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04.19.20

Links 19/4/2020: Jonathan Carter Elected DPL, Many Free Designs for COVID-19 Battle

Posted in News Roundup at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • You can now access Apple Music on Windows 10, Linux and Chrome

        You can log in on devices running Windows 10, Linux and Chrome OS.

      • Plex releases media server app Dash, and Plexamp player for Windows, mobile, macOS and Linux

        If the phrase “it really whips the llama’s ass” means anything to you, you clearly remember the heady days of WinAmp. Now media server and management company Plex has come up with its own take on the classic software.

        Called — slightly uninspiringly — Plexamp, the player is available for iOS, Android, macOS, Windows and Linux. The company has also released a new app for managing Plex media servers: Plex Dash. This is great news for Plex users, but there’s a slight catch in both cases.

      • Work is underway to better support ASUS ROG laptops on Linux



        ASUS ROG (Republic Of Gamers) is a brand of special hardware primarily aimed at PC gaming and work is now underway by the community to better support their laptops on Linux.

        Being spearheaded by software engineer Luke Jones, the rog-core utility is starting off with the Zephyrus GX502GW which is being used as the basis for it. They’re going to expand to support others, if they can get more data from other ASUS ROG laptop owners.

      • Chromebook vs Laptop: Which One to Buy

        Chromebook has emerged from its niche category and it’s no longer just for kids and students. OEMs are now making Chromebooks with powerful internals that would easily rival against the best laptops based on Windows and macOS. Further, Google recently announced Linux support and brought many UI improvements to make Chrome OS a desktop-class operating system. Keeping all the points in mind, it seems Chromebook is finally ready to face the competition. So in this article, we bring you a detailed analysis on the clash between Chromebook vs laptop. From performance to battery life and user interface, we have compared both Chromebook and laptop in a comprehensive manner. So without losing a moment, let’s find out who wins the battle of Chromebook vs laptop in 2020.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel P-State Driver Preparing To Default To Passive Mode For More Systems

        Currently being tested ahead of the Linux 5.8 kernel cycle is a change so the Intel P-State CPU frequency scaling driver will begin defaulting to its passive mode for systems without hardware-managed P-States.

        P-State’s passive mode will become the default for more systems on Linux 5.8 if this change is not reverted. The passive mode causes P-State to behave like a conventional CPUFreq scaling driver and feeds all of the optimized configuration bits into CPUFreq, such as all of the available P-States. More details on the active vs. passive mode difference for P-State via this updated documentation.

      • An Intel Engineer Has Another Optimization For Possible Performance Degradation On Linux

        Besides the long-running FSGSBASE patch series that has the ability to help the performance for CPUs going back years, another engineer on Intel’s open-source team has been working on a separate but enticing patch in the name of performance.

        The latest Linux performance work to talk about is Kirill Shutemov having posted a patch on Thursday to allow restoring large pages after fragmentation. This direct mapping fragmentation can degrade performance over time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 440.66.09 Vulkan Driver Beta For Linux Brings More Fixes

          With the NVIDIA 440.66.09 driver (and 442.98 on the Windows side) there is now support for more acceleration structure vertex formats as part of their ray-tracing support. The rest of the changes in this weekend update are different fixes, including a number of fixes related to the new Vulkan ray-tracing support. These include fixes for multi-GPU setups, potential memory issues, ray-tracing query problems, and other items. As such, this NVIDIA 440.66.09 beta driver is primarily geared for those with newer GeForce RTX GPUs having the ray-tracing capabilities.

        • NVIDIA have a new Vulkan Beta driver out – further polishing Ray Tracing support

          Today NVIDIA put out a brand new Vulkan Beta driver, as they continue to expand the capabilities of Vulkan Ray Tracing with a bunch of fixes.

          If you missed the big announcement last month, The Khronos Group released the provisional cross-vendor Ray Tracing extensions for Vulkan. NVIDIA were quickly out of the gate with a driver to support it and they continue to fix it up. There’s going to likely be a lot of issues and changes, as the Ray Tracing extensions go through more testing and discussions towards being finalised. With that in mind driver version 440.66.09 is not a big release comprising of mostly bug fixes.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux 5.7 Delivering Some Gaming Performance Gains For AMD Radeon Navi GPUs

        

        For those using AMD Radeon “Navi” GPUs, the in-development Linux 5.7 kernel is delivering some minor performance improvements compared to prior kernels.

        Now that Linux 5.7 is booting and all of the new/improved features for Linux 5.7 have been merged, I’ve begun my usual performance testing of this new kernel version that will debut as stable in June.

        When it comes to the AMDGPU kernel driver in Linux 5.7 there are preparations for Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM) support, HDR/OLED panel support, continued HDCP content protection work, various Navi and Renoir fixes, USB-C power delivery firmware update handling, BACO fulfilling more power management roles, run-time power management for AMDKFD, and a variety of other improvements and code clean-ups.

      • Pop!_OS 20.04 Beta Benchmarks On The System76 Thelio Major



        System76 has released the 20.04 beta of their Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS Linux distribution. This release comes with various improvements and in this article are some initial benchmarks of Pop!_OS 20.04 beta compared to their prior 19.10 release when testing on the System76 Thelio Major with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X.

        The Pop!_OS 20.04 beta is re-based against the latest packages found in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which means a newer GCC 9 point release, Mesa 20.04 built against LLVM 9.0.1, and the Linux 5.4 kernel, among many other package updates like Python 3.8.

    • Applications

      • Free And Open Source Inkscape Releases Stable v0.92.5 And v1.0rc-1

        After a long wait, vector graphic editor Inkscape has released a new points version of the current stable 0.92 series. Accompanying the same, the first release candidate for the upcoming Inkscape 1.0 has also arrived.

        The new version of Inkscape 0.92.5 includes mostly bug fixes such as running Python extensions with Python 3 and availing globally installed Fonts on Windows 10. Meanwhile, Inkscape 1.0rc-1 rolls with better performance, new features, and a native macOS app. So, let’s see all the new improvements in detail.

      • Ardour Development update: 6.0-rc1 tagged

        It’s been a productive 3 weeks since we tagged the current code as “6.0-pre1”. Roughly 400 or so commits (changes) later, we’re now marking the current code as “6.0-rc1”, which means:

      • Ardour 6.0-RC1 Digital Audio Workstation Released With Experimental Web Interface

        Just weeks after the first Ardour 6.0 pre-release, the release candidate is now available for this big digital audio workstation software update.

        Ardour 6.0 has been working on a major re-engineering of its code-base for improvements now and more benefits in the future, a full virtual MIDI keyboard implementation, better HiDPI user-interface handling, a new plug-in manager, and other changes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The 20 Best Kids Games for Android: Keep Your Kids Busy With

        To keep your baby calm while taking care of your household or other tasks is quite different. Most of the time, we let them use our phone and stay busy with that to have some free time for our work. But it is not even safe to let them do whatever on the phone as they can delete something important or send messages or even they can order things unintentionally. Recently, I have seen an internet post where a toddler ordered a package of pizza with 200$ by just some random clicks. It seems funny, but the truth is pathetic for those parents. However, I have a solution here if you are worried about the same reason. You can install some best kids’ games for Android and keep them really very busy with that.

      • Dusk | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Native

        Dusk running natively through Linux

      • Godot Engine powers up GLES2 with batching coming in Godot 3.2.2

        With a big release behind them this year with Godot 3.2, and while Vulkan support is being worked on for Godot 4.0, the team is also hard at work to improve the current version further.

        Work on Godot 3.2.2 is underway and it’s coming with a pretty great sounding performance improvement: batching of drawcalls for the GLES2 renderer. This is actually quite important, since the GLES3 renderer in Godot will be deprecated by Godot 4.0.

      • DEV SNAPSHOT: GODOT 3.2.2 BETA 1

        After refining our Godot 3.2 release with bug fixes in 3.2.1 last month, it’s time to integrate some of the new features that didn’t make it into the 3.2 merge window but have been further developed and backported since.

      • 11 tools to get you started making video games

        Making a video game is much less daunting than it might seem. While you likely aren’t going to go from having no experience to making the next Grand Theft Auto, it has actually never been easier to get started making games. Game development tools and resources have become increasingly accessible to the average person, even if they have no programming experience. Often these tools are also available for free.

        To try to make things easier for those looking to get started making games, we’ve put together a list of 11 game engines / editors. Some are designed for a specific genre of game or to be incredibly easy for newcomers. Others are professional development tools for AAA games, but are effectively free to use for hobbyists and still offer a lot of learning tools to help those with limited programming experience get started.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Maui Weekly Report 3

          This week’s progress update brings UI and UX improvements to the MauiKit toolkit and additional features to the apps, pursuing our goals of a convergent environment.

          Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux Mobile devices?

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Pop!_OS 20.04 – New features and how to upgrade

          System76, the maker of premium Linux laptops and desktops, has released a Beta version of their flagship Pop!_OS, a Ubuntu-based Linux distro. This testing release launches a new Pop!_Shell auto tiling feature, new shortcuts for its Workspaces, and Flatpak support via Flathub repository.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS 8 desktop perfection – the sequel



          And this brings us to the end of this adventurous rollercoaster. Good stuff, bad stuff, good stuff again. Now, what worries is me is the newfound bipolar nature of the CentOS 8 desktop transformation. On one hand, some things are so much simpler, easier and faster than they were in the past editions of this distro. Significantly so. CentOS 8 is very modern, so there’s none of that chasing the dinosaurs thing here. But on the other hands, lots of cool stuff is missing, or hasn’t been added to the popular third-party repos, and I wonder why.

          Has the distro waned in popularity – or the need for the extras? Do people use their computers differently now than they did when CentOS 6 or CentOS 7 came out? Perhaps the lack of cool software is a sign of the overall fatigue in the Linux space. Or something else entirely? All in all, you can accomplish a great deal in CentOS, and enjoy a lot of cool and fun things. Never forget this is essentially a server distro! But for the first time, I’m also sensing a great disturbance in the force, and there be negatory elements preventing me from having perfect fun. Well, I you find today’s piece useful – and if you have any other asks, ask away. We’re done.

        • The 6 Best Download Managers for Fedora



          It is a well-known fact that using download managers can help improve download speeds as compared to web browsers. Apart from the inbuilt download manager wget on Fedora, just as on any distribution that is based on GNU/Linux package, there are more options to explore.

          You might need it because of the lack of a graphical interface or due to quick access to handy features like pause, resume, or batch manage downloads.

        • Emergency Response Demo: A Community-Driven Example from Red Hat

          Red Hat, the leading provider of integrated, hybrid-cloud, enterprise software, has created an example of a humanitarian solution that enables neighbors to support each other during a disaster. Red Hat’s Emergency Response Demo is an example of how community-powered open source innovation, which Red Hat makes available in an enterprise-ready form, can be used to support the efforts of another community – volunteers in a “Cajun Navy” type response as emerged during Hurricane Harvey. We also harness the power of yet another community: the passionate and talented developers and operators from across different divisions of an organization.

        • CentOS or Fedora?

          I decided to migrate my Windows servers to GNU/Linux. Which distribution should I choose CentOS or Fedora?

          Short answer: CentOS.

          Long answer

          CentOS is an enterprise ready operating system built from sources provided by a prominent GNU/Linux operating system provider: Red Hat (CentOS is a RHEL rebuild).

          The release cycle of new CentOS versions is every 2 years and every 6 months it performs an update to the existing version, with the main purpose of supporting new hardware, which allows establishing a robust GNU/Linux environment (security, reliability and stability ).

      • Debian Family

        • DPL elections 2020, congratulations Jonathan Carter!



          The Debian Project Leader elections just finished and the winner is Jonathan Carter!

          His term as project leader starts next Tuesday April 21st and expires on April 20th 2021.

          Of a total of 1011 developers, 339 developers voted using the Condorcet method. More information about the result is available in the Debian Project Leader Elections 2020 page.

          Many thanks to Jonathan Carter, Sruthi Chandran and Brian Gupta for running.

          And special thanks to Sam Hartman for his service as DPL during these last twelve months!

        • Debian Elects A New Project Leader For 2020

          The results of the 2020 Debian Project Leader election are in.

          The new Debian Project Leader for the year is Jonathan Carter. Of Debian’s 1011 developers, 339 casted votes in this year’s elections which continues their trend in recent of 300~400 casting ballots and down from years ago when they had a much higher participation rate. Jonathan Carter was running against Sruthi Chandran and Brian Gupta for this year’s Debian elections.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Introducing The Ubuntu AWS Rolling Kernel

          The canonical company behind the Ubuntu is introducing the Ubuntu AWS rolling Kernel. The linux-aws 4.15 based kernel, which is the default kernel in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs, is moving to a rolling kernel model.

          Francis Ginther, Engineer Manager at Canonical Introduces the Ubuntu AWS rolling kernel in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Amazon Machine Image (AMI).

        • The ‘GameMode’ performance tool from Feral Interactive makes it into Ubuntu 20.04

          As possibly the last feature to be accepted and implemented before the big release, Feral Interactive’s GameMode performance tool has been added into Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          What the heck is GameMode? It’s a Linux “daemon”, otherwise known as a background process and a library that games can hook into to request a little more power from your CPU and other optimizations. The goal is to make Linux gaming smoother. Games can integrate it (like newer Feral Linux ports), or you can manually tell games to use it. You can see GameMode on GitHub.

        • Warriors of the world.

          Great job Gentlemen. It will probably take a day or 2 for it to finish. That is a lot of data. Ubuntu should pay me for the service I am about to provide. The server is no slouch. It is processing those files on raided PCIE4 NVME & 12 cores / 24 threads. A Ryzen 3900X. As the market plunges, where is AMD heading?

    • Devices/Embedded and COVID

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • List of best open-source accounting software for small businesses

        Accounting is one of the critical components of a business irrespective of the size of the company. Accounting mistakes can be very deadly and may cost you your business, which is why you need reliable accounting software to handle the financial side of your business in order to perform simple & complex transactions. The following is a list of some free open-source accounting software that are suitable for small businesses.

      • List of Open Source Home Automation Software



        As technology advances, we see new gadgets and inventions that make our everyday tasks easier. In recent years we have seen a considerable rise in automation. Machines are doing most of the jobs done by people. The most obvious example of this is smart homes or home automation.
        Automated homes have become relatively popular in the recent past. Home automation is a marvellous and revolutionary technology that has changed the way people live.

        For home automation software to be good, it should be easy to use as the majority of the audience isn’t technical & are of different age groups and diverse backgrounds.

      • Why investing in an open-source-software startup in an economic downturn is a good idea, according to one of the top lawyers in the field
      • Experts say that contributing to open source software can be a smart investment in your career and help you learn new skills in between jobs
      • GitLab guru: 15 years later, we’re still learning

        Fifteen or so years ago I was a Windows developer and I was never, ever, ever going to use Git. For years I regularly heard ‘Git was the future’ but I remained unconvinced. There was a cult of personality around the Linux-based source control tool and I knew I could never be part of that.

        I was wrong, of course, so wrong that my penance is to now work for a company based on Git.

        In fact, Git was the future. As we look back on 15 years of Git [as of April 7 2020] and perhaps also look forward a few years, some things have become crystal clear to me.

      • 8×8 Raises the Bar with New Secure Video Meeting Solution; Oracle Cloud to Power 8×8 Video Meetings and Jitsi Services
      • Vapor IO Empowers the Autonomous Edge with Synse 3.0

        Anybody can use, extend and adapt Synse free of charge. Synse 3.0 is licensed under an open source GNU General Public License v3.0…

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Google calls a halt on Chrome 82, but the version 83 beta has arrived early – so it’s coding and bug finding time ahead

            With Silicon Valley under lockdown Chrome 82 has been abandoned by Google, but the Chocolate Factory boffins haven’t been slacking and on Thursday released the beta build of Chrome 83 ahead of schedule.

            On March 18, Google paused the development of Chrome, Chromium, and Chrome OS releases due to the labor challenges posed by COVID-19 public health actions. Eight days later, production resumed under a modified schedule that saw the cancellation of Chrome 82.

            Planned technical changes in that release were moved to Chrome 83, which is set to debut in mid-May – three weeks earlier than initially planned. The beta version of Chrome 83 has some define pluses, including a safer way to access abusable brower profiling capabilities and various useful features like the ability to detect barcodes in web apps.

      • CMS

        • A stress-free guide to keeping WordPress sites updated

          We all know how important it is to keep WordPress sites updated. New updates provide the latest bug and security fixes against any nasties lurking on the web. But, more critically, an outdated site can also lead to poor performance, such as slow loading speed or an outdated look and feel.

          Unfortunately, keeping your WordPress site up-to-date is not as easy as clicking a button. There are several components to consider, from theme to plugins to PHP. Even worse, updating too quickly can wreak another kind of havoc. Have you ever experienced the dreaded, “There has been a critical error on your website” warning after an innocent little update? I know I have, many times!

          Here is a practical guide on what to look out for, as well as when and what to update, to ensure your WordPress site works well.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Libraries Brace for Budget Cuts

            “Even before the pandemic, we were re-examining the value of the big deal,” Pickett said. “That is not unique to our university. This is an issue that librarians have been talking about for 20 years. Now we are at a significant inflection point, and I think most libraries understand they will have to do something different moving forward.”

            Two institutions announced last week that they will not be renewing their big deals with academic publisher Elsevier due to budgetary constraints — the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the State University of New York Libraries Consortium.

      • Programming/Development

        • An introduction to regular expressions

          If you’re new to the world of Linux administration and open source software, you’ve probably only just started scratching the surface of the power this new world offers. Eventually, however, you’ll start mining deeper depths. When that fateful moment arrives, chances are you’re going to need to use a regular expression or two.

          [...]

          What does that bit of cryptic nonsense mean? Well, it’s actually not nonsense. The above regular expression searches for a string of characters (/^ marks the beginning of the string and $/ marks the end), between three and 16 characters, that includes lowercase letters, the numbers 0-9, or an underscore or hyphen.

          Every regular expression has meaning and use. Although they might seem a bit complicated for new users, it’s important to understand how they work.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Do humans or compilers produce faster code?

          Modern optimizing compilers are truly amazing. They have tons and tons of tricks to make even crappy code run incredibly fast. Faster than most people could write by hand. This has lead some people to claim that program optimization is something that can be left to compilers, as they seem to be a lot better at it. This usually sparks a reply from people on the other end of the spectrum that say that they can write faster code by hand than any compiler which makes compilers mostly worthless when performance actually matters.

          In a way both of these viewpoints are correct. In another way they are both wrong. To see how, let’s split this issue into two parts.

        • Payload, singleton, and stride lengths

          Once again I’m inventing terms for useful distinctions that programmers need to make and sometimes get confused about because they lack precise language.

          The motivation today is some issues that came up while I was trying to refactor some data representations to reduce reposurgeon’s working set. I realized that there are no fewer than three different things we can mean by the “length” of a structure in a language like C, Go, or Rust – and no terms to distinguish these senses.

          Before reading these definitions, you might to do a quick read through The Lost Art of Structure Packing.

          The first definition is payload length. That is the sum of the lengths of all the data fields in the structure.

        • How many function arguments?

          In Haskell (and many other functional languages) it’s quite common for the implementation of a function to reference one less argument than the type signature declares:

          g :: foo -> bar
          g = length . reverse
          Known as point-free style by proponents (and pointless style by opponents), the function definition is a list of other functions which are composed together to produce a composite requiring a single argument: the missing one.

        • The Decline of Usability

          Designing UI:s is hard and application software can’t please everyone all the time!

          This is true and, as a software developer of more than 20 years, I have a huge amount of respect for the complexity of UI design. I also happen to know that such complexity is not a valid excuse for willingly and knowingly breaking UI concepts that have been proven and working for, in some cases, more than four decades. In fact, a lot of the examples above introduce more complexity for the user to cope with. The intricacies of each application and window decoration must be learned separately and time and energy is spent by repeatedly parsing the differences.

        • lowdown — simple markdown translator

          lowdown is a Markdown translator producing HTML5, roff documents in the ms and man formats, and terminal output. The open source C source code has no dependencies.

          The tools are documented in lowdown(1) and lowdown-diff(1), the language in lowdown(5), and the library interface in lowdown(3).

        • IoT Adoption: Before and After COVID-19

          The survey data I’m referring to comes from a study conducted by the Eclipse Foundation about the adoption of commercial Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The aim of the study was to get a better understanding of the IoT industry landscape by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations deploying and using commercial IoT technologies. More than 350 respondents from multiple industries responded, with about a quarter of respondents coming from industrial production businesses.

        • Google’s cross-platform UI toolkit has a Flutter on ‘social development’ with CodePen

          “Social development environment” CodePen has unfurled support for Flutter, Google’s open-source cross-platform framework for mobile and web.

          CodePen is an online editor for HTML, CSS and JavaScript, intended for sharing design ideas, getting help with bugs, prototyping, or forming an online portfolio. A CodePen file is called a Pen, and is public by default. A Pen is limited to 1MB of code, but you can also create multi-file projects. Free users are limited to Pens, or one project with up to 10 files. Paying users get the option to mark their work as private, do collaborative editing, and eliminate ads. You can also use CodePen for deploying projects to production websites, though it is really optimised for demos and experiments.

        • The Cost of no Architecture

          Back in 2013, QNX might have been a good choice compared to Linux. Today, with Yocto and similar tools for developing embedded Linux systems, it feels like an odd choice to add a license cost to such a device. But no biggie. Back in the day this was not an unreasonable choice (and still isn’t for certain applications).

          The Flash stuff. There were alternatives back in 2013, but sure, there were plenty of developers at hand and things like Qt QML was still probably a bit clunky (I can’t recall the state of it back then – it required OpenGL ES, which I guess was a big ask back then).

          But the mix of techniques and tools. The on-board web servers. The complexity of a small system and the costs it brings to maintenance and testability. If this is the foundation for Harmony remotes and a platform that has been used for the better past of the past decade, I wonder if the added engineering costs for architecture the platform to be more optimized early on would not have paid off in lower maintenance costs, as well as lower hardware costs.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge # 56: Diff-k and Path Sum

            Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a couple of days (April 19, 2020). This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

          • PWC 056: Task #1, Diff-K & Task #2, Path Sum

            After posting two separate blogs for PWC 055 and seeing how awkward the explanations were, I’ll try a new tack: Both submissions will be elaborated in one blog post. The elaborations will not be explanations. I’ll focus more on the “idea” part and let any programming details come out in the comments, if at all.

          • PWC 055, Task #2: Wave Array

            This blog post contains the “missing comments” from my contribution to the Perl Weekly Challenge 055. If you haven’t read the Task #2 Problem Description: Wave Array you might want to do that first.

          • PWC 055, Task #1: Flip Binary

            This blog post contains the “missing comments” from my contribution to the Perl Weekly Challenge 055. If you haven’t read the Task #1 Problem Description: Flip Binary you might want to do that first.

          • the Giant Planet of Perl

            Finally I saw posts of PWC#056 on blogs.perl.org .

            I haven’t found what to discuss about #056 Task #1. Just to keep people know this code producer is alive and healthy, I share my recent life:

        • Python

          • Farewell to Oier Echaniz Beneitez



            We received the very sad news today, that Oier Echaniz Beneitez has passed away, after a long-term illness (not as a result of COVID-19).

            Oier was one of the initiators for bringing EuroPython to Bilbao in 2015 and co-chaired the conference in both 2015 and 2016, together with Fabio…

            He was one of the most enthusiastic and engaged organizers of the conference, served on the EuroPython Society board from 2015 – 2017 and founded and chaired the local Python organization in San Sebastian (PySS, pronounced “peace”). Oier also started the pyjok.es project, together with Alexandre Savio and Ben Nuttall, inaugurating the first Python Jokes-as-a-Service of its kind.

          • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 006
          • Letter boxed

            The goal is to use all the letters in a certain number of words. For this puzzle, the challenge is five words.

            But if you look at the answers they provide for yesterday’s puzzle, it’s always just two words. So now I’m tormenting myself trying to find two-word solutions. And of course I started thinking about writing a program to find them.

            I found a giant list of words and started hacking on some code. I wasn’t sure if I’d need some fancy tree structure for searching the solution space. I figured I would start simpler than that, and maybe it would work.

          • Building Finite State Machines with Python Coroutines

            Finite State Machine is a mathematical model of computation that models a sequential logic. FSM consists of a finite number of states, transition functions, input alphabets, a start state and end state(s). In the field of computer science, the FSMs are used in designing Compilers, Linguistics Processing, Step workflows, Game Design, Protocols Procedures (like TCP/IP), Event-driven programming, Conversational AI and many more.

          • Terminator 1.92 released

            Do you still remember the project Terminator? People around the world are still using this tool as their terminal emulator of choice for Linux- and Unix-based systems (including Mac OS).

            Unfortunately the development stagnated a bit since 2017 and within the last three years there had to be a lot of things to do. Terminator is written in Python, it had to be migrated to Python 3 for example, as distributions started to think about dropping support for Python 2. Packagers of several distributions started maintaining their own patches to support Terminator with Python 3, until today.

            Two weeks ago, things have changed. A project at GitHub as been created, the source code has been migrated from Bazaar to Git and even some package maintainers from Arch Linux and Fedora contributed and were working hard towards whats happened this weekend. There is a Terminator 1.92 release available and you can find Terminator at it’s new home here: https://github.com/gnome-terminator/terminator.

          • Talk Python to Me: #260 From basic script to interactive data sci app with Streamlit

            If you work on the data science or data visualization side of Python, you may have come to it from a scripting side of things. Writing just a little Python, using its magical libraries, with little structure or formalism to build a powerful analysis tool that runs in the terminal or maybe a jupyter notebook.

            What if you could take that same code, sprinkle in just a bit of a simple API, and turn it into a fast and dynamic single page application allowing your users to dive into the visualizations on the web?

            Well, that’s basically what the folks over at Streamlit created! We’ll dive into it with one of the creators, Adrien Treuille.

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxiv) stackoverflow python report
        • COBOL

        • Rust

          • Rust-Written Redox OS Booting The 128-Thread AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

            The Rust language focused Redox OS open-source operating system is now able to boot the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X 64-core/128-thread processor and run with full multi-threading capabilities.

            While one of the fundamentals of the Rust programming language is on offering safe concurrency, Redox OS itself had a multi-core issue until this week when it was sorted out by lead Redox OS developer (and System76 engineer) Jeremy Soller.

        • Java

          • Eclipse Theia vs. VS Code: “Theia is one of the most diverse & active projects”

            JAXenter: Eclipse Theia version 1.0 has just been released. Here on JAXenter we’ve followed Eclipse Theia for some time, so we’ll approach the topic a little bit differently. In the official announcement it is noticeable that Theia is explicitly called a “True Open Source Alternative to VS Code”. If we stick to the scope of functions and functionality: What are the similarities between Eclipse Theia and VS Code?

            Sven Efftinge: VS Code is an extremely good tool. In my opinion it offers just the right balance between a code editor and an IDE. In addition, the strong focus on command line interfaces via terminal and the development of the Language Server Protocol finally allows to shift a lot of work to the communities. This is an extremely important design decision because it means that IDE-specific plugins do not have to be built for every framework and programming language.

  • Leftovers

    • “There Is No Hope, But I May Be Wrong”

      We compose our opinion pieces, writing anywhere from 400 to 1000 words. Most of us use “we must” and “we should” and “we need” and conclude with a paragraph that offers hope.

    • Hell is Other People: Pandemic Lifestyles and Domestic Violence

      In No Exit, the translated title of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play, Huis Clos, three deceased characters find themselves in a room, ostensibly in Hell, in what transpires as a permanent wait. Locked after being ushered in by a valet, with quite literally no means of escape, they are confronted with each other’s moods, lies and eventual confessions. Sadism, cowardice and mendacity figure. The torment each character subjects the other to leads to that famous observation: L’enfer, c’est les autres (Hell is other people.) Humans are inventive, and tiringly so, in ensuring that torture or physical requirement need not be necessary in inflicting enduring misery.

    • The Sixties in the City of the Fallen Angels
    • Living in Dystopia

      “The future has arrived, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”

    • Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 4: Insanity is a Virtue in a Mad World

      As I scrawl the sloppy copy for my latest manifesto on a windowpane between my thoughts on string theory and Kevin Bacon’s connection to 9/11 (Madoff made him do it!), I am sincerely struck by America’s latest outpouring of affection for the pathologically eccentric. We may be on the veranda of a new black death but it has never been a better time to be mad in America. Not only is the evening news waxing hysterical and joining the angrier voices in my head like a Henry Rollins gospel ensemble, but every corporate huckster from Viacom to Disney apparently wants to be alone with me (I’ll be Daria if you play Snow White).

    • Book Review: Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine

      We don’t often do book reviews here on Techdirt, but since we’ve been talking about reading books scanned by the Internet Archive,* this one seemed good to discuss because of how it touches on many of the issues discussed here.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Trump Tells States to “LIBERATE!” Contradicting Own Administration’s Guidance

        A day after President Donald Trump unveiled a three-phase approach to ending stay-in-place orders across the country, he voiced support for right-wing protesters in a number of states who are themselves urging a quicker — and potentially more dangerous — approach.

      • Pandemic Justice: How COVID-19 and coronavirus containment measures have exacerbated problems in Russia’s courts and prisons

        In regions and cities across Russia, state officials are taking extraordinary measures to limit people’s movements and curb the spread of coronavirus. On March 18, Russia’s Supreme Court even imposed a moratorium on all hearings across the nation’s judicial system except for particularly “urgent cases,” though judges have enormous leeway here to decide what meets this threshold. Meanwhile, Russia’s prison system has effectively locked down, and observers warn that we now even less know about what happens at these facilities than we did before.

      • Russia’s recorded COVID-19 cases surpass 32,000 with highest daily count so far

        As of the morning of April 17, 4,070 new coronavirus infections have been recorded in Russia, raising the total number of officially confirmed cases to 32,000.

      • De-Funding the World Health Organization: Unethical, Cruel, and Dangerous for the World

        COVID-19 has shown just how deeply interconnected people are. Now is precisely the time to be increasing global cooperation, not cutting funding to the WHO.

      • Richard Falk on ‘World Order’ and COVID-19

        International relations scholar Richard Falk weighs in on the pandemic crisis and the global implications of neoliberalism, ecological illiteracy, and poverty as a global health issue.

      • The Gangster Head of the WHO

        The head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, was a senior capo for the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) gangster mafia that ruled Ethiopia from 1991-2018. During that time he served as Health Minister and Foreign Minister, cementing his credentials as a member of the inner circle of what was one of if not the most corrupt, brutal and genocidal regimes to set foot on this planet in the past 30 years.

      • Iraq Joins China In Suppressing Journalism About COVID-19

        We’ve been screaming from the rooftops about the need for more transparency regarding COVID-19, and tragically so many governments are going in the opposite direction. The latest is Iraq, where the nation’s media regulator revoked Reuters’ “license” for three months while also fining the organization ~$21,000 for daring to claim that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was actually higher than the government was reporting. According to the Communications and Media Commission, this violated rules and would “have serious repercussions on societal health and safety.”

      • #GetUsPPE: Advocates Place 1,000 Signs on Capitol Lawn to Demand Safety Equipment for Frontline Workers

        “The United States is the richest country in the history of humanity. There’s absolutely no reason why our frontline healthcare workers shouldn’t have access to PPE.”

      • Over-The-Air Updates Could Turn Millions Of Inexpensive Devices Into Much-Needed Ventilators To Treat Seriously-Ill COVID-19 Patients — If Manufacturer Helps

        Last week we wrote about attempts to repair much-needed ventilators for serious coronavirus cases being stymied by manufacturers’ refusal to allow hospital technicians to carry out the necessary work. Trammell Hudson, who describes himself as “a programmer, photographer, frequent hacker and occasional watchmaker”, has come up with another approach to supplying ventilators to hospitals. It involves taking the inexpensive and widely-used Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) devices typically used for sleep apnea, and turning them into emergency ventilators suitable for COVID-19 patients. These are known as Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) machines. BiPAP devices are more sophisticated than CPAP ones: they apply higher pressure when the patient tries to breathe in, and lower pressure when they start to breathe out. In investigating the popular Airsense 10 CPAP device manufactured by ResMed, Hudson made a remarkable discovery:

      • The Global Fragmentation of Public Health Systems

        In many countries, what should have been a serious problem—COVID-19—quickly escalated into a crisis. Tracking and tracing capabilities were impaired or absent, central coordination was lacking, decisive actions were not taken, and lower-level staff were tasked with making life-or-death choices. This is a reflection of the US-British-led neoliberal form of capitalism that has infected the thinking of many world leaders and economists for the last 40+ years.

      • As Food Banks Face Shortages and Fresh Produce Rots, Pandemic Spurs Calls for Sustainable Supply Chain

        “To truly be resilient, our system must shift to one that relies on small and medium producers and independent, responsible operations.”

      • The New Fault Lines in a Post-Globalized World

        The coronavirus pandemic has upended the global economic system, and just as importantly, cast out 40 years of neoliberal orthodoxy that dominated the industrialized world.

      • NYC Medical Workers Protest New Policy Demanding Doctor’s Notes for Ill Staffers
      • Trump’s COVID-19 Plan Aims to Shift Blame to Governors If Things Worsen

        President Donald Trump has laid out a three-phase approach for how states can end stay-in-place orders over the next several weeks or so, with hopes that doing so can help send people back to work, revitalizing an economy that has been significantly harmed by the spread of the coronavirus.

      • India and the Coronavirus

        While the corona virus has focused much of the world on Europe and the United States, India promises to be the greatest victim of the disease. But other than a slick public relations campaign, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to confront the crisis. Indeed, a number of policy moves by Delhi have likely fed the spread of the dangerous virus.

      • WATCH: Global Citizen Hosts ‘One World: Together At Home’ Special to Support WHO’s COVID-19 Response

        “Through music, entertainment, and impact, the global live-cast will celebrate those who risk their own health to safeguard everyone else’s.”

      • As Coronavirus Spreads Through Prisons, States Are Failing Incarcerated People

        On April 6, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order allowing “medically vulnerable” incarcerated people to be temporarily released on medical furlough for the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation. Furloughs are typically temporary releases from prison, usually for no more than 14 days. Pritzker’s executive order extends the order indefinitely during the pandemic; it is unclear whether people will be expected to return to prison once the pandemic is past.

      • Lula Warns ‘Reckless’ Pandemic Response by Bolsonaro Leading Brazil ‘to the Slaughterhouse’

        The former Brazilian president joined a growing global chorus criticizing how the country’s current leader has handled the public health crisis.

      • A Nurse’s Hospital Wouldn’t Let Her Wear an N95 Mask. She Hasn’t Been Back to Work in Weeks.

        On March 31, Florida emergency room nurse Naomi Moya took a big risk. Though her hospital didn’t allow staff to wear N95 masks when treating patients who were not diagnosed with the coronavirus, Moya brought one from home and put it on to protect herself.

        A supervisor noticed the N95 right away and ordered her to remove it.

      • Coronavirus Advice From Abroad: 7 Lessons America’s Governors Should Not Ignore as They Reopen Their Economies
      • How can innovation and regulatory policy accomplish robust COVID-19 testing?

        It’s now clear that expansive, population-wide testing is part-and-parcel of every successful COVID-19 containment strategy. But US testing efforts, from the beginning of the pandemic until now, have been widely criticized as lacking. Perhaps as a direct consequence of this failure, the US now leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths. What are these tests and what’s our capacity to test; why is it important to test; how have the FDA and other administrative agencies addressed the issue; and what can we do about it?

        [...]

        New in vitro diagnostic tests—like those for COVID-19—are regulated by the FDA under the broad category of “medical devices,” with the level of scrutiny depending on the riskiness of the test. As Erika Lietzan has helpfully summarized, to circumvent the lengthy FDA review process in a public health emergency like this pandemic, the agency can use Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) on a product-by-product basis. The aim of EUAs is to make sure that the tests actually work, but to accomplish that review as quickly as possible. EUAs have been used successfully for past disease outbreaks like Zika and MERS-CoV. The FDA has issued EUAs for 33 in vitro diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Almost all are for the PCR tests to identify viral genetic material, but one serological test for antibodies has received an EUA.

        Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency on January 31 and declared that “circumstances exist justifying” EUAs on February 4. Although intended to ease regulatory hurdles for bringing COVID-19 testing online, the FDA’s EUA guidance ended up slowing the process down. In general, the FDA doesn’t enforce its regulatory requirements for so-called “laboratory developed tests” (LDTs) that are developed and run in a single facility (such as a hospital that develops, makes, and then uses its own diagnostic test). However, when the FDA moved to an EUA regime for COVID-19, the agency announced that LDTs would not be permitted for COVID-19 tests; the only way to get approved was to request an EUA. At the end of February, the FDA modified its stance, allowing some laboratories to keep testing using their LDTs while they waited for their EUA to be approved. But as the New York Times recently detailed, this led to a “lost month” when “new tests sat unused”—including at Stanford, which had already used WHO protocols to deliver more than 250,000 tests around the world but was unable to use them in its own backyard.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Electric Panda targets US government contractors. Apple and Google working on contact-tracing system. SFO websites compromised.

          According to ESET, “The intent was to collect Windows credentials (username/NTLM hash) of visitors by exploiting an SMB feature and the file:// prefix….The targeted information was NOT the visitor’s credentials to the compromised websites, but rather the visitor’s own Windows credentials.” ZDNet explains that “NTLM hashes can be cracked to obtain a cleartext version of a user’s Windows password.”

        • [Old] University Hospital Brno is used to test patients for coronavirus infections – cyberattack halts the operations [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The second-largest hospital in the Czech Republic was hit by a massive cyberattack in the middle of the coronavirus outbreak. The incident happened on Friday night, which prompted the authorities to close down the entire IT network, majorly disrupting the operation in the facility – staff were told not to turn their computers back on. Patients who turned up at the hospital were diverted to other establishments while it is figured out how to make the systems running again.

        • Hospital computer system not fully restored after attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The March 26 malware (malicious software) attack took down a number of functions at Meadville Medical Center from email to electronic medical records, the Meadville Tribune reported.

        • Czechs warn of imminent, large-scale cyberattacks on hospitals {iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Czech Republic warned international allies on Thursday of a imminent wave of disruptive cyberattacks against the country’s hospitals and other parts of its critical infrastructure.

          The country’s NUKIB cybersecurity watchdog said the attacks, designed to damage or destroy victims’ computers, were expected in coming days. Two officials with knowledge of the matter said they could begin as soon as Friday.

        • Czech cyber officials warn of serious threat to health care sector [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Czech advisory is the latest sign that, while the novel coronavirus has strained health care systems around the world, some malicious [attackers] are trying to exploit the additional vulnerability.

          “This appears to be a serious and credible impending attack,” said Beau Woods, a cyber safety innovation fellow at the Atlantic Council. “Attacks against Central and Eastern European countries can be leading indicators of future attacks elsewhere. U.S. organizations would do well to take action now without waiting for adversaries to begin targeting them.”

        • [Old] Cyberattack on Czech hospital forces tech shutdown during coronavirus outbreak [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Brno University Hospital is currently recovering capabilities, although it is not yet fully operational. For example, there are still no means of storing data, meaning that medics have to write and transfer their notes manually, which slows processes and potentially endangers lives.

        • Hackers Targeting Critical Healthcare Facilities With Ransomware During Coronavirus Pandemic [iophk: Windows TCO]

          According to the researchers, the campaign began with malicious emails sent from a spoofed address mimicking the World Health Organization (noreply@who[.]int) that were sent to a number of individuals associated with the healthcare organization that’s actively involved in COVID-19 response efforts.

          The email lures contained a rich text format (RTF) document named “20200323-sitrep-63-covid-19.doc,” which, when opened, attempted to deliver EDA2 ransomware by exploiting a known buffer overflow vulnerability (CVE-2012-0158) in Microsoft’s ListView / TreeView ActiveX controls in MSCOMCTL.OCX library.

        • How to delete Zoom from smartphone, PC

          All of this including various other security concerns that have been raised have made doubts creep into the minds of its users who are now scared of using the platform. Many have even shifted to using different apps like Skype, Hangouts and more. If you have shifted to using a different app and do not want to use Zoom anymore, here’s how you can remove it completely from your device.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • You need two accounts

            During lockdown I’ve been helping friends and neighbors get set up for remote work or just remote calls. If someone is in a bind they use what they have in front of them, or what they’ve been told to use, so it’s been an interesting step back into the world of disloyal devices and horrid software.

            But even if your choices are limited, there is one basic step you can take to protect your privacy: create another account. Now is as good a time as any to say, “Oh yeah, I’ve got a new account now.”

            Compartmentalization

            Compartmentalization is a basic security technique. You make some boxes, say “Critical” and “Trivial”, you sort things into those boxes, and you treat the boxes with different degrees of care. You might already have a folder at home for financial statements or tax invoices. At the office, you might mark and store “Confidential” documents separately.

          • Tor Project lays off a third of its staff
          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • After 8 Years of Remote-Access Trojans Attacks, Can We Still Say Linux is Secure?

              Remember when BlackBerry reported Advanced Persistent Threat groups have been infiltrating critical Linux servers for at least eight years? What’s the lesson to be learned?

              LinuxSecurity Founder Dave Wreski argues “Although it may be easy to blame the rise in attacks targeting Linux in recent years on security vulnerabilities in the operating system as a whole, this is simply not the truth. The majority of exploits on Linux systems can be attributed to misconfigured servers and poor administration.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • As Pandemic Rages, US Economic Sanctions Against Cuba are Deadly

        We know that for almost 60 years the U.S. government has blockaded Cuba and, in the process, has damaged Cuba’s economy and threatened the health and safety of the Cuban people. We know that the Cuban people are now defending themselves against the COVID 19 virus and know too that COVID 19 often causes death.

      • Birth Of A Nation Redux
      • Threatening Military Intervention in Venezuela During a Pandemic?

        Unbeknownst to most Americans, as we are grappling with this terrifying pandemic, the Trump administration is currently carrying out the largest military operation in Latin America in 30 years, and has made it clear that alleged Venezuelan “narco-terrorism” is the target. It’s worth noting that the last deployment of a similar size took place at the time of the 1989 US military intervention in Panama to remove General Manuel Noriega.

      • View From Vietnam: COVID-19 Reminds the World That Trump Has No Clothes

        The famous 19th century fairy tale by the Danish writer, Hans Christian Anderson, could have been written about Donald Trump, a man-child who lives in a fantasy world of self-delusion and lies and who surrounds himself with sycophantic yes-people who value their positions and professional advancement over truth and justice. The damage caused by this corrosive mindset is limited when one is running an inherited family company but magnified and multiplied a thousand-fold when the same person is president of the United States during a global pandemic.

      • Collateral Damage and the “War on COVID-19”

        Once again America is at war. In COVID-19, it has found a new enemy against which to marshal its not so vast resources. America needs its enemies, manufacturing them at will, just as it manufactures consent to combat them. But like most of America’s perpetual wars, the war on COVID-19 is actually a war of attrition on America itself, or more precisely on its communities of color.

      • Fomenting trouble during pandemic: Violations by Pakistan spiked in May

        The official also said that Pakistan would go to any lengths to continue with their proxy war with India. ISI linked operations are on in full flow not only in Pakistan but in Afghanistan as well. The JeM and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba have lined up nearly 200 of their terrorists along the border and are looking to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir, a report by the Intelligence Bureau also said.

      • Daniel Pocock: Anzacathon: a national hackathon to save Anzac day

        We could see various synergies between the legacy of the Commonwealth countries and the needs of the Kosovan participants. As Kosovo has only recently had a war, it would be useful for them to see how Commonwealth countries have continued to commemorate war casualties over many generations. This could provide insights for Kosovans as they record and preserve their own history and experiences. Furthermore, as Albanian Kosovans have very distinctive names, it would be a very easy data matching activity to try and identify all the people with Albanian names who had served in the armed forces of any Commonwealth country, including the UK and Australia.

        The Prizren hackathon had been entirely for programmers. For the Remembrance Day hackathon, we decided to include research activities for people who don’t do programming as well as some data science activities. As I had recently looked at some of the data sources for my own research, it provided a solid base for me to prepare some coding tasks.

        [...]

        The Prizren hackathon had been entirely for programmers. For the Remembrance Day hackathon, we decided to include research activities for people who don’t do programming as well as some data science activities. As I had recently looked at some of the data sources for my own research, it provided a solid base for me to prepare some coding tasks.

        Once again, scraping was one of the major themes and that is how we have so many data sets for the Anzacathon.

        The winners of the Remembrance Day hackathon, Leotrime Maxharraj and Xhejdi Coku, had created another Mural site for John Goddard, VK6JG, who perished in Operation Thesis, Crete. The honour roll of the Wireless Institute of Australia was one of the lists we used as a basis for the research.

    • Environment

      • Want to Save the World? Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need

        Is Covid-19 that just-big-enough-but-not-too-big catastrophe that is finally going to scare or inspire enough people to take realistic and constructive action to confront the major challenge of our time. That would be climate change, a problem based in exploitation and inequality, with the potential to one day make Covid-19 seem like a picnic in the park.

      • Advances in Oil Spill Science and Technology

        NOAA was on the scene of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from the earliest moments of the crisis in April 2010. Our scientists used data from satellites, aircraft, ships, buoys, and gliders to collect and provide mission-critical information to guide the emergency response to the spill, as well as the long-term assessment and restoration of the Gulf Coast.

        Now, ten years later, we look at a few examples of how lessons learned during and research following Deepwater Horizon have better prepared the agency to provide expert scientific support for future events.

      • Emerging Climate-Fueled Megadrought in Western US Rivals Any Over Past 1,200 Years: Study

        “We now have enough observations of current drought and tree-ring records of past drought to say that we’re on the same trajectory as the worst prehistoric droughts.”

      • COVID-19 and the Wasting Disease of Normalcy

        The pandemic has brought home what the threats of global destruction by climate change and nuclear war should have long ago—that the promises of normalcy will never deliver in the end. 

      • COVID-19 May Increase Heat Extremes This Summer

        The massive global economic shutdown in response to COVID-19 is clearing the skies as less pollution is being emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, including emissions of fewer colorless greenhouse gases. But emitting fewer greenhouse gases alone will not cool Earth, only reduce extra warming that would have otherwise taken place. And counterintuitively, as fossil fuel pollutants are reduced, global average temperatures warm even more due to the loss of global cooling aerosols (air pollution) that are emitted alongside greenhouse gases when fossil fuels are burned.

      • Energy

        • A Big Oil Bailout Would Be the Opposite of the Green New Deal We Need

          It’s been a wild couple of weeks in the oil markets. Following a price war between major petrostates, the price of oil has tanked. Ever since, Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have been desperately trying to save a deeply indebted oil industry. We can all but expect a Trump-led bailout for Big Oil. Instead, our law and policy makers should let the oil producers fail, and devote resources to stave off the next crisis — the climate crisis — before it gets even worse.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Problem With Conservation Easements

          The Washington Post recently published an article that repeated the old and flawed idea that ranching will “protect” the land and suggesting conservation easements are the solution to sprawl.

        • Wilderness Protects Biological Diversity

          In the current election cycle, three things are clear. First, it is apparent that for the next four years, the President will, like me, be an old white guy (hopefully not named Trump). Second, the global biodiversity crisis, unfortunately, is not a campaign issue. And third, neither is human overpopulation – 7.8 billion and counting – the root cause of most environmental problems.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Noam Chomsky: Trump Blaming WHO for COVID-19 Deaths Is Dictator-Like Behavior
      • ‘The US Knew’: Report Says American Intel on Threat of Coronavirus Was Shared With Israel and NATO in November, Dismissed by Trump

        “The smoking gun has arrived.”

      • Naomi Walker on Covid-19 Relief, Johanna Bozuwa on the Last ‘New Normal’

        This week on CounterSpin: Dozens of groups and state and local officials have just sent an open letter to Congress: The $150 billion designated for state, local and tribal governments as relief from the Covid-19 crisis is nowhere near what those governments will need—and not just that, but forcing them to cut budgets just as they need to be spending more is going to drive a cycle that only hurts more those already hurting. We’ll talk about what could be done instead with Naomi Walker, director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network, working out of the Economic Policy Institute—who spearheaded the letter.

      • Bernie Sanders Tests the Limits of the US Political System

        The Great Gray Hope has bowed out of the presidential primary race, leaving tottering Joe Biden as the last Democrat standing. What Bernie Sanders accomplished electorally was remarkable, revealing both how far a progressive can venture and the limits proscribing further advancement to the left within the Democratic Party.

      • Bernie’s Political Funeral

        The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign always had a destination that was not the White House.

      • Will the Pandemic Finish Trump or Give his Régime an Escape?

        Amidst all the talk about if the global Covid-19 pandemic will lead to an opening for socialism, or at least a reduction in the grip of neoliberalism, in the wake of capitalism’s failures, a more immediate question is if there is to be a reversal of the march of the Right in electoral politics.

      • If Democrats Won’t Dump Biden, They Should At Least Keep Him Out of Sight

        Spring has sprung, but instead of renewal we have another year or more of social distancing and preposterously incompetent national leadership ahead of us, along with an electoral circus in which the greater evil party’s presidential candidate will yet again be the bastard off-spring of Roy Cohn and Norman Vincent Peale, a snake oil salesman who is making the corvid-19 crisis a lot worse than it could otherwise have been. Meanwhile, barring a miracle, the lesser evil party will be putting its worst food forward, fielding Joe Biden.

      • The GOP Has Become a Death Cult

        American conservatism—the so-called “culture of life”—worships annihilation.

      • Corona and the Rise of the German Police State

        A few weeks ago, a German women did something illegal. She bought a book called 1984 in a local bookstore. The bookseller was crying because he had not seen a customer for ages. Just a few months ago, these three rather unassuming sentences would have been a suitable beginning for a great book. In April 2020, this is the bitter reality in Germany. The Orwellian nightmare of an all controlling super police state is just around the corner, thanks to the seemingly relentless spread of the Coronavirus.

      • Rethinking Freedom, Government, and Expertise in the Time of COVID-19

        A misplaced fear of government action and a lack of trust in science have tragically weakened the U.S. response to the pandemic.

      • The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Election

        We need no-excuse absentee voting now—and that’s the bare minimum.

      • Eight Reasons Trump Doesn’t Need to “Cancel the Election”

        As the presidential race grinds on, more blue-leaning voters are expressing worry that Trump will “cancel the election.”

      • So, Come and Get Me, Joe

        As a conscientious voter who started this election cycle with clear standards of whom to support, I am left with no one from the blue side who meets my criteria. As 20 some candidates threw in their hats, I said a massive program to address climate change ( the Green New Deal) and single payer health care with no private insurance (Medicare for All) were the cleavers to divide the field. The early debate stages were split somewhat evenly between those who had at least one of my requirements and those who had none.

      • Time to Declare an Outbreak of Peace

        The Secretary General of the United Nations issued a plea to the countries of the world to declare an immediate ceasefire. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” he said. “Let us dedicate ourselves to the real fight, which is not with each other, but is to protect our health and the health of our planet.” Can we heed his plea, acknowledge more fully than ever our profound and indisputable interdependence, and seize this perilous moment as an opportunity for broad and deep societal change? How much more evidence do we need? Borders and boundaries do not protect us. Position and privilege may not keep us from harm. No country or village is too far away. We are all vulnerable to this virus.

      • Can Democracy Survive COVID-19?

        The COVID-19 global pandemic has prompted a major question about leadership in a time of crisis: how to balance the importance of public health with the respecting of individual liberty? The virus respects no borders. It cares little for how nations are run, whether through democratic governance or authoritarianism. But democratic governments have already used the virus to crack down on freedoms, while those regimes that were authoritarian to begin with have used the pandemic to grab even more power. Meanwhile in countries like the United States, the notion of freedom is being used to undermine public health. But freedom and public health are not mutually exclusive.

      • Ilhan Omar Bill Would Cancel Rent and Mortgage Payments for Duration of Pandemic

        Rep. Ilhan Omar on Friday unveiled legislation aimed at providing relief to “the millions of Americans currently at risk of housing instability and homelessness” by canceling all rent and home mortgage payments for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      • Portland’s Rental Crisis Created an Opening for Democratic Socialist Candidates

        When tenant activist Margot Black had her first “no-cause” eviction in which she was forced out of her apartment simply because she was not bound by a lease, she was 19 and a single mother of a 6-month-old daughter. When she saw her second no-cause eviction in 2012, Portland, Oregon, was an even less hospitable place. Housing prices had soared as tech jobs came in, and Portland was branded as the next hip place for urban professionals to relocate to — making the city increasingly unlivable for working-class residents.

      • Attorney General Barr Refuses to Release 9/11 Documents to Victims’ Families

        Months after President Donald Trump promised to open FBI files to help families of the 9/11 victims in a civil lawsuit against the Saudi government, the Justice Department has doubled down on its claim that the information is a state secret.

      • The Unconscious System Plague: Will Covid-19 Finally Awaken Us?

        Like others, I have thought from the first day of the Covid-19 pandemic that it was forcing us to awake from exponential life-system destruction by corporate ‘business as usual’ to our common life-ground.

      • So, Joe Biden, Here’s the Deal

        Might the current Covid-19 situation make you think that the U.S. needed to immediately adopt some form of universal health insurance?

      • Bernie’s Political Funeral

        The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign always had a destination that was not the White House.

      • Sanders and Palestine: a Post Mortem

        Let me start with a story about the Democratic primary.  Now, I’m no operative, so this story has nothing to do with voting choices or electability.  It’s about how Palestine disappears in US electoral discourses, even when people who identify as Palestinian purport to make it visible.

      • Covid-19 Speculation Goes From Margin to Center

        The fact that President Donald Trump attacked the official US state broadcasting outlet, Voice of America, as an organ of Chinese government propaganda (NPR, 4/10/20) is a testament to just how important anti-China rhetoric is to his political strategy in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic. In context, VOA is simply not aggressive enough in pushing the narrative the administration wants to get out there. But the administration has other avenues.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assyrian Journalist Targeted in Turkey

        An Assyrian Christian journalist currently living in Istanbul, Isa Karatus, has reported that gunshots were fired at his house in Mardin on the morning of April 14th. He does not regularly live at the Mardin house, and thus was not home when the attack occurred. An investigation is ongoing.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ICANN delays .org sell off after California’s attorney general intervenes at last minute, tears non-profit a new one over sale

        The organization’s board of directors was due to decide today on whether to approve the $1.13bn sale of the .org domain from the Internet Society to private equity firm Ethos Capital, but a last-minute letter from California’s attorney general Xavier Becerra appears to have upended the plan.

        Rather than take a vote, the ICANN board debated the issue and ultimately decided to put off a decision until May 4 – the fourth such delay. The organization formally acknowledged the decision late on Thursday evening local time.

      • ICANN postpones .org decision after California AG says sale shouldn’t happen

        This puts ICANN in a tough position: If it allows the transaction, the state entity that regulates it might sue. If it denies the transaction, private equity buyer Ethos might sue.

        This is ICANN’s own undoing. It assigned the .org contract to Public Interest Registry as a non-profit overseer of the namespace. Over time, it has changed the contract to make it more like an ownership structure. In an effort to streamline contracts, it changed many of the terms to reflect those of new top level domains that were “bought and paid for” by registry operators in the 2012 round. It removed price controls last year, shortly before Ethos Capital said it was buying the non-profit and turning it into a for-profit.

      • ICANN delays sell off of .org domain

        Attorney general Xavier Becerra’s letter arrived at ICANN just hours before its meeting to decide on the sale of the .org domain. The letter urged the organization not to approve the sale as it “raises serious concerns that cannot be overlooked”.

        For instance, Ethos Capital has an unusual corporate structure and its purchase of the .org domain involves six different companies that were all registered on the same day back in October of last year. The private equity firm has also refused to answer specific questions about its ownership.

      • Public Interest Registry Change of Control Request Update

        We have agreed to extend the review period to 4 May 2020, to permit additional time to complete our review.

      • RE:ProposedEthos Capital Takeover of .ORG Registry Agreement

        To that end, my office conducted an investigation of ICANN and its role in approving the transfer of the .ORG Registry Agreement from the Public Interest Registry (“PIR”)(the supporting organization tothe Internet Society(“ISOC”))to Ethos Capital. A key component of our review begins with ICANN’s articles of incorporationwhich states as follows:

        [ICANN] is not organized for the private gain of any person…recogni[zing]the fact that the Internet is an international network of networks, owned by no single nation, individual or organization”and as such, ICANN will “pursue the charitable and public purposes of lessening the burdens of government and [...]

      • ISPs Ignore Toothless FCC Demand To Not Kick Users Offline During COVID-19

        A few weeks back, the Trump FCC put on a big show about a new “Keep America Connected Pledge.” In it, the FCC proudly proclaimed that it had gotten hundreds of ISPs to agree to not disconnect users who couldn’t pay for essential broadband service during a pandemic. The problem: the 60 day pledge was entirely voluntary, temporary, and because the FCC just got done obliterating its authority over ISPs at lobbyist behest (as part of its net neutrality repeal), it’s largely impossible to actually enforce.

    • Monopolies

      • CVC Reply No. 2 to Broad’s Opposition No. 2 to CVC’s Motion No. 2 to Be Accorded Benefit of Priority

        March 23rd was the deadline for the parties in 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”), to file 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. 2 was to be accorded the benefit of priority to three earlier-filed provisional applications contingent on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board granting the Broad’s Motion No. 2 to Substitute the Count of the interference.

      • CVC Files Motion to Exclude Broad Evidence; Broad Opposes

        The interference rules (41 C.F.R. § 42 et seq.) provide that a party can object to an opponent’s evidence including testimony. Admissibility of evidence is governed by the Federal Rules of Evidence under 41 C.F.R. § 42.152; expert testimony is governed by the Federal Rules and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579, 593-94 (1993). Here, CVC argues in its brief in support of Miscellaneous Motion No. 2 that four prior art references should not be considered by the Board because they were not cited in any of Broad’s papers; declarations from several individuals, including some of Broad’s inventors, are inadmissible as hearsay because these individuals had not been made available for deposition; and certain expert testimony fails the Supreme Court’s Daubert test for expert testimony admissibility.

        The brief deals summarily with the uncited references, relying on Fed. R. Evid. 403 and 41 C.F.R. § 42.152.2.1 as being irrelevant for being uncited. Turning to hearsay under Fed. R. Evid. 804, the brief identifies two categories of such inadmissible evidence: declarations from prior proceedings (significantly, prior Interference No 106,048) that should be excluded according to CVC because the declarants were not made available for cross-examination. The other category comprises “two expert declarations that recite these hearsay declarations for the truth of the matters asserted therein, and serve as further conduits for presenting the inadmissible hearsay in these declarations.”

        With regard to the first category, CVC argues that Broad submitted declarations of three fact witnesses (Drs. Sanjana, Lambowitz, and Zhang) for “the truth of the matter asserted” (specifically, timing and success of experiments by Broad inventors) that were submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office during prosecution of involved Broad patents (Sanjana, Zhang) or was a third-party declaration (Lambowitz). CVC maintains that it objected to these declarations and Broad did not make these declarants available for cross-examination and thus their declarations constituted inadmissible hearsay, citing specifically Rose v. Frazer, Inf. No. 104,733 Paper 73 at 4 (B.P.A.I. Mar. 29, 2002), and 37 C.F.R. § 42.51(c). The brief also cites Praxair Distrib., Inc. v. INO Therapeutics LLC, IPR2015-00529, Paper 33 at 2 (PTAB Dec. 22, 2015, and Mexichem Amanco Holdings S.A. de C.V. v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., Case IPR2013-00576, Paper 36 at 3 (PTAB Sept. 5, 2014), for the proposition that declaration evidence not subject to cross-examination (or an offer for cross-examination) should not be considered by the PTAB in contested cases. The brief makes the appropriate representations that CVC requested these declarants be made available for deposition and Broad failed to make them available. In addition, CVC suggests that the accuracy, if not the veracity, of Dr. Sanjana’s declaration testimony was uncertain.

      • Singapore court modifies the Coco test for breach of confidence

        In the decision of I-Admin (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hong Ying Ting and others, the Singapore Court of Appeal introduced a new modified approach to breach of confidence claims. The appellant is in the business of payroll administrative data processing services and human resource information systems, and brought the claim against former employees and related parties (the respondents) for copyright infringement and breach of confidence.

        From the execution of an Anton Piller Order, the respondents were found to be in possession (before the execution) of certain materials of the appellant, including the appellant’s source codes, databases, operational documents, client materials, pricing information and other business strategy materials, and implementation templates. The respondents circulated these materials among themselves in emails. The respondents also possessed personal data taken from clients of the appellant.

      • Patents

        • Firecomms wins patent infringement appeal against Broadcom/Avago

          EP 1 511 198 is owned by Californian company Avago Technologies, now known as Broadcom. The company brought a case against Firecomms in 2014. The patent protects a technology that amplifies optical signals and suppresses interference, for use in fibre optic technology. However, the patent is not standard essential.

          Avago accused Firecomms of infringing the patent with its optical receiver circuits. Then, in 2014, Avago filed infringement suits against the Irish company and its Chinese subsidiary at the Regional Court of Munich. The defendants responded with a nullity suit (6 Ni 14/15). The Munich judges suspended infringement proceedings pending the outcome in the nullity suit.

          In 2017, the Federal Patent Court declared the property right partially invalid. The Regional Court Munich then resumed proceedings and dismissed the infringement suit in 2018 (case ID: 21 O 16494/14).

          In the current appeals (case IDs: 6 U 1746/18 and 6 U 4094/18), the Higher Regional Court followed the arguments of the first instance court. The judges did not consider EP 198 infringed, because Firecomms’ chips did not make use of the essential patent claim. This is despite the Federal Court of Justice, in the parallel appeal against the nullity ruling, declaring the Avago patent fully valid in mid-2019.

        • Summary Judgment, Eligibility, and Appeals

          The jury sided with Ericsson — holding that TCL willfully infringed the two asserted claims of Ericsson’s US7149510 and awarded $75 million in compensatory damages. Judge Payne then added an additional $25 million enhanced damages for the adjudged willfulness.

        • Federal Circuit’s Unique Preclusion Principle

          I previously wrote about Chrimar’s petition for writ of certiorari on the Federal Circuit’s unique doctrine of retroactive revocation of final judgments. The basics are: Once affirmed on appeal, a PTAB decision cancelling patent claims will effectively reverse and vacate any prior judicial final decisions of liability and damages so long as some aspect of the prior infringement lawsuit is still pending (typically in the form of a pending appeal on other grounds).

        • Bozeman Financial LLC v. Federal Reserve Bank (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Less than two years ago, in Return Mail, Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, 139 S. Ct. 1853 (2018), the Supreme Court held that a government entity — in that case, the U.S. Postal Service — is not a “person” under the America Invents Act, and therefore unable to avail itself of the AIA’s post-issuance review proceedings. But the Court did not resolve whether quasi-governmental entities would be barred from post-issuance proceedings as well. Here, the twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks brought covered business method (CBM) review proceedings seeking to invalidate two Bozeman Financial patents. And the Federal Circuit found, contrary to the Supreme Court, that they are “persons,” entitled to do so under the AIA.

          [...]

          The Federal Reserve Banks filed petitions for CBM review, challenging all 26 claims of the ’640 patent and all 20 claims of the ’840 patent. Bozeman Financial filed a fulsome response to the Federal Reserve Banks’ arguments in relation to the ’840 patent, but sought to incorporate those rejoinders by reference in relation to the ’640 patent rather than making the arguments independently. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejected that attempted incorporation and found all of the claims of each patent invalid as drawn to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Board also found 22 of the 26 claims of the ’640 patent invalid under § 112.

          Bozeman Financial appealed the Board’s decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In doing so, it raised only the substantive grounds for the Board’s subject matter eligibility decisions; it did not raise the Federal Reserve Banks’ personalty. Instead, after the Return Mail decision was issued, Bozeman Financial filed a supplemental brief raising the argument that the Federal Reserve Banks are not “persons” under the AIA, and therefore the CBM reviews were void ab initio. In addition to disputing the merits of Bozeman Financial’s argument, the Federal Reserve Banks argued that Bozeman Financial waived the issue by not raising it below or in its opening brief.

          Judge Moore, writing for the Federal Circuit, started from the proposition that a federal appellate court generally does not consider any issue not decided below. Nor does it generally consider arguments that are not raised in an appellant’s (or cross-appellant’s) opening brief. There are, however, exceptional circumstances in which an appellate court will consider issues nonetheless, and the Federal Circuit found that this was one of those circumstances.

        • EPO extends deadlines until 4 May 2020 in response to COVID-19

          The Notice acknowledges that “since the general dislocation due to the pandemic continues in the Federal Republic of Germany, there is a need to further extend the periods”. The previous Notice identified regions that the EPO considered “high risk” with respect to COVID-19. The most recent Notice acknowledges that the crisis now has no borders: “As of 10 April 2020 countries and regions are no longer classified as international risk areas. Due to pandemic spread, there is a global risk of acquiring COVID-19″.

        • Software Patents

          • CardioNet v. InfoBionic: Patenting a Diagnostic Tool

            In the case, CardioNet sued InfoBionic for infringement (D.Mass.). The district court quickly dismissed the case for failure to state a claim under R. 12(b)(6) – ruling that the claims of CardioNet’s US7941207 are improperly directed at patent-ineligible concepts under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

            [...]

            Majority Op. at 22. Judge Dyk argues that instead that “limiting the use of extrinsic evidence to establish that a practice is longstanding would be inconsistent with authority. No case has ever said that the nature of a longstanding practice cannot be determined by looking at the prior art.”

          • En Banc Denied

            The Federal Circuit today denied two en banc rehearing petitions:

            - Amgen Inc. v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC. This decision focused on merely-tangential exception to the the prosecution-history-estoppel limitation on the doctrine-of-equivalents. The question for the petition is whether the district court must first identify the “rationale underlying [a narrowing] amendment” before deciding that the amendment is not merely tangential to the equivalent in question.
            - Mira Advanced Technology v. Microsoft Corporation. Whether the PTAB’s construction of the term “contact list” was “arbitrary and capricious.”

      • Trademarks

        • Jack Daniels Gets Chewed Up In Trademark Case Over ‘Bad Spaniels’ Doggy Chew Toy

          We’ve seen roughly a zillion trademark disputes and cases in the alcohol industries, but perhaps nothing quite like this. Jack Daniels, the famous liquor company, found itself in a prolonged court battle with VIP Products LLC. At issue? Well, VIP makes a doggy chew toy that is a parody of Jack Daniels’ famous whiskey bottle and trade dress. See for yourself.

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright in Unpublished Works: What Constitutes Publication?

          What would happen if I write a novel and keep the manuscript in the drawer of my study table? Would it have any copyright? Is infringement possible in such a scenario? What is term of copyright? When would it be considered as published? What is publication — if I give the manuscript for an innocuous reading/inviting comments to a friend, would it tantamount to publication? This post is an attempt to explore answers to these questions.

        • FIR against ShareChat for Copyright Infringement: Time to Introspect the ‘Safe Harbour’ Provision?

          We’re pleased to bring to you a guest post by Priyanka Joshi, examining the liability of platforms like ShareChat for copyright infringement in view of the recent dispute between ShareChat and Lahiri Recording Company. Priyanka is the General Secretary at The Indian Music Industry (IMI), an association representing Indian music record companies.

        • How dynamic is a dynamic injunction? An analysis of the characteristics and the permissible scope of dynamic injunctions under European Law after CJEU C-18/18 (Glawischnig-Piesczek)

          In its judgment in C-18/18, the Court of Justice of the European Union concluded that injunctions including not only future identical infringements, but also similar infringements to the infringement in the initial proceeding do not constitute a general monitoring obligation and, as such, are not incompatible with the prohibition in Article 15 of the e-Commerce Directive. Such broad-scoped injunctions have been on the rise as they have proven to be an effective enforcement tool to tackle online infringements.

          This article focuses in particular on the concept of dynamic, which are ordinary injunctions with two possible dynamic add-ons: a dynamic-content and a dynamic-infringer part. Unlike their general counterparts, the content of a dynamic injunction is subject to change. All this can increase the enforcement possibilities for online infringements, as general blocking injunctions are easy to circumvent by infringers through re-uploading the infringing content to IP addresses or domain names that fall outside the scope of the injunction.

          Based on the primary and secondary Union law limitations, the article concludes that dynamic injunctions to prevent infringements of intellectual property rights can include an obligation for an online intermediary to block access to active infringements and to monitor its service for and block access to all future identical infringements to these initial infringements, irrespective of the uploading party. Similar content can be included when the injunction properly defines such content, and the injunction does not effectively oblige an online intermediary to carry out an assessment of the infringing nature of the content. To avoid such an obligation to carry out a legal assessment of the content, and based on the way dynamic injunctions have been successfully applied in several Member States of the European Union, it is recommendable to require similar infringements to be blocked only after a rightholder’s notification. All this would be necessary to prevent the over-filtering of legal content and unduly transfer the burden of identification from the rightholder to the receiving intermediary.

        • DSM Directive: French Competition Authority orders Google to negotiate Remuneration with Press Publishers

          Article 15 of the new DSM Directive establishes a neighbouring right for press publishers, allowing them to exploit the online use of their publications by “information society service providers”. This provision is especially tailored to allow press publishers to charge news aggregation platforms, search engines and social media platforms for displaying their content in their compilations.

          France transposed this provision in the French Act on Neighbouring Rights and the relevant amendment entered into force on 24 October 2019. In reaction, Google unilaterally decided to no longer display press publishers’ contents in its search results unless the publishers authorize such display free of charge. If the publisher refuses to do so, only a headline and a link to the content will appear instead of the regular preview. In the view of French press publishers and the news agency AFP, this will almost certainly result in a loss of visibility and potential ad revenue.

          In November 2019, the AFP news agency and the unions SEPM and APIG, which represent the interests of a large number of national and regional press publishers in France, together filed complaints with the French Competition Authority (FCA), claiming that Google’s practice constitutes an abuse of a dominant position as well as an abuse of economic dependence. In addition to their submissions on the merits, the claimants requested that the FCA order Google, by way of interim measures and pending a decision on the merits, to enter into good faith negotiations.

          In its decision of 9 April 2020, the FCA ruled on the request for interim measures and held that, in view of Google’s market share of around 90% and the high barriers to entry and expansion in this market, Google is likely to have a dominant position on the French market for general online research services.

        • An address by any other name? AG Øe advises CJEU to rule that ‘address’ does not include email and IP addresses

          This, in a nutshell, is the question at the heart of the referral in Constantin Film v YouTube, C-264/19, currently pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

          A few days ago, Advocate General (AG) Saugmandsgaard Øe issued his Opinion, substantially answering in the negative (at least from an EU perspective).

          The referral is important for two key reasons … plus one.

          First, because this is yet another case – recent instances being the 2019 Grand Chamber rulings in Funke Medien, Spiegel Online, and Pelham [Katposts here, here, and here] – in which the CJEU will be required to balance different fundamental rights: here it is, on the one hand, copyright protection under Article 17(2) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and, on the other hand, respect of private life under Article 8 therein.

          [...]

          The Opinion of AG Øe is overall well-reasoned, though it appears too formalistic in both its substance and outcome.

          Limiting the notion of ‘address’ to physical addresses might appear justified in light of the fact that other EU legislation that encompasses email and IP addresses expressly refers to them, though it is difficult to see how this could be regarded as proof that the Enforcement Directive limits the notion of ‘addresses’ to physical addresses.

          Even more importantly, it is questionable that the everyday meaning of ‘address’ is only that of physical address. To support his conclusion, the AG referred to the Dictionnaire de l’Académie française, which defines ‘adresse’ (‘address’) as “the designation of the place where you can reach someone”.

          But why can’t that ‘place’ be electronic rather than physical?

          If one also consults other language dictionaries, it is indeed apparent that the notion of address might be also intended in this way.

        • Google v. Oracle (Supreme Court 2020)

          The Supreme Court has rescheduled oral arguments in this big Copyright case until Fall 2020. I have mentioned previously that this case was likely to be the biggest patent case of 2020 — even though no patent questions were raised in the petition. The basic question is when software is copyrightable — the focus here is particularly at the interface-level (the the naming-convention for Java function calls). In the case, Google also suggests that if the naming-convention is copyrightable that any copyright should be so “thin” that fair use would readily apply in most situations.

        • The Pirate Bay Blocked By MalwareBytes But Normal Service Will Be Resumed

          The Pirate Bay returned to the clear web this week after a month-long hiatus. However, the structure of the infamous torrent index presented an access problem to users of the popular anti-malware software MalwareBytes, which persistently blocked an essential element of the platform due to the presence of “a few” cryptocurrency miners on a secondary domain.

        • Charter’s Request to Dismiss Piracy Liability Allegations Fails

          Charter’s request to dismiss the vicarious piracy liability claims of several major music companies has failed. The ISP argued that it doesn’t directly profit from copyright-infringing subscribers and that it has no ability to control them. However, these arguments didn’t convince the court, which denied the motion, noting that Charter could certainly have done more.

        • Vicious Headbutt Video Meets Bogus DMCA Notices and the Streisand Effect

          A man from the US became a hero last year when a video of him subduing a man who had headbutted someone in the face went viral. The video has been reposted numerous times since but is regularly taken down following bogus copyright complaints. However, the censorship efforts massively backfired this week when someone tried to delete a Reddit thread using a DMCA anti-circumvention notice. Duh…

        • Copyright Holders Have to ‘Resend’ Millions of Pirate Bay Takedown Notices

          The Pirate Bay’s main domain returned with a new look last week. While the changes are relatively small, they are a source of frustration for some users. Copyright holders are perhaps even less pleased with the makeover. They now have to resend millions of takedown notices as the notorious pirate site has a new URL structure.

The Covert Corruption of Publishers That Cover Patent ‘News’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The litigation ‘industry’ has rendered various outlets worthless, or nothing more than advertising tools for litigation profits

Dices on stocks

Summary: There’s an ongoing trend that’s suggestive of a sort of ‘takeover’ of particular media by litigation fanatics, who exploit the scholars’ sites/magazines to do pure but subtle propaganda/marketing; this ought to be pointed out because it misleads the public and contributes to greater injustice

AS WE said earlier on, no publisher is perfect. Everyone has some vested interests, some being benign and some exceptionally malicious (we’ve given examples of both). The so-called ‘Public Relations’ giants or the ‘industry’ of deception is likely the worst, along with lobbyists and think tanks. We wrote about many of those over the years.

“We’ve already named some of the worst out there, including IAM, which does ‘Public Relations’ for some of the worst patent trolls out there.”Publishers aren’t always consistent as they can change hands, there can be takeovers, leadership swaps and so on. It’s important to track their staff and their sponsors (if any) to better understand who or what they exist to serve. Are the readers (audience) the product to be brainwashed? Or people to be serviced with accurate information? We’ve already named some of the worst out there, including IAM, which does ‘Public Relations’ for some of the worst patent trolls out there. IAM is now owned by a large firm whose self-evident interests should make one shiver. These people aren’t even remotely interested in science and progress.

Recently, Managing IP ceased to be a (pretense of) “news” site and now blatantly acts like a press release farm of litigation firms. Over the past few days we found no less than seven such examples [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] — the majority of ‘articles’.

“Sometimes they even offer such fake ‘awards’ to judges and Justices — people whom they hope to get something from, in return…”This eighth one reveals Managing IP taking money to publish for parasites operating across Germany, using patents to sue everyone, even on behalf of notorious patent trolls. Managing IP is nowadays doing lots of sponsored pieces presented as ‘articles’ (as does IAM), more so after redoing their site with a more stubborn paywall (except for this spam). In fact, the majority of actual articles (still most) is composed by law firms and it gets lose in a sea of self-promotional spam. We’ve also long complained about these charlatans adopting the IAM modus operandi, granting fake ‘awards’ to people (just marketing disguised as truly-earned badges). As Wikipedia puts it: “The legal directory was rebranded in 2013 as IP STARS, an annual guide that ranks the leading IP law firms and practitioners across the world. The guide is based on an annual research [sic] conducted by Managing IP’s research analysts in Hong Kong, London and New York. Managing IP’s inaugural awards ceremony (in 2006) was attended by more than 130 guests including the late Sir Hugh Laddie, who was presented with a lifetime achievement award…”

Sometimes they even offer such fake ‘awards’ to judges and Justices — people whom they hope to get something from, in return

“There’s a bunch of dodgy firms out there that offer ‘awards’ in exchange for bribes — or worse (contrariwise), unethical firms that rip off or blackmail firms with threats of publishing something negative about them (or removing that for a fee).”It’s corrupt. It makes the legal process seem bad (a bad light).

There’s a bunch of dodgy firms out there that offer ‘awards’ in exchange for bribes — or worse (contrariwise), unethical firms that rip off or blackmail firms with threats of publishing something negative about them (or removing that for a fee). “IP STARS” sounds better than the original “World IP Contacts Handbook” (there’s even a Twitter account for it), we’ve bemoaned it before (repeatedly), and it’s suggestive of some kind of ‘celebrity’ status rather than a directory. It is perceived as authoritative and publicly bragged about.

The above hopefully shows how Managing IP publishes stuff funded by litigation euros, not by journalism as a motivator. Surely they’re very well aware of it, but they don’t wish to point this out openly or for someone to say it. We noticed the same in JUVE recently. Articles about “FRAND” and trolls are composed by law firms, not journalists.

“As usual, nowadays in IP Kat the signal is in the comments (what’s left of them). These people do not value free speech and diversity of views.”What about IP Kat, the ‘Kat’ who exposed a lot of EPO abuses under the pen name of ‘Merpel’ (multiple people by the way and we use scare quotes because of the ambiguity)? Well, the people have changed and ‘Merpel’ is nowadays a megaphone of patent extremists and patent trolls’ boosters from 4iP Council (they have done lots of that lately). Days ago Marie Barani (UCL and 4iP Council) was surfaced under the pen name of ‘Merpel’, pushing the agenda of litigation, as usual. Conversant (MOSAID) and other ‘proxies’ were named. “Sisvel and Conversant are two NPE using patents originally filed by Nokia and holding SEP in the field of wireless communication,” said the prominent comment at the bottom.

As usual, nowadays in IP Kat the signal is in the comments (what’s left of them). These people do not value free speech and diversity of views. They delete my comments and yesterday Benjamin Henrion told me, “I think ["pretty sure"] some of my comments have been rejected…”

Here’s one new comment about Sisvel (not rejected by the new ‘Merpel’):

In another case Sisvel vs. Xiaomi, the former was not so successful. After being denied a PI by the Court of The Hague, the Court of Appeal has confirmed the denial. Case number court : C/09/573969/ KG ZA 19-462, Judgement of 17 march 2020.

The situation is certainly different, as for a start and contrary to the present defendants, Xiaomi defended itself, and apparently successfully.

The fact that Sisvel is a NPE as well as the notion of proportionality in the Enforcement Directive have apparently played a big role.

Sisvel and Conversant are two NPE using patents originally filed by Nokia and holding SEP in the field of wireless communication.

And here’s another about IPCom, one of Europe’s biggest patent trolls (if not the biggest):

Yes this decision has had a different outcome. I think besides the fact circumstances were different because Xiaomi defended itself, one important point is that Xiaomi provided for a security.

Another decision not in the Netherlands but about injunction and proportionality is the Court of Paris decision in the case IPCom versus Lenovo, Motorola, Modelabs and Digital River (distributors in France) dated 20th January 2020. The Court considered a temporary injunction until patent expiration date would be disproportionate because defendants would have to remove all their 3G products and the injunction would harm their reputation. Also IPCom did not exploit itself the patent on the market and did not justify the existence of other licenses to similarly situated companies.

why are IPCom even treated or perceived as legitimate? Well, check who runs the blog and who the employer/clients are. That in its own right quickly answers the question.

“There’s an overlap between Phillips and the original ‘Merpel’; one wonders how he feels about his creations being misused by litigation fanatics.”For those who don’t know, the blog was founded by Jeremy Phillips, who “read law at Cambridge University in the early 1970s, and went on doing a PhD at the University of Kent. He then taught law at Trinity College Dublin, Durham University, and Queen Mary University of London.” So he was a legal scholar, not a lawyer. Nowadays almost the whole team at the blog is lawyers/litigators, not scholars (almost all of them left). And, believe it or not, he was also responsible for Managing Intellectual Property (also known as Managing IP or MIP), which is now publishing a pile of spam for law firms, as we noted above. To quote Wikipedia: “In 1990, he launched the Managing Intellectual Property magazine and sold it to Euromoney Publications in 1991. He also edited the magazines Patent World, Trademark World and Copyright World and cofounded the IPKat weblog. He also contributed to the Afro-IP blog and the Class 46 blog on European Trade Mark law. He was editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP), European Trade Mark Reports and European Copyright and Design Reports journals. He was also a council member of the Intellectual Property Institute.”

There’s an overlap between Phillips and the original ‘Merpel’; one wonders how he feels about his creations being misused by litigation fanatics. Phillips is a kind person and not a trolls’ apologist.

European Law Firms Are Marketing Illegal Software Patents Using Meaningless Buzzwords

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

HEY HI and software developers

Summary: The promotion of software patents in Europe has become so shallow that it boils down to nothing but dumb PR; lawyers speak like children, infatuated by infantile, misused and misapplied nonsense like “HEY HI” (AI) and “Fintech” instead of something with technical substance

THE MANAGEMENT of the European Patent Office (EPO) — from Brimelow to Campinos (and the one in the middle) — loves to pretend that it is OK to grant patents on algorithms. Similarly, Iancu at the USPTO pretends he can ignore 35 U.S.C. § 101 by cherry-picking court cases. These are issues we’ve long covered here. It’s nothing new. At the end what matters is the courts’ determination, albeit not every party — especially small defendant (party being accused) — can afford a court battle, so many would settle over assertion of totally bogus software patents. Again, this is hardly a new problem. So it is very important to ensure such patents never get granted in the first place.

“Before the weekend we also saw Jones Day’s Stefan Schneider, Jakob Guhn, Emily J. Tait, Andrea Weiss Jeffries and Andreas Holzwarth-Rochford leveraging “HEY HI” (AI), a nonsensical and reborn buzzword, to promote illegal patents on software.”The EPO has been doing lots of advocacy of illegal software patents this month; it’s really blatant and routine, though they’ve come up with a bunch of new buzzwords and fluff. Now they add “digi” to everything. Before the weekend we also saw Jones Day’s Stefan Schneider, Jakob Guhn, Emily J. Tait, Andrea Weiss Jeffries and Andreas Holzwarth-Rochford leveraging “HEY HI” (AI), a nonsensical and reborn buzzword, to promote illegal patents on software. Jones Day is a very large law firm, so reposing its nonsense (“IP Protection of Artificial Intelligence in Europe”) in other sites like Lexology is probably pocket change to them. Here’s what they wrote:

Business value may therefore be found in protecting (i) AI models and/or algorithms; (ii) software in which the models/algorithmsare embedded; (iii) training, evaluation and/or optimization strategies; (iv) training data; and (v) result data (i.e.work product). IP protection may be sought for all or a subset of these potential assets.

While copyright essentially only protects source code written by a programmer, further IP rights suitable for other aspects of an AI innovation are discussed below.

Notice how shamelessly they admit that these are “algorithms” and they’re taking about Europe specifically.

Meanwhile, in Poland, another article emerged with another buzzword. It speaks of “intellectual property protection” (propaganda terms) and
Oliwia Czarnocka (JWP Patent & Trademark Attorneys) relies on worthless buzzwords like “Fintech” to advance patents on software in Europe. To quote a portion:

Patents provide a mechanism for excluding other businesses from creating, using and selling patented technologies. This allows businesses to gain or maintain market share and protect the investments made into research and development. Patents ensure a competitive advantage and are used as a tool in negotiations.

Each development strategy should take into account whether patent protection is available for innovations in basic technologies. Competitors may have their own patents or be undergoing patent proceedings (in such cases we suggest carrying out a patent search). Obtaining patent protection is a lengthy and costly process in comparison with other intellectual property rights. However, there are international agreements which allow postponing expenses but guarantee early commencement of protection for important innovations. Considering Fintech’s rapid pace of development, obtaining early protection is crucial due to the nature of the patent system, in which the date of filing the application has great significance.

This is typical waffle from law firms trying to persuade potential/prospective clients to pursue patents court would reject anyway.

What do they care?

“Not my department!”

“This is typical waffle from law firms trying to persuade potential/prospective clients to pursue patents court would reject anyway.”We’d like to remind readers that we do not oppose patents but the cheapening of patents, or the sick mindset which says, “let’s patent anything in existence!”

This relies on the ludicrous philosophy that society would be better off with everything as a monopoly. Team UPC is looking to extend these monopolies globally, even past language and border barriers.

The other day we saw this press release [1, 2] that said: “Medicortex Finland Oy, an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of diagnostics and drug treatment for mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued a patent covering company’s new diagnostic kit technology.”

“We need a policy that favours science and scientists, not law firms.”Those are physical diagnostic kits “for detection of concussion and mild traumatic brain injury from urine or saliva.”

Those patents aren’t on algorithms and are based on biomarkers; we aren’t against European Patents but against the unacceptable status quo, where the EPC is violated with impunity and while Europe experiences a plague the EPO looks to justify those violations. The above law firms are fully on board as it would mean more income for them (and we know at whose expense). We need a policy that favours science and scientists, not law firms.

JUVE Has a Prank ‘Survey’ That’s Just UPC Lobbying (As Usual)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A multiple choice paper

Summary: The idea that UPC will inevitably materialise (and the sole question is, in what form) is still being perpetuated by publishers whose sole goal is UPC lobbying (serving litigators) rather than truth and societal/scientific advancement

NO Web site is perfect and no survey is 100% objective and pure. There tend to be ideologies and motivations; we have those too, but we try to stay close — as close as possible — to underlying, verifiable facts.

The scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO) culminated around 2015, i.e. half a decade ago when Battistelli assaulted a number of staff representatives, not just a judge. Back then JUVE did very good work reporting on those matters (that changed around the time António Campinos was ‘groomed’ to replace Battistelli) and we were privileged enough to receive — and occasionally also publish — EPO leaks from trusting readers. Truth be told, we no longer receive as many leaks as we used to. Nor do we write as much about 35 U.S.C. § 101, seeing that the American courts — irrespective of the USPTO — toss out the vast majority of software patents. We included new examples in yesterday’s Daily Links.

“The pseudonym “Merpel” is nowadays an obedient mouth of the patent maximalists, not of EPO critics.”We previously took note of the profound changes at IP Kat — a subject we’ll touch again or revisit in a later post. The pseudonym “Merpel” is nowadays an obedient mouth of the patent maximalists, not of EPO critics. The staff changed beyond recognition and still includes leading Bristows liars, who to this very date deny the reality of UPC's death. We wrote about that latest bit from Bristows last week and Sarah Morgan at World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), a Team UPC megaphone, seems to learning to accept that the UPC is dead. The headline is “UPC membership ‘incompatible’ with future EU relations: UK IP minister” and the article may be stuck behind a paywall already (depending on age).

Morgan is no ordinary journalist but somewhat of a megaphone for the litigation ‘industry’. Days ago in a sister site of WIPR (one that’s lobbying for patents on life and nature) she called notorious patent trolls “patent monetisation company Rembrandt Diagnostics.”

Whatever; “patent monetisation…”

“The UPC has been practically dead since 2016 (Brexit) or 2007 (German Constitutional Court receiving a potent complaint).”Al Capone was “threat monetisation…”

This is typical World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) in 2020. But half a decade ago the staff was different and it occasionally covered EPO scandals. Not anymore. The bosses there did not like that. They put a stop to that.

Now this takes us to JUVE, a site that used to do excellent journalism rather than ‘excellent’ lobbying, i.e. lying. The UPC has been practically dead since 2016 (Brexit) or 2007 (German Constitutional Court receiving a potent complaint).

Facts do not matter to bribed, corrupt, lying media however (it is their business model to deny or refute facts). Cranks on YouTube have more credibility than these people, who spent several weeks lying about what had happened about a month ago (see index of our rebuttals).

I was disappointed but hardly surprised anymore to find this article from JUVE last week in their English lobbying site.

“UPC is dead, but we’re supposed to think that the sole choices or possibilities are, which form it’ll take.”Basically, anyone with a sense for truth or common sense knows that the UPC is dead, but necrophiles of Team UPC will jog on and pay publishers to keep pretending otherwise (a lobbying strategy which will merely alienate their clients and harm public trust).

A loud UPC proponent (even calling his Twitter account “UPC”) wrote: “From JUVE by-email: „The momentum is gone for good. That is the current mood in the European patent community on the Unified Patent Court…””

This summary sounds sincere, but what follows is not. Amy Sandys continues to pay lip megaphone service to Team UPC. This is what JUVE became. This site seems to have been set up purely for lobbying with Team UPC in mind and there’s hardly exception to it. Is it a lobbyist front or a news site? The headline speaks of “IP community” and that alone is three words that are lies in a row. JUVE puts those right there in the headline for its biased ‘survey’ (push polling and loaded questions). UPC is dead, but we’re supposed to think that the sole choices or possibilities are, which form it’ll take.

To be fair, the article does contain a few quotes from UPC critics. Benjamin Henrion (FFII) pointed out a few of these, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]: “There can be no room for further objections, otherwise the dream of a European patent court is over. [...] As a lawyer, I have always been against the UPC which is an SME-killer. It’s too expensive, too quick, forum shopping, foreign language. [...] It is time for a fundamental re-think based on simplicity and access by SMEs. The law should not be designed to reflect what large international corporates want. [...] A European initiative for a patent court system is needed, but none of the options mentioned in your survey is convincing. It should rather be an EU system, without the UK and without non-EU EPC countries, similar to the working EU system for trademarks…”

They seem not to speak to anyone outside the so-called “IP community” though; as if nothing in the world exists but lawyers. This creates a mindset bubble, like a religion…

“JUVE played a huge role in the lying in recent years.”Did they bother speaking to SMEs? Nope.

“As if patents were designed for SMEs in the first place,” Henrion wrote.

“The EPO mentions “SMEs” every day to distract from how much it is harming them,” I told him, later noting, as per this page, that “the JUVE Web site is malware disguised as information. Not only lots of sponsored “articles” (ads) but also surveillance capitalism (you cannot opt out)…”

The introductory paragraphs state the following:

In recent years, those responsible for the Unified Patent Court project have often spoken of the importance of momentum for the launch of the European patent court. This meant above all the support of politicians in the 25 participating EU states, but also of representatives from in-house patent departments, the legal profession and patent judges.

The mood and support in the patent community has fluctuated considerably in recent years depending on the amount of progress the project made or the number of setbacks it suffered. The Brexit referendum in June 2016 put the first big question mark over the Unified Patent Court and the participation of the UK. Almost as soon as the result came in, many in the patent community began to doubt the UPC would launch. However, the project made headway and gradually gained more support in the years following. But then, the German Constitutional Court rejected the German UPC legislation on 20 March this year.

They speak of “momentum”, which they manufactured — at times illegally — by advertising fake job ads and lying to politicians, to media and so on. JUVE played a huge role in the lying in recent years. It published obvious lies, sometimes even as headlines. It seems to have opted for propaganda (a big and potentially very profitable sector) rather than journalism. What a waste of potential and momentum thrown away. I used to actually respect JUVE.

Quit and Reject the Pretense That Microsoft and GitHub Are Different Things

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The separation into sub-entities (e.g. Alphabet and IBM with Red Hat) is primarily an antitrust/monopoly loophole as it obscures scale and market reach

Microsoft; Software Freedom; GitHub; Free software

Summary: Evidence is mounting/growing that GitHub, the original company, had no business model other than becoming a trap for companies looking to entrap and abuse lots of Free software projects. That company was Microsoft, ambushing GitHub since 2014, by its own admission. The entrapment has been ramped up since, with more proprietary ‘features’ (lock-in).

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 18, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:35 am by Needs Sunlight

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