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04.22.20

Links 23/4/2020: Mesa 20.0.5, Ubuntu 20.04 Out Shortly

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Announcing Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment Release 1.1


        Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment Release 1.1. This release includes several new features for cluster management, updates to the existing Kubernetes module, and introduces new Helm and Istio modules.

        Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment is an integrated suite of software and tools for the development and management of cloud-native applications. Based on the Open Container Initiative (OCI) and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) standards, Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment delivers a simplified framework for installations, updates, upgrades, and configuration of key features for orchestrating microservices.
        New features and notable changes

      • metaphacts achieves Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation

        metaphacts, creator of the knowledge graph platform metaphactory, announced today that it has achieved the Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program. This designation recognizes that metaphactory (https://metaphacts.com/product) has been validated to run on and support Amazon Linux 2.

      • Two-phased Canary Rollout with Open Source Gloo

        Every day, my colleagues and I are talking to platform owners, architects, and engineers who are using Gloo as an API gateway to expose their applications to end users. These applications may span legacy monoliths, microservices, managed cloud services, and Kubernetes clusters. Fortunately, Gloo makes it easy to set up routes to manage, secure, and observe application traffic while supporting a flexible deployment architecture to meet the varying production needs of our users.

        Beyond the initial set up, platform owners frequently ask us to help design the operational workflows within their organization: How do we bring a new application online? How do we upgrade an application? How do we divide responsibilities across our platform, ops, and development teams?

      • NetApp to make stateful applications easier to do in Kubernetes

        Most web applications are stateless. These don’t save client data from one session for the client’s next session. A stateful app is one that saves client data from one session to the next. There are advantages to both approaches. But it’s not been easy to run stateful applications in containers. NetApp wants to fix that with Project Astra, a Kubernetes storage and container platform.

        In Kubernetes’ early days, it was usually used to run web-based stateless services. If you needed stateful services, such as a database, you had to run them in virtual machines (VM) or as cloud-based services. Now, with the rise of the Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud, users want to deploy stateful apps on top of Kubernetes orchestrated containers.

      • Nginx 1.18 Stable Released With Many Fixes, Improvements

        Nginx 1.18 is out this week as their newest stable branch succeeding the Nginx 1.16 series for this versatile HTTP server and reverse proxy / load balancer / HTTP cache / mail proxy.

      • Choosing a Linux Solution for the Intelligent Edge
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 854

        new ubuntu, icewm in da house, linux goodness, zoom and jitsi, ordering online

      • FLOSS Weekly 575: XCP-ng

        XCP-ng is an open-source virtualization platform that is hosted in the Linux Foundation. It aims to be the bridge between the user community and the developers, to deliver a product without limits. It has no restrictions on features and all of XCP-ng is available on GitHub.

      • 2020-04-22 | Linux Headlines

        Red Hat continues to bolster IBM’s bottom line, Patreon makes significant cuts to its staffing, and new releases from Python 2, PyTorch, and Node.js.

    • Kernel Space

      • 5.7 Merge window part 2

        By the end of the 5.7 merge window, 11,998 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository for this development cycle. That is 1,218 more than were seen during the 5.6 merge window; it would appear that current world events have not succeeded in slowing down the kernel community — at least, not yet. The latter half of the merge window tends to see more fixes and fewer new features, but there are still a number of interesting things that showed up after the first-half summary was written.

      • Concurrency bugs should fear the big bad data-race detector (part 2)

        This article was contributed by Marco Elver, Paul E. McKenney, Dmitry Vyukov, Andrey Konovalov, Alexander Potapenko, Kostya Serebryany, Alan Stern, Andrea Parri, Akira Yokosawa, Peter Zijlstra, Will Deacon, Daniel Lustig, Boqun Feng, Joel Fernandes, Jade Alglave, and Luc Maranget.

        In part 1 of this article, we gave an overview of the Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) and looked how it can detect data races in the kernel. KCSAN uses the definition of “data race” that is part of the Linux-Kernel Memory Consistency Model (LKMM), but there is more that KCSAN can do. This concluding part of the article describes other ways that the tool can be used to find data races and other kinds of problems in concurrent code. It provides some ideas on strategies and best practices, briefly considers some alternative approaches, and concludes with some known limitations.

      • VirtIO-FS Support Is In QEMU 5.0 For Better File/Folder Sharing Between Hosts And VMs

        Added back in Linux 5.4 was the VirtIO-FS file-system driver as a a FUSE-framework-based file-system implementation designed for guest to/from host file-system sharing for VirtIO para-virtualized devices. Now with QEMU 5.0 VirtIO-FS is supported on its side.

        VirtIO-FS offers better performance than the likes of VirtIO-9P for sharing files/folders between the host system and guest virtual machines. With the forthcoming QEMU 5.0, VirtIO-FS is now supported.

      • An Intel Keem Bay Driver Is Posted To Avoid The SoC Suffering Inadvertent Reboots

        As I wrote about just over a month ago, Intel open-source developers have begun their bring-up of the Keem Bay SoC. Out today is a new Keem Bay driver to avoid a situation where inadvertent reboots could happen without this driver.

        Keem Bay is an Intel next-gen Movidius SoC that the company originally detailed towards the end of last year for inference computing use-cases at the edge.

        There have been various Intel Keem Bay patches in recent weeks for adding new PCI IDs and other bits. This new Intel Movidius SoC has a brand new driver posted today for Isolated Memory Region (IMR) handling.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.0.5
          Hi list,
          
          I'd like to announce the availability of mesa 20.0.5. It's one week late due to
          a number of issues, including a regression in mesa, a regression in piglit, and
          some CI trouble. I'm still planning to make 20.0.6 next week at it's secheduled
          time.
          
          This is a pretty big release, as it contiains 3 weeks rather than just two weeks
          of changes. We have the normal spattering of changes, with the AMD and Intel
          drivers receiving the majority of the work.
          
          Dylan
          
          Shortlog
          ========
          
          
          Arcady Goldmints-Orlov (1):
                nir: Lower returns correctly inside nested loops
          
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (3):
                radv: Store 64-bit availability bools if requested.
                radv: Consider maximum sample distances for entire grid.
                radv: Use correct buffer count with variable descriptor set sizes.
          
          D Scott Phillips (1):
                util/sparse_array: don't stomp head's counter on pop operations
          
          Daniel Stone (1):
                EGL: Add eglSetDamageRegionKHR to GLVND dispatch list
          
          Danylo Piliaiev (1):
                st/mesa: Update shader info of ffvp/ARB_vp after translation to NIR
          
          Dave Airlie (2):
                draw: free the NIR IR.
                llvmpipe/nir: free the nir shader
          
          Dylan Baker (8):
                .pick_status.json: Update to 089e1fb287eb9b70c191091128ed5ba7edd2960a
                .pick_status.json: Update to 65e2eaa4d3a7095ac438fafb09d1e36a4210966e
                .pick_status.json: Update to 28d36d26c2212276e1238fad8f0b12caab97fee8
                .pick_status.json: Update to acf7e73be54c7f1cc52fcc9be38a9df26849200e
                .pick_status.json: Update to 13ce637f1b28381e72470763ff5e39dd3c562476
                .pick_status.json: Update to c3c1f4d6bcc210408f8b180727d269838b38193b
                docs: Add relnotes for 20.0.5
                VERSION: bump for 20.0.5
          
          Emil Velikov (4):
                glx: set the loader_logger early and for everyone
                egl/drm: reinstate (kms_)swrast support
                Revert "egl/dri2: Don't dlclose() the driver on dri2_load_driver_common failure"
                glx: omit loader_loader() for macOS
          
          Eric Anholt (1):
                ci: Remove LLVM from ARM test drivers.
          
          Eric Engestrom (1):
                docs/relnotes: add sha256sum for 20.0.4
          
          Hyunjun Ko (1):
                nir: fix wrong assignment to buffer in xfb_varyings_info
          
          Ilia Mirkin (1):
                nv50: don't try to upload MSAA settings for BUFFER textures
          
          Jason Ekstrand (5):
                anv/image: Use align_u64 for image offsets
                nir/load_store_vectorize: Fix shared atomic info
                spirv: Handle OOB vector extract operations
                intel: Add _const versions of prog_data cast helpers
                anv: Report correct SLM size
          
          Jose Maria Casanova Crespo (1):
                v3d: Primitive Counts Feedback needs an extra 32-bit padding.
          
          Juan A. Suarez Romero (2):
                intel/compiler: store the FS inputs in WM prog data
                anv/pipeline: allow more than 16 FS inputs
          
          Karol Herbst (2):
                clover: fix build with single library clang build
                Revert "nvc0: fix line width on GM20x+"
          
          Lionel Landwerlin (7):
                iris: properly free resources on BO allocation failure
                iris: share buffer managers accross screens
                iris: make resources take a ref on the screen object
                i965: store DRM fd on intel_screen
                i965: share buffer managers across screens
                iris: drop cache coherent cpu mapping for external BO
                util/sparse_free_list: manipulate node pointers using atomic primitives
          
          Marek Olšák (1):
                st/mesa: fix a crash due to passing a draw vertex shader into the driver
          
          Mathias Fröhlich (1):
                i965: Move down genX_upload_sbe in profiles.
          
          Matt Turner (1):
                meson: Specify the maximum required libdrm in dri.pc
          
          Neil Armstrong (3):
                gitlab-ci/lava:  fix handling of lava tags
                gitlab-ci: add FILES_HOST_URL and move FILES_HOST_NAME into jobs
                gitlab-ci: re-enable mali400/450 and t820 jobs
          
          Rhys Perry (1):
                aco: fix 1D textureGrad() on GFX9
          
          Rob Clark (1):
                nir: fix definition of imadsh_mix16 for vectors
          
          Rohan Garg (1):
                ci: Split out radv build-testing on arm64
          
          Samuel Pitoiset (9):
                ac/nir: split 8-bit load/store to global memory on GFX6
                ac/nir: split 8-bit SSBO stores on GFX6
                radv/llvm: enable 8-bit storage features on GFX6-GFX7
                ac/nir: split 16-bit load/store to global memory on GFX6
                ac/nir: split 16-bit SSBO stores on GFX6
                radv/llvm: enable 16-bit storage features on GFX6-GFX7
                radv: do not abort with unknown/unimplemented descriptor types
                radv/llvm: fix exporting the viewport index if the fragment shader needs it
                aco: fix exporting the viewport index if the fragment shader needs it
          
          Tapani Pälli (4):
                mesa/st: unbind shader state before deleting it
                mesa/st: release variants for active programs before unref
                glsl: stop processing function parameters if error happened
                mesa/st: initialize all winsys_handle fields for memory objects
          
          Thong Thai (1):
                gallium/auxiliary/vl: fix bob compute shaders for deint yuv
          
          Timothy Arceri (1):
                radeonsi: don't lower constant arrays to uniforms in GLSL IR
          
          Tobias Jakobi (1):
                meson: Link Gallium Nine with ld_args_build_id
          
          Tomeu Vizoso (2):
                gitlab-ci: Place files from the Mesa repo into the build tarball
                gitlab-ci: Serve files for LAVA via separate service
          
          Vinson Lee (2):
                swr/rasterizer: Use private functions for min/max to avoid namespace issues.
                swr: Remove Byte Order Mark.
          
          pal1000 (1):
                scons/windows: Support build with LLVM 10.
          
          
          
          
          git tag: mesa-20.0.5
          
        • Mesa 20.0.5 Released With The Latest Batch Of Intel/AMD Graphics Driver Fixes

          While Mesa 20.1 will soon be hitting its feature freeze with hopes of releasing as stable in May, for now the Mesa 20.0 series is the “latest and greatest” on the stable front. Mesa 20.0.5 rolled out today with three weeks worth of fixes.

          With it being three weeks rather than the usual two weeks between Mesa3D point releases, Mesa 20.0.5 is on the bigger side but continues to be dominated by Intel and AMD Radeon graphics driver fixes to their OpenGL and Vulkan code.

        • Mesa’s DRM Library Now Has Proper FreeBSD Support Upstream

          Mesa’s DRM library (libdrm) that resides between the Mesa drivers and the Direct Rendering Manager kernel interfaces now has proper FreeBSD support upstream in this important library.

          FreeBSD continues making good progress on porting/maintaining the Linux kernel DRM drivers on their BSD. With time their libdrm package in FreeBSD Ports has accumulated a lot of their own fixes/changes to adapt to the FreeBSD kernel. This has included work due to differences in various functions between Linux and FreeBSD, PCI handling differences, and other bits that need to be adapted for jiving with the FreeBSD kernel.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Black Mesa | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Native

        Black Mesa running natively through Linux. I made a video for this previously from when it was in early access. Now fully released I show off the Xen part of the game.

      • Gaming computers run Linux on Ryzen Embedded R1000 and V1000

        EFCO’s “EGL8650” and “EGL8600” gaming computers run Linux or Win 10 on a Ryzen Embedded R1000 and offer triple 4K displays, gaming security, and in the case of the EGL8650, a JAMMA connector. There is also a V1000-based EGL8550 model.

        All around the world casinos are largely shuttered due to the coronavirus, but the slots will eventually ring anew. Last June we covered an EGL8350 casino gaming logic box that runs on an old AMD R-series SoC. Since then, the company has launched EGL8550 and EGL8600 models that run on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 and R1000, respectively, and yesterday EFCO unveiled an R1000-based EGL8650.

      • With a demon trapped in a weird tiny body, the 2.5D platformer ‘WarriOrb’ is out on April 28

        Play as a mighty demon trapped in an unlikely body – a talking ball with agile limbs. Weird right? WarriOrb releases in full on April 28.

        [...]

        Developed by Not Yet who are headquartered in Hungary, Not Yet is a multinational indie studio founded by siblings Géza, Csaba, and Anna Molnár – along with Daniel Butum and Richard Raski. The team’s primary goal is to experiment with all-original gameplay mechanics in unexpected settings

      • Old source code for Valve games CS:GO and TF2 ended up leaked online

        Seems the steampipes sprung a bit of a leak recently, as it’s been confirmed that both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2 had their source code put up online.

        The popular but unofficial website SteamDB confirmed it on Twitter, with Valve following up from the CS:GO Twitter account later to also confirm it. There seemed to be some panic, with a claim of an exploit out in the wild although that doesn’t appear to be true. Valve said:

        “We have reviewed the leaked code and believe it to be a reposting of a limited CS:GO engine code depot released to partners in late 2017, and originally leaked in 2018. From this review, we have not found any reason for players to be alarmed or avoid the current builds.”

        “As always, playing on the official servers is recommended for greatest security.”

      • Steam Audio SDK 2.0 Beta 18 Released

        Valve has released a new beta version of Steam Audio, their featureful spatial audio solution for game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine. This new release brings expanded Android support and a number of new audio features.

      • There’s now over 6,000 Linux games on Steam plus thousands more playable with Steam Play Proton

        Seven years ago, Valve officially released the Steam client for the Linux desktop and since then the amount of games playable on Linux has continued rising. Thanks to Steam Play Proton, that’s grown drastically too. Here’s a brief look at how Linux gaming is doing right now.

        Looking over Steam stats there’s now well over 6,000 games that support Linux with a build. Taking into account games being listed that have not yet released, it’s actually around 6,366. Three years ago it had only just hit over 3,000 so it’s more than doubled during that time.

    • Distributions

      • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 144 is available for testing

        
        Less than 48 hours after releasing IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 143, we already have the next update ready for testing. It is full with fixes for security vulnerabilities in OpenSSL, the squid web proxy, the DHCP client and more.

        The OpenSSL team has issued a security advisory for the 1.1.1 release with “high” severity.

        Applicants on client or service side that call SSL_check_chain() during a TLSv1.3 handshake may crash the application due to incorrect handling of the signature_algorithms_cert” TLS extension.

        CVE-2020-1967 has been assigned to track this vulnerability and an immediate installation of this update is recommended.

      • Reviews

        • Bodhi’s Modular Moksha Desktop Is Modern and Elegant

          Bodhi Linux, previously called “Bodhi OS,” is a novel desktop computing platform for office or home. It offers a radically different desktop environment with a pleasant user experience well worth trying.

          Bodhi is a lightweight, Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Moksha desktop. The new version, released as 5.1.0 on March 25, is the first under Robert “ylee” Wiley, the project’s new lead developer.

          This latest release features several breaks with the U.S.-based Bodhi tradition developed in its nearly 10-year history. I have reviewed this operating system every few years and never have been disappointed in its growth.

          In my earliest hands-on assessment, it was Bodhi’s roots with the Enlightenment desktop that piqued my interest. Early on, Bodhi’s creator, Jeff Hoogland, forked Enlightenment 17 to create a new flavor, dubbed “Moksha.” Even in its infancy, it impressed me as something with potential to join the ranks of more popular and productive environments. This desktop remains current and is surprisingly agile.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • An uproar over the Fedora Git forge decision

          After a lengthy requirements-gathering thread on the fedora-devel mailing list back in January, things went rather quiet until the March 28 posting of “CPE Weekly”, which is a newsletter that covers the activities of the Red Hat Community Platform Engineering (CPE) team. That is the organization behind the Git forge effort; tucked into the end of the newsletter was the “announcement” that the team had chosen GitLab as the forge for Fedora and CentOS, while still continuing to run Fedora Pagure with community assistance for projects that want to use it as their Git host.

          There was, it seems, a plan to announce the decision on the Fedora Community Blog (and on Blog.CentOS.org). But, as noted by CPE manager Leigh Griffin, that did not happen due to “unavailability and illness” of a volunteer who was going to do it, which meant the first mention of the decision ended up in the already scheduled newsletter. The net result, as Neal Gompa pointed out, was that “the delivery of this decision sucked”.

          Beyond that, though, Gompa went through the user stories that had been gathered as part of the decision-making process at great length; he said that many of them could not be satisfied with any open-source solution, so in some sense he is not surprised that CPE looked beyond Pagure. But many of the requirements identified also make it clear that the open-source GitLab Community Edition (CE) would not fulfill the needs listed, so he thinks that CPE is really aiming for the proprietary Ultimate/Gold edition.

          As might be guessed, Griffin largely disagreed with much of Gompa’s point-by-point analysis; he also said that no decision had been made on which of GitLab’s offerings would be used. The requirements were gathered from multiple stakeholders within Red Hat, including Fedora, CentOS, Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and CPE itself, but were generally not really evaluated, just collected: “It was not our place to question valid use cases or requirements from our stakeholders.”

        • Running Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16 with multiple Cells

          Improving scaling capabilities of Red Hat OpenStack Platform is an important part of product development. One of the features that helps to simplify the management of resources is called Cells. Simply put: Cells makes this easier by taking a distributed approach to management to support large scale deployments. In this post we’ll look at how to use OpenStack Platform 16 with Cells.

          Previously our team of performance and scale engineers described the process to scale OSP to more than 500 nodes. With Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16 we introduced full support for Nova’s Cells v2 feature that helps operators manage more compute resources within the same region than was possible before.

        • CodeTheCurve: Top 40 winners announced

          On April 6, UNESCO launched its call for applications for CodeTheCurve — a hackathon that’s all about empowering youth to fight back against COVID-19 through technological innovation. With nearly 200 applications received from scores of countries worldwide, its main collaborators, IBM and SAP, shared the selected teams on April 20. Forty teams from more than 30 countries were selected across three themes:

        • Google Cloud CEO: Istio is going to a foundation [Ed: Istio is a joint project launched by IBM, Google, and Lyft]

          Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian has ended years of confusion by telling Protocol that Google will eventually donate its open-source project Istio to a foundation at some point in the near future.

          In an exclusive interview with Protocol on Tuesday, Kurian said that the company is evaluating which foundation’s governance policies will best suit Istio, one of Google’s most prominent open-source projects. But he added that the company is still “working through which foundation to grant it to.”

          [...]

          Nicholas Chaillan, chief software officer for the U.S. Air Force, told Protocol in January that his organization — a prominent user of both Kubernetes and Istio — would have to drop support for the technology this year if Google didn’t donate the project to a foundation.

          While the Cloud Native Computing Foundation has been seen by many as the natural home for Istio given its history with Kubernetes, Kurian cast a wider net in his interview with Protocol on Tuesday. “Some [foundations] have the right governance models, and some of them don’t,” he said, adding that Google will choose a foundation that ensures community participation will drive the project forward.

      • Debian Family

        • Bits from the new DPL

          It’s been one month, one week and one day since I decided to run for this DPL term. The Debian community has been through a variety of interesting times during the last decade, and instead of focusing on grand, sweeping changes for Debian, core to my DPL campaign was to establish a sense of normality and stability so that we can work on community building, continue to focus on technical excellence and serve our users the best we can.

          Thing don’t always work out as we plan, and for many of us, Debian recently had to take a back seat to personal priorities. Back when I posted my intention to run, there were 125 260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. Today, that number is 20 times higher, with the actual infected number likely to be significantly higher. A large number of us are under lock-down, where we not only fear the disease and its effect on local hospitals and how it will affect our loved ones, but also our very livelihoods and the future of our local businesses and industry.

          I don’t mean to be gloomy with the statement above, I am after all, an optimist – but unfortunately it does get even worse. Governments and corporations around the world have started to take advantage of COVID-19 in negative ways and are making large sweeping changes that undermine the privacy and rights of individuals everywhere.

          For many reasons, including those above, I believe that the Debian project is more important and relevant now than it’s ever been before. The world needs a free, general purpose operating system, unburdened by the needs of profit, which puts the needs of its users first, providing a safe and secure platform for the computing needs of the masses.

          While we can’t control or fix all the problems in the world, we can control our response to it, and be part of the solutions that bring the change we want to see.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04 survey results

          In December 2019, we asked you what you thought were the most important things for us to include in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. 21,862 people took the survey, and have since become a part of our decision-making processes. We would like to thank each and everyone who spent their time to take this survey, upon its close, the results were taken to the relevant engineering teams to support, or discourage, 20.04 decisions. Going forward, the results will remain a source of information for what the community wants. This blog will discuss the biggest trends, key findings and how we have, or will, incorporate them into Ubuntu going forward.

          To extract high-level results, we collaborated with ‘Monkey Learn’ for sentiment analysis, keyword extraction and keyword classification. But having asked open-ended questions, we made sure to read deeper into the stories being told. The following is a list of the most common findings along with what we have done, or are going to do, about them.

        • 18 New Features Ubuntu 18.04 Users Will Love in 20.04

          If you upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS you’ll find that your new OS looks and behaves a bit differently from the one you were running before.

          This is because the cumulative sum of changes shipped in Ubuntu 18.10 ‘Cosmic Cuttlefish’ through Ubuntu 20.04 ‘Focal Fossa’ adds up to a substantial set overall.

          But don’t panic.

          To help you and other brave Bionic Beavers find their bearings on touch down in Focal Fossa-town, I’ve put together the following ‘feature spotting guide’. In it I spotlight 18 of the most notable changes between 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS.

        • Ubuntu 20.04′s Server Installer Sees Last Minute Work To Better Handle Linux RAID Installs

          Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is due for release on Thursday and it’s seen a last minute upgrade to its “Subiquity” server installer.

          Ubuntu’s Subiquity server installer has been around for almost three years but Ubuntu 20.04 is the first Long Term Support release where it’s the default and in fact the classic Debian Installer image is no more for this release. As such, Ubuntu 20.04 marks the point at which Subiquity will be the server installer used much more in the enterprise.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Video conferencing with BigBlueButton

        While social distancing often comes naturally to free-software developers, there are still times when we wish to talk to each other. In the absence of community conferences, the next-best alternative is often video conferencing. While video conferences tend to be held using centralized, proprietary systems, there are free alternatives as well. LWN recently looked at Jitsi but this effort did not stop there; next on the list is BigBlueButton, a system that is oriented toward the needs of online educators but is applicable beyond that use case.

        BigBlueButton is not a new project; it has been under development since 2007. That history shows in a number of ways; for example, the actual conferencing component was originally implemented in Flash and has only recently been supplemented by an HTML5/WebRTC-based solution. The code is licensed under the Lesser GPL; the web site doesn’t say which version, but comments in the code say version 3 or later. The code itself is a massive collection of Java, Scala, and JavaScript (at least) code — almost 1,800 directories worth.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Vivaldi web browser blocks trackers, launches in full on Android

            In an effort to protect its users against unwanted tracking and data collection, Vivaldi has released version 3.0 of its desktop browser for Windows, Mac and Linux which now includes a built-in tracker and ad blocker.

            At the same time the company, founded by former Opera co-founder and CEO Jon von Tetzchner and Tatsuki Tomita, has also announced that its Android browser is now out of beta.

      • FSF

        • Your FSF membership makes timely, important work possible

          As announced at the LibrePlanet 2020 conference, in the keynote by executive director John Sullivan, we’ve been building up a working group focused on freedom in communications technology.

          The COVID-19 pandemic has given us and the world a reminder of the pressing need for free (as in freedom) communication tools: networks and clients that have user freedom as their top priority.

          Living in freedom depends on being able to communicate in freedom. Now, as people are confronted with online communication more than ever, it is important to remain committed to our ethics surrounding them, and we want to provide the knowledge and resources needed for people to take their freedom into their own hands. The aim of the Communicating in Freedom working group is to gather experts, activists, and users to document and address these obstacles.

          We have already started our work in this area, for example, by sharing a list of free communication platforms we use to conduct our everyday business. The list provides information to counter the consistent pressure on people to forfeit their freedom and privacy in order to be able to communicate professionally or socially by using applications like Zoom, and other proprietary systems. There is also an ongoing documentation project happening on the LibrePlanet wiki about remote communication tools, and we started the collaborative documentation of resources on public production of COVID-19 related material called Hackers and Hospitals.

          Behind the scenes, we have been hard at work helping some institutions use more free software to meet their needs, and we have been thinking about how we can motivate and help provide free resources to people that are not able to set this up themselves. Stay tuned for blog posts and emails that are related to this topic. In the meantime, you can already sign up to the remote communication email list to join this important conversation.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Parallel 20200422 (’10years’) released [stable]

            GNU Parallel 20200422 (’10years’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/

            No new functionality was introduced in parallel so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

      • Programming/Development

        • LLVM Clang Now Has Support For Custom-Width Integers With _ExtInt

          While the C language committing is still evaluating adding N-bit integer support to the programming language, LLVM’s Clang compiler has already added its experimental _ExtInt() implementation.

          Rather than relying upon the common 16/32/64-bit integer types, ExtInt allows for using custom-width integers depending upon the needs of a particular variable. Like the C language proposal, the Clang ExtInt support has been led by Intel. It’s taken a long time but as of recently in LLVM Git the support is in place.

        • Python

          • A new parser for CPython

            A new parser for the CPython implementation of the Python language has been in the works for a while, but the announcement of a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) for it indicates that we may see it fairly soon. The intent is to add the parser, and make it the default for Python 3.9, which is due in October. If that plan holds, the current parser will not be going away for another year or so after that. The change should go completely unnoticed within the community; the benefits are mainly for the CPython core developers in the form of easier maintenance.

          • The Pandas DataFrame: Make Working With Data Delightful

            The Pandas DataFrame is a structure that contains two-dimensional data and its corresponding labels. DataFrames are widely used in data science, machine learning, scientific computing, and many other data-intensive fields.

            DataFrames are similar to SQL tables or the spreadsheets that you work with in Excel or Calc. In many cases, DataFrames are faster, easier to use, and more powerful than tables or spreadsheets because they’re an integral part of the Python and NumPy ecosystems.

          • Pandas Tutorial: Renaming Columns in Pandas Dataframe

            The post Pandas Tutorial: Renaming Columns in Pandas Dataframe appeared first on Erik Marsja.

            In this Pandas tutorial, we will go through how to rename columns in a Pandas dataframe. First, we will learn how to rename a single column. Second, we will go on with renaming multiple columns. In the third example, we will also have a quick look at how to rename grouped columns. Finally, we will change the column names to lowercase.

            Now, when we are working with a dataset, whether it is big data or a smaller data set, the columns may have a name that needs to be changed. For instance, if we have scraped our data from HTML tables using Pandas read_html the column names may not be suitable for our displaying our data, later. Furthermore, this is at many times part of the pre-processing of our data.

          • Wing Tips: Quick Navigation to Project Files in Wing Python IDE

            This Wing Tip highlights a simple but useful feature in Wing Personal and Wing Pro that you might have missed up until now: Open from Project in the File menu.

            This is usually accessed with its key binding, Ctrl-Shift-O, or Command-Shift-O on macOS. If you’ve selected a non-default Keyboard Personality in the Edit menu, a different key binding may be used. Or, if none is defined for that keyboard setting, you can add a binding for command open-from-project with the User Interface > Keyboard > Custom Key Bindings preference.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Ciena’s Blue Planet contributes to Linux Foundation’s ONAP for 5G

                As part of its ongoing commitment to support open source projects and service providers’ efforts to deliver advanced services like 5G, Blue Planet, a division of Ciena (NYSE: CIEN), is contributing new functionality and code to the Linux Foundation’s open source Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP) Policy Framework. These additions give service providers, who have deployed ONAP, more flexibility for creating and administering intent-based policies supporting automation use cases.

              • Open Source Fintech Project FINOS Joins Linux Foundation

                Worldwide social distancing hasn’t put a damper on growth at the Linux Foundation, which announced that FINOS, short for Fintech Open Source Foundation, is joining its growing roster of open source projects.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • NordVPN unveils first mainstream WireGuard virtual private network

              I predicted WireGuard, a revolutionary open-source approach to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), would rapidly be adopted by all VPN companies. It’s happening. One of the largest of the mainstream VPN companies, NordVPN, is rolling it out in NordLynx. Why? NordVPN’s own tests have shown NordLynx easily outperforms the other protocols, IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN.

Links 22/4/2020: Linux Lite, Debian GNU/Linux Removing Old Drivers

Posted in News Roundup at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Firefox Revisited – Week 26



        This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers.

        I’ve previously examined web browsing on the RPI4 on two occasions. In Week 4, I recommended Chromium and Vivaldi as the web browsers that offer the best surfing experience on this tiny machine. Chromium has the big draw of official Raspbian support and it’s published under an open source license. Vivaldi is no-charge proprietary software, but still a competent alternative. Firefox couldn’t be recommended as the Raspbian repositories hosted a horribly outdated version.

        I re-examined the position in Week 18, as the Raspbian repositories then offered a significant upgrade to Firefox. I still wasn’t able to recommend Firefox. It wasn’t stable on my system.

        But when it comes to Firefox, I’m like a dog with a bone. In the past month, there’s been a couple of further version updates released to the Raspbian repositories. I couldn’t resist devoting a further week’s blog to the latest Raspbian package, which offers version 68.7.0esr.

      • Arm Development For The Office: Unboxing an Ampere eMag Workstation

        Avantek offers the system with three optional graphics cards: AMD FirePro W2100, a Radeon Pro WX 5100, and the NVIDIA Quadro GV100. OS options are variants of Linux: Ubuntu, CentOS, SUSE SLES, and openSUSE

    • Server

      • AWS rolls out ‘Linux 2 Ready’ scheme to lure penguins into using its homegrown distro



        It was introduced in December 2017 and is currently an LTS (Long Term Support) release, with support until June 30 2023. There is provision for “rapidly evolving technologies” too, but these come via an extras channel that is not covered by LTS.

        The company is a little mysterious about the source code for Amazon Linux 2. “Currently we do not have any public repos for Amazon Linux Kernel code. But you can get it from the source rpm,” said an Amazon employee. So it is possible to get the kernel source, but the AWS approach is not a collaborative one. The operating system seems to be based on Red Hat CentOS 7. The FAQ states that the “yumdownloader –source tool in Amazon Linux 2 provides source code access for many components,” – “many,” note, but not all. AWS offers several varieties of Linux 2 machine images, optimised for different purposes.

      • Linux housekeeping: Virtual machine storage sprawl

        In this final entry of my three-part mini-series focusing on Linux housekeeping, I cover virtual machine storage sprawl. Upon first glance, you might believe that virtual machine storage sprawl is the same problem as virtual machine sprawl, but it isn’t. Sure, it’s related, but there are key differences. Virtual machine (VM) sprawl is the problem of creating virtual machines and then never decommissioning them. They’re created for whatever reason and then left to linger for undetermined amounts of time until an angry sysadmin decides to burn everyone’s eyes with a white-hot email describing the issue in painful detail. VM storage sprawl is the copying, storing, and ignoring of VM disk images on shared spaces such as public drives or random network shares. Now it’s a housekeeping problem. And, specifically, a Linux sysadmin problem.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 333 – Half of the Beast

        First up, in our Wanderings, I fiddle with audio equipment, Tony Hughes reinstalls Mint, Moss fights with a giant pickup truck, Tony Watts streams live-ish, Bo makes sense of OPNsense, and Joe blends with Blender.

      • Focal Focus | LINUX Unplugged 350

        The latest Ubuntu LTS is here, but does it live up to the hype? And how practical are the new ZFS features? We dig into the performance, security, and stability of Focal Fossa.

        Plus our thoughts on the new KWin fork, if Bleachbit is safe, and a quick Fedora update.

      • This Week in Linux 100: Inkscape, KWinFT Fork, PulseAudio + Bluetooth, Pop!_OS Beta, Umix OS & More!

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we have a lot of interesting news to cover including some Application News from Inkscape and a command-line search tool called “fd”. We’ve also got some Distro News from Ubuntu, PopOS, and Umix OS. We’ll cover a really cool tip that was shared on the r/linux subreddit this week related to Bluetooth and PulseAudio. We’ve also got a really interesting new fork in the KDE world because theres a new project that is a fork of KWin. Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention . . . this episode 100! of This Week in Linux! and so as a special bonus . . . I recorded this episode LIVE on YouTube! All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • How to Get More Comfortable with Linux than Windows or Mac
      • My favorite Krita keyboard shortcuts

        And here is a new video where I’m sharing eight keyboard shortcuts from my favorites; some of them are set by default, some other require the user to assign them manually. I’m showing how to setup them and speak why they became important for my workflow. This video exists to show to other user the flexibility of the custom keyboard shortcut and give them idea to visit this part of the software.

      • tryexceptpass: Episode 8 – Microservices Cheat-Sheet: Answers to 8 Common Questions

        The majority of enterprises are either running in a microservices environment or studying how to do so. The concept has been around for a while, but used a lot like an industry term that means different things to different people. We’ll try to define the concept and some of the terminology used along with it.

    • Kernel Space

      • Dell XPS 7390 Intel Ice Lake Performance Hit Hard By A Linux Kernel Regression

        At the beginning of the month I wrote about the Dell XPS with Core i7 1065G7 Ice Lake running much slower when upgrading to the development release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS from 19.10. It turns out the performance hit is due to an upstream kernel regression that’s thrashing the performance.

      • What’s new for NFS in Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6?

        UEK R6 is based on the upstream long-term stable Linux kernel v5.4, and introduces many new features compared to the previous version UEK R5, which is based on the upstream stable Linux kernel v4.14.

        In this blog, we look at what has been improved in the UEK R6 NFS client & server implementations.

        Server-side Copy (NFSv4.2 clients & servers)
        UEK R6 adds initial experimental support for parts of the NFSv4.2 server-side copy (SSC) mechanism.

      • Practical usage of timer counters in Linux, illustrated on Microchip platforms

        Virtually all micro-controllers and micro-processors provide some form of timer counters. In the context of Linux, they are always used for kernel timers, but they can also sometimes be used for PWMs, or input capture devices able to measure external signals such as rotary encoders. In this blog post, we would like to illustrate how Linux can take advantage of such timer counters, by taking the example of the Microchip Timer Counter Block, and depict how its various features fit into existing Linux kernel subsystems.

      • Yocto Project 3.1 LTS (Dunfell 23.0.0)
        Hello,
        
        We are pleased to announce the Yocto Project 3.1 (dunfell-23.0.0) LTS Release and is now available
        for download.
        
        http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-3....
        
        
        http://mirrors.kernel.org/yocto/yocto/yocto-3.1/poky-dunf...
        
        A gpg signed version of the release notes is available at:
        
        http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-3....
        
        Full Test Report:
        
        http://downloads.yoctoproject.org/releases/yocto/yocto-3....
        
        Thank you for everyone's contributions to this release.
        
        
    • Applications

      • OnlyOffice 5.5 Released with Multi-Window Support, Other Misc Improvements



        OnlyOffice Desktop Editors 5.5 also features a bunch of not-quite-so-cool sounding tweaks, like the ability to set mirror/gutter margins, add captions to images, tables, etc in the document editor; add shapes and placeholder images in the presentation tool; and use custom sorting options in the spreadsheet application.

        List options (e.g., bullet, ordered) are expanded across all three apps. You can now control bullet size and colour, set different bullet shapes/characters, and organise multi-level lists.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Valve’s Proton Continues To Increase The Number Of Titles That Can Be Played On Linux

        A society grows great when they plant trees whose shade they’ll never enjoy, or something to that effect. I’m a bit out of date on my navel-gazing quotes from centuries past, but the general idea is very much there: do things for everyone and you’re set, right?

        That seems to be the general idea behind Valve’s Proton which has grown in leaps and bounds in 2019, and the markings continue to climb as more and more titles become fully playable thanks to Valve’s Proton, with help from various other development firms such as Google.

        The idea is generally that titles are primarily made for Windows, locking them into a type of PC exclusivity platform. This isn’t necessarily because Windows is a fantastic environment (far from it, all things considered) but because they were first on the scene when computing was just taking off. Now we get to sit through more software as a service (SaaS) as our operating systems now require a new purchase everytime you shift components within your PC.

      • Linux gaming has a chance! – Valve’s Proton project brings 6,500 playable games to Linux OS

        When you think of PC gaming, Microsoft Windows is the number 1 contender. Pretty much every PC game ever created runs on Windows OS, Mac is a bit trickier but some games are compatible on MacOS systems. But the kind of black sheep at the moment is Linux, whilst it is certainly a popular operating system, it’s also the one that requires a lot more work and effort to try and get games not native to Linux running in a stable way.

        2 years ago Valve released their Proton project, a functionality set within their Steam Play feature, that essentially acted as a modified version of Wine and allowed the compatibility of games on Linux operating systems.

        When it comes to gaming on Linux operating systems, if a title isn’t native to Linux then there’s usually some work that needs to be done in order to get the game running. Since it requires a bit more technical work, compatibility is split into tiers: Borked means the game either won’t start or is unplayable, Bronze means that there are often crashes or issues that prevent you from having a comfortable gaming experience, Silver means it runs with minor issues and is generally playable, Gold means it runs perfectly fine after some tweaks, and finally Platinum means it runs perfectly out of the box (no tweaks are necessary).

      • Gaming On Linux: Over 6,000 Windows Games Work Perfectly, Thanks To Proton

        Gaming is one of the genres that has been significantly attracting more userbase and Windows users for a long time. Even though Linux is so far behind in the race, it has picked up pace in the last few years. Special thanks to Proton, which has completely changed the scenario of gaming on Linux by bringing out-of-the-box support for Windows games.

        If you don’t know, Proton is Valve’s combined solution forked out from Wine with additional patches and libraries like DXVK (implementation of DirectX Over Vulkan). Proton provides easy-to-setup and run Microsoft’s Windows compatible software on a Linux-based operating system. Speaking of games, Proton has brought about 6000 games to Linux in the last two years, as per the latest blog by the Boiling Steam.

      • Steam Proton has opened the gaming floodgates for Linux users

        The Linux (or GNU/Linux) operating system has always been promoted not only as a free (of monetary costs) alternative to the likes of Windows or macOS, it is also praised for its security, privacy, and adaptability to all kinds of devices and use cases. Despite those strengths, it retains an almost fractional slice of the consumer desktop market for various reasons. One of the most cited reason is having no access to the most popular PC games in the market. Almost two years ago, Valve released its Proton tool for Steam and it has had a tremendous though mostly unpublicized effect on the Linux gaming market.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu 20.04-based Linux Lite 5.0 RC1 is here to replace Windows on your PC

          Windows 7 and Windows 10 aren’t bad operating systems. In fact, they are both quite good. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 is no longer supported, some of its users are stuck in a conundrum. They have to decide whether to use an unsupported Windows 7 or upgrade to Windows 10 that is full of telemetry and other “spying” that passes their information to Microsoft’s servers.

          Well, I am happy to say there is another option — switch to Linux. Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems will be supported (unlike Windows 7) and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 10). Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar. Today, the first release candidate of Linux Lite 5.0 becomes available, and it is based on the bleeding-edge Ubuntu 20.04. It even comes with modern software, such as Linux kernel 5.4.0, Gimp 2.10.18, Thunderbird 68.7.0, Firefox 75.0, and VLC 3.0.9.

        • Linux Lite 5.0 Promises UEFI Support, Will Be Based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS



          Based on the soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, Linux Lite 5.0’s biggest new feature is out-of-the-box support for UEFI computers.

          This means you can now run Linux Lite on Secure Boot PCs. However, the developer recommends you disable Secure Boot before installing the distribution because “it’s a huge hassle to have it enabled.”

          This release also brings a new Integrity Check feature that will ensure your computer is in good state. The checking is done during boot and can be canceled using the Crtl+C keyboard shortcut.

          Moreover, the GUFW firewall app was replaced with FireWallD, which looks to be more configurable. Also replaced is the Leafpad app, as Mousepad is now the default text editor.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Staying connected during COVID-19 – A note to our SUSE Manager community

          Within a few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected businesses around the world. With IT workforces working from home, it has put businesses in front of big challenges. Now more than ever, remote management of your IT infrastructure is paramount to ensure business continuity. In order to continue your business as smoothly as possible, SUSE helps your IT administration teams by ensuring stability of SUSE Manager environments facing the end of life as well as by providing you with free evaluation subscriptions and easy to access documentation if you want to implement SUSE Manager to re-gain control over your IT infrastructure while working from home.

        • Managing Linux in the Cloud with SUSE Manager 4

          Cloud environments grow organically and often include a dizzying combination of virtual, bare metal and container-based systems. If cloud computing is part of your Linux landscape, you’ll save time and money with a single tool for managing all your Linux resources. SUSE® Manager 4 is a versatile Linux management tool built for the cloud.

        • VMware ESXi 6.7 + SUSE Enterprise Storage = Certified
        • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 97

          Once most of the features that were planned for SUSE 15 SP2 and openSUSE 15.2 are ready, the team is shifting its focus to SP3 and 15.3. Of course, we are still polishing the releases around the corner, so in the summary of this sprint, you can find a mixture of bug fixes, small features, and preparation for the future work.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Initial Benchmarks Of Fedora 32 Linux Performance



          Fedora 32 isn’t making it out this week due to last minute blocker bugs but should hopefully surface next week. In any case, here are some initial benchmarks looking at the performance of Fedora 32 in its effectively final state compared to Fedora 31 for seeing how the performance has shifted with its plethora of updates.

          For this first round of Fedora 32 benchmarking are tests compared to Fedora 31 — both out-of-the-box on a clean install and then again with all available updates applied considering Fedora more liberally ships kernel updates and other packages bumping versions than other more conservative distributions like Ubuntu.

        • Supporting Red Hat partners in a changing world

          With the reimagined Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience next week, we have created new ways for partners to connect with Red Hatters and each other, tune into keynotes and experience product demonstrations – all in a free virtual environment. That includes the North America Partner Experience, formerly known as the North America Partner Conference, which provides an opportunity for our partners to connect with each other, network with industry thought leaders and learn about the latest updates from Red Hat.

          I joined Red Hat last month, in part, because of its commitment to the open source way, built on a foundation of collaboration and engagement. It was immediately evident to me that this is especially true within our partner ecosystem. Our partners are uniquely positioned to support customers in new and impactful ways today and well into the future. Red Hat is here to help, and to support our partner ecosystem right now, we’re offering some new tools and resources.

        • Red Hat Delivers Force Multiplier for Enterprise IT with Enhanced Intelligent Monitoring, Unveils Latest Version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, the latest version of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform and the foundation for Red Hat’s hybrid cloud portfolio. To help better address the IT challenges presented by shifting global dynamics, Red Hat believes that the operating system should do more than “just work;” it should help stabilize operations today with the capacity to support and embrace innovation later.

          “Building servers that are tuned, ready-to-go and more secure from day one is a key need for our IT organization. Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Red Hat Insights gives us this capacity, enabling us to deploy servers that are immediately usable and meet our specific needs as they go live” Steve Shortplatforms manager, UNIX, Kingfisher PLC

        • Optimizing RHEL 8 to run the Java implementation of the Minecraft server

          As we all find ourselves at home these days many of our kids have requested help with gaming. Minecraft is a common game, loved by millions, played by kids of all ages, and a good teaching tool for how one can optimize the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform for hosting.

          For those who are not familiar with it, Minecraft is a client-server game, meaning clients can connect to a Minecraft server to share the experience with other gamers.

          This post will go through a number of performance optimizations you can configure in RHEL to make your Minecraft Server experience the best it can be. There are a few architectural flavors of Minecraft; I will focus on the Java implementation of the Minecraft server on RHEL 8. Note that this is only compatible with the Minecraft: Java Edition client.

          I will break down the performance optimizations into five key areas: Operating system, disk I/O, memory, Java and Kernel security mitigations.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian’s Decision to Drop Old Drivers has Upset Vintage Hardware Users

          It is always a tough decision to drop support for older hardware for the latest Linux distribution releases. Just like Ubuntu decided to drop support for 32-bit systems, Debian’s X Strike Force (XFS) team decided to drop a list of input and video drivers.

        • Debian GNU/Linux Removing Old Drivers: End Of Vintage Hardware?



          The headline may look like clickbait but don’t judge me before reading the whole article. Earlier this month, the Debian team named “X Strike Force” (it maintains packages for the X Window System) decided to pull out a number of old drivers from the Debian repository.

          For instance, the r128 driver for more than 20 years old ATI Rage video cards. Among the other drivers are those for Mach 64, Savage, Silicon Motion, SiS, Trident, and input drivers for Elo touchscreens, MuTouch. As per the mailing list, the reasons for dropping the old input and video drivers were either “unmaintained upstream or of no value to the distribution.”

        • This Raspberry Pi OS is a nostalgic throwback to Windows XP

          If you’re missing the grassy fields and blue skies of Windows XP, you can put an operating system onto your Raspberry Pi 4 inspired by the classic Windows operating system (OS). The OS is called Linux Raspbian XP Professional, and it has a working Start Menu, search bar, and menus and icons inspired by Windows XP (via Tom’s Hardware). The Raspberry Pi 4 is the only Raspberry Pi model powerful enough to run the OS.

          The OS is an XP overlay, so it can’t run Windows XP applications natively, but there are several emulators that let you use Windows apps on Raspbian. Linux Raspbian XP Professional has some emulation platforms preloaded, including BOX86.

        • Give your Raspberry Pi a retro Windows makeover with Linux RaspbianXP Professional and Linux Raspbian95

          For its size and price, the Raspberry Pi 4 is a pretty powerful computer. Sure, it’s not quite the complete desktop alternative the Raspberry Pi Foundation suggested it was at launch, but then it does only cost $35 and will handle most of what you can throw at it, provided you don’t set your sights too high.

          If you’ve ever wished the Pi could run an older version of Windows, such as XP, or even Windows 95, then we’ve got some great news for you.

        • SparkyLinux 2020.03 – Strike that flint real good

          SparkyLinux 2020.03 isn’t much different from its 2013 sibling, my last encounter with the distro. The same good points and woes apply. The distro is perfectly functional, but it’s also boring, listless and rife with small problems all over the place, including a dejectedly unappealing default looks. It’s stable and super-fast and battery life is phenomenal. Strong selling points. The basics also work.

          Then, you need to work hard to have a presentable system that goes beyond these basics. In the end, you can accomplish the tasks, but you need to do things in a convoluted way. Like APTus. Or the whole missing fonts, icons thingie. It’s like going to a restaurant, and then the chef asks you to stir the pot a little, and do the last 17 minutes of the dish preparation yourself. Sounds like an unnecessarily strenuous activity. I would say SparkyLinux is an okay distro, but could be great if it took pride and care. Just like seven years ago, and what worries me is that this won’t ever really change. On its own 5.5/10 or so, but it could be much higher. Worth testing, but there are livelier Debian-based offerings out there.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • 2004 to 20.04 LTS: 16 years of Ubuntu mascots



          Creating a new release of Ubuntu is always a complex undertaking. At Canonical, delivering Ubuntu is our core mission, and each new version represents the culmination of months of effort from colleagues throughout our organisation – not to mention the contributions from our wider, open source community. And as our Bionic Beavers and Trusty Tahrs race towards their release dates, one of the final steps is to bring them to life with a mascot.

          Each release is given an alliterative, animal codename – such as Dapper Drake, Precise Pangolin, and Maverick Meerkat. With Ubuntu 20.04 LTS imminent and Focal Fossa ready to be released, we caught up with Marcus Haslam, Head of Brand, to learn how he and his team consistently transform these unusual codenames into iconic Ubuntu mascots.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 is right around the corner with many new features

          Ubuntu 20.04 is a long term support (LTS) version of the operating system, meaning that it will be supported for the next 5 years to come. As usual, the new version introduces some features to the benefit of its users – with some features being more exciting than others. One of the more exciting new features is the inclusion of WireGuard – a simple, fast and modern VPN that has the backing of Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa Release Time[Local Times]

          Ubuntu 19.10 Release Time: We all are well aware of the date of the release of the upcoming Long Term Support Ubuntu, the Ubuntu 20.04 code named Focal Fossa. The date is set to April 23, 2020. The day has arrived but wondering about the time of release? Check out the following information.
          Usually, there will be a gathering party by the members of the Canonical, and they release the latest ones during the party. With Eoan Ermine(Ubuntu 19.10)Ubuntu UK(members of Canonical) hosted a Release Party in London that evening from 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm BST(British Standard Time). However, due to the Pandemic situation, we are not sure how Canonical is setting up the release of Ubuntu 20.04, but we are expecting that it will be different from the usual releases and it is not sure.

          The following are the Local Time zone information of the release of Ubuntu 20.04 in various countries. However, due to the unforeseen situations, the information provided is tentative!

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 627

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 627 for the week of April 12 – 18, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Kubernetes: a secure, flexible and automated edge for IoT developers

          Cloud native software such as containers and Kubernetes and IoT/edge are playing a prominent role in the digital transformation of enterprise organisations. They are particularly critical to DevOps teams that are focused on faster software releases and more efficient IT operations through collaboration and automation. Most cloud native software is open source which broadens the developer pool contributing and customising the software. This has led to streamlined versions of Kubernetes with low footprints which are suited for IoT/edge workloads.

        • A guide to a successful OpenStack adoption and deployment

          OpenStack is one of the most active open source projects in the world. It is an essential component of private cloud infrastructure for countless businesses, and over the last few years, it has evolved to become the de-facto standard for implementing cloud computing platforms. Yet despite its popularity, many organisations still struggle with their OpenStack implementations.

          Lack of resources, knowledge, experience, or tools can all stand in the way of a successful OpenStack deployment — but businesses can overcome these challenges by following a proven adoption process. Canonical provides consulting and tools to assist organisations at each stage of implementation and operation, taking all the complexity out of OpenStack deployment.

        • Mark Shuttleworth in 2016: ‘Ubuntu keeps GNU/Linux relevant’

          Back in April of 2016 I held a short email interview with the founder and head honcho of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth. I am re-publishing it here, at The Lunduke Journal, as… well… I find the answers… interesting. And worth preserving. This is certainly not a hard-hitting, no-holds-barred sort of interview. Just a casual chat to hear about Ubuntu from the guy that started it and hopefully, in the process, let us all get to know him a little better.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Saving the planet with open source



        Our dear ole’ Earth is breathing a heavy sigh as of late, and April 22 is the day we humans have designated for celebrating our home on the planet.

        Let’s talk about ways we can observe, conserve, reuse, and repurpose with open source. And, let’s end with two stories about refreshing an older system and saving energy at home with low-tech solutions.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Vivaldi 3.0 Released with Built-in Tracker Blocker, Status Bar Clock + More

            Vivaldi 3.0 for Windows, Mac and Linux systems introduces new tracker blocking tech. The feature is built in partnership with the DuckDuckGo search engine and is utilises the company’s Tracker Radar to populate and maintain a block-list of especially egregious web-habit voyeurs.

            “Now more than ever, humanity needs an internet that’s well-functioning and open but also private and secure. With the new Vivaldi, users can browse with its wealth of features freely and efficiently without being tracked online,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO and co-founder, Vivaldi.

          • Vivaldi for Android Hits Stable, Works on Chromebooks Too
          • Vivaldi 3.0 Brings New Tracker and Ad Blockers, Faster Navigation and a Clock


            While Vivaldi is still not open source, it’s getting better and better with each release, convincing more and more users to switch from Firefox or Google Chrome.

            With Vivaldi 3.0, Vivaldi Technologies have doubled down on browser’s functionally, which already offered a lot of options and features for power users, by bringing more useful features.

            These include new built-in tracker and ad blockers that promise to protect users while surfing the Internet, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.

          • Opera 68 is here with built-in Instagram in the sidebar

            Hello out there,

            I’m writing this blog post to let you know about a cool new feature in Opera 68. Today we are releasing the newest version of our browser with built-in Instagram and some further improvements. As you might know, Opera already has several built-in messengers in the sidebar, like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram and VKontakte.

            Recently, for obvious reasons, many of us have been staying at home as much as possible and relying more on social media to stay in touch with our friends and loved ones. This is also visible in the growing use of Opera’s built-in messengers as more people switch to desktop for both work and entertainment. Use of Opera’s built-in WhatsApp, for example, has grown 50% and the use of Facebook Messenger 48% in the past two months.

          • Opera 68 Released with Built-in Instagram Support

            Opera 68 was released today as the new stable version of the popular web browser. The new release features built-in messenger Instagram support.

        • Mozilla

          • The Mozilla Blog: Privacy Norms and the Pandemic

            The gut reaction worries are obvious: tracking everyone (or the bulk of people) with a smartphone to monitor COVID exposure could go wrong in myriad ways if done poorly or if the data falls into the wrong hands. And, on top of it, many have called into question whether this kind of tracking is even effective at stopping the spread of the virus. There is a legitimate worry that we could quickly find ourselves inside a huge mass surveillance experiment that has limited or no return in terms of public health and safety. Questions about efficacy and privacy are step one in considering whether or not to roll out contact tracing. While it’s far from universal, a fair number of governments are digging into these questions in earnest.

      • Productivity Software

      • Programming/Development

        • Wouter Verhelst: Extrepo GitLab update

          Earlier this month, GitLab B.V.’s package signing key expired, requiring them to rotate their key. This means that anyone who uses one of their packages needs to jump through a number of manual hoops to update their apt key configuration, which is an annoying manual process that also requires people to download random files from the Internet — something extrepo was written to prevent. At least they’re served over https, but still.

        • Google-backed Go programming language: Developers reveal its top missing features

          The project behind Go, an open-source programming language developed within Google, has surveyed thousands of software developers to uncover what technology they’re using and the pain points of using the language.

          Go – which Google built for big distributed computing and released just over a decade ago – has become one of the tech world’s most popular languages to use, currently ranking 14th in RedMonk’s list of top languages.

        • Getting started with JavaScript application development

          For many developers who have never built a JavaScript web application before, the first steps can be daunting. Our development team has the opportunity to interact with both students that are just getting started and developers with lengthy experience building out complex applications. Even seasoned back-end developers often ask where they can get started with JavaScript. Our response is invariably, “Don’t just read. You need to start building things, play with the language to see what it can do.”

        • How COBOL brings value to the modern enterprise pipeline

          This thought crossed our minds as we were working on a client issue earlier today, reviewing articles that talked about COBOL as if it were some outdated language stuck in the Triassic period of computing ages. However, if that were true we wouldn’t be working with our client today on a COBOL application that parses JSON, would we?

          The origins of COBOL date back to the 1960s and JSON the early 2000s. Technologies that old would have likely gone extinct long ago — that’s like 200 million years in computer time. Surprise! COBOL is still alive, relevant, modern, and continues to incorporate current technologies. Why? Because it remains at the heart of enterprise computing. People around the world expect that when they swipe their credit cards, the computers will do their thing and approve their transactions. That’s COBOL in action.

          [...]

          As developers, we know that any programming language can be built for any given instruction set (i.e. hardware) if a compiler is made to do the translation between the two. Take a look at GnuCOBOL if you’d like to learn a bit about COBOL from the comfort of your PC. Our buddy JJ even got it working in Kubernetes in this code pattern, and we think that’s really cool. It’s not the IBM Enterprise COBOL that runs on IBM Z, but they both share the common underpinnings of COBOL syntax.

        • Doing more with less time: critical skills for productive programmers

          This article was written during abnormal circumstances, with much of the planet under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents with children at home have far less time, and pretty much everyone is feeling stressed and distracted.

          Under more normal circumstances there are only so many hours in the day to do your job; now it’s even worse. And yet work needs to get done: code needs to get written, features need to be shipped, bugs need to be fixed.

        • Python

          • Python Bytes: #178 Build a PyPI package from a Jupyter notebook
          • PyLadies Auction 2020 Cancelled

            With the in person cancellation of PyCon US 2020, the PyLadies Auction as we know, could not possibly have happened. Upon further investigation, we are deeply sad to announce we have decided to forgo the PyLadies Auction in its entirety for 2020.

            This decision has been a difficult one. We began the PyLadies Auction at PyCon US 2013 in Santa Clara and have held it annually since. To not be able to celebrate PyLadies in our annual tradition together is a deep loss.

          • Build a website with Python tools

            Not every website is a blog, where the main feature is a list of posts, each with a specific timestamp that indicates how “fresh” it is. Sometimes, you just want a website.

            Maybe you are an amateur (or professional!) cook and want to show off your recipes. Maybe you are a poet and want a site to publish all your poems. Maybe you have strong opinions and want a place to store your rants, each in its timeless perfection. Here’s where Sphinx comes in.

          • Tips to Become a Confident & Successful Python Programmer

            Python is one of the most used programming languages today. Its well-designed framework, procedure-oriented and object-oriented programming compatibility, simple syntax and readability, support for class concept and multiple inheritance, extensive libraries etc., are only some of the aspects that make Python the language of choice for beginners as well as established programmers. It is consistently being revised and modified with integrated futuristic features to expand the feasibility in the world of software development.

          • New VCS Features in PyCharm 2020.1

            The Version Control System support in PyCharm has been revamped with a new and improved commit workflow as well as an interactive rebasing option. This means, that it gives you more control over the way you commit your changes.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Russian pharmaceutical companies warn that they may stop producing some key medications

        Seven Russian pharmaceutical companies have informed the Industry and Trade Ministry (Minpromtorg) that they may stop production of more than 50 medicines on the government’s list of vital and key medications. 

      • American Carnage: How Donald Trump Is Killing Us

        Arrogance and chaos define the federal response to the pandemic. 

      • I Take Hydroxychloroquine, Please Don’t Hoard It

        The best birthday present I got this year was a refill of my medication. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be much to celebrate, but the coronavirus has upended the ordinary.

      • The Next Pandemic

        Congress is already thinking about how to prevent the next pandemic.

      • The head of the Russian Orthodox Church asks to defer utility bills

        Patriarch Kirill has asked Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to defer utility payments for church institutions, RBC reports. RBC cites a copy of a letter from the head of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Prime Minister as its source.

      • Warning of ‘Hammer Blow’ From Pandemic, UN Food Agencies Say Coronavirus Could Double Global Levels of Acute Hunger

        A new report states 265 million people could face food insecurity by the end of 2020, up from 130 million last year. 

      • A View From a Pandemic: New York During COVID-19

        Living in New York City the past month has become a grim game of simply hoping that rock bottom has at least been hit. The haunting daily tolls continue to fill the local press. The first death from COVID-19 occurred on March 15. By March 31 there were around 1100 deaths. By April 7: 3485. April 13: 6898. On April 14 the city’s Health Department added 3700 deaths to the total to account for those who perished at home or in hospitals without being tested, bringing the count to over 10,000. The medical examiner’s office estimates that 200 a day are dying at home, compared to 20-25 people before the pandemic.

      • Russia needs to strengthen its COVID-19 response Epidemiologists are barely making models of Russia’s pandemic post-shutdown, so we made our own. The country could see one million deaths unless it does a lot more than it’s doing.

        Predicting what the COVID-19 pandemic will do to Russia and when it will give way to a new normal is unusually hard. The only way to make predictions on that scale is to use models that expand on highly incomplete data, and those models are typically the territory of epidemiological researchers. Western researchers, however, appear to be somewhat uninterested in figuring out Russia’s coronavirus prognosis, and Russian researchers (with extremely rare exceptions) either don’t work on models at all or don’t publish their results. Still, thanks to the efforts of infectious disease scholars worldwide, a number of open-source epidemiological models and improved data sources have become available in recent weeks. We used those tools to create our own, journalist-made model of how Russia’s pandemic may develop. The result: since Russian regions began introducing self-isolation rules in March, COVID-19 has spread through the country more slowly, but even that decrease won’t be anywhere near enough to mitigate the pandemic in many Russian regions unless even more quarantine regulations are added.

      • ‘Listen… And Take Action’: In Front of White House, Nurses Read Names of Colleagues Who Have Died From Covid-19

        “We are here because our colleagues are dying. I think that right now people think of us as heroes, but we’re feeling like martyrs. We’re feeling like we’re being left on the battlefield with nothing.”

      • Moscow Mayor orders all city residents with respiratory infections to self-isolate at home

        Moscow residents with symptoms of acute respiratory illnesses should practice complete self-isolation at home, just like COVID-19 patients, says a new order signed by Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin on April 21. 

      • ‘Enough Is Enough’: In Largest Strike Yet, Amazon Workers Call In Sick Over Unsafe Working Conditions

        “No worker should be subjected to unsafe conditions at work. And no worker should be retaliated against for standing up for their rights.”

      • Locked Down with Cancer on Mumbai’s Footpaths

        “I survived on bananas which I had stocked up in my bag,” Surendra Ram told me on the phone, about how he got through the ‘Janata Curfew’ of March 22. That day, when most of the shops and businesses in Mumbai shut down and those who could stay indoors locked themselves in, Surendra sat on the footpath near the Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel.

      • Notes on Viral Separation

        It’s lurking. It’s salivating. It’s breathless, waiting in the pandemic quiet. And at first opportunity, it will step out, roaring, spitting fire, devouring free will yet again as it commands you, you, you, and you to consume, consume, consume. All in the name of “returning to normal.”

      • In the Face of COVID, Let’s Reorganize Society Around the Needs of the Poor

        My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature every night because she shared a bedroom with my mom; how they had to put a sign on the front door of the house that read “quarantine” so that no one would visit.

      • Kentucky Sees Highest Single-Day Increase in COVID-19 Cases Days After Protests

        Protests against stay-in-place measures have occurred in a number of states across the nation, in spite of the fact that some health experts are saying such demonstrations could themselves lead to an increase in the spread of COVID-19.

      • Regulatory Responses to N95 Respirator Shortages

        Our recent posts have highlighted shortages in three COVID-19-related knowledge goods: testing, drugs (such as those needed to put patients on ventilators), and clinical trial information about effective treatments. This week we focus on the role of legal regulators in another critical shortage: N95 respirators, one of the key forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. We explain how N95 regulation, like COVID-19 testing, presented an interagency coordination problem. The FDA has successfully removed key regulatory hurdles—though the problem should have been anticipated earlier, and much more needs to be done to ensure an adequate supply.

        [...]

        N95s’ origin as industrial respirators helps explain the strange double regulation of the respirators. They’re principally regulated by the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, which is part of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is part of the CDC. (As a side note, it’s interesting that although NIOSH is a National Institute studying health, it’s not part of the National Institutes of Health, and although it does research on occupational safety and health, it’s not part of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Such are the vagaries of federal bureaucracy.) However, while NIOSH regulates all N95 respirators, those intended for use in medical settings are also regulated by the FDA as medical devices. The two agencies started coordinating more closely on this in 2018 with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agencies so that normal N95s used in construction and industrial jobs are evaluated by NIOSH and exempt from the FDA’s 510(k) premarket clearance process, and N95s for healthcare settings (including ones for a particular disease, or with antimicrobial function) go through 510(k).

        All of this, of course, is domestic; N95 masks are regulated around the globe by different regulators in different countries, which set slightly different standards. 3M has a helpful comparison chart. Given that the basic product is the same, it is unfortunate in retrospect that the slightly different standards have led to a more fragmented supply chain; without regulatory action, for instance, N95 masks approved for use in South Korea were not automatically approved for use in the United States. Regulators, however, have been acting to reduce these barriers.

      • Coronavirus Pandemic Exacerbating Global Threats to Press Freedom: Watchdog Group

        “Press freedom in the United States continued to suffer during President Donald Trump’s third year in office,” RSF added in its annual Press Freedom Index.

      • Instead of reopening hair salons, Ramzan Kadyrov is urging fellow Chechens to shave their heads — and he’s leading by example

        Ramzan Kadyrov, that loveable ruler of Chechnya who famously misplaces cats and regularly dismisses allegations of widespread human rights violations, has shaved his head. We know he shaved his head because he shared a video of his new appearance with the Grozny state television network, which promptly published the footage on Instagram.

      • How the Nicaraguan Opposition Distorted the Government’s Response to COVID-19
      • Is There Any Better Time Than Now For a General Strike?

        The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into stark relief the inequalities baked into the U.S.’s capitalist system—one that deems nurses and grocery workers “essential,” but leaves them with just as few rights and privileges as they had before the crisis struck. The scenario before us, where society depends more than ever on the bottom rung of the working class, offers a perfect storm for these “essential workers” to use their leverage and demand better protections for themselves now and in the future. This perfect storm may well unfold on May 1—a day with historic roots in the U.S., marked by workers all around the world to demand their labor rights.

      • Solidarity Is Not What Europe Needs

        As the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe worsened, the leaders of nine eurozone countries called for the issuance of “coronabonds” to help spread more evenly the additional debt governments would incur as they struggled to replace disappearing private incomes. But while the idea is sound, it was doomed by its proponents’ justification.

      • Trump Says He’s Aiming to Shield Corporations From Legal Liability for Workers Who Contract Covid-19 on the Job

        “Businesses are asking for the right to expose their workers to fatal risks with no consequences. It’s bad economics and bad policy.”

      • Inequality and the Coronavirus

        Or how to destroy American society from the top down.

      • Leaked Recordings Reveal Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Firmly in Charge and City Alderman Left Largely on the Sidelines

        No one questioned that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been firmly in charge of Chicago’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But during a briefing Lightfoot had with the city’s aldermen on March 30, she made it clear anyway.

        Each alderman was given an opportunity to ask a question, and when it was his turn, Andre Vasquez brought up the city’s growing housing crisis. Vasquez is a first-term alderman from the 40th Ward on the North Side. Like many new members of the City Council, he campaigned last year on a progressive agenda similar to Lightfoot’s that included promises to expand affordable housing. In the briefing, he reminded Lightfoot that, for many people, rent and mortgage payments would be due in the coming days. Could the mayor’s office provide aldermen with regular or even daily updates on proposals to help residents thrown out of work during the outbreak?

      • To Understand the Medical Supply Shortage, It Helps to Know How the U.S. Lost the Lithium Ion Battery to China

        With so many critical health care products now made offshore that supplies could not meet surging demand as the coronavirus overwhelmed hospitals, America’s attention has again turned to the atrophied state of domestic manufacturing.

        As imports from Chinese manufacturers vaporized and other countries clamped down on exports, health care workers improvised with homemade face masks while American factories retooled in a desperate race to make ventilators and protective equipment. It’s a pattern, it seemed, in which devices invented in the U.S. end up being produced overseas.

      • Beyond Prisons: COVID-19 Dispatch From California Prison

        Brian Sonenstein interviews a woman who we’re calling “Alice” to protect her and her husband from retaliation by California prison officials.

        Alice organizes with other family members as part of a group known as Unite Against CDCR. Her husband is incarcerated in Soledad, California at the Correctional Training Facility (CTF)—one of the prisons where Gladiator Fights have taken place over the last few years.

      • NYC Mayor and Health Officials Misled Public About Plans to Move COVID-19 Patients Into Nursing Home, Advocates Say

        New York City public health officials are moving patients suffering from COVID-19 into beds within a nursing home on Roosevelt Island that cares for hundreds of residents with a wide range of severe medical conditions, including dementia and other age-related ailments, paralysis, traumatic brain injury and profound developmental disabilities.

        The move comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio and city officials made a series of inaccurate and contradictory statements about their intention to use the facility to house COVID-19 patients and about their ability to protect the medically vulnerable residents of the Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center.

      • With 5,642 new cases in the past day, Russia’s official coronavirus count hits 52,763 patients

        On the morning of April 21, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 5,642 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 52,763 patients. A day earlier, health officials reported 4,268 new cases.

      • Coronavirus Entered My Father’s Nursing Home and Nobody Warned Me. I Did Not Get the Chance to Save Him.

        The call came around 9 a.m. on March 25. It was my father.

        “I’m not doing too good,” he said in between gasps for air. I asked him what was wrong. “I’m coughing up blood,” he said, adding that the medical staff at the nursing home in the Bronx where he lived wanted to send him to a nearby hospital.

      • Covid-19 severity ‘linked to higher air pollution’

        This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • More Deaths, No Benefit from Malaria Drug in VA Virus Study

        A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.

      • Coronavirus: World risks ‘biblical’ famines due to pandemic – UN

        The fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises highlights Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and Haiti.

        In South Sudan, 61% of the population was affected by food crisis last year, the report says.

        Even before the pandemic hit, parts of East Africa and South Asia were already facing severe food shortages caused by drought and the worst locust infestations for decades.

      • The Hidden Flaw in Sweden’s Anti-Lockdown Strategy

        Brinkemo described the challenges involved in trying to inform immigrants in Malmo about the Swedish welfare state. When he arranged public seminars at a community center, hardly anyone attended, despite written advertisements—until he and his colleagues personally called people to invite them, after which the seminars were full. “I was baffled, but my Somali colleagues weren’t surprised. They explained that they come from a society with a strong oral tradition, that they have little experience of interacting with public agencies in their home country, and tend to trust information that comes directly from a known source,” he said. “By contrast, here in Sweden, we are accustomed to written communication. We generally trust that official information is correct, and we’re used to interpreting authorities’ instructions and know how to act on it.”

      • States smuggle COVID-19 medical supplies to avoid federal seizures as House probes Jared Kushner

        States have been forced to resort to smuggling shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) after federal officials seized supplies ordered by hospitals without informing officials.

        Governors have long complained that the Trump administration has left them to bid against each other on the open market for critical supplies for health workers. However, numerous officials recently claimed that the federal government had seized supplies ordered by the states. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, told CNN that the state bought 500 ventilators before they were “swept up” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said the Trump administration “confiscated” its order of 3 million masks.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Automotive Grade Linux Releases UCB 9.0 Software Platform

                Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), an open source project developing a shared software platform for in-vehicle technology, today announced the latest code release of the AGL platform, UCB 9.0, also known under the codename “Itchy Icefish.”

                Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) is an open source software platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard for infotainment, telematics and instrument cluster applications.

              • Linux Foundation Fosters Laminas Community

                The Laminas Project, formerly known as the Zend Framework, is among the latest projects to be hosted at the Linux Foundation. With the community’s desire to evolve its PHP tooling for the next generation of web services and APIs, now is a natural time to tailor an open governance structure for the Project that can sustain the community for decades to come.

                The Laminas Project already has incredible support with 1.2 million commits, hundreds of releases every year and thousands of lifetime contributors. The Project has 400 million lifetime installs across e-commerce, entertainment, embedded and healthcare environments, among others, with more than 140 million added every year. It warrants a neutral forum with an open governance structure that supports this level of adoption and innovation and its intentional focus on tooling for new web services and APIs.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Oracle (java-1.7.0-openjdk and java-1.8.0-openjdk), Red Hat (git, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and kernel), Scientific Linux (kernel), Slackware (git), SUSE (openssl-1_1 and puppet), and Ubuntu (binutils and thunderbird).

          • Five best practices for administering remote systems

            The first step to managing a remote system is… well, being able to manage it! Remote access protocols, such as SSH (and in rare cases, remote desktop), enable you to configure and manage your systems from anywhere. But you don’t want your remote management strategy to turn into a security risk inadvertently. You should always take the time to understand the remote management protocol or system that you are using and secure it accordingly.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Technical Deep-Dive: Winding Down the STARTTLS Policy List

              This is a technical guide for administrators affected by the STARTTLS Everywhere project. Check out our overview post of the project!

              The STARTTLS policy list started off as a mechanism for mailservers to learn TLS information about other servers from EFF’s perspective. Since MTA-STS was launched, it has evolved into a mechanism to secure the initial MTA-STS lookup so that email operators can know when particular providers insist on secure delivery. Although we have had lots of success getting individual mailserver operators to improve their security by advertising their TLS information on the list, there appear to be few mailservers using the list to validate others.

            • Winding Down the STARTTLS Everywhere Project, and the Future of Secure Email

              This is an overview of the STARTTLS Everywhere project. If your mailserver is affected by these changes, check out our technical deep-dive to securing your mailserver!

              EFF started our STARTTLS Everywhere project in 2014, in a post-Snowden moment when the technology community banded together to push transport encryption as a crucial necessity.

            • ICE Has Access to DACA Recipients’ Personal Information Despite Promises Suggesting Otherwise, Internal Emails Show

              When undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors applied for deportation protections and work permits, the forms included a promise: The information would not be shared with immigration enforcement agents.

              The pledge was first made by the Obama administration, when it created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, eight years ago. It continued under President Donald Trump. Even after Trump announced that he was ending DACA, his administration assured immigrants that the information on their applications generally wouldn’t be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

            • Stripe is Silently Recording Your Movements On its Customers’ Websites

              Among startups and tech companies, Stripe seems to be the near-universal favorite for payment processing. When I needed paid subscription functionality for my new web app, Stripe felt like the natural choice. After integration, however, I discovered that Stripe’s official JavaScript library records all browsing activity on my site and reports it back to Stripe. This data includes:

              1. Every URL the user visits on my site, including pages that never display Stripe payment forms

              2. Telemetry about how the user moves their mouse cursor while browsing my site

              3. Unique identifiers that allow Stripe to correlate visitors to my site against other sites that accept payment via Stripe

              This post shares what I found, who else it affects, and how you can limit Stripe’s data collection in your web applications.

            • Facebook to Invest $5.7 Billion in Ambani’s Jio Platforms

              The U.S. company will buy about 10% of Jio Platforms, becoming the largest minority shareholder, Reliance Industries Ltd. said in a statement Wednesday. Separately, Facebook said the deal would bring together JioMart, an ecommerce venture of Mukesh Ambani and its WhatsApp platform to enable people to connect with businesses.

            • Peter Thiel’s controversial Palantir is helping build a coronavirus tracking tool for the Trump admin

              The tool, which is reportedly called HHS Protect Now, is already up and running as of April 10th and it helps officials compile reports on the coronavirus’ spread through the US by collecting data from state and local governments, healthcare institutions, and colleges. It is unclear what exactly this data is, where it comes from, or how it’s being used. It’s also unclear if Palantir is the sole technology provider of the tool, or if other partners are involved.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A federal troop encampment is visible from the highway in northern Chechnya

        On April 20, federal troops were reportedly deployed to the Nadterechny District in northern Chechnya, which borders Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and the Stavropol Territory. The newspaper Novaya Gazeta published an eyewitness video showing a small encampment and a cluster of military vehicles along the highway outside the villages of Bratskoe, Beno-Yurt, and Znamenskoye.

      • Trump Supporters Are Brandishing Automatic Weapons at Anti-Shutdown Protests

        We get an update from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about his mother and wife, who were infected with COVID-19, and discuss how right-wing Trump supporters are brandishing automatic weapons at protests to demand an end to coronavirus shutdowns and are being egged on by the president. “We should make no mistake, that this country is edging closer and closer to neo-fascist authoritarianism,” says González, expressing concern these actions will become normalized in the lead-up to a bitter national election in November.

      • Journalists publish new evidence of Russian mercenaries torturing and killing a Syrian deserter in 2017

        The newspaper Novaya Gazeta has published two new videos corroborating the brutal torture and murder of a man in Syria. Mercenaries from the “Wagner” Russian private military company allegedly carried out the killing in June 2017.  

      • Texas Attorney General’s Office Says It Can Toss People In Jail For Suggesting Coronavirus Fears Are A Legit Reason To Vote From Home

        Just when we need our elected representatives to step up and get their collective shit together, they seem to be disintegrating as quickly as possible. I understand a pandemic isn’t on the list of “Things I Expected To Deal With During My Tenure,” but this is why we give them so much power and the trust that’s implicitly packaged with it.

      • Coronavirus and Rightwing Rebellion: Retreading a Tired Narrative

        Significant national media attention has focused in the last week on a slew of right-wing protests, in states like Ohio, Idaho, and Michigan (among others), demanding that the country reopen in the midst of the worst pandemic in modern history. But we should understand what forces are driving these protests, and how they differ radically from demonstrations organized by individuals on the front-lines of the Covid-19 crisis who are engaged in their own progressive rebellion against corporate power and neoliberal politics.

      • Breaking with a policy that’s repeated since the mid-90s, Russia won’t amnesty prisoners for Victory Day this year

        Federal lawmakers are not planning to adopt legislation to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the USSR’s victory over Nazi Germany with a general amnesty of certain prisoners, Pavel Krasheninnikov, who chairs the Duma’s State Building and Legislative Committee, told the news agency TASS on Tuesday. 

      • Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier embraces the conspiracy theory that SARS-CoV-2 was made in a Wuhan lab

        I’ve written about what I like to refer to as the “Nobel disease,” defined as the tendency of Nobel Laureates to turn into cranks. Whether Nobel Laureates turn into cranks at a higher rate than scientists in general or even the population in general is not known. While it is plausible that all the praise and their high stature might contribute to a higher degree of Dunning-Kruger effect when they wander out of their area of expertise, who knows if they do “go crank” more frequently than average. What is undeniable, however, is that when Nobel Laureates “go crank,” it’s far more damaging to science than when just a run-of-the-mill scientist goes rogue, because of stature Nobel Laureates enjoy. That’s why Luc Montagnier, who was a Nobel Prize in 2008 as co-discoverer of HIV as the cause of AIDS. Given how much damage French “brave maverick scientist” Didier Raoult has caused with his bad science and premature hyping of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for COVID-19 has done to public health, imagine how much damage Luc Montagnier could do if he decided to “go crank” over COVID-19. Well, I’ve learned that he just did, endorsing the conspiracy theory that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was engineered in a laboratory. Fortunately, because Montagnier is French, and few accounts of his endorsement of the “engineered coronavirus” conspiracy theory exist in English. This is the interview in which he made these claims:

      • Coronavirus live updates: Senate passes $484 billion relief bill as U.S. cases top 800,000

        Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey facilitated the noise permit after the community requested the service. The Council on American-Islamic Relations paid for the audio equipment for the broadcasts from a mosque.

      • How Trump and Putin Weakened U.N. Bid for a Global Cease-Fire

        Kelly Knight Craft, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke warmly of Guterres’s call for a “global cease-fire” in a Thursday morning interview with NPR, citing it as evidence that the United Nations has been active for months in trying to respond to the crisis. She said she hoped that negotiations over the French-drafted resolution—which she said would support a pause in fighting—could be finished by the end of the week, or early next week.

      • Conspiracy theorists who claim 5G linked to coronavirus believed to burn cell towers in Europe

        Social media posts among conspiracy theorists have encouraged attacks on the structures, with one user sharing a picture of a burned phone mast in an anti-vaccine Facebook group with the caption “Nobody wants cancer & covid19. Stop trying to make it happen or every pole and mobile store will end up like this one,” according to the AP.

      • Conspiracy theorists burn 5G towers claiming link to virus

        Some 50 fires targeting cell towers and other equipment have been reported in Britain this month, leading to three arrests. Telecom engineers have been abused on the job 80 times, according to trade group Mobile UK, making the U.K. the nucleus of the attacks. Photos and videos documenting the attacks are often overlaid with false commentary about COVID-19. Some 16 have been torched in the Netherlands, with attacks also reported in Ireland, Cyprus, and Belgium.

        Posts threatening to attack phone masts were receiving likes on Facebook. One post in an anti-vaccine group on April 12 shared a photo of a burned phone mast with the quote, “Nobody wants cancer & covid19. Stop trying to make it happen or every pole and mobile store will end up like this one.”

    • Environment

      • A 72-hour live stream is bringing Earth Day online

        Connecting digital spaces to the physical planet, Pruden and others started the week of online events with a “land acknowledgement,” a practice that pays respects to indigenous nations and tribes and their traditional homeland. “If I didn’t do this land acknowledgement I kind of liken it to me walking into your house [and] not acknowledging that I’m in your house,” Pruden explained, speaking from the ancestral territory of the Coast Salish peoples, which is now Vancouver. In this case, the land he acknowledged wasn’t just for his current home, but for the entire world.

        The fact that each of the 500 or so people tuning in were scattered across the world in their own houses made the poignant moment a little surreal, highlighting the unusual circumstances of this new, digital Earth Day.

      • Op-Ed: Big Insurance Is Climate’s Quiet Killer

        Big Oil, Big Money, and Big Insurance form an unholy alliance that prop up the fossil fuel economy. For too long, insurance companies have hidden behind charismatic cartoon logos and funny campaigns to escape the scrutiny they deserve for acting as central players in facilitating fossil fuel expansion. We call bullshit. And we aren’t the only ones. A rapidly growing international movement is rising to hold insurance companies accountable, and in the U.S. our first clear target is Liberty Mutual.

        Liberty Mutual is providing essential insurance to fossil fuel infrastructure giant TC Energy to enable construction of the dangerous Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline, which would carry extracted tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the U.S. Already, Liberty Mutual has provided a $15.6 million bond to cover the risks related to the construction of KXL through South Dakota.

      • 10 Simple Things to Do to Celebrate Earth Day

        It’s Earth Day, and while every day is technically a day to be kind to the planet, this is a day to show appreciation and get into new habits if needed. There are so many little things you can do to celebrate and help save the Earth, and we’ve got 10 super easy ideas below!

      • This Earth Day, Stop the Money Pipeline

        And it’s a more complex moment for another reason. You can filter carbon monoxide easily. It’s a trace gas, a tiny percentage of what comes from a power plant. But carbon dioxide is the exact opposite. It’s most of what comes pouring out when you burn coal or gas or oil. There’s no catalytic converter for CO2, which means you have to take down the fossil fuel industry.

        That in turn means you have to take on not just the oil companies but also the banks, asset managers, and insurance companies that invest in them (and may even own them, in the wake of the current economic crash). You have to take on, that is, the heart of global capital.

      • Milan’s Plan to Limit Cars After COVID-19 Lockdown Lauded as ‘Excellent Example of #BuildBackBetter’

        “Of course, we want to reopen the economy, but we think we should do it on a different basis from before.”

      • Energy

        • Why the OPEC+ Deal is a Many-Splendored Thing

          A perfect deal is where all protagonists get something out of it. All oil-producing countries stand to gain if the oil price rebounds. In bare bones, the OPEC+ group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia finalized, in a nail-biting photo finish on April 12, an agreement to steeply cut oil production by a combined 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for May and June to rebalance the supply and demand in the world market and nudge the prices to go up amid the coronavirus pandemic.

        • US Oil “Technically Worthless,” and Coal Plants Shuttered, as a Tidal Wave of Bankruptcies Looms

          The oil companies are likely looking at multi-billion-dollar tort lawsuits because they hid the dangers of the climate emergency and even actively muddied the waters by funding denialism.

        • The Day Petroleum Was Less Than Worthless

          April 20, 2020, may not be remembered as the day when marijuana briefly became a more valuable commodity than petroleum. It happened, though, right smack dab in the middle of the country’s unofficial 4/20 weed holiday. Some ironies require no enhancement, and a Hollywood script with this plot twist would get laughed out of the room, but it happened all the same.

        • This Earth Day, Stop the Money Pipeline

          Nineteen-seventy was a simpler time. (February was a simpler time too, but for a moment let’s think outside the pandemic bubble.)

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Carnage of Wolf Trapping in Idaho

          A new public records request to Idaho Department of Fish and Game reveals that Idaho wolf trappers are capturing nearly as many non-target species as they are capturing wolves. 47% of the species captured between the 2012/2013 to 2018/2019 trapping seasons, including rare fishers, wolverine, eagle, and lynx were non-target species. Of the non-target species captured, 57% of those were killed. During the period covered by the public records response, wolf trappers killed 813 wolves, caught 620 non-target species of which 269 were released alive and 351 were killed. It is likely that a percentage of those animals that were released alive eventually died from injuries sustained from the traps that either killed them outright or made it difficult for them to find food.

        • Halve the farmland, save nature, feed the world

          This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • When Solidarity Mattered: the Seattle General Strike

        This is a special book, bearing an almost sacred topic for all those interested in the history of the American labor and the Left. The vibrant, pre-1920 Socialist Party, waxing strong and confident until struck down for its resistance to the US entry into the First World War, stood for a larger and more diverse radicalism. including Wobblies, quasi-wobblies. labor and cultural radicals of no certain description and of several generations. They had in common the sense that dramatic change in society was possible, perhaps inevitable. Despite the repression that grew rapidly with war mobilization—unionization also spread with the shortage of labor— the sensibility flourished and the general strike in Seattle was arguably its strongest point. Now that piquant moment has found its historian.

      • Cowardly Congress Chooses to be AWOL: Shouldn’t Our Elected Representatives be on the Job Providing Essential Services?

        In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic a careening, confused President is fibbing, flailing, breaking laws, and mishandling money. As the domino effect of this crisis mounts, the public is asking: “Where is the Congress?” Our Senators and Representatives have been home since March 20 and won’t be back until May 4th, not on the job inside the Capitol. Shameful!

      • Another Republican “Grassroots” Movement Hijacks the Media

        Protests against COVID-19 restrictions, like the Tea Party protests, are corporate fronts.

      • Trump Reportedly Plans to Extort States Into Reopening by Holding Up Relief

        Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back on Democratic calls to provide aid to states in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill amid reports that President Donald Trump plans to use the funds to pressure states into reopening.

      • Post-COVID-19: Yet Another Era to Evolve or Perish

        We are in a confusing period. But we have gone through many gloomy periods similar to or different from what we are compelled to face today. Sooner than later, this will eventually lose the media scrutiny. But ground reality will not change in the near future. As a general saying goes, “If you’re going through hell, keep going”. Isn’t it the grim reality placed before us?

      • US Deaths Could Surpass the 60,000 Projected If States Open Now, Experts Warn

        Sources close to the coronavirus task force are speaking out against proposals to end stay-in-place orders by several governors across the United States, arguing that such moves are likely to result in higher death counts when all is said and done.

      • Orchestrated Amnesia

        Remember when the NYT kept track of the lies told by Rump? The Joker has proven to lie at such breakneck speed that efforts to establish a public record have ceased, thus creating ideal conditions for orchestrated amnesia.

      • Warnings of ‘Suspension of Democracy’ in New York as State Officials Weigh Removing Sanders From Primary Ballot

        “We think this is a power play on the part of the governor.”

      • WATCH: Bernie Sanders Holds Virtual Town Hall With Postal Union Leaders on How to Save USPS

        “The Post Office will likely run out of money sometime between July and September of this year. If they run out of money, then the people lose the service.”

      • Will America’s Corruption End on a Ventilator or in a Mushroom Cloud?

        A political system that is structurally incapable of acting for the common good, even when millions of lives are at stake, is not just failing to solve our problems. It is the problem.

      • Who’s Behind the “Reopen” Domain Surge?

        Many of the domains are still dormant, leading to parked pages and registration records obscured behind privacy protection services. But a review of other details about these domains suggests a majority of them are tied to various gun rights groups, state Republican Party organizations, and conservative think tanks, religious and advocacy groups.

        [...]

        More importantly, the same code shows up on a number of other anti-gun control sites registered by the Dorr Brothers, real-life brothers who have created nonprofits (in name only) across dozens of states that are so extreme in their stance they make the National Rifle Association look like a liberal group by comparison.

      • Conservative activist family behind ‘grassroots’ anti-quarantine Facebook events

        The pages are just part of the more than 100 state-specific Facebook groups that have been created in the last two weeks to protest the stay-at-home orders, according to an unpublished analysis by First Draft, an organization that researches disinformation. The pages have organized at least 49 different events. Most of the groups are similarly named, and they have attracted more than 900,000 members in total.

        [...]

        The Dorrs’ network of pages uses a strategy of data harvesting common in activist circles.

      • Live from Planet Television, Donald Trump – Every Night!

        Deprived of rallies to inflate his ego, the president muscles in on sickness and death.

      • Media Fail to Identify Xenophobia as Biden Says Trump ‘Rolled Over for Chinese’

        As Covid-19 and its economic effects clearly dominate all else politically, ads for the Trump campaign are ramping up the anti-China rhetoric in an effort to deflect blame. The first attack ad Donald Trump launched since Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee was titled “Biden Stands Up for China” (4/9/20), while a pro-Trump super PAC is airing multiple ads (4/16/20, 4/16/20) painting Biden as cozy with China. One ad warned China is “killing our jobs, stealing technology and putting us in danger with Covid-19”; the other concluded, “Now more than ever, America must stop China. And to stop China, you have to stop Joe Biden.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Disgraced Former NASCAR Boss, Brian France, Uses SLAPP Suit To Silence Parody Twitter Account

        Brian Z. France ran NASCAR for many years, though as a pretty obvious nepotism hire. His grandfather and father ran NASCAR before him. In 2018, France was arrest for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance, causing him to take an “indefinite leave of absence,” that became more permanent once he pleaded guilty to the DWI, and has an agreement that if he completes 100 hours of community service and doesn’t get into any more legal trouble, the misdemeanor charges will be reduced to a “non-criminal infraction” later this year. France’s time at the head of NASCAR came with some controversy regarding his leadership style — so it was not that surprising that someone set up a parody Twitter account for him @DrunkBrianF.

      • Chinese Embassy Gets Briefly Suspended From Twitter; Insists ‘Free Speech Must Be Honored’ On Platform Banned Across China

        Content moderation at scale is impossible to do well. By now we’ve established that pretty firmly. However, there’s something deeply amusing to see that when the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka was temporarily banned from Twitter over what Twitter later claimed was a “systematic mistake,” that the embassy then chose to go on a little righteous rant about free speech needing to be honored.

      • Banned comfort women art on display in Taipei

        The museum said that the exhibition originated from a controversial incident in 2012 when Japanese multinational Nikon canceled Korean photographer Ahn Sehong’s (安世鴻) exhibition themed around comfort women, or women and girls who were forced into sexual service for Japanese soldiers before and during World War II. Three years later, supporters of Sehong hosted the first edition of the “Non-Freedom of Expression Exhibition” to display the forbidden works, said MOCA.

      • Russia launches ‘genocide’ probe into Karelian WW2 camps

        “This is part of a process that is linked to the strengthening of powers in conjunction with the recent constitutional changes. It goes with Putin’s move to seek another term in office. In general it is linked to the current political situation in Russia: there is a rewriting of history going on right now.”

        At the start of the millennium it was still possible to conduct critical historical research in Russia.

        “During the Boris Yeltsin era historical research was open and there was cooperation with Finnish researchers too,” said Laine. “Now the starting point is that the red army didn’t do anything wrong in the Great Patriotic War. That is a sacrosanct in modern Russia.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Covering Corona: Manufacturing Panic, Generating Junk News and More

        These days, citizen journalists are almost everywhere reporting on the ebb and flow of the virus, from Seattle and San Francisco to Chicago and New York. It’s hard not to receive the news in some shape or form, and, while some of the reports are more insightful than others, what seems to link all of them is that they heat up the conversation. That’s what mass media has always done, at least in modern times. Italian novelist and theorist, Umberto Eco, once described the media as a furnace. “Grazie, Umberto. Lavoratori del mondo, unitevi.”

      • Taiwan ranks No.43 on global press freedom list

        Out of 180 countries surveyed, China ranked at No.177, while South Korea finished just one spot ahead of Taiwan at No.42, with Japan listed at No.66 and Hong Kong at No.80.

        In the report about Taiwan titled “Media independence on hold,” Paris-based RSF said local journalists were part of “a very polarized media environment dominated by sensationalism and the pursuit of profit.”

      • Assange baby, fiancee’s mum were spied on

        Court documents indicate Julian Assange was spied on in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

        A Spanish security firm tailed the mother of Julian Assange’s fiancee and illegally recorded hours of footage of their baby son, court documents show.

        Stella Moris revealed her identity as the WikiLeaks founder’s fiancee on April 11, three days before a London court could lift a non-publication order on her name.

        The 37-year-old and Assange had two children while he was seeking asylum and staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London between 2012 and 2019.

        A jailed Assange is now battling in a London court to avoid extradition to the US to face charges of violating spy laws and computer intrusion.

      • Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe temporary prison release extended as coronavirus pandemic continues

        Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s temporary release from an Iranian jail has been extended by one month.

        The British-Iranian mother was among about 85,000 prisoners released by Iran last month in efforts to stop coronavirus spreading between inmates.

        She was allowed to leave Evin prison in Tehran on 17 March for an initial two weeks, before her release was later extended for another fortnight. Her scheduled return to prison has now been pushed back again until 20 May, according to her husband.

        “I’m very happy to hear from Richard Ratcliffe that Nazanin’s furlough has been extended for a month – in line with other prisoners in Iran,” Labour’s Tulip Siddiq said on Tuesday.

      • RSF Index 2020: UK ranking declines following the murder of journalist Lyra McKee

        The UK has dropped two places to 35th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF’s) 2020 World Press Freedom Index, published today. Although the UK government played a key role in promoting media freedom globally, its efforts were undermined by domestic developments, including the murder of Lyra McKee and active threats to the safety of journalists in Northern Ireland, and the detention of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who faces possible extradition to the US.

        [...]

        “With coronavirus and other converging crises presenting unprecedented threats to press freedom globally, it is more important than ever for democratic states to lead by example. The UK should be performing better on the World Press Freedom Index, and must address these domestic concerns as a matter of priority. Concrete steps should be taken to ensure the safety of journalists in the wake of Lyra McKee’s murder, and Julian Assange should be released – and certainly not extradited to the US”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.

        RSF also noted concern over problematic provisions of counter-terrorism and crime legislation adopted in 2019, as well as the pursuit by the London Metropolitan Police of the publication of leaked information from diplomatic cables as a criminal matter.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Intimations of Barbarism

        Most definitions of barbaric behavior would include such descriptors as “savage,” “crude,” “cruel,” and the like. We have actually seen plenty of this sort of behavior on the part of American government leaders, both state and federal, over the life of the country. Thus, I don’t want to suggest that the recent episodes of barbarism are something new. However, the past fifty or so years has also seen the growth of human and civil rights as they apply to race, gender and issues of sexual preference. Thus, you would think U.S. politicians had learned the value of ethical behavior. And, while some few have, as a generalization this expectation is just too naive. There is very little uncontested “progress” when it comes to the ethical behavior of governments; often it is one step forward and two steps back.

      • House to Vote on Allowing Members to Use Proxies, Opening Door for Full Remote Voting

        “We ought to use this time as an opportunity to prepare for Congress to be able to work according to its full capabilities even with social and physical distancing guidelines in place.”

      • Pepper-Sprayed, Otay Mesa Detainees Demand Release as COVID-19 Spreads Inside
      • New York’s Governor Hands Down A Mask Mandate While The State’s Anti-Mask Law Remains On The Books

        The spread of the coronavirus throughout the nation is turning some old laws into new ridiculousness. One of the hardest hit areas in the US is New York, which has nearly 30% of the nation’s total cases. This has led to lockdown orders and spread deterrent efforts more severe than seen elsewhere in the country.

      • Trump Tweets Plan to Suspend All Immigration to US

        President Donald Trump declared in a tweet late Monday night that he intends to sign an executive order “temporarily” banning all immigration to the U.S. amid the Covid-19 outbreak, an announcement rights groups condemned as a shameful attempt to scapegoat immigrants that will do nothing to safeguard either Americans’ health or jobs.

      • Coronavirus Has Made Incarceration a Potential Death Sentence

        Prisons should be a priority for supplies, for tests, and for early release of as many inmates as possible, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable.

      • Despite COVID-19 Risks, Justice Department Opposes Compassionate Release For Reality Winner

        The Justice Department opposes the release of NSA whistleblower Reality Winner from Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas. She requested compassionate release from prison on April 10.

        U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine argues [PDF] Winner has not alleged a medical condition that qualifies her for compassionate release.

      • States Must Step Up to Help Immigrants Left Out of the COVID-19 Recovery

        Nearly 1.5 million people who work in farming, delivery, trucking and other food supply professions — jobs that can’t be done from home — are undocumented immigrants or members of mixed-status families. Many of these workers lack access to affordable health care. They file taxes but can’t receive any benefits because of “public charge” and other rules that prohibit undocumented people from accessing welfare services.

      • ‘Exploiting Coronavirus to Continue Their Nativist Agenda’: Trump Tweets Plan to Suspend All Immigration to US

        “This isn’t about coronavirus or jobs. This is about this administration’s hate for immigrants.”

      • Coders Who Survived Human Trafficking Rewrite Their Identities

        At a Bay Area nonprofit, former abuse victims learn to code and level up their futures. A photographer and an artist weave together their stories.

      • Abolish Silicon Valley

        Here is an interesting interview with Wendy Liu about the problems of the technology industry described in her book, Abolish Silicon Valley. These problems aren’t really all that new, but as software has become a bigger part of the economy and everyday life it has just become more obvious that capitalism mediated through and amplified by software technologies is something grotesque and often anti-human, not even meeting many real human needs.

        One point raised is that we should democratize the creation of technology, and this is really what Free Software has been about since the 1980s. When I’m developing some Free Software there is no boss belittling me or telling me I’m not allowed to do it, and systems created within that paradigm can be a lot more focused on what people really want or need out of software.

        But Free Software hasn’t been without its own problems. It emerged from the ivy league US universities and hence much of its history has reflected the sorts of upper middle class interests which people who attend those institutions are accustomed to, which are typically not exactly the same as the general population. Many of the problems we now see are really classism amplified and enforced through technology, and in its current formulation the Free Software movement doesn’t have solutions for this. One really obvious indicator of the underlying divide is that most people who develop Free Software can’t afford to fly to conferences in arbitrary locations on the globe at least once per year, and this tends to mean that only certain middle class narratives are told and become integrated into the lore of hackerdom. On rare occasions grants might be made available to try to increase diversity, but nobody wants to become someone else’s charity case.

        What I think is needed is something like Free Software, but with enough of a surrounding organization to it that the value it generates can’t easily be captured by large corporations such as Google. We definitely also need standards making organizations which are not just corporate consortia, as W3C is.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Telecom’s Latest Dumb Claim: The Internet Only Works During A Pandemic Because We Killed Net Neutrality

        A few weeks ago, a new talking point popped up among telecom policy pundits opposed to net neutrality. They began claiming that the only reason the internet hasn’t buckled during the pandemic was thanks to the FCC’s controversial and unpopular net neutrality repeal. That repeal, you’ll recall, not only killed net neutrality, but much of the FCC’s ability to hold ISPs accountable for pretty much anything, including outright billing fraud.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Netflix adds 15 million subscribers as people stream more than ever, but warns about tough road ahead

        Netflix is far ahead of its competitors, according to HarrisX, a market research and consulting company that specializes in online polling and data analytics. Netflix took up 72 percent of streaming time in homes, according to a new research report from MoffettNathanson in partnership with HarrisX, “while overall streaming penetration reached 74 percent, implying very healthy subscriber growth in the quarter.”

    • Monopolies

      • The global web of investment agreements could undermine actions to fight COVID-19

        The government actions will put unprecedented pressure on already strained public budgets, particularly those of Global South countries. However, less well known is that they could also prompt a wave of lawsuits by multinational corporations and investment lawyers for the emergency measures taken right now to protect citizens. These claims could be made under a mechanism known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), found in the fineprint of almost every investment agreement worldwide. This grants corporations special rights to sue States for laws, regulations and governments’ measures that potentially affect their business – even if they were taken in the face of the biggest emergency health crisis the world has ever faced. Perversely, these potential lawsuits and the financial compensation they seek will only add to the already immense financial burden on many States.

        [...]

        While claims by corporations against States may seem extraordinary and politically risky, it would not be without precedent. In fact, transnational corporations, backed by investment lawyers and third-party funders, have a history of using international investment agreements to scavenge for profits by suing countries in crisis.

        Argentina’s experience is relevant here. Despite a crisis that shrunk the economy by 28% and pushed half the population below the poverty line, foreign investors were not put off by initiating lawsuits against the embattled government. 42 corporations launched lawsuits, claiming a total of 16 billion dollars.

        Indeed investment lawyers are already readying their corporate clients for the opportunities. On 26 March 2020, international arbitration law firm Aceris Law told its clients “While the future remains uncertain, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to violate various protections provided in bilateral investment treaties (“BITs”) and may bring rise to claims in the future by foreign investors”. Several other elite law firms released warnings to investors.1

        The Peruvian government has already been warned that the suspension of the collection of toll fees for the country’s road network -a measure the government took in the context of COVID crisis- could result in several ICSID claims.

      • With new restrictions on standard-essential patent (SEP) injunctions against connected cars and other IoT products, Japan may leave Old Europe behind

        The Nikki article explains in its first paragraph that the JPO is working on a legislative initiative to deny SEP holders access to injunctive relief in cases in which their patents make only a minor contribution to IoT-related devices, which (as the Nikkei article clarifies) also includes connected cars and medical devices. It’s hard to imagine a SEP that would not make only a minor contribution to an IoT product. Most SEPs are extremely underwhelming as they cover simple protocols of the “Hello, how are you? — Thanks, I’m fine, how about you?” kind as opposed to rocket science. Even the few SEPs that are better than that merely constitute parts of standards with respect to which thousands of patents have been declared essential, and for every SEP there would have been numerous–often virtually infinite–numbers of viable alternatives at the time of standardization.

        Japan wants its high-tech sector to be among the world leaders in IoT. You hear the same elsewhere, especially in the European Union, where one generation of politicians after the other states the ambition to make the economy more innovative while that continent is falling behind the U.S. and East Asia at a worrying pace. By contrast, Japanese policy makers appear to be prepared to not only talk the talk, but to walk the walk. According to Nikkei, the JPO’s IoT-related proposal is envisioned to pass into law in 2021.

        A JPO committee has outlined several cornerstones of a 2021 patent reform bill. Patent injunction reform has been discussed internally many times.

        Not only is the JPO working on patent injunction reform but Japan’s Ministry of Industry and Economy (METI) is drafting recommendations regarding SEP royalty rates.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit: No Fee Award Following Voluntary Dismissal

          The Federal Circuit this morning handed down a short precedential opinion in O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. v. Timney Triggers, LLC. The opinion is by Judge Hughes, joined by Judges Lourie and Reyna. The basic facts are as follows. The patent owner filed suit against the defendant in 2012. The defendant responded by filing a petition for reexamination with the USPTO, after which the district court stayed the action. Eventually, the PTAB concluded that the challenged claims were invalid, and the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the district court action pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41. The district court entered an order dismissing the action without prejudice. The defendant then filed a motion for attorneys’ fees, which was denied.

        • Broad Reply No. 2 to CVC’s Opposition No. 2 to Broad’s Motion No 2 to Substitute the Count

          On March 23rd Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) filed its Reply to Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) Motion No. 2 in Opposition to Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 2 to Substitute the Count.

          [...]

          Broad also argues that CVC’s allegation that Proposed Count 2 is broader than the claims in interference is “based on its erroneous interpretation” of the Proposed Count, which is that the Count does not require tracr RNA (which Broad asserts it does).

          With regard to Broad’s burden in being granted the relief requested by the PTAB, Broad argues that CVC’s challenge regarding Broad’s “best proofs” corresponding better to Proposed Count 2 than the current Count are “legally and factually incorrect.” Broad supports this allegation by returning to its earlier argument that CVC was wrong in asserting that Broad’s earliest eukaryotic application of CRISPR technology was performed with single-molecule guide RNA (calling it “meritless”).

        • Software Patents

          • Alice Step 1 — an issue of law based on underlying facts

            The decision the other day in Cardionet, LLC et al. v. Infobionic, Inc. is significant. The decision solidifies that the Alice Step 1 inquiry is an issue of law based on underlying facts. Just as the Berkheimer case did a few years ago — stating that Alice Step 2 is an issue of law based on underlying facts — the Cardionet decision should breathe a little bit of sanity into future patent eligibility decisions by the Federal Circuit, district courts, and the Patent Office.

            The appeal in Cardionet stems from a ruling by a district court judge on a 12(b)(6) motion. Apparently, the district court judge ruled that the claims were abstract ideas and granted the motion. The majority in Cardionet looked to the intrinsic evidence of the written description of the patent-at-issue to determine if there were any asserted advantages provided by the claimed invention. In doing so, the panel found several advantages recited in that patent’s written description. Normally, one would consider a patent’s written description to be intrinsic evidence in a case. The Cardionet majority also cited Visual Memory v. Nvidia for drawing factual inferences from a patent’s written description (specification): “Weighing ‘all factual inferences drawn from the specification . . . in favor of Visual Memory, the non-moving party,’ we reversed the district court’s decision that the claims were ineligible.” Slip Opinion at 15.

          • Will Dismissal on the Pleadings for Section 101 Eligibility Become Rare?

            Should district courts consider eligibility of patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)? The Western District of Texas seems to think this analysis should wait, and only rarely should Section 101 eligibility be decided on the pleadings. Scanning Technologies Innovations, LLC v. Brightpearl, Inc., 6-20-cv-00114 (W.D. Tex. Apr. 11, 2020, Order). Defendant Brightpearl filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff Scanning Technologies Innovations’ complaint for patent infringement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The motion was filed on April 10, 2020, a Friday. The next day, Saturday, April 11, the Court issued a text order denying the motion.

            [...]

            It is striking to see a court claim that resolving Section 101 eligibility on a Rule 12(b) motion should be rare when courts regularly invalidate claims at the pleadings stage. Indeed, prior to the Federal Circuit’s decision in Berkheimer, dismissal seemed to be common. There is a trend for courts to delay patent eligibility decisions past the pleadings stage as plaintiffs have started alleging more facts to survive Rule 12(b) dismissal, but it’s not clear yet whether this is the new normal.

          • Extrinsic Evidence and Abstract Ideas in Patent-Eligibility: CardioNet, LLC v. InfoBionic, Inc.

            In CardioNet, LLC v. InfoBionic, Inc., No. 2019-1149 (Fed. Cir. April 17, 2020), a three-judge panel (Judges Stoll, Plager, and Dyk) reversed the district court’s grant of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion because claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,941,207 “are directed to a patent-eligible improvement to cardiac monitoring technology and are not directed to an abstract idea.” The panel unanimously agreed that the ‘207patent’s claims were patent-eligible – and that a remand was not needed for a “review of the prior art or facts outside of the intrinsic record regarding the state of the art at the time of the invention.” Judge Dyk nonetheless vigorously dissented from what he characterized as dicta in Judge Stoll’s majority opinion suggesting that review of “extrinsic evidence to establish that a practice is longstanding” can be limited.

          • Attorney Fees Following PTAB Invalidation

            After being Dragon sued DISH for patent infringement back in 2013, DISH collaterally attacked the patent with an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding against the asserted US5930444. The district court partially stayed the litigation — stayed as to DISH and another IPR filer (SXM), but continued the litigation proceedings as to eight other defendants.

            Things didn’t go so well for Dragon. Following a claim construction, the district court entered judgment of non-infringement in favor of all defendants (April 2016). Then, the PTAB came back cancelling all of the asserted claims (June 2016). On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB cancellation and dismissed the district court appeal as moot. On remand, the district court then vacated its prior non-infringement decision and also dismissed the case as moot under US Bancorp and Munsingwear. “A party who seeks review of the merits of an adverse ruling, but is frustrated by the vagaries of circumstance, ought not in fairness be forced to acquiesce in the judgment” U.S. Bancorp Mortg. Co. v. Bonner Mall P’ship, 513 U.S. 18, 25 (1994).

            Following the dismissal for mootness, DISH and SXM requested attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 as the prevailing parties. The district court denied the motion — finding that the parties won the case, but don’t actually count as “prevailing parties” as required by the statute.

            [...]

            For precedent here the court cites and follows B.E. Tech., L.L.C. v. Facebook, Inc., 940 F.3d 675 (Fed. Cir. 2019). B.E.Tech. has very similar facts with an infringement lawsuit being rendered moot based upon an unpatentability finding during an IPR. One difference is that in B.E.Tech, the defendant was seeking costs under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(d)(1) rather than attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. However, since both provisions require a “prevailing party,” the court found that the the same rule should apply to both situations.

      • Trademarks

        • New Balance Bags $1.5 Million Win in Chinese Court in Latest Fight Over its “N” Trademark

          Two decades ago, an array of native Chinese companies began offering up sneakers that looked familiar. With their silhouettes that mirror a certain cult “dad” trainer to the appearance of the letter “N” on the side of the shoes, the shoes were dead-ringers for New Balance’s offerings, including, its 31-year old “574” sneaker. The similarities go beyond the shoes, themselves, though, and extend to the companies’ names – from New Boom, New Barlun, New Bunren, etc. – which have a Chinese pronunciation that is “highly similar” to New Balance’s and when written using Chinese character is “identical” to the Chinese spelling of “New Balance,” and their use of a certain stylized letter “N.”

          In the midst of an aggressive fight against an array of these Chinese footwear companies, New Balance has landed a $1.5 million win. In a decision issued on Thursday, the Pudong New Area People’s Court in Shanghai held that New Barlun engaged in “unfair competition,” pointing to the markedly similar “N” logo that appears on its shoes, which “could cause customers to be confused” as to the source of the sneakers and/or their potential connection to or affiliation with New Balance.

        • TTABlog Test: Is SPIKE Merely Descriptive of Clothing and Leather Goods?

          The USPTO refused to register the mark ROCKSTUD SPIKE for various clothing items and leather goods, absent a disclaimer of the word SPIKE. Applicant Valentino contained that the ornamentation on its products did not meet the definition of “spike,” it pointed to 19 issued registrations for marks containing the word SPIKE without disclaimer, and it also argued that its mark is unitary and therefore no disclaimer is required. How do you think this appeal came out? In re Valentino S.P.A., Serial No. 79228160 (April 15, 2020) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Jyll Taylor).

          [...]

          Valentino asserted that its goods do not include “long” pieces of metal that are sharply pointed, but that argument fell flat. The Board noted that the ornamentation on applicant’s goods have metal pieces that “taper to a point or edge and have an elongated shape in relation to the flat surface on which they are attached,” which satisfies the definition of long (“having a greater length than breadth: ELONGATED”) and sharp (“[t]apering to a point or edge”).

        • Pay A Little More, Hurt A Little Less – Sale Of Counterfeit Goods Highlighted By Social Activist

          First we have to ask ourselves what problems the sale of counterfeit goods are. Abramjee outlined the social issues but these are a knock-on effect of other underlying catalysts. An article by Williams (2018) provides a useful summation in this regard, citing that, loss of economic activity and revenue of a country and worldwide, supporting the illicit market, that genuine and legitimate employment is lost, that innovation is discouraged and that foreign investment is lost.

          Statistics surrounding sale of counterfeit goods vary across different sources. A very reliable source perhaps is the World Trademark Review, which drew its numbers from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union Intellectual Property Office and their respective reports on the matter done in 2013 and 2016 respectively. Their statistics relate to trades made across borders globally (as opposed to nationally, which represent higher figures such as the R100 billion of which Abramjee describes) and the figures provided are projections forecasted for 2022.

      • Copyrights

        • Your “Tiger King” Intellectual Property Questions Answered by Ross Broudy

          Did the popular Netflix show Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness leave you with questions surrounding Joe Exotic’s legal battles with Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue Corporation?

          You may recall that episode four of the series detailed Joe Exotic’s use of logos and photographs owned by Carole Baskin and her company, Big Cat Rescue. Ultimately, Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue prevailed in a trio of intellectual property lawsuits, which contributed to Joe Exotic’s “financial downfall.”

          But how did Joe Exotic’s use of a logo and photographs result in liability of over $1 million? The documentary did not delve into much detail concerning the lawsuits and viewers have been asking questions. Accordingly, we took a stab at answering your “Tiger King” IP-related questions.

          What exactly was Exotic liable for?

          Three separate lawsuits were filed by Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue against Joe Exotic and his company Big Cat Rescue Entertainment (BCR Entertainment). One lawsuit involved trademark claims alleging infringement of the Big Cat Rescue logo; another lawsuit involved copyright claims alleging infringement of a photo with three bunnies (as depicted in the show); and yet another involved copyright claims alleging infringement of several other photos. In each lawsuit, the court found Exotic/BCR Entertainment liable for the alleged claims. Consequently, the court ordered Exotic/BCR Entertainment to pay Big Cat Rescue $953,000 in the trademark lawsuit, $50,000 in the copyright lawsuit involving the bunnies photo, and $25,000 in the other copyright lawsuit. (Because the copyright lawsuit that involves other photos was not discussed on the show and involved similar claims, this blog does not discuss that suit.)

          What happened in the trademark lawsuit?

          The trademark lawsuit centered around Joe Exotic’s alleged use of the Big Cat Rescue logo on a BCR Entertainment business card. The logo and business card can be found on pages four and six of the complaint in the trademark suit.

          Joe Exotic created a company called Big Cat Rescue Entertainment (BCR Entertainment) to sound like Carole Baskin’s company Big Cat Rescue. Baskin alleged that BCR Entertainment created its business card to cause confusion between the two companies.

          To establish its claim for trademark infringement, Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue argued the BCR Entertainment name was confusingly similar to her Big Cat Rescue name by showing that the BCR Entertainment business card imitated the Big Cat Rescue logo’s stylized text, copied the snow leopard image from the Big Cat Rescue website, and displayed a Florida phone number in the bottom right corner to trick consumers into believing BCR Entertainment was actually Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue.

          The court agreed that BCR Entertainment’s business card constituted trademark infringement because it caused consumer confusion between the two companies. Accordingly, the judge ordered BCR Entertainment/Joe Exotic to pay $953,000 to Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue and issued an injunction to prevent further use of the infringing logo.

          What happened in the $50,000 copyright lawsuit?

        • CovEducation, Copyright and Fair Use in India

          The coronavirus pandemic and the consequent lockdowns across the globe has completely turned our everyday lives upside down. Social distancing, work from home and online classes are the current norm. While we adjust to this new normal, issues surrounding the uncertainty of how copyright law applies to online education have cropped up. This post analyzes the position of Indian law on the copyright related questions that have arisen in other jurisdictions in the wake of online teaching and the scope of educational fair use provisions under the law.

          [...]

          Second, digital libraries are very much becoming a part of our higher educational infrastructure. Copyright law must be amended to comprehensively deal with the digital environment as the law relating to traditional libraries is quite inadequate in its application to digital spaces. Questions surrounding multiple users accessing the same resource, availability of the copyrighted work on the internet through digital libraries etc., cannot be analogically addressed using the present law.

          Third, the fact that copyright issues are still a consideration during a pandemic shows that the law and policy haven’t really contemplated extraordinary situations. While one wouldn’t necessarily make the immediate connection between copyright law and national emergencies, the need to restore normalcy right now largely depends on our ability to carry on those activities that we can, within our spatial confinements – and education is definitely the most important one among these. Issues of digital access apart, making available academic resources to students through the internet, at least in the same manner that physical resources would have been offered (library borrowing, copying etc.) is imperative. For instance, the fair use provisions can be expanded during situations of emergencies, to allow schools and universities to shift their library catalogues to digital databases or online repositories, share course-packs and lecture recordings etc., without having to wait for licensing or permission from copyright owners.

        • Copyright Evidence Wiki April 2020 Round-Up

          Sims’ (2019) literature review of students’ knowledge of copyright concludes that “kids these days… may know more about copyright than you”. The study shows that students regularly think about copying, sharing, permissions and accreditation, which may be due to an immersion in e.g. social media. Because of this, students are more willing to engage with the realities and assessment of everyday infringement. Younger students also demonstrate the ability to assess questionable content (e.g. on YouTube) more quickly and efficiently than older generations.

        • Linkvertise Threatens to Sue Universal Bypass over Copyright Infringement

          Universal Bypass is a popular browser extension that circumvents annoying URL shorteners and trackers. While this is a blessing for the public at large, the outfits behind URL shorteners and the people who use them to make money are not happy. Linkvertise made this very clear to the Universal Bypass developer, threatening him with a copyright infringement lawsuit.

        • Author Wins EBook.bike Piracy Case After Accepting Just $9,000 in Damages

          Author John Van Stry has won his copyright infringement lawsuit against former Pirate Party of Canada leader Travis McCrea and his long-defunct eBook download platform eBook.bike. After a year of stressful litigation, the court asked the author to consider reducing his $180,000 damages claim to $9,000 to avoid a full trial. Van Stry accepted but with McCrea now claiming to be broke, it remains to be seen whether the amount will ever be recovered.

        • Why Sharing Academic Publications Under “No Derivatives” Licenses is Misguided

          Academic fraud, whether in the guise of cheating, copying, plagiarism or using the services of essay mills, is no doubt a serious issue for the academic community the world over. This age-old problem has been happening since long before digital technologies and open licenses (such as CC Licenses) were on the scene, however. Clearly, OA is neither to blame for academic fraud nor does it invite it or make it worse. 

        • Copyright and Crisis: Filters Are Not the Answer

          It’s been a joke for years now, from the days when Facebook was just a website where you said you were eating a sandwich and Instagram was just where you posted photos of said sandwich, but, right now, we really are living our everyday lives online. Teachers are trying to teach classes online, librarians are trying to host digital readings, and trainers are trying to offer home classes.

          With more people entering the online world, more people are encountering the barriers created by copyright. Now is no time to make those barriers higher, but a new petition directed at tech companies does exactly that, and in the process tries to do for the US what Article 17 of last’s year’s European Copyright Directive is doing for Europe—create a rule requiring online service providers to send everything we post to the Internet to black-box machine learning filters that will block anything that the filters classify as “copyright infringement.”

Microsoft Never Loved Anybody

Posted in Microsoft at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.”Siddhartha Buddha

Microsoft loves Linux

Summary: Microsoft did not suddenly fall in love with what it compared to “cancer” (or did it?)

“You can’t let them feel like they’re pawns in the struggle. I mean, all through this presentation previously I talked about how you’re using the pawns you’re going to screw them if they don’t do what they want, and da-da-dah. You can’t let them feel like that. If they feel like that, you’ve lost from the beginning. It’s like you’re going out with a girl; forgive me it goes the other way also. You’re going out with a girl, what you really want to do is have a deep, close and intimate relationship, at least for one night. And, you know, you just can’t let her feel like that, because if you do, it ain’t going to happen, right. So you have to talk long term and white picket fence and all these other wonderful things, or else you’re never going to get what you’re really looking for.”

James Plamondon, Lead Microsoft Evangelist

Entryism Works: OSI Uses COVID-19 Pandemic to Promote Microsoft and Its Proprietary Software Traps After Taking Money (Bribes) From Microsoft and Its Oppressive New Tentacles (GitHub)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, OSI at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

For OSI to help GitHub is as bizarre as Greenpeace hypothetically celebrating the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe (the Linux Foundation does this too after receiving its oddly-celebrated bribes)

No New Microsoft

Summary: Flaunting a bunch of lies reprinted for a fee by the media (sometimes with misleading images like “Microsoft loves Linux” or “New Microsoft” — part of a PR/charm offensive), Microsoft is trying to buy tickets into the heart and core of its biggest and most potent competitors, in effect taking control of their direction, policy and sometimes even their words (and Microsoft employees taking key seats/positions inside them)

“BRIBE” is a simple 5-letter word.

It’s not a dirty word.

It’s a rather simple word. It’s also simple to grasp.

“There is no “new” Microsoft, but there’s definitely a Microsoft that infiltrates and bribes the opposition.”We’ve used this word a lot over the years because we don’t mince words and bribery is very commonplace; it’s just almost always disguised using a bunch of euphemisms. The same is true when it comes to tax evasion and blackmail. There are many ways to shave a cat and many ways to bribe, commit tax crimes, extort and so on. Microsoft tried a bunch of those things against me over the years (trying to silence me) and it is apparently still trying.

There is no “new” Microsoft, but there’s definitely a Microsoft that infiltrates and bribes the opposition. It is a conscious and deliberate strategy, not some accidental afterthought. It didn’t start with Novell or with Nokia. This goes decades back. But over the past decade or so we’ve seen Free software in the crosshairs as well. It’s expected. It should be expected. Those who habitually deny it often turn out to be funded by Microsoft one way or another (employment, partnership, sponsorship and so on).

The idea of a “new” Microsoft is one of the biggest scams perpetrated in recent years, with another one (“Microsoft loves Linux”) soon turning 5. Those are not truisms; they’re viewed as necessary or useful lies. Microsoft embeds these lies inside images and disseminates those to so-called ‘journalists’ (some of whom later get arrested for literally raping children). The media is paid to do this. We covered that before.

“The idea of a “new” Microsoft is one of the biggest scams perpetrated in recent years, with another one (“Microsoft loves Linux”) soon turning 5.”We presume longtime readers of ours are sufficiently well-informed and perceive the “new” Microsoft to be much like the “green” BP.

Anyway, earlier this week the OSI published this thing entitled “Using Open Source Tools To Fight COVID-19.”

Sounds rather innocuous on the surface, right?

Look deeper, dive deeper, explore a little further. It’s not about COVID and not about Open Source, either.

“It’s truly grotesque. The OSI is acting like a Microsoft front group sometimes.”It’s about that ploy promoted in the OSI’s blog last year, not too long after a Microsoft employee had entered the OSI’s Board. Guess who wrote that blog post and guess who else promoted the same thing in other blogs… it’s always Microsoft employees. And not just any Microsoft employees but the group responsible for hijacking Apache/ASF, eventually outsourcing the whole thing to Microsoft (mission accomplished, coup complete). It’s the same group (and people) who phoned by boss at work… to complain about me. Those are charlatans, frauds and bullies. They’re behaving like a cult and they infiltrate anything they can get their hands on (like the current CEO of GitHub did for decades).

Look closer at the above post, piggybacking the tragic pandemic, and notice them shamelessly promoting Microsoft’s monopoly agenda. Yes, about half of the whole post has nothing to do with the headline; it’s just shameless promotion of ClearlyDefined, so they’re literally promoting Microsoft in there! As they did before. It’s truly grotesque. The OSI is acting like a Microsoft front group sometimes.

To quote one sentence from it: “DIAL and ClearlyDefined are also working to expand the data that we can provide through the ClearlyDefined platform – including security and vulnerability information.”

Welcome Microsoft!

“But not only the OSI is subjected to such slow-motion entryism…”Promote the monopoly, OSI.

You know very well what you’re doing here. The blog post is published anonymously.

But not only the OSI is subjected to such slow-motion entryism; as we noted the other day, the FSFE started taking Microsoft money — a really awful move that’s a slap across the face to FSFE supporters who saw the antitrust battles, the Samba battles, and Microsoft corruption in Europe, including what happened in Munich. And glancing quickly at yesterday’s news, shame on you, Canonical, for using the official Ubuntu Blog to promote Vista 10 (WSL) just days ahead of your 20.04 release, which is a Debian ripoff with Red Hat’s GNOME. Who are you guys working for, Microsoft? What happened to Ubuntu’s bug #1? Your promise were broken. Your users were betrayed. Your volunteers… barely exist anymore. And your so-called (last) ‘community manager’ works for Microsoft now.

Now, that’s one heck of a “new” Microsoft. It seems like no stone was left unturned. Microsoft is hijacking everything, including millions of developers with a GitHub account, and then says that it’s no longer a monopoly?

Who are we kidding here?

“They don’t like a Stallman who exercises his free speech rights by — gasp — expressing his true views on things.”With Mr. Greve long gone from the scene (Kolab and all) and with German presence at every level of FSFE (might as well rename it FSDE) — just like SUSE that this week continues to prove that’s little but a megaphone of German SAP (not just SUSE by the way; In Planet Fedora this week some Red Hat staff is also doing just that) — someone who appears to be Daniel Pocock wrote about the “FSFE go[ing] astray,” having seen this from the inside. It is, in our careful assessment, one among several reasons he is being defamed and publicly humiliated if not censored by the guilty parties, which project the issues onto him rather than themselves (it’s the classic diversion tactic used 7 months ago against Richard Stallman). Here’s what his latest blog post says:

To help eliminate gossip and innuendo, we’ve updated the About page with a brief, fact-based summary of how FSFE ran off the rails. We hope this clarifies some ambiguity, the crisis in FSFE has breen brewing for a long time and didn’t spontaneously arrive with any one volunteer or decision.

In 1985, the FSF was founded by Richard Stallman.

In 2001, a group of volunteers split from FSF and started using the name FSF Europe, now FSFE, for a new organization. They promised to be subject to an agreement with FSF but they abandoned the agreement and stubbornly continued using the name FSFE anyway.

In 2009, these people promised volunteers that they would be better than the FSF by giving volunteers membership, as Fellows and giving them permission to vote.

[...]

By removing the elections and giving voting rights to staff, they turned the organization into a corporate lobbyist. Secret budgets show significant annual income from Google. This is not the same structure as the organization that a Fellow decided to include in his will before leaving a EUR 150,000 bequest.

[...]

As of 2020, FSFE is also taking money from Microsoft. Any deceased Fellows who gave money to FSFE would turn in their graves.

Asked for his views on the matter, Stallman has not (yet) responded to our query about it. But we’ll update readers if we hear back anything; admittedly, it’s a difficult and risky inquiry to respond to as Stallman doesn’t want to make any more ‘enemies’. FSFE said unflattering things about him while he was being pushed out, based on a deliberate distortion of things he had said in a mailing list many people can see (and almost nobody complained about). Is he fully canceled? Not yet, but they keep him afraid and besieged. They don’t like a Stallman who exercises his free speech rights by — gasp — expressing his true views on things. If they can essentially ‘mute’ some of the most opinionated as well as influential people out there, who’s going to protect against abuse?

Microsoft has us "in check"; just waiting for the right moment to — ahem — pull the trigger. Apologies to Mr. Allchin if he already has copyrights/trademarks on that phrase (recall the quote below). Microsoft is no chessmaster but a master of deception. It has long been the case, but some people just don’t want to see it; all they see is money from Microsoft at the end of some fishing rod.

“This really isn’t that hard. If you’re going to kill someone there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry — you just pull the trigger. Angry discussions before hand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Former Microsoft VP James Allchin in a 09-9-91 e-mail (as revealed in Caldera v. Microsoft)

“Pearly Gates and Em-Ballmer
One promises you heaven and the other prepares you for the grave.”

Ray Noorda, Novell

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:52 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 22/4/2020: Valve’s Proton at 6,500 Games, NixOS 20.03 Released, Python 2 Subset and Ubuntu 20.04 Out Shortly

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What’s vexing Linux-loving Gophers? A few things: Go devs want generics, easier debugging

      The survey throws up some notable points. A typical Gopher develops on Linux (66 per cent) and/or Mac (53 per cent) rather than Windows (20 per cent) – a strong showing for Linux compared to most developer surveys. The top application types worked on by Go coders are API or RPC (Remote Procedure Call) services (71 per cent), CLI (Command Line) programs (62 per cent), libraries and frameworks (48 per cent), and web services returning HTML (47 per cent). They are working on web applications (66 per cent), databases (45 per cent), network programming (42 per cent) and systems programming (37 per cent) – all areas where Linux is strong. Still, the preference for Mac over Windows is an indicator of Gopher culture.

    • BigBlueButton review

      However, the software must be installed on an Ubuntu Linux server, and its installation and ongoing maintenance requires a strong working knowledge of this operating system. Therefore, many schools instead use third-party BigBlueButton managed web hosting companies that install, host, and maintain their BigBlueButton installation for them.

    • New Mainframe Models

      In these days of lockdown and spending all day at home, it’s always good to have news of a new baby in the family. And that’s what we got last week. IBM has shared with its extended mainframe family (and the rest of the world) the news about its two new mainframe products, the z15 Model T02 and LinuxONE III Model LT2.

      The z15 platform was originally launched last September, with the z15 Model T01 and LinuxONE III LT1. Their outstanding feature was the ability for data to be ‘encrypted everywhere’, both in transit and at rest and without impacting system performance. This uses the, so called, Data Privacy Passports. Other standout features were increased physical compute capacity, high availability options, and support for container-based development and applications (using the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform).

      [...]

      Perhaps the biggest talking point with these models is IBM Secure Execution for Linux, a hardware-based security technology that creates isolated Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) that restrict access to business critical or sensitive data, but still allow administrators and developers to perform their jobs. Secure Execution is a way to mitigate insider threats to enterprise data. Basically, Secure Execution provides a KVM-based virtual machine that is fully isolated and protected from the hypervisor with encryption keys that only the IBM Z hardware and firmware have access to.

    • IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

      IBM has acknowledged that it mishandled a bug report that identified four vulnerabilities in its enterprise security software, and plans to issue an advisory.

      IBM Data Risk Manager offers security-focused vulnerability scanning and analytics, to help businesses identify weaknesses in their infrastructure. At least some versions of the Linux-powered suite included four exploitable holes, identified and, at first, privately disclosed by security researcher Pedro Ribeiro at no charge. Three are considered to be critical, and one is high risk.

      [...]

      IBM however did say that it had fumbled the report. “A process error resulted in an improper response to the researcher who reported this situation to IBM,” a company spokesperson told The Register. “We have been working on mitigation steps and they will be discussed in a security advisory to be issued.”

      Ribeiro dismissed IBM’s response in an email to The Register. “Well, what can I say,” he said. “It’s a joke right? I think it’s pretty sad that I have to disclose a zero-day and shame them publicly to get them to patch critical vulnerabilities in a security product, while they sell themselves as an elite company providing security services.”

    • Performance Assessments

      • OpenZFS Sees 3x Throughput Boost For ZVOL Sync Write Performance

        Last week brought FreeBSD support merged into OpenZFS and it turns out there is another recently-merged exciting advancement for this cross-platform open-source ZFS file-system code in terms of a big speed boost.

        A Phoronix reader tipped us off that around the start of April was a big performance improvement that was merged.

        Up until this change, sync writes to a ZVOL were done serially. But with the new code, ZVOLs are processed concurrently with sync writes in parallel. Following this change, “The result is that the throughput of sync writes is tripled.”

      • There Is Now A WireGuard Benchmark For Testing Linux Networking Performance

        With WireGuard added to the Linux 5.6 kernel and it being back-ported to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and its tools getting packaged up by more Linux distributions, it’s finally the year of WireGuard. With its usage set to skyrocket as supported kernels and the WireGuard utilities become available out-of-the-box on more distributions, there is now a WireGuard benchmark for stressing the kernel and its support.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 9.6 Released With Many Benchmark Result Viewer Improvements

        Phoronix Test Suite 9.6.0 is now available as the newest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source benchmarking software.

        Most notable with this Q2’2020 update is Phoronix Test Suite 9.6 having a large number of improvements to its modern benchmark result viewer that was originally introduced in Phoronix Test Suite 9.0.

    • Server

      • Cluster API v1alpha3 Delivers New Features and an Improved User Experience

        The Cluster API is a Kubernetes project to bring declarative, Kubernetes-style APIs to cluster creation, configuration, and management. It provides optional, additive functionality on top of core Kubernetes to manage the lifecycle of a Kubernetes cluster.

        Following the v1alpha2 release in October 2019, many members of the Cluster API community met in San Francisco, California, to plan the next release. The project had just gone through a major transformation, delivering a new architecture that promised to make the project easier for users to adopt, and faster for the community to build. Over the course of those two days, we found our common goals: To implement the features critical to managing production clusters, to make its user experience more intuitive, and to make it a joy to develop.

      • How Kubernetes contributors are building a better communication process

        Kubernetes (k8s for short) communication grew out of a need for people to connect in our growing community. With the best of intentions, the community spun up channels for people to connect. This energy was part of what helped Kubernetes grow so fast, and it also had us in sprawling out far and wide. As adoption grew, contributors knew there was a need for standardization.

        This new attention to how the community communicates led to the discovery of a complex web of options. There were so many options, and it was a challenge for anyone to be sure they were in the right place to receive the right information. We started taking immediate action combining communication streams and thinking about how to reach out best to serve our community. We also asked for feedback from all our contributors directly via annual surveys to see where folks were actually reading the news that influences their experiences here in our community.

      • Amazon Plumbing Nitro Enclaves Support For Linux To Isolate Highly Sensitive Data

        Amazon is working on upstreaming support into the Linux kernel for AWS Entro Niclaves for additional isolation around highly sensitive data within the EC2 cloud.

        As explained on the AWS page, “AWS Nitro Enclaves enables customers to create isolated compute environments to further protect and securely process highly sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), healthcare, financial, and intellectual property data within their Amazon EC2 instances. Nitro Enclaves uses the same Nitro Hypervisor technology that provides CPU and memory isolation for EC2 instances.”

      • Datacoral achieves Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation

        Datacoral, a Data Engineering Company, announced today that it has achieved the Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation, part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program. This designation recognizes that Datacoral’s Data Engineering Platform has been validated to run on and support Amazon Linux 2.

      • How Container Technologies Are Transforming the IT Landscape

        Container and Docker technologies represent a new economic reality that keeps the developer at the center of the IT revolution from big-sized machines to app-driven systems. Calling it a shift from heavily weighed machine to lightweight technologies is not wrong.

        From manpower to automated systems, that’s apparent in the container and Docker ecosystem in numerous ways.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Brunch with Brent: Sri Ramkrishna | Jupiter Extras 71

        Brent sits down with Sri Ramkrishna, seasoned GNOME community member, founder of Linux App Summit, and Principle Ecosystems Engineer at ITRenew. We discuss his experiences in the GNOME community since 1998, the value of building relationships across communities, the increasing importance of non-technical roles in open source projects, and more.

      • LHS Episode #340: Hamlib Deep Dive Redux

        Welcome to the 340th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts revisit Hamlib, the rig-, rotor-, amplifier- and tuner-control library that is at the heart of many applications’ intregration with your ham radio gear. Our guest tonight is Michael Black, W9MDB, the maintainer and lead developer of the Hamlib project. We explore every aspect of the software from where to get it to how to use it and even some esoteric use cases with remote serial devices and more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a wonderful week.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E04 – Indoor umbrellas

        This week we’ve been playing virtual board games. We discuss the new generation of Linux phones, bring you some command line love and go over all your wonderful feedback.

      • 2020-04-20 | Linux Headlines

        Debian elects its new Project Leader, The Tor Project lays off over one-third of its staff, Facebook enters the live-streaming market, and Aptoide reports a major security breach.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.6

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.6 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

      • Linux 5.5.19
      • Linux 5.4.34
      • Linux 4.19.117
      • Linux Kernel 5.5 Reaches End of Life, Upgrade to Linux 5.6 Now



        Released earlier this year in January, the Linux 5.5 kernel series introduced some interesting new features, such as full support for the latest Raspberry Pi 4 models, better Wi-Fi connectivity, SMB multichannel support, and support for using CIFS as root file system.

        It also brought improvements to the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF), cross device offloaded copy for NFS clients, the ability to add alternative names to network interfaces, as well as KUnit, a new unit testing framework for the Linux kernel.

      • TLB State Access Being Tightened Up On Linux For Better Security

        The latest Linux kernel security work being pursued by Thomas Gleixner is tightening up access around the kernel’s per-CPU TLB state access for the translation lookaside buffer.

        Currently this x86 per-CPU TLB state access is in exported code that can be accessed by kernel modules, originally done just to satisfy KVM virtualization needs. In beefing up the security, Gleixner has been reworking the x86 TLB state code so only the few bits needed by KVM can still be accessed outside of the core kernel code while the rest will now be hidden away given that there should be no legitimate access needs of it outside of the core kernel code.

      • Garrett: Linux kernel lockdown, integrity, and confidentiality

        The Linux kernel lockdown patches were merged into the 5.4 kernel last year, which means they’re now part of multiple distributions. For me this was a 7-year journey, which means it’s easy to forget that others aren’t as invested in the code as I am. Here’s what these patches are intended to achieve, why they’re implemented in the current form and what people should take into account when deploying the feature.

        Root is a user – a privileged user, but nevertheless a user. Root is not identical to the kernel. Processes running as root still can’t dereference addresses that belong to the kernel, are still subject to the whims of the scheduler and so on. But historically that boundary has been very porous. Various interfaces make it straightforward for root to modify kernel code (such as loading modules or using /dev/mem), while others make it less straightforward (being able to load new ACPI tables that can cause the ACPI interpreter to overwrite the kernel, for instance). In the past that wasn’t seen as a significant issue, since there were no widely deployed mechanisms for verifying the integrity of the kernel in the first place. But once UEFI secure boot became widely deployed, this was a problem. If you verify your boot chain but allow root to modify that kernel, the benefits of the verified boot chain are significantly reduced. Even if root can’t modify the on-disk kernel, root can just hot-patch the kernel and then make this persistent by dropping a binary that repeats the process on system boot.

      • Garrett: Linux kernel lockdown, integrity, and confidentiality

        Matthew Garrett has posted an overview of the kernel lockdown capability merged in 5.4.

      • Linux 5.8 To Properly Support The RME Babyface Pro High-End Audio Hardware

        While a peculiar name for some expensive audio hardware, the Linux 5.8 kernel is set to properly support the RME Babyface Pro and RME Babyface Pro FS.

        The RME Babyface Pro is a 24-channel USB 2.0 audio interface. The RME Babyface Pro FS meanwhile is its successor as a 24-channel 192 kHz bus-powered USB audio interface. The high-end RME Babyface Pro FS retails for around $899 USD.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA Announces MONAI Open-Source AI Project

          NVIDIA has announced MONAI as their newest open-source initiative.

          MONAI is an open-source AI project developed jointly with King’s College London and is intended to help facilitate healthcare research.

          MONAI builds off NVIDIA Clara medical imaging technology, DLTK, DeepNeuro, PyTorch, and other software components while being domain-optimized for healthcare data.

        • Alyssa Rosenzweig rewarded with Google Open Source Peer Bonus

          Google Open Source has announced their 2020 first quarter Google Open Source Peer Bonus winners, and Alyssa Rosenzweig, Software Engineer at Collabora, is among the recipients!

          [...]

          In Alyssa’s case, she has been recognized for her ongoing work on Panfrost, the free, Open Source graphics software stack for modern Mali GPUs. The project has been progressing quickly, with experimental OpenGL ES 3.0 support landing in Mesa earlier this year. Stay tuned in the coming days for more updates!

    • Intel

      • Intel SVT-AV1 0.8.2 Released With Many Significant AV1 Encoder/Decoder Improvements

        Intel’s open-source SVT-AV1 encoder/decoder for AV1 content continues becoming quite featureful while being extremely performant. Out today is SVT-AV1 0.8.2 with more significant work not only on the encoder side but also decoder.

        Today’s release of SVT-AV1 0.8.2 on the encoder side adds more AVX2 and AVX-512 optimizations, provides initial super resolution support, better warp motion, 16-bit pipeline support, memory optimizations, and many other improvements to enhance the encode process.

      • Intel Landing More Driver Work Needed For Discrete GPU Linux Support

        Landing today in Mesa 20.1-devel were some of the OpenGL/Vulkan-side driver changes needed as part of Intel’s road to bringing up discrete Xe GPU support under Linux.

        For months we have been reporting on various elements of Intel’s discrete GPU bring-up for Linux, which is largely on the kernel side with device local memory support, various code restructuring to make the driver less iGPU focused, multi-GPU support, and SVM support.

      • Intel Working On Slim Bootloader Integration Improvements For The Linux Kernel

        Slim Bootloader is the open-source initiative Intel announced in Q3’2018 for providing a very bare bones BSD-licensed open-source firmware implementation. We’re now seeing new Linux patches for improving the integration with the Slim Bootloader.

        The Slim Bootloader has been designed from the start to be a very lightweight EFI implementation that is derived from Coreboot and designed to be secure as much as it is optimized and lightweight. Recently we haven’t heard too much about Slim Bootloader but it’s fortunately alive and well.

      • Fanless Comet Lake mini PC Ships with Intel Core i7 Quad or Hexa-core Processor

        The company claims the computer support both Windows 10 and Linux distributions. Besides a power adapter and the two antennas, the mini desktop PC also ships with a vertical stand. VESA mounting is also possible, but as I understand it the bracket is not included.

      • Rugged Apollo Lake mini-PC has triple HDMI ports

        IEI’s “IDS-310-AL” mini-PC for rugged signage applications runs Linux or Win 10 on an Apollo Lake SoC with triple HDMI displays, 2x GbE, 3x USB 3.0, SATA, mini-PCIe, and M.2.

    • Applications

      • BleachBit 4.0 Open-Source System Cleaner Adds Major Changes and Improvements



        One of the major changes of BleachBit 4.0 is support for Python 3 to ensure the application will work well on the latest releases of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu 19.10 or the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which dropped support for Python 2.

        This release also brings dedicated packages for the Fedora Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed distributions, making it easier to install the software on these popular GNU/Linux distributions. For Fedora Linux, is also enables cleaning of DNF autoremove.

      • Wireguard – the open-source answer to VPN shortfalls?

        

        Most end-users’ experiences of VPNs (virtual private networks) are from when they’ve needed to “dial into” the office or workplace, remotely.

        That’s something that, right now, millions of people have to do from their homes. And while many organizations’ resources are located in the cloud, there’s still a significant number of services, applications, filestores, and resources that are on-premise — thus the continuing need for VPNs to gain access.
        READ NEXT
        VPN providers put to the test as millions work from home

        “Dialing-in” is often still the terminology used in conversation, but that’s ironic because the process of working inside a VPN “tunnel” is very much reminiscent of the days of dial-up internet connections: slow to establish connection, glacial in responsiveness of apps & services, prone to breaking, and often the subject of frustration (and irritable calls to IT support staff).

      • System Cleaner BleachBit 4.0.0 Released with Python 3 Port

        Free open-source system cleaning tool BleachBit 4.0.0 was released a few days ago. Now it’s running on Python 3 instead of Python 2.

      • QuiteRSS 0.19.4 (21.04.2020) [Ed: This is the RSS reader we use. Highly recommended, this is its new release.]
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Into the Breach gets support for nine more languages, Linux and touch

        “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,” Writes Subset Games.

        Adding to the compatability of the game together with Linux support is touch controls. For those playing the game on a PC with a touchscreen (usually found in laptops) tapping on the display at any time will switch controls over to it.

        This new feature is particularly exciting as it may mean that Android and iOS ports are on the way. Outside of the PC the game is available on the Nintendo Switch, so that’s the way to play the game on the go for now.

      • Unique and stylish looking survival adventure ‘Help Will Come Tomorrow’ released with Linux support

        Help Will Come Tomorrow, a crowdfunded game developed by Arclight Creations, that takes place around the Russian October Revolution is out now.

      • Paradox are giving away Cities: Skylines – Parklife DLC free until April 26

        Cities: Skylines is pretty much the gold standard of city building on any platforms and it has some good expansions too. One of which, Cities: Skylines – Parklife, can be picked up free.

        It’s one of the bigger DLCs available for Cities: Skylines and it’s proven to be quite popular with players too. With it you can build new amusement parks, nature reserves, city parks and zoos, and giving new life to your empty land with custom parks and gardens.

      • Serfs is a new in-development medieval RTS that looks promising, it just added Linux support

        Currently in development, Serfs, a medieval styled real-time strategy game that feels quite like a city-builder with warfare now has Linux support.

      • FOSS Ultima 7 game engine ‘Exult’ has a new big stable update after 16 years

        Ultima 7, what a classic. Released originally back in 1992 it continues to live on thanks to open source. Exult is a FOSS game engine for it and it finally has a fresh release.

        16 years in the making! The last stable update for Exult was back in 2004. The release actually marked the 28th anniversary of Ultima VII – The Black Gate too, so they picked the timing for it nicely. Like with a lot of open source projects, it took time due to real life and some developers moving onto other things.

      • Valve details more changes for Artifact 2.0, with expanded single-player content coming

        Valve continue to revamp Artifact behind the scenes for the upcoming re-release with Artifact 2.0 and they’ve discussed more changes that will come for their Dota themed card game.

        We already know it’s no longer going to have card purchases, making it less of a gamble and more about the gameplay but now we know some more of Valve’s plans and it’s sounding exciting now. In the latest post from yesterday on Steam, they detail surprisingly quite a lot. What really caught my eye though was the mention of more single-player content.

      • Epicinium – a strategy game where nature is a finite resource, to release free and going open source

        Epicinium is a name I’ve not heard in some time. After a failed Kickstarter in 2018, they’re back with their strategy game and the team at A Bunch of Hacks have a new plan for it which includes open source.

        As a reminder on what it actually is first. Epicinium was covered here on GOL some time ago, as they had a fun sounding idea for a simultaneous turn-based strategy game. In Epicinium, nature is a finite resource and the map will change as the game goes on with a “Global warming system”. This system will add weather effects to mix up the gameplay, adding “depth and variety” and you need to keep an eye on the changing climate or it can leave your troops in a bad spot.

      • With tons of weapons and turn-based combat that feels real-time ‘Fractalis’ enters Early Access

        Here’s your morning dose of pixel art with Fractalis, a new roguelike that’s just entered Early Access with some smooth turn-based combat that feels almost real-time. The combat and movement actually reminds me of the excellent Jupiter Hell, with no turn buttons to click it just keeps on going to the point that you can easily forget it’s both grid-based and done in turns.

      • Drag[en]gine Game Engine Release 1.0

        The first public release of the Drag[en]gine Game Engine is up and kicking. To get your fill head over to Dragondreams.ch which is the new home of everything related with the Drag[en]gine Game Engine and the Epsylon Game. You can also look at the IndieDB Engine Profile as well as the engine project page on gamedev.

        Under the Download Section you can find all available downloads for Linux and Windows. Linux is the main development target so you get the most value out of it there.

        No matter if Gamer or Developer you need to install the Game Engine first (green box). The game engine installation is shared across all titles build upon it. Install once and not worry about compatibility issues with every new title you obtain.

        If you are a Developer also install the Development Environment (blue box). The engine is Free Software (L-GPL) so you do not have to worry about royalties nor legal trip-wires. Due to the GLEM design you are free to use any licence on your title you want (including commercially proprietary).

      • Minigalaxy, the FOSS Linux client for GOG adds support for Wine

        While GOG don’t support their own Galaxy client on Linux (yet?), work continues by the community on Minigalaxy, a streamlined free and open source Linux client for GOG.

        Minigalaxy version 0.9.4 went out today, with the biggest feature being the addition of Wine support. This means, if you have Wine installed, you can download Windows games from GOG using Minigalaxy and run them. The feature is quite simple right now, with no settings to change between different Wine versions but it’s a great start. Making Minigalaxy just that little bit sweeter to use.

      • Posts on Hannes Hauswedell’s homepage: Game-streaming without the “cloud”

        With increasing bandwidths, live-streaming of video games is becoming more and more popular – and might further accelerate the demise of the desktop computer. Most options are “cloud-gaming” services based on subscriptions where you don’t own the games and are likely to be tracked and monetised for your data. In this blog post I present the solution I built at home to replace my “living room computer”.

        [...]

        If you haven’t done so already, install Steam. It is available in Debian/Devuan non-free repositories as steam but will install and self-update itself in a hidden subfolder of your home-directory upon first start. You need a steam-account (free) and you need to be logged in for everything to work. I really dislike this and it means that Steam quite likely does gather data about you. I suspect that using non-Steam games makes it more difficult to track you, but I have not done any research on this. See the end of this post for possible alternatives.

        The first important thing to know about Steam on Linux is that it ships many system libraries, but it doesn’t ship everything that it needs and it gives you no diagnostic about missing stuff nor are UI elements correctly disabled when the respective feature is not available. This includes support for hardware video encoding and for playing windows games.

      • Build up your collection of Paradox DLC with the latest build your own Humble Bundle

        Well, this is a little different. Humble Bundle have teamed up with Paradox Interactive to allow you to build your own bundle of DLC for their games. Yes, you read that correctly.

        This is not a game bundle but a DLC bundle. Thinking on it, it’s actually a pretty good idea. Some Paradox games do have quite a long list of DLC, which can be a bit intimidating. For certain games, the DLC can be pretty massive too so this is a good chance if you’ve been wanting to build up Stellaris or BATTLETECH.

      • Games to break the boredom of quarantine: Up to half off on Jackbox games

        You’ll download the game on Steam for PC, Mac or Linux.

      • Valve’s Proton project has brought 6,500 Windows games to Linux so far

        Microsoft should be afraid

        With Valve’s Steam Machines initiative retired and SteamOS being in limbo, it’s a good time to look at how the addition of Proton to Steam Play has worked out in the almost two years it’s been available. Built on the shoulders of giants like Wine and DXVK, it’s the ultimate expression of Gabe Newell’s disdain for Microsoft, and a blessing for people who won’t go back to Windows 10 even if it was built on top of the Linux kernel.

        By now it’s no secret that Valve has been trying to find a solution for Linux fans to be able to enjoy the same games you can play on Windows.

        When the company tried to deliver an integrated hardware and software solution in the form of Steam Machines, it forgot to think of why anyone would want to use them. In 2018, after that failed experiment was finally concluded and Steam Machines were purged from the storefront, Valve came up with the most sensible solution — a set of compatibility tools built into Steam Play called Proton.
        The move was hardly revolutionary, as it was essentially a forked (modified) version of Wine with some additional patchwork and libraries – most notably DirectX over Vulkan (DXVK), which is a translation layer for DirectX 9/10/11 games. But if you go by ProtonDB, there are now over 6,500 Windows games that now work on Linux with little to no effort on the gamer’s part.

      • Proton has brought about 6000 games to Linux so far

        Apart from the new games that Proton brings us on a regular basis, it’s also important to look as a whole how Proton has changed the landscape over time. While the numbers are always pretty much available on the front page of ProtonDB, I take a slightly different look at it to build a graph of “Platinum” games (i.e. working out of the box without any tricks) to Linux using Proton.

        [...]

        This does not even take in account games that are playable with minor modifications (adding a launcher flag, changing the name of an .exe in a directory, etc…) so the real number of games you can actually enjoy with Proton is way higher than that. But “Platinum” sets the bar high and we ought to judge Proton on its promise: making Windows games work on Linux with just one click.

      • Proton has brought about 6000 games to Linux so far

        Proton is one of the biggest contributions to desktop Linux in at least the past ten years. Thanks to Proton, I now play all my games on Linux, and could finally just remove Windows from my desktop altogether. All I do when I want to buy a game that doesn’t support Linux natively is check ProtonDB, and if the rating is platinum (works out of the box) or gold (might need to run a command, move a file around, or select a specific Proton version in Steam), I just buy it without further issues. If it’s rated silver, I’ll take a more detailed look and weigh the work vs. the benefit.

      • A Week With Salient OS

        There’s been a surge of Arch users over the past few years, especially with Manjaro. I’ve been curious as to why that is. They have preferred Arch over their traditional Debian/Ubuntu setups, to the point where the meme, “btw I use Arch” has become a thing.

        After doing a bit of homework, specifically looking at videos from Chris Titus Tech, I’ve learned that the benefit Arch has over Debian is mainly related to software management — how they’re maintained and upgraded. Arch Linux has updates to your software packages every day — perhaps two or three times a day! This is due to Arch using a rolling release model — as soon as an update has been pushed to one or more of your installed applications, the software updater will notify you, giving you access to bleeding-edge software. This is a huge benefit in contrast to having to use a personal package archive (PPA) for most of the packages that you want to have the latest version for on Debian or Ubuntu; not to mention the fact the PPA can go down later on.

        Of course, though, there’s a small catch to having the latest software. Ubuntu may only get updates every six months, but the software is more stable, and would therefore be more useful in an environment where minimal downtime is needed. With Arch, even though we may have the latest and greatest in terms of software, they have had less baking time in the oven and may introduce issues that we might not get with an older, but more stable, release. The frequency of the updates may also irk some users who just want to do their work, whatever that is. If the user wants to bypass the everyday updates, they should get done at least once a month, or better yet, once a week.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • [Older] KDE Neon Goes For The TV With Plasma Bigscreen

          Like the name implies, Plasma Bigscreen is a Linux-based operating system — a modified ARM version of KDE Neon, specifically — designed for living room usage and navigation. The desktop environment Plasma Bigscreen uses is, well, Plasma Bigscreen, and features the open-source MyCroft AI assistant for voice commands. Plasma Bigscreen also includes libcec — the CEC stands for “Consumer Electronics Control” and allows the operator to control their TV with either a standard remote or a voice-controlled one.

          It’s easy to set up, according to the official website. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi 4 (unfortunately in my testing it won’t work with model 3 — but I think my Pi’s broken anyway) and a MicroSD card 8 GB or greater in capacity. Download the image, flash it to the SD card, put the card into the Pi, then give it power. Connect the Pi to your TV and then follow the on-screen instructions with your TV remote to connect to the Internet and create or log in to an existing MyCroft account.

    • Distributions

        • EndeavourOS – Learn Arch The Right Way

          EndeavourOS came out last year after we had one of our favorite arch-based distros discontinued. Initially, the team released the first version with Xfce desktop environment but today they support several other desktop environments.

          EndeavourOS is one of very few Linux distributions that do not claim to provide easy to use GUI tools to learn Linux. Actually, the team promotes the distro as a terminal-centric distro that gives you your favorite desktop environment with a few basic utilities and active friendly community support.

        • IPFire Linux Firewall Distro Improves Its Intrusion Prevention System

          The monthly Core Updates for the IPFire 2.25 Linux firewall distribution continue with version 143, which ships with an updated toolchain based on GNU C Library 2.31, GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) 9.3.0, and GNU Binutils 2.34.

          IPFire 2.25 Core Update 143 also optimizes the build system to take advantage of large amounts of memory on computers to use less I/O resources by no longer writing large temporary files to disk.

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 143 released


          Hey all you cool cats and kittens,

          this is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 143 – another update that brings you loads of improvements for IPFire and its build system. We have updated the toolchain and many other essential system libraries as well as including many bug and security fixes.

          The toolchain – all tools to build the distribution like compilers, linkers and essential system libraries – have been updated and are now based on glibc 2.31, GCC 9.3.0, binutils 2.34.

          The build system has also been optimised to take advantage of machines that have a lot of memory and uses less I/O resources by not writing any large temporary files to disk any more when this can be avoided.

        • New Releases

        • BSD

          • FuryBSD 2020-Q2 images are available for XFCE, and KDEd

            The Q2 2020 images are not a visible leap forward but a functional leap forward. Most effort was spent creating a better out of box experience for automatic Ethernet configuration, working WiFi, webcam, and improved hypervisor support.

        • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

          • What’s new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2?

            Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 brings new features and improvements to existing ones across the board. RHEL 8.2 includes installation enhancements and a better in place upgrade experience, to resource management for optimizing workloads on large systems, to new container tools to improve use of RHEL and the Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI). We have a lot to cover. so let’s get started!

            RHEL is about much more than just the bits that we deliver with each release. We are focused on providing tools that allow you to more easily manage and maintain your RHEL instances across the hybrid cloud. RHEL 8.2, along with Red Hat Insights, includes several features to improve management, installation, and upgrades.

            RHEL 8.2 adds subscription registration to the installation, and you can also enable Red Hat Insights at install time as part of the process. This helps streamline setup and gives Insights monitoring right out of the box after the install is complete.

          • Here comes Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

            Red Hat is kicking rump and taking names now that it’s part of IBM. Red Hat revenue was up 18% in the last quarter and up almost 50% over last year. Why? One reason, as IBM CFO Jim Kavanaugh said, was Red Hat’s been “leveraging IBM’s deep client relationships.” The other reason is that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and the hybrid cloud built upon it have proven very popular. Now, the company is taking the next step in securing this business lead with the latest release of RHEL 8.2.

            [...]

            To improve containerized workloads, RHEL 8.2 introduces Udica. This is a new tool for more easily creating customized, container-centric SELinux security policies. When applied to a specific workload, Udica can reduce the risk that a process can “break out” of a container to cause problems across other containers or the host itself.

          • Red Hat debuts RHEL 8.2 enterprise Linux with intelligent monitoring capabilities

            Linux software company Red Hat Inc.today pushed out a major update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, one week before its annual Red Hat Summit 2020 event kicks off in digital form.

            Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 is the latest version of the company’s flagship operating system for business users. RHEL, as it’s known, supports diverse workloads in physical, virtualized and cloud environments. The company sells specialized versions of the platform for servers, mainframe, SAP applications, desktops and OpenStack.

            The new release builds on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, a version of the OS that the company said was redesigned for the hybrid cloud era, with support for multiple public cloud computing platforms. Highlights of of the release include new intelligent management and monitoring capabilities and enhanced container tools that enable more isolation and privacy for application developers.

            The new management and monitoring capabilities in Red Hat Insights are likely to be especially welcome at a time when many companies are operating with skeleton crews to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. With limited staff available, firms are struggling to monitor and manage their information technology stacks properly, Red Hat said.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14.0.GA and JBoss Tools 4.14.0.Final: Tool and UI updates

            In the previous article, I introduced JBoss Tools 4.14.0 final and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14 for Eclipse 4.14 (2019-12), focusing on the big new features: OpenShift Application Explorer view, feedback loops, and new Quarkus tooling. This article focuses on the many smaller additions and updates. Here, I’ll quickly run through the new features and small changes that improve the development experience in Hibernate Tools and the Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which were updated for Java 13. I’ll also highlight UI changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14.0.GA and JBoss Tools 4.14.0.Final: OpenShift and Quarkus updates

            JBoss Tools 4.14.0 and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.14 for Eclipse 4.14 (2019-12) are here and waiting for you. For this release, we focused on improving container-based development, adding tooling for the Quarkus framework, and fixing bugs. We also updated the Hibernate Tools runtime provider and Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which are now compatible with Java 13. Additionally, we made many UI changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars.

          • Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.1: Improved cloud tools bring more languages, better flow

            We are pleased to announce the release of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.1. Based on Eclipse Che, its upstream project, CodeReady Workspaces is a Red Hat OpenShift-native developer environment enabling developer teams for cloud-native development.

          • Video: Mainframe systems programmer Torrie McLaughlin on the importance of COBOL in her toolkit

            In this New Faces of IBM Z video interview, mainframe systems programmer Torrie McLaughlin shares how her mainframe and COBOL skills have helped her bring value to the banking industry. Find out what she does and how learning these technologies took her career in an exciting new direction. After working in the military, Torrie went back to school with no programming background, stumbled upon COBOL, and now believes is it the crucial foundation of her work as a systems programmer.

          • Node.js 14 release: New diagnostic tools, features, and performance enhancements

            Users can expect and plan for a new current release every April and October, with the latest even-numbered release being promoted to LTS in October. Today’s release will be promoted to LTS in October 2020. The predictable timetable for quality releases has increased adoption of the next LTS release over time.

            It’s April, which means it’s time for another Node.js release. Today, we’re releasing Node.js 14, with new features that are important to Node.js users, including IBM’s customers. While it won’t be promoted to long-term support (LTS) until October, we need our customers and the greater ecosystem to try it out and give us feedback. This will allow us to address any issues in advance and make sure both the release, the ecosystem, and our customers are ready when it’s promoted.

            The 14.x release delivers key enhancements, including the addition of Diagnostic Reports as a stable feature, an experimental async local storage API to let you trace a transaction through different steps within a process and to external resources, support for internationalization, and easier native module use.

          • New API from The Weather Company helps developers build solutions to track COVID-19

            The Weather Company unveiled a new disease tracker API for Call for Code developers that aggregrates COVID-19 data from trusted primary sources and tracks where the coronavirus is spreading over time. With this API, developers can create solutions to inform local, state, and county officials as they plan shelter-in-place guidelines and show citizens how adhering to those restrictions has a positive impact in slowing COVID-19 disease progression.

            The disease tracker API is exclusively available to developers who are participating in the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge and building solutions to fight the impact of COVID-19. Developers who have accepted the challenge can register and receive a time-limited API key.

          • Recognizing the 2020 Red Hat Innovation Awards honorable mentions

            Earlier today, we announced the winners of the 2020 Red Hat Innovation Awards; however, that’s just part of the story. Now in its 14th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards are designed to recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world. Creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology are evident not just in our winners but throughout the entire pool of award nominees.

            We’re excited to recognize an additional group of Red Hat customers using open source technology to make waves in their respective industries. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s honorable mentions – Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad, ExxonMobil, Tata Consultancy Services, Telefonica Movistar Argentina and Turkcell.

          • Helping developers engage with community projects

            One of the most common issues seen with experienced professional software developers who start to work on community software is a reluctance to engage with public communication channels, like mailing lists. Understanding the reasons why, and helping your developers engage with the community, is a key to creating a successful and fruitful relationship with the community you are working with.

            In my experience, some common reasons for this reluctance include a lack of confidence in written English skills, a perceived lack of technical skills, nervousness related to public peer review, and perceiving community interaction as “communication” or “marketing,” which they believe is not part of their job.

          • Announcing the winners of the 14th annual Red Hat Innovation Awards

            Now in its 14th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. This year’s winners are Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development, BMW Group, Edenor, Ford and Vodafone Idea Limited.

          • Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite 6.7 introduces deeper integrations across the portfolio, enhanced security and content management

            Last year at Red Hat Summit 2019, we introduced Red Hat Smart Management, combining the flexible and powerful infrastructure management capabilities of Red Hat Satellite with the simplicity of cloud management services for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Smart Management enables users to keep Red Hat Enterprise Linux running efficiently on any platform, while reducing repetitive tasks, expediting at-scale resolution of threats and improving the total cost of ownership.

            This year, we’re expanding the features and capabilities of both Red Hat Smart Management and Red Hat Insights to help make it even easier for users to more securely manage environments supported by Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Insights will now include more cloud management services, providing more comprehensive visibility into two key use cases: operational efficiency and security and compliance risk management. Since Red Hat Insights is included in active Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions at no additional cost, users can access these capabilities today. To augment the ability to take swift action on risks identified by Red Hat Insights, we are introducing the Cloud Connector in Red Hat Smart Management to provide direct integration between Red Hat Insights and your on-premises Red Hat Satellite infrastructure. Now users can put the alerts from Insights into action through remediation of risks directly from the Red Hat Insights dashboard with the push of a button. Red Hat Smart Management with Satellite 6.7 will execute at-scale remediations of Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments in the cloud and on-premises.

          • Strengthening the partner ecosystem today, tomorrow and beyond

            Looking back on my 25-year career, it’s clear the circumstances we face now are truly unprecedented. We are all adapting to a changing world, both personally and professionally. As we join together to navigate these challenges, please know that Red Hat is here to help.

            One thing that has not changed is Red Hat’s commitment to working with and through our partner ecosystem to support customers. In times like these, we find that the open source way keeps us grounded and focused on collaboration and transparency to enable creativity and innovation. Fix a bug, inspire a better solution, unite for the greater good.

          • Máirín Duffy: Resilience and trolls*

            Recently, two separate people called something myself and other Fedora Design Team members worked on “crap” and “shit” (respectively) on devel list, the busiest and most populous mailing list in the project.

            [...]

            I have been working through a University of Pennsylvania online course on resiliency that was recently made free as in beer due to its applicability in the COVID-19 pandemic we’re all dealing with.

            (Yes, internet trolls really are not as dire as some of the issues many of us are going through right now that this generous offerings was meant to try to help – death, sickness, food insecurity, job insecurity, isolation, and more. But no, there’s no reason why we couldn’t apply the framework taught in the course on something stupid like trolls as practice for the heavier things!)

            The course is called Resilience Skills in a Time of Uncertainty and it is taught by Karen Reivich who is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an engaging instructor and the course materials are put together extremely well. I’m going to walk you through what I’ve learned so far, directly applying it to the devel list

          • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.12 released

            I released rpminspect-0.12 today. A lot of time has passed since the 0.11 release and that was deliberate. The bulk of changes for this release were related to the test suite and bug fixing.

          • Fedora 32 election schedule

            One of the core aspects of my job at the Fedora Program Manager is the management of the Fedora elections. After each release, the community chooses members of the Fedora Council, the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), and the Fedora Mindshare Committee. These bodies help to set the course of the project. Because these elections are so important to the future of Fedora, I am making a one-time change to the election schedule.

            Normally, the election process starts the week after a release. Assuming Fedora 32 releases as scheduled on Tuesday, the usual schedule would have voting take place between 28 May and 11 June. However, because of the upcoming move of Fedora infrastructure to a new data center, the Elections app is expected to be offline from 20 May to 1 July.

        • Debian Family

          • Debian Dropping A Number Of Old Linux Drivers Is Angering Vintage Hardware Users

            More than a few Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days expressing outrage that Debian GNU/Linux is dropping a number of old hardware drivers.

            Earlier this month the Debian “X Strike Force” team decided to drop a number of obsolete input and video drivers from Debian. The basis in dropping these old input and display drivers is “They are either unmaintained upstream or provide no value to the distribution.”

            Among the drivers affected were for Mach 64, ATI Rage R128, Savage, Silicon Motion, SiS, Trident, and NeoMagic graphics hardware. This is for hardware like the ATI Rage 128 that is more than 20 years old along with many of the other hardware supported by these drivers. Originally the Geode display driver was also set to be removed but later kept in. Input drivers for Elo touchscreens, MuTouch, and others were also dropped.

            Among those jumping in on the bug report and mailing list were pointing out the r128 driver is used by old Apple hardware and others saying that Debian supporting old hardware is important.

            Upstream these X.Org drivers are still “maintained” in that they may see a release every few years to fix compiler warnings or compatibility with new xorg-server releases but are seldom actually tested on the actual hardware by the developers — often with those maintaining these drivers upstream not having hardware access — and sometimes these drivers upstream end up sitting around broken for years.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

          • Ubuntu 20.04: The most exciting new features

            Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) will be unleashed on April 23rd, 2020. The first reports of this new release were mostly focused on a new release of GNOME and a few other aesthetic tweaks, plus a couple of additional performance enhancements.

            But we are talking about Ubuntu, one of the most user-friendly and enterprise-ready desktop Linux distributions on the market. So of course the developers weren’t going to settle for having their 28th named release standing as an uneventful occasion. So it should come as no surprise that, in recent days, the news that Ubuntu was going to do something really important for this update came down the pipe.

          • Linux Mint 20: New features, Release date, and more

            Unlike the previous releases, Linux Mint 20 will only be available for 64-bit machines. The current long-term support (LTS) release Linux Mint 19.3 ‘Tricia’ was released in December 2019.

            For the uninitiated, LTS releases get support for a more extended period than the short-term versions. Linux Mint follows Ubuntu’s footsteps when it comes to supporting the LTS editions that will get five years of support and are considered as enterprise-grade releases. Linux Mint 19 will continue getting support until 2023, and the Linux Mint 20 will be supported until 2025.

            Codename ‘Ulyana’

            Ever since the very first version of Linux Mint codenamed ‘Ada’ was released back in 2006, all new versions belonging to a new series (such as 18.x or 9.x) are given feminine code names that start with the next letter of the alphabet. Every name except ‘Sarah’ for Linux Mint 18 ends with the letter ‘a’, making the names sound pleasant to the ears.

            For instance, the last 4 LTS releases of Linux Mint 19 based on Ubuntu 18.04 have been named with nicknames starting with the letter ‘T’ – Tara, Tessa, Tina, and Tricia. Naturally, it follows that the next 4 LTS releases of Linux Mint 20 will have names that start with the letter ‘U’.

          • Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Launch Date Announced

            The work on Ubuntu Touch advances, and the team developing the project has just announced that a new testing build is ready to go live.

            In other words, Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 will be released on May 6, and testers are all invited to install the new version, try it out, and then send feedback to help further polish the experience and resolve bugs.

            As with every Ubuntu Touch update, there are several changes coming in OTA-12, with three very important highlights.

            First, it’s the upgrade from Mir 0.24 to Mir 1.2, the developing team announces in a blog post.

            Then, it’s a change that concerns the Lomiri version bundled with the OS.

          • Things You Should Know About Ubuntu 20.04



            Ubuntu 20.04 release is just around the corner and you may have a few questions and doubts regarding upgrades, installation etc.

            I hosted some Q&A sessions on various social media channels to answer doubts of readers like you.

            I am going to list these common questions about Ubuntu 20.04 with their answers. I hope it helps you clear the doubts you have. And if you still have questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

          • 2004 to 20.04 LTS: Ubuntu in popular culture



            When we launched Ubuntu back in 2004, our mission to make well-supported, free open source software available to everyone, everywhere was a bold one – but today, Ubuntu is one of the world’s most popular operating systems. One consequence of that popularity is that Ubuntu has very much entered the public consciousness, and its influence can be seen across all kinds of popular culture.

            With the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release almost upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look back over the last 16 years and highlight some of our favourite Ubuntu pop culture appearances.

          • Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS overview | Easy.Excellent.Expert.Elaborate.

            In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu Kylin 20.04 LTS overview and some of the applications pre-installed.

          • Pop!_OS 20.04 New Keyboard Shortcuts

            In this video, we are looking at some of the new default keyboard shortcuts in Pop!_OS 2.04.

          • Ubuntu 20.04: What’s New? [Video]

            With the Ubuntu 20.04 release so close I can hear it breathing, I’ve put together a short video to show you the most notable user-visible changes to ship in it.

            Now, fair warning: LTS releases are always a difficult one to cover. The cumulative list of changes from LTS to LTS is huge, but while that list is new to the majority it is old news anyone staked out on an interim releases.

            [...]

            But know this. Ubuntu 20.04 is the most secure, stable, and scalable version of Ubuntu to date. A truly well-crafted OS that delivers a first-class experience whether you’re a software engineer hopping on the latest technologies or a high school student fed up of blue screens and forced updates.

            The Focal Fossa is frickin’ fantastic.

          • Ubuntu 20.04: What’s New?
          • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Released : Download Now [ ISO] [Ed: This page is wrong. It has not been formally released yet.]

            Finally, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released and available for the download. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS will be supported for the next five years till April 2025.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • iPhone 7 Becomes a Linux Phone Thanks to postmarketOS Hack

        Linux phones are becoming more of a common thing these days, with more and more companies investing in such a device, but as it turns out, you can actually create your very own Linux smartphone at home without spending hundreds of dollars.

        Someone has managed to install postmarketOS on an iPhone 7 using the checkra1n jailbreak tool that helped flash a Linux kernel on the device.

        As you can see in the screenshot here, the project doesn’t yet have a GUI, so everything comes down to the command line, but given it’s all just a work in progress, further improvements are obviously on their way.

      • Forget About Zoom — Here are 3 Open Source Zoom Alternatives

        The first open source video conferencing solution that comes to mind is Jitsi. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in both Java (For desktop/mobile) and Javascript (Web client).

        Jitsi is one of the best open source alternatives for Zoom, because it is not just a client/server app. Instead, the Jitsi team releases all their libraries, APIs, server instances and infrastructure as open source. This makes you capable of inspecting any single component you may think of (E.g for government requirements) or deploying your own instances of everything.

        Their clients are open source too. They provide mobiles apps for iOS and Android, and a web client for everything else.

      • Summer internships at the FSF! Apply by May 10

        Do you believe that free software is crucial to a free society? Do you want to help people learn why free software matters, and how to use it? Do you want to dig deep into software freedom issues like copyleft, Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), or surveillance and encryption? Or, do you want to learn systems administration, design, or other tasks using only free software?

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is looking for interns to spend the summer contributing to work in one of three areas: campaigns, licensing, or with our tech team.

        While in-office intern positions here in Boston are typically preferred, due to COVID-19, this summer the FSF is only hosting remote interns. As such, applicants from anywhere in the world will be considered.

      • Say hello to the newest Collaborans!

        In these times of disruption and uncertainty, how about some positive news for a change? Let’s take a moment to celebrate the newest members of our engineering and administration teams, who came onboard earlier this year!

        Based in France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Brazil, these newest Collaborans join our worldwide team of highly skilled engineers, developers and managers who all share a common passion for technology and Open Source.

      • Alternative Free Software for Architecture and Design

        An alternative to Windows or Mac OS is the Linux Mint. Linux is a generally known operating system although rarely used. Apart from free of charge, its distributions have become increasingly more complete, professional and productive.

      • Using Open Source Tools To Fight COVID-19

        The Open Source Center at the Digital Impact Alliance (OSC at DIAL) was created to strengthen the open source ecosystem and provide support to digital platforms like SORMAS and DHIS2 that have been developed to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

        For years, global health experts have been saying that another pandemic with the speed and severity to rival those of the 1918 influenza epidemic was a matter not of if but of when. Factors like climate change only increase the risks of new outbreaks around the world as vector-borne diseases move to new areas. Sadly, when a health crisis like this arises, it is usually the most impoverished communities that are impacted most, because resources are scarce and fewer systems exist to support the most vulnerable.

        Technology has an important role to play in supporting better health in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). As we see with SORMAS and DHIS2, organizations have responded to these new risks by developing technologies that give people tools and data to fight outbreaks like COVID-19. OSC has also provided direct support to other platforms like Medic Mobile, Ushahidi, and Open Street Map that have been deployed to support COVID-19 response. Beyond health, we have also seen how technology platforms can positively impact lives through remote learning, mobile payments, and messaging applications.

        The OSC is working to make open source tools more accessible, deployable, and interoperable. To that end, DIAL has created their Online Digital Global Goods catalog (currently a beta product). This tool tracks over 200 products that support health, development, and better lives. Sadly, many of these products are not well known and not used as effectively as they might be.

      • Is Open Source Analytics in Your Budget?

        Open source code is generally high-quality and the software’s capabilities are often innovative, thanks to the community of developers who continually test and enhance it. And because that community can be extremely large and located throughout the world, this can happen around the clock, resulting in fast code review and fixes and reliable, cutting-edge software.

      • Intel Deep Learning Reference Stack 6.0 Released For Maximizing Performance

        Two years ago Intel announced the open-source Deep Learning Reference Stack with providing an easy-to-use, performance-focused stack for exploiting deep learning capabilities on Intel x86_64 hardware. Today marks version 6.0 of this toolkit.

        Deep Learning Reference Stack releases have been focused on adding new tools and performance optimizations with this week’s DLRS 6.0 release doing the same.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Kiwi Browser now completely open source

            The developing team at Geometry Ou Communication this week announced their Kiwi Browser is now 100% open source. Kiwi is based on Chromium and WebKit, the engine that powers the most popular browser in the world so you won’t lose your habits. “Kiwi Browser is made to browse the internet, read news, watch videos and listen to music, without annoyances.”

            The full Kiwi Browser source code is now available to download from Github, and uses the same three-clause BDS license as Chromium. Enabling you to create your own fork right away if desired, although the developer also encourages other people to help with the development of Kiwi Browser. A Discord community has been set up for the Kiwi Browser, where you can discuss development and share ideas.

          • Over 2 billion Google Chrome users warned of security risk on Windows, macOS and Linux

            Google has issued a critical warning for Chrome users across Windows, macOS and Linux, and has advised users to update their apps to the latest version of the build. A stable release version 81.0.4044.113 of Chrome is being seeded by Google and will reach users in the coming weeks.

            In a short blog post, Google warned users of its popular browser Chrome to update to the latest version whenever available. This is due to a bug that made the browser vulnerable to attack and exploitation. Having said that, the details about this particular security risk is being kept under wraps as Google wants to first get the latest update to users that fixes the issue.

          • Google Releases Much-Awaited Chrome Update; Alerts 2 Billion Users About Security Flaws Across Windows, Mac & Linux

            “The stable channel has been updated to 81.0.4044.113 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, which will roll out over the coming days/weeks,” Google said in a blog post last week. “This update includes 1 security fix,” it added.

            [...]

            “The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues,” Google said. “Access to bug details and links may be kept restricted until a majority of users are updated with a fix. We will also retain restrictions if the bug exists in a third party library that other projects similarly depend on, but haven’t yet fixed,” it added.

          • Google Issues Warning For 2 Billion Chrome Users

            Are you a Google Chrome user? Google has issued a warning of a vulnerability in its Chrome browser across Windows, Mac and Linux – urging users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113).

            Google just gave its two billion Chrome users a brilliant (if long overdue) upgrade, but it doesn’t mask all of the controversial changes, security problems and data concerns which have worried users about the browser recently. And now Google has issued a new critical warning you need to know about.

            Picked up by security specialist Sophos, Google has quietly issued a warning that Chrome has a critical security flaw across Windows, Mac and Linux and it urges users to upgrade to the latest version of the browser (81.0.4044.113). Interestingly, at the time of publication, Google is also keeping the exact details of the exploit a mystery.

          • Google Chrome and desktop icon refresh problem

            Looking around, I did find a Chromium bug report from 2015, which also mentioned a workaround. Needless to say, the specific workaround is no longer available, as the user icon is no longer present in the Chrome window border, and flags occasionally come and go, as they represent experimental browser features. But this was a good starting point, so I went about testing and tweaking, until I found the right solution. After me.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox browser privacy features explained

            As we’re all online more these days, the Firefox browser privacy features have never been more important. For instance, as you’re hopping through different sites searching for pantry recipes or immunity boosters, Enhanced Tracking Protection is blocking third-party trackers from collecting that data and serving you ads that are eerily on the nose. Or, when you’re researching the difference between cold, flu and seasonal allergy symptoms, private browsing mode will automatically erase your private browsing history (because your symptoms are your business).

          • How Using a Team Charter Helps Our Distributed Firefox User Research Team Connect and Align

            Firefox User Research is a distributed team within Mozilla dedicated to conducting mixed methods research to define and support work related to Firefox products and services, present and future. Currently, the team consists of 11 people across North America: a director, a research operations specialist, and nine researchers with different backgrounds, training, and experiences.

          • Engineering code quality in the Firefox browser: A look at our tools and challenges

            Over the years, engineering teams at Mozilla have introduced tooling for code quality. This toolchain works at various stages of the complex Firefox development cycle. In this article we’ll take a look at the types of tools we’ve developed, some of the challenges they address, and the architecture solutions we’ve developed.

            [...]

            Firefox is a vast (21M lines of code) open source software project which grew from Netscape in 1998. We use multiple languages (C++, Rust, JavaScript, Python, and more), manage hundreds of changes every day, and handle a repository of several gigabytes at scale. This makes for some unique challenges.

      • CMS

        • How I use Hugo for my classroom’s open source CMS

          People love Markdown text with good reason—it is easy to write, easy to read, easy to edit, and it can be converted to a wide range of other text mark up formats. While Markdown text is very good for content creation and manipulation, it imposes limitations on the options for content display.

          If we could combine the virtues of Markdown with the power and flexibility of Cascading Style Sheets, HTML5, and JavaScript, that would be something special. One of the programs trying to do this is Hugo. Hugo was created in 2013 by Steve Francia; it is cross-platform and open source under an Apache 2.0 license with an active developer community and a growing user base.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • How did FSFE go astray?

            To help eliminate gossip and innuendo, we’ve updated the About page with a brief, fact-based summary of how FSFE ran off the rails. We hope this clarifies some ambiguity, the crisis in FSFE has breen brewing for a long time and didn’t spontaneously arrive with any one volunteer or decision.

            In 1985, the FSF was founded by Richard Stallman.

            In 2001, a group of volunteers split from FSF and started using the name FSF Europe, now FSFE, for a new organization. They promised to be subject to an agreement with FSF but they abandoned the agreement and stubbornly continued using the name FSFE anyway.

            In 2009, these people promised volunteers that they would be better than the FSF by giving volunteers membership, as Fellows and giving them permission to vote.

            In 2016, Elias Diem, a Fellow in Switzerland invited Richard Stallman from the real FSF to speak at a joint FSF-FSFE event.

            Diem subsequently died in an accident.

            Shortly afterwards, FSFE received a EUR 150,000 bequest.

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Shepherd 0.8.0 released
            We are pleased to announce the GNU Shepherd version 0.8.0.  This release
            represents 31 commits by 7 people, primarily bug fixes and small
            additions to the programming interface.
            
            • About
            
              The GNU Daemon Shepherd or GNU Shepherd is a service manager written
              in Guile that looks after the herd of system services.  It provides a
              replacement for the service-managing capabilities of SysV-init (or any
              other init) with a dependency-based system with a convenient
              interface.  The GNU Shepherd may also be used by unprivileged users to
              manage per-user daemons (e.g., tor, privoxy, mcron, etc.)  It is
              written in Guile Scheme, and is configured and extended using Guile.
            
              The GNU Shepherd is developed jointly with the GNU Guix project; it is
              used as the init system of Guix, GNU’s advanced GNU/Linux distribution.
            
            https://www.gnu.org/software/shepherd/
            
            • Download
            
              Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]:
            
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/shepherd/shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz
            
            
            https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/shepherd/shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz.sig
            
              Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth:
            
            https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/shepherd/shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz
            
            
            https://ftpmirror.gnu.org/shepherd/shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz.sig
            
              Here are the SHA1 and SHA256 checksums:
            
              1b1cea9c1271ef21611e8b717e9fd37c3c165bdc  shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz
              940eb3e8a6f2ee710925b35ace3ee003cc8a38ff017a121d471bb5573e628b0a  
            shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz
            
              [*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the
              .sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file
              and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this:
            
                gpg --verify shepherd-0.8.0.tar.gz.sig
            
              If that command fails because you don't have the required public key,
              then run this command to import it:
            
                gpg --keyserver keys.openpgp.org \
                    --recv-keys 3CE464558A84FDC69DB40CFB090B11993D9AEBB5
            
              and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command.
            
              This release was bootstrapped with the following tools:
                Autoconf 2.69
                Automake 1.16.2
                Makeinfo 6.7
                Help2man 1.47.13
            
            
            • Changes since version 0.7.0 (excerpt from the NEWS file)
            
              ** Kill the whole process group when the PID file doesn’t show up
                 (&lts;https://bugs.gnu.org/40672>)
              ** ‘make-kill-destructor’ kills the process group
              ** New ‘default-pid-file-timeout’ SRFI-39 parameter
              ** New #:file-creation-mask parameter for ‘make-forkexec-constructor’
              ** ‘make-forkexec-constructor’ creates log files as #o640
                 (&lts;https://bugs.gnu.org/40405>)
              ** Improve documentation and examples
              ** Ensure man pages are up to date
                 (&lts;https://bugs.gnu.org/39694>)
              ** Fix compilation on systems without ‘prctl’ such as GNU/Hurd
              ** Remove kludge that would send SIGALRM every second
              ** Address “error in finalization thread” warning
              ** ‘make-forkexec-constructor’ no longer supports old calling convention
            
              The first argument must be a list of strings.  Passing several strings has
              been deprecated since 0.1.
            
            Please report bugs to address@hidden.
            Join address@hidden and address@hidden for discussions.
            
            Ludovic, on behalf of the Shepherd herd.
            
          • GNU Shepherd 0.8 Released As An Alternative To Systemd

            GNU Shepherd, the official init system and service manager of the GNU operating system, is out with its newest update.

            This Guile-written service manager is up to version 0.8.0 and has seen just under three dozen commits from seven developers since the previous release.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Top 5 open source licenses trends

            Everybody has a favorite database project. Well, most of you do anyway… If you do, you may feel protective about what people can and cannot do with it. That usually comes down to the open source license. And man, licenses can get people’s backs up, so it’s good to know where things are headed when you’re picking a license for a project or just trying to understand what’s out there. Thankfully the folks at WhiteSource do a deep dive each year to let us know what’s happening with all the open source packages and files in their database. Here are five trends to know about open source licenses.

      • Programming/Development

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Elixir

          Elixir is a dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Besides scalability, Elixir is noted for its speed, good garbage collection, dynamic typing, immutable data, and high reliability.

          Elixir is a relatively new functional programming language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine. Elixir builds on top of Erlang and shares the same abstractions for building distributed, fault-tolerant applications.

          The language is published under the Apache License 2.0.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.16 Rash In Progress

            Arne Sommer has started publishing a number of blog posts on how to create a Raku shell (a command line interpreter like Bash). The first instalments cover paths, loops, catching interrupts and running external programs. In interesting introduction to many Raku features. And maybe the start of something really cool! (/r/rakulang comments).

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 056: Diff-K and Path Sum

            I totally ignored the fact that the input array is sorted. My solution works for any input array, but it’s still rather efficient.

            The basic trick is that we don’t have to compute $A[$i] – $A[$j] for each combination or $i and $j. We know $k from the very beginning, so we can just iterate the array for the first time to store it in a hash, and iterate it for the second time to check the hash whether the corresponding number exists in the array.

        • Python

          • S. Lott: Why Python is not the programming language of the future — a response

            This is an interesting article with some important points. And. It has some points that I disagree with.

          • EuroPython 2020: Ticket sales started
          • Building a Python community in Colombia: John Roa, 2018 Q4 CSA Recipient

            PyCons take place throughout many parts of the world. Each PyCon is different in its own way; drawing from its own geographical location as well as local history and culture. In 2017 another beautiful country opened its doors to a new PyCon, with the launch of PyCon Colombia.

            PyCon Columbia stands out for its attention to detail, superb planning, and well-curated content. “What struck me about PyCon Colombia was how well thought out and organized it is. Particularly for a fairly new conference, it was exceptional in how carefully and completely things had been organized,” says Naomi Ceder, Chair of the PSF Board of Directors, who delivered the keynote at PyCon Colombia 2018. Reflecting this dedication, on the PyCon Colombia website the conference comments that it is one “made with love.” Like a ship needs a captain for smooth sailing, a PyCon needs one too. John Rao is that person for PyCon Colombia as he has been the chair of PyCon Colombia since its first edition in 2017. It is for this reason that the Python Software Foundation is pleased to recognize John Roa for the 2018 Q4 Community Service Award:

            The Q4 award also went to John Roa for his work as a founder and Conference Chair of PyCon Colombia.

          • Python Coding Interviews: Tips & Best Practices

            You’ve made it past the phone call with the recruiter, and now it’s time to show that you know how to solve problems with actual code. Whether it’s a HackerRank exercise, a take-home assignment, or an onsite whiteboard interview, this is your moment to prove your coding interview skills.

            But interviews aren’t just about solving problems: they’re also about showing that you can write clean production code. This means that you have a deep knowledge of Python’s built-in functionality and libraries. This knowledge shows companies that you can move quickly and won’t duplicate functionality that comes with the language just because you don’t know it exists.

            At Real Python, we’ve put our heads together and discussed what tools we’re always impressed to see in coding interviews. This course will walk you through the best of that functionality, starting with Python built-ins, then Python’s native support for data structures, and finally Python’s powerful (and often underappreciated) standard library.

          • Dropping Tutorial Paralysis, Building a Django Blog From Scratch

            Have you ever wanted to create awesome stuff with Django like making your own blog or any other app but don’t know where to start? Or are you tired of taking lazy tutorials?

          • How To Fix – FATAL: Peer authentication failed for user “postgres” Error

            Peer authentication failed error arrives when you try to login to your PostgreSQL user but authentication fails because by default psql connects over UNIX sockets using peer authentication instead of password authentication.

          • Effective Python Testing With Pytest

            Testing your code brings a wide variety of benefits. It increases your confidence that the code behaves as you expect and ensures that changes to your code won’t cause regressions. Writing and maintaining tests is hard work, so you should leverage all the tools at your disposal to make it as painless as possible. pytest is one of the best tools you can use to boost your testing productivity.

          • The Three of Wands: Building Pyrseia I: The Idea

            Over at Highrise, we’re looking to replace our internal Python RPC library. The in-house solution we’re using now isn’t particularly bad, but it doesn’t integrate well with Mypy, which is a Python typechecker that might be useful to us. It’s also somewhat boilerplate-y, and very coupled to our particular set of design choices. This series of articles follows my attempts to do better, in the form of a modern, open source, fully customizable RPC library. I’ve decided to call the library Pyrseia, which is an ancient greek method of long distance communication.

          • How I use Python to map the global spread of COVID-19

            The spread of disease is a real concern for a world in which global travel is commonplace. A few organizations track significant epidemics (and any pandemic), and fortunately, they publish their work as open data. The raw data can be difficult for humans to process, though, and that’s why data science is so vital. For instance, it could be useful to visualize the worldwide spread of COVID-19 with Python and Pandas.

          • Using Python to visualize COVID-19 projections

            Using Python and some graphing libraries, you can project the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and also display the total number of deaths for a country (this article uses India as an example) on a given date. Humans sometimes need help interpreting and processing the meaning of data, so this article also demonstrates how to create an animated horizontal bar graph for five countries, showing the variation of cases by date.

          • Python 3.7.4 : A simple addon for Blender 3D version 2.8 .
          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #417 (April 21, 2020)
          • Goodbye Python 2 programming language: This is the final Python 2.7 release

            After 11 years of supporting programming language Python from the 2.7 branch, the Python Software Foundation has released the last ever update for it and is urging users to move on to Python 3 to continue receiving first-party support.

            Python 2.7 support was meant to end in 2015 but was extended five years until 2020, six years after Python’s creator, Guido van Rossum, announced Python 3 and implored users to “move on to Python 3″.

          • Python 2.7.18, the last release of Python 2

            The CPython core developers are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Python 2.7.18.

          • Python 2.7.18, the end of an era
            I'm eudaemonic to announce the immediate availability of Python 2.7.18.
            
            
            
            Python 2.7.18 is a special release. I refer, of course, to the fact that "2.7.18" is the closest
            any Python version number will ever approximate e, Euler's number. Simply exquisite!
            
            
            
            A less transcendent property of Python 2.7.18 is that it is the last Python 2.7 release and
            therefore the last Python 2 release. It's time for the CPython community to say a fond but firm
            farewell to Python 2. Users still on Python 2 can use e to compute the instantaneously compounding
            interest on their technical debt.
            
            
            
            Download this unique, commemorative Python release on python.org:
            
            https://www.python.org/downloads/release/python-2718/
            
            Python 2.7 has been under active development since the release of Python 2.6, more than 11 years
            ago. Over all those years, CPython's core developers and contributors sedulously applied bug fixes
            to the 2.7 branch, no small task as the Python 2 and 3 branches diverged. There were large changes
            midway through Python 2.7's life such as PEP 466's feature backports to the ssl module and hash
            randomization. Traditionally, these features would never have been added to a branch in maintenance
            mode, but exceptions were made to keep Python 2 users secure. Thank you to CPython's community for
            such dedication.
            
            
            
            Python 2.7 was lucky to have the services of two generations of binary builders and operating
            system experts, Martin von Löwis and Steve Dower for Windows, and Ronald Oussoren and Ned Deily for
            macOS. The reason we provided binary Python 2.7 releases for macOS 10.9, an operating system
            obsoleted by Apple 4 years ago, or why the "Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler for Python 2.7" exists is
            the dedication of these individuals.
            
            
            
            I thank the past and present Python release managers, Barry Warsaw, Ned Deily, Georg Brandl, Larry
            Hastings, and Łukasz Langa for their advice and support over the years. I've learned a lot from
            them—like don't be the sucker who volunteers to manage the release right before a big compatibility
            break!
            
            
            
            Python 3 would be nowhere without the critical work of the wider community. Library maintainers
            followed CPython by maintaining Python 2 support for many years but also threw their weight behind
            the Python 3 statement (https://python3statement.org). Linux distributors chased Python 2 out of
            their archives. Users migrated hundreds of millions of lines of code, developed porting guides, and
            kept Python 2 in their brain while Python 3 gained 10 years of improvements.
            
            
            
            Finally, thank you to GvR for creating Python 0.9, 1, 2, and 3.
            
            
            
            Long live Python 3+!
            
            
            
            Signing off,
            
            Benjamin
            
            2.7 release manager
            
          • Python 2.7.18, the end of an era

            Python 2.7.18 is out. This is the last release and end of support for Python 2.

          • Introducing ndindex, a Python library for manipulating indices of ndarrays

            One of the most important features of NumPy arrays is their indexing semantics. By “indexing” I mean anything that happens inside square brackets, for example, a[4::-1, 0, …, [0, 1], np.newaxis]. NumPy’s index semantics are very expressive and powerful, and this is one of the reasons the library is so popular.

            [...]

            These limitations may be annoying, but are easy enough to live with. The real challenge when working with indices comes when you try to manipulate them. Slices in particular are challenging to work with because the rich meaning of slice semantics. Writing formulas for even very simple things is a real challenge with slices. slice(start, stop, step) (corresponding to a[start:stop:step]) has fundamentally different meaning depending on whether start,stop, or step are negative, nonnegative, or None. As an example, take a[4:-2:-2], where a is a one-dimensional array. This slices every other element from the third element to the second from the last. What will the shape of this sliced array be? The answer is (0,) if the original shape is less than 1 or greater than 5, and (1,) otherwise.

          • How to patch in Python?

            (monkey-) patching is a technique for changing code behaviour without altering its source. It is done in runtime, usually by overriding attributes of existing objects. An object can be an instance of some sort, a class or even a module. The technique is most commonly (ab)used for tests when we cannot pass mocks in a simple way.

            [...]

            Gevent made requests a coroutine-friendly library and thanks to concurrency, it enabled our example server to handle over 13.5 times more requests per second.

            In the end, we have a program that has coroutine-based concurrency (same principle as in asyncio or node.js) but its code still looks like synchronous one. We do not need special, cooperative libraries or async/await keywords in our code. It’s almost like magic.

          • Installation of Jupyter on external hard disk/ USB

            We have to use Jupyter notebooks for Machine Learning at our university. Jupyter needs a lot of space on the hard disk and I was able to remember (from vocational school) that we were able to install PHPMyAdmin on a USB stick. You have a transportable web application on this way. I had this goal for Jupyter and the Python environment on Linux.

        • Rust

          • Programming language Rust’s adoption problem: Developers reveal why more aren’t using it

            Rust has been voted the “most-loved” programming language by developers on Stack Overflow for four years in a row. But the Rust project now admits it has an adoption problem among developers and organizations.

            Rust’s adoption issue surfaced in January’s Stack Overflow’s 2019 survey, which revealed that despite developers’ positive feelings toward Rust, 97% of them hadn’t actually used it.

            Rust maintainers have now explored the adoption challenges in their latest annual survey of nearly 4,000 developers across the world. Of those who use Rust full-time, most developers report working in back-end web applications, distributed systems, and embedded systems.

          • In Rust we trust? Yes, but we want better tools and wider usage, say devs

            “The overriding problem hindering use of Rust is adoption,” according to the language’s official survey, with some developers struggling to be productive and hampered by limited IDE support.

            Rust is the “most-loved” language, the StackOverflow research says, and has been for four years in a row, but the new study shows that one in five Rust developers do not feel productive in the language. The top reasons cited as barriers to adoption were the need for better training and documentation, improved libraries, and more IDE integration.

            “As a small business, even 4-6 weeks to become productive is a lot to ask,” said one respondent.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • New font with Unicode-compatible Creative Commons license symbols

        Version 13 of the Unicode Standard — the world’s leading standard for characters, symbols, and emoji — was announced in early March 2020. The addition of the Creative Commons (CC) license symbols caught my interest among the 5390 new characters added in version 13.

        Creative Commons is a set of permissive free-culture licenses that are meant to encourage sharing. Think of it as the open-source code for creative works. Read the Creative Commons License Primer if you’re unfamiliar with their licenses. The different CC licenses are associated with symbols that represent what rights the license restricts. E.g. the 🄏 non-commercial symbol is used to represent licenses that restrict commercial exploitation.

      • How to get computers made 40 years apart talking to each other

        Hypothetical: You’ve got two computers you need to move files between. Software, saved games, documents… whatever the type of files, you’ve got ‘em on one computer. And you need to get them to another one. Just one wrinkle – one of those computers was made in 2020 (let’s say a laptop running Linux or Windows 10)… and the other was produced four decades earlier (let’s say an old Apple II).

      • Course on Interoperability in Health Informatics – now free

        To that matter, Edx offers a particularly relevant course in the current context and this collection on Health Informatics Data and Interoperability Standards.

      • The Decline of Usability

        Another apparently unfashionable UI standard is the menu bar. It used to be a lowest common denominator between platforms and, when still present, it works basically the same on Windows, Mac and Unix-likes. For the most part, it even keeps the traditional “File, Edit, View” approach to things. The Gnome designers, however, have decided that such menus are apparently a bad feature and they should probably never have been used in the first place. To rectify more than three decades of such folly, they have created… something I’m not sure what to call.

        One of the tricks up their sleeve is the hamburger menu. On smartphones, it’s a great feature, but on the desktop, it’s unnecessary: If there’s anything we have on today’s wide screen displays, it’s horizontal space. In Gnome, it seems to be a catch-all for UI operations that didn’t end up somewhere else.

      • The decline of usability

        We can find solace in the fact that trends tend to be cyclical, so there’s a real chance the pendulum will eventually wing back.

  • Leftovers

    • The Pleasures of Eating Matzo

      When the good weather allows it, I get together with my friend Manny Greer and sit on the bench in front of our favorite coffee-house in Soho, Ground Support, whose owner, Steven, is a good friend of ours. Although he is much younger than we are (he is in his forties, Manny is 95-years-old and I’m 80) we have a good banter among us.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Our Response to the Coronavirus Demonstrates How Far America Has Careened Off Track

        We can’t make the masks we need, but we pour billions into an unnecessary military build-up.

        Stephen Kinzer is a former New York Times reporter and the author of Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2006) and Reset Middle East: Old Friends and New Alliances: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Iran (2011). www.stephenkinzer.com

      • The Coronavirus Pandemic and Our Civilizational Crisis

        Although the coronavirus pandemic is not unique in its global reach, it, nevertheless, reminds us of the deficiencies inherent in the systems within which we operate. Indeed, all such infectious diseases exist in specific contexts that determine how lethal they will be and what will be the extent of our capacities for dealing with the death and disruption accompanying them.

      • “Donald J. Trump Ventilators”

        Although it should have come as no surprise, Donald Trump’s unprecedented decision to add his name to stimulus checks going out to millions of Americans under the CARE Act still has left jaws dropping across the beleaguered land, which is approaching 650,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus Trump predicted would soon be down to zero (“like a miracle”).

      • ‘A Snapshot of a System In Breakdown’: States Forced to Smuggle PPE Under the Nose of the Feds

        “The federal covid response has entered a new phase of political sadism.”

      • The Fire Fauci Brigade

        The intemperate volcano that is the US President has done much to burn its way through prominent appointments. As the title of former GOP strategist Rick Wilson’s book goes, Everything Trump Touches Dies. There seem few more important individuals in the United States than Dr Anthony Fauci, and that, for the White House, is a problem. No burning bushel can distract from the orange tufted centre of power that is Donald Trump, and Fauci, as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been giving much to distract.

      • With 4,268 new cases in the past day, Russia’s official coronavirus count hits 47,121 patients

        On the morning of April 20, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 4,268 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 47,121 patients. A day earlier, health officials reported 6,060 new cases.

      • Feinstein Urges Newsom to Negotiate with Trump over Increasing Water Exports to Agribusiness

        On April 15, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Jim Costa, TJ Cox, John Garamendi, and Josh Harder sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom imploring him to reach an agreement with federal agencies through negotiation, rather than judicial action, on increasing water deliveries from the Delta to San Joaquin Valley corporate agribusiness interests.

      • Russia’s National Guard gets 1.3 billion rubles for medical equipment to fight coronavirus

        Russia’s federal government has allocated 1.3 billion rubles ($17.5 million) to the National Guard to procure medical equipment needed to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to a new order issued by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The funds are earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, non-contact digital thermometers, air disinfectants, and more.

      • A Moscow hospital discharged a woman who complained of fever. She died near her home one hour later.

        A resident of Moscow’s Marfino district died on a bench near the entrance of her home on April 18, within an hour of being discharged from the hospital, according to the news agency TASS. According to the TV channel REN and the Telegram channel Baza, the woman’s name was Elena Chuklova. She was just 48 years old.

      • Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Safety Protections

        As news emerged that the novel coronavirus was infecting hundreds of workers in meatpacking plants, Gregoria Rivas began worrying that her chicken processing facility in North Carolina wasn’t doing enough to protect workers like her from the virus.

      • Covid-19 Exposes the Death Penalty’s Selfishness

        Capital punishment has always been perverse, but during our country’s struggle with the coronavirus, its selfishness sticks out like a sneeze, its sickly aerosols joining racism, classism, and festering immorality — all the hallmarks that have long-infected its practice.

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

        Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse than a global pandemic that has reached all corners of the earth, infecting over 2 million people and killing over 146,000 — over 33,000 so far in the U.S. — President Trump has announced that the U.S. will suspend all funding to the World Health Organization.

      • The Geopolitical Streisand Effect: The More China And The WHO Try To Silence Taiwan, The More Attention Its Success Fighting COVID-19 Gets

        Last week, a full page advertisement appeared in the NY Times, that was crowdfunded by nearly 27,000 people (mostly from Taiwan), with the provocative line: “WHO can help? Taiwan.” Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen posted a picture to her Facebook page:

      • Russia’s Orthodox Easter amid the coronavirus pandemic

        Late into Saturday evening and before the crack of dawn on Sunday, Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter over the weekend. This year’s services had to reckon with self-isolation containment measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, which led many churches across Russia to close their doors to the public and broadcast their ceremonies online. In some areas, however, churches remained open to worshippers, who came to celebrate Easter while wearing masks and socially distancing — sometimes.

      • COVID-19, Poverty and Structural Violence

        As a nation, obviously, there are so many things we can do better. There always will be. Yet, what the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made all too apparent is how we have not appropriately dealt with poverty in the United States. This is not just about the Trump Administration, it is about all past presidential administrations and past congressional sessions which have largely ignored the issue in favor of corporate concerns, or more lucrative economic programs, and/or private interests. At times, poverty has been on the governmental agenda, and at times, some legislation has been passed. But in all honesty, why has poverty not been a more major issue to tackle?

      • ‘Heroes’: Healthcare Workers Stand in Street to Block Right-Wing Protest Against Colorado Stay-at-Home Order

        “When they’re telling us not to contribute to what they’re seeing in the hospital every day, listen.”

      • How Ecuador Descended Into Corona Chaos

        In the last few days and weeks, media outlets around the world have been publishing shocking stories and images of the COVID-19 crisis in Ecuador. Scenes of corpses abandoned in the streets of Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second-largest city, have shaken audiences in Latin America and beyond. Statistics, even the highly untrustworthy official ones, have confirmed the dire picture of a fast accelerating crisis. Whereas on March 17 just 111 people had tested positive for COVID-19, by April 13, 7,529 were reported to be infected, and 355 people were reported to have died. Bearing in mind the difficulties of cross-country comparisons and disparities in testing, Ecuador now has the highest per capita COVID-19 death toll in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the second-highest per capita number of COVID-19 cases. So how did Ecuador, and the city of Guayaquil in particular, with 70 percent of national cases, reach this point?

      • Starving the Cities and States

        Disaster capitalism is in high gear. The stock market plunged, so Trump, hysterical, whipped out the federal checkbook. The result? Unlimited bailouts of shoddily-run corporations, criminally managed banks and other assorted oligarchs with their hands out. But hey, it got the stock market soaring, because now investors know Washington will rescue them, whatever idiocies they commit. Everybody else is on their own. After they cash that one-time stimulus check, they get to join the rest of the unemployed in the line at the food bank. Meanwhile the lifeline for the 22 million people who have lost their jobs is their unemployment check. For that they turn to their state. And guess what? The Covid-19-caused economic shutdown is bankrupting the states.

      • Medical Staffing Companies Cut Doctors’ Pay While Spending Millions on Political Ads

        Private equity-backed medical staffing companies that have cut doctors’ pay are continuing to spend millions on political ads, according to Federal Communications Commission disclosures.

        The ads amount to $2.2 million since Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency on Jan. 31. About $1.2 million has been spent since President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration on March 13, the disclosures show.

      • Trumpian Nationalists Have Met Their Match in COVID-19

        “Where does incompetence end and crime begin?” asked an appalled German chancellor in the First World War on learning that his chief military commander planned to renew his bloody but futile attacks on the Western Front.

      • The Reason COVID-19 and Climate Seem So Similar: Disinformation

        For a long time, the story went that the tobacco industry cooked up disinformation and then spread it to the fossil fuel guys, the chemical industry, pharma, you name it. But one thing that became incredibly clear when we began digging into PR firms and specific publicists was that this version of history was not quite right; if disinformation strategies were cooked up by any particular industry it was the public relations industry, which put these strategies to work on behalf of fossil fuels, tobacco, chemical manufacturers and more, often all at the same time.

      • On Badass Nurses: I Want My Death To Make You Angry
      • Lifting Stay-in-Place Rules Won’t Fix Economy If Virus Still Rages, Fauci Says

        A number of protests across the country took place over the weekend, in which participants argued against stay-in-place orders meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and in favor of “reopening the economy” as pushed by President Donald Trump.

      • Cities across Russia see virtual protests against self-isolation restrictions

        Residents of Rostov-on-Don held a virtual rally against self-isolation restrictions on April 20, using the “Conversations” tool on the mobile apps Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Navigator. During the virtual rally, locals dropped pins near the regional government building and wrote messages about the impact of self-isolation orders, ranging from lost jobs to ineligibility for social assistance. In general, participants demanded one of two things: either the authorities introduce a full quarantine regime (which would provide local residents with guaranteed social assistance from the government) or the removal of restrictions preventing people from going to work. Hundreds of comments appeared over the course of the digital protest.

      • Trump’s Inaction on the COVID-19 Crisis Seems More Deliberate Each Day

        Within the heart of the problem is this ventricle: Donald Trump defines “sacrifice” as “what other people do to make me happy.” Trump enjoys having his picture taken with evangelical ministers laying hands on him like he’s the very Rock of Ages, but in truth, the man wouldn’t know genuine sacrifice if it walked up and stuffed a live bat down his pants.

      • Governor Whitmer’s Lockdown Approval Rating Surpasses Trump’s

        Despite Trump’s calls for residents of Michigan to “liberate” themselves against stay-in-place policies implemented by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a recent poll shows greater support and approval for Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus than the president’s among citizens of The Great Lakes State.

      • Officials Knew Coronavirus Could Spread at the Houston Rodeo and Proceeded With the Event Anyway

        Days before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo kicked off, area politicians celebrated this great piece of Americana — dubbed the world’s largest livestock show — which was going forward in the age of the coronavirus.

        Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, a 29-year-old rising political star, posted on Facebook on Feb. 28 how “pumped” she was for rodeo season, sharing a list of her favorite songs. “Look forward to seeing y’all there! #RodeoHouston.”

      • Most Illinois School Districts Did Not Have Approved E-learning Plans Before the Pandemic

        Long before the coronavirus crisis shut down Illinois schools, state education officials had encouraged districts to prepare for circumstances when they would have to teach remotely. But most of the state’s 852 school districts didn’t have e-learning plans in place when schools closed in mid-March, a ProPublica Illinois-Chicago Tribune analysis has found.

        Many of those districts have found themselves scrambling to figure out how best to teach students when they can’t be face to face. They have had to search for the best online platforms — Google Meet or Zoom or Flipgrid or Seesaw? — and try to determine how many students lacked internet service while districts that had already established the logistics have been able to pivot more easily into actual instruction.

      • COVID-19 ‘Liberate’ Groups Are the Same Ones Pushing Climate Denial

        The response among many American public officials and the public at large to the COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, paralleled the response to the climate crisis.

      • Time for Fauci to Quit?

        If Fauci hangs in there and stresses the inevitability of a second wave of deaths closer to election time if the lockdowns end prematurely, he might just manage to steer Trump away from this cliff.

      • Cobra Is Not Enough! Congress Must Expand Medicare Coverage to Everyone for Duration of Coronavirus Crisis

        Big problems demand big solutions: Congress Must Expand Medicare Coverage to Everyone in America for the Duration of the Crisis.

      • “They Wanted To Kill Us With Stones”: Cop On Attack On Quarantine Team

        The group who had attacked police and healthcare workers at the minority-dominated Padarayanapura in the city on Sunday night had raised slogans ”kill police” when the team went to quarantine some people, the police alleged in an FIR.

        Around 100 to 120 people rushed out onto the road targeting the police and health workers who wanted to pick up primary and secondary contacts of coronavirus patients.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Git v2.26.2 and others
            Today, the Git project is releasing the following Git versions:
            
                v2.26.2, v2.25.4, v2.24.3, v2.23.3, v2.22.4, v2.21.3, v2.20.4,
                v2.19.5, v2.18.4, and v2.17.5.
            
            These releases address the security issue CVE-2020-11008, which is
            similar to the recently addressed CVE-2020-5260.
            
            Users of the affected maintenance tracks are urged to upgrade.
            
            The tarballs are found at:
            
            https://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/
            
            The following public repositories all have a copy of the 'v2.26.2'
            and other tags:
            
              url = https://kernel.googlesource.com/pub/scm/git/git
              url = git://repo.or.cz/alt-git.git
              url = https://github.com/gitster/git
            
            Attached below is the release notes for 2.17.5; all the newer
            maintenance tracks listed at the beginning of this message are
            updated with the same fix, so I won't repeat them here.
            
            Thanks.
            
          • Git Sees Another Round Of New Releases Due To Security Issue

            Last week saw a slew of new Git releases due to a security issue over the newline character creating a possible credential leak. This week is another round of emergency Git releases due to a similar security bug.

            Git 2.26.2 is out today along with new point releases from Git 2.25 through Git 2.17. These new Git releases are coming as a result of a similar security bug to last week’s problem.

          • Why Online Voting Won’t Work, Even in a Pandemic

            But as Motherboard has reported extensively, voting machines and using the internet in any way to exercise our most democratic right could call into question the integrity of the results and leave systems vulnerable to manipulation. Or, as the Democratic party discovered during its Iowa caucuses this past January, the entire vote count is at the mercy of a terrible app.

            On this week’s CYBER we have Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai on to discuss why online voting isn’t ready for prime time.

          • Massachusetts, Indiana Settle With Equifax Over 2017 Data Breach

            As part of a settlement approved in January, Equifax will have to set aside $380 million for payments to affected individuals, attorney fees of $80 million, and other costs. The states that filed a lawsuit against the company will receive a total of $175 million.

            However, Massachusetts and Indiana are not included in that multistate settlement as they filed their own lawsuits against Equifax. The attorneys general of Massachusetts and Indiana announced last week that they have each reached a settlement with the company for $18.2 million and $19.5 million, respectively.

            The Equifax breach impacted roughly 3.9 million residents of Indiana and nearly 3 million people in Massachusetts.

          • Detroit hospital network says data breach affected more than 100,000 patient accounts [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The attack against the hospital network occurred months before U.S. facilities started responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

          • Beaumont security breach puts personal information of 112,000 people at risk [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Beaumont discovered in late March that employee email accounts had been accessed May 23-June 3, 2019 by a third party, potentially compromising such patient information as name, date of birth, diagnosis, diagnosis code, procedure, treatment location, treatment type, prescription information, Beaumont patient account number, and Beaumont medical record number.

          • IT Services Giant Cognizant Attacked by ‘Maze’ Ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

            The company, which has about 300,000 employees, said it was hit by the “Maze” #ransomware group and is engaging law enforcement authorities.

          • Cognizant Hit by ‘Maze’ Ransomware Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            According to cybersecurity firm McAfee, [attackers] who deploy Maze threaten to release information on the [Internet] if the targeted companies fail to pay.

            “We are in ongoing communication with our clients and have provided them with indicators of compromise and other technical information of a defensive nature,” Cognizant added.

            It did not respond to a request from Reuters for further comments on the incident.

          • Cognizant hit by ‘Maze’ ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            “Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack,” Cognizant said in a statement. It added that its internal security teams, supplemented by leading cyber defense firms, are actively taking steps to contain this incident.

          • Cognizant hit by ‘Maze’ ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

            New-Jersey headquartered IT services provider Cognizant on Saturday said that it had faced a ransomware attack on Saturday that has caused disruptions to its clients.

            The company released a statement on Saturday on its official website. “Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack,” it said.

            The Maze ransomware was discovered in 2019 and has since gained notoriety.

          • COVID-19’s impact on Tor

            We had to let go of 13 great people who helped make Tor available to millions of people around the world. We will move forward with a core team of 22 people, and remain dedicated to continuing our work on Tor Browser and the Tor software ecosystem.

          • Tor Project lets go of a third of staff due to COVID-19

            The Tor Project, the non profit organization behind the Tor (The Onion Router) Browser, has let go of roughly a third of its staff due to the COVID-19 crisis. Tor is known as a private browser developed for use by dissidents in oppressive countries and others that need their internet use anonymized. Tech companies and organizations around the world have been affected by this pandemic, and it’s sobering to see the Tor Project have to let go of staff during this time period where Tor use is arguably ever more crucial.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (webkit2gtk), Debian (awl, git, and openssl), Red Hat (chromium-browser, git, http-parser, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, qemu-kvm-ma, rh-git218-git, and rh-maven35-jackson-databind), Scientific Linux (advancecomp, avahi, bash, bind, bluez, cups, curl, dovecot, doxygen, evolution, expat, file, firefox, gettext, git, GNOME, httpd, ImageMagick, java-1.7.0-openjdk, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, kernel, lftp, libosinfo, libqb, libreoffice, libsndfile, libxml2, mailman, mariadb, mod_auth_mellon, mutt, nbdkit, net-snmp, okular, php, polkit, poppler and evince, python, python-twisted-web, python3, qemu-kvm, qt, rsyslog, samba, squid, taglib, telnet, texlive, thunderbird, unzip, wireshark, and zziplib), SUSE (apache2), and Ubuntu (git and python2.7, python3.4, python3.5, python3.6, python3.7).

          • Russian IT Security Updates

            As part of the April „fix Tuesday“, Microsoft fixed 113 vulnerabilities in various products, including three zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows that were used in attacks to execute arbitrary code and increase privileges.

            Two zero-day issues (CVE-2020-1020 and CVE-2020-0938) were contained in Adobe Type Manager Library and affected all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 7.

            the Third vulnerability ( CVE-2020-1027 ) affected the Windows kernel and allowed the attacker to increase their privileges and execute code with kernel privileges.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘The US Reaction to Pressure to Ease Sanctions Was to Double Down’
      • The Mountains Sing

        I was born near New York City in 1973, the year the United States officially ended its war in Vietnam and brought home the last of its combat troops. The Vietnam War, known to the Vietnamese as The American War, was always something removed from me, even as I read history after history, watched documentaries and, as a Marine Corps officer, researched copies of wartime Marine Corps manuals. Despite that the war waged for another couple of years after my birth for the Vietnamese people, that the peoples of Cambodia and Laos suffered mass killings and atrocities while I was a boy, and that to this day, as I am now a man in his late forties, both Vietnamese and American families, in the millions, suffer death and disability from the poisonous and lasting effects of Agent Orange, not to mention the thousands who are killed and maimed each year due to the unexploded remnants of millions of tons of US bombs dropped on Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the war had little personal effect on me. Even with my connection now to many Vietnam veterans and my experience meeting scores of family members who have lost husbands, fathers and brothers to Agent Orange, a connection to the war in Vietnam to my own life and my own experiences at war in Afghanistan and Iraq has been simply academic or theoretical.

      • Tatar Islamic Scholar Arrested For Allegedly Running Branch Of Banned Islamic Group

        Nagiyev also said that law enforcement authorities in Tatarstan have already added Naumov to a list of extremists, although his trial is still pending.

        Since 2013, several alleged members of Nurcular have been arrested across Russia.

        Nurcular was founded in Turkey by Islamic scholar Said Nursi, who died in 1960. It has been banned in Russia since 2008.

      • What Coronavirus? PAK busy Missile testing, orchestrating terror in Kashmir

        With reports of people dying due to starvation in Pakistan during coronavirus lockdown and showing discrimination while evacuating VIPs from London, the country’s government appears to have different priorities right now. From test-firing missiles in the Arabian Sea to continuing infiltration attempts in Kashmir, Pakistan’s agenda appears to be more focused on matters that should not take precedence over saving the lives of PAK citizens.

      • Zambian official says Glencore reverses plan to shutter copper mines

        Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu also denied a report MCM and other Zambian mines might be bargaining chips in ongoing debt negotiations with China.

        A Wall Street Journal report on Friday said, citing Zambian officials, that the government was considering giving China mining assets including Mopani as collateral in exchange for deferral or forgiveness of its sizeable debt.

        Zambia’s external debt stood at $11.2 billion by end-June 2019, the finance minister said in March, with about a third of that foreign debt owed to China.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • John Oliver Blasts Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing Misinformation About Coronavirus

        While Oliver was incensed by conservative media as a whole, he paid particular attention to Limbaugh, who reaches roughly 15 million listeners with his syndicated talk show—including President Donald Trump. Calling Limbaugh “a man with millions of listeners, a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and almost certainly, a room in his basement that his housekeeper isn’t allowed to go into,” Oliver pointed out that even well into the health crisis, the broadcaster has continued to provide his audience with “some fabulously wrong information.”

      • Governors call Trump’s bluff on testing capacity: “The president is simply lying”

        But governors from both parties fact-checked these claims as false. The U.S. is currently processing about 150,000 tests per day, according to the Covid Tracking Project. However, Harvard researchers estimate that the U.S. will have to conduct upwards of 500,000 to 700,000 tests per day to be able to reopen by mid-May.

        Testing is needed to identify and isolate new cases and trace their contacts to prevent further outbreaks.

        “To say that the governors have plenty of testing — and they should get to work on testing, somehow we aren’t doing our job — is just absolutely false,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, told CNN on Sunday. “Every governor in America has been pushing and fighting and clawing to get more tests.”

    • Environment

      • 4 Myths Pushed By Climate Deniers — And How to Debunk Them

        What’s more is that if we simply redirect some of the US$ 5.2 trillion in subsidies and tax cuts that governments continue to supply the fossil fuel sector, which is at the centre of spewing out massive amounts of carbon emissions that drives global warming, we could make a big difference. This number that the industry receives amounts to 6% of global GDP, and according to the Climate Central, if we just set aside 1% of the world’s GDP for climate action, we could lower carbon emissions, reduce air pollution deaths and increase government revenue to be put aside for the green economy and health sectors.

      • [Old] Ecuadorian children bring case against government

        Nine children aged between seven and 14 who live in the contaminated lands of Sucumbios in the Ecuadorian Amazon have taken their government to court in a landmark case which is awaiting resolution after the lockdown. 

        The state owned Petro Amazonas and the Ministry of the Environment are on the receiving end of the action with the children demanding the cessation of all gas flares in their villages which contaminate the Amazon air they breathe. 

        They are being supported by UK environmentalist Nicola Peel, who is in the vicinity researching the effects of the oil industry on indigenous people and the environment. She and local lawyer Pablo Fajardo accompanied the nine children who handed in the legal demands to the courts at the end of February.

      • International Mother Earth Day: 22 April

        Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.

        Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.

      • What Is Earth Day Live? The Largest Online Mass Mobilization in History

        For this upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day, youth and other climate activists had planned on holding a massive worldwide strike and thousands of public demonstrations to demand that leaders in the public and private spheres take action on climate change. Of course, in-person gatherings are not possible right now. But in a remarkable showing of agility and creativity, the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition has transformed the event into the largest online mass mobilization in history — Earth Day Live, which will take place April 22–24.

      • Earth Day’s 50th anniversary goes digital amid coronavirus pandemic, with virtual protests, video teach-ins and more

        “It is depressing,” Hayes said. “But I got a message for you: We’ve not reached the end of the line. We’ve still got time to be able to turn this around before we reach tipping points that do become irreversible.”

      • This Earth Day, We Should Repent

        Places that seemed to European explorers like Eden will now become uninhabitable, and everywhere, the attempt to master nature will leave us more subject to it. We pride ourselves on cleverness and we sought to remake the world with our knowledge. We looked to the future for consolation and to posterity for vindication. But unless we make a great turn, it seems safe to assume we will go down as the greatest fools who ever lived.

        Yet, in a technocratic age, we still think in terms of plans and blueprints to be “implemented.” International institutions, even more than governments, are obsessed with targets and indicators. All this despite the evidence: The United Nations statistician Howard Friedman has found, for example, that, except for debt relief, none of the organization’s Millennium Development Goals had a discernible effect.

        It is time, then, to consider a new kind of declaration. A declaration of responsibility, acknowledging what we have done and recognizing we were mistaken: a simple expression of collective responsibility for what is wrong.

      • Why You Should Care About Earth Day During the Global Coronavirus Pandemic

        On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in protests, festivals, and rallies on the very first Earth Day. The occasion launched the modern environmental movement and helped pave the way for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) later that year. Soon after, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, three pieces of legislation that improved public health and inspired countless conservation efforts. On that Earth Day, 10% of the population of the United States came together to protest industrial pollution and demand a sustainable future. And it worked: Our democracy responded with action that saved lives.

      • E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury

        The Trump administration on Thursday weakened regulations on the release of mercury and other toxic metals from oil and coal-fired power plants, another step toward rolling back health protections in the middle of a pandemic.

        The new Environmental Protection Agency rule does not eliminate restrictions on the release of mercury, a heavy metal linked to brain damage. Instead, it creates a new method of calculating the costs and benefits of curbing mercury pollution that environmental lawyers said would fundamentally undermine the legal underpinnings of controls on mercury and many other pollutants.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • How YOU Can Dump Trump

        Neither the human race, nor American democracy, nor the US economy will survive more of this. Our further existence as a species depends on you.  

      • Sanders Won the War of Ideas

        As Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama endorse Joe Biden, the final deathblow to the Bernie campaign is dealt. Beyond the sickening numbness I feel in my gut, there’s a terribly familiar cynicism setting in, the kind of deep-rooted anger that at present, has no place to go. Once again, I feel almost naïve for thinking we could defy the corporate stranglehold on our national politics that has become so painfully predictable for at least a couple of decades. And when it comes to Bernie Sanders, the Democratic establishment already revealed its hand so clearly in 2016. The DNC and the Democratic Party will not allow Sanders to lead the Democratic ticket, no matter how wildly popular he is.

      • Though ‘Children Need Peace Now More Than Ever,’ US and Russia Block UN Efforts to Impose Global Ceasefire

        American and Russian diplomats have publicly praised calls for a global ceasefire, but say they cannot sign on to a blanket agreement. 

      • Why are Americans So Servile to a Clown President?

        Titles are very important to Americans. So is paperwork.

      • COVID-19 and the Wasting Disease of Normalcy

        “But what of the price of peace?” asked Jesuit priest and war resister Daniel Berrigan, writing from federal prison in 1969, doing time for his part in the destruction of draft records. “I think of the good, decent, peace-loving people I have known by the thousands, and I wonder. How many of them are so afflicted with the wasting disease of normalcy that, even as they declare for the peace, their hands reach out with an instinctive spasm in the direction of their loved ones, in the direction of their comforts, their home, their security, their income, their future, their plans — that twenty-year plan of family growth and unity, that fifty-year plan of a decent life and honorable natural demise.”

      • ‘Congress Must Cover Paychecks of Every US Worker,’ Says Sanders as Laid-Off Americans Struggle to Obtain Benefits

        “Our job now is to join the rest of the industrialized world and pass the Paycheck Security Act.”

      • Trump Disrupts the Distinction Between Personal Loyalty & Constitutional Allegiance

        Donald Trump was elected president to disrupt our government and society; to drain the swamp. The specifics were vague, but the understanding was that someone had to change the “system”. As Trump said at the 2016 Republican nominating convention in Cleveland, “Only I can fix it.” And, he wants explicit loyalty to him from government employees as the means for doing that.

      • Pandemic and Protest

        It’s not surprising that certain individuals and groups in US society are starting to publicly protest the ongoing quarantine measures undertaken because of the COVID-19 virus. From the several hundred (mostly) men who strapped on their guns and drove around the capital of Michigan to the Brooklyn Orthodox community members protesting the fact that they cannot hold traditional burial services for their dead, the frustration with the current situation was certain to spill over into these types of scenarios. Add to that the college spring breakers in Florida and the holy roller pastors holding services of hundreds. Then, there’s Ivanka Trump flying to New Jersey to celebrate Passover while the majority of believers held virtual Seders or streamed their Easter services on their device.

      • Strange Attractors: On Being Addicted to Trump and His Press Conferences

        (Un)Reality TV, 2020-Style.

      • That Leaked Labour Party Report

        I have now read my way through all 851 pages of the suppressed and leaked Labour Party report on its handling of anti-semitism complaints. It is an important document, that is fundamental to understanding a major turning point in UK history, where Northern European social democracy failed to re-establish itself in the UK.

      • Trump’s Beijing Problem: Starting a New Cold War

        If Joe Biden should become the next president of the United States, there are many serious international situations that require the diplomatic tools of the Department of State and not the coercive tools of the Department of Defense.  The erratic and unpredictable policies of Donald Trump over the past three years have compromised numerous political arrangements with both allies and adversaries and, in the case of Sino-American relations, have placed us on a glide path toward a “cold war” and possible confrontation between two of the largest military and economic powers in the global community.

      • Trump’s Reelection Strategy: Pit Workers Against Democrats

        Will blaming the Democrats for economic hardship caused by the pandemic that he himself mishandled help Trump again squeak out a narrow electoral college victory?

      • Three pro-gun activist brothers are behind several Facebook groups calling for protests against coronavirus lockdowns

        According to The Post, the Dorr brothers also manage several pro-gun groups across a few states and have bypassed certain laws that would require them to register as lobbyists, arguing that they are grassroots organizations.

        A spokesperson for Facebook told The Post that the groups were not removed because the activity was not illegal in the states the groups are based in.

      • Trump Sides With Coronavirus in Endorsement of COVID-19 Truther Protests

        In egging on the protestors, Trump is also undercutting his administration’s own guidelines “30 Days to Slow the Spread,” issued April 2nd, which call on all Americans to “avoid social gatherings, especially those with more than 10 people” and to “avoid discretionary travel” — with encouragement from Trump himself for every American to “do their patriotic duty and help us to achieve a total victory” over the pandemic.

        All three of the states Trump is tweeting about, however, have social-distancing orders put in place by Democratic governors, including Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer — whom Trump frequently derides as “the woman in Michigan” and a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. There are also protests in Ohio, where Republican Gov. Mike DeWine was an early adopter of anti-COVID-19 measures, but Ohio (as of publication time) hasn’t made Trump’s liberation Twitter list.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Virtual vigil for writers and activists at risk in Saudi Arabia

        Join ALQST, English PEN and Reporters Without Borders on 24 April for our monthly vigil in solidarity with writers, journalists and activists at risk and imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

      • Trump warns Americans that Fox News is “on a bad path” after Nancy Pelosi appears on the network

        Trump appears to have grown increasingly uncomfortable with his coverage on the right-wing network, even after nemesis Shep Smith’s abrupt retirement last October. On April 2, Trump lashed out at a Fox reporter during a coronavirus briefing. A few days later, he did the same to a different reporter. In February, he attacked multiple network shows and personalities for critical coverage. On Jan. 28, Trump tweeted that Fox News was “really pathetic” and “so politically correct” when Wallace discussed impeachment with Democrat Chris Van Hollen, wondering again “what the hell is happening” at the network and suggesting that Wallace meet Smith’s fate.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Next Coronavirus Bill Must Protect the 2020 Elections

        First, it was a public health crisis. Now, it’s decimating the economy. And for it’s next trick, the coronavirus is threatening to undermine the 2020 election.

      • Another Federal Court Says Chalking Tires Is A Violation Of The Fourth Amendment

        In one of the more surprising Fourth Amendment decisions ever handed down, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled “chalking” tires for parking enforcement was a search and, as such, violated the Constitution. The ruling, handed down last spring, sided with the plaintiff. It found that the use of chalk to mark tires for parking enforcement was an investigative act. The intrusion onto citizens’ private property — their cars — for investigative reasons (rather than the community caretaking function the government claimed) was impermissible without a warrant, even if the cars were parked on public streets.

      • The US’s Failed Response to the Pandemic Is Rooted in Anti-Blackness

        With the speed of lightning, the coronavirus crisis is waking all of the U.S. up to a reality most Black people have known for decades — our country fails the most marginalized. Our systems were ill-prepared to help everyday people sans pandemic. Now in the midst of one, the sun is shining down on their cavernous cracks created by deep-seated anti-Blackness. The reality is we are a country built on a racist house of cards, and the pandemic is showing us how racism — specifically anti-Blackness — impairs our ability to respond, hurting all of us.

      • Oversight Board Calls Out Austin PD For Revamping Policies To Minimize Citizen Complaints

        The Austin (TX) police department barely avoided being hit with a DOJ consent decree a little over a decade ago. The sheer number of recommendations makes you wonder where the consent decree bar sits at the DOJ.

      • Several hundred people violate self-isolation to attend protest in Russia’s Vladikavkaz

        Russia doesn’t have a president who is urging “liberation” against efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, but many people in Vladikavkaz have nevertheless had their fill of self-isolation requirements imposed by the local authorities. On Monday, April 20, between 500 and 1,500 residents gathered outside the city’s regional administration building. According to MBK Media, the demonstrators protested the loss of their jobs and what they say is inadequate information from public officials about the pandemic. 

      • Imagining Protest in a Quarantined World

        Kelly Hayes talks with Lisa Fithian about how we can resist from a distance.

      • ICYMI: Watch “At Home With EFF,” A Virtual Discussion of COVID-19 and Digital Rights

        We’re excited to announce our next virtual At Home With EFF event this Wednesday at noon (PT), with special guests Jeff Deutch of Syrian Archive and Mahsa Alimardani of Article 19. Join us for a conversation on content moderation, and the explosion of new, potentially privacy-invasive apps.

        What’s At Home With EFF, you ask? In addition to the over 30 critiques, commentaries, and guides we’ve written to help users, governments, organizations, and companies maintain an open and secure approach to combating the pandemic, we’re also holding virtual events. This will be our second: during the first, on April 2, EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn laid out EFF’s major considerations in protecting our security and privacy during the pandemic. Afterwards, Activism Director Elliot Harmon spoke with Special Advisor and author Cory Doctorow about emergency medicine and emerging technologies like 3d-printed ventilator parts and open access science. After a short, entertaining trivia round, Staff Attorney Saira Hussain spoke with Cindy about the use of surveillance technologies to stop or slow the spread of coronavirus. You can watch the video below. 

      • Trump’s Praise for Astroturf Protests Is a Divisive Reelection Strategy

        President Trump’s daily coronavirus briefing rallies aren’t even attempting to be relevant to the ongoing pandemic anymore. To the extent it even comes up, it’s entirely Trump bragging about anything that’s gone right and blaming others for everything that’s gone wrong. If you want to know the latest information about the emergency, you’ll need to look elsewhere. These are Trump campaign rallies done for the strict purpose of energizing his base.

      • A Patriot’s Day Message

        For so long the world’s governments and media lied on Palestine. That is one of the biggest understatements of the century.

        [...]

        Human rights law is not a theory, not subject to the coordinated dehumanization of a people’s name. Human rights is the right to a dignified life, to your name, and to the honoring of your story and the true spirit with which you live.

      • Gig Workers at Instacart and Grocery Stores Demand Safety Gear and Hazard Pay
      • ‘Minority Report Union-Busting’ Tactics at Whole Foods Decried Following Reporting on Company’s Labor Activism Heat Map

        The company, which is owned by Amazon, uses factors like race, turnover, and “loyalty” to determine each store’s score. 

      • 27-year-old Yazidi woman murdered in Hildesheim

        It has been known for some time that violence against women has increased significantly in the wake of the corona crisis. All over the world, women face violence and oppression from men. Since the pandemic, women have been exposed to domestic threats and murder. Women who cannot free themselves because of the quarantine and whose calls for help do not reach possible supporters experience violence in an inhuman way and are killed.

      • Lawyers booked for breach of curfew while accompanying their client to the police headquarters

        Mauritius is under a sanitary curfew since about a month now. People are advised to stay at home and not to venture outside unless they have a Work Access Permit and are going to their workplace or going out to get essential items (e.g food provision, medicines, etc).

        Police officers are on regular patrols across the island and they have also set up road blocks in certain places to ensure that the curfew is being respected.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ‘A level playing field’: digital giants will have to pay for news

        Global giants such as Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for content in a radical overhaul of Australia’s $10 billion [Internet] advertising business, in a bid to shield local publishers from the economic wreckage of the coronavirus crisis.

        Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will impose a mandatory code on the digital giants after losing faith in their work on a negotiated settlement with Australian media companies to reimburse them for news and other content.

    • Monopolies

      • Unshocking Report: Trump Admin Is Historically Terrible At Reining In Destructive Monopolies

        You need only look at its treatment of the telecom industry to understand that the Trump administration doesn’t give a flying damn about U.S. monopolies (or the impact those monopolies have on consumers, prices, innovation, or the market). Despite being one of the least competitive (and least popular) industries in America, the administration has taken a hatchet to telecom consumer protections, often using bogus data and fraud to do it. Massive, competition and job-eroding mergers are rubber stamped before the administration even sees the data. Any pretense at meaningful oversight is theater.

      • Patents

        • INFORMATIVE: Conference Paper Public Accessibility – Insufficient Proof

          As was previously noted here, the PTAB recently designated one decision as precedential and four as informative concerning the necessary showing for proving up a reference as printed publication prior art. Here is an in depth review of another of the informative decisions.

          The PTAB recently designated a number of cases regarding procedures for determining whether a prior art reference is a “printed publication.” We have previously discussed the issue in the context of a dissertation. In this blog we present an review of In-Depth Geophysical, Inc. v. ConocoPhillips Company, IPR2019-00849, Paper 14 (Sept. 6, 2019), which the PTAB designated as informative and contains a discussion of the public accessibility issue in the context of a conference paper.

          In this inter partes review, the Petitioners In-Depth Geophysical, Inc. and In-Depth Compressive Seismic, Inc. (Petitioners) challenged the validity of U.S. Patent No. 9,632,193 owned by ConocoPhillips Company (Patent Owner), in part based on a paper submitted to the Annual Meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) by the inventor, Li, and coworkers in 2012. The PTAB decision resolved the critical issue of whether the Li paper qualified as prior art, and specifically whether it was “sufficiently accessible to the public interested in the art” more than one year before the critical date.

        • SCT: Procedural Rules Should Not Unwind the Power of IPR’s to Cancel Bad Patents

          The statutes authorizing inter partes review proceedings (IPRs) provides the USPTO Director with substantial latitude in determining whether or not to grant initiate an IPR. One limitation is that an IPR petition must be filed within 1-year of the petitioner (or privy) being served with a complaint fo infringing the patent. 35 U.S.C. §315(b). The PTO cancelled Click-to-Call’s patent claims, but the Federal Circuit vacated that judgment after holding that the PTO should not have initated the IPR. The issue on appeal was whether a lawsuit that had been dismissed without prejudice still counted under the §315(b) time-bar. No, according to the PTO; Yes, according to the Federal Circuit.

          [...]

          Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion joined in fully by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer, Kagan, and Kavanaugh. Justices Thomas and Alito joined with the decision except for the policy statements found in III.C.

        • Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP (2020)

          Today, in Thryv, Inc. v. Click-to-Call Technologies, LP, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), which preclude a petitioner from filing an inter partes review petition more than one year after being served with a complaint alleging infringement, are barred from judicial review under 35 U.S.C. § 314(d). The Court’s decision reversed an en banc Federal Circuit opinion that the time bar was reviewable, Wi-Fi One, LLC v. Broadcom Corp., as well as the panel decision in the case at issue below.

          [...]

          According to the majority, the time bar question is “closely tied” to the statutory provisions precluding judicial review because § 315(b) sets forth a circumstance in which “[a]n inter partes review may not be instituted.” The opinion finds that “[w]e need not venture beyond Cuozzo’s holding that §314(d) bars review at least of matters ‘closely tied to the application and interpretation of statutes related to’ the institution decision, for a §315(b) challenge easily meets that measurement.” The opinion calls the time bar “integral to, indeed a condition on, institution” in support of its holding that § 314(d) bars review of PTAB decisions under § 315(b).

          The majority voiced policy concerns that if a patent owner was allowed to appeal Board determinations under § 315(b), such appeals would “tug against that objective [providing an efficient mechanism for weeding out "bad patents," a term that is usually a signal on the philosophical leanings of the Court], wasting the resources spent resolving patentability and leaving bad patents enforceable.” The Court foresaw that a patent owner would appeal on § 315(b) untimeliness grounds “only if she could not prevail on patentability, [and consequently] §315(b) appeals would operate to save bad patent claims.” The Court also noted that its decision was consistent with the statutory scheme, which “so consistently elevat[es] resolution of patentability above a petitioner’s compliance with §315(b)” because the Board’s adjudication on the merits is thereby preserved.

          The opinion further notes that, if Congress had wished to limit the extent of § 314(d) as patent owner and the dissent contend, it could have easily drafted the legislation to recite that the appellate review bar of § 314(d) be limited to Board determinations under § 314(a).

        • In Thryv, Supreme Court Clarifies Bar On Review of Institution Decisions

          This shouldn’t be surprising. If the problem is the rule that the Patent Office is applying, it should have been challenged when the rule was made—and if the rule was never promulgated in the first place, then challenges under the APA remain available. (In fact, a recent Federal Circuit opinion suggested that all PTO procedural rules not made via notice-and-comment are illegitimate.)

          And if the problem is that the rule is right, but was misapplied by the panel, then the harm is already experienced and impossible to mitigate by the time appeal rolls around. Dismissing the invalidation of an invalid patent just because of a procedural defect at institution only creates more harm by leaving an invalid patent around.

          And the ultimate determination that a patent is invalid is still reviewable, meaning that a valid patent will still survive even if the threshold determination of institution is in error. That is, effectively, a harmless error—the only loss the patent owner experiences is the cost of defending their patent, a cost they’d have incurred anyway in asserting it. While that kind of expense is important, the expenses other parties incur in defending themselves against invalid patents are as well—expenses that inter partes review helps reduce.

          There are sure to be concerns that the Patent Office could now do whatever it wants without any possibility of review. But if the Office truly exceeds the statute—not adopts an interpretation that is reasonable given panel decisions, even if eventually overturned en banc—remedies remain. For egregious violations, the Court leaves open the possibility of mandamus. And for actions that are arbitrary and capricious, or which violate due process, or which are clearly outside the permissible bounds of the statute, such as institution of an IPR based on § 112, review remains possible.

      • Trademarks

        • Pitbull Just Made History By Trademarking His Signature Yell

          Pitbull’s grito is actually kind of historic. The NYU School of Law believes this might be the first time a specific sound made in a musical recording has been successfully trademarked. For that to have even happened means Pitbull’s ‘EEEEEEEYOOOOOO’ is immediately recognizable as a sound that only he would have the audacity to record and put on every song. Think of it like a painter signing their work, but their signature is the sound of tires screeching before a car slams into a tree. The implications are huge. Now if you illegally sample a song, a musical artist will be able to sue for copyright infringement and trademark infringement. This is a win for petty musicians everywhere!

        • “SUPERMAN” enjoys high degree of recognition, says EUIPO Opposition Division

          In an interesting decision delivered earlier this month concerning an opposition filed by DC Comics, which owns the figurative mark “SUPERMAN” (pictured below), the EUIPO Opposition Division acknowledged that this mark enjoys a high degree of recognition and, as such, is eligible for protection under Article 8(5) EU Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR), even despite that the well-known character of the trade mark had been only sufficiently demonstrated for one class of goods (Class 16) [...]
          Earlier trade marks with a reputation in the EU or in a Member State enjoy extended protection in accordance with Article 8(5) EUTMR.

          [...]

          The Opposition Division did not deem it problematic that reputation could not be established in relation to all goods and services covered by the earlier mark. The EUIPO was able to extend its finding concerning the recognition for goods in Class 16 to goods under Class 28. This extension was sufficient to then establish a ‘link’ between the signs and, further, also find for a risk of risk of injury and unfair advantage.

          The EUIPO also considered it insufficiently demonstrated that DC Comics’s sign enjoyed reputation for Class 41 services. Whilst this conclusion may appear surprising in the lay world, it is a useful reminder of the importance of the quality of the evidence filed before the Office (see here for an example of evidence fail not too long ago).

      • Copyrights

        • Streaming Site Nites.TV Gets ‘Seized’ After Going Viral, But Questions Remain

          Movie and TV show streaming site Nites.tv hit the mainstream during the past few weeks, with news sites on several continents reporting on the platform seemingly out of nowhere. Now, however, the site is redirecting to the anti-piracy portal of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment after an apparent seizure. Strangely, a number of things don’t add up.

        • Book Piracy Scandal at Australian Govt. Could Trigger Police Referral

          Today, former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull published his memoir ‘A Bigger Picture’. Interestingly, many of his former political rivals and allies have already received a pirated copy of the book over the past few days. This massive unauthorized sharing infuriated the book’s publisher, which will refer the matter to the police.

        • MPA Doesn’t Want Kenya to Simply Copy the DMCA, It Should Do Better

          The Motion Picture Association sees a potential trade deal between the US and Kenya as a good opportunity to introduce more innovative and effective anti-piracy measures. Instead of simply copying the DMCA, Kenya could do better, perhaps by implementing a staydown policy and limiting safe harbors for online services.

        • Tech Giants Join the CC-Supported Open COVID Pledge

          Momentum continues to swell in support of the Open COVID Pledge, with the announcement today by Amazon, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Microsoft, and Sandia National Laboratories, that they are pledging their patents to the public to freely use in support of solving the COVID-19 pandemic. Following in the footsteps of Intel, Fabricatorz Foundation, and many others, these companies join as Founding Adopters of the Pledge by releasing hundreds of thousands of patents for use worldwide by researchers, scientists, and others who are working to end the and minimize the impact of the disease, including through research, diagnosis, prevention, and containment.

        • The Simpsons Shows Precisely How One Should Handle Derivative Homage Works

          When it comes to derivative works, copyright in America has a long and storied history of stifling new and creative expression in favor of control by some ultimately-creative original author. Frankly, the section of copyright law that gives authors of content control over derivative works never made much sense to me. Or, at least, it appears to be a wholesale contradiction of the idea/expression dichotomy that is also supposed to exist in copyright law. Still, we’ve seen all kinds of fallout from the derivative works section of the law spill over into the real world, from laughable attempts by musical artists to control short phrases to derivatives building off of the original author’s secondary work. The point is that the general consensus among most creators appears to be that derivative works outside of the author’s control are the enemy and should be beaten down by any means necessary.

        • Australia Gives Up Any Pretense: Pushes Straight Up Tax On Facebook & Google To Pay News Orgs

          Last week we wrote about France’s push to force Google to pay legacy news organizations for the high crime of… sending them traffic. That was somewhat expected, as under the EU Copyright Directive, some version of this will show up in every EU country over the next few months (though France’s first approach is particularly dumb). Down in Australia, they’re not subject to the EU Copyright Directive, but it’s not stopping them from taking the same ridiculous approach:

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