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04.20.20

Links 20/4/2020: Linux 5.7 RC2, BleachBit 4.0.0 and DXVK’ 1.6.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The new generation of IoT and Linux device management platforms, meet the new hot name – Upswift.io



      The new generation for today’s IoT device management platform is here. What does it mean? Maintaining and managing thousands of IoT devices, deploy software updates, monitor the behavior of the devices remotely and control them in case of a software bug or an issue.

      All are tools and features that are needed for today’s 2020 connected products to save the product developers from recalls and software bugs.

      Here is the first, known solution that makes industrials IoT products remote management and maintenance easy than ever:

      Upswift customers manage edge devices in over 35 countries

      Upswift.io is an enterprise-grade solution, provides an IoT and Linux device management platform. Their platform has an amazingly simple user interface to manage thousands of edge IoT devices for any industry, under groups, scaling in just a few clicks.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Samsung Chromebook Pro to get Linux support after 3 years

        Cue this week’s surprise: the Kerneltext project is bearing fruit, as Project Crostini was found to be working on the Samsung Chromebook Pro running Chrome OS 82 with the experimental VM flag enabled. The only problem is, that version is Dev-Channel-only and has been abandoned due to the ongoing global pandemic. Google’s team ultimately skipped ahead to build number 83 after resuming development. The latter lacks the same feature, though the implication remains: Project Crostini appears to be on its way to the Samsung Chromebook Pro after all.

        The Samsung Chromebook Plus, released four months prior to the Chromebook Pro, already received Linux support two years ago, not long after Project Crostini itself launched. That’s courtesy of the fact it leveraged ARM’s Rockchip RK3399 which ended up enjoying much better support than Intel’s Core m3-6Y30 from the polarizing Skylake generation. While the better-late-than-never mantra still applies, the impending support for Linux apps will seemingly hit the Chromebook Pro just as the device has to make space the Galaxy Chromebook, the long-awaited sequel to Samsung’s original vision of an ultra-premium Chrome OS experience.

      • Apple’s Top Service Now Works on Linux Too

        Apple Music, which is one of Apple’s top services and main cash cows these days, is now available on the web, which means that it can be used on more than just devices launched by the Cupertino-based tech giant.

        In other words, you can now point your browser to music.apple.com on pretty much any operating system out there, including Linux, Windows, and even Mac if you don’t want to use the Music app.

        Apple Music originally went live on the web last September, but at that point, it was only considered a beta version. As usual, beta releases comes with a somewhat higher or lower likelihood of bugs, so this new launch is a notable moment for those who want to use Apple Music without such concerns.

      • TUXEDO Control Center Lets You Have Full Control over Your TUXEDO Linux Laptop



        The initial release of TUXEDO Control Center already comes with a wide range of functions. These will allow customers who own a Linux laptop from TUXEDO Computers to finally have full control over their devices.

        For example, the app lets you create your own personal profiles for your TUXEDO computer. These profiles contain personal settings for display brightness, processor properties, as well as fan settings.

        Additionally, the Control Center will allow users to turn off the webcam. The interface is well structured to make it easier for users to switch between various profiles for performance or longer battery life with ease.

      • TUXEDO Computers Launches A Power/Thermal Control Center For Their Linux Systems
    • Server

      • An Overview to Libreho.st – Alternative World’s Hosters Community


        Librehost or Libreho.st is a group of libre hosters. They are Google-like free online service providers but unlike Google they are committed to Free Software and User’s Privacy. They provide many internet services alternative to Gafam for free and without ads. Some of them offer paid server hostings too but with commitment to use GNU/Linux inside. You can sign up at Librehost to get free services –for example– alternative to Gmail, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Zoom. Characteristics of Librehost are they love decentralization; enable everybody to join open standard communication and gather within Fediverse. For us who seek Gafam alternatives after 2013 Global Surveillance, we now find Librehost. This article tries to introduce Librehost to public by showing several services freely available from them everybody could instantly try. Enjoy!

      • XCP-ng celebrates six-figure download milestone

        XCP-ng, the crowdfunded effort to deliver an open-source version of XenServer, has passed the 100,000-download mark.

        Founder Olivier Lambert has described the milestone as “only the beginning but it’s a symbolic level, and it tells a lot about how many people have been convinced to use XCP-ng!”

        And not just people: in January 2020 the Xen Project adopted XCP-ng as an incubation project. Xena advisory board chair George Dunlap likened the decision to do so as akin to RedHat teaming up with CentOS – it may look like internal competition but having two projects with the same goal in proximity is mutually beneficial.

      • Interoperability of Open-source Tools: The Emergence of Interfaces

        Katie Gamanji works as a Cloud Platform Engineer at Condé Nast. Previously, she worked on maintaining and automating site delivery on OpenStack-based infrastructure, which transitioned into a role with a focus on designing, deploying and evolving a Kubernetes centric infrastructure.

      • Cartesi creates Linux infrastructure for blockchain DApps

        Cartesi is a DApp infrastructure.

        DApps (sometimes called Dapps) are from the blockchain universe and so, logically, the apps part stands for application (obviously) and the D part stands for decentralised (only obvious once you know that we’re talking distributed immutable language here).

        According to the guides section at blockgeeks, DApps are open source in terms of code base, incentivised (in terms of who validates it) and essentially decentralised so that all records of the application’s operation must be stored on a public and decentralised blockchain to avoid pitfalls of centralisation.

        So then, Cartesi is a DApp infrastructure that runs an operating system (OS) on top of blockchains.

      • SUSE’s Bridge Between Kubernetes & Cloud Foundry: Thomas Di Giacomo

        Why did SUSE contribute its project to Cloud Foundry? How is KubeCF going to further bring Kubernetes and Cloud Foundry together? We sat down with Thomas Di Giacomo, President of Engineering and Innovation at SUSE, to get answers to these questions.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 193 – Security lessons from space: Apollo 13 edition

        Josh and Kurt talk about space. We intended to focus on Apollo 13 but as usual we have no ability to stay on topic. There is a lot of fun space discussions in this one though. Do you think you can hack Voyager 1? Only if you have a big enough satellite dish.

      • Q&A | FreeBSD | FreeNAS vs UnRAID | Favorite Linux Thing

        An edited version of the community Q&A.

      • Lunduke and Friends – April 18th, 2020

        This episode of Lunduke & Friends was recorded live on April 18th, 2020. You can grab the recording a bunch of different ways: YouTube – LBRY – Audio Podcast RSS This time, I’m joined by two exceptionally awesome nerds: Chris Titus (Chris Titus Tech on YouTube) Matt Hartley (veteran Linux Journalist) Some topics included: Lunduke and his Toshiba Libretto DOS laptop. Hartley and his TI-99 joystick.

      • GNU World Order 350

        How to get to the CUPS interface through a terminal web browser, like **w3m**,**lynx**, or **elinks**. The philosophy and culture of bug reporting: 1. A bug is any unexpected interaction between you and a product. 2. A bug report offers you an opportunity to troubleshoot a problem. Ideally, it results in a solution before even being filed. Otherwise, it is a recipe for the developer to experience the same problem as you have. 3. Bug reporting is collaboration. When you file a bug, you are not disturbing the developers, nor are you exposing them as poor or nefarious programmers. You are developing along with them in an attempt to optimize an application you love. 4. A good bug reporting tool is also a task management tool.

      • Podcast.__init__: Build The Next Generation Of Python Web Applications With FastAPI

        Python has an embarrasment of riches when it comes to web frameworks, each with their own particular strengths. FastAPI is a new entrant that has been quickly gaining popularity as a performant and easy to use toolchain for building RESTful web services. In this episode Sebastián Ramirez shares the story of the frustrations that led him to create a new framework, how he put in the extra effort to make the developer experience as smooth and painless as possible, and how he embraces extensability with lightweight dependency injection and a straightforward plugin interface. If you are starting a new web application today then FastAPI should be at the top of your list.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.7-rc2
        Here we are, a week later, and rc2 looks pretty nice and calm. Of
        course, it usually does that - people taking a breather after the
        merge window, and we may not have had enough time to see all the
        problem reports yet.
        
        Everything continues to look fairly normal, with commit counts right
        in the middle of what you'd expect for rc2. And most of the changes
        are tiny and don't look scary at all.
        
        In fact, about 30% of the patch is tooling, and even there a lot of it
        is because of one larger diff due to the x86 system call table being
        re-synchronized with the main kernel side.
        
        Outside of that, we've got driver fixes (ethernet stands out, but
        there's also other networking, GPU, sound, hwmon, i2c, clk..). And
        filesystems (afs, btrfs, xfs, ext4, cifs, proc). And Documentation,
        networking and arch fixes. And small random things elsewhere.
        
        Some of the spread out noise is the replacement of zero-sized arrays
        with flexible ones - we've had that come in through the various
        subsystems for a while now, and then Gustavo sent a pull request for
        another random collection.
        
        Nothing that really should be seen as all that exciting. Which is all
        good. The more noticeable one might be fixing the regression that was
        due to the EFI loaders not clearing the BSS section and us having lost
        the workaround for that. That caused boot problems for some. Not
        perhaps exciting, but an example of the kind of solid (boring?) small
        pedestrian things we've had.
        
        Shortlog appended so that you can scan the details if you want.
        
        Linus
        
      • Linux 5.7-rc2 Released With Support For Accommodating Larger AMD CPU Microcode Files

        One week past the end of Linux 5.7 feature development that is marked by the first release candidate, out today like clockwork is the Linux 5.7-rc2 kernel update for testing.

        With being past the merge window, Linux 5.7-rc2 is principally focused on addressing early regression/bug fall-out from the new feature material added for 5.7 — the kernel is at more than 28.4 million lines in total this cycle.

        While not strictly a bug fix, on the x86 front one notable change for Linux 5.7-rc2 is the patch talked about a few days ago that supports larger AMD CPU microcode updates that is being done for “future” AMD CPUs. That change allows for triple the size of microcode files as is currently supported by the kernel but still a small fraction of the CPU microcode file size compared to Intel processors. That change ended up getting picked up as part of the x86/urgent patches this week rather than being held off until Linux 5.8. Presumably that microcode update handling focus is for Zen 3 and that trivial patch should end up being back-ported to existing stable kernel series.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.7-rc2

        The 5.7-rc2 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “Everything continues to look fairly normal, with commit counts right in the middle of what you’d expect for rc2. And most of the changes are tiny and don’t look scary at all.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Pixman 0.40 Released As First Update In A Year For This Key Library For The Linux Desktop

          There is finally a new update to Pixman, the pixel manipulation library relied upon by Cairo and the X.Org Server most notably but also other Linux desktop software. Pixman 0.40 brings with it many changes given the year in development since the project’s last point release.

          Among the changes to find with Pixman 0.40 are:

          - Meson build system improvements, including under Windows.

    • Benchmarks

      • Firefox Performance On Wayland Is Looking Good – Browser Benchmarks With KDE vs. GNOME



        Earlier this month I looked at the X.Org vs. Wayland browser performance with Firefox and Chrome. Mozilla Firefox in particular was showing better performance on Wayland, so here are fresh tests of Firefox with using Fedora 32 and testing various X.Org/Wayland desktops.

        Using a separate system from the benchmarks earlier this month and switching to the near-final Fedora 32, here are some fresh Firefox benchmarks on both X.Org and Wayland. Firefox was tested on GNOME Shell 3.36 Wayland session, GNOME on the X.Org session, KDE Plasma on both X.Org and Wayland, and Xfce on X.Org was also tested as an additional data point while monitoring the Firefox web browser performance.

    • Applications

      • MystiQ: A Free and Open Source Audio/Video Converter



        An audio/video conversion tool always comes in handy for every computer user across multiple platforms.

        For that very same reason, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight the MystiQ app – which is a relatively new video/audio converter tool available for Linux and Windows users. As of now, there’s no support for macOS – but it could arrive in the near future.

        MystiQ is a graphical frontend for FFmpeg based on Qt 5 user interface. Now, you can always install and use ffmpeg in Linux command line but that’s not very comfortable, is it? This is why tools like Handbrake and MystiQ exist to make our life easier.

      • VirtualBox 6.1.6

        VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

      • List of Best Linux Office Suites

        Despite all the features, the freedom and the flexibility that Linux may offer you, it is not perfect. New Linux users face a lot of issues when they switch to Linux; such as not being able to use Microsoft Office, which is a popular productivity software!
        Now don’t panic just yet; there are two solutions to this problem. You can use a software called Wine that can enable you to install MS Office on your Linux. This solution is not preferred as not all version of MS Office are supported, leaving you with a very little choice.

        The second option is that you can use alternative MS Office suites that are available for Linux, which will be the topic of this article. Following is a list of the best Linux office suites.

      • FreeOffice on openSUSE

        I am not really much of an “Office Snob” but in recent weeks, I have heard people hammer and clammer about this FreeOffice for both “in favor of” and “against” it. In full disclosure, I mostly use LibreOffice and I still use Microsoft Office 2007 for certain very specific reasons. That said, I am obviously not an open source purest. Back to the reason for this write up, I use office products a lot for the purposes of creating product for home educating my kids as well as for many administrative things that I do as a part of my employment. For the most part, I don’t do anything terribly complex but I do like a certain uniformity and bits of information on things to keep me organized.

        Bottom Line Up Front, FreeOffice is a fine, well polished, very complete application. I am only using the “Free version” and I am very impressed with it. The user interface is flexible to your liking, looks clean and modern, most things work fantastically well and I am not sure how they get away with the look of the UIs similarity to Microsoft Office. Although this would likely serve all my needs, I will stick with LibreOffice because it is what I am most accustomed and I don’t gain anything by switching to FreeOffice. At a minimum, I would have to keep LibreOffice Draw for a few specific tasks.

      • BleachBit System Cleaner 4.0.0 Release Adds Support For Python 3

        BleachBit 4.0.0 has been released, finally adding support for Python 3. The new version also adds a Discord cleaner, improves the Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera cleaners, brings packages for Fedora and openSUSE Tumbleweed, and more.

        BleachBit is a free and open source system cleaner with extra privacy options for shredding files and wiping free disk space. The application, which runs on Windows and Linux, can remove the web cache, cookies, URL history, temporary files and log files for web browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome / Chromium, Opera, Safari, etc., and remove the cache and temporary files for many commonly used applications.

        The tool can also be used to remove unused localization (language) files in order to free up disk space.

      • BleachBit 4.0.0

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

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

      • Linux Candy: gti – typo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive

        Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

        gti is intended to catch accidental typos of ‘gti’ instead of ‘git’. It displays an animation of a car driving by, and then launches git. Any parameters or arguments given to gti are passed through to git.

        gti is a tiny C program, written in a mere 329 lines of code. It’s just an inoffensive bit of fun that might raise a smile now and then, particularly important in these trying times.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.6.1 Brings Many Game Fixes For The Likes Of Crysis, Half-Life: Alyx, Battlefield 2

        For those with more time on their hands due to social distancing, DXVK 1.6.1 is out to kick off a new week of Linux gaming. The DXVK 1.6.1 while a point release does come with a fair number of improvements to this Direct3D-over-Vulkan translation layer.

        DXVK 1.6.1 has changes targeting games like Battlefield 2, Crysis, Half-Life: Alyx, Heavy Rain, LA Noire, Prince of Persia, and other titles.

      • Direct 3D to Vulkan layer ‘DXVK’ 1.6.1 release out with plenty of bug fixes

        DXVK when paired up with Wine (and integrated in Steam Play Proton) translates Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan enabling better performance on Linux for a lot of Windows games. Today, a brand new release went up.

        The majority of DXVK 1.6.2 is bug fixing although there is two new configuration changes. The first, is that configuration options now allow encapsulated strings like d3d9.customDeviceDesc = “ATi Rage 128″ and they added a dxgi.tearFree option “to enforce the Mailbox present mode when Vsync is disabled, which should prevent tearing”—that might not work on all setups.

    • Games

      • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 game engine ‘OpenRCT2′ has a fresh release up

        Time to get building a massive theme park, as OpenRCT2 for playing RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 on modern systems with an enhanced feature-set has a new release up.

        Another wonderful free and open source re-implementation, much like OpenTTD for Transport Tycoon, OpenRCT2 requires you have the original data files which you can grab easily on GOG.com. Why use OpenRCT2? It has multiplayer support, OpenGL hardware rendering, support for Linux and macOS, auto-saves, massive screenshot support plus lots of improvements over the original.

      • OpenRA has a new test release, plus the OpenRA powered RTS ‘Fractured Realms’ has a pre-release

        OpenRA, the free and open source real-time strategy game engine for playing classic Westwood games has a new testing release up. Additionally, Fractured Realms, a game powered by OpenRA tech has a pre-release.

        Starting with the news about OpenRA itself, the Playtest 20200418 release is quite a small one comprised of bug fixes. These include improving multi-player to reduce desyncs, fixed issues with lobby player colour and faction validation and improvements to the single-player campaign support.

      • Half-Life remake ‘Black Mesa’ has a post-release hotfix with a little Linux fix included

        Black Mesa, the re-imaging of the original Half-Life released out of Early Access recently after a long development period and it’s quite brilliant. Crowbar Collective have now release the first proper post-release hotfix.

        Like a lot of games it’s big, complicated and bugs always slip through no matter how thorough a developer you are when testing. On the Linux side, an issue came up where some players saw visual issues across different dynamic lighting quality levels so they’ve changed their “internal texture formats” to hopefully solve it.

      • Into the Breach from Subset Games (FTL) now supports Linux

        In their update announcement post on their official forum, they simply said “There is now a fully native Linux version of Into the Breach! If you already own the game on any storefront that normally supports Linux (Steam, Humble, or GOG), you should soon have the Linux version available for download.”. More came with it though including new language support: French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese.

        There’s also now touch-screen support, updated game engine tech and some adjustments to modding support.

      • Exploration, mining and crafting RPG ‘Aground’ has left Early Access to reach for the stars

        Aground from Fancy Fish Games / SnöBox Studio and publisher Whitethorn Digital, a crafting RPG that steadily grows more complex has left Early Access. Starting off originally as a free web game, millions of plays later they turned it into a full game while keeping the web build as a sort-of old demo.

        [...]

        Some of the features to expect include mining, structure building, crafting, combat, farming, cooking, befriending NPCs (or not), magic and technology discovering, dragon raising, a character levelling system and a whole lot more. It’s a game that has a lot crammed into what initial appears to be a simple package but the look is quite deceptive. The launch build comes with some fun additions like cross-platform (Linux, macOS, Windows) online multiplayer, more translations, modding support and more.

      • Award winning mobile game ‘The Battle of Polytopia’ is getting an updated release for PC

        The Battle of Polytopia, a very successful and award winning turn based strategy game is confirmed to be coming to PC and it will have Linux support.

      • ATOM RPG Trudograd entering Early Access in May – Linux version to come shortly after

        ATOM RPG Trudograd is a standalone sequel to the successfully crowdfunded (and since released) ATOM RPG. While you don’t need to have played the first, they are suggesting you do.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Article: Rounded Plasma and Qt CSDs?



          I might start writing some articles with technical information in order to spread information that I consider them obvious but in KDE community might not be.

          Many of you might find them boring but in the end I consider them just easy to read technical information.

          Based on Maui Weekly Report #3 I show there is interest for Qt/QML applications that can draw window buttons in window internal space. I even like them in some apps such as music and video players.

          For those that want a flame war between SSDs and CSDs I actually dont even care. You can argue as much as you want, this article is not about choosing a winner, it is about technology and solutions that already exist.

          Plasma/Qt/KDE technologies have already solved this, so Maui can just use the following proposed solution and in the end provide the most magical client side window buttons that will also be consistent between different apps and they could be even better than other provided solutions.

        • Why is my screen black?

          When building Qt 3D scenes that are designed to run on multiple platforms, materials need to provide multiple shaders targeting each specific version of OpenGL. Each version information is stored on QTechnique nodes attached to a QEffect node. Similarly, you can implement different algorithms (forward vs deferred rendering for example), so they get assigned filter keys which are key/value pairs. Finally, some algorithms require multiple passes, but may use different shaders in different passes. This pass information is stored in QRenderPass nodes (attached to the technique), also using filter keys.

          When Qt 3D comes to do the render it needs to select the technique based on the available hardware. It will also need to select the technique appropriate to the rendering algorithm that is used. And when it processes each render pass, it will also need to select the appropriate shader based on the render pass. This can be controlled by building a frame graph which QTechniqueFilter nodes and QRenderPassFilter nodes.

        • Qactus v2.0.0 is out!

          Qactus v2.0.0 has been released

        • KDE Plasma 5.19 Pre-Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at KDE Plasma 5.19 Pre-Beta.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • How To Cast Your GNOME Shell Desktop To A Chromecast (With Audio, Wayland / X11 Support) Using Cast to TV

          Cast to TV, a GNOME Shell extension to cast files and more to Chromecast devices (and more), was updated recently with support for casting your desktop, with sound, which works with both Wayland and X11. This is done with the help of a helper add-on called Cast to TV – Desktop Stream Add-on, which recently had its first release on the GNOME extensions website.

          For desktop streaming to work, you need Cast to TV version 14 or newer, which only supports GNOME Shell 3.36 and 3.34 (Ubuntu 20.04 and 19.10, and Fedora 31 and 32 for example). This means that this isn’t available for older Linux distributions that use older GNOME Shell versions, like Ubuntu 18.04 or Fedora 30.

        • Manjaro needs testers for the upcoming Manjaro GNOME 20.0 release – Snap and Flatpak support OOTB

          Manjaro Linux is getting ready for their major release, and they’re looking for your help to make sure the GNOME edition for Manjaro GNOME 20.0 is as smooth as possible.

          Announced here, there’s a huge amount of new features coming. The thing is though, unlike other distributions like Ubuntu, Manjaro is a rolling-release where they regularly put out full upgrades for anyone who has it installed. These big new releases like Manjaro GNOME 20.0 are mainly a refresh of the download and installer for new installs. Important to do of course, just like any other Linux distributions, they need a good out of the box experience

        • Julita Inca: Report of GNOME PERU FEST 2020

          The idea was gathering all the Peruvian GNOME lovers to share our experiences with GNOME throughout all the past ten years to all our viewers around the world.

          Jose Quiñones (juazisco) is currently a chief in the IT area of the Health Public sector in Peru. He has been previously involved in the initiative GNOME PERU Challenge 2017-1

          Fabian Orccón (cfoch) is a member of the GNOME Foundation, GSoC mentor and ex-GSoC student. He also supported GNOME Peru events such as HACKCAMP 2016.

          Martin Vuelta (zodiafireworks) is a FLOSS enthusiastic person who helped me in organizing previous GNOME events such as Linux Playa, LinuxAtUNI and PeruRumboGSoC2018.

          Alex Aragón (aragcar) has been a designer for many FLOSS events I have organized for years. He participated in the LinuxCamp2012. One of the first designs he did here.

          Fiorella Effio (aweba) is a Frontend developer who has also participated in several GNOME events in Peru since 2016. She wrote most of her experiences with GNOME here.

          Angelou Alexander (aggalex) is a student from Greece, and our only international guest. We have met in the GUADEC 2019 and we did together a workshop at FOSSCOMM 2019.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Recalbox 6.1.1



          Recalbox is one of those projects which I suspect is quite good at what it sets out to do, its functions are just outside the realm of my usual experiences. I don’t have compatible game controllers in my home to use with it, I am a keyboard and mouse user rather than game controller user. I don’t need a game console or media centre as I have access to emulators and media applications on my workstation which adequately fill my needs. I’m not likely to fire up retro games and sit around with a group of people, passing controllers around the room.

          However, if I were, I believe Recalbox would fill the role nicely. Apart from its unwillingness to use keyboard and mouse input for some functions, the system appears to offer a handful of good approaches. The interface is simple and geared towards the controllers its users are likely to have on hand. It ships with some free games out of the box. Recalbox also provides a lot of emulated platforms and some neat features such as the ability to rewind some (maybe all?) games to undo mistakes. The distribution appears to provide a simple, user-friendly appliance, at least while running on physical hardware. I wouldn’t recommend running it in a virtual machine.

          I also like that the distribution does not need to be installed. We only need to copy the image file to a removable device and plug it in. Also, when not being used as a gaming platform, Recalbox can launch Kodi and access media files. This, combined with the platform’s ability to connect to local networks, make it an appealing option for people who want a Linux-based classic gaming platform in their home.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • ZTE collaborates with Red Hat to quickly deploy open 5G Networks

          The collaboration includes a new reference architecture aimed at enabling telcos to more effectively deploy virtual network functions (VNFs) on Red Hat openStack platform, Red Hat’s highly-scalable and agile Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution on ZTE’s hardware.
          The collaboration combines the open source innovation available in Red Hat openStack platform with ZTE’s Cloud Core Network components. It offers a replicable and cost-effective network solution that can speed integration time by 5 times based on internal Red Hat testing.

        • How Edge Is Different From Cloud – And Not

          As the dominant supplier of commercial-grade open source infrastructure software, Red Hat sets the pace and it is not a surprise that IBM was willing to shell out an incredible $34 billion to acquire the company. It is no surprise, then, that Red Hat has its eyes on the edge, that amorphous and potentially substantial collection of distributed computing systems that everyone is figuring out how to chase.

          To get a sense of what Red Hat thinks about the edge, we sat down with Joe Fernandes, vice president and general manager of core cloud platforms at what amounts to the future for IBM’s software business. Fernandes has been running Red Hat’s cloud business for nearly a decade, starting with CloudForms and moving through the evolution of OpenShift from a proprietary (but open source) platform to one that has become the main distribution of the Kubernetes cloud controller by enterprises. Meaning those who can’t or won’t roll their own open source software products.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan Carter wins race to lead Debian for next year

          South African developer Jonathan Carter will be the leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project for the next year, after he defeated the two other contenders in the race, according to the results which were declared on Sunday.

          Carter was up against Sruthi Chandran, who was bidding to become the first female leader of the project, and Brian Gupta, a member of the project for the last seven years.

          Carter had cited the need for better publicity, getting more feedback to ease up issues that contributors faced and better visibility and transparency about funds received and how they were spent in his election platform.

          The 2019 winner, Sam Hartman, did not run, saying he did not think it was a good idea to do so right now, but not ruling out the possibility of running for the post in the future.

        • Debian Project Leader Election 2020 Results
          Hi,
          
          The winner of the election is Jonathan Carter.
          
          The details of the results are available at:
          
          https://vote.debian.org/2020/vote_001
          
          Stats for the DPL votes:
          |------+------+--------+-------+--------+---------+--------+-----------|
          |      |  Num |        | Valid | Unique | Rejects |      % |  Multiple |
          | Year |  DDs | Quorum | Votes | Voters |         | Voting | of Quorum |
          |------+------+--------+-------+--------+---------+--------+-----------|
          | 1999 |  347 | 27.942 |       |    208 |         | 59.942 |   7.44399 |
          | 2000 |  347 | 27.942 |       |    216 |         | 62.248 |   7.73030 |
          | 2001 |   ?? |     ?? |       |    311 |         |        |           |
          | 2002 |  939 | 45.965 |   509 |    475 |     122 | 50.586 |  10.33395 |
          | 2003 |  831 | 43.241 |   510 |    488 |     200 | 58.724 |  11.28559 |
          | 2004 |  908 | 45.200 |   506 |    482 |      52 | 53.084 |  10.66372 |
          | 2005 |  965 | 46.597 |   531 |    504 |      69 | 52.228 |  10.81615 |
          | 2006 |  972 | 46.765 |   436 |    421 |      41 | 43.313 |   9.00246 |
          | 2007 | 1036 | 48.280 |   521 |    482 |     267 | 46.525 |   9.98343 |
          | 2008 | 1075 | 49.181 |   425 |    401 |      35 | 37.302 |   8.15356 |
          | 2009 | 1013 | 47.741 |   366 |    361 |      43 | 35.636 |   7.56155 |
          | 2010 |  886 | 44.648 |   459 |    436 |      88 | 49.210 |   9.76513 |
          | 2011 |  911 | 45.274 |   402 |    392 |      93 | 43.030 |   8.65836 |
          | 2012 |  948 | 46.184 |   436 |    403 |      72 | 42.511 |   8.72589 |
          | 2013 |  988 | 47.149 |   402 |    390 |      73 | 39.474 |   8.27170 |
          | 2014 | 1003 | 47.505 |   412 |    401 |      61 | 39.980 |   8.44117 |
          | 2015 |  986 | 47.101 |   364 |    353 |      39 | 35.801 |   7.49454 |
          | 2016 | 1023 | 47.977 |   286 |    282 |      74 | 27.566 |   5.87787 |
          | 2017 | 1062 | 48.882 |   327 |    322 |      57 | 30.320 |   6.58729 |
          | 2018 | 1001 | 47.457 |   343 |    333 |      53 | 33.266 |   7.01674 |
          | 2019 | 1003 | 47.505 |   389 |    378 |      59 | 37.687 |   7.95701 |
          | 2020 | 1011 | 47.694 |   352 |    339 |      33 | 33.531 |   7.10776 |
          |------+------+--------+-------+--------+---------+--------+-----------|
          
          
          Kurt Roeckx
          Debian Project Secretary
          
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • UMix 20.04: Ubuntu 20.04-Based Linux Distro With Unity And MATE Desktop

          Submitted by Rianne Schestowitz on Monday 20th of April 2020 11:33:11 AM Filed under Ubuntu

          Even though Unity 7 desktop is no longer actively developed and shipped by default in Ubuntu Linux, many users still prefer Unity over GNOME. If you also feel the same and want Ubuntu with Unity by default, you must check out this Ubuntu remix OS named UMix (Unity Remix).

          UMix is a Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with default Unity 7 desktop environment. The latest version of the UMix 20.04 has been rebased on the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” and it also comes with a new MATE desktop. So, let’s take a look at the list of new features in UMix 20.04.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Is Coming May 6th with a Revamped Home Screen



          Many months in development, Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 promises major changes to the mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phone devices. Of course, the biggest new feature will be the new Lomiri interface.

          Well, it’s not really new to the Ubuntu Touch developers as, in fact, it’s the old Unity 8 interface initially developed by Canonical for their version of Ubuntu Touch.

          While Unity 8 never saw the light of day, UBports Foundation’s endless efforts made it possible to finally bring it to users’ devices, powered, of course, by the latest Mir release, Mir 1.2.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Why I use open source technology for web development

        Every day, millions of people all over the world access the OpenStack Foundation’s (OSF) web properties to learn about open infrastructure. This level of usage requires a platform and toolsets that are fast, flexible, and affordable—and this is where open source comes in. Not only that, but given that we work for an open source software foundation, we naturally incorporate open source technologies into everything we do, including web development.

      • New open source GIS projects for Kubernetes applications



        Spatial data from geographic information systems (GIS) is all around us. From smartphones that make our lives better and more convenient to precision agriculture that is increasing the amount of food farmers can produce while reducing the cost, whether or not we realize it, almost every part of our lives is touched by spatial data.

        This increase of spatial data is simultaneously bringing an increase of open spatial datasets that people can consume and use to build all sorts of new applications. However, these types of datasets have not always been easy to work with. Also, due to the size of some of the geographic data, they can be difficult to bring to modern application deployment frameworks such as Kubernetes.

      • Want to Ditch Zoom? Jitsi Offers an Open-Source Alternative

        As we spend more time on videoconferences, concerns mount about trust. Emil Ivov says you shouldn’t have to trust anyone.

      • CMC Technology & Solution Joins Comeet Alliance to Launch “Made in Vietnam” Video Conference Solutions on Open-Source Platform

        Thanks to the sponsorship of VFOSSA (Vietnam Free Open Source Software Association), CoMeet Alliance has officially launched the “made in Vietnam” consulting, design, integration, support and maintenance video conference (online meeting) solutions on open source platform Jitsi in April 2020.

      • openEuler aims for the best OS in diversified computing scenarios

        Today, the first openEuler Virtual Summit was livestreamed in the openEuler community, sharing the latest industry progress and the planning of openEuler versions with the computing industry. Positioned as a community of developers, by developers, and for developers, openEuler provides an open innovation platform. It encourages global developers to propose new ideas and approaches, and practice new solutions to hone openEuler into a best-in-class OS for diversified computing scenarios.

      • Why DevOps are Keen on Open Source Logging

        Gaining complete visibility or your infrastructure will go a long way to make sure that your operation runs smoothly and that your CI/CD pipelines function at optimum efficiency. Open source tools remain an attractive option for DevOps because of its advantages and knowing how to get around drawbacks.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® ShardingSphere™ as a Top-Level Project
      • Postgres, open-source, monetization & community

        The database that’s making waves in enterprise settings is PostgreSQL (often called Postgres), which would be romping up the database popularity index, if such a thing existed. Why is that the case?

        An open-source system that runs on Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Azure and ARM alike, you can download it, run it on your virtual or real tech, from 60-core x86s to a Raspberry Pi, and it’ll happily mince your data, just how you want it!

        But what happens when your business relies on Postgres, or you need a helping hand? Or an extra feature you can’t/won’t develop yourself? That’s where EnterpriseDB comes in. We speak to Marc Linster, Senior Vice President of Product Development at the company, about paying for “open-source-PLUS”, upstreaming, development communities and the unique capabilities of PostgreSQL.

      • PyCaret: An open source low-code machine learning library in Python
      • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Grid Studio

        Grid studio is a web-based spreadsheet application with full integration of the Python programming language that was built to provide an integrated workflow for loading, cleaning, manipulating, and visualizing data.

      • Google offers pairing of gRPC and Kotlin in new open-source project

        Google is open-sourcing its gRPC Kotlin project, enabling developers to pair the high performance RPC framework gRPC with the Kotlin language.

        “As developers work to modernize applications, they need foundational tools that are simple and scalable,” Google software engineer Louis Wasserman and developer programs engineer Brent Shaffer wrote in a post.

      • Kiwi Browser is now fully open source [Download Now]: Includes support for Chromium Extensions

        Browsers are widely used for obtaining information and news in fingertips-lightning speed. With hundreds of browsers available online, every user desire to use the one they feel most personalized and easy to use, according to them. Kiwi Browser is an Android browser that recently came into people’s notice. The developers seem to be actively working on improving the Kiwi browser because that is what the outcome has been portraying. Kiwi announced a huge change this month, which is certainly the best way to utilize the Kiwi Browser.

      • Chromium-based Kiwi Browser is now completely open source

        Kiwi made a name for itself as one of the only browsers that support extensions on Android. The app has also innovated on other parts of the Chromium base by adding a custom implementation of dark mode and by shipping with another take on a bottom bar interface that looks a lot like Google’s early attempts at that design. Over the weekend, the developer has decided to make the software open source in order to share these achievements with others interested in building Chromium-based browsers.

      • Kiwi Browser goes open source, allowing other Chromium-based browsers to add Extensions

        The open-source Chromium project, based on the Blink engine, serves as the basis for dozens of web browsers. There’s the most popular, Google Chrome, along with others like Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, and more. Most Chromium-based web browsers offer a handful of additional features not found in Google Chrome, but there are some that radically change the experience. Kiwi Browser by XDA Senior Member arnaud42 is one such web browser, and for the browser’s second anniversary, the developer has fully open-sourced the web browser and all its features.

        Back in 2018, arnaud42 released the first version of his Chromium-based web browser. When we first covered the project several months later, we were impressed by the feature-set it offered at the time, which pales in comparison to what the browser offers today. It had features like a built-in content blocker, dark mode, background video playback, AMP skipper, and more. The browser got better and better with each update, but what really made it shine is the fact that it was the first Chromium-based browser for Android that supports Chrome Extensions.

      • ProtonMail Bridge is now open source!

        We are one step closer to fully open sourcing all our apps. ProtonMail Bridge joins iOS and the web app as open source software, and it has also passed an independent security audit.
        Trust and transparency are core values of ProtonMail. We want you to know who is on our team and how we protect your privacy. Similarly, we want you to be able to see the code that makes up our apps and keeps your data safe. That’s why we have prioritized making all our apps open source.
        You can view the code for ProtonMail Bridge for macOS, Windows, and Linux on our GitHub page.

      • Vapor IO Synse 3.0 makes environmental data actionable within a data center

        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, and includes the following components…

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Stanislaus J. Pinasthika

          Let me tell you a story: Jember was a quiet city. No many cafes at the time. One day, in the beautiful morning, a boy was born. He was named Stanislaus Jiwandana Pinasthika – but his parents called typically called him Stanis. Twenty two years later, this boy graduated from the Information Systems Department, Faculty of Computer Science, at the University of Jember…

          Today, I am struggling to start my masters degree in Computer Science at Gadjah Mada University. I like to design things using Inkscape, such as vector graphics, cartoons etc. You can see my work here. But I also love to contribute to open source projects.

          For instance, I made a Linux Community in Jember with my friends – Sofyan Sugianto is one of them. He is also a member of TDF. My contributions to LibreOffice started with translating – at the time still using Pootle. Now, I am glad to be a proud member of TDF and the LibreOffice Quality Assurance (QA) team.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 Will Prefer Building Its Rendering Code With LLVM’s Clang Compiler

          With the release of LibreOffice 7.0 in a few months, the open-source office suite will now prefer building at least portions of its code-base with the LLVM Clang compiler over GCC or Microsoft MSVC even if the default compiler is not Clang.

          At least as far as the new Skia rendering code is concerned, LibreOffice 7.0+ will try to find and use LLVM Clang even if the default compiler is not Clang.

      • Funding

        • UNICEF Launches Cryptocurrency Fund to Back Open Source Technology

          UNICEF, the United Nations Youngsters’s Fund, has launched a crypto fund to obtain, maintain and distribute donations of bitcoin and ether in its intention to again open supply know-how for youngsters all over the world.

          UNICEF mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday that in a primary for United Nations organizations, the Cryptocurrency Fund will obtain contributions in cryptocurrency and grant out in the identical digital forex type.

          The group added the primary contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund come from the Ethereum Basis and “will profit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund.”

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • 10 Datasets One Must Know To Build Recommender Systems

            Be it watching a web series or shopping online, recommender systems work as time-savers for many. This system predicts and estimates the preferences of a user’s content. Popular online platforms such as Facebook, Netflix, Myntra, among others, have been using this technology in many ways.

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: prrd 0.0.3: More improvements

          Back in early 2018, the prrd package was introduced as release 0.0.1, uploaded to CRAN, and updated once as release 0.0.2. I have used it extensively for every CRAN release of Rcpp, RcppArmadillo, RcppEigen, BH, and possibly others.

        • Introduction to jQuery – Learn jQuery

          Modern web application development is incomplete without learning jQuery. Almost all of us have heard of it at some point while browsing the Internet. In this series of articles, we will learn jQuery, the most popular Javascript framework. At the end of the series, we will build multiple projects to better understand jQuery.

          In this article, we will talk about what jQuery is. How it works. Why prefer jQuery over Javascript.

          Before we move on to discussing how to install jQuery and other advanced topics, let us talk about some basics of jQuery such as, what is jQuery?

        • GitLab’s Priyanka Sharma Talks About Multi-cloud Maturity Model
        • 4 Git scripts I can’t live without

          In 2005, Linus Torvalds created Git to replace the proprietary distributed source control management solution that he had previously used to maintain the Linux kernel. Since then, Git has become a dominant version-control solution for open source and cloud-native development teams.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The Weekly Challenge #056

            Before I say anything about my contributions, I would like to share my sweet encounter with Raku. Last week while working on the task Flip Binary using Raku, I was struggling to figure out all the binary strings with maximum 1s. I had the results in a Hash where key was the binary string and value was the total count of 1s in it. The idea was to sort the Hash by values first then sort by keys. After posting the question on the Twitter handle @PerlWChallenge, I received the below solution by PawgChamp (@Mrofnet).

        • Python

          • List of Best Jupyter Notebook Alternatives

            Jupyter Notebook is the most popular and go-to tool among data scientists. So, what is Jupyter Notebook, and why is it so popular? Jupyter Notebook was formerly known as IPython Notebook. We can say it is a Notebook that lets us run our code interactively within a web browser, along with some visualization and some markdown text to explain the process of what’s going on. It is free and open-source. Its main feature is that it gives you live code and visualization in one place, thus making it an excellent software for learning and teaching.

            Although Jupyter Notebook is different and unique, and while these features may appeal to some people, other people may find it hard to work with Jupyter Notebook. E.g., if you are a developer that prefers test-driven, then you may not find Jupyter Notebook according to your taste.

            Similarly, the non-linear workflow may not be for everyone. So if you are looking for Jupyter Notebook alternatives, read ahead!

          • python Web Scrapping (requests_html not beautiful-soup)

            In my quest to being data scientist (being a driver) , i have learned having data is the fuel that keeps automobile (data science) on the highway. Just like crude oil you have to mine it. At a times you are not provided with the data at hand, but does that prevent us from getting our automobiles from running, if the answer is no.(you score an A). You have to look for ways of getting what you need (can we call that basic reasoning), and my help came in handy . Thank you to web scrapping .(it was a pleasure getting to work wit you)

          • Count and Index method in Python Tuple

            Tuple just likes list, is an object used to group together related data in python. The difference between tuple and list is that the data inside tuple cannot be changed whereas the data in the list can be changed after that list object has been declared.

            In this tutorial, we are going to create the python program which will search for the index position (starting from 0) of a certain element within that tuple and count the number of times that element appears within that tuple object.

          • Python 3.8.2 : New release 2.3.2 for Pygame Menu.
          • Python 3.6.9 : My colab tutorials – part 004.

            Today, I tested the python module named imdbpy with Colab Google features.

          • PyDev of the Week: Cheukting Ho

            This week we welcome Cheukting Ho (@cheukting_ho) as our PyDev of the Week. Cheuk is an organizer for EuroPython and various Python sprints.

          • Refactoring Opportunities That Will Boost the Quality of Your Code

            Refactoring is all about making your code easier to understand and more maintainable.

            Remember, code runs on machines, but you write code for humans!

        • Java

          • Techopia Live: How the Eclipse Foundation shapes open-source software around the world

            On any given day, millions of developers around the world are building software in Java, Python and other open-source platforms.

            Odds are, they’re using a tool or framework governed by an Ottawa-based organization playing an important role in ensuring tech companies can bring cutting-edge advances in IoT, AI, autonomous vehicles and cloud applications to market quickly and affordably.

  • Leftovers

    • Introduction to Moody’s Black Notebook Travels

      I now have dozens of these notebooks sitting behind me, filled with my illegible scrawl. I have been meaning to turn them into digital texts for some years, and to bring them into the 21st century, but have never got around to it until now. I am not transcribing them in any set order, but will place links to them below, as they go online, ordered chronologically. There is no overall plan, no overall significance. They are just what they are: quick thoughts jotted down in black notebooks, captured moments of a specific time and place.

    • Education

      • College students panic over FAFSA’s fine print about registering for the draft

        The Selective Service System said on Twitter, however, that there’s no reason for panic. They assured Twitter users that there is no active draft at this time and that the department is conducting business as usual. The government, they said, “would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft.”

        Here’s how the draft actually works, and the role FAFSA plays in signing up for selective service.

      • Boston University admits classrooms may stay empty in fall

        Boston University (BU) is telling its community to prepare for the possibility of no on-campus instruction this fall, a blunt warning its president calls a necessary admission of reality, to allow for proper planning.

        The mindset, said the BU president, Robert A. Brown, is helping his staff keep their focus on the preparations that matter most at a time of great uncertainty across higher education, the nation and the world.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Absurdity and Cruelty’ of US Healthcare System, Says Sanders, ‘Should Now Be Apparent to All’

        As the country faces the coronavirus pandemic and an economic crisis, the senator explains the “need to articulate a new direction for America.”

      • As Mnuchin Claims Business Relief Deal ‘Very Close,’ Progressives Demand More of Democratic Leaders

        Healthcare advocate Ady Barkan sent a public message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “This is not nearly good enough.”

      • Lessons From COVID-19 to Address the Climate Crisis

        Perhaps the COVID-19 experience will wake us to our capacity to demand changes of ourselves, our communities, and local, state, and federal governments.

      • Trump’s Anti-Chinese Racist Campaign Strategy Mobilizes Right-Wing Extremists

        The move is part of a broader Trump campaign strategy in the run-up to the November presidential elections.

      • Lies Won’t Stop COVID-19

        In Trumpistan, none of the sycophants and yes-men around the president, except for the admirable Dr. Fauci, dared contradict the Great White Father.

      • Unnecessary Death and Disaster: We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident
      • COVID-19 Isn’t Halting Corporate Media’s Attacks on Universal Health Care

        There’s nothing like a global pandemic to demonstrate that a universal single-payer healthcare system like Medicare for All is not an idealistic fantasy, but an immediate, urgent necessity. When over 16 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits within the last three weeks, it’s clear that the American system of making health insurance a privilege only for those who work—or for those poor and old enough to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare—has made the US especially vulnerable to Covid-19.

      • Health Officials Recommended Canceling Events with 10-50 People. Then 33,000 Fans Attended a Major League Soccer Game.

        On March 6, at 2:43 p.m., the health officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County, the hardest-hit region in the first state to be slammed by COVID-19, sent an email to a half-dozen colleagues, saying, “I want to cancel large group gatherings now.”

        The county’s numbers — 10 known deaths and nearly 60 confirmed cases as of late morning — were bad and getting worse. Many local events had already been called off for fear of spreading the coronavirus. Oyster Fest. The Puget Sound Puppetry Festival. A Women’s Day speaker series at the Gates Foundation. King County had ordered a stop to in-person government meetings unless they were considered essential.

      • Like ‘frosted glass’ in the lungs Russian Health Ministry pulmonologist explains challenges of COVID-19 testing and how Moscow’s doctors are managing to diagnose patients

        On April 9, Moscow’s coronavirus task force indicated that the majority of the city’s pneumonia cases are related to COVID-19. A new coronavirus clinical committee subsequently advised against using separate hospitals to treat patients with pneumonia and COVID-19, and recommended making diagnoses based on clinical information and CT scan results without waiting for coronavirus test results (which have turned out to be unreliable). Meduza asked Sergey Adveev, the Russian Health Ministry’s chief visiting pulmonologist, why tests aren’t working, what distinguishes coronavirus pneumonia from other kinds of pneumonia, and how Russian doctors are handling patients presumed to have coronavirus.  

      • Denmark Extends Business Aid to Increase Spending By $15 Billion

        The government also said that companies which pay out dividends, buy back own shares or are registered in tax havens won’t be eligible for any of the aid programs, which now amount to a total of 400 billion kroner, when including loans and guarantees.

      • Trump’s lies are killing his supporters as the coronavirus starts to sweep rural America

        In the finest traditions of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt — two of the U.S.’s most noteworthy wartime presidents — Donald Trump, the coronavirus “war” “president,” yesterday accused the state of New York of padding its coronavirus death toll, after New York revised its numbers to reflect thousands who died of COVID-19 before it had a name.

      • Kaduna: JIBWIS sacks Imam for complying with ban on mass congregation

        The Imam said that some people then reported him to the JIBWIS Chairman.

        Sarki-Aminu said; “My deputy Imam called me on the phone that Sheik Sani Yakuba ordered that we should continue with the congregational prayers, that I should come out for Subhi (dawn) prayer.

        “I replied to him that, if the chairman wants me to continue with the congregational prayers, let him formally write to me so that I will be convinced that his order supersedes that of the government.

      • Tunisia arrests two over coronavirus ‘cough plot’ against police

        The North African country has imposed strict measures to fight the spread of Covid-19, including a 12-hour nightly curfew and deploying remote-controlled police vehicles, urging people to stay home.

      • The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Challenge for Innovation Policy

        This brief note considers calls for a Grand Prize to incentivise research into a vaccine for COVID-19. These calls respond to perceived failures of the patent system. We argue that such a prize is probably unnecessary and that the challenge for innovation policy posed by threats like COVID-19 lies elsewhere. In particular, we suggest that the more expansive reward-style approach embraced by Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries is a more useful starting point for thinking about how to move towards a proactive innovation system.

      • Drugs, Patents, and Well-Being

        The ultimate end of patent law must be to spur innovations that improve human welfare — innovations that make people better off. But firms will only invest resources in developing patentable inventions that will allow them to make money — that is, inventions that people will want to use and buy. This can gravely distort the types of incentives that firms face and the types of inventions they pursue. Nowhere is this truer than in the pharmaceutical field. There is by now substantial evidence that treatments for diseases that primarily afflict poorer people — including the citizens of developing nations — are dramatically under-produced, compared with drugs that treat diseases that afflict the wealthy. In addition, the pharmaceutical markets are rife with “me too” drugs — drugs that treat diseases or conditions for which successful medications already exist.

        This state of affairs is not inevitable. In recent years, medical and psychological research on well-being has created the capacity for policymakers to draw direct links between patents and human welfare. Armed with this information, policymakers have, for the first time, the power to use the patent system to directly incentivize welfare-enhancing innovations. In this Article, we propose a system of extended patent terms for drug inventions that have a substantial impact on human welfare. We further propose that policymakers lift many of the legal protections for patents that have an insubstantial effect on human welfare — which we term “futility patents” — making those patents easier to challenge and invalidate. The result would be a reorientation of pharmaceutical firm incentives toward drugs that will have a significant impact on welfare, particularly for poorer and underserved populations, and away from drugs that are profitable but do little to improve human life.

      • Patent Protection Should Take a Backseat in a Crisis

        With essential medical equipment in short supply these days, doctors have been doing everything they can to get what they need to keep treating coronavirus patients. One team of Italian physicians hit on the idea of making up for a shortfall of valves used in CPAP hoods — used to give oxygen to patients — by using a 3D printer to make their own. This worked, but the company that manufactures the valves wasn’t happy and may have had grounds to sue for patent infringement. Suing doctors in the midst of a pandemic isn’t a good look, and the company quickly clarified that it wasn’t planning on taking the doctors to court — indeed, it has been making the parts available for free to medical practitioners on the front lines.

        But the underlying question is real: What happens when the coronavirus emergency bumps up against intellectual-property law? Most medical technology is heavily protected by patents, which give companies the legal right to block others from producing the same or similar goods.

        There are sound reasons for patent protection: Who would want to invest the time and money in inventing something if everyone could freely copy it without shouldering the same costs?

        In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, though, there’s a pressing need to produce essential equipment as soon as possible. And the patent owners don’t always have the capacity to build as much as we need. (That seemed to be the case with the Italian valve manufacturer.)

      • The Global Patent Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine

        As COVID-19 is causing chaos around the globe, the world’s largest economies are competing to be the first to find a cure to this new pandemic and taking measures to ensure that their citizens will have access to any vaccines or treatments once available. COVID-19 has introduced a whole new global arms race–the race to own patent rights to a COVID-19 vaccine.

        A patent is an exchange between inventor and national government in which the inventor discloses to the public exactly how to recreate the claimed invention (e.g., a vaccine) and is in return given an exclusivity period during which it may choose who, when, where, and how that invention is made, used, or sold. Research and Development for a single vaccine, drug, or diagnostic test will often cost billions of dollars, but patents nonetheless promote medical and scientific innovation in pharmaceutical drugs and diagnostic tests around the world by providing a way for companies to recoup their costs through exclusive manufacture, sale, and licensing of their inventions. Patents typically allow the general public to access essential medicines, which would otherwise have unlikely been invented. Given the current global political climate, however, critics fear that a nation’s right to control how and when a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed may wind up being wielded in a restrictive manner.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Alibaba to Invest $28 Billion Over Three Years in Cloud

          The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to build more datacenters to complement an existing network covering 21 regions around the world, the company said in a statement. It will continue to develop its own technologies in areas such as AI-inference chips to support that expansion in cloud services, it added.

        • Hospitals brace for increase in cyberattacks

          As hospitals face a surge in patients and critical equipment shortages stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, they are increasingly becoming the target of [attackers] who see health care facilities as easy prey.

          Ransomware attacks, in which [attackers] lock up a network and demand payment to return access to these systems, have presented a growing threat to hospitals since January.

          Experts are warning that they expect these attacks to increase and that the threat has captured the attention of top intelligence lawmakers, who warn the outbreak and the ransomware attacks create the perfect storm.

        • CDC plans to roll out app in May to speed up COVID-19 case reporting

          The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to roll out an app in May that will accelerate electronic case reporting of COVID-19 cases.

          The app, based on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards, can be implemented quickly to automate COVID case reporting, said Laura Conn, health scientist and eCR lead in the CDC’s Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services.

          The app enables healthcare providers that don’t have the capability to automatically send case reports from their health IT systems to more efficiently send data to public health agencies.

        • Judge dismisses Twitter lawsuit pushing to reveal US surveillance requests

          Rogers clarified that the government’s use of confidential declarations convinced her that unearthing the exact number of national security letters dating back to 2014, as requested by Twitter, would put national security at risk.

        • 01 Communique Announces April 23rd IronCAP X Email Encryption Product Launch and Demo Will Be Virtual [Ed: If this is proprietary secret code, how do we know it is indeed "a higher protection level than current GPG, or GNU Privacy Guard public key cryptography implementation platforms"?]

          IronCAP and IronCAP X will encrypt your data so that you are protected now and into the future from quantum attacks. Not only is IronCAP technology quantum-safe, it is much faster than the current quantum-vulnerable RSA method and has a higher protection level than current GPG, or GNU Privacy Guard public key cryptography implementation platforms.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Former Steem Devs Found OpenOrchard to Disrupt Open-Source Tech

              Seven former top Steem developers have converged to form OpenOrchard, a company seeking to build innovative open-source technologies on top of Hive.

              Cointelegraph spoke to Andrew Levine, OpenOrchard CEO and former head of communications at Steemit, to find out more about the new project.

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation Expands Fintech Reach

                The financial services sector continues to embrace the open source movement, often playing a leading role in establishing standards and best practices. A prime example is the pivotal role played by investment banker and financial services giant Goldman Sachs in forging an application container specification around Docker.

              • Fintech Open Source Foundation Joins Linux Foundation to Expand and Accelerate Development Across Financial Services

                Under the Linux Foundation, Finos Will Provide a Forum for Industry-Wide Collaboration Among the World’s Biggest Financial Services Firms and Tech Companies on Fintech Projects Addressing Desktop Interoperability, Data Modeling, Compliance and More

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open collaboration, and the Fintech Open Source Foundation (FINOS), a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate adoption of open source software, standards and best practices in financial services, announced that FINOS will become a Linux Foundation organization. To enable this effort, the Linux Foundation has agreed to acquire the FINOS operating assets.

              • Moxa Joins OpenChain Project as Platinum Member to Support Open Source Compliance
              • Moxa joins OpenChainProject to support open source compliance
              • Moxa Joins The OpenChainProject By The Linux Foundation To Streamline Open Source Compliance

                Moxa announced that it has joined the OpenChainProject, an initiative by the Linux Foundation to streamline open source compliance. By enrolling as a Platinum member, Moxa becomes the first Taiwan-based company to join the OpenChain’s Governing Board, expanding the project’s reach globally and across multiple industrial sectors.

                Formed in 2016, the OpenChain Project aims to build trust in open source by making open source license compliance simpler and more consistent across supplies chains. The OpenChain Specification defines inflection points in business workflows where a compliance process, policy or training should exist to minimize the potential for errors and maximize the efficiency of bringing solutions to the market.

        • Security

          • Bitcoin stealer infected 700+ libraries of major programming language

            A cybersecurity firm discovered that over 700 libraries of the popular programming language, Ruby, contained malicious Bitcoin-stealing software.

            ReversingLabs, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, disclosed its findings in a blog post on Thursday. Back in February, it wrote, hackers placed malicious files inside a package manager called RubyGems—which is usually used to upload and share improvements on existing pieces of software.

            The hackers were trying to trick developers into downloading malware by using a method called “typosquatting”, which consists of uploading malicious packages with similar names to regular ones. By just changing a few characters of a file name, the hope was that a developer would mistakenly download an infected package—unwittingly providing the hacker with access to their system.

          • Find the Sweet Spot: Open Source Software, Military Systems and Cybersecurity
          • This Week In Security: Git, Patch Tuesday, Anti-Cheat, And Vulnerable Documentation

            Git released an update on Tuesday, fixing an issue that could result in leaking credentials. The vulnerability was in how Git handles an HTTP URL containing a newline. Looking at the commits in 2.26.1, we can find an example of an attack:
            url = “https://one.example.com?%0ahost=two.example.com/foo.git”

            So doing a git pull against this repository will connect your git instance to an attacker’s server, but using the credentials from an arbitrary server. It seems like this could potentially be used to steal Github credentials, for instance. So go make sure you have an updated Git client.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (openvpn), Debian (awl, file-roller, jackson-databind, and shiro), Fedora (chromium, git, and libssh), Mageia (php, python-bleach, and webkit2), openSUSE (chromium, gstreamer-rtsp-server, and mp3gain), Oracle (thunderbird and tigervnc), SUSE (thunderbird), and Ubuntu (file-roller and webkit2gtk).

          • Linus is secure – it is its users who are not

            Most exploits are misconfigurations or poor administration

            The rise in attacks on Linux in recent years is not due to its insecurity problems but more down to user error.

            LinuxSecurity Founder Dave Wreski said: “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.”

            Joe McManus, Director of Security at Canonical, said: “Linux and, particularly Ubuntu, are incredibly secure systems but, that being said, it is their popularity that makes them a target.”

            Ian Thornton-Trump, a threat intelligence expert and the CISO at Cyjax, added: “From an economic and mission perspective, it makes sense for a threat actor to invest in open-source skills for flexibility and the ability to target the systems where the good stuff is happening.”

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook, Google to Be Forced to Pay for News in Australia

              Google and Facebook Inc. will be forced to pay media companies in Australia for publishing their news under what the government says is a world-first mandatory code of conduct.

              Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Monday that negotiations between the tech giants and traditional media platforms had made limited progress toward reaching a voluntary arrangement and the competition watchdog would unveil a draft code by the end of July.

            • Facebook is launching a dedicated gaming app to take on Twitch, YouTube

              Facebook has invested in gaming for years, and has tried to build up its streaming community by partnering with different creators and hosting esports tournaments. Despite Facebook’s large user base — more than 2.5 billion people use Facebook every month — it still lags behind Twitch and YouTube (owned by Amazon and Google, respectively) when it comes to hours of gameplay watched.

            • Facebook to Introduce an App for Gaming

              Although Facebook was a top gaming platform a decade ago during the FarmVille era, the company hasn’t been a dominant force in recent years. In the game streaming market, Facebook is No. 3 in total hours watched, behind YouTube and Twitch, according to Streamlabs. Viewers currently watch Facebook game streaming with the core Facebook app and on the new app in the developing markets where it’s already available.

              The new app includes casual games and access to gaming communities, but its fate will depend largely on how successfully it entices people to watch and create live game streams. A function called Go Live lets users upload streams of other mobile games on the same device by pressing just a few buttons.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • A new investigation reveals Trump ignored experts on Covid-19 for months

        The report exhaustively outlines numerous ways in which Trump avoided listening to government authorities as they proposed strategies for dealing with the pandemic. It also details an administration mired in political bickering, which hamstrung officials at every phase of their response. The report prompted epidemiologist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to respond that “obviously” lives could have been saved if the government had taken the warnings seriously.

      • He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus

        But dozens of interviews with current and former officials and a review of emails and other records revealed many previously unreported details and a fuller picture of the roots and extent of his halting response as the deadly virus spread: [...]

      • Trump ignored coronavirus warnings from experts for months

        The report paints a portrait of Trump as being swayed by things like petty politics, one-upmanship, advice from his uninformed business associates, and his annoyance at inconsequential conspiracy theories, rather than the strenuous and sustained advice of experts — most of which he ignored for weeks. The delay resulted in a lack of effective quarantining measures, a dearth of testing centers and equipment, a failure to reallocate existing resources, and widespread confusion about how seriously the public should be taking the disease.

        Here are a few of the most revealing warnings that Trump ignored or dismissed.

    • Environment

      • [Old] BP oil spill: safety breaches revealed [iophk: Windows TCO]

        Williams, a former Marine, managed to survive the explosion on 20 April by jumping from the burning rig. His evidence before the federal panel in Kenner, on the outskirts of New Orleans, suggested a litany of problems, from alarm systems that had been switched off to software that was so faulty the rig’s computer systems – critical for the monitoring of key safety equipment – regularly crashed.

      • [Old] Deepwater Horizon spill was about 30% bigger than previously thought, study says

        The 2010 oil spill, considered one of the worst environmental disasters in US history, was triggered by an explosion on the BP-contracted Transocean Ltd. Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers on board and released approximately 168 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

        Claire Paris-Limouzy, a professor of ocean sciences at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and co-author of the study, told CNN the spill was about 30% larger than estimated. It reached the Texas shore, the Florida Keys, the coast of Tampa and parts of the east coast of Florida, according to the study.

      • [Old] Lost BP Laptop Contains Financial Information on Thousands of Gulf Oil Spill Victims

        The breach stems from the loss of a laptop by a BP employee. According to a report from The AP, the computer, which is password protected but not encrypted, contained the names, social security numbers, phone numbers, and addresses of some 13,000 claimants.

    • 4 Fake Facts That Climate Deniers Still Believe & How To Debunk Them

      Thanks to huge funding from the fossil fuel industry, anti-climate political lobbyists and irresponsible celebs, we live in an age where a section of the population is still in denial about our climate crisis. Although much of the public have become more aware about the depth of our planetary emergency, with growing student climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests and improved media coverage all helping to drive this shift, we still have a way to go to convince every single person to overturn their untrue perceptions. Based on University College of London professor Mark Maslin’s op-ed for The Conversation, here are four untrue claims that climate deniers still promote, and how we can debunk each of them to stop any further delay to necessary global climate action.

    • How to Become an Activist: Zero Hour’s Jamie Margolin Offers a Step-by-Step Guide

      But I’m not going to be that annoying person who says “Oh, just read my book” whenever people ask me for help or advice. You want to be an activist, and you want to get started now! So here is a crash course, drawn from Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It, on how to become an activist for climate justice — or any other cause: [...]

    • The Next Economic Stimulus Must Include Green New Deal Measures

      Forty years of deindustrialization, anti-labor policy, wage stagnation and welfare retrenchment has left many U.S. workers — 44 percent of which are low-wage –– vulnerable to the compounding crises of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Climate Change Multiplies the Threats of Infectious Diseases

      As the novel coronavirus continues to rage like a wildfire across the planet, its devastating toll has left many asking whether climate change — another multifaceted phenomenon with global reach — has played a part in spreading, even triggering, the pandemic. Some, like Katharine Hayhoe, a climate change scientist and professor of public policy at Texas Tech University, have been able to provide answers.

    • Finding Hope in Dark Times While Avoiding Environmentalists’ Mistakes of the Past

      Post pandemic we will need to fight for a green and just recovery that brings together addressing climate change and caring for those hurt by the crisis.

    • Energy

      • How a Non-Proliferation Treaty Could Save Lamu’s World Heritage Site from the Destruction of Fossil Fuels

        Around 2014, Somo Mohamed Somo, a 47-year old father of seven, accompanied a team of researchers conducting preliminary research ahead of a proposed coal power plant along the Indian Ocean in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the northern Kenyan coast.

      • Enduring the Climate and Coronavirus Crises: What Will It Take to Get Through Both?

        While time feels distorted these days, it was only seven months and a lifetime ago that millions around the globe, led by school children, were marching in the streets, passionately demanding action and investment to match the scale of the climate crisis. Today, we’d instinctively recoil imagining those crowds, fearful of the potential to spread more than the idea that humans deserve a livable climate. But in both cases, pulling away from each other, at least in spirit, may be our collective undoing. 

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Trump the Snake Oil Salesman

      Trump began touting the virtues of drugs to combat the coronavirus about which he knew no more than the hawkers of snake oil in the latter part of the 19th century.

    • Coronavirus and Small Government Sociopathy

      As the devastating impact of Trump’s inaction becomes clear, Americans are discovering a hidden socialist streak.

    • Warren Says by Backing Protests, Trump Is ‘Trying to Turn This Health Crisis Into a Political Rally for Himself’

      The president has encouraged Americans organizing rallies against stay-at-home orders that aim to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

    • Warren Slams Trump for Supporting Protests Against Stay-at-Home Orders

      Democratic lawmakers have joined with advocacy groups in criticizing President Donald Trump for encouraging recent protests against stay-at-home orders enacted by state and local governments in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who accused the president of using the COVID-19 crisis to garner voter support.

    • COVID-19 and the Myth of ‘Choice’ in American Healthcare

      The insidious root of the problem is that healthcare as a market commodity simply does not work, and we’ve known this for decades.

    • >Exclusive: As Washington DC Faces Coronavirus Spike, Secret Military Task Force Prepares to Secure the Capital [sic]

      But a little-known military task force charged with evacuating Washington has already been activated, a task force charged with the most sensitive government mission of “securing” Washington in the face of attackers, foreign and domestic—and if necessary, moving White House and other key government offices to alternate locations.

      Activated on March 16, Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) is chartered to “defend” Washington on land, in the air, and even on its waterfronts. The special task force, the only one of its kind in the country, demonstrates how there are two sides of government preparedness. The public face, and even the day-to-day work of most men and women assigned to JTF-NCR, is the same as it is everywhere else in the country—medical support, delivering supplies, manning health-check stations.

    • Hong Kong rounds up dozen of prominent democracy activists

      The arrests were believed to be connected with protests last August and October against the planned extradition bill, which was abandoned amid months of action over the fear of Chinese interference in the territory. The activists were suspected of organizing banned demonstrations, CNA reported.

    • Hong Kong police detain veteran democracy activists in raids

      Hong Kong police arrested 15 activists, including veteran politicians, a publishing tycoon and senior barristers, in raids on Saturday in the biggest crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement since the outbreak of mass protests last year.

      Among those detained on charges of illegal assembly were Democratic Party founder Martin Lee, 81, millionaire publishing tycoon Jimmy Lai, 71, and former lawmaker and barrister Margaret Ng, 72, according to media and political sources.

      In all, one serving and nine former legislators were arrested, including veteran activists Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.

    • 15 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested in latest police round up

      League of Social Democrats vice-chair and Civil Human Rights Front convenor Jimmy Sham said the arrests showed that the government was oppressing protesters indiscriminately: “[The police] have arrested peaceful, rational and non-violent activists including the Democratic Party’s Martin Lee and Yeung Sum… They are oppressing both peaceful [and] valiant Hongkongers indiscriminately. Hongkongers shall continue to resist, peaceful and valiant undivided.”

    • Whitmer says protests against stay home order OK, but takes a shot at DeVos family involvement

      The protest is featured on the Freedom Fund’s Facebook page, the organization is listed as one of the hosts and in a Facebook post today said that it had paid $250 for an ad to promote the protest.

      And while Betsy DeVos hasn’t contributed to candidates or political action committees since being a member of Trump’s Cabinet, members of her family, including her husband, Dick DeVos, a 2006 Republican candidate for governor, have continued to make many political contributions.

    • Betsy Devos’ Aide Behind Reopen America Protests

      In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that prominent republican operatives are behind the reopen America protests that are springing up across the country in opposition to stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the spread of covid-19. One of those prominent republicans, per AM Joy, is Greg McNeilly, a longtime political aide to the Devos family. McNeily was apparently behind the recent reopen America protests in Michigan which were highly promoted by Fox News and it’s number one customer President Trump.

    • Protect Our Public Schools Condemns DeVos-Funded Group’s Dangerous Protest in Lansing, Michigan

      The event was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and the DeVos-backed Michigan Freedom Fund to defy and protest prudent stay-at-home, public health orders from Governor Gretchen Whitmer. According to organizers and supporters of both groups, it was deliberately designed to gridlock streets around the Governor’s residence. However, the protest took place within a mile of a hospital treating patients of coronavirus, which has sickened 30,000 and killed more than 1,700 in Michigan alone.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Corporate News Coverage of the Pandemic Is Rife With Islamophobia

      It is no secret that Asian Americans have felt the brunt of the backlash against coronavirus in the U.S. The racism and hateful attacks, amounting to at least 100 per day, have been well recorded by the media. But there is another group that has also been marginalized during this time — Muslims. Every week, we see stories of Muslims facing attacks related to coronavirus, from receiving Islamophobic insults by web conference call intruders to being tasered in supermarkets for wearing a face mask, or facing modern day “apartheid” in India, where patients are being segregated by faith. Unfortunately, the media’s coverage of coronavirus isn’t helping, as it unnecessarily scapegoats Muslims and ties us to terrorism.

    • ‘Allahu Akbar!’ BBC Broadcasts Islamic Call to Prayer for the First Time

      But in Britain today, any such concerns will be dismissed out of hand as “Islamophobic.” BBC officials, and the British government, are no doubt certain that Muslim communities in the country will be grateful that the BBC is broadcasting Islamic prayers, and will redouble their efforts to become loyal, productive British citizens, marching together with non-Muslims in Britain into the glorious multicultural future. That’s the way it will work out. Isn’t it? No Muslims will take seriously the adhan’s declarations of Islamic superiority and heed the Qur’an’s calls to wage war against unbelievers. Will they? In multiculti Britain today, such an idea is inconceivable!

    • Forced conversions

      The discrimination against women belonging to religious minority groups is worse; they become victims of rape, abduction, forced marriage and forced conversion. That it is largely underage girls who are ‘converting’ to Islam speaks volumes of the vulnerability of the converts, and the motivation of those behind the conversion.

      Twice the Sindh government attempted to outlaw forced conversions and marriages, including laying guidelines for the court process in the Protection of Minorities Bill, placing an age limit of 18 years upon conversions and enabling better due process. In 2016, the bill was unanimously passed by the Sindh Assembly, but religious parties objected to an age limit for conversions, and threatened to besiege the assembly if the bill received approval of the governor, who then refused to sign the bill into law.

    • The Persecution of Christians in Muslim Countries

      Muslim countries routinely harass citizens who convert to Christianity on the one hand, while at the same time, they try to hide them from public view.

  • Monopolies

    • Patents

      • Further Extensions for EPO Deadlines Available

        We previously published an alert that the European Patent Office (EPO), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had issued Notices that extended the times to file papers that could not be filed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

        The EPO extensions, which previously expired on April 17, 2020, have now been extended to May 17, 2020, by a second Notice, available here. As stated in this second Notice, it is otherwise identical to the prior Notice. The same limitations, caveats, and precautions regarding the availability of extensions thus still apply.

      • Important IP Updates Covid-19 | 15.04.2020

        Europe – European Patent Office (EPO)
        All time limits expiring on or after 15 March 2020 are thus extended until 17 April 2020. Oral proceedings in examination and opposition proceedings, previously scheduled until April 17, will be postponed until April 30, 2020 (unless there is confirmation of the meeting by videoconference).

        [...]

        Europe – European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)
        Deadlines between March 09 and April 30, 2020 postponed until May 01, 2020. To date, it is still possible to submit requests for brand and design.

      • Covid-19: Update on procedures for patents, trade marks and designs

        Like all organisations, intellectual property offices have had to make changes to the way they operate at the current time to limit the spread of Covid-19. Here, you will find the key changes you need to be aware of from the EPO, EUIPO, UKIPO, DKPTO, PRV and WIPO.

      • Courts shutdown shows virtual opportunities and challenges for US judges and litigators

        Texas and California judges and lawyers weigh in on remote hearings, how counsel can cut travel time but may stifle non-verbal communication, and on the likelihood of continuing virtually after COVID-19

      • In a first, China knocks U.S. from top spot in global patent race

        China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world last year, pushing the United States out of the top spot it has held since the global system was set up more than 40 years ago, the U.N. patent agency said on Tuesday.

        [...]

        Ownership of patents is widely seen as an important sign of a country’s economic strength and industrial know-how.

        WIPO’s head, Francis Gurry, told a news conference China’s success was “down to a very deliberate strategy on the part of Chinese leadership to advance innovation and to make the country a country whose economy operates at a higher level of value.

        “It is working, and intellectual property is certainly part of that strategy. I would put it down to that broad movement towards becoming a higher-value economy,” he said.

        According to the WIPO data, China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], the world’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment, was the top corporate patent filer for the third consecutive year.

        The United States has called on countries to ban Huawei equipment from new mobile phone networks, arguing that its technology could be used by China for spying. Huawei denies that its technology poses a security risk.

      • Sony’s PlayStation group patented a robot friend who will play games and watch movies with you
      • Software Patents

        • Sony and Other Major Multinationals File 212 Blockchain Patents in China in 2020

          China has been a hotspot for blockchain patents and development. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the National Intellectual Property Administration of China has awarded 2,191 blockchain patents between 2017 to 2019.

          Major multinational companies have also shown immense interest in filing blockchain patents in China. The latest Global Times report suggests that 35 multinationals including Microsoft, Walmart, Mastercard, Sony and Intel, had applied for a total of 212 blockchain patents by the end of March 2020.

          Of all the foreign companies with blockchain patents in China, Mastercard tops the list with 46 such patents to its name. While there is no news about the company starting any business specifically in China, these patents could be aligned to help them with their global blockchain payments initiative, which they are developing along with the blockchain software firm R3.

          Nokia, Intel, and Oracle are next on the line with 13, 12, and 9 blockchain patents respectively in China.

        • Investel Capital patent challenged as likely unpatentable

          On April 17, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 9,936,030, owned and asserted by Investel Capital Corporation (an NPE). The ’030 patent relates to sharing user content and integrating external content based on user location.

        • Cardionet, LLC v. Infobionic, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          There are (at least) two ways of looking at the course of the Federal Circuit’s evolving interpretation of the Supreme Court’s subject matter eligibility jurisprudence under Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs., Inc. and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. One way is to consider the Court to be adrift, unable to come to a consensus on how the law should be interpreted and thus calling into question the wisdom of Congress’s decision to establish a court with purportedly specialized expertise in patent law (see, e.g., “In Defense of the Federal Circuit”). Alternatively, the exercise can be analogized to sausage-making (more usually an analogy used for how legislation is crafted), in recognition that the Supreme Court’s Mayo/Alice jurisprudence, while enunciated as a two-part test has been, in the practice, much less straightforward in application. The understanding and interpretation of either analysis is influenced anew with every Federal Circuit decision, and the Court’s recent decision in Cardionet, LLC v. Infobionic, Inc. illustrates anew the internal divisions, where one judge (Judge Dyk) agreed with the outcome but felt compelled to write in partial dissent on one aspect of the majority’s reasoning.

          [...]

          CardioNet asserted claims 1, 2, 3, 7, 10-12, and 22 against Infobionic. The District Court dismissed CardioNet’s complaint under Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6), on the ground that the claims were ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as interpreted under the Supreme Court’s Mayo/Alice test. The District Court determined that, under step 1 of the test the claims were directed to an abstract idea, that these arrhythmias “can be distinguished by focusing on the variability of the irregular heartbeat.” And under step 2 of the test, the District Court held that “CardioNet ‘d[id] not identify improvements to any particular computerized technology’” related to detecting electrical signals relevant to cardiac function. This appeal followed.

          [...]

          The opinion then turns to a discussion of the question of whether the Court can decide patent eligibility or must remand to the District Court for factual assessments as to the state of the art and whether the claims are directed merely to automating practices long used by physicians (it is here that Judge Dyk parts company with his brethren). The panel majority held that step 1 of the Mayo/Alice test is directed to the question of “whether the claims as a whole are ‘directed to’ an abstract idea, regardless of whether the prior art demonstrates that the idea or other aspects of the claim are known, unknown, conventional, unconventional, routine, or not routine,” citing Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175, 188–89 (1981) (a holding that puts Diehr and Mayo in direct opposition should the Supreme Court deign to decide the distinctions between the panel majority and Judge Dyk). The majority opinion then distinguishes the purpose of Section 101 with the other provisions of the patent statute, sub silentio restoring the analysis to the state of the law pre-Mayo. While acknowledging Judge Dyk’s appreciation of statements in both Mayo and Bilski v. Kappos suggesting that the state of the prior art may be relevant, the majority notes that “in neither Bilski nor Alice did the Court rely on an examination of the prior art as part of its step one inquiry.” Instead, the majority cites the intrinsic evidence as the proper source of information for a court to arrive at the answer to step 1 of the Mayo/Alice test for determining patent eligibility. For the majority, “[t]his court’s decision in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp. . . . confirms this point”: “the Alice step one inquiry in Enfish and our other decisions began, and ended, with the patent itself,” according to the majority. To the extent that there is evidence that the claims recite “longstanding practice where there is no evidence of such practice in the intrinsic record,” the majority believes a district court can take judicial notice thereof in appropriate circumstances. For the majority the question, and its answer, is clear:

    • Trademarks

      • In Memoriam Albert Uderzo – How Asterix’s Father Shaped IP [sic]s Law

        Uderzo’s name is best known to the world as the illustrator, and later (after the death of his co-author René Goscinny), scriptwriter of the Asterix comic books. The comic series, which recently turned 60, is one of the most successful French export products. The books have been translated into more than 100 languages (among which is Latin, as should be expected for a storyline taking place during Julius Caesar’s rule), have been adapted to the cinema multiple times (both as animated and as live-action movies) and the franchise even has its own theme park near Paris.

        Uderzo was not only highly successful in creating copyrighted works, but also keen on defending them in court. The “small village of indomitable Gauls” (as the village of Asterix is referred to in every book of the series) has made important contributions to European IP law, inter alia, on parody in copyright law and risk of confusion in trade mark law.

    • Copyrights

      • Russia Plans to Block Access to ‘Pirate’ Apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store

        Russia is planning action against apps that facilitate access to pirated content. If app developers don’t quickly respond to a request from authorities to cease distribution of their software, telecoms watchdog Roscomnadzor will demand action against platforms such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Failure to respond could result in ISP blockades.

Guest Post: Finer Details About Rick Allen Jones, Bill Gates Employee Arrested for Trade of Child Exploitation Footage

Posted in Bill Gates at 3:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates, and Nikolic
Days before his death Jeffrey Epstein “amended his will and named Mr. Nikolic [Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s science adviser, shown on the right] as a fallback executor,” according to the report which published this photograph.

Summary: Further research into the suppressed case (and arrest followed by guilty plea) that involves selling pre-teen rape footage; the police is still uncooperative in the sense that it has provided not a single page of its 2,851-page report

WE receive a lot of mail from readers and sometimes it is noteworthy enough for publication, either anonymously or not. One reader, who is a new reader, found our series about the FOIA — a series which has been cited by some journalists and book authors this year. They takes it seriously, as they really ought to.

Our new reader wanted to move our research forward, in spite of the lock-down. “This led me to case number 14-1-06789-1,” he said, “Washington vs. Rick Allen Jones. About 30 hours of research on this.” His succinct findings are below:


I’d like to share some unique findings:

- It’s the only King County child pornography case WITHOUT law enforcement associated with it. That came from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. For reference: Hundreds of King County cases are listed here with the investigative agency. [To quote the page: “CourtWatch gathers data about the justice system to support improvements to the system response to sexual violence. Our hope is that these monthly case summaries will provide helpful information about how sex offense cases progress through King County’s criminal justice system. The information contained in these case summaries was obtained through reviewing the public record, and case summaries are posted after a defendant has been convicted and sentenced.”]

- There should be, at minimum 3 but possibly 5, King County search warrants attached to this case, but none can be found.

1) Property – UNIT 211 (and maybe neighboring 208 as his sister lives there)

2) Equipment – COMPUTER (that was seized and searched)

3) Email Address – GOOGLE INC. EMAIL ADDRESS (that triggered the investigation)

4) Equipment – PHONE (for checking other files)

“Rick Allen Jones was required to register as a sex offender. Through three detailed searches, UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON STATE, KING COUNTY, he is not registered anywhere.”5. Internet Protocol Address (Issued with the Internet company in his apartment)

- After searching a multitude of King County criminal cases in 2014, all include an ORDER FOR WARRANT attached to a BOND except for this case. Jones’ attorney Jeffrey D. Cohen was also on another Child Pornography case in 2007 [07-1-04378-7] — in which the Defendant (a well respected teacher of 24 years) was caught with only 39 sexually explicit images of boys, and had a $10,000 bond placed. Jones, with over 6,000 images, including pre-teen rape, was never issued that Warrant/Bond, but rather a slap on the wrist. Here is information on that other case covered by SeattlePI.

But unlike Rick Allen Jones’ case, it was also featured in the Seattle Times here. [Editorial note: As we noted several times in the past, the Seattle Times received money from Bill Gates]

- Rick Allen Jones was required to register as a sex offender. Through three detailed searches, UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON STATE, KING COUNTY, he is not registered anywhere. There is also no Inmate DOC # as his 90-day sentence was Ankle Monitored House Arrest.

- According to Washington State Law, his 9.68A guilty charge cannot be vacated nor sealed.

“There is also no Inmate DOC # as his 90-day sentence was Ankle Monitored House Arrest.”- Following up on NamelyLiberty’s request for documents from the Seattle Police: P047691-091319. Request Status is listed as INSTALLMENTS. Furthermore, due to the case >Hikel v. City of Lynnwood, 197 Wn. App. 366 (12/27/2016), the judgement ruled “Requesting a clarification on a records request does not extend the time to provide the records or indicate that more time was needed.” That case can be referenced here. [PDF]

- Minor extra: Twitter account @JeffreyDCohen206 is linked to the work email: jdc@jdcohenlaw.com

Ever since Gary Little in the 80s, people have become more aware that the Seattle elite will go through great lengths to cover up their crimes. If you reference this page, CTRL+F for “Gary Little”, you’ll also see the ties between Gates Sr., Little, and Frank Blethen (owner of the Seattle Times that blacked out Jones’ story).

Editorial Note: Do Not Conflate Legitimate Inquiry About Bill Gates and Jeffrey Epstein With Nutty and Unverified Conspiracy Theories

Posted in Site News at 3:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The FOIA status (series index here)

SPD FOIA

Summary: More than a month ago they said they would send the 2,851-page report in twelve installments; we’re still waiting

THE IMAGE JUST ADDED above shows stalled progress, dating back to one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman, trying to associate him with paedophilia in relation to MIT, perhaps because Bill Gates had come under fire for paying millions of dollars to MIT through his longtime friend, Mr. Epstein, who is now dead (taking many stories with him to his graves). It truly seemed (at the time) like a potential distraction strategy; days earlier people were still talking about Epstein and Gates meeting countless times, flying together, and coordinating PR stunts (reputation laundering by fake philanthropy) even after the high-profile conviction; they refuse to say how many times they met, so the number must be rather high if not unknown (losing track of the number).

The lock-down seems to have impeded the FOIA. In a sense, we cannot blame them. Safety first, right? We’d love to do follow-ups, but it seems like the Police Department of Seattle (SPD), which promised installments, isn’t delivering. After more than 7 months we’ve seen not a single page of this report, which is almost 3,000 pages long (2,851 to be precise). We have access to court documents, but it would be essential to see the detailed police reports the case was based on. The affidavit at least.

“The lock-down seems to have impeded the FOIA.”We have meanwhile been in touch with a number of people hoping to ‘break the silence’ from another angle. The people we speak to aren’t weird or anything. They have high professional credentials, but some wish not to be associated (not by personally identifiable means) with the whole inquiry. That’s understandable. They worry about reprisal of some kind. As we noted some days ago, at the moment our biggest problem is a bunch of nutters like QAnon who spread falsehoods and can, by association, discredit legitimate research into this. We don’t pay attention to unverified nonsense. We will, however, present open source intelligence and carefully curated information. There’s a legitimate problem and scandal here, but it isn’t what various “Q” accounts may be claiming. Please disregard them as their sole goal, associates of ours have alleged, is to discredit or distract from actual facts.

We aren’t being “elitist” or anything; we just need to be very careful distinguishing facts from fiction, or verified facts from mere hypotheses/theories. The media that is intimately connected to Gates (at times directly funded by him and previously edited by him) is trying to tell us that Gates has no credible critics and they’re all just conspiracy buffs, citing some new ‘study’. The message they wish to send out there is that if you see some criticism of Gates, then it is likely just a “boy crying wolf!”

“We have meanwhile been in touch with a number of people hoping to ‘break the silence’ from another angle.”Moreover, the goal is to ensure that investigations such as ours never quite reach ‘mainstream’ attention; by means of false association they can dissuade curious journalists. Publishers have various potent means by which to discourage curious and eager investigative journalists.

In the more distant past the media used allusions and insinuations to vaguely accuse the sceptics, suggesting all Gates critics are merely “jealous” or something to that effect, thereby distracting from a long track record of Gates crimes and at times even arrests. The man was never nice and he has long run into troubles with the law. At times he could not get along even with his very own family (some incidents were reported).

“He [Bill Gates] acted like a spoiled kid, which is what he was.”

Ed Roberts, Gates’ employer at MITS in the 1970′s (Atlanta Journal-Costitution, 04-27-97)

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 19, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:16 am by Needs Sunlight

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