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06.05.20

Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 9:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • SpaceX Used Linux To Send NASA Astronauts To International Space Station

      On May 30, SpaceX sent its first manned spacecraft into space that successfully delivered NASA astronauts to International Space Station (ISS). But not many know that SpaceX’s Falcon 9, besides rocket fuel, is fueled by the Linux operating system!

      The Falcon 9 rocket was running an unspecified version of the open-source Linux OS on which the flight software, written in C/C ++, runs. SpaceX and Linux go way back as SpaceX employees confirmed that Dragon and Falcon 9 both run on Linux in an old 2013 post.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 2020-06-05 | Linux Headlines

        The first-ever Blender LTS is out with support for VR, the CNCF debuts a training program to convey students from novice to cloud professional in six months, the Matrix project previews peer-to-peer messaging, and Canonical introduces two developer tools.

    • Kernel Space

      • EXT4 Gets A Nice Batch Of Fixes For Linux 5.8

        Ted Ts’o sent in the EXT4 file-system changes on Thursday for Linux 5.8 as the summer 2020 kernel release.

        EXT4 material for this pull request is focused on bug fixes and code cleaning. There is a fix for performance problems within the dioread_nolock code, a mballoc problem has been fixed for smaller file-systems running out of blocks, multiple race issues have been resolved, and other fixes. There is also clean-ups to EXT4′s fiemap handling, multiple block allocator, and other improvements.

      • Linux 5.8 Has The Bits Needed To Begin Booting POWER10 Processors

        POWER10 is the forthcoming IBM + OpenPOWER processor expected to be shipping in 2021 and manufactured on a 7nm process and offer big improvements over the existing POWER9 microarchitecture.

        There has been a lot of POWER10 open-source enablement already happening from the Linux kernel to code compilers and other key components. Now with the Linux 5.8 kernel is enough code to have initial support for booting on POWER10 hardware. Granted, outside of IBM / OpenPOWER and key partners, it will still be some months (and more kernel releases down the road) before seeing the hardware and thus more time still to get the support squared away — hopefully in time for the the spring 2021 Linux distributions.

      • Linus Torvalds criticized the L1 cache reset function when context switching – Linus all programming languages suck except C

        “The function resets the cache not only when necessary, but also on the “order” of any application.

        Linus Torvalds, the Creator of the Linux kernel, opposed the addition of the L1 data cache reset function when context switching to the Linux kernel version 5.8. This feature was proposed as a protection against vulnerabilities of the Spectre class and other cache leaks.

        The problem is that the function resets the cache not only when necessary, but also at the “order” of any application. In multitasking OSS such as Linux distributions, this will reduce the performance of not only the application itself, but also the rest of the processes. Of course, this state of Affairs is not suitable for highly loaded server systems. According to Torvals, resetting the L1 cache makes sense only for Intel processors, and where it is not required, the function will be superfluous.

      • OpenGL/OpenCL/Graphics Stack

        • SVGA Gallium3D Now Exposes OpenGL 4.1 Support

          Following VMware making the VMWGFX kernel changes for supporting OpenGL 4.x, the SVGA Gallium3D driver is now exposing OpenGL 4.1 in compatibility profile contexts for this open-source graphics driver used as part of the VMware virtualization stack.

        • Intel Exposes OpenCL 3.0 For Tiger Lake Graphics

          It’s a bit surprising that at least as of now OpenCL 3.0 is only being exposed for Gen12/TigerLake while previous generations are on OpenCL 2.1. OpenCL 3.0 is designed to be more flexible in even allowing OpenCL 1.2 drivers to be fitted for CL 3.0 compliance. All OpenCL 2.x functionality can be queried via OpenCL 3.0 as extensions. Thus it’s surprising at least for now Intel is only exposing OpenCL 3.0 for Tiger Lake, but we will see in forthcoming Compute Runtime updates if they flip on OpenCL 3.0 for existing generations.

        • Bifrost meets GNOME: Onward & upward to zero graphics blobs

          In our last blog update for Panfrost, the free and open-source graphics driver for modern Mali GPUs, we announced initial support for the Bifrost architecture. We have since extended this support to all major features of OpenGL ES 2.0 and even some features of desktop OpenGL 2.1. With only free software, a Mali G31 chip can now run Wayland compositors with zero-copy graphics, including GNOME 3. We can run every scene in glmark2-es2, and 3D games like Neverball can be played. In addition, we can support hardware-accelerated video players mpv and Kodi. Screenshots above are from a Mali G31 board running Panfrost.

          All of the above is included in upstream Mesa with no out-of-tree patches required, with the upcoming Bifrost support enabled via the PAN_MESA_DEBUG=bifrost environmental variable.

        • Rosenzweig: Bifrost meets GNOME: Onward & upward to zero graphics blobs

          Alyssa Rosenzweig provides an update on the Panfrost driver for Mali GPUs on the Collabora blog.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Ryzen Threadripper

        Given the recent release of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, here are some fresh benchmarks showing how the latest Windows 10 software update paired with the latest AMD drivers performs against the latest 2020 Linux distribution releases. This testing was done on an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X box given the interesting performance differences we have seen in the past to Linux’s advantage with these HEDT processors. The Linux distributions tested against Windows 10 May 2020 Update were Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch-based Manjaro 20.0.2, Clear Linux 33250, and Fedora Workstation 32.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.10 Released with Support for Linux Kernel 5.7, Bug Fixes

        Oracle released VirtualBox 6.1.10 as a minor maintenance update to its open-source and cross-platform virtualization software to add support for the latest Linux kernel series and fixes some minor bugs.

        VirtualBox 6.1.10 comes exactly three weeks after version 6.1.8, which added support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, Oracle Linux 8.2, and CentOS Linux 8.2 operating systems.

        It’s a minor update that’s mainly here to add support for the latest Linux 5.7 kernel series for both Linux guest and Linux hosts running Linux kernel 5.7, even though most distributions haven’t upgraded yet.

        But Oracle is always one step ahead, so if you’re distro is already running Linux kernel 5.7 or will soon be powered by it, you can now update VirtualBox to version 6.1.10 and safely use your virtual machines.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.10 is now available.
        
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - More progress on the WineD3D Vulkan backend.
          - Beginnings of a separate Unix library for NTDLL.
          - Better support for anti-cheat kernel drivers.
          - More glyph substitutions in DirectWrite.
          - Support for DSS private keys.
          - ARM64 exception handling fixes.
          - Various bug fixes.
        
        The source is available from the following locations:
        
        https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.10.tar.xz
        
        
        http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.x/wine-5.10.tar.xz
        
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
        
      • Wine 5.10 Starts Work On A Unix Library For NTDLL, More WineD3D Vulkan

        Wine 5.10 is out as the latest bi-weekly development release of this open-source project for allowing Windows games and applications to run generally gracefully on Linux (and other) platforms.

        Wine 5.10 continues the recent trend of bringing up the Vulkan back-end for WineD3D for this Direct3D 9/10/11 implementation to allow it to run atop Vulkan rather than needing to map it over OpenGL. With Wine 5.10 more functionality is in place but doesn’t appear to be good yet for gamers compared to the OpenGL code-path or most notably the out-of-tree DXVK project providing great Direct3D 9/10/11 support over Vulkan and is what is notably used at the moment by Steam Play (Proton).

      • Wine 5.10 out with more WineD3D Vulkan work and anti-cheat improvements

        Alexandre Julliard, CodeWeavers staffer and Wine hacker today announced the Wine 5.10 development release with some more exciting work.

        They’ve continued progressing Vulkan support for WineD3D, there’s the beginnings of a separate Unix library for NTDLL, more glyph substitutions in DirectWrite, support for DSS private keys, ARM64 fixes and other various bug fixes included.

        Something bigger came with Wine 5.10 though too, as they also mentioned it has better support for anti-cheat kernel drivers. That’s going to be the big one if it’s possible to get working properly. Anti-cheat as a whole is the Achilles heel of Wine (and so Steam Play Proton too), as it’s often the cause of Windows games being unable to work on Linux through the compatibility layer so it’s pleasing to know more work is going on.

    • Games

      • Interviewed – Veloren, an upcoming FOSS multiplayer voxel RPG

        Today we have something a bit special for you, an interview with one of the team working to produce the free and open source multiplayer voxel RPG named Veloren.

        Recently, the Veloren team put out their 0.6 release, bringing a lot of extra content to try out and so we felt this was a good time to have a chat about the project.

      • Wave of EA games hit Steam, including Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition

        These older EA games hit Steam alongside Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, which comes out on PC today. The revived strategy classic includes mod support with Steam Workshop, and is one of the first major RTS franchises to open source its source code under the GPL.

      • Steal everything and flee from the Burning Knight – out now

        With some great lighting work, furious action and a good sprinkle of comedy Burning Knight is an fast-paced roguelike that’s out now. Note: key provided by the developer.

        It’s…ridiculous. I mean that in the nicest way I can because I’m at a loss for a better word. The whole game is just pure madness and a massive amount of fun. Much like other similar titles that came before including Nuclear Throne and Enter the Gungeon, it’s got that supremely satisfying gameplay loop nailed down perfectly. Run through various floors as you dodge roll, shoot and slice your way through everything.

        [...]

        Hilariously, the shop is clearly selling dubious wares just take a look at the shopkeeper and tell me that’s not a robber, just look at the mask! You can even start a fight with them, much to my surprise when accidentally clicking next to them and they asked me to stop. So for science, I hit them a few more times and they got very angry and starting running around super fast, firing everywhere. Even though I had clearly done it to myself, it was a bit of a shock but super funny especially with the Burning Knight cheering them on against me.

      • Valve moves the Steam Game Festival to June 16

        The upcoming Steam Game Festival Summer Edition has been delayed, as confirmed in a Valve email today.

        Originally due from June 9 – 15, they’ve now moved it to June 16 – 22. No reason was given and their email on it was extremely brief. It’s not really unexpected though at this point, practically every other major event has also been postponed. This is all in response to the ongoing situation in America right now, after the death of George Floyd who died at hands of Minneapolis police officers.

      • June’s Humble Choice is out with Supraland, Overload, Barotrauma and more

        Looks like the June 2020 Humble Choice is a pretty good one filled with some highly rated games. Time to take a quick look over what’s on offer.

        Humble Choice (prev Humble Monthly) is a curated bundle that changes each month. You pick a tier with different prices to get access to the huge Humble Trove (a collection of DRM-free games) plus a Humble Store discount and then you pick between 3-9 games to keep. This month you can pick from (bold titles support Linux):

        Barotrauma
        Overload
        Remnants of Naezith
        Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones
        Supraland

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Adding EteSync address books to Kontact – GSoC 2020 with KDE and EteSync [Part 3]

          Last week, I wrote a post about adding EteSync address books to Kontact. I’m happy to report that you can now fetch your EteSync address books and contacts in Kontact. If you want to test it out, skip to ”Testing the resource” section below. You can read on for updates on the project:

        • Reordering the People Sidebar in DigiKam

          The People Sidebar is an important aspect of Face Management in DigiKam. It displays the names of all people in the database, and provides a variety of context menu functionality. Currently, the Face Tags (Names) in the Sidebar are sorted alphabetically (either ascending or descending). This causes inconvenience to the user, particularly when confirming the results of a Facial Recognition.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • VAX port needs help

          This are severe challenges for a general purpose operating system like NetBSD, but also provides reality checks for our claim to be a very portable operating system.

          Unfortunately there is another challenge, totally outside of NetBSD, but affecting the VAX port big time: the compiler support for VAX is … let’s say sub-optimal. It is also risking to be dropped completely by gcc upstream.

          Now here is where people can help: there is a bounty campaign to finance a gcc hacker to fix the hardest and most immediate issue with gcc for VAX. Without this being resolved, gcc will drop support for VAX in a near future version.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2020/21 – 23

          It has been a while since I wrote a ‘weekly’ review. My own fault for taking some days off, right? At least I had good weather and enjoyed the time – a lot even. But now I am in dept to you: I owe you a review over what happened over the last three weeks. Since the last review, openSUSE Tumbleweed has seen 11 new snapshots (0514, 0515, 0516, 0517, 0519, 0520, 0523, 0526, 0528, 0602 and 0603). Thanks to Max for taking care of it during my absence).

          [...]

          This means almost all of the things from the last ‘weekly review’s’ ‘things in progress’ have been delivered by now. But that does not mean there is nothing left.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM Releases Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkit for MacOS and iOS; Linux and Android Coming Soon

          Often, when I begin explaining fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) to someone for the first time I start by saying that I’ve been working in the field for nearly a decade and yet, I still have to pause to spell it right. So, let’s call it FHE.

          Half-kidding aside, FHE really sounds like magic when you hear about it for the first time, but it’s actually based on very sound mathematics. The main difference is that FHE requires a shift in the programming paradigm that we are used to, which makes it a little more difficult to integrate into applications. That was until today thanks to a new toolkit we are making available for MacOS, iOS and soon for Linux and Android. In fact, developers with basic platform tool familiarity can get up and running by following a few simple instructions rather quickly (see video below). It was no small feat to synthesize 11 years of top-notch cryptography research into a streamlined developer experience that is accessible and freely available to anyone in the time most people would spend to brew a pot of coffee or de-clutter a desk.

        • New open source security tools let you develop on encrypted data

          Building security into the fabric of your applications no longer requires you to be an expert in cryptography. The open source IBM Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkits provide code and development environment settings that developers can use to experiment with a different kind of secure programming model.

        • Contribute at the Fedora CoreOS Test Day

          The Fedora CoreOS team has released the first Fedora CoreOS testing release based on Fedora 32. They expect that this release will promote to the stable channel in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test day on Monday, June 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • IBM C/C++ and Fortran compilers to adopt LLVM open source infrastructure

          IBM® has been investing significantly in open source code, communities, and governance. LLVM is an open source compilation technology framework that is actively maintained by a large development community, supporting multiple architectures and programming languages. Clang is the open source C/C++ frontend for the LLVM project and provides full support for the latest language standards. IBM intends to fully incorporate the LLVM Core and Clang sub-projects in future C/C++ offerings on IBM z/OS®, Linux on Power, IBM AIX®, and IBM i (with PASE) platforms.

          As an active sponsor and strong supporter of the LLVM open source project, IBM is contributing code for both IBM Power® and IBM Z® in the areas of code generation and exploitation, portability and usability enhancements, and toolchain support. In 2019, IBM increased participation in the LLVM project by adding AIX support and enhancing loop optimizations. IBM is intending to fully leverage the LLVM infrastructure in C/C++ offerings as the next step in our compiler strategy.

        • Mandrel: A community distribution of GraalVM for the Red Hat build of Quarkus

          The Java community has demonstrated time and time again its ability to evolve, improve, and adapt to meet the needs of its developers and users. Even after 25 years of language and framework choices, Java has consistently ranked in the top languages in use today due to its strong track record and capabilities in enterprise use cases. Red Hat has long been a strong leader in Java and open source software development and remains committed to being at the forefront of Java as it continues to evolve.

          Today, Red Hat and the GraalVM community jointly established a new downstream distribution of GraalVM, called Mandrel. This distribution will power the Red Hat build of Quarkus, a recently announced addition to Red Hat Runtimes. This article explains what Mandrel is and why it is necessary.

        • Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Talks About IBM and His Vision for the Future

          Paul Cormier recently sat down for a talk with us about how the company’s relationship with its new owner, IBM, is working out and to reflect on where the company is going.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-23

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. Elections voting is open through 11 June.

      • Devuan Family

        • Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork’s Grendel – systemd

          The Devuan team has released Beowulf 3.0.0, based on Debian Buster, but with the systemd init system – now standard in Debian – removed.

          The project began in November 2014 as a fork of Debian with an announcement citing “diverging perceptions of the Debian project” after a battle over the adoption of systemd, and promising to be “free from bloat as a minimalist base distro should be.” The “vua” in the name stands for Veteran Unix Admins. It is sponsored by Dyne.org, which describes itself as a “non-profit free software foundry.”

          This is the third stable Devuan release, the first being Jessie in May 2017 and the second ASCII (based on Debian Stretch) in June 2018.

          Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman told The Reg: “Everybody who has ever worked at that level in the operating system has agreed that systemd is the proper solution. It solves a problem that people have. Distros have adopted it because it solves a problem for them.” But he added: “If you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to use it.”

      • Debian Family

        • Tor from Telmex. When I say “achievement unlocked”, I mean it!

          Back in 2016, Telmex –Mexico’s foremost communications provider and, through the brands grouped under the América Móvil brand, one of Latin America’s most important ISPs– set up rules to block connecitons to (at least) seven of Tor’s directory authorities (DirAuths). We believe they might have blocked all of them, in an attempt to block connections from Tor from anywhere in their networks, but Tor is much more resourceful than that so, the measure was not too effective.

          [....]

          How can I put this in words? I am very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very happy we managed to see this through!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Linux Mint dumps Ubuntu Snap

          Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions, and it’s my favorite. In part because, while it’s based on Debian Linux and Ubuntu, it goes its own way. For example, its developers created their own excellent desktop interface, Cinnamon. Now, Mint’s programmers, led by lead developer, Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, has dropped support for Ubuntu’s Snap software packing system.

          Snap, along with its rivals Flatpak and AppImage, are alternative ways to install applications on Linux systems. The older ways of Linux apps, such as DEB and RPM package management systems for the Debian and Red Hat Linux families, include the source code and hard-coded paths for each program.

        • Yaru Colors Updated With Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru Theme In 12 Colors (GTK, Icons, GNOME Shell, More)

          Yaru Colors, a theme pack containing Yaru theme (the default Ubuntu GTK, icon, GNOME Shell and cursor themes) in 12 colors, was updated recently based on the Ubuntu 20.04 Yaru theme, which has 3 variants: mixed (default), light and dark, and new folder icons.

          The colors available with this theme pack are aqua, blue, brown, deep blue, green, grey, MATE (uses the Ubuntu MATE green), orange, pink, purple, red and yellow. The themes are available in light, dark and regular (mixed) variants, just as Yaru is available in Ubuntu 20.04. There are also light and dark GNOME Shell themes.

        • Ubuntwtoooo 20.04!

          The next LTS release of Ubuntu has dropped and it’s frankly fantastic. We’re getting you up and running with it as quickly as possible in our main feature this month for those readers who are new to Linux or Ubuntu, and we’ll cover off the important new features you’ll be itching to try out. After nearly 16 years of continuous development this release isn’t here to innovate as much to refine Ubuntu.

          The Gnome desktop – love it or hate it – feels super-slick and has received some much-needed optimisations over the past year. The theme has been polished to a sheen and icons refreshed. There will, of course, be the usual cascade of spin-off updates, ranging from the usual array of xyz-buntus but also downstream distros. The new Pop!_OS is already out and we’ve managed to squeeze a review into this issue. We’re very much looking forward to seeing how Mint 20 works out, too.

        • The State of Robotics – May 2020

          With several countries finally emerging from lockdowns and markets showing signs of economic recovery, we’ve seen the newscycle steadily shift its focus away from Covid-19. And that will be reflected in our robotics recap as well. Let’s get right to it.

          [...]

          As is the ROS tradition, now that we’re nearing the ROS 2 Foxy release date, it’s time to name the G-version of ROS 2. The discussion thread has received a ton of suggestions. Our favorites so far are Galactic Gamera, Grumpy Gopherus, and Gutsy Gibba.

          Head over to the Discourse page to provide your own recommendations. Something to keep in mind – not every user is a native English speaker, so the best release names are easy to pronounce. Glacial, glorious and global are quite practical. Glamorous, groundbreaking and geosynchronous… not so much.

        • OSM#9 Hackfest: the highlights

          For this hackfest, the organisers decided to change the structure in a way that would facilitate hands-on sessions; with attendees playing with technology to learn and unlock new capabilities and skills – staying true to the very nature of a hackfest The event spanned three days of theory and workshop sessions, with an extra day for ecosystem-related presentations and leadership, and technical sessions happening in a parallel track for the full week.

          The overall experience was great with active participation and every session felt like adding a piece to the puzzle to highlight the benefits that OSM can bring to telcos in a landscape that is rapidly moving towards network function virtualisation and containerisation. Participants were introduced to the end-to-end hackfest scenario on the first day. The next two days were all about how to deploy and operate network functions on physical machines (PNFs), virtual machines (VNFs) and Kubernetes-managed containers (KNFs), and how to do network slicing, auto-scaling and testing. Slides from all sessions can be found on the OSM wiki.

          [...]

          Canonical has a strong presence in the OSM leadership team, with CEO Mark Shuttleworth being a technical steering committee (TSC) member plus Beierl and Garcia from Canonical’s OSM engineering team as MDLs. Canonical’s vision is to bring better economics for data centres by providing smarter operations at a better price. This vision is very appealing to telecommunications providers that face complex network operations at scale. Our engagement in OSM aims at driving comprehensive design choices to drive better code and operations.

          During the technical sessions, we presented the latest version of the OSM installer. The installer is able to deploy OSM using upstream OSM charms in high-availability mode on a user-provided Kubernetes, bootstrap a LXD cluster and link it to a virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) such as an Openstack cloud. Similarly, the installer can deploy OSM on a single-node, using Microk8s as the K8s substrate. The technical sessions also addressed the roadmap plan for OSM Release EIGHT that should be available in July 2020 and defined upcoming features to address production readiness. This marks an inflection point in OSM as the project enters a more mature stage.

        • Fabrica – Your self-hosted snap factory

          There are many ways one can go about building snaps. You can do it on your local system, by manually running commands in a terminal window. If you have a developer account in the Snap Store, you can use the integrated build functionality to create snaps. You can also use Launchpad, Electron Builder or a range of CI/CD systems. And you can also run your own, self-hosted snap building factory!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla releases recommendations on EU Data Strategy

            Mozilla recently submitted our response to the European Commission’s public consultation on its European Strategy for Data. The Commission’s data strategy is one of the pillars of its tech strategy, which was published in early 2020 (more on that here). To European policymakers, promoting proper use and management of data can play a key role in a modern industrial policy, particularly as it can provide a general basis for insights and innovations that advance the public interest.

            Our recommendations provide insights on how to manage data in a way that protects the rights of individuals, maintains trust, and allows for innovation. In addition to highlighting some of Mozilla’s practices and policies which underscore our commitment to ethical data and working in the open – such as our Lean Data Practices Toolkit, the Data Stewardship Program, and the Firefox Public Data Report – our key recommendations for the European Commission are the following…

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Sean Whitton: spacecadetrebindings

            I’ve been less good at taking adequate typing breaks during the lockdown and I’ve become concerned about how much chording my left hand does on its own during typical Emacs usage, with caps lock rebound to control, as I’ve had it for years.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Why Now Is the Time for “Open Innovation”

          Collaboration can obviously save human lives, but it can also produce huge benefits for companies — even though it’s often overlooked in normal circumstances. For more than a decade, we’ve studied open innovation and have taught thousands of executives and students how to innovate in a more distributed, decentralized and participatory way. The classroom response is usually, “My company needs more of this!” But despite the enthusiasm, companies rarely follow through. We have also witnessed how companies have used hackathons and other forms of open innovation to generate heaps of creative ideas that never reach the point of implementation, leading to frustration among employees and partners. At many companies this kind of distributed, decentralized, and participatory way of innovating remains an ambition that hasn’t yet come true.

          [...]

          Earlier research has found that many companies are extremely worried about value “leaking” from collaborations with outsiders. As a result, they often stick to their knitting and collaborate on a few peripheral tasks, but not on the most important business issues. For example, we are aware of several chemical companies in Europe and the U.S. that made it practically impossible for their open innovation partners to provide help and advice. How? They wouldn’t reveal what their most critical problems entailed, as that could endanger future patenting. Instead the innovation partnerships slipped into irrelevance.

          These intellectual property concerns are of course real and important, but they risk blocking any open innovation initiative from gaining momentum. However, during the Covid-19 crisis it could be wise to focus more on creating value than capturing value.

      • Programming/Development

        • M5Stack Atom Echo Coin-Sized Bluetooth Speaker is Powered by ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP
        • The 20 Best Arduino Books Available for Developers in 2020

          Basing on the hardware and software that are easy-to-use, the Arduino made itself a strong electronic platform in the open-source world. It has earned enormous popularity in the field of projects that are built based on electronics. If you want to understand and learn embedded systems, then Arduino is the most suitable one. Arduino is well known to be a different sensor reader like a thermometer, sound, heat, etc. and thereby can be used in households and all kinds of industrial installations. So, it is worth learning Arduino in this era. Thus, we are here to give you the best collections of Arduino books to learn Arduino in an easy and constructive way.

        • QStringView Diaries: Zero-Allocation String Splitting

          After four months of intensive development work, I am happy to announce that the first QStringTokenizer commits have landed in what will eventually become Qt 6.0. The docs should show up, soon.

          While the version in Qt will be Qt 6-only, KDAB will release this tool for Qt 5 as part of its KDToolBox productivity suite. Yes, that means the code doesn’t require C++17 and works perfectly fine in pure C++11.

          This is a good time to recapitulate what QStringTokenizer is all about.

        • Python

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 5.1.0

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

          • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #12: Web Scraping in Python: Tools, Techniques, and Legality

            Do you want to get started with web scraping using Python? Are you concerned about the potential legal implications? What are the tools required and what are some of the best practices? This week on the show we have Kimberly Fessel to discuss her excellent tutorial created for PyCon 2020 online titled “It’s Officially Legal so Let’s Scrape the Web.”

            We discuss getting started with web scraping, and cover tools and techniques. Kimberly gives advice on finding elements inside of the html, and techniques for cleaning your data. She also notes a recent change to the legal landscape regarding scraping the web.

          • Tricks for Working with Data in Python

            The terms ‘Data Science’ and ‘Data Analyst’ are considered hot topics in the IT world. The problem is that these are generic terms and mean different things to different people and organizations. As a result, I am calling this ‘Data Examination’. In this case, Data Examination refers to the ability to use the Pandas DataFrame to get a first look at the data, slice it into useful bits of information to make a decision, clean the data, get stats on the data, and add more information to a dataframe.

          • Cosmic Python

            Folks I’ve written a new book!

            Along with my coauthor Bob, we are proud to release “Architecture Patterns with Python”, which you can find out more about at cosmicpython.com.

            The cosmic soubriquet is a little joke, Cosmos being the opposite of Chaos in ancient Greek, so we want to propose patterns to minimise chaos in your applications.

          • PyCharm: Smart execution of R code

            In this release, we also introduced some stability improvements and enhancements for resolving and autocompleting named arguments.

          • Python Bytes: #184 Too many ways to wait with await?
          • Return Multiple Values from A Python Function

            The function is used in any programming language to run a specific block of code multiple times when require and organize the code properly. Sometimes, this requires reading the return value from the function for the programming purposes. The return value of the function is stored in a variable. Python functions can return both single and multiple values. This tutorial shows how multiple values can be returned from Python functions with multiple variables, objects, tuples, lists, and dictionaries.

          • Reading and Writing Excel (XLSX) Files in Python with the Pandas Library

            Just like with all other types of files, you can use the Pandas library to read and write Excel files using Python as well. In this short tutorial, we are going to discuss how to read and write Excel files via DataFrames.

            In addition to simple reading and writing, we will also learn how to write multiple DataFrames into an Excel file, how to read specific rows and columns from a spreadsheet, and how to name single and multiple sheets within a file before doing anything.

          • Writing the Factorial Program in Python

            The factorial of a number is the number that you get after multiplying all numbers from 1 to that number. The factorial of a number is denoted by the ‘!’ symbol. For example, if we want to find out the factorial of 4, denoted 4!, then the result would be 1x2x3x4 = 24. There are many ways to find out the factorial of a number. The factorial can be determined in Python using the built-in function for loop and recursive functions. This tutorial shows how the factorial of a number can be determined using various functions of Python.

          • How to Use Boxplot in Python

            A box plot is used to summarize data sets by using the box and whisker plot method. This function helps users to understand the data summary properly. Box plots can be very useful when we want to know how the data is distributed and spread. Three types of quartiles are used in the box plot to plot the data. These values include the median, maximum, minimum, upper-quartile, and lower-quartile statistical values. A box plot summarizes this data in the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles. This tutorial will show you how to create box plots based on a given data set using the pandas and seaborn libraries of Python.

          • How to Use Urllib in Python

            Python contains a module named urllib for handling Uniform Resource Locator (URL)-related tasks. This module is installed in Python 3 by default, and fetches URLs of different protocols via the urlopen() function. Urllib can be used for many purposes, such as reading website content, making HTTP and HTTPS requests, sending request headers, and retrieving response headers. The urllib module contains many other modules for working with URLs, such as urllib.request, urllib.parse, and urllib.error, among others. This tutorial will show you how to use the Urllib module in Python.

          • Python 3.8.3 : Using the fabric python module – part 001.
  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Genetic Diversity and Relationships of Living and Extinct Lions

        Population studies, most relying on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), have been pursued for living species and remains of extinct lions, with varying degrees of confidence. Last month, an international group of researchers published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA entitled “The evolutionary history of extinct and living lions” that reported results of genomic DNA analysis of twenty lion specimens, comprising two cave lions (Panthera leo spelaea), about 30,000 years old from Siberia and the Yukon; 12 “historic” lions (Panthera leo leo/Panthera leo melanochaita) that lived between the 15th and 20th centuries outside the current geographic distribution of lions, and 6 present-day lions from Eastern and Southern Africa (4) and India (2). The broad conclusions these authors drew from this genetic data is that the cave and modern lion species shared a common ancestor that lived about a half million years ago, and that modern lions consist of two lineages that diverged about 70,000 years ago. The “orphan” Indian lions showed what the authors termed “a nearly complete absence of genetic diversity,” consistent with their low population sizes in recent years.

        [...]

        Turning to the Indian lions, the authors report the greatest extent of population reduction and inbreeding in these lions (a 16-fold reduction in heterozygosity compared with modern southern African lions), with 90% of the Indian lion genomic DNA residing in ROHs. Further analyses showed that Indian lions carry on average 12.7% more deleterious mutations in homozygosity, which results in a substantial genetic load and even more so should these mutations be recessive (i.e., individuals would carry both mutant copies of the gene).

        The authors conclude their paper with a section on “implications for conservation,” including efforts to resuscitate extinct or nearly extinct populations a la Jurassic Park. (The risks of this embodiment of “playing God” using genetic methodologies have been set forth in Beth Shapiro’s book, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction.) These authors caution that “although conservation efforts are contributing to increasing population size after centuries of decline, their remarkable lack of genomic diversity suggests that they could be extremely susceptible to inbreeding depression and genetic erosion, as well as future pathogen outbreaks.”

        While providing the first whole-genome sequencing comparison of several extinct and living lion species, the paper illustrates that significant additional work will be needed to sort out the interrelationships between these different forms of the King of Beasts.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Dirk Eddelbuettel: corels 0.0.2 on CRAN: Initial upload!

              The source code repo has since been relocated from my account to the (upstream) corels org in GitHub. And renamed: as the upstream (C++) repo as well as the existing Python package simply call is corels we now do too. The repo, to be distinguishable as a directory, will remain named rcppcorels.

              We also describe the package a little on the corels package page. Some more work should go into along with work in the upstream repos, so please follow whichever GitHub repo you are interested in.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (bind, firefox, and freerdp), Debian (netqmail and python-django), Fedora (cacti, cacti-spine, dbus, firefox, gjs, mbedtls, mozjs68, and perl), Oracle (freerdp and kernel), Scientific Linux (bind and firefox), Slackware (mozilla), SUSE (krb5-appl, libcroco, libexif, libreoffice, libxml2, qemu, transfig, and vim), and Ubuntu (firefox, freerdp, and python-django).

          • Free Software Can Cost Plenty [Ed: NSA perpetuates this idea that somehow it's Free software that's the risk, not proprietary software with NSA back doors]

            Cybersecurity experts note that the notion of sharing software is hardly new; most would argue the present open source movement began in 1984. The Free Software Foundation and GNU project led to the GNU C compiler and GNU Emacs, both pivotal to software development at the time. In addition, the GNU General Public License (GPL) allows the copying, modification and redistribution of software licensed under the GPL. None of those actions require explicit permission of the original owner; the only obligation is that modifications be public and therefore visible to the originator.

            Although OSS has facilitated many software solutions, they bring with them inherent cybersecurity issues, the experts say. The strength of the OSS community—its openness and trust—unfortunately also is a weakness. A cultural system organized to solicit and accept patches, fixes and improvements from a variety of somewhat vetted but fundamentally untrusted sources will inevitably allow some malicious code to be introduced.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Looking forward to an open sourced wearable contact tracing device

              So, the other shoe is about to drop. Gov is planning on providing everyone a wearable contacting tracing device to counter the limitations of apps that run in mobile phones – like the TraceTogether (the downstream of OpenTrace).

              It also seems that a “newer” version of TT will now ask for NRIC in addition to mobile phone number at registration.

              Not a good thing, really, NOT A GOOD THING.

              Why? One can generate any NRIC number.

              This report claims that it will be like TT/OT, except that it is a separate device that one could carry. What is needed is a device that implements the BlueTrace protocol. This device can take on the form factor of a watch, a pen, or a key fob. It should be easy to design and build. And once built, put the designs, schematics etc on a Open Hardware License and published on Thinkiverse (or anywhere else). There are plenty of examples of wearables there. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • African lockdown killings, delayed elections, and a US sexual health impasse: The Cheat Sheet

        The police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has caused outrage across Africa. Social media lit up in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and revulsion at yet another murder. African leaders, from Ghana to Namibia, have condemned the systemic racism it reveals. And yet, a week after George Floyd was choked to death, police in Kenya shot and killed a homeless man for breaking COVID-19 curfew – one of 15 people killed by Kenyan security forces so far in lockdown-related incidents. In South Africa, security forces enforcing stay-at-homes have killed at least 10 people; in Uganda it has been six. But these deaths haven’t provoked the same popular protest. Why? Under-resourced, Africa’s police forces have historically controlled through fear, and there’s middle-class complicity in that violence and impunity – plus a growth industry in additional private security. William Shoki, writing for Africa Is a Country, points out that while Africa’s cosmopolitan twitterati feel an affinity for black America, it is poor Africans who are the closest in experience to working-class people of colour in the diaspora and the injustices they face. An intersectionality of race, class, and gender frames this discrimination – and the path to its dismantling. One of George Floyd’s brothers, Terrence, offered advice to all: “Go and vote”.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Our Top 5 Added Matter Drafting Tips

          1. At the EPO, amendments that create “new” combinations are a particular problem. Consider filing with multiply dependent claims or include a “numbered embodiments” section to provide basis for combinations in the future.

          2. At the EPO, the term “comprising” may not provide basis for “consisting of”. Consider including embodiments with both terms e.g. “a pharmaceutical formulation comprising X, Y, Z” and “a pharmaceutical formulation consisting of X, Y, Z”.

          3. It is difficult to rely on the Examples or Figures as basis for amendments at the EPO, particularly if you wish to extract one feature in isolation. Consider adding falls backs to the key features of the Examples and Figures in the description.

          4. At the EPO, basis for amendments must derive from the application as originally filed. This excludes the abstract and the priority document. Information that has been “incorporated by reference” can only be relied upon as basis for amendments in very limited circumstances.

          5. Use consistent terminology when drafting. For example, the terms “pharmaceutical formulation” and “pharmaceutical composition” could easily be used interchangeably when drafting, but an EPO Examiner may not allow embodiments relating to the formulation to be combined with embodiments relating to the composition as these are (arguably) different things.

        • This week in IP: Courts shut amid protests, AI inventorship push, Tiger King’s cage rattled

          Nokia IP head Eeva Hakoranta has taken a new job as chief licensing officer with InterDigital, it was announced on Wednesday.

          Hakoranta, who has worked for the Finnish telecoms company for more than 13 years, will take up her new position on July 1. She will replace Timothy Berghuis, who is retiring and has been InterDigital’s chief licensing officer since January 2018.

          “InterDigital’s ability to attract someone with Eeva Hakoranta’s capabilities and track record to lead such a crucial function as licensing speaks to the strength of our technology and our position in the industry,” said William Merritt, president and CEO at InterDigital.

          “I am thrilled that she has chosen to join us, and very much look forward to working with her as we execute on our mobile licensing programme, continue to build our new CE licensing programme, and explore further opportunities leveraging the tremendous research conducted at the company.”

          Until 2012, Hakoranta was the director of Nokia’s IPR legal team, which she had established upon joining the company in 2006. Before arriving at Nokia, she worked as a specialist counsel for law firm Roschier in Helsinki.

        • Software Patents

          • CIPA calls for clarity about artificial intelligence and patents [Ed: This is a lie. The liars from CIPA don’t call for “clarity” but call for patent maximalists’ agenda (just like anti-Alice/Section 101 hacks don’t want “clarity”; they want software patents back).]

            The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) in the UK has called for clarity over the patenting of innovations created by artificial intelligence. The issue has drawn a lot of attention lately. Last January, the EPO stated a machine cannot be an inventor, refusing patent applications EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174 in which a machine called DABUS was named as the inventor.

            [...]

            Others in CIPA prefer to limit patent protection to inventions having a human contribution – in effect, retaining current inventorship requirements, but accepting that an invention created using AI is patentable as long as there is a genuine human contribution.”

            CIPA calls for an investigation of the issue, “including discussions with stakeholders such as industry, policy-makers and legislators”, as “the ongoing uncertainty might cast doubt on the validity of granted patents for inventions created using an AI system; it might also potentially impact AI supported research and development in the UK and elsewhere.”

      • Copyrights

        • Academy logo (featuring Oscar statue silhouette) denied copyright registration in the US

          What happens when the work that you wish to register is a derivative of your own earlier work? This is the slightly unusual quandary that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (‘the Academy’) found itself in when it tried to register its logo (the ‘Work’) – which prominently features a silhouette of the Oscar statuette – for copyright protection in the US. Further to an initial registration refusal and an appeal to the US Copyright Office Review Board (‘the Board’), last month the latter upheld the refusal, stating that the Work did not contain the requisite authorship necessary for it to be eligible for copyright protection.

          [...]

          The Work (referred to as the ‘Academy logo’) is described as a “black and white two-dimensional graphic consisting of the Oscar statuette on a pedestal surrounded by a triangle”. In June 2017, the Academy filed an application to register the work for copyright protection. This was denied in June 2018, on the basis that the work “lack[ed] the authorship necessary to support a copyright claim”. The First Request for Consideration also concluded with a finding that the “combination of the [Work’s] component elements to be insufficiently creative to support a claim in copyright”.

          In response, the Academy claimed that the work “conveyed sufficient copyrightable authorship” as originality was involved in its creation, such as “the overall shape of the Oscar silhouette base and the orientation of the side of the base made to align with the sides of the stylized overhead spotlight that forms the overall shape of the Work, the use, design, and orientation of the overhead spotlight and the sizing of each element for aesthetic proportionality”.

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