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04.06.20

GitHub is Moving the Free Software Movement Into “Check”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by figosdev

GitHub nuke

Summary: GitHub’s growing levels of control over Free software projects (GitHub itself is proprietary and Microsoft-controlled) ought to alarm the community; it’s a lot worse than most people care to acknowledge, based on weeks of detailed analysis of GNU/Linux distros

If it doesn’t bother you already that Microsoft controls GitHub, it might never bother you. For the rest of us, I hope to show how much of our software is intertwined with the GitHub platform.

If you care about this software at all though, I hope it will get through that Microsoft’s general strategy hasn’t changed; and that it is at best, apathetic and worst, monopolistic towards the existence of any software it can control or toss aside once an acquisition has served its purpose.

“…I hope to show how much of our software is intertwined with the GitHub platform.”Most recently, people who purchased ebooks from Microsoft found that their library was doomed, as instead of turning over the DRM keys, Microsoft decided to simply shut the server down. Your ebook library? Microsoft didn’t care about that. Do they care about your code?

Among projects hosted on GitHub: the entire LAMP stack, minus GNU/Linux. According to Techrights, Microsoft now has no fewer than four Softies at the Linux Foundation, but the kernel hasn’t moved to GitHub yet. Squashfs has moved — more about that later, but that is a very small part of the kernel.

“…Microsoft wanted a 2% royalty (based on another alleged violation of another undisclosed patent) on MySQL, as Microsoft likes to control as much of the industry as it possibly can.”Florian Mueller wrote about the history of Microsoft’s interest in the (G)LAMP stack a few days ago, where LAMP was an acronym that frequently meant “(GNU/)Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.” According to Mueller, Microsoft wanted a 2% royalty (based on another alleged violation of another undisclosed patent) on MySQL, as Microsoft likes to control as much of the industry as it possibly can.

As Eric S. Raymond pointed out in the Halloween documents, more than 20 years ago:

* somebody might spend money on a non-MS — product

* MS might lose its monopoly position

* people might actually write software for a non-MS product

* Microsoft perceives a product to be a “threat” if it presents itself as any of these

- from https://www.gnu.org/software/fsfe/projects/ms-vs-eu/halloween1.html:

Their strategy for dealing with this threat was to use (bogus) patents to threaten and strongarm companies into “cooperating”, paying royalties, or signing agreements that stated Microsoft “owned” the software. On pain of dealing with Microsoft’s legal team, many companies simply kissed the ring and confessed their own work actually belonged to Microsoft.

Given that in the computing world, “ownership” and “control” are nearly synonymous and often interchangeable, how did Microsoft’s desperate efforts to own/control LAMP work out?

“…the Apache Software Foundation (once infiltrated by Softies, not unlike the Linux Foundation or Nokia Handset Division) has moved to Microsoft-owned GitHub.”Microsoft owns GitHub, where they have control over:

* Apache, as the Apache Software Foundation (once infiltrated by Softies, not unlike the Linux Foundation or Nokia Handset Division) has moved to Microsoft-owned GitHub.

* MySQL, which is hosted and developed on GitHub.

* PHP, which is hosted and developed on GitHub.

The dream that Microsoft had well over a decade ago, of controlling the LAMP stack has come true — they are gaining control of the Linux kernel, they more or less control Apache, MySQL, and PHP https://www.php.net/build-setup.php.

Of course LAMP has grown to have other meanings as well:

(M)ariadb — GitHub. (M)ongoDB — GitHub.

(P)erl and C(Python) — GitHub.

I’m a fan of Python, in fact it’s one of my favourite languages. And I’m also fond of Pygame — which unfortunately is developed on GitHub. I probably won’t use Pygame in the future, because (as I have done for years) I’m looking for solutions that don’t rely on Microsoft’s good will — because they don’t have any.

Fortunately, Microsoft does not (yet) control PyPy, which means there is a way to do a lot of Python coding without CPython, and it also supports both Python 3 and (for me, the strongly preferred) Python 2.

But I still need a distro. Considering that the one I use most is also GitHub-based, and that APT relies on dpkg which is written in Perl, RPM is based on GitHub and also written partly in Perl, and Yum relies on RPM and is written in Python, let’s find out what distros are least likely to be tied to GitHub.

“The dream that Microsoft had well over a decade ago, of controlling the LAMP stack has come true — they are gaining control of the Linux kernel, they more or less control Apache, MySQL, and PHP…”I spent several days researching the 275 active distros on DistroWatch.

There are easily more than 700 variables in play here; probably closer to 1000. It’s staggeringly unlikely that all of these are accurate, but a good deal of effort was made, which only started with the DistroWatch entries.

Wikipedia, for example, lists some distros that are Systemd-free. I checked those as well; if there are any Wikipedians reading this, you might check on the status of ArchBang: DistroWatch says it has used Systemd for the most recent three versions (since May 2018).

If you know of a distro that differs from what’s said here, please let us know. Having slightly more accurate information about this, good or bad, could only help. Problems are being looked for so they can be solved; hope is also being sought — we could use the good news most of all!

On that note, I am very happy to say that SliTaz has already moved out of “check”. Five months ago, I warned that SliTaz (after suffering half a year of DDOS attacks) had migrated to GitHub.

When I verified the status for this article, it appears that SliTaz has left GitHub. They are one of the most promising alternatives to Puppy Linux, which I started to pay attention to again (Puppy was one of the first distros that really taught me about the command line and other cool things about GNU/Linux) because of its non-reliance on systemd. MX and Antix are also promising alternatives, except they are both developed on GitHub.

Not everybody cares about systemd, though personally I have remained sceptical of it since the first time it ran on one of my computers, in late 2014. Only years later, after Microsoft purchased GitHub, did I find out that systemd is tied to it.

Of the 275 active distros on DistroWatch, how many are tied to GitHub via systemd? That’s as good a place to start as any.

It’s at least 62% of our list — including 3CX Phone System, APODIO, AV Linux, AcademiX GNU/Linux, Anarchy Linux, Arch Linux, ArchBang Linux, ArchStrike, Archlabs Linux, Archman, ArcoLinux, AryaLinux, Asianux, BEE free, BOSS GNU/Linux, BackBox Linux, Berry Linux, BigLinux, BitKey, BlackArch Linux, blackPanther OS, BlankOn, BlueOnyx, Bluestar Linux, Bodhi Linux, BunsenLabs Linux, CAELinux, CAINE, CentOS, ClearLinux, ClearOS, Clonezilla Live, Clu Linux Live, Container Linux, DRBLLive, Debian Edu/Skolelinux, Debian, deepin, DietPi, DuZeru, EasyNAS, EasyOS, Elastix, elementary OS, Elive, Emmabuntüs, EndeavourOS, Endless OS, Enso OS, EuroLinux, ExTiX, Fedora, Feren OS, ForLEx, FreePBX, FreedomBox, Freespire, GParted Live, GeckoLinux, Greenie Linux, Grml, Hamara, Hanthana Linux, KANOTIX, KDE neon, KaOS, Kali Linux, Karoshi, Kubuntu, LXLE, Lakka, LibreELEC, LinHES, Linspire, Linux Lite, Linux Mangaka, Linux Mint, Linuxfx, Live Raizo, LliureX, Lubuntu, LunarLinux, Mageia, MakuluLinux, Manjaro, MorpheusArchLinux, Namib GNU/Linux, Neptune, NethServer, Netrunner, Network SecurityToolkit, NexentaStor, Nitrux, NixOS, Nova, OB2D Linux, OLPC OS, OSGeoLive, OSMC, Omarine, openmamba GNU/Linux, OpenMandriva Lx, OpenMediaVault, openSUSE, Oracle Linux, PLD LinuxDistribution, Pardus Topluluk, Pardus, Parrot, Peach OSI, Pearl Linux OS, Peppermint OS, Photon OS, Pinguy OS, Pop!_OS, PrimTux, Proxmox, PureOS, Q4OS, Qubes OS, ROSA, RaspberryDigital Signage, Raspberry Slideshow, Raspbian, RebeccaBlackOS, Red HatEnterpriseLinux, Rescatux, Robolinux, RocksClusterDistribution, Runtu, SELKS, SME Server, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Sabayon, Secure-K OS, Septor, siduction, SharkLinux, Slax, Solus, SolydXK, SparkyLinux, Springdale Linux, SteamOS, Stella, SuperGamer, SuperX, SystemRescueCd, Tails, Thinstation, Trisquel, TurnKeyLinux, tuxtrans, UBOS, UBports, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu DesktopPack, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu, Ultimate Edition, Univention Corporate Server, Untangle NGFirewall, VenenuX, Volumio, Voyager Live, Webconverger, Whonix, Xubuntu, YunoHost, Zentyal Server, Zevenet and Zorin OS.

If you’re looking for a systemd-free distro, don’t bother with those. Left out is EasyOS because even though it looks like it will need systemd, it isn’t a sure thing. MX isn’t listed even though it offers systemd, as it goes out of its way to make it optional. ALT Linux may offer sysv so that wasn’t counted either. Anarchy is an installer, “not a distro” — but it’s listed because DistroWatch lists it.

Of those, all additionally have GitHub-based package management via APT (Perl), RPM (GitHub, also Perl), rpm-ostree (GitHub), or flatpak (GitHub) or Zypper except: Manjaro, ArcoLinux, Arch Linux, EndeavourOS, Archman, Bluestar, Qubes, BlackArch, ArchBang, LibreELEC, Archlabs, Container Linux, SystemRescueCD, ArchStrike, Lunar and UBOS. Mageia uses urpmi (Perl) and dnf (GitHub) while Sabayon uses portage (Python– GitHub). AryaLinux relies on alps which is Python-based.

Sabayon allegedly includes systemd even though it’s based on Gentoo, and SystemRescueCd used to offer OpenRC but that doesn’t matter, as OpenRC is also based on GitHub. Funtoo is based on systemd though it offers OpenRC as an alternative.

Of the above list, nearly 1 in 4 systemd-based distros (24%) are themselves developed on GitHub: Anarchy Linux, ArchStrike, BigLinux, BitKey, BlackArch Linux, BunsenLabs Linux, Clear Linux, Container Linux, DietPi, Endless OS, Enso OS, GeckoLinux, Grml, KaOS, Lakka, LibreELEC, LliureX, Lunar Linux, Namib GNU/Linux, NethServer, Nitrux, NixOS, OpenMediaVault, OSMC, Pop!_OS, Proxmox, Qubes OS, Rescatux, Rocks Cluster Distribution, Sabayon, Secure-K OS, SELKS, Slax, TurnKey Linux, UBOS, UBports, Volumio, Webconverger, Whonix, YunoHost, Zentyal Server and Zevenet.

At least 11% of the 275 active distros are NON-systemd distros that are hosted and developed on GitHub, including: antiX, Baruwa Enterprise Edition, batocera.linux, Bedrock Linux, BSD Router Project, ClonOS, FreeNAS, FuryBSD, GhostBSD, GoboLinux, HardenedBSD, Lakka, Minimal Linux Live, MX Linux, NomadBSD, NuTyX, OpenIndiana, opensuse, OPNsense, pfSense, Pisi Linux, Plamo Linux (though no mention on its website), Project Trident, Puppy Linux, RancherOS, ReactOS, SmartOS, Super Grub2 Disk, Void Linux, VyOS and Zentyal Server.

Recalbox has moved from GitHub to Gitlab, though it is built around Kodi (GitHub) and its documentation and Wiki are still GitHub-based. Obarun moved to framagit in 2018, specifically to get away from GitHub.

That brings us to some lost causes, or distros most hopelessly tied to GitHub. Some distros are built around a single feature that isn’t likely to be forked or leave GitHub. Flatpak is based on GitHub, and nearly always comes with Systemd which is based on GitHub — though CloudReady supposedly has flatpak without systemd.

Endless OS is developed on GitHub and based on flatpak, systemd and Mono, which are developed on GitHub.

Volumio is developed on GitHub and is based on apt (Perl, GitHub), systemd (GitHub), Node.js (GitHub) and like a number of servers here, is based on a WebUI that uses AngularJS (GitHub).

LibreELEC is developed on GitHub and built around systemd and Kodi, which are also based on GitHub.

Clear Linux is developed on GitHub, and uses systemd, a Python-based WebUI and RPM (GitHub, plus Perl– GitHub).

batocera.linux is developed on GitHub and is a fork of emulationstation (GitHub) built around emulators like snes9x (GitHub) and mgba (GitHub).

Project Trident is developed on GitHub, and based on void which is developed on GitHub.

FreeNAS is built around an AngularJS WebUI. Zevenet is based on GitHub along with apt, systemd and an AngularJS WebUI.

OPNsense is based on GitHub and HardenedBSD, which is also based on GitHub.

RancherOS is based on GitHub and Docker, which is based on GitHub.

EuroLinux is based on Flatpak, RPM, Yum, Systemd and ceph — which are based on GitHub, GitHub and Perl (GitHub) and GitHub and Python, respectively.

The once-formidable FreedomBox is based on apt (Perl), systemd, and a WebUI based on Python.

Grml has a perl-based mirror infrastructure, a Python-based USB installer, and Grml is itself based on GitHub.

Paldo GNU/Linux is built around a special package manager (upkg) that requires Mono.

Omarine is based on RPM and Systemd, around the GitHub-based FUZZY and Sail features.

Webconverger is based on GitHub along with apt, systemd, and built around just running Firefox (rust, GitHub). Porteus Kiosk is built around running Firefox. LinHES is based on systemd and built around running MythTV (GitHub).

And the Rocks Cluster Distribution is developed on GitHub, built around core features which use Python, Kubernetes, Ansible, RPM and systemd — all of which are based on GitHub.

We are down to 23% of our active distros on DistroWatch. Another 11% are based on the following proprietary or GitHub-based components:

Nine remaining distros are based on APT, and thus probably need Perl (from GitHub) for dpkg: ARMA aka Omoikane GNU/Linux, Devuan, Exe GNU/Linux, Refracta, Simplicity Linux, Star, GALPon MiniNo, KNOPPIX and PClinuxOS. This is going to include most Debian and Devuan-based distros anyway.

Three remaining distros use RPM, which is developed on GitHub:
Vine Linux, Endian Firewall and Openwall GNU/*/Linux.

Five remaining distros: Alpine, Gentoo, Parabola, Hyperbola and Daphile, are at least said by DistroWatch or another source to use OpenRC as the init — which is based on GitHub. Hyperbola, please fix this! Gentoo can probably make this optional if it doesn’t already.

Calculate and Redcore are OpenRC-based but also offer sysv, while Artix is OpenRC-based but offers runit and s6, so we will keep these.

Austrumi uses slapt-get, which is based on GitHub. Pakfire, part of ipfire — needs yum, which uses RPM and Python. One component of pkgsrc in NetBSD uses Python, this can probably be easily fixed. MidnightBSD uses mports for packaging– this is based on GitHub. XigmaNAS uses OpenZFS, which is based on GitHub. Pentoo, Bicom Systems and Calculate Linux use Portage, which is Python.

Smoothwall Express uses Perl. From the looks of the Zeroshell contents, it also requires Perl.

ToOpPy Linux is difficult to figure out where it comes from, but it is based on Sourceforge. If it’s based on Woof-CE, then it’s based on GitHub.

Parted Magic, Oracle Solaris, Sophos UTM and Securepoint Security Suite all appear to be proprietary. Let us know if you find otherwise.

This leaves 12% of our original list:

1-3: 4MLinux, Absolute Linux, Android-x86

4-6: CRUX, Cucumber Linux, DragonFly BSD

7-9: Dragora GNU/Linux-Libre, Exherbo, Fatdog64 Linux

10-12: FreeBSD, FuguIta, Guix System

13-15: Haiku, KolibriOS, Kwort Linux

16-18: LinuxConsole, Linux From Scratch, Obarun

19-21: OpenBSD, OviOS Linux, Plop Linux

22-24: Porteus, Redcore, RISC OS Open

25-27: Slackel, Slackware Linux, SliTaz GNU/Linux

28-30: Source Mage GNU/Linux, T2 SDE, Tiny Core Linux

31-33: Wifislax, Trusted End Node Security, Zenwalk Linux

At least a 1/3 of these have a default desktop that is GitHub-based, but we don’t necessarily need to worry about that because a desktop is usually pretty trivial to swap out.

JWM, IceWM, Openbox, FVWM, Mate, FLWM (as it uses FLTK) and LXDE are all GitHub-based, but GNOME, KDE and dwm are GitHub-free for now. Fluxbox isn’t run by GitHub yet, but someone was recently offering patches and trying to persuade the developers to migrate.

“If the goal of Microsoft at the time of the Halloween documents was to control as much Free Software as possible, the purchase of GitHub was far beyond an ideal move.”Most live images are built around squashfs-tools, which moved to GitHub as of july 2019. To fix that would require a fork or an obsolete version from Sourceforge or kernel.org.

Despite the Puppy community heavily depending on GitHub, I tried really hard to find a way in which Fatdog64 needed GitHub to exist. It uses some puppy scripts, but probably not in a way that relies on GitHub at all. This could be a true fork that avoids GitHub in most ways that matter.

If the goal of Microsoft at the time of the Halloween documents was to control as much Free Software as possible, the purchase of GitHub was far beyond an ideal move.

“The goal of Free software is for all software to be free — the goal of Microsoft is for all software to be controlled, by Microsoft.”The game isn’t over yet, but to be in “check” means the only move available is one that gets you out of check.

The goal of Free software is for all software to be free — the goal of Microsoft is for all software to be controlled, by Microsoft. Towards either purpose, GitHub isn’t a code hosting platform — it’s a code hostage crisis.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Links 6/4/2020: New Red Hat CEO, elementary OS Hera Updates

Posted in News Roundup at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Chrome OS Terminal App Gains New Features, Makes Working with Linux Easier


        As spotted by the focally-blessed hawks at Android Police, Chrome OS 83 (currently on the developer channel) ships with an updated terminal app boasts a solid set of welcome new features.

        If you’re unfamiliar with it, the Chrome OS terminal app is available to users of Chrome OS on compatible Chromebooks who opt-in to the Linux (beta) feature.

        The feature (through the power of containers) provides a full Linux development environment in which they can apt install popular open software like GIMP, LibreOffice, and, yes, even Mozilla Firefox on a Chromebook and run them alongside other software, native software.

    • Server

      • Rosetta@Home Now Supports 64-bit Arm SBC’s and Servers in the Fight against COVID-19

        As explained in an article on miniNodes, you’ll need a board with at least 2GB RAM and running a 64-bit operating system. That means Raspbian will not work since it’s only 32-bit, and instead you can use Ubuntu 18.04 / 19.04 server 64-bit for Raspberry Pi. On other SBC’s, people have been using Armbian successfully.

      • MariaDB SkySQL enables cloud-native database as a service

        Howard: It’s more than just X4, it’s a very interesting amalgamation of power. Yes, it does have X4, whose primary distinction in the marketplace is to have analytic and transactional processing all in the same database. X4 is also more than that, with the way in which data is propagated from the row store to the columnar store in an approach we call smart transactions.

        Typically what has to happen is that data has to be propagated to a separate data warehousing instance, like a Redshift or Snowflake. Here it’s part and parcel of the same database. So that’s unique, and that’s manifested in SkySQL. That’s no easy task to do and we automate things like block storage as well.

        On top of that is Kubernetes. We spent a lot of time optimizing the Kubernetes footprint to really handle a persistent technology like a database.

        [...]

        Howard: We tried many different techniques. We started off with a physical instantiation. But it was about two years ago when we saw the opportunity with Kubernetes.

        Because of MariaDB’s community and global footprint it was clear to me that we would have to be multi-cloud. Doing that physically and having a portal on each of the clouds was just an unnecessary evil. So after starting with using virtual machines and physical instantiation methods, we moved to the Kubernetes method.

      • Is Kubernetes becoming the driving force of enterprise IT?

        Now and again, enterprise technology comes along that seems like a beautifully simple solution to a complicated problem. Take Kubernetes—the open source platform that automates Linux container operations, eliminating many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerised applications. It is exciting to see how Kubernetes is evolving to meet the challenge of running mission critical workloads at scale.

        Container use will only continue to increase. A recent Red Hat survey found that 62% of organisations have minimal (less than 10%) container use today, but only 20% say that will still be the case in two years’ time. Meanwhile, the percentage with more than half their workloads containerised is expected to almost triple—to 28%—over the same period.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Action News 152

        WireGuard officially lands in Linux. We cover a bunch of new features in Linux 5.6 and discuss the recent challenges facing LineageOS.

        Plus the PinePhone UBports edition goes up for pre-order, and our reaction to Huawei joining the Open Invention Network.

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 190 – Building a talent “ecosystem”

        Josh and Kurt talk about building a talent ecosystem. What starts out as an attempt by Kurt to talk about Canada evolves into a discussion about how talent can evolve, or be purposely grown. Canada’s entertainment industry and Unit 8200 are good examples of this.

      • gnuWorldOrder_348

        Musing about the **Common Unix Printing System (CUPS)**. Next episode will be about the **CUPS** and **lpr** command set.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E02 – Walking under ladders

        This week we’ve been live streaming Ubuntu development and replacing VirtualBox with Bash. We discuss Mark’s new Linux Steam PC set-up, bring you some musical command-line love and go over all your feedback!

        It’s Season 13 Episode 02 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • XFS Working Towards Online Repair, Many Underlying Improvements

        While XFS dates back to the 90′s and has been in the Linux kernel for nearly two decades, this proven file-system continues aging gracefully and continuing to see more improvements. With Linux 5.7 is another step forward for XFS.

        With Linux 5.7 the XFS file-system has seen a number of underlying improvements as they work towards online file-system checking (fsck) capabilities. The online repair for XFS won’t be ready for Linux 5.7 but a future kernel and they are getting the necessary changes introduced as they are finished.

      • Linux 5.7 To Support Spawning A Process In A Different Cgroup From Its Parent

        An important infrastructure change with the Linux 5.7 kernel now allows the ability to create a process in a different cgroup from the parent process.

        Using the clone3 system call, a child process can now be spawned directly into a different cgroup compared to its parent.

      • KVM With Linux 5.7 Supporting Protected/Secure VM Guests For IBM POWER + s390

        Both of IBM’s s390 and POWER CPU architectures are seeing secure/protected guest virtual machine support with KVM on the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel.

        On the s390 front the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) code has support for protected virtual machines in conjunction with its ultravisor. The KVM s390 support for protected virtual machines (VMs) are where KVM can’t access any of the guest’s state like guest memory and guest registers. Protected Virtual Machines on s390 in turn become manages by their new ultravisor. These s390 guests can run in unencrypted mode at boot and then load an encrypted blob and transition to the encrypted Protected VM state. The code has gone through a few rounds of review and is ready for IBM s390 hardware with Linux 5.7.

      • Loongson Improvements Land In Linux 5.7 To Improve The Chinese MIPS CPUs

        The MIPS architecture improvements for Linux 5.7 are headlined by Loongson support improvements for those Chinese manufactured MIPS64 platforms.

        As outlined last month, a number of Loongson 3 support improvements were worked on by Loongson engineers and the community. Included as part of the MIPS CPU updates for Linux 5.7 are a generic Device Tree for Loongson 3 devices, Desktop Management Interface (DMI) support for MIPS, a Loongson I/O local interrupt controller driver, and a Hyper Transport PIC controller driver. The generic Loongson 3 DTS support should help in allowing mainline Linux images to run nicely on more devices.

      • DRM TTM Hugepage Support Lands In Linux 5.7

        The work led by VMware on allowing the Direct Rendering Manager’s TTM memory management code support huge page tables has been added to Linux 5.7.

        This is the work by VMware initially for their VMWgfx driver but also of relevance to other DRM drivers employing TTM for supporting huge and giant page-table entries. This TTM hugepages support is intended to reduce CPU usage and lower TLB misses. Under a VMware test program just doing some example memory mapping and unmapping, the time to execute was about halved.

      • Linux 5.7 Perf Changes Include Additions For AMD Zen 3, Intel Tiger Lake

        The perf subsystem continues to be quite lively with improvements and for Linux 5.7 is seeing a number of low-level improvements.

        On the Intel side there is now Intel Tiger Lake uncore support. The Tiger Lake uncore support in the perf/x86 code largely amounts to following the same code paths as Ice Lake.

      • C-SKY Architecture Gets Fix For Its Own Speculative Execution Bug In Linux 5.7

        C-SKY is a a Chinese 32-bit CPU architecture intended for low-power devices from media boxes / DVRs to printers and other consumer electronics. C-SKY has also worked its way into a ~$6 development board. With its updates for the Linux 5.7 kernel are various additions to this maturing architecture support along with a speculative execution fix.

      • /dev/random Seeing Performance Work For Linux 5.7

        The Linux 5.7 kernel will bring random performance improvements as in /dev/random.

        First up for boosting the /dev/random performance on the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel is making use of batched CRNG output in place of the CPU RNG instructions in order to deliver better performance. This is an improvement made by WireGuard’s Jason Donenfeld after noting the RdRand instruction can be quite slow. With this batched entropy for get random, his accepted patch delivers better performance and also fits better from a security perspective.

      • Linux Exec Should Be Less Deadlock Prone In Future Kernels

        Ongoing work around Linux’s exec() code should make it less deadlock prone in future kernel versions.

        The current exec functionality within the kernel is “extremely deadlock prone” but Eric Biederman and others have been working to clean up that code and put it in a better state to avoid potential deadlocks. Sent in for the Linux 5.7 kernel was the first part of the exec rework that makes trickier cases easier to spot and the hope is for Linux 5.8 the code to solve exec deadlocks might be ready.

      • SFP modules on a board running Linux

        We had to overcome a few challenges to get this setup working, using a mainline Linux kernel.

        As we discussed earlier, having SFP modules meant the whole MAC-PHY-SFP link has to be reconfigured at runtime, as the PHY in the SFP module is hot-pluggable. To solve this issue a framework called Phylink, was introduced in mid-2017 to represent networking links and allowing their component to share states and to be reconfigured at runtime. For us, this meant we had to first convert the CPSW MAC driver to use this phylink framework. For a detailed explanation of what composes Ethernet links and why Phylink is needed, we gave a talk at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in 2018. While we were working on this and after we first moved the CPSW MAC driver to use Phylink, this driver was rewritten and a new CPSW MAC driver was sent upstream (CONFIG_TI_CPSW vs CONFIG_TI_CPSW_SWITCHDEV). We are still using the old driver for now, and this is why we did not send our patches upstream as we think it does not make sense to convert a driver which is now deprecated.

        A second challenge was to integrate the 2-wire capability of the VSC8572 PHY into the networking PHY and SFP common code, as our SFP modules I2C bus is connected to the PHY and not an I2C controller from the system-on-chip. We decided to expose this PHY 2-wire capability as an SMBus controller, as the functionality offered by the PHY does not make it a fully I2C compliant controller.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Ray Tracing Gets Its First Open-Source, Cross-Platform Implementation

          Khronos, the consortium responsible for many open standards in the gaming/graphics world, has released a beta ray tracing API, making it the first cross-platform implementation of real-time ray tracing. NVIDIA also released new beta drivers that support it.

          If you don’t know what I’m talking about; ray tracing is a CGI technique that is used to create photorealistic images.

          It renders objects by simulating the way actual rays of lights work in the real world and “tracing” them from the eye of the viewer, hence the name.

          Practically speaking, it gives us better shadows, reflections, translucence, refraction and a myriad of other improvements over the techniques that our consoles are currently deploying.

    • Benchmarks

      • Looking At The LVI Mitigation Impact On Intel Cascade Lake Refresh

        On Friday I posted some initial numbers looking at the LVI mitigation impact when using the LLVM Clang compiler with that open-source, multi-platform compiler having landed its mitigation this week for Intel’s Load Value Injection (LVI) vulnerability that was disclosed in March. Through the weekend I have been running some additional tests of this compiler-based mitigation and in this article are some numbers off Cascade Lake Refresh, which while recently released is reported by Intel to still be vulnerable to this new disclosure.

    • Applications

      • How I manage my productive life in Linux

        Before I start to share my thoughts on the digital side of my productivity workflow, I want to mention that I am not an open source purist. First of all I use Linux because in my opinion it just works better and faster on my machines, because it is much more stable, because it is simpler (currently my main distros are Zorin OS and elementary OS, both distros that require virtually no tweaking to meet my personal requirements and preferences), and because it just helps me to focus on my productive tasks. But although I always start to look for open source software solutions first, in the end I don’t force myself to exclusively run open source applications on my machines. If there is a closed source solution, or even a web based only solution, that fits my needs best and it can be used in Linux, then I have no problem using that software.

      • Best video editing software for linux/Ubuntu

        If you are looking for a good Linux video editing software to create home videos, then you’ve come to the right place. Ubuntu easily supports the multimedia world, not only playing audio and video but also helping create content. Currently users are able to create audio and video files easily and with professional results from Ubuntu.

        Here is our list of the top best video editors for linux that can help you make custom movies and share them with your friends and family.

      • Timekpr – Control The Computer Usage Of User Accounts

        Nowadays, especially in this quarantine time, the kids are probably spending more time using Computers than the text books. As a parent and a teacher, you must keep an eye on them to know how much time they are spending on Computers, and you should limit their excessive computer usage. There are plenty of parental control applications available to get this job done. The one today we are going to discuss is Timekpr-nExT. In this guide we will see, how to control the computer usage of user accounts using Timekpr.

      • Session: A Truly Secure Private Messenger for Linux

        Session is a free and open-source end-to-end encrypted messenger designed for users who want to protect their freedom and privacy from all forms of surveillance. It works to encrypt all user communications without leaving any digital footprint by implementing a decentralized onion routing network system called onion requests.

        One of the best things about Session is that it does not require any mobile numbers or email addresses to operate and users are free to use their real names or an alias.

        This allows the software to work without collecting metadata, geolocation data, or any other data about a user’s device and network. Does Session sound familiar? If yes that’s because it is a fork of the much loved Signal private messenger.

      • Beets – music tagger and library organizer using the MusicBrainz database

        The music scene is where I’m happiest. As an amateur musician, I devote an inordinate amount of time developing my technique, practicing, practicing, and practicing. I also love listening to music, both live and recorded. Linux is my other passion. It’s endowed with a bewildering arsenal of open source multimedia software, so I’ve invested a lot of time reviewing a fair chunk.

        Over the years I’ve amassed a bountiful eclectic music collection. In my formative years, that was mostly pop music but over the years I’ve progressed to classical, jazz, blues, techno, and even a smattering of heavy metal. While I have a large collection of vinyl and CDs, I mostly listen to FLAC files these days. FLAC is an audio coding format for lossless compression of digital audio.

        Where does beets step in? If your music collection is in a sorry state of affairs with missing or incomplete track details, metadata, duplicate tracks, missing tracks, then beets might just fit the bill. Besides metadata, the software also grabs album art, lyrics, transcodes audio to a wide variety of formats, and much more. It’s a library that’s designed to be as flexible as possible.

      • Bitwarden: A Free & Open Source Password Manager

        Bitwarden is a free and open-source password manager. You might remember that earlier we listed it as one of the best password managers available for Linux.

        Personally, I’ve been using Bitwarden as my password manager across multiple devices for several months now. So, in this article, I’ll be mentioning the features it offers along with my experience with it.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • What have you been playing recently? Come tell us what you think about it

        Every so often we like to have a chat with our readers, and find out what you’ve been really getting into lately on Linux.

        Since the UK is currently in lockdown, I’ve been spending some extra time with the mini-me since school is out and I’ve been trying out everything they’re into. This has involved, unsurprisingly, a lot of Minecraft since it’s an accessible game. We’ve recently discovered a few communities than run huge servers, and each have a ton of mini-games. One such mini-game is Bed Wars, and it’s actually quite a lot of fun.

      • Blending XCOM and HOMM the strategy game ‘Fort Triumph’ releases April 16

        I’ll openly admit right away my intense excitement on this one. Fort Triumph blends XCOM-styled combat with environmental interactions and Heroes of Might and Magic world-exploration into a unique and delightful mix.

        Originally funded on Kickstarter back in May 2017 with 1,457 backers pledging $78,311, it was impressive from the very first test build which had Linux support in the early stages. After Kickstarter and Early Access, it’s gradually expanded into quite a big game overall.

      • Dead Age 2 will bring survival, people management and turn-based combat in June

        Dead Age 2 from Silent Dreams and Headup now has a release date set for June 3, along with a brand new trailer. To be clear, it’s starting off in Early Access although they’re saying it won’t be for very long due to it having the main game mechanics in already, they just need to add more content to it.

      • Double Feature: Help develop a cure for Coronavirus by playing ‘Eterna’ and ‘Foldit’, two free GWAP puzzle titles

        In case you missed it, here at GamingOnLinux we’ve been very proactive towards this disaster. As you can see on this previous article, that I absolutely recommend you to check, we decided to offer some help by taking part on a project called Folding@Home, and as of today we’ve hit the top one thousand teams (full stats page here)!

        Still, there might be some people who think this approach isn’t enough; it could be argued that we aren’t actually doing anything, and that we’re only offering computational power and that’s all. If that happens to be the way you currently feel, then I have some promising news for you, as these two GWAP initiatives can complement the previous one, by allowing you to actively use your creativity, resourcefulness and determination to contribute even more, and the best part, by performing the action that gathered us here in the first place: gaming.

      • FOSS app ‘GOverlay’ for managing Linux gaming overlays adds early support for vkBasalt

        GOverlay is fast becoming an incredibly useful free and open source Linux gaming application, giving you an easier time working with the MangoHud overlay and now the start of vkBasalt support too.

        While MangoHud gives you options to see FPS, frame timings, GPU VRAM use and a lot more—vkBasalt is a Vulkan layer that allows you to add special graphical effects into your games like Contrast Adaptive Sharpening, Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing and more including support for a bunch of Reshade Fx shaders.

        Recently GOverlay had a new release with 0.3.0 adding in some vkBasalt configuration. In addition it has a revamped interface to allow for more projects to be supported, a global enable option is in for vkBasalt and there’s another fix for “$HOME variable implementation”.

      • Tough highly-rated platformer ‘LOVE’ is now available on Linux with a massive update

        Developer Fred Wood already had ‘LOVE 2: kuso’ available on Linux, however the original wasn’t. That changed last week, as LOVE got a huge upgrade and Linux support came with it.

      • You can help show Gaijin demand for a Linux version of their upcoming MMO ‘Enlisted’

        Gaijin Entertainment have teamed up with Darkflow Software to create a new squad-based MMO called Enlisted, and they’re taking a survey of what players use. This is a new shooter built around “some of the most important and famous episodes from World War 2″. An entirely different game to War Thunder, with Gaijin sticking around as publisher although Darkflow have worked on Gaijin games before.

      • Fantastic Linux Games For 2020 : Linux Games

        There are thousands of games available for Linux based operating systems. Those used to be the day when it was hard to find Linux games but these days there are many gaming marketplaces, gaming platforms, and games being developed for the Linux based operating systems.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kaidan 0.5.0 released!

          After more than half a year the next release is here, but the waiting was worth it! It includes the all new onboarding, which aims at better usability for new XMPP users and improved security, while minimizing additional effort by the user. For further information look at the blog post dedicated to this topic.

          And even more! Now recording and sending audio and video is possible with Kaidan, as well as searching for contacts and messages. Additionally, many smaller features and fixes are included in this release. But have a look at the changelog yourself.

          We sadly have to inform you that we encountered difficulties building Kaidan for Windows and building the Flatpak as one option to use Kaidan on Linux. But we are already working on fixing it and Kaidan 0.5 will hopefully be available on Windows and as a Flatpak for Linux soon™.

        • Kaidan 0.5 Released As The KDE-Focused Jabber/XMPP Chat Client

          Kaidan is the open-source project that last year joined KDE as a Jabber/XMPP chat client. After a half year of work, Kaidan 0.5 has finally been released.

          The Kaidan Jabber/XMPP client remains written in C++ and complying with Kirigami specifications and employing Qt Quick for constructing the user-interface. Kaidan 0.5 comes after being in development for more than six months and includes usability improvements, better security, support for recording and sending audio/video, QR code scanning/generating, contact search abilities, and a whole lot of other features.

        • This week in KDE: Moar performance!

          Some very nice performance fixes landed this week, which should substantially boost move and copy speeds for local transfers and transfers to and from Samba shares in particular. But that’s not all, and there’s more on the menu…

        • KDE Starts April With Big Performance Jump For Local I/O + 50~95% Faster Samba Transfers

          KDE developers managed to squeeze some long-problematic I/O optimizations into the KDE code-base this week along with other enhancements to make for a nice first week of April.

          The performance work for kicking off April includes:

          - 50~95% faster transferring of large files to/from Samba shares. This big speed-up is a Dolphin improvement for a 2012 bug report. This fast-copy support for the Samba code should now allow “mount-level copy performance” thanks to various architectural changes in the code.

        • Qt Creator 4.12 RC released

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

          For an overview of the improvements in Qt Creator 4.12, please head over to the first Beta blog post.

          Get Qt Creator 4.12 RC
          The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under “Pre-releases”, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.12 RC is also available under Preview > Qt Creator 4.12.0-rc1 in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

        • Interview with Philipp Urlich

          Since I was not keen on using Photoshop for painting (even though I worked for many years with Photoshop), I was looking for alternatives. Then I finally found Krita in 2018.

          I love that it’s open source. It has many great tools for various tasks. The ability to create your own powerful brushes. I also love that you can do animations.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 3.36 First Point Release is here. See What’s New.

          The first point release of GNOME 3.36 is available for download now. Coming after a couple of weeks of GNOME 3.36 release, this first point release is a major milestone for GNOME.

        • What is better than GNOME, in what ways

          Gnome is a fantastic way to run your desktop but it is not right for everyone. Maybe, you may like to switch to another for specific tasks. For performance reasons, user and computer, you may want another desktop. This is particularly interesting for people who work with specific activities. A programmer becomes accustomed to using the keyboard and a graphic designer may need more power. In this post you will hear about some other desktop environments and their benefits and drawbacks.

        • Jakub Steiner: Art vs Design

          So what was the situation twitter was praising? Let’s count on how many GNOME applications shipped a custom nighly icon. Umm, how about zero?

          A pretty picture an artist spends hours on, modelling, texturing, lighting, adjusting for low resolution screens is not a visual framework nor a reasonable thing to ask app developers to do.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Linux Mint 4 “Debian Edition”

          Linux Mint is a popular desktop distribution which features two main branches. The first branch is based on Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) releases and is available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. The second branch uses Debian Stable releases as its foundation and is available in one edition: Cinnamon.

          The project’s latest release is Linux Mint 4 “Debian Edition”, also sometimes written LMDE 4. Much of the work which has gone into LMDE 4 focuses on bringing the Debian branch of Linux Mint up to date with the Ubuntu branch, which seems to get the bulk of the developers’ focus. The latest improvements include better VirtualBox support, access to the System Reports tool, and APT’s recommended packages being enabled by default…

      • New Releases

        • elementary OS: Hera Updates for March, 2020

          Fresh on the heels of the AppCenter for Everyone Remote Sprint, we still managed to push out a good amount of updates over the course of March (and early April), bundled up in an OS 5.1.3 update. Let’s dive into what’s new.

          We continued our quest to make Code the best editor for elementary OS this month. A file’s Git status now shows in its tooltip in the project sidebar, making it easier to understand what the status icons mean—especially if you’re colorblind or just don’t remember. We also added an option for explicit case-sensitive find/replace for those times when you want to find or replace the word foo but not Foo.

        • elementary OS 5.1.3 New Features Rev
        • Elementary OS 5.1.3 Reveals New Updates And Release Tool

          Ahead of the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS-based next Elementary OS 6, the current v5.1 Hera gets several new updates with the third point release v5.1.3. Concluding the update for March and early April, Cassidy James Blaede, Co-founder and CXO of Elementary OS, also revealed a new tool to track each package release.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • This is my shoestring photography setup for image editing

          Saving money is not the only major benefit of using inexpensive hardware and free open-source software. Somewhat surprisingly, the more important benefit for me personally is peace of mind. My primary machine is a 9-year old ThinkPad X220 with 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD. I bought it on eBay for around 200 euros, plus about 30 euros for a 120GB SSD. The digiKam application I use for most of my photo management and processing needs cost exactly zero. (I’m the author of the digiKam Recipes book.) I store my entire photo library on a USB 3.0 3TB Toshiba Canvio hard disk I bought for around 113 euros. If any component of my hardware setup fails, I can replace it without any significant impact on my budget. I don’t have to worry about a company deciding to squeeze more money out of me by either forcing me into a paid upgrade or a subscription plan, and I sleep better knowing that I own the software crucial for my photographic workflow.

          You might think that managing and processing RAW files and photos on a relatively old machine with a paltry amount of RAM is unbearably slow, but it’s not. While Windows would bring the ThinkPad X220 to its knees, the machine briskly runs openSUSE Linux with the KDE graphical desktop environment. The word Linux may send some photographers away screaming, but a modern Linux system is hardly more complicated in use than Windows.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Outreachy gets US$50000 IBM Open Source Community Grant

          Winners are picked through votes cast by IBM’s internal open source community.

        • IBM awards second Open Source Community Grant to Outreachy

          IBM has named internship and mentor program Outreachy as the winner of its second $50,000 Open Source Community Grant. Outreachy is a nonprofit that provides internships in the free and open source software (FOSS) space for people from groups that face under-representation, systemic bias, or discrimination in the technology industry of their countries.

        • Michel Alexandre Salim: Linux in the Time of COVID-19

          Rather than consuming the latest upstream kernel within roughly a month of it coming out (when Fedora releases its build), why not use the CentOS kernel? It’s stable (only critical fixes are backported), and since CentOS 8 is relatively new it happens to be the newest kernel officially supported by Nvidia anyway.

          For Chef users, we open sourced cpe_kernel_channel, our cookbook for opting to use the CentOS kernel instead of the regular Fedora kernel.

          The next obvious step is to run CentOS itself rather than Fedora. Happily CentOS 8 runs well enough even on most recent ThinkPad laptops (let’s forget about that Yoga with a suspend issue). The one notable exception is Bluetooth audio support – bouncing bluetooth and pulseaudio repeatedly to get A2DP working is nobody’s idea of fun. We might need to ship backported Fedora components to address this (ironic, yes). If you see recent commits to our IT-CPE repo adding CentOS support, that’s why.

        • Mainframes, DevOps, and Ansible

          You probably know all this (and more), but what is Ansible? Ursula K Le Guin first used the word ‘ansible’ in her 1966 novel “Rocannon’s World”. The word was a contraction of ‘answerable’, because the device would allow its users to receive answers to their messages in a reasonable amount of time, even over interstellar distances. Other authors have also used the word. But that’s not what we’re talking about today!

          Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool that runs on Unix-like systems, and can configure both Unix-like systems as well as Microsoft Windows. It has its own declarative language to describe system configuration. Ansible was written by Michael DeHaan and was acquired by Red Hat in 2015. Ansible is agentless, temporarily connecting remotely via SSH or Windows Remote Management (allowing remote PowerShell execution) to do its tasks.

          The exciting news is that it’s now available on mainframes as IBM z/OS Ansible, and it enables users to automate z/OS applications and IT infrastructure. It will also enable users to automate development and operations through unified workflow orchestration across platforms. And that makes it a DevOps tool. It can work with existing JCL, REXX, and z/OSMF assets.

          Ansible uses modules, which are mostly standalone and can be written in scripting languages such as Python, Perl, Ruby, Bash, etc. If you read further, you’ll find the word ‘idempotency’ being used. This is from maths (and programming) and means that even if an operation is repeated multiple times (for example when recovering from an outage), it will always place the system into the same state.

          It also uses the idea of inventory configuration. Inventory is a description of the nodes that can be accessed by Ansible. By default, the Inventory is described by a configuration file, in INI or YAML format. The configuration file lists either the IP address or hostname of each node that is accessible by Ansible. In addition, nodes can be assigned to groups.

          Playbooks are YAML files that express configurations, deployment, and orchestration in Ansible. They allow Ansible to perform operations on managed nodes. Each Playbook maps a group of hosts to a set of roles. Each role is represented by calls to Ansible tasks.

        • Red Hat Names Paul Cormier President and Chief Executive Officer



          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has named Paul Cormier as president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, effective today. Cormier, who previously served as Red Hat’s president of Products and Technologies, succeeds Jim Whitehurst, who is now president of IBM.

          Since joining Red Hat in 2001, Cormier’s leadership and vision have driven major strategy shifts and expansion of the company’s portfolio of products and services. Cormier is credited with pioneering the subscription model that transformed Red Hat from an open source disruptor to an enterprise technology mainstay, moving Red Hat Linux from a freely downloadable operating system to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the industry’s leading enterprise Linux platform that today powers more than 90% of Fortune 500 organizations.

        • Washington DC : Red Hat Appoints Paul Cormier as CEO
        • Get to know Red Hat president and CEO, Paul Cormier

          For the past 20 years, Paul Cormier has helped design, craft and ultimately drive Red Hat’s product direction, from the communities we support to the new technology sectors we enter. Now as president and CEO, Paul will be responsible for executing the vision for Red Hat as a whole, not just as our product leader.

          So what makes Paul tick, what’s his background and what do you need to know about him? Read on to find out more!

        • Email to associates from Red Hat president and CEO, Paul Cormier

          Hi everyone,

          I know it’s unusual to talk about a change like this in this way, normally we would be together, and trust me, I would love to be. But the reality is we’re here. Once again, Red Hatters have come through in a big way for each other and for our customers and partners even under these challenging conditions. This is going to be a marathon and it’s more important than ever to continue to support one another right now.

          In light of all of this, I’ve thought about how interesting it is to take on this new role at this time. But, I believe that this is yet another step in the journey that we’ve all been through. The journey of the last 25+ years of Red Hat’s history has been filled with many obstacles. We’ve conquered many together. Trust that Red Hat will come out stronger on the other side. We always have.

          We still have a lot to accomplish and together we will. You may have heard me say that for 19 years I’ve had the same job, but that’s not entirely true. The last 19 years have not been a job, they’ve been an adventure! But even more importantly, Red Hat’s journey has been my journey. I’m excited to lead Red Hat in a new capacity and continue the journey.

          Looking back to when I joined, we were in a different position and facing different issues, but the spirit was the same. We were on a mission to convince the world that open source was real, safe and enterprise-grade. To do that we had to take risks. Some of those risks were product-related, like the shift to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and some were M&A decisions, like our acquisition of Qumranet (which led to Red Hat Virtualization) and eNovance (which expanded Red Hat Consulting and our OpenStack expertise).

          We had the fortitude to take these risks along with the people to tackle them skillfully, ultimately helping to drive real change in the IT industry. Because of our close ties with open source communities, we are able to see trends building before much of the world does. I recall being on stage at Red Hat Summit in 2007 talking about the idea of any application, anywhere, anytime, which very quickly led to open hybrid cloud. No one, and I mean no one, was talking about it at that time. There’s an immense feeling of pride that each and every Red Hatter should feel knowing that the technology industry wouldn’t be what it is today and open source wouldn’t be as dominant without Red Hat. We are all a part of that history.

          From those beginnings we’ve brought open source to the point that it’s THE development methodology for many areas of enterprise computing including infrastructure, application development and associated tools, and bluntly, real innovation. We not only built our expansive product portfolio using open source methodologies, but we built a company around it. If there’s a secret to our success or a reason why pundits ask if there “will ever be another Red Hat,” that’s it: It takes more than just products to build a company. It takes all of us, across all teams and regions, working together. We all play an important role in not only our success and our future, but also the greater success of open source and next-generation computing as a whole, and to continue making Red Hat a great place to work.

          Red Hat is at the point where we’ve grown our “Linux company” into a powerhouse, one that serves as a model to others, making us a target for a broad set of competitors, from start-ups to established, publicly-traded behemoths. Sometimes it feels like everyone is now in the commercial Linux and container business (remember containers are Linux), a place that we’ve been building to since 2001.

          But I don’t see competition as a bad thing. If we weren’t winning and weren’t a dominant force, people wouldn’t be trying to compete with us. This pushes us to continue to innovate and deliver for our customers, while not becoming complacent. What I see is that we’ve gone from customers who might want to work with us to customers who depend on us. Organizations around the world are embracing open source as not only a powerful development model to build quality software but also as a better way to work together. Our company vision has turned into the industry vision.

          To further drive this expansive vision home, Jim Whitehurst came into Red Hat and embraced the open development methodology that has been the cornerstone of our product strategy and took it all the way across the organization. Creating an open organization that many companies now want to emulate. Jim will continue to be a strong ally for Red Hat in his new role as president of IBM alongside Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM. Arvind has been a powerful advocate for Red Hat’s independence and a champion for this both inside IBM and externally. He is committed to keeping Red Hat Red Hat and he knows that part of that is having someone in this leadership position that understands us and what makes the company tick. Someone with the experience and intuition to understand our journey, and an appreciation for our unique culture and way of working. IBM knows that the best way for us to continue to lead the industry is to allow us to stay on our mission while helping us scale.

          Every year when I stand up at Red Hat Summit to deliver my keynote and look out at the crowd, it’s the most emotional moment for me. Even after all these years I still get that same wild rush: we built this. We created this unique company that changed the industry.

          All that said, future success in technology is not a birthright. As Red Hatters, we know we have to earn it each and every day with our customers. I’m ready to take the next step with you and continue on our journey to being the defining technology company of the 21st century.

          I talked earlier about my 19 year journey, call on me and other leaders at any time to help you in your journey at Red Hat. Stay well. Stay in touch.

        • Red Hat Names Paul Cormier President and Chief Executive Officer
      • Debian Family

        • Easy Buster version 2.2.16

          EasyOS versions 1.x are the “Pyro” series, the latest is 1.3. Easy Pyro is built with packages compiled from source using ‘oe-qky-src’, a fork of OpenEmbedded. Consequently, the builds are small and streamlined and integrated. The Pyro series may have future releases, but it is considered to be in maintenance status.
          The “Buster” series start from version 2.0, and are intended to be where most of the action is, ongoing. Version 2.0 was really a beta-quality build, to allow the testers to report back. The first official release was 2.1.
          The main feature of Easy Buster is that it is built from Debian 10 Buster DEBs, using WoofQ (a fork of Woof2: Woof-CE is another fork, used to build Puppy Linux).
          The advantage of Buster over Pyro is access to the large Debian package repositories. That is a big plus.
          On the other hand, DEB packages have many dependencies, and the end result is a release considerably larger than Pyro with similar app selection. For example, the download file of Pyro 1.2 is 418MB, Buster 2.1 is 504MB — despite the Buster build having less apps (Pyro has Qt5 and big Qt5-based apps such as Scribus, this is all missing from the Buster build, but can be installed).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) Final Beta Now Available for Download

          The company says the stable version of the next Ubuntu release is expected on April 23, so you can try it out in advance using this beta for a little over two weeks.

          “20.04 LTS, codenamed “Focal Fossa”, continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs,” Canonical says.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” Final Beta Released

          Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” final beta has been released. This is the last beta release before the final and stable version.

        • Lubuntu 20.04 LTS Beta Released!

          Your Lubuntu team has been hard at work, and has now released the beta version of Lubuntu 20.04 LTS. This will be our 18th release of Lubuntu, our fourth LTS release, but is our first LTS with the new LXQt desktop.

          Between April 2nd and April 23rd, all efforts will be focused on testing our product before its final release; finding any missed bugs and getting those squashed. These beta images are not intended to be used on a production system. We strongly encourage anyone willing to test the new images to join our development group, our forum, or the new Ubuntu community group that is coordinating testing for all the flavors on IRC or Telegram. For more information on testing Lubuntu please visit our wiki page. We’ll love all the spare time anyone can provide, to help test our upcoming Lubuntu 20.04 LTS release, and make this the best Lubuntu release ever.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” final Beta out now

          The last beta version of Ubuntu 20.04 (codenamed Focal Fossa) is finally here for all those who want to give a shot to this significant update before they get their hands on the final release.

          Delving deeper into this beta release, you can now download images for Ubuntu Desktop, Server, and Cloud products as well as the other Ubuntu variants, which include Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Ubuntu MATE, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu Budgie, Lubuntu, and Kubuntu.

        • Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Beta.

        • UbuntuDDE is a New Linux Distro That Brings The Beautiful Deepin Desktop to Ubuntu

          Deepin is a beautiful desktop environment with an intuitive UI. UbuntuDDE project combines the power of Ubuntu and the beauty of Deepin.

          [...]

          One major problem with Deepin Linux is its slow servers. A regular system takes hours to download for the fact that they have all their servers in China and these servers are unfortunately extremely slow.

          If you want to use Deepin desktop, nothing stops you from installing it on your regular Ubuntu system. UbuntuDDE is trying to make it simpler by providing you an out of the box Deepin desktop experience on top of Ubuntu. This saves you time and effort in installing and configuring Deepin on Ubuntu.

        • 11+ Best Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Themes In 2020

          This post is for you if you are using Ubuntu and tired of default theme and icons. Let’s have a look into the list of best Linux themes for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Five Open Source alternatives to Slack

        Like Slack, Riot allows you to chat, exchange files, make voice calls, hold video conferences, and work with some bots. The application is developed on the Matrix platform. That has two significant advantages in terms of security and privacy. The data gets store in a private server, and conversations are end-to-end encrypted.

        Riot allows it to be installed for free on the servers of any company. Although those interested can also contract it as a managed hosting service. Like Slack, it also has open APIs that allow its integration in a good number of applications, like instant messaging standouts.

        Riot has support for both the leading desktop platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux) and mobile (iOS, Android) and web version.

      • Code Search Now Available to Browse Google’s Open-Source Projects

        Code Search is used by Google developers to search through Google’s huge internal codebase. Now, Google has made it accessible to everyone to explore and better understand Google’s open source projects, including TensorFlow, Go, Angular, and many others.

        CodeSearch aims to make it easier for developers to move through a codebase, find functions and variables using a powerful search language, readily locate where those are used, and so on.

        Code Search provides a sophisticated UI that supports suggest-as-you-type help that includes information about the type of an object, the path of the file, and the repository to which it belongs. This kind of behaviour is supported through code-savvy textual searches that use a custom search language. For example, to search for a function foo in a Go file, you can use lang:go:function:foo.

      • Now you can search code like a Googler…as long as it’s Google code

        Google has given devs, and anyone else who’s interested, the ability to delve deep into its open source projects, by launching code search across the key codebases.

        The vendor unwrapped Code Search this week, saying it was one of its own most popular internal tools and adding that the public tool will have the same binaries, but different flags.

        As for what they do with it, the blogpost announcing the tool said Googlers “search for half-remembered functions and usages; jump through the codebase to figure out what calls the function they are viewing; and try to identify when and why a particular line of code changed.”

      • Noble.AI completes contributions to TensorFlow, Google’s open-source framework for deep learning

        Noble.AI, whose artificial intelligence (AI) software is purpose-built for engineers, scientists, and researchers and enables them to innovate and make discoveries faster, announced that it had completed contributions to TensorFlow, the world’s most popular open-source framework for deep learning created by Google.

        “Part of Noble’s mission is building AI that’s accessible to engineers, scientists and researchers, anytime and anywhere, without needing to learn or re-skill into computer science or AI theory,” said Dr. Matthew C. Levy, Founder and CEO of Noble.AI.

      • Google: We’re opening Code Search for Go, Angular, Dart, Flutter, TensorFlow and more

        Google has launched Code Search for several of its popular open-source projects, giving the wider software community what until now has been one of Google’s most popular internal tools for developers.

        Code Search or ‘CS’ for open-source Google projects for now supports Angular, Bazel, Dart, ExoPlayer, Firebase SDK, Flutter, Go, gVisor, Kythe, Nomulus, Outline, and Tensorflow – which represent a small portion of Google’s open-source projects, but ones that open-source communities may benefit from search being available on their respective repositories.

      • LibreOffice

        • [LibreOffice] Community Member Monday: Leif-Jöran Olsson

          Members of The Document Foundation – the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice – help to steer the project, vote for the Board of Directors, and spread the word. Today we’re talking to Leif-Jöran Olsson, who has recently become a member of TDF…

        • openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference Still On, Virtual Conference Considered

          The tech world has been hit hard by the coronavirus impact, and large companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and so many others have already canceled their events, moving to virtual conferences that completely eliminate the risk of infection for attendees.

          The openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference, scheduled to take place in October, is still on, The Document Foundation said in an announcement today, but the organizers are still keeping an eye on the virus outbreak to adjust their plans in a timely manner.

          TDF says in a blog post that while it doesn’t yet cancel the physical event, it’s already considering alternative solutions, including a virtual conference.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Zero-Day Flaws Exploited in the Wild Get Patched

            Mozilla Foundation rushes patches to fix bugs in its browser that could allow for remote code execution.

            Mozilla patched two Firefox browser zero-day vulnerabilities actively being exploited in the wild. The flaws, both use-after-free bugs, have been part of “targeted attacks in the wild,” according to a Mozilla Foundation security advisory posted Friday.

            Both bugs have critical ratings and allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or trigger crashes on machines running versions of Firefox prior to 74.0.1 and its business-friendly Firefox Extended Support Release 68.6.1. The bugs impact Firefox browser versions running on Windows, macOS and Linux operating systems. Details are scant on how either bug (CVE-2020-6819 and CVE-2020-6820) are specifically being exploited by adversaries.

            Tracked as CVE-2020-6819, this bug is a use-after free vulnerability tied to the browser component “nsDocShell destructor”. The Firefox nsDocShell is a client of the nsI-HttpChannel API, a function of the browser related to reading HTTP headers.

          • Firefox gets fixes for two zero-days exploited in the wild
          • Mozilla Firefox 75 Is Now Available for Download, Here’s What’s New



            Development on the Firefox 75 release kicked off a month ago and I already reported on the new features, which include a revamped address bar that not only looks better on smaller screens but also makes it easier for users to access their favorite sites with less typing.

            Mozilla Firefox 75 also improves HTTPS compatibility with misconfigured web servers by locally caching all Web PKI Certificate Authority certificates trusted by Mozilla in the background, by default.

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR21 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 21 final is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). Since the beta looks like it’s working well, this release simply completes the upgrade with updates to the ATSUI font blacklist and all outstanding security patches, including backported fixes from the recent Mozilla security chemspill for CVE-2020-6819 and CVE-2020-6820. Note that while we are indeed vulnerable to those security issues and they are fixed in FPR21, they would require a PowerPC-specific attack to be successful. Assuming no issues, this will go live Monday evening Pacific time as usual.

      • COVID-19

        • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: CHIME

          The COVID-19 Hospital Impact Model for Epidemics (CHIME) is a tool that provides up-to-date projections of what additional resources will be required in certain hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak.

          It shows informed estimates of how many patients will need hospitalization, ICU beds, and mechanical ventilation over the coming days and weeks will be crucial inputs to readiness responses and mitigation strategies, according to the Predictive Healthcare team at Penn Medicine, which developed the project.

      • Inside Weather Lends an Open Source Hand to the Medical Community

        While industrial manufacturers are ramping up production to meet the needs of medical professionals tomorrow, essential supplies are currently in short supply around the globe today. Setting an example of how designers can lend a hand in these efforts, online furniture retailer Inside Weather have redirected focus to develop an open source resources library intended to guide businesses and individuals to produce medical masks and face shields to help keep medical practitioners safe.

      • MIT new open-source project can offer low-cost respirator for hospitals

        Adding to the lack of space and healthcare personnel in the shortage of materials such as masks, protective gloves, and respirators. COVID-19 is pushing the resources and forces of the health system of the affected countries to the limit. However, contributors from MIT are seeking to help curb these issues.

        Governments and private companies are struggling to find the materials that doctors and nurses require to take care of the thousands of infected people in the affected countries. Hence projects like this one from MIT could help them contribute to this crisis.

        The main symptoms of COVID-19 are related to respiratory difficulties, making hospital respirators essential to help the sick. Fortunately, scientific institutions like MIT have spent years working to make easier-to-build respirators. Whose design would speed the arrival of this material in hospitals.

      • VP Leni Robredo endorses open source for PPE suit designed by local fashion designers
      • Fashion designers, Vice President’s office create open-source protective suit design

        When a crisis is at hand and resources are hard to come by, it only makes sense for groups from different fields to come together and find a solution.

        That’s exactly what happened when the Office of the Vice President (OVP) turned to Filipino fashion designers for help in producing personal protective equipment (PPEs) for medical frontliners in the coronavirus pandemic.

        “It took us more than 48 hrs of going back & forth – until this afternoon, we got word that, finally, our prototype has been approved!” said Robredo in a series of tweets on Sunday, March 29.

      • Govt to top institutes: offer open source courses, e-learning modules

        The human resource development (HRD) ministry has asked top higher educational institutions, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), to create e-learning modules for their own use and open source courses to help the larger education ecosystem.

        The ministry has asked them to adopt credit transfer to bring cohesion among institutions, and make online and offline education seamless, as the world battles the covid-19 pandemic.

      • Engineer Responds to Call with Open-Source, DIY Face Shield

        Like many hospitals and clinics around the country, UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin is facing a shortage of face shields stemming from supply chains challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 threat. However, unlike other communities, UW Health has Lennon Rodgers.

        Rodgers is the director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at the University of Wisconsin. When he received an urgent email asking about his ability to produce 1,000 face shields for UW staff, he went to work. His story was recently chronicled by Wired.com.

      • Designers pitch in to make open-source face shields

        It took less than a week for the director of the University Kansas Center for Design Research and some of his former students and colleagues to crank out an open-source design for a plastic face shield to help protect health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few days, it has been freely downloaded around the world more than 4,500 times.

        And 10,000 of the shields already produced locally will soon be available to caregivers in The University of Kansas Health System. What’s more, almost anyone, anywhere with a computer-aided router and a common type of plastic sheeting can rapidly produce more of them.

      • An Open-Source Solution to Get E-Passes During Lockdown Online

        With a 21-day lockdown being imposed across India and the police using excessive force in certain cases to implement a curfew, there is a need to get valid passes as easily as possible to ensure essential services keep functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

        [...]

        The solution, according to a memo sent out by Sharad Sharma, co-founder iSPIRT, is a software app its volunteers developed in just 72 hours – Anumati. Here’s what the app proposes by way of simplifying how to get passes.

    • GitLab

      • 18 GitLab features are moving to open source

        I spent some time reviewing GitLab features and determined that, by our Buyer-Based Open Core model, eighteen features that appear in seven different stages of the DevOps lifecycle ought to be open source.

      • GitLab Shifts 18 Features Into Core Open Source Platform

        GitLab this week announced it has moved 18 features that previously organizations had to pay for into the core open source version of its namesake continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.

      • GitLab asks customers to help it open source a raft of features

        GitLab is open sourcing 18 features that were previously only available to its paying users, after CEO Sid Sijbrandij apparently personally audited all the Dev-X-Ops platform’s pricing tiers.

        The newly opened up features range across the development lifecycle, from Plan and Create, through Verify, Package, Release, Configure and Defend.

        But if you’re itching to get your hands on the features, there’s a catch – the company would like you to help out with the hands-on labour of actually delivering them.

      • GitLab is open sourcing 18 features for the DevOps lifecycle

        The DevOps tool GitLab offers paid and free versions, and now 18 additional features will be moved to the open source editions Core/Free. The developer community can contribute to the according issues and speed up the process—so now is the time to take a look and see which of the features you find most important.
        Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO of GitLab Inc., has announced that 18 Gitlab features will move to the open source editions Core/Free. Pull requests have been created for moving each of the features, and the developer community is encouraged to take part in the process.

      • GitLab moves 18 of its DevOps features to open source

        GitLab announced that 18 of its features are moving to open source including related issues, export issues, issue board focus mode, and service desk.

        “This marks a major milestone in our efforts to empower the community to collaborate more robustly and to take our single tool for the DevOps lifecycle to the next level,” Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO of GitLab wrote in a blog post.

        The newly open-sourced feature set covers areas that span planning, creating, verifying, packaging, releasing, configuring, and defending.

        The work to move the actual code to the open-source part of the codebase is defined in issues that are linked from this blog post by GitLab.

    • CMS

    • ASWF

      • The Academy Software Foundation and the Advantages of Open Source Software

        The initial investigation included an industry-wide survey, a series of one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, and three Academy Open Source Summits held at the Academy headquarters, according to Andy Maltz, Managing Director, Science and Technology Council, AMPAS, and ASWF Board Member.

        Comments Bredow, “They identified the key common challenges they were seeing with open source software. The first was making it easier for engineers to contribute to OSS with a modern software build environment hosted for free in the cloud. The second was supporting users of open source software by helping to reduce the existing version conflicts between various open source software packages. And the third was providing a common legal framework to support open source software.

        “The mission of the Academy Software Foundation,” Bredow elaborates, “is to increase the quality and quantity of contributions to the content creation industry’s open source software base; to provide a neutral forum to coordinate cross-project efforts; to provide a common build and test infrastructure; and to provide individuals and organizations a clear path to participation in advancing our open source ecosystem.”

    • Funding

      • What is good documentation for software projects?

        The Open Geospatial (OSGeo) Foundation recently participated in Google’s first Season of Docs, in which Google sponsored senior technical writers to contribute to open source projects. OSGeo is an umbrella organization for around 50 geospatial open source projects. I’ve contributed to a number of these projects over the years and recently co-mentored the two Season of Docs technical writers Google allocated to OSGeo.

    • FSF

      • GNU Projects

        • 01 Communique Invites Email Users to Try IronCAP X Personal Usage Email Platform After April 23rd Launch

          01 Communique Laboratory Inc. (the “Company”, “01 Communique”) (ONE.V) invites all email users to try out their new IronCAP X personal usage email encryption product as it will be free to personal users after the April 23rd product launch. The Company’s IronCAP X email encryption technology is designed to be safe against future attack from quantum computer. Therefore, it has a higher protection level than current GPG, or GNU Privacy Guard public key cryptography implementation platforms, and at the same time, easier for non-technical users.

          [...]

          Andrew Cheung, President of 01 Communique stated, “The IT community likes the current GPG email/file encryption package as it works well but there is always a catch. Most non-technical users cannot appreciate what it can do and how to install it. IronCAP X technology has addressed all of that as it wraps friendly packing around GPG.” Mr. Cheung continued, “On April 23rd, we are launching IronCAP X which is easy to install and use, and protects against the quantum computing threat. Best of all, it will be free for personal users.”

    • Programming/Development

      • Open source near ubiquitous in IoT, report finds

        Open provide is an growing variety of regular working course of in software, nonetheless nowhere is that this more true than Net of Points building. In keeping with a model new VisionMobile survey of three,700 IoT builders, 91% of respondents use open provide software in a minimal of 1 area in their software stack. This is good news for IoT because of best open provide ensures to chop again or put off the potential of lock-in imposed by way of proprietary “necessities.”

        What’s in all chance most attention-grabbing on this affection for open provide, then again, is that concurrently endeavor builders have eschewed the politics of open provide licensing, IoT builders seem to need open provide because of “it’s free as in freedom.”

      • Literature

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Meson manual sales status and price adjustment

          The second part (marked with a line) indicates when I was a guest on CppCast talking about Meson and the book. As an experiment I created a time limited discount coupon so that all listeners could buy it with €10 off. As you can tell from the graph it did have an immediate response, which again proves that marketing and visibility are the things that actually matter when trying to sell any product.

          After that we have the “new normal”, which means no sales at all. I don’t know if this is caused by the coronavirus isolation or whether this is the natural end of life for the product (hopefully the former but you can never really tell in advance).

        • Shing Lyu: Lessons learned in writing my first book

          You might have noticed that I didn’t update this blog frequently in the past year. It’s not because I’m lazy, but I focused all my creative energy on writing this book: Practical Rust Projects. The book is now available on Apress, Amazon and O’Reilly. In this post, I’ll share some of the lessons I learned in writing this book.

          Although I’ve been writing Rust for quite a few years, I haven’t really studied the internals of the Rust language itself. Many of the Rust enthusiasts whom I know seem to be having much fun appreciating how the language is designed and built. But I take more joy in using the language to build tangible things. Therefore, I’ve been thinking about writing a cookbook-style book on how to build practical projects with Rust, ever since I finished the video course Building Reusable Code with Rust.

          Out of my surprise, I received an email from Steve Anglin, an acquisition editor from Apress, in April 2019. He initially asked me to write a book on the RustPython project. But the project was still growing rapidly thanks to the contributors. I’ve already lost grip on the overall architecture, so I can’t really write much about it. So I proposed the topic I have in mind to Steve. Fortunately, the editorial board accepted my proposal, and we decided to write two books: one for general Rust projects and one for web-related Rust projects.

          Since this is my first time writing a book that will be published in physical form (or as The Rust Book put it, “dead tree form”), I learned quite a lot throughout the process. Hopefully, these points will help you if you are considering or are already writing your own book.

        • The 25 Best JavaScript Books for Newbie and Professional

          JavaScript is a programming language that is object-oriented and used to make dynamic web pages by adding interactive effects. This client-side scripting language is used by almost 94.5% web pages available on the internet. The language is very easy but also known as one of the most misunderstood programming languages. You should choose the right guidelines so that you can get all the answers to your questions related to JavaScript. Here we will provide you with a list of the best Javascript books so that you can learn JavaScript and never become confused.

      • Python

        • Python Lists

          Python includes a number of sequential data types that allow you to store collections of data in an organized and efficient way. The basic sequence types are lists, tuples, and range objects.

          This article goes through the Python lists. We’ll show you how to create a list, slice and sort a list, add or remove elements from a list, and so on.

          Lists are mutable sequences, which means that they can be changed after creation. Lists are one of the most commonly used data types in Python and are generally used to store collections of items of the same type.

        • Flask Delicious Tutorial : Building a Library Management System Part 1 – Planningc

          This tutorial aims at helping all learners of Python: businessmen, students, tinkerer and teachers learn web development with Python using Flask. One of the joys of Python is fun programming and web development seems to bring another level of happiness. This is dedicated once again to all Python learners! I’ve pulled in this tutorial from my own experience teaching Python and client requests. So be sure to roll up your sleeves as it’ll be more than a toy app and requires some work as real world apps have more features. I’d be not so nice if in real life you get to develop something without a project statement. I’ll also cover some secret techniques i found along my Python dev experience!

        • Effective Developers Leverage Their Toolset

          Last week I did a couple of shared screen sessions debugging and teaching.

          I paused and reflected on the tools I used and how I sharpened my sword over the years.

          This is not an article on how to deploy software with Docker, how to use git, or how to set up your env, although it has some shell and Vim goodness.

          It’s more about how small tweaks made me more productive as a programmer and learner.

        • PyDev of the Week: Pablo Galindo Salgado

          This week we welcome Pablo Galindo Salgado (@pyblogsal) as our PyDev of the Week! Pablo is a core developer of the Python programming language. He is also a speaker at several Python related conferences.

          [...]

          I am currently working at Bloomberg L.P. in the Python infrastructure team, supporting all our Python developers and providing critical infrastructure and libraries to make sure everyone has better experience programming in Python. But before working on the Software industry I used to be in academia as a theoretical physicist researching general relativity and in particular, black hole physics. This is something that I still do as a hobby (although without the pressures of publication and funding) because I still love it! For instance, I have given some talks in some Python conferences related to this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Fc2jWVbrk) and I continue developing and researching improved algorithms to simulate and visualize different spacetimes. For example, here you have some simulated Kerr Newman black holes with accretion disks around them I have worked on recently:

        • Learn Python Identity Operator and Difference Between “==” and “IS” Operator

          This article is mainly curated to explain an important operator in python (“IDENTITY OPERATOR”) and how an identity operator differs (is, is not) from comparison operator (==).

        • What is Celery beat and how to use it – part 2, patterns and caveats

          Celery beat is a nice Celery’s add-on for automatic scheduling periodic tasks (e.g. every hour). For more basic information, see part 1 – What is Celery beat and how to use it.

          In this part, we’re gonna talk about common applications of Celery beat, reoccurring patterns and pitfalls waiting for you.

      • Eclipse

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Eclipse Theia 1.0, a True Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code
        • Eclipse Releases Open Source Alternative to Visual Studio Code [Ed: Why does everything need to be described in terms of what it is or they are to Microsoft?]

          The Eclipse Foundation has released Eclipse Theia 1.0, which it is promoting as “a true open source alternative” to Microsoft’s lightweight Visual Studio Code (VS Code) source code editor.

          An extensible platform for building multi-language desktop and Web-based IDEs from the same codebase, Theia was started in 2016 as a project by Ericsson and TypeFox, and it became an Eclipse project in 2019. It’s now one of the projects in the Eclipse Cloud Development Tools Working Group (ECD WG), an industry collaboration focused on delivering development tools for and in the cloud.

        • Eclipse Theia 1.0 is an open source alternative to VS Code

          The Eclipse Foundation, one of the leading global voices advancing open source software, released Eclipse Theia version 1.0. Intended to be a completely open source alternative to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code, Eclipse Theia supports multiple languages and combines some of the best features of IDEs into one extensible platform.

          If the name rings any bells, the Theia project previously began elsewhere. It was initially created by Ericsson and TypeFox (founders of Gitpod and Xtext) in 2016 and moved to The Eclipse Foundation in May of 2018.

          To celebrate this milestone, explore some of its stand-out features and see what sets it apart from VS Code.

        • Eclipse Releases Theia – Open Source VSCode Alternative

          The Eclipse Foundation has released Theia, described as a true open source alternative to Microsoft’s popular Visual Studio Code. Theia is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDEs.

          Theia has been designed to give is an extensible platform to develop multi-language Cloud and Desktop IDE-like products for developers.The project team says it means that as an adopter you don’t need to make an upfront decision about whether your new developer product should run in the cloud, on the desktop, or both.

        • Theia Framework 1.0 Enables Web IDEs

          Earlier this week, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of Eclipse Theia 1.0, an open-source framework for building web and native IDEs. Theia provides a JavaScript framework for building IDEs that can either be run on the web or packaged into an Electron application to run on the desktop. It has been designed to be compatible with VSCode extensions and uses the same Language Server Protocol for being able to remotely develop a variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, Rust, and many others.
          Although it may seem superficially similar to VSCode, Theia is actually an IDE framework rather than an IDE itself. It provides components, like JavaFX enables GUI applications, rather than an IDE itself. However, many IDEs have been built on top of pre-releases of Theia already, including the popular Gitpod.io which provides a web-based IDE for your applications, and Eclipse Che which can be run in a kubernetes cluster for self-hosted solutions.

      • Rust

        • Learn about Rust and how to get started

          Start by downloading Rust. After downloading the relevant file, follow the instructions on the installation page to continue the installation.

          I recommend using the tool “rustup.” Once you are done, configure the path variable. All this is detailed on the download link above.

      • Java

        • Oracle teases prospect of playing nicely with open-source Java in update to WebLogic application server

          Oracle has chosen this week of all weeks to foist on the world an update of its application server WebLogic, festooned with new features addressing Java EE 8, Kubernetes and JSON.

          But the most eye-catching prospect is compatibility with the Eclipse Foundation’s fully open-source Java development environment, Jakarta EE 8.

          Back in Sepember when the Java EE specs were made public, Mark Little, Red Hat’s JBoss CTO, said: “Existing Java EE 8 applications and developers can be confident they can move their applications seamlessly to the Eclipse Foundation effort.” And Tom Snyder, veep of Oracle Software Development, promised application server support would follow. “This represents the culmination of a great deal of work by the entire Jakarta EE community, including Oracle. Oracle is working on delivery of a Java EE 8 and Jakarta EE 8 compatible WebLogic Server implementation, and we are looking forward to working with the community to evolve Jakarta EE for the future.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Glue42 releases open source platform

      Glue42, the company that delivers integrated desktop experiences to financial institutions globally, today announced it has released Glue42 Core, an open-source, fully functional platform for web application interoperability.

      The solution is available immediately to all in the financial services industry and those in other sectors.

  • Leftovers

    • Book review: Nine Lies About Work

      In Nine Lies About Work, authors Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall examine what we might consider “common theories” about aspects of contemporary organizational life—and they debunk those theories. The book’s so-called “lies” are, therefore, not really lies but rather common beliefs about work that simply aren’t accurate in actual working environments today.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘This President Has Blood on His Hands’: Trump Again Urges Public to Take Anti-Malaria Drug for Coronavirus, Despite Reports of Danger

        “‘What do you have to lose?’” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) asked. “They can lose their life, you imbecile.”

      • COVID-19 and Black Workers

        “The structures that keep black people persistently at the bottom of every positive measure and at the top of every negative indicator are firmly in place.”

      • “Dead on Arrival”: A N.Y. Fire Chief’s COVID Journal

        Simon Ressner is a battalion chief with the Fire Department of New York based in central Brooklyn. Twenty-five years ago, the department, nicknamed New York’s Bravest, took on the added role and responsibility of responding to emergency medical calls. Today, firefighters make some 300,000 runs a year.

        Last week, we asked Ressner, 60, to keep an informal diary of his latest 24-hour shift, a tour of duty that began at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 3.

      • Coronavirus FAQs: Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What’s The Best Way To Wear One?

        The primary benefit of covering your nose and mouth is that you protect others. While there is still much to be learned about the novel coronavirus, it appears that many people who are infected are shedding the virus – through coughs, sneezes and other respiratory droplets – for 48 hours before they start feeling sick. And others who have the virus – up to 25%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield — may never feel symptoms but may still play a role in transmitting it.

      • Richard Stallman: Don’t watch TV coverage of Covid-19!

        Don’t watch TV coverage of Covid-19! (Or “social media”; the details are different.) Watching repetitive coverage of something frightening can interfere with clear thinking, even traumatize people.

        TV news coverage of a crisis struggles to fill 24 hours a day with “information”, notwithstanding the fact that the actual flow of new information about the crisis is nowhere near sufficient to fill that time. What do they do? They repeat. They present tangential and minor details. They make the same points in different ways. They belabor the obvious. They repeat.

        If your goal is to be informed, you don’t need to dwell on the crisis for hours every day. Not even one hour a day. Getting your news in this inefficient matter will waste a lot of time — and worse.

        In addition, it will make you more and more anxious. Someone I knew in 2001, who lived in California. spent all day on Sep 11 and following days watching the TV coverage. Afterward perse was afraid to go outside, watching for terrorist airplanes. TV made it possible for per to be traumatized by events 3000 miles away.

        That was an unusually strong case. Most people did not get so traumatized as that. That does not imply it did not affect them. I suspect that the TV coverage may have shifted millions of people’s perceptions, so that they overestimated the danger of terrorism while downplaying the danger of laws that take away freedom. This would have smoothed the path for careless passage of the dangerous USA PAT RIOT Act and its massive surveillance.

        In any a good, general textual news site, you can read the things you really want to know about Covid-19 in 10 or 20 minutes a day. Then you won’t fall behind on your work, and you won’t be brainwashed into panic.

        Keep calm and carry on!

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • [Older] ESET Endpoint Antivirus for Linux unveiled
        • Hideki Yamane: Zoom: You should hire an appropriate package maintainer

          Through my daily job, sometimes I should use zoom for meetings and webinar but several resources indicate that they didn’t pay enough security effort to their product, so I’ve decided to remove it from my laptop. However, I’ve found a weird message at that time.

        • Microsoft Team’s bad arrogance on (Fedora) Linux

          As you might suspect, this isn’t the only thing that the postinstall script does. It also adds an enabled Microsoft package repository to your system (requiring signatures, at least, which is why they have to add their key). It’s not documented that they’ll do this, they certainly don’t ask, all of this is done on the fly so the relevant yum.repos.d file isn’t in the RPM’s manifest, and I don’t believe they restrict what packages can be installed from their repository (although from its URL it appears to be specific to Teams).

          (Another fun thing that the RPM does is that it puts the actual Teams binary and its shared library .so files in /usr/share/teams. I do not know how to break it to Microsoft, but that is not what goes in /usr/share. Also, it is of course an Electron app.)

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • HPE’s open source program simplifies end-to-end automation and accelerates technology evolution

                Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative, a new open source program that will simplify the management of large-scale geographically distributed physical infrastructure deployments.

                In addition, HPE will introduce an enterprise offering, the HPE Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Resource Aggregator that is aligned with the initiative.

              • HPE unveils open source software to reduce 5G complexity

                Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has unveiled the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management initiative, an open source programme designed to simplify the management and roll-out of large-scale geographically distributed physical 5G infrastructure deployments.

                HPE sees 5G as representing a huge shift in the way mobile networks are built and, unlike previous generation networks that were largely built on proprietary systems, using standards designed to use open software platforms operating on commercial off-the-shelf servers.

              • HPE turns up 5G heat with open source management project

                Just weeks after HPE made its biggest play yet for the 5G market with the launch of a hosted 5G core (see Wireless Watch March 16 2020), it has announced an open source project with Intel and the Linux Foundation, also focused on the core. While its previous announcement brought the as-a-service model, so familiar in the enterprise, to operators, this new cooperation imports another enterprise norm that is slowly taking hold in the telco world, the open source platform. Both these changes help to bring the economics of the IT and cloud markets to telecoms, and in doing so, provide an opportunity for new 5G entrants like HPE to try to unseat the incumbent vendors along with their proprietary…

              • HPE to launch open source software for 5G core

                HPE is partnering with Intel and the Linux Foundation as it continues its push to sell 5G core network equipment. HPE and Intel plan to build an open source project under the Linux Foundation to help operators automate network management as they roll out next-generation networks across sites that use hardware from multiple vendors. HPE calls its new partnership the Open Distributed Infrastructure Management Initiative.

                In addition to Intel, HPE is partnering with several other companies for this initiative, including IBM’s open source software unit Red Hat and IT services giant Tech Mahindra, as well as AMI (an input/output system firmware vendor), Apstra (a data center network automation specialist) and World Wide Technology (a provider of automation and orchestration solutions for carriers and enterprises).

              • HPE allies with Intel to ease open source 5G rollouts

                Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) sought to speed adoption of open source 5G infrastructure, teaming with Intel on a new software initiative which aims to solve complexity issues associated with using multiple network vendors.

                In a statement, HPE said its Open Distributed Infrastructure Management (ODIM) initiative will provide “infrastructure manageability code” to the open source community, to enable vendor-neutral configuration and management of compute, storage and other infrastructure.

              • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Aims To Deliver 5G Simplification

                This week Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a set of initiatives aimed at simplifying operator deployments of 5G, including a new platform initiative, enhanced standards and tools, and open source collaboration. I recently spent time with executives from the company’s telecommunications division. I would like to share my insights into what I found to be the most significant portions of the announcements.

        • Security

          • Userdir URLs like https://example.org/~username/ are dangerous

            I would like to point out a security problem with a classic variant of web space hosting. While this issue should be obvious to anyone knowing basic web security, I have never seen it being discussed publicly.

            Some server operators allow every user on the system to have a personal web space where they can place files in a directory (often ~/public_html) and they will appear on the host under a URL with a tilde and their username (e.g. https://example.org/~username/). The Apache web server provides such a function in the mod_userdir module. While this concept is rather old, it is still used by some and is often used by universities and Linux distributions.

            From a web security perspective there is a very obvious problem with such setups that stems from the same origin policy, which is a core principle of Javascript security. While there are many subtleties about it, the key principle is that a piece of Javascript running on one web host is isolated from other web hosts.

            To put this into a practical example: If you read your emails on a web interface on example.com then a script running on example.org should not be able to read your mails, change your password or mess in any other way with the application running on a different host. However if an attacker can place a script on example.com, which is called a Cross Site Scripting or XSS vulnerability, the attacker may be able to do all that.

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

            • FOSSID and BearingPoint Enter Strategic Partnership Around Open Source Software Governance

              FOSSID, a leader in open source software compliance and security, and BearingPoint, a leader in open source management services, today announced their strategic partnership around free and open source software governance. After successfully cooperating in selected projects for more than two years, BearingPoint decided to choose FOSSID as its strategic provider of open source analysis tools. FOSSID’s technology provides high performance and accuracy in the code analysis services performed by BearingPoint.

              [...]

              BearingPoint’s modular FOSS services provide companies with streamlined processes and infrastructure to deploy, manage, and govern their software throughout the product lifecycle, helping them to manage open source compliance and security. BearingPoint’s FOSS analysis services provide a timely and confidential analysis of the customers’ code base, including comprehensive compliance and security reports for their business decisions.

            • 5 ways to secure your applications from open-source vulnerabilities [Ed: Interesting, Proprietary software programs/code have no vulnerabilities? This is only an Open Source thing?]
            • How to make open source success less of a crapshoot [Ed: Typical Asay]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Surveillance court orders FBI to review errors in wiretap applications

              A federal surveillance court is seeking information from the FBI after an internal review found pervasive errors in the bureau’s application process for wiretaps.

              The court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which reviews wiretap requests for counterintelligence operations, ordered the FBI on Friday to hand over information on 29 applications that were reviewed by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.

              The court said that a memo from the inspector general released earlier this week “provides further reason for systemic concern.”

            • How open source ad blockers could save you 2 hours a week

              More importantly, the results show how you can get that time back. The study estimates that the average Internet user would save over 100 hours a year by using uBlock Origin, a free and open source ad blocker. “uBlock Origin was the most effective ad blocker tested, but all ad blockers save time, energy and money”, explained Joshua Pearce, a Professor of Engineering at Michigan Technological University.

            • Open Source Software to realize Conversational AI – COTOBA Agent OSS

              Tokyo based Conversational AI Product Startup, releases their core technologies as Open Source Software (OSS), entitled “COTOBA Agent OSS.” This allows you to: (a) Embrace industrial conversational AI as a white box: It can utilize sensor information from IoT with external APIs; (b) Utilize its secured and scaling-out capabilities: More than 5,000 tests are conducted for large-scale commercial use; (c) Commercialize the OSS with MIT license: There is no limitation to copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute and sublicense.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • [Attackers] target WHO

        It is not clear if any accounts were compromised, but the attacks show how the WHO and other organisations at the centre of a global effort to contain the coronavirus have come under a sustained digital bombardment by [attackers] seeking information about the outbreak.

    • Environment

      • We Need a Green New Deal for Farmland

        “A lot of people want to be farmers now—especially young people who are aware of the effects of climate change… Why not offer the opportunity for meaningful and gainful work that is beneficial to everybody, to people and planet?”

      • Energy

        • Pipelines Are Still Being Built as the Rest of the Economy Shuts Down

          Governors of at least 37 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have issued strict orders for residents providing “non-life-sustaining” services to remain inside. All but five states have at least some form of shelter-in-place policies underway, such that millions of workers deemed “non-essential,” like teachers, therapists and community organizers, are clocking hours on Instagram and Zoom from living rooms across the continent. Over half of all small businesses in the U.S. are closed or could close within the coming weeks.

        • Trump’s Oil Diplomacy Is Probably Doomed, so Brace for $10 a Barrel

          The real fear for markets at the moment should be sentiment and expectation. After Trump’s tweet cited a 10-15 million barrel per day cut, oil prices have soared and anything less than that will be seen as a failure. After what is looking set to be a fairly quiet weekend for energy markets, a Monday failure with plenty of media attention is likely to drive markets into a frenzy. This fear, combined with continued demand destruction could serve as a serious problem for oil markets next week.

          With this in mind, the rational short-term approach of OPEC+ should be, especially for Riyadh and Moscow, to not move at all. Don’t increase production, stand on the quay and watch the U.S. shale and non-OPEC VLCCs fill oil storage to the brim. If OPEC+ cuts without the assistance of other nations it will lose future leverage and markets may crash anyway. By doing nothing, Saudi Arabia and Russia can maintain the illusion that a production cut from OPEC+ would save markets.

        • Jihadists threaten Mozambique’s new gasfields

          As we report this week, a poorly understood insurgency is spreading in Cabo Delgado, a province in northern Mozambique (see article). So far the conflict has killed more than 1,000 people, aid workers estimate, and forced at least 100,000 to flee their homes. Recent weeks have seen some of the boldest attacks yet. Young men with guns and Islamist slogans are not merely burning villages and beheading people. They have also started to capture towns, albeit temporarily, slaughtering government forces and then retreating to the bush.

    • Finance

      • The Billionaires Putting Their Wealth Above Public Health Amid the Pandemic

        While millions are facing health and financial uncertainty and unemployment rolls are reaching record levels due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a small group of wealthy elites are thriving. Not only do the rich and powerful seem to have access to otherwise near-impossible to obtain COVID-19 testing and enjoy better access to healthcare, they are also self-isolating at swanky vacation estates in the Hamptons, the Catskills, and Sun Valle — or, like billionaire David Geffen, on lavish private yachts.

      • $1,200 Only Goes So Far. It’s Time to Abolish Debt.

        Silence fills New York City like ancient ruins. Stores are closed. Restaurants are closed. Behind shut doors, millions are panicking. Calls to suicide hotlines have spiked. My phone vibrates with constant anxious texts: “All my work shifts are canceled,” “Mom is in the hospital,” and “How can I pay rent?”

      • New York State Pays Up to 15 Times the Normal Prices for Medical Equipment

        With the coronavirus outbreak creating an unprecedented demand for medical supplies and equipment, New York state has paid 20 cents for gloves that normally cost less than a nickel and as much as $7.50 each for masks, about 15 times the usual price. It’s paid up to $2,795 for infusion pumps, more than twice the regular rate. And $248,841 for a portable X-ray machine that typically sells for $30,000 to $80,000.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • WATCH: Bernie Sanders Hosts Livestream Detailing Priorities for Worker-Focused Coronavirus Relief Bill

        Sanders has called on Congress to pass a new package including Medicare for All, salary guarantees for Americans put out of work by the pandemic, and direct monthly payments.

      • ‘Reckless’: Chaos Expected in Tuesday’s Elections After Wisconsin Republicans Refuse to Cancel In-Person Voting

        “The whole country should tune in to what Republicans are doing now in Wisconsin. It’s a preview of how they’ll politically weaponize coronavirus on a national scale.”

      • Will the Media Help Elect Trump? Again?

        “The media doesn’t need to choose sides in the story. It need only courageously do its job in reporting the facts of Trump’s critical role in allowing the pandemic to spread.”

      • US Government’s Handling of Coronavirus Crisis Has Led to Severe Undercounting of Deaths, Public Health Officials Say

        “Data erasure and the manufacture of mass confusion have already begun.”

      • By Refusing to Cancel In-Person Voting, Wisconsin GOP Weaponizes Coronavirus

        Despite warnings from public health experts and legal challenges by voting rights groups, the Democratic primary and state and local elections are set to go forward on Tuesday after Republican state legislators refused to take up a proposal to cancel most in-person voting in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Here’s Two I Did Earlier

        In the light of recent events, I thought I might revisit my appearances a few months ago on the Alex Salmond Show. In current circumstances people might have more time to watch.  It also helps explain why the state hates Alex Salmond.

      • Who Paid Dani Garavelli?

        Tortoise was sponsored to produce the Dani Garavelli attempted assassination of Alex Salmond by Tulchan Communications, the same firm that employed Ruth Davidson on £50,000 a year for 24 days of corporate lobbying – until banned by the Scottish Parliament.

      • Efficiency vs. Resilience

        “This crisis is pulling back the curtain on unfettered laissez-faire capitalism, showing that we are actually interconnected. And it’s far more serious than toilet paper.”

      • Trump’s Easter Fantasy: Stay Tuned

        “By now we know this man too well: there is simply too much adulation to be generated from a ‘Covid Accomplished’ spectacle to be left untapped.”

      • Bill Gates’s Philanthropic Giving Is a Racket

        This was typical of the affectionate press treatment of Gates, who’s now considered one of the better billionaires, relative to Trump or the Koch brothers. This is mainly due to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable entity with billions in its endowment used for fighting AIDS, accelerating economic development, and many other worthy causes.

        But Bill Gates and his foundation are the perfect picture of why this model of billionaire philanthropy is so flawed. Gates’s foundation was originally cooked up as a feel-good gloss to cover up his shredded reputation during Microsoft’s antitrust trial, putting him in the long tradition of obscenely rich people using the occasional generous gift to try justifying their enormous wealth and power.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Journalists Face Threats Of Intimidation And Censorship For Reporting COVID-19 In Mogadishu And Hargeisa

        “We condemn the latest attacks against reporters covering COVD-19 in Mogadishu and Hargeisa,” Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, Secretary-General of the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) said, “Authorities should realize that this is a public interest matter and the journalists have the right to feed information they have on the pandemic to the public.”

        “We call for the authorities in Mogadishu and Hargeisa to allow free flow of information and permit journalists and media stations adequate access to cover the news related to the pandemic to save lives,” Mr. Mumin added.

      • Publicly shaming harassers may be popular but doesn’t bring justice

        The study highlights how most social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, currently rely on two approaches to sanction harassers: remove the offensive content or ban the harassers (or both). The team found that participants favor both approaches, but with some exceptions. People who report that they have harassed others did not like either approach. In other words, people who harass others online don’t want to be banned.

        Participants who are American Indian or Alaska Native also did not like banning, perhaps due to their historical experiences of being forcibly removed from their own land, or more recent history of Facebook account bans due to names misaligned with the site’s “real name” policies, the researchers said.

      • Internet shutdowns are negatively affecting millions of Ethiopians

        The Internet and telecommunications blackout was connected to an ongoing security crackdown in the area which has seen conflict between government forces and rebels. The chief executive officer of Internet provider Ethio Telecom said that the shutdown was a result of insecurity in the province. She apologised for the disruptions and said that the company would defer to the decision of the authorities, who have now announced a reconnection in western Oromia – that is, in Kelem, west and east Wollega, and Horo Guduru Wollega.

        The 3-month-long shutdown affected the region in some ways.

      • Russian Activist Says She’s Hit By First Investigation Under ‘Fake’ Coronavirus News Law

        Shushpanova said another individual had posted about the alleged incident before her and that local residents replied to it. That individual then wrote under Shushpanova’s post that he called the coronavirus hotline to report the incident and also wrote about it on the personal social-media page of St. Petersburg’s governor.

        Shushpanova said she thinks she is being targeted for her activist work in Sestroretska on “hot topics” including ecological issues and city beautification and doesn’t understand why her devices were seized if she is just a witness.

        She said Open Russia, a civil rights advocacy group, has already reached out to defend her.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Hong Kong Journalists Under Pressure Over Taiwan WHO Reporting

        “If it’s taboo to even ask about the possibility of Taiwan’s membership of the WHO now, then this represents a hobbling of the ability of journalists to carry out their duties,” the group said in a statement on its website.

        “What does that mean for press freedom in Hong Kong?”

        Chung Kim-wah, assistant professor of social policy at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University, said it is never inappropriate for journalists to ask questions about newsworthy topics.

      • China Targets Thousands Who Spoke Out About The Coronavirus Epidemic

        The ruling Chinese Communist Party has targeted thousands of people for speaking out about the coronavirus epidemic in the country since it began in late December in the central city of Wuhan, an overseas-based rights group has said.

        “Human rights violations surged in China since the Chinese government began implementing draconian measures in response to COVID-19,” the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network said in a report this week.

      • UK govt won’t release Assange amid virus

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange isn’t eligible to be temporarily released from jail as part of the UK government’s plan to mitigate coronavirus in prisons.

      • Exile Not Always Guarantee of Safety for Pakistani Journalists

        Hussain, 39, had fled Pakistan in 2012 after receiving death threats for his reporting on forced disappearances, drug traffickers, and accusations of human rights violations by Pakistan’s powerful military. The editor-in-chief of the Pakistani news website Baluchistan Times was granted political asylum in Sweden last year.

        News of Hussain’s disappearance from Uppsala, Sweden, which became public March 28, sent shock through Pakistan’s journalism community and brought the risks, even in exile, into focus.

      • ISI hand suspected in disappearance of noted Baloch journalist in Sweden

        Hussain, who is on exile in Sweden, is the chief editor of the Balochistan Times online magazine. Hussain is the nephew of Shaheed Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, the founder of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) and therefore part of the ideology that fought against discriminatory policies of Islamabad, according to one of experts ET spoke to. The BNM has urged Sweden to launch an investigation into his disappearance.

        Hussain fled Pakistan in 2012 after receiving threats related to his reporting, and sought political asylum in Sweden in 2017, according to news reports. He has been incommunicado since he boarded a train in Stockholm on March 2 to go to Uppsala, 70 kms north of the Swedish capital, to collect the keys to his new apartment, local media reports said. He reportedly alighted from the train in Uppsala.

      • Iraqi regulator suspends Reuters’ license for 3 months over COVID-19 report

        Yesterday, the Communications and Media Commission, Iraq’s media regulator, suspended Reuters’ license for three months and fined it 25 million Iraqi dinars ($21,000) for a news report published the same day, which alleged that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country are much higher than official statistics, according to a statement from the regulator and news reports.

        In its statement, the regulator accused Reuters of relying on vague and untrue sources to fabricate news about pandemic in Iraq, and accused Reuters of endangering public safety and hindering the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the virus. It also urged Reuters to issue a public apology to the government and the Iraqi people.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Tale of Two Stockpiles

        Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his murder in a pandemic year.

      • International Mine Awareness Day

        International Mine Awareness Day this year is Saturday (4 April) and in line with worldwide efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus, it will be marked by a digital campaign spearheaded by UNMAS (UN Mine Action Service).

        This year’s theme “together for mine action” runs as part of the world body’s 70th anniversary and kicks off a decade of efforts to the UN2030 Agenda, with multilateralism at its core. At UN headquarters level the UNMAS sub-theme “give life back” emphasises the need to assist disabled survivors of armed conflict rebuild their lives.

      • Wang Quanzhang: China releases jailed human rights lawyer

        A leading Chinese human rights lawyer sentenced to more than four years in jail for subversion has been released.

        However, Wang Quanzhang has not been allowed to be reunited with his family at their home in the capital, Beijing.

      • COVID-19 Is Turning Prisons Into “Kill-Boxes”

        “Our prisons are about to be utterly transformed by tragedy on a grand scale.” So concludes “COVID-19 And Indiana Prisons,” a 13-page blueprint to save the lives of thousands of people locked up in the cages of the Indiana Department of Corrections.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • [Old] ‘Homework gap’ shows millions of students lack home [Internet]

        In what has become known as the homework gap, an estimated 17% of U.S. students do not have access to computers at home and 18% do not have home access to broadband [Internet], according to an Associated Press analysis of census data.

      • [Older] As schools close due to the coronavirus, some U.S. students face a digital ‘homework gap’

        The “homework gap” – which refers to school-age children lacking the connectivity they need to complete schoolwork at home – is more pronounced for black, Hispanic and lower-income households. Some 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed [Internet] connection at home, according to a previously published Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. School-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third (35%) of households with children ages 6 to 17 and an annual income below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed [Internet] connection at home, compared with just 6% of such households earning $75,000 or more a year. These broadband gaps are particularly pronounced in black and Hispanic households with school-age children – especially those with low incomes.

      • [Older] No online learning? With schools closed from coronavirus, these teachers air TV lessons

        The Washington Teachers’ Union is putting its own educators on television. Other districts, such as in Los Angeles, Boston and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, have created partnerships with local PBS stations to repurpose existing programming and air segments for certain grade levels at specified times.

        While many have applauded the efforts, advocacy groups say televised lessons alone are not enough to close the gap in equity between traditionally developing, digitally connected students and those who are disadvantaged. Nor will it fully close the gap in access for those with disabilities.

        Educational content on TV is certainly better than nothing for students, but people with hearing or sight impairments may still have trouble tuning in, said Mark Shapiro, president of the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, a group that advocates for making the web accessible for all people.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Aethlon Announces Issuance of European Patent for the Hemopurifier® in Cancer

          Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD), a therapeutic medical device and technology company focused on unmet needs in global health, announced today that it has received European Patent No. 1,993,600 (“the ’600 Patent”) entitled “Extracorporeal Removal of Microvesicular Particles.” The ’600 patent embodies Aethlon’s Hemopurifier® technology designed for the depletion of immune suppressive, and potentially cancer-promoting, exosomes from the circulatory system.

        • Coronavirus Crisis May Bring Out Old Tool in Disease Fights: Suspension of Drug Patents
        • Coordination Mechanisms and Value Appropriation. Toward a Configurational Perspective

          The issue of value appropriation from innovation is a centerpiece of firms’ innovation strategies. Appropriability through successful patent protection occurs due to a hierarchical structure in the R&D decision-making, a certain level of cross-functionality between the organizational units involved, and the codification of information in the application process. However, the interaction between these coordination mechanisms remains open to debate. This study explores this interplay by adopting a configurational perspective and analyzing 20 cases using the fs/QCA approach. Our findings explore the synergies derived from the intersection of coordination mechanisms for appropriability and identify which are core versus peripheral. The results suggest that centralizing both decision-making and cross-functionality are core to appropriability when combined in an organization. However, both mechanisms become ancillary when in a configuration with formalization through planning.

        • Fed. Circ.’s Arthrex Decision Should Apply Retroactively

          In Arthrex, the Federal Circuit struck down certain removal protections for Administrative Patent Judges as unconstitutional. The Court then held that (potentially hundreds of) final PTAB decisions that were pending before the Federal Circuit had to be vacated and reheard by the PTAB, now that the PTAB judges had fewer removal protections. In a concurrence in Bedgear, Judge Dyk (joined by Judge Newman) argued that these remands were not only wasteful but also unnecessary and indeed unlawful as contrary to the doctrine of retro-activity. This short article agrees with and elaborates on that concurrence, explicating the roots of the doctrine of retro-activity in separation of powers principles, and its beneficial effect on stare decisis.

        • Software Patents

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Pirate’ Porn Sites Under Pressure as MG Premium Tightens the Screw

          In a wave of new DMCA subpoena applications, MG Premium is hoping to discover the identities of individuals said to be responsible for pirate uploads on tube sites. However, given the way that the subpoena applications are worded, it seems likely that with assistance of Cloudflare, the adult giant is trying to unmask the operators of the sites themselves.

        • uTorrent is the Most Used BitTorrent Client By Far

          Every day, dozens of millions of people use BitTorrent to download and share files. Although there is a wide variety of clients to choose from, fresh data reveal that uTorrent remains the top choice for most. The competition, including Transmission and qBitTorrent, are left with a small piece of the pie, which they share with the popular Russian apps Zona and MediaGet.

When the Decision is OK and the Judge’s Motivations Are Also OK

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The UPC decision sucks, guys! WE NEED TO FIND 'DIRT' ON THE JUDGE... Oh. OK. Nothing. Let's check the wife.

Summary: Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied

The Fall of the UPC – Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge’s (Justice’s) Wife?

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When you cannot discredit the messenger (or the decision), look at his or her family?

JUVE tabloid
Stay classy, JUVE (context)

Summary: Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to

TEAM UPC is in ‘damage control’ mode. ‘Locked up’ inside the house, these people probably still worry a lot more about the FCC’s decision than about Coronavirus.

The European Patent Office (EPO) has said nothing about it except one misleading statement in the “news” section, quoting António Campinos who isn’t a jurist (neither was Battistelli). It’s really, really pathetic.

I was rather shocked but not entirely surprised to see the ad hominem attacks on the (presumed) chief judge in this case, Justice Huber. This wouldn’t be the first time, so I was prepared for such a spectacle.

The main spectator, for me at least, was Benjamin Henrion, who read many articles and comments at the time. He did a fine job highlighting all sorts of seemingly minor things. We took note and it’s worth reporting on that, even if a fortnight or so belatedly.

“I really struggle to understand why JUVE threw away its credibility like this, in effect becoming a mouthpiece of EPO management. It was a slow process.”First of all, JUVE called the decision “dark day” even though it’s a very good decision that’s beneficial to the vast majority of the population. Who did JUVE quote? Winfried Tilmann. What on Earth are they thinking? We’ll mention him and his firm in later parts of this series about the UPC’s fall. This is what JUVE quoted: “This formal objection can be eliminated by a new vote with a two-thirds majority. Fortunately, the Federal Constitutional Court has rejected all factual objections to the constitutional complaint as inadmissible or unfounded.”

This is patently false, as we shall explain in later parts that also mention Tilmann et al. I am neither a lawyer nor a judge, but this is very basic. You don’t need a law degree to understand that this is a lie. It is a blatant falsehood from Team UPC, but JUVE is OK with it; it’s printing lies, as it has done for at least 2 years (prior to that it did some decent work). I really struggle to understand why JUVE threw away its credibility like this, in effect becoming a mouthpiece of EPO management. It was a slow process.

Who else did JUVE quote? As noted here, “Kevin Mooney, long-time proponent of the UPC and partner at the London office of Simmons and Simmons…”

He said: “We must wait to see how great a priority this for the German Parliament. The UPC is not dead.”

JUVE printed this nonsense. Did JUVE contact UPC critics? No. Other than the complainant JUVE spoke to nobody. It’s like critics of the UPC don’t even exist to them.

“JUVE printed this nonsense. Did JUVE contact UPC critics? No. Other than the complainant JUVE spoke to nobody. It’s like critics of the UPC don’t even exist to them.”Mooney lied to our Parliament, so why not lie to pro-UPC media as well?

Speaking of pro-UPC media, we have not lost sight of Patrick Wingrove, who ‘entrapped’ Justice Huber. He’s still writing for Managing IP, a pro-UPC think tank, where as recently as days ago he acted as cheerleader for patent trolls in Texas [1, 2] (several times in succession).

JUVE did something similar to what Managing IP had done. It put the Justice inside the media. Here’s JUVE’s editor writing a tweet: “Friday’s decision was a huge setback for the #UPC. The trial focused on two main parties. JUVE Patent was lucky to speak to judge rapporteur Peter Huber, and complainant Ingve Stjerna. Read all about the judge and the lawyer, beginning with the judge: https://bit.ly/the-judge-behind-the-decision … pic.twitter.com/710A3m8Cfa”

So we see that the judge is again speaking to a publication that’s very blatantly an extension of the UPC coup. First Managing IP and now this. As we said in three articles a few months ago, judges ought not participate in this… it harms the perception of the court’s independence. Trials by media should be tossed out; they’re like online lynch mobs. They want people to focus on sentiments rather than factual substance.

“So we see that the judge is again speaking to a publication that’s very blatantly an extension of the UPC coup.”But wait. It gets worse.

Just when we thought JUVE was losing its credibility as an impartial publication it came up with this piece calling Justice Huber “the mastermind” (connotation with a crime).

Christina Schulze wrote: “Today the German Constitutional Court declared the German UPC Act of Approval void. Peter Huber, as judge rapporteur, is the mastermind behind the decision. Up to now, his contacts to the patent scene have been mainly private and through his family. This has changed with the UPC case. The issues involved fit perfectly into Huber’s legal history.”

Schulze did some splendid work when SUEPO’s conflict with Battistelli ‘boiled over’, so she should know better. Why does she start to involve the wife of the judge? They’re personifying the decision quite needlessly to discredit it. That’s like UPC zealots looking for ‘dirt’ on my wife to discourage me from writing. Some things ought not be done. Henrion sort of played along by tweeting: “You wonder if they were discussing about patents in bed: “His wife had made a career in Jena, and there were no suitable openings in the Bavarian justice system. In the end she moved to the Federal Patent Court.” https://www.juve-patent.com/news-and-stories/people-and-business/straight-shooter-the-judge-behind-the-german-upc-decision/ …”

“Schulze did some splendid work when SUEPO’s conflict with Battistelli ‘boiled over’, so she should know better. Why does she start to involve the wife of the judge?”Various outspoken Team UPC cranks and nuts went further than Henrion. This is tabloid-level reporting and it serves to discredit the professionalism of JUVE. What next? Paparazzi photos?

Schulze’s ‘boss’ Mathieu Klos did a non-step ‘marathon’ of UPC advocacy for at least a week after that, with misleading headlines like these (this isn’t reporting, it’s lobbying amplified) and selectively quoting in tweets, e.g.: “The UPC needs an unlikely majority to survive” “Hubris could finish off the UPC” “The UPC needs a will, as well as a way” and “The UK will move on without the UPC” Read JUVE Patent’s opinions on the future of the #UPC: https://bit.ly/39rMzAR”

JUVE is just selling agenda here. The UPC is illegal and unconstitutional. It’s also promoted by a ‘Mafia’, people who commit serious crimes at the EPO with complete impunity if not complicity of the EU. The FCC might look at a small portion of these abuses later this year and maybe issue further decisions as well.

Henrion quoted from JUVE: “Less visible is a growing lack of interest in the European integration project among the population as a whole, which the new patent court would stand for.”

“JUVE is just selling agenda here. The UPC is illegal and unconstitutional. It’s also promoted by a ‘Mafia’, people who commit serious crimes at the EPO with complete impunity if not complicity of the EU.”That has nothing to do with patents.

“Normal,” Henrion said, but “the UPC is not an EU agency, nor an EU project” (it’s another supranatural court living or floating in a vacuum).

Henrion went on to quoting further issues with the UPC, citing the legal experts (not Team UPC): “The UPC also violated Art. 3 (2) TFEU, the rule of law (Art. 2 sentence 1 TEU) and the right to effective defense (Art. 47 (2), Art. 48 (2) GRCh).” #RuleOfLaw @dreynders https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Entscheidungen/DE/2020/02/rs20200213_2bvr073917.html [] “The Unitary Patent Court does not meet these requirements, so the UPC affects the autonomy of Union law and the system of legal remedies.” [] German Ministry of Justice: “The Federal Government issued an opinion on 15 December 2017. It considers the constitutional complaint to be inadmissible (a), but in any case unfounded (b).” [] “Article 262 TFEU already provides for the possibility of transferring sovereign powers to the EU, but instead the decision was taken to establish a patent court on an international legal basis that is outside the institutional framework of the European Union will” [] “The German Bundestag gave its opinion on the procedure by letter of 22 January 2018. He also considers the constitutional complaint to be inadmissible (a), or at least unfounded (b), due to the lack of the right to appeal and a sufficiently substantiated justification.” [] “The institutions to be set up by the Convention should not become independent because it was ensured that changes to the agreement by the Administrative Committee would not be made without the consent of the Bundestag” [...]” (there are further grounds upon which the UPC/A should be thrown out).

“When media and academia are bribed — unlike judges — we can typically discard their output. It’s stained.”Now, we’ve said a lot of negative stuff about JUVE. It never quotes us, it never reaches out to any UPC critics, but at least it did speak to Stjerna, whom it mentioned and quoted (“If, despite these problems, the German government continues to adhere to the Convention, a new constitutional review by the Constitutional Court will have to be considered, possibly of a complaint from a company. [...] The court did not even rule on the substantive complaints and even hinted at further constitutional deficits of the agreement.”) as noted by Henrion. The typical excuse for not quoting any UPC critics is to say something like, “they don’t understand!!!”

There remain a bunch of other complaints about the EPO; but the media might — probably will — look the other way (EPO paid it to ignore EPO scandals). When media and academis are bribed — unlike judges — we can typically discard their output. It’s stained.

As noted here in a tweet, even the Watchtroll pundits said that “Stjerna’s analysis shows that for first instance litigation, reimbursable cost under the UPC exceed reimbursable cost under the German regime by a factor of 3.64 on average…”

“Sir Henry Carr, QC,” Henrion noted, “summed it up in his testimony to parliament: “This complex structure is likely to be far more costly and burdensome for SMEs than the existing system in the UK.” https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/03/24/death-funeral-birth-german-courts-decision-upc-may-not-end/id=120104/ …”

“So-called ‘studies’. You know who paid for these studies. The same patent office which also pays various European publishers to lie to everyone about the UPC.”Suffice to say, the old lies regarding “SMEs” will prevail. Team UPC will keep telling us that “SMEs” stand to benefit from the UPC. The very opposite is what’s true.

A few days ago the EPO wrote: “When filing a patent application, you’ll want to consider not just the countries you want to target, but the ones most important to your competitors too. Why? Find out in our SME case studies…”

“The UPC push,” I’ve responded, “means that the so-called ‘SMEs’ you like to speak of are vulnerable everywhere and won’t benefit in any way from increased breadth…”

The EPO also wrote (again with the #IPforSMEs hashtag) that “[a] patent application can have significant business value, even though the patent is still pending. It was the case for one of the companies in our SME case studies…”

So-called ‘studies’. You know who paid for these studies. The same patent office which also pays various European publishers to lie to everyone about the UPC.

The Fall of the UPC – Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FTI and Süddeutsche Zeitung

Summary: Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans’ constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution

THIS week we’ll start to properly tackle some of the biggest lies told by Team UPC. Today and over the next few days we shall take a look at what was said and then assess the accuracy. Are clients of law firms being misled? Are correct expectations put in place and across? Readers can assess for themselves, based on what we’ve ‘harvested’ and found out about. It took more than 2 weeks and it’s as exhaustive a survey as we could make it.

As a quick reminder, it took the European Patent Office (EPO) more than one week to merely mention the FCC’s decision and sort of respond to it. António Campinos decided to rely on some politician (like his dad and like Battistelli, his ‘professional dad’), never mind if what that politician said was unrealistic and rightly raised a few brows. The EPO’s dream of ‘legalising’ software patents in Europe (by capturing the courts) is now dead. Over the coming years expect many European Patents to be invalidated. The same thing happened in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after Alice, a SCOTUS decision which turns 6 quite soon (early summer).

“It took more than 2 weeks and it’s as exhaustive a survey as we could make it.”The EPO does not seem to worry too much about the validity of patents it grants.

“EPO cannot be sued for maladministration,” Benjamin Henrion pointed out the other day, and “this does not seem to concern the German Ministry of (In)justice: “The Federal Government believes that effective legal protection against decisions of the EPO exist. She currently sees no further need for reform.” http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/19/178/1917809.pdf …”

This is the politician that the EPO decided to rely on as if breaking the law and violating the Constitution is as German as Apfelstrudel.

As long as the EPO is a cash cow for and of Germany, however, some parts of the German government (or some political parties) will look the other way and do nothing. They’ll play along passively, irrespective of the veracity of the EPO’s words and crimes (same for The Netherlands as we found out a few years ago). It’s not only a cash cow but a ‘sacred cow’. EPO “Mafia” exploits that “sacred” status to get away with virtually everything…

“As long as the EPO is a cash cow for and of Germany, however, some parts of the German government (or some political parties) will look the other way and do nothing.”“German government answers to FDP about the EPO are here,” Henrion wrote separately.

We wrote about it a week ago.

Separately, on another day, Henrion noted that “BDI complains about the UPC FCC: “Süddeutsche Zeitung, a published in its electronic version a complaint of BDI claiming that the decision on the UPCA by the FCC was not helping industry” http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/03/27/despite-fcc-ruling-germany-wants-to-push-ahead-with-unitary-patent-system/#comment-36730 …”

Which industry? Litigation is not an industry (a ‘meta-industry’ per se) but arguably a parasite that negatively impacts even the automobile industry Germany thrives in. There are many articles to that effect and it is a contentious battle of interests. What’s at stake is the future of Germany’s economy. Heavy industrial producer or ‘paperwork capital’?

Henrion tried to make sense of the text.

“Article about BDI here,” he added, citing this Süddeutsche Zeitung piece. Remember the old days when Süddeutsche Zeitung still criticised the EPO? It didn't last long. In past years we explained the dirty tricks EPO management used to muzzle its critics.

“Litigation is not an industry (a ‘meta-industry’ per se) but arguably a parasite that negatively impacts even the automobile industry Germany thrives in.”Henrion said or quoted: “BDI and SMEs: They even go as far as to claim that the UPC could help restore economy after the Corona episode. If we were April 1st, it would be good joke. http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2020/03/27/despite-fcc-ruling-germany-wants-to-push-ahead-with-unitary-patent-system/ [] UPC will install EU-wide software patents, using the EPO doctrines “the UPC would be to establish authoritative interpretations of the EPC and validity assessment rules, to which the EPO Boards of Appeal should give considerable weight.” [...]”

In the next few parts we’re going to look a little deeper into false claims originating from law firms, which spent a lot of money investing in “lobbying” for the UPC, wrongly assuming they would recover these costs in increased or ‘enhanced’ litigation across borders. They not only harmed themselves financially; it’s likely that their clients wasted billions of Euros based on false hopes and maladjusted expectations (that UPC was coming “real soon!” or whatever).

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:01 am by Needs Sunlight

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