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05.03.20

Microsoft Kills: Hospitals Taken Over by Windows Crackers and Hospital Staff Threatened Not to Talk About It

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When your hospital runs software with NSA back doors that crackers are aware of, familiar with, and ready to exploit using the NSA’s leaked software tools

Windows Update

Summary: Gag orders prevent hospital staff from talking about Microsoft Windows bringing hospitals to a standstill following attacks on Windows itself (a trivial task for even inexperienced crackers looking for some cryptocurrency while people’s lives are at stake)

THE reluctance to use GNU/Linux (or BSD/UNIX) at hospitals is noteworthy. It’s simply irrational to put on such absolutely critical systems a proprietary operating system which, as is already widely known, has contained back doors for decades. It’s beyond reckless and people who sign off the paperwork ought to be held accountable.

“It’s beyond reckless and people who sign off the paperwork ought to be held accountable.”An introduction to this topic was published some old morning (last year). We recently learned about hospitals that had been victims of ransomware. The details are not pretty. To say the least…

Our goal here isn’t to name the hospitals and definitely not to name sources. Instead, in order to protect our sources, we are going to specify details as vaguely as possible (times, names, locations).

“I can’t talk about it in public,” one source told us, “of course [...] and I don’t know all of the details but it’s much more brutal than the happy stories you see in the news where the criminals are paid off and things are back to normal in three days.”

“Instead, in order to protect our sources, we are going to specify details as vaguely as possible (times, names, locations).”We have been presented some evidence to show what happened. We cannot reproduce it here as that might harm the privacy of sources and patients alike. What the evidence shows is direct disruption to hospitals’ operations. In the departments concerned it may be a question of life and death.

“The network and electronic medical records systems have been down for more than a week,” one person told us. “Some kind of malware jumped out of an email and quickly took over the network. In particular, the [redacted] system was “destroyed” and and doctors have to walk themselves to see any CT imaging. Even that’s pretty useless because they have no way to access patient records. The emergency room has been shut down, all patients are sent to other clinics. I wonder if they have the capacity.”

They probably don’t.

“As readers can probably understand, publishing the evidence online isn’t practical as it would lead to reprisal.”“It was all Windows, of course,” the person added. “Even the [redacted] system was running on Microsoft because the IT people were complete Microsoft flunkies.”

As one might expect.

“Hospital staff is terrified and won’t say much,” we learned. “They are under threat of job loss if anything gets out. That, I suppose, includes me.”

Patients should never be rendered hostages with ransom money. But this is a Microsoft gift that keeps ‘giving’.

In the next part we’ll present further discussion. As readers can probably understand, publishing the evidence online isn’t practical as it would lead to reprisal. It’s a tricky issue to cover, but it is doable. We have supporting material for everything.

Microsoft Killed Far More Patients Than COVID-19 Killed

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The company co-founded by Bill Gates would be held accountable for manslaughter had it not been so politically connected (while media omits the role of Microsoft’s shoddy products)

Goodfellas
2013: Bill Gates “Uploaded a Virus he Had Written and Caused the Entire Network to Crash.”

Summary: The media may not be making it apparent (deliberate obfuscation), but many people die every day just because a lot of hospitals still use Microsoft Windows with NSA back doors

TODAY we publish something a little different, partitioned and redacted so as to best protect our sources. It would be nice to just put it all ‘out there’, revealing all the gory (sometimes literally) details, but that would be counterproductive if it might hurt our sources.

“I work among people who do research, looking to discover causes of disease and possible cures/aversions.”This series has been very long in the making, nearly a whole year in fact, and the pandemic makes it ever more relevant. We’ve decided we can no longer keep it to ourselves and the time is right to responsibly publish what we know. We’re going to stick to the facts, based on the supportive evidence we have, and we’ll leave it for readers to draw conclusions.

At work our main client is the NHS (when I say “our” I mean my wife and I). I work among people who do research, looking to discover causes of disease and possible cures/aversions. I’ve been hearing quite a few hospital stories lately. About Microsoft… well, the role in manslaughter by technical sabotage is apparent to me. We can leave aside the question of who should be held accountable, be it the person who signs of the procurement papers or Microsoft itself.

“One pattern we’ve seen all along is that technical staff at hospitals is well aware of these problems. Some are afraid to speak about it with managers and managers themselves aren’t particularly receptive or helpful. They’d rather cover up scandals than deal with them openly.”I invite readers who have relevant information to share it with Techrights. We promise to handle it responsibly. I am keeping notes and indexes of all that’s sent to me on a locked-down machine that doesn’t contain proprietary software other than Wi-Fi firmware. One day, one way or another, the truth on this will come out. When the time is right. We just need the evidence at hand; shall someone choose to challenge claims made here, we can back those up with evidence, either privately or publicly (depending on sensitivity).

One pattern we’ve seen all along is that technical staff at hospitals is well aware of these problems. Some are afraid to speak about it with managers and managers themselves aren’t particularly receptive or helpful. They’d rather cover up scandals than deal with them openly. I am familiar with the experience of clueless managers at work (no technical knowledge at all) and what sources describe to us is far from outlandish. What they describe is a very common problem. You’re not alone, technical people who work at hospitals! You may feel alone in the context of the work, but many people in other workplaces experience the same thing.

Means of contacting us have not changed and we can handle encryption just fine. Without further ado, let’s get this thing started.

Microsoft GNU-Hub Series Teaser

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It's OK, it's just a bad dream; What if it ain't?

Summary: The “GNUHub” series which started last night will soon deal with deeper issues, based on a longstanding analysis of GNU projects (or the GNU Project as a whole) and their newly-acquired dependence on Microsoft (through GitHub 'monopoly')

Turning 13.5 and Why We’re Needed in the Age of Misinformation and PR as ‘News’

Posted in Site News at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Web in January 2020

Tim Schwab on Gates
Yesterday’s remark from Tim Schwab, who closely studied these matters

Summary: Now that many if not most news sites are in the business of selling something (not information but agenda) our work here is needed more than ever; we’re turning 13.5 this week

THIS WEEK we turn 13.5 years. I was 24 when the site started, working towards finishing my Ph.D. thesis at the time.

Shane and I met in Digg.com — a site many consider to be the first real “social network”. The idea of Boycott Novell was his and he wanted me, a SUSE user at the time, to join him. I soon did. Believe it or not, back then in 2006 the site’s theme was more or less identical to what it is today (we’ve tweaked it a little since) and mostly the scope expanded. From writing short posts without pictures we soon evolved — seeing a sharp growth in traffic — to long form, complete with pictures and lots of additional stuff. By 2008 we already needed to leave shared hosting and have our own virtual machine. Nowadays we have a dedicated physical server, albeit shared with Tux Machines.

“Last month we modernised the site at the back end by adopting containers.”Over the weekend, despite not publishing much (new articles), we still delivered an average of over 2GB of traffic per hour. We actually saw an increase this past year and since the pandemic began we’ve seen no noticeable difference. We carry on going.

Last month we modernised the site at the back end by adopting containers. That also meant some upgrades and we now have a more stable system which should have fewer and shorter downtimes. Last week we spent a number of hours updating the Wiki, bringing more of it up to date (to the extent feasible). Many EPO insiders (and outsiders alike, to a lesser degree) use the wiki as an index of news about their workplace. We totally support EPO staff in the face of Campinos/Battistelli tyranny. Oddly enough, we’ve been focused on this issue since the summer of 2014, which means almost half the lifetime of this site. Last year, after working on workflow improvements, we returned to covering Free software and software freedom perils on a more frequent basis. It was long overdue, considering the age of the entryism, including the abduction of GitHub in 2018.

“In terms of stability, we’re doing alright and our morale is high.”Today, or overnight, I am toiling or hacking on some code, trying to make things more efficient; anything that can be automated, e.g. IRC logging (and generation of HTML logs), is being increasingly automated. That leaves us more time for writing. A decade ago we managed to produce about 10 daily posts, on average, but with a full-time job (to pay the bills) I cannot do that anymore. Looking over at Phoronix, Michael too seems to be struggling somewhat. Aside from the fact there’s not as much stuff to cover (the pandemic means fewer announcements are made), his wife recently lost her job, months ago they had their first baby, and the economy in general went down the toilet. This sort of ‘downturn’ is guaranteed to kill a large number of Web sites, as every recession does. The same is true for businesses of all sorts. We still don’t know when — if ever — we can go back to the gym. Life may never feel the same after this pandemic. “Consumer confidence” as they call it hit rock bottom; people feel reluctant to spend money and more importantly they don’t feel safe enough going outside, except for essential tasks like food-buying. People don’t want to get ill, either, knowing that hospital wards are already full and may be too contaminated to be worth the risk (going to the hospital for non-critical issues may be more dangerous than staying home because of risk of contracting something else). As it stands, cancer diagnosis rates have gone down, quite likely due to reduced capacity to screen and detect. So there’s an inadvertent and indirect death toll, too. Historians may assess that one day.

In terms of stability, we’re doing alright and our morale is high. Many people out there are starting to lose their sanity (various factors contribute to this) and boredom leads people to nutty conspiracy theories that the online “conspiracy industry” can reaffirm. Back in February we wrote about the role of envy (when empires decline or altogether fall it’s easy to become jealous of those who pick up the pieces, inheriting what was built).

Please be very well aware that the Web is becoming polluted with unbacked conspiracy theories; we’re almost embarrassed to see some of the people who link to Techrights, distorting what we actually said. We gave some examples before. We’re more strict than ever about fact-checking and some articles take weeks to write because of the research they require. We’re hardly being bashed online anymore and that’s a positive sign. We intend to keep it that way.

Microsoft GNU-Hub (Part 1)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guest post by figosdev

GNUHub

Summary: Any project of GNU going into GitHub is making it seem or feel acceptable for GNU projects to be ‘outsourced’ to Microsoft; so what does it mean to have some of GNU inside the proprietary software jail of Microsoft? The first part deals with GNU projects that have GitHub dependencies.

Microsoft’s takeover of free software is fascinating, but where can the line be drawn? I treat this as both a hypothetical question and a practical one, because I’ve spent years boycotting Microsoft and ever since they purchased GitHub, I’ve noticed that’s become next to impossible. “A source repo on every desk…”

Originally I thought perhaps we could boycott projects that are based on GitHub, since hey — there’s some cool stuff there but it’s just some applications, right? Then I noticed full programming languages and libraries. Oh… Node.js, that sucks. CPython, oh well, there are other implementations. Perl, hmm…

Then I noticed several GNU/Linux distros volunteer to be captured by Microsoft. I mean I’m not going to be using those — oh, it’s a lot. I’ve already gone to the trouble of figuring out that out of 275 active distros on DistroWatch, if you really want to boycott GitHub you’re down to at most, 33. No, not 33 percent — 33 distros, including Tiny Core! Not including Trisquel. Trisquel is captive to an anti-GPL monopoly via its stupid, stupid “init” system. (Cuckoo OS, more like).

But we can always build our own distro, Eh? So let’s take apart Tiny Core, I figured — It’s incredibly modular, it should be a piece of cake to remove the parts controlled by Microsoft, right?

“Microsoft has Gtk yoked by something glib2 needs.”The kernel isn’t libre, I know. I’ve wanted a linux-libre kernel (or at least a Debian blob-free kernel) for TC for ages. Maybe the blobs are in tcz packages. But I think if TC had a blob-free kernel it would be advertised as such.

I once hoped Alex Oliva would consider making a libre kernel for TC, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves a bit. I’ve never been interested in maintaining a kernel, I only got into remixing distros because I wasn’t paying attention.

I created scripts a year or two ago to remix Tiny Core and create tcz packages. They’re basically squashfs files, which TC “installs” by mounting them. Ok, that’s no big deal. Oh, development of squashfs-tools has moved to GitHub. Lovely. But the kernel portion is still developed where it should be. I take this as meaning that the Linux kernel can mount tcz, it just can’t produce them. Ok, I guess we can use files that are mkfs’d to ext3 instead. That’s a GitHub-free solution, we can worry about compressing them later.

What we really need to do is figure out what to remove, and that’s going to take some research. I’ve already started figuring out which TC packages can be dropped.

Those red boxes are packages for things based on GitHub, but the gold boxes are packages that need things like libffi which is based on GitHub. Just so you know, libffi is pulled in by glib2. The GUI apps (Gtk at least) need libffi, so that’s at least one serious “Gotcha” already. Microsoft has Gtk yoked by something glib2 needs.

I don’t always trust Debian dependencies, but they’re certainly illustrative — here’s the page for glib2: https://packages.debian.org/buster/libglib2.0-0 it needs libffi6. Oh, fun — it also needs zlib1g. This is needed for loading png graphics, so anywhere you find a png, you need GitHub. No, this isn’t because of glib2. Zlib1g is also developed on GitHub, and is needed along with libpng for loading or saving png graphics.

In the past, Microsoft has killed off lots of its acquisitions to hurt competitors, so the scenario I’m assuming is one where it decides to start killing (or taking over) free software projects it doesn’t care about.

“There ought to be an exodus.”When Oracle tried this with OpenOffice, the developers simply left and forked it. That’s exactly what they should do, but in this instance, developers have loads of warning. And they’re just sitting on Microsoft’s repos like it’s no big deal, letting their projects become further and further entrenched. I’m well aware of the fact that not everybody who develops on GitHub actually cares about software freedom. That’s another reason not to develop there.

So imagine Microsoft forcing several such forks at the same time. Build systems for distros everywhere would be thrown into disarray. It’s not that the scenario will necessarily be worst-case, but I expect Microsoft intends to get their money’s worth. There ought to be an exodus.

If we are trying to escape, at least we can figure out where free software has its foot caught in a proverbial bear trap.

Libffi? Not good. Zlib1g and png graphics? Whoa, someone fix that. Lately I’m saving screencaps with JPEG in protest, which is certainly not ideal. The GIF patent has expired, but it only does 8-bit colour. I guess there’s still X PixMap, right? We can do 24-bit graphics with xpm.xz (XZ-utils are not GitHub-based. I think they originated with a couple of Slackware developers.)

I’ve made my way from Tiny Core to Trisquel looking for GitHub vulnerable projects, and finally from Trisquel directly to the GNU project itself. It isn’t good, folks.

This is Part 1, implying that there will be a Part 2 if not a Part 3, but I’ve only looked through a fraction of the GNU projects and here’s what I’ve already found:

The GNU project uses Perl — a lot!

“The GNU project uses Perl — a lot!”I don’t compile a lot of programs, personally. I’ve spent hours editing and recompiling one C++ program, I’ve edited and compiled one minor C program, mostly I work with scripting languages (though I do use source-to-source compilers a lot).

If there are obvious mistakes or less obvious misconceptions I’m presenting when I talk about some of the details, I hope you’ll mention it in the comments. I’m sure there will be a few differences of opinion as well.

But let’s start with Automake. Automake is used for a large number of GNU packages — it depends on Perl. Perl is on GitHub. That’s not good, hackers — that’s not good.

Many GNU sources have a file called “missing” which I believe is Automake-related. This file often informs the user that they will need Perl (and links to perl.org so they can get it) and it links to flex on GitHub. There’s another one. Of course some of the GNU sources are so old they still link to the flex on SourceForge. Here’s a fun fact: GNU Savannah is a fork of SourceForge from when it was still free software.

Flex, lex, Yacc and Bison are all related — lex is a lexer, flex is an alternative, Bison is an alternative to Yacc and Bison often uses flex to get tokens. The problem is that flex is GitHub-based. This is not good. Plus, Automake also wants flex. So whatever sort of creek we are in, our paddle is slowly transforming into a tiny little stick.

A lot of GNU sources include texinfo files. Texinfo seems to need Perl as well.

VERA includes a Perl script, vc-dwim is a Perl script (missing wants flex anyway) WB B-tree Associative Arrays seems to include C Sharp code (so you’ll need Mono, which the FSF warned against and which is based on GitHub) XBoard uses png files, Xnee includes pnee which uses Gtk and png.

As mentioned, Gtk brings in glib2 which brings in libffi, which is based on GitHub — while Gtk2 and Gtk3 are not based on GitHub, if you’re looking for Gtk1, GitHub is where it appears to be.

Some of these old GNU programs appear to use Gtk1, so whether each one is GitHub-based because of libffi or GitHub-based because of Gtk1, is a detail I’ve mostly ignored.

Units includes units_cur which is a Python script and texi2man which is a Perl script.

“Texinfo seems to need Perl as well.”The thing about Python is that CPython is the most often-used implementation, including in the GNU project, and CPython is based on Microsoft GitHub. PyPy is a great drop-in replacement, though it doesn’t work on everything.

You can’t always tell when you find yourself in front of a Python script, whether it needs CPython (thus GitHub) or not. So Python is worth watching for, but only proves to be a GitHub hostage sometimes.

Taylor UUCP uses Perl, Tex for the impatient uses png files in docs, Texinfo uses Perl, Hurd includes gitlog-to-changelog which calls Perl, GNU Readline includes texi2html and texti2dvi, which use Perl.

GNU Shepherd has png files in /doc and perl and flex in missing. Gnu Telecom has a png file. Sather has a Perl script called ps2gif. Spread Sheet Widget uses Gtk, SQLtutor has pngs in the docs. Swbis appears to need Python and python-devel.

Queue is dumped in favour of GNU Parallel, which uses Perl. Ring redirects to GNU Jami, which uses Python.

PythonWebkit obviously needs Python; pyconfigure may get away with PyPy as a replacement. PSPP uses Perl and png files with a GUI in Gtk. Proxyknife has Perl code in the docs and in configure.

Doxyfile is one to watch for in the sources. I believe this is created by Doxygen, which is used to created documentation from source code. Doxygen is based on GitHub.

PowerGuru has a png and lots of Python code, oleo has png in docs and uses plotutils, which support png. Ocrad has a png in /archive. Occhiolino uses Python. MetaHTML uses perl.h.

Mac Changer hasn’t updated in years, but like GNU Radio is a GNU project that’s based on GitHub — really not good. I can’t figure out why GNU Radio hasn’t tried to move though. That still gets worked on, unlike Mac Changer.

GNU LibreJS, a tool I cheered on for ages waiting for it to be created, uses Jasmine, a Javascript library which is based on GitHub: http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/librejs.git/tree/build.sh

In fact build.sh downloads it directly from Microsoft, which I think shows a bit too much trust given that this plugin goes directly into GNU IceCat:

JASMINE_URL=”https://GitHub.com/jasmine/jasmine/releases/download/v$JASMINE_VER/jasmine-standalone-$JASMINE_VER.zip”
curl -L -o “$JASMINE_LIB.zip” “$JASMINE_URL” && unzip -d test/ $JASMINE_LIB.zip lib/**

We’ve all done something like this, but this is exactly where it shouldn’t be done.

Make also seems to need Perl, it may or may not need Python.

“The FSF already warns people against non-free repos such as GitHub. While self-hosting is certainly better, many people won’t and my advice to them is at least choose a non-profit organisation for hosting their code.”This only covers a portion of the GNU project, but let’s tally up what needs to happen for the GNU Project to not rely so heavily on the good will of its most dedicated foe:

1. Fork or make an official GNU mirror of Perl. If Perl goes, GNU is just about done.

2. The same applies for zlib1g as well. This library was invented and/or promoted specifically to avoid GIF-related patent traps! Now it’s controlled by the world’s second-biggest patent troll (the other sponsors the FSF. Great.)

3. Figure out libffi. I can’t tell you more, I only know it helps things like Python use things like ctypes (“foreign functions”).

4. Start using PyPy more, when possible. CPython is a trap. Note that PyPy has some major limitations. I’m very fond of it, any limitation it has I’m hoping for the best.

5. Write something justifying support of Mono in WB B-tree Associative Arrays. I would suggest removing that part of the code, but that seems unlikely.

6. That LibreJS code could be fixed today. At least mirror Jasmine in the LibreJS tree.

7. The FSF already warns people against non-free repos such as GitHub. While self-hosting is certainly better, many people won’t and my advice to them is at least choose a non-profit organisation for hosting their code.

Gitea is also developed on GitHub, so it’s a bit odd that they’re touting it as an alternative. If it’s an alternative, why not move Gitea off GitHub then? (at least move it to GitLab).

I never did trust Google Code, of course. For-Profit code repos technically have the same problem that GitHub has: they can be bought just like GitHub. Non-profits have to be infiltrated like the FSF or FSFE instead, which is harder.

“What’s lacking now is leadership, and though I think it would take more than putting Stallman in charge again (which is the right thing to do as the efforts to remove him were dishonest and corrupt, plus it would probably help) there doesn’t seem to be anybody who is doing a better job.”A decentralised, peer-to-peer means of hosting would be ideal, though currently the main project I know of related to hosting code that way is through feneas.org, which I already associate with the typical trend of Codes-of-Censorship (along with a “FOSS” manifesto which combined with their Code of Conduct is ultimately going to lead to a hardline, de facto “be nice to the Open Shills” policy. It’s not like there aren’t precedents.

Don’t get me wrong, so far the software looks good. But you can say the same for the GNU Project.

The importance of leaving GitHub is really not stressed enough by what’s left of the Free Software Foundation.

What’s lacking now is leadership, and though I think it would take more than putting Stallman in charge again (which is the right thing to do as the efforts to remove him were dishonest and corrupt, plus it would probably help) there doesn’t seem to be anybody who is doing a better job.

Unless “better” means “bigger events funded by Microsoft and Google”. No thanks, the Linux Foundation was doing that already, and it didn’t help at all.

Long live rms, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Not including the code snippet, which is from http://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/librejs.git/tree/build.sh

And if this article uses a parody of the GitHub logo based on the GNU head, I almost certainly used this one from Wikipedia.

Links 3/5/2020: KaOS 2020.05 is Out and ODROID-Go Advance Improves

Posted in News Roundup at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8 Will Finally Be Able To Control ThinkPad Laptops With Dual Fans

        Long overdue but for Lenovo ThinkPad laptops sporting two fans, the Linux 5.8 kernel will see the ability to control both fans.

        On the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad P50, P51, P52, P70, P71, P72, P1 Gen1, P2 Gen2, X1 Extreme Gen1, and X1 Extreme Gen2 there are two fans that the Linux kernel’s ThinkPad_ACPI driver will now be able to control.

      • Linux Device Mapper Adding An “Emulated Block Size” Target

        Device Mapper, a key piece to Linux Soft RAID, dm-crypt, and other storage capabilities, is with Linux 5.8 seeing the new EBS target. EBS allows for emulating a smaller block size than the native capabilities of the underlying storage device. The original use-case for DM EBS is for emulating 512 byte sectors on 4K native disks.

        The Device Mapper Emulated Block Size target supports logical block sizes from 512 to 4096 bytes. This new target was contributed by Red Hat. Basically it’s similar to the 512e local block size emulation offered by some disk drives currently while this emulation is implemented within the Linux block layer for dealing with software that isn’t optimized for 4K sectors.

      • Intel 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs Support Added To Linux Graphics Driver, Compatible With 400 & 500 Series Chipsets

        In the report, the source states that the first patches have been added to the Linux graphics driver that adds support for the Gen 12 Xe graphics featured on Intel’s Rocket Lake CPUs. A total of 23 patches were included in the i915 Linux Kernel driver with over 700 lines of code. As of now, there are a total of 6 six PCI IDs for Xe graphics featured on Rocket Lake CPUs.

        [...]

        This is essentially referring to the mobile parts but we also confirmed in our exclusive report that Intel’s Rocket Lake-S Desktop CPUs will be compatible with the newly introduced 400-series for the desktop platform including the Z490 motherboards. This has further been confirmed by board makers such as Gigabyte who revealed that next-gen Rocket Lake CPUs will be compatible with their Z490 lineup.

    • Applications

      • Android Screen Mirror Tool ‘Scrcpy’ Adds Rotation Lock, Improves Quality

        Handy mobile tool scrcpy app gains rotation locking and improved quality on smaller displays in its latest release.

        If you’re not familiar with scrcpy it’s a small app that lets you mirror your Android phone screen on your desktop via a USB cable (or wirelessly using android adb). You can interact with your device and all of its apps using a regular mouse/touchpad and keyboard.

        What’s particularly great about Scrcpy is that it is open source, cross platform (works on Windows, macOS and Linux), and doesn’t require any sort of root access. You just plug and play.

      • The 10 Best Linux Speed Reading Tools Available in 2020

        In this modern era, people hardly get time for distraction-free reading. Everyone wants to read more in less time. For this reason, people have developed many speed reading techniques. Nowadays, the readings are mostly done on digital screens rather than on paper pages. You will be amazed to know that there are many speed reading tools made for your smart device or computer to speed up your reading. Some people have developed their skills so far that these tools let them read up to a thousand words per minute. This is insane, right? But this thing is possible. So, if you are a Linux user, you can skim a few news articles while waiting for the morning coffee by using a Linux speed reading tool.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The 20 Best War Strategy Games for Android Device in 2020

        More or less, everybody loves to play war strategy games on android. As a 90’s kid, you must be familiar with the pc game of Starcraft, Age of the empire, Civilization II, and other strategical war games. Such games are available to play on any android devices. Hundreds of army/military strategy games take a new revelation on android gaming sectors. By the time, it gets a high turnover on war strategy gaming position onto play store. Day-by-day, the users involve more and more into these war games. With lots of tactics, planning, brain streaming facts come while you are playing such war strategy games on your android phone.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • elementaryOS 5.1.4 Is a Massive Update, New Features Announced

          elementaryOS 5.1.4 brings massive improvements to the operating system, including lots of new features and under-the-hood refinements that the developing team has recently shared in a blog post.

          More specifically, this new update renames Parental Controls to Screen Time & limits, but also introduces new capabilities, such as the possibility of setting special rules for any account, including your own. Previously, this was limited to non-administrator accounts.

          The Applications Menu has also received new polishing for trackpacks, as the dev team wanted to improve responsiveness and fluidity. The keyboard navigation and performance and the a scrollable list for the category view have also been added here.

        • KaOS 2020.05

          KaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the May release of a new stable ISO.

          This release is unlike the February version, not about many new features, but rather about updates and rebuilds. Most of the base of this distribution has been rebuild on a new GCC 9.3.0, Glibc 2.31 & Binutils 2.34 based Toolchain. Other rebuilds were needed for ICU 66.1, Boost 1.72.0, Krb5 1.18, Glib2 2.64.2 based stack, Guile 2.2.6, Mesa 20.0.6, NetworkManager 1.22.10, Perl 5.30.2, Linux 5.6.8 and Qt 5.14.2.

          [...]

          KaOS’ creation Croeso (Welsh for welcome) for helping with configuring a new install is included. It will run on the newly installed system and offers to adjust some 15 commonly used settings, includes a custom Wallpaper selector, distribution info and the option to select packages to install from six different groups. It is written in QML and fits well with the Welcome application used in the Live system. The latter includes an Installation Guide.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • iValue Partners With SUSE To Offer Open Source Solutions For Enterprise Digital Transformation

          iValue InfoSolutions announced it is partnering SUSE, the world’s largest independent open source company to offer leading enterprise-grade, open source solutions for Linux, software defined infrastructure and application delivery that give enterprises greater control, flexibility and cost efficiency while businesses undergo digital transformation.

          Entering its 13th year of operation, iValue, has continued to stay ahead of the curve by consistently partnering with the right mix of popular and niche technology providers thus helping customers in their digital transformation journey.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Women in Open Source Award winners announced

          The winners of both the 2020 Women in Open Source Community and Academic Awards are currently involved in open-source projects that are directly or indirectly associated with COVID-19 related projects.

          However, their activities in this field were not the reason for their success in the Red Hat-sponsored annual awards which attract nominations from around the world.

          The winners, who each received a US$2 500 “stipend” for the suggested use of supporting open source projects or efforts, were announced during the Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience this week.

          Megan Byrd-Sanicki, manager of research and operations at the Open Source Program Office at Google, won the 2020 Community Award for her “leadership in creating sustainable and thriving open source communities”. She is currently involved with Covid Act Now, a COVID-19 data modelling project.

        • Crossvale, Inc. Wins Red Hat North American Partner Award

          Crossvale, a Red Hat APEX Partner, is proud to announce it has been named NA Leading Edge Partner of the Year by Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. This award is part of the annual Red Hat North American Partner Awards, which aim to honor partners for continued efforts to support customers on the path to IT modernization.

          Crossvale was honored for its dedication to providing innovative open source solutions to customers in the commercial and public sectors. Specifically, Crossvale was recognized for the outstanding use of the Red Hat platforms and solutions.

        • What’s New In Open Source With The Latest TRs

          New technology is exciting. And when it can help you run your business more profitably or efficiently, well, it becomes very exciting. With IBM i, the open source community is arguably the biggest contributor of new technology to the platform. IT Jungle recently checked in Jesse Gorzinski, the IBM i open source architect, to hear how the open source story has improved with the recent technology refreshes.

          Arguably the biggest open source-related enhancement with IBM i 7.4 TR2 and 7.3 TR8 revolves around a change in RPM, the new delivery method that IBM adopted two years ago to distribute new and updated open source libraries to IBM i users.

          Up until now, IBM i shops had to connect their IBM i server to the Internet to access the RPM repository that contains IBM i distributions of open source software, such as Node.js, Python, and PHP. But thanks to the new support for SSH tunneling in this month’s unveiling of 7.4 TR2 and 7.3 TR8, customers can now shuttle the open source libraries from an adjacent PC workstation running ACS, eliminating the need to expose the IBM i server to the Internet.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • The new ODROID-Go Advance adds WiFi and more buttons (Linux handheld game console)

        The Hardkernel ODROID-Go Advance is an inexpensive portable gaming device with a 3.5 inch display, an quad-core ARM Cortex-A35 processor, and Ubuntu Linux software. Designed for emulating classic game consoles, Hardkernel introduced the device late last year and began shipping it earlier this year.

        Now the company is preparing to launch a new batch, and it includes a number of hardware updates.

      • ODROID-Go Advance Black Edition Gets WiFi, R2/L2 Button, and USB-C Power Input

        At the end of last year, Hardkernel launched ODROID-GO Advance portable Linux retro game console powered by a Rockchip RK3326 processor with 1GB RAM, and a 3.5″ color display. While it was fairly well-received, people wished it would not come with a large power barrel jack and included WiFi among a few other requests.

        COVID-19 also delayed mass-production of the device, but the silver lining is that the company decided to make a new revision 1.1 PCB with a USB-C port for power input, a WiFi module, and R2 and L2 buttons that’s planned to launch soon under the name ODROID-Go Advance Black Edition.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Build Your Own 3D Printed Open Source Motorized Microscope

          I always enjoy a good 3D printed DIY project, whether it’s truly helpful or just for fun. These projects are even cooler when you add Legos into the mix, like Reddit user DIY_Maxwell did. He posted about his work using 3D printing, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Lego bricks to make an open source, motorized microscope. But, the microscope itself is not fully 3D printed – instead, the body was built with Lego bricks and some 3D printed components. What makes this project more awesome is the stop motion-style video he made showing the various parts of the project and how they all fit together to make a working microscope.

        • Before We Welcome Open-Source Ventilators With Open Arms, We Need to Talk About IP

          Medical device manufacturers have been historically secretive about their designs. Now, they’ve flung the doors open on ventilator specs. Could this lead to sticky IP problems down the line?

          With the global COVID-19 crisis, medical manufacturing companies have pushed ventilator productions to its limits. But still, it hasn’t been enough. These medical device manufacturers cannot produce ventilators as quickly as hospitals need them. As the race for medical equipment continues, certain medical device providers have made their ventilator designs public for third parties to help increase output.

        • Can Free Open Source Hardware Tackle The Shortage Of PPE And Ventilators During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

          While globally hospitals are grappling with the acute shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, a group of researchers at the University of Sussex recently published a study that says free and open source hardware can help in meeting the ever-increasing demands in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

          Free and open source hardware refers to the blueprints for tools and new hardware designs that are available online for free for others to access. These blueprints can be studied, customized, modified, and even used for learning purposes to create face masks, PPE, diagnostic tools, valves, and even ventilators.

          In the PLOS Biology study, the authors suggest that this open source hardware can be used in disaster situations as these designs can be shared globally and have lower implementation costs to meet local needs as compared to mass manufacturing. These designs can be used even with the help of 3-D printers.

        • Boston Dynamics Open Sources Their Healthcare Robotics Toolkit

          Boston Dynamics has released a payload and application architecture for their mobile robot in order to protect healthcare workers amid COVID-19.

          In a recent blog post, the robotics firm stated — “Mobile robots play a vital role in removing people from dangerous environments. We have spent the last six weeks building and testing a payload and application architecture that would enable our robot — ‘Spot’ — to help reduce exposure of frontline healthcare workers to the novel COVID-19 virus.”

          The company further stated that it has developed and tested the payload, hardware, and software for this application in order to generalise it as well as make it easy to be deployed on other mobile robotic platforms with APIs and capacity for custom payloads.

        • Nvidia’s top scientist develops open-source ventilator that can be built with $400 in readily available parts
        • NVIDIA created a $400 open-source ventilator to combat COVID-19

          In the last two months of the fight against Coronavirus, many well-known companies undertake the development of mechanical ventilation devices – whether it is a British company, Dyson, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla or auto giant General Motors.

          Recently, Bill Dally, a chief scientist at NVIDIA, has developed a low-cost, open-source pulmonary ventilator. It can be assembled quickly and could be used to treat patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) and with severe respiratory problems. The price? $400.

        • NVIDIA Chief Scientist developed an open source ventilator that can be made under 100

          NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally has created an open-source design of a low-cost, ventilator that is also easy to assemble, as a contribution to the global fight against the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Dally has developed the ventilator in just a few weeks and made it around readily available components.

          The ventilator that Dally has designed needs a proportional solenoid valve and a microcontroller. The scientist believes the ventilators can be assembled for a few hundred dollars.

          The ventilator can also be assembled in a few minutes. It can be attached to a simple display and packed into a Pelican carrying case. The prototype that Dally built was made using off-the-shelf components for $400 (roughly Rs 30,000). When produced at bulk, Dally believes manufacturers can shave off another $100. If 3D-print parts are used, the whole can be manufactured for under $100, which is quite impressive. According to NVIDIA, the cost of a traditional ventilator is around $20,000.

        • Open access hardware and 3D printing can help tackle demand for health supplies

          In a study published by PLoS Biology, Professor Tom Baden and Andre Chagas at the University of Sussex have suggested that this could be a viable option to provide our health services with the tools and equipment they so desperately need.

          The study provides an overview of the blueprints which are currently available for free online and which could be used to help in the fight against coronavirus, focusing on personal protective equipment, ventilators and test kits.

        • UJ creates cheap, open-source ventilator as Covid-19 spreads

          multidisciplinary team of engineers and healthcare practitioners at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has used open-source designs to develop a cheap, minimal viable ventilator with elements that can be produced through 3D printing and laser-cutting techniques.

        • UJ creates low-cost, open-source ventilator prototype as Covid-19 infections increase

          The group has identified several simple, safe and scalable open-source designs that could meet the strict specifications for use on patients once these designs are further developed and tested.

          In response to the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa, a team of engineers and healthcare practitioners from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) aim to create low-cost open-source ventilators, reports Randburg Sun.

          According to the team from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the skills shortage in facility and technical equipment maintenance at healthcare facilities in South Africa, and Africa at large.

        • UJ creates low-cost, open-source ventilators as Covid-19 infections increase

          In response to the Covid-19 crisis in South Africa, a team of engineers and healthcare practitioners from the University of Johannesburg (UJ) aim to create low-cost open-source ventilators.

          According to the team from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the skills shortage in facility and technical equipment maintenance at healthcare facilities in South African, and Africa at large.

          Led by Dr Deon Sabatta and Dr Samson Masebinu, the group has identified several simple, safe and scalable open-source designs that could meet the strict specifications for use on patients once these designs are further developed and tested.

        • UJ designs open source, cheap ventilators to fight COVID-19

          The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has created open source, cheap ventilators to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

          South Africa has recorded 4 996 confirmed cases, 2 073 recoveries and 93 deaths to the coronavirus, to date.

          The university believes it may have the solution to help curb the effects of the devastating virus.

        • Amid SA’s looming shortage, UJ creates open-source, cheap ventilators

          As the world continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with over 2.3 million reported cases at the time of publishing this article, many countries are seeing a rise in cases – South Africa included.

          As of 28 April, the country has a total number of 4 793 confirmed cases, and 87 confirmed deaths. And, according to News24, Africa, and by extension South Africa, is not currently on the top of supply lists for life-saving ventilators.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Every ProtonMail app now open source after beta phase

        ProtonMail is an encrypted mail service that has received its own Android app way back in 2016. The last related update was when ProtonMail mobile was updated to have encrypted contacts. Many things have happened since then but it’s only now that we are revisiting the service. All ProtonMail apps are now said to be open source which means more people will get to enjoy them in a more convenient way.

        A ProtonMail inbox can be accessed from some compatible apps. With the latest development, the apps you use are now open source. They have passed an independent security audit as the company behind it lives by the principle of transparency. With this in mind, ProtonMail is now open source so many people will understand the program better.

      • Encrypted email service ProtonMail makes Android app open-source

        Encrypted email service ProtonMail has made it’s Android app open-source.

        The service announced the move in a blog post, noting that with the ProtonMail Android app going open-source, now all its apps are open-source. That includes the ProtonMail web app, iOS app, Bridge desktop app and all ProtonVPN apps.

        “One of our guiding principles is transparency. You deserve to know who we are, how our products can and cannot protect you, and how we keep your data private. We believe this level of transparency is the only way to earn the trust of our community,” reads a line from the blog post.

      • Make It Easier For Your Software Project To Accept Contributions

        [Flameeyes] has heard complaints (and at times, he admits, has complained himself) about big companies not contributing improvements to projects they seem to find useful, or rolling their own implementation rather than use and contribute to an existing code base. Having recently left Google after seven years, he has some insights into some of the reasons big corporations (at least Google, anyway) may sometimes seem to eschew making code contributions, and some of the reasons might come as a surprise.

        There are things a corporation can do differently, but there are also some things that can be done on the project’s end to make accepting contributions easier. [Flameeyes] took some time to write out a few pointers on how to make it easier for others (particularly large corporations) to contribute code to a software project.

      • Classic Westwood strategy games live on as ‘OpenRA’ has a new major stable release

        OpenRA, the excellent free and open source RTS game engine for playing classic Westwood titles has a huge new release finally out as stable today.

        This stable release has been a long time coming too, as it’s quite a big overhaul. With a more up to date rendering engine, along with proper zooming support it makes OpenRA feel a lot more modern with niceties you find in newer games. It also includes better HiDPI support with scaling, high-res artwork and other tweaks to be a more comfortable experience. Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000 gained support for more missions, modding support expanded and the list goes on.

      • Couchbase goes cuckoo for Kubernetes with v2.0 release of Autonomous Operator

        The latest release from Couchbase finally includes support for Kubernetes, which is becoming something of a de facto standard among databases.

        Couchbase is a NoSQL database of the document-oriented kind, used by global players such as airline ticketing company Amadeus, American Express, Cisco and eBay.

        The Autonomous Operator for Kubernetes 2.0 is designed to allow developers and database managers to deploy Couchbase in any cloud with, so it hopes, as little work as possible.

      • How to value cloud-based open source software services

        The public cloud and open source software are pretty much coupled these days. No matter if you’re running Kubernetes-as-a-service, MySQL, Linux, or that open source text editor you’ve used since college, it’s all there for the taking, as-a-service.

        However, it’s really not free. Cloud providers charge for usage, either by time or other resource-units consumed. Indeed, it’s half or more of the cloud computing bills I’ve seen recently.
        Some enterprises have not yet used open source on premises, not to mention cloud. Now that they are moving to the public cloud, both developers and infrastructure engineers are finding some very compelling reasons to “go open” in the cloud.

      • Determined AI makes its machine learning infrastructure free and open source
      • Now is the time to Embrace Open Source – Servian

        I live in New Zealand currently under level 3 lockdown¹ and work for a cloud services company, and I am assisting and supporting our clients through the economic slowdown. I understand that the human cost is more important than the economic price we are paying at the moment but we all need jobs to come back to when we appear out of hibernation in our homes. I hope that all of you are staying home and staying safe where ever you are.

        I am working with some essential NZ businesses and Government agencies, and industries that have completely blighted by Covid-19 lockdown like our New Zealand Tourist Industry. We also have a responsibility to our own employees within our own company to keep our business going so that we have a job throughout this crisis and come out the other end.

      • Interview: Greg and Keith Bentley discuss open source, 4D digital twins and more

        3D scanning is a key part of reality capture, but the next phase of “going digital” especially in architecture, engineering, and construction, is to create an ecosystem in which project designs keep up with construction, changes, and can provide valuable information throughout a building or asset’s lifetime. Bentley Systems has been focused on creating solutions that bring together reality capture inputs, but also to start to create “digital twins” that keep up with reality over time – bringing them into 4D.

      • Latest Version of Open Source IPFS Improves Performance

        IPFS is a distributed file system that makes use of a global namespace to connect all computing devices. The fundamental difference between IPFS and other distributed file systems is a decentralized system of operators who hold a portion of the overall data, which serves to create a highly resilient system for storing and sharing files. Any operator on the network can serve a file by its content address, and IT teams can find and request content from any node using a distributed hash table (DHT).

        Molly Mackinlay, project lead for IPFS and a senior product manager for Protocol Labs, which provides protocols, systems and tools to improve how the internet works, said the latest 0.5 update to IPFS significantly improves the content routing performance in addition to adding support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol.

      • Deploying OpenStack: Pick a Distribution With These 7 Qualities

        How do you know which is best? It’s an important question because, despite OpenStack’s popularity, companies often face serious challenges when adopting and deploying it. Put simply, OpenStack can be time-consuming and skill-heavy in order to deploy it, unless the chosen distribution is equipped to overcome those challenges.

        Thus, anyone planning to deploy OpenStack should make sure the distribution they pick meets the following seven criteria.

      • Commercial open source software startups will thrive during the coronavirus crisis, VCs say. Here are 31 they believe are poised for success
      • What Open Source Technology Can and Can’t Do to Fix Elections
      • NEC’s world first open source 5G network could help stimulate Africa’s economy

        he world’s first 5G mobile network radios based on open and fully virtualised architecture, built by NEC in partnership with various vRAN platforms for Rakuten Mobile, will cut the costs to build and operate 5G networks, give operators the opportunity to lower tariffs and enable them to deliver a raft of new services to help the economy recover.

      • Open Source Automation Platform Lets DevOps Teams Define Infrastructure as Code

        Open-source DevSecOps company Chef this week released v16 of its Chef Infra infrastructure provisioning automation platform. This release adds half a dozen new features, including support for YAML, a new Unified mode, an automation upgrade for its “cookbooks,” and expanded platform support.

        Chef Infra is designed to allow DevOps and infrastructure-and-operations teams to define infrastructure as code using simple, declarative definitions for common administrative tasks. Chef Infra “ensures painless migration and management with a single process to manage on-premises and cloud estates,” the company says.

      • Monitor and Tune Your Open-Source Database for Maximum Performance
      • Events

      • COVID-19 Software

        • Blueprints for better healthcare: tackling supply demand with open source

          A new study has highlighted how free, open source hardware and 3D printing can help global healthcare systems tackle the demand for health supplies in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

          The burden of COVID-19 on healthcare systems could be alleviated if local communities were to use both open source hardware and 3D printing according to scientists at the University of Sussex.

          Free and open source hardware (FOSH) follows an ethos where blueprints for a tool are made freely available so that anyone can study, learn, modify, customise, and commercialise them.

        • How open-source medicine could prepare us for the next pandemic

          The old drug discovery system was built to benefit shareholders, not patients. But a new, Linux-like platform could transform the way medicine is developed—and energize the race against COVID-19.

        • Corona Diaries: Open-source project chronicles pandemic life via voice notes

          On March 28, 1944, the Dutch minister of education, Gerrit Bolkestein, sent a message to radio listeners asking them to “preserve your diaries and letters” of their experiences of World War II.

          “Only if we succeed in bringing this simple, daily material together in overwhelming quantity, only then will the scene of this struggle for freedom be painted in full depth and shine,” he said.

          As in 1944, the world faces an unprecedented challenge with the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak has put tens of millions of people under lockdown, with restrictions preventing many from going outside except for essential trips.

          With some turning to their diaries to document this incredible time, fellows from Harvard University’s Neiman Foundation for Journalism had a different idea to chronicle daily life.

        • This open-source project is looking for local solutions and responses to the coronavirus

          “At Outride.rs we cover global issues which have local impact — and there never was a bigger challenge than COVID-19 to show how something originating far away can influence our daily lives,” said Jakub Górnicki, Outriders co-founder, in an email with Poynter. “At the same time — we don’t do news. So we asked ourselves what we want to give our audience? And then we asked our community. And the answer is — sense of hope, ideas, solutions — something which will help them get through today and prepare for tomorrow.”

          The new project, launched today, is called Radar, and it’s meant to be an open marketplace to collect ideas and solutions to the many problems caused by COVID-19. And many of those responses and solutions can best be found in the work of journalists at the local level.

        • ‘Committed to Making Aarogya Setu Open Source Soon’: App Official

          The source code of Aarogya Setu, Government of India’s contact tracing app, will be made open to the scientific and research community soon, a top NITI Aayog official and member of the app’s core team has confirmed.

          At a time when the app has come under sustained criticism for lack of transparency, Arnab Kumar, Program Director, Frontier Technologies at NITI Aayog, said the app development team was “committed” to making Aarogya Setu “open source soon once the product has stabilised”.

        • COVIDSafe coronavirus contact-tracing app faces software bugs and lingering iPhone issues

          The app, which aims to speed up the process of identifying those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, uses Bluetooth to record encrypted IDs from nearby devices that also have the app.

          Almost one week since launch, the Government is yet to release its source code, but that has not stopped software specialists from dissecting it.

          The industry consensus so far suggests the app works largely as described — it does not collect your GPS location and deletes all information held on the app older than 21 days — but that some of its design could be improved.

        • COVIDSafe tracking app reviewed: the government delivers on data security, but other issues remain

          About 1.13 million people had downloaded the federal government’s COVIDSafe app by 6am today, just 12 hours after its release last night, said Health Minister Greg Hunt. The government is hoping at least 40% of the population will make use of the app, designed to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease.

          Previously dubbed TraceTogether – in line with a similar app rolled out in Singapore – the coronavirus contact tracing app has been an ongoing cause of contention among the public. Many people have voiced concerns of an erosion of privacy, and potential misuse of citizen data by the government.

        • FOSS Responders Group Brings Financial Help to Open Source Ecosystem Affected by COVID-19

          FOSS Responders is a working group of volunteers that aims to future-proof the open source infrastructure we rely on by helping sustain those who maintain the software. The group’s website allows those in need to apply for emergency funds. FOSS Responders is raising money on Open Collective and 100% of donations go to open source technologists in need. So far the group has an estimated annual budget of $8,145.05. Open Collective is also waiving its platform fees on COVID-19 solidarity collectives until the end of June.
          On May 22, FOSS Responders plans to host a virtual funding event to provide financial support for organizations affected by the profound economic disruptions caused by the pandemic. Organizers have a $5,000 goal for ticket revenue from general event ticket sales.

        • 28 covid apps used by Centre, States not open source, cannot be checked for vulnerabilities

          There has been an explosion of mobile apps since the covid-19 crisis began in the country.

          Apart from Aarogya Setu, the Centre and state governments are using at least 28 mobile applications to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

          These apps have varied purposes — some disseminate information on cases, deaths and so on to users while others are used by officials to track people under quarantine.

          There is one common aspect to all of them: None of them is open-sourced.

          One of the most famous apps is the Centre’s Aarogya Setu, which collects users’ Bluetooth and location data to track their whereabouts and alert them if they come in contact with a covid-19 positive patient. The app, which has been controversial given privacy concerns, has been downloaded by over 7.5 crore people.

        • Hack the crisis: Open-source site helps engineers get organized to fight COVID-19

          “While there are many initiatives around the globe to encourage scientific collaboration, there is unfortunately little coordination among these teams.”

          So says Frédéric Vacher, Head of Innovation for the 3DExperience Lab at Dassault Systèmes. Dassault created an online Open COVID-19 Community which is designed to be a place where engineers, designers and manufacturers worldwide can work together on innovative solutions during the pandemic and stay in touch throughout the process.

        • Jesse Kline on COVID-19: Keeping government secure and saving taxpayer money with open source

          The company outright lied about using end-to-end encryption. We learned that it has access to decryption keys, meaning it can potentially snoop on conversations. A team from the University of Toronto found that the software was sometimes sending encryption keys through servers located in communist China, even if none of the participants in the call were from that country. And the term “Zoombombing” has entered the lexicon, with many meetings being spied on or actively disrupted by people spouting racism and displaying Nazi imagery.

        • Open-Source AI-derived drug discovery data to help combat COVID-19

          Recursion, a digital biology company industrialising drug discovery, released its open-source RxRx19 dataset; the first human cellular morphological dataset of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The human cellular morphological data and over 1,600 small molecules has been released to help clinical researchers and machine learning experts around the world who are working to make advances in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

        • Tech and Covid-19: open source needed for acceptance and success of contact tracing apps

          The inevitable and necessary responses to Covid-19 — from the lockdown itself, to the underlying and rapidly approved legislation behind it to the contact tracing apps that are now being developed — raise concerns about our civil liberties that in a different time would all have been hotly debated over a considerable time period. Thanks to Covid-19, time is no longer a luxury at humanity’s disposal.

      • CMS

        • Contegix Appoints Jon Pugh as Director of Product, Open Source

          Contegix, the leading provider of managed IT solutions and managed application solutions, announced that Jon Pugh, Drupal expert, evangelist and creator of DevShop, has joined the company as Director of Product, Open Source. In this role, Pugh is responsible for guiding the company’s Drupal strategy to build products to ensure a seamless developer experience.

          [...]

          Contegix is committed to supporting the Drupal and Open Source DevOps communities, and is demonstrating that commitment by investing in the OpenDevShop platform. Contegix will continue to offer its BlackMesh Drupal support services to organizations with highly complex and secure deployments.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Climate technology must be open source, available at affordable cost: Prakash Javadekar

          Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said just like the world is unitedly engaged in finding a vaccine for COVID-19, countries should work towards making climate technology an open source which must be available at affordable cost.

          He was speaking during the first virtual interaction with 30 countries in the 11th session of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue.

          India along with 30 other countries participated in the dialogue, deliberating over ways and means to tackle the challenge of reinvigorating economies and societies after COVID-19, while enhancing collective resilience and catalysing climate action as well as supporting particularly those that are most vulnerable.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • Delphix: managing your data like code (Project Titan)

          Developers need data to run their applications throughout the entire development lifecycle.

          With Titan, they can manage the data for their application as they would with Git.

          The current problems developers face with their application data are similar to the days before code was under version control. These challenges include using out-of-date local copies, the inability to share their data sets with other developers… and time-consuming processes to work around the issues with their application data.

          Git has been fundamental in allowing application code to be better managed by a team rather than an individual. Each member has the ability to undo mistakes, maintain code history and experiment with new code.

          Git also enables teams to create many different workflows to increase productivity. Workflows can be as basic as a single branch with multiple commits, allowing developers to easily share their work and navigate through a range of commits. Collaboration workflows can be as complex as teams need them, and there are some notable ones like feature branching or Gitflow.

          Only then can teams determine how best to collaborate, share their work and ultimately release the product to the end user.

        • Geany a lightweight text editor

          Other relevant features is the recognition of YAML file syntax. Geany allows to see blank spaces, tabs, line returns, convert tabs to blank spaces (useful when editing a YAML file), compile and execute projects among other functionalities. Geany has a terminal integrated into the editor which allows executing the OS command without having to leave the development environment. Here are some screenshots.

        • 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.

        • Why developers contribute to open source software

          SlashData also found that not all contributors are professional software developers, or even work within the software industry, and they’re far more likely to be involved in multiple development areas than non-contributors. This includes developing software for emerging sectors such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) where innovations are mostly driven by open source tools.

          An interesting trend the survey identified was that the majority of software developers in the emerging sectors are hobbyists although the majority (57%) also work professionally in at least one other development area.

          The survey revealed that most developers have multiple reasons for contributing to open source. Overall, the highest proportion (29%) do so to improve their coding skills and 26% have an ideological motivation – they believe in the benefits of open source. A large group (22%) do so because it’s ‘fun’, the same percentage as those who do so to solve an issue with an existing open source software project such as fixing a bug or creating a new feature.

        • UC Berkeley researchers open-source RAD to improve any reinforcement learning algorithm

          A group of University of California, Berkeley researchers this week open-sourced Reinforcement Learning with Augmented Data (RAD). In an accompanying paper, the authors say this module can improve any existing reinforcement learning algorithm and that RAD achieves better compute and data efficiency than Google AI’s PlaNet, as well as recently released cutting-edge algorithms like DeepMind’s Dreamer and SLAC from UC Berkeley and DeepMind.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The Weekly Challenge #058

            This week, I struggled with both the task, to be honest. Dealing with alpha part of the version was really pain in the neck. Every time, I struggle with any task, I follow the college days course of action i.e. pick a pend and paper. I start dribbling the thought process, it really helps in getting the idea out on the paper. Once the rough draft is ready, it is time to face the unit test trial. I make sure every solution of mine must go through the unit test trials. It flesh out edge cases most time, if I could come up with enough test cases.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Hackers breach LineageOS servers via unpatched vulnerability

            Hackers have gained access to the core infrastructure of LineageOS, a mobile operating system based on Android, used for smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes.

            The intrusion took place last night, on Saturday, at around 8 pm (US Pacific coast), and was detected before the attackers could do any harm, the LineageOS team said in a statement published less than three hours after the incident.

            The LineageOS team said the operating system’s source code was unaffected, and so were any operating system builds, which had been already paused since April 30, because of an unrelated issue.

          • Android security: Patching improves, but fragmentation challenges remain

            Android device makers have improved their patching processes over the past two years according to a new analysis, decreasing the time gap between when security updates become public and their integration into firmware. This is good news for the Android ecosystem, which has historically been considered worse than Apple’s iOS when it comes to patch hygiene. However, version fragmentation remains high in the Android world, with significant differences among device manufacturers and even across the same vendor’s product lines. This leads to many devices running versions that are no longer supported.

          • Ghost Confirms Hack Attack: 750,000 Users Spooked By Critical Vulnerability

            Popular open-source blogging platform with more than 2 million installs confirms it has been hacked.

            Although most people tend to immediately think of WordPress when asked to name a blogging platform, it certainly isn’t the only player in town.

            The self-proclaimed “world’s most popular modern open-source publishing platform,” Ghost, includes big-name customers such as Mozilla, NASA, and DuckDuckGo among its 750,000 registered users, according to its website. In the last week alone, Ghost users, including writers, podcasters, and video creators, set up 6,920 new publications.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Zoom or Not? NSA Offers Agencies Guidance for Choosing Videoconference Tools. [Ed: NSA will just approve whatever NSA can snoop on... for security of course!]

              Video conferencing platforms Zoom and Microsoft Teams are both FedRamp approved, but while Zoom offers end-to-end encryption, Microsoft Teams does not, according to the National Security Agency.

              These are just two of nine factors the NSA cites in creating a guide to help federal workers choose commercial telework tools for “safely using collaboration services,” as necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

    • Monopolies

      • Patent exceptions in times of Covid-19: an Italian perspective

        To overcome the shortage of valves for respiratory equipment and the inability by patent owners to make timely supply, an Italian hospital has requested a local producer to make valves with 3D printers without authorization by said owners, here. The local producer itself has made them free of charge.

        The valves have been fixed on snorkeling masks, which a well-known multinational group has supplied as a gift to assist in meeting the need for respiratory equipment due to a sudden increase in the number of patients affected by Covid-19. The medical treatment rendered by the hospital in this connection has also been given free of charge.

        Based upon Italian patent law and the assumption that the patent at issue is valid, the focus of this post is how the local producer and/or the multinational group could defend themselves, should the rights holder take an action for patent infringement against either of them. An answer could be based on the private use exception, necessity exception or a compulsory license.

      • Supreme Court on Generic Functionality for Website Designs.

        Oral arguments are set in this trademark case for May 4, 2020 [Listen Live at 9:00 am EST]. Booking.com is seeking to register rights on their eponymous service BOOKING.COM. The basic question is whether the addition of “dot com” to a generic term can result in a protectable trademark.

        The company’s actually uses the word “booking” in its typical generic form: “The World’s #1 Choice for Booking Accommodations.” However, the company presented factual (survey) evidence that the addition of dot-com transforms the term in the eyes of consumers. Still, the PTO refused to register the trademark — holding that the “.com” addition is never enough. The PTO’s approach here relates back to the 1888 decision in Goodyear Co. v. Goodyear Rubber Co., 128 U.S. 598 (1888). At the time “Goodyear rubber” was seen as a generic term for a type of vulcanized rubber, and the Supreme Court held that adding the term “Company” would not change the matter — even if used for 20+ years with public understanding.

Links 3/5/2020: Enlightenment DR 0.24.0 Alpha, GhostBSD 20.04.1

Posted in News Roundup at 3:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 352

        A look at the **diffstat**, **cmp**, **diff**, **diff3**, and **sdiff** commands.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.9

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.9 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

        thanks,

        greg k-h

      • Linux 5.4.37
    • Applications

      • OBS Studio 25.0.8

        OBS Studio is software designed for capturing, compositing, encoding, recording, and streaming video content, efficiently. It is the re-write of the widely used Open Broadcaster Software, to allow even more features and multi-platform support. OBS Studio supports multiple sources, including media files, games, web pages, application windows, webcams, your desktop, microphone and more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Valve Updates Steam Survey Data For April With A Slight Linux Increase

        Valve has published their Steam Survey results for April, which is the first full month where the US and still much of the world has been in lockdown over the coronavirus, and thus interesting to see how it has impacted the gamer metrics.

        The Steam Survey results for April 2020 put the Linux gaming marketshare at 0.89%, or a 0.02% increase over the month prior. While still sub-1%, the Linux gaming marketshare is consistently hitting in this 0.8~0.9% area even while Valve is reporting record number of users. The Steam Linux percentage at 0.89% for April is while macOS increased by 0.25% to 4.05% and then the Windows percentage pulled back 0.27% to 95.06%.

      • Champions Of Regnum On PCLinuxOS

        Champions of Regnum (Regnum online previously) is a multiplayer 3D medieval fantasy online RPG video game, produced in Argentina by NGD Studios (currently NGE), for free to anyone, with the option to pay for premium content.

        It is available in Spanish, Portuguese, German, English and French. The game has 3 servers and an experimental one (for testing), which are “Ra” (international server) “Haven” (international server, mainly in English) “Valhalla” (Germany) and the experimental “Amon”. The word “Regnum” comes from Latin and means kingdom.

        The game focuses on the conflict between three kingdoms, with gameplay revolving around realm versus realm combat. Players fight in groups against players from opposing factions and capture forts and castles. In addition, the usual character development, typical in other games of the genre, is present, as well as battles between players and monsters.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Enlightenment DR 0.24.0-alpha1 Release

        Note: Enlightenment 0.24.0-alpha depends on EFL v1.24.0 or newer.

      • Enlightenment 0.24 Alpha Released For This X11 Window Manager / Wayland Compositor

        The first alpha release of the Enlightenment 0.24 window manager / Wayland compositor with new features and other improvements.

        Enlightenment 0.24 Alpha 1 is shipping with an improved screenshot module, support for external monitor backlight/brightness controls, an improved restart experience, a smoother start-up thanks to using an I/O pre-fetch thread, switching over to BlueZ 5 for Bluetooth, and various other changes.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • March and April in KDE PIM

          Following the post about what happened in KDE PIM in January and February let’s look into what the KDE PIM community has been up to in March and April. In total 38 contributors have made almost 1700 changes. Big thanks to everyone who helped us make Kontact better!

          [...]

          The Google Calendar and Google Contacts backends have been merged into a single Google Groupware resource (Igor Poboiko, D28560). The change should be mostly transparent to users, the old backends will be migrated to the new unified backend automatically after update. During this Igor also fixed various bugs and issues in the backends and the LibKGAPI library, big kudos to him!

          The DAV resource is now able to synchronize the calendar color from KOrganizer to the DAV server (David Faure, D28938). Related to that, the menu to configure calendar color in KOrganizer has been simplified by removing the “Disable Color” action.

          It is now easier to recognize and set the default calendar and the event editor now respects the settings correctly.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Quick fix release GhostBSD 20.04.1

          This quick release is to fix the setup of NVIDIA driver on the installed system. The NVIDIA driver was not setup properly in the ISO build. Sorry for the inconvenient to our NVIDIA users.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • [PCLinuxOS] Screenshot Showcase
        • Finally! ShotCut Running On PCLinuxOS!

          Shotcut is a non-linear video editor, which I always wanted to use. But first, I would like to disclose my background with audio-visual production.

          I started making videos for YouTube, with PCLinuxOS, first with Openshot and all the tools that are available in PCLinuxOS repos: Audacity, Openshot, Rezsound, SSR and others.

          Openshot was my choice because it has a direct interface and is super simple to operate. In fact, Openshot is simple, but very complete. It has features that are not accessible right from the start, having to be activated, either through different menus or video clip properties. But, it shows the intelligence of the programmer, who decided not to scare his would be users with an intimidating interface.

          Then I started using VSDC, from the Windows platform, but thanks to Wine and Play-On_Linux, working perfectly on Linux, to add more effects and other capabilities with characters and fonts that Openshot doesn’t have. VSDC also has a very clear and straightforward interface, and its resources are accessible through MS Office ribbon-style menus (now a well spread paradigm among several applications).

        • PCLinuxOS Family Member Spotlight: jzakiya

          What specific equipment do currently use with PCLinuxOS?
          2016 System76, Gazelle laptop, i7 cpu, 2.6 – 3.5 GHz, 16GB, 240 GB SSD, KDE5

          Do you feel that your use of Linux influences the reactions you receive from your computer peers or family? If so, how?
          None really, except people who I’ve converted from Windoze to PCLinuxOS.

          What would you like to see happen within PCLinuxOS that would make it a better place. What are your feelings?
          To keep current with new hardware/software. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is great. For Tex to keep as healthy as possible (I lost my partner to cancer 2017). For the community to remain/become more cohesive and tolerant (lots of past rancor about systemd, and dropping 32-bits). Appreciate the time we have, and use it wisely and productively.

        • Wallpaper Roundup, Revisited

          Looking through the Monthly Screenshots section of the PCLinuxOS forum, it’s apparent that there are many individuals who know how to find great looking wallpapers for their desktops. But for others, finding high quality images for their desktops isn’t so easy. Plus, with so many of us spending so much time at home, quarantined to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (or to help flatten the curve), it’s inevitable that many will be spending an increasing amount of time on their computers. You might as well have some nice wallpaper to look at while spending all of that extra time in front of your computer.

          Let me help you with that. There are several places on the web where you can find high quality images for your desktops … that are free! So, let’s take a look at some of them.

          Before we start, though, let me give you one word of advice: be cautious! Collecting cool and unusual wallpapers can be a very addicting pursuit. It won’t take long for you to wonder where all your hard drive space went!

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 32 Now Generally Available
        • Fedora 32 Now Generally Available
        • Fedora 32 now generally available

          The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc., sponsored and community-driven open source collaboration, today announced the general availability of Fedora 32, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora operating system.

          Fedora 32 includes new features aimed at addressing issues facing modern developers and IT teams. Highlights include key updates to Fedora’s desktop-focused edition, Fedora 32 Workstation, and a new computational neuroscience lab image, aimed at bringing those working in science fields to open source software.

      • IBM/Red Hat Puff Pieces, Many Composed or Paid for by Red Hat (Marketing as ‘News’)

        • Red Hat Summit 2020 virtual conference introduces advanced OpenShift capabilities

          Cormier used his opening to focus on the history of open source, virtualization, hybrid, and cloud. While all of these concepts began as ideas, they are now integrated deeply into our daily lives, especially hybrid cloud .

          “All of us live in a hybrid heterogeneous world,” Cormier said during the keynote. “Hybrid requires a common development operations, security and automation environment. This is essential in order to scale. Hybrid isn’t a trend. It’s a strategic imperative.”

          Red Hat partners including Ford Motor Company, Verizon, Intel, Microsoft, and Credit Suisse made on screen appearances, discussing their partnerships with Red Hat and the importance of innovation during such an unprecedented time.

          With innovation in mind, Red Hat hosted a panel after the keynote focusing on new announcements that will help customers easily optimize and scale IT operations in hybrid cloud environments.

        • Open source steps up as COVID-19 forces instant digital transformations

          Businesses that were behind on the cloud journey before the novel coronavirus-19 are really feeling the heat right now. Transitioning to a digital workflow is hard in the best of times, but the almost instantaneous shift to work-from-home and online operations has sent shockwaves through the corporate world.

          [...]

          This is an area where Red Hat is comfortable — the company has an ongoing message about how its solutions “go everywhere.”

        • Big Blue weaves Red Hat OpenShift into the IBM Cloud

          IBM deepened its commitment to Red Hat OpenShift with enhancements to the container platform on IBM Cloud, including a handful of security and productivity capabilities that will be available to OpenShift 4.3 users.

          The latest features are primarily designed to cut down on the time spent by IT administrators on routine maintenance tasks including updating, scaling and provisioning. Other new features offer better resiliency that protects against unexpected power surges as well as against attacks that increase possible breaches and outages.

          Tying OpenShift more tightly to the IBM Cloud came as little surprise to analysts who said the integration has been in the works for some time — possibly before IBM acquired Red Hat in July of last year.

        • OpenShift, Kubernetes, And The Hybrid Cloud
        • Red Hat Summit: Red Hat OpenShift Gets Deeper Virtualization Features
        • Red Hat Looks to Operationalize OpenShift at Scale

          Red Hat today at the Red Hat Summit online conference announced it is making technology previews available for a control plane for managing Red Hat OpenShift deployments dubbed Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes along with an instance of open source KubeVirt software that makes it possible to deploy legacy virtual machines on top of containers.

          In addition, version 4.4 of OpenShift adds a developer-centric view of metrics and monitoring tool for application workloads, monitoring integration for Red Hat Operators and tools for assessing the cost of deploying applications in the cloud versus in an on-premises IT environment.

        • Red Hat: Shift to Kubernetes and microservices is happening faster than expected

          A push to reinvent the way developers create applications for the internet has gathered significant momentum, catching even some of its most ardent supporters by surprise.

          But even as the popularity of infrastructure based on the Kubernetes platform and microservices surges, the adoption has inevitably brought to light the massive challenges big businesses and large organizations face in overhauling unwieldy infrastructure. To help IT managers navigate this transition, products and services that enable simultaneous management of legacy and new systems are gaining in popularity.

        • OpenShift 4.4 adds tech previews & improves efficiency

          Red Hat’s OpenShift 4.4 is here. This update builds upon Kubernetes 1.17 and aims to improve the developer’s experience. It includes new developer previews of upcoming features and some performance upgrades.

        • Red Hat tackles complex virtualization, scaling questions through OpenShift automation boost

          As the world tackles a global pandemic, the conversation around the practical implications of virtualization and scaling of enterprises is being tested like no other time. Companies are wrestling with many questions such as, how much consistency does there need to be from all of the options within cloud, hybrid cloud, multicloud, and on-premises environments? And how can all of this be managed, especially when teams are scattered like never before?

        • With data as central actor, Red Hat aims to unite enterprise needs in common platform

          In the theatrical world, a central actor might be the lead role in a film or play. In the enterprise, it’s the role technology can perform in bridging the gap between value creation and value capture.

          “We think of it in terms of bringing data to applications,” said Chris Wright (pictured), senior vice president and chief technology officer at Red Hat Inc. “Bringing data sources and data processing and model development all onto a common platform is a really powerful thing that’s happening in the industry today. We’re bringing data to be a central actor.”

          Wright spoke with Stu Miniman, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience this week. They discussed ways that data is transforming business, future technologies that will be affected, developer access to tooling and Red Hat’s role in bringing the open-source ecosystem together.

        • Cormier at Red Hat Summit: ‘Hybrid Isn’t a Trend; It’s a Strategic Imperative’

          Red Hat transformed its popular annual user conference into an online virtual experience this year, for obvious reasons. The socially distanced, two-day digital summit, wrapping up today, went off without a hitch, and the leading enterprise open source software provider, longtime Java community leader and IBM subsidiary laid out its hybrid cloud strategy and product news to an estimated 38,000 distant attendees.

          The organization’s new CEO, Paul Cormier, gave the conference keynote from his home office in Boston. He opened his talk with a (long) history of open source and the cloud, and ended at the open hybrid cloud, which is central to Red Hat’s vision.

        • Intel, Red Hat’s partnership brings 5G, edge computing, AI into reality

          When it comes to the edge and 5G, things are moving from the theoretical to actual reality. And as important transformations happen across the technology industry, Intel Corp.’s 25-year-old history of partnership with Red Hat Inc. is helping to meet these challenges head on with advanced software-defined infrastructure platforms that improve agility and flexibility.

          “Our customers and that developer community need us to go together because … of the combination of our hardware work and the open-source software work that we do with Red Hat,” said Lisa Spelman (pictured), vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and data center marketing at Intel. “And we see that every year increasing in value as we expand to more workloads and more market segments that we can help with our technology.”

        • Red Hat Summit 2020 Bits

          Red Hat had its annual summit this week and chose to go virtual as the Covid-19 pandemic is causing more and more shows to cancel or try to get their message out through different avenues. Red Hat and Partners made a handful of announcements. These announcements include OpenShift 4.4, OpenShift Virtualization, Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, Supermicro announced new systems validated with Red Hat Hyperconverged Infrastructure, and MemSQL is available on Red Hat Marketplace.

        • Cloudera Prefers Red Hat for Kubernetes, But YARN Not Going Away

          When Cloudera ships the on-premise version of its latest Hadoop distribution later this year, it will work with a Kubernetes container orchestration system from Red Hat, the company announced today. But the introduction of Kubernetes in CDP Private Cloud doesn’t mean that YARN will completely disappear, the company says.

        • Cloudera Selects Red Hat OpenShift as the Preferred Container Solution for Cloudera Data Platform Private Cloud
        • Cloudera Chose Red Hat OpenShift as the Preferred Container Solution for Cloudera Data Platform Private Cloud
        • Analysts pay close attention to IBM’s financials, Red Hat’s strategy as Summit kicks off

          Even in normal times, it would be unlikely that IBM Corp. and Red Hat Inc. would make news this week for the usual reasons.

          Red Hat kicked off its virtual Summit on Tuesday in an online format after being forced to cancel plans for its annual gathering in San Francisco due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the open-source company made a number of product announcements, industry analysts were more interested in Red Hat’s impact on IBM, both from a financial standpoint and in terms of strategic direction.

        • Trilio unveils TrilioVault cloud-native data protection platform for Kubernetes

          TrilioVault for Kubernetes supports applications provisioned via Operators, Helm or Labels within upstream Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift environments. Additionally, the platform is cloud agnostic, offering customers the agility to move with the application across public and private cloud infrastructure.

        • TrilioVault for Kubernetes Achieves Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification
        • Argentine Ministry of Health Partners with Red Hat to set up a National Digital Health Network

          Red Hat announced that the Argentine Ministry of Health has implemented a National Digital Health Network to vastly improve accessibility of universal healthcare coverage services and initiatives using Red Hat open hybrid cloud technologies.

          With a complete digital transformation to modernize its healthcare system and infrastructure, the Argentine Ministry of Health has increased access to imperative healthcare information and services, with more than 2.4 million people currently registered on its network and a goal to reach 15 million by the end of this year. This has been especially critical as the government has used this system to help keep Argentinians up-to-date on pandemic developments and track local and global COVID-19 cases.

        • Red Hat-VMware rivalry intensifies with OpenShift virtualisation

          Red Hat has baked in virtualisation features in OpenShift amid the growing rivalry between the open source bigwig and virtualisation giant VMware to draw enterprises to their respective Kubernetes platforms.

          During its virtual summit this week, Red Hat said the virtualisation capabilities, derived from the upstream KubeVirt open source project, will enable enterprises to develop, deploy and manage applications running in virtual machines (VMs) alongside container and serverless deployments.

        • Kaloom Allies with Red Hat to Create Virtual Networks on the Edge

          Kaloom announced today it has partnered with Red Hat to make it easier to deliver network services to edge computing applications built using the Red Hat OpenShift Platform.

          Company CTO Suresh Krishnan says most of the applications built for the edge will be based on microservices running on a distribution of Kubernetes in the form of Red Hat OpenShift. Each of those microservices will now be able to access the Cloud Edge Fabric from Kaloom, which is a set of network services that run on a virtual instance of a switch that runs natively in a Kubernetes platform, he says.

          Unveiled during the Red Hat Summit online conference, the alliance provides a framework for running microservices-based applications capable of accessing both 4G and 5G wireless networking services at the edge, adds Krishnan.

        • Kaloom Sings Red Hat OpenShift Tune for 5G Edge

          Kaloom today announced an expansion of its partnership with Red Hat to provide network operators with a more comprehensive approach to distributed edge computing. By integrating its Cloud Edge Fabric with Red Hat OpenShift, Kaloom aims to reduce the costs of edge infrastructure and further facilitate its use for 5G use cases.

        • Kaloom, Red Hat Collaborate On Unified Solution For Edge Sites

          The new offering will allow network, compute and storage nodes to share the same underlying container-based execution environment.

          By integrating Kaloom’s Cloud Edge Fabric with Red Hat OpenShift helps the platform to simplify complex next-generation networks and accelerate time to market of new services while reducing the costs of edge infrastructure.

        • Red Hat Adds Tools for ‘Open Hybrid Cloud’

          Others, like IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its high-flying Red Hat subsidiary are taking a more egalitarian tact, dubbing their Linux-based approach the “open, hybrid cloud.” That was theme of this week’s virtual Red Hat summit event.

          Noting that the “Linux innovation cycle” has so far delivered virtual infrastructure, application containers, Kubernetes cluster orchestration and, lately, edge computing, Red Hat said 31 percent of its growing roster of customers are deploying hybrid clouds. Hence, the IBM unit sees another opportunity to leverage those Linux-based tools to “bridge traditional datacenter technologies to the hybrid cloud world,” according to Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier.

          Red Hat and its competitors primarily seek to move cloud computing and storage to the network edge, where all the big data resides.

        • Red Hat’s current and former CEOs in conversation about open source

          The Red Hat Summit was supposed to be held in San Francisco this year, but instead took place online.

          The open source company’s in-person events are grand affairs – the conference centre seems to be stained red as thousands of customers, partners, staff and the media flock to what must be the largest gathering of open source enthusiasts on the planet.

          One benefit of holding the conference online is that more people can attend; 38 000 signed up for Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience, which took place from 28 to 29 April.

        • Red Hat: Contributions out of Asia for open source could be improved

          Unsurprisingly, open source has come a long way since Red Hat first came about, but according to the company’s APAC office of technology vice president Frank Feldmann, there could be more coming out of the Asia Pacific region.

          “The general sense, we have come a heck of a long way, right, and we just imagine when Red Hat as a company started, open source wasn’t really that well understood,” he told ZDNet during Red Hat Summit.

          “Today it is a default for pretty much any area of technology innovation, the majority of programming languages and products out there are either built or derived from open source initiatives, even the practices around open source in terms of how we innovate and collaborate.”

          With a focus on Asia Pacific, however, Feldmann said contributions out of the region could be improved.

          “I think in Asia specifically, we can always do better in terms of open-source adoption, I think the contributions out of Asia for open source is an area that can be improved and Red Hat certainly tries to influence it and drive it where we can,” he said.

        • New CEO Keeps Red Hat On Open Hybrid Cloud Course

          Red Hat’s new CEO says his appointment won’t change the company’s ongoing “open hybrid cloud” strategy.

          Paul Cormier, a long time Red Hat employee who took over as CEO following Jim Whitehurst’s departure to new owner IBM, used this year’s virtual keynote to recommit the open source giant to meeting its customers wherever and however they want to work.

          “It’s what we’ve been building in and around our platforms for many, many years. Open hybrid cloud is what we are delivering to our customers and building with our partners every day. Today and tomorrow.”

        • Red Hat accelerates open hybrid cloud to help orgs weather the storm and scale critical services

          Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced new offerings to help organizations of all sizes and industries optimize, scale or simply protect IT operations in the face of shifting global dynamics.

          Red Hat has long championed technology evolutions and wants to enable customers to build any application and deploy everywhere with the consistency and flexibility an open hybrid cloud foundation provides.

          Building on this vision, Red Hat’s new offerings are designed to improve the delivery, accessibility and stability of critical services and applications on a worldwide scale on the backbone of the hybrid cloud.

        • Red Hat Summit 2020 stresses the importance of open innovation and collaboration

          While everyone in the world is separated from their friends, families, and co-workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Hat wants to remind us about the importance of staying connected and collaborating. The company kicked off its first virtual Red Hat Summit this week to talk about its open hybrid cloud vision, products and partnerships.

          “We still think it is really important for us to gather and exchange ideas on the state of open source and the state of enterprise IT industry and where it is all going,” said Paul Cormier, keynoting his first summit as president and CEO of Red Hat. “It may be even more important at this time to take this time to be with you, listen to you and figure out how we can help each other.”

          Cormier opened the virtual event by talking to Jim Whitehurst, former Red Hat CEO and now president of IBM, about Red Hat and IBM’s new dynamic. Red Hat was acquired by IBM last year for $34 billion, and since then the two companies have worked to keep Red Hat separate.

        • Snyk and Red Hat Collaborate To Enhance Security for OpenShift and Kubernetes Workloads [Ed: Red Hat is helping FOSS-hostile companies]
        • Managing Kubernetes Workloads Becomes Easy with Snyk and Red Hat Collaboration: Security is an Added Bonus
        • Snyk and Red Hat collaborate to enhance the security of Kubernetes and container deployments
        • Red Hat Summit 2020 virtual experience [Ed: Comparing apples to oranges; people who fly to an event aren't the same thing as someone momentarily tuning into a webstream]

          In the last couple days, Red Hat was able to demonstrate that an online technical conference can succeed. The Summit, normally held in Boston or San Francisco, was held online thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic still gripping the world.

          The fact that 80,000 people attended the online event warrants a huge applause. By comparison, last year’s in-person conference broke the record with only 8,900 attendees.

        • Converge Technology Solutions Corp. Wins Red Hat North American Partner Award
        • Emergent, LLC Awarded Red Hat Mid Market Business Transformation Partner of the Year
        • Will Systemd 245 Bring Major Changes to Linux’s Home Directory Management?

          Leannart Poettering is proposing homed to alter the way Linux systems handle user management. All user information will be placed in a cryptographically signed JSON record, such as username, group membership, and password hashes. The venerable /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow will be a thing of the past. One of the claimed advantages will be home directory portability.

          “Because the /home directory will no longer depend on the trifecta of systemd, /etc/passwd, and /etc/shadow, users and admins will then be able to easily migrate directories within /home,” writes Jack Wallen at TechRepublic. “Imagine being able to move your /home/USER (where USER is your username) directory to a portable flash drive and use it on any system that works with systemd-homed. You could easily transport your /home/USER directory between home and work, or between systems within your company.”

        • Video: Red Hat, CentOS & Fedora: Which Is Best for You?

          Understanding the relationships between Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat can be a little confusing. This guy does a fairly good job of explaining it.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Step By Step to Install Ubuntu 20.04 with Optional UEFI, Dualboot, and External Storage Instructions

          This is a tutorial to install Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa operating system into your computer. You can do this to computer either with bios or uefi, in either single or dualboot mode and optionally put it into external hard disk drive if you wish. This tutorial should be sufficient for most users and is intended for people without deep knowledge in computing. You will prepare a bootable media, two partitions, and go through ten steps until everything finished. This article recommends you to install on an empty computer with the specification at least Intel or AMD 64-bit processor and 2GB memory and 20GB hard disk partition. Happy installing!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Better than Zoom: Try these free software tools for staying in touch

        The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an enormous amount of changes in how people work, play, and communicate. By now, many of us have settled into the routine of using remote communication or video conferencing tools to keep in touch with our friends and family. In the last few weeks we’ve also seen a number of lists and guides aiming to get people set up with the “right” tools for communicating in hard times, but in almost every case, these articles recommend that people make a difficult compromise: trading their freedom in order to communicate with the people they care about and work with.

        In times like these it becomes all the more important to remember that tools like Zoom, Slack, and Facebook Messenger are not benign public services, and while the sentiment they’ve expressed to the global community in responding to the crisis may be sincere, it hasn’t addressed the fundamental ethical issues with any piece of proprietary software.

        After taking the LibrePlanet 2020 conference online, we received a number of requests asking us to document our streaming setup. As the pandemic grew worse, this gave way to more curiosity about how the Free Software Foundation (FSF) uses free tools and free communication platforms to conduct our everyday business. And while the stereotype of hackers hunched over a white on black terminal session applies to us in some ways, many of the tools we use are available in any environment, even for people who do not have a lot of technical experience. We’ve started documenting ethical solutions on the LibrePlanet wiki, in addition to starting a remote communication mailing list to help each other advocate for their use.

        In the suggestions that follow, a few of the tools we will recommend depend upon some “self-reliance,” that is, steering clear of proprietary network services by hosting free software solutions yourself, or asking a technical friend to do it for you. It’s a difficult step, and the benefits may not be immediately obvious, but it’s a key part of preserving your autonomy in an age of ubiquitous digital control.

      • ReactOS: Dipping A Toe In A Millennium-era Open Source Dream

        Do you remember when trying a new OS meant burning a CD? Not merely downloading an ISO and mounting it on a USB drive, but taking a circle of polycarbonate and hoping you didn’t get a buffer underrun as the file you’d spent an entire day downloading was burned onto it. A couple of decades ago that was how we’d take a look at a new Linux distro, and at the time we considered it to be nothing short of incredible that such a thing was possible. One of the ISOs I remember downloading back then was an early version of ReactOS, a project with the lofty aim of creating an open-source equivalent of Windows NT. You might think that in the nearly two decades since then it would have become an irrelevance and its contributors moved on to other work, but no. ReactOS is very much still with us, and indeed has just seen a new release. Version 0.4.13 is the latest in a long line of incremental updates, and remembering those early ReactOS ISOs when I saw their announcement, I thought I’d give it a spin. The result was both a peek at the current state of the project, and a chance to think about the place of a Windows clone in 2020.

      • Open source NodeTube allows users to beat censorship and deploy their own YouTube alternative

        Discontent is running high among an increasing number of YouTube creators and users these days, due to a seemingly never-ending series of questionable policies and decisions this Google company has been making. But the pull of the gargantuan platform that has both the audience and the money is proving too powerful to allow much meaningful competition.

        That is, at least in YouTube’s own category, as a centralized corporation built in obscurity, i.e., as a closed-source app.

        This is why much of the effort to provide alternatives to YouTube and other dominant social networks is today focused on decentralization and open source as a value proposition for those creators and users eager to protect their ever-more at risk privacy and free speech.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Point of WebGPU on native

            WebGPU is a new graphics and compute API designed on the grounds of W3C organization (mostly) by the browser vendors. It’s designed for the Web, used by JavaScript and WASM applications, and driven by the shared principles of Web APIs. It doesn’t have to be only for the Web though. In this post, I want to share the vision of why WebGPU on native platforms is important to me. This is highly subjective and doesn’t represent any organization I’m in.

            Story

            The story of WebGPU-native is as old as the API itself. The initial hearings at Khronos had the same story heard at both the exploration “3D portability” meeting, and the “WebGL Next” one, told by the very same people. These meetings had similar goals: find a good portable intersection of the native APIs, which by that time (2016) clearly started diverging and isolating in their own ecosystems. The differences were philosophical: the Web prioritized security and portability, while the native wanted more performance. This split manifested in creation of two real working groups: one in W3C building the Web API, and another – “Vulkan Portability” technical subgroup in Khronos. Today, I’m the only person (“ambassador”) who is active in both groups, simply because we implement both of these APIs on top of gfx-rs.

      • CMS

      • Programming/Development

        • EBCDIC Handling Library, Part 2
        • Intel’s OpenCL Intercept Layer Sees First Release In Two Years

          Intel’s OpenCL Intercept Layer remains focused on debugging and analyzing OpenCL application performance across platforms. It hadn’t seen a new release, however, in two years but that changed last month.

          In April there was the release of the Intel OpenCL Intercept Layer 2.2.2, which may not reflect much from the version number but comes with two years worth of changes. New to the release is a cliloader utility to simplify installation and usage of this layer, fixes for operating on ARM Linux environments, Android support fixes, the ability to dump and disassemble ISA kernel binaries, collecting more performance counters on Intel hardware, hint support for command queues, logging improvements, better Chrome tracing abilities, and other changes.

        • Jean-François Fortin Tam: Overhauling your Open Source project’s “Developer Experience”, defining the workflow and setting expectations

          This started out as a simple status report following my first report on the revival of the Getting Things GNOME project, but turned out into a full-fledged article that, I believe, would be relevant to many community managers and FLOSS project maintainers out there. Particularly if you have an established open-source project looking for sustainable development but don’t have the luxury of paid developers, it should be worth investing the 7-9 minutes to read this.

          As the world came to a standstill and as I finished my tax season accounting (two unrelated things, really), this month I have completed a major overhaul of the “developer experience” for GTG.

        • Ken Dreyer: in defense of code coverage

          On one project I wrote, my first user base was very small. It consisted of developers and hackers who were very involved with feedback, design, and testing. Those original users moved on to other responsibilities, and new users have replaced them who are unfamiliar with the code. They have very different expectations and want your project to “just work”.

          This is an entirely different scenario. Documentation and regression testing are critical to sustaining the growth of the project. The new user base does not share the initial users’ tolerance for breaking changes.

          Bug reports will continue to come in. On one recent bug report, once I identified the root-cause and the exact function that is buggy, the next question I ask is “Do the unit tests cover this method?” Code coverage tools can quickly answer this question. This makes it easier for me to confidently modify the method because I know that I’m not introducing regressions.

        • ReactOS Upgrades Its Build Environment – Shifting To A Much Newer GCC Compiler

          The “open-source Windows” ReactOS project has upgraded its build environment leading to much newer versions of key compiler toolchain components.

          The biggest change with the new ReactOS Build Environment is moving off the vintage GCC 4.7.2 compiler to now using the GCC 8 stable series. In this move of updating the GNU Compiler Collection are several years worth of improvements from newer C/C++ language support to many optimizations and new CPU microarchitectures being supported to better error reporting and a while lot more as we have covered over the years.

        • Kotlin vs. Swift: An open source programming language face-off

          Kotlin and Swift are two popular open source programming languages, both designed to offer speed, safety and concise app development. These two languages have traditionally been associated with mobile development, but they’re capable of server-side and web development as well.

          Kotlin shares several attributes with Java and was designed to streamline Android app development. Apple’s Swift, on the other hand, was designed to interface with C-based code and libraries, providing an open source approach for iOS and OS X app development. However, both languages boast the ability to delve into both the world of Android and iOS, leaving many developers at a crossroads where they must choose one language over the other.

        • Python

          • Highlights of the Ibis 1.3 release

            Ibis 1.3 was just released, after 8 months of development work, with 104 new commits from 16 unique contributors. What is new? In this blog post we will discuss some important features in this new version!

            First, if you are new to the Ibis framework world, you can check this blog post I wrote last year, with some introductory information about it.

          • Subtests in Python with unittest and pytest – Paul Ganssle

            In both unittest and pytest, when a test function hits a failing assert, the test stops and is marked as a failed test.

            What if you want to keep going, and check more things?

            There are a few ways. One of them is subtests.

            Python’s unittest introduced subtests in Python 3.4.

            pytest introduced support for subtests with changes in pytest 4.4 and a plugin, called pytest-subtests.
            Subtests are still not really used that much.

          • Python Desktop Graphic Frameworks

            When you look up the Python documentation for Graphical User Interfaces, you find TkInter. The package is part of the default Python install. You can use this for the simplest applications just fine. You can also seek out frameworks that implement something else or put stuff on top of TkInter.

            Some of the big, or rather, much used systems for Linux are QT and wxWidgets. These are so common, both on Linux, unix-like systems, Mac OS X and Windows, that you must be aware of them if you are creating GUI programs.

            QT is one of the standards for the desktop. It also includes classes to handle most functions of the computer. This include sockets, threads, Unicode and its own web browser. PyQt has bindings to all the parts of this framework.

            wxWidgets Has a very big API with many widgets and functions. These include the same as QT, as they are competing technologies. There are differences but the important part is that if you aim to do something big you must keep the two in mind. You may want to switch when and if your project grows.

          • How I learned Python

            We had to develop a machine learning pipeline combined with an android application that will take images as input and send the data about the image, telling us whether this image has service cancer or not with certain confidence(probability).

  • Leftovers

    • Logbook, a great practice for distributed teams, long term projects and products.

      Five years ago I wrote an article about my first interactions with this practice, back in the beginnings of my professional life, in the Canary Islands, Spain. The article describes the basics of any team or project logbook. You would benefit from reading it before you keep reading this article.

      I would like to provide some additional insides about the diary, together a few tips and practices I have used throughout the years.

      [...]

      I always recommend to use a git-based tool for the logbook. It is not just that collaboration is easier, especially for developers, but also allows to integrate the habit of writing in their workflow easily. It will also be easier to structure and visualize the information through tags. Git is specially convenient for distributed teams too, which are the ones who benefit the most from this practice in terms of alignment.

      Often the diary is used by people who does not know how to use git or is not part of their day to day workflow. I have had jobs in which I did not use git on regular basis. In such cases, a wiki can be the best option. Make sure you use a wiki with conflict resolution capabilities. Otherwise, the logbook will not scale. If you use a wiki that structure pages in editable sections, that might work too.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • A Pandemic Is Not a War

        The application of war metaphors only serves to mask what’s truly at stake.

      • Our Slaughterhouses Not Just for Cattle, Hogs, and Poultry Anymore. Add People.

        A powerful industry is making workers choose between their lives and their jobs.

      • Undocumented New Yorkers Are Essential and Underprotected in COVID’s Epicenter

        They’ve gotten to know New York City in a way many have not, through the low-wage work of cleaning its skyscrapers, serving its restaurants and crisscrossing its streets on bicycles, through long subway rides very early in the morning and very late at night. The saying goes: You’re not a true New Yorker unless you’ve lived here for a decade. They’ve done their time and felt a deep sense of belonging in this city of immigrants.

      • Why You Can’t Always Trust Your Coronavirus Antibody Test Results

        Many people across the country experienced COVID-19 symptoms but could not get a test to confirm if they actually had the virus. Now some are looking to a different kind of coronavirus test for answers.

        Antibody tests are meant to recognize a past infection. Many of these have hit the market in recent weeks and are being offered at local clinics. Officials have touted the tests as crucial for reopening the economy and developing public health strategies to contain the virus.

      • Los New Yorkers: Essential and Underprotected in the Pandemic’s Epicenter

        They’ve gotten to know New York City in a way many have not, through the low-wage work of cleaning its skyscrapers, serving its restaurants and crisscrossing its streets on bicycles, through long subway rides very early in the morning and very late at night. The saying goes: You’re not a true New Yorker unless you’ve lived here for a decade. They’ve done their time and felt a deep sense of belonging in this city of immigrants.

        But, in the epicenter of a pandemic, the undocumented have never felt more alone.

      • 5 Lessons From the Coronavirus About Inequality in America

        The collapsing economy is a rude awakening, but its fragility hides a transformative power.

      • Free Fauci
      • Half of UK rice breaches limits on arsenic for children, warn scientists

        In a study published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (open access), a team at the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Sustainable Food found 28 out of 55 rice samples sold in the UK contained levels of arsenic that exceeded European Commission regulations for rice meant for the consumption for infants or young children. The research is the first to measure differences in human health risks from arsenic using a substantial number of rice varieties marketed in the UK.

        The results showed that brown rice contained higher levels of the carcinogen than white or wild rice because it contains the bran – the outer layer of the grain. Meanwhile, organically grown rice was found to contain significantly higher levels than non-organically grown rice. White rice contained the lowest levels of arsenic.

      • ‘There Are People Dying and Suffering Because They Can’t Get Healthcare’
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • ‘I love you’: How a badly-coded computer [sic] virus caused billions in damage and exposed vulnerabilities which remain 20 years on [iophk: Windows TCO]

          This account of the virus is based on interviews with law enforcement and investigators involved in the original case, contemporaneous CNN reporting and reports by the FBI, Philippines police and the Pentagon.

          Multiple attempts to reach Onel de Guzman for this article, including through his family and former lawyer, were unsuccessful. De Guzman has not commented publicly on the case since 2000, and his current whereabouts are unknown.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Cloud Foundry renews its focus on developer experience as it looks beyond the enterprise
            • Cloud Foundry Community and Foundation Unite to Offer Tutorial Hub for New Users

              The Cloud Foundry Foundation, home to open source projects simplifying the developer experience, announced today it has launched a hub for Cloud Foundry-related tutorials to streamline the discovery and learning process for developers interested in learning more about the family of open source projects.

            • Google Open Sources TensorFlow Runtime

              “We picked a common MLPerf model, ResNet-50, and chose a batch size of 1 and a data precision of FP16 to focus our study on runtime related op dispatch overhead. In comparing the performance of GPU inference over TFRT to the current runtime, we saw an improvement of 28% in average inference time. These early results are strong validation for TFRT, and we expect it to provide a big boost to performance,” explained TFRT product manager Eric Johnson and TFRT tech lead Mingsheng Hong in a blog post.

            • Google open-sources faster, more efficient TensorFlow runtime

              Google today made available TensorFlow RunTime (TFRT), a new runtime for its TensorFlow machine learning framework that provides a unified, extensible infrastructure layer with high performance across a range of hardware. Its release in open source on GitHub follows a preview earlier this year during a session at the 2020 TensorFlow Dev Summit, where TFRT was shown to speed up core loops in a key benchmarking test.

            • Google open-sources Tapas, a natural language AI for analyzing relational data

              Google LLC has released the code for Tapas, an internally developed artificial intelligence that can take a natural language question such as “What’s the name of the latest iPhone?” and fetch the answer from a relational database or spreadsheet.

              The search giant’s researchers detailed the AI on Thursday. Tapas is based on BERT, a natural-language processing technique Google uses in its search engine.

            • Google open-sources AI that searches tables to answer natural language questions

              Google today open-sourced a machine learning model that can point to answers to natural language questions (for example, “Which wrestler had the most number of reigns?”) in spreadsheets and databases. The model’s creators claim it’s even capable of finding answers spread across cells or that might require aggregating multiple cells.

            • Google Cloud plans to acquire enterprise cloud software firm D2iQ: Report

              Google is reportedly working to acquire enterprise cloud software company D2iQ for over $250 million. Currently, Google has partnered D2iQ for company’s Cloud Platform and G Suite service, and acquiring D2iQ could help Google compete with Amazon.

              “Google originally developed Kubernetes, the open source server-management technology that D2iQ has integrated into its software offerings,” The Street reported on Monday.

              D2iQ investors include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Khosla Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Microsoft, Andreessen Horowitz and T. Rowe Price Associates.

              Earlier this month, D2iQ was awarded a US Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative contract.

            • SD Times news digest: Redis Enterprise 6.0, Facebook open sources Blender chatbot, and Rust/WinRT Public Preview

              Facebook open-sourced Blender, which contains a diverse set of conversational skills including empathy, knowledge, and personality together in one system.

            • Blender, Facebook State-of-the-Art Human-Like Chatbot, Now Open Source

              Blender is an open-domain chatbot developed at Facebook AI Research (FAIR), Facebook’s AI and machine learning division. According to FAIR, it is the first chatbot that has learned to blend several conversation skills, including the ability to show empathy and discuss nearly any topic, beating Google’s chatbot in tests with human evaluators.

            • Facebook AI launches Blender, an open-source chatbot for more human-like conversations

              Facebook’s AI has built an open-sourced Blender, the largest, open-domain chatbot, the tech giant’s blog noted.

              It has been trained on 9.4 billion parameters — nearly 4 times as many as Google’s Meena and more than 10 times as many as the previous largest OS chatbot available on the internet, Engadget reported.

            • Facebook open-sources Blender, a chatbot people say ‘feels more human’

              Facebook AI Research (FAIR), Facebook’s AI and machine learning division, today detailed work on a comprehensive AI chatbot framework called Blender. FAIR claims that Blender, which is available in open source on GitHub, is the largest-ever open-domain chatbot and outperforms existing approaches to generating dialogue while “feel[ing] more human,” according to human evaluators.

            • Facebook releases an open-source, ‘human-like’ chatbot called Blender [Ed: For openwashing purposes of a malicious project Facebook seems to be hijacking the name of a well known project]
            • IOTech wants to build an open edge

              IOTech is commercializing the EdgeX Foundry software developed in 2017 at Dell. The goal with EdgeX Foundry was to create a library of the different proprietary software options used in industries ranging from manufacturing to retail, and to provide a middleware layer that could stitch the data coming from those different platforms together so customers could get a unified view of their operations.

            • Kong Releases Open Source API Design Editor

              Kong Inc., a cloud connectivity company, is releasing a new open source tool called Insomnia Designer, offering a collaborative API design editor.

              Building on Insomnia Core, which Kong acquired in 2019, the software works natively with Insomnia’s testing capabilities to accelerate the development, performance and stability of REST and GraphQL services, the communications backbone of the modern applications and services people rely on each day.

            • Kong Inc. Open Sources Insomnia Designer – a Collaborative Design Editor for APIs

              Kong Inc., the leading cloud connectivity company, today announced the release of a new open source tool called Insomnia Designer. Building on Insomnia Core, which Kong acquired in 2019, Insomnia Designer provides a collaborative API design editor that makes it easier for developers and DevOps teams to create and edit API specifications. The software works natively with Insomnia’s testing capabilities to accelerate the development, performance and stability of REST and GraphQL services, the communications backbone of the modern applications and services people rely on each day. Insomnia Designer is available now at https://insomnia.rest/download or can be downloaded by Kong Enterprise customers as part of Kong Studio.

            • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Insomnia Designer

              Insomnia Designer is Kong’s recently open sourced collaborative design editor for APIs that aims to make it easier for developers and DevOps teams to create and edit API specifications.

              The software works natively with Insomnia’s testing capabilities to accelerate the development, performance, and stability of REST and GraphQL services.

            • Nash open sources its protocol and client to promote transparency and innovation
            • Logz.io Appoints Jonah Kowall as Chief Technology Officer to Accelerate Strategic Vision and Leadership in Open-Source Observability
            • Microsoft’s In-House QUIC Connections Library is Now Open Source
          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Now under the Linux Foundation, the Fintech Open Source Foundation wants to accelerate software development across financial services

                Open source encourages standards setting and pooling of resources to address audacious problems in finance. “Over the last few years, FINOS successfully created a community of buy-side, sell-side, fintech and tech companies who work together on a wide range of open source projects and standards, “ said Dov Katz, FINOS vice chairperson and distinguished engineer at Morgan Stanley.

              • LFN adds XGVela to the industry group lexicon

                LF Networking (LFN) has extended its tentacles further into the open source underbelly of telco cloud strategies with the launch of a new project, the curiously-named XGVela.

                LFN, the arm of the Linux Foundation that is focused on open source R&D for next generation networking in projects such as ONAP, OPNFV and OpenDaylight, says the formation of the project, based on work contributed by China Mobile, is part of its efforts to “accelerate telco cloud adoption.”

                At the heart of XGVela is code designed to enable a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) frame upon which 5G network services (and other applications) can be designed and developed. The initial work has focused on bringing existing open source PaaS functionality from other open source working groups (such as Grafana and Zookeeper – love these names!) and developing that functionality to meet telco requirements.

                [...]

                In a nutshell, the project (contributed by IBM), “simplifies the job of getting the right applications and machine learning onto the right compute devices, and keeps those applications running and updated. It also enables the autonomous management of more than 10,000 edge devices simultaneously,” which would be very handy.

              • LF Networking Boasts First Open Source PaaS for 5G NFV

                LF Networking, a group spearheaded by the Linux Foundation, today introduced what it describes as the first open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for 5G network functions. XGVela was donated by China Mobile and has also gained support or interest from China Unicom, China Telecom, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, and Red Hat.

          • Micron (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Open-source storage engine designed for SSDs and storage class memory

              Micron Technology has announced what is claimed to be the first open-source, heterogeneous-memory storage engine, created particularly for SSDs and SCM. Legacy storage engines born in the era of HDDs failed to architecturally cater for the expanded performance and decreased latency of next-generation nonvolatile media. HSE, originally developed by the company and now offered to the open-source community, is perfect for developers utilising all-flash infrastructure who need the benefits of open-source software, including the capability to customise or enhance code for their unique use cases.

            • Micron Goes Open Source With Its Heterogeneous Memory Storage Engine

              Micron recently announced that its HSE (Heterogeneous-Memory Storage Engine) platform designed for SSDs, storage-class memory, and other storage applications, is now available to the open-source community. The company claims this is the world’s first open-source storage engine built for SSDs and storage-class memory.

            • Micron Releases Open Source Storage Engine

              Growing enterprise demand for object-based storage along with the proliferation of all-flash memory infrastructure has prompted one hardware vendor to release an open source version of its memory-class storage technology.

            • Micron unveils first open-source storage engine designed for storage class memory

              Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), today 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. HSE, originally developed by Micron and now available to the open-source community, is ideal for developers using all-flash infrastructure who require the benefits of open-source software, including the ability to customize or enhance code for their unique use cases.

        • Security

          • Study Reveals Hidden Behaviors Of Mobile Apps

            Fresh from a report (PDF) jointly published by authors from The Ohio State University, New York University, and CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security comes word that 12,706 apps surveyed with a new static analysis technique called InputScope had hidden backdoors, hidden master passwords, secret access keys, hidden blacklist words, and secret commands embedded within them. These vulnerabilities allow users to access admin-only functions, or attackers to gain access to user information and user accounts.

            An article on ZDNet dug further into the report. The authors had surveyed 100,000 of the most popular apps in the Google Play store (based on the number of installations), the top 20,000 apps hosted on third party app stores, and 30,000 apps that came preinstalled on Samsung handsets.

            Overall, they found that nearly 6,900 apps from the Google Play store had hidden backdoors or functions. Nearly 1,100 apps from the third party app stores had hidden backdoors. Meanwhile, nearly 4,800 preinstalled apps from Samsung handsets (almost 16%) featured hidden backdoors.

            More than 4,000 apps (total) featured hidden “bad word” filters to filter out curse words, racial slurs, political words (even the names of some political leaders), gambling, cult references, pornography, and drugs.

            The authors of the report did not divulge the names of the apps where they found these security issues, in order to protect the users of those apps from malicious actors. The app developers were all notified of the findings, but not all of the app developers responded.

          • Anti-virus on Windows 10 and Mac could contain a dangerous flaw, security experts warn

            The weakness could allow cyber criminals to delete files and cause crashes on your machine – allowing them to install malware. Dubbed “Symlink Races,” the technique uses symbolic links to align malicious files to legitimate ones on your PC.

            This happens during the brief time after the software has scanned a file for viruses, but before it has been removed by the anti-virus.

            It’s a clever way of scamming the very applications designed to keep your machine safe from malware and scams. Most worrying of all, Rack911 has warned anti-virus users that taking advantage of the bug to attack a Windows 10, macOS or Linux machine is “trivial”.

          • One billion certificates later, Let’s Encrypt’s crazy dream to secure the web is coming true
          • GDPR Compliance Site Leaks Git Data, Passwords

            Researchers discovered a .git folder exposing passwords and more for a website that gives advice to organizations about complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules.

            A website that gives advice on privacy regulation compliance has fixed a security issue that was exposing MySQL database settings — including passwords — to anyone on the internet.

            The website, GDPR.EU, is an advice site for organizations that are struggling to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws that were imposed by the EU in 2018. The website is operated by Proton Technologies AG, the company behind end-to-end encrypted mail service ProtonMail. While it isn’t an official EU commission site, it is partly co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union, an EU research and innovation program.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Digital privacy is being threatened as governments attempt to stop coronavirus

              Big Tech, no stranger to tracking your smartphone, wants to make sure governments are doing it carefully. Apple and Google released a beta API this week that health authorities can use to develop such apps. It uses Bluetooth, a proximity-based approach meant to reduce privacy fears by keeping data decentralized and the identity of disease carriers anonymous.

              But critics note that even Bluetooth has shortcomings and security risks. And they’re even more skeptical of contact-tracing systems that use location data and centralized databases, as they do in China, India, South Korea, and even Norway.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The right-wing family pushing anti-quarantine events on Facebook

        Five of these Facebook Groups — Wisconsinites, Pennsylvanians, Ohioans, Minnesotans, and New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine — are being run by a single family, the Dorrs. Facebook displays the administrators for both public and private Groups.

        As the Washington Post points out, the groups run by the Dorr family have a combined 200,000 members and counting. All were created in the past week.

      • “Astroturf”: Gun rights activists and prominent GOP donors push protests of coronavirus restrictions

        The trio created the groups “Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine,” “Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine,” “Ohioans Against Excessive Quarantine” and “New Yorkers Against Excessive Quarantine” in recent days.

        Many of the groups’ members have pushed false information about the coronavirus, claiming that the threat was overhyped and disputing directives from public health officials to wear masks in public.

      • Pakistan minister calls for beheading of blasphemers

        Pakistan’s minister of state for parliamentary affairs has called for the beheading of people who commit blasphemy.

        “Beheading is the only punishment for those who mock Prophet Muhammad,” Ali Muhammad Khan tweeted in the Urdu language.

        Khan made the controversial comments in response to conflicting reports that Ahmadis had been given representation on a newly established National Minorities Council. Ahmadis do not believe that Muhammad was the last prophet.

      • Herdsmen Ambush Christian Couple with Machetes in Plateau State, Nigeria

        On Jan. 30, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”

        Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Cheap oil? A pandemic? No big deal for renewable energy, experts say

          Overall, renewable power capacity is expected to grow by another 50 percent by 2024 with solar leading the way, according to the International Energy Agency. It’s also the only part of the energy sector the agency projects to grow in 2020, while fossil fuels are expected to take a major hit because of the decline in energy demands stemming from the pandemic.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • White House to Oust DHHS Inspector General Whose Report Drew Trump Fury

        “Don’t let anyone tell you that the Trump administration is wholly incompetent. They are really good at undermining independent oversight and democratic norms.”

      • A Trump Tutorial

        Here’s a brief guide to understanding trumpian sarcasm.

      • A Conservative Legal Group Significantly Miscalculated Data in a Report on Mail-In Voting

        In an April report that warns of the risks of fraud in mail-in voting, a conservative legal group significantly inflated a key statistic, a ProPublica analysis found. The Public Interest Legal Foundation reported that more than 1 million ballots sent out to voters in 2018 were returned as undeliverable. Taken at face value, that would represent a 91% increase over the number of undeliverable mail ballots in 2016, a sign that a vote-by-mail system would be a “catastrophe” for elections, the group argued.

        However, after ProPublica provided evidence to PILF that it had in fact doubled the official government numbers, the organization corrected its figure. The number of undeliverable mail ballots dropped slightly from 2016 to 2018.

      • Israel’s New Government Is Exploiting Pandemic to Annex 30 Percent of West Bank

        After three indecisive elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his opponent Benny Gantz agreed to form a unity government in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Exiled Pakistani Journalist Found Dead in Sweden

        Reporters Without Borders suggested in a statement that Mr. Hussain’s death could have followed an abduction “at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency.” Taliban and Islamic State militants operate in Mr. Hussain’s home province in Pakistan, as do criminal groups.

        Pakistan has long been a dangerous country for journalists, who regularly face threats, intimidation and attacks from a vast array of forces, ranging from the country’s powerful intelligence agencies to its militant groups. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented more than 60 instances in which Pakistani journalists have been killed in direct relation to their work over the past three decades.

      • Daniel Pearl’s parents move SC to reverse acquittals of four accused

        Pearl was South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story about religious extremism.

        A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the US consulate nearly a month later.

      • Daniel Pearl murder case: Scribe’s parents approach Pakistan SC against acquittal of accused

        According to the petition, the Sindh High Court has failed to note that this was a brutal murder as a result of international terrorism and the principle of the standard of proof, as well as the benefit of doubt in cases of international terrorism, has to be applied keeping in the context that the nature and type of evidence available in such terrorism cases cannot be equated with cases involving non-terrorism crimes.

        “Therefore, it is obvious and apparent that the impugned judgment is clearly erroneous because it is fundamentally based on a misinterpretation of law and misreading of the entire record of Special Case No. 26 of 2002,” the petition stated, and added that the impugned judgment is liable to be set aside.

      • Four Acquitted In Daniel Pearl Murder Rearrested Pending Appeal

        Three alleged accomplices also had their convictions overturned.

        But Pakistan’s interior ministry said late Friday the four would remain in jail while prosecutors appeal their acquittals in the country’s Supreme Court.

        The men have been rearrested and will be detained “for a period of three months pending filing of the appeal”, the interior ministry said.

        The statement reiterated the government’s “commitment to follow due process under the laws of the country to bring terrorists to task”.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Report gives Pakistan failing grade on human rights

        An annual human rights report released this week gives Pakistan a failing grade, charging that too little is being done to protect the country’s most vulnerable, including women and children.

        The 264-page report by the Independent Pakistan Human Rights Commission laid out a litany of human rights failings. They include unabated honor killings, forced conversions of minority Hindu under-age girls and continued use of a blasphemy law that carries the death penalty to intimidate and settle scores.

        In December, Pakistan was ranked 151st out of 153 by the World Economic Forum on the Global Gender Gap Index.

      • In a Victory for Women in Sudan, Female Genital Mutilation Is Outlawed

        Now, anyone in Sudan who performs female genital mutilation faces a possible three-year prison term and a fine under an amendment to Sudan’s criminal code approved last week by the country’s transitional government, which came to power only last year following the ouster of longtime dictator Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

        “This is a massive step for Sudan and its new government,” said Nimco Ali of the Five Foundation, an organization that campaigns for an end to genital mutilation globally. “Africa cannot prosper unless it takes care of girls and women. They are showing this government has teeth.”

        Genital mutilation is practiced in at least 27 African countries, as well as parts of Asia and the Middle East. Other than Sudan and Egypt, it is most prevalent in Ethiopia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Djibouti and Senegal, according to the United Nations Population Fund.

      • Sudanese government bans female genital mutilation

        An amendment of the country’s criminal code was passed outlawing FGM, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the action fell under the government’s commitment to international human rights agreements.

        According to United Nations data around 88% of the female population in Sudan have suffered FGM, making it one of the world’s most-affected nations.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Staying “Safe” While You Stream: DBD’s Tips On Living DRM-Free During Quarantine

        As most of us are cooped up in our homes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s somewhat natural that we turn to online movies, music, and other media to help pass the time. For most people, this involves turning to Internet streaming for convenient, “all-in-one” services that promise an endless array of recommendations to while away the hours. “Binging” is all well and good every once in a while, but we should remain careful that the ways we’re getting our media don’t come with compromises to our freedom. As we’ve mentioned before, Netflix and other giant media providers are responsible for keeping the practice of DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) alive, and it’s important not to provide them with the subscription fees they need to keep going. It’s also important, even under less dire circumstances, to support businesses and websites that provide DRM-free media, and to promote them to our friends. So to help provide you with a plethora of DRM-free and often gratis places to stream from while keeping your rights, here’s a few choice selections from our Guide to DRM-free Living.

        [...]

        Time under quarantine is also the perfect opportunity to learn about new topics — even the fight against DRM itself! The [LibrePlanet video library][17] is an excellent place to find talks covering issues relating to the Defective by Design campaign, such as Cory Doctorow’s keynote presentation on the “software you can go to jail for talking about”, this 2019 session from the Library Freedom Institute, and a talk given on the Right to Repair movement.

        No matter what types of media you enjoy or what your favorite genres are, your friends at Defective by Design sincerely wish you the best in this difficult period. And if you’ve found the information we’ve listed above helpful, visit this link to learn how you can support the campaign. In addition to our Twitter account, a platform we recommend only with caveats, the Defective by Design campaign is now on Mastodon at @endDRM. To show your support of the campaign publicly, you can use the #drmfree or #defectivebydesign hashtags from your own favorite microblogging service.

    • Monopolies

      • Tesla doubles down on claim Chinese EV startup stole its Autopilot source code

        Last year, Tesla initiated a lawsuit against Guangzhi Cao, a former Autopilot engineer who quit to join Xpeng’s autonomous driving team.

        In the lawsuit, the automaker claims that Cao downloaded the Autopilot source code to his personal device through Airdrop before leaving and selling it to Xpeng when joining the company.

        Tesla also made similar accusations against its former head of Autopilot, Sterling Anderson, when he went on to launch his own startup, but Tesla ended up dropping the lawsuit.

      • Patents

        • The Opposition Before The French Patent Office : Starting Shot !

          Today is the day of the “launch” of the opposition procedure before the French Patent Office (“Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle” or “INPI”).

          This procedure is a new way to challenge the validity of a French patent, alongside the claim for invalidity.

          Opposition may be filed against any French patent which mention of grant has been published in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property as of 1st April 2020.

          On the face of it, this “French-style” opposition procedure seems relatively similar to that of the EPO.

          [...]

          Due to its specific features, the new opposition procedure requires the assistance, as early as the procedure before the INPI, of a counsel having both technical and scientific competence, experience of the opposition procedure before the EPO and experience of patent litigation in France, in order to determine the best possible strategy with regard to other options (invalidity, limitation, infringement, etc.) in terms of time, cost and chances of success, and to best anticipate the procedural rules applicable before the Court of Appeal, in particular inadmissibility .

        • DABUS Denied: Only Natural Persons can be Named as Inventors on US Patents

          The question of who, or rather what, can be an inventor has taken a front-row seat as use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly prominent in research and innovation. On April 22, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a decision stating that inventorship under U.S. patent law is limited to natural persons and rejecting an application for an invention by DABUS, an AI machine. We review the reasoning behind this decision, its relation to decisions in other jurisdictions, and some implications of this outcome.

          In the filed application,[1] the transmittal documents listed the sole inventor’s given name as “DABUS” and the family name as “Invention generated by artificial intelligence.” At the time of filing, Stephen Thaler, the individual who submitted the patent application, explained to the USPTO that DABUS conceived the invention through use of trained neural networks and without human intervention. The USPTO issued a document known as a “Notice to File Missing Parts,” indicating that the application failed to identify the inventor by his/her legal name. Thaler subsequently filed a petition requesting supervisory review of inventorship of the application in question. Thaler claimed that DABUS independently and autonomously created the claimed invention and that DABUS was not specifically trained in the relevant area of the invention. Accordingly, Thaler’s arguments continued, DABUS should be recognized as the inventor of the subject application.

        • New Decade, New Rules: Rules Of Procedure Of The Boards Of Appeal 2020 Entered Into Force

          Less than four years after the substantial structural reform of the Boards of Appeal (“Boards”) of the European Patent Office, the new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (“RPBA2020″ or “New Rules”) entered into force on January 1, 2020. The main aim of the New Rules is to improve efficiency and increase predictability of appeal proceedings. Compared to the old RPBA, RPBA2020 emphasize the judicial review nature of the appeal proceedings. Stricter restraints are applied on the introduction of new requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence at the appeal stage, which will make the proceedings more frontloaded.

          Previously, submissions including requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence—that do not form the basis of the first instance decision or that are changed during the appeal procedure—may be admissible at the discretion of the Boards. Under the New Rules, the admission of such changes will become more difficult as they are to be considered as an exception to the general principle that a party may not change its case at second instance.

          The appeal proceedings under RPBA2020 are characterized by “three stages of convergence” with Stage 1 (filing of grounds of appeal and the reply thereof), Stage 2 (before summons to oral proceedings), and Stage 3 (after the summons) imposing increasingly stricter restrictions on introducing amendments to the proceedings. The scope of an appeal case is defined by the requests, facts, objections, arguments, and evidence —including minutes of first instance oral proceedings—upon which the first instance decision under appeal is based. Any submission of a party during appeal proceedings, that does not form a basis of the contested decision, is now regarded as an amendment unless it can be demonstrated that such submission was timely filed, substantiated, and maintained at the first instance. At Stage 1, a party is required to clearly identify any amendment to its case and provide reasons for submitting such amendment on appeal. The decision lies within the Boards’ discretion, after such factors as complexity of the amendment and its suitability to address the relevant issues, as well as the need for procedural economy have been fully considered. In particular, the Boards will likely not admit submissions which were not admitted, should have been submitted, or were no longer maintained at first instance.

          At Stage 2, the party must thoroughly reason and justify any intended amendment to the case. The admittance of any amendment at this stage is solely at the discretion of the Boards. Particularly, applicant/patentee bears the burden to demonstrate not only that the amendments prima facie overcome the objections on file, but also that such amendments do not give rise to new objections. Stage 3 applies the most stringent restraints, establishing that any amendment will in principle no longer be taken into account unless, under exceptional circumstances, justified with cogent reasons by the party concerned.

        • Patents vs. the Pandemic

          This may sound like a utopian fantasy, but it is actually a description of how the flu vaccine has been produced for the past 50 years. Through the World Health Organization’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System, experts from around the world convene twice a year to analyze and discuss the latest data on emerging flu strains, and to decide which strains should be included in each year’s vaccine. As a network of laboratories spanning 110 countries, funded almost entirely by governments (and partly by foundations), GISRS epitomizes what Amy Kapczynski of Yale Law School calls “open science.”
          Because GISRS is focused solely on protecting human lives, rather than turning a profit, it is uniquely capable of gathering, interpreting, and distributing actionable knowledge for the development of vaccines. While this approach may have been taken for granted in the past, its advantages are quickly becoming clear.
          In responding to the pandemic, the global scientific community has shown a remarkable willingness to share knowledge of potential treatments, coordinate clinical trials, develop new models transparently, and publish findings immediately. In this new climate of cooperation, it is easy to forget that commercial pharmaceutical companies have for decades been privatizing and locking up the knowledge commons by extending control over life-saving drugs through unwarranted, frivolous, or secondary patents, and by lobbying against the approval and production of generics.
          With the arrival of COVID-19, it is now painfully obvious that such monopolization comes at the cost of human lives. Monopoly control over the technology used in testing for the virus has hampered the rapid rollout of more testing kits, just as 3M’s 441 patents mentioning “respirator” or “N95” have made it more difficult for new producers to manufacture medical-grade face masks at scale. Worse, multiple patents are in force in most of the world for three of the most promising treatments for COVID-19 – remdesivir, favipiravir, and lopinavir/ritonavir. Already, these patents are preventing competition and threatening both the affordability and the supply of new drugs.
          We now have a choice between two futures. In the first scenario, we continue as usual, relying on the big pharmaceutical companies, hoping that some potential treatment for COVID-19 will make it through clinical trials, and that other technologies for detection, testing, and protection will emerge. In this future, patents will give monopoly suppliers control over most of these innovations. The suppliers will set the price high, forcing downstream rationing of care. In the absence of strong public intervention, lives will be lost, particularly in developing countries.

        • Software Patents

          • Dallas Invents: 139 Patents Granted for Week of April 14

            Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

      • Copyrights

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 02, 2020

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