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04.12.20

Links 12/4/2020: Linux 5.7 RC1, EndeavourOS April Release

Posted in News Roundup at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E03 – Spilling salt

        This week we’ve been auditing Thinkpads and making beta releases of Ubuntu. We round up some of what’s new in the Ubuntu flavours Focal Fossa beta releases and discuss stories from the tech world.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 03 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • Remote Play PS4 with Linux | Chiaki Open Source Project

        Remote Play PS4 with Linux | Chiaki Open Source Project Let’s get our PS4 working on Linux with Chiaki.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #167

        EOL of CoreOS Linux

        https://coreos.com/os/eol/

        Kernel 5.4 Marked as LTS

        https://9to5linux.com/linux-kernel-5-4-is-now-an-official-lts-release-supported-until-2022

        Ubuntu 20.04 Will Ship with the 5.4 LTS Kernel

        https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2020/02/ubuntu-20-04-kernel-5-4-lts

        Godot Engine Receives Epic MegaGrant

        https://godotengine.org/article/godot-engine-was-awarded-epic-megagrant

        Wine 5.1 Development Released

        https://www.winehq.org/announce/5.1

        TLP 1.3 Released

        https://linrunner.de/en/tlp/docs/tlp-linux-advanced-power-management.html#features

        KDE’s 19.2 February Updates Released

        https://kde.org/announcements/releases/2020-02-apps-update/

        Credits:
        Ubuntu “Complete” sound: Canonical

      • Companies Microsoft Killed

        Let’s go over the actual companies Microsoft has removed from existence. I’m going to be showcasing products that had better software and were technically superior but Microsoft replaced with their own. I will also go into how this happened.

      • The Resilience of the Voyagers | Jupiter Extras 70

        Heather, of SciByte fame, joins Chris and Wes to celebrate the incredible accomplishments and amazing resiliency of the Voyager probes.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7 Will Let You Setup A Swap File Over A Network With SMB3/Samba

        A last minute feature coming into the Linux 5.7 kernel on its last day of the merge window is experimental support for allowing a remote swap setup over a network using SMB3.

        Certainly not a common use-case and one that poses security challenges as well as performance and reliability concerns, but Linux 5.7 will have experimental support for a swap file over the network via a SMB3 setup. There has been this capability already with a network block device among other possible setups for a remote swap file while now the SMB3/CIFS kernel code is allowing it as an experimental feature.

      • FAT File-System Driver For Linux Sees Patch To Run Multiple Times Faster

        At the same time of Linux receiving a new exFAT driver, the Linux kernel is still seeing improvements to its classic FAT file-system code.

        For those voluntarily still relying upon FAT16/FAT32 file-systems you should really think about upgrading especially with Linux having a good exFAT driver now, but for those stuck to FAT use-cases like digital cameras or EFI partitions, at least there is a patch pending to allow the FAT performance to be much more efficient moving forward.

        [...]

        The few dozen lines of code patch can be found on the mailing list. It’s too late for seeing it picked up in the 5.7 kernel but perhaps we’ll see it for 5.8.

      • The New Features Of The Linux 5.7 Kernel: Tiger Lake Graphics Stable, New exFAT, Zstd F2FS, Performance

        Linus Torvalds is expected to deliver an Easter day kernel release in the form of Linux 5.7-rc1. After a two week merge window, Linux 5.7 feature development formally ends today. Here is a look at the many exciting improvements and new features to find with Linux 5.7.

        Below is our list of the new Linux 5.7 kernel features based on our original monitoring of the mailing lists and Git repositories. There is a lot of exciting stuff from new/improved Intel and AMD hardware support to the new exFAT driver to other file-system improvements and a number of performance improvements across the different subsystems / areas of the kernel.

        Following today’s Linux 5.7-rc1 kernel release, weekly release candidates will continue as usual. If all goes well, Linux 5.7 should debut as stable around early June.

      • Linux 5.7-rc1
        It's Sunday afternoon, and it's been two weeks since the merge window
        opened, so here we are. Maybe an hour or two early, because it's
        Easter Sunday, and I may be socially distancing but we're still doing
        the usual Finnish Easter dinner with lamb, mämma and pasha... I may
        not be religious, but tradition is tradition. Thanks to the social
        distancing, this year we'll have to forgo trying to force-feed our
        poor American friends mämma, which never really works out anyway. In
        fact, I think I can hear the sighs of relief from miles away.
        
        Back to the kernel.
        
        Things looked pretty normal, in fact I felt things worked smoother
        than they often do, with the bulk of the big pull requests all coming
        in the first week, just the way I prefer it. Yes, I had a fair number
        of pulls the second week too, but a lot of them were smaller
        subsystems, or follow-ups, or fixes. Keeping people inside may have
        helped.
        
        That said, we did have a couple of hiccups due to linux-next not
        having had some of the syzbot testing that it normally has, so
        immediately when things hit my tree, a few alarm bells rang. That
        certainly wasn't optimal. But it got sorted out quickly enough that it
        didn't end up being all that painful, and hopefully we'll avoid the
        lack of test coverage in the future. At least there's a cunning plan
        for that. Knock wood.
        
        And things look normal stat-wise. Not the biggest kernel, not the
        smallest, and the distribution of patches looks fairly regular too:
        about 60% drivers (all over - it's the merge window, after all) with
        the rest being architecture updates (x86 and arm stand out, but
        there's a little bit of everything), Documentation updates (more rst
        conversions, but also just regular updates), filesystem work (pathname
        lookup cleanups and the new exfat filesystem stand out), networking
        and "misc core kernel" work.
        
        As always, there's much too much new stuff to list with a shortlog, so
        appended is my mergelog.
        
        I did have a request from the kernel technical advisory board (aka
        TAB) to mention that if anyone's had (or is predicting) disruptions to
        their kernel work from COVID-19 that they'd like help solving (finding
        backup maintainers, etc), the kernel TAB has offered to help however
        they can. If this would be useful, please contact them at:
        tab@lists.linux-foundation.org
        
        Anything else?
        
        Oh, yeah. Go test.
        
                         Linus
        
      • Linus Torvalds Kicks Off the Development Cycle of Linux Kernel 5.7

        The two-week merge window for the Linux 5.7 kernel series is now closed. Today marks two weeks since the release of Linux kernel 5.6, which means that new RCs can be released weekly for Linux kernel 5.7.

        The first Release Candidate is already available for download from the kernel.org website at the moment of writing for early adopters and technology enthusiasts who want to take Linux 5.7 for a test drive.

        It’s a fairly normal release that packs about 60 percent updated and new drivers, various improvements to the x86 and ARM architectures, documentation updates, and support for the new exFAT file system.

      • Linux 5.7-rc1 Kernel Released

        Following the two week long merge window, Linus Torvalds has announced an Easter day kernel release in the form of the Linux 5.7-rc1 test candidate.

        Linus characterized Linux 5.7-rc1 in his release announcement as “Not the biggest kernel, not the smallest, and the distribution of patches looks fairly regular too: about 60% drivers (all over – it’s the merge window, after all) with the rest being architecture updates (x86 and arm stand out, but there’s a little bit of everything), Documentation updates (more rst conversions, but also just regular updates), filesystem work (pathname lookup cleanups and the new exfat filesystem stand out), networking and “misc core kernel” work.”

        More of Torvalds’ thoughts on the 5.7 merge window as well as on his Easter traditions can be found via the kernel mailing list.

      • The Embedded Talks

        The foss-north conference strives to have an assortment of various talks. The point is that visitors should see something unexpected and that the conference should attract all types of visitors to ensure that we as a community can meet across various industries and problem spaces.

        This time I’ve selected three talks about embedded systems from foss-north 2020. The talks touch on building embedded systems around Linux. If your reader does not show you the embedded videos, make sure to follow the actual page or go to our conf.tube channel to see all the contents.

        First out was Ron Munitz talk on understanding and building minimal Linux systems. This talk proved to be a real deep dive into the Linux kernel – including setting up a debugger to the kernel itself.

      • PG_Zero: Faster Page Allocation Proposed For Linux By Zeroing Out Pages Ahead Of Time

        A set of patches sent out Sunday morning for “PG_zero” could provide much faster page allocation performance by the Linux kernel.

        Rather than zeroing out any previous contents when allocating pages, the proposed PG_zero functionality would zero out pages ahead of time. Pages zeroed out ahead of time are marked with a new PG_zero bit that is checked when allocating new pages to ensure they were already cleared. If cleared, the pages can be more quickly allocated and with saving CPU time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Xe-HP “High Performance” DG2 GPU spotted in open source documentation

          Test drivers have indicated that Gen12 HP DG2 GPUs will offer 128, 256 and 512 EUs. Wccftech opines that this should translate to up to 10-15 TFLOPs of FP32 Compute output based on information about the DG1.

          Intel is also expected to release the Xe-HPC architecture too, which it is is targeting for exascale and Cloud GFX computing. The company detailed its strategy for the Xe-HPC architecture in December.

    • Benchmarks

      • Improving Image Matching: New Open-Source Benchmark with 30K Images

        In an ancient Indian parable, six blind men encounter an elephant but struggle to discern what it is. One taps the beast’s side, guessing it could be a wall. Gripping a leg, another imagines a tree trunk, while a third taps the pointy tusks and fears a threatening spear. Such challenges continue in contemporary computer vision research, where combining data from different viewpoints to reconstruct a 3D structure is known as Structure from Motion (SfM).

        [...]

        Google Research collaborated with a team of researchers from UVIC, CTU, and EPFL on the new benchmark for wide-baseline image matching, which includes a 30k image dataset with depth maps and accurate pose information. The entire project is open source.

      • Continuing To Improve The Benchmark Result Viewer

        The benchmark result viewer has some more improvements that should be of interest to many for digging into more performance details especially between processors and systems.

        The Phoronix Test Suite 9.6 Milestone 3 release is out this morning with more work on the benchmark result viewer. Ultimately this will carry over to OpenBenchmarking.org and when viewing the graphs within Phoronix articles. In particular some of the new performance-per-core/thread/clock metrics may begin appearing soon in all graphs for premium supporters along with other features being explored.

    • Applications

      • Exaile is an open source and cross platform music player for Windows, macOS and Linux

        Today we’ll be looking at Exaile, an open source and cross platform music player for Windows, macOS and Linux. Some of you may recognize the program, as it has been around for a long time.

        Exaile’s interface has a menubar at the top, a sidebar to the left, and a music playback pane to the right. Click on the “Add Music” button and a pop-up window prompts you to select the folder that you want to add to the program’s music library. You may this to rescan existing folders that you’ve added.

      • NetworkManager 1.24 Coming Soon With VRF Support, Opportunistic Wireless Encryption

        Friday marked the release of NetworkManager 1.24-RC1 as the first test candidate for this component important to wired and wireless networking on the Linux desktop.

        One of the big additions to NetworkManager 1.24 is support for Opportunistic Wireless Encryption. OWE provides encrypted wireless data transfers without a secret/key. This technology is also known as WiFi Certified Enhanced Open since 2018. This NetworkManager OWE support is contingent upon WPA-Supplicant being built with the capability enabled and can work with any mac80211-supported adapter.

      • Nageru 1.9.3 released

        Hot on the heels of 1.9.2 comes version 1.9.3 of Nageru, my live video mixer. It has exactly one new feature; I discovered the wonderful v4l2loopback, which allows you to make virtual V4L2 cameras easily. In these days of increased videoconferencing, being able to do more flexible inputs and devices increases the breadth of what you can do, and I want Nageru users to have that opportunity.

        bmusb, my userspace driver for Intensity Shuttle and UltraStudio SDI USB3 capture cards, now also has a separate little proxy program that does the same thing for that single capture card if you don’t want to go through Nageru (download and build version 0.7.6 to get it).

      • man-pages-5.06 is released

        I’ve released man-pages-5.06. The release tarball is available on kernel.org. The browsable online pages can be found on man7.org. The Git repository for man-pages is available on kernel.org.

        This release resulted from patches, bug reports, reviews, and comments from 39 contributors. The release includes more than 250 commits that change more than 120 pages. Three new pages were added in this release.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Anodyne developer makes the game open-source

        Anodyne hit the Switch back in 2019, but now players can see the game in a whole knew way. The developer behind the title has made the entire project open-source, which means you can dig into every nook and cranny to see what’s hiding inside.

        The developer is hoping that by bringing the game’s source code, art, level editor, and music to Github, players will be encouraged to sift through the content and make their own. Game mods, remixes, comics, and more are all encouraged by the developer. Let’s hope people take him up on the offer! You can check out all of the game’s assets here.

      • Valve add a Prestige option to the Dota Underlords ‘City Crawl’ mode to increase the challenge

        Dota Underlords, the curious blend of Dota lore and characters in an auto-battling strategy game has a brand new update out as it continues to see a healthy amount of players since release. After leaving Early Access in February, it seems to have found its place with many more than ten thousand players on it regularly.

        With the full release came the City Crawl game mode, a special mode with various puzzle challenges that sees you attempt to take over a city. As you do it, you can unlock rewards and it’s proven quite popular. Now Valve has boosted this mode with the option to Prestige through it. This will reset it, make it harder and allow you to earn more (and you can do it multiple times). If you complete it again during this you will get a restige seal on your Wanted Poster, as well as a flashy crown for all of your Underlords in-game.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Libinput scroll speed, Dolphin remote access improvements, and more

          This week’s update includes an eclectic collection of bugfixes and new features, some of them quite annoying or longstanding–such as being able to use Dolphin’s terminal panel on remote locations, set the scroll speed when using the Libinput driver (at least on Wayland), and connect to Samba shared on a workgroup with a space in the name. But wait, there’s more…

        • KDE Finally Has Support For Configuring The Scroll Speed On Wayland

          Some longstanding issues were resolved this week in KDE land that will be to the benefit of many users.

          KDE this week saw fixes and improvements including:

          - Support for configuring the scrolling speed for mice and touchpads on Wayland with libinput.

          - Support for searching with Baloo based on file creation dates and photo exposure times.

        • More Open-Source Participants Are Backing A Possible Fork Of Qt

          This week’s bombshell that future Qt releases might be restricted to paying customers for a period of twelve months has many open-source users and developers rightfully upset. Qt so far only provided a brief, generic statement but several individuals and projects are already expressing interest in a Qt fork should it come to it.

          The hope is first and foremost that The Qt Company and KDE / KDE Free Qt Foundation can reach a mutual agreement without this embargo on future releases, which would effectively close up its development. But should an agreement go unresolved and The Qt Company go ahead with their plans in the name of boosting short-term revenues stemming from the coronavirus, developers are expressing a willingness to fork should it come it.

        • New Linux integrity checker from Microsoft, Raspberry Pi smart TV replacement from KDE, and more open source news

          I recently bought a new TV and, if you haven’t been in the market lately, it’s hard to find “dumb” televisions. I didn’t want a smart TV because I worry about the manufacturer abandoning the software and what the device might do with my data. So KDE’s recent Plasma Bigscreen announcement caught my eye.

          Plasma Bigscreen takes the KDE Plasma interface I use every day and combines it with Mycroft AI to turn single-board computers into a smart TV. The beta, released last month, includes support for the Raspberry Pi 4 (Model B).

        • Latte bug fix release v0.9.11

          Latte Dock v0.9.11 has been released containing important fixes and improvements!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Alexander Mikhaylenko: On windows and titlebars

          Recently, I’ve been working on a few widgets for libhandy to provide applications more flexibility with how to handle their titlebars.

          But doesn’t GTK already allow this? Let’s take a look.

          First, GTK has a widget called GtkHeaderBar. It looks like a titlebar, has a close button, a title, a subtitle and allows to add widgets at the left or right sides, or to replace title and subtitle with a custom widget.

          Second, there’s gtk_window_set_titlebar() function that allows to set a widget as a custom titlebar. GTK will place that widget above the main window area, and then it can be dragged to move the window, and will handle right click menu, double click and middle click. Additionally, GTK will draw client-side window border and/or shadows and provide an area to resize the window with. Naturally, GtkHeaderBar is a perfect fit for it, although nothing is preventing other widgets from being titlebars.

          If nothing is set, GtkWindow will use a GtkHeaderBar with a special style class (.default-decoration) as a titlebar on Wayland, or legacy decorations on X11.

          This approach works well if an application just wants to have a titlebar with some widgets in it. However, in many cases it’s more complex. Let’s take a look at some cases that are difficult or impossible to implement right now.

    • Distributions

      • Top 5 Linux Distros That Offer Cutting Edge Updates

        Long term support, stability, and powerful developer tools are what make Linux popular among power users. The LTS (Long Term Support) versions of various Linux distributions are supported for 5-years. Yes! and you can also download them from Beta channels where the distros are less stable (not very unstable like Windows’ Insider Builds) and lend developers a hand in fixing bugs.

        There are many risks involved in installing beta versions. Hence, we suggest you take a sweet backup of your data before proceeding. By using these “unstable” OSes, you might notice some parts of the OS working flawlessly at the same time you may also face app crashes. Well, here are the five distros that offer Cutting Edge Updates.

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS: The April release has arrived

          We’re proud to present you our latest release and it is chucked with new features and improvements, so without further ado, let’s dive in…

          [...]

          Florent Valetti (FLVAL), in cooperation with Fernando Omiechuk Frozi (fernandomaroto) for technical assistance, has changed the look and feel of Calamares in comparison with the December release.

          Not only did he change the main colour, from purple to blue, he also made an overall clean-up and has added small details in the installer, to give it a unique EndeavourOS signature.

          The installer now launches with a terminal window in the background to keep the user informed on the progress of the installation. This is to avoid users to prematurely quit the install process, due to the progress bar in Calamares not showing any sign of movement at certain points of the install.

          Partitioning with Calamares has been improved and works now almost 100%. There are some cases known where the auto partitioning fails, in that case, the Live Environment still ships Gparted as a fallback solution, also LUKS encryption is now possible from the Calamares installer.

        • KANOTIX-Silverfire Extra ISO 2020
      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SAP Data Intelligence Benefits From Linux And Open Source

          If SAP customers already use Suse Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (SLES for SAP) in combination with Hana or S/4, they will also want to use Suse solutions in combination with SAP Data Hub and Data Intelligence, as it leads to beneficial technological continuity.

        • SUSE CEO: avoiding disruption with open source and how her focus has changed

          In March 2019, the company become independent from MicroFocus, and today continues to provide all of the open source based operating systems that power the applications of mission critical systems. The open source technology is also embedded inside medical device components like CAT scans and mammogram machines.

          SUSE is led by Melissa Di Donato, former Women in IT Awards winner, who became the company’s first female CEO in July 2019.

          “We are the technology backbone that powers many and most mission critical systems and applications. Coupled with that we’ve got a cloud-based application platform for storage and our Container-as-a-Service business as well,” she told Information Age during a recent interview.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Silverblue is an amazing immutable desktop

          I recently switched my regular Fedora 31 workstation over to the 31 Silverblue release. I’ve played with Project Atomic before and have been meaning to try it out more seriously for a while, but never had the time. Silverblue provided the catalyst to do that.

          What this brings to the table is quite amazing and seriously impressive. The base OS is immutable and everyone’s install is identical. This means quality can be improved as there are less combinations and it’s easier to test. Upgrades to the next major version of Fedora are fast and secure. Instead of updating thousands of RPMs in-place, the new image is downloaded and the system reboots into it. As the underlying images don’t change, it also offers full rollback support.

          This is similar to how platforms like Chrome OS and Android work, but thanks to ostree it’s now available for Linux desktops! That is pretty neat.

          It doesn’t come with a standard package manager like dnf. Instead, any packages or changes you need to perform on the base OS are done using rpm-ostree command, which actually layers them on top.

          And while technically you can install anything using rpm-ostree, ideally this should be avoided as much as possible (some low level apps like shells and libvirt may require it, though). Flatpak apps and containers are the standard way to consume packages. As these are kept separate from the base OS, it also helps improve stability and reliability.

        • A tip to play audio (and video) in a browser

          She uses Fedora on her laptop and Firefox as the browser. All of the online tools that the institution uses works just fine. She is able to share presentations, tabs from browsers showing websites etc. The one challenge she encountered was in playing some audio files that are on her laptop.

          For some reason that online platform is not able to pick up the VLC player that will be playing the audio and shared to her students. Did not matter what audio tool was used (Totem, Audacity (yes, that’s an overkill)), that window was not showing up as being shareable. It could be something to do Wayland being used, but I did not want that to be the issue and that it should work everywhere.

        • Emmanuel Kasper: Putting a Red Hat on

          I have heard that there is already a number of Debian Developers working for Red Hat, so if you happen to be one of them, I hope we’ll get in touch !

        • Red Hat’s new CEO talks about navigating the gradual recovery from the coronavirus

          There was no celebration in Raleigh when Paul Cormier was appointed this week to replace Jim Whitehurst as Red Hat’s CEO.

          With the coronavirus pandemic at its peak in the U.S. and every Red Hat employee working from home, the 62-year-old former head of products and technologies began his reign as CEO from his home in Boston, relying on email and BlueJeans video conferencing technology to address the more than 12,000 Red Hat employees around the world.

          His immediate task will be to guide the company, which employs more than 2,000 people in downtown Raleigh, out of the doldrums of a coronavirus-caused economic downturn. “This is going to be a marathon,” he told his employees, “and it’s more important than ever to continue to support one another right now.”

          A day after assuming the title of Red Hat CEO, Cormier sat down with the N&O via a BlueJeans videoconference to discuss how the company is responding to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is navigating its new relationship with IBM.

        • How Red Hat’s New CEO Handles Life Under IBM — and a Global Pandemic
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04 + Deepin — Perfect combination for a beautiful Linux distro

          The beta versions of Ubuntu 20.04 and its flavors came out last week. The stable version is scheduled to release on the 24th of this month. Another interesting news is that a new flavor of Ubuntu 20.04 is coming ahead with the beautiful desktop environment, Deepin.

        • [Older] Upcoming Ubuntu 20.04-based Linux Mint 20 Drops 32-Bit ISO

          Last week, Linux Mint fans witnessed the release of Debian Based LMDE 4 Linux distro. They are now set to unveil their Ubuntu-based version in the coming months. The upcoming Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana” will be based on the next long term release Ubuntu 20.04.

          Surprisingly, Linux Mint revealed in their latest monthly blog that they’re now discontinuing the development of 32-bit ISO images. This means the Linux Mint 20 will only be available in 64-bit featuring three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce.

        • Do You Plan to Upgrade to or Install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS? [Poll]

          We’re just two weeks out — two weeks! — from the final stable release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS ‘Focal Fossa‘.

          Which makes now a good to ask whether you plan to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 before, on, or after release day.

          Already done it? Still debating it? Can’t decide? Whichever it is, I wanna know!

          So below is a poll which those of you using Firefox probably can’t see in which you can share your upgrade intentions with me and with the wider, wilder World Wide Web!

        • Xubuntu 20.04 In Screenshots: Installation



          With Xubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa” due in less than two weeks (April 23, 2020), it’s time to take a look at what’s new. In this post, I walk through the installation process of the 20200412 daily image. These images show off the installation working completely as expected, with all components loading and installation completing successfully.

          These screenshots are free to use, but don’t hard link to them. Download them for yourself and share them on your publication!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • DataStax buries Apache hatchet and launches features to make NoSQL Cassandra faster, safer and more graphable

        Distributed NoSQL database slinger DataStax has launched an upgrade to its flagship product, DataStax Enterprise, adding new features aimed at improving speed, control and graph analytics.

      • Working in real time – the role of open source and data

        For companies with limited budgets, open source can be a great option. Operating systems, database software, applications and other stack components can be accessed and used based on the availability of source code. Often, full versions are available for commercial use that don’t have cost implications and can help you scale up to meet many of your technical challenges. Open source can help businesses of all sizes manage greater volumes of data.

      • FOSSID-BearingPoint unite for free & open source software governance

        FOSSID, a leading provider of open source software compliance and security tools & services, has recently announced a strategic partnership with BearingPoint. The partnership was formed around the governance of free & open source software.

      • This Pittsburgh arcade is now a tiny virtual world

        LikeLike says the current space will stay up for “a while,” and a new show will start on May 1st, mirroring the gallery’s normal schedule. The new shows will come with new kinds of spaces, and the project itself is open source, so you can build your own gallery with some work.

      • Huobi’s ‘Regulator-Pleasant’ Blockchain Goes Open Source

        Huobi Chain, the regulator-facing public blockchain of alternate Huobi Group, is now open supply and publicly obtainable to all builders on GitHub, the agency stated Tuesday.

        Nervos, a blockchain growth startup, is offering a part of the technical infrastructure for the mission.

        The companies are growing pluggable parts for the community that would allow regulators to oversee contract deployments, asset holdings and transfers, in addition to the enforcement of anti cash laundering rules, Bo Wang, a Nervos researcher, informed CoinDesk.

        The parts can even permit monetary establishments, reminiscent of banks and regulatory companies, to freeze belongings and accounts in case of emergencies by way of sidechains, in line with Wang.

      • 5 open source activities while you work from home

        You may have an abundance of little ones to care for during the day, and if you do, you should read our article about fun open source projects for kids and parents. If you don’t, or if you’re just keen to try caring for something that’s quiet, then you might find it satisfying to plant something.

        I used to think gardening was something you did as a way to establish a routine: each morning, you wake up and tend to your plants before you start your day, each evening you might pull weeds, and so on. Now that I have a garden, I realize that it’s more like a low-stress puzzle. Learning to tend to plants is a little like learning to program. You learn the basics first, you learn to debug (literally, in the case of aphids), and then you learn how to optimize growth and maybe even how to automate plant care.

        If you’re not attracted to gardening, there are plenty of other outdoor projects that are useful in getting you outdoors with a purpose and encouraging you to go back out for more.

        [...]

        If you’ve been meaning to get involved with open source, now’s a great time for it.

        If you suspect you might be artistic (or even if you’re convinced you’re not, but you have something you want to express), then maybe it’s time to finally learn how to create some digital imagery.

        Or maybe you’re curious about programming. It might be easier than you think and given enough free time, you might even end up with your own game written in Python.

      • [Krita dev] Cherries, or does the brand make a difference, when it comes to oilpaint
      • BleachBit 3.9.2 Beta

        When your computer is getting full, BleachBit quickly frees disk space. When your information is only your business, BleachBit guards your privacy. With BleachBit you can free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there.

        Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean thousands of applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is open source.

      • Open source Spaghetti Detective AI software detects failed prints through webcam

        With the majority of the world home-bound due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the open source community seems to be alive and kicking with its latest gift to 3D printing: an AI software that automatically pauses failed prints. The Spaghetti Detective (TSD) utilizes the webcam of a printer or home computer to detect when a print job has gone wrong and started extruding ‘spaghetti’, interrupting the process and alerting the user through an email or text message.

        TSD can be downloaded for free if used on one 3D printer, checking the progress of a print once every ten seconds. If required, the user can opt to pay for a Pro service that watches over multiple 3D printers at once, also bringing the framerate up to 25 per second. The Pro service starts at $4 a month with additional printers (up to five) being added to the arsenal at $2 a pop.

      • Anyone’s a Celebrity Streamer With This Open Source App

        LIVE STREAMING IS booming. People spent 1.2 billion hours watching Twitch in the first quarter of 2020, according to analytics company StreamHatchet and streaming software company Streamlabs. Time spent viewing the live-streaming service, a unit of Amazon, jumped 23 percent from February to March, and the number of unique Twitch channels increased 33 percent over the previous quarter. Other live streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Microsoft’s Mixer also saw more use.

        It’s not just video games. People host live cooking shows. Musicians are live streaming concerts. Programmers use Twitch streams as a way to swap tips.

        “I think it’s a great time to try streaming,” says Justin Turner, a digital marketer in Portland, Oregon, who just started a new live streaming talk show about Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games. “It’s a great way to interact with people. Just knowing some of my friends are watching and chatting really helps with social distancing.”

        Like many other streamers, Turner uses a video streaming and recording application called Open Broadcaster Software Studio, which unlike commercial options like Camtasia, is free and open source.

        [...]

        OBS Studio creator Hugh “Jim” Bailey estimates that the software is probably used by tens of millions of people, based on the number who download updates. The pandemic has likely doubled interest in the tool, Bailey says, with about 320,000 unique visitors a day now coming to the OBS Studio website. That’s not counting variants of OBS Studio like Streamlabs OBS, which is based on the original project’s code but developed separately. Streaming platforms Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube include links to OBS Studio in their resources for live streamers.

      • 8×8 Video Meetings Solutions Cross 10 Million Monthly Active Users; Jitsi Community to Unveil Next Steps in Secure Video Meetings

        8×8, Inc. (NYSE: EGHT), a leading integrated cloud communications platform, today announced significant growth in usage across 8×8 video meetings solutions, including meet.jit.si and the 8×8 Video Meetings platform, with global monthly active users now surpassing more than 10.4 million. The company also announced an upcoming webcast to discuss the Jitsi open-source community’s next steps to raise the bar for secure WebRTC-based video meetings.

      • The best free and open-source alternatives to Hangouts and Duo on Android

        We’ve already explored free and open-source alternatives to many Google apps and services in this series, but there’s one critical category we haven’t mentioned yet: messaging services. Keeping in touch with friends and family is what most people use phones for, but as with social media, the vast majority of messaging platforms are black boxes with questionable data practices.

        Switching to a new messaging app also usually means you have to convince some friends or family members to make the jump, which can be a much more difficult transition than switching email or note-taking applications. Still, if you can convince a few people (or if you’re just interested in public chat rooms), we’ve compiled some of the best options below.

      • Latest Release of WSO2 API Manager Expands Security and Support for Kubernetes, Microservices, and Serverless Apps
      • The 16 Best Free and Open Source Network Monitoring Tools for 2020

        Solutions Review’s listing of the best free and open source network monitoring tools is an annual sneak peak of the solution providers included in our Buyer’s Guide and Solutions Directory. Information was gathered via online materials and reports, conversations with vendor representatives, and examinations of product demonstrations and free trials.

        The editors at Solutions Review have developed this resource to assist buyers in search of the best network detection and response solutions to fit the needs of their organization. Choosing the right vendor and tool can be a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the tool and its technical capabilities. To make your search a little easier, we’ve profiled the best free and open source network monitoring tools and providers all in one place. We’ve also included platform and product line names and introductory software tutorials straight from the source so you can see each solution in action.

      • Solo.io Open Sources Service Mesh Hub

        Solo.io is making a Service Mesh Hub available as an open source project to make it easier for IT organizations to automate the management of network and security services.

        Company CEO Idit Levine says Service Mesh Hub provides a unified dashboard for installing, discovering, operating and extending a single service mesh or group of meshes that can be combined in the single virtual mesh.

      • Solo.io open-sources its Service Mesh Hub for microservices

        Cloud-native software company Solo.io Inc. said today it’s open-sourcing an internal project called Service Mesh Hub, which provides a unified dashboard for companies that want to install, operate and extend a single service mesh or group of meshes.

        Founded in 2017, Solo is a company that sells software that helps to address the challenges faced by enterprises that want to implement microservices, which are the components of modern, containerized applications that can run in multiple computing environments. It offers a variety of tools that help with this, including its main product Gloo, which streamlines the transformation of legacy applications to new infrastructures and enables management from a single system.

      • Delivering on its Vision of Multi-Service Mesh Orchestration, Solo.io Adds Enterprise-Ready Support for Istio 1.5 and Multi-cluster ‘Virtual Mesh’

        Solo.io, a software company that helps organizations adopt and operate innovative cloud native technologies, today announced the open-source Service Mesh Hub, the industry’s first unified dashboard for installing, discovering, operating and extending a single service mesh or group of meshes, with

      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: k6

        It was built primarily to be able to seamlessly scale to the cloud, automate performance tests, offer reuse modules and JavaScript libraries to enable developers to build and maintain their test suite, and output test results in various backends and formats such as Grafana, DataDog, Kafka, and JSON.

      • Outreachy awarded IBM’s Open Source Community Grant

        IBM has announced Outreachy is the winner of its $50,000 Open Source Community Grant. IBM started awarding quarterly grants last October as an effort to promote nonprofits dedicated to education, inclusiveness and skill building. Girls Who Code were awarded the first IBM Open Source Community Grant.

      • Planned $1.1B Sale of .Org Angers Many Open Source Crypto Developers

        On the planet of open-source software program, a .org top-level area – suppose linux.org and bitcoin.org – has at all times been an imprimatur of philosophical adherence and, to a level, high quality. Now, nonetheless, the .org top-level area (TLD) goes into personal fingers, a transfer that’s irritating each conventional and blockchain open-source builders.

        The information that Ethos Capital, a secretive group of traders, purchased the TLD precipitated a minor firestorm within the open-source ecosystem. The truth that the group purchased the TLD for a reported $1.135 billion added gas to the flames.

      • Making open source work for you and your business

        Towards the end of 2018, a new license sparked major controversy among the open-source community. The Commons Clause was drafted to put “conditions” or “limitations” on open-source software.

        The controversy was that this was not an open-source license, and went against the definition of open source by adding restrictions to open-source software.

        “Through the past decade of open-source history, there has been this huge stigma generated around any attempt to license software in a not purely open source way. The purpose of the Commons Clause in the beginning was basically to give a super lightweight alternative,” said FOSSA’s Wang. “It was this thing in between proprietary code and open-source code.”

      • COVID

        • Mercedes-AMG F1 and UCL open-source breathing aid designs

          Mercedes-AMG F1 and University College London (UCL) have made the designs for a reverse-engineered breathing aid freely available to help the global fight against COVID-19.

          Details can be downloaded for free at a new UCL COVID-19 research hub.

          The package includes the designs, plus specifications of materials, tools and equipment required, and the fabrication time for each part.

        • Open-Source Healthcare App Released Globally for Free
        • #HackCorona 2.0: Open-source hardware, telehealth & pandemic forecasts

          According to WHO, it took more than 3 months to reach the first 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, but only 12 days to reach 200,000, 4 days to reach 300,000, 3 days to reach 400,000 and another 5 to reach 700,000. China’s cases rocketed in the early weeks of the outbreak but curbed before other significant outbreaks had happened. Now, the US has the most number of confirmed cases. Can we predict where the virus hits next?

          Greece currently faces over 1800+ coronavirus cases. As of now, over 200 people have recovered but 81 people died. With a disciplined approach the Greek Government is implementing, the outbreak could be very well under control. However, based on the experience of other European countries and taking into consideration the threats of an economical crisis, easily implementable solutions, will help manage the current state of affairs better, avoid overloading the healthcare system and putting additional burden on the Greek economy.

        • Healthcare Gets a Dose of Open-Source, But Will It Cure Coronavirus?

          The crypto and open-source community have been working hard to stamp out the spread of Coronavirus. These healthcare efforts have been manifested in several initiatives from ethical tracking measures, 3D printing schematics, and crypto-based charity campaigns.

          It’s not just the virus they’re fighting either.

          Projects are racing against both time and other profiteers looking to turn society into an Orwellian surveillance state.

        • Open-source ApolloBVM ventilator now available online

          Plans for an automated bag valve mask dubbed ApolloBVM, an open-source emergency ventilator design from Rice University, are now online and available to anyone.

        • Coronavirus: Israeli researchers design low-cost open-source ventilator

          A group of Israeli researchers and experts from a variety of companies, governmental organizations and non-profits have partnered to create a low-cost ventilator whose blueprints, design and codes are completely open-source and that has the potential to save millions of lives as the coronavirus crisis continues to sweep through the world.
          Dr. Eitan Eliram, the project coordinator of the initiative, told The Jerusalem Post that in the days since the material has been made available online, over 30,000 people have accessed the website and over 100 groups of experts from all over the world – including Iran, Egypt, South Africa, Guatemala, Italy and the United States – are already working to build up their first prototypes.

        • Researchers Develop Simple ‘Open Source’ Ventilator

          As the need for ventilators continues to grow around the world, manufacturers are ramping up production and some industries are shifting to ventilator production. But, there are also out-of-the-box approaches being worked on. A team of researchers around the world have developed a basic ventilator design that can be built using parts from the hardware store. It’s called the Open Source Ventilator Project.

        • PREVAIL NY by JMA Offers Free, Open-Source Emergency Mechanical Ventilation System Blueprints to All Manufacturers
        • Villanovans Launch Low-cost, Open Source Ventilator Initiative to Create “NovaVent” Ventilator
        • What Does A Dependable Open Source Ventilator Look Like?

          Ventilators are key in the treating the most dire cases of coronavirus. The exponential growth of infections, and the number of patients in respiratory distress, has outpaced the number of available ventilators. In times of crisis, everyone looks for ways they can help, and one of the ways the hardware community has responded is in work toward a ventilator design that can be rapidly manufactured to meet the need.

          The difficult truth is that the complexity of ventilator features needed to treat the sickest patients makes a bootstrapped design incredibly difficult, and I believe impossible to achieve in quantity on this timeline. Still, a well-engineered and clinically approved open source ventilator might deliver many benefits beyond the current crisis. Let’s take a look at some of the efforts we’ve been seeing recently and what it would take to pull together a complete design.

        • Website to open-source ventilator designs launched

          RESEARCHERS FROM Pune-based institutions have launched a website to develop and share designs for ventilators. This comes at a time when such life-support equipment is of essence in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

          Shortage of ventilators at hospitals is a challenge in relatively advanced countries too.

          The website, http://www.openbreath.tech, was launched on April 7. Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) have contributed. They have collaborated with octogeneraian Capt (Retd) Rustom Barucha from Barucha Instrumentation and Control, besides IndoGenius, New Delhi, and King’s College, London.

          Representatives from manufacturing companies, engineering students, physiologists, and anyone else familiar with the technology can visit the website and enrol as volunteers.

        • IAF Officer Publishes Open Source Code for Production of Cheap Automatic Respirators

          The Haifa Technology Center had joined Israeli Air Force (IAF) Major David Alkahar in developing a computerized automatic respirator and has published the code online for the world’s benefit.

          Due to a massive shortage of respirators in Israel and around the world generated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Elkahar, who has a Ph.D. in computer science, and his team developed within two weeks of almost continuous work a prototype of the machine.

        • Levitt-Safety Remains Open to Source Critical PPE and Perform Respiratory Fit Testing

          Levitt-Safety announced this week that they remain open for Quebec safety product and servicing needs. Provincial governments across Canada have deemed Levitt-Safety an essential service. Levitt-Safety is taking precautions to ensure the safety of its staff and its customers’ staff. The company remains dedicated to providing safety supplies, equipment servicing and respiratory fit testing.

        • Iranian Engineers Develop Open Source Ventilator Iranian Engineers Develop Open Source Ventilator
        • “We Need to Solve This”: Colombia’s Amazing Race to Build a $1,000 Ventilator

          Toro was immediately intrigued. He knew that MIT had posted open-source specs for a ventilator back in 2010, and he knew that his home country of Colombia was in dire trouble. Whatever happened with COVID-19, Colombia’s population of 50 million people, including 2 million recently absorbed Venezuelan refugees, was likely to suffer badly. The nation’s public health care system was fragile in the best of circumstances, and ventilators were in short supply. With every country in the world bidding for the lifesaving machines, which provide oxygen to patients in extreme respiratory distress, Colombia was likely to be priced out of the international market. “These are economies with preexisting conditions,” said Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. “It is very hard for them to get medical equipment.” Like the rest of the developing world facing COVID-19, Colombia would be left to its own devices—literally.

        • Israeli engineers created an open-source hack for making Covid-19 ventilators

          It took 10 days, more than 40 scientists, and the motor of a snowblower. The result may wind up being an inexpensive way to—in a pinch—save the lives of people suffering from Covid-19.

          The respiratory illness can lead to severe cases of pneumonia, making it hard for those most affected to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. But healthcare workers around the world don’t have enough ventilators for the number of people needing help. That’s given rise to a lot of creativity.

          A team of scientists in Israel this week unveiled what they’re calling the AmboVent-1690-108, an inexpensive ventilator system made from a handful of off-the-shelf items. Project leader David Alkaher also heads the technology work of the Israeli Air Force’s confidential Unit 108, which is comprised of electronics specialists. Whereas a typical hospital ventilator costs around $40,000, the AmboVent system can be made for about $500 to $1,000.

        • Iceland Is Doing Its COVID-19 Proximity Tracing The Open Source Way

          As governments around the world grapple with the problem of tracing those who have had contact with a person known to have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, attention has turned to the idea of mobile apps that can divulge who a person has been near so that they can be alerted of potential infections. This has a huge potential for abuse by regimes with little care for personal privacy, and has been a significant concern for those working in that field. An interesting compromise has been struck by Iceland, who have produced an app for their populace that stores the information on the device and only uploads it with the user’s consent once they have received a diagnosis. We can all take a look, because to ensure transparency they have released it as open source.

          On signing up for the scheme a central server stores the details of each user as well as their phone number. When the epidemiologists have a need to trace a person’s contacts they send a notification, and the person can consent to their upload. This is a fine effort to retain user privacy, with depending on your viewpoint the flaw or the advantage being that the user can not have their data slurped without their knowledge. Iceland is a country with a relatively small population, so we can imagine that with enough consent there could be effective tracing.

        • Discovering help: MTU aiding in search for open-source devices to fight COVID-19
        • MPS Created an Open-Source Ventilator to Battle COVID-19

          Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (MPS) (Nasdaq: MPWR), a leading company in high-performance power solutions, today announced it has assembled an emergency ventilator inspired by the open-source MIT design to aid in the fight against COVID-19. MPS is applying its expertise in power management and motor controls toward a solution that can safely and easily automate a manual resuscitator when a full ICU ventilator may not be available.

        • Scientists and tech companies are open-sourcing their patents as part of a pledge to help expand resources for researchers trying to combat COVID-19 pandemic

          An initiative is attempting to galvanize scientists and tech companies into open-sourcing patents that could help solve an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

          The ‘Open Covid Pledge’ is a an effort being backed by tech giants like Mozilla, Creative Commons, and Intel that has already made 72,000 patents available to researchers across the world.

          Other partners include Berkeley and UCSF’s Innovative Genomics Institute, Fabricatorz Foundation, and United Patents.

        • Lumeris Launches Open Source COVID-19 Predictive Analytics Model to Help Prevent Unplanned Hospitalizations
        • Astrophysicists looking for dark matter invent dirt-cheap open-source ventilator to combat COVID-19

          Someday, when someone asks what you did during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us will have unimpressive answers: watched Netflix, practiced cooking, took up guitar, survived.

          A few, though, will have some amazing stories, such as the doctors and nurses who are fighting a war to save lives. And then there are the scientists who can’t get into their labs and have taken up some astounding side projects.

        • JMA joins COVID-19 fight with open-source ventilator design, manufacturing capabilities

          As COVID-19 continues to take a toll on global healthcare systems, personal protective equipment like surgical and n95 masks are in short supply as are mechanical ventilators, which are used to provide breathing assistance to patients being treated for the novel respiratory virus.

          Wireless infrastructure provider JMA Wireless, which has manufacturing operations in two of the places hardest-hit by COVID-19, New York and Italy, announced yesterday it refocused its engineering expertise to come up with a design for a mechanical ventilator. That design was made open source so manufacturers around the world can access it for free.

        • Open source antiviral dataset released to aid fight against Covid-19

          To support research into treatments for coronavirus infections, the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) division of the American Chemical Society has released a dataset containing 50,000 compounds with potential antiviral properties.

          The CAS Covid-19 antiviral candidate compounds dataset is open source and contains information on antiviral compounds as well as molecules with similar chemical structures to known antivirals. With the development and approval of a Covid-19 vaccine likely to take many months, CAS hopes that its compound collection may accelerate the discovery of substances that could be repurposed for treatments in the short-term.

        • Open Source Software Tool Helps Governments Monitor COVID-19

          To combat COVID-19’s impact on communities now, and prevent and prepare for similar outbreaks in the future, America’s Charities has partnered with Feeding America and PATH. This guest post from PATH (originally published here) demonstrates some of the ways PATH is responding to COVID-19 and learning from it to prevent similar outbreaks from happening again. Learn more about PATH’s work at www.PATH.org.

        • Foxconn will produce ventilators at its controversial Wisconsin plant [Ed: Evil Medtronic still #openwashing and finds its own ‘company’]

          Foxconn’s Wisconsin plant, the controversial recipient of billions of dollars in tax subsidies and the focus of multiple Verge investigations, will produce ventilators with medical device firm Medtronic. The partnership was announced by Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak in an interview with CNBC, who said that Foxconn will be manufacturing ventilators based on its PB-560 design in the next four to six weeks.

          Foxconn’s Wisconsin plant was first announced way back in 2017 as a $10 billion LCD factory. It was labeled the “eighth wonder of the world” by President Trump, but Foxconn’s plans for the site appear to have changed repeatedly over the years. At various points, Foxconn has said that it would build a smaller LCD factory, no factory at all, or that it would produce other items like a robot coffee kiosk. Now, it appears the factory will, in part at least, produce ventilators, after its planned opening next month.

          BASED ON MEDTRONIC’S OPEN SOURCE [sic] VENTILATOR DESIGN

        • Health researchers need better data – Talend joins the fight against Coronavirus with an open source ETL tool for COVID-19 data
        • Free “open-source cookbook” features secrets from Toronto chefs

          In these times of self-isolation, Toronto cooks have been coping by doing what they do best, often sharing the results on social media for our collective education and/or envy. But Nick Chen-Yin, whom you might remember from the dearly departed Smoke Signals, took it one step further and created a whole digital cookbook.

          Over the weekend, Chen-Yin launched an online open-source cookbook featuring recipes from beloved local food personalities and amateurs alike. It’s available for free, and anyone – even if they’re not a chef – can add to it.

          “This cookbook is meant to be an open source toolkit that everyone and anyone can access during a time of heightened need,” Chen-Yin writes. “It is not meant to be shrouded in secrecy. It is not meant to be exclusive. It’s not meant to intimidate.”

        • Tencent Open-Sources Another AI-Powered Tool to Help Conduct Preliminary Self-evaluation Regarding COVID-19 Infection
        • Foster + Partners designs reusable open-source face shield

          Architecture studio Foster + Partners has created a laser-cut face shield to protect health workers from coronavirus, which can be disassembled and sanitised so that it can be reused.

          Foster + Partners is the latest architecture studio to design a piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), with studios including BIG, KPF and Handel Architects already making face shields.

          “Protecting front-line health workers is key and we felt this was an obvious way that we could contribute,” Grant Brooker, head of studio at Foster + Partners, told Dezeen.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Enjoy the Easter Game !

          Thanks to Franklin Weng, who has launched the idea, coordinated the project and provided the Chinese localization, and to the Japanese localization of Naruhiko Ogasawara, the Spanish localization of Daniel Armando Rodriguez and the Italian localization of Italo Vignoli, we offer a small Easter Game to play around the concept of Software and Document Freedom, and the Open Document Format. Of course, with billions of people confined in their houses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is nothing to celebrate, so this is just a nice and gentle way to stress the importance of open document standards for our community. Click on the eggs to launch the Easter Game.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • Consider donating your conference budget

            The biggest financial impact the FSFE faces in these times of physical distancing is the cancellation of Free Software conferences, including our own events. To keep the software freedom movement solid and alive, please consider to donate a part of your conference budget to Free Software organisations, including the FSFE.

            Last week we wrote about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus affects the FSFE. Booths and talks have been some of the main channels over which we inform people about software freedom and the FSFE’s work. Losing these due to cancellation of events also means a heavily limited visibility for our topics and our organisation.

            For example, last year we participated in over 60 events in 11 European countries. This is more than one per week on average, with every event contributing to spreading our message and growing our community. These events are some of our best opportunities to explain and discuss Free Software issues in personal conversations. This is the same situation with our information material and merchandise: last year, we sent out over 800 information material packages around the world and sold over 1.100 shirts and hoodies. For the last few weeks we are no longer able to participate in events or effectively handle requests for our information materials and merchandise – and it is unclear how long this situation will last.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • An open source model for greenhouses with supplemental lighting

          The model is freely available as open source MATLAB software at https://github.com/davkat1/GreenLight. It is hoped that it may be further evaluated and used by researchers worldwide to analyse the influence of the most recent lighting technologies on greenhouse climate control.

        • Open Data

          • Google open-sources data set to train and benchmark AI sound separation models

            Google today announced the release of a new data set — the Free Universal Sound Separation data set, or FUSS for short — intended to support the development of AI models that can separate distinct sounds from recording mixes. The use cases are potentially endless, but if it were to be commercialized, FUSS could be used in corporate settings to extract speech from conference calls.

        • Open Access/Content

          • Find and Share New Recipes With This Open Source Cookbook

            Cooking at home is one of the few activities that most of the population can engage in right now, which means it has taken on even more significance than usual. It is not enough to feed your body (so you go on living), you must nourish, you must uplift, you must connect. But all of this important cooking could very well lead to recipe fatigue, which is why this straightforward open source cookbook is (to me, at least) a gust of fresh air.

          • UI faculty create open-source materials to save students money, better serve class needs

            From audio exercises to practice recognizing and pronouncing American English sounds to a textbook about global aging, developing and promoting the use of open educational resources (OER) is yet another creative way the University of Iowa is helping decrease college costs for students.

      • Programming/Development

        • Git 2.26′s Faster Searches Thanks To Multi-Threaded Git-Grep

          With the Git 2.26 release at the end of March one of the performance wins comes in the way of Git’s grep functionality now being multi-threaded.

          Besides multi-threaded git-grep being faster, another interesting anecdote is that it was created by a student developer during last year’s Google Summer of Code. Student developer Matheus Tavares wrote a blog post this week about this faster pattern searching in Git 2.26 following his GSoC project in 2019. Git’s grep functionality had seen multi-threading work originally in 2010 but Git’s internal object store up until now made it perform worse than the sequential grep.

        • Git 2.26: Up to 3.3x faster pattern searches in git-grep

          Two weeks ago, Git 2.26.0 was released! And among many great changes, I’m very happy to say that you can expect faster multithreaded git-grep searches! This is the project I’ve worked on for about a year, as my Google Summer of Code project and Undergraduate Thesis, at the University of São Paulo.

          I’ve been posting about the project development here. But with the 2.26.0 release, the project is finally concluded, and I think it’s a great time to wrap it all up and present the final results. For those interested in knowing more about the development process, the final thesis is also attached in the Additional Resources section and the top of the page.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Your statement is 100% correct but misses the entire point

          Let’s assume that there is a discussion going on on the Internet about programming languages. One of the design points that come up is a garbage collector.

        • Linux 5.7 Makes It Very Easy To Build The Kernel With An LLVM-Based Toolchain

          Since last year it’s been possible to build a mainline x86_64 Linux kernel with a mainline LLVM Clang compiler while for the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel are more improvements on the LLVM front.

          Kbuild updates for the Linux 5.7 kernel now has a single switch of LLVM=1 that when enabled will have the kernel use Clang and all LLVM utilities in place of GCC and Binutils.

          LLVM=1 can be passed from the command-line or as an environment variable and when building the kernel will then prefer the LLVM toolchain components found in your PATH. The one exception is that the LLVM assembler will not be used by default as the kernel still has a few issues there. The Kbuild updates for Linux 5.7 though also include LLVM_IAS=1 for enabling the integrated assembler, which is considered experimental.

        • New website for Mappero Geotagger, and cross-compiling stuff

          Mappero Geotagger has now moved from its previous page from this site to a new, separate website built with the awesome Nikola static website generator.

          The main reason for this change is that I didn’t have an online space where to host the application binaries, and I wanted to experiment with a different selling method. Now, downloads are (poorly) hidden behind a payment page, whereas in multiple places of the website I also mention that I can provide the application for free to whomever asks for it. While it might seem weird at first, I do honestly believe that this will not stop people from buying it: first of all, many people just think it’s fair to pay for a software applications, and secondly, for some people writing an e-mail and establishing a personal contact with a stranger is actually harder than paying a small amount of money. And in all sincerity, the majority of the income I’ve had so far for Mappero Geotagger came from donations, rather than purchases; so, not much to lose here.

        • Google Announces Season Of Docs 2020

          The window for applications for Google’s Season of Docs 2020 is approaching, and mentoring organizations will be able to begin submitting applications to Google from April 13. Season of Docs is a project supported by Google that aims to bring open source organizations and technical writers together.

          By pairing up technical writers and open source projects, Google hopes to improve the quality of open source documentation. From the other side, the aim is to give technical writers an opportunity to gain experience in contributing to open source projects and to learn about open source code.

        • IBM, Open Mainframe Project launch initiative to help train COBOL coders
        • Wasmtime Now Offering Go Bindings For WebAssembly On The Desktop

          With the push for WebAssembly on the desktop for beautiful cross-platform support, the Wasmtime project has added Go bindings to its portfolio.

          Wasmtime is the effort providing a JIT-style WebAssembly runtime and now Golang is the latest language with bindings. Wasmtime is a Byte Code Alliance project by Red Hat, Intel, and others. Wasmtime has already provided bindings for Rust, C, Python, and Microsoft .NET while Go is the latest on the list.

          The Wasmtime Go support is now being offered via this repository. The Go integration is a feature of the forthcoming Wasmtime 0.16.0 milestone. The v0.16 release is also spinning off the .NET bindings to its own repository and working on other interesting changes.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #24: Test, test, test, … those R 4.0.0 binaries with Ubuntu and Rocker

          Welcome to the 24nd post in the relentlessly regular R ravings series, or R4 for short.

          R 4.0.0 will be released in less than two weeks, and testing is very important. I had uploaded two alpha release builds (at the end of March and a good week ago) as well as a first beta release yesterday, all to the Debian ‘experimental’ distribution (as you can see here) tracking the release schedule set by Peter Dalgaard. Because R 4.0.0 will require reinstallation of all packages, it makes some sense to use a spare machine. Or a Docker container. So to support that latter mode, I have now complemented the binaries created from the r-base source package with all base and recommended packages, providing a starting point for actually running simple tests. Which is what we do in the video, using again the ‘R on Ubuntu (18.04)’ Rocker container:

        • ‘Deduplicated’ ZFS send streams are now deprecated and on the way out

          The ZFS people are planning various features to deal with the removal of this feature so that people will still be able to use saved deduplicated send streams. However, if you have such streams in your backup systems, you should probably think about aging them out. And definitely you should move away from generating new ones, even though this change is not yet in any release of ZFS as far as I know (on any platform).

        • 10 Recommended Programming Tools for Kids: How and Why!

          My father asked me to guide my younger brother who is in high school in his journey with Python while he is at home under the lock-down. My little brother is very good with Linux (Ubuntu), uses Inkscape very well, and he has very good knowledge about Python and Kivy as he was learning it in his school breaks in the past 5 years. However, Now I persuaded him to learn Godot Game-engine and GDScript which he really enjoying them.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: #25: Test, test, test, … those R 4.0.0 binaries with Ubuntu 20.04 and Rocker

          Welcome to the 25nd post in the randomly recurring R recitations series, or R4 for short.

          Just yesterday, we posted a short post along with a video and supporting slides. It covered how to test the soon-to-be-released R 4.0.0 on a custom Ubuntu 18.04 Rocker container.

          A container for Ubuntu 20.04, which is itself in final beta stages, was being built while the video was made. As it is available now, we created a quick follow-up video showing the use under Ubuntu 20.04:

          The updated supporting slides from the video are still at this link.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Docker::Names::Random

            If you are using Docker, you may have noticed that it creates random names for containers when you haven’t provided any specific name. These names are a combination of an adjective and a proper name of an individual. The individuals are famous men and women picked from the history of scientific exploration and engineering.

            This package allows you to use the same system in your own programs. You would get combinations like interesting_mendeleev, epic_engelbart, lucid_dhawan, recursing_cori, ecstatic_liskov and busy_ardinghelli.

            The combination boring_wozniak is not allowed because Steve Wozniak is not boring. This same limitation exists in the original code.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 55: Binary Numbers and Wave Arrays
          • The Weekly [Perl] Challenge #055

            The Perl Weekly Challenge – 055 was the most difficult week for me ever since I started contributing. Usually I submit my Perl and Raku by Wednesday but this time, I was working overtime and could only finished by Sunday afternoon. I must confess that I didn’t realise it was going to be as this difficult when I came up with the challenge. I am happy that I did it at the end of the day. This time, I submitted unit test version of both tasks in Perl and Raku. I always start with standalone app keeping in mind that this would be re-used in unit test script. I try to get the meaty subroutines drafted first then it just becomes a very thin wrapper around to get both standalone app and unit test script. My initial plan was to use bit operator to solve the Flip Binary task. Having spent couple of hours fighting, I gave up in the end. Eventually I hacked shamelessly as string to get the job done. I followed the standard pattern and solved the task in Perl first then jumped on Raku.

        • Python

          • Types of API Authentication In Django REST Framework

            When I first started to dive deeper into building RESTful APIs using the Django Rest Framework. I was given a task to create authentication for the front-end. So that they will be able to identify themselves for specific roles that allow them specific access toward features or data that is associated with their user account.

            With 3 account types visitor, existing user and administrator The administrator has full control of managing the user account from updating of any user account details to password recovery. Due to Django’s built-in approach, account management for multi-tenancy is relevantly easy. Whereas authentication of a user from API requests is a different ball game entirely ranging from easy to advance based upon your needs.

          • EuroPython 2020: Online conference from July 23-26

            In the last two weeks, we have discussed and investigated concepts around running this year’s EuroPython conference as an online conference. We have looked at conference tools, your feedback, drafted up ideas on what we can do to make the event interesting and what we can accomplish given our limited resources.

          • Python range() vs xrange() functions

            The range() and xrange() functions in python programming are used to generate integers or whole numbers in a given range(starting and ending point). The two functions provide the same output but there is a little difference in them. We will discuss the difference with examples.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxiii) stackoverflow python report
          • PyPy 7.3.1 released

            The interpreters are based on much the same codebase, thus the multiple release. This is a micro release, no APIs have changed since the 7.3.0 release in December, but read on to find out what is new.

            Conda Forge now supports PyPy as a Python interpreter. The support right now is being built out. After this release, many more c-extension-based packages can be successfully built and uploaded. This is the result of a lot of hard work and good will on the part of the Conda Forge team. A big shout out to them for taking this on.

            We have worked with the Python packaging group to support tooling around building third party packages for Python, so this release updates the pip and setuptools installed when executing pypy -mensurepip to pip>=20. This completes the work done to update the PEP 425 python tag from pp373 to mean “PyPy 7.3 running python3” to pp36 meaning “PyPy running Python 3.6” (the format is recommended in the PEP). The tag itself was changed in 7.3.0, but older pip versions build their own tag without querying PyPy. This means that wheels built for the previous tag format will not be discovered by pip from this version, so library authors should update their PyPy-specific wheels on PyPI.

          • How to write an ABI compliance checker using Libabigail

            I’ve previously written about the challenges of ensuring forward compatibility for application binary interfaces (ABIs) exposed by native shared libraries. This article introduces the other side of the equation: How to verify ABI backward compatibility for upstream projects.

            If you’ve read my previous article, you’ve already been introduced to Libabigail, a static-code analysis and instrumentation library for constructing, manipulating, serializing, and de-serializing ABI-relevant artifacts.

            In this article, I’ll show you how to build a Python-based checker that uses Libabigail to verify the backward compatibility of ABIs in a shared library. For this case, we’ll focus on ABIs for shared libraries in the executable and linkable format (ELF) binary format that runs on Linux-based operating systems.

            Note: This tutorial assumes that you have Libabigail and its associated command-line tools, abidw and abidiff installed and set up in your development environment. See the Libabigail documentation for a guide to getting and installing Libabigail.

          • Sending post request with different body formats in Django

            There are a few different formats of the body we can use while sending post requests. In this article, we tried to send post requests to different endpoints of our hello world Django application from the postman. Let’s see what is the difference between discussed body formats.

        • Rust

          • Library-ification and analyzing Rust

            I’ve noticed that the ideas that I post on my blog are getting much more “well rounded”. That is a problem. It means I’m waiting too long to write about things. So I want to post about something that’s a bit more half-baked – it’s an idea that I’ve been kicking around to create a kind of informal “analysis API” for rustc.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Docker builds open source community around Compose Specification

        “Opening the specification will allow innovation to flourish and deliver more choices to developers, accelerating how development teams build and ship applications,” Docker wrote in a blog post. “Open governance will benefit the wider community of new and existing users with transparency and the ability to have input into the future direction of the specification and Compose based tools.”

        Previously Compose did not have a published specification, and was tied to the implementation, and to specifics of the platforms it shipped on.

        Now, Compose simplifies the code to cloud process and toolchain for developers by allowing them to define a complex stack in a single file and run it with a single command. This eliminates the need to build and start every container manually, the company explained. Docker intends to submit the specification to an open source foundation “to enhance the playing field and openness.”

      • Docker open sources Compose Spec, aims for added Kubernetes flavour

        Docker has handed its Compose Spec to the open source world and is looking for maintainers for the project to help it expand its Kubernetes footprint.

      • Docker’s Compose specification is now an open standard

        Docker Compose, the system created by Docker to define multi-container applications, is now to be developed as an open standard.

        The Compose Specification, as the new standard is called, is meant to allow Compose-created apps to work on other multi-container definition systems on platforms such as Kubernetes and Amazon Elastic Container Service.

  • Leftovers

    • Inside the Strip Clubs of Instagram

      Mr. LaBoy said he got the idea at 1 a.m. to try to recreate the club atmosphere on Instagram after he was bored and livestreaming one night to his more than 60,000 followers. “I was like, man, I need a demon to call up,” Mr. LaBoy said. “I said, ‘Where my demons at?’”

      Women immediately requested to be guests on his livestream. His followers loved it. “I was like, hold up, we can’t be doing this for free,” Mr. LaBoy said. “Some girls were dancing, twerking, taking it all off.”

      So he began pinning the dancer’s Cash App user names to the top of the feed, so that followers could send them money. Mr. LaBoy realized he had stumbled onto something. The “Respectfully Justin Show” was born.

    • Sex Work Comes Home

      Sex online, in general, seems through the roof. OnlyFans, a website where people subscribe to see the kind of pictures and videos that can’t be displayed on Instagram, reported a 75 percent increase in overall new sign-ups — 3.7 million new sign-ups this past month, with 60,000 of them being new creators.

      Subscription business though is very different than gratuity-based revenue. On sites like CamSoda, tipping is usually tied to “rewards” for viewers. For example, if someone tips a certain number of tokens — the websites often create their own currencies, and in this case, each token is worth 5 cents — the model may take off an item of clothing or perform a sexual act.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • A nurse revealed the tragic last words of his coronavirus patient: ‘Who’s going to pay for it?’

        “(This patient) was in severe respiratory distress, had difficulty speaking, and yet still his main concern was who could pay for a procedure that would his extend his life but statistically he doesn’t have a good likelihood of survival.”

        Knowing that the patient was most likely not going to recover once he was intubated, Smith and his colleagues called the man’s wife to give them what may have been their last chance to say goodbye.

        Most Covid-19 patients will die after being placed on ventilators, with the mortality rate reaching up to 80% in intubated coronavirus patients, Smith said. While he does not know whether his patient survived, he said it was “pretty unlikely.”

      • Burning Cell Towers, Out of Baseless Fear They Spread the Virus

        Across Britain, more than 30 acts of arson and vandalism have taken place against wireless towers and other telecom gear this month, according to police reports and a telecom trade group. In roughly 80 other incidents in the country, telecom technicians have been harassed on the job.

        The attacks were fueled by the same cause, government officials said: an internet conspiracy theory that links the spread of the coronavirus to an ultrafast wireless technology known as 5G. Under the false idea, which has gained momentum in Facebook groups, WhatsApp messages and YouTube videos, radio waves sent by 5G technology are causing small changes to people’s bodies that make them succumb to the virus.

      • Systemic Racism Is Making Coronavirus Worse in Black America

        The COVID-19 global pandemic is a nightmare unfolding before our eyes that could have devastating impacts that Black Americans could feel most acutely. With scarce testing, health care workers and ventilators, combined with a pattern of red state governors ignoring science and placing profits above people, there are signs that Black communities across the country are bearing the brunt of an inept federal response and unjust health care system unprepared to handle the surge of COVID-19 patients.

      • Episode 74 – The CDC’s Lackluster COVID-19 Recommendations and teaching in quarantine journalist Justin Tatum – Along The Line Podcast
      • The Most Important Thing Media Can Tell Us Is How We’re Getting Infected

        There are countless healthcare heroes putting their own lives on the line to save sick people’s lives, but the real front line of this pandemic is regular people trying to keep from getting sick in the first place.Barring the discovery of a miracle treatment, medical intervention can only do so much. The main way to save lives, and the best hope for stopping the outbreak, is for individuals to change their behavior so we stop spreading the virus. (Individuals, of course, do not always choose their circumstances; society needs to support individuals so that they don’t need to choose between the health of the community and daily survival.) 

      • 80 inmates, 55 sheriff’s workers in Riverside County have coronavirus

        At least 80 inmates and 55 Sheriff’s Department employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said on Saturday, April 11, a stunning jump in figures provided a little more than a week ago.

        On April 3, Bianco said 13 inmates and 26 employees had tested positive. Two employees, deputies David Werksman, 51, and Terrell Young, 52, died April 2.

        Of the 80 inmates, 16 have recovered and are no longer quarantined, the Sheriff’s Department said in a Tweet on Saturday. Of the 55 employees, three have returned to work, and “several” are expected to do so as they recover in coming weeks.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Verizon’s new ad tool lets marketers send emails when you look at your inbox

          Verizon quietly introduced a new email marketing feature yesterday that it calls “View Time Optimization,” which the company says automatically times advertisements to the moment you’re looking at your email inbox so that the ad arrives at the very top as a new message.

          The service is part of Verizon’s suite of email and web advertising properties, which includes AOL and Yahoo, and well-known programmer David Heinemeier Hansson (the inventor of the Ruby on Rails web application framework) called out Verizon on Twitter on Friday for what he calls an “Orwellian” ad placement tool.

        • We Can’t Let Tech Companies Use This Crisis to Expand Their Power

          Of course, relying on profit-driven tech companies could lead us further down the slippery slope of eroding privacy protections. But it’s not just our immediate civil liberties that are at stake. By positioning itself as a public servant amid a pandemic, Silicon Valley could use the crisis to expand their control and jurisdiction over our digital livelihoods after the pandemic crisis. In the future, they could point to their service as cause to keep public oversight (or more) at bay: “If you regulate us, we won’t be able to protect the citizens of the world.”

          The upshot could be yet another expansion in the surveillance infrastructure built after 9/11, which gave the government nearly complete control over our data under the guise of terrorism prevention and brought for-profit companies into an insidious marriage with the state. As Edward Snowden famously revealed in 2013, programs that rely on data collected by private firms are easily abused — and often, as in the case of the NSA Phone Program, completely ineffective at accomplishing their aims.

        • Watch Out: Microsoft Windows WSL1 Currently Borked With Ubuntu 20.04

          A public service announcement was issued with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) currently will have issues in running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS so users should either wait for Microsoft to release a fix, upgrade to WSL2, or stick to using the older Ubuntu 18.04 LTS instead.

          Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is running into an issue on WSL(1) due to the operating system shipping Glibc 2.31. With the updated GNU C LIbrary there is a change to nanosleep() in using CLOCK_REALTIME. But Windows Subsystem for Linux did not build in CLOCK_REALTIME support so now users need to wait for Windows Subsystem for Linux to add CLOCK_REALTIME support into their glibc handling with WSL.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Compute Project influence, open source hardware gain momentum [Ed: Facebook, Microsoft etc. openwashing hardware]

              The Open Compute Project aims to bring the benefits of the open source software model to hardware infrastructure. It has long had the support of data center giants, and products developed under its auspices are starting to touch every part of the data center.

            • Open Source Innovation

              Since 2011, Alibaba has contributed to open source communities including Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Alliance for Open Media, Cloud Foundry, Hyperledger, Open Container Initiative, Continuous Delivery Foundation, The Apache Software Foundation, MariaDB Foundation, and The Linux Foundation. In the star ranking of world’s largest developer community Github, Alibaba has gained over 690,000 stars, with about 20,000 contributors, as one of the top ten organizations.

            • SAS sounds a warning on open source governance

              hile open source has become the de facto software development methodology for most organisations today, businesses should ensure that doing so will not compromise their ability to meet regulatory requirements.

            • Researchers open-source state-of-the-art object tracking AI [Ed: Microsoft does mass surveillance in oppressive countries and then engages in openwashing of it (and hires Eric Holder for lobbying)]
          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • United Edges: State of the Edge merges with Linux Foundation’s LF Edge

                LF Edge, an umbrella organization that’s part of the Linux Foundation, announced on Wednesday that it acquired the assets of State of the Edge.

                LF Edge already had several elements that were aligned with State of the Edge, including Open Edge Glossary of Edge Computing and Edge Computing Landscape, as working groups, but now it has added the research arm of State of the Edge. All three of those elements are now under the State of the Edge brand within LF Edge.

                Founded in 2017 by Vapor IO, Packet by Equinix, Edge Gravity by Ericsson, Arm, and Rafay Systems, the State of the Edge organization has published three major edge research reports, all offered free- of- charge under a creative commons license: the first 2018 State of the Edgereport, the 2019 Data at the Edge report and, most recently, the 2020 State of the Edge report. The organization’s founding co-chairs, Matthew Trifiro, CMO of Vapor IO, and Jacob Smith, vice president of bare metal strategy and marketing of Equinix, will continue as co-chairs of State of the Edge.

              • LF Edge Moves Open Networking Push Forward

                The State of the Edge project will be merged with the existing Open Glossary of Edge Computing initiative that LF Edge already had in place. That combined initiative will now be known as the State of the Edge project within the larger umbrella of LF Edge projects.

                State of the Edge was launched by Vapor IO, Arm, Rafay Systems, Packet by Equinix and Edge Gravity by Ericsson to provide free research reports. Arpit Joshipura, general manager for networking, edge and Internet of Things (IoT) for The Linux Foundation, said that mission will continue as part of a larger effort to advance open software-defined networking software.

        • Security

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Trump’s Navy secretary debacle is about more than Modly’s mistakes or Crozier’s composure

        The implications of these events and many others are extremely dangerous and worrisome. Prior to our current crisis, some argued that the military and those retired officers who occupied senior administration positions exercised “respectful disobedience” in order to appear supportive while keeping Trump’s worst excesses at bay. While opponents of the president might find solace in these efforts, they still threaten the vital civil-military balance. Furthermore, those experienced retired military leaders have all since departed the administration and been replaced by Trump loyalists like Modly.

        Equally concerning is the way the Trump administration has established new norms for the politicization of the military. These have included involving senior retired officers in political campaigns, urging troops to lobby Congress, deploying forces to the Mexican border to underscore a political statement, and using funds appropriated by the Congress for the military for pet projects.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Julian Assange: Judge refuses to grant Wikileaks founder’s partner anonymity in extradition case

        A judge has refused to grant legal anonymity to Julian Assange’s partner after hearing claims the US had tried to obtain their children’s DNA.

        Representatives of the Wikileaks founder submitted evidence to Westminster Magistrates’ Court claiming that American agencies had expressed interest in testing nappies discarded when Mr Assange’s partner and children visited him at the Ecuadorian embassy.

        District Judge Vanessa Baraitser found that, even if the allegation were true, there was no reason to believe US agencies meant to harm his young family.

      • Vindictive court rulings prove British state wants Assange dead

        It was exactly a decade ago that WikiLeaks published the Collateral Murder video. Its images of the indiscriminate murder of unarmed Iraqi civilians and two journalists by US occupation forces were viewed with horror by millions around the world.

        Ever since, the US and its allies—including Britain and Australia—have hounded Assange. They are determined to silence him forever as part of their turn to authoritarian rule and the imposition of new military provocations and mass austerity demanded by a criminal financial oligarchy.

        Assange’s health has been systematically destroyed by a decade of arbitrary detention. Last May, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer found that Assange displayed medically verifiable symptoms of psychological torture resulting from his decade-long persecution.

        The WikiLeaks founder has a chronic lung condition that renders him especially vulnerable to respiratory illness, along with a host of other medical issues.
        Since last November, the Doctors for Assange group, comprised of over 200 medical professionals around the world, has warned that Assange may die behind bars because he has been denied adequate medical care. Their calls for him to be transferred to a university teaching hospital have been dismissed by the British authorities.

        In an open letter last month, Doctors for Assange wrote: “Julian Assange’s life and health are at heightened risk due to his arbitrary detention during this global pandemic. That threat will only grow as the coronavirus spreads.”

      • Assange Not Sick With Covid-19, But Says Many in Belmarsh Are

        Julian Assange has told a friend in a telephone conversation on Wednesday that he is living in a prison in which the coronavirus is “ripping through” the population. He told photojournalist Vaughan Smith, founder of London’s Frontline Club, that he is isolated 23 1/2 hours a day and spends 30 minutes in a prison yard packed with other inmates. More than 150 Belmarsh guards are in self-isolation and the prison is barely functioning, Smith said.

      • Assange Extradition: The Deadly Magistrate

        Mark Sommers QC, the extremely erudite and bookish second counsel for Julian Assange in his extradition hearing, trembled with anger in court. Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser had just made a ruling that the names of Julian Assange’s partner and young children could be published, which she stated was in the interests of “open justice”. His partner had submitted a letter in support of his Covid-19 related bail application (which Baraitser had summarily dismissed) to state he had a family to live with in London. Baraitser said that it was therefore in the interests of open justice that the family’s names be made public, and said that the defense had not convincingly shown this would cause any threat to their security or well-being. It was at this point Sommers barely kept control. He leapt to his feet and gave notice of an appeal to the High Court, asking for a 14 day stay. Baraitser granted four days, until 4 pm on Friday.

      • Brave whistleblowers are being punished for saving lives during a pandemic

        The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of whistleblowers to a free and unfettered press. Throughout this emergency, it has been whistleblowers playing a critical role in informing the general public and forcing governments to make important public health decisions. And it has been whistleblowers that have pierced the will of governments around the world who have tried to downplay the significance of the threat facing their citizens.

        In China, where the virus is believed to have originated, the government’s “fail-safe” system for spotting contagious outbreaks failed to pick up the new illness, reportedly because local officials withheld information for political reasons. Instead, central health authorities learned about the outbreak when whistleblowers leaked internal local government documents.

        These documents emerged alongside observations from Dr. Li Wenliang, widely known as “the whistleblower doctor,” who warned colleagues about new patterns of illness in WhatsApp messages now credited with raising the alarm about the new virus. He was detained and forced to confess to spreading false rumors in January, and was subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, leading to his death in February. The Chinese government faced massive online backlash for its handling of the Li case, and has subsequently attempted to reclaim him as a national hero.

      • Assange’s Extradition: Covid-19 Brings Death Sentence to Free Speech

        Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the world screeched to a halt, the prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange continues. At the case management court hearing on Tuesday, April 7, Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Julian Assange’s extradition hearing would resume in May as previously planned despite the global spread of coronavirus and that, if needed, there would possibly be a further hearing in July.

      • Assange’s Extradition: Incarceration in the Time of Covid-19 Threatens His Life

        In the COVID-19 emergency, the prosecution of Julian Assange is aggressing further.

      • WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange fathered two children inside the Ecuadorian embassy with lawyer, 37, who fell in love with him while helping his fight against extradition to the US

        Julian Assange secretly fathered two sons while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

        Gabriel, aged two, and his one-year-old brother Max were conceived while their father was hiding out to avoid extradition to America, where he faces espionage charges over the leaking of thousands of classified US intelligence documents.

        At the time, Assange, 48, was also wanted in Sweden where he was accused of rape. He has always denied the sex allegations, which have now been dropped.

        The boys’ mother is 37-year-old South African-born lawyer Stella Morris, who fell in love with the controversial WikiLeaks founder five years ago while visiting him to work on a legal bid to halt the extraditions.

      • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fathered two children in embassy, partner says
      • Assange ‘secretly fathered two children’ in Ecuadorean embassy
      • Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Reportedly Fathered Two Kids While Holed Up in Embassy Fighting Extradition
      • Julian Assange fathered two children with lawyer in embassy
    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Will Trump Be Held Accountable for the Blood on His Hands?

        Establishing the President’s civil or criminal liability will be a tough sell, but not impossible.

      • Coronavirus Is Forcing the GOP to (Tacitly) Admit Its Ideology Is Delusional

        Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Donald Trump made a halfway-convincing show of governing as though these claims had some correspondence with reality. The president established a new federal office dedicated to publicizing crimes committed by undocumented immigrants while ramping up deportations and border enforcement. As his chief strategist heralded the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” Trump downsized the federal bureaucracies — first by neglecting to fill vacant positions, then by purging the “deep state” of experts who would privilege their official duties over personal loyalty to the commander-in-chief. Finally, the White House has affirmed the moral premises of laissez-faire by prioritizing tax cuts, inveighing against socialism, opposing an increase to the federal minimum wage, and slashing regulations that attempt to price the social costs of economic activity that market signals fail to capture.

      • Trump Labor Secretary Condemned for ‘Despicable’ Efforts to Roll Back Unemployment Benefits, Paid Leave in Coronavirus Stimulus

        “Trump’s Labor Department has been working diligently to ensure that no U.S. worker has it too easy in the middle of a pandemic and burgeoning economic depression.”

      • Big Tech moves into government vacuum on coronavirus

        As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, tech companies are stepping into the void left by a reluctant or incapable federal government — enabling contact tracing, wrestling with testing, and ramping up the capacity of government operations like unemployment services.

        Why it matters: In the U.S., these giant firms — teeming with creative and restless employees, cushioned by big financial reserves and spurred on by the urgency of the moment — have stopped waiting for the government to move and begun taking their own initiative.

      • Trump Welcomes More Guest Workers Amid Crisis While Rejecting Asylum Seekers

        Two recent news items neatly sum up U.S. immigration policy during the COVID-19 crisis.

      • Trump and the Mask

        With Easter off the table, the trump attention shifted to another festive time of year to which he always looked forward—Halloween!

      • Will This Public Health Crisis Lead to a Voting Rights Crisis?

        Welcome to Moyers on Democracy.

      • Information Wars

        Long term readers will recall the Philip Cross Affair. A Wikipedia Editor named “Philip Cross” was relentlessly conducting a propaganda operation. It had two prongs; the first was continually to denigrate the Wikipedia entry of all public figures who opposed military intervention in the Middle East, removing positive information and adding mainstream media slurs in real time as they were made. The second and less noted prong was to big up the Wikpedia entries of right wing mainstream media figures, removing negative information and adding a positive spin.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump’s White House blasts VOA for ‘promoting propaganda’

        “It is outrageous that the White House is attacking Voice of America, which has a tradition of reporting stories that challenge the narratives of authoritarian regimes around the world,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon in New York. “At this moment, citizens in some highly censored countries are depending for their health and safety on VOA news of the coronavirus, and President Trump should absolutely not undermine the news outlet’s efforts to do its job.”

      • Hospitals Must Let Doctors and Nurses Speak Out

        NYU’s Langone Medical Center is among the institutions that sent a written warning to its health-care workers. It later asserted in a public statement that limiting the speech of its doctors and nurses is a long-standing policy intended to protect patient and staff confidentiality. “Because information related to coronavirus is constantly evolving, it is in the best interest of our staff and the institution that only those with the most updated information are permitted to address these issues with the media,” the statement said. “We have a responsibility to the public at large to ensure that the information they receive from our institution is accurate.”

        Does that rationale stand up to scrutiny? To think that through, I called Nicholas Christakis, a physician and professor who directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale. For 15 years, he has studied different contagions, including the H1NI flu. One study probed what happens when a biological contagion such as H1N1 unfolds alongside a behavioral shift, or a so-called social contagion, such as wearing masks. How quickly must a social contagion spread through human networks to arrest a biological contagion?

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘Russian Journalism’s Newspeak’: How the Kremlin’s euphemisms creep into reporting about disasters

        In late 2019, many Internet users started noticing that the Russian state media was increasingly describing gas explosions as “gas pops” in news coverage — even when the incidents caused major damage to life and property. In fact, the number of “gas pops” mentioned in news reports jumped from a few dozen stories in early 2017 to thousands of such reports by January 2020. Meduza’s sources in the presidential administration and Russia’s security agencies say this is the result of a targeted policy to introduce more “favorable information conditions” meant to avoid a public panic when reporting gas explosions.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • China Appointed to Influential UN Human Rights Council Panel

        While human rights concerns have historically been a point of contention between China and its relations with the United States and western European states (this was particularly acute in the years following the events of June 1989 at Tiananmen Square), any prior semblance of international unity on speaking out against Chinese domestic policies appears to have frayed of late, or dropped from the agenda.

      • Native Americans drum on as uplifting powwows move online

        The emcee from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota typically is on the powwow circuit in the spring, joining thousands of others in colorful displays of culture and tradition that are at their essence meant to uplift people during difficult times. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the gatherings are taking on a new form online.

      • Pakistan’s Christians face Easter vulnerable and jobless

        For decades, they have been subjected to violent attacks by extremists, and tarred with blasphemy allegations that they are mostly helpless to deflect and often result in lynchings.

        They often live in impoverished ‘colonies’ in urban centres, including in the capital where the slums are sandwiched between the wealthiest neighbourhoods.

        The loss of a job or an unexpected medical bill frequently sends families into spiralling debt in the absence of strong safety nets in the deeply impoverished country of 215 million.

      • Fascists Are Using COVID-19 to Advance Their Agenda. It’s Up to Us to Stop Them.

        The COVID-19 crisis is a story of a predictable pandemic. It is a result of the willful ignorance of the impact of the climate crisis and unsustainable expansion, a failure of multiple governments and the intentional under-resourcing of public health and medical systems. It results from our societies’ ignoring of the conditions for poor people, the unhoused, disabled and chronically ill people, sex workers, migrants, communities of color and street-based communities, and the exploitation of this crisis by a rich, privileged and powerful fascist minority. Our government had the information, the resources, and the ability to prepare for this pandemic, including supporting those most at risk. We could have had the tests, the masks, the ventilators, the resources and emergency plans.

      • ‘Bullying of Marginalized Workers’: Trump Moves to Slash Pay of Guest Farmworkers Amid Covid-19 Crisis

        “While farmworkers are working during a pandemic to pick the food that feeds our families during this crisis, Trump is looking to cut their pay.”

      • Traffic police have been posted at all entrances into Moscow

        Squads of traffic police are now posted at all entrances into Moscow, city police confirmed to the news agency TASS. “Currently, officers are patrolling all districts of the capital around the clock. Additionally, road safety units are operating at all entrances into the city to monitor the flow of vehicles and ascertain the reason for individuals’ entry into the capital,” explained Vladimir Vasenin, chief spokesperson for Moscow’s Interior Ministry. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Why Is So Much Internet Traffic Leaving Pakistan?

        At the recent SANOG meeting held in my homeland, Pakistan, I wanted to provide the local community with some insight into the importance of Internet Exchanges (IXs), specifically the need to host content locally.

        Knowing that data is king among network operators, I set up a virtual machine as soon as I arrived to collect information on several key metrics, including latency and the hosting location of .pk domains. Needless to say, the results were surprising.

    • Monopolies

      • Pandemic highlights flaws in EU-Canada trade agreement CETA

        During the Corona virus pandemic the ratification process of the EU-Canada trade agreement CETA is ongoing. This blog discusses CETA in the light of the pandemic and concludes that we need a fundamentally more resilient society, with more agency – and that we may have a one time chance now. We have to rethink international rules that limit policy space, and not ratify trade agreements, like CETA, that do. At the very least, investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) has to be removed.

        Analysis has pointed out that CETA would make medicines more expensive. This would be the case in Canada, as Canada would have to strengthen its patent laws. Stronger patent protection raises the income of pharmaceutical companies, but makes medicines more expensive.

        As far as I can see, the EU would not have to change its laws. It generally works the other way around: the EU adopts strong patent protection on its own, and then exports its rules in trade agreements. It gives its industries a stronger position in the world – at the expense of access to medicines. But also at the expense of its ability to reform its own laws. It throws away policy space.

      • Companies reveal how checklists help them overcome ITC challenges

        Olympus, iRobot, Qualcomm and a pharmaceutical manufacturer explain why speed, confidentiality and conflicts of interest make patent proceedings at the US International Trade Commission challenging

      • COVID-19: Intellectual Property & Arrangements of Offices

        In the sanitary context related to COVID-19, and following the example of most National Intellectual Property Offices of the European Union, the General Director of INPI decided on March 16 to defer the administrative deadlines before the Office (Decision, Communication).

        Following this decision published on March 19, all time limits referred to in Articles R.514-1, R.618-4 and R.718-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code will be automatically extended for an additional 4 months. For all other time limits, an Ordinance is to be passed to extend them.

        In other words, except for the renewal terms, as well as all terms relating to the opposition proceedings, all terms relating to the examination and issuance of Intellectual Property rights in respect of Trademarks, Patents, Designs are extended for 4 months.

        At a global level, the European Union Office for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) has indicated that all terms, including the opposition terms against European Union trademark applications or International trademark applications designating the European Union, from March 9, 2020 until April 30, 2020, will be extended until May 1, 2020 (Decision, Communication).

      • COVID-19 & IP Offices

        For the region of Europe, each of the European Patent Office (“EPO”) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) have issued notices relating to COVID-19.

        EPO – The EPO is extending all due dates for patents (including Patent Cooperation Treaty international applications in some instances) falling between March 15, 2020 and April 16, 2020 (the “EPO Extension Period”) to April 17, 2020. The EPO notice further indicates that the EPO Extension Period may be extended for additional periods of time should COVID-19 cause the dislocation of movement and circulation of persons within contracting EPO states to persist beyond April 17, 2020.

      • New Edition of C.I.P.A. Guide to Patent Acts Published

        This “Guide” is a 1528 page book published by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys via Thomson Reuters, and edited by Paul Cole and Richard Davis. Of course, it mostly focused on UK patent law, but draws upon a variety of sources, including decisions of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, other EP contracting state and “even the USA.” This is the 9th Edition that is referred to by practitioners as the “Black Book.”

        I can’t attempt to review this tome, but it comes with a 268 page index that comprises more than 120 Sections. The index is very well-organized. Of course, I turned first to Section 4A – “Methods of Treatment or Diagnosis” and then to Section 4A.07 – “The meaning of diagnosis”. This is taken from that Section:

        “As indicated above, the position in the US differs significantly from that in the UK or before the EPO, and claims specifying methods of diagnosis without downstream patient treatment features are unlikely to be held valid.”

      • ‘Walking the tightrope’: contract manufacturer liability under question
      • Patents

        • The European Patent Office (EPO) updated the fees

          The regular bi-annual revision of fees at the European Patent Office (EPO) has become due this year and resulted in an updated fee schedule effective as of April 1, 2020. In case of the majority of fees the increase is in the region of 4%. Renewal fees have been increased in this range, too. Apparently the only exceptions are the fee for ordering various paper copies (e.g. certified copies of priority documents) which increased to EUR 105 and the appeal fee for large entities which amounts to EUR 2705.

        • New Decade, New Rules: Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal 2020 Entered into Force

          Less than four years after the substantial structural reform of the Boards of Appeal (“Boards”) of the European Patent Office, the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (“RPBA2020″ or “New Rules”) entered into force on January 1, 2020. The main aim of the New Rules is to improve efficiency and increase predictability of appeal proceedings. Compared to the old RPBA, RPBA2020 emphasize the judicial review nature of the appeal proceedings. Stricter restraints are applied on the introduction of new requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence at the appeal stage, which will make the proceedings more frontloaded.

          Previously, submissions including requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence—that do not form the basis of the first instance decision or that are changed during the appeal procedure—may be admissible at the discretion of the Boards. Under the New Rules, the admission of such changes will become more difficult as they are to be considered as an exception to the general principle that a party may not change its case at second instance.

          The appeal proceedings under RPBA2020 are characterized by “three stages of convergence” with Stage 1 (filing of grounds of appeal and the reply thereof), Stage 2 (before summons to oral proceedings), and Stage 3 (after the summons) imposing increasingly stricter restrictions on introducing amendments to the proceedings. The scope of an appeal case is defined by the requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence —including minutes of first instance oral proceedings—upon which the first instance decision under appeal is based. Any submission of a party during appeal proceedings, that does not form a basis of the contested decision, is now regarded as an amendment unless it can be demonstrated that such submission was timely filed, substantiated, and maintained at the first instance. At Stage 1, a party is required to clearly identify any amendment to its case and provide reasons for submitting such amendment on appeal. The decision lies within the Boards’ discretion, after such factors as complexity of the amendment and its suitability to address the relevant issues, as well as the need for procedural economy have been fully considered. In particular, the Boards will likely not admit submissions which were not admitted, should have been submitted, or were no longer maintained at first instance.

        • WIPO: China becomes top filer of international patents in 2019

          The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) press release on 7 April announced that China, for the first time ever, was the top filer of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2019…

        • Coronavirus: international patent pool in the making

          Discussions are under way at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on enabling wider access to some patented drugs and medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

          According to press agency Reuters, director-general of the (WIPO) Francis Gurry made this clear during a conference last week. “This is a hot issue, and it’s a very sensitive issue as well”, he reportedly said. But extraordinary situations call for “extraordinary measures”, according to Gurry, adding: “The international legal framework does foresee a certain number of flexibilities for countries to be able to deal with health in particular and health emergencies. (…) a very specific compulsory license on a very specific product to ensure the supply of product in the market, that’s arguably the sort of action that we need.” he said.

          The World Trade Organization’s so-called TRIPS agreement (Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights) allows countries during an emergency to grant compulsory licenses to companies to produce a patented product.

        • Can Patents and Trade Secrets Co-exist? : Delhi High Court Answers in the Negative

          We’re pleased to bring to you a post by Aditya Gupta on the Delhi High Court’s recent decision on the interplay between trade secrets and patents. Aditya is an attorney at Ira Law. He graduated from National Law University, Jodhpur and then pursued a master’s in law from Harvard Law School. Before co-founding Ira Law, he was part of another law firm for 7 years and then an associate at the chambers of Mr. Amit Sibal.

          [...]

          The Court’s finding that “know-how” is in the public domain without any patent being applied thereon is troubling, and, in my view incorrect. Numerous decisions have found know-how to be protectable even where no patent has been applied for in respect thereof (for instance, see the landmark and widely followed decision in Seager v. Copydex, where the copier had applied for a patent based on the misuse of the confidential information. The Plaintiff successfully brought a suit against the copier, even though the alleged confidential information was potentially patentable, but was not so patented by the Plaintiff).

          Even if the Court rejected confidential information as not being “property”, this does not automatically lead to the conclusion that confidential information ought not to be protected under common law in the absence of patent protection over the same. The Court seems to view the Plaintiffs’ claim regarding know-how as a ruse to overcome the rigours of patent protection or to obtain a perpetual monopoly. However, it possibly ignores the risk an inventor takes by not protecting the invention as a patent and rather chooses to protect it as a trade secret. These include the risk of independent creation and reverse engineering, as also the risk that the technology may leak one day, after which it becomes almost impossible to protect.

          As regards the Court’s finding of the know-how being in the public domain, this is not a legal question but a factual one. The correct course of action would have been to examine the patent and determine whether or not the aspects of technology claimed as “know-how” were disclosed. If so, no claim for confidentiality could be made on those aspects. Let’s assume for a moment that the Plaintiffs here failed to disclose the “best mode” or failed to fully and sufficiently describe the invention, by keeping these as trade secrets. In my view, this failure would, at best, affect the validity of the patent (the US Patent) and cannot possibly render the trade secret to be in the public domain. There can’t be any presumptive disclosure of such information.

        • IT – THE SUPREME COURT ON THE CALCULATION OF FAIR COMPENSATION OF EMPLOYED INVENTORS

          With its decision no. 1111 on 20th January 2020, the Italian Supreme Court issued a ruling on employees’ inventions, with reference to the right to a fair compensation.

          The Italian legislator distinguishes three different situations for employees’ inventions, and provides for different rules on their ownership and rights of the employee for each scenario:

          i) the invention is made in the performance of an employment contract which (explicitly) contemplates the performance of inventive activity and provides for a specific remuneration for such activity;
          ii) the invention is made in the performance of an employment contract which does not (explicitly) contemplate the performance of inventive activity and/or a remuneration for such activity;
          iii) the required conditions set by the first two cases do not apply, but the invention falls within the employer’s field of business.

      • Trademarks

        • Austria update: Impact of COVID-19 on deadlines in trademark matters

          Austria, as many other countries, adopted legal measures to extend deadlines with a view to the COVID-19 crisis. As the provisions are all but crystal clear, this is to give you an overview of which running deadlines in trademark (and other IP matters) matters are affected and how:

          [...]

          Both limitation periods and deadlines for bringing an action are suspended from 22 March 2020 until the end of 30 April 2020. They are therefore extended by this period (40 days). This concerns all deadlines within which one must bring an action or an application to court in order to preserve one’s rights (e.g. to seek injunctive relief, to claim damages or an appropriate remuneration). This means that the period from 22.3.2020 to the end of 30.4.2020 is not included in the period in which an action or application is to be filed with a court.

        • EUIPO Boards of Appeal adopt set of unified Rules of Procedure

          With Decision 2020-1 of 2020 of the Presidium of the Boards of Appeal on The Rules of Procedure before the Boards of Appeal, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has, for the first time in twenty years, agreed on a single comprehensive set of rules to be applied to all proceedings before the EUIPO Boards of Appeal.

          The rules entered into force on 27 February 2020 and seek to increase transparency, consistency, and legal certainty for users of the appeal system, as well as streamlining the decision-making processes throughout the Boards of Appeal.

          Recital 12 in the new Rules of Procedure sets out that, in order to ensure an effective, efficient and complete review of decisions of the Office by the Boards of Appeal, it is necessary to supplement the provisions applicable to appeal proceedings, and to specify the adjustments and adaptations needed for design appeal proceedings, with a view to ensuring consistent, transparent, thorough, timely, fair and equitable decision-taking.

        • General Court allows registration of CORNEREYE … and an argument based on Brexit (briefly) appears

          In light of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s 3-week court hiatus, this Kat has decided to take a look back at some of the March cases that passed by, starting with case T-688/18, where the General Court (GC) not only overturned the decision of the EUIPO Board of Appeal (BoA), but also (albeit briefly) came face-to-face with an order request based on Brexit. The judgment considered whether a likelihood of confusion could be found (on the basis of Article 8(1)(b) of Regulation 2017/1001) between the mark applied for, CORNEREYE, and earlier trade mark BACKEYE.

        • In-house regret at CJEU’s ‘unadventurous’ Amazon ruling

          Counsel at Trussardi, Daniel Wellington and others say the CJEU did not go far enough in its keenly awaited ruling on liability of online intermediaries

        • Storing Infringing Goods is Not Enough to Give Rise to Trademark Liability, EU Court Asserts in Amazon Case

          In a highly-anticipated decision involving Amazon and the German arm of cosmetics giant Coty, the European Union’s highest court sided with Amazon, holding that it is not enough for an e-commerce platform operator, such as the $1 trillion titan that is Amazon, to merely store and distribute orders consisting of unauthorized or infringing goods in order to be found liable for trademark infringement. Filed by Coty Germany in 2014, the case got its start after a Coty investigator ordered the company’s Davidoff Hot Water fragrance from Amazon’s third-party marketplace, only to receive an allegedly infringing product, in furtherance of the order, which was “Fulfilled by Amazon.”

          Coty filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Coty in the Bundesgerichtshof Federal Court of Justice, a regional court in Germany, taking issue with Amazon’s sweeping fulfillment program, under which Amazon enables its third-party sellers to store their products in its fulfillment centers, and after a sale takes place on its marketplace platform, Amazon “packs, ships, and provides customer service” in connection with that item.

      • Copyrights

        • Spanish Supreme Court rules on Student’s Copyright Infringement claim

          The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled in a case concerning the infringement of copyright of a student whose professor reproduced, without the former’s consent, certain sections of the student’s research work. This case gave the Court the opportunity to analyse the issue of originality of academic works and provide guidance on authorship of a University work.

          [...]

          Secondly, the Court looked at the question of authorship. The defendant alleged lack of authorship on the grounds that the paragraphs copied were not the creation of the claimant but of the professor, who had presented on the topic in question at a conference in 2009 which the claimant had attended. It was after this conference that they were included in the work allegedly copied. The Court dismissed this argument, clarifying that, apart from certain exceptions, there is no presumption of authorship of the professors who direct the creation of this type of work. The Court explained that it is normal when a professor directs the research work of his students for him to contribute towards its creation by providing ideas, guidance and suggestions, this being precisely the function pertaining to professors. This is not to say that, as a result, there is a partial or total presumption in relation to the authorship of the work, unless the parts of the work considered to have been copied had been published previously by the professor.

        • The implementation of the press publishers’ right in the CDSM Directive: lessons from France

          The implementation clock is ticking. The new directive on copyright in the digital single market entered into force on 7 June 2019, giving the Member States two years to implement its provisions. Nine months have already passed, but most of the MS are still at the very beginning of the implementation process. Only one, France, introduced some of the directive’s provisions to its national law.

          Those of the MS which commenced the implementation, seem open to hearing stakeholders’ opinions. The Netherlands published a draft implementation bill and opened a public consultation in July 2019. Ireland produced four consultation papers between September and December 2019, each concerning a different part of the CDSM Directive. In January 2020, Slovakia called upon the interested parties to submit the written opinions on the directive. In case of Sweden, opinions of selected stakeholders are taken under consideration, those partaking in a reference group created by the Swedish Ministry of Justice.

        • The Pirate Bay’s Main Domain ‘Returns’ After a Month of Downtime

          After a month, The Pirate Bay is accessible one again through its main domain name. The unannounced comeback follows ThePirateBay.org sending traffic to a black hole for nearly a day. Initially, Cloudflare’s nameservers were removed from whois records but the site is now reachable again through a new set of Cloudflare nameservers. There are also some other changes.

        • The Print Book Trade, and Money

          I’ve had to explain this in two separate conversations, to folks I thought already understood it, so it’s time for a blog post about the business of paper books.

          Beware: publishing industry neepery ahead. This is mainly aimed at folks who started off in self-pub and previously didn’t need to know the inside details of the book trade, so they’re missing out on options. I’m giving a high level overview here: this industry has evolved for centuries and is not this tidy.

          The book trade has four main parts.

        • Danish Court Throws Out Three Piracy Cases, Plaintiff Had No Right to Sue

          A High Court in Denmark has thrown out three copyright infringement cases against alleged BitTorrent pirates, filed by a middle-man operation with links to notorious copyright troll Guardaley. The court found that the company produced no content, distributed none, and wasn’t in a position to sue. The ruling could prove pivotal for hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases still pending in the country.

        • WordPress DMCA Takedown Notices Drop But Abuse Remains Prevalent

          WordPress has published a new transparency report which shows a decline in the number of DMCA takedown notices received. While volume is dropping after an all-time high in 2018, inaccurate claims remain prevalent. Roughly three-quarters of all takedown requests were rejected, with some being categorized as abusive.

Minimalism, Practicality and Deleting GitHub

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by figosdev

We are drawing

Summary: “Microsoft are absolute tyrants, and tyrants should not be tolerated.”

You won’t find me on a crusade to get everybody to dump software that’s based on GitHub. Some people will call it that, maybe, but that’s not what I’ll be doing.

You won’t find me on that crusade because I’m busy trying to do the same thing myself. Yes, I have participated in telling people to “Delete GitHub.” This is primarily about encouraging developers to move from GitHub to somewhere else. It’s also about “software disobedience” — the idea that we decide what to do with our computing, more than developers why try to decide for us.

“But to know what’s GitHub-free, you have to know what’s on GitHub.”I was watching when Obarun was choosing a new source repo in 2018. I was checking up on Slitaz less than 6 months after they moved to GitHub, when I found they had left it behind. And for a while now, I’ve been trying to find as many GitHub-free options as possible. But to know what’s GitHub-free, you have to know what’s on GitHub. Some of it is surprising and a bit disheartening.

And why bother? Specifically because Microsoft is the very last company we would ever want to have a monopoly on hosting Free software. Though we don’t want to give up all control to anybody else, either.

I am too busy figuring out what software I’m going to use to worry about people who don’t care about this issue. So I’ll give you as much information about it as I can, but you’re on your own with the decision-making. I will offer some practical advice, should you decide this is an important road to travel yourself. It’s a long road, but I’ve done things like it before.

I chose to migrate to GNU/Linux, specifically to get away from these people. I don’t like Microsoft as a company. I don’t want to support their efforts to control, tax, or take away Free software. And when I started migrating in the first place, it was because I was tired of their business practices — such as making it so you had to phone them to activate the copy of Windows you already purchased.

“GitHub controls a lot of the web, and recently I stopped jsdelivr from loading so I could find out what websites I go to rely on that — jsdelivr is both a GitHub project and a CDN, so if you disable it you disable a lot of websites built with NPM and GitHub.”I’m not sympathetic to any of their schemes, at all. And I don’t want to participate in them. So ultimately, I want to get as far from Microsoft GitHub as I reasonably can. And how far one “reasonably” can get away right now is going to vary from person to person. The research I’m doing on this is new, and only a little of it is encouraging. Microsoft (partially) controls a LOT of our software.

KDE and GNOME are largely independent, as is the GNU project (except for GNU Radio, so far. Seriously, guys?) The people who you would expect to flee from GitHub the fastest are the ones that have the sense to use the GPL. I know a lot of you use permissive licensing — and for the most part, I’ve used permissive licenses too. But people who have the good sense to use the GPL ought to know that GitHub isn’t where they want to be.

We have most of what we need to build a GitHub-free distro, if we want to. A lot of people still don’t think of GitHub as Microsoft (yet it is all the same) and a lot of people probably think of GitHub, like I did — as a bunch of applications. They don’t think of it as libraries and languages so many of us use, like PHP and Perl and even Python.

GitHub controls a lot of the web, and recently I stopped jsdelivr from loading so I could find out what websites I go to rely on that — jsdelivr is both a GitHub project and a CDN, so if you disable it you disable a lot of websites built with NPM and GitHub. Probably. It’s research, anyway. I’m experimenting. I already know that 79% of f-droid apps are GitHub-based, because I counted them.

“I already know that 79% of f-droid apps are GitHub-based, because I counted them.”Anyway, when I was migrating away from Windows, I didn’t have a working GNU/Linux distro yet. I’d purchased Red Hat 6 and Mandrake for $30 and $5, respectively, and couldn’t get either one working (if I owned a Pentium then, I only had the one, and it was an early one.) A couple years later, Ubuntu was released and I got that running — slowly.

Until then, I was busy replacing Microsoft components with Free (as in freedom) software when possible, and non-Microsoft gratisware the rest of the time. I didn’t just add software, no — I disabled several features of Windows so that I could go through and “disable” .dll files 1, 5 or 10 at a time, to find out which ones I really needed to keep the thing running.

By following instructions to modify the ’95 installer files. I even got rid of Internet Explorer. Instead of removing a few parts of it, like Add/Remove programs would do, this kept it from installing in the first place. I wrote a program that let me go through every file on the computer, and rename .dll extensions to .lld and .exe to .xex just by moving up and down with the arrow keys (this was a text mode program) and hitting enter. I was disabling all kinds of features.

“It all started with deleting windows. I won’t be able to use exactly the same system to delete GitHub — I don’t even know how far I will get with deleting GitHub — but I know I’m going to do what I can.”When I renamed quartz.dll, I knew some of the applications that would stop working. I simply looked for (and found) alternatives that didn’t rely on it. I was gradually removing the “Microsoft” from Microsoft Windows. Today, that’s still much easier to do with GNU/Linux. But I might also try BSD again soon. I don’t have the same application requirements I did when I tried it before.

Which brings me to my first place, many years ago — I had enough storage, and a habit that was not unlike hoarding, though it was a little more restrained. It was part laziness, part trying to collect stuff after losing most of my things in a previous move, and part being sentimental.

I mean I was at least as sentimental about my things as anybody else I knew. Years later, I would meet some true hoarders and… wow.

But the thing was, I wanted to move. Cross-country. And I couldn’t afford a moving van. I was working on having my girlfriend come up with her car. (I ended up taking a bus.)

I had several rooms, full of stuff. You could walk through it, but there was stuff along every wall. This was furnished, and previous tenants had left a bit of furniture, I didn’t have to worry about that. Some of the shelves were built-in. But I’d done a few years of collecting stuff, much of which was scarcely better than rubbish.

But this included bit of my life, which I intended to hold onto. How to choose? Where to begin? I initiated a very, very simple plan — as an experiment — which turned out to scale extremely well. Ever since that move, steamer trunk in hand, I’ve managed to call myself a minimalist.

The plan only involved a single shelf — not a set of shelves, though these were at least a metre and a half wide. They were also full. So I pulled everything off the shelf and sorted it into two piles:

“Microsoft are absolute tyrants, and tyrants should not be tolerated.”“Trash” and “Keep,” right? Not exactly. “Want the most” and “want the least”. Neither pile was committal, nor did it need to be. Once I had the two piles, I quickly realised that the “Want the most” pile was more special, and the “want the least” pile was next to worthless. It was so easy. And if there was anything important left in the want the least pile, I’d pick it out and throw the rest away.

No, I didn’t have to. But I found I wanted to. Thankfully, we had a large skip and not much in the way of nosy neighbours, so out it went. Then I would do another shelf.

Every time I got rid of half a shelf of crap, I felt happier. I felt less anchored to a place I was eager to leave, and the move kept changing more from a practical impossibility to a practical reality. Soon I ended up with half as many shelves full of rubbish, then each room had half as much. Then I consolidated two rooms and another two rooms, and had half as many rooms with stuff in them.

Then I did it again, until everything was in one room. Then two walls of one room. One wall, half a wall. By now it was all in ten large plastic bins — then five. Soon, everything I owned fit in luggage, albeit large luggage.

I used the same system that I began with throughout the whole process. It remained fun, sometimes exhilarating, throughout the whole process. It all started with deleting windows. I won’t be able to use exactly the same system to delete GitHub — I don’t even know how far I will get with deleting GitHub — but I know I’m going to do what I can.

Microsoft are absolute tyrants, and tyrants should not be tolerated. I want to be relatively free of GIAFAM, but of the stuff I use, Microsoft (via GitHub) has the most control and influence — again! I’ve spent 5 years fighting systemd and in the process, I’ve learned how to automate the remixing of distros — it’s not that hard.

“Talking about freedom is great and all, but freedom isn’t worth much if nobody stands up to the biggest bullies.”What’s harder is trying to decide what to keep, and what to throw away. But I’m still working to delete GitHub. Thankfully, I’m learning more about what relies on GitHub, and what my options are.

The biggest reason for me to do this, is so I can help other people who want to. If I don’t know, I’m of less assistance to those who want to. And I want to know. Talking about freedom is great and all, but freedom isn’t worth much if nobody stands up to the biggest bullies.

There were significant rewards for cleaning up the rubbish I’d collected, in finding a nicer place to live and living in the same city that my girlfriend lived in. But it wasn’t as simple as sudo apt-get install newplace, it took effort.

I still miss IceWM, but I had a monitor I wasn’t using and I’ve started using it as a second screen, which is actually really great. I don’t think I’d even prefer IceWM on one screen to what I’m doing with dwm and two screens. Someday, I hope IceWM leaves GitHub. Its developers won’t have as much reason to though, if we don’t try to as well — think about it, Bert.

Long Live Stallman, and eternal vigilance.

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