Links 14/5/2020: Cutelyst 2.11 and SimpleMail 2.1, BeagleBone Green Gateway SBC

Posted in News Roundup at 10:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Forget Windows, Linux Is The Most In-Demand OS On Microsoft Azure

        According to the latest infographics shared by Adir Ron, who works at Microsoft as an open-source strategist, Linux is the most used operating system on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. As per the same infographic data, Linux-based OS captures 60% of the Azure marketplace.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 578: Netdata

        Netdata allows you to instantly diagnose slowdowns and anomalies in your infrastructure with thousands of metrics, interactive visualizations, and insightful health alarms. It was designed for IT professionals, SysAdmins, SREs, and DevOps who have the responsibility to run or troubleshoot infrastructure but do not have the time or the resources to monitor it properly.

      • 2020-05-13 | Linux Headlines

        A new report from Synopsys analyzes the use of open source components in commercial software, GitHub’s fundraising program is now available for teams and projects, Mozilla appoints Adam Seligman as its new COO, Harbor becomes the first OCI-compliant container registry with its 2.0 release, and the Eclipse Foundation is moving to Belgium.

      • Christopher Allan Webber: Departing Libre Lounge

        Over the last year and a half I’ve had a good time presenting on Libre Lounge with my co-host Serge Wroclawski. I’m very proud of the topics we’ve decided to cover, of which there are quite a few good ones in the archive, and the audience the show has had is just the best.

        However, I’ve decided to depart the show… Serge and I continue to be friends (and are still working on a number of projects together, such as Datashards and the recently announced grant), but in terms of the podcast I think we’d like to take things in different creative directions.

        This is probably not the end of me doing podcasting, but if I start something up again it’ll be a bit different in its structure… and you can be sure you’ll hear about it here and on my fediverse account and over at the birdsite.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon Rays 4.0 Released – Adds Vulkan While Dropping OpenCL, No Longer Open-Source

          Continuing with AMD’s relaunch of GPUOpen and introducing new software releases all week, out this morning is Radeon Rays 4.0. It takes another step forward while taking a step back in terms of no longer being open-source.

          Radeon Rays 4.0 adds Vulkan API support as well as DirectX 12 and HIP capabilities, but now drops OpenCL support given HIP and DirectX12/Vulkan. Radeon Rays 4.0 also still supports CPU-based execution too.

        • Mesa 20.2 Picks Up A New Disk Cache: TGSI-To-NIR Caching

          Mesa 20.2-devel has a new cache in place for TTN.

          Mesa 20.2-devel now provides a disk cache for the TGSI-to-NIR (TTN) code as “TTN is slow” so the conversion from the Gallium3D IR to the more popular NIR is backed by an on-disk cache.

          Merged today was the TTN cache itself as well as enabling it for RadeonSI and using TTN caching for compute shaders.

    • Benchmarks

    • Applications

      • CopyQ Clipboard Manager for Keeping a Track of Clipboard History

        How do you copy-paste text? Let me guess. You either use the right click menu to copy-paste or use Ctrl+C to copy a text and Ctrl+V to paste the text. The text copied this way is saved to ‘clipboard’. The clipboard is a special location in the memory of your system that stores cut or copied text (and in some cases images).

        But have you ever been in a situation where you had a text copied and then you copy another text and then realize you needed the text you copied earlier? Trust me, it happens a lot.

        Instead of wondering about finding the previous text to copy again, you can use a clipboard manager.

        A clipboard manager is a handy little tool that keeps a history of the text you had copied. If you need to use the earlier copied text, you can use the clipboard manager to copy it again.

      • BleachBit – Spring cleaning all year long

        BleachBit is a weird tool. One, it does its job well. You get plenty of warnings and explanations about different options, so all in all, it tries to err on the side of caution, despite the disruptive workflow. But then, it also feels unfinished. For example, you have several select applications listed, but not many others. You don’t have any granularity when it comes to different data subsets, i.e. no exclusions. The Gnome theming also feels out of place in Windows.

        In general, BleachBit is a reasonably capable tool, but without the ability to handpick data from different buckets, like cookies or prefetch, you don’t really gain much over the built-in Windows tools, or CCleaner, which I mentioned early on in the article. By default, it’s not a comprehensive cleanup utility that can handle and cover all the usecases, which limits its appeal. I would like to see future versions come with more streamlined integration, and the ability to tweak individual cleanup entries. It’s definitely worth testing, especially if you think of using it across different operating systems. A cautious endorsement from a deep skeptic. The end.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Aura of Worlds makes rogue-lite platformers a little more tactical

        A tactical rogue-lite platformer isn’t something you see too often. A lot are based on speed and / or power but Aura of Worlds calms things down a bit to make you think and it’s now on Linux.

        Escape flooding passages, outrun toxic pollen, face off against gargantuan bosses that have made entire mazes their home. Do you play defensively with the spear and energy shield, or swing into the fray with a boomerang and grapple hook? Do you scour the levels for potions and runes; or do you dive headfirst into the chaos?
        Originally released on Steam back in 2018, this Early Access game is not yet finished but even so it’s showing a huge amount of promise and it’s quite a lot of fun too. Linux support arrived earlier this month, as the developer has been enhancing their game engine.

      • Move over Stream Deck, give me some Stream Pi

        The Stream Deck from Elgato is a nifty little bit of hardware, one that gives you easy access to a ton of functions at the touch of a button and now it has some more open competition with the Stream Pi.

        Admittedly, we’re quite late (okay—a lot) on the uptake with this one. It was actually announced last year and somehow I’ve not heard about it until today. Built to be cross-platform, open source and work on a Raspberry Pi. There’s other similar projects I’m sure but the Stream Pi aims to be as close as possible to the Stream Deck.

      • ATOM RPG | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Native
      • Competitive card game Chroma: Bloom and Blight hits the funding target

        A week ago it didn’t look too certain that Chroma: Bloom and Blight would hit the goal but with the campaign now over, they actually blasted right passed it.

        Chroma: Bloom and Blight is going to be an entirely free to play competitive card game, one that aims to create a truly even playing field since you won’t be able to buy cards. To help their vision a Kickstarter campaign launched that ended today with over €116K against their €100K goal.

      • Europa Universalis IV: Emperor announced for June 9

        Paradox Development Studio and Paradox Interactive today announced Europa Universalis IV: Emperor to release on June 9.

        The next in a long list of expansions, this one opens up three central game systems, offering new gameplay opportunities for the Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire and Revolutionary movements, as well as a host of other changes.

      • Unreal Engine 5 announced, Epic Online Services are now online

        Today Epic Games released to huge bits of news for game developers, and hopefully for gamers everywhere to get a little excited about.

        Starting with Epic Online Services, it was announced today that it’s live now for developers across almost all platforms (yes, Linux too). It supports Unity, Godot Engine, Unreal Engine, various stores like Steam and consoles. Giving developers a cross-platform service to hook into for matchmaking, lobbies, achievements, stats and a lot more.

        The other massive bit of news is Unreal Engine 5, which was also announced today in a blog post giving a preview into its capabilities as a game engine.

      • A first look at Unreal Engine 5
      • Epic Games Preparing Unreal Engine 5 For Debut In 2021 With Increased Photo-Realism

        Epic Games today offered the first glimpse at Unreal Engine 5, their next-generation game engine they hope to have out in preview form in early 2021 and for its official release before the end of next year.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Cutelyst 2.11 and SimpleMail 2.1 released and a fork called Cutelee

          Cutelyst the web framework based on Qt and SimpleMail the SMTP library got another update.

          The current scenario has made me a lot less productive, after all 4 kids at home all the time it’s really hard to concentrate. Still many fixes and a few features have landed both.

          Simple mail had issues building on Windows, and also got some docs fixes.

          Cutelyst got some Session parameters available on config, an WebSocket improvement to avoid setting a null body to skip RenderView processing, and a new view called Cutelee.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • This Month in Mutter & GNOME Shell | April 2020

          The command-line extensions tool received a round of improvements, and now reports extension errors better. Switching the scale of a monitor now should update all interface elements properly on GNOME Shell. Another quality of life improvement that landed was the inclusion of ASCII alternatives in the search index, which for example allows “eteindre” match “éteindre” (French for “power off”).

          GNOME Shell now integrates with the parental controls technology being developed across the GNOME stack. If there are user restrictions in place, GNOME Shell now filters the applications that are not supposed to be used by the particular user.

          One important improvement that landed during April is the rewrite of GNOME Shell’s calendar daemon. This updated version should prevent a lot of heavy background processing of events. Given the extents of the improvements, this is being considered for backporting to GNOME 3.36, but the size of the changes are also considerable. Testing and validation would be appreciated.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15.2

          openSUSE Leap 15.2 has entered the Beta phase on the 25th February 2020. I have recently installed this on my laptop to check it out. Leap 15.2 will coincide with SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop 15 Service Pack 2. Both Leap and SLED share a lot of underlying packages, so this will be (again) a rock solid release.

          openSUSE Leap 15.2 features many big updates. This includes a new version of the KDE desktop environment, a new version of the GNOME desktop environment and a new Linux kernel. In the Leap 15.2 column of the table below, I have highlighted in green the packages that are significantly changed in comparison to Leap 15.1. And in blue, I have highlighted the packages that are changed compared to Leap 15.1 at time of its release, but which are now also available in updated Leap 15.1 installations.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Quay 3.3: Deeper integration with Red Hat OpenShift

          Today, we’re pleased to announce the availability of Red Hat Quay 3.3. The latest version of Red Hat’s distributed and highly-available enterprise container registry focuses on deeper integrations with Red Hat OpenShift through the introduction of Quay Bridge Operator. This release also introduces Clair version 4, the latest version of the image vulnerability scanner, and enhances and stabilizes features introduced in previous Quay releases.

        • Open Liberty brings updates to EJB persistent timers coordination and failover across members

          In Open Liberty, you can now configure failover for Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) persistent timers, load Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) classes directly from the resource adapter, format your logs to JSON or dev, and specify which JSON fields to leave out of your logs. In this article, we will discuss each of these features and how to implement them.

      • Debian Family

        • Popularity Contests & Data Analysis for the Masses

          Yesterday, for instance, we came across an interesting service offered by a well-known Free Software project. Turns out the people of the Debian project, creators of probably one of the oldest and most famous Linux distributions, collect data from users that tells us how popular each package in their distro is.

          The service is called the Debian Popularity Contest. Although I was aware of it and had been mining it for several years, what I hadn’t realised is that they also have this nifty graphing service. Type in the name of a package; for example, plasma-workspace, set the period you want to see (say, from 2015-01-01 to 2019-12-31), press the [Go] button, and you get a nice simple graph that shows you its rate of adoption.

        • Sparky 2020.05 Special Editions

          Special editions of Sparky 2020.05 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
          It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

          • upgrade from Debian testing repos as of May 11, 2020
          • Linux kernel 5.6.7 (5.6.12 & 5.7-rc5 in Sparky unstable repos)
          • Calamares 3.2.23
          • added additional support of Sparky installation on UEFI machines with Secure Boot: the live system should be launched with Secure Boot off as before; but after installation the Secure Boot can be turned on; both installers: Calamares and Sparky’s Advanced provides support of such installation
          • disabled package list updating, during installing Sparky via Calamares; even you install Sparky with active Internet connection, the Debian or Sparky server can be temporary off, so it could stop the installation
          • added new packages to all iso images: ‘pulseaudio-module-bluetooth’ and ‘fuse3’ insead of ‘fuse’; thanks to Richard
          • replaced ‘ktsuss’ by ‘sparky-su’ which is used by ‘sparky-aptus-upgrade-checker’ link
          • Multimedia edition – removed packages: idjc, radiotray, camorama, hydrogen, phatch, ffado-mixer-qt4, flowblade, gscreenshot
          • Rescue edition – removed packages: redobackup, gscreenshot; edded packages: xfce4-screenshooter
          • GameOver edition – removed packages: holdingnuts

        • Q: Remote Support Framework for the GNU/Linux Desktop?

          When bringing GNU/Linux desktops to a generic folk of productive office users on a high scale, graphical remote support is a key feature when organizing helpdesk support teams’ workflows.

          In a research project that I am currently involved in, we investigate the different available remote support technologies (VNC screen mirroring, ScreenCasts, etc.) and the available frameworks that allow one to provide a remote support infrastructure 100% on-premise.

          In this research project we intend to find FLOSS solutions for everything required for providing a large scale GNU/Linux desktop to end users, but we likely will have to recommend non-free solutions, if a FLOSS approach is not available for certain demands. Depending on the resulting costs, bringing forth a new software solution instead of dumping big money in subscription contracts for non-free software is seen as a possible alternative.

          As a member of the X2Go upstream team and maintainer of several remote desktop related tools and frameworks in Debian, I’d consider myself as sort of in-the-topic. The available (as FLOSS) unterlying technologies for plumbing a remote support framework are pretty much clear (x11vnc, recent pipewire-related approaches in Wayland compositors, browser-based screencasting). However, I still lack a good spontaneous answer to the question: “How to efficiently software-side organize a helpdesk scenario for 10.000+ users regarding graphical remote support?”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Released with Lomiri, Revamped Home Screen, and More

          Many months in the works, Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 is a massive update that ships with Lomiri (Unity8) by default. The version of Lomiri included in OTA-12 is built upon one of the last Unity8 released from Canonical.

          The inclusion of Lomiri is already a major change since it introduces new functionality and new interaction models to the interface, including the Application Drawer.

          But, with this change, another one gets removed. The Dash and Scopes are no longer available in OTA-12, which gives Ubuntu Phone users a brand new home screen. The Unity8 Dash was replaced by a blank background.

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 Released With The Switch Finally To Unity 8 / Lomiri

          A year after the transition started to import Unity 8 into Ubuntu Touch, the work is now ready for users with the newly released Ubuntu Touch OTA-12 by the UBports crew.

          UBports now has Unity 8 ready for end-users as of this new Over The Air update issued today. Or rather, the Lomiri environment as their rename of Unity 8.

          With moving to Unity 8 / Lomiri, there are improvements to the home screen, dash, and various other user-interface changes. Along with Unity 8 / Lomiri comes a much newer version of Mir complete with working Wayland support.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Work for Hire could be Limiting You, Your Company, and Open Source.

        For our discussion here, we are not including work as prepared by an employee. If you are an employee, then you are compensated as an employee and the end result product is owned by your employer.

        Instead, we are discussing work that is specially ordered or commissioned for use. For example, a custom script to back up a PostgreSQL database or an application to insert PDFs created by the Linux printing system CUPS into a PostgreSQL database or a recommendation document based on findings.


        Too often consultants are taken advantage of by companies and the attorney-budget of those companies. We have seen Master Service Agreements that literally removed all rights as a consultant and made the consultant an employee without providing the benefits of employment. We have observed intellectual property clauses that assigned Prior Intellectual Property Rights to the client. The most common modification is a change of legal venue to benefit the company that resides across the country or an unwillingness to pay collection and attorney fees should the client not pay its invoices.

        If you are a professional consultant or developer for open source technologies, it is imperative you consider that your business practices also support the ideals that make open source great. A fundamental value of open source is that any development work that benefits the many should not sacrifice benefits for the producers. Open source allows you to build a culture within your ideals that will bring a higher value for you, your employees, and the community at large.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Welcome Adam Seligman, Mozilla’s new Chief Operating Officer

            I’m excited to announce that Adam Seligman has joined Mozilla as our new Chief Operating Officer. Adam will work closely with me to help scale our businesses, growing capabilities, revenue and impact to fulfill Mozilla’s mission in service to internet users around the world.

            Our goal at Mozilla is to build a better internet. To provide products and services that people flock to, and that elevate a safer, more humane, less surveillance and exploitation-based reality. To do this — especially now — we need to engage with our customers and other technologists; ideate, test, iterate and ship products; and develop revenue sources faster than we’ve ever done.

            Adam has a proven track record of building businesses and communities in the technology space. With a background in computer science, Adam comes to Mozilla with nearly two decades of experience in our industry. He managed a $1B+ cloud platform at Salesforce, led developer relations at Google and was a key member of the web platform strategy team at Microsoft.

          • Relaunching Mozilla’s Contribute Page: Applying Open By Design for a Better Volunteer Experience

            At Mozilla, we believe in the power of our communities.

            Contributors translate our products, answer support questions and make thousands of code contributions a year. Mozilla communities are a critical resource for making the internet a more open, diverse and accessible resource for all.

            Over the last few years, we’ve started to look at how these contributors begin with Mozilla. How does someone initially get involved as a volunteer? How do they connect to our projects? Are they contributing to the projects that are ready and able to effectively appreciate their contributions?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Funding

        • Spritely’s NLNet grant: Interface Discovery for Distributed Systems

          I’ve been putting off making this blogpost for a while because I kept thinking, “I should wait to do it until I finish making some sort of website for Spritely and make a blogpost there!” Which, in a sense is a completely reasonable thought because right now Spritely’s only “website” is a loose collection of repositories, but I’d like something that provides a greater narrative for what Spritely is trying to accomplish. But that also kind of feels like a distraction (or maybe I should just make a very minimal website) when there’s something important to announce… so I’m just doing it here (where I’ve been making all the other Spritely posts so far anyway).

          Spritely is an NLnet grant recipient! Specifically, we have received a grant for “Interface Discovery for Distributed Systems”! I’ll be implementing the work alongside Serge Wroclawski.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • FSFE nudges emergency ventilator project towards a Free Software License

            After a nudge by the FSFE, the Dutch OpenAIR initiative has provided licenses on their material to support reuse.

            In the Netherlands an initiative has started to cope with COVID-19 by developing an easy producible emergency ventilator for which parts could mainly be sourced locally: OperationAIR. This project was started on 16 March by professor Harlaar and students of the Department of BioMechanical Engineering of Delft Technical University in order to ensure enough ventilator capacity for treating COVID-19 patients. The team intended their design to be publicly available for reuse. To adhere to the principles of Open Science all documentation, technical design and source code was published in a coherent fashion on their website.

      • Programming/Development

        • Jussi Pakkanen: The need for some sort of a general trademark/logo license

          The problem of software licenses is fairly well understood and there are many established alternatives to choose from based on your needs. This is not the case for licenses governing assets such as images and logos and especially trademarks. Many organisations, such as Gnome and the Linux Foundation have their own trademark policy pages, but they seem to be tailored to those specific organizations. There does not seem to be a kind of a “General project trademark and logo license”, for lack of a better term, that people could apply to their projects.


          Due to this the current approach we have is that logo usage requires individual permission from me personally. This is an awful solution, but since I am just a random dude on the Internet with a lawyer budget of exactly zero, it’s about the only thing I can do. What would be great is if the entities who do have the necessary resources and expertise would create such a license and would then publish it freely so FOSS projects could just use it just as easily as picking a license for their code.

        • Compilers

          • BFloat further steps

            We’re about to merge BFloat IR support [1], after discussions on Phabricator [2] and the mailing list [3]. I think the responses have been quite positive towards this direction, but I would like to make sure we’re also happy with what comes next.

            We would need changes in both SelectionDAG and GlobalISel to support the BFloat type in the backend:

            For SelectionDAG the changes are relatively straightforward. We’d need an MVT type for BFloat and for BFloat vectors, and we’d need changes in the various backends to support the new types. I’ve made a couple of patches to implement the MVT type and add support for AArch64. Together with general frontend support and ACLE intrinsics we can compile BFloat C code for AArch64.

            For GlobalISel there’s a bit more work to do. I’m not too knowledgeable about GlobalISel myself, but there was some discussion on this on another list thread [4] between the GlobalISel folks. The gist is that GlobalISel at the moment can’t differentiate between different float types of the same bit-width. During the course of the list discussion it seems people were in favour of adding more type information to LLT to disambiguate floating point types.

            Do we feel comfortable with this general direction for BFloat?

          • BFloat16 Support About To Land Within LLVM

            The LLVM compiler stack is about to merge its support for the BFloat16 floating-point format, including the BF16 C language support.

            BFloat16 is the 16-bit number format designed for machine learning algorithms for lessened storage requirements and greater performance.

          • What’s the point: GCC 10.1, CockroachDB 20.1, Scylla 4, VS Code, and AWS reviews pricing

            Version 10.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection has landed with new command-line options, a variety of optimisation improvements, and enhancements for working with the C-family, Fortran, AArch64 and Arm. Among the changes are an option to enable a new static analysis pass to help devs get rid of common errors, and an access function and type attribute “to describe how a function accesses objects passed to it”.

            The major release also offers support for OpenACC 2.6 in the C, C++, and Fortran compilers, and includes implementations of additional C++20 and OpenMP 5.0 features, leading GCC closer to being fully able to work with the standard.

          • Upstream Linux Developers Against “-O3″ Optimizing The Kernel

            The upstream Linux kernel developers have come out against a proposal to begin using the “-O3″ optimization level when compiling the open-source code-base with the GCC 10 compiler or newer.

            Last week a patch was proposed to set the default compiler optimization level to -O3 from -O2 for the kernel when using the newly-released GCC 10 compiler or later. That patch by WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld explained, “GCC 10 appears to have changed -O2 in order to make compilation time faster when using -flto, seemingly at the expense of performance, in particular with regards to how the inliner works. Since -O3 these days shouldn’t have the same set of bugs as 10 years ago, this commit defaults new kernel compiles to -O3 when using gcc >= 10.”

        • Python

          • Thoughts on where tools fit into a workflow [Ed: Pushing people to use Microsoft proprietary software, which is still syndicated in Planet Python as a legitimate route while Microsoft pays and enters the Board]

            Typically when I am coding I think about what problem I’m trying to solve, what the API should look like, and then what it would take to test it. I then start to code up that solution, writing tests as I go. That means I have a virtual environment set up with the latest version of Python and all relevant required and testing-related dependencies installed into it. I am also regularly running the test I am currently working on or the related tests I have to prevent any regressions. But the key point is a tight development loop where I’m focusing on the code I’m actively working on.

          • Create your first web scraper with ScrapingBee API and Python

            In this post, I am going to discuss another cloud-based scraping tool that takes care of many of the issues you usually face while scraping websites. This platform has been introduced by ScrapingBee, a cloud-based Scraping tool.

          • Python Community Interview With Christopher Bailey

            Today I’m speaking to Christopher Bailey, the host of The Real Python Podcast. We dig into his past in music and video production as well as his approach to producing online video content. Christopher also provides some helpful tips and tricks for any budding content creator looking to create their first coding video tutorials.

          • A message from Google to the Python community

            Even though we’re spread out amongst our respective countries, cities and homes, the Python community is stronger than ever, and Google is proud to be a part of it. Google’s support of the PSF is an investment in the continued existence of Python and it’s ecosystem for the long-term.

          • Capital One – Lessons From Adopting Python as a Team

            So how does a team of six engineers – heavily experienced in web development in languages like ReactJS, NodeJs, and Java – go about adopting Python into their work?

            The application development and cloud computing technology landscape is always changing and an important part of our role as engineers is to stay up to date on those changes. Sometimes it is through solo work – such as learning a new framework or skill. But sometimes it is through team-based work – such as adopting and migrating a whole project to a new language.

          • 6 Ways Salesforce Gets Things Done with Python

            The Python programming language has strong ties to both engineering and science disciplines, which gives its users access to a wide number of libraries to solve both practical and theoretical problems. We put it to work across Salesforce.org (our non-profit product arm), Heroku, Salesforce Einstein, Industries and Service Clouds, internal devops teams, and more.

          • Django Google Summer of Code Students 2020

            For the 13th year, Django is participating in Google Summer of Code (GSoC), a program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Over the years, the mentorship provided by Django community members and the effort of motivated students have led to major new features as well as overall improvements to the Django codebase.

            In 2019, Sage Abdullah contributed a cross-database JSONField, which will be released as part of Django 3.1 in August.

          • Call for Volunteers! Python GitHub Migration Work Group [Ed: Python project wants volunteers to help it commit suicide by outsourcing everything to Microsoft]

            We are looking for volunteers to participate in a work group that will be involved with Python’s migration from bugs.python.org to GitHub. We want to make sure the directions this migration takes represents what the community needs!

          • Python OOP Course is LIVE

            I am excited to announce that the Python OOP course is now LIVE.

          • CubicWeb: A roadmap to Cubicweb 3.28 (and beyond)

            Yesterday at Logilab we had a small meeting to discuss about a roadmap to Cubicweb 3.28 (and beyond), and we would like to report back to you from this meeting.

            Cubicweb 3.28 will mainly bring the implementation of content negotiation. It means that Cubicweb will handle content negotiation and will be able to return RDF using Cubicweb’s ontology when requested by a client.

            The 3.28 will have other features as well (like a new variables attributes to ResultSet that contains the name of the projected variables, etc). Those features will be detailed the release changelog.

          • Use Raspberry PI as your personal web crawler with Python and Scrapy

            A web crawler (also known as spider or spiderbot) is an internet bot that continually browses web pages, typically for web indexing purposes.
            Typically Search Engines use web crawling ito scan the web and be aware of contents, links and websites relations. These data are processed to understand what results better fit users queries.

            Crawlers consume resources on visited systems. For this reason, mechanisms exist for public sites not wishing to be crawled to make this known to the crawling agent via file named robot.txt under their root url.

            Crawers are also used by some websites update their web content and stay aligned with target sources.

            In this article I’ll show you how to create and configure a simple spiderbot (which crawls peppe8o.com home page posts) with a tiny computer like Raspberry PI. I’ll use a Raspberry PI Zero W, but this applies also to newer Raspberry PI boards.

        • Rust

          • How to get the size of Rust types with -Zprint-type-sizes

            When optimizing Rust code it’s sometimes useful to know how big a type is, i.e. how many bytes it takes up in memory. std::mem::size_of can tell you, but often you want to know the exact layout as well. For example, an enum might be surprisingly big, in which case you probably will want to know if, for example, there is one variant that is much bigger than the others.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • World Health Assembly draft resolution boosts access to Covid-19 medicines

        World Health Assembly negotiators have agreed on a draft resolution that ensures countries can navigate patent rights for Covid-19 medical products, a victory for those supporting wider access to drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines.

        Although the language could still change, the document mentions a voluntary pool, which would collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing medical products. The European Union last month asked the assembly, which is the governing body of the World Health Organization, to adopt the idea, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has already voiced support.

        At the same time, the draft reiterates the rights that countries have to issue so-called compulsory licenses to obtain lower-cost products. Under a World Trade Organization agreement, governments may grant a license to a public agency or a company, allowing it to copy a patented medicine without the consent of the patent holder.

        The draft resolution “does not create new rights” for countries, “but the mention of them is important. And the mention of the pooling mechanism is also important,” explained Ellen ‘t Hoen, a senior researcher in the global health unit at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and a former executive director of the Medicines Patent Pool, which licenses treatments from drug makers.

        By noting both of these issues, the negotiators are effectively siding with a growing number of countries — and not just poor countries — that are increasingly anxious that access to medical products needed to blunt or defeat the pandemic will be out of their reach. The voluntary pool was proposed only a few weeks ago by Costa Rican officials.

        The use of compulsory licensing, in particular, has often been a flashpoint between the pharmaceutical industry and low- and middle-income countries. And the pandemic has ratcheted up concern. Several countries — Canada, Germany, Israel, Ecuador, Brazil, and Chile, to name a few — have moved in recent weeks to make it easier to issue licenses in the quest for lower-cost Covid-19 medical products.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (java-1.8.0-openjdk and seamonkey), Gentoo (firefox, lrzip, qemu, squid, and thunderbird), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (buildah, kernel, kernel-alt, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, podman, python-pip, python-virtualenv, and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (kernel), Slackware (mariadb), SUSE (openconnect), and Ubuntu (file, firefox, iproute2, pulseaudio, and squid, squid3).

          • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, May 2020 Edition

            Microsoft today issued software updates to plug at least 111 security holes in Windows and Windows-based programs. None of the vulnerabilities were labeled as being publicly exploited or detailed prior to today, but as always if you’re running Windows on any of your machines it’s time once again to prepare to get your patches on.

          • docker aufs and tainted kernels – find what module taints the kernel?
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Economic distress: What Corona COVID19 means for the team behind tor – misbehaving tor directories

              in other words: is the NSA running a lot of (modified to their tracking needs) tor guards and exit nodes?

            • ‘The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World’

              If you have always thought of the right of publicity as a blessing for the rich and famous: think again… and read Jennifer Rothman’s book. This book is best described as a biography of the right of publicity in the United States. The author synthesizes a decade’s worth of research on the right of publicity to offer readers the long view on this cause of action in the United States.

              In doing so, the author debunks a number of myths about publicity protection in the US. This alone makes the book a must read for anyone interested in publicity, personality or image right protection, a topic in which the law in the United States is often cited for comparison.

              The central thesis of the book is that the right of publicity comes from, and should have stayed within, the confines of the right of privacy. The argument built by the author in support of this argument is compelling. Rothman argues that the comparison drawn by lawyers between the publicity right and intellectual property (such as copyright), has had a negative impact on the development of the publicity right.


              As previously mentioned, the book considers exclusively US law. Nevertheless, the book will be relevant to anyone from other jurisdictions writing on publicity, personality or image right protection. All too often, commentaries on UK or European doctrines make quick references the ‘American’ right of publicity for contrast, giving the (false) impression that this area of law is homogeneous across the US. This, despite the fact that the right of publicity is governed by state, rather than federal law, when it is not.

              The book guides readers through some of the key differences between the applicable law in various states and indicates useful resources to follow up on these distinctions. The author’s website, “Rothman’s Road Map to the Right of Publicity”, is also helpful in this regard.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Arthrex applies to: “All agency actions rendered by those [unconstitutionally appointed] APJs”

          The PTO immediately filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc. Those petitions have now been denied. However, the original panel has expanded upon its original opinion in with further justification.

          The PTO’s particular contention goes as follows: PTAB judges may be acting as principal officers when ruling over AIA trials, but they are not so high-and-mighty when hearing an inter partes reexamination appeal (or presumably an ex parte appeal from a patent applicant). In response, the Federal Circuit explained that an individual’s Appointment status is associated with the whole person and is related to “all of that appointee’s duties.” See Freytag v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 501 U.S. 868 (1991).

        • Patent case: Biolitec Pharma Marketing Ltd. vs. Tobrix B.V., Netherlands

          Biolitec owns a European patent on an endoluminal laser ablation device which comprises a flexible wave guide (optical fiber) which at the distal end includes a radiation emitting surface to emit radiation laterally with respect to the axis of the fiber. Tobrix commercializes two types of optical fiber for treatment of varicose veins that allegedly infringe the patent. Biolitec claimed infringement and requested inter alia an injunction, while Tobrix counterclaimed for revocation. In response, Biolitec filed several auxiliary requests.

        • “Unclean Hands” accusations in South African Bayer patent battle with Villa Crop

          In 2018, Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH (“Bayer’) geared up for a battle against Villa Crop Protection (Pty) Ltd (“Villa Crop’) in the South African Patent Court. Bayer alleges that Villa Crop infringes its South African patent, ZA 2005/00230 (the 2005 patent). The 2005 patent claims spirotetramat, as an active substance. Spirotetramat is used in Bayer’s plant protection product, Movento, as well as Villa Crop’s competing product, Tivoli.

          At this point it might seem obvious who the winner in this battle will be, but an error and unclean hands might very soon turn the tables…


          Bayer has another, earlier, patent for spirotetramat, being European patent number EP 0 915 846 with an international filing date of 23 July 1997 (“the ’97 patent”). The ’97 patent also claims spirotetramat. Bayer obtained supplementary protection certificates (SPC’s) in respect of spirotetramat as disclosed in the ’97 patent. In doing so, it, inter alia, identified Movento as the commercial product containing spirotetramat. In other words, so Villa Crop argues, Bayer, in its applications for SPC’s, made disclosures incompatible with its subsequent claims in South Africa that spirotetramat was new at the priority date of the 2005 patent. Villa Crop’s attitude is that Bayer should not be permitted to advance a case in South Africa, in respect of spirotetramat which contradicts the case it advanced in respect of spirotetramat before numerous countries in the European Community.

        • Open COVID Science Shows Patents Not The Only Incentive

          The open source and free software movement has exploded over the past 30 years. The movement, based on the idea that users of technology benefit when they can modify that technology to suit their needs, has generated much of the software that runs the modern Internet and our broader information society. And as the huge commercial success of open source companies like Red Hat illustrates, you don’t need to lock inventions under intellectual property in order to have a reason to create them—you can even make a profit from inventions you freely share with the world. (In fact, open source does the opposite, using intellectual property rights to make sure that the inventions can never be locked away.)

          In recent years, there’s also been a new emphasis on open science—the principle that scientific research should be widely available and benefit all, rather than locked in. This includes medical technologies, where researchers have increasingly pushed for free access to information. As one example, NIH implemented a policy in 2009 requiring that any NIH-funded research be made available to the public without charge. However, this approach hasn’t gone all the way to an open model—there’s no restriction on patenting the science and preventing others from taking advantage of it. That fact has been highlighted by the PTO’s recent “Patents 4 Partnerships” launch, which mostly offers U.S. government patents for license despite the urgent need to combat COVID.

          While the federal government hasn’t yet made its inventions freely available, parts of the private sector have begun to step forward.


          Pandemics aren’t the only instance in which incentives other than the blunt tool of a patent are sufficient to obtain inventions. Even if you aren’t stopping a pandemic, the need for a tool and the recognition that you did something is often enough to incentivize development—witness the numerous open source projects created by average people simply because they saw a problem, created something that solved it, and wanted others to benefit. In other cases, normal commercial activity is enough to generate many other inventions—there’s no need to provide a patent to get the inventor to create their invention if a company would have developed it anyway to solve their commercial needs. (Recently, some companies who originally patented their technology realized they’d be better off letting anyone use the patent and making money supporting those who used the patent with their expertise.) And among a range of other approaches, prizes have shown recent success in some areas—the X-Prizes being one well-known example, ranging from the original space launch prize to more recent awards, including one for creating water out of thin air.

          Different innovation incentives will suit different areas of technology and areas of commercialization—patents have a place in the arsenal of incentives. But as the current crisis has made clear, they aren’t the only incentive, and sometimes they do more to interfere than to help. Ensuring an appropriately balanced patent incentive—not too weak, not too strong—is crucial to combating the next pandemic and to creating new technological innovations alike.

        • Not Just a Hole in One, Court Finds Holes in All the Arguments

          Writing about golf in the midst of a national health crisis it a bit misguided, but the invention at issue is still interesting. Amit Agarwal is a former patent litigator and current assignee of U.S. Patent No. 5,370,389 (1994 patent – expired).

          As Agarwal explained in his patent infringement complaint, the invention “revolutionized the boring, slow sport of golf by infusing the golf driving range experience with technology.” The technology here is to individually track the balls hit and award points for distance and alignment. The infringement lawsuit was filed in 2016. TopGolf responded with a petition for inter partes review (IPR), which resulted in the claims being cancelled as obvious. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed — effectively tagging Agarwal with a double bogie.

        • T 1430/15 – Perpetual motion devices and the GL

          This examination appeal is directed to an ‘energy transducer’ which is specified in claim 1 to be able to ‘generate useful work’. According to the Examiner (para. 1.1 of this Communication), it is a perpetual motion device.
          “Claim 1 is directed to an energy transducer [...], which is able to generate useful work by lowering the internal energy of the material. Since the claimed transducer is limited to exhibiting this effect, the disclosure has to enable a skilled person to achieve it in order to meet the requirements of Article 83 EPC.”
          The Board then analyses the application as filed and the physics involved.
          “To summarise, the Board is not convinced that the model predictions [submitted by the applicant] are correct, there is no disclosure in the application as filed concerning the transduction of internal energy to useful work, merely a hypothesis to this effect, and there is no experimental evidence that the transduction from internal energy, as hypothesised in the application as filed, will necessarily occur when the claim prescriptions regarding the application of forces and choice of material are followed. For these reasons, the application in the version of the main request does not meet the requirements of Article 83 EPC.”

        • Software Patents

          • PTAB Procedural Denial and the Rise of 314

            The Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) inter partes review institution rate has dropped every year since the launch of IPRs, and so far in 2019, hovers at around 60%, as compared to above 80% in 2013, the first full year of the Board’s modern set-up.


            The Board has now denied institution of hundreds of meritorious petitions for scheduled copending trial dates and ITC actions (even when those dates are later moved or cancelled) (NHK Spring), has drastically curtailed the number of grounds and pages parties can bring together at the outset (Comcast v. Rovi), has denied petitions for not explaining a delay (General Plastic), and has prevented defendants from challenging patents themselves once unrelated parties have had their say (various Uniloc cases). It does not do so in every case; but careful analysis of their institution decisions of the past three years reveals that even as the number of PTAB filings has fallen and the institution rate has dropped to 52% this year, discretionary denials as a percentage of institution denials has risen dramatically, and are on pace to almost double again this year.


            What this makes clear is that the multiple precedential Board orders focusing only on the behavior of the petitioner have had a clear and serious impact on filings—one would assume as they were intended to—and have lowered the overall institution rate as well as the denied otherwise meritorious petitions fair consideration before the agency. Conversely, the agency generally will not consider the nature of the patent owner—for instance, as a serial filer or a non practicing entity—when considering whether review is warranted, though they could.

            Unified Patents’ Portal now tracks § 314 and § 325 denials to show the impact of these denials at the PTAB.

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