05.20.20

Links 20/5/2020: EA Picks GPLv3 for Old Code and Microsoft ‘Steals’ MAUI

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Embedded computers tap Jetson Xavier NX and AGX Xavier

      Advantech’s “MIC-710AIX” edge AI computer and 8x PoE “MIC-710IVX” NVR system run Linux on Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX. There’s also an AGX Xavier based MIC-730AI system.

      Advantech has launched two embedded computers built around Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier NX module, which recently began shipping with a $399 Jetson Xavier NX Dev Kit. The MIC-710AIX is a compact, rugged AI inference edge computer while the MIC-710IVX targets network video recorder (NVR) applications for H.264/H.265 cameras connected via 8x PoE ports.

    • Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Streaming radio – Week 30



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

      I spend most of the day with some form of multimedia burbling in the background. Streaming radio over the net is often heard around my house. The RPI4 is an extremely frugal tiny machine that consumes so few watts I leave it on permanently. This makes it an ideal machine to source the radio.

      This week I’ve had a large chunk of time to devote to this week’s blog. What better time to look at, in detail, a range of internet radio software that runs on the RPI4. I’m not seeking to provide an exhaustive survey. But I’m covering as many programs as possible. I’ve not limited my choice to dedicated internet radio software.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Free Operating System That’s Identical To macOS

        iRaspbian comes with a series of built-in apps, including Chromium Media Edition (the version of the web browser that allows you to use services such as Netflix), LibreOffice and the GIMP art package – all of which have their own icons on the Dock.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • This Week in Linux 104: UBports Ubuntu Touch, Pine64, PineTab, KDE Plasma 5.19, Pi-hole 5.0, Zabbix

      On this episode of This Week in Linux, We’ve got a lot of news related to Linux Mobile like UBPorts’ Ubuntu Touch OTA-12, a plethora of Pine64 news, and MauiKit 1.1.0 was released. We’ll also talk about the current Beta release of KDE’s Plasma 5.19. We’ve got many more project releases like Pi-hole 5.0, Ubuntu Unity Remix 20.04, Zabbix 5.0 LTS, Coreboot 4.12 We’re also going to talk about an interesting revelation from Microsoft where they admitted the company was wrong about Open Source. Then we’ll finish out the show with another great round of Humble Bundles. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • mintCast 335 – Be Our Guest

      First up, in our Wanderings, I finally got my Pi4, Scott has been working from home, Moss plays for his peeps, Tony’s been reinstalling, and Joe’s been printing in 3d

      Then, in the news, no ZFS for Mint, some honorable mentions on the Ubuntu section last episode, LibreOffice Alpha is out, and more!

      In security, it’s GitHub’s turn for issues.

    • Microsoft FINALLY Gets It | LINUX Unplugged 354

      Windows is getting more competitive by adopting core Linux features, so we cover the latest Linux-inspired additions to Windows. Then review the new release of Pi-hole, sort through recent PINE64 updates, and read your feedback.

    • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E08 – Black cats

      This week we’ve been live streaming on YouTube. We discuss upgrading home networks and optimising power line adapters, WiFi and broadband connections. A bumper crop of network-related command line love and all your wonderful feedback.

    • 2020-05-20 | Linux Headlines

      Microsoft’s Build conference showcases a slew of Linux-related tech, Slackware adds PAM support, Red Hat’s Skopeo hits 1.0, The Tor Project unveils a new community portal, and Canonical is developing a progressive release feature for Snapcraft.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 5.6.14

      I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.14 kernel.

      All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

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

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

    • Linux 5.4.42
    • Linux 4.19.124
    • Linux 4.14.181
    • Linux 4.9.224
    • Linux 4.4.224
    • ZFS versus RAID, Comparing Linux Performance Benefits

      When you are setting up a storage repository on Linux you have a lot of choice in configurations, more so than on a Windows server. ZFS is a go to for many as it incorporates a logical volume manager, a RAID system, and a filesystem all at once and physically setting up multiple disks takes more time than the build time once you boot. On the other hand RAID is familiar to a wider audience, especially for businesses.

      So the question Ars Technica has raised has to do with what you might be missing by making the choice to go with one solution or the other. In order to find an answer they installed eight 12TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs on a system using the LSI-9300-8i 8-port Host Bus Adapter. They tested the systems with both 4K and 1M blocksizes, and with a single process, an iodepth=1 and iodepth=8 to give you an idea what real world performance would be.

    • Intel’s Habana Labs Mainlining Gaudi Accelerator Support In Linux 5.8

      AI startup Habana Labs, which was recently acquired by Intel, will see its Gaudi accelerator supported by the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel.

      Habana Labs even in its pre-Intel days has been a good open-source patron with punctually open-sourcing their AI accelerator kernel driver code. They began with their Goya AI last year and have continued improving the upstream kernel driver while also preparing for Gaudi support in more recent kernels/months. With Linux 5.8 it looks like their Gaudi ASIC enablement is complete.

    • Linux 5.8 To Better Deal With Critical Thermal Faults For Radeon GPUs

      AMD on Tuesday sent in another batch of feature updates for Linux 5.8 with the cut-off for new material upon us with this next kernel cycle expected to begin in early June.

      Given its getting late to queue new code in DRM-Next for Linux 5.8 and AMDGPU already saw several rounds of feature pulls, this latest pull request is mostly focused on the fixes side. There are fixes for SR-IOV and xGMI, adding the MEM_SYNC IB flag used by the AMDVLK driver, and other code clean-ups.

    • Linux 5.8 To See Faster FUSE Write Performance

      FUSE for file-systems in user-space while being criticized by developers in the past and known for being slower than kernel native file-systems is seeing another write optimization come Linux 5.8.

      Queued in fuse-next ahead of the Linux 5.8 kernel is an optimization for the writepages search in using an rb-tree rather than a list for the writepages.

    • Btrfs on the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6

      Oracle’s release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel 6 (UEK6) is based on the Linux kernel version 5.4. In which Btrfs continues to be a fully supported file-system. Let’s look at some of the notable new features and enhancements in Btrfs on UEK6.

    • Fabián Orccón: What I learned about Linux device development: Part I

      I have been reading the firsts three chapters of the Linux Device Drivers book during this week. I have been reading this book in parallel with other book of 600 pages (related to Peruvian economy history since 1889), so the progress I have made on this week is productive enough to me. I have also put in on practice the implementation of the scull driver.

      The mentioned book is a little bit outdated of course because there are new ways to do things that were added later in the kernel. So the purpose of this post is to show these outdated parts, what is the new way to do it, and also to extend some things that I did not see covered in the book.

      Do not use mknod When registering a char region with register_chrdev_region you have to pass to it a specific major number and a minor number (in the first argument). The book suggests “your drivers should almost certainly be using alloc_chrdev_region rather than register_chrdev_region”.

      In fact, it’s better to let the kernel to pick a free major number for you. The annoying part with it is that once you created your driver and loaded it up with the insmod command, the device is not automatically added to the /dev directory. The book tells that when distributing a driver you will have to provide a script that creates the device files manually (usually called MAKEDEV), in this case your script should manually create: /dev/scull0, /dev/scull1, /dev/scull2 and /dev/scull3.

    • Intel Continues Prepping Initial Bits For Compute Express Link Device Support (CXL)

      Recently the Intel open-source Linux developers have begun working on the Compute Express Link support by beginning with the DVSEC (Designated Vendor-Specific Extended Capabilities) handling for CXL devices. This code is needed for identifying CXL-capable devices off the PCI Express bus and lays the basis for their initial CXL bring-up on Linux and the introduction of drivers/pci/cxl.c and related wiring into the kernel’s PCI subsystem code.

    • Graphics Stack

      • DirectX on Linux – what it is/isn’t


        First up clarify for the people who jump to insane conclusions:

        The DX on Linux is a WSL2 only thing. Microsoft are not any way bringing DX12 to Linux outside of the Windows environment. They are also in no way open sourcing any of the DX12 driver code. They are recompiling the DX12 userspace drivers (from GPU vendors) into Linux shared libraries, and running them on a kernel driver shim that transfers the kernel interface up to the closed source Windows kernel driver. This is in no way useful for having DX12 on Linux baremetal or anywhere other than in a WSL2 environment. It is not useful for Linux gaming.

        From my point of view the kernel shim driver doesn’t really bring anything to Linux, it’s just a tunnel for some binary data between a host windows kernel binary and a guest linux userspace binary. It doesn’t enhance the Linux graphics ecosystem in any useful direction, and as such I’m questioning why we’d want this upstream at all.

      • Microsoft Build – DirectX and Linux (WSL) plus more

        Microsoft put up a developer blog post titled “DirectX ❤ Linux”, which is a nice bit of PR bait. In reality, it means nothing for the standard desktop Linux. It’s focused entirely on the Windows Subsystem for Linux which Microsoft tightly controls and DirectX itself remains firmly closed source. A Microsoft developer even said on the Linux Kernel mailing list, that there’s “no intent” to have people coding for DX12 on Linux. Not only that, this implementation relies on pre-compiled user mode binaries that ship as part of Windows itself. Right now it seems to also be focused on CUDA and AI / Machine Learning, however, they also announced Linux GUI applications will eventually be supported on WSL as well.

        First they embraced Linux doing away with the Ballmer era of “Linux is a cancer”, now they’re extending a branch saying they were “on the wrong side of history” with open source and now they continue the extending. How long before extinguish phase starts (EEE)? Don’t be fooled about Microsoft’s stance and their aim here, it’s not because they love Linux. They’re going where the developers are to continue pulling people to Microsoft services. Nothing more.

        If any of it concerns you: I hope you put that energy and effort into continuing your support of the Linux desktop. Help it to grow and prosper. Support your favourite distribution, your favourite application and/or game developer by throwing some money at them.

      • Mainlining The Microsoft DirectX Kernel Driver For Linux Will Be An Uphill Battle

        Intel open-source developer Daniel Vetter who helps oversee the DRM subsystem immediately pointed out a number of problems, including the closed-source user-space. Among the issues raised by Vetter is that the DirectX kernel driver is “reinventing the world” in changing around device enumeration and a lot of other interfaces/features already supported in a common manner by upstream DRM drivers. There are also questions raised about how well this integrates with other common Linux features like DMA-BUF.

        DRM maintainer David Airlie was also quick to characterize this as a driver that connects a binary blob interface in Windows to a binary blob in Linux guests. He personally sees little value in having this driver upstreamed and raised concerns over how this driver will ultimately handle its planned presentation bits for displaying of Linux GUI applications within WSL2. He also raised the possibility of this landing in the Linux kernel as part of the Microsoft Hyper-V drivers rather than in the DRM driver area.

        Airlie also followed up that he isn’t even fond of the idea of reviewing this open-source DXGKRNL code as since it’s implementing proprietary Microsoft interfaces could potentially legally taint him in developing new graphics interfaces.

  • Benchmarks

    • Intel Core i5 10600K + Core i9 10900K Linux Performance Benchmarks



      Intel announced at the end of April the 10th Gen Core “Comet Lake” S-Series CPUs with the Core i9 10900K being their new top-end processor with a 10 core / 20 thread processor that can clock up to 5.3GHz. The Comet Lake S-Series desktop CPUs are now shipping and this morning the embargo lifts in being able to publish the benchmarks. Here is how the Intel Core i5 10500K and Core i9 10900K processors are performing on Linux from Steam on Linux gaming to various interesting real-world workloads.

      The Intel Core i9 10900K 10-core/20-thread processor has a 3.7GHz base clock with a 5.3GHz thermal velocity boost single-core boost frequency but for the multi-core Turbo Boost frequency is in the 5.1~5.2GHz range. The CPU has a 125 Watt TDP but as also shown in our testing today it can peak much, much higher than that. This CPU is available today for around $488 USD.

  • Applications

    • Notorious is new keyboard-driven note taking app for Linux



      Notorious is a new note taking app for Linux desktops that is open source and built in GTK and Python.

      It does everything Noted does (plus a bit more) but without any of Electron’s RAM guzzling tendencies in play.

      You can write your notes in plaintext (ergo you can style them anyway you like) but the app also supports Markdown syntax highlighting (not enable by default). Automatic saving is also included.

    • Grafana 7.0 Released

      I’m really excited – Grafana 7 just got released, it’s a massive upgrade to an already increadibly popular graphing tool for time series, metrics and logs.

      I used Grafana a few years ago but have since stopped due to using proprietary solutions and cloud monitoring services. This release will be a great opportunity to revisit Grafana – especially since now it’s much easier to get it working in Docker deployment (I used to package into a container myself).

    • Grafana v7.0 released: New plugin architecture, visualizations, transformations, native trace support, and more

      We are thrilled to announce that Grafana 7.0 has been released for general availability. Join us as Torkel Ödegaard, the creator of Grafana, hosts a full demo of 7.0 during GrafanaCONline today. (The session will also be available on demand here.)

      With Grafana v7.0, our goal was to extend on the Grafana platform by making it easier and more consistent for existing users, and intuitive and simple for those not familiar with Grafana. This release includes significant enhancements to simplify the development of custom plugins and drastically increase the power, speed, and flexibility of visualization.

    • Gnuastro 0.12 released
      Hello,
      
      I am happy to announce the 12th stable version of GNU Astronomy
      Utilities (Gnuastro):
      
      Gnuastro is an official GNU package of various command-line programs
      and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of
      (astronomical) data. All the programs share the same basic
      command-line user interface (modeled on GNU Coreutils). For the full
      list of Gnuastro's library, programs, and a comprehensive general
      tutorial (recommended place to start using Gnuastro), please see the
      links below respectively:
      
      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-library.html
      
      
      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Gnuastro-programs-list.html
      
      
      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/General-program-usage-tutorial.html
      
      Many new features have been added, and many bugs have been fixed in
      this release. For the full list, please see [1] below (part of the
      NEWS file within the tarball). Here are the highlights (done by the
      new contributors to Gnuastro's source): The Crop program's `--polygon'
      option now works on concave polygons (when an internal angle is larger
      than 180 degrees). This is very useful for cropping out some deep
      fields that have zig-zag-like edges. It can also deal with
      self-intersecting polygons. Also, the Table program can now select
      rows based on their position within a polygon, it can concatenate
      columns of multiple tables (with same number of rows), and it can
      convert RA (in HH:MM:SS) and Dec (in DD:MM:SS) to degrees and
      vice-versa: with its four new column-arithmetic operators.
      
      Here is the compressed source and the GPG detached signature for this
      release. To uncompress Lzip tarballs, see [2]. To check the validity
      of the tarballs using the GPG detached signature see [3]:
      https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.12.tar.lz    (3.4MB)
      https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.12.tar.gz    (5.4MB)
      https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.12.tar.lz.sig (833B)
      https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/gnuastro/gnuastro-0.12.tar.gz.sig (833B)
      
      Here are the MD5 and SHA1 checksums (other ways to check if the
      tarball you download is what we distributed):
      07d27c08cf8baae53a523224b4ed9ce5  gnuastro-0.12.tar.lz
      dd13676b21a39ca3590c8f3a57285860  gnuastro-0.12.tar.gz
      3651354a70d17b66dfba7253a97bb0f303e7efd7  gnuastro-0.12.tar.lz
      568b5ea3f39edcb661874542ebb9ae2ed1f06668  gnuastro-0.12.tar.gz
      
      Since Gnuastro 0.11, Madhav Bansal, Sachin Kumar Singh and Kartik Ohri
      have contributed to the source of Gnuastro and Raúl Infante-Sainz
      Raphael Morales, Alejandro Serrano Borlaff, Zahra Sharbaf, Joseph
      Putko provided very useful comments, suggestions and bug fixes that
      have been implemented. Thanks a lot for helping improve Gnuastro :-).
      
      If any of Gnuastro's programs or libraries are useful in your work,
      please cite _and_ acknowledge them. For citation and acknowledgment
      guidelines, run the relevant programs with a `--cite' option (it can
      be different for different programs, so run it for all the programs
      you use). Citations _and_ acknowledgments are vital for the continued
      work on Gnuastro, so please don't forget to support us by doing so.
      
      This tarball was bootstrapped (created) with the tools below. Note
      that you don't need these to build Gnuastro from the tarball, these
      are the tools that were used to make the tarball itself. They are only
      mentioned here to be able to reproduce/recreate this tarball later.
        Texinfo 6.7
        Autoconf 2.69
        Automake 1.16.2
        Help2man 1.47.15
        ImageMagick 7.0.10-13
        Gnulib v0.1-3428-gb3c04ecec
        Autoconf archives v2019.01.06-97-gfd1d25c
      
      The dependencies to build Gnuastro from this tarball on your system
      are described here:
      
      https://www.gnu.org/s/gnuastro/manual/html_node/Dependencies.html
      
      Best wishes,
      Mohammad
      
    • First steps with the Nano text editor

      Nano is a versatile, easy to use, and quick to learn text editor for the Linux terminal. This article presents the first steps with the Nano text editor. The goal is to get you comfortable with editing text files from the terminal. The article covers topics such as managing files, navigating the cursor, copy and paste, search and replace. The article includes brief exercises to try out your newly learned skills.

    • Oracle Releases GraalVM 20.1 Virtual Machine With Some Big Improvements

      Oracle today released GraalVM 20.1 as their latest big feature update to this virtual machine implemented in Java that also supports not only JIT compilation but ahead-of-time compilation for Java software as well as supporting an LLVM runtime and other languages.

    • RenderDoc 1.8 Released For This Cross-Platform, Multi-API Graphics Debugger

      RenderDoc 1.8 is out as the newest feature release for this cross-platform, open-source graphics debugging and profiling utility for Vulkan, Direct3D 11/12, OpenGL, and OpenGL ES APIs.

  • Instructionals/Technical

  • Games

    • Remaster Update and Open Source / Mod Support

      Fellow Command & Conquer fans,

      Since the announcement of the Remastered Collection, one of the top questions from the community has been if the game would provide Mod Support. Given the incredible C&C community projects over the past two decades, we appreciated how important this was going to be for the Remastered Collection. It’s time to finally answer the question around Mod Support, but it first requires the reveal of a special surprise for the community.

      Today we are proud to announce that alongside the launch of the Remastered Collection, Electronic Arts will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license. This is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL. It’s worth noting this initiative is the direct result of a collaboration between some of the community council members and our teams at EA. After discussing with the council members, we made the decision to go with the GPL license to ensure compatibility with projects like CnCNet and Open RA. Our goal was to deliver the source code in a way that would be truly beneficial for the community, and we hope this will enable amazing community projects for years to come.

    • EA is releasing the Command & Conquer source code so you can have better mods

      The devs behind Command & Conquer Remastered have been saying all the right things heading into release, but the latest announcement almost seems too good to be true – they’re releasing the source code. That means modders are going to have much better access to see how the original games were built – which, in turn, means we can get bigger, better Command & Conquer Remastered mods.

      “Today we are proud to announce that alongside the launch of the Remastered Collection, Electronic Arts will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license,” EA’s Jim Vessella explains on Reddit. “This is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.”

    • Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert will be partially open-sourced alongside remaster launch

      Today, EA gave another update regarding the upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, specifically about modding support for the two games in it, Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert. Surprisingly, it was revealed today that EA will be open-sourcing some key parts of the game.

      The open-sourced material, “TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code,” will be under the GPL version 3.0 license, and will be released into the wild alongside the Remastered Collection’s launch on June 5. Regarding this move, EA producer Jim Vessella said that “this is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.”

    • EA to open source part of Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert

      With the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection releasing next month for Windows, EA had a bit of an announcement to make today in regards to open source.

      Posting on Reddit as well as the Steam page, EA announced that both Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert will see their data being opened up. They will release “TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license”. This is being done, they say, as a result of a collaboration between them and the community and they went with the GPL to “ensure compatibility with projects like CnCNet and Open RA”.

    • EA To Open-Source Part Of Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert To Help The Mod Community

      Adding to the amount of surprising news this week, Electronic Arts just announced they will be open-sourcing portions of Command and Conquer Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert in order to help the mod community around this franchise.

      EA is to open-source TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll under the GPLv3 license. EA isn’t providing the games as full open-source nor their assets but in this limited step they are aiming to help in allowing the community to create new maps, units, enhance the gameplay logic, and make other engine-level modifications.

    • Spyro Reignited Trilogy | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.10 | Steam Play

      Spyro Reignited Trilogy running through Steam Play (Proton 5.0-4) Game runs perfect. Controller included.

    • Stadia Pro will soon drop down to one free month

      If you have been sitting on the fence about trying out Google Stadia, you might want to decide soon as their current generous offer is about to get less so.

      Back in early April, Google officially opened the gates to anyone in the currently 14 supported countries. This came with some freebies too, as anyone who signed up (and existing subs) got two free months of Stadia Pro. Google has announced today, that this offer will reduce from two months down to one on June 3. If you sign up before then you get the two months.

    • Serious Sam 4 announced for August, confirmed for Stadia

      Serious Sam 4 from Croteam and Devolver Digital finally has a release window with it announced for August.

      Croteam returns with a high-powered prequel to the Serious Sam series that scales up chaos to unprecedented levels. The classic Serious Sam formula is revamped by putting an unstoppable arsenal up against an unimaginable number of enemies that requires players to circle-strafe and backpedal-blast their way out of impossible situations.
      It was just announced for Windows on Steam and Stadia too, so Linux fans using Stadia will be able to play it hopefully without any issues right away. Sadly, they removed mention of both Linux and macOS from the Steam store page back in April (SteamDB).

    • Kerbal Space Program gets a Shared Horizons update on July 1

      Developer Squad has confirmed that Kerbal Space Program will be teaming up with the ESA (European Space Agency) with the Shared Horizons update on July 1.

      This will be a free update for everyone, which will include the Ariane 5, Europe’s heavy-lifting launcher and give you the opportunity to tackle real ESA missions. Ariane 5 isn’t making a small cameo either, it’s getting the full treatment with all the stages, engines and systems of the launch vehicle.

      “We are excited to partner with ESA to bring their actual missions and spacecraft to Kerbal Space Program for the first time,” said Michael Cook, Executive Producer at Private Division. “It is an honour to work hand-in-hand with such a world-class space organisation, and we cannot wait for fans to experience these monumental missions with the Shared Horizons update.”

    • Prepare your tee as Golf With Your Friends has released

      Golf With Your Friends, a lovely mini-golf game from developer Blacklight Interactive and Team17 has now left Early Access ready for you to catch a birdie.

      Quite a relaxing game to play by yourself for sure. However, it’s also an absolute blast to play with others. You can hook up with others online to have a 12 player game and it becomes quite intense. There’s also local multiplayer too. Tons of options to play together, spread across quite a lot of different themed courses. A new course arrived with the release too, themed on The Escapists.

    • Teen Programmer Uses Real Self-Driving Car Tech in ‘GTA V’

      “So what you need is two PCs. One PC with Windows and all the Xbox drivers installed and one laptop or PC with Ubuntu 16.04 running openpilot with a webcam,” he said on Github. “I would recommend at least a 1080p webcam for any kind of openpilot webcam thing. I used a Logitech C920 but the quality still wasn’t really outstanding.”

    • Bee management sim Hive Time gets an Informational Update

      Hive Time, a very sweet bee management and building sim where you build up your own hive has a big update out now. Disclosure: the developer, Cheeseness, has contributed to GOL in the past.

      With today being World Bee Day, it’s a perfect time for a big update and to learn a little perhaps. The Informational Update brings in a Beepedia which is a place for looking over tutorial info, game concepts to be explored, and some hints/tips to be discovered and some proper facts too. Additionally there’s a bunch of fancy new visual effects, a bunch of new Queen portraits and a lot of small additions to make it feel nicer overall.

    • Lair of the Clockwork God becomes the number 1 Steam 250 hidden gem

      Lair of the Clockwork God, a game that blends together a platformer with a point & click adventure just recently became notably highly rated.

      You’ve probably heard of Steam 250 before, we’ve linked to it a few times as well. It’s a website that pulls in user ratings from Steam, to build an unbiased list of highly rated games. This includes lists like the overall best, most played, trending, per-platform lists and more.

      An interesting list I like to keep an eye on is the Hidden Gems. Showing games that are close to 100% on positive ratings but they don’t have a large amount of reviews. So it’s a list that usually shows really good games that get often overlooked by the masses.

    • Story-driven metroidvania Clunky Hero has you fight drunk bees

      From the same Nicola Piovesan and Chaosmonger Studio who are currently working on the point and click ENCODYA, they’ve announced a second game with Clunky Hero.

      Clunky Hero is a story-driven platformer metroidvania with “a touch of RPG and tons of humor” according to Piovesan. It’s just launched on Kickstarter with a small €12,500 goal and looks quite interesting. According to their info it’s supposed to be a mash-up of gameplay found in the likes of Hollow Knight but on the more ridiculous side. The protagonist appears to run around with a broom and a bucket on their head. They mentioned the card game Munchkin as an idea of the parody level they’re going for.

    • The Long Dark has a huge Survival Mode update

      Surviving in The Long Dark is not easy, this quiet apocalypse with you stuck out in the cold will challenge anyone but now the team at Hinterland are giving you some new stuff to help.

      Refresher time! The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies — only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster.

      With the latest update, Fearless Navigator, you can now find paint spray cans in the world, which is one of the new major quality of life improvements. Allowing you to mark an area to remember it, which makes it show up on your map. That is something I was sorely missing from it. I often got quite lost in The Long Dark, as they purposefully went for a different approach to other games. It still doesn’t make it at all easy but it’s a nice and welcome change.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE: New releases Kid3



        Kid3 is a handy but powerful music tagging program which lets you edit the ID3 tags and similar formats on MP3 and other music files.

        This month is has moved to be hosted by KDE and has made its first release as a KDE app. The release note says:

        “Besides bug fixes, this release provides usability improvements, additional keyboard shortcuts and user action scripts. Special thanks go to various people at KDE, who translated the user interface and the handbook to new languages.”

        Kid3 is available in for Linux, Windows, Mac and Android. You can download from the website or through your distro and the stores Chocolatey, Homebrew and F-droid.

      • KDE’s May 2020 Applications Update Makes Kid3 an Official KDE App
      • Official Statement Regarding Xamarin.Forms rebranding as MAUI



        Today May 19, 2020, we were notified by a couple of users at the KDE Maui Project Telegram channel about a name change of a Microsoft product, the UI framework previously known as ‘Xamarin.Forms’ was rebranded as MAUI (Multi-platform App UI ). This name change is unfortunate as there is an existing project called Maui; evidently, we are referring to the Maui Project (https://mauikit.org/). The word “Maui” often capitalized as MAUI in the Maui Project is also an acronym, and it means Multi-Adaptable User Interfaces taking this as consideration; there’s a reasonable cause of confusion between these two frameworks.

        As it is the case, both are UI frameworks to create cross-platform applications, which does not help the situation. We created the Maui Project in 2018, announcing it for the first time on June 10 of the same year, as per our calculations, that is two years before Microsoft introduced this change into their product. The Maui Project’s code was initially at GitHub, and it has code commits dating back to April 29, 2018. Currently, the code of MauiKit and the Maui applications lives on KDE Invent.

        Even going back as far as checking the registration of the original domain https://maui-project.org which dates back to 2018-05-06 and the current domain (which is under KDE infrastructure) https://mauikit.org which dates back to 2018-09-21, it’s relatively easy to observe that the Maui Project predates this rebranding by Microsoft.

      • Microsoft And A KDE Project Spar Over “MAUI”
      • QML Online – First stable version!



        Finally, after working since October and learning a bunch about WebAssembly, CSS, HTML (sad, right ?) and emscripten, I can happily announce a stable version of qmlonline! In this post, I’m going to show the idea behind the project and some code that may help you with your future adventures.

        Everything starts with QHot, that I describe as “Hot reload for nested QML files”, a useful tool for anyone that likes to prototype UI elements or ideas with a real-time feedback of what you are typing in QML. I noticed that compiling the project or recalling qml/qmlscene tools just to test and check my ideas was pretty annoying and time-consuming, the desire to have something like godbolt or quick-bench started growing. My objective was something that was closer to these tools but for QML development, and that is how QHot was born.

      • David vs Goliath! Microsoft and an Obscure KDE Project Fight Over “MAUI”

        What’s in a name? A lot actually. Microsoft and an obscure KDE project fight over the use of word “MAUI” in their respective open source projects.

      • Norbert Preining: Plasma 5.19 coming to Debian

        These packages require Qt 5.14, which is only available in the experimental suite, and there is no way to simply update to Qt 5.14 since all Qt related packages need to be recompiled. So as long as Qt 5.14 doesn’t hit unstable, I cannot really run these packages on my main machine, but I tried a clean Debian virtual machine installing only Plasma 5.18.90 and depending packages, plus some more for a pleasant desktop experience. This worked out quite well, the VM runs Plasma 5.18.90.

        I don’t have 3D running on the VM, so I cannot really check all the nice new effects, but I am sure on my main system they would work.

        Well, bottom line, as soon as we have Qt 5.14 in Debian/unstable, we are also ready for Plasma 5.19!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Playing back arbitrary frames with appsrc

        If you have used GStreamer you may have used source elements like filesrc or v4l2src. Both of them use an existing source to play back a video, for example, the former takes as an input a video file from the source and the latter takes input from the camera. But, imagine you want to create a video by hand, something like. For example, videotestsrc, the element that displays a test (card) pattern, creates this pattern by filling a buffer by hand.

        I will not talk about creating an element similar to videotestsrc. I will show an example program in which you tell programatically to GStreamer what to display at a given timestamp or frame.

      • Molly de Blanc: Help Grow WebKitGTK

        WebKitGTK is not only an exciting project for GNOME, but a necessary step in preparing for our GTK4 release. We’ve been growing the project, with a new release just the other day! We have a lot more development to do, and it’s something we are hoping to prioritize. You can let us know if you think WebKitGTK should be a priority by donating today and marking your donation in support of WebKitGTK development.

        WebKitGTK is a rendering engine for projects that need any kind of web integration. It can handle HTML/CSS applications and web browsers, and is useful for everything from desktop computers to mobile devices like phones and tablets. We believe the web is for everyone, and we support this belief by making accessibility one of the project’s core principles.

        Right now, the main focus is cleaning up the project to make the port to GTK4 smoother. In addition to ensuring there are fast paths for efficient rendering, moving existing users, and incorporating user requirements, this will make it easier for future contributors to find new pathways to get involved.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Community Reacts To A $12 Yearly Distro ‘Subscription’

      Linux PC manufacturer and Pop!_OS developer System76 recently sneaked a “Support Pop” button onto their website, with the option to support the Linux distro with a $12 per year donation (billed annually). CEO Carl Richell says it was implemented after repeated community requests, and the subscription-style donation doesn’t come with any pay-gated benefits. This situation made me wonder: how receptive is the Linux community to actually paying for their daily driver OS?

    • Reviews

      • Ubuntu Budgie 20.04 Review: Smooth, Polished & Plenty of Changes

        Ubuntu Budgie is a welcome addition to the litany of official flavors. Budgie feels very smooth and polished. It gets out of your way and lets you get work done.

        If you are tired of your current desktop environment and want to take a look at something new, check it out. If you’re happy with your current setup, check Ubuntu Budgie’s live DVD. You just might like it.

    • BSD

      • OpenBSD in a laptop

        My first impression: OpenBSD fucking rocks. The installation is smooth and with very reasonable defaults. Hardware just work out of the box. External package integration is fantastic.

        I’ll write a followup to this post after some days of work with this machine. I still have to try Bluetooth (does this machine even has it?), external USB mounts and the biggest pain in the pass in UNIX systems: printing and scanning.

      • OpenBSD 6.7 Released

        See the release page and the daily changelog for a full list of changes since the previous release. Those upgrading from version 6.6 should read the Upgrade Guide.

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Cloud based workers for openQA

        openQA workers, which run the tests, are generally on the same network as the openQA web UI server which is fine most of the time, but if some additionnal hardware must be added, they must be sent physically and only few people can take care of it, which can be problematic. One solution to this problem is to use cloud based machines, which are by definition on a separate network and accessible through Internet.

        The good news is openQA supports such setups by using a local cache service on the worker. This service downloads the assets (ISO, HDD images, etc.) on demand through the openQA API via HTTPS, instead of using the legacy NFS mount method. Tests and needles are already in git repositories so they can be fetched from the remote git repositories directly instead of using them from the NFS share.

      • Moving SAP can be the start of digital realignment with SUSE capability

        For SAP users, the coming need to change hosting requirements to Linux is spurring many companies in the APAC region to reconsider their hosting options. They may decide to move from in-house, bare metal self-hosting, to public cloud providers, for example, as part of that migration.

        [...]

        While Linux is seen as an agnostic platform (one distribution is largely similar to every other, being based on the same kernel), there are significant differences in the flavor of Linux chosen.

      • SUSE Innovates at the Edge with Elektrobit to Transform How Cars Operate

        Mobility as we know it is about to change forever. Early stages of autonomous driving, the connected car, and electrification are no longer future ideas but realities on the road today. As the speed of innovation increases across the automotive industry, vehicles are now as much software platforms as chassis and engines. This fundamental shift away from hardware dominated to software-defined vehicles means there is a need to completely rethink the customer experience that the future best-selling vehicles need to deliver.

        [...]

        We have the opportunity to take our Linux heritage and apply it to the automotive edge by creating a Linux and container solution tailored to automotive. SUSE technology will power autonomous driving, and ultimately, delivering a technology platform that every day consumers will depend on for their transportation needs. Auto manufacturers today know they cannot take this lightly and need to work with a company that they can trust- that company is SUSE.
        “We’re proud to partner with SUSE to bring this vision to life,” said Alexander Kocher, President & Managing Director at Elektrobit. “We have confidence that together we will create cutting-edge solutions for the market that will transform how cars are powered, not a few years down the line, but in the next generation of automobiles.”

      • openSUSE Talks at SUSECON Digital

        SUSECON Digital 2020 starts today and it is free to register and participate in SUSE’s premier annual event. This year features more than 190 sessions and hands-on training from experts.

        There are less than a handful of openSUSE related talks. The first openSUSE related talk is about openSUSE Kubic and takes place on May 20 at 14:00 UTC. In the presentation, attendees will receive an update about the last year of openSUSE Kubic development and see a demonstration on deploying Kubernetes with Kubic-control on a Raspberry Pi 4 cluster. Attendees will see how to install new nodes with YOMI, which is the new Salt-based auto installer that was integrated into Kubic.

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Getting started with the fabric8 Kubernetes Java client

        Fabric8 has been available as a Java client for Kubernetes since 2015, and today is one of the most popular client libraries for Kubernetes. (The most popular is client-go, which is the client library for the Go programming language on Kubernetes.) In recent years, fabric8 has evolved from a Java client for the Kubernetes REST API to a full-fledged alternative to the kubectl command-line tool for Java-based development.

        Fabric8 is much more than a simple REST client for Java. Its features include a rich domain-specific language (DSL), a model for advanced code handling and manipulation, extension hooks, a mock server for testing, and many client-side utilities. In addition to hooks for building new extensions, the fabric8 Kubernetes Java client has extensions for Knative, Tekton, Kubernetes Service Catalog, Red Hat OpenShift Service Catalog, and Kubernetes Assertions.

      • Red Hat Smart Management and Satellite Ask Me Anything Q&A from March 2020

        This post covers the questions and answers during the March 2020 Smart Management and Satellite Ask Me Anything (AMA) calls.

        For anyone not familiar, the Smart Management AMAs are an “ask me anything” (AMA) style event where we invite Red Hat customers to bring all of their questions about Red Hat Smart Management and Satellite, drop them in the chat, and members of the product team answers as many of them live as we can during the AMA and we then follow up with a blog post detailing the questions and answers.

      • Fedora Magazine: Fedora Silverblue, an introduction for developers

        The Fedora Silverblue project takes Fedora workstation, libostree and podman, puts them in a blender, and creates a new Immutable Fedora Workstation. Fedora Silverblue is an OS that stops you from changing the core system files arbitrarily, and readily allows you to change the environment system files. The article What is Silverblue describes the big picture, and this article drills down into details for the developer.

        Fedora Silverblue ties together a few different projects to make a system that is a git-like object, capable of layering packages, and has a container focused work flow. Silverblue is not the only distribution going down this road. It is the desktop equivalent of CoreOS, the server OS used by Red Hat Openshift.

        Silverblue’s idea of ‘immutable’ has nothing to do with immutable layers in a container. Silverblue keeps system files immutable by making them read-only.

      • Questions we should ask about COVID-19 contact-tracing apps

        One of the cheering things about the pandemic crisis in which we find ourselves is the vast upswell of volunteering that we are seeing across the world. We are seeing this equally across the IT sector, and one of the areas where work is being done is in apps to help track COVID-19. Specifically, there is an interest in COVID-19 contact-tracing or -tracking apps for our mobile0 phones. These aren’t apps that keep an eye on whether you’ve observed lockdown procedures; rather they attempt to work out who has been in contact with whom and, from that, once we know that one person is infected with COVID-19, what the likely spread of the virus will be.

        There are lots of contact-tracing initiatives out there, from PEPP-PT from the European Union to Singapore’s TraceTogether, from the University of Washington’s PACT to MIT’s PACT.1 Google and Apple are—unprecedentedly—working on an app together. There are lots of ways of comparing these apps and projects, but in today’s article, I want to suggest three measures that can help you consider them from the point of view of “openness.”

        As regular readers of my blog will know, I’m a big fan of open source—not just for software, but for data, management, and the rest—and I believe that there’s also a strong correlation here with civil or human rights. There are lots of ways to compare these apps, but these three measures are not too technical and can help us get a grip on the likelihood that some of the apps (and associated projects) may impinge on privacy and other issues about which we care. I don’t want the data generated from apps that I download onto my phone to be used now or in the future to curtail my—or other people’s—civil or human rights, for blackmail, or even for unapproved commercial gain.

    • Debian Family

      • Sparky & coronavirus

        …what we expected, but we were not thinking that it would be so bad.

        Our dear friends, the coronavirus changed everything now, and we lost our main source of income, which we used to pay our monthly rent, food and medicine – we both suffer from chronic diseases. In addition, all products and services getting more expensive everywhere, in Poland too.

        From your current donations and money from advertising, we will cover only some bills of electricity, gas, water, internet, domains, taxes, small computer equipment (memory, USB sticks, mice, batteries, etc …) and fuel. But there is 400 Euros too short to cover rent, meals and medicines.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Gets New Kernel Update, Three Security Vulnerabilities Patched



        Three security vulnerabilities are patched in this new Linux kernel update for the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) release, which was launched by Canonical on April 23rd, 2020. A first kernel security update was released just a week after its official launch.

        This new Linux kernel update fixes a flaw (CVE-2019-19377) discovered in the Btrfs file system implementation, which incorrectly detected blocks marked as dirty in certain situations, allowing an attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) using a specially crafted file system image.

        It also addresses a race condition (CVE-2020-12657) that could lead to a use-after-free vulnerability, discovered in Linux kernel’s block layer. This security flaw could allow a local attacker to crash the vulnerable system by causing a denial of service or execute arbitrary code.

      • Kernel Live Patch Security Update Available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS

        Canonical published today a new Linux kernel live patch security update Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS systems to address a single security vulnerability.

        Just two days after releasing a regular Linux kernel security update for the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series that addressed a total of nine vulnerabilities, there’s now a rebootless kernel update for users who use Canonical’s Livepatch service.

        The update only patches a single security vulnerability (CVE-2020-11494), which was discovered in Linux kernel’s Serial CAN interface driver. Apparently, the driver failed to properly initialize data, thus allowing a local attacker to expose sensitive information (kernel memory).

      • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to enforce stronger TLS v1.2 encryption by default

        In Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, the OpenSSL 1.1.1f library has been modified to use Security Level 2 by default (previous versions of Ubuntu use Security Level 1). Security Level 2 guarantees that protocols, key exchange mechanisms, cipher suites, signature algorithms, certificates and key sizes provide a minimum of 112 bits of message secrecy. In practice, it means that RSA keys are required to be at least 2048 bits long and ECC keys at least 224 bits using the SHA256 certificate signature algorithm.

        Furthermore, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has customised OpenSSL 1.1.1f to refuse connections when using obsolete protocol versions TLS v1.0, TLS v1.1, DTLS v0.9 and DTLS v1.0 by default at the Security Level 2. Support for these protocols is only available by lowering the default setting of the Security Level to 1.

      • Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Focal Fossa – Roll on for the mystery tour

        Ubuntu MATE 20.04 Focal Fossa is not as good as it should be. It’s an LTS, and yet, you get application crashes, inconsistent behavior, some fresh new and weird errors I’ve not seen before. All in all, it delivers an acceptable experience, and Boutique and MATE Tweaks are serious heavyweights that help shift the odds in its favor. But then, they are offset by niggles and bug in almost every aspect of the usage – networking, media, desktop customization, etc.

        Feels like it’s been rushed too early to the market, and perhaps most of these ailments will be gone in the coming months. But as a starting point, it ain’t stellar. Now, I had a similar experience with Kubuntu 18.04, and eventually came to like it a lot. Then again, you can’t bet on patience and goodwill from the users, and they have every right to expect the best from a long-term release. Worth testing, but feels raw, so you should wait for the initial avalanche of problems to be sorted. At the moment, something like 6.5/10. And … cut.

      • Experimental feature: progressive releases

        “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” This is a quote famously attributed to the Prussian field marshal Helmuth von Moltke. It is also quite applicable to software development: “No code survives contact with the user.”

        In mission-critical environments, staggered deployments of software are a crucial part of controlled updates, designed to ensure maximum stability of production applications and services. This allows developers to monitor and observe the adoption of new versions of their tools, as well as enable operational teams to meet compliance and security targets. Until recently, the timing of automatic snap updates was mostly governed by the client side refresh schedule. Now, there is a new experimental feature that gives snap developers the ability to fine-tune rollouts of new revisions – progressive releases.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Getting started with GPG (GnuPG)
    • What Is WireGuard VPN?

      If you use a VPN, there’s a good chance it runs using OpenVPN or IPsec, which have been the dominant standards for quite a while. WireGuard, however, is giving them a run for their money, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cleanly-coded, connects in a snap, uses heavily-tested modern cryptography, and works with just about everything. WireGuard was even included in the Linux kernel 5.6. Linux creator Linus Torvalds said, “Compared to the horrors that are OpenVPN and IPSec, it’s a work of art.”

    • Struggling to write good documentation? Two open source developers weigh in

      To be fair, Willison may not have always been as focused on documentation. But when his company, Lanyrd, was acquired by Eventbrite, he said it made him rethink his code. In his six years at Eventbrite, the company’s engineering team grew from 100 to 600, spread across three continents. “We had to learn from the open source community. How do you maintain all of this different software with engineers in different places? And the answer was unit tests, documentation, being really disciplined, and code reviews.”

      Today Willison maintains 73 open source projects, many of them mostly alone. Yet he still focuses on the same developer hygiene learned at Eventbrite: “I’m taking the lessons I learned from a 600-engineer organization and applying them to a one-engineer organization.” The result? “My productivity has gone through the roof.” Things that seem like they’d slow him down (like writing good documentation) actually speed up development: “When I come back to the project in two months, everything works, and I know where everything is.”

      But what if you’re not a developer who wants to slow down to write the docs? Or, perhaps even more tellingly, what if you’re a developer who isn’t capable of writing great docs?

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

        • Mozilla VR Blog: Firefox Reality 10

          Our team has been hard at work on the latest version of Firefox Reality. In our last two versions, we had a heightened focus on performance and stability. With this release, fans of our browser on standalone VR headsets can enjoy the best of both worlds—a main course of in-demand features, with sides of performance and UI improvements. Firefox Reality 10 is a feature-packed release with something for every VR enthusiast.

          But perhaps the most exciting news of this release is we’re releasing in conjunction with our new partner, Pico Interactive! We’re teaming up to bring the latest and greatest in VR browsing to Pico’s headsets, including the Neo 2 – an all-in-one (AIO) device with 6 degrees of freedom (DoF) head and controller tracking. Firefox Reality will be released and shipped with all Pico headsets. Learn more about what this partnership means here. And check out Firefox Reality in the Pico store.

        • Mozilla Open Innovation Team: Redesigning Mozilla’s Contribute Page: A UX Overview

          The previous Contribute page on Mozilla.org received around 100,000 views a month and had a 70% bounce rate.

          For page engagements just over 1% of those viewers clicked on the “Get Involved” button, taking them to the Mozilla Activate page.

          We wanted to change that.

          We began this redesign project with a discovery phase. As a result of the strict environment the page would live in, all of our assumption testing had to be carried out through upfront discovery research as opposed to evaluative A/B testing post design.

          We started to collate previous findings and analysis, drawing conclusions from past efforts like the Contribute Survey Analysis carried out in 2019.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Annual Report 2019: LibreOffice Conference

        The LibreOffice Conference is the annual gathering of the community, our end-users, developers, and everyone interested in free office software. Every year, it takes place in a different country and is supported by members of the LibreOffice commercial ecosystem.

        In 2019, the conference was organized in Almeria by the Spanish community, and took place from Tuesday, September 10 to Friday, September 13. Most of the conference took place in the Universidad de Almeria, next to the sea, but some social events and meetups were held in the city itself.

        Over 100 people from across the globe attended the conference; for several people, it was their first LibreOffice Conference and therefore the first time they could meet other community members in-person.

      • LibreOffice Tuesday T&T: Windows 7 SP1

        In 2020, we still receive complaints from users who cannot install LibreOffice because the system asks them to install Windows 7 SP1. Nine years after the release of Service Pack 1 they are surprised when they are told to update their operating system. Although Windows 7 users are now a minority, the fact that there are people who have unconsciously used their completely unsecure PCs for years is a sign of a global security issue, as these users would not behave in a different way when using a different OS.

    • CMS

      • New Iceberg Plugin Brings a Distraction-Free Writing Experience to WordPress

        Ever on the hunt for a more beautiful, simplified writing experience inside WordPress, I jumped at the chance to beta test the new Iceberg plugin. Rich Tabor and Jeffrey Caradang, the same team behind CoBlocks, have created a new markdown editor built on top of Gutenberg that provides the best writing experience for WordPress since core’s retired Distraction Free Writing mode.

        [...]

        Gutenberg designers and engineers have been working for the past two years to bring the writing experience in the editor to a functional place that meets the needs of those who use WordPress primarily for writing. So far the block editor’s Fullscreen mode is incapable of producing the kind of zen writing experience that most writers crave when turning to third-party writing apps.

        Iceberg is GPL-licensed and is even available on GitHub for download and collaboration. I asked Tabor what he planned to do if someone proposed that some version of Iceberg be added to core.

        “Honestly, I think it would be great if WordPress adopted the same high level of support for writers as Iceberg does,” he said. “Sure it may not be completely ideal economically, but Iceberg is built on an editor built by thousands of hands. If Iceberg is deemed a clever enough solution to be a part of core, then that’s ok. Although I’m positive there’s room to continue experimenting within the realm of empowering writers.”

    • Education

    • Programming/Development

      • Qt Creator 4.12.1 released


        We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.12.1 !

        Aside from various other improvements, this release of Qt Creator fixes some crashes at startup when reading older Clang tools settings and when restoring Android kits after upgrading Qt.
        Get Qt Creator 4.12.1

        The opensource version is available on the Qt download page under “Qt Creator”, and you find commercially licensed packages on the Qt Account Portal. Qt Creator 4.12.1 is also available as an update in the online installer. Please post issues in our bug tracker. You can also find us on IRC on #qt-creator on chat.freenode.net, and on the Qt Creator mailing list.

      • Everyone makes a script

        I took the second week of Community Bonding to make some improvements in my development environment. As I have reported before, I use a QEMU VM to develop kernel contributions. I was initially using an Arch VM for development; however, at the beginning of the year, I reconfigured it to use a Debian VM, since my host is a Debian installation – fewer context changes. In this movement, some ends were loose, and I did some workarounds, well… better round it off.

        I also use kworkflow (KW) to ease most of the no-coding tasks included in the day-to-day coding for Linux kernel. The KW automates repetitive steps of a developer’s life, such as compiling and installing my kernel modifications; finding information to format and send patches correctly; mounting or remotely accessing a VM, etc. During the time that preceded the GSoC project submission, I noticed that the feature of installing a kernel inside the VM was incompleted. At that time, I started to use the “remote” option as palliative. Therefore, I spent the last days learning more features and how to hack the kworkflow to improve my development environment (and send it back to the kw project).

      • Watch All The Latest & Greatest Videos from Qt: Qt Virtual Tech Con 2020

        The online event had thousands of attendees gather around to interact with the Qt experts, partners, and community members to learn how to create better, connected applications and UIs.

        A special thank you to all for joining, making Qt awesome, and pivoting quickly during these challenging times.

        Enjoy and Happy 25th anniversary year! Stay tuned later this year for more goodies to come.

      • Daniel Stenberg: AI-powered code submissions

        I’m sure these are still early days and we can’t expect this to be perfected yet, but I would still claim that from the submissions we’ve seen so far that this is useful stuff! After I tweeted about this “event”, several people expressed interest in how well the service performs, so let me elaborate on what we’ve learned already in this early phase. I hope I can back in the future with updates.

        Disclaimers: I’ve been invited to try this service out as an early (beta?) user. No one is saying that this is complete or that it replaces humans. I have no affiliation with the makers of this service other than as a receiver of their submissions to the project I manage. Also: since this service is run by others, I can’t actually tell how much machine vs humans this actually is or how much human “assistance” the AI required to perform these actions.

        I’m looking forward to see if we get more contributions from this AI other than this first batch that we already dealt with, and if so, will the AI get better over time? Will it look at how we adjusted its suggested changes? We know humans adapt like that.

      • GitLab’s take on the current state of DevOps

        GitLab, a prominent Git-based DevOps company, has released the results of its fourth annual DevSecOps survey This global survey of over 3,650 respondents found that DevOps rise has led to “sweeping changes in job functions, tool choices, and organization charts within developer, security and operations teams.”

        The vast majority of developers are finding DevOps is living up to its promise of faster software releases. According to the survey, nearly 83% of developers report being able to release code more quickly with DevOps.

      • Eclipse 2020 IoT developer survey is live

        Last year’s results saw over 1,700 responses, two-thirds of which were professionals working on IoT projects. This year we, Canonical, encourage you to take the Eclipse survey whether you are an enterprise IoT director, a scientist, a hobbyist, or somebody else. We want to understand the opinions of people working in IoT so that we can use the results to guide our own decisions.

        The 2019 survey focused on the requirements, priorities, and perceptions of developer communities. It gave ‘on-the-ground’ insights into how IoT solutions are built, and data on the most popular architectures, technologies, and tools. The 2019 survey indicated that IoT development is fueled by the growth of investments in industrial markets. And it highlighted a developer focus on areas like IoT platforms, home automation, and industrial automation.

      • Perl/Raku

        • What’s new on CPAN – April 2020

          Welcome to “What’s new on CPAN”, a curated look at last month’s new CPAN uploads for your reading and programming pleasure. Enjoy!

        • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #061

          At first, I thought Product SubArray is easy task. Therefore I went public categorised as Task #1. My definition of easy task is you just start coding without doing any ground work. However when I started coding, I had to take a pause and do processing in my head befoore coding. So then as per my definition, Product SubArray no longer consider as an easy task. After finishing the task in no time once I understood the flow, it turned out to be clean solution. I must confess, my brain still do thinking as per the rules of Perl. I am hoping, one day I could do the mental processing in Raku. The IPv4 Partition task was the tough nut to crack honestly speaking at first. After working out the logic on paper, it becomes easier. Overall, fun and twisting tasks to work on.

      • Python

        • Building FunctionTrace, a graphical Python profiler

          Firefox Profiler became a cornerstone of Firefox’s performance work in the days of Project Quantum. When you open up an example recording, you first see a powerful web-based performance analysis interface featuring call trees, stack charts, flame graphs, and more. All data filtering, zooming, slicing, transformation actions are preserved in a sharable URL. You can share it in a bug, document your findings, compare it side-by-side with other recordings, or hand it over for further investigation. Firefox DevEdition has a sneak peek of a built-in profiling flow that makes recording and sharing frictionless. Our goal is to empower all developers to collaborate on performance – even beyond Firefox.

          Early on, the Firefox Profiler could import other formats, starting with Linux perf and Chrome’s profiles. More formats were added over time by individual developers. Today, the first projects are emerging that adopt Firefox for analysis tools. FunctionTrace is one of these, and here is Matt to tell the story of how he built it.

        • Creating a Cross-Platform Image Viewer with wxPython (Video)

          Learn how to create a basic cross-platform image viewer using wxPython and Python

        • Automate the shit

          In this very first blog, I will share how I automate the process of downloading wallpapers using Bash Scripting and with some Regular Expressions.

        • How to Process Headers using FastAPI

          FastAPI makes processing Headers very easy, just like everything else. There are two ways to process headers with FastAPI.

        • Python Community Interview With Russell Keith-Magee

          Today I’m joined by Russell Keith-Magee. Russell is a Django core developer and the founder and maintainer of the BeeWare project. In the interview, we talk about his mission to help Python become a feasible option for writing and packaging mobile applications as well as his passion for open source projects. We also touch on his PyCon 2020 talk, which has since been recorded and uploaded to the PyCon YouTube channel.

        • Teach kids Python by building an interactive game

          Python has earned a reputation as a wonderful beginner programming language. But where does one begin?

          One of my favorite ways to get people interested in programming is by writing games.

          PursuedPyBear (ppb) is a game programming library optimized for teaching, and I recently used it to teach my children more about my favorite programming language.

          The Jupyter project is a browser-based Python console, initially designed for data scientists to play with data.

          I have a Jupyter Notebook designed to teach you how to make a simple interactive game, which you can download from here. In order to open the file, you will need to install the latest Jupyter project, JupyterLab.

        • Python Bytes: #182 PSF Survey is out!
        • Episode #265: Why is Python slow?

          The debate about whether Python is fast or slow is never-ending. It depends on what you’re optimizing for: Server CPU consumption? Developer time? Maintainability? There are many factors. But if we keep our eye on pure computational speed in the Python layer, then yes, Python is slow.

          In this episode, we invite Anthony Shaw back on the show. He’s here to dig into the reasons Python is computationally slower than many of its peer languages and technologies such as C++ and JavaScript.

        • Montreal Python User Group: Montéal-Python 77 – Harmonious Serinette

          Pythonistas, Pythonistinas, we sneaked out of our burrows and crawled the Montréal-Python 76 gathering. We would have preferred to meet in person, but the virtual conference revived our passion for Python nonetheless.

          We had a lot of fun, and therefore we decided to organize a second virtual event! Montréal-Python 77, Harmonious Serinette, will take place on June 1st, 2020 at 5:30pm, Montreal time. We keep the online conference formula with live streaming on our Youtube channel. We want to make this more exciting than just watching a recorded talk by having numerous live demos and lots of interactions on Slack. Prepare your questions!

        • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #421 (May 19, 2020)
        • 5 Simple Python Tricks You Need to Know

          It would be easier for you or anyone reviewing your code to see elements spread out in your list.

        • Report of May 19th Cubicweb Meeting
      • Rust

      • Java

        • IBM and Java: The next 25 years

          25 years of Java. An amazing milestone for any programming language. For Java and the Java community, this is an especially significant achievement, as many have doubted Java’s staying power. It should be clear to everyone that not only is Java still going strong, but it also has a bright future ahead. Let’s look back a little and also think about what we want to achieve next.

          Looking back

          Looking backwards can be difficult because, in our industry, we tend to have short memories: not much of what happened five years ago is talked about now, and events from 10 years ago are like talking about the Stone Age! However, it’s hard to exaggerate the level of enthusiasm, passion, and sheer invention that has been generated by Java at IBM through the last 25 years.

          Much as you might consider IBM a little too conservative at times, we embraced Java from day one and have never stepped back. Since the early days, IBM has contributed to the Java process and won many awards for things like having the best Java virtual machines (JVMs), application servers, innovative Java tools, and more. As time moved on, you also see IBM’s influence in the way that Java evolved to become what it is today. Personally, we think it would be hard to find any other single company that has continuously invested so much into the technology, community, and ecosystem we simply call “Java.”

          People tend to forget just what an amazing piece of technology the JVM provides. We take for granted the sophistication of the just-in-time compilers, the garbage collectors, and the platform independence. All this hard-won value comes from many years of invention and innovation. It might surprise you to know that IBM engineers have been technology leaders in JVM matters since day one – and some of us have been around for all that time!

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Poor New York City Neighborhoods Seeing Deaths From Covid at More Than Twice the Rate of Affluent Areas

        The Health Department released the new data on the heels of reports that many New Yorkers in wealthy neighborhoods left the city by May 1.

      • Fundamentalist Pandemics

        What evangelicals could learn from The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam

      • Coronavirus, Poverty, and Structural Violence

        As a nation, obviously, there are so many things we can do better. There always will be. Yet, what the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has made all too apparent is how we have not appropriately dealt with poverty in the United States. This is not just about the Trump Administration, it is about all past presidential administrations and past congressional sessions which have largely ignored the issue in favor of corporate concerns, or more lucrative economic programs, and/or private interests. At times, poverty has been on the governmental agenda, and at times, some legislation has been passed. But in all honesty, why has poverty not been a more major issue to tackle?

      • Bozeman Watershed Project Spills Bad Blood

        Back in the Middle Ages, it was a common practice for “doctors” to bleed the “bad blood” from sick patients. If the patient survived, the doctors took credit for their recovery. If the patient died, well, obviously, not enough bad blood was removed.

      • What Experts Say About Narrowing COVID-19 Racial Disparities

        As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States, it has disproportionately struck communities of color, particularly African Americans. As a recent ProPublica Illinois article revealed, of the first 100 recorded deaths from the coronavirus in Chicago, 70 of the victims were African American.

        ProPublica Illinois hosted a digital event on Thursday to take reader questions on what’s driving these racial disparities. Moderated by ProPublica Illinois Editor-in-Chief Louise Kiernan and featuring reporters Duaa Eldeib and Akilah Johnson, along with Dr. David Ansell, senior vice president for community health equity at Rush University Medical Center, the discussion also focused on how to meaningfully address them.

      • Coronavirus is reportedly 16 times more fatal for healthcare workers in Russia than in other countries

        Russia has faced criticism at home and abroad for its remarkably low coronavirus mortality rate. State officials have even threatened to revoke the accreditation of journalists from The New York Times and The Financial Times after those two newspapers published evidence suggesting that the Russian authorities are underreporting fatalities caused by COVID-19. In a new report about coronavirus deaths among medical workers, however, the website Mediazona demonstrates how Russia’s low coronavirus mortality rate isn’t all rosy if taken at face value: it would mean one in every 15 COVID-19 deaths in Russia is a medical worker, making the disease 16 times deadlier for healthcare providers than in six other countries with similar coronavirus outbreaks. 

      • As States Rush to Reopen, Lack of COVID-19 Testing Is “Achilles Heel” for US

        President Trump claimed Monday he’s been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, even though multiple studies show the drug can be dangerous and is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. This comes as the U.S. COVID-19 death count tops 90,000 and all 50 U.S. states prepare to partially reopen by Memorial Day. We speak with Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute, who says that testing needs to vastly improve in order for widespread reopenings. He calls the lack of accurate tests in the U.S. the nation’s “Achilles heel,” saying, “The testing saga will go down as one of the big fiascos that led to us being where we are today.”

      • Trump Sends Letter Threatening Permanent Freeze of US Funding to WHO

        President Donald Trump on Monday sent a four-page letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, threatening to permanently freeze U.S. funding to the United Nations agency in the midst of a global pandemic that has made international cooperation as crucial as ever.

      • Religious Fundamentalism Impairs COVID-19 Response Across Nations

        This spring, the novel coronavirus pandemic has raised the issue of the relationship between the blindest kind of religious faith and rational skepticism — this time in two countries that think of themselves as polar opposites and enemies: Supreme Leader Ali Khameini’s Iran and Donald Trump’s America.

      • Ebola ’14 vs. Covid ‘19

        Security, claim peace scientists, is the experience and expectation of well-being. Analyzing management of the major 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is instructive given Covid 19’s global rampage. Despite internal UN dysfunction, especially the veto system pitting members at cross-purposes, that organization proved its worth.

      • Reopening the Economy Is a Death Sentence for Workers

        The wealthy may be fine with sacrificing the vulnerable, but workers are fighting for the sanctity of human life.

      • ‘No One Will Help, No One Will Listen’: Workers Impacted By COVID-19 Outbreak Describe Struggle For Unemployment Benefits

        Since the coronavirus pandemic triggered lockdowns across the United States two months ago, more than 36 million Americans filed unemployment claims.

        The surge of claims has created major backlogs of unemployment claims that plague several states, large and small. This dysfunction is a result of outdated infrastructure, underfunding, and years of right-wing policies.

      • Roughly 300,000 people have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Russia

        On the morning of May 19, Russian officials announced that the country recorded 9,263 new coronavirus infections in the past day (337 more new cases than the day before) bringing the nation’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 299,941 patients. 

      • Medical worker in Krasnodar Krai threatened with criminal liability after collective complaint about non-payment of coronavirus bonuses

        An employee of the ambulance station at the Abinsky District Hospital in Krasnodar Krai was warned that they could face criminal or administrative charges following a collective complaint about the lack of hazard pay for work with coronavirus patients. Novaya Gazeta reported the threat, citing a copy of the warning.  

      • Customer hit by security guard’s bullet in fight over Flint store restrictions

        Michigan State Police are investigating a shooting at a Flint liquor store last week involving a security guard and a customer over the store’s COVID-19 restrictions.

      • “We saw the virus coming and failed to respond”

        Last week, as part of a New Statesman webinar series on the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, editor Jason Cowley hosted an online panel event with Laura Spinney, science journalist and author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World; Dr Phil Whitaker, GP and New Statesman ‘Health Matters’ columnist; and Michael Barrett, professor of biochemical parasitology at the University of Glasgow. The discussion centred around pandemics past and present.

      • Cybersecurity Roundup: May 12, 2020

        ” …In the 48 hours following a 19 April “Operation Gridlock” protest in Denver, devices reached the borders of neighboring states including Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Utah.”

        I keep saying this, but it’s exactly like the 2016 election. It’s all organized on Facebook to targeted audiences (so Facebook could stop serving the Brad Parscale special but it won’t). And in-person propaganda demonstrations are fabricated by basically bussing in outsiders to trick observers and press into thinking locals are demanding a political change — while in reality, they don’t. Except this time it’s deadly.

      • The Lancet rebuts Trump’s coronavirus claims in WHO letter

        In a letter published Monday, Trump excoriated WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the organization had “failed to independently investigate credible reports that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts.”

        “This statement is factually incorrect,” The Lancet, a general medical journal, responded in a statement. “The Lancet published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China.”

      • “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade admits in “deathbed confession” she was paid to fake anti-abortion stance

        “I think it was a mutual thing,” McCorvey says. “I took their money, and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say.”

        In a phone interview with Salon, the “AKA Jane Roe” director expressed his shock and surprise at McCorvey’s confession in that scene.

        “Honestly, I did not think that the film would go in the direction that it went,” Sweeney said. “The things that Norma would say to me really, I just never thought that she would be saying. I did set out to try to understand all the complexities of her life — who she was and what she believed — but I just never thought she would admit these things.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi Web Browser Gives Users More Privacy Options with Startpage



          In an attempt to put user privacy first, the Vivaldi web browser now features Startpage as a search engine option. Users will be able to enable Startpage with a few mouse clicks if they care about their privacy when surfing the Internet.

          With the latest release, Vivaldi already adopted more privacy-oriented features for its power users with new build-in tracker and ad blockers. Now, Vivaldi wants to offer users private search results without third-party tracking.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Linux Foundation Joins Ranks of International Standards Submitters

                The Linux Foundation has achieved a major milestone: formal status on the international standards front.

                Its Joint Development Foundation (JDF) received approval as an ISO/IEC JTC 1 Publicly Available Specification (PAS) Submitter, LF announced last week. This status gives JDF’s standards development projects a path to international standardization.

                The submitter status designation benefits the global business and technical ecosystem by enabling accelerated adoption of open standards and specifications. It represents opportunities for Linux Foundation projects to achieve international standards adoption for the world’s most important and emerging technologies.

              • Success Story: Kubernetes Training and Certification Leads to a Consulting Career

                Leonardo Gonçalves da Silva had worked with Linux and open source for 20 years, including contributing to several projects. He was looking to shift his career towards cloud development based on Linux and the Kubernetes framework. He plans to use the scholarship to take the Kubernetes Fundamentals course to provide better service to his clients. In 2017, Leonardo heard about the Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarship program and submitted an application.

                Based on his outstanding experience and contributions to the community, Leonardo was selected as the recipient of a SysAdmin Super Star scholarship, which enabled him to enroll in the Kubernetes Fundamentals training course and to take the Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9 and clamav), Fedora (kernel, moodle, and transmission), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (ipmitool, kernel, ksh, and ruby), Slackware (bind and libexif), SUSE (dpdk, openconnect, python, and rpmlint), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-riscv and linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1).

          • NXNSAttack: upgrade resolvers to stop new kind of random subdomain attack
          • Ubuntu Blog: FIPS certification for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

            Canonical has received FIPS 140-2, Level 1 certification for cryptographic modules in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, with FIPS-validated OpenSSL-1.1.1. modules included. This certification enables organisations to meet compliance requirements within the public sector, healthcare and finance industries when utilising Ubuntu 18.04 LTS within public and private cloud environments.

            Canonical worked with U.S. Government and BSI accredited laboratory, atsec information security, for the 18.04 LTS FIPS certification. The publications related to FIPS standards are issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

            FIPS-certified and FIPS-compliant modules for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS are available through an Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure subscription, alongside additional open source security and support services. To get started with an Ubuntu Advantage subscription, contact our team.

          • EU Parliament says sensitive data of 1,200 officials left exposed on web

            Information about more than a thousand staff and members of the European Parliament has been exposed in what a key lawmaker called a “major data breach.”

            The data includes 1,200 accounts of elected officials and staff, along with another 15,000 other accounts of EU affairs professionals, Marcel Kolaja, the Parliament’s vice president for IT policy, confirmed to POLITICO on Saturday.

            The exposed information — “a huge amount of data” — includes sensitive information and encrypted passwords, he added.

            It comes from a system that had been run under the European Parliament’s official “europarl.eu” domain, Kolaja said, but the data had not been hosted by the institution itself.

            “The system in question is a system run by one particular political group and it was data by that political group,” Kolaja said, “and they were immediately made aware of that incident.”

          • Kali Linux 2020.2 KDE Plasma overview

            In this video, I am going to show an overview of Kali Linux 2020.2 KDE Plasma and some of the applications pre-installed.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works.

              I want you to mentally prepare yourself for a phone call that you could receive sometime over the course of this pandemic: in the next few months or year.

              Your phone might ring, and when you pick it up, you may hear someone say, “Hi, I’m calling from the health department.” After verifying your identity, the person may say something like, “I’m afraid we have information that you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.”

            • Do I Know Enough to Get a Job as a Contact Tracer?

              States across the country are scrambling to hire tens of thousands of contact tracers, who will play a key role in keeping the coronavirus contained.

              Many experts I interviewed said that a high school diploma should be sufficient for a basic contact tracing job, though teams should be led by an experienced public health worker. Indeed, this could be an opportunity for the U.S. to provide employment for thousands of people who have recently lost their jobs.

            • FBI Holds Press Conference To Claim Apple Prevented It From [Checks Notes] Verifying Attribution In The Pensacola Air Base Shooting

              The FBI held a very performative press conference to announce it had finally gained access to communications and data originating from the Pensacola Naval Air Station shooter. The coup, apparently, is that the FBI was able to — after months of fighting iPhone encryption — um… nail down attribution. Here’s CNN’s report on the FBI’s press conference:

            • Stopping the Google-Fitbit Merger: Your Stories Needed!

              There’s a dirty secret in the incredible growth of Silicon Valley’s tech giants: it’s a cheat. Historically, US antitrust regulators would be deeply concerned about mergers with major competitors in concentrated markets (“mergers to monopoly”) and acquisitions of small companies to neutralize future competitive threats (“catch and kill”). And while often permitted, vertical integration (“platform monopolies” where the company that owns a key service competes with its own customers) would at least merit close review. But regulators have mostly been giving a pass to mergers and acquisitions in the tech space.

              And that’s had huge consequences. To a casual observer, companies like Google—now a division of parent company Alphabet—seem like energetic idea factories, spinning out new divisions at a bewildering rate. But a closer look reveals that Google’s real source of “innovation” is its wallet as much as its brain trust: the company buys other companies more often than most of us buy groceries. Two of Google’s signature products—Search and Gmail—are in-house projects, but the vast majority of its other successes came from snapping up other companies. (And it’s hardly alone in this regard: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and the other titans of Silicon Valley have all grown primarily through gobbling up other companies, rather than by making their own winning products).

            • Victory! German Mass Surveillance Abroad is Ruled Unconstitutional

              In a landmark decision, the German Constitutional Court has ruled that mass surveillance of telecommunications outside of Germany conducted on foreign nationals is unconstitutional. Thanks to the chief legal counsel, Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF), this a major victory for global civil liberties, but especially those that live and work in Europe. Many will now be protected after lackluster 2016 surveillance reforms continued to authorize the surveillance on EU states and institutions for the purpose of “foreign policy and security,” and permitted the BND to collaborate with the NSA.

              In its press release about the decision, the court found that the privacy rights of the German constitution also protects foreigners in other countries and that the German intelligence agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had no authority to conduct telecommunications surveillance on them:

            • UK’s largest airline, easyJet, reveals January 2020 breach of 9 million customer records

              The largest airline in the United Kingdom, easyJet, revealed that they had been hacked by a “sophisticated attack” in January of 2020. All in all, approximately 9 million customers were affected by the EasyJet hack. The affected customers had their travel records and emails exposed. The EasyJet disclosure also revealed that 2,208 of the 9 million affected customers had their credit card information accessed but nobody had their passport records accessed. According to their notice to investors on the London Stock Exchange, they will be notifying affected customers over the next week.

            • Calls between the House and Senate should be encrypted, lawmakers say

              In the letter dated Tuesday, a bicameral group of Republicans and Democrats requested that the House sergeant at arms and the chief administrative officer “take immediate action to secure telephone calls” between both the House and Senate. The group of 20 lawmakers, including Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), are asking that the officials provide a plan to secure calls by June 12th.

              “Calls between the Senate and House are still vulnerable to spying by anyone who gains access to the data connection between the two Chambers,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congress must secure itself from the serious threat posed by foreign spies.”

            • Encryption: The Digital PPE We All Need

              Think of how critical the Internet has been to address the COVID-19 public health crisis. It has allowed half the world fortunate enough to have access to stay on top of critical public health updates and stay in touch with loved ones at a safe distance. Some can even continue activities like distance education, work from home, and access vital telehealth services.

              But what if it weren’t safe to do these things? Would the world be as willing to follow social isolation measures?

              Encryption keeps billions of people and countries secure online every day. It protects the integrity of news online, keeps your banking information out of the hands of criminals, and allows communications over messaging and videoconference platforms to stay confidential.

              That’s a good thing. With people spending more time online than ever, cyber criminals are targeting the increasing amount of private data and commercially or government sensitive information traveling across the Internet. We’ve already seen proof in the corresponding rise in criminal activity over the last few months. The United States Federal Bureau of investigation, for instance, said cybercrime reports have quadrupled during COVID-19.

            • Worldwide mass surveillance by Germany’s intelligence service declared unconstitutional in landmark ruling on press freedom in the digital age

              In a much-anticipated verdict issued this morning, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court has put an end to the groundless mass surveillance of global internet traffic by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The ruling, the most far-reaching in this field in the past 20 years, sends an important signal for the protection of press freedom in the digital age.

            • Journalist Who Helped Break Snowden’s Story Reflects On His High-Stakes Reporting
    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘More Testing, Not More Bombs’: 29 House Democrats Demand Cuts to Pentagon Budget Amid Pandemic

        “America needs a coronavirus cure, not more war.”

      • Israel behind major cyberattack on Iran port, report reveals

        The result of the cyberattack was a major traffic jam stretching for miles along the main roads heading towards the port, as well as one satellite photograph showing that there were still dozens of loaded container ships waiting offshore days after the attack.

        Cybersecurity policy fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Centre and founder and former chief technology officer of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, Dmitri Alperovitch, told the paper: “Assuming it’s true, this is in line with Israeli policy of aggressively responding to Iranian provocation, either kinetically or through other means.”

      • Is Trump Encouraging Paramilitary Violence?

        Trump is playing with fire, but he doesn’t care. Desperate to win reelection, he knows that with nearly one in four workers now unemployed, he has few cards to play.

        One of those cards is to suppress voter turnout, so he’s encouraging red states to clamp down on mail-in voting. At the urging of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who must be well aware of Trump’s strategy, the state Supreme Court did just that by temporarily blocking an expansion of vote-by-mail for citizens who want to do so because they fear Covid-19. That decision is likely to be just one of many rulings that conservative courts, at Trump’s urging, will hand down over the coming months.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Death and the Economy: a Dialogue

        Welcome to Chewing the Fat, our weekly talk show here at WXYZ.

      • Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers

        A food relief program championed by President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka is relying on some contractors who lack food distribution experience and aren’t licensed to deal in fresh fruits and vegetables.

        The contractors on Friday began delivering boxes containing fresh produce to food banks and other nonprofits. Forty-nine out of the 159 contractors picked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver boxes containing produce don’t have a requisite license from the same agency, according to a search of the USDA’s database using the information released about the contractors.

      • The Privileged and Powerful in the Pandemic

        Those in power must stop viewing the pandemic as an obstacle to personal ambition.

      • Learning from the Great Depression

        According to Mark Twain (supposedly), history doesn’t repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes. He was right. Donald Trump, for example, rhymes with Mussolini. The decline of organized labor in recent decades rhymes with its decline in the 1920s. And the coming depression will rhyme, in many respects, with the Great Depression.

      • Civil Disobedience, Billionaire-Style

        Last week, billionaire Elon Musk defied local public health officials and reopened his flagship Tesla auto assembly plant in Fremont, California. Public safety officials had ordered that plant shut down — over Musk’s fierce opposition — almost two months earlier.

      • The World Trade Organization and the Demise of Multilateralism

        Seventy-five years after the creation of the United Nations in the wake of the Second World War, the recent resignation of the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, does not bode well for the international trading system, multilateralism and International Geneva.

      • In Tense Exchange Over Bailouts, Warren Accuses Mnuchin of Putting ‘Wall Street Buddies’ Before US Workers

        “We’re in a situation where 35 million Americans have filed for unemployment. You’re in charge of nearly half a trillion dollars… and you are leaving the American people behind.”

      • Economists Warn ‘Prolonged Depression Guaranteed’ If GOP Refuse Federal Aid to State and Local Governments

        “The economy is currently approaching a knife edge in how recovery will proceed.”

      • ‘This Is Only the Beginning’: JPMorgan Chase Faces Investor Revolt Over Financing Climate Destruction

        “Shareholders today sent the message that it is past time for Chase to catch up with its peers, implement a strategy to decarbonize and de-risk its lending portfolio, and help build a more secure future for all.”

      • Exclusive: Countries to face a ‘wave’ of corporate lawsuits challenging emergency COVID-19 measures

        Countries could soon face a ‘wave’ of multi-million dollar lawsuits from multinational corporations claiming compensation for measures introduced to protect people from COVID-19 and its economic fallout, according to a new report.

        Researchers have identified more than twenty corporate law firms offering services to mount such cases, which would seek compensation from states for measures that have negatively impacted company profits – including lost future profits.

        Measures that could face legal challenges include the state acquisition of private hospitals; steps introduced to ensure that drugs, tests and vaccines are affordable; and relief on rent, debt and utility payments.

        Lawmakers across Europe have condemned the activity described in the report, with one describing such activity as an “attack on democracy”.

        The research, co-published by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), draws on statements from firms’ legal briefings, client alerts and webinars – and outlines a list of what it calls “ten particularly heinous litigation scenarios developed by some of the busiest law firms.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • No, CDA 230 Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Conservatives Off YouTube

        Over the last year or so, there’s been a surge of claims that Google, Twitter, YouTube, etc. are “biased against conservatives.”

      • French Government Passes Hate Speech Law, Will Allow Law Enforcement To Run The Internet

        Whatever ills there are in the world, the French government is pretty sure American tech companies should solve them. Or, at the very least, agree to be punished for failing to prevent the unpreventable.

      • As Expected, Those Who Pushed For FOSTA Are Now Looking To Kill Off Porn

        A few years back, when the campaign to use FOSTA (then called SESTA) as a way to chip away at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act by creating a misleading moral panic around “sex trafficking” was in full swing, we pointed out that it was really a precursor to trying to outlaw all pornography. I highlighted how a key group pushing for FOSTA, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), didn’t even bother to hide that its real target was outlawing all pornography. NCOSE, as we pointed out, started life as “Morality in Media” and only changed its name later when it realized that everyone was ignoring them acting like fussy prudish pearl-clutchers, and decided that if they pretended they were about “exploitation” it would give them more credibility.

      • Copyright As Censorship: WSJ Identifies Hundreds Of Bogus News Takedowns; People Blame Google Rather Than Copyright

        For years, the Copyright Office has been working on a report that is expected to be released sometime soon, about whether or not the DMCA’s Section 512 “notice and takedown” regime needs to be changed. The big Hollywood and recording industry lobbyists have been gearing up to push for new rules, a la the European Copyright Directive, that put even more liability on intermediaries. Of course, what they really want is to force Google and Facebook to just hand them some cash because they’ve failed to adapt their business models while those two companies have thrived. Those legacy copyright-focused industries have already been pushing for things like mandatory licensing and “notice-and-staydown” rules, whereby if something that was taken down once gets re-uploaded, the hosting site becomes liable. Indeed, the industry already seems to have political support for some of these changes.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • 5 Things the Government Must Do Now to Avoid Collapse And/Or Revolution

        The COVID-19 medical and economic crisis remains mostly unaddressed by both the Republican and Democratic parties. They have only passed one piece of legislation that significantly helps workers: supplementing existing state unemployment benefits by $600 per week. Those additional payments expire in four months. Until then many people who are out of work will receive about $1000 a week. If the past is precedent, Congress is likely to renew the law.

      • The Black American Amputation Epidemic

        Black patients were losing limbs at triple the rate of others. The doctor put up billboards in the Mississippi Delta. Amputation Prevention Institute, they read. He could save their limbs, if it wasn’t too late.

      • Sexism, harassment, and dating the faculty The controversy behind a student’s report on sexual misconduct at Moscow State University

        An article from the student outlet Doxa about harassment in Moscow State University’s (MGU) Philology Faculty has been the subject of widespread and contentious discussion online. Against the backdrop of its publication, one faculty member has resigned — a professor from the Russian language department, Sergey Knyazev. Nevertheless, the faculty’s leadership has refused to investigate the situation. Meanwhile, one female student has begun to receive threats from teachers because of her activism, and some people have found errors in Doxa’s reporting. One of the report’s main figures claims that its author never even contacted her directly. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova breaks down the Doxa report and the controversy it has inspired. 

      • Minnesota’s Top Court Says Hotel Guest Records Are Protected By The State’s Constitution

        Minnesota’s top court has redefined the contours of the Third Party Doctrine for the betterment of the state’s residents and visitors. [h/t FourthAmendment.com] The case deals with hotel/motel guest records, which have historically been given almost no legal protection.

      • Right-Wing Hungarian Government Pulls Nation ‘Back Towards Dark Ages’ by Ending Legal Recognition of Trans People

        “Viktor Orbán is using the Covid-19 health crisis as cover to push through discriminatory legislation that will be devastating to the lives of transgender people in Hungary.”

      • US Is Using Pandemic as an Excuse to Send Asylum Seekers Back Into Harm’s Way

        Fernanda* doesn’t know what to do. She fled Honduras with her husband and their toddler last year after death threats from gang members she says work with police officers in the family’s neighborhood to extort local businesses and workers. They made it more than 1,500 miles north, hoping to seek asylum in the United States, where Fernanda’s husband has an uncle who could provide them housing and support.

      • The lack of women in cybersecurity leaves the online world at greater risk

        Women are also generally not presented with opportunities in information technology fields. In a survey of women pursuing careers outside of IT fields, 69 percent indicated that the main reason they didn’t pursue opportunities in IT was because they were unaware of them.

      • Pandemic Worsens ‘Food Deserts’ for 23.5 Million Americans

        The consequences of nutritional deficiencies are impossible to miss – especially during the pandemic, according to Connor DeLoach of Top Box Foods, a nonprofit that provides fresh produce and other goods at heavily discounted prices in New Orleans and elsewhere.

        “If you aren’t putting healthy food in your body, the long-term effects can be seriously detrimental,” he said. “New Orleanians have higher rates of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes than the national average and these are all conditions that make individuals more susceptible to coronavirus’ most intense symptoms.”

      • Trump’s HHS secretary accidentally tells the truth: Racism is driving pandemic policy

        The implications of Azar’s comments are clear enough, despite the superficial language of concern: Black and brown communities and individuals are somehow responsible for dying at higher rates from the coronavirus pandemic and the nation’s “unfortunate” diversity is at least partly to blame. Of course, after making those comments Azar attempted, predictably, to backtrack and deflect.

      • Trump’s HHS Secretary Accidentally Admits Racism Is Driving COVID Policy

        Donald Trump’s administration is truly a one-trick pony. Whatever narratives Trump’s minions roll out, white supremacy and racism are always the baseline..

      • Roe of “Roe v. Wade” Says Christian Right Paid Her to Be Anti-Choice Mouthpiece

        Norma McCorvey probably isn’t a household name across most of the United States, but she was instrumental in a Supreme Court ruling most Americans are well-aware of: Roe v. Wade.

      • Iranian prosecutors extend Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s furlough from prison

        Iranian authorities have extended Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe’s furlough from prison pending a decision on clemency, her family said.

        Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, one of several British-Iranian dual nationals who have been jailed in Iran, was among prisoners granted temporary release in March in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

        Her furlough was extended in April but had been due to expire today. She was informed of the extension in a telephone call with prosecutors late on Wednesday morning.

        “Nazanin spoke to the Prosecutor’s Office today. Her furlough from prison has again been extended – until a decision has been made on her clemency. She was told no decision has been made on clemency,” he husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said on Twitter.

        “Her father was asked to come to the Prosecutors Office on Saturday. Nazanin is unable as she still has the ankle tag preventing her from going more than 300m.”

        Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said in March that a large number of those allowed temporary release would be considered for clemency so that they would not have to return to prison.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • France Is About To Waste A Ton Of Money Trying To Build Its Own Airbnb

        It’s no secret that the French government seems to hate big internet companies. It’s spent years attacking them from basically every angle — they allow too much piracy, they don’t protect privacy, they protect privacy too much, they don’t censor enough, they censor too much. Often it really seems like the issue is that these companies are not French companies.

      • Idiots Begin Attacking US 5G Cell Towers Because, Idiots

        On one end, you’ve got wireless carriers claiming that 5G is some type of cancer-curing miracle (it’s not). On the other hand, we have oodles of conspiracy theorists, celebrities, and various grifters trying to claim 5G is some kind of rampant health menace (it’s not). In reality, 5G’s not actually interesting enough to warrant either position, but that’s clearly not stopping anybody in the post-truth era.

    • Monopolies

      • WHO chief says he will keep leading virus response after Trump threat

        The World Health Organization’s head said on Tuesday he would keep leading the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to cut off funding and quit the body.

        WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus defended the agency’s role after the United States again withheld full support for a resolution on the pandemic.

        “We want accountability more than anyone,” Tedros told a virtual meeting of the WHO’S 194 member states. “We will continue providing strategic leadership to coordinate the global response.”

        Washington allowed the resolution calling for a review into the global response to the pandemic to pass by consensus, but said it objected to language about reproductive health rights and permission for poor countries to waive patent rules.

      • We must stop law firms from cashing in on the pandemic – before it’s too late

        Those paying the price for COVID-19 are becoming more visible every day – from the nurses risking their own lives to save others, to the poorly paid workers toiling overtime to produce food and deliver essential goods. Globally, we are also starting to see the impact on impoverished countries that have been forced to deal with an unprecedented health and economic crisis.

        Some of the winners are also becoming clear – Jeff Bezos, pharmaceutical corporations, tech firms – companies that are booming while small businesses collapse. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes, many companies and international law firms are weighing up the legal options that might enable them to benefit from this crisis. Their point of entry is not the money they hope to make from this crisis, but rather the money they didn’t make due to the emergency measures taken by governments.

        The capacity of foreign investors to sue states has been enabled thanks to a global web of investment protection agreements signed largely over the last three decades. Over 2,600 treaties in force worldwide allow foreign investors to sue states at international arbitration tribunals for government measures that affect corporate profits, including those that protect the environment and public health; extend affordable access to energy; clean water or enact better working conditions. There are more than 1,000 known examples of investors suing states worldwide. They have skyrocketed in the last decade, and so has the amount of money involved.

      • Patents

        • Munich I Regional Court won’t adjudicate Nokia v. Daimler case tomorrow, schedules new trial for 7/23: stay looms large

          The Nokia v. Daimler patent ruling (patent-in-suit: EP1671505 on a “redundancy strategy selection scheme”) that the Munich I Regional Court had originally scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed.

          Instead of announcing a decision tomorrow, the court has reopened the proceedings and scheduled another trial date for July 23, 2020. On that additional trial date, the focus will be on validity. Based on what I’ve heard about the order, Nokia now has to overcome a significant hurdle: it needs to dissuade the court from staying the case pending the parallel invalidation proceedings.

          More than three months have passed since the original trial in this case. It speaks to the court’s diligence that the judges identified a need for an additional court session in order to carefully analyze Daimler’s invalidity defense. With so much at stake in the wider dispute, it would have been unfortunate if a rush to judgment had resulted in an enforceable injunction over a patent that shouldn’t have been granted in the first place (at least not in the form in which the European Patent Office granted it).

        • How Would You Teach Professional Responsibility?

          Slightly off-topic question and not limited to patent-IP related courses. If you have any thoughts on what you’d do to improve legal ethics courses in law school, fire away. I am teaching it this summer (I’ve taught it at half dozen schools) and I’m doing a much more problem-based even than usual but I always feel like the course could have more “real life” to it but… anyhow maybe that’s not even the right thought. Any thoughts or comments appreciated: I practiced full-time for 14 years, and part-time for another 16, and so I bring more “practical” content to the course than many professors but I never feel good about the course.

        • Actions Against the Threat of Patent Infringement

          As readers are well aware, when a patent is infringed, the classic remedy to try to restore the status quo is filing a “cessation” action and a “prohibition” action aimed at obtaining an injunction ordering the defendant to cease the infringing acts and preventing it from infringing until the patent expires. So far, so good.

          But what if the defendant has not infringed yet, but has carried out acts that suggest that it has the intention of infringing (for example, rejecting an undertaking not to launch until the patent expires on a product that falls within the scope of protection of the patent)? Are legal actions against a threat of patent infringement, even if it is not “imminent”, possible? And if so, what would be the legal basis for such actions?

          [...]

          These crystal clear waters were muddied by the introduction of the “imminent” requirement in the Enforcement Directive. It is a paradox that, as far as this point is concerned, the effect of the Directive has been exactly the contrary of the objective sought by the Community Legislator: instead of enhancing the level of intellectual property protection, it has lowered the threshold of protection previously envisaged in some member states, such as Spain.

        • Software Patents

          • Justices Won’t Nix ‘Dangerous’ Fee Award Against Patent Co.

            The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up an appeal by a patent licensing company founded by former WilmerHale and Kirkland & Ellis LLP partners over attorney fees it was slapped with after a failed patent lawsuit.

            The high court denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed in March by Blackbird Tech LLC, in which it argued that the Federal Circuit misapplied the justices’ 2014 Octane Fitness decision when it agreed with a lower court that the patent licensing company was responsible for $363,000 in attorney fees for filing a frivolous patent suit.

          • McRO Returns to Federal Circuit: Valid but Not Infringed

            This case has returned to the Federal Circuit. In 2016, the court issued an important legibility decision in the case — finding the algorithm for syncing anime lip-movements with various sounds to be patent eligible. McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., 837 F.3d 1299 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (McRO I). Less than four years later, McRO I has been cited by over 2000 PTAB decisions as well as 200+ court decisions. The only more-cited patent cases from 2016 are Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 822 F.3d 1327 (Fed. Cir. 2016); Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, 136 S. Ct. 2131 (2016); and Electric Power Group, LLC v. Alstom S.A., 830 F.3d 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

            On remand, the accused infringers again successfully moved for dismissal — this time on summary judgment of invalidity (enablement) and non-infringement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has vacated the invalidity holding, but upheld the non-infringement determination.

            [...]

            Non-Infringement: McRO’s non-infringement argument hinged upon claim construction of the claim term “morph weight set.” The morph weights identify how much and in what direction various morph targets (such as lip portions) move. The district court interpreted the term to require these be in 3-D geometric vector form. The result of that claim construction was no-infringement because the accused infringers “do not represent the displacements of each vertex in terms of a simple xyz displacement vector.”

            On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the claim construction — holding that “the specification compels the three-dimensional geometric construction of ‘vector’ adopted by the district court.” McRO had argued that vector should be given a broader definition to include how it is used in computer science — as a sequential list of numbers.

          • Federal Circuit Summarily Affirms Unified Patents’ IPR Against General Access Solutions

            On May 15, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit summarily affirmed the PTAB’s ruling that all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 9,225,555, are unpatentable in a summary affirmance under Rule 36, effectively ending the longstanding assertion of those claims. The patent has repeatedly asserted the patent against multiple operating companies in the Eastern District of Texas. See General Access Solutions, Ltd. v. Unified Patents, LLC, No. 2019-1565 (Fed. Cir. May 15, 2020) (Rule 36 Affirmance). Unified was represented by WilmerHale; partner Brittany Amadi argued the appeal via teleconference, in a first for her firm and for Unified. To date, Unified has never lost a Federal Circuit appeal.

      • Trademarks

        • Milan court rules against Antonio Marras over unauthorized use of howling wolf photograph

          The court sided with the claimant, having established that his photograph – which has been also registered with the US Copyright Office – would qualify for protection under the ‘ordinary’ copyright regime.

          Under Italian law, in fact, photographs may be protected in two ways: on the one hand, there is the ordinary copyright regime, which is available to photographs that display a ‘creative character’ under Articles 1 and 2 No 7 of the Italian Copyright Act; on the other hand, simple photographs (fotografie semplici) are eligible for a 20-year term of protection, in accordance with what is allowed under Article 6 of the Term Directive and the regime in Articles 87-92 of the Italian Copyright Act.

          [...]

          The outcome of this case is not surprising or, rather, should not be surprising.

          However, it may not be a given that a photograph, even a well-known one, is deemed eligible for copyright protection rather than for the simple photographs regime.

        • Bad faith grounds for invalidating EUTM containing Chinese characters

          The famous Chinese writer Lu Xun is said to had expressed the view that “either the Chinese characters are abolished, or China perishes“. Lu Xun had thought that Chinese characters are by nature difficult and thus not particularly helpful when one wishes to modernize the nation and decrease the illiteracy present in China of his day (1920/30’s). One of the measures he had considered viable for this purpose was Latinization of the Chinese script. The suggestion was not adopted, which has resulted in interesting challenges when addressing trademark issues involving Chinese characters. What follows is a notable example under EU trademark law.

          This blogger has previously argued that the EUIPO considers EUTMs containing Chinese characters to be figurative marks, whereby it conducts no aural and genuine visual and conceptual comparison in inter partes proceedings when assessing a likelihood of confusion. As such, the proprietor of a Chinese character EUTM could be left with no effective protection against activities such as trademark squatting, with the (then-theoretical) exception of an application for invalidity on the grounds of bad faith (Art. 59(1)(b) EUTMR). On 14 February 2020, EUIPO’s Cancellation Division rendered a decision in precisely such a case (No. 24 442 C).

          [...]

          Taking all of the aforementioned into consideration, the Cancellation Division found that the Invalidity Applicant had shown that its company, widely known under the short form of Yili, is the leading producer of dairy products in China and holds a position among the most valuable Chinese brands. It also found that for many years before the filing date of the Contested EUTM, the Invalidity Applicant was already identified not only with the Chinese characters 伊利 but also with the Latin word YILI as a comprehensive unitary brand. Consequently, it corresponds with a natural commercial logic or trajectory on the part of the Invalidity Applicant to protect both 伊利 and YILI in Europe.

          On the other hand, the Cancellation Division found no commercial logic in seeking EU-wide protection for a home-made yoghurt business under YILI, together with a standard version of Chinese characters recognized for years as well-known brand(s) of the Invalidity Applicant. As such, the Cancellation Division failed to see any commercial logic– other than that of a deliberate intention to create an association with the famous (Chinese) trade mark(s) of the Invalidity Applicant in order to take advantage of it, and even to prevent the Invalidity Applicant from pursuing its business activities in the EU market.

      • Copyrights

        • Apple Buys Older Shows for TV+, Stepping Up Netflix Challenge

          Apple Inc. is acquiring older movies and shows for its TV+ streaming service, aiming to build a back catalog of content that can better stack up against the huge libraries available on Netflix, Hulu and Disney+.

          The company’s video-programming executives have taken pitches from Hollywood studios about licensing older content for TV+ and have bought some shows and movies, according to people familiar with the matter.

        • Balanced Copyright Rules Can Help Save Lives During the COVID 19 Crisis

          Our friends and right to repair leaders at iFixit are can-do people. If they see a need they can fill, they step up to do it – even if that need is massive. And they’ve done precisely that with a new and user-friendly archive of repair information for mission-critical medical equipment, including easy-to-use repair guides that boil down key information. Thanks to this project, biomedical technicians can quickly and easily access the information they need to keep medical equipment up and running, saving time, money, and lives.

          You might think manufacturers of medical equipment would already provide such a database, but you’d be wrong. Many manufacturers refuse to put their manuals online, or, if they do, the manuals are clunky PDFs that are hard to navigate and use, especially when you are trying to work quickly and carefully. So technicians turned to iFixit for help, and iFixit responded in old-school Internet fashion, sending out a call for documents and people to help organize them.  They were overwhelmed by the response, and this new collection is the result.

        • Take That’s Gary Barlow: Use a VPN to Bypass YouTube Geoblock of Lockdown Concert

          This Friday night at 8:00pm, Take That and Robbie Williams will perform a special concert from their own homes to raise money for charities during the lockdown. The one-off performance will be broadcast on YouTube and Facebook Live but only for residents of the UK. However, Gary Barlow has taken to Twitter, asking fans to spread the word on how to unblock the event using VPNs.

        • The Music Mission Campaign Aims to Shut Down 200 Music Piracy Sites

          A brand new initiative launched by anti-piracy company AudioLock, music distributor Label Worx, and supported by hundreds of labels and distribution platforms is aiming to shut down around 200 professionally operated music piracy sites. Often masquerading as legitimate platforms and with polish to match, they could soon have their hosting and payment gateways disrupted.

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