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03.26.20

Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

Posted in News Roundup at 9:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why Linux is Better for HealthCare

      Linux has been prevailing in many sectors, but one of the most demanded ones was health care. In health care, Linux provides an extremely valuable environment to host other software solutions on the top of it to truly empower the organization or company’s needs.

      The reason for that is quite obvious, people don’t want to be under the control of Microsoft and its Windows Enterprise subscriptions, they don’t want to pay $$$ per each core in their servers’ CPUs, they don’t want to depend on a proprietary solution to empower their infrastructure… The reasons are many, and we are going to take a look on why Linux is a better solution for health care than Windows.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • After Linux Laptops Here Comes a Linux Keyboard

        While at first glance it’s pretty difficult to image how a keyboard can be specifically tailored to the world of Linux, System76’s CEO Carl Richell explains that it all comes down to the integration with the Pop!_OS operating system.

        “Auto tiling in our upcoming Pop!_OS 20.04 release is designed to work extremely well with this keyboard, and I think that people are going to really respond to it—it’s going to be a completely new and amazing experience, and I think that folks are going to start to really see why we’ve decided to bring all of the different silos, from hardware to manufacturing to OS, all in-house under one roof,” he explained.

      • China Plans to Replace Windows Completely with UOS

        China is planning to replace the US-based Windows operating system completely this year by a Linux based operating system called UOS.

        UOS a.k.a Unified Operating System is a Linux based homegrown OS (desktop and server) right in China. It is said to be developed to run all hardware, chips made in China for their own purpose. Based on the popular Linux distribution Deepin, it is reported that UOS has made significant progress recently to boot up in 30 seconds in common hardware.

      • Make Your Linux Look Like Windows XP, 7 and 10

        Nostalgia is a weird feeling.

        I tend to think that most Linux users have spent many years with Windows before switching to Linux, and this – in many cases – leaves them with a nostalgia to the look and feel of Windows operating systems, such as Windows XP, 7 and 10. There are also people who never want to hear about Windows or see its face ever again.

        For those of you from the first category, luckily, you can easily turn your Linux installation into the look & feel of Windows, thanks to the B00merang Project.

      • System76 is Developing a New Keyboard

        The company behind the incredibly powerful Thelio desktop is developing a new keyboard.

        System76 is famous for designing and developing some of the most powerful Linux-based computers on the planet. Never one to rest on reputation, System76 is constantly innovating. This time around, they are focusing their efforts on improving a device we all take for granted – the keyboard.

        This new keyboard is being designed with Linux and Linux users in mind. In fact, according to Carl Richell, CEO of System76, “Auto tiling in our upcoming Pop!_OS 20.04 release is designed to work extremely well with this keyboard, and I think that people are going to really respond to it…” This new keyboard will make typing much more comfortable. For instance, the keypad has been completely removed, so the mouse can be moved closer to where your hands rest.

        Another change to the standard keyboard design is that the spacebar has been drastically reduced. Of this change, Richell says “we’ve found that spacebars typically, for example, are way too long, which means your strongest digit, your thumb, isn’t very useful.” To that end, the layout will drastically change.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.18: Buffing up the leading container orchestrator

        Kubernetes is the container orchestrator we all love. But it’s not unconditional love. Some users were a bit overwhelmed with the last release’s Container Storage Interface (CSI) infrastructure update, which required clusters to be explicitly updated. So, some folks are very happy to see that Kubernetes 1.18 is much more of a “fit and finish” release.

        In this release, much work has been done with improving beta and stable features to ensure users have a better experience. Looking ahead, the developers are focusing on adding features, which will make Kubernetes easier to manage.

        For instance, the kubectl, the Kubernetes command-line, is finally getting a debug utility. While only in alpha in this release, I know many DevOps people are ready and eager to get any debug help they can for working with their Pods inside the cluster. It does this spinning up a temporary clone container, which runs next to the Pod one you’re trying to work on. It also attaches to the console for interactive troubleshooting.

      • IT Automation Tools Are No Longer Enough

        It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that IT automation is a must-have for organizations today. With infrastructure spread across on-premises data centers, multiple clouds and a multitude of technologies, the complexity of IT long ago outgrew manual management. Automation is the only way to keep pace with constantly changing environments that need enhanced security, greater compliance and be easily adaptable to changing business and market conditions.

        Because of these needs, the market has been relatively quick to adapt and embrace automation technology. According to a recent study by Forrester Research, 56% of global infrastructure technology decision makers have implemented/are implementing or are expanding/upgrading their implementation of automation software. Many of these IT organizations have a trusted tool in place and have been automating scripts and tasks for years.

        Along with outgrowing managing infrastructure by hand, the industry is also quickly outgrowing automation tools. The automation market has now reached a point of maturity where an automation tool alone is not enough. In order for automation to continue to have an impact on an organization and keep pace with the speed IT changes, organizations need a platform that allows them to create a culture of automation.

      • A Look at Lazydocker, a Cursor-Based Docker Management Tool

        For anyone who manages docker containers, having the right tools can really make an admin session all the better. On the other hand, not having the right tools can transform your day into an exercise in frustration.

        With docker, if you’re comfortable with the command line, you probably feel like you have everything you need to get the most out of those containers. But then you see one of the many GUIs available and wish you had more, but without having to go the full-on graphical route. Say, for example, your docker containers are managed from a headless Linux server, and you don’t want to have to install a web-based GUI to get more information and easier management of those deployed containers.

        What do you do? What tool exists in the realm between console and GUI?

      • Top 7 Configuration Management Tools

        A common trait across both virtual infrastructure as well as software is that there are always configuration options. In an increasingly distributed IT landscape with deployments that can be short lived, in the data center or in the cloud, there is a real need to manage configurations at scale.

        Configuration management software is a broad category of tools and services that enable administrators to manage configuration at scale in a policy driven, repeatable and automated approach. Key factors like infrastructure monitoring come into play.

        Software Configuration Management (SCM) was originally a category of software specifically about application and server software. In recent years, configuration management has evolved to become even more expansive. With infrastructure increasingly used as a virtual service in the cloud and on-premises, there has been a movement to define infrastructure-as-code, which is a place where configuration management tooling is played a staring role.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-03-26 | Linux Headlines

        The Apache Software Foundation turns twenty-one, Kubernetes 1.18 brings stability as well as some exciting preview features, the latest ESET Endpoint Antivirus adds Linux support, and Krita delivers one of its most complicated releases to date.

      • Keeping Track of Stuff | Self-Hosted 15

        We have a neat self-hosted home inventory management system for preppers of any type, plus Chris’ simple Home Assistant trick and Alex’s valiant battle with the WebSockets daemon of the reverse proxies.

      • FreeBSD, Corona: Fight! | BSD Now 343

        Fighting the Coronavirus with FreeBSD, Wireguard VPN Howto in OPNsense, NomadBSD 1.3.1 available, fresh GhostBSD 20.02, New FuryBSD XFCE and KDE images, pf-badhost 0.3 released, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Nuvia’s Jon Masters Talks Up Their Linux / Open-Source Support Plans

        Following the virtual Linaro Tech Days this week, Nuvia’s VP of Software, Jon Masters, has begun talking up the Arm server start-up’s Linux/open-source support plans.

        While little is known publicly about Nuvia beyond being another entrant into the Arm server space and having some big names behind the company, their Linux/open-source plans look enticing if they are indeed met. While they may not be looking at complete open-source support for every aspect of the CPU, for those concerned just about out-of-the-box experience and practicality things are looking up for Nuvia.

      • MIPS Loongson 3 Seeing Support Improvements With Linux 5.7

        Queued as part of the MIPS architecture work for Linux 5.7 are a number of Loongson improvements, in particular for the Loongson 3 series.

        The additions for this next version of the Linux kernel include a generic Device Tree for Loongson 3 devices, Desktop Management Interface (DMI) for MIPS (generic to the MIPS architecture but contributed By Loongson engineers), a Loongson I/O local interrupt controller driver, a HyperTransport PIC controller driver, and various other changes currently staging within the MIPS development tree. The generic Loongson 3 DTS support should help in allowing mainline Linux images to run nicely on more devices.

      • AMD PassThru DMA Engine Driver Still Pending For The Linux Kernel

        In addition to the AMD Sensor Fusion Hub driver that we are hopeful could land in Linux 5.7 albeit not yet queued in the iio-next branch, another AMD driver that has been around for a few months in patch form but yet to be mainlined is the AMD PassThru DMA Engine driver.

        The AMD PassThru DMA Engine driver was volleyed last year and saw two additional rounds of revisions but has been quiet since the end of January. As of writing, it hasn’t yet made it into the DMA-next area ahead of the Linux 5.7 merge window expected to open in early April.

      • syzkaller: fuzzing the kernel

        Testing is an obligatory step in software development, though sometimes engineers may skip or undervalue it. Not only do you want to make sure things are working as you planned, you also want to make sure that you did not break anything that was previously working (i.e. you don’t want to introduce any regressions).

        If you wait until your code is merged before properly testing it and find that something is wrong, you will have to spend more time fixing it than if you’d spotted the bug during development. If it reaches the mainline code base, other developers may be impacted by the bug. If the bug is found only after a release, a much wider group could be impacted and may require a fix to be backported and provided as a bugfix. A simple fix may become a more complex one as time passes, as changes made by another developer to other parts of the code base may expect the buggy behavior. When testing is taken seriously, more bugs will be discovered earlier, potentially before the code is merged, avoiding the above added work.

        Let’s focus on a specific category of bugs, those in kernel system call implementations (or just syscalls, for short). They are the main entry point for users to access functionality and resources provided by the operating system, from opening files to configuring a device. What happens when a user’s input is not what the kernel expected? The only correct answer is that the kernel should warn the user that they have given invalid input, by returning an appropriate error code. User input that leads to unexpected behavior; that crashes the system; that gives permissions incorrectly or unexpectedly scales privilege is a kernel bug. Given that, syscalls are an important part of kernel testing, since they are a potential point of failure.

        The code base of the Linux Kernel project changes rapidly and is deployed in devices around the world, thus performing proper testing is crucial. As Linus Torvalds says, the first rule of kernel development is that we don’t break userspace. This means that if a user application is working in a release, it should work in the same way in any of the following releases. Despite current efforts, the state of kernel testing is not enough. The code base has almost 3 million lines of source files, but only a small part is being tested during development.

      • 2020 Spring Cleaning: HP 100BaseVG AnyLAN Linux Network Driver Finally Getting Dropped

        Should you still have an HP 100BaseVG AnyLAN network adapter from the mid-to-late 90′s, the mainline Linux kernel is finally preparing to eliminate its driver.

        The long-standing HP100 Linux network driver that has been around for nearly two decades is finally set to be retired. The HP100 Linux driver is for supporting the 100BaseVG AnyLAN hardware from Hewlett Packard.

      • VirtIO Video Driver Coming Together For The Mainline Linux Kernel

        VirtIO-Video is a VirtIO-based video driver for a virtual V4L2 streaming device with input/output buffers for sharing of video devices with guests. VirtIO Video has existed for a while now but it looks like it could be getting close to upstreaming in the Linux kernel.

        This 2018 presentation (PDF) by OpenSynergy outlines VirtIO-Video for handling video streaming devices like video cameras, stream capturing, and other functionality within the context of virtualized guests. VirtIO-Video still supports hardware video acceleration of the host system and this virtual driver is basically about handling of input/output buffers of video streams.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon OpenGL Driver Lands Experimental Option To Boost Performance For CAD Software

          Well known open-source AMD OpenGL driver developer Marek Olšák has introduced an off-by-default option to help with the performance for at least some CAD-type applications.

          Marek has been working on plumbing out-of-order drawing support into core Mesa and NIR while wiring it through for the RadeonSI driver. The aim is to provide faster glBegin/glEnd calls that in turn benefit older OpenGL code-bases or in particular a focus on CAD/workstation software.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i9 10980XE: FreeBSD 12.1 vs. GhostBSD 12.02 vs. DragonFlyBSD vs. Ubuntu Linux Benchmarks

        Given the release earlier this month of DragonFlyBSD 5.8 along with the recent debut of the FreeBSD-based desktop-focused GhostBSD 20.02, here are benchmarks looking at their performance up against FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE as well as the current state of Ubuntu 20.04. Tests were done both with the LLVM Clang and GCC compilers.

        All of this testing was done on the same system featuring an Intel Core i9 10980XE, 32GB (4 x 8GB DDR4-3200) memory, Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe solid-state drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics. All system settings on all of the operating systems under test were at their defaults unless otherwise noted.

    • Applications

      • 5 Linux backup and restore tips from the trenches

        It’s easy to quote best practices and to tell someone what they should do, but it doesn’t always work in actual practice. “Everything works on paper,” was my response to an architect who told me that I need to “adhere to the recommended guidelines and best practices rather than being a rogue sysadmin.” The fact is that I wasn’t a rogue sysadmin. The problem was that this “architect” had never even been inside a data center, nor had he ever seen a server enclosure. He was simply reading a manual and telling me how it should be done, although he’d never had the experience of doing it himself.

      • qBittorrent v4.2.2 release

        There’s a “qBittorrent” app on the Windows Store which costs money. It isn’t an official release nor it is coming from us. The person publicizing it doesn’t have permission to use the qBittorrent name/logo.

      • qBittorrent 4.2.2 Released! How to Install it via PPA

        qBittorrent torrent client 4.2.2 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04, and Ubuntu 19.10.

        qBittorrent 4.2.2 comes with new features, web UI improvements, and various bug-fixes. And python2 support is removed in the search function.

      • 15 Open Source Rescue Solutions For Companies Working Remotely under a Lockdown or Quarantine

        The Covid-19 virus that has been spreading all around the world has forced people to stay in their homes. Unfortunately, this caused a lot of businesses to stop functioning, as their employees can no longer reach their work office. What made things worse was that most companies weren’t really ready to do a full technological transfer to remote work in such short amount of time.

        However, one will have to adapt to the new situation so that they don’t get out of business. And to help you with issue, we are here today to present some open source solutions to help companies work remotely.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Amusing free local multiplayer terrain-smashing game ‘Hammer Dongers’ has a new update

        Hammer Dongers is a pretty funny (and currently free) local multiplayer game that has up to four people run around with big hammers and try to land a hit. The problem is, when you miss the terrain falls away.

        It’s quite tricky, even if you think you’re usually good as fast-paced local multiplayer action the idea of the land beneath your feet just falling away makes it both amusing and challenging. You can use it to your advantage but so can you opponents.

        With a new update out they’ve added in a Land Mine item, which makes things quite hilarious. If someone steps on it, or something else sets it off you can say goodbye to a good chunk of the map making it even more perilous. There’s also a bunch of new obstacles in the levels, some just for style and some hazardous.

      • One Step From Eden is a creative blending of fast-paced action and deck-building out now

        One Step From Eden developed by Thomas Moon Kang and publisher Humble Bundle is out today and it might just be my new favourite game of 2020. [...]

        Inspired by Megaman Battle Network, to fill a void the developer felt they could fill with their own creation. They’ve certainly done well with it. Eventually, I might get sick of every developer trying to add in some form of cards and deck-building…but certainly not today. One Step From Eden is madness, pure and simple. Step left, right, activate an ability to throw across the screen at the enemy and dash around the board again. It’s brilliant. It’s like some kind of hypnotic dance you’re doing with your fingers.

      • Humble Bundle have a new bunch of games going in the Humble Award Winners Bundle

        The Humble Award Winners Bundle has just gone live, which includes some highly rated games with the chosen charity for this bundle being Direct Relief. They’re one of the charities currently involved in helping fight against Coronavirus (COVID-19).

        In the $1/£1 tier they have SIMULACRA and Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor, sadly neither have Linux support but may work to some degree with Steam Play Proton.

        Things get more interesting if you pay more than the average as you get Quadrilateral Cowboy which does support Linux and Yoku’s Island Express (no Linux there).

      • Epic city-state simulator ‘Songs of Syx’ is very promising and now on Kickstarter

        The developer said it doesn’t firmly fit into a single category. It’s not really a city-builder, it’s not exactly a grand-strategy game or anything else. It’s a firm blending of many things they’ve ended up calling a “city-state simulation”. You start off with nothing more than a simple village, a few people and eventually expand to cities with 10-30k citizens. Not only that, there’s also massive battles you would expect to see in some sort of real-time strategy game on a grand scale the developer said is “like those depicted in Gladiator, Alexander, or LOTR” and this comes with a morale system, training, formations and all sorts of tactics.

      • After Years Of Being Blamed For Everything, The World Turns To Video Games To Escape During Coronavirus Shut-In

        For years and years and years, video games have suffered the brunt of blame for all manner of the world’s ills. Real world violence? Video games. Mass shootings? Video games. Soccer team not performing well? Video games! Kids getting into hacking? Bruh, video games! Men not finding women attractive enough to keep the human race going? Video games did that, too!

      • In coronavirus lockdown, sports fans turn to video-gaming contests

        There are early signs that the pandemic may help e-sports reach new audiences. With the usual fixtures called off, cooped-up fans of mainstream sports are looking elsewhere for entertainment with competitive bite. Mr Greeley notes that, despite the commercial uncertainty, sponsors’ interest has not abated in recent weeks. The number of hours watched on Twitch, which broadcasts both e-sports and amateur gamers, rose by over 20% in the seven days to March 25th, according to Sully Gnome, an analytics website. Some of this increase will come from more casual gamers discovering e-sports. Last week the servers that power League of Legends were almost overwhelmed with demand. Professional players were given special access so that members of the public could at least watch the pros play via streaming sites, even if they could not take part in the game themselves.

        As a response to the pandemic, live sports are taking on e-sports directly. In recent days the organisers of NASCAR, Formula 1, La Liga (Spain’s top football league) and Major League Rugby (a competition in North America) have all announced video-game contests to replace cancelled fixtures. Formula 1’s “virtual Grand Prix” will see this season’s drivers step out of their cars and into simulators to go wheel-to-wheel on computer-generated tracks. The rugby players, meanwhile, will compete on a virtual pitch. Organisers seem to have given little thought to whether athletes used to the real world will make skilled gamers.

      • Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition is out dumping RPG Maker for Unity, adds in Linux support

        Ara Fell, originally released back in 2016 and it went on to receive a lot of positive reviews. Stegosoft Games went back, revamped it quite a lot and now it’s out again with Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition. This new edition not only dumps RPG Maker in favour of Unity, it also adds in Linux support so you can enjoy another sweet 2D RPG.

      • Practice your skills of isolation and survival in The Long Dark with a big COVID-19 support sale

        The Long Dark, a single-player survival game about surviving the cold of ‘The Quiet Apocalypse’ from Hinterland Studio is having a big sale to help fight against the spread of COVID-19.

        Until March 31, Hinterland have put The Long Dark on a 60% off sale with all of the revenue going to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

        “This urgent moment calls for urgent global cooperation,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “And we need everyone – across all sectors – to work together. I am grateful to Hinterland for contributing to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. Their donation will help make sure health workers on the frontlines have the tools they need to prevent, detect, and respond to this pandemic.”

      • Cities: Skylines – Sunset Harbor is out now, plus a ‘Modern Japan’ creator pack and a Radio Station

        Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order have today released the huge Cities: Skylines – Sunset Harbor expansion, further pushing this excellent city builder.

        “The teams at Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order are happy to announce that we’ve carefully listened to our community and are adding in some of the most requested content in Sunset Harbor,” said Erika Kling, Cities: Skylines Product Manager at Paradox Interactive. “Fans asked for new transportation options, especially the trolleybus service, and we delivered, along with the brand new Fishing industry for builders looking for more maritime content.”

      • Stadia Pro subscribers get three games in April’s batch, plus The Crew 2 out now

        If you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, Google have announced the three games you will get in April along with more games out now.

        For April’s Pro games you will get: Serious Sam Collection, Stacks On Stacks (On Stacks) and Spitlings. Although Metro Exodus and Thumper will be leaving new Pro subs at the end of March, so redeem them if you haven’t done so already. So far, the amount of games Google has been giving out to Pro subs has been quite good, although it may not be as good forever once they have a lot more games on the store.

      • Modern GNU/Linux Systems Should Run Old Games: Open Source Community

        LibrePlanet 2020 ended on a high note with its second conference on 15 March 2020. There were a lot of things that were discussed in the online conference. However, one topic of discussion at the conference was centered on gaming on GNU/Linux systems.

        Developer Dennis Payne tried to look back and pointed out that Modern GNU/Linux no longer runs “older” free software games.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Plasma Bigscreen is an open source user environment design for TVs

          In a nutshell, Plasma Bigscreen brings the sort of features you’d expect from a smart TV platform like Apple TV, Android TV, Fire OS, or the Roku user interface. It’s optimized so that you can easily view everything while sitting on a couch ten feet from the screen. And you can navigate using a remote control or voice controls rather than a mouse and keyboard.

          Instead of small icons, apps are represented by large cards that should be easy to see from your couch. And rows of apps are arranged by category such as games, applications, and voice apps. There’s a Recent section at the top of the screen to help you find that thing you were using last time you turned on your TV.

        • Turn Your Regular TV into a Smart TV With KDE Plasma Bigscreen

          Smart TVs are the new normal these days. Mostly based on Android, these smart TVs let you play YouTube, Netflix, Spotify and other streaming services. You can even use voice commands to control your smart TV.

          One major problem with these so-called smart TVs are that they probably are spying on you. Your data is being collected with or without your knowledge.

          This is the problem KDE’s Plasma Bigscreen project is aiming to solve.

        • Plasma on TV: Presenting Plasma Bigscreen

          The KDE.News site is carrying an announcement for the Plasma Bigscreen environment, which is meant for large-screen televisions.

        • KDE’s Plasma Bigscreen Project Aims to Bring Plasma Desktop to Smart TVs

          As its name suggests, Plasma Bigscreen will be a variant of KDE’s Plasma desktop environment for TVs that can be controlled with the remote control of your smart TV.

          The project is designed to support single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi and takes advantage of the open-source Mycroft AI voice assistant project to deliver voice control capabilities on big TV screens.

          By default, Mycroft AI uses Google’s speech-to-text (STT) system to send anonymized utterances to Google. However, users are free to de-activate voice recognition or switch to a different backend, including a self-hosted STT system like Mozilla Deepspeech.

        • Plasma on TV: Presenting Plasma Bigscreen

          Plasma Bigscreen is KDE’s user interface for big TV screens.

          Plasma Bigscreen powers the interface on a Single Board Computer and uses the Mycroft AI voice assistant to provide a Smart TV platform. Plasma Bigscreen will deliver not only media-rich applications, but also traditional desktop applications redesigned to fit the Bigscreen experience.

        • Krita 4.2.9 Released

          Today we’re finally releasing Krita 4.2.9! It’s been one of the most complicated releases we’ve ever attempted. When we updated the version of Python that’s embedded in Krita, scripting broke on Windows. When Apple updated its notarization protocol, building broke on macOS. And then we updated to a newer version of some of the libraries we build Krita on, and that broke all kinds of things. In fact, Windows Store users need to have a bit of patience: Microsoft has deprecated the appx installer format for Windows Store packages and broke the DesktopAppConverter, replacing it with a new tool, which, however, only generates packages that the Windows Store validator refuses. We’re working on that!

        • Latte bug fix release 0.9.10

          Latte Dock v0.9.10 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

    • Distributions

      • AryaLinux Provides the Building Blocks for a Unique Linux Experience

        AryaLinux focuses on the skill sets of advanced Linux users. This user class generally prefers to decide what to put on a system. These users also want to curate their own software.

        The other prominent appeal of this distro is its derivative roots. It is not remastered or forked from any other Linux project. It is a unique Linux computing platform. It comes with the added feature of being a springboard to creating your own distro spin.

        AryaLinux needs at least 20 GB of local storage for the system partition, as well as (for 2 GB of RAM or less) a swap partition of at least 2 GB, which also is used for hibernation mode.

      • 5 Most Suitable Linux Distributions for Doctors

        Many health & IT professionals prefer to use operating systems other than Windows in order to do their daily jobs. There can be many reasons for that, such as not wanting to pay hundreds of dollars in licensing each year to Microsoft or simply reasons related to performance, security and efficiency.

        Out of these many alternative operating systems, Linux stands out as one of the best alternatives to try out. But one issue that could face many health doctors in their first time trying Linux is which Linux distribution should they use?

      • New Releases

        • Simplicity X 20.4 Pre-Beta

          It’s been a while since I posted last. Long story short, I was told in January that my entire department *could* be made redundant on March 31st 2020. Everyone in the department knew that meant that we would, and after a consultation period, I was told two weeks ago that I would indeed be being made redundant. Fast forward to this week, and I didn’t feel good on Monday, felt really rough on Tuesday and Tuesday lunchtime I self-isolated and left work for the last time. I felt a little better yesterday, and better still today.

          This is what I’ve been working on all day. Simplicity X 20.4 Pre-Beta. It’s rough but most of it works. The idea is to make a version of Simplicity good enough for people to use as a replacement for Windows. X 20.4 has predictive text in apps, Zoom, Redshift (changes the brightness of the screen depending on the time of day), Rhinote sticky notes, LibreOffice, Remmina remote desktop, Joplin task manager, a Pomodoro timer (https://bit.ly/3dpEjnU), RescueTime for limiting apps and sites and Firefox plus a VPN, password manager and ad blocker. There’s still lots to do on it, but I wanted to put this out today.

      • BSD

        • pfSense 2.4.5-RELEASE Now Available

          We are pleased to announce the release of pfSense® software version 2.4.5, now available for new installations and upgrades!

          pfSense software version 2.4.5 brings security patches, several new features, support for new Netgate hardware models, and stability fixes for issues present in previous pfSense 2.4.x branch releases.

          pfSense 2.4.5-RELEASE updates and installation images are available now!

          To see a complete detailed list of changes, see the Release Notes.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE is Offering Free Enterprise Linux Support For Medical Device Manufacturers

          You are here: Home / News / SUSE is Offering Free Enterprise Linux Support For Medical Device Manufacturers
          SUSE is Offering Free Enterprise Linux Support For Medical Device Manufacturers
          Last updated March 26, 2020 By Ankush Das Leave a Comment

          Brief: SUSE is offering free support for its Linux Enterprise Server and container and cloud technologies to any organization building medical devices to fight the Coronavirus.

          SUSE is one of the biggest open-source software companies. The SUSE Linux operating system for enterprise users is their primary offering. In addition to that, they also provide container technologies.

          Amidst the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, there’s a lot of things happening across the globe that keeps us worried. In times like this, SUSE’s latest commitment to fight COVID-19 is positive news!

        • How Linux Helps the Fight Against the New Coronavirus

          As a key part of the tech world, Linux itself is playing an essential role in this fight against the new coronavirus, and today SUSE announced it’s offering free services, including the open-source operating system and container technologies, to medical device manufacturers.

          More specifically, SUSE will provide companies that produce medical devices supposed to help us deal with COVID-19 with support and maintenance for SUSE Linux Enterprise and container technologies that can be embedded into new devices.

        • Kismet, Frameworks Updates Land in openSUSE Tumbleweed

          Four openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released so far this week.

          Kismet, KDE Frameworks, sudo, LibreOffice and ImageMagick were just a few of the packages that received updates in the snapshots.

          The most recent snapshot, 20200322 brougth the 1.3.6 version of the Bluetooth configuration tool, blueberry. Full featured Command Line Interface (CLI) system information tool inxi 3.0.38 fixed a Perl issue where perl treats 000 as a string and not 0. General purpose VPN package WireGuard removed dead code. The snapshot also updated several YaST packages. Fixes were made to help with text icons displayed during installations in yast2 4.2.74 package and some cosmetic changes were made in the yast2-ntp-client 4.2.10 package to not show check-boxes for saving configuration and starting the deamon. The snapshot is currently trending at a rating of 84, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

          Just three packages were updated in snapshot 20200320. Python 2 compatibility was removed in the urlscan 0.9.4 package. Both elementary-xfce-icon-theme and perl-Encode 3.05 were updated in the snapshot, which is trending at a rating of 99.

          The other two snapshots also recorded a stable rating of 99.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Come Socialize at the Fedora Social Hour!

          COVID-19 is getting pretty real, with social distancing, shelter-in-place, and lockdown orders in effect in areas around the world. Some of us are perhaps getting sick of the company we are stuck with, and others of us are feeling pretty isolated without any company at all.

          Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller and contributor Neal Gompa had the idea for a Fedora Social Hour where folks could video chat in and get a little (virtual) human contact and conversation.

          Sound like a welcome break from isolation to you? Check out the details below!

        • Red Hat Accelerates AI/ML Workflows and Delivery of AI-Powered Intelligent Applications with Red Hat OpenShift

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today highlighted that more organizations are using Red Hat OpenShift as the foundation for building artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) data science workflows and AI-powered intelligent applications. OpenShift helps to provide agility, flexibility, portability and scalability across the hybrid cloud, from cloud infrastructure to edge computing deployments, a necessity for developing and deploying ML models and intelligent applications into production more quickly and without vendor lock-in.

        • Red Hat Shares the Value of Community Management in Open-Source Enterprise Software

          At Codemotion, we’re big fans of developer communities and community management. We support community-led side events at our conferences and we’ve created an events portal where anyone can post an upcoming event. But at a time when a lot of events have been postponed or canceled, it’s worth taking a bigger look at the role of community management. so we’ve created a three-part series focused on three of the biggest developer communities. The first is Red Hat.

          Red Hat provides enterprise open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver high-performing Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. In the open-source world, communities are growing with people from all around the world bringing passion about coder. New collaborators can butt heads with the old guard, creating conflicts within communities, or worse, driving software forks.

        • The benefits to telcos of innovation at the network edge

          Darrell Jordan-Smith, Global Vice President of Vertical Industries and Accounts, Red Hat
          Telecom service providers have been exploring the potential of the network edge for several years now, but the arrival of 5G is promising to open up new business cases. So what’s the reality today; where are CSPs on their journey to the edge?

          CSPs see a great opportunity to use edge computing to get themselves back into the cloud. They can apply a lot of telemetry, data analytics, AI and augmented reality-based applications by realising the opportunity to move compute storage and networking to the far edge of their network.

          Red Hat is already seeing a lot of innovation around the edge coming from the adoption of open source. Developers can build on a common platform and innovate on top of it rather than working from the ground up, maintaining a legacy based platform as they develop new applications. This ability to have a horizontal platform, being able to containerise workloads to realise real cost reductions in the marketplace is underpinning all the new business cases that are being developed to take advantage of edge and 5G.

          Containerisation of network elements itself is going to realize 10 to 20 per cent cost reduction for telcos and Red Hat is reporting that more than 60% of all of its telco partners are currently looking at containerisation across their network infrastructure, building on what they’ve done in terms of virtualisation.

        • Getting started with Node-RED just got easier

          Node-RED has been available in the IBM Cloud catalog since the very early days of the platform. With just a couple of clicks it was possible to get Node-RED deployed as a Cloud Foundry application. It has proved to be a very popular option in countless engagements to quickly start building applications that make use of the wide range of services available.

        • 5 benefits of using micro frontends To build process-driven applications

          When building process-driven applications, a monolithic architecture can slow the development process, as well as limit the complexity of the functionality it can provide. In order to increase agility and embrace DevOps, developers must build applications with greater modularity.

          In recent months, micro frontend has become something of a buzzword that is changing the way developers think about web application architectures.

          A micro frontend can be defined as “an architectural style where independently deliverable frontend applications are composed into a greater whole” (Martin Fowler). Micro frontend architectures allow organizations to add new features and frontend functionality to their applications without affecting other parts of the code.

      • Debian Family

        • Codes of Contradiction

          Free software organizations are making more and more noise about their Codes of Conduct these days.

          Do we really understand what they are about?

          Debian has become a case in point.

          The Debian Project Leader and sidekicks have spent almost two years sending private emails disparaging a volunteer. These emails are examples of what normal people call harassment. Every one of them violates the Code of Conduct.

          They argue that it is permissable to write these things in private emails because it is not a public medium that might be found in a search engine.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Bodhi Linux 5.1 Is Out With Latest Hardware Support And Kernel Updates

          Not all operating systems can run on old computers. But thanks to the Linux community, which develops various lightweight Linux distributions, we have multiple choices. According to our list for the same, Bodhi Linux is the best lightweight operating system.

          If you’re very new to Linux, you may not have heard about Bodhi Linux as there has been no new release for two years. But, a couple of days ago, Bodhi Linux released the new version v5.1 that now supports regular kernel updates and the latest hardware as well.

        • Bodhi Linux 5.1.0 Released Based on Latest Ubuntu Point Release

          A new version of Bodhi Linux is available to download based on the recent Ubuntu 18.04.4 point release.

          While Bodhi Linux isn’t a headline distro it has gained a solid following over the years thanks to a combination of low system resource requirements and solid performance with the novel Moksha desktop environment and a selection of lightweight desktop apps.

          And truth be told I have a bit of a soft spot for it, too. I like distros that ‘do things differently’ and, amidst a a sea of pale Ubuntu spins sporting minor cosmetic changes, Bodhi Linux stands out more than most.

        • Bodhi Linux Is Still Alive, Gets New Release Based on Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

          As you probably know, Bodhi Linux found a new maintainer in Robert Wiley, last year in June. Since then, we haven’t seen a new release of the popular GNU/Linux distribution and many thought the worse, that the project is dead.

          But that’s not the case, as Bodhi Linux 5.1 is out now with some new features and improvements. The most obvious changes are the replacement of the Midori web browser with GNOME’s Epiphany and the ePad text editor with the more lightweight Leafpad.

        • Xubuntu 20.04 Testing Week

          We’re delighted to announce that we’re participating in an ‘Ubuntu Testing Week’ from April 2nd to April 8th with other flavors in the Ubuntu family. On April 2nd, we’ll be releasing the beta release of Xubuntu 20.04 LTS, after halting all new changes to its features, user interface and documentation. And between April 2nd and the final release on April 23rd, all efforts by the Xubuntu team and community are focused on ISO testing, bug reporting, and fixing bugs.

          So, we highly encourage you to join the community by downloading the daily ISO image and trying it out, though you are welcome to start from today. There are a variety of ways that you can help test the release, including trying out the various testcases for live sessions and installations on the ISO tracker (Xubuntu is found at the bottom of the page), which take less than 30 minutes to complete (example 1, example 2, example 3 below).

        • How Domotz streamlined provisioning of IoT devices

          As the number of IoT devices scale, the challenges of provisioning and keeping them up to date in the field increases. Domotz, who manufacture an all-in-one, network monitoring and management device for enterprise IoT networks, found themselves with this challenge that was further compounded by their rapid software release cadence.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 open source tools for email, note taking, and documentation

        Most collaborative tools these days recognize that not all users have accounts with their company or suite. In other words, if someone sends you a link to share.example.com but you don’t have an account with example.com, then you’ll likely be offered a chance to sign up.

        On the surface, that seems admirably and pragmatically inclusive. You can sign up for an online tool, possibly even using a temporary or “junk” email address and identity, and start collaborating. However, in reality, this brings a third party into what is inherently only a two-party process. The host of the collaboration suite isn’t a part of the collaboration; it’s a gateway that some people won’t want to pass through, especially if the host of the collaboration suite is a particularly large corporation with interests in user profiling and data collection.

      • 3 open source tools for sticking to a budget

        In light of changing economical times in many countries around the world right now, you may find yourself wanting to revamp or improve your financial situation and your understanding of it. Or, perhaps one of your New Year’s resolutions was to start budgeting? You are not alone.

        The best way to stick to that resolution is to keep track of the money you are spending and making on a regular basis. The problem is, many popular personal finance apps out there are proprietary. Are you looking for an open source alternative to Quicken, Mint, or You Need a Budget? Whether you are new to open source software or new to budgeting in general, one of these tools will suit your needs and comfort level.

      • Top 5 Free and Open Source Robotics Frameworks

        ROS (Robot Operating System) is an open source framework for writing robot software. It started in 2007 with the goal of simplifying the process of creating complex robot behavior across a wide variety of robotic platforms. It is licensed under the permissive BSD license.

        ROS has a lot of components. At the lowest level, it has a communication infrastructure which offers Message Passing, Recording and Playback of Messages for asynchronous communications, Remote Procedure Calls for synchronous communications, and Distributed Parameter System which provides a way for tasks to share configuration information.

        ROS provides common robot-specific libraries and tools. Some examples of libraries are Robot Geometry Library which keeps track of where different parts of the robot are with respect to each other, Robot Description Language, Diagnostics, Pose Estimation, Localization, and Navigation.

        ROS has powerful development tools which support introspecting, debugging, plotting, and visualizing the state of the system being developed. There are more than 45 command-line tools and some GUI tools as rviz (3D visualization) and rqt (for developing graphical interfaces for your robot).

      • Apache Software Foundation Celebrates Its 21st Birthday

        Today marks twenty-one years since the Apache Software Foundation was created out of the Apache Group and incorporated as a non-profit organization.

        While the Apache Software Foundation continues to be most well known for the Apache HTTPD web server, over the past two decades they have amassed close to over 300 other projects from various database implementations to various Java tools to Subversion and much more. The Apache Software Foundation values their code-base at close to $20 billion USD.

      • Events

        • Looking back at LibrePlanet 2020: Freeing the future together

          On March 14 and 15, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) held LibrePlanet 2020: Free the Future online. The virtual edition of LibrePlanet was nothing short of a success, and it was quite a journey to get there.

          Looking back to a week before the conference, we had an incredible lineup, exciting plans, and more new program elements than we’ve ever had before. With a new logo designed by campaigns intern Valessio Brito, a refresh to the LibrePlanet 2020 Web site, renewed focus on using the LibrePlanet wiki to collaborate, and with a new home at the Back Bay Events Center, we were ready to receive hundreds of free software supporters in Boston for another successful conference. And then everything changed.

          Our in-person event suffered the consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic, forcing us to make the difficult decision of bringing LibrePlanet 2020 online in order to protect our supporters, staff, and all the many interrelated communities. There was no time to pause and mourn: instead, the FSF team put our heads together fast and charted a new direction.

          Within the scope of five days, we were able to move the conference from an in-person experience to a live streaming event, thanks to the heroic efforts of our talented tech team, our volunteers, and the flexibility and cooperation of our scheduled speakers, even some previously unscheduled ones. We hosted three sessions at a time for both days of the conference, bringing viewers thirty-five streamed talks from forty-five speakers, as well as eight lightning talks. Technical difficulties were few and far between, and when one of our speakers asked how many nations were tuning in, within the span of eighteen seconds, twelve countries were identified.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Tech Training Outreach – SCaLE 18x (2020)

          Our team delivered tech training, help, outreach, and swag items during the SCaLE 18x 2020 event.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • WebXR Emulator Extension AR support

            In September we released the WebXR Emulator Extension which enables testing WebXR VR applications in your desktop browser. Today we are happy to announce a new feature: AR support.

          • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: March Edition

            Please note some of the information provided in this report may be subject to change as we are sometimes sharing information about projects that are still in early stages and are not final yet.

          • Stay safe in your online life, too

            During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are turning to the internet to connect, learn, work and entertain ourselves from home. We’re setting up new accounts, reading more news, watching more videos and scrolling through social media at an all-time high. These are excellent ways to stay connected while being physically distant, but they do come with a set of concerns worth noting.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • It’s not what programming languages do, it’s what they shepherd you to

          How many of you have listened, read or taken part in a discussion about programming languages that goes like the following:

          Person A: “Programming language X is bad, code written in it is unreadable and horrible.”

          Person B: “No it’s not. You can write good code in X, you just have to be disciplined.”

          Person A: “It does not work, if you look at existing code it is all awful.”

          Person B: “No! Wrong! Those are just people doing it badly. You can write readable code just fine.”

          After this the discussion repeats from the beginning until either one gets fed up and just leaves.

          I’m guessing more than 99% of you readers have seen this, often multiple times. The sad part of this is that even though this thing happens all the time, nobody learns anything and the discussion begins anew all the time. Let’s see if we can do something about this. A good way to go about it is to try to come up with a name and a description for the underlying issue.

        • Ideas to help working from home

          When I came to KDAB to work, working at home was a bit of a culture shock for me – I’d previously only ever worked in an open-plan office and had sworn that home working was not for me – I’d never manage to get anything done! However, I’ve found that home working suits me quite well, and given the current situation I thought I’d write a little about it as some people might be experiencing home working for the first time.

          The first concern I had when starting to work from home was the loneliness. This is particularly relevant now, however there are still ways to ensure that you don’t get completely isolated. One thing would be to have meetings via video call – and not to forget that you can also do this with friends in the evening! Having social contact is important, even if you can’t meet up face to face.

          The other main concern I had was how to separate working time from non-working time – both the physical and mental aspects. As a physical space, I use my PC desk for gaming which is not ideal, but I make sure after I work I move to another room to differentiate ‘work’ and ‘play’. A better way would be to have two different spaces set up, however with limited space – I live in a flat – I make sure that I at least have a break in between the two uses. Mentally, at the end of each day I like to plan what I’ll do first in the morning, so that it’s part of my wind down for a working day – which allows me to start the next day without getting distracted. At the end of the week I upload my timesheet to say to myself ‘that’s it’ – a very definite point where I’m done for the week.

        • Static analysis in GCC 10

          I work at Red Hat on GCC, the GNU Compiler Collection. For the next major release of GCC, GCC 10, I’ve been implementing a new -fanalyzer option: A static analysis pass to identify various problems at compile-time, rather than at runtime.

          My thinking here is that it’s best to catch problems as early as possible as the code is written, using the compiler the code is written in as part of the compile-edit-debug cycle, rather than having static analysis as an extra tool “on the side” (perhaps proprietary). Hence, it seems worthwhile to have a static analyzer built into the compiler that can see exactly the same code as the compiler sees—because it is the compiler.

          This issue is, of course, a huge problem to tackle. For this release, I’ve focused on the kinds of problems seen in C code—and, in particular double-free bugs—but with a view toward creating a framework that we can expand on in subsequent releases (when we can add more checks and support languages other than C).

        • Malcolm: Static analysis in GCC 10

          David Malcolm writes about the static-analysis features that he is working on adding to the GCC compiler.

        • Ashley’s top five projects for Raspberry Pi first-timers
        • How to manage a business without a headquarters

          Distributed organisations are as old as the [Internet]. Its first users 50 years ago realised how much can be done by swapping emails and digital files. These exchanges led to the development of “open source” software, jointly written by groups of strangers often geographically distant.

          Today most distributed startups have open-source roots. Gatsby is one. Nearly all 1,200 employees of another, Automattic, best known for WordPress, software to build websites, work from home. GitHub, which hosts millions of open-source projects (and was acquired by Microsoft in 2018), may be the world’s biggest distributed enterprise. Two-thirds of its 2,000 staff work remotely. Most firms that build blockchains, a type of distributed database, are by their nature dispersed.

        • 10 Most(ly dead) Influential Programming Languages

          The other day I read 20 most significant programming languages in history, a “preposterous table I just made up.” He certainly got preposterous right: he lists Go as “most significant” but not ALGOL, Smalltalk, or ML. He also leaves off Pascal because it’s “mostly dead”. Preposterous! That defeats the whole point of what “significant in history” means.

          So let’s talk about some “mostly dead” languages and why they matter so much.

          Disclaimer: Yeah not all of these are dead and not all of these are forgotten. Like most people have heard of Smalltalk, right? Also there’s probably like a billion mistakes in this, because when you’re doing a survey of 60 years of computing history you’re gonna get some things wrong. Feel free to yell at me if you see anything!

          Disclaimer 2: Yeah I know some of these are “first to invent” and others are “first to popularize”. History is complicated!

        • Megvii makes deep learning AI framework open-source as China moves to reduce reliance on US platforms

          Initially developed in 2014, MegEngine is part of Megvii’s proprietary AI platform, Brain++

        • Python

          • Python 101 – Learning About Tuples

            Tuples are another sequence type in Python. Tuples consist of a number of values that are separated by commas. A tuple is immutable whereas a list is not. Immutable means that the tuple has a fixed value and cannot change. You cannot add, delete or modify items in a tuple. Immutable objects are useful when you need a constant hash value. The most popular example is the key to a Python dictionary.

          • PyCharm 2020.1 Beta 2

            PyCharm is approaching its release, and this beta is yet another waypoint we’re passing. The new Beta version of PyCharm can now be downloaded from our website.

          • Webinar Recording: “Django with PyCharm Tips and Tricks” with Paul Everitt
          • Python Bytes: #174 Happy developers use Python 3
          • Starting the Onboarding Flow – Building SaaS #49

            In this episode, we worked on the progress element that will display in every step of the onboarding flow. I added some labels and styled the banner using Tailwind CSS. At the end of the stream, we boxed in the shape of the welcome page with some placeholder elements.

            The very first thing I did was insert a top bar that was unstyled to the top of the welcome page. We added some placeholder text for each of the steps in the onboarding flow. After that, I started styling the UI until it took shape.

            We talked about design elements like color and spacing and some aesthetic qualities that help make a user interface feel better.

            After completing a first cut of the top bar navigation, I shifted to the welcome page and added vector art and placeholder text to give the page some life.

          • How to Create Python Virtual Environment on Ubuntu 18.04 & 16.04

            The Virtualenv is used to create an isolated environment for Python application. It provides separate environment to application that system environment. This tutorial will help you to create a Python virtual environment on Ubuntu 19.10, 18.04 and 16.04 LTS systems.

          • “Coder’s Cat”: Python: Generator and Yield

            In this post, let’s discuss some basics for the generator in Python. What’s the benefit for generator, and how we use yield to implement generator.

          • A Flexible Open Source ERP Framework To Run Your Business – Episode 255

            Running a successful business requires some method of organizing the information about all of the processes and activity that take place. Tryton is an open source, modular ERP framework that is built for the flexibility needed to fit your organization, rather than requiring you to model your workflows to match the software. In this episode core developers Nicolas Évrard and Cédric Krier are joined by avid user Jonathan Levy to discuss the history of the project, how it is being used, and the myriad ways that you can adapt it to suit your needs. If you are struggling to keep a consistent view of your business and ensure that all of the necessary workflows are being observed then listen now and give Tryton a try.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Awk

            Awk is a versatile programming language designed for pattern scanning and processing language and often used as a data extraction and reporting tool. It’s an excellent filter and report writer. It’s a standard feature of most Unix-like operating systems.

            Awk is small, fast, simple, and has a clean comprehensible C-like input language. It has robust programming constructs including if/else, while, do/while and for C-style and array iteration.

            The name awk comes from the initials of its designers: Alfred V. Aho, Peter J. Weinberger, and Brian W. Kernighan. The original version of awk was written in 1977 at AT&T Bell Laboratories.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • From O’Reilly President, Laura Baldwin: O’Reilly’s events business

      Some of the world’s greatest innovations have taken place during times of great crisis, and we’re here to help our customers be ready when we step beyond this virus and the economy begins to grow again. Today, our platform and our message are helping companies wrestle with the complexities of working from home or trying to keep online services up and running as they are hit with unprecedented demand, as well as helping individuals use this time to train and develop new skills. No offense to “Netflix and chill” but how about we move toward “Code and conquer” as our new mantra during these trying times?

      Over the last 25 years, O’Reilly in-person Events have been a gathering place for the technology community to share new ideas and expertise, learn new technologies and make personal connections. We’re deeply grateful to all who helped make our events a success and that we had a chance to be part of this community for so long. We are sad that as part of this decision, we have employees leaving us today who ran our in-person events business with precision and grace. We thank them for all of their contributions.

    • Science

      • The World’s Major Military and Economic Powers Find Happiness Elusive

        Perhaps it’s time for the citizens of the “great powers” to ask themselves if they are truly benefiting from the much-vaunted military and economic strength of their nations.

      • 8 European spacecraft put in hibernation amid virus lockdown

        The agency said it is further reducing the already limited number of staff working on site at its mission control in Darmstadt, Germany. As a result, the instruments and data collection on some space probes are being temporarily stopped.

        They include the Cluster mission, consisting of four probes launched in 2000 to investigate Earth’s magnetic environment and how it is affected by solar wind; the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter launched in 2016 to investigate the red planet’s atmosphere; Mars Express, launched in 2003 and which has been capturing images of the surface of Mars; and the Solar Orbiter mission launched last month to observe the sun.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Our Message to All Countries Is Clear: Heed This Warning Now’: WHO Calls for Unified Global Effort as Coronavirus Spread Surges

        The United Nations agency’s warning to world leaders comes as Trump continues to push for loosened restrictions to contain the novel coronavirus.

      • Boris Now Has to Play at Being Serious

        In the current Coronavirus crisis, Donald Trump is under little pressure to play at being serious, given the way an American “post-political” politics, and its embodiments in the media, are presently constituted—unless riling-up his base is equated with being serious.

      • Healthcare Workers Are At War, But Trump Isn’t on Our Side

        NYC physician gave this speech about the war against the coronavirus and the ongoing war against for-profit health care, Trump and capitalism itself. The coronavirus pandemic is magnifying capitalism’s complete inability to foster overall health and well being. We don’t just need a new healthcare system, but a new economic system altogether.

      • Putin suspends all non-essential work in Russia, calling a nationwide stay-at-home holiday next week to curb the spread of coronavirus

        In a major effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in Russia, Vladimir Putin has canceled the next workweek nationwide, suspending work for all non-essential laborers from March 28 to April 5. The president also indefinitely postponed a nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments that was previously scheduled for April 22.

      • Russia’s Duma considering million-ruble fines and prison time for quarantine violations

        State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Constitutional Law Committee Chair Pavel Krashennikov have introduced a bill into Russia’s parliament that would provide harsher penalties under Article 236 of the country’s Criminal Codex. Article 236 covers “violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules.”

      • Coronavirus Proves It: We Need Medicare For All

        Health care rationing isn’t what awaits us in a single-payer system. It’s happening now in our failed for-profit system.

      • Putin to make national address after Russia’s coronavirus cases spike by 163 to 658 confirmed infections

        Vladimir Putin will make a national address in the next few minutes. The speech will be broadcast live online and on all national television networks. (You can watch it live here.) Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the president decided on the necessity of a national address after meeting with the federal government’s coronavirus task force on March 24 and visiting a medical center in Moscow’s Kommunarka community, where the city is treating patients who test positive for COVID-19.

      • To keep senior citizens at home, Moscow’s mayor has suspended free travel on public transport for people older than 65

        In an effort to discourage senior citizens from leaving their homes, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has suspended free travel on public transit throughout the city for people older than 65.

      • The Message of COVID-19

        At the end of the first World War, as civilians and soldiers returning home were celebrating the end of a senseless and cruel carnage, another terror was lurking in the microscopic shadows. The 1918 flu pandemic, most commonly referred to as the Spanish Flu, would end up taking the lives of anywhere from 50 to 100 million people around the world. The first wave of the virus was bad enough, but the second wave mutated in a way that was far more lethal and rapidly swept through communities in every country, causing untold misery and bringing governments and economies to their knees.

      • COVID-19 and the Death of Connectivity

        The Covid 19 pandemic is the second major crisis of globalization in a decade. The first was the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, from which the global economy took years to reach a semblance of recovery. We did not learn our lessons from the first, and this is perhaps why the impact of the second has been even more massive.

      • Putin’s newly announced COVID-19 crisis response, point by point

        On March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation as confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country spiked to 658. During the speech, which was broadcast on state television channels, Putin announced an indefinite delay in the constitutional vote that could allow him to stay in office until 2036. He also listed a new set of steps the federal government plans to take to protect public health and the economy as the new coronavirus spreads. Here’s a list of the measures Putin promised.

      • Are We Our Brothers’ and Sisters’ Keepers?

        We in the West have been caught unaware and unprepared for a disaster in the making. Think The Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, and Jaws all rolled into one, despite the obvious warnings about coronavirus from Hubei Province, China, since the start of 2020. The next few weeks, months, even years will show how Christian and enlightened our civilisation is. All the usual rules apply, stretched to the max, as the number of COVID-19 cases double like a runaway shampoo commercial, where I infect 2 friends who infect 2 friends and so on and so on.

      • Two more Moscow coronavirus patients die

        Two Moscow patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus have died, according to the city government’s headquarters for the COVID-19 pandemic.

      • Private labs to begin testing for coronavirus in Russia on March 26

        Two private laboratories, Hemotest and Helix, will begin conducting tests for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, TASS reported.

      • Looking Past the Pandemic

        This morning there was a Red-Tailed Hawk perched low in the woods outside my window for a least forty minutes. It was a large very calm bird perched not too high up in the trees that were downhill from my window, so binocular viewing was good, but it was too difficult to take a picture today. It was perhaps a young bird since its colors were mainly mottled, grey-brown on top, white with grey-brown blotches below. It had no obvious strong red on its tail feathers, but the wing and tail feathers were very clearly banded, partly like a tartan, and very crisply.

      • ‘Completely Dangerous and Unacceptable,’ Ocasio-Cortez Says of Impending Senate Recess in Midst of Coronavirus Crisis

        “We HAVE to be able to respond to people’s needs. People don’t have this time.”

      • Coronavirus a ‘Clear Warning Shot’ From Nature to Humanity, Top Scientists Say

        “We are intimately interconnected with nature, whether we like it or not. If we don’t take care of nature, we can’t take care of ourselves.”

      • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Do as the Vietnamese Do

        As I wrote in a recent essay for international education colleagues, Viet Nam has overcome steep odds in many contemporary arenas and throughout its millennia-long history.  In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Viet Nam is doing all of the right things, placing the health and well-being of its people and foreign visitors, i.e., all people, above all else.  The result so far is relatively few confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

      • Why This Coronavirus Is Not Like the Flu, or Even the Swine Flu
      • Walmart Was Almost Charged Criminally Over Opioids. Trump Appointees Killed the Indictment.

        On a Tuesday just before Halloween in 2018, a group of federal prosecutors and agents from Texas arrived in Washington. For almost two years, they’d been investigating the opioid dispensing practices of Walmart, the largest company in the world. They had amassed what they viewed as highly damning evidence only to face a major obstacle: top Trump appointees at the Department of Justice.

        The prosecution team had come to Washington to try to save its case. Joe Brown, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, led the group, which included Heather Rattan, an over-20-year veteran of the office who had spent much of her career prosecuting members of drug cartels.

      • Medicaid Abruptly Canceled Her Health Insurance. Then Came the Coronavirus.

        Every day during what seems like an endless quarantine, Judith Persutti assigns herself a chore. So far she’s washed the curtains and dusted the miniblinds in the little country house where she is sheltering in place with her oldest granddaughter.

        Stop to rest when the fatigue sets in. Lie down when the pain becomes too much.

      • Know That We Are Connected

        Enough news – of catastrophe and sociopathy and madness – for us today, thanks. Time for a beauty/solace/sanity/poetry break to help see us through. Amidst the multitude of random kindnesses underway in our besieged world: Expert advice on feeling our grief and moving past it, inexpert dinosaurs on socially-distanced parade in Milwaukee, lock-down concerts from Berklee School of Music students and Yo Yo Ma’s Songs of Comfort, quarantine birthday parties for the young and old and restless, Playing For Change videos offering joy, fond groupies of Gov. Andy Beshear turning Kentucky blue in real pandemic time, Maine neighbors bringing whoopie pies and tiny libraries becoming food pantries, and “poetry as insurgent art” á la Ferlinghetti: “I am signalling you through the flames.” Because, asks Maine’s Gov. Janet Mills, herself reading poetry aloud, “Isn’t that enough?”

      • Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced

        More than 160 million Americans have been urged to stay home in what the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic. Nonessential businesses and schools in states like New York, Illinois and California have shuttered. In parts of the country, coronavirus patients are flooding hospitals.

        Yet listeners of Mark Levin’s syndicated radio program heard on March 16 that much of the furor is a politically motivated overreaction. “I don’t want to be part of the hype machine,” Levin said. One of the country’s most-listened-to talk radio hosts, Levin averages 11 million listeners a week, according to the trade publication Talkers. “People on TV who lied to you about Russia and the Ukraine and so forth, trashing the president, using this as another opportunity to hype and dramatize their agenda.”

      • Mexico and the Pandemic

        As Mexico counts its first deaths from the dreaded COVID-19 coronavirus, different but not uniform measures were implemented throughout the country in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

      • Madrid’s Ice Rink Turned Into Morgue as Spain Exceeds China in COVID-19 Deaths

        We go to Madrid, Spain, one of the epicenters of the pandemic in Europe, where health workers account for nearly 14% of the country’s infections. Many face limited availability of protective equipment. So many people have died that Madrid’s municipal funeral home has stopped collecting bodies. A large ice rink is now being used as a makeshift morgue, and the government plans to extend the state of emergency by another 15 days in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “If Madrid was a country, it would actually be fifth in terms of death rate in the entire world,” says María Carrión, journalist and former Democracy Now! news producer.

      • Nurses in New York Still Lack Masks and Ventilators as COVID-19 Spreads

        As the New York metro area has 60% of all the new coronavirus cases in the United States and is responsible for half the cases all over the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the number of hospitalizations is expected to peak in the next 40 days as hospitals are already encountering shortages of equipment needed to protect medical workers and to keep patients alive when the city’s COVID-19 cases peak in the coming weeks. We’re joined by two people on the front-lines of the pandemic: Sean Petty, a registered nurse in the pediatric emergency room of a public hospital in the Bronx and member of the New York State Nurses Association board of directors, and Kelley Cabrera, an emergency room nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx.

      • Venezuela’s Coronavirus Response Might Surprise You

        Why is Venezuela doing so much better than its neighbors in the region?

      • The Defense Production Act Gives the President Power — but Not Much Funding

        President Donald Trump is under fire for his reluctance to use the Defense Production Act, a 70-year-old law that empowers the president to order private industry to produce crucial equipment and supplies in an emergency.

        But the law may not be the silver bullet its proponents are hoping for to combat the COVID-19 pandemic: It comes with a war chest of only $228 million, with another $1 billion to come assuming the latest rescue legislation passes.

      • Corona Hopes

        Let’s hope The virus kills off All the motherfuckers Who ever said… Thank god we don’t live in caves, Thank god we no longer Live in the trees…

      • Your Neighborhood Might Be a Coronavirus Hot Spot, but New York City Refuses to Release the Data

        Residents of Los Angeles can go to a county website to look up how many confirmed coronavirus cases there are in Beverlywood, or Koreatown, or Echo Park. Officials in Charlotte, North Carolina, have released figures at the ZIP code level. The South Korean government is sending geotargeted texts to alert citizens to positive cases near them.

        In New York, now at the center of the outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio has resisted releasing what the city knows about a basic question: Where, precisely, is the virus?

      • DOJ Correctly Takes Down Fraudulent COVID-19 Website Selling Bogus ‘Vaccine Kits’

        While it always raises alarm bells when the government is taking down websites, the Justice Department’s announced enforcement action against a website claiming to sell “vaccine kits” for COVID-19 appears legit. At issue was some scammer who put up a website fraudulently claiming that the World Health Organization was “giving away vaccine kits” and you just had to give this just registered website $4.95 for “shipping” and you’d get one of these kits. The website, laughably, claimed:

      • Pregnant? Here’s What to Expect While Giving Birth Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

        Over the next three months, nearly a million women in the United States will give birth to nearly a million babies — a huge influx of mostly healthy, highly vulnerable patients into a hospital system that’s about to come under unprecedented strain. Pregnant women, not surprisingly, are anxious. Those in their third trimester, looking to deliver during an epidemic, are close to frantic.

      • Vets Say We Need a Strong VA to Combat Coronavirus and Win Medicare for All

        Not many know about the Department of Veterans Affairs’s (VA) so-called “fourth mission.” In 1982, Congress expanded the VA’s role beyond providing care, benefits and burial services to the nearly 9 million veterans it currently serves. Its additional role is to provide a backup health care system in a national emergency — for example, taking on non-veteran patients in the event of a global pandemic.

      • Media Struggle to Defend Washington’s Cruelty Toward Venezuela and Iran as Coronavirus Spreads

        An Associated Press article (New York Times, 3/17/20) headlined “IMF Rejects Maduro’s Bid for Emergency Loan to Fight Virus” declared…

      • Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Community At Increased Risk of COVID-19

        “Many of us have cancer and weakened immune systems from the chemical onslaught we endure everyday. This could be a death sentence for many of us,” Taylor said.

      • Trump Wants U.S. ‘Opened Up’ by Easter, Despite Health Officials’ Warnings

        Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, was even more pessimistic. “Nobody voted in Donald Trump thinking he would become a ‘one-man death panel’ empowered to dispense with American lives like cannon fodder,” he said. “It would be political suicide for him and murder for many others.”

      • Private Insurance Hurts Pharmacists, Too

        Pharmacists constitute an oft-overlooked group of workers made miserable by our for-profit health care system. It’s easy to mistake the white-coated practitioner on the other side of the pickup window for an arbiter of access and prices, but, in reality, pharmacists have little authority to bend or break the limitations set in place by health insurance companies.

        They feel the impact of its injustices as much as their customers. Hannah, a retail pharmacist in New York City who spoke anonymously to avoid retribution from her employer, describes facing the human cost of a broken drug delivery system every day.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Best free project management software

          Project management makes sense for all projects. Not just big ones. For very small projects, Excel spreadsheets and emails may still be sufficient for project organization. With increasing project complexity and team size, project managers quickly reach their limits: manage tasks, keep an eye on deadlines, manage communication and record performance. At this point, professional project management software is an extremely helpful tool.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • XenProject Developer and Design Summit: Update in light of COVID-19

                Because the University of Bucharest has been very flexible, there is no rush to make a decision. As a result, the Advisory Board has recommended that we spend time looking into the options in detail and make a final decision around mid-April which is 6 weeks before the originally scheduled event.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • AMD Uses DMCA to Mitigate Massive GPU Source Code Leak (Updated)

              AMD has filed at least two DMCA notices against Github repos that carried “stolen” source code relating to AMD’s Navi and Arden GPUs, the latter being the processor for the upcoming Xbox Series X. The person claiming responsibility for the leak informs TorrentFreak that if they doesn’t get a buyer for the remainder of the code, they will dump the whole lot online.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, icu, kernel-rt, libvncserver, python-imaging, python-pip, python-virtualenv, thunderbird, tomcat, tomcat6, and zsh), Debian (icu and okular), Fedora (libxslt and php), Gentoo (bluez, chromium, pure-ftpd, samba, tor, weechat, xen, and zsh), Oracle (libvncserver), Red Hat (ipmitool and zsh), and SUSE (python-cffi, python-cryptography and python-cffi, python-cryptography, python-xattr).

          • Senator sounds alarm on cyber threats to internet connectivity during coronavirus crisis [iophk: Windows TCO]

            He emphasized that “during this time, the security of consumer devices and networks will be of heightened importance. It is also imperative that consumer Internet infrastructure not be used as attack vectors to consumer systems and workplace networks accessed from home.”

          • Internet Voting in Puerto Rico

            Puerto Rico is considered allowing for Internet voting. I have joined a group of security experts in a letter opposing the bill.

          • Security 101: X-Forwarded-For vs. Forwarded vs PROXY

            Over time, there have been a number of approaches to indicating the original client and the route that a request took when forwarded across multiple proxy servers. For HTTP(S), the three most common approaches you’re likely to encounter are the X-Forwarded-For and Forwarded HTTP headers, and the PROXY protocol. They’re all a little bit different, but also the same in many ways.

          • Josh Bressers: Part 6: What do we do now?

            In security it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of what we’re really trying to do. Running a scanner isn’t a goal in itself, the goal is to improve security, or it should be if it isn’t. Make sure you never forget what’s really happening. Sometimes in the excitement of security, the real reason we’re doing what we do can be lost.

            I always hate digging out the old trope “what’s the problem we’re trying to solve” but in this instance I think it’s a good question to ask yourself. Defining problems is really hard. Staying on goal is even harder.

            If we think our purpose is to run the scanners, what becomes our goal? The goal will be to have a clean scan. We know a clean scan is impossible, so what really happens is our purpose starts to twist itself around a disfigured version of reality. I’ve said many times the problem is really insecure applications, or at least that’s the problem I tend to think about. You have to figure this out for yourself. If you have a scanner running make sure you know why.

          • Splashtop Expands Linux Remote Access Support To Additional Linux Distributions
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Verily’s COVID-19 Screening Website Leaves Privacy Questions Unanswered

              One week after Alphabet’s Verily launched its COVID-19 screening website, several unanswered questions remain about how exactly the project will collect, use, and retain people’s medical information.

              Verily, a healthcare data subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has until now operated its Project Baseline as a way to connect potential participants with clinical research. Now, after a confused roll-out, Verily’s Baseline COVID-19 Pilot Program screening and testing website allows users to fill out a multi-question survey about their symptoms and, if they are eligible, directs them to testing locations in a few counties in California.

            • VPN Review Site Creates Live Digital Rights Tracker To Compile Coronavirus-Related Surveillance Efforts

              Since lots and lots of (mostly government) people seem to agree these particularly desperate times call for particularly privacy-invading desperate measures, it only makes sense someone should be tracking the trackers. Enter Samuel Woodhams of Top10VPN, who has compiled a handy list of who’s hoovering who to keep tabs on COVID-19 cases and coronavirus carriers.

            • Washington State Legislators Pass Bill Blocking Use Of Facial Recognition Tech Without A Warrant

              We all like a good facial recognition ban, and the state of Washington is the latest to (sort of) tee one up.

            • Site to Site (Commercial) VPN vs Remote Access (Personal) VPN

              A VPN is a virtual private network that connects two or more devices via an encrypted tunnel. VPNs are set up using different VPN protocols which include OpenVPN PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, and WireGuard®. There are two main types of VPN connection types and uses: Site to Site and Remote Access. Generally, Site to Site VPNs are used for commercial applications and are often referred to as commercial VPNs. Generally, Remote Access VPNs are used for personal applications and are often referred to as personal VPNs. Personal VPNs can be set up between any two computers, but a lot of personal VPN users actually use a VPN provider – which can also be known as a commercial VPN service, which explains the confusion regarding the terminology!

            • Toronto, Canada is now using phone location data to track if people are congregating

              This past Monday, Toronto Mayor Tory announced at a virtual TechTO meetup that the government has been receiving location data from wireless carriers and telecommunication companies in the area to show where people are still congregating and flouting social distancing – The Logic reports. Tory stated:

            • Poland’s COVID-19 “selfie app” raises privacy questions – will everyone eventually be tracked?

              People in Poland under a mandatory 14-day quarantine have an interesting way to prove that they are following the quarantine. Usually, such mandatory quarantines are checked on by local authorities with physical visits; however, the government there has now released an app that quarantined individuals can opt in to use instead. This app, called the “Home quarantine app” in Polish is still opt in at this point.

            • Tunisia using unmanned robots to enforce lockdown

              The robot has a load capacity of 20 kg, weight of 180 kg and speed of 12 km/h. It is 1.4 metres long. Using its camera and sensors, the P-Guard is particularly able to automatically detect intrusion and negative behaviours and send real time alerts and video, Enova said.

            • Apple just killed Offline Web Apps while purporting to protect your privacy: why that’s A Bad Thing and why you should care

              On the face of it, WebKit’s announcement yesterday titled Full Third-Party Cookie Blocking and More sounds like something I would wholeheartedly welcome. Unfortunately, I can’t because the “and more” bit effectively kills off Offline Web Apps and, with it, the chance to have privacy-respecting apps like the prototype I was exploring earlier in the year based on DAT.

            • Google Chrome terms of service are changing on March 31: Here’s what’s new

              While you won’t be getting a new version of Chrome or Chrome OS for a while due to the coronavirus outbreak, Google has announced upcoming changes to its Terms of Service, effective March 31, that “make it easier for you to understand what we can expect from each other.” It’s the first time since October, 2017 that Google has updated the terms of service, and because you probably don’t want to read through the whole thing, we’ve summarized the important changes for you.

            • Why Facial Recognition Systems Could Rise In Popularity During Coronavirus Pandemic

              Security companies are updating their technology to recognize people wearing masks and measure temperatures, and are making the argument that facial recognition could become widely sought as a global security solution. However, this technology still has serious privacy-threatening implications that need to be considered.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • EFF Joins Coalition Urging Judicial Transparency During the COVID-19 Emergency

        EFF and a number of other organizations that advocate for government transparency have signed onto a letter written by the First Amendment Coalition asking the California state judiciary to ensure public access to court proceedings and records.

        Many clerk’s offices are restricting entry and many operations of the state court system have moved online in direct response to actions taken by Gov. Gavin Newsom, including the Statewide Order of March 23, 2020, which in effect restricted physical access to and the activities of California’s courts. In the letter, addressed to Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, coalition groups urge that while extraordinary measures are needed in the time of a public health emergency:

      • Exposed: The UK’s Secret Meetings With The Bolsonaros

        In the first part of this series on British involvement in Brazilian internal affairs it was revealed that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has deleted its record of correspondence and meetings about Brazilian elections with strategic communications companies SCL and Cambridge Analytica. In this second article, more freedom of information requests show previously undisclosed meetings between representatives of the UK Government, Jair Bolsonaro, his family, and his allies, months before the far-right candidate’s controversial victory at the 2018 election. Part three to follow shortly.

      • Calling ‘Bullshit’ on Trump’s Hoocoodanode

        If CDC ‘knew’ three or four days after this article there was a new SARS-like illness, why did nothing come out of CDC for the public?

        There are no good answers to this. There are only more questions.

        Did the CDC’s director simply not do his job?

        Did the National Security Adviser not do his job?

        Did Trump not do his job?

        Well, we know the answer to the that one: Trump chose not to act. We just don’t know exactly what happened at the top of the CDC and NSC. We know the NSC was also hampered by the loss of the pandemic response team, killed by then- National Security Adviser John Bolton in 2018.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • A plebiscite postponed and a week without work: Putin’s address to the people, in brief

        The top priorities for us are the health and lives of citizens. We have plugged all possible solutions and resources into our aid and prevention system, and I ask all citizens to take recommendations from doctors and government agencies seriously. You know how seriously I am taking the plebiscite on constitutional amendments, but it must be postponed to a later date. To decide exactly what date, we will rely on the professional opinions of our doctors. The week from March 30 to April 5 will be a week of paid leave. We absolutely must follow recommendations regarding the coronavirus; we must be responsible. And we must stay home. Let’s not place our hopes on our Russian avos’ [a word and cultural concept signaling that a highly unlikely hope or plan will somehow hold together]. In terms of economic measures, we will automatically extend all social welfare payments and benefits for half a year, increase unemployment payments, provide credit holidays for all those who will lose income, postpone credit payment dates for small and mid-sized businesses, and place an additional tax on dividends to foreign investors. All of these measures will work if we show cohesion and if the government and society work together. Let’s remember our responsibility to our loved ones.

      • Unprecedented Surge in US Unemployment Claims Cause State Government Servers to Crash

        Deal reached in the Senate, says Chuck Schumer, contains “unemployment insurance on steroids” to help with the crisis.

      • The Senate Corporate Bailout Package Is a ‘Robbery in Progress,’ Warn Critics

        “It’s not a bailout for the coronavirus. It’s a bailout for twelve years of corporate irresponsibility.”

      • Boris Johnson Must Learn Lessons From Italy: People Before Profit!

        Most people know that we cannot trust Boris Johnson and his government to take the correct measures to protect the safety of the working-class. That much was made clear last Monday when Johnson was forced to drop the government’s dangerous strategy of promoting so-called “herd immunity” which experts warned would result in the unnecessary deaths of around a quarter of a million British people!

      • Sanders Threatens to Demand Stronger Conditions on $500 Billion ‘Corporate Welfare Fund’ If GOP Moves to Reduce Benefits for Laid Off Workers

        “It would be an outrage to prevent working-class Americans to receive the emergency unemployment assistance included in this legislation.”

      • Governments Are Telling Americans to Stay at Home. But Thousands of People Don’t Have One.

        Like many homeless people in the United States, Carmen Morris was already in the throes of a crisis before the deadly COVID-19 epidemic began.

        In December, she moved into The Sophia Way, an all-women’s homeless shelter in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle and roughly 6 miles from the suburban nursing home that was the site of the first known COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

      • Transitioning ‘Ontologically’ Pt II: Building Counter-(Oc)Culture

        Note from the author: This piece was written last week, before we in Utica entered the full Covid-19 new reality. The Other Side has discontinued programming for a month, Orin and I are accustoming ourselves to sequestered living, and hardest of all, as of today the Cafe is closed (take-out only) by governor’s order. While airlines and other huge corporate entities ask for bailouts, we have no idea how we are to protect the Cafe’s survival; a bewilderment and fear shared by thousands of restaurants, bars and other “non-essential” businesses in NYS. My future writings will be from within this new reality.

      • Germany Signals a Historic Shift From Austerity That Could Upend the Economy of Europe

        Until March 21, Germany’s policymakers were like the Japanese soldiers who spent years lingering in the jungles of the Philippines, refusing to accept the reality that their country had lost World War II. In the case of Berlin, it was a case of the country stubbornly refusing to abandon six years of fiscal restraint, even as it became clear that such spending would be required to mitigate the impact of a pandemic that was bringing the global economy to a virtual standstill. That all appears to have changed now, with the government announcing a series of proposals that represent in aggregate approximately 10 percent of Germany’s GDP. Part of the package takes the form of direct public spending, but the majority is government funding for purchases of equity stakes in companies, as well as loans. Given the likely catastrophic decline in economic activity not just in Germany (which was already in recession), but the European Union as a whole, more likely needs to be done. The longer-term question, however, still remains: even if Berlin fully scales up on the fiscal front (as it should), can the EU’s institutions as a whole accommodate long-term reform that will adequately address the challenges once we get beyond the immediate crisis response occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic?

      • US Senate’s Final Stimulus Bill: Why It Won’t Be Enough

        Just after midnight March 25, 2020 eastern time the US Senate passed a compromise bill of fiscal spending to address the accelerating economic decline. Both Democrat and Senate leaders agreed on the terms. US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, indicated she would rush approval of the package seeking a unanimous voice vote of the House.

      • A Brady Bond Solution for America’s Unpayable Corporate Debt

        Even before the Covid-19 crisis has slashed stock prices nearly in half since it erupted in January, financial markets were in an inherently unstable condition. Years of quantitative easing had loaded so much credit into stock and bond prices that stock price/earnings multiples were far too high and bond yields far too low by any normal and reasonable historical standards. Risk premiums have disappeared, with only a few basis points separating U.S. Treasury bills and corporate bonds.

      • To Confront Coronavirus, We Need an Emergency Wealth Tax

        It’s very hard to predict how long the coronavirus is going to be with us and how much money is going to be needed to defeat it.

      • New Stimulus Bill Bans Trump-Owned Companies From Receiving Bailout Cash

        A massive coronavirus stimulus plan that the Senate and White House agreed to in the early hours of Wednesday morning would bar any companies owned or controlled by President Donald Trump, the president’s children, Vice President Mike Pence, or members of Congress from receiving any taxpayer bailout money, according to a summary of the legislation circulated by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

      • ‘Oligarchs Are Running the White House’: Trump Called Wall Street, Hedge Fund Titans Just Before ‘Back to Work’ Remarks

        “Trump and Pence are talking to private equity titans and hedge fund moguls instead of figuring out how to help healthcare workers get masks or workers to get wages or borrowers get debt relief.”

      • The VA Will Now Let Some Administrative Staff Work From Home

        The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reversed course to allow some administrative staff to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Saturday memo obtained by New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica.

        “Managers and supervisors are encouraged to maximize telework during regular business hours, as appropriate,” wrote Richard A. Stone, the Veterans Health Administration’s executive in charge.

      • The Coronavirus and the Urgent Need to Redefine National Security

        For far too long, the United States has been wastefully spending its precious budgetary resources on a nineteenth-century military strategy and a strategic arms policy that has brought no advantages to the American people.  For the past three decades, our national security policies have been ineffectual and irrelevant to the genuine threats we face today.  These threats do not emanate from Russia or China. Rather, they stem from an underfunded and highly vulnerable public health system, a cyber world that is out of control, and a crumbling infrastructure.  In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of D-plus to the nation’s infrastructure, with the lowest grades going to roads, bridges, mass transit, and water management systems.

      • The COVID-19 Crisis Won’t Be Over by Easter, and $2 Trillion Is Not Enough

        Trump wants the country open by Easter because Jesus is coming, see, and He’ll be pissed if we’re all sitting on our asses at home. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full?” Trump asked Fox News yesterday. “You’ll have packed churches all over our country. I think it’ll be a beautiful time.” Fox News host Bill Hemmer described Trump’s Easter resolution scenario as “a great American resurrection,” because of course he did.

      • New Senate Stimulus Bill Would Ban Companies Owned by Trump or His Children From Receiving Any Bailout Money

        A provision in the massive bill prohibits “businesses controlled by the president, vice president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.”

      • GOP Senate Trio Threatens to Delay Stimulus Bill Because Unemployment Benefits Amid Pandemic Are Too Generous

        “Senate Republicans are just so inhumane they can’t imagine policymakers intentionally providing working people with enough money to temporarily live on in the event they’re laid off.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Putin delays constitutional plebiscite amid coronavirus pandemic

        Russian President Vladimir Putin announced during a televised address on March 25 that a national vote on his proposed changes to the Russian Constitution will not take place on April 22 as planned. Instead, the national plebiscite on the document, whose drastic changes would restructure multiple aspects of government and potentially allow Putin to serve until 2036, will be rescheduled for a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Joe Biden’s Opinion-Shaping Machine And Race

        Wall Street broke out its checkbooks for Joe Biden in the wake of Super Tuesday, no surprise since his campaign is already its major recipient. Plus, he was the VP for an administration greatly indebted to it. Transparency. His campaign is awash in cash from the interests that Sanders is challenging as the very source of the blockage to progress. Are we going to get a re-treading of the policies that helped vault Trump to the White House in 2016?

      • Coronavirus and Our Existential Threats This Presidential Season

        Pandemics, climate change, nuclear war, existential threats: the new abnormal; our sentinel moment.

      • We can oppose the Communist Party without supporting Trump’s ‘Chinese virus’ rhetoric

        The US president is using a race-baiting tactic to generate controversy and media attention as a way to overshadow his utter failure in managing and controlling the virus. Looking at his Twitter account, he had referred to the outbreak as the “coronavirus” from January until March 15. But on March 16, the day of the massive outbreak in the US, his language suddenly changed and he has since been using his new preferred designation “Chinese virus” exclusively. One does not have to be a genius to realise that Trump is saying these things not to condemn China per se, he is doing this primarily to make himself feel better and to justify his own failed responses to the pandemic.

        Any opposition to Trump’s narrative by no means suggests support for the Chinese government’s rhetoric. The Chinese Communist Party, of course, is also eager to play this “race game” with the Trump administration for the very same reason— to hopefully make the global population forget about their gross negligence, incompetence and managerial irresponsibility.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Apple Helps China Censor Citizens By Pulling The Plug On A Keyboard App That Encrypted Text Messages

        China keeps being China, despite all the problems it has at home. The coronavirus traces back to Wuhan, China, and it has become clear the Chinese government is doing what it can to suppress reporting on the outbreak.

      • Speaking Freely: Cristian León

        Cristian León, based in Buenos Aires, works for Asuntos del Sur, a “think/do tank” that works to strengthen democracy and participation. Originally from Bolivia, Cristian works on open government and democracy across several countries in Latin America. He is, additionally, one of the founders and current advisors to an organization in Bolivia called the Internet Bolivia Foundation. Cristian holds a BA in political science, and also conducts digital security trainings.

        Over Zoom a couple of months ago, we discussed the current threats to free expression in Latin America, the connection between digital security and expression, and the increasing culture of surveillance he sees in the region.

      • The Right to Anonymity is Vital to Free Expression: Now and Always

        “There are myriad reasons why individuals may wish to use a name other than the one they were born with. They may be concerned about threats to their lives or livelihoods, or they may risk political or economic retribution. They may wish to prevent discrimination or they may use a name that’s easier to pronounce or spell in a given culture.”

        These words, from a blog post we published nine years ago during my first year at EFF, remain as true as ever. Whether we’re talking about whistleblowers, victims of domestic violence, queer and trans youth who aren’t out to their local communities, or human rights workers, secure anonymity is critical for these individuals, even life-saving.

      • “Fake News”: The Trojan Horse for Silencing Alternative News and Reestablishing Corporate News Dominance – Censored Notebook

        “Fake News”: The Trojan Horse for Silencing Alternative News and Reestablishing Corporate News Dominance

      • Ming Pao row: If we learn anything from the virus outbreak, it should be the importance of free speech

        On March 18, Mingpao published an opinion piece entitled “This pandemic originated in Wuhan, the lessons of seventeen years ago have been completely forgotten.” The authors Dr. Kwok-Yung Yuen and Dr. David Lung are unrivalled experts in their field. Dr. Yuen is a microbiologist whose SARS study group discovered the role of the coronavirus in the SARS epidemic in early 2003. Dr. Lung is also a microbiologist who has recently published on the detection of COVID-19 via saliva samples.

        In their article, the authors offer practical advice on understanding the virus for the general reader. First, they explain how the World Health Organization and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses name viruses, while also acknowledging that the colloquial use of “Wuhan pneumonia” is understandably more straightforward than COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 and thus does not need to be condemned.

      • Turkey rounds up hundreds for social media posts about coronavirus

        The minister said almost 2,000 social media accounts had been identified making provocative posts about the outbreak, resulting in the detention of 410 people “attempting to stir unrest”.

        He said that most of the accounts were linked to militant groups, without giving further details of the identities of the suspects.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says there’s a ‘pro-Western oppositionist division’ operating inside Russia and ‘hiding behind media laws’

        There’s a “pro-Western oppositionist division” operating inside Russia, says Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. “Hiding behind [Russia’s] media laws, [this division’s] activists are trying to infiltrate military installations and hunt for relatives and eyewitnesses, they’re slipping into hospitals where our injured and sick are being treated and into cemeteries and funerals and the families of our fallen boys. They’re photographing the entrances and exits of our covert facilities and uploading it to the Internet,” said Shoigu in a speech to the Federation Council. 

      • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange denied bail amid coronavirus fears
      • Judge Denies Assange Bail As UN Human Rights Official Urges Governments To Protect Detainees During COVID-19 Pandemic

        British Magistrate Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser denied WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s request for bail, despite calls for the release of detainees and prisoners to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

        Assange is charged with 17 counts of violating the United States Espionage Act, and a computer crime offense, which contains language from the Espionage Act. He faces extradition to the United States and is currently detained at Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh.

      • Assange Bail Application Today

        Both the British Government and Vanessa Baraitser personally came in for extreme criticism from the highly authoritative International Bar Association over both the conditions in which he is being held and over the conduct of his extradition hearing to date. This is from the International Bar Association’s own website: [...]

      • Student Journalists Are Still Reporting on Coronavirus After Schools Shut Down

        There’s an emotional toll to this reporting, though. “I didn’t know what to do first: call my mom and figure out my situation or send a breaking news tweet and write a brief,” Schwartz said of the news that students had three days to move out of their dorms. Now, she told Teen Vogue, she’s felt her struggles with anxiety and depression worsen, and she says working on the paper from home has left her feeling detached. Amanda Siew, 19, one of the news producers for the student newscast at University of Central Oklahoma, told Teen Vogue she’s feeling “weirdly motivated,” but also “weirdly disassociated” from the news at times. “I think that, because I’m so involved with the news, my brain kind of separates itself from the world’s current events and I feel like the impacts of the virus hasn’t fully hit me on a personal level yet,” she explained.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Palpitations of the Pulps

        The latest volume in Wakefield Press’ epochal Jean Ray translation project, 1932’s Cruise of Shadows, comprises both his biggest publishing flop and his best-known tales (The Gloomy Alley and The Mainz Psalter). Ray wrote the kind of cobbled-together eccentric pulp we now call “weird” fiction, mechanized fairy tales that operate along the inscrutable lines of a sinister gag: literally, a double of the modern bourgeois short story. The object of the best weird talent is usually money or some kind of con, but never art. It is far closer to a cheap clone or faked autobiography, at least in its Ray type (the other mode of true weird is pedagogic: a roman-a-clef integrity soldered onto a poiesis brut, with the aim of propagating something far beyond entertainment). Ray, just out of the joint for forgery and embezzlement, was therefore in the perfect position to concoct his greatest work. As parole makes for reflection, the spies, psychic vamps, and spectral informants littering the Cruise’s ruddy pages may be less ‘weird’ than more predictable spirits of probation.

      • Reevaluating Our Priorities

        This crisis has illustrated, so clearly and painfully, some of the many weak spots in the fabric of our society that Bernie Sanders has spent a lifetime and two presidential candidacies passionately trying to focus our attention on.

      • Coronavirus and the Rise and Fall of Humanism

        It is a truism that the Black Death helped produce the age of humanism. Through making death ever-present, the plague undermined a system of religious authority in which the church and the church alone claimed to have answers to the fundamental questions of human existence; the priests naturally still asserted that this was the case but were now as likely as not to drop dead once they did so. Amid the dissolution of the church’s legitimacy as well as, more specifically, its monopoly on truth and salvation, survivors began tending to all that was immediate and material, specifically in the form of the particular and the human.

      • Please Hand-Sanitize All Pitchforks and Torches: Tips For a Safe Coronavirus Riot

        Oh, those prescient Stones.  And I’m not even talking about their Ventilator Blues.

      • Canadian Media Advocate Continued Domination of Indigenous Peoples

        Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began raids on the territory of the Wet‘suwet’en Indigenous nation on February 6—arresting as many as 80 Indigenous land defenders in the first days of the incursion—to dismantle camps that the Wet‘suwet’en had established on their land to prevent construction of a $6.6 billion liquid natural gas pipeline being built by Coastal GasLink, which is owned by TC Energy.

      • Egypt’s security forces are torturing children in jail, says rights group

        “Children are describing being waterboarded and electrocuted on their tongues and genitals, and yet Egypt’s security forces are facing no consequences,” said Bill Van Esveld, HRW associate children’s rights director.

        The international rights group urged the European Union and the United States to stop supporting Egyptian security forces until steps are made to stop the abuse and hold those responsible accountable.

      • ‘The Only Plan the Prison Has Is to Leave Us to Die in Our Beds’

        Dr. Ross MacDonald, the chief physician at Rikers Island, has criticized the DOC’s choice to continue holding people at the Rikers facility. “We will put ourselves at personal risk and ask little in return,” he tweeted on March 18.” But we cannot change the fundamental nature of jail. We cannot socially distance dozens of older men living in a dorm, sharing a bathroom. Think of a cruise ship recklessly boarding more passengers each day.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Libraries Want To Become Broadband Havens During The Pandemic, But Want More Help From The FCC

        For many of the estimated 44 million Americans who lack access to any kind of broadband at home, the nation’s libraries are their only way to get online. And as libraries close up shop to slow the spread of COVID-19, that access is no longer available. That’s why the American Library Association, which represents the country’s 16,557 public libraries, fired off a letter to the FCC (pdf) last week asking if it would be okay if they left their WiFi hotspots operational during the pandemic quarantine.

    • Monopolies

      • Don’t Let Big Pharma Make a Killing by Profiteering Off COVID-19 Treatments

        These treatments should be available to everyone who needs them at no cost.

      • The Feds Can Stop Patent Trolls from Endangering COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

        It’s unthinkable that bad actors could take advantage of patent law and keep the public from getting access to COVID-19 tests and treatment, but they can and will—it already happened this month. Fortunately, an often-overlooked section of U.S. patent law allows the government to do something about it.

        Patent troll Labrador Diagnostics LLC recently used a portfolio of old patents to sue a company that makes and distributed COVID-19 tests. The story gets weirder: those patents were originally issued to Theranos, the notoriously fraudulent blood-testing company that closed up shop in 2018. It’s a particularly outrageous example of an all-too-common story: a company fails, yet its patents live on as fodder for legal bullying against practicing companies in the same field.

      • Trump’s FDA Grants Drug Company Exclusive Claim on Promising COVID-19 Medication

        As healthcare providers across the U.S. desperately attempt to treat a rapidly growing number of patients with the coronavirus, a pharmaceutical company with ties to the Trump administration has been granted exclusive status for a drug it is developing to treat the illness — a potential windfall for the company that could put the medication out of reach for many Americans.

      • FDA Won’t Say When Gilead Applied For Orphan Status On COVID-19 Treatment, Calling It ‘Secret’

        Update: Facing tons of public pressure and ridicule, Gilead has agreed to give up the orphan designation.

      • Sanders Demands Trump Rescind ‘Truly Outrageous’ Decision to Hand Gilead Exclusive Rights Over Possible Coronavirus Treatment

        “We must put human life above corporate profit. We cannot give pharmaceutical corporations a monopoly on treatments that could save millions of people during this crisis.”

      • A Low-Cost Ventilator Could Be Available Next Year. But Will It?
      • Public Pressure Works: Gilead Asks FDA To Rescind Orphan Drugs Designation For Possible COVID-19 Treatment

        Earlier this week, we wrote about the sham orphan drug designation that the FDA gave to Gilead Sciences for remdesivir. As we explained, remdesivir was developed with mostly public funds, and Gilead Sciences already held three patents on it, with a fourth one pending. Orphan drugs designations are supposed to be extra incentives for drug makers to target rare diseases. The issue here was that part of the definition of a rare disease under the Orphan Drugs Act is that it has to affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Ridiculously, the law does not take into account the rate at which the disease spreads — just how many people have it at the time a drug maker requests the designation. Even worse, the law explicitly says that the FDA cannot remove the designation if the affected group later grows to over 200,000.

      • Patents

        • A few Q&A of interest to patent practitioners in times of pandemic

          The author would like to begin this blog by wishing that all the readers are well at this difficult time. The purpose of this piece is to briefly set out some questions and answers that may give readers a feel of the impact that the measures approved by the Spanish Government to combat Covid-19 may have on cases pending before the courts or the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office in Spain.

          The declaration of the state of emergency to manage the health crisis situation caused by the Covid-19 virus, pursuant to Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March (as amended by Royal Decree 465/2020, of 17 March), has included the adoption of certain measures in relation to procedural, administrative and civil deadlines. These measures have been supplemented by those established in Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, as regards other time limits applicable to the legal regime governing legal entities. In addition, the General Council of the Judiciary has approved a set of measures dealing specifically with judicial activities.

        • German Government Plans Possibilities to Limit Patents In View of Corona Pandemic

          In the wake of the evolving Corona pandemic the German government intends enacting amendments to the German Act on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans (Gesetz zur Verhütung und Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten beim Menschen – Infektionsschutzgesetz – IfSG), which could also have an impact on patents. The bill of 23 March 2020 is available here.

          The bill foresees that the Federal Government would have the competence to determine that there is a so-called ‘epidemic situation of national significance’ (epidemische Lage). Such ‘epidemic situation’ would require the following:

        • Consisting of . . . and optionally . . .

          The MPEP offers some ambiguous thoughts on use of the term “optionally” within claim language — concluding that it may raise indefiniteness concerns where ambiguity arises from a “list of potential alternatives.” MPEP 2173.05(h) Alternative Limitations. In the usual claim situation, an “optional” limitation creates confusion because it doesn’t appear to do any actual work in the claim because a claim “comprising” a list of features may also include other features as well. In that situation, the ambiguity comes into play because we still want to assign some meaning to the claim element even though it is largely meaningless.

        • Story Telling

          These realities impact storytelling in patent law, because telling a compelling story is a hallmark of good lawyering, whether in a patent application (to the Patent Office and investors) or in litigation (to a district court, the Federal Circuit, or the PTAB; by the time a case gets to the Supreme Court it is rare that the facts are as important or likely to be properly understood). But another thing Myriad taught patent lawyers is the flexibility of argument and how facts can be interpreted almost any way an advocate wants; as a former partner used to say, “your strengths are also your weaknesses” in homage to the pliability of fact-based argument.

        • Does Gilead’s (withdrawn) orphan designation request for a potential coronavirus treatment deserve your outrage?

          Many commentators were outraged by the FDA’s announcement on Monday that Gilead received orphan drug designation for using the drug remdesivir to treat COVID-19. The backlash led to a quick about-face by Gilead, which announced today that it is asking the FDA to rescind the orphan designation. For those trying to understand what happened here and the underlying policy questions, here’s a quick explainer:

        • DOJ backs prolific patent litigant in antitrust fight with Apple

          Antitrust enforcers in the Justice Department have urged a judge to dismiss claims by Apple Inc and Intel Corp that a SoftBank Group Corp subsidiary violated competition laws by stockpiling patents and demanding billions of dollars in licensing fees.

          Intel and Apple failed to show that hedge fund Fortress Investment Group LLC’s patent assertion tactics hurt competition, DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and other government lawyers said in a 27-page statement of interest.

        • En Banc Denial in Arthrex [Ed: Patent maximalists are totally losing their mind over this. Several rants from Watchtroll and this from Dennis Crouch.]

          None of the parties in this case were happy with the Federal Circuit’s original decision in Arthrex and all filed petitions for en banc rehearing. Those petitions have now been denied in what appears to be a 8-4 split with Judges Newman, Wallach, Dyk, and Hughes expressly dissenting from the denial. Judge Moore authored the original opinion in the case and also authored an opinion here defending that original opinion. She was joined on the opinion by her original panel members of Judges Reyna and Chen as well as Judge O’Malley explaining that (1) the original decision was correct and (2) conducting a rehearing would “only create unnecessary uncertainty and disruption.”

          [...]

          The basic issue in the case is the Constitutionality of the appointments process for Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) sitting on the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB). The Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution indicates that all “Officers of the United States” shall be nominated and appointed by the US President with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. The provision then goes on to say that Congress has the power to alter this process for “inferior Officers, as they think proper.” In particular, Congress may allow inferior Officers to be appointed by “Heads of Departments.” U.S. Const. Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2. An improperly appointed officer isn’t really an officer at all and so should have no power to render judgment to cancel privately held property rights.

          APJs used to be hired by the USPTO Director. However, Prof John Duffy shook that cage in his 2007 article: Are Administrative Patent Judges Unconstitutional?, 2007 Patently-O Patent L.J. 21. In the article, Duffy argued that APJs are likely best classified as inferior Officers and thus could be appointed by a Head of Department — namely the Secretary of Commerce. Congress quickly acted on Duffy’s submission and altered the law to fix the problem.

        • Software Patents

          • Synkloud Technologies patent determined to be likely unpatentable

            On March 19, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,098,526, owned and asserted by Synkloud Technologies, LLC, an NPE. The ‘526 patent, directed to providing remote storage for wireless devices, has been asserted against Hewlett-Packard and Blu Products.

          • Honeyman Cipher settles with Unified Patents

            On March 20, 2020, a joint motion to terminate pursuant to settlement was filed in IPR2020-00213 by Unified Patents and Honeyman Cipher Solutions, LLC (an NPE) regarding U.S. Patent 5,991,399. The ‘399 patent, directed to secure distribution of information using encryption, has been asserted against Snap, Groupon, and LogMeIn for uploading mobile apps for authentication and distribution.

          • Cedar Lane patent determined to be likely unpatentable

            On March 18, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 7,173,177, owned and asserted by Cedar Lane Technologies Inc., an NPE.

            The ’177 patent, directed to indicating on a user interface whether items in an playlist are owned or unowned, has been asserted against Spectrum (Charter Communications). The ’177 patent was recently assigned to Cedar Lane from AVInnov (an NPE), and was previously owned by Intellectual Ventures.

      • Copyrights

        • Allen v. Cooper (2020)

          In a decision containing not a small amount of whimsy (more regarding that aspect anon), Justice Kagan, joined almost unanimously by her brethren today upheld a State’s (here, North Carolina) sovereign immunity against suit for copyright infringement, in Allen v. Cooper.

          [...]

          The District Court found for plaintiff, based on the express provisions of the CTCA, and on Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, in view of the “the States’ ‘pattern’ of ‘abus[ive]‘ copyright infringement.” The Fourth Circuit reversed, based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Ed. Expense Bd. v. College Savings Bank, 527 U. S. 627 (1999), holding the Patent Remedy Act, enacted by Congress on the same day and having substantially the same provisions.

          The Court affirmed, in a decision by Justice Kagan and joined by the Court with the exception of two portions of the opinion in which Justice Thomas did not join; in addition, Justice Breyer wrote a concurring opinion joined by Justice Ginsberg. The opinion noted that the express language of the Eleventh Amendment is not unequivocal but that sovereign immunity stands for the “presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms,” citing Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501 U. S. 775, 779 (1991). This presumption is, first, that “each State is a sovereign entity in our federal system,” citing Seminole Tribe of Fla. v. Florida, 517 U. S. 44, 54 (1996). Second, “[i]t is inherent in the nature of sovereignty not to be amenable to [a] suit” absent consent, cited in Seminole Tribe relying on The Federalist No. 81, p. 487 (A. Hamilton). Finally, that “fundamental aspect of sovereignty constrains federal ‘judicial authority’” according to the Court, citing Blatchford.

        • Announcing a National Emergency Library to Provide Digitized Books to Students and the Public

          During the waitlist suspension, users will be able to borrow books from the National Emergency Library without joining a waitlist, ensuring that students will have access to assigned readings and library materials that the Internet Archive has digitized for the remainder of the US academic calendar, and that people who cannot physically access their local libraries because of closure or self-quarantine can continue to read and thrive during this time of crisis, keeping themselves and others safe.

          This library brings together all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with over a million other books donated from other libraries to readers worldwide that are locked out of their libraries.

        • The Pirate Bay’s Oldest Active Torrent Turns 16 Years Old Today

          While the majority of The Pirate Bay users download recent content, there are quite a few older torrents that continue to survive. Today, the oldest of all – an episode from the Swedish comedy series “High Chaparral” – celebrates its sixteenth anniversary. Other older torrents, including a copy of the documentary “Revolution OS” and an album from the Swedish pop group Gyllene Tider, remain active as well.

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  2. Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

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  3. [Humour] Television Channels That Don't Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

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  4. (Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

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  5. Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

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  6. Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

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  7. [Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

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  8. When They're Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They'll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

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  9. [Humour/Meme] IBM's Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 06, 2020



  11. Never Let IBM/Red Hat Lecture Us on Morality

    Ethics and morality should not be taught by those who themselves need a lesson; in the meantime we're losing the courage to speak freely and those who commit atrocious acts like it a lot better that way



  12. [Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

    IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping 'masters'



  13. IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

    There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the 'Red Hat way' or the so-called 'open org'



  14. They Tell the Free Software Community That It is Racist While Saying Nothing at All About Trump's Racism (Because He Gives Them Government and Military Contracts)

    While their president compares 'foreign' people to a virus (using innuendo, dog whistles and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the Nazi era) the big US corporations (American surveillance giants) turn their attention to rather innocuous words inside people's code (which almost nobody sees anyway)



  15. LibreOffice 'Personal Edition' Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

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  16. It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already 'Bought' Canonical

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  17. Update to GNU Project Bleeding into Microsoft

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  18. Microsoft is Going to Get Tired of Whining About “GAFA” and Accept That It's Just as Bad If Not a Lot Worse at Privacy

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  19. Links 6/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1, Linux 5.8 RC4

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  20. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section: Linux is Full of Problems and It Loves/Embraces Software Patents

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  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 05, 2020

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  22. Links 5/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Mate Beta and GNOME Gingerblue

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  23. Technological Progress? Only If We Assume The Wrong Things...

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  24. Linux Foundation Still Owned and Controlled Largely -- and More Over Time -- by Surveillance Companies (Openwashing Services for Bad Practices and Bad Actors)

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  25. Sharing is Caring, as Those Who Share Usually Care

    Going back to our human roots, people who cooperate and collaborate are vastly more likely to survive and thrive; Free software is almost guaranteed to become the norm when/once everyone demands it (proprietary software is too divisive, supremacist and even racist)



  26. Systems Can Crash and People Can Die by Changing Language (Even in Parameter and Function Space) to Appease Activists

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  27. António Campinos Should Speak to Peasants, Not Litigation Lawyers

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  28. Christine Lambrecht (German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection) Ignores the Fact That Even Patent Experts Reject the Unitary Patent (UPC)

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