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05.04.20

Links 5/5/2020: HandBrake 1.3.2, Inkscape 1.0, GNOME 3.36.2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Windows 10 Market Share Falls, Linux and macOS Increase, Windows 7 Stands Firm

      In its monthly report, NetMarketShare shows Windows 10 user share on desktops dipped to 56.08% from 57.34% a month ago. MacOS boosted its share from 3.41% to 4.15%, while Linux and Ubuntu together jumped to 2.86%.

    • Linux Mag

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-05-04 | Linux Headlines

        Responsibly disclosed bugs in SaltStack are already leading to breaches, JuiceSSH releases its first major update in 5 years, MediaGoblin rebases to Python 3, TurnKey Linux rolls out a new version based on Debian 10, and Inkscape hits 1.0.

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenRazer 2.8 Brings Broader Razer Device Support On Linux

        OpenRazer 2.8 as this third-party, open-source solution for managing Razer devices on Linux is capable of now interfacing with a lot more hardware. Now supported with OpenRazer 2.8 are the Abyssus Elite (D.Va Edition), Abyssus Essential, Base Station Chroma, Basilisk, Blackwidow Essential, Blade 15 Studio Edition, Blade Pro (Late 2019), Blade Pro 2019, Chroma HDK (Hardware Development Kit), DeathAdder Essential (White Edition), DeathAdder V2, Huntsman Tournament Edition, Lancehead, Lancehead Wireless (2019), Mamba Elite, Mamba Wireless, Nommo Chroma, Nommo Pro, Tartarus V2, Viper, and Viper Ultimate.

    • Applications

      • HandBrake 1.3.2

        HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Handbrake can process most common multimedia files and any DVD or BluRay sources that do not contain any kind of copy protection.

      • HandBrake 1.3.2 Released with Improved H.265 Support

        HandBrake video transcoder 1.3.2 was released a day ago with many improvements and bug-fixes.

      • Introducing Inkscape 1.0



        After a little over three years in development, the team is excited to launch the long awaited Inkscape 1.0 into the world.

        Built with the power of a team of volunteers, this open source vector editor represents the work of many hearts and hands from around the world, ensuring that Inkscape remains available free for everyone to download and enjoy.

        In fact, translations for over 20 languages were updated for version 1.0, making the software more accessible to people from all over the world.

        A major milestone was achieved in enabling Inkscape to use a more recent version of the software used to build the editor’s user interface (namely GTK+3). Users with HiDPI (high resolution) screens can thank teamwork that took place during the 2018 Boston Hackfest for setting the updated-GTK wheels in motion.

      • Vector Graphics Editor Inkscape 1.0 Stable Released
      • Inkscape 1.0 Released For This Wildly Successful Vector Graphics Program
      • Inkscape 1.0 released
      • Inkscape 1.0 Is Here as a Massive Release After Three Years in the Making

        Probably the biggest new thing in the Inkscape 1.0 release is the port to the latest GTK3 UI toolkit. This means that Inkscape will not only look better overall, but it will also work on HiDPI/4K screens.

        But there are numerous other new features included in this release that should please even the most aspiring graphic designers, freestyle drawing users, and other artists who work with SVG graphics.

        Among these, there’s theme support to let users choose between dark or light themes to match their desktops, a new searchable Live Path Effects selection dialog, new Split-view and Xray modes, as well as canvas rotation and mirroring.

      • Open-source Inkscape 1.0 released for Linux, Windows, and macOS — after 16 years!

        For some software, major version numbers are handed out all willy-nilly. For instance, as of today, the Google Chrome web browser sits at version 81, while Mozilla Firefox is at 75. Meanwhile, the Linux kernel is at version 5.x after 29 years! Ultimately, version numbers are determined by the developers and have different levels of meaning — there are no definitive rules.

        Of course, there is one version number that is universally regarded as one of the most important — 1.0. It is this number that typically (but not always) tells the world that software has left pre-release status and is ready for prime-time. Well, today, Inkscape 1.0 is released for Linux, Windows and macOS. Hilariously, this number is being designated more than 16 years after the initial release of the vector graphics editor! Despite its sub-one version for more than a decade-and-a-half, the open source software has become a trusted and essential tool for people all over the world.

      • PulseAudio via GUI: Pavucontrol

        I’m a very late adopter for PulseAudio. In the past, on my minimal Debian machines, nearly any sound problem could be made better by apt-get remove pulseaudio. But pulse seems like it’s working better since those days, and a lot of applications (like Firefox) require it, so it’s time to learn how to use it. Especially in these days of COVID-19 and video conferencing, when I’ll need to be using the microphone and speakers a lot more. (I’d never actually had a reason to use the microphone on my last laptop.)

        Beginner tutorials always start with something like “Go into System Preferences and click on Audio”, leaving out anyone who doesn’t use the standard desktop. The standard GUI PulseAudio controller is pavucontrol. It has four tabs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Play Epic Store Games With Legendary

        Don’t want to use the Epic Games Store launcher to play one of those freebies you got with it? That’s not a problem now, thanks to the open-source Legendary. (License GPL 3)

        The news is a little old now, but it’s still worth covering. The thread for Legendary exploded in popularity on r/linux_gaming in just a matter of days. The author, derrod, modestly acknowledged he needed Linux testers, but so far it’s been pretty easy to use and I haven’t encountered a hitch yet. It uses a text-based interface; the developer’s goal is to eventually incorporate a graphical user interface.

      • OGA-BE Is A Linux-Based Portable Gaming Console Priced At Just $59

        Hardkernel has announced its latest Linux-based handheld gaming console dubbed Odroid-Go Advanced Black Edition or OGA-BE with new hardware upgrades.

        It is an upgrade over Odroid-Go Advance Portable, which featured 1GB RAM, a 3.5-inch color display, and was powered by the Rockchip RK3326 processor. Users received the console well, but the lack of WiFi and Type-C charging were some of the downsides highlighted by users.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • First Beta of Krita 4.3.0 Released

          Krita 4.3.0 will be the next full feature release of Krita. We’ve worked for a year on this new version of Krita, focusing especially on stability and performance. Many tool, like freehand painting and selections are faster than ever. And there is a bunch of fun new features, as well, many contributed by volunteers from all over the world.

        • Krita 4.3 Enters Beta For This Leading Open-Source Digital Painting Application

          The first beta of Krita 4.3 is now available for this advanced open-source digital painting software package. Krita 4.3 has been baking for about one year so there is a lot in store.

          Krita 4.3 is bringing with it many animation improvements, new filters for palettize and high pass, various fixes to existing filters, better performance out of layer styles, much better RGBA brush handling, multi-dimension export support for GIMP GIH, various color handling improvements, new gradient tool modes, and other tooling improvements.

        • What is Krita up to now?

          In October last year we were focused and the direction was clear. Now, a half a year later, the situation is much different.

          Last summer our plan was simple: get the resource rewrite done, fix as many bugs as possible, release 4.3.0 with resource rewrite and make a fundraiser for next year of development.

          In October we already knew that fundraiser in 2019 is not going to happen and that the resource rewrite needs quite a bit of work as well. We assigned more developers to the resource rewrite task and we had two sprints: one in October, focused on getting those developers (me, Wolthera and Dmitry) engaged in the task, going to BlenderCon and real life meeting with some of Krita’s business partners, and second one in February, this time focused entirely on resource rewrite and describing the resource rewrite design decisions to the last developer (Ivan) who wasn’t there in October.

          However as much as we wanted to focus on the resource rewrite, external factors ruled it out again and again. We had quite a lot of issues with building Krita on Windows and Mac, especially Python scripting and notarization on Apple that is now required for the program to be run on a standard user’s Mac. Both of it took several months to rule out (we’re dealing with it since January) and notarization still has some issues. It’s a boring, tedious, frustrating job, which I could taste at the very beginning (with just updating Krita’s dependencies on Windows) around January, but later it was mostly dealt with by Ivan, Dmitry and Boudewijn. Python is particularly tricky: on Windows there are two different Pythons, one (must be installed on the system) is for building Qt, one needs to be built and it provides Python scripting for Krita. Mixing those two up results in the wildest errors.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Adwaita Color Variants: GNOME’s Default Theme In 12 Colors (Light And Dark GTK3, GTK2 And GNOME Shell)

          Adwaita Color Variants is a theme pack containing Adwaita, the default GNOME theme, in 12 colors.

          The pack includes the latest Adwaita refresh for GNOME 3.36 for which only the accent color was changed, in the following colors: gray, red, orange, yellow, grass, green, teal, cyan, indigo, violet, magenta and pink.

          All these color variants are available for both Adwaita light and Adwaita dark, and they support GTK3, GTK2, and GNOME Shell (so you’ll also get an Adwaita GNOME Shell theme in the color of your choice, in both light and dark variants). The pack does not contain a matching icon theme, at least for now.

          There’s also an Adwaita Color Variants script that can generate Adwaita using the 12 colors I mentioned above, it can install the themes, generate a compressed archive, etc.

        • Yaru VLC Skin Helps the Player Look at Home on Ubuntu 20.04

          Want the VLC media player to look more at home on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS? Check out the Yaru Dark VLC skin.

          Created by NovaQC, the Yaru Dark VLC skin can be used to make the versatile video app blend in better on the modern Ubuntu desktop. It gives VLC a complete revamp, complete with with “mock” client-side decoration.

          This particular VLC theme, which you can see in the screenshot header at the start of this post, also hides the standard titlebar (all of the options remain accessible from an overflow menu), moves the volume and progress bar to the top of the window, and hides some of the player’s superfluous buttons, including those for repeat and shuffle.

        • GNOME 3.36.2 released

          GNOME 3.36.2 is now available. This is a stable release containing
          four weeks’ worth of bugfixes since the 3.36.1 release. Since it only
          contains bugfixes, all distributions shipping 3.36.x should upgrade.

          The GNOME 3.36 flatpak runtimes has been updated as well

          If you want to compile GNOME 3.36.2, you can use the official
          BuildStream project snapshot…

        • GNOME 3.36.2 Released With Restoring TLS 1.0/1.1, Crash Fixes, Other Stable Updates
        • GNOME 3.36.2 Released with Multiple Bug Fixes and Improvements
        • Let’s welcome our 2020 GSoC interns!

          It is Google Summer of Code season again and this year the GNOME project is lucky to have 14 new interns working on various projects ranging from improvements in our app ecosystem to core components and infrastructure.

          The first period, from May 4 to June 1, is the Community Bonding period. Interns are expected to flock into our communication channels, ask questions, and get to know our project’s culture. Please, join me in welcoming our students and making sure they feel at home in our community.

          This year we will be using Discourse as our main communication channel regarding the program, therefore if you are a mentor or intern, please make sure to check https://discourse.gnome.org/c/community/outreach for announcements. Feel free to create new topics if you have any questions. The GNOME GSoC admins will be monitoring the Outreach category and answering any doubts you might have.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE & SUSE Linux Are Coming Closer

          openSUSE and SUSE are working on bringing their distribution even closers. So much so that SLE binaries will be available to openSUSE users and it will be easier for openSUSE users to easily migrate to enterprise-grade Linux. We sat down with Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, SUSE CTO and openSUSE chair and Matthias Eckermann, Director Product Management, Linux Platforms.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Innovation In 5G and Edge Will Drive Our Economy | Chris Wright | Red Hat Summit
        • MiPasa by HACERA

          All around the world, irrespective of the COVID-19 infection rate or the severity of the lockdowns, one key ingredient that we are all missing from the life we lived just a few weeks ago is – certainty. Not only is it very difficult to live under such long lockdowns – let alone the fact that the scale of economic and financial damage of this global crisis are yet to be realized, but everybody across the globe was and still is looking for ways to make informed decisions.

          This is where MiPasa comes to help.

          MiPasa is a scalable, verifiable open data hub that makes it very easy to process and analyze COVID-19-related information at scale. The MiPasa APIs allow you to fetch data programmatically, as well as to build apps on top of it that consume the blockchain-backed data feed. The goal is for developers to use this unified, secure data source to build applications around trend analysis, graphing, and analytics, incorporating other methodologies for statistical analysis, machine learning, or AI.

        • F32-20200504 updated isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F32-2020054-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.6.8-300 kernel.

          Welcome to Fedora 32.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 550+MB of updates)).

          A huge thank you goes out to irc nicks dowdle, ledeni, Southern-Gentleman for testing these iso.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 629

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 629 for the week of April 26 – May 2, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux

          After you download and install Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa you may wonder what to do next or how to best customize your Ubuntu 20.04 system to make everything you do as efficient as possible.

          This guide helps you to identify things to do after installing Ubuntu 20.04 that are right for your specific needs.

          We list below our recommendations and link to other guides that provide you with more detailed instructions on how to achieve a specific system configuration or customization.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Intel’s High-Performance VP9 Encoder Sees Its Second Release

        When it comes to Intel’s high performance Scalable Video Technology (SVT) video encoders, SVT-AV1 is the most well known for its great speed and usage by Netflix and others. But Intel SVT also consists of VP9 and HEVC/H.265 encoders too and today brought the debut of SVT-VP9 0.2.

        SVT-VP9 0.2 is the new version and the first since the original pre-release of it last October. Since then have just been a few commits to the SVT-VP9 source tree with seemingly much more attention on SVT-AV1 given all the industry interest in this royalty-free video codec.

      • RedNotebook 2.19

        RedNotebook is a modern desktop journal. It lets you format, tag and search your entries. You can also add pictures, links and customizable templates, spell check your notes, and export to plain text, HTML, Latex or PDF. RedNotebook is Free Software under the GPL.

      • 7 Free Alternatives to Zoom

        Previously known as SIP Communicator, Jitsi is an open-source video call and chat platform that supports full encryption.

        Acquired by 8×8 Inc from Atlassian in 2018, Jitsi is still completely an open source / free software, and is freely available under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License. It can also be installed and run independently on any compatible own server.

        Their Jitsi Meet service is the closest competition to Zoom. It is marketed as being more secure, more flexible and a completely free video conferencing platform.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla’s handy new Firefox extension generates burner email addresses on-demand

            Are you a Firefox user? Have you heard that Mozilla has launched a new email relay service called Firefox Private Relay? The idea is to provide an ’email alias’ wherever a company or a service asks for your email address, so that you can avoid giving out your actual address and protect your identity.

          • Firefox 76 new contributors

            With the release of Firefox 76, we are pleased to welcome the 52 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 50 of whom were brand new volunteers! Please join us in thanking each of these diligent and enthusiastic individuals, and take a look at their contributions…

          • This Week in Glean: Bytes in Memory (on Android)

            With the Glean SDK we follow in the footsteps of other teams to build a cross-platform library to be used in both mobile and desktop applications alike. In this blog post we’re taking a look at how we transport some rich data across the FFI boundary to be reused on the Kotlin side of things. We’re using a recent example of a new API in Glean that will drive the HTTP upload of pings, but the concepts I’m explaining here apply more generally.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • 50 Frequently Asked Hadoop Interview Questions and Answers

          Storing and processing big data has remained the biggest challenge until today since the beginning of its journey. It is important to be able to compute datasets to generate solutions for businesses. But sometimes, it becomes really challenging to produce accurate results due to the outliers, scarcity of sources, Volume, and inconsistency. But there is no value of big data if you can not use it or extract meaningful information. The below mentioned Hadoop Interview Questions would help you to get a solid foundation and face interviews as well.

        • PlanetScale scales out MySQL

          An open source technology first implemented at YouTube is now being rolled out to scale-out MySQL-compatible databases.

          [...]

          The core technology, Vitess, is intended to enable SQL databases to scale out in a manner similar to NoSQL platforms like MongoDB, relying heavily on sharding. Acting as classic black box middleware, it logically shards the database on the presumption that most queries are going to be around data associated with specific records. So, it groups all data with common record IDs on the same shard. It also provides connection pooling to overcome the high memory overhead that is common with MySQL implementations so that the platform can handle high concurrency. And to further protect the database from getting overloaded, it has query limiters that throttle so-called “queries from hell.”

          Vitess has been initially designed to support MySQL and related platforms like MariaDB, providing a middleware tier that allows you to implement the regular edition of the database, with the middleware handling all the scale-out. According to Vaidya, the technology could also theoretically support PostgreSQL as well, but as a start-up, they are focusing on their existing sweet spot.

          If this all sounds like a familiar story, it is. Vitess in many ways resembles a latter-day reinvention of the classic transaction processing (TP) monitors of the 1990s. At the time, distributed transaction databases were not feasible, and so the only alternative was to run transactions on a single node that would scale up. And given that most database platforms at the time were licensed based on processing power, TP monitors helped reduce server requirements by offloading transaction processing, and handling all the connection pooling. It was a highly contentious issue for database providers at the time – many would invalidate license if their caught their customers in the act. But when the Internet started delivering scales of transactions that overwhelmed even the most properly-licensed servers, TP monitors got reinvented as appservers, with many of those same database companies now biting the bullet.

      • FSF

        • GNU: Saying No to unjust computing even once is help

          Amisunderstanding is circulating that the GNU Project demands you run 100% free software, all the time. Anything less (90%?), and we will tell you to get lost—they say. Nothing could be further from the truth.

          Our ultimate goal is digital freedom for all, a world without nonfree software. Some of us, who have made campaigning for digital freedom our goal, reject all nonfree programs. However, as a practical matter, even a little step towards that goal is good. A walk of a thousands miles consists of lots of steps. Each time you don’t install some nonfree program, or decide not to run it that day, that is a step towards your own freedom. Each time you decline to run a nonfree program with others, you show them a wise example of long-term thinking. That is a step towards freedom for the world.

          If you’re caught in a web of nonfree programs, you’re surely looking for a chance to pull a few strands off of your body. Each one pulled off is an advance.

          Each time you tell the people in some activity, “I’d rather use Zoom less—please count me out today,” you help the free software movement. “I’d like to do this with you, but with Zoom on the other side of the scale, I’ve decided to decline.” If you accepted the nonfree software before, you could say this: “I’d like to participate, but the software we are using is not good for us. I’ve decided I should cut down.” Once in a while, you may convince them to use free software instead. At least they will learn that some people care about freedom enough to decline participation for freedom’s sake.

        • RMS article: “Saying No to unjust computing even once is helpful”
      • Programming/Development

        • AMD Working With GNU Developers To Provide More Robust Runtime Detection For Better Performance

          Back in March we reported how AMD developers were looking at GNU C Library platform optimizations for Zen and in part could be leveraging some of the capabilities currently employed by Intel for Haswell and newer. It’s looking like some solid progress is being made in that direction.

          The patches from AMD in March provided better run-time detection for CPU features like AVX2 and could allow making use of more optimized code-paths at run-time when run on such hardware, similar to Intel Glibc optimizations for Haswell and newer. This would be a big win not only for AMD Zen but also current Zen 2 CPUs and future Zen 3 parts, etc in basically providing more reasonable optimized code-paths at run-time for prominent CPU instruction set extensions.

        • The GNU GDB Debugger and NetBSD (Part 2)

          The base-system version of GDB (GPLv3) still relies on a set of local patches. I set a goal to reduce the local patches to bare minimum, ideally reaching no local modifications at all.

          Over the past month I’ve reimplemented debugging support for multi-threaded programs and upstreamed the support. It’s interesting to note that the old support relied on GDB tracking only a single inferior process. This caused the need to reimplement the support and be agnostic to the number of traced processes. Meanwhile the upstream developers introduced new features for multi-target tracing and a lot of preexisting code broke and needed resurrection. This affected also the code kept in the GDB basesystem version. Additionally over the past 30 days, I’ve also developed new CPU-independent GDB features that were for a long time on a TODO list for NetBSD.

          After the past month NetBSD has now a decent and functional GDB support in the mainline. It’s still not as featured as it could and CPU-specific handling will need a dedicated treatment.

        • Understanding Poke methods

          Poke struct types can be a bit daunting at first sight. You can find all sort of things inside them: from fields, variables and functions to constraint expressions, initialization expressions, labels, other type definitions, and methods.

          Struct methods can be particularly confusing for the novice poker. In particular, it is important to understand the difference between methods and regular functions defined inside struct types. This article will hopefully clear the confusion, and also will provide the reader with a better understanding on how poke works internally.

        • How to use signal handlers in C language?
        • How to use gettimeofday function in C language?
        • Python

          • Building Django 3 HTTP APIs with GraphQL and Graphene

            This tutorial will introduce you to GraphQL with Python, Django 3 and Graphene. We’ll see how to create a simple Django 3 project to demonstrate how to build an API server based on GraphQL (instead of REST) then we’ll see how to use graphiql_django, an interface for testing GraphQL queries and mutations before building your front-end application, to send GraphQL Queries (for getting data) and Mutations (for posting and updating data). In this part we’ll be dealing with building the backend. In the next tutorials we will see how to use frameworks and libraries such as Angular and React to build a front-end application that consumes and updates our GraphQL server and advanced use cases such as user authentication, permissions and Relay

          • Using Python datetime to Work With Dates and Times

            Working with dates and times is one of the biggest challenges in programming. Between dealing with time zones, daylight saving time, and different written date formats, it can be tough to keep track of which days and times you’re referencing. Fortunately, the built-in Python datetime module can help you manage the complex nature of dates and times.

          • Tryton Release 5.6

            This release provides many bug fixes and some significant improvements. Among other changes you will find big improvements in the cost price computation and stock accounting, the link buttons to display related records and the employee audit on key actions.

            You can give it a try on the demo server, use the docker image or download it here.
            As usual the migration from previous series is fully supported. Some manual operation may be required, see Migration from 5.4 to 5.6.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Jonathan Dowland: Amiga floppy recovery project: what next?

      It’s been a while since I’ve reported on my Amiga floppy recovery project. With my bulky Philips CRT attached I slowly ground through the process of importing all my floppy disks, which is now done. The majority of disks were imported without errors. Commercial disks were the most likely to fail to import. Possibly I’d have more success with them if I used a different copying technique than X-COPY’s default, but my focus was not on the commercial disks.

      I have not yet restored the use of my LCD TV with the Amiga. I was waiting to hear back from Amiga Kit about an agreed return, but despite their web store claiming they’re still open for business, I haven’t been able to get any response to my emails to them since mid-February. I’ve given up, written off that order and bought an RGB/SCART adaptor elsewhere instead. Meanwhile my bulky CRT has returned to the loft.

    • Hardware

      • Riding a Cloud: NVIDIA Acquires Network-Software Trailblazer Cumulus

        Cloud data centers are evolving to an architecture that is accelerated, disaggregated and software-defined to meet the exponential growth in AI and high performance computing. To build these modern data centers, HPC and networking hardware and software must go hand in hand.

        NVIDIA provides the leading accelerated computing platform. Mellanox is the high-performance networking leader, now part of NVIDIA in a combination described in our founder and CEO’s welcome letter.

        Today we announce our plan to acquire Cumulus Networks, bolstering our networking software capabilities. The combination enables the new era of the accelerated, software-defined data center.

        With Cumulus, NVIDIA can innovate and optimize across the entire networking stack from chips and systems to software including analytics like Cumulus NetQ, delivering great performance and value to customers. This open networking platform is extensible and allows enterprise and cloud-scale data centers full control over their operations.

      • Nvidia makes Linux push with Cumulus Networks deal

        Nvidia has announced its plans to acquire the open-source centric company Cumulus Networks which specializes in helping enterprise businesses optimize their data center networking stacks.

        Cumulus Networks also offers its own Linux distribution for network switches, its own data center switch with Cumulus Express and tools for managing network operations.

        Although both companies have yet to reveal the price of the acquisition, it will likely be quite high as Cumulus Networks has raised $134m since its founding back in 2010, according to CrunchBase.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • 5G Infrastructure Requirements: Supporting Ultra-Low, Deterministic latency [Ed: Proprietary]

          One area that 5G will directly affect is the design and architecture of the Radio Access Network (RAN). Simply put, the RAN is a collection of edge located functions that connect a mobile device to the CSP’s core network. But there is nothing simple about it. The latency requirements and network load of 5G will put a great deal of strain on the RAN, and the traditional ways of deploying RAN equipment are not well suited for the new needs. A new, cloud- based Virtual RAN (vRAN) approach will be required, as enabled by the Wind River Cloud Platform. This solution provides the necessary functionality for 5G; performance, flexibility, and cost-efficiency that isn’t available in existing fixed-function RAN equipment.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • And Helm makes 10: Package manager graduates Cloud Native Computing Foundation [Ed: Linux Foundation as Microsoft vehicle]

                According to the project’s announcement blog, Helm started in 2015 as a hackathon project at startup Deis, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2017. Its makers initially aimed at making the deployment of cloud native applications easy for those new to Kubernetes and providing package management at enterprise scale.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Python’s migration to GitHub – Request for Project Manager Resumes [Ed: Python 'bought' by Microsoft and Microsoft 'donates' towards the takeover]

              The Python Software Foundation is looking for a Project Manager to assist with CPython’s migration from bugs.python.org to GitHub for issue tracking. CPython’s development partially moved to GitHub in February 2017. All other projects within the PSF’s organization are hosted on GitHub and are using GitHub issues. CPython is still using Roundup as the issue tracker on https://bugs.python.org (also known as “bpo”). To read more about the rationale behind this migration, read PEP 581.

              Thank you to GitHub for donating financial support so this project can begin.

        • Security

          • Open-source Android mobile platform Lineage OS hacked

            In another incident of online breach, hackers gained illegal access to the open-source operating system for smartphones Lineage OS. The online intrusion was confirmed by the company. As per the company, the OS was hacked on Saturday last week around 8 pm US Pacific coast. It said that the hack was detected on time and that the attack did no harm to the source code of the operating system. Builds and signing keys too remain intact, it added.

          • Software flaws often first reported on social media networks, researchers find

            At the same time, those vulnerabilities present a cybersecurity opportunity for governments to more closely monitor social media discussions about software gaps, the researchers assert. Their findings were published recently in the journal PLOS One.

            “Some of these software vulnerabilities have been targeted and exploited by adversaries of the United States. We wanted to see how discussions around these vulnerabilities evolved,” said lead author Svitlana Volkova, senior research scientist in the Data Sciences and Analytics Group at PNNL. “Social cybersecurity is a huge threat. Being able to measure how different types of vulnerabilities spread across platforms is really needed.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange extradition hearing to take place in September following coronavirus lockdown

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to face an extradition hearing in September, after a court decided to delay proceedings because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

        Westminster Magistrates’ Court said the US government’s extradition case against Assange would heard by another court, potentially outside London.

        The decision follows arguments from lawyers representing Assange and the US government that it would be difficult to hold a fair hearing on 18 May, during the coronavirus lockdown.

        Journalists and observers attempted to call into the hearing on a remote telephone line but were unable to hear the proceedings, after a court clerk reportedly made an error with the phone system.

        The court heard that Assange was too unwell to attend the hearing by video link from Belmarsh Prison. The WikiLeaks founder faces 17 charges under the 1917 Espionage Act, after WikiLeaks published a series of leaks from Chelsea Manning, a former US Army soldier turned whistleblower, in 2010-11.

        The court heard last week that Assange’s defence team had not been able to communicate with their client to take instructions over new documents served by the US Prosecutor, Gordon Kromberg, because of Covid 19 restrictions.

Links 4/5/2020: Ubuntu 20.04 as Future Of Computers and Latest Stable Kernels

Posted in News Roundup at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • End of the 32-bit world?

        We continue to live through very strange times but Linux Format persists! Everyone at locked-down LXF Towers hopes you’re all well, keeping safe and isolated but happy. Hopefully we’ll be through this soon, until then the next issue of Linux Format is arriving to keep you busily distracted.
        With the release of Ubuntu 20.04 and its lack of a 32-bit build, we thought we’d look at who’s out there trying to save 32-bit Linux and why it’s so damn hard to do! To kick things off we’re doing a Roundup of the best 32-bit supporting distros. The main feature has Jonni explaining why maintaining a 32-bit distro is so resource consuming, but as Jonni loves his ancient 32-bit EeePC he also wanted to reveal how you can also support older hardware.
        We’re glad to say Hotpicks is back for the best new open source, we’re also taking an in-depth look at Tor and how it protects your privacy online, there’s the usual array of interesting tutorials to try including Kanban boards, cloud encryption for backups and getting to grips with OpenShot video editing.

      • Compulab’s embedded Tensor-PCs take modularity to the extreme

        CompuLab is launching a line of fanless “Tensor-PC” systems starting with an Intel 9th Gen “I20A” model with a choice of multiple sizes and enclosures plus a variety of optional open source “Tensor Element” modules for storage, power, I/O, and networking.

        Compulab is re-inventing its fanless, embedded PC product line with a highly modular Tensor-PC architecture, starting with an Intel 9th Gen Coffee Lake Refresh based Tensor-PC I20A system due this fall. The x86-based Tensor-PC systems will run Linux and Windows.

      • Linux Laptop Buying Advice: System76 Lemur Pro Vs Tuxedo InfinityBook S 14

        Two spectacular and very similar Linux laptops just launched, courtesy of System76 and TUXEDO Computers. On paper they may seem identical. The System76 Lemur Pro and TUXEDO Computers InfinityBook S 14 are both sourced from the same Clevo chassis. They both feature the same 10th-generation Intel CPUs and keyboard integrated into the body. Same webcams, same speakers, similar Samsung SSDs, same RealTek audio controller, same marathon 73wh battery, and 14-inch 1080p matte displays. However, there are subtle but meaningful differences to consider if you’re stuck on which laptop to choose.

      • Windows 10 Users Are Switching To macOS And Linux

        That void has been filled by Apple’s macOS, which saw a 0.8% boost in market share during the same period. However, what’s surprising is that the desktop market share of Linux distros has increased by 1.5%, which is almost double than that of macOS.

    • Server

      • 6 Kubernetes Prometheus Alternatives

        Monitoring helps you ensure that your Kubernetes applications run smoothly and troubleshoot any problems that may arise. Prometheus is a popular open source monitoring tool that many companies use to monitor their IT infrastructure. However, there are many other monitoring tools available out there. This article reviews six alternatives to Kubernetes Prometheus monitoring.

    • Kernel Space

      • FSCRYPT Inline Encryption Still Being Prepared For The Linux Kernel

        For a number of months now Google engineers have been working on FSCRYPT inline encryption capabilities for EXT4 and F2FS. The work is designed to offer better encryption performance on modern SoCs by having the encryption/decryption happen within the block layer as part of the bio and in turn leveraging the inline encryption hardware on modern Arm SoCs. The work still isn’t merged but looks like it could be getting closer.

        This past week marked the twelfth time that the FSCRYPT inline encryption patches were sent out. The latest revision of this work by Googlers Satya Tangirala and Eric Biggers is plugging the inline encryption support into BLK-MQ and other block code, implementing inline encryption within the FSCRYPT encryption framework, and wiring it through for EXT4, F2FS, and UFS file-systems.

      • Freescale Ethernet Driver Unlocks A Big Performance Improvement

        The Freescale “FEC” Ethernet driver used by select i.MX SoCs will be seeing better performance on the next kernel release.

        Queued in net-next for Linux 5.8 is a big optimization for the Freescale FEC networking driver.

      • Linux 5.6.10
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.6.10 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 5.4.38
      • Linux 4.19.120
      • Linux 4.14.178
      • Linux 4.9.221
      • Linux 4.4.221
    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon Linux Gaming Performance On Mesa 20.1 Looking Good With RADV+ACO

        Since its mainlining in Mesa 20.0, the Valve-backed ACO compiler back-end for the Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver has been helping to reduce game load times and often increasing overall Linux gaming performance both for native titles as well as those on Steam Play with Proton+DXVK/VKD3D. With Mesa 20.1 releasing in the coming weeks, here are some recent benchmarks showing the RADV+ACO performance on Mesa 20.1-devel compared to RADV using its default AMDGPU LLVM back-end.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Set in the Killer Queen universe, ABS vs THE BLOOD QUEEN brings the side-scrolling arcade game home

        Crowdfunding now on Kickstarter for release later this year is ABS vs THE BLOOD QUEEN, a return to the Killer Queen universe from BumbleBear Games. You’ve played arcade-styled games before but this is taken from an actual arcade game.

        Flee from an ever-encroaching wave of sinister undead insects as the notoriously buff Abs, one of the workers from Killer Queen. Learn the ropes as a newcomer or flex those arcade skills as a returning vet, as this new title was built upon the same framework as the popular cabinet. ABS vs THE BLOOD QUEEN is the first single-player game in the Killer Queen franchise “enjoyed by millions”, with a Steam release planned for June this year with full Linux support.

      • Jupiter Moons: Mecha gives deck-building roguelikes a metal makeover

        Currently in development with a Prologue coming first, Jupiter Moons: Mecha pulls deck-building roguelikes into the far future with you being a Mech pilot.

        Enjoy complex Mech simulation in a single-player, deckbuilding, roguelike adventure. Change Mech loadout to customize your card deck. Level up your pilot, test countless card combinations, and discover powerful combos.

        [...]

        There’s going to be over 30 different weapon types, which will be randomly generated with different attributes. Over 20 support items, over 200 cards to collect, numerous enemy Mech types and various boss fights too. Although the upcoming Prologue will have a reduced set as it’s acting more like an introduction demo.

      • Adventure RPG ‘Driftmoon’ gains an Enchanted Edition update with Linux support

        Driftmoon, an adventure RPG that released back in 2013 is back with an Enchanted Edition update that added Linux as a supported platform. Developer Instant Kingdom mentioned they had started working on the update once it released, sadly they suffered setbacks and so this big enhancement is many years in the making.

      • Upcoming survival horror ‘Skin Witch’ looks set to land on Linux shortly after release

        Releasing in late May, the survival horror title Skin Witch from Blackwood Specter looks like it will release for Linux. As confirmed on Steam (and here too), the developer mentioned that if it’s not there at launch it should be in the first update.

        Unspeakable acts of brutality and witchcraft echo off the walls of an underground mine. You are trapped down here with wretched beasts, servants of the Skin Witch. In the line between man and beast… you’ll find only despair.

      • Rise up and fight in the crowd-based retro brawler Tonight We Riot – confirmed for Linux

        Tonight We Riot, developed by a worker-owned cooperative Pixel Pushers Union 512, is a ‘revolutionary’ crowd-based retro brawler that looks like good messy fun and it’s confirmed for Linux. Writing on Twitter they said, “Linux version in the works, folks! Got it running on a test machine just fine!”.

        In a dystopia where wealthy capitalists control elections, media, and the lives of working people, we’re faced with two choices — accept it or fight for something better. Tonight We Riot doesn’t have just one hero. Instead, you play as a movement of people whose well-being determines the success of your revolution.

      • Seeds of Chaos, an adult (NSFW) dark fantasy tale with RPG & Strategy elements is now on Linux

        Not a genre we cover often here but we always try to highlight a bit of everything. If you enjoy games very much aimed at adults, with plenty of NSFW elements (nudity, sex etc) then Seeds of Chaos might be for you.

      • Endless Sky, a free and open source space trading & combat game expands with a new update

        Endless Sky, a free and open source classic 2D space game continues expanding with the first stable release in quite some time. With the last main update in September last year, this release pulls in plenty of goodies.

        What is it? Endless Sky is a sandbox-style space exploration game similar to Elite, Escape Velocity, or Star Control. You start out as the captain of a tiny space ship and can choose what to do from there. The game includes a major plot line and many minor missions, but you can choose whether you want to play through the plot or strike out on your own as a merchant or bounty hunter or explorer.

      • Linux gaming overlay ‘MangoHud’ improves OpenGL support, better NVIDIA detection and more

        MangoHud has firmly filled a hole in tools available for Linux gamers, benchmarking and more. A handy HUD that works across OpenGL and Vulkan games and a fresh build went up.

        Allowing you to track FPS, frame timing, HDD read/write, benchmark, RAM and VRAM use, limit the FPS and so on. With the latest 0.3.5 release, what’s possible with MangoHud has expanded further. It can now also show 32/64bit, the currently playing Spotify song, you can pick a specific GPU for multi-GPU setups and you can also now display the MangoHud version.

      • May the Fourth be with you – a look over what Star Wars games are playable on Linux

        Today is May 4th, which means it’s also Star Wars day so here’s a look at what Star Wars games are possible to play on Linux plus a quick run over the sales to pick up some discounted pew-pew fun.

        Like many of you, I enjoy Star Wars and plenty of the games are playable on Linux officially or otherwise. Back in 2015, game porter/publisher Aspyr Media revamped Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords for all platforms and gave it a Linux version too. This re-release came with updated resolution support, Steam Workshop and more and it’s good fun. You can pick up Knights of the Old Republic II with Linux support from Humble Store ans Steam with 65% off right now.

        For some of the other classics games, DRM-free game store GOG packaged up a few of them officially with DOSBox for Linux to make it easy to play. These include STAR WARS: Dark Forces (65% off), STAR WARS: TIE Fighter Special Edition (66% off), STAR WARS: X-Wing Special Edition (66% off) and Star Wars: Rebel Assault 1 + 2.

      • You can now use the Discord Overlay on Linux thanks to a new community project

        Once again the developer community is picking up the slack where the official stuff isn’t working on Linux. This time it’s the turn of the Discord Overlay.

        What is it? The Discord Overlay allows you to show helpful things for viewers when you’re making a video or livestreaming. For example, having the name and avatar up of people in a specific voice chat room, to show exactly who is talking and when (amongst other things like text chat too!). It was announced back in 2016 and it’s still not available in the Linux client.

        Thankfully now, you can do so on Linux too and quite easily! All thanks the “Discord Overlay for Linux” project. With a simple UI to setup an overlay including picking the server and channel, you can then use the OBS Studio Browser plugin to capture it and you’re done.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Pitivi applies to the Season of Docs

          The Pitivi video editor is based on the GStreamer Editing Services library (GES). Various projects use GES to manage audio or video projects and export the project to a new file to be distributed.

          Pitivi is developed in very close contact with GES. Both Pitivi and GES would benefit a lot from better documentation.

          We’re applying to the Season of Docs program, where Google pays technical writers to contribute to open-source projects. Check out the technical writer guide for details and the program timeline. Read below the project ideas if you are interested in working with us!

    • Distributions

      • Arch Family

        • First Arch Linux ISO Powered by Linux Kernel 5.6 Is Now Available for Download

          Arch Linux’s ISO snapshot for May 2020 is now available for download and it’s the first Arch Linux ISO to be powered by the latest Linux kernel 5.6 series.

          That’s right, the Arch Linux 2020.05.01 ISO release is here, packed with all the latest GNU/Linux technologies released throughout April 2020. This includes the latest Linux 5.6 kernel series.

          What’s special about Linux kernel 5.6 is the fact that among the extended hardware support it brings, it also has built-in support for the WireGuard next-generation VPN (Virtual Private Network) protocol.

          This means that there’s no need to install a separate kernel module if you want to use WireGuard VPN.

          So if you’ve been holding on to install Arch Linux because you wanted an out-of-the-box experience with the Linux 5.6 kernel, you can now download the Arch Linux 2020.05.01 ISO snapshot.

        • ArchLabs 2020.05.04

          The brand new ArchLabs 2020.05.04 release is available for download.

          See the Release Notes for any changes. The new release can be downloaded from the usual spot.

          Dima Belitskiy (Dimaom) has joined the ArchLabs team and has already had a postive impact.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Not seeing the wood for the trees

          The way Flathub infrastructure works is not complicated for current trends, but there are enough moving parts to make debugging transient issues tricky.

          [...]

          Flatpak downloads involve a lot of HTTP requests since each file in the application maps to a file in the ostree repository. Server-side Keep-Alive helps, but there is still a performance penalty over downloading a big single file. Flatpak can mitigate it by generating a static delta, either between two revisions or from scratch for new installations.

          It turned out to be a bug causing Flatpak to ignore from scratch deltas altogether. For example, installing LibreOffice involves making 5515 GET requests versus only 128 with static delta support working properly. Who could have known!

          In the beginning of April, multiple issues popped out around the same time. PagerDuty was poking me few times a day about high CPU usage on the server hosting Buildbot. Buildbot home page was not displaying recently finished builds at all. New commits, pull requests and manual build triggers were not causing new builds to start reliably. The number of 503 errors increased so much I saw it myself.

          Since our Buildbot was few releases behind, it looked like a good idea to start from here and hope it will fix all related problems. After the upgrade, I looked into the home page issue. The browser network monitor revealed a request timeout to the backend. The same request executed directly on the server also time outed. Everything worked fine in my local environment though. Few print calls later it became apparent that the frontend has been requesting all 17000 builds that were ever ran, which also explains high CPU usage. Adding limit=50 to the request brought it to 2-4s. Even though it needed less than a second on the server itself, it sounded reasonable enough to consider it fixed.

        • Innovating in the open: How Red Hat UXD is gathering user feedback

          Here on Red Hat’s User Experience Design (UXD) team, we believe in open conversations. As a team of designers working on the developer’s perspective of the Red Hat OpenShift 4 web console, we relied on open conversation to gather our users’ information and feedback to help us provide innovative solutions to the OpenShift and developer community.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 20.04: Welcome to the future, Linux LTS disciples

          Ubuntu 20.04 ships with 5.4 kernel, which brings support for Intel’s Comet Lake chips as well as the beginning of Tiger Lake support. If you keep track of the kernels, you might be disappointed, since the baked-in support for Wireguard in the kernel doesn’t come until 5.6. But fear not VPN users: Ubuntu has backported the Wireguard bits so that you can enjoy using Wireguard with your VPN provider today (assuming your VPN supports it).

          More exciting, quite frankly, is the continued work on integrating ZFS into Ubuntu. There’s nothing new about the usefulness of ZFS, but usefulness is not necessarily the same as usability. Ubuntu’s developers have put a lot of work into making ZFS easier to use, both in terms of making backups via snapshots and the arguably more important part of easily restoring your system using those snapshots.

          New ZFS features in this release include zfs 0.8, which supports hardware accelerated encryption and some performance gains among other things. But the more interesting addition is Ubuntu’s Zsys utility, which essentially makes it easier to see what’s happening under the hood.

          This is still highly experimental, and it’s hidden away during the install process, but if you click the advanced features section of the disk partitioning tool during installation you’ll see an option “EXPERIMENTAL: erase disk and use ZFS.” It’s no longer in scary bold red text the way it was in 19.10, which I take to mean that things are improving. Do note, however, this message still appears in all caps. This option is definitely not what you want to use on a production system looking for LTS-style stability.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 Is The Future Of Computers

          Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa, as this launch, is understood) is a Lengthy Time period Assist (LTS) launch, which implies Ubuntu’s guardian firm, Canonical, will present assist by means of 2025. The LTS releases are what Canonical calls “enterprise-grade,” and these are usually conservative on the subject of adopting new technologies. The interim releases, like last year’s Ubuntu 19.10, are as a substitute the place the corporate tends to experiment. Maybe not surprisingly, Canonical estimates that 95 p.c of all Ubuntu installations are LTS releases. This is to say, and it is a massive replacement that the majority of Ubuntu’s person base will likely be upgrading to ultimately.

          The good news for Ubuntu followers is that 20.04 has been an improbable launch in our testing. This replaces been very strong in day-to-day use, and it nonetheless manages to (optionally!) embrace assist for some cutting-edge new options, just like the beginnings of software to handle ZFS snapshots. There’s additionally a significant kernel bump, and appreciable work has gone into enhancing and sharpening the default Yaru theme.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 76 Now Available for Download with New Security Feature, PiP Improvements

            The Mozilla Firefox 76 open-source and cross-platform web browser is now available for download, ahead of tomorrow’s official launch.

            Slated for release on May 5th, 2020, the Firefox 76 release is now available for download from Mozilla’s FTP servers for all supported platforms, including Linux, macOS, and Windows.

            This is another monthly update to one of the most used web browsers out there, bringing improvements to the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode, such as the ability to activate full-screen mode by double-clicking in the player window.

          • Firefox 77 Nightly Adds Initial AV1 Image File Support (AVIF)

            Exciting times in Mozilla land as in addition to the recent Wayland improvements along with Flatpak availability and WebGPU support coming together, the newest Firefox Nightly builds now have AV1 Image File Format (AVIF) support.

            AVIF is the image format based on the AV1 coding scheme and using the HEIF file format (High Efficiency Image File Format). AVIF is capable of both lossy and lossless compression, HDR, animated image sequences, and other features. AVIF 1.0 was finalized last year and since then has received considerable interest from the likes of Netflix for being superior than JPEG.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • arm64 on apt.postgresql.org

          The apt.postgresql.org repository has been extended to cover the arm64 architecture.

          We had occasionally received user request to add “arm” in the past, but it was never really clear which kind of “arm” made sense to target for PostgreSQL. In terms of Debian architectures, there’s (at least) armel, armhf, and arm64. Furthermore, Raspberry Pis are very popular (and indeed what most users seems to were asking about), but the raspbian “armhf” port is incompatible with the Debian “armhf” port.

          Now that most hardware has moved to 64-bit, it was becoming clear that “arm64″ was the way to go. Amit Khandekar made it happen that HUAWEI Cloud Services donated a arm64 build host with enough resources to build the arm64 packages at the same speed as the existing amd64, i386, and ppc64el architectures. A few days later, all the build jobs were done, including passing all test-suites. Very few arm-specific issues were encountered which makes me confident that arm64 is a solid architecture to run PostgreSQL on.

      • CMS

        • The Month in WordPress: April 2020

          April continued to be a challenging time for the WordPress community, with many under stay-at-home recommendations. However, it was also an exciting month in which we created new ways to connect with and inspire each other! This month, amazing contributors moved more WordCamps online and shipped new releases for WordPress and Gutenberg. For the latest, read on.

          [...]

          On April 24th, WordPress 5.4.1 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) was released for testing, quickly followed by the official release of WordPress 5.4.1 on April 29th. This security release features 17 bug fixes and seven security fixes, so we recommend updating your sites immediately. To download WordPress 5.4.1, visit your Dashboard, click on Updates, then Update Now, or download the latest version directly from WordPress.org. For more information, visit this post, review the full list of changes on Trac, or check out the version 5.4.1 HelpHub documentation page.

      • Programming/Development

        • GNU C Library Adds Detection Support For Zhaoxin CPUs

          For the x86_64 Zhaoxin CPUs made in China and based on VIA Centaur IP there is now proper support for them within the GNU C Library.

          Going back a few years there has been various Linux kernel patches for Zhaoxin within the kernel. That’s obviously the key area for the Linux hardware enablement but now we are seeing Zhaoxin support get squared away in other areas like the GNU toolchain.

        • Python

          • Why You Should Document Your Tests

            Some projects have the policy that all tests must have an explanatory comment – including all of mine. At first, I found that baffling. If that’s you right now, this article is for you.

            I’m sure you’ve been there too: you code along, write an obvious test, that tests an obvious thing, that you give an obvious name. Fast forward a year or two. Nothing about that test is obvious anymore. It might be obvious what property is tested under what circumstances but you have no idea why you test it.

          • Python RegEx

            In this tutorial, you will learn about regular expressions (RegEx), and use Python’s re module to work with RegEx (with the help of examples).

          • Maintainable Infrastructure As Code In Pure Python With Pulumi

            After you write your application, you need a way to make it available to your users. These days, that usually means deploying it to a cloud provider, whether that’s a virtual server, a serverless platform, or a Kubernetes cluster. To manage the increasingly dynamic and flexible options for running software in production, we have turned to building infrastructure as code. Pulumi is an open source framework that lets you use your favorite language to build scalable and maintainable systems out of cloud infrastructure. In this episode Luke Hoban, CTO of Pulumi, explains how it differs from other frameworks for interacting with infrastructure platforms, the benefits of using a full programming language for treating infrastructure as code, and how you can get started with it today. If you are getting frustrated with switching contexts when working between the application you are building and the systems that it runs on, then listen now and then give Pulumi a try.

          • Exploring an Alternative to Jupyter Notebooks for Python Development

            Jupyter notebooks are an amazing tool for evaluating and exploring data. I have been using them as an integral part of my day to day analysis for several years and reach for them almost any time I need to do data analysis or exploration. Despite how much I like using python in Jupyter notebooks, I do wish for the editor capabilities you can find in VS Code. I also would like my files to work better when versioning them with git.

            Recently, I have started using a solution that supports the interactivity of the Jupyter notebook and the developer friendliness of plain .py text files. Visual Studio Code enables this approach through Jupyter code cells and the Python Interactive Window. Using this combination, you can visualize and explore your data in real time with a plain python file that includes some lightweight markup. The resulting file works seamlessly with all VS Code editing features and supports clean git check ins.

            The rest of this article will discuss how to use this python development workflow within VS Code and some of the primary reasons why you may or may not want to do so.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • In The Age Of Coronavirus, How Doctors Are Becoming Inventors

        The last time anesthesiologist James Nilson went backpacking, he probably didn’t expect to be using a camping technique later in the operating room.

        “I’ve been living in the woods, backpacking and hiking my entire life. So, you know, there’s a lot of adaptations that you make when you’re out in the woods that call upon your ability to just be a little bit creative. And that seems to be holding pretty true in a career as an anesthesiologist as well,” he said.

    • Hardware

      • Hot On The Heels Of Mellanox, Nvidia Snaps Up Cumulus Networks

        Last week, when we talked to Nvidia co-founder and chief executive officer, Jensen Huang, about how the datacenter was becoming the unit of compute and in such a world networking was critical, it was obvious that acquiring Mellanox Technologies for $6.9 billion was just the beginning of the strategy that will no doubt unfold in the coming months and years.

        Huang didn’t wait long to make another move, with Nvidia acquiring open network software provider Cumulus Networks for an undisclosed sum and marrying it with Mellanox in its newly formed networking business unit.

        Sometimes, to understand what a company is doing you have to take a really hard look at the things that key people at that company have seen and done in their careers. This is one of those cases.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Open-source Android mobile platform Lineage OS hacked

            In another incident of online breach, hackers gained illegal access to the open-source operating system for smartphones Lineage OS. The online intrusion was confirmed by the company. As per the company, the OS was hacked on Saturday last week around 8 pm US Pacific coast. It said that the hack was detected on time and that the attack did no harm to the source code of the operating system. Builds and signing keys too remain intact, it added.

            [...]

            According to the lineage OS developers, the attackers used an unpatched vulnerability to breach its Salt installation. Salt is again an open-sourced framework offered by Saltstack. It is usually deployed to manage and automate servers inside data centres, cloud server setups, or internal networks. Cybersecurity firm F-Secure recently revealed two major vulnerabilities in the Salt framework. These included CVE-2020-11651 which is an authentication bypass and CVE-2020-11652, a directory traversal. Both these vulnerabilities together could allow the hackers to bypass login authentication and run codes to leave the servers of Salt master exposed on the internet, the cybersecurity firm warned.

          • Hackers break into open-source Android mobile platform LineageOS
          • Vulnerabilities in the Open-source and commercial Salt management framework

            On April 30, F-Secure Labs published an advisory for two vulnerabilities (CVE-2020-11651 and CVE-2020-11652), in the open-source and commercial Salt management framework, which is used in data centers and cloud environments as a configuration, monitoring, and update tool.

          • Canonical Outs New Ubuntu Linux Kernel Live Patch to Address 3 Flaws

            Canonical has released a new Linux kernel live patch for some of its supported Ubuntu releases and official derivatives to address three security vulnerabilities discovered in the virtual terminal.

            Available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and Ubuntu 14.04 ESM, the new kernel live patch includes fixes for three security issues discovered in Linux kernel’s virtual terminal (VT) implementation.

          • Are Xiaomi browsers spyware? Yes, they are…

            In case you missed it, there was a Forbes article on Mi Browser Pro and Mint Browser which are preinstalled on Xiaomi phones. The article accuses Xiaomi of exfiltrating a history of all visited websites. Xiaomi on the other hand accuses Forbes of misrepresenting the facts. They claim that the data collection is following best practices, the data itself being aggregated and anonymized, without any connection to user’s identity.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (mailman, openldap, pound, tomcat8, and trafficserver), Fedora (chromium, java-11-openjdk, kernel, openvpn, pxz, and rubygem-json), openSUSE (apache2, bouncycastle, chromium, git, python-typed-ast, resource-agents, ruby2.5, samba, squid, webkit2gtk3, and xen), Slackware (seamonkey), SUSE (LibVNCServer and permissions), and Ubuntu (mysql-5.7, mysql-8.0).

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange extradition case delay until Sept

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s US extradition case will be moved to another British court after being delayed until September.

        District judge Vanessa Baraitser has ordered the Australian’s case, which had been set for May 18, be moved from Woolwich Crown Court to another court and to resume in September.

        “It’s going to take some negotiation to find a Crown Court that is open in September, in the current climate, and willing and available to take this hearing,” judge Baraitser said on Monday in Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

        The new location, which might be outside London, and start date for the remaining three weeks of the hearing will be confirmed on Friday.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Was I wrong about LBRY?

        Was I wrong about LBRY? Well, let’s explore some of the advancements that the platform has made over the past 3-4 months since I was critical about it. I also go over why I now have some of my content over there.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Legal privilege during saisie-contrefaçon in Belgium – a follow-up

          This is a follow-up to Jan-Diederik Lindemans’ post of 18 December 2019 discussing the guidelines on legal privilege during saisie-contrefaçon adopted by the Brussels Bar Association (‘BBA’) on 21 October 2019. In a judgment of 26 March 2020, the Ghent Business Court confirmed the BBA’s position on this issue.

          In the 26 March 2020 judgment, the Ghent Business Court (Belgium) weighs in on the scope of attorneys’ legal privilege, in a dispute opposing a law firm and a court-appointed expert.

          A law firm provided legal advice to a client in the context of an expected IP dispute with a competitor. Upon request from said competitor, the President of the Ghent Business Court appointed an expert to carry out a saisie-contrefaçon (including both descriptive and actual seizure) on the premises of the law firm’s client.

        • The Hague Patents Court conducts first virtual hearing in patent case

          As courts across the world grappled to find ways to continue performing their function in holding hearings and delivering justice, the Courts of England & Wales relatively quickly updated their practice directions and guidance to provide for virtual hearings. In the Netherlands, guest Kat Rien Broekstra (Brinkhof) reports on what the Dutch specialized courts in the Hague are doing:

Links 4/5/2020: Linux 5.7 RC4, GNU/Linux Desktop Share Up Sharply

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Windows 10 is losing users to macOS

      Popular Linux distro Ubuntu has also seen a significant increase over the past few months.

      It now boasts 1.89% market share – over double the 0.81% it had in January, and significantly higher than the 1.18% it had last month.

      Non-Ubuntu Linux distros have decreased their market share, however, falling below 1%.

    • Windows 10 market share drops as macOS, Linux record growth

      The combined market share of Linux and Ubuntu increased to 2.86%.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Raspberry Pis, Linux laptops, Chromebooks and more: How the cornonavirus forced us to look beyond the traditional PC

        In an attempt to reduce the spread of coronavirus, many millions of people are now working from home rather than commuting to offices.

        That has put huge pressure on technology teams to make working from home possible, and has also forced many of us to rethink the tools that we use.

        Foremost among those tools is the PC. Sales have been in steady decline, with occasional upticks, for some years now, and the first three months of this year continued that trend — but for different reasons.

        Much of that first-quarter decline was down to limited supply, with China’s PC factories closing early in the year due to the coronavirus. The impact of that shortage was amplified because once the coronavirus spread around the world, there was a sudden increase in demand for PCs as companies and consumers tried to get hold of laptops for work, education or entertainment at home.

        “Once coronavirus-related lockdowns expanded to other regions, there were new, sudden pockets of PC demand for remote workers and online classrooms that PC manufacturers could not keep up with,” noted analyst firm Gartner.

        A minor but interesting consequence seems to be an increased interest in PC alternatives — whether because of lack of supply or simply because businesses and consumers have had to respond to changing circumstances with limited budgets.

      • COVID-19, Telework, and Linux! Happy Anniversary, Mandriva Chronicles!

        Megatotoro and I decided to ditch Zoom and favored a more flexible online approach. This idea implied producing lots of audiovisual material –something that we have no training on. Thus, we had to learn how to produce videos in Linux for our courses. In a week, I taught myself Kdenlive and Openshot, became more proficient with Audacity, and relied more in the image-editing of the always trustable GIMP.

        In the meantime, other professors have been struggling trying to adapt their lessons to something they can deliver through Zoom meetings. How successful that attempt is I cannot say. Students claim that Zoom sessions generate anxiety and make them very tired, which has been confirmed in this article.

        So, yes, it has been a busy time. But, all, in all…

        Linux truly saved me from this technological virus that seems to be eroding the mental health of my colleagues…

    • Kernel Space

      • [Older] GNU Linux-Libre 5.6 Kernel Is Out

        Less than a day after the release of the Linux 5.6 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre project announced the general availability of the GNU Linux-libre 5.6 kernel. The aim of the GNU Linux-libre project is to provide the GNU/Linux community with a version of the upstream Linux kernel that’s 100% free. Therefore, the GNU Linux-libre 5.6 kernel is a 100% free version of the Linux 5.6 kernel, shipping only with free and open source drivers. GNU Linux-Libre 5.6 kernel deblobs three new drivers that have been included in the Linux 5.6 kernel series, namely AMD Trusted Execution Environment, ATH11K WiFi, and Mediatek SCP remoteproc Additionally, it also cleans up the Nouveau, AMDGPU, and AMD PSP drivers.

      • Linux 5.7-rc4
        Things continue to look normal for the 5.7 release. If anything, rc4
        is a bit smaller than usual (it's the smallest rc4 since we had the
        tiny one over the Christmas week), and most of the discussions I was
        involved with this week were about future development and cleanups
        rather than any issues with the current release (although at least in
        some cases they were triggered by fixes that came in this release..)
        
        So things seem calm. Although I do suspect that part of "rc4 was
        small" is that it's one of those timing things, and there wasn't a
        networking pull this week, for example.
        
        The bulk of the rc5 stuff is drivers (gpu, dma, sound, rdma, hyper-v,
        md, i2c, mmc) and filesystems (btrfs and nfs).
        
        And misc small fixlets elsewhere.
        
        Anyway, it doesn't feel like there's anything worrisome going on, so
        come on in and test the waters..
        
                            Linus
        
      • Linux 5.7-rc4 Released As A Pleasantly Calm Kernel

        Linus Torvalds just announced the Linux 5.7-rc4 kernel release is up for testing.

        Even with everything going on in the world around COVID-19 and its impact, Linux 5.7 is shaping up to be a regular kernel in good shape for debuting next month. Last week Linus characterized the 5.7 state at the time as”in a world gone mad, the kernel looks almost boringly regular.” With Linux 5.7-rc4, the kernel is still in good shape and possibly even slightly on the lighter side compared to the historical state of RC4 kernels.

      • Reducing jitter on Linux with task isolation

        Last week I gave a talk at the first virtual adhoc.community meetup on the history of task isolation on Linux (slides, video). It was a quick 15-minute presentation, and I think it went well, but I really wanted to include some details of how you actually configure a modern Linux machine to run a workload without interruption. That’s kinda difficult to do in 15 minutes.

        So that’s what this post is about.

        I’m not going to cover how to use the latest task isolation mode patches because they’re still under discussion on the linux-kernel mailing list. Instead, I’m just going to talk about how to reduce OS jitter by isolating tasks using Linux v4.17+.

        First, as the below chart shows, you really do need a recent Linux kernel if you’re going to run an isolated workload because years of work have gone into making the kernel leave your tasks alone when you ask.

    • Applications

      • Browse the Peer-to-peer Web With Beaker Browser

        The Internet as we know it has existed unchanged (more or less) for the last 50 years. People across the globe use their devices to retrieve data from huge servers dotted around the world.

        A group of dedicated technologists wants to change that to make the internet a place where people can connect and share information directly instead of relying on a central server (decentralization).

        There are a bunch of such decentralized services that we have already covered on It’s FOSS. LBRY as YouTube alternative, Mastodon as Twitter alternative are just a couple of such examples.

        And today I am going to cover another such product called Beaker Browser which is essentially for browsing the peer to peer web.

      • Linux Candy: oneko – animal chasing fun

        Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

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

        If you spend all day embroiled in political in-fighting, battling red tape nonsense, coding an innovative program in Python, sit in countless meetings wishing you were relaxing on a Caribbean island, you’ll need some light relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more fun.

        You couldn’t get anything more candy like than oneko, a program that creates a cat chasing after your mouse cursor. Makes me want to watch some Tom & Jerry cartoons.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Create interactive learning games for kids with open source

        Schools are closed in many countries around the world to slow the spread of COVID-19. This has suddenly thrown many parents and teachers into homeschooling. Fortunately, there are plenty of educational resources on the internet to use or adapt, although their licenses vary. You can try searching for Creative Commons Open Educational Resources, but if you want to create your own materials, there are many options for that to.

        If you want to create digital educational activities with puzzles or tests, two easy-to-use, open source, cross-platform applications that fit the bill are eXeLearning and JClic. My earlier article on eXeLearning is a good introduction to that program, so here I’ll look at JClic. It is an open source software project for creating various types of interactive activities such as associations, text-based activities, crosswords, and other puzzles with text, graphics, and multimedia elements.

        Although it’s been around since the 1990s, JClic never developed a large user base in the English-speaking world. It was created in Catalonia by the Catalan Educational Telematic Network (XTEC).

      • Valve Drops SteamVR for macOS, as Linux and Windows Now the Key Focus

        Valve has surprisingly decided to abandon SteamVR for macOS, with the company to only focus on Linux and Windows going forward.

        While it’s not known why the company has decided to drop the support for the macOS version of SteamVR, Valve says that developers continue building apps for Apple’s operating system, only that no new feature or bug fixes will be released in the future.

        Needless to say, this isn’t necessarily good news for macOS developers who invested in SteamVR, but Valve says from this point, it’ll only focus on the development of the platform on Windows and Linux.

      • Valve suddenly ends SteamVR support for macOS to focus on Windows, Linux
      • SteamVR canned for Apple’s Macs

        Valve has directed Mac users to continue using what is now a legacy platform while it now shifts its full development focus for SteamVR to Windows and Linux.

      • Steam ends Mac support for SteamVR

        The move was announced in a short post on SteamVR’s news page, laid out in a single sentence: “SteamVR has ended macOS support so our team can focus on Windows and Linux.” Mac users will still have some access to the feature, however, via legacy builds. One door closes, another will surely open. Right?

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS Linux 2020.05 Released with Linux 5.6, Latest KDE Apps

          In fact, KaOS Linux 2020.05 comes two months after the previous ISO release as the March and April snapshots have been skipped, most probably due to the COVID-19 crisis.

          Compared to the previous version, this one ships with a newer kernel from the latest Linux 5.6 series, namely Linux kernel 5.6.8, a new graphics stack from the Mesa 20.0 series, namely Mesa 20.0.6, and all the latest KDE apps.

          The default desktop environment shipped in the KaOS 2020.05 release is KDE Plasma 5.18.4 LTS, which is accompanied by the latest KDE Frameworks 5.69.0 and KDE Applications 20.04.0 software suites, all compiled against Qt 5.14.2.

        • KaOS 2020.05 Released: One Of The Best KDE Linux Distros For Desktop

          KaOS is a conservative Linux distribution built from scratch with a limited size of repositories to offer high-quality applications. It mainly focusses on one desktop environment (KDE), one toolkit (QT), and one architecture (x86_64).

          Following the monthly development cycle, KaOS has released a new stable version v2020.05. Unlike the previous KaOS 2020.02, the latest release comprises more of package rebuilds and updates than new features. So, let’s take a look at the list of new enhancements in KaOS 2020.05.

        • Contributing to KDE is easier than you think – Phabricator patches using the web interface

          This post will be ridiculously brief and simple, albeit filled with screenshots.

          As usual: This is a series of blog posts explaining different ways to contribute to KDE in an easy-to-digest manner.

          The purpose of this series originated from how I feel about asking users to contribute back to KDE. I firmly believe that showing users how contributing is easier than they think is more effective than simply calling them out and directing them to the correct resources; especially if, like me, said user suffers from anxiety or does not believe they are up to the task, in spite of their desire to help back.

          Last time I explained how translators with a developer account have a really straightforward workflow and how the entire localization process for KDE works. I’ve also posted a little article I made some time ago on how to create a live-test environment to translate Scribus more easily, given that Scribus might become a KDE application in the future.

          This post explains the process of sending your first patch to KDE. This tutorial, of course, is only useful for small patches, likely those which alter only one file, as the web interface is convenient for such cases but not when there is a ton of files from the same project.

        • Akademy 2020 — Call for Proposals

          Akademy 2020 is getting closer and the KDE Community is warming up for its biggest yearly event. If you are working on topics relevant to KDE, this is your chance to present your work and ideas to the community at large.

          Akademy 2020 will take place online from Friday the 4th to Friday the 11th of September 2020. Training sessions will be held on Friday the 4th of September and the talks will be held on Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of September. The rest of the week (Monday – Friday) will be Birds-of-a-Feather meetings (BoFs), unconference sessions and workshops.

          If you think you have something interesting to present, tell us about it. If you know of someone else who should present, encourage them to do so too.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Ubuntu 20.04

          Ubuntu, along with its many community flavours, is one of the world’s mostly widely used Linux distributions. Ubuntu ships four official editions (Desktop, Server, Cloud, and a minimal Core). There are additional community editions which provide alternative desktop and configuration options. Just over a week ago, Canonical launched Ubuntu 20.04 which offers five years of support for official editions and three years of support for community editions.

          The new Ubuntu release includes version 5.4 of the Linux kernel and support for WireGuard. The Desktop edition ships with GNOME 3.36 as the default desktop and includes experimental support for installing the operating system on the ZFS advanced filesystem. The release announcement mentions that, along with ZFS, Ubuntu will offer “state saving” of the filesystem using a tool called Zsys. From the context, it sounds as though “state saving” here means taking filesystem snapshots as we are also told ZFS integrates with the GRUB boot loader in order to allow users to rollback system changes. (This is a similar feature to the boot environments provided by openSUSE and FreeBSD.) This version of Ubuntu ships with Python 3.8, though Python 2.7 (while unsupported upstream) is available in the distribution’s repositories.

          The Desktop edition of Ubuntu is a 2.5GB download. Booting from the supplied media will, if we do not interfere, load a graphical environment where we can choose to try a live desktop environment or immediately launch Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer. At the start of the boot process we can press a key to bring up a menu where we can preemptively choose to run the live desktop or load the installer directly. (Practically this does not make a difference and just means we are making our choice to try or install the distribution from a text-based boot menu rather than a graphical welcome screen.) While the operating system is loading it performs an integrity check on the local media to make sure the operating system was not corrupted during the download. We can optionally skip the media check by pressing Ctrl-C.

      • BSD

        • Diving Into OpenBSD Administration

          Modern developments continue, and the release cycles have been consistent with bi-annual releases. Their constant efforts and fixation on being the most secure operating system has really captured my attention. Their documentation is also top notch. Read a Linux manual page then read an OpenBSD man page for the same tool and tell me you don’t notice a difference. While sometimes subtle, the effort leans towards the OpenBSD docs in my experience.

          Now that you have a brief, raw, unfiltered peak into the history of OpenBSD, you may begin to understand why I decided to use the operating system to host a variety of my services and sites. I even went as far to install it on my ThinkPad T480 to use as a portable workstation.

        • What OSes we use here (as of May 2020)

          OpenBSD is used in an assortment of roles, some of which are historical. Our largest use is for firewalls, where we value its stability and we really like OpenBSD’s PF firewall rule system (and we also have a lot of experience with it and a lot of current PF firewall rules). This extends to our VPN servers (both OpenVPN and L2TP), because they have firewalls as part of the VPN service and in general we’ve had good experiences with OpenBSD based VPNs. We also use OpenBSD for our internal DNS resolvers, our official public DNS primary, and as the DHCP server for most of our internal ‘sandbox’ private networks.

          (Our DNS stealth master and the DHCP servers for our ‘laptop network’ and our wireless network are all Ubuntu LTS machines, though.)

          We’re most strongly attached to OpenBSD for firewalls and for VPN servers. It’s possible that we’d move other services from OpenBSD to Ubuntu in the future, but at the same time our motivation for doing so is low. For all that I’ve griped about this issue in the past, moving from OpenBSD version to OpenBSD version is generally very easy for us; almost all of the time, everything just drops into place in the new version. Moving to Ubuntu LTS would likely be more work.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR for May 2020

          COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

          This article presents a few new and interesting projects in COPR. If you’re new to using COPR, see the COPR User Documentation for how to get started.

        • Red Hat’s strategy for achieving hybrid cloud dominance

          That approach, as the company sees it, offers customers a unique value proposition in the cloud era—a portfolio of integrated solutions that ease life for developers who simply want to write code, and have little, if anything at all, to do with selecting, provisioning and managing infrastructure.

          Red Hat changed its annual Summit to a virtual affair this year because of the coronavirus crisis. After Tuesday’s keynotes at the Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience, executives and product leaders — including newly minted CEO Paul Cormier — participated in an online panel discussion, elaborating on the company’s vision for conquering the hybrid and multi-cloud market with its entirely open-source technology stack.

        • Sundry Systems Software And CoD Power Systems Announcements

          There is a steady drumbeat of new stuff that always comes out of IBM for the Power Systems hardware platform, and sometimes it is Big Blue banging on the big kettle drum and sometimes it is using the brushes on the little snare drum.

          Now that IBM owns Red Hat, we can expect for IBM to be making a certain amount of noise every time a piece of Red Hat technology becomes available on Power and demonstrates that both Red Hat and IBM – which have two distinct cultures as well as announcement streams – are committed to the idea that all Red Hat products should be ported to Power and be a peer to Intel’s Xeon SPs, AMD’s Epycs, and Ampere Computing’s and Marvell’s respective Altra and ThunderX lines of commercial Arm processors. And as much as we think it would be interesting to highly tune RHEL and the systems software to run best on IBM Power iron (and still run well on System z mainframe iron), that is not going to happen. Power iron will have to live by its own merits, as it has had to do. At least now, we can hope that those merits – high throughout cores with second-to-none threading, high clock speeds, lots of caches, high memory bandwidth and capacity, and great gobs of I/O with support for the widest variety of protocols at the highest speeds – will be quickly expressed in the software rather than take months and months.

        • Fedora rawhide – fixed bugs 2020/04
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Managed OpenStack cheaper than self-managed?

          Outsourcing OpenStack operations can significantly accelerate the OpenStack deployment process. Although most organisations are successful with the initial roll-out of the cloud, many struggle to operate it effectively post-deployment. Under certain circumstances, a fully managed OpenStack can also be a cheaper option than the self-managed one. We have recently published a webinar in which we demonstrated a detailed cost analysis of both options. We have also created an interactive TCO (total cost of ownership) calculator which anyone can use to play with the numbers.

          But hold on a second. What is “managed OpenStack”? And how can it be cheaper than a self-managed one?

          [...]

          In case organisations cannot afford to manage OpenStack by themselves, they should consider outsourcing OpenStack operations to a trusted managed service provider. Canonical is one such provider, offering managed services for OpenStack at the best possible price. When choosing Canonical’s Managed OpenStack option the cloud is designed, deployed and maintained by Canonical’s team of cloud experts. However, at any given time organisations can take control of their cloud back, avoiding additional costs and vendor lock-in.

          So when is it more economical to go with Canonical’s Managed OpenStack than with the self-managed option? In order to answer this question, organisations should use the TCO calculator to evaluate yearly operational cost of Canonical-managed and self-managed options. Canonical offers managed services for OpenStack at the price of $4,275 per host. This makes the pricing model clear and fully predictable. Whenever it is cheaper to outsource OpenStack operations to a trusted service provider, organisations should always consider it as an option.

    • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Jitsi Meet – Free Video Conferencing

      Jitsi Meet is fully encrypted, so everything you tell your participants is safe. And since no accounts are created, no personal information can be leaked either. However, if you choose to NOT generate a password for your meeting and the meeting name is something that can be easily guessed, someone might attend who you did not invite. Therefore, you should use a password for extra security. Read more about the security of Jitsi at “Jitsi Meet Security & Privacy.”

    • Startup DarwinAI says interest in its open-source project that helps identify coronavirus in x-rays growing

      Waterloo startup DarwinAI and researchers from the University of Waterloo are confident its open-source project, COVID-Net, and a sprinkle of AI could help radiologists spot COVID-19 in patients much faster and provide deeper insights into patients’ symptoms.

      While the Canadian Association of Radiologists has made it clear that the final diagnosis of COVID-19 infection should be confirmed by a positive RT-PCR test, not a CT chest scan, Dr. Alexander Wong, lead researcher on the project, said the additional information from CT chest scans can be hugely beneficial for radiologists.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Define and optimize data partitions in Apache Cassandra

        Cassandra Query Language (CQL) uses the familiar SQL table, row, and column terminologies. In the example diagram above, the table configuration includes the partition key within its primary key, with the format: Primary Key = Partition Key + [Clustering Columns].

        A primary key in Cassandra represents both a unique data partition and a data arrangement inside a partition. Data arrangement information is provided by optional clustering columns. Each unique partition key represents a set of table rows managed in a server, as well as all servers that manage its replicas.

    • CMS

      • How an Open-source Headless CMS Can Help Remote Newsrooms

        To cope with operational disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries have been forced to embrace remote work. The news industry is no exception. Media organisations around the world have turned off the lights in their newsrooms and sent reporters and editors into isolation at home.

        But as anyone following the coronavirus story can attest, news has not stopped during this period of disruption. On the contrary, more news is being produced and consumed than ever before, even as newsrooms stay dark. How has a business long reliant on facetime excelled during this work-from-home era?

    • FSF

      • GNU Projects

        • MediaGoblin 0.10.0 released

          We’re pleased to announce the release of MediaGoblin 0.10.0!

          It’s been a while between releases for MediaGoblin, but work has continued steadily. Highlights of this release include a new plugin for displaying video subtitles and support for transcoding and displaying video in multiple resolutions. There have also been a large number of smaller improvements and bug fixes which are listed in the release notes.

          After enabling the new subtitles plugin, you can upload and edit captions for your videos. Multiple subtitle tracks are supported, such as for different languages. This feature was added by Saksham Agrawal during Google Summer of Code 2016 and mentored by Boris Bobrov. The feature has been available for some time on the master branch, but it definitely deserves a mention for this release.

        • GNU Guix maintainer collective update

          This blog post is to announce a change of hands in the Guix co-maintainer collective: Ricardo Wurmus is stepping down from his role, and Mathieu Othacehe will be filling in to ensure continuity, after being elected by the other Guix co-maintainers.

          Ricardo has been around since the start, and has been invaluable to the project. He has been key in maintaining the infrastructure Guix runs on, contributed countless packages, core APIs and tools (importers, build systems, and Docker image creation to name a few). Over the years, he’s also brought us a fair share of cool hacks such as a nifty issue tracker, and generously spent time helping Guix users in the IRC channel and mailing lists. Equally important was his taking care of many administrative tasks such as expanding the build farm and organizing Outreachy participation. We’re sad to let him go, and hope he’ll stick around as time permits :-).

          On the happier side of things, the appointment of Mathieu Othacehe as a co-maintainer means Guix will benefit from renewed energy and vision to grow further. Mathieu has already made valuable contributions to Guix; the graphical installer that allows users to easily install the Guix System on their machine is one of them. He has also demonstrated the qualities we expect from a co-maintainer. We’re thrilled to make official his new role as a Guix co-maintainer!

    • Programming/Development

      • Best Open Source CSS frameworks for frontend Web Development

        A website for your business has become a necessity at the present day. Along with the necessity, the need for the web page developers is also on the peak. There are also many people out there who possess enough qualification by themselves to design their own website, just they do not possess the experience and the practice. Among those laymen users and the pro or upcoming web developers, there are many who are still confused about many of the web development aspects. Most of the people still think about, HTML scripts or JavaScript when they are talking about Web development while. As many of them usually forget about advanced techniques of web developments which are there designed mainly for people with less experience and fewer skills. The Web development technologies which have far more impact on the easy web development ability.

        Yes, I am talking about the CSS (cascading style sheets), as CSS is the easiest way how you can manipulate through your web development and designs. In the 90s even at the early 20s, the developers had to develop their CSS by their own, in order to create a website. But nowadays there are many application out there which are providing the ready-made CSS framework so that anyone starts with their web development projects easily. But, unfortunately for many individuals, CSS is a forgotten part of any web development, and due to that, they can not go ahead with their newly innovate project idea on their own.

      • Introducing T^4: Tips, Tricks, Tools, and Toys

        For way too long now something I had meant to start was a little series about tips, tricks, tools, and toys. I had mentioned the idea a few times to a friend or two, and generally received a thumbs up or a ‘go for it’. But it takes a little to get over the humb and get going. And it turns out that last week’s r^4 talk on upgrading to R 4.0.0 hit some latent demand as we are now at 1400 views on YouTube. Wowser.

      • Perl/Raku

        • Let’s talk meta

          When I wrote this, I spent a lot of time thinking whether I should add a footnote or extra sentence saying, roughly, that I’m not claiming that there are no people under 35 who know Perl, but that it is a skill that has gotten quite rare compared to ye olden times. The reason for adding extra text is that I feared that someone would inevitably come in and derail the discussion with some variation of “I’m under 35 and I know Perl, so the entire post is wrong”.

          [...]

          Contrary to the claim made above, the Internet has not, in fact, ruined everything. The statement is hyperbole, stemming from the author’s feelings of frustration. In reality the Internet has improved the quality of life of most people on the earth by a tremendous amount and should be considered as one of the greatest inventions of mankind.

          “Ye olden times” was not written as “þe olden times” because in the thorny battle between orthographic accuracy and readability the latter won.

          The phrase “flying blind” refers neither to actual flying nor to actual blindness. It is merely a figure of speech for any behaviour that is done in isolation without external feedback. You should never operate any vehicle under any sort of vision impairment unless you have been specifically trained and authorized to do so by the appropriate authorities.

        • Perl Weekly Challenge 058: Compare Version and Ordered Lineup
      • Python

        • Property-Based Testing for Python builtins and the standard library – Python Language Summit 2020

          Hatfield-Dodds told the Language Summit, handwritten tests are “fantastic for testing particular edge cases, they’re great regression tests,” but they’re limited by the developer’s understanding of the system under test. “We can’t write tests for bugs we don’t know could occur.” We can overcome this limit with exhaustive testing, checking our code’s behavior with every possible input; if that is impractical, coverage-guided fuzz testing can generate random inputs and evolve them, trying to explore every branch in the code under test. Fuzzers are very good at finding inputs that crash a program, but they’re not as well suited for finding other kinds of bugs.

        • Use this Python script to encode binary in Base94

          Humans transfer information in many different ways. On the internet, the primary format is text, which is how you’re reading this article. However, there is other data on the internet, such as images and sound files and so on. It might seem easy to post an image online or attach a document to an email, until you realize that HTTP/1.1 and SMTP are text-based protocols. Data transferred over such protocols must be represented as a subset of ASCII text (specifically, characters 33 to 126).

          A digital image is already encoded as binary data by the computer that displays it. In other words, a digital image isn’t like a physical photograph that’s printed on paper: it’s a collection of computer shorthand that is decoded by whatever image viewer you’re using to look at it, whether that image viewer is a web browser, a photo-editing application, or any software that can display images.

          To re-encode an image into ASCII, it’s common to use Base64, a system of binary-to-text encoding rules that can represent binary data as an ASCII string.

        • Rockstar Python Developers Need Great communication Skills Too

          I wonder how people get into software programming, whether it be for a job or hobby?

          It’s one of the first things I often listen for at the start of Michael Kennedy’s Talk Python To Me podcast.

          Who was it that inspired you?

          What was it about their character that got you fired up and writing print(“hello world”) for the first time?

          How did someone make you feel when they recently guided you to a solution that you came up with by yourself?

        • PyDev of the Week: Samuel Hinton

          This week we welcome Samuel Hinton (@samreayh) as our PyDev of the Week! Samuel has written quite a few projects in Python and given lots of talks on astronomy. If you are interested in either of those topics, then you should definitely check out his website or his Github profile.

        • Django bugfix release: 3.0.6

          Today we’ve issued the 3.0.6 bugfix release.

          The release package and checksums are available from our downloads page, as well as from the Python Package Index. The PGP key ID used for this release is Mariusz Felisiak: 2EF56372BA48CD1B.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Coronavirus: David Icke’s channel deleted by YouTube

        Last month, a live-streamed interview with Mr Icke posted by another account prompted YouTube to ban all conspiracy theory videos falsely linking coronavirus symptoms to 5G mobile phone networks.

        The tech firm subsequently went further by banning any material that:

        suggests coronavirus does not exist

        contains medically unsubstantiated diagnostic advice about the virus

        explicitly disputes the efficacy of guidance about social distancing and self-isolation that has been issued by the WHO and/or local health authorities

    • Health/Nutrition

      • True Resilience Involves Pushing Forward From COVID-19, Not Just Bouncing Back

        Do we really want to just “bounce back?”

      • What Asian Nations Know About Squashing Covid

        We can save ourselves and our economy, if we look to and learn from the achievements of other nations.

      • Uprooting the Farm Crisis in Times of COVID-19

        When we finally turn toward recovery from the COVID-19 crisis we must thoroughly re-examine the policies that left us so vulnerable not only to the disease but also to the cascade of problems in our economy, including the food and farm system.

      • “Similar to Times of War”: The Staggering Toll of COVID-19 on Filipino Health Care Workers

        When Alfredo Pabatao told his family that he had helped move a suspected coronavirus patient through the hospital where he’d worked as an orderly for nearly 20 years, he didn’t make a big deal out of it. “My parents are the type of parents who don’t like to make us worry,” his youngest daughter, Sheryl, recalled. But Sheryl was concerned that her father’s vulnerabilities weren’t being given more consideration as he toiled on the pandemic’s front lines in hard-hit northern New Jersey. “Why would they let a 68-year-old man with an underlying heart condition … transport a suspected COVID patient when there’s younger transporters in the hospital who could do it?”

        Sheryl’s mother, Susana, was an assistant nurse in a long-term care facility where she often pulled double shifts, saving money for her annual trips back to the Philippines. At 64, she wasn’t much younger than the elderly patients she helped bathe and feed, and she had diabetes, which increased her risk of severe complications if she got sick. The nursing home wasn’t providing adequate personal protection equipment, Susana reported, so Sheryl brought home a stash of surgical masks for her mother to wear on the job. That didn’t go over well with Susana’s managers, Sheryl said: “They gave her a warning, saying she shouldn’t be wearing that. … She was really mad.”

      • Jared Kushner smacked down by Michigan Gov. Whitmer for blatant lies about coronavirus support

        Addressing armed protesters who stormed the state capitol in Michigan demanding stay at home restrictions be dropped, Whitmer began by stating, “We’ve lost in the last 24 hours almost the same number of Americans that were killed on 9/11, and that’s just in the last 24 hours. We need to listen to the expertise and our institutions of higher learning and our health system and make decisions that are going to protect the lives of everyone. whether you agree with me or not.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • systemd

        • Understanding systemd at startup on Linux

          x
          In Learning to love systemd, the first article in this series, I looked at systemd’s functions and architecture and the controversy around its role as a replacement for the old SystemV init program and startup scripts. In this second article, I’ll start exploring the files and tools that manage the Linux startup sequence. I’ll explain the systemd startup sequence, how to change the default startup target (runlevel in SystemV terms), and how to manually switch to a different target without going through a reboot.

          I’ll also look at two important systemd tools. The first is the systemctl command, which is the primary means of interacting with and sending commands to systemd. The second is journalctl, which provides access to the systemd journals that contain huge amounts of system history data such as kernel and service messages (both informational and error messages).

          Be sure to use a non-production system for testing and experimentation in this and future articles. Your test system needs to have a GUI desktop (such as Xfce, LXDE, Gnome, KDE, or another) installed.

          I wrote in my previous article that I planned to look at creating a systemd unit and adding it to the startup sequence in this article. Because this article became longer than I anticipated, I will hold that for the next article in this series.

        • systemd, 10 years later: a historical and technical retrospective

          10 years ago, systemd was announced and swiftly rose to become one of the most persistently controversial and polarizing pieces of software in recent history, and especially in the GNU/Linux world. The quality and nature of debate has not improved in the least from the major flame wars around 2012-2014, and systemd still remains poorly understood and understudied from both a technical and social level despite paradoxically having disproportionate levels of attention focused on it.

          I am writing this essay both for my own solace, so I can finally lay it to rest, but also with the hopes that my analysis can provide some context to what has been a decade-long farce, and not, as in Benno Rice’s now famous characterization, tragedy.

          In the first chapter, on the basis of contemporary mailing list posts, I discuss efforts to modernize init, rc and service management that took place before systemd, and what were the prevailing motives at the time. I begin with a preface on the cultural cleavages between different classes of Linux users.

          In the second chapter, I discuss the early history and design philosophy of systemd, and what factors drove its adoption.

          The third chapter is a technical critique of systemd. It assumes prior familiarity with systemd and it is heavy on discussion of implementation details. I also include a few “case studies” based on bug reports to better illustrate some of the drier theory.

          The fourth chapter discusses other historical parallels to systemd in FOSS development, wraps up some of the threads in the first and second chapters, and concludes with some conjectures about the future of low-level Linux userspace.

        • Security

          • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 195 – Is BPG actually insecure?

            Josh and Kurt talk about the uproar around Cloudflare’s “Is BGP safe yet” site. It’s always interesting watching how much people will push back on new things, even if the new things is probably a step in the right direction. The clever thing Cloudflare is doing in this instance is they are making the BGP problem something anyone can understand. Also send us your funny dog stories.

          • Hackers break into open-source Android mobile platform LineageOS

            Hackers have broken into the core infrastructure of LineageOS, a free and open-source operating system for smartphones, tablet computers and set-top boxes, based on the Google Android mobile platform.

            In a tweet, the company admitted the breach happened on Saturday night and it was detected well within time before the attackers could do any harm.

            “Around 8PM PST on May 2nd, 2020 an attacker used a common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) in our saltstack master to gain access to our infrastructure,” said the company.

            “We are able to verify that: Signing keys are unaffected, Builds are unaffected, Source code is unaffected,” added LineageOS.

          • Hackers break into open-source Android mobile platform LineageOS
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Big Tech’s Worries Should Worry You

              As the big tech companies talked about dollars and cents this week, pride was the prevailing mood. The bosses at Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook know we’re leaning hard on their products and services. They believe — correctly — that they’ll benefit if we permanently live, work and shop more online.

            • One of Amazon’s Most Powerful Critics Lives in Its Backyard

              A liberal Democrat, Ms. Jayapal wanted to raise concerns about Amazon’s dominance and treatment of its workers. But her district, which includes much of Seattle, is home to many white-collar Amazon employees who may be unsympathetic to attacks on the company.

              She hoped to address her concerns privately. As the hours wore on, though, Ms. Jayapal felt she was getting nowhere, she said in her first extended interview about her relationship with Amazon. She would raise a concern, only to be told by the executives that there was no truth to the stories that had been reported.

              Now, after months of rising frustration with the company, she is taking her concerns public. “I try to have these discussions,” she said, “but I’m at the end of the private line.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • Big Oil Fears Keystone XL Ruling Means End of Easy Pipeline Permits

          The oil and gas industry has taken notice. Seemingly just a ruling on Keystone XL — the subject of opposition by the climate movement for the past decade — the ruling could have far broader implications for the future of building water-crossing pipelines and utility lines.

        • Solar and Wind Cheapest Sources of Power in Most of the World

          The prices are even lower in countries including the U.S., China and Brazil. Equipment costs have come down, technologies have improved and governments across the world have boosted clean-power targets as they seek to combat climate change. That could squeeze out coal and natural gas when utilities develop new power plants.

        • Planet of the humans: A reheated mess of lazy, old myths

          Not only is the documentary bad, it’s old bad. Please join me on this journey back in time. It won’t be fun, but I’m glad you’re here with me.

          All of the stuff in this documentary is ancient

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Corporate Looting as ‘Rescue Plan,’ Robber Barons as ‘Saviors’

        It’s quite telling who counts as “the economy” and what measures are considered “necessary” or “adequate.”

      • Beware of Trump’s China Box

        Our best path out of the Trump China box is to put him in a box he can’t get out of.

      • ‘Belongs in The Hague’: Online Disgust Follows Glowing Praise for George W. Bush’s Covid-19 Message

        Key aspects of the 43rd president’s administration were highlighted this weekend after Trump critics appear to have whitewashed Bush’s legacy.

      • Coronavirus Class Politics: Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

        The crisis can lead to a more fair and just society.

      • Column: Haunting photos from Kent State made me wonder: Where were the black students?

        Monday is the 50th anniversary of that American tragedy. And the photos taken that day offer a sobering glimpse of a nation at war with itself — a nation not so different from the one we live in today, steeped in conflict and struggling to manage fractious ideological, social, racial and generational splits.

      • Kent State Shootings: A Lot of People Were Crying, and the Guard Walked Away

        One night, Alex had spoken to his mother and argued about his aunt, who thought more students should have been shot, ending up by convincing his mother to send a protest letter to president Nixon, and then had gone with Charles to down to the little dock on the Lake in back of the house. The barbarian barber who lived next door had finally stopped clanking his Lawn Boy, and it was quiet and peaceful for a while, the sun sliding down into the water by inches, and then two Kent students, two of Alex’s pupils, had arrived. They’d been up in Toronto since the shooting, they said, taking advantage of the school break, but now they were worried about their grades, how they were going to get credit for all the work they’d done the past quarter if the school stayed closed?

      • Kent State massacre: The shootings on a college campus 50 years ago changed the country

        By Monday, May 4, things reached a boiling point, and students weren’t just protesting the war anymore but also the armed guards stationed on their campus with military-grade weapons. Lewis was among the estimated 2,000 people who gathered that afternoon in a demonstration beset by the “toxic waters of the 60s flowing together in one place,” according to historian Howard Means, who wrote a book on the incident, “67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence.”

        “You had this combination of naive students, a politically ambitious governor, and a laissez-faire administration all deeply complicated by terrible leadership in the National Guard,” Means said. As the National Guard ordered Lewis and his fellow students to disperse, they refused. The guardsmen used tear gas, but it proved largely useless because of the wind, and students threw rocks. While this was all happening, the important school administrators were out to lunch, Means said.

        Then, the guardsmen, at least 60 yards from most of the students protesting, started firing. In 13 seconds, 61 to 67 shots were fired. Lewis was hit twice, four students were killed, eight others were injured, one of whom was permanently paralyzed, and the course of history was altered.

      • Kent State University marks 50 years since seminal shooting

        Fifty years ago, on a sunny May Monday, students in jeans faced National Guardsmen in gas masks on Kent State University’s Commons.

        Student unrest had unnerved the nation, as college kids protested the Vietnam War.

        And in small town Kent, tensions had been escalating all weekend.

        Then, in 13 seconds, 13 college kids were shot.

        Four students died, and nine were injured. The senselessness was unfathomable.

        The shooting was a seminal moment in the country, making a far-away war far too real to Americans. It helped turn public opinion toward peace.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • World Press Freedom Day: The Prosecution of Julian Assange
      • Press freedom

        Thereby is the fiction of a ‘free and independent media’ sustained. Consider that no less than 25pc of the violations documented in the Freedom Network report comprise written or verbal threats of dire consequences, with offline and online harassment making up 14pc.

        The third category included 11 cases of murder or attempted murder (12pc). The perpetrators most often were state authorities (42pc) while 16pc of the incidents were attributed to political parties.

      • ‘What’s Lost Is Truth’: In Yemen, Harassment, Arrests and Torture Drive Reporters from Profession

        Seven years ago, I met a fearless freelance journalist in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, covering weapons trafficking, extreme poverty and al-Qaida. He was arrested and, after a month, released.

        The journalist, whose name is being withheld to protect his safety, told me he was beaten in jail, but not to worry. This was normal, and at least he was freed. It was not safe to be a journalist in Yemen, and this was not his first arrest.

        Since then, things have gotten worse. Much worse.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • For Families Divided by ICE, the Pandemic Compounds the Nightmare

        On March 25, Alexandra Seo’s mother sent her a message: “Alexandra. Call 911 for me. We don’t have any water.” Seo watched as more messages came in: Her mother told her there was no bathroom she could use. There was a foul chemical smell in the air that made it hard to breathe. And there was no running water for her to wash her hands to try to protect herself from the coronavirus. “It’s panic around here,” she messaged. “Everyone is going crazy. Tell dad please.” Seo felt nauseous as more texts arrived.

      • Auschwitz Museum denounces woman holding Nazi sign at Illinois protest

        “Those words became one of the icons of human hatred,” the museum tweeted. “It’s painful to see this symbol instrumentalized & used again to spread hate. It’s a symptom of moral & intellectual degeneration.”

        In a statement Saturday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is Jewish, addressed those carrying “signs filled with hate” at the protest against his strict lockdown measures.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • To Invent is Human: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Rejects AI System as an Inventor

          The patent application in question is directed to controlling light emissions from beacons to make them more noticeable to humans.[2] The application listed a single inventor with the given name indicated as “DABUS” and family name “(Invention generated by artificial intelligence)”. The individual who filed the application, Stephen L. Thaler[3], identified himself as the legal representative of DABUS[4] and the application’s assignee.

          Application documents submitted by Thaler concerning inventorship noted that the invention was conceived by a “creativity machine” named “DABUS” (i.e. an AI system), a series of neural networks trained with information relevant to the field of technology.

          The USPTO objected to the application as being incomplete because it did not identify each inventor by his or her legal name. Thaler petitioned to have the objection dismissed without success. Thaler then filed a second petition requesting reconsideration of the dismissal of his first petition on the grounds that inventorship should not be limited to natural persons, and therefore, that naming DABUS as the inventor was proper.

        • Argentum Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The appeal arose over U.S. Patent No. 9,187,405, with several parties having filed inter partes review petitions, for which the PTAB granted joinder under 35 U.S.C. § 315 (c). These parties included Apotex Inc. and Apotex Corp. (who filed the first granted petition); Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc., and Sun Pharma Global FZE (collectively, Sun); Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Actavis Elizabeth LLC; and Argentum Pharmaceuticals LLC. The PTAB determined that the petitioners had not demonstrated unpatentability under 35 U.S.C. § 314(a); petitioners appealed. However, before the Federal Circuit could render a decision, all petitioners except Argentum settled with Novartis and withdrew their appeals.

          Novartis filed a motion to dismiss Argentum’s appeal, on the grounds that Argentum lacked standing. Anyone (other than the patent holder) has standing to petition for inter partes review under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. Paradoxically, petitioners who fail to establish that at least one challenged claim is invalid do not automatically have standing to appeal. Here this was not an issue initially, because only one party to an appeal needs to have standing and it was undisputed that the other petitioners did so. Once those unsuccessful petitioners settled, however, only Argentum remained in the appeal. As argued by Novartis, the question of Argentum’s standing was a threshold issue that the Court was required to settle before reaching the merits, citing Phigenix, Inc. v. Immunogen, Inc.

        • UK High Court rules innovator Akebia can launch anaemia drug

          The UK High Court has handed down its judgment following a two-week trial involving seven patents for an anaemia drug. Defendant Akebia, alongside its licence partner Otsuka, can now launch its own product in the UK. The new biological mechanism at the heart of the dispute is of great scientific and commercial significance.

          [...]

          Akebia and Otsuka, Fibrogen and Astellas all used firms experienced in conducting litigation for innovators in complex pharmaceutical cases. The pharmaceutical team at Hogan Lovells’ London office was the counsel of choice for Akebia. The case concerning the anaemia drug is the first time Akebia has instructed Hogan Lovells in patent litigation. The firm has previously worked with the innovator on regulatory cases. Hogan Lovells has represented other innovators against GSK, for example Merck Sharp & Dohme.

          Carpmaels & Ransford acted for Fibrogen. The 15-year relationship between Carpmaels and Fibrogen means the firm is responsible for the prosecution of patents in issue, as well as defending the patents in the EPO opposition proceedings. The patent attorneys at Carpmaels have been responsible for the EPO proceedings for a long time. Currently, these opposition proceedings remain ongoing both at Opposition Division level and Board of Appeal level. Carpmaels’ patent attorneys advised during the litigation aspects of the High Court case.

        • UK – MEXICHEM UK LIMITED V HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC

          The recent Court of Appeal judgment in Mexichem UK Ltd v Honeywell International Inc [2020] EWCA Civ 473 has upheld the first instance decision of Hacon J refusing to strike out Mexichem’s requests for Arrow declarations in relation to Honeywell’s patents and patent applications.

          An Arrow declaration is a negative declaration made by the Court that a product or process was old or obvious at a particular date. As such, any patent claims with a priority date after that date cannot both cover the product or process in question and be valid. The aim of such declaratory relief is to protect against future infringement allegations related to granted or yet-to-be-granted, and potentially unknown, patents. Arrow declarations take their name from the case of Arrow v Merck [2007] EWHC 1900 (Pat), the first case in which such relief was sought, with subsequent cases seeking to define the boundaries of this form of relief. The recent Court of Appeal decision is the latest such case.

        • Software Patents

          • USPTO Report on Patent Eligible Subject Matter: Greater Certainty Achieved? [Ed: Perpetuating a lie; certainty REDUCED]

            The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released an eleven page report titled, “Adjusting to Alice: USPTO Patent Examination Outcomes After Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International,” on the impact of Patent Office changes on patent eligible subject matter. U.S. patent eligible subject matter law has been described by some as a “mess,” which breeds uncertainty and may impact incentives to innovate and patent. To address the apparently conflicting and confusing state of the law, the Patent Office has worked hard to provide guidance to examiners and applicants concerning the application of the law. The USPTO report notes that recent guidance provided by the Patent Office has had a positive effect on predictability and certainty concerning the doctrine. Of particular interest, the guidance provided by the Patent Office has a positive impact on Alice-effected technologies. The full report is available, here.

      • Copyrights

        • Federal Court of Appeal Deals Access Copyright Huge Blow As It Overturns York University Copyright Decision

          The Federal Court of Appeal delivered its long-awaited decision the York University v. Access Copyright case yesterday, setting aside the lower court ruling that I had described as “a complete victory” for Access Copyright. The latest ruling will not leave York University and the education community completely happy given the court’s fair dealing analysis, but winning on the mandatory tariff issue removes both the threat of mandated payments to Access Copyright as well as the possibility of a copyright infringement lawsuit by the copyright collective. That represents an enormous win both for York and for a fair approach to copyright licensing that ensures users have licensing choice.

          Access Copyright quickly claimed the decision was a “mixed outcome”, but losing on the mandatory tariff issue eliminates its ability to force the education community to enter into its licence. The copyright collective has spent much of the past decade lobbying the Canadian government to reverse the 2012 copyright reforms that added the education purpose to fair dealing. That approach was rejected by the Government’s copyright review, which opened the door to a further expansion with a “flexible fair dealing” model. But the real story of education and copyright in Canada for the past twenty years has been the string of appellate decisions that have largely unravelled the legal underpinnings of the Access Copyright model. The Supreme Court’s CCH decision brought user rights and an emphasis on fair dealing. The Access Copyright v. Alberta decision ended the claim that there was a meaningful distinction between student copying and teachers’ copying for students. This latest decision addresses the mandatory tariff issue, confirming that educational institutions can opt-out of the Access Copyright licence as appropriate and that any claims of infringement will be left to copyright owners to address, not Access Copyright.

        • Communication to the public online: protecting copyright or breaking the Internet?

          The exclusive right to communicate a copyright work to the public under Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive has been considered in detail by the CJEU. In the context of online communications, the decisions of the CJEU illustrate a tension between the interests of copyright owners and the right to access information and freedom of expression online.

          The leading CJEU case of Svenssonv Retriever Sverige AB [2014] 2 WLUK 451 concerned hyperlinking to copyright works online without the specific authorisation of the copyright owner. The CJEU held that by consenting to the work being freely accessible online, a rights holder had authorised worldwide communication of that work provided the subsequent communications took place by the same technical means, namely online. Any hyperlink to the work was not making the work available to a new public and so was not copyright infringement.

          In the recent case of WarnerMusic v TuneIn Inc [2019] EWHC 2923 (Ch), the High Court considered the right of communication to the public in the context of a radio aggregator website which hyperlinked to streams from over 100,000 radio stations worldwide. TuneIn’s website relied on hyperlinks to the streams from the radio stations. The streams were freely available online and so could theoretically be accessed by anyone worldwide provided that they knew where to look. However, the TuneIn site was very different to the type of hyperlinking considered by the CJEU in Svensson. The TuneIn site allowed its users to access streams either through a search function, through recommendations based on the user’s listening history or by searching by artist. Warner Music and others claimed that this was copyright infringement.

        • Denmark Blocked 141 Pirate Sites in 2019 But Pirates Are Bypassing The System

          Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance has revealed that during 2019 it had 141 ‘pirate’ sites blocked by local ISPs. When compared to 2018, visits to pirate sites were down 40% in 2019, partly as a result. Interestingly, however, the number of people who pirate in the country remains unchanged as tech-savvy users deploy circumvention methods including VPNs and alternative DNS providers.

        • Charter Must Share Personal Info of Pirating Subscribers With Record Labels

          Internet provider Charter Communications must share the personal details of hundreds of alleged pirates with the major record labels. The requirement, signed by a Colorado federal court, is part of the discovery process in an ongoing legal battle. The targeted accounts include business subscribers and the most active copyright infringers. In addition, the ISP is also required to allow the music companies to match IP addresses to specific infringers.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 03, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:49 am by Needs Sunlight

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Social Control Media: Naming the Author Who Smeared Wikileaks (Using a Past Identity) is ‘Hateful Conduct’ (Updatedx3)

Posted in Law at 12:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Locked by Twitter

Summary: Twitter continues to demonstrate intolerance towards free speech; it’s not possible to point out that a particular person used to publish under a different name

THIS I could not believe! Though I didn’t think it was a joke, either.

The above tweet gave me trouble some minutes ago. The tweet is very, very old. Hundreds of thousands of tweets ago.

My question is this: how are people supposed to know about the prior publications if the name changed? The past publications are very much relevant to this. Because this person used to support Wikileaks and then opportunistically started to attack Wikileaks (to promote MuckRock).

Is pointing out the connection between the two (same person) “hateful”?

What is this, a joke?

“Is pointing out the connection between the two (same person) “hateful”?”I did not even mention gender at all (only names, both factually associated with the same person).

Journalists covering Wikileaks have lately been claiming that Twitter was hiding their tweets from followers, especially those that concern Wikileaks.

The above smacks of some sort of “right to be forgotten” (RtbF) thing, where one can change name and then flag as hateful any mention of past writings. As if it’s not legal to link one’s current actions to past writings.

This, I think, should be scandalous! How is it a policy violation to merely point it out?

“This is a very serious threat to free speech.”I will ask my online friends who are trans if this is considered — in their eyes — sufficient grounds for such an action because, assuming it has something to do with LGBT rights, this paints their cause in a bad light — one detrimental to journalism.

Imagine Wikileaks referring to Chelsea Manning as “formerly Bradley Manning” (as it has sometimes done, e.g. when linking to old articles that say “Bradley”) and then getting banned from Twitter for it.

This is a very serious threat to free speech. This is why I took this screenshot. This is the first time Twitter does this kind of thing to me.

“I don’t even know who reported this to Twitter. A slippery slope for sure.”If someone called George changes his name to John or Jane becomes Shiela, does that too make it “hateful”?

There’s not enough clarity in the Twitter message to say why it was deemed “hateful”. It’s very vague, very opaque.

Anyway, a few clicks later, the tweet was deleted (by them, by Twitter) and they let me back into my account with over 750,000 tweets in it.

What next? Will somebody else try to flag something and reach three strikes? Based on this sort of threshold for “hate”, how many other tweets can be flagged “offensive” or whatnot? I don’t even know who reported this to Twitter. A slippery slope for sure. Online lynch mobs trying to ‘cancel’ people or de-platforming them isn’t a new thing; did I get a target on my behind? Cherry-picking things I typed in a hurry several years ago?

Unlocked by Twitter

Update: WOW! They’ve just done that again. Similar thing. Here we go:

Locked again

Update #2: And now Techrights is under DDOS attack. Curious timing.

Update #3: I have also just discovered, 6 hours late, that at the same time Twitter suspended the Tux Machines account, which is totally unrelated, citing “suspicious activity” (very vague) and requiring a phone number and long recovery process to get the account back. This happened around the very same hour as the above process. It’s not likely that the overlap is a coincidence. In a decade of Twitter this never happened to Tux Machines. Is there a coordinated attempt to suppress speech?

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