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04.28.20

Links 28/4/2020: Endless OS 3.8.0 Released and What’s New in Fedora 32 Workstation

Posted in News Roundup at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 88

        Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been released so we have a good look at the distro that will be around for 10 years. Plus good news for email, relative stability for Debian, GitHub’s power move, and loads of KDE developments in the news.

      • 2020-04-27 | Linux Headlines

        The Khronos Group rebases its OpenCL specification to an older version, Golang and Rust both remain popular despite some shortcomings, Intel refocuses Clear Linux for server and cloud usage, and the founder of Void Linux walks away for the second time.

    • Benchmarks

      • Initial Benchmarks Of The AMD EPYC 7F32 Performance On Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Announced back on 14 April were AMD’s newest members of the EPYC 7002 “Rome” family, the 7Fx2 high frequency processors. Back on launch day we posted the AMD EPYC 7F52 Linux benchmarks for that 16-core/32-thread CPU with a staggering 256MB cache and clocking up to 3.9GHz. In this article today are our initial benchmarks of the EPYC 7F32 as the 8-core/16-thread processor yielding a 128MB L3 cache and clock speeds up to 3.9GHz.

    • Applications

      • Tux Paint: An award-winning drawing app for children

        When it comes to children, drawing and sketching is something they love to do. Even on computers, drawing programs are highly used in schools by the kids in primary grades. Schools teach how to interact with the systems through it, and even some programming tutorials for children work based on drawing programs.

        If we want to make FOSS widely used even on school systems, we do have to talk about this award-winning drawing program. This article is about Tux Paint.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Competitive platformer ‘Jumpala’ adds a single-player mode, price rising soon as it heads to Steam

        The latest build that went out a few days ago adds in a single-player mode, so you can now easily play 1v1 against the AI. A nice touch, and the developer will be expanding it as more characters and stages are added in. That’s in addition to both local and online multiplayer (with AI support) that it has. We already mentioned here recently that it was heading to Steam, and if you were planning to pick it up you may want to do so soon as the price will be rising.

      • Free first-person shooter ‘Tomatenquark’ releasing soon based on Cube 2: Sauerbraten

        Coming soon to Steam Early Access, Tomatenquark is another attempt to revive a classic free and open source first-person shooter. The developer sent word today via Twitter, that it should be releasing in the next few weeks.

        Tomatenquark describes itself as “a community homage to Cube 2: Sauerbraten”, being based on the code of Cube 2 and their hope is to back ongoing development of the game and build up a community around it. With gameplay inspired by the fast-paced classics like Quake, their aim is just to bring back good classic first-person fun with various game modes. However, it also has the Cube Engine 2 editor which brings cooperative map/geometry editing in-game.

      • Free to play competitive deck-builder ‘DragonEvo’ now on itch.io and it had a big revamp

        As far as turn-based card battlers go, DragonEvo was quite promising when I tried it out recently and now it looks even better with a big update and a release on itch.io.

      • Colourful action-adventure ‘Sparklite’ is in need of Linux Beta testers

        Recently we wrote about how Red Blue Games were planning to bring Sparklite to Linux, now they’re looking to expand their testing and you can get involved.

        What is Sparklite? An action-adventure set in a whimsical and ever-changing land. Gear up for Adventure and battle foes in top-down action using an arsenal of gadgets, guns, and gear. Explore dangerous corners of the procedurally generated world, take down titans of the mining industry, and harness the power Sparklite!

      • RADV Picks Up A Performance Boost For id Tech Vulkan-Powered Games On Linux + AMD APUs

        Pitoiset characterizes it as “a huge boost for Id Tech games on APUs” while seemingly not regressing any exciting Vulkan-powered Linux games.

        Various id Tech games using Vulkan run on Linux thanks to Steam Play (Proton) with generally great performance. There have been various Mesa RADV driver optimizations in helping out these Windows games run on Linux better and faster while this work merged for Mesa 20.1-devel will help out those using AMD APUs.

      • Mixing real-time battles with turn-based strategy, Total War: SHOGUN 2 is FREE right now

        Total War: SHOGUN 2 is now FREE to grab until May 1st on Steam. This is not a free week or weekend, this is your chance to grab an entirely free copy of the game.

        Developed by Creative Assembly and originally released in 2011, game porter Feral Interactive later updated it with a Linux port in 2017 which our contributor Samsai wrote about here. Like the majority of Total War games, it has quite a high rating too. On Steam it’s sat with a “Very Positive” user score from nearly twenty thousand people.

      • Filament is out now and might be my favourite puzzle game of 2020

        Filament, a stylish narrative puzzle game set aboard a seemingly abandoned spaceship has officially released along with Linux support from Beard Envy and Kasedo Games.

      • You can now play the chaotic train-track building game Unrailed! in single-player

        Unrailed! is a fantastic local and online co-op experience, one where you will be shouting and screaming with laughter at your partner and now you can play it in single-player too.

        In Unrailed! you have to keep a train moving as far as possible, by chopping down trees and gathering iron to build a track. A simple idea executed so well. I’m a big fan of it but requiring a partner limited the audience. Last week, developer Indoor Astronaut released the single-player update to give you a bot you can direct around using the emoji wheel to tell it to get water, chop trees and more.

      • Legendary is an in-development community-made open source version of the Epic Games Store

        While it wasn’t made specifically for Linux (like with Minigalaxy for GOG), the in-development community made application ‘Legendary’ has an aim to be a cross-platform and open source version of the Epic Games Store.

        Right now it’s quite basic, with it being command-line only but they are planning to implement a UI later. Since the Epic Games Store doesn’t serve Linux games, it also relies on you having Wine installed since you will be downloading Windows games with it. As an alternative to running the Epic Games Store in Wine, the Legendary client could end up becoming quite useful for Linux gaming enthusiasts who also used the EGS.

      • Slick roguelike ‘Jupiter Hell’ has a huge update out with Master Traits, new weapons and more

        It’s a great day to be a roguelike fan, as the impressive Jupiter Hell (which uses Vulkan!) has a brand new release out and it continues to be stupidly fun.

        Jupiter Hell 0.9.0 “Masters” boosts the variety you can have in your actual character progression. It’s a permadeath roguelike though, so that progression only lasts for each run. Since you’re doing a lot of them, having more traits to pick to mix everything up sounds nice. ChaosForge, the developer, has added 15 Master Traits, 5 for each class which you pick when your character in your run hits levels 7, 10 and 13.

      • FFVII Remake: Review

        The past ten or so years have been inundated with remakes of older games. Nothing much original comes out these days. Now, some might argue Final Fantasy VII Remake still falls under that category of “remake”. But I consider it to actually be its own game. Everything in it — the voice acting, the new combat mechanics, the music, the cutscenes, the graphics, the exploration, the fully 3D environment, and some new changes to the plot — has been updated and added in painstaking detail, enough to the point where it just feels like an entirely new game, yet still pulling in all the good strings from the original story.

        As you examined the title of this article, you might have thought, “What does this have to do with Linux, or Linux gaming more specifically?” Well, it doesn’t, really (though, I could vouch that I was mostly streaming this game through my Linux box). But if I only talked about Linux gaming topics, that could get pretty dry or worse yet, boring. So, I hope nobody minds if I expand my horizons a bit, and talk about something other than Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Announcing “Connections”: a modern remote desktop client for GNOME



          Yes! Connections is a brand new app that I put together in the last month. It is a remote desktop client for the VNC and RDP protocols on top of the same backend code that we were already using in GNOME Boxes*: gtk-vnc and gtk-frdp.

          The main motivation to write this application is to have a drop-in replacement for Vinagre** that is modern, easier to maintain and follows the HIG. Besides, we want to have a GNOME app to point users to when they ask for more/advanced remote-connection options in Boxes.

        • Meet GNOME Connections, a Modern Remote Desktop Client for the GNOME Desktop

          GNOME Connections is a new app that aims to be a modern remote desktop client for the GNOME desktop environment. Th app takes advantage of the VNC (Virtual Network Client) and RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) standards and lets users connect to remote machines.

          The GNOME desktop suite already shipped with a remote desktop client, called Vinagre, but GNOME Connections is designed to replace it in future releases of the popular desktop environment. As such, Vinagre will not be getting any new features and will soon be retired.

          Compared to Vinagre, GNOME Connections has a modern interface and follows the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), and it’s easier to maintain. The app is currently designed to work with the remote connection features in GNOME Boxes, which will later be removed too, probably in GNOME 3.40.

        • Custom widgets in GTK 4 – Layout



          As we said earlier, “everything is a widget.” For example, we recommend that you use a GtkLabel instead of manually rendering a pango layout, or a GtkImage instead of manually loading and rendering a pixbuf. Using a ready-made widget ensures that you get all of the expected behaviors, such as selection handling, context menus or hi-dpi support. And it is much easier than doing it all yourself.

          The default implementations of the snapshot() and measure() functions are handling child widgets automatically. The main responsibility for a custom widget is to arrange the child widgets as required. In GTK 3, this would have been done by implementing the size_allocate() function. You can still do that. But in GTK 4, a more convenient alternative is to use a layout manager. GTK comes with a number of predefined layout managers, such as GtkBoxLayout, GtkCenterLayout, GtkGridLayout, to name just a few.

        • The GNOME Shell Calendar Will Stop Over-Consuming The CPU, Eating Up Battery Life

          For the past five months there has been a bug report affecting the likes of Pop OS 19.10 and Fedora 31 over the GNOME Shell Calendar server using “20~25% CPU all the time” and “every 2-3 seconds or so there is a CPU usage spike where the calendar processes eat something like 20-25% of the CPU.” That is significant on modern CPUs as well as on battery life for laptops while finally the issue has been fixed.

        • Welcome to the April 2020 Friends of GNOME Update!

          After a lot of discussion, GUADEC has moved to be an entirely online event for 2020. While we are disappointed to reschedule our trips to Zacatecas, Mexico to the summer of 2021, we are very excited to meet and learn from GNOME contributors and free software community members who would otherwise be unable to make it.

          As GUADEC 2020 will be online, we have extended the call for abstracts, and the deadline is now May 1. If you have an idea for a talk, please share it with us! If you have questions or want someone else to read over your proposal, drop by the #GUADEC channel on the GNOME Rocketchat.

        • Automated testing with GNOME Web and Selenium on PureOS

          Early this year Carlos Campos from Igalia implemented an automation mode in GNOME Web (sometimes known as Epiphany). This is especially useful for automated web testing, a subset of GUI testing. I decided it was time to take it for a spin. Carlos has covered the details in his post, here I will focus on the practical requirements to get things running in PureOS.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Endless OS 3.8.0 Released: A Mobile-Like Streamlined Linux Experience



          Endless Computers, which builds a Linux-based operating system as well, has released a new point version Endless OS 3.8.0. The latest release comes with several improvements, changes, and updated hardware support. So, let’s see the list of new features.

          Endless OS always ships with a customized desktop environment forked from GNOME. Not only that, but it also uses its own EOS shell to give an Android-like experience on the desktop computer. To further polish the visual design and look, OS v3.8.0 updates the GNOME to its latest version GNOME 3.36.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Top 5 Ways SUSE is Supporting You in These Times


          The world is facing an unprecedented threat, each of us are doing what we can to support the global response against COVID-19.
          Here are the top 5 ways SUSE is stepping up to help…

          Sorry we have not perfected virtual conferencing enough to bring the Guinness to you yet, but hey, you can always heft a pint from your own office, J
          Not quite making my top 5 list, but also very important is flexible payment terms. We also have a number of incentives specifically designed for those in government or airline, travel, transportation and tourism & leisure industries.

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro 20 Lysia Arrives with ZFS and Snap Support

          Manjaro uses a rolling release model which means you don’t have to manually upgrade from one version to another. You don’t have to reinstall as soon as there is a new version is released.

          If Manjaro is rolling release distribution, why does it release a new version every now and then? It’s because they have to refresh the ISO so that new users downloading Manjaro will not have to install updates for last few years. This is why Arch Linux also refreshes its ISO every month.

          Manjaro ‘ISO refreshes’ are codenamed and have a version because it helps the developers clearly mark each stage of development.

        • Packaging LXD for Arch Linux

          With the release of 3.20, LXD was included into the community repository of Arch Linux in January, and has currently been sitting there happily for the past months. LXD is a container manager from Canonical that manages containers as if they where independent machines in a cluster. I have somehow taken to calling them “containers-as-machines”. This is in contrast to podman and docker which would be “containers-as-applications”. Think of lxd as ganeti, but for containers.

          As canonical is developing the project, and they only target snap packages downstream, it takes quite a few liberties with dependencies and vendored projects which makes for an interesting package challenge.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • What’s New in Fedora 32 Workstation

          Fedora 32 is about to roll out, probably by tomorrow, and I think this is a good time to let you know what to expect in this version. By looking at the changeset and newly upgraded packages, it’s clear that Fedora 32 is one of the best releases so far.

          [...]

          GNOME is my favorite desktop environment, and Fedora did a great job integrating GNOME 3.36 in this release. GNOME 3.36 has been made more visually appealing and user-intuitive, thanks to the efforts from the dev team; the App launcher animation is buttery smooth. Also, you can now drag and drop the apps on to each other to create an app group just like you do on your Android or iPhone. You can rename the folder to whatever you want and keep the Application screen less cluttery.

          Another set of tweaks were applied to the Settings app in which the needed options are accessible with less number of clicks. For instance, the Sound settings have the buttons lined up on the main screen for changing the alert tone. You will see such tiny improvements all over the app.

        • Lenovo is Bringing Fedora Linux to its ThinkPad Laptops

          We’re talking pre-installed operating system here, available across a fleet of the computer maker’s popular developer models including the ThinkPad P1, ThinkPad P53, and ThinkPad X1 (Gen 8) laptops.

          To accompany the news there’s this cute little promo video…

        • Lenovo is joining Dell in the “OEM Linux Laptop” club

          I’m happy to see that Lenovo is taking this step to offer pre-installed Linux support. Although I personally am a die-hard Ubuntu user, it’s also nice to see that Lenovo went with a different distro—while many in our community bemoan “fragmentation,” I personally believe that diversity is one of the Linux community’s greatest strengths.

          Lenovo has committed to making the pre-installed experience functional only using software from the main Fedora repositories—no third-party repos will be necessary, and by default no proprietary drivers will be installed. Even if Fedora isn’t your personal distro of choice, an OEM Fedora Workstation Thinkpad will almost certainly be an excellent choice for most distros you might choose to replace it with.

          Unfortunately, the upcoming Yoga Slim 7—powered with a Ryzen 7 4800U or Ryzen 5 4600U Zen laptop CPU—isn’t on Lenovo’s initial list of supported models. I’m still itching to get my hands on one for review—the dual-GPU Zephyrus G14 didn’t fare too well with Ubuntu, but I’m still hopeful that the more simply designed Slim 7 will do better.

        • Paul Cormier brings an engineer’s eye to top role at Red Hat

          Red Hat Inc. opens the virtual doors of its annual Red Hat Summit this week amid a major leadership shift at both the open-source giant and its parent, IBM Corp.

          Less than three weeks ago Arvind Krishna took over as chief executive of IBM, becoming the first engineer to hold the position in the company’s 106-year history. At the same time, Jim Whitehurst ascended to the role of IBM president and Paul Cormier (pictured at the 2018 summit) assumed the CEO spot at Red Hat.

          Like Krishna, Cormier is the first engineer to lead his company. That’s appropriate, he said in an interview with SiliconANGLE. The technology landscape is becoming more complex and there’s more at stake when customers make decisions.

          “There’s so much more fear, uncertainty and doubt out there that it takes more technically savvy people to wade through it,” he said. “It’s a much more complex sale now than it used to be.”

        • Red Hat Releases Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.2 is designed to extend beyond the reliability of previous versions of the platform and help organizations get more value from existing RHEL subscriptions with new intelligent management capabilities, enhanced container tools and a more streamlined experience.

          In a statement, Stefanie Chiras, vice president and general manager of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, said IT organizations need to do more with existing technologies in their software stack, drive operational stability and maintain service availability with remote or limited IT teams “without mortgaging their technological future.”

          “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 provides this and more, with proactive, intelligent monitoring capabilities and enterprise-ready container tools, enabling IT teams to support the crucial needs of today while maintaining ready to take on a cloud-native future, whenever their operations can support it,” Chiras said.

        • New RHEL 6 and CentOS 6 Linux Kernel Security Update Fixes Two Flaws

          

          Published by Red Hat Product Security, a new Linux kernel security advisory marked as having an important security impact describes two security vulnerabilities affecting all supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and CentOS Linux 6 releases.

          One of the two vulnerabilities addressed are a three-year-old CVE-2017-1000371 discovered in Linux kernel’s offset2lib patch, the implementation of mapping ELF PIE binary loading. The flaw allows the stack-guard page protection mechanisms to be evaded.

        • Red Hat takes on the hybrid cloud with its latest OpenShift Kubernetes distro

          

          Apopular belief in today’s business circles is that every company is now a tech company. Red Hat — the powerhouse Linux and cloud business — agrees. Nearly every industry, including healthcare, logistics, retail, financial services, government, education, and more, needs faster, more widespread access to essential applications and services. For Red Hat’s leadership, that means the container and Kubernetes-powered open hybrid cloud.

          To make that happen, Red Hat is improving its latest Kubernetes distro, Red Hat OpenShift. Red Hat OpenShift 4.4 has been rebased on December 2019′s Kubernetes 1.17.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Things to know about Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

          In this article, we’re going to go over some of the features we’re most excited about, and cover a lot of the differences between Focal Fossa and Ubuntu’s previous LTS release, Bionic Beaver. Read on as we take you through some of the upcoming changes.

          As a Ubuntu user, it’s recommended to use the latest Long Term Support release. These releases are tested, stable, and secure iterations of Canonical’s beloved Ubuntu operating system. And yes, they are always free. You can upgrade your system with confidence when switching to the newest LTS release.

          Contrast this with Ubuntu’s interim releases, which are inherently short-lived and less stable versions of Ubuntu that developers and enterprises can use to test the upcoming features expected in the LTS release of the operating system.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Available On Microsoft Store [Ed: Media that did not cover last week's release of Ubuntu now celebrates it in relation to Microsoft hijacking it to promote Vista 10 (WSL)]
        • Ubuntu 20.04 is Now Available from the Microsoft Store [Ed: Joey Sneddon continues celebrating Microsoft agenda after all those years]
        • Ubuntu 20.04 is officially available for WSL on Microsoft store
        • Pop OS 20.04: When You Can Upgrade And The Best New Features



          Let’s get the important date out of the way: System76 has announced that its in-house Linux distribution Pop!_OS 20.04 is officially headed our way on April 30. At that point you should start seeing an upgrade notification, although it’s possible to update to the beta right now. I’ve been running it on my Oryx Pro for the last week and so far it’s been rock solid.

          Now that you know the magic date, let me outline a few of the highlights System76 has in store for the newest version of Pop!_OS.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 628

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 628 for the week of April 19 – 25, 2019. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu popularity and Canonical profitability



          Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu Linux, is doing better than ever according to founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth. Indeed, Canonical is now “self-sustaining.” That is, “We’re now well past the point where Ubuntu and all its supporting systems and infrastructure are dependent on me, said Shuttleworth. “If I were to meet my maker tomorrow. Ubuntu will continue in the very capable hands of the team at Canonical and the community.”

          Canonical is a private company, wholly owned by Shuttleworth, so we don’t know its financial details. However, because the company is based on the Isle of Man, it’s incorporated and registered through the UK Companies House. and must still file an annual report.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Getting Started to Use Gogs Git Hosting

        I do not find any Gogs getting started documentation for user unlike GitHub’s. If you want to start using Gogs as replacement to GitHub, this basic tutorial is for you. This is applicable to Notabug.org and other code hostings that use Gogs as its underlying software. By basic this tutorial covers only activities done individually via web browser. It does not cover activities done collectively –such as pull request or migration– nor via command line –such as cloning–. So here you will learn how to create a repository, commit, issue, and release, after signing up and logging in. You can also do Continuous Integration and read more resources at the bottom. I believe this should be enough as a starter. Happy hacking!

      • Micron speeds up SSDs with open-source database storage engine
      • Micron Announces An Open-Source Storage Engine Designed For SSDs, Persistent Memory

        Micron announced today the “World’s First Open-Source Storage Engine Designed for SSDs and Storage Class Memory”… Or simply put, yet another key-value store database and this time designed for high performance SSDs and persistent memory.

      • Micron Unveils Open-Source Storage Engine Designed for SSDs and Storage Class Memory

        Micron Technology, Inc. announced the first open-source, heterogeneous-memory storage engine (HSE), designed specifically for solid-state drives (SSDs) and storage-class memory (SCM). Legacy storage engines born in the era of hard disk drives (HDDs) failed to architecturally provide for the increased performance and reduced latency of next-generation nonvolatile media.

      • How I empower and reach millions through open source

        Why is she so enamored with open source? It comes back to utility. “In open source practices, I found a philosophy that closely matched my own ideals and a way of doing things that allowed me to help more people. Open source is fueled by collaboration. I’ve seen the things that can be accomplished by people working together, and it makes me very excited to think where it will take us in the future.”

      • Open source has room for everyone

        She’s also active in FOSS Responders, a group focused on shining a light on open source projects and community members affected by COVID-19-related event cancellations. “In times of turmoil, it can be difficult for projects to find the help they need. We help organizations and individuals who need assistance aggregate and amplify their requests.” An important component of the organization is administering the FOSS Responders Fund, a mechanism to capture some of the open source funding requests that may fall through the cracks otherwise.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Netherlands commits to Free Software by default

          In an open letter to the Parliament, the Dutch minister for internal affairs Raymond Knops commits to a “Free Software by default” policy and underlines its benefits for society. Current market regulations shall be reworded to allow publishing Free Software by the government.

      • Programming/Development

        • CRI-O 1.18 lands: Adds better insight, config handling for Kubeheads – but keep an eye on the defaults

          CRI-O, which pitches itself as an open-source replacement for Docker as the runtime for Kubernetes, is now available in version 1.18, improving on configuration and logging, among other things.

          The release is the first of the community project – an implementation of the Kubernetes Container Runtime Interface based on the Open Container Initiative – to support drop-in registries.conf configuration files and also provides ways to set a default environment for all containers and a default config path if needed. Users are meant to get more feedback about their input, thanks to a new verification feature that validates provided capabilities when CRI-O is started.

          To improve on traceability, increasingly a hot topic with cloud-natives, the project now adds log context to container stats and gRPC method names to log entries for better insight.

        • A day in the life of a Scrum Master

          Scrum is a framework in which software development teams deliver working software in increments of 30 days or less. There are three roles: Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team. A Scrum Master is a facilitator, coach, teacher/mentor, and servant/leader that guides the development team through executing the Scrum framework correctly.

          A Scrum Master removes impediments and helps the team to become self-organizing and empowered to create, innovate, and make decisions for themselves as one team.

          The Scrum Master is a master of the daily Scrum, Sprint planning, Sprint review, and Sprint retrospectives.

          I had been in traditional IT for many years prior to becoming a Scrum Master. I eventually decided that I could use other skills such as my business experience and management experience to work with software development and DevOps teams to create high-performing teams.

        • DevOps vs. Agile: Do they have anything in common?

          The topic of DevOps vs. Agile is almost like debating iPhone vs. Android—everyone has an opinion, and emotions can become heated, especially if people disagree.

          After writing DevOps v. Agile: What’s the difference? and reading the comments on the article, I wanted to add some more thoughts—including how some of my thinking has changed on the topic.

          My perspective comes from where I am now but also where I have been. I used to be a systems administrator and infrastructure engineer, and now I am a senior scrum master with a major utility company in Missouri. (I actually was a scrum master before I was an admin or engineer, but I digress.)

        • Remote Applause

          When you name your session, the “stage” page calculates a unique ID from that name, and registers with that name on PeerJS’s coordination server. The audience page calculates the same ID2, registers itself with a random ID, and opens a PeerJS data connection to the stage page (because it knows what its ID is). PeerJS is just using WebRTC data connections under the covers, but the PeerJS people provide the signalling server, which the main alternative simple-peer doesn’t, and I didn’t want to have to run a signalling server myself because then I’d need server-side hosting for it.

        • JavaScript and Node.js developers: What to watch for at THINK 2020

          JavaScript and Node.js developers, we hope you’ll join us for a free, two-day virtual conference next week called Think 2020. While the conference offers a wide variety of different talks, interactive sessions, and hands-on labs, I wanted to highlight the events that I think you’ll find most interesting.

        • OpenJS Foundation’s first year: Successes and next steps [Ed: OpenJS failed to get leadership that isn't Microsoft (and which also became management of Linux Foundation, cementing Microsoft monopoly)]

          A staggering 95% of the world’s websites use JavaScript. As one of the most popular languages, JavaScript plays a critical role in supporting our lives. With the size, importance, and diversity of the JavaScript ecosystem, like-minded supporters came together to create the OpenJS Foundation where JavaScript developers can collaborate on projects on a level playing field.

        • 3 out of 5 developers contribute to open source, new Slashdata report claims

          Slashdata’s Developer Economics report examines data from over 17,000 developers from around the world. See what devs think about open source, the rise of Kotlin for mobile programming, and what emerging tech is trending.
          Keeping a finger on the pulse of the developer community is important. It helps us see the bigger picture of where we are now, how far we’ve come, and what things will likely look like in the future.

          Slashdata’s Developer Economics report examines data from over 17,000 developers from around the world. Survey respondents were asked about their favorite programming languages, their contributions to open source, rising tech trends, and more.

        • Being in on the world’s biggest secret: My life as a COBOL programmer

          Currently, there is more conversation going on about mainframes and COBOL programming in social media than ever before. I don’t remember the last time I saw #COBOL trending on Twitter, and I feel there is no better time than now to reflect on my fulfilling career on the mainframe. Much of the world’s critical infrastructure — such as governments, healthcare, transportation, financial services, and other major industries — depend on mainframes. But much of the world is only just starting to realize this.

          I, however, was lucky enough to learn this very early on in my education. In 2001, there was simultaneously a major shift in programming development from Windows applications to the web, and an ongoing bursting of the late ’90s tech bubble. While Java was all the rage, my interest in the COBOL programming language landed me in front of a university professor whose words had a lifelong impact on me. He started our first class by telling us he knew that many of us were probably taking the class to simply get the credit and had no interest in using COBOL in our future careers. However, he was determined to change our minds. He said to us: “Why even bother to learn it? Because as much as people want to kill COBOL, it’s not going to happen. There are hundreds of millions of lines of COBOL code out there. It’s the most proliferate programming language on the planet that nobody knows about. You don’t know about it because it’s being used under the hood in banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and governments. There will always be a job for you as a COBOL programmer. COBOL is going to outlive us all.”

        • Build low-power, clock-controlled devices
        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.17 SprinG Cleanup

            Stefan Seifert has even done more than their usual amount of work on Rakudo. But the past week was special in that they developed a GCC-plugin that showed potential issues with objects being moved by Garbage Collection when the code assumed they couldn’t be. And this showed more than 30 of these cases that, in certain situations, could cause (very hard to reproduce) segfaults to happen. And all of these got fixed as well. A nice cleanup indeed!

        • Python

          • Moshe Zadka: Numbers in Python

            Numbers in Python come in all shapes and forms. The reason different kind of representations of numbers exist is because they all have different trade-offs. These trade-offs are often surprising!

          • Python 2 bows out after epic transition. And there was much applause because you’ve all moved to version 3, right? Uh, right?

            The final official release of Python 2 arrived on Tuesday, marking the end of two decades of work.

            Python 2.7.18 “is the last Python 2.7 release and therefore the last Python 2 release,” said Benjamin Peterson, release manager for Python 2.7, in a post to the community mailing list. “It’s time for the CPython community to say a fond but firm farewell to Python 2.”

            Or as he said, somewhat more forthrightly, via Twitter, “I’m washing my hands, scrubbing hard, of Python 2.”

            The terminal iteration was supposed to coincide with PyCon 2020, scheduled to be held this month in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but that’s now a virtual event thanks to the once novel and now rather tiresome coronavirus.

          • PyDev of the Week: Gaetan Delannay

            It is quite unusual for me to talk about myself, but let’s give it a try. Almost 11 years ago, I started a one-man-company, called GeezTeem. 90% of my time is devoted to coding in Python, developing and maintaining about ten software products for the public and not-for-profit sectors in Belgium. Being monomaniacal, all this stuff is made with Appy, my own (GPL) framework for building web applications in Python.

            Convinced by the open source philosophy, the large majority of my code is open source, published under the GPL license. Before flying with my own wings, I have spent the previous 10 years working in various companies, public entities or research centers, learning and experimenting all aspects of software engineering, as developer, tester, researcher, quality engineer or software architect, in fields as varied as 3D graphics, requirements engineering, proton therapy control software or management information systems.

          • How to implement a service layer in Django + Rest Framework

            A service layer is a set of classes or functions, called services, that together form an API for a single package or application. We can distinguish two kinds of services – application services and domain services. In this article, I will be focusing solely on the first type, i.e. application services.

            A single application service provides an indivisible piece of functionality for an actor using the system, e.g. shopper, traveller, merchant.

          • Create a Correlation Matrix in Python with NumPy and Pandas

            In this post, we will go through how to calculate a correlation matrix in Python with NumPy and Pandas. Now, there will be a number of Python correlation matrix examples in this tutorial. First, we will read data from a CSV fil so we can, in a simple way, have a look at the numpy.corrcoef and Pandas DataFrame.corr methods.

          • “Flying Pandas” and “Making Pandas Fly” – virtual talks this weekend on faster data processing with Pandas, Modin, Dask and Vaex

            This Saturday and Monday I’ve had my first experience presenting at virtual conferences – on Saturday it was for Remote Pizza Python (brilliant line-up!) and on Monday (note – this post predates the talk, I’ll update it tomorrow after I’ve spoken) at BudapestBI.

          • The Python pickle Module: How to Persist Objects in Python

            As a developer, you may sometimes need to send complex object hierarchies over a network or save the internal state of your objects to a disk or database for later use. To accomplish this, you can use a process called serialization, which is fully supported by the standard library thanks to the Python pickle module.

          • Webinar Recording: “How To Build Real-Time Interactions In Your Django 3 App” with Calvin Hendryx-Parker

            Last week we hosted Calvin Hendryx-Parker from Six Feet Up for a webinar covering real-time Django 3: Django Rest Framework, Django Channels, ASGI, web sockets, a little Docker, and more.

          • Remote Sprint Tips

            Every year, many developers of Python (the language itself, not just stuff written in Python) get together for a sprint. This year it will probably be virtual. How should that work? I offered to share my experiences and tips, the folks in the core development group asked me to do so, and I listed some tips. My approach is less “top-down schedule” and more “here’s how to adapt to and support the emergent ways people will act”.

          • Mutable vs Immutable Data Types in Python

            Have you ever wondered why there are mutable and immutable types in Python?

          • Working with warnings in Python (Or: When is an exception not an exception?)
          • Exploring the Modern Python Command-Line Interface

            The goal here is simple: help the new Python developer with some of the history and terminology around command-line interfaces (CLIs) and explore how we write these useful programs in Python.

          • Python Slicing Sequences

            Python includes syntax for slicing sequences into pieces. Slicing lets you access a subset of a sequence’s items with minimal effort. The simplest uses for slicing are the built-in types list, str, and bytes.

          • Python 101: Learning About Sets

            A set data type is defined as an “unordered collection of distinct hashable objects” according to the Python 3 documentation. You can use a set for membership testing, removing duplicates from a sequence and computing mathematical operations, like intersection, union, difference, and symmetric difference.

            Due to the fact that they are unordered collections, a set does not record element position or order of insertion. Because of that, they also do not support indexing, slicing or other sequence-like behaviors that you have seen with lists and tuples.

          • Thanking the people behind Spyder 4

            After more than three years in development and more than 5000 commits from 60 authors around the world, Spyder 4 finally saw the light on December 5, 2019! I decided to wait until now to write a blogpost about it because shortly after the initial release, we found several critical performance issues and some regressions with respect to Spyder 3, most of which are fixed now in version 4.1.2, released on April 3rd 2020.

          • Podcast.__init__: Teaching Python Machine Learning

            Python has become a major player in the machine learning industry, with a variety of widely used frameworks. In addition to the technical resources that make it easy to build powerful models, there is also a sizable library of educational resources to help you get up to speed. Sebastian Raschka’s contribution of the Python Machine Learning book has come to be widely regarded as one of the best references for newcomers to the field. In this episode he shares his experiences as an author, his views on why Python is the right language for building machine learning applications, and the insights that he has gained from teaching and contributing to the field.

  • Leftovers

    • This Is My 50,000th Techdirt Post, And I’m Busy Working On 50,001

      So here’s a bit of a fun milestone. This blog post will be my 50,000th blog post on Techdirt, which is kind of insane when you think about it. I noticed last year that I was approaching that number and have checked back periodically to see where I was. Last month I realized I was 100 posts away, and have been watching the counter move along until now, the 50,000th post on the site.

    • Downhill From Everywhere
    • Sex Life in the Time of the 21st Century Plague

      “We’re both really embracing this [sex] as time together rather than using it to stress out,” report a school teacher from Chattanooga (TN) to NBC News. “There’s fear in general, sure — there are people that I love that are at a higher risk — but sex has definitely been a distraction for us. It’s finally a moment when we’re not thinking about or talking about this virus.”

    • Now See

      Now see the populace
      Yearning for leadership
      Dying for it in fact

      The starving man and woman don’t
      Discriminate too well
      Don’t see things too clearly
      Will devour nearly any piece
      Of putrid meat

    • Health/Nutrition

      • In the Face of Death and Disease, Who’s Sorry Now? Not Donald Trump—Yet

        There’s no imaginable excuse for his words and inaction, but a simple apology couldn’t hurt.

      • Economic Reporting on Hardships of Pandemic Should Explore Market Failures

        The coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the failures of capitalist and market systems to provide for social welfare.

      • Have Nepal’s People Managed a Healthy Breakthrough in the Covid-19 Crisis?

        “We’re all going to die!” This feeble appeal came in a Facebook phonecall with B. Thapa from his village in the Nepal’s eastern hills.

      • This map shows how the coronavirus pandemic is developing in Russia

        The map below reflects the number of people who have contracted, died from, and recovered from the coronavirus in every region across Russia. The map is updated as new official data are released. You can find this same information reflected in a table available here in Russian.

      • From Hobbes to Global Lockdown: Why We Need To Heed China and COVID-19 Experiment

        In Leviathan (1651) Hobbes takes us back to the time he calls the “state of nature.” Key to his argument is that this state of nature without a central authority to keep humans in order would result in fighting, wars and “worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” As a result, driven by the fear and dread of this chaos, argues Hobbes, humans created governments that would guarantee them certain rights in exchange for the authority of the ruler, the Leviathan. Hobbes view that society and nature as unruly necessitate that humans sacrifice some of their individual rights to a strong, central authority which is enlisted in keeping the peace. This governing arrangement is what political philosophers call the “social contract” and it means that people can live together in society in accordance certain moral and political rules of behaviour in order to avoid what Hobbes describes as the “perpetual war of every man against his neighbour.”

      • Covid by the Numbers

        I was feeling better before I started this. How much better? Two, three, 500 times better? It’s hard to say. Numbers are blurring in my mind.

      • Incarceration Is Killing Us

        Kelly Hayes talks with Alan Mills about COVID-19, prisons and making bold demands.

      • Citing Pandemic, UN Human Rights Expert Urges US to Release Migrants ‘Held for Processing’

        “Alternatives to widespread immigration detention in the U.S. would also ensure that migrants are not arbitrarily detained.”

      • The Deadliest Pandemic

        Among the infinity of unknowns about Covid 19 there is one incontrovertible fact: It is not another Black Death or Spanish Influenza.  Deadly as it is, it will not kill a third of Europe’s population or 100 million people worldwide.

      • Russia’s ‘Immortal Regiment’ is going virtual this year because of the coronavirus pandemic

        Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s 75th anniversary “Immortal Regiment” parade, honoring veterans of World War II, will take place in the form of a virtual march. 

      • “There’s No Such Thing as Returning to Normal”: We Answered Your Questions About Reopening America

        As some governors prepare to relax social distancing restrictions in their states, ProPublica hosted a digital event on Thursday answering your questions on how to safely leave home, reopen businesses and return to work. Based on a recent ProPublica article that pulled together seven key lessons learned by scientists, doctors and researchers in other countries that have battled the virus, the digital event assembled Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg; health care reporter Caroline Chen; and Andy Slavitt, former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to take questions and share what they’ve learned that can help all Americans for the days, weeks and months ahead.

        “I think the big takeaway is there’s no such thing as returning to normal,” Chen said of what she learned after interviewing front-line officials from Italy, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. “And the goal should not be ‘normal.’”

      • Russia’s Communications Ministry reportedly agrees to ease costly anti-terrorism regulations on telecoms industry

        Russia’s Communications Ministry has reportedly acquiesced to a request from telecom operators to ease data-storage requirements imposed under the so-called “Yarovaya law.” According to the newspaper Kommersant, the industry has won another year’s reprieve before companies have to start increasing data-storage capacity by 15 percent annually for five years.

      • Regions across Russia are starting to require people to wear masks in public settings

        Several regions across Russia are beginning to require people to wear medical masks when in public places, such as in stores and when riding public transportation. 

      • Sen. Richard Burr Is Not Just a Friend to the Health Care Industry. He’s Also a Stockholder.

        In his 15 years in the Senate, Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has been one of the health care industry’s staunchest friends.

        Serving on the health care and finance committees, Burr advocated to end the tax on medical device makers, one of the industry’s most-detested aspects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. He pushed the Food and Drug Administration to speed up its approval process. As one of the most prominent Republican health care policy thinkers, he has sponsored or co-sponsored dozens of health-related bills, including a proposal to replace “Obamacare.” He oversaw the implementation of major legislation to pump taxpayer money into private sector initiatives to address public health threats. “The industry feels very positive about Sen. Burr,” the president of North Carolina’s bioscience trade group said during Burr’s last reelection campaign. “He’s done a stellar job.”

      • Coronavirus ‘Effectively Eliminated’ in New Zealand Following Comprehensive Approach of Jacinda Ardern’s Government

        The country boosted healthcare spending to allow for contact tracing and enforced a nationwide lockdown in late March.

      • With more than 87,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, Russia now has more official COVID-19 infections than China

        On the morning of April 27, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 6,198 new coronavirus infections in the past day, bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 87,147 patients. For the first time, the spread of coronavirus is now worse in Russia than in China, where there are currently 83,912 reported cases.

      • Patriarch Kirill threatens coronavirus-dissident clergy with church tribunals

        Patriarch Kirill, the high priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, has lashed out at his own clergy, demanding better compliance with the state authorities’ containment measures against the spread of coronavirus.

      • The Coronavirus Chronology From Hell

        The world leadership trophy: The winner’s prize in the virus-killer race.

      • ‘Grotesque, Deadly Failure’: Trump USDA Under Fire for Allowing Millions of Pounds of Produce to Rot as Food Insecurity Surges

        “The Agriculture Department took more than a month to make its first significant move to buy up surplus fruits and vegetables.”

      • Without ‘Transformative Change’ to Global Economic Systems, Humans Risk Causing More Deadly Pandemics

        “There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic—us… We have a small window of opportunity, in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.”

      • A Small-Town Pharmacy in Europe’s Westernmost Country Confronts Covid-19

        Portugal, a country roughly equivalent in size to Pennsylvania with a population of 10,276,617, registered its first coronavirus case on March 2. The country imposed a state of emergency on March 2. By April 23, 785 people died and 21,982 have been infected with the virus.

      • Covid-19, Georgia and a State of Fear

        When we think of “human sacrifice”, perhaps the ancient civilizations of the Mayas and Aztecs come to mind, and maybe to a lesser extent the Incas. The ancient Mayas practiced human sacrifice as part of their internecine warfare between city-state kingdoms whereby captive Mayan kings and nobility were sacrificed to Mayan gods and as a deadly game of retribution of winner over loser city-states, and perhaps from such rampant warfare a cause of the demise of numerous Mayan city-kingdoms scattered throughout present-day Yucatán, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.

      • The Covid-19 Class Divide

        The Remotes: These are professional, managerial, and technical workers – an estimated 35 percent of the workforce – who are putting in long hours at their laptops, Zooming into conferences, scanning electronic documents, and collecting about the same pay as before the crisis.

      • As Trump Touts Dangerous “Cures,” Here’s What We Know About COVID-19 Treatments
      • Report: Nearly Half of Americans Breathing Unhealthy Air

        According to the American Lung Association’s (ALA) latest State of Air Report released April 21, 150 million Americans — almost half the population — are living in areas with unhealthy air. The findings challenge clean air claims by the Trump administration and fossil fuel allies. The report also describes how the current administration’s environmental rollbacks threaten the nation’s air quality and public health.

      • New Jersey Corrections Officials (Temporarily) Banned Released Prisoners From Talking To Journalists

        Our nation’s prisons and jails are coronavirus incubators. Everyone inside is stacked on top of each other and the notion of “social distance” doesn’t have much meaning in a place where sheltering in place means breathing the air of everyone else being forcibly sheltered in place.

      • Trump Lavished Himself With Praise for COVID Response 600 Times as 55,000 Died

        Most of the American public may not be happy with President Donald Trump’s actions when it comes to how he’s handled the coronavirus pandemic so far, but there’s at least one person who has given him consistent, glowing praise from the start of the crisis: Trump himself.

      • Carbon dioxide pollution dulls the brain

        Carbon dioxide pollution slows our thinking. It could get bad enough to stop some of us thinking our way out of danger.

      • Record Inequality, COVID-19, and the Crisis of the Have-Nots

        Americans have historically struggled to see inequality as a major societal problem. Inequality in the U.S. was at record levels, even before the emergence of the Covid-19 public health and economic crisis. And Americans have long been tolerant of high inequality in their own country. Less than half historically have said inequality reduction should be a top policy priority of government. And the gap between rich and poor historically ranks as a low concern for most, compared to other economic concerns such as the deficit, the national debt, jobs and unemployment, and the state of the economy more generally. Furthermore, for decades, from the late-1980s through the late-2010s, a majority have refused to recognize that an economic divide exists in the U.S. between haves and have-nots, despite approximately half the country holding almost no financial assets or wealth.

      • Mosques are Covid-19 infection hotspots: Pakistan doctors

        The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) has warned that mosques were becoming a major source of transmission for the novel coronavirus after the government ordered their reopening under pressure from clerics for Ramzan.

        “Mosques are becoming a major source of virus transmission,” Efe news quoted PIMA President Iftikhar Burney as saying at a press conference on Saturday.

      • Future of COVID Briefings Unclear as Trump Pushes for a Different Focus

        After initially stating that there wouldn’t be a White House press briefing on Monday — which would have been the third straight day without one featuring the president or the coronavirus task force — Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said a briefing would happen after all.

      • Israel’s High Court Blocks Country’s Hastily-Erected Domestic Coronavirus Surveillance Program

        When the coronavirus crisis hit, several countries saw an opportunity to engage in/expand domestic surveillance. Unsurprisingly, China and Hong Kong were some of the first to step up their snooping. But it was Israel that quickly deployed one of the more concerning virus-tracking programs: opening up a massive collection of cellphone data to its national security force, Shin Bet.

      • USDA Under Fire for Allowing Millions of Pounds of Produce to Rot

        With food insecurity on the rise across the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drive unprecedented job losses and economic disruption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is facing backlash from lawmakers, farmers, and advocacy groups for its failure to act with urgency as millions of pounds of produce rot in fields across the nation.

      • COVID Deaths in US Will Soon Surpass Number of Americans Killed in Vietnam War

        Before the weekend comes, the number of known deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. will surpass roughly 58,000. This is the same number of Americans who died during the Vietnam War. It took five presidents — Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford — and more than 20 years to amass that body count overseas.

      • Healight: A highly implausible treatment for COVID-19

        President Trump’s remarks late last week about potentially ingesting or injecting disinfectants, such as bleach, and shining ultraviolet light on or in the body to kill SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic were so divorced from reality and science that I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with them a second time. After all, just because a disinfectant or UV light can kill a virus on inanimate surfaces doesn’t mean that it will work internally. At the time, I expressed concern that Trump’s words would embolden the quacks who tout Miracle Mineral Solution (which releases chlorine dioxide, a form of industrial bleach, when mixed with dilute acid) as a cure all (they did) and the quacks who use UV blood irradiation, which involves circulating a patient’s blood through a devide that shines UV radiation on it through the clear tubing (it emboldened them too). What I did not anticipate (but should have) is that poison control centers would be flooded with calls about people ingesting Lysol, bleach, and other disinfectants in New York, Chicago, and elsewhere. Nor did I expect a company hawking a device called Healight to promote its dubious product, leading to Twitter lighting up:

      • Peter Kuznick and The Transnational Covid 19 Solidarity Manifesto – The Project Censored Show

        Historian Peter Kuznick, co-author with Oliver Stone of “The Untold History of the United States,” returns to the Project Censored Show to discuss his latest project: working with a team of other scholars and activists to create and publicize a “Transnational Covid 19 Solidarity Manifesto.” It demands that world governments redirect resources away from war and armaments toward serving the needs of all people, by way of universal healthcare and education, a basic income for all, and other vital reforms.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The algorithms big companies use to manage their supply chains don’t work during pandemics

          Instead, people who manage supply chains will have to more actively interpret the projections, Beal says. “Companies have to rely more on good demand planners and forecasting people, who will say, ‘do I believe this?’ Rather than believing these models will be able to capture everything that’s going on.”

        • Hearing Tuesday: EFF, ACLU, and Cybersecurity Expert Ask Court to Unseal Ruling Denying DOJ Effort to Break Encryption

          Seattle, Washington—On Tuesday, April 28, at 9 am, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Stanford cybersecurity scholar Riana Pfefferkorn will ask a federal appeals court to embrace the public’s First Amendment right to access judicial records and unseal a lower court’s ruling denying a government effort to force Facebook to break the encryption of its Messenger service.Media widely reported in 2018 that a federal court in Fresno, California, denied a  government request that would have required Facebook to compromise the security and privacy promised to users of its Messenger application.

        • Office 365 is now Microsoft 365: What you need to know [Ed: Rebranding again. They burn money. They also cannibalise older products.]

          On April 21, Office 365 became Microsoft 365. The name change is more than a little confusing, but the actual subscription packages remain the same. Here is a breakdown.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium), Debian (eog, jsch, libgsf, mailman, ncmpc, openjdk-11, php5, python-reportlab, radicale, and rzip), Fedora (ansible, dolphin-emu, git, gnuchess, liblas, openvpn, php, qt5-qtbase, rubygem-rake, snakeyaml, webkit2gtk3, and wireshark), Mageia (chromium-browser-stable, git, java-1.8.0-openjdk, kernel, kernel-linus, mp3gain, and virtualbox), openSUSE (crawl, cups, freeradius-server, kubernetes, and otrs), SUSE (apache2, kernel, pam_radius, resource-agents, and webkit2gtk3), and Ubuntu (openexr).

          • 28 antivirus products share nasty flaw that can brick your PC: What you need to know

            “We were able to easily delete important files related to the antivirus software that rendered it ineffective and even delete key operating system files that would cause significant corruption requiring a full reinstall of the OS,” RACK911 said in a blog post outlining the findings.

            “Most of the antivirus vendors have fixed their products, with a few unfortunate exceptions,” RACK911 said. “Given how many vendors were vulnerable, it’s our belief that there are even more lesser-known products out there susceptible to these sorts of attacks.”

            In an update to its initial blog post, RACK911 said, “We have received questions about lesser-known antivirus so

          • Zero-Day Flaw Allowed Attackers to Achieve RCE on Firewalls

            British security firm Sophos determined that malicious actors had abused a zero-day vulnerability to achieve remote code execution (RCE) on some of its firewall products.

            According to Sophos, the attack chain began when digital attackers exploited a zero-day SQL injection vulnerability to achieve RCE on some firewall products. They abused this privilege to insert a command into a database table that instructed an infected firewall device to download a Linux shell script from a remote server hosted at the malicious site “sophosfirewallupdate[.]com.” This script then dropped additional files to lay the move the attack forward.

            One of those resources was .lp.sh. This shell script was responsible for connecting to “sophosfirewallupdate[.]com” and downloading a Linux ELF executable file that was capable on running on the firewall’s operating system. A second shell script performed similar functionality by downloading a different Linux ELF executable and writing it to the file system.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • NHS rejects Apple-Google coronavirus app plan

              The UK’s coronavirus contact-tracing app is set to use a different model to the one proposed by Apple and Google, despite concerns raised about privacy and performance.
              The NHS says it has a way to make the software work “sufficiently well” on iPhones without users having to keep it active and on-screen.
              That limitation has posed problems for similar apps in other countries.
              Experts from GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre have aided the effort.
              NCSC indicated that its involvement has been limited to an advisory role.
              “Engineers have met several core challenges for the app to meet public health needs and support detection of contact events sufficiently well, including when the app is in the background, without excessively affecting battery life,” said a spokeswoman for NHSX, the health service’s digital innovation unit.

            • Former top public servant: I won’t download the coronavirus app

              Two million Australians will have the coronavirus tracing app on their phones tonight but a top former digital agency public servant won’t download it because of the government’s track record with people’s data.

              Professor Lesley Seebeck, the former Digital Transformation Agency chief investment and advisory officer who is now the head of the Australian National University Cyber Institute, said the government had a history of grabbing as much data as it could under technology and security laws.

            • Experts warn there are still legal ways the US could obtain COVIDSafe data

              The COVIDSafe app is designed to help identify who a COVID-19 positive person has met while infected, speeding up the contact-tracing process.

              The Government has defended its decision, revealed last week by the ABC, to award the app’s data-storage contract to Amazon cloud subsidiary Amazon Web Services (AWS), a US-incorporated business subject to the US CLOUD Act.

              The CLOUD Act is a 2018 US law which requires American cloud services to produce, under subpoena, data held by them regardless of where in the world that data is stored.

              The Australian Government initially told ABC News data held by Amazon would be protected from the CLOUD Act, but Australia’s peak legal body, the Law Council, disagreed, saying that under current arrangements the appeal avenues under the CLOUD Act “would not have application” in Australia.

              The Government has also pointed to a Ministerial Determination issued on Saturday by Health Minister Greg Hunt, which it says will also protect the data. The Law Council and two crossbenchers said that was not certain.

              The federal crossbenchers told ABC News they were concerned the Government had created an uncertain legal situation around the COVID-19 app.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Court Tells Agency That Tried To Charge $1.5 Million For A Records Request It Now Owes The Requestor $12,000 In Fines

        It’s too bad it takes a lawsuit to free up supposedly “open” records. A few years ago, transparency group Reclaim the Records asked for some easy-to-compile birth and death data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and received this ridiculous response.

      • Unmasking Tubi: What Murdoch Will Do Next With His New Asset

        Just days after the deal to acquire closed on April 20th, the new owner of the largest independent video on demand service on the market announced that it will be making available one of its broadcast network’s hit shows for the first time, with the first two seasons of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” New episodes of the current season, one of the few hot properties left in primetime, will be available too, delayed by several weeks after the initial airing on Fox.

        [...]

        The move represents what is the first of surely many Fox shows finding their way to Tubi, which offers Fox a new audience to dangle in front of advertisers. Crucially, these viewers tend to be younger, cord-cutting viewers, extending the reach of the network that this demo has largely abandoned.

      • Fox Corporation to Acquire Tubi

        Tubi will also seamlessly integrate with and deepen FOX’s capabilities in key areas such as digital advertising, direct-to-consumer interfaces and personalization technology. Similarly, Tubi will be able to fully leverage FOX’s advertising and distribution relationships, as well as its formidable national and local promotional platforms, to further augment the service’s growth trajectory.

      • Trump Economic Advisors Send Completely Different Messages on Same Day

        While Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was painting a somewhat rosy picture as to where the U.S. economy is heading, White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett used harrowing terms like “grave situation,” “negative shock that our economy has ever seen” and “Great Depression” to describe the situation. Both administration officials shared their differing messages on separate Sunday morning news programs.

    • Environment

      • Pollution rollbacks show a ‘callous disregard’ for communities hard hit by COVID-19

        If we look at who’s losing their lives to COVID-19 in larger numbers, it’s the same people that have been facing the air pollution that’s been impacting their lungs that may make them predisposed to being harmed by pollution. And that’s why it’s so unconscionable to me that this administration at this point in time is doing everything they can think of to make pollution standards weakened and to roll back their ability to be able to control pollution from industries that are operating even today. It’s just shocking to me because this just means it’s a callous disregard for the communities that have been left behind. It’s a callous acknowledgment that they care less about people who are in poverty and people who are of communities of color than they do the people that are trying to benefit through stimulus dollars — which is those who are already rich and are already powerful. It just shocks me that it could be so blatant.

    • The Meltdown of the Careerist Greens

      The wildly, uniquely popular, documentary “Planet of the Humans” has been viewed over 2 million times in less that four days – likely 100s of thousands more by the time you read this.

    • ‘Environmentally Just’ Move Will Open 100 Miles of NYC Streets to Pedestrians as Social Distancing Enters Warmer Months

      Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement of the new policy on Monday. 

    • Energy

    • Overpopulation

      • Planned Parenthood Condemns States Using Pandemic to Limit Abortion Access

        As much of the U.S. remains on lockdown, abortion rights are under attack nationwide. We get an update on the fight for abortion access with Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Our bodies have literally been deemed essential,” she says, “and yet the control of our bodies and the right to control our own bodies has not.”

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Tired of Fighting About Third Parties? Just Enact Ranked Choice Voting.

      Rather than scolding voters for wanting more options, we should put in place a more representative system.

    • ‘Democracy is Dead,’ Declare Sanders Supporters After Bernie Taken Off New York Ballot

      The decision was made by the New York Board of Elections, one of whom described holding the primary as a frivolous “beauty contest” for the Vermont lawmaker’s supporters.

    • Did He Talk About Her? VA Secretary Changes His Story Amid Allegations He Sought Dirt on House Staffer.

      Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, under investigation for allegations that he sought to discredit a congressional aide who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital, has denied seeking out damaging information about the woman.

      Specifically, Wilkie denied ever discussing the woman, Andrea Goldstein, with Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican whose service in the Navy overlapped with Goldstein’s.

    • The Big Lie Triumphant

      These quotes are from Jeffrey St. Clair’s latest Roaming Charges column (4-24-20). They suggested to me the following brief reflections: Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels were not the first to figure out that if you were able to get ahold of a prominent means of disseminating information, you could persuade large numbers of people to accept lies as facts.  This came to be called “the Big Lie technique.” Today big capital has monopolized media to an extent not imagined even by the Nazis. And almost everything we call “news” (and “entertainment” too) is filtered through a handful of corporate-owned media. People now have very little direct contact with anything that could be called “reality.”

    • The Likely Democratic Party Candidate for the Senate Opposing McConnell is a Militarist Who is Not Much of an Alternative

      Given the 2018 election results, one might expect a wave of more liberally-minded peace candidates. In one race for the senate, that is definitely not happening.

    • From Emergency to Emergence

      This current emergency provides the possibility for a new emergence—the birthing of a truly civil civilization dedicated to the well-being of all people and the living Earth.

    • Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin Fuels National Demands for Vote-by-Mail

      “Congress is running out of time to ensure that the chaos that happened in Wisconsin doesn’t unfold on a national scale come November.”

    • WATCH: Bernie Sanders to Host Livestream Discussion on the Coronavirus Pandemic and Undocumented Immigrants

      Sanders has called for a robust coronavirus relief package that would include direct monthly payments for undocumented people, who were left out of the CARES Act.

    • Sanders Legal Team Protests Possible ‘Involuntary Erasure’ of Senator From New York Primary Ballot

      “Senator Sanders wishes to remain on the ballot, and is concerned that his removal from the ballot would undermine efforts to unify the Democratic Party in advance of the general election.”

    • ‘Bad for Democracy’: New York Board of Elections Removes Bernie Sanders From Primary Ballot

      “It has a chilling effect on democracy as we know it, because the ability of the people to weigh in was stripped from them before they had an opportunity to cast a ballot.”

    • Federal Court Orders Social Distancing Measures At Cook County Jail, Site Of One Of Largest Coronavirus Clusters

      A federal court ruled that the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has failed to protect detainees at Cook County Jail from the spread of the coronavirus and issued an injunction, however, the court declined to order the convening of a three-judge court for the release of detainees.The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ordered [PDF] Sheriff Thomas Dart to develop a policy to avoid “group housing” or “double-celling,” holding two detainees in one cell.Dart also instructed to expand COVID-19 testing in the facility in Chicago, increase enforcement of social distancing, and provide greater access to face masks and “sanitation supplies.” “The ruling put into place measures Dart has previously refused to implement, including  expanding mandatory testing and barring dangerous congregate-style dormitory housing and double cells,” declared Locke Bowman, the executive director of the MacArthur Justice Center. Bowman added, “While the Sheriff has maintained this lawsuit is a waste of time, today’s ruling proves that judicial injunction was absolutely necessary to ensure the protection of detainees’ health.”In early April, a class action lawsuit was filed for emergency relief for detainees because the Sheriff’s Office “failed in its constitutional responsibility” to “provide reasonable protection” from the virus.

    • Pro-Gun Activists Spearhead Coronavirus Quarantine Protests Through Coordinated Facebook Campaign Groups

      A family of right-wing pro-gun activists are reportedly spearheading a coordinated collection of Facebook groups advocating for anti-quarantine protests across the country.

      The cluster of pages, which have amassed more than 200,000 members collectively in less than a month, call for an end to the state-ordered lockdowns put in place in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease linked to more than 42,000 U.S. deaths.

    • The Anti-Quarantine Protests Aren’t About Covid-19

      Many outlets, including WIRED, reminded readers that the groups of demonstrators are pint-sized compared to the vast majority of Americans who support social distancing and that protesters have much to gain from your attention. Further left, the anti-lockdown protests are being talked about as something that you must attend to or else risk a repeat of the Tea Party movement’s rise to power. Already, Snopes and others are having to debunk manipulated images of the protest, some which seem to show much larger crowds and others that have photoshopped the protesters into cartoonish versions of themselves, holding signs with slogans like “My Virus, My Choice” and “Defund Science.” Confusing, no? Ain’t that America.

    • This Iowa family is behind the ‘Reopen’ protests popping up across the country

      Using their state-specific Facebook group pages with a total of over 200,000 followers, Iowa’s Dorr family has helped organize the protests against coronavirus restrictions and business closures in those states.

    • Iowa Candidate Under Fire for Call to Define Islam as ‘Militant Cultural Imperialism Seeking World Domination’

      Lost in all this predictable intimidation on the one hand and equally predictable pusillanimity on the other was the question of whether or not Phillips was right. Surely everyone can agree, or should agree, that the First Amendment is not and was never intended to be a license to commit all manner of crimes if such activity is mandated by one’s religion. No one, Muslim or non-Muslim, should be considered anything but innocent until proven guilty, but sooner or later the United States and all non-Muslim countries is going to have to have a public conversation about how much to tolerate a belief system that is itself radically intolerant, authoritarian, supremacist, and violent.

      Can Muslims in the U.S. repudiate those aspects of Islam? Should they? This discussion needs to take place, but right now it is covered over by claims of “Islamophobia.” In the same way, lost in the shuffle also was the question of whether or not Islam really is “militant cultural imperialism seeking world domination.”

    • Larry Summers Is a Dead Albatross Around Biden’s Neck

      Larry Summers, a Harvard economist who held senior posts under both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, has a record that is even more dismaying than Biden’s. Going back decades, Summers has opposed big stimulus spending, regulation of Wall Street, and pushes for economic equality.

      There are two main objections to Summers: his personality and his politics. He has a well-documented history of being an overbearing boss, a know-it-all with a habit of publicly humiliating his underlings and colleagues. Christina Romer, who served as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, complained that Summers treated her like “a piece of meat.”

    • Republican in Iowa’s 2nd District primary calls for Islam’s religious status to be revoked

      A Republican candidate for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, whose platform calls for redefining Islam as “militant cultural imperialism seeking world domination,” drew fire Monday for saying he doesn’t believe Islam is protected under the First Amendment.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Not a Hoax: The Very Real Threat of Political ‘Deepfakes’ Laws

      “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.” That’s what Donald Trump says—or at least appears to say—in a new political ad airing in states across the country.

      The ad, created by a Democratic super PAC, strings together audio from various Trump speeches discussing the coronavirus. The spliced-together audio plays while a graph, representing the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., grows exponentially in the background. The ad ends with audio and video of Trump declaring, “No, I don’t take responsibility at all.”     

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Journalism is under attack from coronavirus and the White House. But we’re winning.

      In the last decade, the ugliest and most cunning threat to journalism comes from leaders in different parts of the world increasingly questioning not just the veracity of what is being reported, which isn’t new, but the integrity of those who report it, which is. Some leaders have gone further and egged on their supporters to target and harass anyone they don’t approve of in the media.

    • Journalists Should Stand Up to Trump at Coronavirus Press Briefings

      It’s worth digging into what got us to this place. Trump insults journalists so regularly it has become par for the course — an integral part of the theater and terror that is his presidency. But no matter how routine it gets, it remains disturbing and even shocking, and it is the press that should be putting an end to these briefings, not the White House.

      Over the last month, more and more television networks started cutting away from Trump’s live briefings because there’s a growing consensus they are not just useless but could actually be harmful, mainly serving to spread misinformation and allow Trump to spew hate and nonsense.

      But I have yet to see a reporter defend themselves on the most basic, personal level against this verbal abuse in real time. For example, by saying, “Excuse me, Mr. President, do not speak to me that way,” or “Do not insult me.” Reporters at times push back on the issues, repeating their questions to try to hold him accountable. They have also, on occasion, tried to pass the mic back to colleagues who have been cut off after Trump stifles them. And while many media executives have been grappling with if and how to report these pressers, there seems to be little to no debate about the president’s treatment of reporters and how they should, in turn, conduct themselves. There seems to be a tacit expectation for them to just sit there and take it.

    • WikiLeaks Webinars
    • UK: Adjournment of Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing considered amidst coronavirus concerns

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team has requested adjournment of his US extradition hearing to allow for adequate preparation of his defence, amidst concerns for his health as COVID-19 reportedly spreads at Belmarsh prison. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates the need for Assange’s immediate release before his health is further jeopardised, and calls for the extradition hearing to be postponed until lockdown conditions are lifted.
      On 27 April, a hearing took place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to consider the application of Julian Assange’s legal team to adjourn his US extradition hearing. The full hearing had been scheduled to resume on 18 May, when three weeks of evidence were expected to be heard, following the presentation of legal arguments in February.

      District judge Vanessa Baraitser presided, and was joined in the courtroom by legal counsel. Assange was expected to attend via videolink, but he did not take part, and his lawyer Edward Fitzgerland QC reported that he had received medical advice that it would not be safe for him to be taken to the video room at Belmarsh prison. Assange also did not participate in the last hearing on 7 April, as his lawyers reported he was unwell.

      “We are alarmed by the continued disregard for Julian Assange’s health, particularly now with the added risk of his being exposed to coronavirus in detention. He should be immediately released before his health is further jeopardised, and the court must ensure that he is able to participate fully in future hearings”, said RSF UK Bureau Director Rebecca Vincent.

      The defence argued for adjournment of the full extradition hearing to allow for sufficient time to adequately prepare Assange’s defence, noting that his lawyers did not currently have access to him in prison, and could not fulfill their professional obligations to him in these circumstances. They also sought to ensure his participation in proceedings, and to allow for open justice through ensuring access to the press and other observers.

    • Coronavirus forces delay in U.S. extradition case against Assange

      Hearings in the U.S. extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not go ahead next month as scheduled because of the coronavirus lockdown which prevents lawyers from attending court, a British judge decided on Monday.

      The 48-year-old is held at London’s Belmarsh Prison where he is fighting a request by the United States to send him to stand trial for conspiring to hack government computers and espionage.

      Assange was dragged from the Ecuador embassy in London last year after a seven-year stand-off. He says he could spend decades in prison if convicted, and calls the case against him political and a threat to free speech. The United States says he put the lives of informants in danger by publishing secrets.

    • Turnbull, Rudd and others on the right must make a stand for Assange

      Now is the time, if ever there was a time, for prominent Australians, especially those on the right, who support Julian Assange, to take their defence of him up a gear.
      The Wikileaks founder, currently on remand in London’s Belmarsh prison, has just had a full hearing of his refusal of extradition to the US delayed for months — possibly until November — because preparation of a defence has been impossible due to COVID-19 restrictions.

    • Julian Assange extradition hearing postponed amid coronavirus lockdown

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing has been postponed for up to six months after defence and prosecution lawyers agreed it would no longer be in the interests of justice to try the case in May.

      Assange’s lawyers told the court that, in the midst of the UK’s Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown, they had not been able to meet with their client either in person or over video link to prepare the case.

      The decision came after Edward Fitzgerald, representing Assange, told the court it had not been possible for Assange’s legal team to take instructions in response to new documents served by US prosecutor Gordon Kromberg.

      The WikiLeaks founder faces 17 charges under the 1917 Espionage Act after WikiLeaks published a series of leaks from Chelsea Manning, a former US Army soldier turned whistleblower, in 2010-11.

      He faces a further charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The charges, filed in an indictment by the Easter District of Virginia, carry a maximum sentence of 175 years.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Cleric under fire for linking women to Covid-19

      Maulana Tariq Jameel’s statement linking “women’s immodesty” to coronavirus spread in Pakistan continues to stir the storm on social media as politicians and rights activists demanded an apology from him.

      The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders without naming the maulana called it his “ignorance about pandemics or a misogynist mindset” and observed that making such a correlation was dangerous when violent crimes against women and girls continued to take place in the country with impunity.

    • Islam Up Close

      The 46 essays in the book present a picture of Islam that’s difficult to find elsewhere. Much of the online information about Islam is provided by Muslim apologists—some of whom belong to groups that are well funded by Arab states. And much of the rest is provided by non-Muslims whose first priority is not to offend Islam. Critics of Islam, on the other hand, are few and far between, and possibly getting fewer. Their sites are regularly attacked as “hate groups” by leftists. And they stand in constant danger of being de-monetized or de-platformed.

    • ‘A phantom plague’: America’s Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead

      Dozens of pastors across the Bible Belt have succumbed to coronavirus after churches and televangelists played down the pandemic and actively encouraged churchgoers to flout self-distancing guidelines.

      As many as 30 church leaders from the nation’s largest African American Pentecostal denomination have now been confirmed to have died in the outbreak, as members defied public health warnings to avoid large gatherings to prevent transmitting the virus.

      Deaths across the US in areas where the Church of God in Christ has a presence have reportedly stemmed from funerals and other meetings among clergy and other church staff held during the pandemic.

    • Pandemic and techno-politics

      Hi again everyone! I’m continuing my lock-down diary here encouraged by your feedback and appreciation shown to previous posts also published and translated to French by the Makery magazine.
      My goal is to share musings, howtos and analyses in the style of the Austrian technopolitics tradition, to observe and possibly predict what will soon be happening and we will likely remember for decades to come as a memorable event, that of the COVID19 pandemic.
      The ideal audience I think of when writing this diary is a mix of policy experts, technologists, activists and entrepreneurs; my wish is to provoke, inspire and get inspired about possible solutions we may want to refine and realize across cultural, geographical and political boundaries.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Fancy That: Comcast’s Network Holding Up Fine Without Usage Caps

      For many years in the early aughts, broadband providers insisted they needed to impose usage caps and costly overage fees to help manage network congestion. By 2015, leaked documents from Comcast revealed that was never true. In the years since, even industry CEOs have acknowledged that the limits are little more than an additional tax on captive customers in uncompetitive U.S. broadband markets.

  • Monopolies

    • Amazon Algorithm Is Manipulating Suppliers Into Favoring It Over Other Retailers

      During the second week of March, as the stock market and many U.S. businesses slumped, Peter Spenuzza’s company, Rise Bar, enjoyed an unexpected boost. Amazon, where the protein bars are sold, suggested Spenuzza keep 18,000 packages in its warehouses, up from the usual 4,000, based on soaring demand for almond honey and other flavors.

    • Patents

      • Patent case: In re Anova Hearing Labs Inc., USA

        The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board holding that a patent for an in-the-ear medical device was obvious in light of several other patents and prior art. To the contrary, the appellate court concluded that obviousness was not proven because the Board’s decision did not articulate a basis or rationale sufficient to show that a person of ordinary skill in the art would modify the devices existing under prior patents and prior art (In re Anova Hearing Labs, Inc., April 7, 2020, Moore, K.).

      • Many an angler has gone fishing and returned empty handed

        Patent attorney Christopher Rudy has been pursuing his fishing hook and fishing method patent application since 1989. The current set of claims have been deemed ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101.

        [...]

        Id. The court does not offer an explanation for its conclusion other than a cite to Elec. Power Grp. (statements regarding human mental processes). Perhaps a cite to Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

        The court suggested that the claimed method might become patent eligible if the measurement techniques were limited to a particular method or instrumentality. “Because the claims before us are not limited in the way Mr. Rudy suggests, we are not in a position to opine on whether theoretical claims that were so limited would be patent eligible.”

        Here, the court repeated its prior statements that the PTO guidance on patent eligibility does not bind or limit the Federal Circuit in any way. “To the extent the Office Guidance contradicts or does not fully accord with our caselaw, it is our caselaw, and the Supreme Court precedent it is based upon, that must control.”

        Rudy also envoked the machine-or-transformation test — referring to the fact that the fish was originally free but was then caught. On appeal, the Federal Circuit confirmed that the test remaines a “useful and important clue” to eligibility. However, the claim here does not require actually catching a fish. Rather, as Rudy explained in his own briefing: “Landing a fish is never a sure thing. Many an angler has gone fishing and returned empty handed.” Perhaps the adage here should replace “angler” with “appellant.” No Patent for Rudy (Yet).

      • US Patent Office: Supreme Court Made Us Reject More Patents, But We’ve Now Fixed That And Are Back To Approving Bad Patents

        One of the most important Supreme Court rulings in the patent space is the so-called Alice ruling in 2014 which should have effectively spelled the end of software patents (even though the ruling doesn’t exactly say that). The ruling just says that you shouldn’t get patents on software that “does no more than require a generic computer to perform generic computer functions.” As we noted at the time… that’s basically all software that is found on computers and personal devices. Sure, there may be some specialized machines, and, fine, let them get patents. But based on this ruling, nearly all software patents should be rejected.

    • Copyrights

      • Covid-19 Measures Boosted Visits to Film Piracy Sites by Over 50%, New Data Show

        New data published by piracy tracking firm MUSO shows that, in some countries, the Covid-19 measures have boosted traffic to film piracy sites by more than 50%. This includes Italy, India, and Spain. An increase in traffic is also visible in many other countries, also for other content categories, such as software. The number of visits to live sports streaming sites logically tanked.

      • Telegram Piracy Channels Face Blocking After Italian Prosecutor Issues Emergency Order

        An emergency order signed by a deputy prosecutor in Italy has been delivered to local telecoms watchdog AGCOM. It requires Telegram to shut down 19 channels involved in the illegal distribution of newspapers, periodicals and books. In the event the chat platform fails to cooperate, ISPs could be required to block the channels or, in the extreme, block Telegram completely.

      • The Library of Congress wants to help you remix public domain audio clips

        The Library of Congress has launched a new website that allows you to create short remixes of royalty-free audio clips.

        Citizen DJ is an open-source hip-hop project created by New York-based artist and computer scientist Brian Foo. The website includes roughly 3 million sound recordings spanning centuries that are divided into six different collections, including audio clips from government films to free music, which you can edit directly from your web browser.

      • Supreme Court Says Georgia’s ‘Official Code’ Is Public Domain — Including Annotations

        The long saga of Georgia locking up its laws under copyright is (hopefully) officially over, with a Supreme Court ruling that says pretty explicitly that the law must be in the public domain. If you don’t recall, this case started years ago. The state of Georgia has a somewhat odd way of publishing its official code. Every new law is published, by state edict, in the “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” or the OGCA. Every new law explicitly says that it will be published in the OCGA. The tricky copyright issue came from the “Annotated” part of that. Annotations are (mostly) summaries of judicial interpretations of the law, and the state of Georgia outsourced the annotating to the private company LexisNexis. LexisNexis would write the annotations, for which it received a copyright, and then assign the copyright to the Georgia government. While Georgia put up a free version of the unannotated law, to get the annotated version — which, again, is the “official” law of the state — you either had to pay or to register with a website that included significant (and highly questionable) restrictions. In response, Carl Malamud, who has devoted much of his life’s work to making sure that the laws of the world are freely accessible to those who are ruled by those laws, posted a free copy of the OGCA to the web.

      • Supreme Court Affirms That No One Owns the Law

        In a major victory for open government and fundamental due process, the Supreme Court ruled today that the annotations in a state’s official legal code—summaries of court decisions and other sources that explain the state’s laws—cannot be copyrighted. That is, that there cannot be a better-explained version of the law available only to those who can afford to pay for it. The law, in any form, must be accessible to all.

        “Officials empowered to speak with the force of law,” wrote the Court [pdf], “cannot be the authors of—and therefore cannot copyright—the works they create in the course of their official duties.” This decision means the state of Georgia will not be able to stop the open government nonprofit Public.Resource.Org, or any other member of the public, from copying, sharing, speaking, or quoting the state’s official code.

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