04.13.20

Links 13/4/2020: 4MLinux 32.1, Status of LibreOffice for Mobile

Posted in News Roundup at 10:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux kernel technical advisory board asks if any maintainers need coronavirus relief

        Linus Torvalds’ has announced version 5.7rc1 of the Linux kernel, and a shout-out from the Linux kernel technical advisory board in case any maintainers have hit coronavirus-related complications. There’s no immediately obvious evidence that kernel development or maintenance has been impacted by the virus pandemic. Indeed, Torvalds suggested that 5.7rc1 may be in decent shape thanks to the COVID-19 bio-nasty.

      • Implementing support for advanced DPTF policy in Linux


        Intel’s Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework (DPTF) is a feature that’s becoming increasingly common on highly portable Intel-based devices. The adaptive policy it implements is based around the idea that thermal management of a system is becoming increasingly complicated – the appropriate set of cooling constraints to place on a system may differ based on a whole bunch of criteria (eg, if a tablet is being held vertically rather than lying on a table, it’s probably going to be able to dissipate heat more effectively, so you should impose different constraints). One way of providing these criteria to the OS is to embed them in the system firmware, allowing an OS-level agent to read that and then incorporate OS-level knowledge into a final policy decision.

        Unfortunately, while Intel have released some amount of support for DPTF on Linux, they haven’t included support for the adaptive policy. And even more annoyingly, many modern laptops run in a heavily conservative thermal state if the OS doesn’t support the adaptive policy, meaning that the CPU throttles down extremely quickly and the laptop runs excessively slowly.

      • Intel DPTF Adaptive Policy Being Reverse Engineered For Better Linux Ultrabook Support

        One of the areas of Intel’s Linux support that has been less than ideal is their handling of the Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework (DPTF) for today’s ultrabook. Intel has provided some support with a focus on Google’s Chromium OS but it’s less than complete and notably missing is support for the more advanced “adaptive policy”, but that soon could change.

        Intel’s Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework support for Linux is less than complete and does not support the adaptive policy used by various Intel-powered ultrabooks and when that support isn’t available can lead to more conservative power management decisions that in turn hurts performance.

      • Linux 5.7-rc1 Marks More Than 915k Commits, 28.4 Million Lines In Source Tree

        With yesterday’s release of Linux 5.7-rc1 following the two week period of Linux 5.7 tacking on many interesting improvements and new features, here is a look at the current Git development states on the Linux kernel.

        As of Sunday when running the GitStats analytics, the Linux kernel Git tree amounted to 915,296 commits from 21,534 different authors! Not only does the commit count remain interesting, but the size of the source tree is now up to 67,954 files and that in turn comes in at 28.43 million lines of code! Keep in mind the Git lines of code count also includes documentation and the kernel’s in-tree utilities, Kconfig bits, etc as opposed to just raw code. That 28.4 million lines is after the kernel has seen 53.7 million lines of code added and 25.3 million lines removed over time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org AutoRepeat Option Restored After 14 Year Hiatus

          The X11 AutoRepeat option is for setting the auto repeat behavior of a keyboard to engage a configurable number of times a key will repeat per second after crossing a configurable delay threshold. While somewhat of an obscure feature, AutoRepeat is coming back after being on hiatus since 2006.

          The X11 AutoRepeat option is for setting the auto repeat behavior of a keyboard to engage a configurable number of times a key will repeat per second after crossing a configurable delay threshold.

        • ASUS Releases Graphics Card That Could Actually Be Great For Open-Source NVIDIA Fans

          ASUS’ newest offering is the GT710-4H-SL-2GD5, yes, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 710 based graphics card… The GT 710 debuted back in January 2016 and based on the Kepler architecture. While several generations old, this low-end, low-priced graphics card actually is a win for those Nouveau users with Kepler currently being the last NVIDIA GPU generation with good open-source support: no firmware binaries are needed for hardware initialization and Kepler GPUs can re-clock to their optimal clock frequencies, albeit re-clocking to the optimal performance state needs to be done manually via the command-line. But Kepler (and GTX 750 Maxwell) are currently the “best” supported open-source NVIDIA GPUs by the Nouveau driver and the last of the graphics cards not requiring any proprietary firmware/microcode (AMD graphics cards on their open-source driver also require closed-source microcode).

    • Applications

      • Clementine – A Modern Music Player and Library Organizer

        Clementine is an advanced free and open-source media player for audio files. Inspired by Amarok, it focuses on providing clients with a speedy and intuitive user interface for searching and playing music both locally and online.

        The latest release features a new global search interface, a playlist tab, integration with Subsonic and other streaming platforms, integration with cloud services like Box and OneDrive, remote control, etc.

      • Foliate: A Modern eBook Reader App for Linux

        While we already have a list of best eBook readers for Linux, I recently came across another eBook viewer for Linux. It is called Foliate.

        Foliate is a modern GTK eBook viewer that offers quite a lot of essential features. If you own an Amazon Kindle or some other eBook reader, you probably miss that kind of reading experience on the desktop.

        Foliate addresses those complaints. Foliate shows an estimate of remaining reading time and pages in the book. You can add bookmarks, highlight text and add notes. You can export this data or sync them easily.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Business simulation sandbox ‘Startup Company’ has left Early Access

        Business simulation sandbox, Startup Company, has now officially released, giving you a chance to become to CEO of your very own company to compete against the tech giants.

        You’ve played game developer simulations but this is quite different. Instead of a system or a game, your company is building a website. The full release comes with quite a lot of new content including new types of websites, new competitors, there’s also a bunch of new stuff to fill your offices with like a huge slide because why the heck not have a huge slide in your office.

      • Planet Coaster | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play

        Planet Coaster running through Steam Play (Proton 5.0-4) My Mic cuts out sometimes during the video, apologies for that! Game runs good, good fun!

      • Wide Ocean Big Jacket is a sweet short camping story adventure available for Linux

        Short on time and want an adventure? Wide Ocean Big Jacket might fit. It’s a sweet camping adventure with a big heart. It was even a finalist for the “Excellence in Narrative” award in the Independent Games Festival 2020 so that should give you an idea of it being good.

      • Fragile Fighter is an ‘unforgiving’ dark and emotional story-based platformer now on Linux

        With a female protagonist and a dark emotional story, Fragile Fighter definitely has captured my interest.

        [...]

        With mature themes too, don’t go in expecting your usual story platformer. It touches upon alcohol abuse, physical abuse, mental and physical illnesses and promises to be an unforgettable experience.

      • Relaxing bird flying and exploration sim ‘Fugl’ adds more polish and an evolution feature

        Quite possibly one of the most relaxing games I’ve ever played, and a real treat for when you’re forced to stay inside, Fugl is all about slowing down and exploring. No set goals, just fly around and enjoy the atmosphere.

        [...]

        Team Fugl recently released a fresh update, adding in a fun new evolution feature. While you’ve been able to customize your flying avatar for a while, this takes things up a notch letting you really make something wild with the existing creatures.

      • Blending a MOBA with an RTS ‘Asteroid Fight’ is out now and free to play

        Asteroid Fight had a great idea but little to no marketing and it went unnoticed, now it’s left Early Access as a full game and the developer has made it free to play. Mixing together elements of a MOBA with RTS economy building, and a whole lot of action as you level up and customize your Command Ship it’s actually pretty good.

      • Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue, a free intro to an upcoming metroidvania puzzle-platformer with portals

        Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue, a free introduction for the upcoming Unbound: Worlds Apart is now available on Linux letting you conjure magic portals to travel between different realities.

        The developer, Alien Pixel Studios, mentioned that they went for a “cartoonish” style with a dark fairy tail story to give a fresh take on the genre. It’s non-linear, with metroidvania elements and they said that your curiosity and exploration will be rewarded and have an impact on the overall atmosphere you get from it.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Netrunner 20.01



          Netrunner is a Debian-based distribution featuring a customized KDE Plasma desktop with some extra applications and conveniences. The Netrunner project has had several different editions over the years which seem to come and go fairly quickly. For example, there was a rolling edition that was based on Manjaro Linux, which has appeared and been abandoned a few times. There have also been editions for ARM-powered devices over the years, but those seem to no longer be included in new releases. In the past there was a Core edition which offers a more minimal approach than the distribution’s main Desktop edition and it seems as though the developers plan to continue the Core line, but at the time of writing only the Desktop edition is available for version 20.01. [Note: After this review was written, but before publication, the Core edition was published.]

          All of that is to say that, in the past, Netrunner had many editions and supported multiple architectures. However, as I write this Netrunner 20.01 is only available in a Desktop edition for 64-bit (x86_64) computers and this offering is a 2.4GB download.

          Booting from the provided media brings up the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The desktop features a panel at the bottom of the display with an application menu and system tray. The system tray includes the usual array of status icons along with two uncommon items: one icon for opening a drop-down virtual terminal and another for creating screenshots. There are icons on the desktop for launching the project’s system installer, opening a Read Me document, launching the Dolphin file manager and opening a window which displays hardware-related information. The default wallpaper looks like a rainbow that has been broken up and used as pieces in a game of pick-up-sticks.

      • New Releases

        • EndeavourOS New Version Released: An Arch-Based Linux Distro With GUI Installer

          Installing Arch Linux may not be challenging for experienced Linux users but it is definitely a difficult task for a beginner. So, if you still want to use Arch Linux or a system close to it with an easy-to-install feature, you must check out new Arch-based EndeavourOS.

          With its first stable version released on July 15th, 2019, EndeavourOS comes with a friendly GUI-based offline and online installer. It offers the easiest method to set up a system in a headache-free and swift manner. Moving forward, EndeavourOS has released a new version with several new enhancements and improvements. So, let’s take a look at the list of new features.

        • ReactOS 0.4.13 released with new Explorer File Search

          Thanks to work done by a student named Brock Mammen during the Google Summer of Code 2019, ReactOS now has a new feature that lets users find the exact location of a file without resorting to a manual search or invoking some little known programs.

        • AntiX – A Lightweight systemd-free Linux distribution for old computers

          AntiX looks great with iceWM (by default) on top of it. It is fast and can be run as a live CD or USB for fixing boot issues. When AntiX is installed on the hard disk, there is almost no lag between the options you click and the response.

          Besides iceWM, AntiX full and AntiX base flavors come with 3 other window managers, fluxbox, jwm, and herbstluftwm. Once you have AntiX up and running, you can easily load the window manager of your choice from the Menu > Desktop.

          AntiX 19.2 “Hannie Schaft”

          The latest release from AntiX is AntiX 19.2 codenamed ‘Hannie Schaft“. Hannie Schaft, based on Debian buster, came out last month with numerous bug fixes, improvements, and upgraded software. The 19.2 version offers AntiX running on runit init system as well.

          If you are already running AntiX 19 series, you can upgrade to 19.2 without download the .iso.

          AntiX Flavors

          AntiX offers 4 different flavors, all without systemd and available in 32-bit and 64-bit architecture.

        • 4MLinux 32.1 released.

          This is a minor (point) release in the 4MLinux STABLE channel, which comes with the Linux kernel 5.4.25. The 4MLinux Server now includes Apache 2.4.41, MariaDB 10.4.12, and PHP 7.3.15 (see this post for more details).

          You can update your 4MLinux by executing the “zk update” command in your terminal (fully automatic process).

      • BSD

        • Not actually Linux distro review deux: GhostBSD

          GhostBSD is based on TrueOS, which itself derives from FreeBSD Stable. It was originally a Canadian distro, but—like most successful distributions—it has transcended its country of origin and can now be considered worldwide. Significant GhostBSD development takes place now in Canada, Italy, Germany, and the United States.

          The history of desktop-oriented BSD distros is a turbulent one. For several years, Kris Moore’s PC-BSD was the go-to for “I want BSD, but I also want a ready-to-go desktop.” Eventually, ixSystems—home of the FreeNAS storage distro, and the company Moore is vice president of engineering for—came to rely heavily on the server-side features developed into PC-BSD.

          The need at ixSystems for the foundation of PC-BSD without the associated desktop led to a rename and a fork. PC-BSD’s underpinnings became TrueOS, and the desktop-friendly distribution—now based on TrueOS—became Project Trident.

          This state of affairs didn’t last long. A year later, Project Trident declared unhappiness with TrueOS and BSD in general—mostly due to hardware support, or lack thereof. In January 2020, Trident rebased itself on Void Linux, which its developers found to be “the most BSD-like” of the potential Linux upstream distros they examined.

          Project Trident’s departure for more Linux-y waters left several potential contenders for a desktop-focused BSD distribution. These include FuryBSD, MidnightBSD, DesktopBSD, and GhostBSD itself.

        • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

          Welcome, to the quarterly reports, of the future! Well, at least the first quarterly report from 2020. The new timeline, mentioned in the last few reports, still holds, which brings us to this report, which covers the period of January 2020 – March 2020.

          As you will see from this report, we’ve had quite an active quarter with big changes to both kernel, userland, documentation, ports, and third-party projects in the form of everything from bug and security fixes over new features to speed improvements and optimizations.

          As this report also covers the start of the epidemic, it’s also interesting to note that a quick glance at the svn logs reveal that there has been no overall drop in number of source commits, that docs commits have also stayed constant, and that ports have seen an upwards trend.

          We hope that all of you are and yours are as safe as can be managed, and that we get through this together by working together.

        • FreeBSD Is Off To A Solid Start For 2020

          This weekend the FreeBSD project published their quarterly status report concerning Q1’2020 and the progress they made on many fronts.

          Some of the FreeBSD achievements for the first quarter of this year include:

          - The FreeBSD Foundation raised $57k USD over this last quarter.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Arch Family

        • nss>=3.51.1-1 and lib32-nss>=3.51.1-1 updates require manual intervention

          The nss and lib32-nss packages prior to version 3.51.1-1 were missing a soname link each. This has been fixed in 3.51.1-1, so the upgrade will need to overwrite the untracked files created by ldconfig. If you get any of these errors nss: /usr/lib/p11-kit-trust.so exists in filesystem lib32-nss: /usr/lib32/p11-kit-trust.so exists in filesystem when updating, use pacman -Syu –overwrite /usr/lib\*/p11-kit-trust.so to perform the upgrade.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How to contribute to Folding@home on Fedora

          Folding@home is a distributed computing network for performing biomedical research. Its intent is to help further understand and develop cures for a range of diseases. Their current priority is understanding the behavior of COVID-19 and the virus that causes COVID-19. This article will show you how you can get involved by donating your computer’s idle time.

        • Contribute at the Fedora 32 IoT Edition Test Day

          Fedora test days are events where anyone can help make sure changes in Fedora work well in an upcoming release. Fedora community members often participate, and the public is welcome at these events. If you’ve never contributed to Fedora before, this is a perfect way to get started. On Wednesday, April 15, we’ll test Fedora IoT.

      • Debian Family

        • Giovanni Mascellani: DKIM for Debian Developers

          DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), as Wikipedia puts it, “is an email authentication method designed to detect forged sender addresses in emails (email spoofing), a technique often used in phishing and email spam”. More prosaically, one of the reasons email spam is so abundant is that, given a certain email message, there is no simple way to know for certain who sent it and how reputable they are. So even if people having addresses @debian.org are very nice and well-behaving, any random spammer can easily send emails from whatever@debian.org, and even if you trust people from @debian.org you cannot easily configure your antispam filter to just accept all emails from @debian.org, because spammers would get in too.

        • Christian Kastner: hello, world

          It slipped my mind that the recent March 17, 2020, marked the 10th anniversary of my first upload to the official Debian archive. How time flies!

          Although I was never much of a blogging person myself, I do enjoy reading other people’s contributions, and on some occasions felt that the Planet Debian feed might have been a more appropriate medium for sharing a particular tidbit, instead of sharing it with a specific mailing list, or not sharing at all.

        • TeX Live 2020 in Debian

          A few days ago we have released upstream TeX Live 2020, and Debian packages are already available in the sid/unstable suite, and will (hopefully) migrate to testing rather soon.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint 20: Release Date, Features and Everything Important Associated With it

          Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release is just around the corner. This is a good news for Linux Mint users as well. A new Ubuntu LTS release means that a new major Linux Mint release will follow soon.

          Why? Because Linux Mint is based on the long term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu. Mint 18 series was based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Mint 19 was based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Linux Mint is going

        • Desktop Team Updates – Monday 13th April 2020

          Hi everyone, below you will find the updates from the Desktop team from the last week.

        • ZFS/Zsys Code Seeing Important Performance Fix Ahead Of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          One of the new features to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for those making use of ZFS On Linux with Canonical’s Zsys manager is the automated APT snapshots on package transactions to be able to carry out system rollbacks if needed. An important fix around this functionality is on the way.

          Didier Roche of Canonical continues working a lot on Zsys and in the past few days he has worked out a major performance improvement in the dataset code. Loading of the GRUB boot-loader menu where existing ZFS snapshots can be selected could take upwards of 80 seconds for listing 100 system snapshots. But now with this latest Zsys code being prepared, GRUB is back to being near instantaneous.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 9 open source CSS frameworks for frontend web development

        When most people think about web development, HTML or JavaScript usually come to mind. They usually forget about the technology that has far more impact on the ability to enjoy a website: cascading style sheets (CSS). CSS is both one of the most important and the most often forgotten parts of any webpage, even though it’s one of the three cornerstone technologies of the World Wide Web, according to Wikipedia.

        This article explores nine popular, powerful, and open source frameworks that make CSS development straightforward for building beautiful website frontends.

      • Jit.si if you care and Zoom if you don’t.

        So, last week, from 8th April onwards, the Singapore Government imposed a partial lockdown (PL) – or as they say euphemistically “circuit breaker” (CB).

        The Singapore Ministry of Education introduced Home-based Learning (HBL) that they had initially trialed from early April with a once a week HBL setup.

        And that was the week of 30th March.

        But following the PL, all schools were closed and all 500k students and I guess 40k teachers had to switch to full-on HBL using online tools, especially Zoom.

        Then this happened. So, a classroom was zoombombed. As expected, the Ministry of Education suspended the use of Zoom.

        Sigh.

        Let me offer the following to all of those who are using Zoom.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Status of LibreOffice for Android and iOS

          Here’s a quick status update on LibreOffice for Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad).

          LibreOffice is an application for desktop platforms, including Linux, macOS and Windows. The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice, is currently focused on delivering the best experience on the desktop. (There is also LibreOffice Online, a cloud-based version of the suite, for use in web browsers.)

          While The Document Foundation doesn’t currently offer an Android or iOS version of LibreOffice, there is a LibreOffice-based product in app stores from Collabora, one of our certified developers and ecosystem members…

        • How to Use the Best Linux Office Suite on Android and iOS
        • Network gallery style

          What do you prefer black/gold or blue/blue? The user can change the line color, area color and shadow color (highlight color) so with 3 clicks you can switch, but I prefer a good default.

      • Education

        • Bringing teachers and students together with open source

          During school closures due to the Covid-19, Moodle is the platform behind thousands of schools and organisations worldwide who are relying on online learning.

          Rytis Jezukevičius is a teacher at the Kaunas Jonas Jablonskis Gymnasium, in Lithuania. In the photo above, you can see Rytis with his students. “This is the first serious assignment I made for them on Moodle. They all got great grades”, explained Rytis. “It brings back really great memories”.

          Just like in most parts of the world, schools and educational institutions in Lithuania had to close down in March. However, this is not stopping Rytis from teaching his students and interacting with them as much as he can. Rytis prepares lessons daily and organises face-to-face sessions using Moodle’s tools for synchronous communications, like videoconferencing, to provide his learners with the personalised feedback and support they need.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GnuCash 3.10

            GnuCash is a personal and small business finance application, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. It’s designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible. GnuCash allows you to track your income and expenses, reconcile bank accounts, monitor stock portfolios and manage your small business finances. It is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

      • Programming/Development

        • Red Hat Data Grid 8.0 brings new server architecture, improved REST API, and more

          Red Hat Data Grid helps applications access, process, and analyze data at in-memory speed. Red Hat Data Grid 8.0 is included in the latest update to Red Hat Runtimes, providing a distributed in-memory, NoSQL datastore. This release includes a new Operator for handling complex applications, a new server architecture that reduces memory consumption and increases security, a faster API with new features, a new CLI, and compatibility with a variety of observability tools.

          Let’s take a closer look at Data Grid 8.0 to see how this tool helps you move legacy applications and the new breed of microservices and functions toward the open hybrid cloud.

        • 5 Excellent Free Books to Learn Tcl

          Tcl (Tool Command Language) is a dynamic programming/scripting language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells. It can be used interactively, or by running scripts (programs) which can use a package system for structuring, hence allowing to do much with little code.

          The name Tcl is derived from “Tool Command Language” and is pronounced “tickle”. Tcl is a radically simple open-source interpreted programming language that provides common facilities such as variables, procedures, and control structures as well as many useful features that are not found in any other major language.

          Tcl was created in 1988 by John Ousterhout and is distributed under a BSD style license. The first major GUI extension that works with Tcl is Tk, a toolkit that aims to rapid GUI development. That is why Tcl is now more commonly called Tcl/Tk.

          Tcl is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, as well as other platforms, as open-source software under BSD-like license, or as pre-built binaries.

        • Perl/Raku

          • CY’s take Perl Weekly Challenge on #055

            Mohammad and some other experienced perl coders are very generous and encouraging towards my road of learning Perl, (e.g. last time Laurent’s comment; I thank him in code and again here now) (and with pride, last week I located on the 45th of the PWC team member chart), but my foundation is not good enough. From now on until the summer passes, I may try only the easier task of the two tasks in each week’s challenge. And I will blog about it if the coding is completed before Saturday. Technical documentation is also an important skill of coders. (As I am in GMT+8.00 Timezone, I have an early morning to work on more, but sometimes I have to go to work, and sometimes these several hours do not help much because I am the type of “I should not resign, I should not resign”… and code until the deadline is really close.) (And this blog runs over 8am on Monday in the timezone.)

        • Python

          • Stop naming your python modules “utils”

            Imagine the following situation: there is a software developer that is either adding new code or refactoring existing one by extracting a class/function. They have to place code somewhere, but it does not seem to fit anywhere. So what does a developer do? They create a new module – utils.py.

          • Mike Driscoll: PyDev of the Week: Mike Pirnat

            This week we welcome Mike Pirnat (@mpirnat) as our PyDev of the Week! Mike is an organizer for PyOhio and an active member of the Python community. You can catch up with Mike on his website. Let’s spend some time getting to know Mike!

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Moving away from GMail

        My requirements for an email provider

        1. Custom domain.

        2. Decent amount of storage. I accrued 17 Gb in more than 10 years of usage. So even 5 Gb would do the trick for 1-2 years.

        3. Server side based full text search. I want to be able to search for random emails, based on some word from the body of the email that I vaguely remember.

        4. Ability to use multiple aliases. I want to have site_name@rolisz.ro, besides the main address I will give out, but still have everything come in to my main inbox.

        5. Ability to use 3rd party apps to read my email. This means I want to read my email with any standards (mostly IMAP) compliant app.

  • Leftovers

    • Auto Union Official Fired for Warning Fellow Workers About COVID-19

      Travis Watkins, chair of an Auto Workers (UAW) bargaining unit in Wyoming, Michigan was fired March 18. The charge was violating Shop Rule #2: “€œAssaulting, fighting, threatening, intimidating, coercing, or interfering with employees or supervision.”€

    • Kevin Smith Says Harvey Weinstein Refused to Pay Him Royalties for “Clerks”€™ (EXCLUSIVE)

      Kevin Smith sold his first movie, “Clerks,”€ to Harvey Weinstein out of the Sundance Film Festival in 1994.

      Weinstein, who ran Miramax at the time, shelled out $227,000 for the black-and-white movie set in a video store. But their agreement allowed for Smith to receive a backend if the movie became profitable.

      That fall, “Clerks”€ grossed $3.2 million in North American theaters. And it generated tens of millions more on VHS, as it became a cult hit.

    • Science

      • The New Math Bridge Beyond Fermat’€™s Last Theorem

        The proof Wiles finally came up with (helped by Richard Taylor) was something Fermat would never have dreamed up. It tackled the theorem indirectly, by means of an enormous bridge that mathematicians had conjectured should exist between two distant continents, so to speak, in the mathematical world. Wiles’€™ proof of Fermat’€™s Last Theorem boiled down to establishing this bridge between just two little plots of land on the two continents. The proof, which was full of deep new ideas, set off a cascade of further results about the two sides of this bridge.

        From this perspective, Wiles’€™ awe-inspiring proof solved just a minuscule piece of a much larger puzzle. His proof was “one of the best things in 20th-century mathematics,”€ said Toby Gee of Imperial College London. Yet “it was still only a tiny corner”€ of the conjectured bridge, known as the Langlands correspondence.

      • 50 years after Apollo 13, Commander James Lovell sees the mission’s failure as a triumph

        A test to fill the tanks with liquid oxygen a few weeks before liftoff failed. Technicians believed the problem with the oxygen tank could be fixed using 65-volt power at the launchpad. What they didn’t realize was that inside the tank –€“ still capable of handling only 28 volts –“ temperatures spiked to 300 to 400 degrees, melting internal wiring.

        Before liftoff, liquid oxygen was put in for the flight. “From that time, the tank was a bomb waiting to go off,” Lovell said.

        All that was needed was a spark. That happened at 55 hours and 55 minutes into the journey when Swigert flipped the switches to “stir” the oxygen tanks.

        Upon hearing the bang, Swigert told Mission Control there was a problem. When NASA asked the crew to repeat, Lovell uttered the immortal words “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

      • NASA marking the 50th anniversary of “successful failure” Apollo 13 mission

        NASA isn’€™t planning in-person activities to commemorate the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has released a documentary with archival footage from the mission. Apollo 13: Home Safe includes interviews with Lovell (it opens with him saying “€œit was plagued by bad omens and bad luck from the very beginning…) and conversations with Haise, NASA flight directors Gene Kranz and Glynn Lunney and engineer Hank Rotter. Swigert died in 1982. NASA has other social media activities planned as well.

      • Apollo 13 at 50: How NASA turned near-disaster at the moon into a ‘successful failure’ in space

        The possibility of a moon landing quickly fell out of focus as the astronauts and NASA ground crew had to immediately start brainstorming and working together to save the astronaut’s lives. They decided to power down the crew module, as they would need to preserve it for re-entry, and they evacuated to the lunar module, nicknamed Aquarius, and used it as a “lifeboat” out in space.

    • Ventilator

      • The Curious Case of Open-Source Ventilators

        Recently, the entire planet has been taken over by COVID-19 pandemic. As I started writing this article, the total death count due to this virus was 113, 296.

        This pandemic has created a shortage of ventilators which is a crucial mechanism to treat a COVID-19 patient who are unable to breath on their own. Last year, the total number of ventilators needed to meet the worldwide (or I’d say planet-wide) demand was 77, 000. Now, additional 33,000 ventilators are needed in the New York alone. The biomedical manufacturers have boosted their production by 30%-50% but cannot alone meet a 1000% increase in demand.

      • PMB engineers ready to re-start ventilator production, “open source” blueprints

        Almost 20 years ago, Clifford Machines of Pietermaritzburg stopped producing a ventilator specially designed for local conditions because public sector gatekeepers demanded bribes.

      • Hear From The Doctor Behind UF’s Open Source Ventilator
    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Promising Cuba/US Cooperation on Cancer

        “The wonderful thing about working with our Cuban colleagues is that they really believe, in their heart of hearts, that medical care is a human right.”

      • Coronavirus: 300 Muslim worshippers attack Lagos Taskforce

        According to her, Taskforce team COVID-19, comprising of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos Safety Commission and the Rapid Response Squad, saw the Muslim faithful observing their evening prayer (Solatul Eshai) in a large congregation, contrary to the directive on total lockdown to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

        “€œHowever, a drama ensued when some of the Muslim youths sighted the team and became aggressive, unruly and started to attack the team. Others in the mosque, numbering about 300 rushed out chanting ALLAHU AKBAR and joined them in the attack by throwing stones at the vehicles. All entreaties to talk to the Imam failed as the youth were persistent. But the Police escort rose to the occasion by curbing further attacks and ensuring the safety of the team”, she disclosed.

      • Many economists defend disaster profiteers. They are wrong

        To be clear, it is not that they want the public to miss out on life-saving products. Quite the contrary. They believe that soaring prices stimulate greater output, and that policies to cap costs might limit supplies and so do more harm than good. In 2012 the University of Chicago surveyed 32 eminent economists about legislation that banned price gouging during a weather-related emergency. Only three supported the ban; more than half criticised it. Similar views have been aired in recent weeks. An economist with the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, lamented the “madness”€ of anti-gouging rules, saying that profits are what entice firms to meet rising demand for safety equipment.

        Yet a closer look at one key piece of equipment–€”masks–€”during the coronavirus crisis shows that this standard view needs revamping. Economists are normally loth to tamper with prices, the most basic element of any market. But little about this pandemic has been normal. Price signalling alone would have been inadequate to the challenge of ensuring vast increases in supply.

      • Chinese woman describes Wuhan virus patients being burned alive

        The horrified woman said she had never seen anything like it and said the patients were treated “just like dead dogs.” The video closed with the woman saying that those who were dead “were stacked one after another in yellow body bags.”

        A staffer from a funeral home in Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, claimed the number of bodies she and her co-workers have had to transport and cremate each day is four to five times higher than the usual amount. Based on the account, the daily average number of bodies suspected of being coronavirus victims is estimated at 225 at a single Wuhan funeral home or 4,725 in total between Jan. 22 and Feb. 12.

        There are eight registered funeral homes in Wuhan. If the funeral home staffer’s account is true, it would mean there were 1,628 deaths per day in the city and a total of 34,200 in the 21 days leading up to the report.

      • The President and the Plague

        Trump knew all this. In fact, he knew a lot more. He had been getting daily intelligence reports for two months, warning him about the risk of a pandemic. It’€™s impossible to believe he had not been told that COVID-19 was at least 10 times more deadly than the flu, or that it was passed human to human with a just touch or a cough. A top White House adviser had already warned that a full-blown pandemic could imperil the lives of millions of Americans. Virtually every public-health expert in the world was speaking out, warning politicians and community leaders what was about to hit us.

        Nevertheless, since the moment the outbreak was first publicized in January, Trump had been doing nothing but downplaying it. To him, the pandemic was merely another plot to sabotage him. “œThey’€™re trying to scare everybody…€‰cancel the meetings, close the schools “€” you know, destroy the country,”he told his guests that weekend. “And that’€™s OK, as long as we can win the election.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Thousands of coronavirus tests are going unused in US labs

          A new wave of challenges began when the labs reached out to hospitals in need of tests. “The business of American medicine and the way it is organized is astonishingly unprepared for this,” Urnov says. One problem is that US hospitals use a range of software platforms for electronic health records. Many also have strict administrative procedures for setting up accounts with labs, exchanging samples and handling billing, adds Pride. For this reason, several hospitals chose to stick with the commercial labs they’€™re already working with, say researchers.

        • Nearly Half of Employees Don’€™t Know What to Do When Ransomware Hits [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In its survey of North American business employees, Kaspersky found that 45% of respondents overall did not know the proper steps they should take in response to a ransomware attack.

          Respondents whose employer had suffered a crypto-malware infection weren’€™t significantly more knowledgeable about what to do. Just 40% said they knew what steps to take. That’s almost the same ratio of employees (37%) who failed to provide Kaspersky with an accurate definition for ransomware.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Verizon introduces open-source, big data coronavirus search engine [Ed: CBS tabloid combines openwashing with piggybacking COVID to do reputation laundering for Verizon]

              As we struggle to get a grip on exactly how COVID-19 makes us ill and what we can do about it, researchers have created over 50,000 articles. That’s a lot of information! So, how do you make sense of it all? Verizon Media is doing it by using Vespa. This is an open-source, big data processing program to create a coronavirus academic research search engine: CORD-19 Search.

            • Map shows average wait times at dozens of Toronto grocery stores [Ed: outsourced to Microsoft GitHub]

              We now have an open source cookbook, so why not an open source wait time map? The map was created by a web dev who’s actually based in Florence through GitHub.

            • Fintech Open Source Foundation Joins Linux Foundation

              The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open collaboration, announced on Friday that Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of open-source software, standards and best practices in financial services, has become an official Linux Foundation organization.

            • FINOS joins Linux Foundation to accelerate development in financial services sector

              Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS) has joined Linux Foundation to accelerate the adoption of open-source software, standards and best practices in the financial services industry.

            • Dopamine audio player open source software review [Ed: "it is only available for Windows, not Linux." So... "open source" only for proprietary software malware/OS with NSA back doors.]
        • Security

          • Top 5 Open Source Serverless Security Tools !! You can rely on open source serverless security tools to help in keeping your apps protected !!

            Over the past few years, serverless architecture had grown widely popular, and just about everyone these days have opted for it, be it small households or corporate giants. And it has made sure to live up to its expectations. Due to its maintaining infrastructure, companies get to focus on the development, marketing, and deployment of new software.

            But what about serverless security then? After switching over to serverless, it’s only natural for us to make sure maximum security has been ensured.

            Especially at a time when cyberattacks are occurring in large numbers and just about anyone can learn hacking and related stuff so that they can extract valuable data from private parties or large groups.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative to Further Mitigate the Spread of Virus

              Partners In Health will provide staff and contribute technical expertise in community tracing. The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (CCA) will stand up a virtual support center and maintain connectivity, while the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) will maintain data, guides and processes. Accenture, a leading global professional services company, and Salesforce, a global leader in CRM, are implementing support center capabilities for the CTC’€™s tracing purposes.

            • Migrant worker woes and many other stories

              I was gonna use this blog post to share about the migrant worker woes as there has been multiple stories doing the rounds. For e.g. a story which caught the idea of few people but most of us, i.e. middle-class people are so much into our own thing that we care a fig leaf about what happens to migrants. This should not be a story coming from a humane society but it seems India is no different than any other country of the world and in not a good way. Allow me to share –

              [...]

              On the same Financial Times, two stories which dealt with the possible privacy violations due to the Pandemic have been doing the rounds. The first one, by Yuval Noah Harari is more exploratory by nature and makes some very good points without going far too deep into specific instances of recent times but rather goes into history and past instances where Governments have used the pandemics to exert more control over their populace and drive their agenda. I especially liked the last few lines which he shared in his op-ed

              “Even if the current administration eventually changes tack and comes up with a global plan of action, few would follow a leader who never takes responsibility, who never admits mistakes, and who routinely takes all the credit for himself while leaving all the blame to others.” – Yuval Noah Harari . The whole statement could right fit onto the American President which he was talking about while at the same time, fits right into the current Indian Prime Minister, Boris Johnson of UK and perhaps Jair Bolsanaro of Brazil. All these three-four individuals have in common is that most of them belong to right-wing and hence cater only to the rich industrialist’s agenda. While I don’t know about Jair Bolsanaro much, at least three out of four had to turn to socialism and had to give some bailout packages to the public at large, even though continuing to undermine their own actions. More on this probably a bit down the line.

              The second story shared by Nic Fildes and Javier Espinoza who broke the story of various surveillance attempts and the privacy concerns that people have. Even the Indian PMO has asked this data and because there was no protest by the civil society, a token protest was done by COAI (Cellular Operator Association of India) but beyond that nothing, I am guessing because the civil society didn’t make much noise as everybody is busy with their own concerns of safety and things going on, it’s possible that such data may have gone to the Government. There is not much new here that people who had been working on the privacy issues know, it’s just how easy Governments are finding to do it. The part of ‘informed consent’ is really a misnomer . Governments lie all the time, for e.g. in the UK, did the ‘leave’ party and people take informed consent, no they pushed their own agenda. This is and will be similar in many countries of the world.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Cancel RIMPAC, Protect Hawai’i

        Bullets and bombs are useless against viruses. This pandemic reveals that our mutual survival depends on fostering an ethos of solidarity.

      • Greece Fears Turkey Plans to Send Streams of Migrants Infected with Coronavirus to Europe

        Greek government officials contacted by VOA say the heightened alert follows intelligence reports showing Turkish authorities moving refugee groups from remote inland areas to Turkey’€™s western shores, where smugglers could secretly ferry then to Greek islands less than a few kilometers away.

        They say Greece’€™s coastguard, Air Force and Navy are increasing patrols along the Aegean waterway that divides Greece and Turkey — anticipating what they call an organized attempt by Ankara to push through thousands of asylum seekers to Europe.

        Whether that push will include migrants infected by the coronavirus remains unclear, officials told VOA.

        But on Sunday, leading Greek media reported that Turkey was in fact considering such a plan… hoping to exert fresh pressure on Europe to extract added financial aid for hosting nearly 4 million Syrian refugees and sparing the continent a fresh migration crisis.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘Explosive’: Office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Attempted to Squash Newspaper’s Lawsuit Seeking Coronavirus Records

        “I’ve never been more proud of the “Miami Herald”–€”fighting Governor “Ron DeSantis” whose ignorance has led to countless people getting sick–€”especially the elderly. The Herald is standing up for those older citizens by suing his ass.”

      • Trump Admin Says Employers Don’t Have to Record Coronavirus Cases Among Workers

        President Donald Trump’s Labor Department has quietly issued guidance informing most employers in the United States that they will not be required to record and report coronavirus cases among their workers because doing so would supposedly constitute an excessive burden on companies.

      • Sanders Says Congress Must Stop Trump From Exploiting Covid-19 Crisis to ‘Bankrupt and Privatize the Postal Service’

        “Now, more than ever, we need a strong and vibrant postal system to deliver mail 6-days a week. Congress must act now to save it.”

      • The debate over a post office bailout, explained

        But the Trump administration also appears to be specifically hostile to the idea of a Postal Service bailout. Its distaste for a postal bailout merges ideological conservatives’ generic preference for postal privatization with the president’€™s specific hangup about the idea that USPS is giving Amazon a sweetheart deal on shipping.

        In general, there are a lot of complexities to the long-term postal policy picture in the United States, but the immediate crisis is actually pretty simple: Mail volumes are plunging, taking USPS revenue down with them. And unless something is done relatively quickly to make up for those lost revenues, it’€™s hard to see how significant layoffs and service reductions can be avoided.

      • Trump to U.S. Postal Service: Drop Dead

        Trump made it clear that he would veto the bill if it included any emergency funding for the agency that is already on unsteady ground, a situation that has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. The Post’s source added, “€œI don’€™t know if we used the v-bomb, but the president was not going to sign it, and we told them that.”€

        According to the report, the president is using a false claim that higher [Internet] shipping rates imposed on companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS would increase the USPS’€™s budget and help its 600,000 plus workers.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Animal Crossing’ suddenly banned in China

        The secretary-general of Hong Kong pro-democracy party Demosist, Joshua Wong, is one such dedicated player; he has been using the game to advocate the ongoing pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong by creating satirical images. Some mock Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, while others depict scenes such as a funeral for CCP leader Xi Jinping.

        As similar images began proliferating on social media, Nintendo suddenly announced it would be taking down the game’s China server on April 10 at 6 p.m., allegedly after being pressured by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Several Chinese e-tailers, such as Jingdong and Taobao, also removed the game from their platforms.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A Palestinian Guide to Surviving a Quarantine: On Faith, Humor, and ‘Dutch Candy’

        Currently in Gaza, the quarantine has a different name. We call it “siege,” also known as “blockade.”

      • Prioritizing Jails Over Hospitals Has Made Rural US More Vulnerable to COVID-19

        Infrastructure development is a matter of life and death: This has always been true, and we are now in a clarifying moment.

      • Migrant Workers Are Essential Workers and Must Be Included in Coronavirus Relief

        The coronavirus pandemic has inspired critical discussions about which companies deserve government support and who constitutes an essential worker. Yet, there is a vital population of more than 1.6 million people who have been disregarded as a group worthy of protections: temporary foreign workers.

      • Bolsonaro Is Far From Alone in Putting Profits Over Lives–but He Is a Useful Scapegoat

        Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro–already a media fixture for his propensity to say horrible things on Twitter–as over the past few weeks become one of the most ridiculed leaders in the world due to his handling of the coronavirus crisis. While it is true that he is a controversial and widely disliked leader, who well deserves to be called out for all kinds of terrible things he has said and done, does his initial reaction to and handling of the coronavirus crisis really differ in any significant measure from what US and UK leaders, and their media sycophants, have been saying and doing?

      • Indian expat sacked, faces jail for insulting Islam in the UAE

        Kitturmath sparked outrage on social media after he ridiculed Muslim worshippers in response to a Facebook post on coronavirus.

      • Tablighi Jamaat members defecate in front of Delhi’s Narela quarantine centre room

        The case was registered on Saturday, after police received information from the sanitation staff at the quarantine centre about the men defecating in front of their rooms, a senior police official said.

      • An abortion ban prompted by covid-19 reaches the Supreme Court

        Rather than wait up to another week for a full decision from the Fifth Circuit, the plaintiffs made an emergency application to the Supreme Court. The justices’€™ “intervention is urgently needed”€, the organisations wrote, as “€œvirtually all Texas residents with unplanned pregnancies are unable to access early abortion care through medication abortion and must instead wait until they reach a more advanced stage of pregnancy”. Pointing to hundreds of women whose appointments have already been cancelled, the plaintiffs asked the court to lift Texas’s ban on pill-based termination during the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

      • Why is the USDA subsidizing jails at the expense of rural health care?

        But this type of economic development is a mirage. An old tactic of car salesmen is to get the customer to focus on the low monthly payment rather than the total cost of ownership. Local officials may be hoping taxpayers won’€™t notice the long-term expense of a facility that is overbuilt and often unnecessary. But even with federal subsidies and short-term cash flows fueled by per diems, the bill eventually comes due. Either taxes must go up or services must be cut, and the taxpayers lose unless they stop these projects before they start. Some are doing just that.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • AI and patents: a machine cannot be an inventor (yet)

          Both the European Patent Office (EPO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) have recently held that artificial intelligence (AI) systems or machines cannot be considered as the inventors of patentable inventions.

          This is the status quo for now, we may add, as the IP5 (the five offices that together handle about 85% of the world’s patent applications), have set up a joint task force to explore the challenges posed by AI. Handling applications for inventions created by machines is clearly on their agenda.

        • Apple Tormentor Parlays Patent Verdicts Into Brand-Name Clients

          Caldwell Cassady & Curry PC has been a thorn in Apple Inc.’s side.

          Since it was founded seven years ago by three thirty-something McKool Smith alums, the small Dallas law firm has raked in more than $1 billion in patent verdicts against the iPhone maker.

          A good chunk of the verdicts are still being disputed, but they have turned heads. The firm’s work for a few clients, software developer VirnetX Holdings Corp., in particular, has been a launching point, opening the door to new work and helping the firm muscle its way into a crowded patent litigation market.

          “They’ve earned a reputation for their results and nobody on the defense side really wants to see them on the plaintiff’s side,” said Ed Nelson, a founding partner at Nelson Bumgardner Albritton PC in Fort Worth who has worked with the firm’s attorneys on cases.

          [...]

          The law firm essentially started with VirnetX. The three attorneys worked with VirnetX while at McKool Smith and were part of the company’s 2010 patent trial against Microsoft Corp. The case settled two months after the verdict for $200 million.

          “They were young but they were ready to step into that responsibility of being name-on-the-door partners,” VirnetX CEO Kendall Larsen said.

          Larsen stuck with, as he calls them, the “three C’s” when VirnetX began a patent battle with Apple. Following years of litigation, the company said March 13 it had collected $454 million in one case against the iPhone maker. Apple continues to contest the judgment in district court filings.

        • Senators Who Led Pharma-Friendly Patent Reform also Prime Targets for Pharma Cash
        • COVID-19: Impact on Canadian patent owners‎

          Canadian patentees should be aware of recent amendments to the Patent Act in light of the COVID-19 health emergency. Most current medical technology is protected by patents. However, during emergencies, patent rights must take a back seat to the manufacture and distribution of essential equipment – ventilators, masks, valves, etc. Bill C-13, dubbed the Covid-19 Emergency Response Act, received royal assent on March 25, 2020, and covers, among other things, amendments to Canada’s Patent Act to authorize the use of patented inventions necessary to respond to a public health emergency of national concern.

        • The Research Patent

          The patent system gives the courts discretion to tailor patentability standards flexibly across technologies to provide optimal incentives for innovation. For chemical inventions, the courts deem them unpatentable if the chemical lacks a practical, non-research-based use at the time patent protection is sought. The fear is that an early-stage patent on a research input would confer too much control over yet-unknown uses for the chemical; thereby potentially hindering downstream innovation. Yet, denying patents on research inputs can frustrate patent law’s broad goal to protect and promote advances in science and technology.

          This Article addresses this problem by proposing a new form of intellectual property—a “research patent.” This regime would allow inventors to obtain patents on research inputs and extract their full value through licensing and enforcement. Research patents would impose minimal administrative costs on the patent system and ultimately promote the disclosure, development, and use of early-stage inventions. At a broader level, the proposed regime raises the theoretical question of how allowing patent protection on early-stage inventions like research inputs serves patent law’s instrumental justification of promoting scientific progress. It also raises significant normative and policy questions about technology-specific patentability standards and their role in furthering the goals of the patent system.

        • Crisis-Critical Intellectual Property: Findings from the COVID-19 Pandemic

          Within national and international innovation systems a pandemic calls for large-scale action by many actors across sectors, in order to mobilise resources, developing and manufacturing Crisis-Critical Products as efficiently and in the huge quantities needed. Nowadays, this also includes digital innovations ranging from complex epidemiological models, artificial intelligence (AI) methodologies, to open data platforms for prevention, diagnostic and treatment.

          Amongst the many challenges during a pandemic, innovation stakeholders and manufacturing firms particularly find themselves suddenly engaged in new relationships, possibly even with firms that have been competitors prior to the pandemic. Those stakeholders are thus likely to face intellectual property (IP) related challenges. Unfortunately, to (governmental) decision makers these challenges might not appear to be of paramount urgency compared to the many, huge operational challenges to deploy urgently needed resources. However, if IP challenges are considered too late, they may cause delays to urgently mobilising resources effectively. Manufacturing firms could be reluctant to fully engage in the development and mass manufacturing of CrisisCritical Products.

          This paper adopts an IP perspective on the currently unfolding COVID-19 pandemic to identify pandemic related IP considerations and IP challenges. The focus is predominantly on individual challenges and technical aspects related to research, development and urgent upscaling of capacity to manufacture Crisis-Critical Products in the huge volumes suddenly in demand. Its purpose is to provide a structure for those concerned with steering clear of IP challenges to avoid delays in fighting a pandemic.

          From an ad-hoc patent analysis we identify that the majority of coronavirus related patents in the field are around organic chemistry, and development of methodologies and drugs for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viruses. We also identify a time-lag between the outbreak and the materialisation of patent applications, which is consistent with the processes of the Patent Office. The large number of references to non-patent literature published after outbreaks is also an indication of the urgency of scientists to put the information in the public domain and make them accessible quickly to a wider audience.

          We identify four stakeholder groups that are particularly concerned with IP related challenges during a pandemic. These include (i) governments, (ii) organisations owning existing CrisisCritical IP (incumbents in Crisis-Critical Sectors), (iii) manufacturing firms from other sectors normally not producing Crisis-Critical Products suddenly rushing into Crisis-Critical Sectors to support the manufacturing of Crisis-Critical Products (new entrants) in the quantities that far exceed incumbents’ production capacities and (iv) voluntary grassroot initiatives that are formed during a pandemic, often by highly skilled engineers and scientists to contribute to the development and dissemination of Crisis-Critical Products.

          This paper discusses IP challenges faced by those stakeholders during a pandemic related to the development and manufacturing of technologies and products for (i) prevention (of spread), (ii) diagnosis of infected patients and (iii) the development of treatments. We offer an initial discussion of potential response measures to reduce IP associated risks among industrial stakeholders during a pandemic.

        • Urgent Legal Lessons From a Very Fast Problem: COVID-19

          The course of a pandemic is dictated not just by biology, but also by law. And crucially, unlike biology, law can be readily adapted in response to a pandemic. Unfortunately, the current law does not take account of the compressed timeframe and rapidly changing social needs that distinguish pandemic times from normal times. We thus suggest three urgent, early lessons for law in the pandemic context: First, free information flows save lives, an observation which has ramifications for freedom of speech and press, copyright law, and patent law. Identifying particular hazards that patent law poses to the free flow of scientific research findings, we suggest a government-funded reward system as an adjunct to the patent system to incentivize pandemic-relevant research and its rapid publication. Second, politically accountable decisionmakers may not act optimally to save lives. We suggest a refashioned, politically insulated U.S. Public Health Service imbued with administrative independence in the vein of the Federal Reserve Board. Third, pre-crisis regulatory structures are not proving nimble enough in the midst of the pandemic. We suggest legislation that directs the FDA to be creative in designing case-by-case approval procedures for vaccines and other treatments to allow them to get to market much faster. To accelerate approvals while retaining scientific rigor, we suggest allowing well-informed, consenting human testing subjects to take on more uncertain risk than the FDA currently tolerates. In sum, we argue for a more general, systematic, and critical perspective on law in the special context of a pandemic.

        • Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Patent Offices and Federal Courts – April 12 UPDATE

          On March 11, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom declared that the COVID-19 outbreak “can be characterized as a pandemic,” cautioning that the WHO has “rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” At the time of the announcement, the WHO noted that there were 118,000 cases reported globally; in its situation report for April 12, the WHO indicates that to date there have been 1,696,588 cases globally. The WHO’s declaration last month — and global developments since then — raise the question of how the pandemic has been affecting the patent community.

          We have been reporting (see links below) on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, World Intellectual Property Organization, European Patent Office, IP Australia, Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ), Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), National Office of Intellectual Property (ONAPI) in the Dominican Republic, Intellectual Property India, National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO) in Sri Lanka, Israel Patent Office, Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (NOIP), and Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) in Indonesia, as well as U.S. Federal courts, including, in particular, the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit.

        • CVC Reply No. 1 to Broad’s Opposition No. 1 to CVC’s Motion No. 1 to Be Accorded Benefit of Priority

          March 23rd was a busy day at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) regarding Interference No. 106,115 between Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”), where the parties filed their Reply Briefs to their opponents’ Opposition to each parties Motions authorized by the PTAB last summer. See “CRISPR Interference Parties Propose Motions” and “PTAB Redeclares CRISPR Interference and Grants Leave for Some (But Not All) of Parties’ Proposed Motions”. CVC’s Motion No. 1 was to be accorded the benefit of priority to three earlier-filed provisional applications.

        • Software Patents

          • Interview: Rodney Gilstrap ready for mounting case backlog after COVID-19 [Ed: Patrick Wingrove is nowadays a megaphone for patent trolls, not just for Team UPC (law firms of the trolls)]

            In an exclusive interview, the Eastern District of Texas’s chief judge delves into the changing litigation landscape, including Western Texas’s growing docket, and how litigants should try cases

          • Judges and lawyers reveal key to success for less popular US courts [Ed: These clowns from Managing IP -- Rani Mehta in this case -- equate courts' ability to attract trolls by tolerating faux patents with "popularity"]

            Louisiana and West Virginia judges and four private practice lawyers say following local rules and educating judges will help cases in the 87 courts that oversee just 30% of all US patent matters

      • Copyrights

        • Introducing control © – Strategic Litigation for Free Communication

          A year after the adoption of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market, many questions about its compatibility with fundamental rights remain unanswered. Germany, the epicenter of public protests against the directive’s most controversial provisions, is also the origin of frequent fundamental rights-related requests for preliminary rulings on EU copyright law. Most recently, the CJEU ruled on three such cases in July 2019. As digitization accelerates, the friction between copyright law and the communication freedoms enshrined in Article 5 of the German Basic Law (freedom of expression, freedom of the press, ban on censorship, freedom of information, education, the arts and the sciences), as well as in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, is likely to grow. control ©, a new project launched by former Member of the European Parliament Julia Reda (the author of this post) and German fundamental rights litigation NGO Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF) aims at defending those freedoms in court.

          [...]

          With the deadline for national implementation looming in June 2021 and the stakeholder dialogues aimed at developing guidance on the functioning of Article 17 having stalled without any consensus emerging, the question of how the DSM Directive can be reconciled with fundamental rights is more pressing than ever. The German government, under intense public pressure, has promised to avoid the introduction of mandatory upload filters, but to date has failed to produce a proposal for national implementation. Meanwhile, the question to what extent an approach based on compulsory licenses as a potential alternative to upload filters is possible under EU and international law, is subject to academic debate.

          Whichever approach the German government – and legislators in other member states – end up choosing, the inherent contradictions enshrined in Article 17 will have to be reconciled in court. One main goal of the new litigation project control © is to ensure that fundamental rights considerations will be at the forefront of those court cases, in Germany and eventually at a European level.

        • “Copyright Troll”€™ Lawyer’s Request for a Temporary Prison Release Due to COVID-19 Threat Fails

          Paul Hansmeier, one of the lead attorneys behind the controversial Prenda law firm, has asked the court for a temporary release from prison while he appeals his 14-year sentence. The disbarred lawyer says that he faces a substantial risk of catching the coronavirus in prison. The US Government protested the request, however, after which the court declined to consider it at all.

        • Judge in eBook.bike Piracy Case Asks Author to Consider a Massively Reduced Damages Claim

          The copyright infringement lawsuit filed by author John van Stry against former Pirate Party leader Travis McCrea may be edging closer to financial discomfort. A motion for summary judgment filed by the plaintiff demanded $15,000 in damages for each title infringed, to a total of $180,000 plus costs. The presiding judge has now asked Van Stry to consider accepting just $750 per work to keep things simple.

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  1. Censorship at the EPO is Counterproductive, Rendering the Censored Publications More Seductive and Censored People More Disgruntled

    The efforts to gag Techrights or to intimidate us have all been unfruitful; in a sense, they encouraged us to focus on EPO scandals even more and arguably invoked the 'Streisand Effect' at the EPO (most workers read this site, no matter what their bosses say)



  2. EPO Management Has No Plans Other Than Granting Loads of Invalid Patents (e.g. Software Patents) to Pocket Fees and Then Grift/Gamble With the Money

    The EPO does not know what the hell it’s doing; it’s more of that magical festival-like thinking, as if running a patent office is Eurovision



  3. Links 1/12/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20.4, GNU Octave 6.1, OpenZFS 2.0, and PinePhone KDE Community Edition

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  4. [Meme] Public Servants Who Only Serve Themselves and Their Predecessors (Who Gave Them the Job)

    The Benoît Battistelli-appointed António Campinos (an old friend of his) isn’t just covering up the EPO‘s financial scams but contributes to these; when will this house of cards (arse-covering) fall and will that take a special (independent) investigator?



  5. Censored EPO Publication: Battistelli Can Have His Multi-Billion Euro EPO Scam, So Why Can't Campinos Too?

    Mr. Campinos, seeing what Mr. Battistelli has managed to get away with (the Commission approves, having been infiltrated by friends of the ringleaders), piggybacks or follows the steps of his appointer by blasting almost a billion euros on a worthless project with no real purpose and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) warns it has "very high risk of mismanagement and fraud"



  6. Staff Representation of the EPO Explains to EPO Management That It's Breaking the Law, Robbing the Staff, and Lying to Staff

    Human rights, basic dignity and labour protections of EPO staff are routinely violated and the staff is also being robbed based on false pretenses; the staff representatives write to refute "[t]he Office’s report [which] has been made available on the Intranet"



  7. European Commission's Thierry Breton Covers Up EPO Corruption For His Friend Benoît Battistelli

    Thierry Breton is the sort of official who causes people to vote for Brexit (or similar exits from the EU); he’s enthusiastically defending EPO corruption and he also calls for constitutional violations in many member states — all in the name of patent maximalism (Team UPC’s coup attempt)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, November 30, 2020



  9. Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

    Links for the day



  10. Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

    Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we're finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs



  11. Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

    Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe's second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?



  12. [Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

    Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached



  13. “ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

    Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn't embracing innovation, it's just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders



  14. Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO 'Study'

    It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them



  15. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 29, 2020



  16. Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO's Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

    By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns



  17. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  18. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  19. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  20. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  21. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  22. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  23. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  24. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  25. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  26. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  27. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  28. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  29. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  30. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day


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