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04.18.20

Links 18/4/2020: Linux 5.8 Plans and Darktable 3.0.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Apple Music on the web is no longer in beta — including on Linux


        My favorite streaming music service is Apple Music. As an iPhone user, this was a match made in heaven. As a regular desktop Linux user, however, this was very problematic. You see, for the longest time, you needed iTunes to listen to Apple Music on desktop. This wasn’t a problem when using Windows 10 or macOS, but as soon as I signed into, say, Ubuntu, I was out of luck, as there is no iTunes for Linux.

        Thankfully, late last year, Apple finally brought its streaming music service to the web. In other words, all you needed to listen to Apple Music was a compatible web browser. This meant that users of desktop Linux could finally listen to the streaming service by simply firing up a web browser, such as Firefox. Despite being a feature Spotify offered for many years, it was still a really big deal. The problem? Apple Music for the web was merely a beta. Today, this changes.

    • Server

      • Solaris 11.4 SRU20 released

        The administrator of my organisation needs to supply me with a Support Identifier before I can do something as simple as read the documentation about this new version, so I have no idea what to tell you. I guess Solaris technically isn’t dead yet?

      • Real sysadmins don’t sudo

        A few months ago, I read a very interesting article that contained some good information about a Linux feature that I wanted to learn more about. I won’t tell you the name of the article, what it was about, or even the web site on which I read it, but the article just made me shudder.

        The reason I found this article so cringe-worthy is that it prefaced every command with the sudo command. The issue I have with this is that the article is allegedly for sysadmins, and real sysadmins don’t use sudo in front of every command they issue. To do so is a gross misuse of the sudo command. I have written about this type of misuse in my book, “The Linux Philosophy for SysAdmins.” The following is an excerpt from Chapter 19 of that book.

        In this article, we explore why and how the sudo tool is being misused and how to bypass the configuration that forces one to use sudo instead of working directly as root.

      • Canonical Switches To Rolling Kernel Model For Ubuntu On Amazon AWS

        In a new blog post, Francis Ginther, Engineer Manager at Canonical (maker of Ubuntu), has announced the adoption of a rolling kernel model in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Amazon Machine Image (AMI). In case you didn’t know, Canonical already uses this model in other cloud environments to provide the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements.

        The rolling kernel will make the default linux-aws kernel, which is based on a 4.15, switch to a new kernel based on 5.3 of the interim release. Since the next long term release Ubuntu 20.04 is due for release on April 23, Ubuntu 19.10 is currently an interim release having a 5.3 based kernel.

      • Ubuntu Begins Offering A Rolling Release Kernel For The Amazon Cloud

        Canonical is transitioning Ubuntu’s support in the Amazon AWS environment to have a rolling-release model for its kernel albeit other packages will remain under their traditional stable release update handling. At least though it’s good they will be more punctually offering new kernel versions in the cloud

        This new rolling kernel model is being offered in the name of providing “the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements around task scheduling, I/O scheduling, networking, hypervisor guests and containers to our users.”

      • Q&A with Amazon’s Deepak Singh Regarding Bottlerocket, Containers and EC2

        AWS announced a Linux based operating system called Bottlerocket.
        InfoQ caught up with Deepak Singh, VP of compute services at AWS, regarding details about the announcement.

        Deepak Singh covers the motivation for a new Linux-based operating system and how it builds on the lessons learned from operationalizing Amazon Linux, primarily dealing with security and performance issues.

        He talks about how these issues are addressed in Bottlerocket and the roadmap which goes beyond the current Kubernetes support.

      • Ortus Solutions To Debut Its Lucee AMI

        Ortus Solutions, Corp announced the release of its Lucee AMI after several months of work. Ortus long saw the need to bring Lucee servers to the Amazon Web Services cloud. Now, users will have a site up and running in minutes without going through the configuration hassle.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-04-17 | Linux Headlines

        A KDE developer releases a drop-in replacement for KWin, Ubuntu shifts its kernel release to a rolling model for some AWS-hosted virtual machines, Google unveils a gRPC framework for Kotlin, and the Paranoid Android ROM returns with an Android 10 build.

      • [Bad Voltage] 3×02: Bookish
      • 36: David Revoy on Pepper & Carrot and Free Culture

        Serge and Chris sit down with award winning artist and Free Culture activist David Revoy on his webcomic series Pepper and Carrot, the Sintel film, and how he started his Free Software/Free Culture journey.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.5

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.5 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.6.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.6.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.5.18
      • Linux 5.4.33
      • Linux 4.19.116
      • Projects and progress in Linux kernel 5.6
      • Collabora’s Contributions to Linux Kernel 5.6



        The development cycle of Linux kernel 5.6 has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed the way we live and work. The final release arrived on schedule at the end of March and was ready for mass adoption a couple of days later.

        Collabora is well known for their great contributions to the Linux kernel, and this cycle was no different, despite the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, I think they made more contributions than in the previous releases, and that’s probably because most of its developers work remotely for years.

      • Intel Sends Initial Linux 5.8 Graphics Driver Updates – Adds Ability For Tapping Full EU Perf, More Tiger Lake Bits

        Less than one week since the release of Linux 5.7-rc1, Intel’s large open-source graphics team has already submitted their first pull request to DRM-Next of changes for Linux 5.8.

        The Linux 5.8 merge window won’t happen until June and then that stable release later in the summer, but already the Intel folks have a lot of material accumulating for this next cycle.

      • Linux 5.8 To Bring An Arm CryptoCell Driver For True RNG Within TrustZone

        Queued up as one of the early changes in the cryptographic subsystem ahead of the Linux 5.8 kernel cycle this summer is an Arm CryptoCell driver.

        CryptoCell for TrustZone is one of Arm’s embedded security options for hardware random number generation (RNG) as well as cryptographic acceleration engines within this secure environment on SoCs and other security features.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Nouveau Display CRC Support Being Firmed Up Thanks To NVIDIA’s Documentation

          While waiting to see NVIDIA’s new open-source play and ultimately how the re-clocking situation will get addressed for Nouveau so modern GeForce GPUs can work at their intended frequencies on this open-source Linux graphics driver stack, at least the display support has been getting into a more reliable state with CRC support on the horizon as a result of NVIDIA’s already published documentation.

        • Radeon Software For Linux 20.10 Driver Released

          AMD has finally released their first “Radeon Software for Linux” packaged driver release to succeed their Radeon Software for Linux 19.50 driver series that saw its last update in December. Radeon Software for Linux 20.10 is available today as their first packaged Linux driver update of 2020 for AMD Radeon Linux owners as the packaged solution intended for easy installation of their All-Open and “PRO” driver components.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Benchmarks Of Schedutil Performance On Linux 5.7 Show Room Still For Improvement

        With Linux 5.7 the kernel is preparing to use the Schedutil governor more often on Intel systems. That change affects the CPUfreq default as well as the Intel P-State driver when in passive mode. While Schedutil holds a lot of hope, at least on Linux 5.7 with the testing I’ve done thus far the results show the raw performance slipping while testing on more platforms is forthcoming.

    • Applications

      • Cryptomator 1.5.0 Released With Redesigned User Interface, New Vault Format (Cloud Data Encryptor)

        Cryptomator, a client-side encryption tool for cloud files (and more), has seen a new major release. The latest 1.5.0 version comes with a brand-new user interface, a new vault format, and various other improvements.

        Cryptomator is a free and open source Java tool that provides client-side encryption for your cloud storage files, available for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are also iOS and Android applications – these are open core (a business model for the monetization of commercially produced open-source software), and need to be purchased.

        It works with cloud storage services that synchronize with a local directory, like Dropbox, OneDrive (on Linux using e.g. OneDrive Free Client fork) and Google Drive (including using it with Insync). You can choose to either encrypt your whole cloud storage, or only a few sensitive files, in either a single or multiple vaults.

        It’s worth mentioning that while Cryptomator was created with cloud storage encryption in mind, it can also be used to encrypt a folder on your system or some external drive.

      • darktable 3.0.2 released

        We’re proud to announce the new feature release of darktable, 3.0.2!

      • Darktable 3.0.2 Released with New Features & Cameras Support

        Open source photography workflow app and raw developer Darktable 3.0.2 was released today with new features, bug-fixes, and new cameras support. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Darktable 3.0.2 RAW Image Editor Improves Camera Support, Adds Enhancements

        Darktable 3.0.2 has been released as the second maintenance update to the Darktable 3.0 series, adding some minor enhancements to the user interface, along with improved camera support.

        This is a maintenance update that adds a few new features and updated camera support. Among the new features and changes, Darktable now allows for larger vignette scale, adds the Ctrl+Click shortcut for renaming module instances, and allows to group blend modes by category.

        To keep user’s modifications, a pseudo preset is now available in the White Balance module. Also, in the Crop & Rotate module, it’s now possible to allow only vertical composition change by using the Shift modifier when dragging the crop area, as well as horizontal composition change by using the Ctrl modifier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine’s Direct3D Vulkan Backend Is Seeing Some New Activity

        While there exists DXVK offering great Direct3D 9/10/11 support atop Vulkan that is used by Steam Play / Proton and others, Wine developers continue working on their Vulkan back-end to WineD3D as a similar Direct3D-over-Vulkan approach for pre-D3D12.

        A year ago saw initial work on this Vulkan back-end for WineD3D as an alternative to their mature Direct3D-on-OpenGL code path. Since then there’s been WineD3D Vulkan activity on and off.

    • Games

      • A look over all the goodies on sale (and free) for Linux gaming fans this weekend

        It’s another weekend, although you will be completely forgiven for having no idea what day it is. I don’t remember half the time right now as it’s all blurring into one during lockdown. Here’s a look over what you can get cheap and free right now.

      • Build a mighty empire and help a needy Fish God in ‘Merchant of the Skies’ out now

        Merchant of the Skies from Coldwild Games has you sail through the skies and build up a huge trading empire, and it’s out today with a whole lot of new features. It mixes together some light base-building and tycoon elements, with plenty of exploration as you gradually build up to have your own company.

        This exit from Early Access comes with with a full overhaul to the campaign mod, with a ton of new missions and characters. The developer said it should give you 6-8 hours gameplay but there’s other modes to play through too. Also with this update they’ve introduced a new water mechanic, with lake generation and a new water tower building and there’s even some lovely new ambient sounds.

      • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has now beaten the all-time player record of Dota 2

        Four years ago, Valve’s free to play MOBA Dota 2 hit 1,295,114 concurrent players and today it’s finally been beaten by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

        Why the sudden resurgence of CS:GO? Well, I’ve been following it along and noted a few times now about certain milestones both Steam and CS:GO have been hitting. Have a look at this previous article for a little timeline, it’s absolutely crazy.

      • Kingdom Two Crowns free update ‘Dead Lands’ arrives April 28 – Bloodstained crossover

        Kingdom Two Crowns from Noio, Coatsink and publisher Raw Fury is set to expand with a free update on all platforms on April 28. The update is named Dead Lands, with it being a cross-over with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (which sadly cancelled Linux) but don’t let that put you off free content for Kingdom Two Crowns.

        “Since launch, monarchs have been building their Kingdoms in the classic medieval and feudal Japan inspired settings. Now things are about to get darker and creepier with Dead Lands, a completely new setting that will change how you rule your Kingdom. Taking place in a gloomy gothic world with eerie mounts, building a Kingdom has never been more frightening than this!”

      • KnotBot, a very sweet looking programming-puzzle game involving knots and strings

        KnotBot might be one of the sweetest looking puzzle-programming type of games I’ve ever seen. A game where you give a little robot directions across a bunch of hand-crafted levels. It’s due out on Steam sometime in May, and the developer confirmed on Twitter that it will be supporting Linux either at release or “shortly” after.

        I’m quite a sucker for these types of puzzle games. After playing other similar titles like Selfless Heroes, Robo Instructus and 7 Billion Humans I’m keen to see what other game developers can do with the basic idea behind it. Take a look at the first proper KnotBot trailer below:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: our cup overfloweth with improvements

          Three main topics will hold the floor today: Dolphin and other file management stuff, Plasma polish, and Wayland–we’re making a bit of a push on Wayland stuff so you should see more Wayland fixes going forward! For all three, we’re concentrating on fixing longstanding issues. There’s more too, of course!

          Also, as you’ve no doubt noticed, I’m going to try out sending these posts on Saturday morning Europe time, instead of Sunday. Hopefully it should be a nice way to start your weekend.

        • KDE Continuing To See More Wayland Improvements, Fixes To Dolphin

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his weekly development recap one day early in highlighting the most recent improvements and new capabilities to this open-source desktop environment.

          Some of the KDE highlights for the past week include continued Wayland improvements as well as this week seeing a lot of file manager fixes/improvements.

        • KWinFT packaged for openSUSE, KWin-LowLatency updated

          First review: I don’t notice a difference to regular KWin – I guess that’s a good thing for a new project.

          I won’t submit the package to the KDE repository after they refused to accept KWin-LowLatency because they don’t want 3rd party packages there. They will just do the same again. If they ever change their minds, I’ll be happy to submit both again.

        • Commentary on the Qt situation

          A lot of things have been going on with Qt these days. It all started with The Qt Company trying to get an increase in their revenues, specifically this blog post. And just like a proper PR team, they didn’t talk about the changes clearly for the open-source folks who use the product.

          [...]

          These changes won’t affect open source Qt that much, on the other hand, the last 2 points do make sense. The Qt company is paying for the server to host the builds, it would be wrong for us to expect them to do that for no charge. Other than that, the first point would mean the open-source community needs to do some extra work to backport security patches. A thing which distro packagers already used to do in the past when there were no LTS releases of Qt.

          [...]

          If KDE forks Qt, it would be a huge task on the community to maintain it on their own, especially parts like QtWebEngine. Though we could always backport all the patches to the fork after a year along with ours. If companies which rely on the LGPL Qt, come together, an open-source Qt fork could surely be maintained under KDE. It might be a bit of trouble to organize everything but it is not impossible at all.

          [...]

          This event at least made me realize a couple of things, one The Qt Company never acknowledges the open source contributions. I never saw a single mention of KDE in their blog post leave all other projects. Second don’t rely on one thing too much. It is great that Qt makes C++ as easy as Java, but relying too much on it could have worse consequences.

        • Should KDE fork CHMLib?

          CHMLib is a library to handle CHM files.

          It is used by Okular and other applications to show those files.

          It hasn’t had a release in 11 years.

          It is packaged by all major distributions.

          A few weeks ago I got annoyed because we need to carry a patch in Okular flathub because the code is not great and it defines it’s own int types.

          I tried contacting the upstream author, but unsurprisingly after 11 years he doesn’t seem to care much and got no answer.

        • Public Transport Line Metadata

          KPublicTransport gives us access to real-time departure and journey information for many public transport systems. However, the presentation of the result isn’t ideal yet, as we are missing access to the characteristic symbols/icons and colors often associated with public transport lines.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Endless 3.8.0 Beta 1 Trip Report


          Endless have recently released the first beta of the 3.8 series for their Linux based operating system. As someone who used to work there in product, and is still friends with a number of Endless-ers I upgraded my personal machine and checked it out. This is a “trip report” of my notes and may be a little bitty but I hope it’s useful feedback for the developers and designers and maybe encourages a few other people to give Endless a go.

          Things that are great

          Always the first thing to comment on with a new Endless release but the upgrade process driven by ostree is still class leading. A quick download, reboot and you’re in. And the reassurance of a quick and reliable rollback as well, always handy when testing a beta!

        • My First 24 Hours With The Deepin 20 Beta: A Disappointing Dream



          When anyone sees Linux OS Deepin for the first time, their initial reaction is always the same: “That looks gorgeous!” Indeed, Deepin is a looker. Stunning, slick and arguably the best looking desktop environment in existence. So why isn’t it my daily driver? With this week’s launch of the brand new Deepin 20 Beta, I wanted to give this distribution another shot. Here’s how my first 24 hours played out.

          Look, the majority of Linux installers are serviceable, but Deepin’s actually looks modern and aesthetically it makes Windows 10’s look like a relic. The prior version of Deepin had a fantastic installer, and Deepin 20 makes iterative improvements on it. It’s snappy, colorful, smartly branded and easy to understand.

      • New Releases

        • GoboLinux 017-beta released

          We have just released a preview of GoboLinux 017. It updates several system packages and includes a new model for recipe management (and contribution) that’s fully integrated with the Compile build tool. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback!

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD On Laptops Is Still A Big Challenge But The Slimbook Could Soon Be Running Well

          FreeBSD may be running great on servers at the likes of Netflix, but when it comes to running the BSD operating system on laptops it still is largely a giant mess.

          FreeBSD laptop support isn’t nearly as well off as it is running FreeBSD on servers, but at least in recent times there has been more focus and developer action on improving the laptop compatibility.

        • OpenZFS Merges The New FreeBSD Support

          FreeBSD developers have been working on transitioning to using OpenZFS as their ZFS file-system upstream code rather than the dormant Illumos base. That initial FreeBSD support has been mainlined this week into the OpenZFS repository, now providing a common code-base between for the open-source ZFS file-system code between Illumos, FreeBSD, Linux, and work-in-progress macOS.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Chrome/Chromium

        • Chrome 83 Beta: Cross-site Scripting Protection, Improved Form Controls, and Safe Cross-origin Resource Sharing

          Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 83 is beta as of April 16, 2020.

        • Chrome 83 Beta Rolls Out With Better Form Controls, Barcode Detection API

          Following the release of Chrome 81 earlier this month, Chrome 83 is now in beta with Google having skipped Chrome 82 due to delays / internal issues.

          Chrome 83 Beta is out today with trusted types for DOM manipulation, improved form controls that provide much nicer looking HTML input form controls by default, new origin trials, a barcode detection API is introduced as part of their shape detection API, various WebRTC improvements, and other changes.

        • Chromium 81 – and the new build process for Slackware 14.2

          Google released version 81 of their Chromium browser sources last week, after spending a lot of effort to bring security patches to the 80.x releases in the weeks before. As said before, Google is going to skip the 82 release entirely because of the staffing challenges resulting from the Corina crisis, and will jump straight to release 83 somewhere mid-May.
          I uploaded packages for chromium 81.0.4044.92 a few days ago – but those were only for Slackware-current.

          I found it impossible to compile the latest Chromium 81 code on Slackware 14.2 and I had been trying for days. Yesterday I finally succeeded after more than a week of trying since the sources were released. I can not sit behind my computer for long, but that was not too much of a setback in this particular case. I kept running into new compiler or linker errors, then I would think of a fix, set the box to compile again and had to wait for hours to see the result… and lie down in the meantime. For an entire week, I met failure upon failure.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat, ZTE Develop A Solution For Next-Gen 5G Strategies

          Red Hat has joined hands with ZTE to create a new solution aimed at helping service providers more effectively deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) for Red Hat OpenStack Platform on ZTE XCLOUD hardware.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-16

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. The Final freeze is underway and the Go/No-Go meeting is Thursday!

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Fedora 32 Final is NO-GO

          The release status of Fedora 32 Final is no-go.. Due to open blocker bugs, Fedora 32 Final was declared “no-go”. We will reconvene at 1700 UTC on Thursday, 23 April[1] to re-evaluate. If we determine at that time that Fedora 32 is go, it will release on the “target release date #1″ of 28 April. For more information, please see the minutes[2] from the Fedora 32 Final Go/No-Go meeting.

        • Fedora 32 Delayed From Releasing Next Week Due To Bugs

          Hopefully it won’t be like many Fedora releases in the past that were dragged out for weeks at a time due to blocker bugs (thankfully, recent Fedora releases have been tremendously better in that regard), but Fedora 32 will not be debuting next week as planned due to bugs.

          Thursday’s release management meeting for Fedora 32 determined it a NO-GO.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ultimate Edition: A BIG Storm is coming.

          I was laid off for 3 weeks and used the time to bring RepoStorm up to par. I have not unleashed it to the net yet. I have also re-written the “Service section”. I intend to build a error free Operating System autonomously. Probably hard to see, I do have dual 43″ 4K screens.

          Let me tell you what is happening, on the left screen RepoStorm is Analyzing the entire Ubuntu Focal Repository over 82 GB of debs on the server in the basement, it has made it to the letter “D”. This will be a long process. Right Screen? RepoStorm is in process of building you a new repository of error free debs on my main rig.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My 10 guiding principles for open source community management



        Many activities these days, be they sports, social work, arts or free and open source software, are organized in some sort of community. If backed by a respective legal entity, this not only helps with getting donations and entering contracts but also puts statutes and rules in place that establish the values and ideals all contributors share and abide by.

        Inside these communities, there can be various roles. Some of them have formal requirements and annual or biannual elections, e.g., the board of directors or the supervisory board; others exist ad hoc within dynamically grown groups and can change frequently. Either of those are ideally composed of experienced and enthusiastic community members who take leadership and responsibility.

      • Intel’s oneDNN 1.4 Brings More Performance Optimizations To This Deep Learning Library

        Intel engineers have outed a new version of oneDNN, the library formerly known as DNNL and before that MKL-DNN for providing a deep neural network library geared for high performance deep learning applications. In aiming to live up to its name, oneDNN 1.4 has more performance optimizations.

        The oneDNN 1.4 library release is the second release under the umbrella of being part of Intel’s oneAPI toolkit.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • TenFourFox FPR22b1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 22 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). I have abandoned trying to write that AltiVec GCM routine because it really needs 64-bit elements, something that 32-bit AltiVec obviously doesn’t have, and the 32-bit version I attempted to throw together ended up being not much faster (if at all) than a scalar approach. Since this seemed like a lot of risk for no gain, I just threw in the towel. Instead, this release has a syntactic update to JavaScript and also improves the performance of H.264 streams using the MP4 Enabler, especially on multiprocessor systems. This now by default uses the lower “fast” quality mode of ffmpeg and because it is not spec-compliant may cause odd behaviour on a few videos. If you notice this, advise which URL, and then set tenfourfox.mp4.high_quality to true (you may need to add this preference). TenFourFox FPR22 final will come out parallel with Firefox 76/68.8 on or around May 5.

      • VOIP

        • This is what end-to-end encryption should look like!

          Some of the people watching our repos have been asking us what the deal was with this little new HIPS project (which by the way stands for Hidden In Plain Sight). Well, now you know! HIPS is about using a new Chrome WebRTC API called “Insertable Streams” to add a second layer of end-to-end encryption to media streams in a way that would make them inaccessible to the video router.

          While there is a ton of work left on getting authentication and key distribution to work, the project is already advanced enough for us to engage in two very important steps: [...]

        • What Is Jitsi and Is it More Secure Than Zoom?

          Online conference apps help to maintain business and family connections when you can’t all appear in the same room. There is a wealth of video conferencing and video chat apps to choose from. However, if you’re talking about personal matters or discussing the details of a business contract, you need to know the service you’re using will protect your privacy.

          Jitsi is an encrypted open-source video conferencing app you can use to protect your privacy. So, how does Jitsi compare to Zoom? Is Jitsi easy to use? Should you switch to Jitsi?

          Let’s take a look.

        • How to use Jitsi Meet, an open source Zoom alternative

          So you’re sick of Zoom.

          Maybe it’s the privacy issues, the security issues, or just the whole misrepresenting its encryption thing. Regardless of the specific reason, you know that there has to be a better video-conferencing tool out there, and you’re determined to find it. Enter Jitsi Meet.

          Much like Zoom, the free and open-source video-chat tool is easy to use and requires little-to-no onboarding. It’s also encrypted, and doesn’t sell your data. As an added bonus, you don’t need an account and you don’t need to download anything to start or join a meeting. Oh yeah, and it supports tile view.

          Here’s what you need to get started.

        • Jitsi Meet features update, April 2020

          While we work on making sure our infrastructure is able to cope with the recent surge in traffic, we have managed to ship some features we think you may like, let’s go!

      • CMS

        • Kiwi TCMS open source bounty program, Round 01

          Kiwi TCMS is donating € 10000 (ten thousand euro) to our community to enable more hands working together and give an opportunity for people to get exposed to open source contributions. You will help us complete pending tasks faster while learning something new and receive a bonus for your efforts! This blog post outlines the rules of our open source bounty program.

        • Why an Open Source CMS Can Be the Best Option for Your Enterprise

          We’ve finally reached a turning point: open-source can now be viewed as a pure advantage. In fact, open-source has evolved over the past few decades to become a crucial part of the IT landscape. Red Hat’s annual State of Enterprise Open Source report, which surveyed 950 global IT leaders, states that an increasing number of enterprises are using open source. Sixty-nine percent of the survey’s respondents indicated that usage of enterprise open source is either important or very important for their organizations, and 45 percent of enterprises use open source for website development.

    • Education

      • Your Course to Open Source

        We’re adding to our fully-online Open Source Technology Management courses to provide those pursuing a career around open source software even more options. In addition to our fully accredited, credit-barring courses offered through Brandeis University, we’ve developed six new “micro-courses.” Taking just four weeks and guided by high-profile leaders in the open source community, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the latest trends and techniques driving open source projects and companies. Case studies highlight real-world scenarios and solutions impacting the creation and delivery of open source software across industries. Group projects provide virtual teams direct experience in the highly collaborative, iterative, and innovative world of open source communities of practice.

        And of course, just like our traditional courses, OSI members receive a 15% discount off the cost of our new micro-courses.

        The goal of these courses, and why the OSI is so interested in supporting them, is to prepare the next generation of project founders, entrepreneurs, and business leaders to understand, leverage, and succeed as authentic open source users, developers, contributors, and maintainers.

        [...]

        Sign up to receive more information about the program.

    • Programming/Development

      • Terminal Escape Injection

        Apart from planting them into various scripts, they could be also successfully planted into:

        Configuration files – potentially with the same impact (ACE)

        Log files – as part of detection bypass efforts

      • Developers don’t need ping-pong tables

        For the next half an hour, he’s been proudly telling about “exciting” projects, competitive salary, and a fancy office in the city center. During his elevator pitch, he was not shy to mention disruptive technology, innovation culture, and dynamic environment, also known as “our management can’t stop changing priorities”.

        When I asked him what motivates software developers, he shrugged.

        Companies waste millions on building the environment they think makes developers happy, without understanding what actually makes developers tick.

      • Qt, range-based for loops and structured bindings

        Qt has a long history. The first stable version was released before the first version of C++ was standardized and long before the different C++ compiler vendors started shipping usable implementations of the C++ standard library. Because of this, Qt often followed (and still follows) some design idioms that feel unnatural to the usual C++ developer.

      • Manage Date and Time in JavaScript Using Moment.js

        In this article you will see how to manage date and time in JavaScript using Moment.js. How to use moment.js in JavaScript to manage Date and time. Moment.js is a lightweight JavaScript date library for parsing, validating, manipulating, and formatting dates. Working with times and dates in JavaScript has always been a sort of cumbersome. Often, native data methods are wordy and also the API is inconsistent. Thus, whenever you ask a data-related query on StackOverflow, often you would hear a reply ‘use Moment.js‘.

      • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.2.30, 7.3.17 and 7.4.5

        RPMs of PHP version 7.4.5 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32 and remi-php74 repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux ≥ 7 (RHEL, CentOS).

        RPMs of PHP version 7.3.17 are available in remi repository for Fedora 30-31 and remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

        RPMs of PHP version 7.2.30 are available in remi-php72 repository for Enterprise Linux ≥ 6 (RHEL, CentOS).

      • COBOL

        • IBM, Linux Foundation see great response from COBOL programmers


          Response has been overwhelming to the call by states for COBOL programmers for help keeping unemployment systems functioning since COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented surge in people being laid off and having to file for unemployment benefits.

          Nearly 1,300 people have stepped forward to either volunteer or work for hire, according to John Mertic, director of program management at Linux Foundation, which has partnered with IBM on initiatives to teach the 60-year-old COBOL programming language to coders.

        • I Took a COBOL Course and It Wasn’t The Worst

          After taking this course, I developed a respect for the language. COBOL gets a bad rap mostly because of its age and the Y2K bug (which wasn’t the fault of COBOL), but it’s still around for a reason: it was designed to be rock solid from the start. It’s not without its faults, but nobody can argue the durability of a system that runs for decades.

          I feel comfortable enough with COBOL to have a general understanding of how it works. I wouldn’t hire me as a COBOL programmer, but I’m confident this course would put me on that path if I so desired. The author did a fantastic job with explaining the concepts, being funny/not boring, and explaining best practices and pitfalls very well.

        • Spotlight on mainframes: How today’s skills gap is fueling high-paying career opportunities

          The COVID-19 crisis has brought heightened attention to the importance of mainframes in our economy and the associated skills gap. Many states and large enterprises are faced with a dire need for additional mainframe and COBOL expertise to keep critical business systems from failing under the additional strain. The intense spotlight on today’s mainframe skills gap has created a surge in visibility and interest around the many higher institution educational programs, corporate skills initiatives, and high-paying career opportunities for those who choose to pursue a mainframe career path.

      • Python

        • How to Read and Write INI and Conf Files Using Python

          Python programming language comes with a useful built-in module called “ConfigParser” which can be used to cleanly write configuration parameters for apps. ConfigParser uses a well defined and structured configuration language fully compatible with INI files found in Microsoft Windows. These INI files can be used with Python apps running in Linux as well and they provide a persistent way to store and retrieve values.

          In Linux, it is more common to see “.conf” files than “.ini” files. Conf files in Linux are just like any other text files and therefore, they can be structured in any way. It is dependent on parser how it interprets a “.conf” file. Python’s ConfigParser module can parse “.conf” files as well (or any other random extension), provided these files are defined in INI compatible configuration language. This article will explain reading and writing “.conf” files in Linux using the latest stable version of Python 3. Note that if you replace all occurrences of “.conf” extension in this article with “.ini” extension, the result would be the same. The process and code explained below should be mostly compatible with Microsoft Windows as well, with a few minor differences. Though these differences won’t be covered in this article.

        • Debugging Python Code

          People on my team asked me some time ago how I debug things in our python code base. So I thought I’d share here.

          The easiest (and least efficient) way to debug is to use print statements and logging. But since you’re not using a real debugger, you need to update the code and rerun in order to get new results.

          Hence the most efficient way to debug things in python is to use a debugger. Don’t be scared, they are easy to master and they’ll serve you nicely for the rest of your life. They all are very similar.

        • Beware of chicken testing! (or mocks overuse)

          Dealing with problematic dependencies is an indispensable part of software testing. Often, we cannot or do not want to rely on 3rd party service/network communication/hard drive etc., especially in unit-tests.

      • Rust

        • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Rust Survey 2019 Results

          We are happy to present the results of our fourth annual survey of our Rust community. Before we dig into the analysis, we want to give a big “thank you!” to all of the people who took the time to respond. You are vital to Rust continuing to improve year after year!

      • Java

        • Is reporting 100% of code coverage reasonable?

          The Foundation for Public Code works to enable open and collaborative public-purpose software for public organizations (like local governments) internationally. We do this by supporting software at the codebase level through codebase stewardship. We also publish the Standard for Public Code (draft version 0.1.4 at the time of this writing), which helps open source codebase communities build solutions that can be reused successfully by other organizations. It includes guidance for policymakers, managers, developers, designers, and vendors.

          Among other things, the standard addresses code coverage, or how much of the code is executed when an automated test suite runs. It’s one way to measure the likelihood that the code contains undetected software bugs. In the standard’s “Use continuous integration” requirements, it says, “source code test and documentation coverage should be monitored.” Additionally, the guidance to check this requirement states, “code coverage tools check whether coverage is at 100% of the code.”

          Over my software development career, which spans more than two decades, I have worked on codebases large and small and some with very high percentages of code coverage. Yet none of the non-trivial codebases I have contributed to have reported 100% test coverage. This made me question whether the “check whether coverage is at 100%” guidance would be followed.

        • What’s New In Java 14?
        • Java Is The #1 Language For The Cloud : Aurelio Garcia-Ribeyro
  • Leftovers

    • Memory Malfunkshun

      Even before the dawning of Corona Time, the present age was marked by its inward-looking obsessions—selfie, blog, podcast, Facebook, Twitter. The desire to eat the carefully prepared supper must wait until the urge to Instagram has been gratified. “Sharing” is a form of self-curation.

    • Science

      • Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil’s COVID-19 denial: Oprah has a lot to answer for

        You might wonder why I haven’t been blogging as much recently. After all, given Governor Whitmer’s shelter-in-place order, my patient and surgical loads have been much lower than usual, and I’m spending a lot of time working at home. That should mean I’d be blogging up a storm, shouldn’t it, given that there’s now so much COVID-19-related material in the form of pseudoscience, bad science, quackery, and conspiracy theories. Oddly enough, it hasn’t happened yet. Although my ‘nym and persona for this blog are based on a cranky, nearly all-knowing computer from an obscure (in the US, at least) 40-year-old British science fiction show, I’m not a computer, and I’ve had trouble—shall we say?—focusing, at least on anything other than patient care. Also, I’m working on a manuscript regarding the premature hype over hydroxychloroquine (for which actual scientific evidence—as opposed to anecdotes—is definitely trending in the direction of the conclusion that it does not work for COVID-19). I also think that I’ve been taking my frustrations out on Twitter. Then, yesterday, I saw this gem from “Dr. Phil” McGraw who seems to be competing with Dr. Mehmet Oz in a competition to say the stupidest things about the pandemic, leading me to contemplate what I now like to call COVID-19 denial, or just COVID denial, of which this is a classic example:

      • CSUF professor, a Carnegie fellow, looks at ways to design ethical robots
      • Coronavirus scams: Guard against fraud cures and other cons

        Con artists are finding lots of marks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Watchdog groups and authorities report a surge of complaints about scams targeting people who fear catching the virus or need money due to lost income.

        Scams include “investments” in phony COVID-19 cures and charging people in advance for nonexistent home tests, fake protective gear or even overpriced toilet paper that never arrives. Other fraudsters offer “help” finding a new job or quickly getting federal stimulus checks, if people provide bank account and Social Security numbers or pay upfront fees.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Disturbing’: New Trump Plan to Reopen Economy Contains No National Covid-19 Testing Strategy

        “There is no plan for testing. Nothing, nada, zilch.”

      • Restoring the Interior Commons is the Best Hope for A Human-Supportive World

        Last week, seeing the number of covid cases in NYS compared with all others last week, I imagined people in other states being glad, and ashamed to be glad, they don’t live here! Just as I am glad, and ashamed to be glad, I live in Upstate NY, not in NYC. People who can financially do so, including two couples in my husband’s family, have deserted their beloved City for less covid-dense places. On the other hand, a sister of a friend, a nurse administrator for one of NYC’s private hospitals, retirement age, has refused to leave the city despite her family’s urgings; she became one of the frontline workers bravely fighting the scourge.

      • Internal Documents Show Federal Agencies Supported the WHO Before Trump Was Against It

        As President Donald Trump publicly bashed the World Health Organization over its response to the coronavirus pandemic last week, American aid officials tried to delicately sidestep the political tensions, internal documents shared with ProPublica show.

        And Trump’s campaign upended weeks of partnership between his own administration and the WHO, which provides advice and support for health officials in developing countries. The U.S. Agency for International Development had chosen to funnel much of its pandemic response through the WHO.

      • As Coronavirus Numbers Across State Continue to Rise, Florida Gov. DeSantis Allows Some Beaches to Reopen

        “Why aren’t any elected officials speaking out against this?”

      • What’s the Deal With Coronavirus Stimulus Checks, and How Do I Get One?

        At the end of March, the federal government passed a $2.2 trillion bipartisan emergency coronavirus relief package, offering some of the most hard hit a much needed stopgap. The legislation includes small business loans and coronavirus stimulus checks for low- and middle-income Americans.

        You should receive a coronavirus stimulus check if you meet all of the following criteria:

      • The Self-Centered Rich Country Response to Pandemics and Crises is Wrecking Poor Countries

        I’m squatting on a round piece of concrete, and a 72-year-old man is sitting in the gutter, his walking stick beside him. He tells me that after being deported from the United States, he has been hiking the streets of Mexico City trying to find somewhere to stay. But all the refuges are closed due to the pandemic, including the one we’re sitting outside of, where I volunteer. He has run out of insulin for his diabetes and says he can’t walk any more.

      • Without Federal Help, New York Doctors Had to Ask Medical Supply Execs for Dialysis Supplies

        A month ago, the CEO of Baxter International Inc., one of the world’s top producers of fluids and other equipment used to treat kidney disease, told investors on an earnings call that while the company had started to see an uptick in orders for its dialysis products, it was, at the moment, “well equipped” to supply the world.

        But by early April, as COVID-19 patients were rushed into New York City hospitals at a breathtaking clip, kidney specialists throughout the epicenter of the country’s pandemic started frantically emailing one another about a critical shortage of dialysis supplies, highlighting a cruel and surprising feature of the disease for an unanticipated number of COVID-19 patients: acute kidney injury.

      • Danger Clown and the Return to American Normalcy

        Recently in an online urban studies discussion, a young white man expressed his desire for his fellow Chicagoans and Americans more generally to get over all this COVID-19 trauma and “return to normal life in my great city and country.”

      • Episode 77 – The History of Quarantines and Using Media During the Shelter in Place with Dr. Allison Butler – Along The Line Podcast
      • Chicago Lakeshore Hospital Closes After Years of Abuse Allegations but Cites “the COVID-19 Pandemic”

        A Chicago psychiatric hospital that has faced repeated allegations of abuse and neglect of patients has closed, although a spokesman for the hospital said Friday the move is temporary.

        Once one of the largest behavioral health providers in Illinois, Chicago Lakeshore Hospital in Uptown discharged its last patient this week and notified employees of the closure, the spokesman said.

      • Watch Dr. Anthony Fauci Refute Trump Talking Points in Real Time

        What Ingraham and the rest of Fox News are doing by giving credence to conspiracy theories about the virus is dangerous. And it’s undoubtedly fueling the recent events in the midwest and Virginia, where people are intentionally violating social distancing recommendations to protest in favor of resuming business as usual.

        To put a cherry on top of her absurd claims, after the Fauci interview, Ingraham brought on Dr. Phil, an unlicensed psychologist, to spew lies while arguing for the reopening of the economy.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Nokia no-comments report it’s hired Citi to fight takeover

          The Finnish telecom is said to have hired Citi to fight back against a multibillion-dollar deal from private equity to take over some or all of the company, according to TMT Finance.

        • Nokia shares surge on report of takeover bid

          Nokia (NOKIA.HE) declined to comment on Thursday on a media report saying it was working with an investment bank to defend itself from a hostile takeover, news which sent its shares sharply higher.

          “Nokia does not comment on market rumours,” said a spokesman for the company.

          Earlier on Thursday shares in Nokia surged 12.5%, with traders pointing to a report by online newspaper TMT Finance that said the group was working to defend itself from a hostile takeover bid for parts or all of its business.

          The TMT Finance report said Nokia had hired Citi, a regular investment banking partner of the Finnish firm, for the deal which could be worth $17.4 billion.

        • FBI sees spike in cyber crime reports during coronavirus pandemic [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The FBI has seen a spike in cyber crimes reported to its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as both domestic and international hackers look to take advantage of Americans’ daily activities moving increasingly online.

          Tonya Ugoretz, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, said Thursday that the IC3 was receiving between 3,000 and 4,000 cybersecurity complaints each day, a major jump from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic when about 1,000 complaints were received daily.

        • Pastebin Made It Harder To Scrape Its Site And Researchers Are Pissed Off

          When researchers asked the company on Twitter, Pastebin said that the Scraping API “has been discontinued due to active abuse by third parties for commercial purposes, such activity is prohibited by our current [Terms & Conditions].”

          Pastebin changed the T&C on April 11, according to an archived version of the page. At the time, it allowed scraping for a variety of purposes.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Using Open Source to Build a Better 5G Data Platform [Ed: Linux.com links to this Dell ad, paid for by Dell]

              Open source is a major part of 5G: The telco cloud was founded on the principles and resources offered by the open source community.

              This is crucial, since 5G needs more flexibility and innovation than ever. The number of mobile subscribers is predicted to grow by half a billion people in the next five years. Those subscribers are predicted to use 77.49 exabytes of data per month — that’s 258.3 times the amount of data Facebook currently has in storage. The bulk of that data will to be used for media-rich messages and activities, including video and photo messages.

              Telecoms need a data platform that can support the heavy demands users will place on their mobile networks, especially as they come to embrace the greater speeds and better quality of 5G. And these platforms need to have open source at their core.

              “[Open source] gives operators lots of flexibility in terms of how they want to consume technology,” said Joe Arnold, founder and chief product officer of SwiftStack, and one of the creators of the open-source cloud storage project Openstack Swift. “They can roll up their sleeves and get involved and form fit something exactly to their expectation, and they can participate and contribute.”

        • Security

          • David Tomaschik: So You Want a Red Team Exercise?

            I originally wrote this for work, where we get a lot of requests to “Red Team” something. In a lot of these cases, a white box security review or other form of security testing is more appropriate. Because I’d heard through the grapevine that other Red Teams struggle with the same issues, I wanted to make it available publicly. Thanks to my management for their support and permission to take this public!

            If you’d like to use or adapt this within your organization, feel free, but please give credit to the Google Red Team.

          • Why I stopped fuzzing research

            If you followed me in the past, you may have noticed that I stopped fuzzing research. During this time many people have asked me why…so instead of repeating the same answer every time, why not write a few lines about it…

            While fuzz research was in my case fully automated, if you want to do a nice job you should:
            – Communicate with upstream by making an exhaustive bug-report;
            – Publish an advisory that collects all the needed info (affected versions, fixed version, commit fix, reproducer, poc, and so on) otherwise you force each downstream maintainer to do that by himself.

            [...]

            On the other side, dear Mitre: you force us to fill an exhaustive request so, since you have all the data, why are you mistakenly assigning CVEs for already reported issues?

            The first few times I saw these duplicates, I tried to report them but, unfortunately, it’s not my job and I found it very hard to do because of the large amount.

            So, in short, I stopped fuzzing research because due to the current state of things, it’s a big waste of time.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Will Google’s and Apple’s COVID Tracking Plan Protect Privacy?

              Last week, Google and Apple announced that they were working together to develop privacy-protecting technology that could enable COVID-19 contact-tracing apps.

              The idea is elegant in its simplicity: Google and Apple phones would quietly in the background create a database of other phones that have been in Bluetooth range—about 100 to 200 feet—over a rolling two-week time period. When users find out that they are infected, they can send an alert to all the phones that were recently in their proximity.

              The broadcast would not identify the infected person, it would just alert the recipient that someone in his or her recent orbit had been infected. And, importantly, the companies say they are not collecting data on people’s identities and infection status. Nearly all of the data and communication would be stored on users’ phones.

              [...]

              It’s vulnerable to trolls. Because there is no verification of user identity or whether a user is actually infected, people could use this service to fake being contagious.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Syria and the Lust for Power

        Sam Dagher’s “Assad or We Burn the Country: How One Family’s Lust for Power Destroyed” is the definitive chronicle of a tragic war that has left the country in the state described by Tacitus: “where they make a desert, they call it peace.” As for the title, it originates from the graffiti that Assad’s militias painted on walls everywhere. “Assad or We Burn the Country.”

      • Trump Has Roger Stone Jurors Fearing for Their Safety: ‘It Seems Like Danger Is Coming to Me’

        All 12 of the jurors in the Roger Stone case have expressed fear in court filings on Wednesday. They worry they will continue to be harassed and they fear for the safety of themselves and their families if their identities are revealed.

        According to The National Law Journal, jurors cited tweets from President Trump and remarks from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as the reason “the threats to the jurors’ safety and privacy persist” after the trial ended in November.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Earth had its 2nd-hottest March on record

        After having a record-hot January and its second-hottest February, Earth continued to endure unrelenting heat last month, making March 2020 the second-hottest March on record.

        It was also the second-hottest year to date (YTD, January through March) ever recorded for the globe, according to NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

        Below are more highlights from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report: [...]

      • Warming makes U.S. West megadrought worst in modern age, study finds

        Scientists looked at a nine-state area from Oregon and Wyoming down through California and New Mexico, plus a sliver of southwestern Montana and parts of northern Mexico. They used thousands of tree rings to compare a drought that started in 2000 and is still going — despite a wet 2019 — to four past megadroughts since the year 800.

        With soil moisture as the key measurement, they found only one other drought that was as big and was likely slightly bigger. That one started in 1575, just 10 years after St. Augustine, the first European city in the United States, was founded, and that drought ended before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

        What’s happening now is “a drought bigger than what modern society has seen,” said study lead author A. Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University.

      • Chernobyl wildfire blankets Kyiv in thick smog

        Firefighters have been tackling the wildfire for more than a week, and there was a new flare-up fanned by strong winds on Thursday. But now the emergency services say the blaze has not spread to the Chernobyl power station area.

      • Tree rings and weather data warn of megadrought

        Farmers in the US West know they have a drought, but may not yet realise these arid years could become a megadrought.

      • Energy

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Are people abusing the ICT Act of Mauritius?

        Any person who —
        uses, in any manner other than that specified in paragraph (ga), an information and communication service, including telecommunication service, —

        (i) for the transmission or reception of a message which is grossly offensive, or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

        (ii) which is likely to cause or causes annoyance, humiliation, inconvenience, distress or anxiety to that person;

        (iii) for the transmission of a message which is of a nature likely to endanger or compromise State defence, public safety or public order.

        [...]

        As it appears the meme or joke caused such annoyance and inconvenience to the ICT Authority’s board member that he decided to spend 2 hours at the CCID Cybercrime Unit to complain about it. L’express newspaper reported that the board member expressed on Facebook that he did so for his boss, his PM, and his country.

        Now, one may wonder whether this board member of the ICT Authority really has acted out of love for his prime minister or is it a show of loyalty; often the case with persons holding a nominated position in government offices. Whichever reason the complainant may have, this particular incident points towards an abuse of the ICT Act, through the manner of the arrest and act of intimidation of behalf of people of authority.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Dissenter Weekly: Coronavirus Whistleblowers On The Frontlines

        President Donald Trump’s administration is pushing to re-open the United States very soon. Meanwhile, governors are coordinating their own plans separate from Trump. “Essential workers” will be caught in the middle of this conflict over when and how to end lockdowns.  On this edition of the “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights two stories involving whistleblowing nurses at hospitals, who complained of conditions.

        In Detroit, Kenisa Barkai was fired after she urged “supervisors to address what she described as a dangerous and severe staffing shortage.” The Metro Times reported, “When they ignored her, Barkai said she threatened to alert state authorities. She even tried to form a union.”

      • Beyond Prisons: COVID-19 Dispatch From Pennsylvania Prison
      • Thousands Join Virtual Rally to Demand World Without Prisons as Coronavirus Spreads in Detention Centers

        “In the midst of a global pandemic, prisons are Petri dishes and all sentences are death sentences.”

      • Landlords are targeting vulnerable tenants to solicit sex in exchange for rent, advocates say

        “Landlord coercion has always been a reality, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” Jabola-Carolus said. “The coronavirus creates the perfect conditions for landlords who want to do this because not only are people being instructed to stay home, but the virus has added to the economic stress with people losing their jobs, especially in Hawaii, which is driven by tourism.”

      • Saudi Arabia has carried out 800 executions since 2015, says rights group

        Last year, Saudi Arabia is thought to have executed 185 people, including 37 in a mass execution in April. This is the highest annual number of deaths since Reprieve and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) started to monitor executions in the country.

      • We Can’t Save the Economy Without Universal Child Care

        We don’t normally think of public school as child care, but schools are generally a safe place for children when their parents go to work. We have lots of evidence that offering something similar for children at younger ages would allow even more people to be employed. And now we’re witnessing the terrifying opposite: what happens to parents—and the economy—when free, accessible, quality child care is yanked away.

        One of the older examples of the economic benefits of offering inexpensive, universal care for young children comes from Canada. After the province of Quebec instituted a universal child care program in 1997, its share of working women ages 26 to 44 reached close to 85 percent, the highest in the world. The increased number of women in the workforce elevated tax revenues so much that the program essentially pays for itself now.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • You Can Now Check If Your ISP Uses Basic Security Measures

        BGP disruptions happen frequently, generally by accident. But BGP can also be hijacked for large-scale spying, data interception, or as a sort of denial of service attack. Just last week, United States Executive Branch agencies moved to block China Telecom from offering services in the US, because of allegedly malicious activity that includes BGP attacks. Companies like Cloudflare sit on the front lines of the BGP blowback. And while the company can’t fix the problem directly, it can call out those that are slow to contribute defenses.

    • Monopolies

      • District, Circuit Court closures extended through May 31
      • Interview: West Virginia senior judge delves into pharma summary judgments

        Irene Keeley explains what she finds challenging about patent cases and why she tries to be mindful of other courts’ schedules

      • Analysing non-infringement declaration litigation in China

        With the growth and development of China’s IP system, an increasing number of right holders are actively enforcing their IP rights to gain competitive advantages. In addition to the pursuit of judicial and administrative protection, right holders often use infringement warnings (for example, a cease and desist letter) to protect their rights and interests. While infringement warnings work as an economical way of protecting rights, they could easily be abused. For example, if the right holder, after sending a warning of infringement, takes no follow-up action, neither bringing a lawsuit nor withdrawing the warning, the normal production and operations of the warned party will be affected.

        To prevent the abuse of infringement warnings and balance the interests of the right holder and the warned party, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) formally gave judicial endorsement for non-infringement declarations of IP rights in China in a written reply in 2002. In the Provisions on Causes of Action of Civil Cases issued by the SPC in 2008, the causes of action for civil cases were extended to cover disputes over declarations of non-infringement of IP rights, with the IP rights therein including patent, trademark and copyright.

      • Patent Office Closures

        The United Kingdom

        The UKIPO, whilst their staff are all working from home, have stated that “the majority of our services remain unaffected and the UK Intellectual Property Office will continue to operate as normal for customers.” They add “we ask all rights holders and IP professionals to continue to file as normal where possible.”

        The UKIPO has said that they will be reviewing the situation again on 17 April 2020.

        The European Patent Office (EPO)

        The EPO had extended virtually all deadlines to April 17, and has now announced a further extension of time limits to 4 May 2020.

        The EPO “has decided to postpone until further notice all oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings scheduled until 30 April 2020 (previously until 17 April 2020) unless they have already been confirmed to take place by means of videoconferencing or in examination are converted into oral proceedings by videoconference with the applicant’s consent.” The Boards of Appeal similarly postponed all oral proceedings taking place until April 30. We are waiting on a further update to indicate whether oral proceedings already scheduled for a date after April 30 are to take place, and if so how this will take place given the widespread travel advisories and lockdowns in place across Europe.

      • Patents

        • It’s Printed, but Is It Published? More Informative Guidance from the PTAB

          In prior blog posts here and here, we explored various aspects of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) analysis of documents as printed publications during patent examination and inter partes review (“IPR”). The PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel (“POP”) has been busy reviewing various decisions in this area, and recently designated four of them as Informative. The decisions pertain to theses, drug package inserts and conference papers, and we discuss each of them here.

          [...]

          Sandoz argued that the Insert was publicly available on the website of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) no later than March 31, 2003, and relied on two pieces of evidence. First, Sandoz provided a screenshot of the FDA website from the Internet Archive service (known colloquially as the “Wayback Machine”), accompanied by an affidavit from the Office Manager of the Internet Archive, attesting to a March 31, 2003 date. Second, Sandoz presented unrebutted expert testimony, which the PTAB credited, to establish the accessibility of the insert on the website of the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). The expert testimony indicated that interested persons of ordinary skill in the art exercising reasonable diligence could have located the Insert on the FDA website.

          The patent owner, AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd. (“AbbVie”), argued that Sandoz failed to meet its burden. First, AbbVie argued that existence on the FDA website failed to establish public accessibility. Second, AbbVie argued that lack of indexing or searchability on the FDA website indicates lack of public accessibility. Finally, AbbVie argued that the expert testimony, along with the Wayback Machine evidence, failed to establish actual dissemination.

          In response, the PTAB held that, while indexing is probative of public accessibility, evidence of indexing is not required in all cases.[5] The PTAB also held that Sandoz’s expert testimony was sufficient to show that a person of skill exercising reasonable diligence would have located the Insert on the FDA website. Consequently, the PTAB held that the Insert qualified as prior art, at least for purposes of instituting the IPR.

        • Germany: Forum shopping is becoming more difficult

          In the future, it will be more difficult to obtain an injunction for patent infringement through preliminary injunction proceedings.

          Generally, in preliminary injunction proceedings, the plaintiff must prove that there are no serious doubts regarding the validity of the patent. In the past, the Higher Regional Courts in Germany have applied different standards for assessing the validity of a patent.

          Pursuant to the case law of the OLG Düsseldorf and OLG Karlsruhe the patent proprietor was (at least generally) only able to obtain a preliminary injunction if the validity of the patent had been examined in opposition or nullity proceedings.

        • Federal Circuit remands Abbott drug test patent suit

          The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ordered a new trial in a patent dispute between Abbott-subsidiary Alere and patent monetisation company Rembrandt Diagnostics.

        • Examining patent strategies under the amended guidelines

          The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced the latest amendments to the Patent Examination Guidelines (hereinafter referred to as the guidelines), part of which became effective on November 1 2019 and the rest on February 1 2020. This article aims to provide some practical advice on the highlights of the revisions.

        • Patent case: Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ablynx N.V. vs. QVQ Holding B.V., Netherlands

          In the present interlocutory case, VUB and Ablynx requested inspection of evidence that was seized from QVQ on the basis of suspicion of patent infringement. The provisions judge came to the conclusion that the interests of the claimants did not provide sufficient reason to – preliminarily – grant the inspection.

        • Software Patents

          • Zyrcuits IP settles with Unified Patents

            On April 16, 2020, the Board issued an order terminating IPR2020-00362 pursuant to a joint settlement request filed by Unified Patents and Zyrcuits IP LLC, an IP Edge affiliate and well-known NPE. U.S. Patent 6,671,307, related to spread-spectrum communications systems, has been asserted against various smart products that employ the Zigbee protocol in district court cases against such companies as Bosch Security, Samsung, Assa Abloy, and Wink Labs.

          • Prior art found for Wireless Communications Mobile

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Rajesh Singh, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for two prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 9,125,079. The ’079 patent, generally related to technical data monitoring devices, has been asserted in five district court cases.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • $2,000 Cash Prize for Prior Art on Valyrian IP Patent

            On April 17, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest with a $2,000 cash prize for prior art submissions on US Patent 6,970,706. The ’706 patent generally relates to call forwarding techniques based based on priority levels for cordless phone systems. The patent is owned by NPE, Valyrian IP LLC, an IP Edge entity. The patent has been asserted against Avaya, ICON Voice Networks, Polycom Inc., Grandstream Networks, AT&T, Verizon, SpectrumVoIP, RingCentral, and Sangoma US. To protect innovation and deter future frivolous assertions, Unified is offering a $2,000 cash prize for the best prior art on this patent.

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IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 17, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:33 am by Needs Sunlight

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Free Software and AI Race Ever-Slowly Towards Self-Awareness

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

A squabble

Summary: “Free software has many important achievements, nearly all of which have greater substance than “open source–” Free software is more honest, less corrupt, more thoughtful, and will ultimately be more effective at fighting non-free software than its shill counterparts in the well-paid, often-bribed open-washing world.”

TO be aware is to be critical; to be self-aware is to be self-critical. It is not inherently negative — if you are critical of being too critical, then you will not be overly negative.

Free software has the other problem, it is underly negative.

Free software has many important achievements, nearly all of which have greater substance than “open source–” Free software is more honest, less corrupt, more thoughtful, and will ultimately be more effective at fighting non-free software than its shill counterparts in the well-paid, often-bribed open-washing world.

But it ignores its faults to its detriment, compromise and weakness. It suffers a coup and does little about it. It stays out of touch and fails to look outside its own window.

These are common critiques, often made by people who have nefarious corporate motives. And it’s one of those things where faults are dishonestly exaggerated for entirely political reasons, and I won’t support their re-writing of history. Though it’s also one of those things where the exaggerated dishonest critiques are based on a kernel of truth. It’s that truth I intend to address.

I don’t like talking to most Free software advocates, because it’s largely pointless. They parrot a bit too much, though that’s not as bad as when open source shills for monopolies and ill-gotten power over customers. Free software isn’t evil, but if it was, it would certainly be the lesser of two evils.

“Free software isn’t evil, but if it was, it would certainly be the lesser of two evils.”But the best people use self-reflection and self-critique to try to improve, and Free software is in not one rut, but several — any of which threatens to destroy the movement itself. And Free software largely does not care.

Some people say Free software is extremist. Torvalds said that, and he’s just a shill in my opinion. A horrible, lying shill. Free software is many things — abolitionist, orthodox — it plays Vegan to open source’s vegetarianism-with-beef (I’m neither, by the way) and sometimes, Free software advocates are Ultra-orthodox when they don’t need to be.

I have a theory about orthodoxy, and it goes like this — orthodoxy has done a great deal to preserve oral cultures in a way that nothing else has. Since I’m nothing remotely like a religious scholar, I don’t really know how sound that theory is. But I bring it up because I’m not entirely against orthodoxy.

I love reform movements, though Free software has every good reason to be sceptical, after being screwed over by Raymond and (to a far, far lesser degree) Perens. Not to mention IBM, Microsoft and GitHub, though Free software seems to be doing very little about this. They’re busy counting donations.

Unlike open source, I don’t think the Free software movement is corrupt, but its institutions could arguably be. Those coups coincide with money the movement was foolish to accept — money from its enemies, who have proceeded to do great harm.

“Those coups coincide with money the movement was foolish to accept — money from its enemies, who have proceeded to do great harm.”And for the most part, Free software doesn’t care about this. They aren’t acting like shills, they’re acting like sheep (at best, parrots.) And I get tired of trying to convince them of anything.

Make no mistake, there IS NO ALTERNATIVE that is really viable at this time. I’ve tried, and doubt any success in trying to rally people towards something stronger against modern threats.

And make no mistake, I’m very happy to say there are exceptions to this dark prognosis. I’m happy to say that (even if you feel otherwise) I thankfully can’t paint the entire movement with the same brush. I don’t want to, and the evidence doesn’t support it if I did. But it’s still bad.

These are unmistakably intelligent people. Intelligent people, who like many intelligent people, categorically refuse to consider the possibility of being wrong. They can debate, as long as the debate doesn’t produce any change or alter any detail of what they know. If it means they really are right about everything, no matter what, then they have no reason to learn or change or doubt a thing.

But the odds of that are staggeringly low.

Everybody should be wary of false compromise, of course. Compromise (the one-sided variety) is a hallmark of open source and their sale of Free software and user freedom off to IBM, Microsoft, GitHub and Google. Not to mention all the laughable “advocates” who talk about freedom while poking and tapping at iPhones and Macs. There’s a reason you’re not free — look right in front of you.

“Not to mention all the laughable “advocates” who talk about freedom while poking and tapping at iPhones and Macs. There’s a reason you’re not free — look right in front of you.”But while the Free software movement doesn’t need to ditch its mission as open source asks it “nicely” to (not really that nicely, niceness in the open source world is fake and contrived), it does need to question itself anyway.

I don’t think Free software is going to do that.

The result is that Free software will continue to be compromised, watered down, and hand itself over to IBM and Microsoft — as it already has.

Free software is not a good listener. And most of what people try to tell it is (to be certain) a lot of crap anyway. But that’s no reason for the rest of the world to fall on deaf ears.

Look in the mirror, look out the window, look inside, and look at the bigger picture.

I know the first reaction will be to turn it on me and say I don’t do those things. I don’t care about that. I’ve spent enough of my life (so far) on reflection and self-critique that I’m happy to tell other people about the importance of it.

“The result is that Free software will continue to be compromised, watered down, and hand itself over to IBM and Microsoft — as it already has.”We all have faults. Pretending we already get everything right is just stupid.

And I’m really, really tired of talking to people who don’t want to improve, who are happy to be taken over the way Free software is being taken over.

This has gone on for years, guys. I’m going to give up on you eventually.

I won’t give up on software freedom. But I might call it Free culture, if Free software can’t learn any new tricks while the war goes on — if they continue their fiddling while Rome burns.

Go ahead, ignore this.

And to those who have understood the more important parts so far, and likely will continue to — thanks. There aren’t nearly enough of you, but it’s still appreciated.

Why did I write this?

Sometimes, when a situation is hopeless, it’s best to just walk away. Not possible. Not yet.

But this is the best I can do for someone as stubborn as the sort of person I’m talking about. Maybe not Stallman — after all that people have put him through, I think maybe he’s done enough — creating the Free software movement and all that.

I appreciate orthodoxy (not extremism) to keep something intact for ages and ages, but we still need reform (which is not the same as walking away from our key principles) as an interface to the rest of the world.

“Just to be clear, to any open source gloaters — you’re still worse.”Free software isn’t a cult, but its members still need to be told — very firmly, that it’s okay to think for yourself. I can’t find a great deal of evidence that they know that. But I’d love for someone to prove that wrong. Please, by all means — make my day.

Just to be clear, to any open source gloaters — you’re still worse. They might not think quite enough for themselves, but open source parrots horrible people who think of themselves only. Your veneer of an “independent spirit” is a joke.

I know, I know, I sound like an asshole. So do you guys, sometimes. What can be done? If this is where you and I part ways, I understand, really. I’m never sure if we still have more to talk about.

I do know this — real friends don’t spend their lives trying to make each miserable, and they still look out for each other in good times and bad — they don’t have to sugarcoat everything. They don’t have to bullshit, because A. they care, and B. they’re sincere. It’s understood.

“I do know this — real friends don’t spend their lives trying to make each miserable, and they still look out for each other in good times and bad — they don’t have to sugarcoat everything.”But fake friends never hear you at all. They don’t care, it doesn’t matter to them. It’s a show — it’s a game, and it’s all about them. They say it’s not, but there’s no serious evidence of that.

As for Free software, this is important. I hope Roy will write a followup, saying why he thinks I’m wrong. No worries, Roy. I would love it if I am.

Long live Stallman, and Happy critical thinking.

P.S. I’ve written some boring-AF articles recently, I know I might be the only person that cares about those, and I swear this isn’t about that. Even I think they’re boring. Interesting subject, boring articles. I considered not writing the most recent one, and finally wrote it just to avoid explaining it more than once.

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