Ed: Does anyone even bother with this Microsoft trap? [1, 2, 3]]

        The original Microsoft exFAT driver that entered staging in Linux 5.4 was based on a several year old snapshot from Samsung and various other improvements along the way. But Samsung internally had been continuing to work on their exFAT Linux driver over the years and shipping it as part of their devices. Since Microsoft’s blessing last year of opening up the exFAT technical specification, Samsung has been working to upstream their improved file-system driver and ultimately using the upstream kernel code-base for what will continue to be shipped on their Android devices moving forward.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 disk space analyzer tools to use on Linux systems in 2020

        If you have limited storage space on your computer or you struggle for some space on your hard drive from time to time, it is always a good idea to keep removing unnecessary files from the hard drives to have more room for things that matter to you. But when it comes to analyzing the used and available space on a hard drive, you should choose some utility software that can help you observe and manage the files on your Hard Drive or any other storage in the simplest way. The good thing is, whatever operating system you are using, you will always find some utility programs that can help you to manage storage on your hard drive.

        Talking about Linux, which is an open-source platform, you can also find a number of similar programs on Linux, and you can use one or many of them to manage the storage space on your hard drive or SSD. Even if you are not struggling for space on your storage device, it is always a grand idea to have such utility installed on your system, so that you can use it whenever you find that useful. So, today I will talk about the top 10 disk space analyzer tools that you can use on Linux.

      • Cockpit – Highway to the admin zone

        Cockpit seems like a very handy project. It’s elegant, robust and comes with a clean interface and readily usable defaults, which place it ahead of most similar programs of its nature. Sure, in the long run, you can’t cheat physics. The second law of thermodynamics does require that you have expert knowledge and be able to fully understand and control the gory details behind the scene. But in the critical adoption period, between setup and first use, Cockpit does not ask for your kidney and soul right away.

        The real power of Cockpit will surely be in the domain of enterprise, cloud and other buzzwordly places, but even as a home user, you can benefit from it. If you have several Linux machines, and you want to be have a quick glance at their behavior, or do some basic management, Cockpit offers a fuss-free way plus a Web interface, which means you really are portable when it comes to everyday usage. I’m quite intrigued and happy, and I’m looking forward to see how this project evolves. Recommended, so you might as well go about testing. The end.

      • TenFourFox FPR20 available

        TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 20 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version is the same as the beta except for one more tweak to fix the preferences for those who prefer to suppress Reader mode. Assuming no issues, it will go live Monday evening Pacific as usual.
        I have some ideas for FPR21, including further updates to Reader mode, AltiVec acceleration for GCM (improving TLS throughput) and backporting later improvements to 0RTT, but because of a higher than usual workload it is possible development may be stalled and the next release will simply be an SPR. More on that once I get a better idea of the timeframes necessary.

      • The day has finally arrived: Qt 4 is no longer part of Debian unstable. It’s gone.

        The day has finally arrived: Qt 4 is no longer part of Debian unstable. It’s gone.

        Thanks should go to many people. You know who you are, and I really appreciate the support and time you put into this. **Thanks**

      • Matthias Klumpp: Introducing the MetaInfo Creator

        This blog post however is not about that. It’s about what I learned when talking to people there about AppStream, and the outcome of that. Especially when talking to application authors but also to people who deal with larger software repositories, it became apparent that many app authors don’t really want to deal with the extra effort of writing metadata at all. This was a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought that there would be a strong interest for application authors to make their apps look as good as possible in software catalogs.

        A bit less surprising was the fact that people apparently don’t enjoy reading a large specification, reading a long-ish intro guide with lots of dos and don’ts or basically reading any longer text at all before being able to create an AppStream MetaInfo/AppData file describing their software.

        Another common problem seems to be that people don’t immediately know what a “reverse-DNS ID” is, the format AppStream uses for uniquely identifying each software component. So naturally, people either have to read about it again (bah, reading!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • What have you been playing recently and what are your thoughts?

        It’s Sunday, it’s a lazy day for some and plenty of you are probably playing through your backlog of games.

        I’ve been testing out the Linux beta of the upcoming monster capture game Monster Crown. One that was crowdfunded some time ago, and it’s incredibly promising. The developer has been great to chat to and they seem very committed to polishing the Linux build. Still a long road ahead though but a rather unique take on a Pokemon-like that I can’t wait to put more time into

      • Build a legendary deck of magical cards in ‘Dungeon Drafters’ – confirmed for Linux

        It’s currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and the good news is that it’s already hit the funding goal. There’s actually only 11 days left but we have a good reason for covering Dungeon Drafters a bit later. When we spoke to the developer on Twitter last month, they said Linux was “likely” and after a quick message on Kickstarter yesterday they’ve now confirmed Linux support on Twitter.

      • Freeablo, a modern cross-platform open source game engine for the original Diablo

        Diablo is a classic and it can live on forever thanks to open source. Freeablo is a cross-platform free and open source game engine and it just had a massive update.

        Not to be confused with Devilution and devilutionX, which are reverse engineered and walk a pretty iffy legal line. Freeablo, instead, is an original GPL licensed re-implementation for getting Diablo running on modern platforms. Think of it like OpenMW for Morrowind and openXcom for X-COM.

      • Soul Saga, an Early Access ‘JRPG-rogue-lite hybrid’ is now available on Linux

        Soul Saga is yet another crowdfunded game, and Disastercake has now made it available on Linux not long after launching in Early Access. The developer mentioned recently it was in progress, so it’s nice to see them deliver.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: endless bugfixing

          One of the challenges of such a sprawling software catalog that allows such extensive customizability is, well, bugginess. More code and more options means more bugs. So the bugfixing is a never-ending challenge, and it’s what we focused on this week! Not only do we work on fixing bugs, but there’s also a lot of exciting work going on in the background to unify various codebases, use of more shared code, and adopt common frameworks, both for backends and user interfaces. It’s not very glamorous work, but you’ll see the impact in reduced bugginess going forward!

        • KDE Developers Fixed Many Bugs This Week

          KDE developer Nate Graham described this week’s KDE activity as “endless bugfixing.” Among the KDE fixes this week were corrections to the Okular program, the Dolphin file manager’s Samba support now works with IPv6 addresses, a possible Plasma crash when adding/removing widgets, Balooo indexer enhancements, and other fixes. There has also been some minor UI improvements too.

        • Latte Dock v0.10~ | Multiple Docks In Same Screen Edge

          Latte Dock v0.10~ is the development version of Latte which is going to land next summer as v0.10… Until then of course you can still enjoy it by building it yourself from Phabricator KDE or by searching in your distro repos if it is already built daily.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Shell 3.36.0
          About GNOME Shell
          =================
          
          GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3
          desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME
          Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware
          and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a
          visually attractive and easy to use experience.
          
          Tarball releases are provided largely for distributions to build
          packages. If you are interested in building GNOME Shell from source,
          we would recommend building from version control using the build
          script described at:
          
          https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GnomeShell
          
          Not only will that give you the very latest version of this rapidly
          changing project, it will be much easier than get GNOME Shell and its
          dependencies to build from tarballs.
          
        • Mutter 3.36.0
          About mutter
          ============
          
          Mutter is a window and compositing manager that displays and manages
          your desktop via OpenGL. Mutter combines a sophisticated display
          engine using the Clutter toolkit with solid window-management logic
          inherited from the Metacity window manager.
          
          While Mutter can be used stand-alone, it is primarily intended to be
          used as the display core of a larger system such as GNOME Shell. For
          this reason, Mutter is very extensible via plugins, which are used
          both to add fancy visual effects and to rework the window management
          behaviors to meet the needs of the environment.
          
          
        • GNOME Shell + Mutter 3.36 Released Following Last Minute Fixes

          In preparing for the GNOME 3.36 stable release due out on 11 March, GNOME Shell and Mutter issued their final v3.36.0 releases on Saturday.

          Squeezing into Mutter 3.36.0 is a fix for an invisible mouse cursor bug with some hardware and also fixing the placement of pop-up windows on multi-monitor setups.

    • Distributions

      • AndEX Pie, Android 9 for PC, Now Uses the Brave Browser

        As I reported last month, Android-x86 9.0 finally arrived to let you run the Android 9 Pie mobile operating system on your personal computer. AndEX developer has thoroughly tested the latest Android-x86 release and reports that he experienced lots of freezes and crashes.

        Therefore, he decided to build a special version of his AndEX project, which also lets you run Android on your PC, based on Android 9.0 Pie. AndEX already had a version that let you run Android 10 on your desktop or laptop computer.

        Built using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) sources, the new AndEX Pie release is comes with the same features as Android-x86 9.0 Pie, as well as numerous other pre-installed applications.

      • New Releases

        • Zorin OS 15.2 Officially Launched with Linux Kernel 5.3

          Zorin OS 15.2 is supposed to deliver a faster, more secure, and powerful computer experience, the organization promises, and thanks to the latest kernel update, this should be the most secure version of the operating system.

          Among the highlights, there’s support for new hardware, including Intel 10th generation processors, AMD Navi GPUs, such as the Radon RX 5700, and the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards and touchpads.

      • BSD

        • FreeNAS Operating System Becomes TrueNAS CORE

          So far, iXsystems managed two FreeBSD based operating systems for network access storage (NAS): devices: FreeNAS an open-source version supported by the community, and TrueNAS with more enterprise-grade features and commercial support working on the company’s hardware of the same name (TrueNAS flash-powered arrays).

          Even though lots of the code was shared, the company found out that maintaining both projects separately negatively affected the development efficiency and quality of the software since they had to maintain two build processes, two QA processes, and two sets of documentation.

        • NomadBSD 1.3.1 is now available!

          We are pleased to present the release of NomadBSD 1.3.1.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Racing Back To The Past: Horizon Chase Turbo On PCLinuxOS!

          Well, after this introduction, I will analyze the game running on PCLinuxOS. As it is a Steam game, it works perfectly on PCLinuxOS, with Steam installed via Flatpak.

          The version analyzed here will be the Windows version, running via Flatpak and Proton.

          The game is based on the Unity engine, which ensures optimum compatibility with all operating systems supported by the engine (notably Android, Linux, Windows, iOS and MacOS).

        • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: Tunnelrat

          I started using Linux a few years ago. I have an aging PC (I’ll get to that in a later question) that just isn’t quite buff enough for Windows 10; knowing that 7 wouldn’t be supported for eternity (and frustrated with M$ anyhow) I opted to give Linux a shot.

        • Mind Your Step: Vintage Computing on PCLinuxOS

          Alternatively, if that vintage printer connects to a network, it is possible to connect the printer to PCLinuxOS through a network connection at Port 9100 (the port used by HP’s JetDirect print server).

          Even if you do get that vintage printer connected and working, the next thing you need to worry about is getting a source for ribbon, ink or toner. It makes no sense to purchase a vintage printer if you cannot purchase supplies for that printer.

          Then there is the issue of paper. Daisy wheel printers (remember those) were designed to take either fanfold paper or sheet paper. The issue here is that not all programs printing to these printers do not necessarily know whether you are using fanfold paper or sheet fed paper.

          Even if you configure one of these printers under CUPS, fanfold paper is generally assumed to be loaded into such printers. Also, the USB to Parallel and USB to Serial adapters do not inform CUPS that the printer is out of paper, because vintage printers in general do not have the capability to inform the host machine of that status.

          With many of today’s low cost printers being able to work under PCLinuxOS, is there really any reason to use a vintage printer with PCLinuxOS?

      • Debian Family

        • APT 2.0 released

          After brewing in experimental for a while, and getting a first outing in the Ubuntu 19.10 release; both as 1.9, APT 2.0 is now landing in unstable. 1.10 would be a boring, weird number, eh?

          Compared to the 1.8 series, the APT 2.0 series features several new features, as well as improvements in performance, hardening. A lot of code has been removed as well, reducing the size of the library.

        • APT 2.0 Released For Debian Package Management
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Atop ZFS+Zsys Will Take Snapshots On APT Operations

          Ubuntu 20.04 is coming out next month and will be the first LTS release with Ubuntu desktop ZFS support available for the root file-system after it was made easy-to-deploy the Ubuntu desktop on ZFS last cycle. One of the areas being expanded upon with the ZFS support has been Ubuntu’s Zsys daemon for offering extra functionality for ZFS-based setups.

          Zsys has been tacking on extra functionality with time and one of the latest for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is triggering ZFS file-system snapshots on APT package management operations.

        • Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS Wallpaper Contest Winners

          Out of 41 entries, the following 10 wallpapers were selected. Congratulations to the winners! These should be included on the daily Focal Fossa (future 20.04 LTS) daily ISO images shortly.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • March 8, International Women’s Day

        If we must celebrate a day for women, let us celebrate freedom from stereotypes, from expectations, from idolisation, from sacrifice…

        Stop congratulating women for being the secret behind a successful man… Start saluting them for being successful.

        Stop saying the mother is sacred for all the sacrifices she makes… Try to reduce those sacrifices!

        Stop telling women they are beautiful… Try telling them it’s not important to be beautiful!

      • Meet the women who man social media brand accounts

        Being online can be an overwhelming experience especially when it comes to misinformation, toxicity and inequality. Many of us have the option to disconnect and retreat from it all when the going gets tough, but what if your job requires you to be constantly immersed in online culture, like the many people who work in digital and social media?

      • Women in the IT industry (interview from Akademy)

        There’s a clear gender gap in computer science, beginning with education: women in schools and colleges tend to approach computer studies less frequently than men. And we should also consider the usual obstacles for occupation every woman encounters in her work life in every field. So, it’s not surprising that the majority of computer science workers are men.
        And, at the same time, the Free Open Source Software world is made of many kinds of communities. Some are quite closed and unfriendly for new developers, expecially if they are women. Others, instead, commit to welcome everyone, without discrimination based on gender, nationality, or any other parameter.

      • Is there a Debian Campaign of Harassment?

        When the US President was recently impeached, like Hartman, he pretended to be a victim. President Trump quickly went on to sack US officials who told the truth, including Lt Col Vindman, who had previously been awarded the Purple Heart for the sacrifices made for his country.

        It is particularly hard for the public to know the truth because the most abusive messages are circulated in private mailing lists, such as the debian-private mailing list.

        [...]

        On International Women’s Day, it is an interesting time to reflect on the lack of women in Debian. Barely one percent of Debian Developers are female. When I see condescending comments like that from the leadership, it leaves me with no doubt where the problem originates.

      • The Fintech Files: Are central banks open to open source?

        Welcome to The Fintech Files, your weekly roundup from FN’s fintech correspondent Ryan Weeks, keeping you up-to-date with the latest developments in financial tech and innovation

      • Dave Wreski: Founder of Guardian Digital – Open Source Cloud Email Security

        Dave Wreski recognized the power of Open Source two decades ago. Already an established internet security expert and Network Architect at UPS, Dave was captivated by the power of open-source development. He was soon to discover that this model could be used as a vehicle for solving complex digital security needs. He recognized that the open-source model – where resources could be shared by a worldwide community – was the vehicle that would drive internet security into the 21st century.

      • Huobi Open-Source DeFi Blockchain Now Live for Public Beta Testing

        Huobi, a major cryptocurrency exchange, announced the public testnet launch of its open-source decentralized finance (DeFi) blockchain, Huobi Chain, on Feb. 29. Its aim is to provide a regulator-friendly framework for financial services companies to deploy applications in a variety of finance-related sectors.

      • Neo SPCC open sources its Neo node benchmarking toolkit

        Neo St Petersburg Competence Center (Neo SPCC) has made its benchmarking tool for Neo blockchain nodes open source, ready for use by developers in the ecosystem. Designed to be agnostic to node implementation, neo-bench can be used to test performance and help uncover bottlenecks.

      • Google launches FuzzBench service to benchmark fuzzing tools

        More recently, security fuzzing tools have expanded in number, and today there are hundreds of specialised open-source tools and online services designed to probe specific types of software.

        But which security fuzzing tools, techniques and algorithms work the best when assessing real programs for bugs?

        That’s been harder to know without fuzzing the fuzzers. But doing this presents a problem – traditional assessments often use too few benchmarks and don’t run over long enough periods because testers lack the resources to do anything more ambitious.

      • Getting Ready For Google Summer of Code 2020

        Google Summer of Code is now in its 16th Year of providing an opportunity for students to spend their summer break getting hand-on experience of contributing to open source projects with a stipend provided by Google. It can be a win-win situation for both open source organizations and students looking for a programming career.

        [...]

        This year’s Student Applications Period, during which interested students make proposals for what they want to do, is from March 16 -31 t with the pairing of accepted students and mentors announced at the end of April. Students then have a period of Community Bonding in which they get to know more about their organization’s community before Coding commences on May 18 and continues until August 10th.

        If you a student making your first application to GSoC and want more guidance on how to make a successful application, together with advice given to mentors on how to select proposal, the videos from 2018 on Google Summer Of Code 2018 Student Applications Now Open are worth viewing, After, all it never hurts to know what is ideally required before you embark on writing a winning proposal.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® BrooklynTM v1.0
      • Events

        • Pasadena Convention Center event impacted by fears over coronavirus

          The coronavirus put a dent in a software conference that kicked off Thursday — one of many events throughout the region that have been scaled back or curtailed as the virus spreads across the state.

          SCALE, an open-source software conference being held at Pasadena Convention Center, has lost some of its scheduled speakers and exhibitors over fears of the spreading coronavirus.

          Conference Chairman Ilan Rabinovitch said fewer classes will be held as a result.

        • Real-time communication and collaboration in a file sync & share environment – A introduction to Nextcloud Talk

          At the beginning of this year I gave two times a presentation about Nextcloud Talk. First at the annual CS3 conference in Copenhagen and just one week later at FOSDEM in Brussels. Nextcloud Talk provides a full featured real-time communication platform. Completely Free Software, self-hosted and nicely integrated with all the other aspects of Nextcloud.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • DataStax takes aim at open source Cassandra challenges

          DataStax is looking to boost its participation and capabilities in the open source Apache Cassandra database space with the acquisition of privately held firm The Last Pickle announced earlier this week. Financial terms of the deal were not publicly disclosed.

          Though it has a somewhat quirky name, The Last Pickle is a serious business led by core committers and participants in the open source Cassandra project. The company provides consulting services to help organizations overcome challenges with Cassandra adoption and also has led the development of multiple critical tools used to manage the database including Cassandra Reaper and Cassandra Medusa.

      • CMS

        • Beginner’s Guide to Developing a WordPress Theme

          This article will guide to developing a wordpress theme. You know what is common between HTML, CSS, JavaScript and WordPress? The first three have potential to make beautiful websites and WordPress how can there be anything common between these four? Well, all of them have succeeded in overcoming the misconception that traditionally belies it.

          Blogging platforms have come and gone, but WordPress is surely an exception! Since its release in 2003, the Content Management System is considered as one of the most dominant CMS on the market. Here’s a bunch of some shocking stats regarding WordPress development that might help put it all into perspective.

      • FSF

        • FSF reveals plans to build a public code hosting and collaboration platform

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced plans to launch a public code hosting and collaboration platform (“forge“) this year.

          Members of the FSF tech team are currently reviewing ethical web-based software that will help teams work on their projects, with features like merge requests, bug tracking, and other common tools.

          “Infrastructure is very important for free software, and it’s unfortunate that so much free software development currently relies on sites that don’t publish their source code, and require or encourage the use of proprietary software,” FSF wrote in a blog post. “Our GNU ethical repository criteria aim to set a high standard for free software code hosting, and we hope to meet that with our new forge.”

          As of now, the team said it has been researching a list of candidate programs and analyzing them in terms of ethical and practical criteria. FSF aims to initially reach a B rating on the GNU ethical repository criteria, and then to work towards reaching an A rating after launch.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 2.2.7 released

            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 2.2.7, the seventh bug-fix release of the “legacy” 2.2 series (the current stable series is 3.0). This release represents 17 commits by 5 people since version 2.2.6. Among the bug fixes is a significant performance improvement for applications making heavy use of bignums, such as the compiler.

          • GNU Guile 2.2.7 released
            We are delighted to announce GNU Guile release 2.2.7, the seventh
            bug-fix release of the “legacy” 2.2 series (the current stable series is
            3.0).  See the NEWS excerpt that follows for full details.
            
                                         *  *  *
            
            Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language.
            
            The Guile web page is located at https://gnu.org/software/guile/, and
            among other things, it contains a copy of the Guile manual and pointers
            to more resources.
            
            Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
            compiler to VM bytecode.  It is also packaged as a library so that
            applications can easily incorporate a complete Scheme interpreter/VM.
            An application can use Guile as an extension language, a clean and
            powerful configuration language, or as multi-purpose "glue" to connect
            primitives provided by the application.  It is easy to call Scheme code
            from C code and vice versa.  Applications can add new functions, data
            types, control structures, and even syntax to Guile, to create a
            domain-specific language tailored to the task at hand.
            
            Guile implements many common Scheme standards, including R5RS, R6RS, and
            a number of SRFIs.  In addition, Guile includes its own module system,
            full access to POSIX system calls, networking support, multiple threads,
            dynamic linking, a foreign function call interface, and powerful string
            processing.
            
          • GNU Guile 3.0.0 released
            We are delighted to announce GNU Guile release 3.0.0, the first in the
            new 3.0 stable release series.
            
            Compared to the previous stable series (2.2.x), Guile 3.0 adds support
            for just-in-time native code generation, speeding up all Guile programs.
            See the NEWS extract at the end of the mail for full details.
            
            
            The Guile web page is located at http://gnu.org/software/guile/, and
            among other things, it contains a copy of the Guile manual and pointers
            to more resources.
            
            Guile is an implementation of the Scheme programming language, packaged
            for use in a wide variety of environments.  In addition to implementing
            the R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS Scheme standards, Guile includes full access to
            POSIX system calls, networking support, multiple threads, dynamic
            linking, a foreign function call interface, powerful string processing,
            and HTTP client and server implementations.
            
            Guile can run interactively, as a script interpreter, and as a Scheme
            compiler to VM bytecode.  It is also packaged as a library so that
            applications can easily incorporate a complete Scheme interpreter/VM.
            An application can use Guile as an extension language, a clean and
            powerful configuration language, or as multi-purpose "glue" to connect
            primitives provided by the application.  It is easy to call Scheme code
            from C code and vice versa.  Applications can add new functions, data
            types, control structures, and even syntax to Guile, to create a
            domain-specific language tailored to the task at hand.
            
          • GNU Guile 3.0.0 released

            We are ecstatic and relieved to announce the release of GNU Guile 3.0.0. This is the first release in the new stable 3.0 release series.

            See the release announcement for full details and a download link.

            The principal new feature in Guile 3.0 is just-in-time (JIT) native code generation. This speeds up the performance of all programs. Compared to 2.2, microbenchmark performance is around twice as good on the whole, though some individual benchmarks are up to 32 times as fast.

          • GNU Guile 3.0.1 released

            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 3.0.1, the first bug-fix release of the new 3.0 stable series! This release represents 45 commits by 7 people since version 3.0.0.

            Among the bug fixes is a significant performance improvement for applications making heavy use of bignums, such as the compiler. Also included are fixes for an embarrassing bug in the include directive, for the hash procedure when applied to keywords and some other objects, portability fixes, and better R7RS support.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Google‌ ‌Expands‌ ‌Open‌ ‌Images‌ ‌Dataset‌ ‌and‌ ‌Adds‌ ‌New‌ ‌Localized‌ ‌Narratives‌ ‌Annotation‌

            Google AI has just released a new version (V6) of their photo dataset Open Images, which now includes an entirely new type of annotation called localized narratives. These multimodal descriptions of images incorporate synchronized voice, text, and mouse trace annotations that provide more in-depth training data for what is already one of the largest open “source annotated” image datasets in the world.

            [...]

            Localized narratives provide spoken descriptions of images which are grounded by the annotator’s mouse which hovers over each region of the image that they are describing. Since the voice and the mouse pointer are synchronized, every word in the description can be localized. The mouse traces are seen as a more natural way for humans to provide a sequence of grounding locations, compared to the current standard of listing bounding boxes.

        • Open Access/Content

          • University marks Open Education Week with $1.6 million in savings for students

            As the world celebrated Open Education Week March 2-6, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln announced its students have saved an estimated $1.6 million in textbook costs using inclusive access and open education resource programs. More than 23,000 students have participated in the programs, with an average savings of about $70 per student.

            The university began pilot programs for digital course materials in fall 2018, with $117,836 in savings for almost 2,000 students.

            “This dramatic increase is very exciting and shows the great potential of these programs as we implement them across more courses and disciplines,” said Amy Goodburn, senior associate vice chancellor and dean of undergraduate education. “The instructors using these materials have put in a tremendous amount of effort in reworking their courses and classrooms to make their students’ experiences successful and affordable.”

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • In New 5Pointz Decision, Second Circuit Concludes That VARA Trumps The Constitution

      A few weeks ago there was news that a developer in New York City was being forced to dismantle twenty already-built floors in the building he built too high. If only he had thought to let some graffiti artists paint the walls of these excess floors, because then he could never take them down…

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Momento Mori – Unpopular Thoughts on Corona Virus
      • Blood Drives — and Donors — Fall Off as Coronavirus Worries Grow

        Mounting warnings that Americans should stay home and avoid crowds to stop the spread of a deadly new coronavirus are triggering an unexpected — and potentially ominous — downside: a drop in the nation’s blood supply.

      • Will the Coronavirus Kill Globalization?

        The Spanish flu helped herald the collapse of the first wave of modern globalization. A century later, could the coronavirus do the same?

      • National Nurses United Issues Grave Warning on Coronavirus

        As novel coronavirus cases continue to grow in the United States, thousands of unionized nurses say that they find the lack of preparedness among their employers and hospitals alarming — and fear that they may be at risk for COVID-19 as a result.

      • Why Mike Pence is the Worst Person to Lead the COVID-19 Response

        A year after Trump took office, Saturday Night Live did a sketch called “What Even Matters Anymore?”

      • Tensions rise as U.S. death toll from coronavirus reaches 9
      • Stockpiling toilet paper due to coronavirus? Be prepared but don’t hoard, says LA health director

        Amid reports of coronavirus-wary consumers buying up large quantities of emergency and household supplies, local health officials said Wednesday residents should always be prepared to subsist in an emergency, there’s no immediate need for long-term hoarding.

        Los Angeles County health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said residents should be prepared just as they should always be for a natural disaster or other emergency.

      • Costco crush: Water, toilet paper dwindle on coronavirus fears

        Big-box stores throughout Southern California are grappling with dwindling supplies of bottled water, toilet paper, bleach and hand sanitizer as worried shoppers stock up amid news of the spreading coronavirus and local quarantines.

        What began as a busy shopping weekend Feb. 29 spiraled into a scene more typical of storm preparations: empty shelves and carts teetering with bulk supplies at Costco, Sam’s Club, Target and local drugstores.

        By Sunday, supplies were waning and stores from Ontario to south Orange County were rationing water and toilet paper. At Sam’s Club in Fullerton, the Member’s Mark store-brand water was sold out Monday after a “crazy weekend,” according to one employee.

      • OU, Lawrence Tech suspend travel amid concerns about coronavirus
      • Guest Commentary: Yes, I’m Asian. No, I don’t have coronavirus.

        Next week I’ll be in the international terminal of a major airport, and as much as I am afraid of getting sick, I will not be wearing a mask. To me, a fear of being racially profiled poses a greater risk than the possibility of contracting the coronavirus.

        Friends and I planned our spring break trip months ago — before COVID-19 hit the news. Flights are booked and accommodations confirmed for a carefree trip to Costa Rica. However, we now face several threats. Will we have trouble leaving and entering the United States? Is it safe to be on an airplane, let alone in an airport?

        As a Korean-American, however, I have an extra worry that my friends do not: will people be afraid of me because of my race?

      • Can coronavirus sicken our healthy housing market?

        Landing at 3.29%, this week Freddie Mac recorded its lowest 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in its nearly 50-year survey history. And, the Federal Reserve dropped short-term interest rates by one-half percent. The prime rate is now down to 4.25%. Incredible!

        This is certainly great news for the housing market. Not so much though for the travel, hospitality, oil and manufacturing industries.

        How many more people will get sick? How many more souls will we lose? How much longer will the coronavirus spread until this catastrophic monkey wrench makes our red-hot economy turn to ice? At what point will employers be forced to cut jobs? Will home values decline? Will mortgage rates go negative?

      • Russia protests to Italy over raid on biathlete

        Russia has issued an official protest to Italy over a police raid targeting its biathlete Alexander Loginov as he competed at the world championships, the foreign ministry said Friday.

        Police raided the Russian team’s hotel at Rasen-Antholz (Rasun-Anterselva in Italian) early in the morning on February 22 over suspicions of doping by Loginov and his trainer.No charges were brought against the 28-year-old, who had previously served a ban for using prohibited substances.

        Loginov dropped out of the final mass-start event the next day, with the country’s federation saying he was no longer in the “right frame of mind” to compete after winning 10 kilometre sprint gold earlier in the championship

      • ‘When Is It Going to End?’: Where Coronavirus Has Turned Deadly in the U.S.

        Movie nights have been canceled. Residents are restricted to their rooms, their meals delivered by workers in protective gear. Ambulances come and go, taking elderly patients who have fallen ill to the hospital two miles away.

        Life Care Center, which advertises a “homelike and welcoming atmosphere” in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, has become the focal point of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Four of the six people who have died of the virus in this country were residents of the 190-bed nursing care facility. Several other residents and at least one employee have tested positive. One-quarter of the city’s firefighters are in quarantine as a result of recent visits, and officials said on Monday that some have developed flu-like symptoms.

      • Crowdsourcing against coronavirus: Seattle biologists work on DIY test kit
      • Coronavirus – Why this is key to keeping Americans safe

        In confronting the coronavirus, it is vitally important that we have all intelligence and information that exists, including the 90 percent known as “open-source intelligence” (OSINT). We need this so that our government can make the best decisions to keep our people and our businesses safe.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Latest Skype Update Breaks Some Linux Systems, Prevents App From Working [Ed: What Microsoft proprietary software does to itself and everything around it]

          Skype is a popular platform that is used by millions of people for Text, Audio or Video-based communications. It allows you to call your friends and family at affordable prices. Skype offers desktop versions for almost all platforms including Linux.

          However, Skype issues aren’t new and the latest Skype for Linux patch is the latest to cause more problems. People who are running Skype on CentOS systems are now reporting that the latest update broke the messaging app.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • A Very Bad Time For Android Apps? Or Just Cleaning Up The Mess?

            Yes, I know this is a magazine dedicated to Linux, and more specifically PCLinuxOS. As such, the state of the Google Play Store isn’t of much direct concern for PCLinuxOS users when it comes to running or using their PCLinuxOS installation.

            BUT … Android does use the Linux kernel as the core component of its OS. I suspect that a lot of PCLinuxOS users use Android because of this, over the closed-source and limited ecosystem that is iOS. I suspect that PCLinuxOS users use phones and tablets running Android to fulfill their mobile computing needs. Supporting a mobile platform that uses the Linux kernel as its core component would be a natural extension of one’s support for Linux.

            We’ll also discount, for the time being, the enormous amount of hatred for Google, especially among users of Linux and other open source software. Google is the force that drives Android, so there are bound to be a lot of people who shun Android because of its inextricable relationship with Google. It’s hard to blame anyone going to such lengths to disassociate themselves with all things Google. The search engine behemoth has brought it upon themselves through their missteps, past, present and ongoing.

          • Android users, if you could pause your COVID-19 panic buying for one minute to install these critical security fixes, that would be great

            The March update includes 17 patches for flaws described as critical remote code execution holes, though only one is actually documented due to the other 16 residing in closed-source Qualcomm components.

            The documented flaw, CVE-2020-0032, lies within the open-source Android media framework that can be exploited by opening a booby-trapped file that Google is disturbingly vague about. Patching the bug will also require an update to a codec used by Google Play.

          • AMD just recently had a ‘Take A Way’ security issue for their CPUs disclosed

            Thought Intel was the only one? Well you would be living under a rock with all the past issues but Intel seemed to be constantly hit harder, and they had another recently. This time, it’s AMD’s turn in the security spotlight.

            Researchers from ‘Graz University of Technology’, ‘Univ Rennes, CNRS, IRISA’ and another unaffiliated with either have released a paper with a security issue named ‘Take A Way’ which affects AMD CPUs going back to 2011 affecting a huge amount of them.

          • Security News This Week: An Unfixable Flaw Threatens 5 Years of Intel Chips

            As the novel coronavirus continues to propagate, phishing scams that pose as Covid-19 advice do as well. The trend started over a month ago, but it’s only going to get worse. Abide by these tips to avoid them, and also please keep washing those hands.

            In non-pandemic news, researchers figured out how to clone the mechanical keys of tens of millions of cars from Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia, making theft a much simpler matter. Some recently released Russian disinformation shows how the Kremlin’s professional trolls are adapting to Facebook’s defenses. And a very bad bill called the EARN IT act represents the most serious threat to strong end-to-end encryption in years.

          • 17-Yr-Old RCE Flaw Can Hack Several Linux Systems

            The US-CERT has issued a security advisory warning users of a 17-year-old critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability that affects PPP (Point to Point Protocol Daemon) daemon software implemented in almost all Linux based operating systems.

            The flaw, dubbed as CVE-2020-8597 with a 9.3 CVE score, was discovered by an IOActive security researcher, Ilja Van Sprundel.

          • 17-year-old Linux flaw targets ADSL connections

            Many Linux-based operating systems have been found to be affected by a security flaw which has existed for 17 years.

            The US-Cert has highlighted that PPPD (Point to Point Protocol Daemon) versions 2.4.2 to 2.4.8 are “vulnerable to buffer overflow due to a flaw in Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) packet processing in eap_request and eap_response subroutines”.

            “PPP is the protocol used for establishing internet links over dial-up modems, DSL connections, and many other types of point-to-point links including Virtual Private Networks (VPN) such as Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP),” said US-Cert.

            The vulnerability is caused by an error in validating the size of inputted data before it is copied into memory.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Chris Eng: Patch Management Challenges Drive ‘Security Debt’ [Ed: Veracode pretends that only FOSS inside people’s code contains bugs; this is their ‘trade’]

              Companies are lagging when it comes to keeping up with software security patches – causing them to fall into “security debt,” Chris Eng, chief research officer with Veracode said.

              Today, challenges around patch management are being worsened by applications using third-party code and open source libraries, which often introduce another entire set of vulnerabilities, said Eng, speaking at the RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco last week.

              “What will happen is companies will get further and further behind on those on those open source version patches,” he said. “And the further you get behind, the harder it is to catch up.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Schools Are Operating as Testbeds for Mass Surveillance

              A school district in New York recently adopted facial recognition technology to monitor students, and it is now one of a growing number of schools across the country conducting mass privacy violations of kids in the name of “safety.” The invasive use of surveillance technologies in schools has grown exponentially, often without oversight or recourse for concerned students or their parents.

            • Finnish banker’s notebook finally opened, revealing century-old secrets

              Though Mellin saved the book from being burned in 1919, he realised nearly 40 years later that it was still too soon to release its contents publicly, she explained.

              “It has enormous cultural and historic value, and says a lot about the banking world but also about business life in Pori a century ago,” Hakala said.

              The museum will consider out how to display the notebook in an exhibit – or even if it can. It contains the names of many families who still live in the city.

              “There’s interesting gossip in it, but the reviews [of customers] are very straightforward and can still be hurtful,” Satakunta Museum educational curator Carita Tulkki explained.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • The Climate Movement Has Gained Unprecedented Momentum Since 2018

        The climate movement has started gaining momentum, and the oil and gas industry is getting scared. Fossil fuel companies have been ramping up their ad buying, placing loads of ads on social media, in magazines, and even at the global climate summits. Meanwhile, in Australia, a recent report found that the fossil fuel industry doubled its political donations over the past four years.

      • Trump Interior Official Pushed Climate Misinformation Into Federal Reports

        A major New York Times investigative report, published March 2, revealed efforts by Indur M. Goklany, a Department of Interior employee with ties to the Heartland Institute and other fossil-funded denial organizations, to modify federal reports to include misleading information about climate science.

      • Crises 4

        According to the comprehensive UN science report, we have until 2030 — just a decade — to prevent a climate catastrophe. A planetary disaster created by humans and fueled by the greed of trans-national corporations and the politicians who serve them. Recycling our plastic into blue bins, putting solar panels on our roofs, and riding our bicycles to work are important personal statements, but that isn’t gonna protect us from devastating storms, floods, and fires, lethal heat waves, rising sea levels, malnutrition, and disease on an unprecedented world-wide scale.

        The climate-emergency is a national security threat that requires rethinking and revamping our energy grid, manufacturing processes, transportation network, food chain, housing supply, and waste management practices. That cannot be done without confronting and overcoming Republican anti-regulation, small-government dogma and challenging corporate political power at all levels because “Government of the CEOs, by the Lobbyists, for the Billionaires,” will protect only the wealth, power, and privilege of the few while the rest of us suffer the consequences.

        We the People must demand that our government take immediate and effective action.

      • Oregon Republicans Flee Climate Legislation for the Second Time in Less Than 1 Year

        Oregon’s Republican Congresspeople have once again scuppered attempts to pass a climate change bill, by running away.

      • ‘We Have to Get a Climate President in Office’: Jane Fonda Says Bernie Sanders Is the Only Climate Candidate

        The actor and activist’s comments came ahead of a Fire Drill Friday rally focused on environmental racism in the Los Angeles Harbor area.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Industrial Forestry Threatens to Blitz the Lolo

          The Forest Service is once again demonstrating its Industrial Forestry bias with its proposal to treat 3,790 acres by Cruzane Mountain in the Lolo National Forest. An acre is approximately the size of one football field.

        • Unbalanced Support for America’s Lands and Wildlife

          My reasons for writing are twofold. First, because I read Rick Meis on collaboration,  Mike Garrity on money losing timber sales and George Wuerthner’s, “’Extremists,’ not collaborators, have kept wilderness whole”. Hallelujah! I want to publicly shout out a huge THANK YOU to all you Montana and other western ‘extremists’ for all you’ve done to keep America intact and livable. Don’t ever back down and let happen out there what has happened in Virginia. For example, less than 2% of Shenandoah Mountain, probably the largest single contiguous tract of National Forest in the entire eastern United States, is protected as “wilderness”. And only 0.8% of the entire state of VA is – this meager state of affairs is what desecrators and dominionists here call “balance”.

    • Finance

      • What Other States Can Learn From What Happened in Illinois After It Legalized Gambling

        This week, we published an investigation into how Accel Entertainment took advantage of shortcomings and underfunding in Illinois’ regulatory structure to become the largest video gambling operator in the state — and now, in the nation. It’s a cautionary tale for other states where Accel wants to expand.

        Before we get into what video gambling might mean for those states, here’s some context: Illinois legalized video gambling in 2009 as part of an effort to dig itself out of a financial hole. For years, the state has struggled to generate revenue, balance its budget and maintain its infrastructure. Video gambling was seen as one way to do that. Legalizing marijuana and sports betting, as well as casino expansion, represent newer efforts.

      • A Simple Prescription for a Longer Life: Economic Equality

        The U.S. Centers for Disease Control released some welcome news recently: Americans are living a tiny bit longer. In 2018, U.S. life expectancy inched up about a month, from 78.6 to 78.7 years.

      • Trump’s Real Base Is the Ruling Class

        Trump has shown that he understands who his real and most powerful base is—the billionaire class—ever since his election.

      • Apprentices to Nowhere: From Impoverished Graduate Students to Impoverished College Professors

        Why have 233 graduate teaching assistants gone on strike at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC)? Why did University of California (UC) President Janet Napolitano issue a warning letter threatening to fire the striking graduate students? Why did the University of California call in police from outside the college who used batons against the nonviolent protesters and then arrested 17 of them? Why did the University of California Santa Cruz refuse to offer Spring classes to nearly 30 teaching assistants? And why did the UC Santa Cruz outright fire another 54 of them?

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Has Shattered the Bipartisan Consensus on Israel — and That’s a Good Thing

        “Democratic candidates used to be proud to stand alongside Israel, and AIPAC,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the recent gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “Now some are jockeying to see who can get the farthest away.”

      • WATCH: Biden Backer Lindy Li Criticized for Saying She Will ‘Absolutely Not’ Vote for Sanders If He Becomes Democratic Nominee

        “This is profoundly irresponsible,” responded Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Sanders supporter. “Our country is not a game. Get it together.”

      • Democracy Is Under Assault Around the World, and Right Here in Texas

        “Democracy and pluralism are under assault.” So reads the first line of Freedom House’s annual report card on the standing of liberty around the world, titled “Freedom in the World.” While this assessment is grimly accurate, one does not have to scan the globe seeking evidence for the ongoing assault on democracy. There was plenty to be found on Super Tuesday, right down in Texas.

      • Welcome to the New Legitimation Crisis: Bernie Sanders vs. the Plutocrats

        In these dangerous times, we might be pardoned for finding comic relief in the spectacles that are constantly playing out, as our uncomprehending ruling class stages displays of its own rank incompetence, its unfitness to govern. We might be excused for mocking the emperor’s new clothes.

      • Will Biden’s Trade Policy Record Come Back to Haunt Him in Midwest?

        Sen. Bernie Sanders and supporters of his presidential campaign took on 2020 Democratic primary foe former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on trade to sharpen the contrasts between the two candidates ahead of next week’s nominating contests in six states, including the Rust Belt state of Michigan.

      • Reporting the Alex Salmond Trial

        Imagine you had not seen the reporting of the Julian Assange hearing by myself or by any other citizen journalist. Imagine you had only seen the reports of the mainstream media. What impression would you have of that hearing solely from the MSM and how would it differ from the impression you have now?

      • The Organization of American States Is Eroding Faith in Democracy

        Under its pro-Trump secretary general, a politicized OAS has botched electoral missions across the hemisphere—and even precipitated a coup.

      • Trump Names Rep. Mark Meadows His New Chief of Staff
      • Now Can We Celebrate Some Dangerous Black People?

        Another Black History Month comes and another Black History Month goes. The 29 dreary days of the year when we reduce the history of the people who built this country beneath the weight of the whip to extra crunchy peanut butter. I’m not a black person, so every word of this rant may very well come across as politically incorrect and racially insensitive, but I am a history nerd, and as quite possibly the queerest person on this side of the rainbow, I do know what it’s like to have my tribe’s history hijacked and commodified by the same capitalist cunts who once conspired to have us annihilated. Truth be told, growing up as a freak, I often found it a hell of a lot more easy to relate to black historical figures than white ones. Malcolm X may have peed standing up but something tells me he knew more about being the straight man’s faggot than the Kennedy’s.

      • Is the Creator Interfering in the 2020 Elections?

        The creator, noted grantor of our rights to be free from government abuse in the Declaration of Independence, appears to be interfering in the 2020 election! What?!? Where can your author get that idea?

      • Give the U.S.A. its Proper Name

        Let’s call this country, the U.S.A., for what it really is, the United States of Apartheid.

      • Rudy Giuliani’s State Department Coup

        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.

      • The End of Buttigieg’s Campaign Was a Warning Against Fake Progressivism

        Pete Buttigieg’s conversion into one of the left’s most despised neoliberal villains was something to behold this year. While the 38-year-old politician entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race as a little-known mayor of a mid-sized Indiana city, he managed to exit the race — officially as of Sunday — as a symbol of much that is wrong with the Democratic Party establishment.

      • Prosecutions of White-Collar Criminals Plunge to All-Time Low

        Prosecutions of white-collar criminals by the U.S. Justice Department plunged to an all-time low in January, according to a study published just days after President Donald Trump proclaimed his commitment to “safeguarding the American consumer” and “strengthening our efforts to prevent and prosecute fraud.”

      • Trump’s Second Term? Not Worth Freaking Out About.

        You’ve heard it so often that you may well believe it’s true: Trump’s second term would be a disaster. For the Democratic Party. For the United States. For democracy itself. “The reelection of Donald Trump,” warns Nancy Pelosi, “would do irreparable damage to the United States.”

      • The Long Roots of Our Russophobia

        For the last five years, the American media has been filled with scurrilous articles demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      • Pardon Me, Donald

        Here’s the truth of it: I’d like a presidential pardon. Really, I would. And I think I deserve it more than Michael Milken or Rod Blagojevich or — because it’s obviously heading our way — Roger Stone (not to speak of Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort). Unlike the rest of them, I genuinely deserve a pardon because I don’t even remember being tried or know what I did. Yet somehow, here I am sentenced to what, if things don’t get better — given my age and his luck — could prove to be life not in prison but in Trumpland (once known as the United States of America).

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sweden Detains Two Russian Nationals In Connection With ‘Attempted Murder’ Of Chechen Blogger

        Two Russian nationals have been detained by police in Sweden in connection with what authorities are calling the attempted murder of a prominent blogger and critic of the Chechen government last month.

        Tumso Abdurakhmanov, who fled Russia several years ago, said he survived the February 26 attack by overpowering an assailant armed with a hammer.

        It was the second attack outside of Russia this year on a critic of Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • Why Does The NY Times Seem Literally Incapable Of Reporting Accurately On Section 230?

        I should preface this piece by noting that there are good reporters at the NY Times who frequently do great work. But there are also a surprising number of dreadful reporters and editors who consistently seem to get key issues wrong. And one example of this is what appears to be a near institutional-level confusion over Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — and I say this even while noting that last summer, the Times had an excellent piece written by Sarah Jeong calling out politicians for misrepresenting Section 230. But she should write another piece about her own damn colleagues.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • A Chink in the Wall

        Is it not astonishing that the reviled Fox News will allow Roger Waters to put forward truths on the Assange extradition which are completely banned from the BBC, CNN, NBC and indeed from the entire rest of the mainstream media, both print and broadcast?

      • Julian Assange Hearing – Your Help Wanted

        Here is a list of things you can do to help. Everyone can do at least one of these.

      • Sen. Wyden And Rep. Khanna Introduce Bill That Would Protect Journalists And Whistleblowers From Bogus Espionage Prosecutions

        Two consecutive administrations have engaged in wars on whistleblowers. President Obama used the Espionage Act to punish more whistleblowers and leakers than all other previous administrations combined. President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and reverse all the damage he believes Obama had done to this nation. Apparently that doesn’t include ejecting yes men from prominent government positions or scaling back Obama’s anti-whistleblower activities.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Unnecessary Restrictions on Abortion Pose Undue Burden to Women’s Constitutionality

        These regulations—as well as the extremist legislators who impose them—ignore the fact that abortion is safe, and as clinics close, more and more patients are forced to travel outside of their communities for care.

      • Sanders Unveils Plan to Address GOP Attacks on Reproductive Rights and the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis

        “There has been no time in the history of this country when women, especially Black women, have had the reproductive freedom and justice that they deserve. In my administration, that will finally change.”

      • Will the US Supreme Court Protect the Right to Protest?

        An officer sued DeRay Mckesson. The lawsuit, which should have been swiftly dismissed, now threatens the First Amendment rights of millions.

      • Tear Gas Sprayed Across Migrants at Turkey-Greece Border

        A group of migrants on Saturday tried to bring down a fence in a desperate attempt to bust through the border into Greece while others hurled rocks at Greek police. Greek authorities responded, firing volleys of tear gas at the youths.

      • Legal Attacks on Abortion Rights Are Also Attacks on Women’s Financial Security

        March is Women’s History Month, and this year’s celebration starts with June Medical Services v. Gee, a current Supreme Court case that poses the latest threat both to Roe v. Wade specifically and to women’s health and economic security at large. This case is the most recent reminder of how precarious reproductive health and rights are and of how barriers to legal and safe abortion — and health care access more broadly — have always had devastating consequences for women, their bodies, and their economic choices.

      • ‘She had no freedom’: How a Finnish fitness instructor tried to help a Dubai princess escape

        After arriving in Oman, Jauhiainen said they got into a dingy, which took them to a pair of Jet Ski, and finally to a boat which they boarded to try and cross the Arabian Sea to India.

        But on their eighth day aboard, their cabins started filling with smoke from what Jauhiainen assumes was a grenade.

        Latifa began to gradually open up to Jauhiainen, the Finnish national says, and soon confided her desire to escape an oppressive situation. (Free Latifa/Facebook) When they climbed the stairs toward the deck of the boat, Juahiainen said, they were met by “commandos” brandishing machine guns.

        “These men were basically threatening to kill us,” she said. “One of them told me that he was going to shoot my brains out. It was very, very scary.”

        Jauhiainen remembers she was pleading with the soldiers to let her go, saying Latifa wanted to be granted political asylum.

        But Latifa was put face down on the deck with her hands tied, and ultimately dragged away.

        That was the last time Juahianen saw her friend, whom she believes was flown back to the Emirates.

        As for Juhiainen, she was taken back to by boat, and held in a national security prison for three weeks, threatened with indefinite attention, and then released.

      • The United States’ Disappeared Children

        In the fifth floor of the tall glass federal building in Portland, Oregon, the immigration court hums in hushed tones, an air of reverence coming from a dozen or so fidgety children and teenagers. They sit in two long pews that line the back of the room, facing the elevated bench of the immigration judge.

      • The Brooklyn Yeshiva Anthem Protest: Why It’s Not Antisemitic

        On Sunday, February 23 before a match at Yeshiva University, two brave young Muslim Brooklyn College volleyball players “took a knee” during the playing of Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. Omar Rezika (Soph.) and Hunnan Butt (Fr.) following the example of NFL football player, Colin Kaepernick, who protested the police brutality in the US African-American community, were protesting the brutality of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies toward its non-Jewish residents. The Nation sports journalist Dave Zirin wrote me that he learned this was the reason for the protest from sources close to the team.

      • Inside Right Wing Extremism: an Undercover Cyber-Agent Report

        Some might be old enough to remember the start of the Internet with only .mil and .edu. It was the pre-WWW and pre-Dot-Com age time defined by a black screen and green or amber characters. In this era, right-wing extremists could not use the Internet to destabilize democracy. Today, they can. Recently, Julia Ebner, an undercover cyber agent, spent two years inside right-wing extremist networks. For her work, she adopted five different identities and joined a dozen tech savvy extremist groups – from jihadists and Christian fundamentalists to white nationalists, conspiracy theorists and radical demagogues. This is a distillation of her findings, as reported in her new book, Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists

      • The United States’ Disappeared

        In the fifth floor of the tall glass federal building in Portland, Oregon, the immigration court hums in hushed tones, an air of reverence coming from a dozen or so fidgety children and teenagers. They sit in two long pews that line the back of the room, facing the elevated bench of the immigration judge.

      • Democraticide

        Natural disasters come barreling out of nowhere, unforeseen.  Before they occur, cataclysms and catastrophic events of the physical world–tidal wave, earthquake, wildfire, eruption–are inconceivable.  They blindside us utterly.  Human caused calamities are quite another matter.

      • Dozens of Catholic Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse Found Work Abroad, Some With the Church’s Blessing

        The Rev. Jose Antonio Pinal, a young priest from Mexico, arrived at his first parish in rural Northern California in 1980, fresh out of seminary. The priest befriended the Torres family, helping the parents, also immigrants from Mexico, to fill out an application for food stamps. Pinal became an occasional dinner guest and took the children to theme parks and on road trips along the Pacific coast. He encouraged 15-year-old Ricardo Torres to become an altar boy.

        But in the priest’s quarters at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the small city of Gridley, Torres said, Pinal, then 30, gave him alcohol, showed him movies with sex and nudity, and groped and raped him. The teenager told another priest in 1989 and the family was assured by lawyers for the diocese that Pinal would not be allowed around children, Torres said.

      • Coming Out in Middle Age

        Back in the mid ’80s, when I was a teenager trying to figure out my sexuality, I remember hearing stories about gay men and lesbians who didn’t come out of the closet until their 40s or 50s, often after being married and raising children. At that point, they usually made big life changes (like divorce) and reported being much happier. I used to wonder what that was like, to not “know” until then.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • The FTC’s most (and potentially only) important achievement in its Qualcomm litigation may be a contract interpretation, not an antitrust ruling

          This is the first of three posts today on FTC v. Qualcomm, which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard last month. The second post will discuss the “No License-No Chips” part of the case, and the third one will have a proedural and political focus.

          Since it was founded almost 106 years ago, the Federal Trade Commission’s task has been a mix of antitrust enforcement and consumer protection. It would be an oddity–but not an improbable outcome as things stand now–if FTC v. Qualcomm ended up making an impact only by means of providing clarification of a matter of contract law.

        • Tools and technologies for analysing patent strength in a portfolio

          The wide variety of conventional indicators and availability of advanced tools can simplify the process of obtaining a patent’s value, strength and weight in the market. However, there are still many challenges when it comes to managing a patent portfolio as these can be affected by technical advancements, market trends and the latest court rulings. Moreover, every advanced tool has its own algorithm that works on certain key parameters, which have not been considered in those of its competitors. The choice of tool therefore depends on various patent strength indicators.

          [...]

          While the use of conventional and advanced tools is beneficial in offering an indicator of a patent’s strength, the most trustworthy analysis is still that of an experienced IP practitioner.

        • The ITC Complaint Against Estar Medical in the U.S. Is Withdrawn by Regenlab

          According to the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations, the Regenlab asserted U.S. patent is invalid and not infringed – RegenLab could not meet the requirements of a U.S. domestic industry.

          Regenlab USA LLC, a subsidiary of Regen Lab SA (“Regenlab”) has withdrawn its U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) complaint against Estar Technologies Ltd. (“Estar Medical”) and Eclipse Medcorp LLC (Inv. No. 337-TA-1147). In its pre-trial brief submitted to the administrative law judge, the ITC’s official Investigative Staff Attorney (“Staff Attorney”), agreed with Estar Medical that the asserted claims of Regenlab’s US Patent No. 10,064,894 (“’894 Patent”) were invalid and not infringed by Estar Medical and Eclipse Medcorp. The Staff Attorney also agreed that RegenLab failed to show that it either has or is in the process of establishing a U.S. domestic industry.

          Notably, the Staff Attorney also pointed to certain misrepresentations made by Regenlab and its CEO, Antoine Turzi, during the course of the ITC investigation and questioned their credibility: “Any one of these misrepresentations might be chalked up to a mistake or a typo. Taken together, however, the Staff views RegenLab’s and Mr. Turzi’s misrepresentations to the Commission and the other parties as reflecting poorly on RegenLab’s and Mr. Turzi’s credibility. And as noted above, much of RegenLab’s evidence relies on Mr. Turzi’s unsupported testimony. Whether or not Mr. Turzi appears credible is thus an important issue in the investigation.”

        • Of Molecules & Medicine: Lack Of Inventive Step In UK Pharmaceutical Patents, Difficulties For “Second Therapeutic Application”

          Here in the UK pharmaceutical patents will be revoked by the courts for lack of an inventive step if a motivated routine experimenter would inevitably have reached the invention from the prior art. This creates particular difficulties for “second therapeutic application” inventions, particularly those concerning successful drugs where the invention is based on a modification of the drug or its administration rather than a new disease to be treated.

          Dosage inventions are particularly vulnerable to being considered non-inventive, once it is obvious to put a drug into a program that evaluates dose-response. For example, in last year’s “dosage regime” case (Actavis v ICOS), the UK Supreme Court held that once it was obvious to take tadalafil forward into a routine program that would find its therapeutic dosage plateau, the skilled team would have tested lower doses in order to establish the lowest effective dose. It would thus have arrived obviously at the invention, which was to use a low (5mg/day) dose of tadalafil which provided efficacy coupled with a substantial reduction in side effects. In this respect the Supreme Court agreed with the Court of Appeal but differed from the trial judge.

        • RPBA 2020: Revised Rules of Procedure at EPO Boards of Appeal

          A decision by the EPO’s first instance departments (Receiving Section, Examining Division, Opposition Division or Legal Division) can be appealed (i.e. contested) before the EPO’s Boards of Appeal. The primary object of the appeal proceedings is to review the decision under appeal in a judicial manner (Article 12(2), RPBA). The Boards act as the final instances in granting and opposition procedures before the EPO. The Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal provide details of the relevant procedures. These were revised in 2019, with the changes coming into effect as of 1 January this year.

          The EPO states that it revised the Rules of Procedure to: “increase (i) efficiency, by reducing the number of issues to be treated, (ii) predictability for the parties and (iii) harmonisation”.

          In fact, RPBA 2020 codifies various aspects of the current practice and case law of the Boards of Appeal; in particular, regarding the basis of the appeal proceedings (Article 1,2 RPBA 2020) and the ability of a party to amend an appeal case after the appeal has started (Article 13, RPBA 2020).

        • Patent And Pharma Update, February 2020

          Key recent developments in the United Kingdom and Europe relating to patents and the pharmaceutical sector

          In this issue we report on the Supreme Court decision of Shanks v Unilever on employee inventor compensation. We update on two CJEU decisions relation to public access to documents submitted to the EMA and a key competition decision on “pay-for-delay” agreements. We cover a string of patent-related UK Court of Appeal cases, including Ablynx v VHSquared on jurisdiction, Anan Kasei v Neo on insufficiency and joint tortfeasorship and L’Oreal v Liqwd on claim amendments and admission of late evidence. We provide brief updates from the EPO on the recent CRISPR priority decision, as well as its AI inventorship decision. We have bumper SPC and FRAND updates covering key Court of Appeal and CJEU decisions in respect of SPCs and a string of interesting interim decisions in the UK in the case of FRAND. We round off the issue with a link to our new IP podcast series and updates on Brexit and the UPC.

      • Trademarks

        • EU General Court reiterates that low distinctiveness cannot be offset by specialised public in Balmain cases

          A brand’s own image is a very valuable asset, especially as far as luxury brands are concerned. The ability to register (supposedly) distinctive marks can play an important role in developing further a brand’s own signature image whilst also discouraging lookalikes. Renowned luxury fashion brand Balmain experienced a minor setback when the EU General Court (GC) confirmed refusal to register figurative marks representing a lion’s head encircled by rings forming a chain for goods under classes 14 and 26, due to lack of distinctive character. The decisions are those in cases T-331/19 and T-332/19.

        • SPC rules on registration of single-colour position marks

          French high-end footwear brand Christian Louboutin is celebrating victory over a favourable decision handed down by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in a trade mark administrative proceeding that could help pave the way for the registration of its signature red sole trade mark in China. ZHU Zhigang of the MARQUES China Team reports

        • The Enduring Appeal of the Cartier Love Bracelet and the Legal Protections Behind It

          Given the staying power of the Love bracelet, and Cartier’s practice of aggressively protecting its valuable designs, the jewelry company maintains an array of legal protections in connection with it, thereby enabling its legal counsel to police unauthorized attempts to replicate the iconic design, whether it be the hoards of Amazon sellers offering fake Love bracelets for little more than $30 or higher-end jewelry companies doing their best takes on the time-tested classic.

      • Copyrights

        • Can the shape or appearance of a product infringe a PDO/PGI? It all depends on how you understand “evocation”

          The national proceedings are between the Association of producers of the PDO ‘Morbier’ (the “Association”) and the cheese producer ‘Société Fromagère du Livradois’ [the summary below is based on the Cassation Court’s submission to the CJEU, available here in French].

          ‘Morbier’ was first registered in 2000 under the French system of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (a national right, largely equivalent to the European-wide PDOs). In 2002, ‘Morbier’ was registered as a European PDO and the French registration was subsequently cancelled. The product specification states that “[t]his cheese has a horizontal central black stripe, well welded and continuous over the entire slice.”

          The defendant, ‘Société Fromagère du Livradois’, has been making the Morbier cheese since 1979. However, because the defendant’s production facilities are outside of the PDO ‘Morbier’ geographical area, it was prohibited from marketing his cheese under this PDO from 2007. The company introduced a new name for its products: ‘Montboissié du Haut Livradois’.

        • Four major factors at play in the Google-Oracle IP rights dispute

          Java, created by Sun Microsystems in 1995 and still in use today, has been an open-source platform for much of its existence: As such, anyone with the ability to do so can, theoretically, use it to build any software or applications they want.

          [...]

          Software, interfaces and code falling under the umbrella of open source have historically been considered available for use by anyone with the gumption and creativity to do so. However, that freedom could be at risk based on the argument with which Oracle won over the Federal Circuit and intends to present to the U.S.’s highest court.

        • New Anti-Piracy Campaign Piles On The Scare Tactics But Who’s Scared?

          Yet another major anti-piracy campaign launched last week declaring that visiting pirate sites exposes passwords, photos, plus financial and medical records to criminals intent on ruining people’s lives. This scare tactic approach is gaining momentum around the globe, with claims that it has a positive effect on the public. But does it, or should it, really?

        • Coronavirus Outbreak Triggers Surge in Pirated Downloads of the Film ‘Contagion’

          The Coronavirus outbreak continues to dominate the news worldwide. While health experts and governments are working hard to contain the threat, the public is eager for information. In addition to news and traditional media, the interest also spread to pirate sites, with downloads of Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 classic ‘Contagion’ skyrocketing.

        • Functionality, Cumulation and Lessons from Trade Mark Law: the Advocate General’s Opinion in Brompton Bicycle

          Much has been written about the Advocate General (AG)’s recent Opinion in Brompton Bicycle, C-833/18 (see e.g. here and here), where the AG had to consider whether there is an exclusion from copyright where a shape is functional. Here are some thoughts from the perspective of someone who has been thinking a lot about functionality in trade mark law.

          First, after Cofemel, there can be no stricter test for originality for works which are also designs than for other copyright works, nor can there be a test of aesthetic merit. This means that cumulative protection will be common. The AG saw this as a serious problem. Copyright lasts for a long time and so there will little incentive for designers to use the design system. This though fails to take into account that design protection, while shorter is in some ways more expansive. The AG was also worried about the effect on legal certainty, because there is no registration to look back to in copyright. While this may be true, many other IPRs manage to exist without a formal registration (including unregistered designs).

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