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06.20.20

Links 20/6/2020: Wine 5.11 Released and Red Dead Redemption 2 Shows GNU/Linux Outperforming Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Star Labs’ Latest Linux Laptop Now Works with Solus, Deepin, Kali Linux, Tails, and More

        When Star Labs announced last week that it has partnered with elementary to offer their recently released elementary OS 5.1.5 “Hera” operating system on the Star LabTop Mk IV laptop, numerous users asked them to add support for more distributions.

        One can currently buy the Star LabTop Mk IV laptop with either Ubuntu, Kubuntu or Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS, Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon or MATE, Manjaro Linux 20.0 GNOME, KDE or Xfce, as well as Zorin OS 15.2 Core, Education, Lite or Ultimate distributions.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #393 · Listener Feedback

        Bill resists distrohopping, Robert is happy with Mint, Jeremy comes back, and we get advice on ThinkPad, reasons to leave Windows advice on office suites, and much muck more!
        Episode 393 Time Stamps
        00.00 Going Linux #393 · Listener Feedback
        00:53 Distrohopping
        03:33 About donations
        05:37 Robert: Happy with Linux Mint
        08:31 Samuel: Advice on buying a ThinkPad
        11:00 David: DejaDup – Another reason to leave Windows
        14:17 Gus: Offers to contribute an episode
        15:39 Highlander: COVID 19 scammers
        19:28 Glen: Ubuntu Mate launch-bar on two screens
        21:25 Mike: Dual boot Windows 10 with Ubuntu MATE 20.04
        29:57 George: Libre vs. Open and about DRM-protected WMA
        38:18 JackDeth: Linux FX10
        40:49 Jeremy comes back
        42:35 Daniel: Final word on Ubuntu 20.04
        43:41 Frank: Belated feedback
        44:32 David: Insignificant issue
        49:58 Steven: About the Ubuntu MATE 20.04 book
        54:06 goinglinux.com, goinglinux@gmail.com, +1-904-468-7889, @goinglinux, feedback, listen, subscribe
        55:20 End

      • 2020-06-19 | Linux Headlines

        A now-rescinded change to the Bountysource terms of service is causing turmoil in the open source community, Apache Spark celebrates ten years of development with a new release, Krita launches version 4.3 with new tools and interface improvements, and several projects are seeking feedback.

      • Talk Python to Me: #269 HoloViz – a suite of tools for Python visualization

        The toolchain for modern data science can be intimidating. How do you choose between all the data visualization libraries out there? How about creating interactive web apps from those analyses? On this episode, we dive into a project that attempts to bring the whole story together: HoloViz.

        HoloViz is a coordinated effort to make browser-based data visualization in Python easier to use, easier to learn, and more powerful. And we have Philipp Rudiger from HoloViz here to guide us through it.

      • I’m Replacing All Of My Programs…With Emacs

        I’ve been using Emacs again and I have to admit, it is a rather charming piece of software. And the more I use it, and the more plugins that I discover, the more I just want to replace all of my programs with Emacs alternatives.

    • Kernel Space

      • The First Batch Of DRM-Misc-Next Changes For Linux 5.9 Sent In

        The first batch of “drm-misc-next” changes have been sent in for DRM-Next that is targeting the Linux 5.9 merge window later this summer.

        DRM-Misc-Next is where core DRM changes and material for the smaller DRM drivers (Panfrost, VMWgfx, Lima, MSM, OMAP, VC4, et al) queue up before hitting DRM-Next.

      • Latest Slab Cgroup Memory Controller Patches Saving ~1GB RAM Per Host On Facebook Servers

        The past number of months Facebook engineering has been working on a new slab memory controller for Linux that can offer less memory fragmentation and lower memory use and slab utilization. The sixth version of these patches were published earlier this month.

        Facebook’s Roman Gushchin who has been spearheading the new cgroup slab memory controller posted the new patches earlier this month. These patches are based against the latest Linux memory management code as their primary change along with other code improvements.

      • Contribute at the Fedora Test Week for Kernel 5.7

        The kernel team is working on final integration for kernel 5.7. This version was just recently released, and will arrive soon in Fedora. As a result, the Fedora kernel and QA teams have organized a test week from Monday, June 22, 2020 through Monday, June 29, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test images you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Announcing a Linux Plumbers Virtual Town Hall

        The Linux Plumbers Committee is pleased to announce a Town Hall meeting on June 25 at 8am PDT/ 11am EDT/ 3pm GMT. This meeting serves two purposes. The first purpose is to test our remote conference set up. This is the first time we are holding Linux Plumbers virtually and while we can run simulated tests, it’s much more effective to test our setup with actual participants with differing hardware set ups around the world. The second purpose is to present on our planning and give everyone a little bit of an idea of what to expect when we hold Plumbers at the end of August. We plan to have time for questions.

      • Graphics Stack

        • GNOME’s Mutter Sees More Cleaning That Ultimately Could Help Foster Vulkan Support

          A Cogl driver API clean-up within GNOME’s Mutter code-base was merged this week after being open for two months. This cleanup could ultimately help if/when Mutter decides to add a Vulkan back-end.

          Red Hat’s Adam Jackson performed this Mutter/Cogl clean-up earlier this year that hit Git master on Thursday. The cleanup moves more of the OpenGL code into GL-specific paths and outside of the Cogl core. No functional changes are made as part of this clean-up but obviously isolating the OpenGL code is important if Mutter is ultimately to see Vulkan support or other non-OpenGL back-end.

        • Radeon “RADV” Vulkan Driver Adds Experimental Support For Sienna Cichlid

          But with RADV being maintained external to AMD by the folks at Valve, Red Hat, Google, and the community, this Sienna Cichlid support in RADV isn’t official or even tested for that matter yet. The RADV changes are based on the modifications to the RadeonSI OpenGL driver and making the similar changes to RADV when it comes to the new IDs and slight code path alterations. Most of the heavy lifting anyhow is done in the AMDGPU kernel driver and building off the existing GFX10/Navi support.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Slots

          My work in ntv exposed more issues that needed to be resolved, the most significant of which was the ability of Zink to accidentally clobber output variables. What does that actually mean though?

    • Applications

      • broot is a command-line file manager for Windows, Linux and macOS

        While Explorer is sufficient for most users, some of us prefer an alternative file manager. If you prefer command-line tools over GUI-based programs, we’ve got just the thing for you: broot.

      • Jitsi Meet and ejabberd

        Since the more or less global lockdown caused bei Covid-19 there was a lot talk about video conferencing solutions that can be used for e.g. those people that try to coordinate with coworkers while in home office. One of the solutions is Jitsi Meet, which is packaged in Debian. But there are also Debian packages provided by Jitsi itself.

        Jitsi relies on an XMPP server. You can see the network overview in the docs. While Jitsi itself uses Prosody as XMPP and their docs only covers that one. But it’s basically irrelevant which XMPP you want to use. Only thing is that you can’t follow the official Jitsi documentation when you are not using Prosody but instead e.g. ejabberd. As always, it’s sometimes difficult to find the correct/best non-official documentation or how-to, so I try to describe what helped me in configuring Jitsi Meet with ejabberd as XMPP server and my own coturn STUN/TURN server…

        This is not a step-by-step description, but anyway… here we go with some links:

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
      • Wine 5.11 Released With Updated Mono, Initial Work On NetIO Kernel Driver

        Wine 5.11 is out today as the newest bi-weekly development snapshot for this open-source project that allows Windows games and applications to run on Linux and other platforms.

        Wine 5.11 kicks off work on developing a NetIO kernel driver although still is an early work-in-progress. Wine 5.11 also has initial support for the Print Ticket API.

        Wine 5.11 also updates its Mono engine against the v5.1 codebase, drops obsolete 32-bit PowerPC architecture support, continued work on a separate Unix library for NTDLL, and around 57 known bug fixes. The many bug fixes range from failures for the League of Legends game to DirectX 11 problems and various other game issues as well as fixes for some desktop applications.

      • Wine 5.11 is out with more NTDLL work, NetIO kernel driver started
    • Games

      • Red Dead Redemption 2 Runs Faster On Linux Than Windows 10

        Most of us don’t need much convincing when it comes to running games on Windows. It’s still the best operating system for gaming PCs because of the number of games available and developer support.

        However, some surprising information has made us look at Linux in a new light. A recent demonstration has shown that Red Dead Redemption 2 actually runs faster on Linux than Windows.

        We already know that some games run faster on Linux so this isn’t a massive surprise but it’s still interesting.

      • Red Dead Redemption 2 shown running faster on Linux than Windows 10

        Some games even run faster on Linux than they do on a Windows PC, as a recent Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmark battle on YouTube demonstrates.

        [...]

        The test system consisted of an Intel Core i7 8700K processor, 16GB of RAM, and a Radeon Vega 56 graphics card, all nestled into an Asus ROG Strix Z370E Gaming motherboard.

        FlightlessMango used Proton to enable playing RDR2 in Linux. Proton is a compatibility layer based on a fork of Wine, developed by Valve to enable playing games exclusive to Windows on Steam in Linux.

      • Red Dead Redemption 2 actually performs better on Linux than Windows with AMD Graphics

        Based on a video comparison by FlightlessMango you’ll observe that in a comparison between Linux and Windows versions, Red Dead Redemption 2 runs faster on Linux with an AMD graphics card.

        The man made use of a Core i7 8700k with 16GB of RAM running at 3200Mhz and an AMD Radeon Vega 56 graphics card for both operating systems. For Linux, it used the drivers Mesa-git 20.2.0 , amdvlk-2020.Q2.4-1, and amdgpu-pro-20.10 . For Windows, meanwhile, he used the AMD Radeon Adrenalin 20.5.1 driver.

      • Red Dead Redemption 2 Runs Faster on Linux and AMD GPU Combination
      • Titanfall 2 runs on Linux thanks to Proton

        Linux users can finally play Titanfall 2, thanks to EA and Valve’s partnership which brought the game to Steam. Being on the platform opened it up to new features, such as certain compatibility layers.

        Titanfall 2 is widely regarded as one of the best shooters to grace the gaming platforms but it never managed to become the blockbuster it was meant to be thanks to EA placing it into a terrible release window.
        The game released three and a half years ago but Linux players had trouble playing it, often not managing to get the game running at all. However, when Titanfall 2 came to Steam, various doors were open to it.

      • Digging puzzle adventure platformer ‘Something Ate My Alien’ is out now

        A thorough mixture of genres that all fit together quite nicely is what you will find with Something Ate My Alien. Note: key provided by the developer.

        The debut title from Rokabium Games released this week with Linux support Something Ate My Alien blends together a platformer, a digging puzzle game and a little action together to create quite an endearing mix thanks to the gorgeous art style.

        You take on the role of a spaceship AI, Antalasia, who comes up against a space pirate who hijacked the ship and want a ransom. You just so happened to have a cargo hold full of small, drooly aliens who aren’t particularly smart but they can help you get all the resources needed to get rid of the pirate. Doing so is not particularly easy though. Spread across different worlds you need to battle environmental dangers, fight off wildlife, and solve secret puzzle chambers.

      • Incredible emulator 3dSen PC converts classics into 3D and it’s out now

        What can only be described as pure programmer sorcery, the emulator 3dSen PC is out now and breaths new life into many classic NES games and it’s brilliant.

        Supporting a growing list of both commercial and homebrew NES titles, 3dSen PC converts these 2D games into real-time 3D allowing you to get an entirely new perspective. They still play and act like the originals but this new viewpoint is completely mad. With added features like Steam Input support, Save State, Dynamic Skyboxes and more it’s certainly worth a go.

      • Become an AI, build a station and grow some humans in Starmancer

        Starmancer, a crowdfunded title that managed to raise around $139,685 on Kickstarter that’s currently in development by Ominux Games with a little publishing help from Chucklefish is another title with a demo in the Steam Game Festival.

        In Starmancer, you’re an AI. Your task is to construct and manage a space station capable of sustaining human life, regrow bodies for the thousands of minds trapped in your memory banks, and to defend your station at any cost.

        It could be compared quite easily with the Early Access title Space Haven, which was also crowdfunded and supports Linux. Thankfully though, after being able to play both, they’re clearly going in different directions and feel vastly different so we’ve got two great looking space sci-fi building sims.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce’s Xfdesktop 4.15 Released

        Xfdesktop 4.15 principally brings a number of bug fixes including a memory leak, transparent background color issues, and other fixes and maintenance items. Xfdesktop 4.15 also has some icon changes, the minimum desktop icon size is now 16 pixels, support for Shift + Ctrl + N keybinding for the creation of new folders, support for type-ahead find for desktop icons, and other items and translation updates.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: polishing up Plasma 5.19

          This week we plunged into fixing issues in Plasma 5.19 that slipped through QA as well as some older ones–a truly enormous number in all! We are taking to heart your pleas to focus on stability and polish. But of course we also worked on some new features too, because we can walk and chew bubblegum at the same time!

        • David REVOY on Krita: Production report: making episode 33

          Screenshot here might spoil parts of the story (I selected them to minify this effect).
          In about ten days, I’ll post the future episode 33 of Pepper&Carrot and while the English version is in its final validation step, I’m taking the time to show you what I have done so far on this adventure.

          It took me a lot of time reach this step. First, the episode is slightly longer than usual (8 pages long against an average of 6,5 pages long). Then, I have a lot of shots with many soldiers, characters and army. And to finish; (cherry on top) I felt exhausted during the confinement and my attention was happy to flee into other tasks where I had more control and less frustration: Krita beta for 4.3, Inkscape 1.0 release, Peertube v3 Crowdfunding, Kubuntu 20.04, update for the translation system, continuation of the P&C book project, peppercarrot.com website update…etc…etc… Oh, I was very productive! …just not very focused on my main quest.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Welcome to the Friends of GNOME Update

          We are so, so excited to share the settlement in the legal case levied by Rothschild Patent Imaging against the GNOME Foundation. Ten months after Rothschild Patent Imagining first alleged that GNOME was in violation of one of their patents. In the settlement, Rothschild dropped all charges. Additionally, their patent portfolio is now available for any project using an Open Source Initiative approved license.

          You can read an interview between Executive Director Neil McGovern and OpenUK’s Amanda Brock about the case.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Lubuntu 20.04 Is an Absolute Nightmare of a Linux Distribution

          So here ends the nightmare of Lubuntu 20.04.

          We recommend not even wasting time and downloading this release, as it is full of errors and bugs as you have seen. It would be better to search for some XFCE or MATE powered distributions to try instead of this.

          One would have hoped that the bugs we covered in the Lubuntu 19.04 review would be fixed by this release, but sadly, the bugs are increasing and not decreasing.

          You can check our reviews for other flavors of Ubuntu 20.04 from this timeline…

      • New Releases

        • Robolinux 11.02 Released: Run Windows XP, 7, Or 10 Alonside Linux

          Robolinux is one of the unique Linux distributions that lets you run Windows without dual-booting alongside Linux OS. With just a few clicks, you can create a virtual machine of Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows 10 (using VirtualBox) and run it side by side with Linux ditros.

          To further extend the unique capabilities, John Martinson, founder of Robolinux, has released a new version 11.02 of Robolinux UNTRACKER Series 11. The major highlight of Robolinux 11.02 is the introduction of the new built-in Robo UNTRACKER installer app. The app installed in any Linux distro makes it impossible for any PC or laptop to be tracked or traced.

        • IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146 is available for testing

          It is time for another important and exciting update for IPFire. IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146 is available for testing and updates the IPFire kernel and enhances its hardening against attacks as well as improving its performance.

          Arne has rebased the IPFire kernel on version 4.14.184 from the Linux kernel developers and integrated our custom patches into this release. It brings various stability and security fixes.

          This kernel brings mitigations for processor vulnerabilities in Intel’s processors and includes updates of Intel’s microcode.

      • BSD

        • DragonFlyBSD vs. FreeBSD vs. Ubuntu 20.04 On Intel’s Core i9 10900K Comet Lake

          One of the areas where Intel has the leg up over AMD when it comes to open-source software support is on the BSD side where generally the likes of FreeBSD and DragonFlyBSD often exhibit better out-of-the-box support at launch. Here is a look at how DragonFlyBSD and FreeBSD are running on the Core i9 10900K “Comet Lake” processor with Z490 motherboard.

          Tested for this article were the Core i9 10900K at stock speeds with the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER motherboard. The BSD candidates for this testing were FreeBSD 12.1 and DragonFlyBSD 5.8.1 as the latest stable releases for these two BSDs. Long story short, the support experience for this latest-generation Intel desktop platform was smooth: the only exception was the Ethernet not working out of the box, but that isn’t surprising considering even on the Linux side 5.6 or newer is needed. But once plugging in a USB Ethernet adapter, it was off to the races in running DragonFlyBSD and FreeBSD on this i9-10900K box.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/25

          7 days – 6 snapshots. That’s the quick summary of the last week. Felt unspectacular from that point of view, even though, unfortunately, the Tumbleweed users did have to fight a few problems this time aroud. The 6 snapshots released were 0611, 0612, 0614, 0615, 0616 and 0617. No worries, we did not skip 0613 for superstitious reasons – it just so happened that OBS needed a bit more time to build 0612.

        • SUSE Enterprise Storage 7 first public beta!

          The latest software-defined storage solution built on the Octopus release of the open source Ceph technology.

          In addition to the current features, available in SES 6, the SES 7 beta includes the following major improvements aimed at assisting enterprises with their digital transformation by simplifying and modernizing enterprise IT infrastructures.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora program update: 2020-25

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora this week. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

        • Running cloud-native network functions with confidence on Red Hat OpenShift

          Earlier this year, Red Hat announced the creation of a cloud-based onboarding service and testbed for network functions with Intel, supporting both virtualized network functions (VNFs) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs). Since making this announcement, the world has changed. Organizations are now weighing each move in a completely different landscape, and searching for additional flexibility and transparency from their partners and supporting ecosystems.

          With this in mind, Red Hat collaborated with key service provider customers and partners to jointly define a set of choices for validating and certifying the interoperability of partner CNFs with Red Hat OpenShift. By doing so, partners can decide on their level of investment with Red Hat aligned with the customer value they want to achieve, and telecommunications service providers are assured that they can run CNFs from partners on Red Hat OpenShift with confidence.

        • Develop and test a Quarkus client on Red Hat CodeReady Containers with Red Hat Data Grid 8.0

          This article is about my experience installing Red Hat Data Grid (RHDG) on Red Hat CodeReady Containers (CRC) so that I could set up a local environment to develop and test a Quarkus Infinispan client. I started by installing CodeReady Containers and then installed Red Hat Data Grid. I am also on a learning path for Quarkus, so my last step was to integrate the Quarkus Infinispan client into my new development environment.

          Initially, I tried connecting the Quarkus client to my locally running instance of Data Grid. Later, I decided I wanted to create an environment where I could test and debug Data Grid on Red Hat OpenShift 4. I tried installing Data Grid on OpenShift 4 in a shared environment, but maintaining that environment was challenging. Through trial-and-error, I found that it was better to install Red Hat Data Grid on CodeReady Containers and use that for my local development and testing environment.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Build an IoT device with Ubuntu Appliance and Raspberry Pi
        • Ubuntu Appliances for Raspberry Pi include AdGuard, MQTT, Nextcloud, openHAB, and PLEX

          Canonical has launched an Ubuntu Appliance project for container-like apps based on Ubuntu Core snap packages. The first five free appliances provide AdGuard, mosquitto MQTT server, Nextcloud, openHAB, and the PLEX media server on the Raspberry Pi.

          Canonical’s Ubuntu project has launched an Ubuntu Appliance sub-project that develops ready-to-use container applications based on Ubuntu Core snap packages. The appliances are initially available for the Raspberry Pi, with the RPi 3 and RPi 4 recommended. They can also run in a virtual machine on an Ubuntu, Windows, or MacOS desktop for testing purposes. The first five packages provide secure, isolated versions of AdGuard, MQTT, Nextcloud, openHAB, and PLEX software.

        • Ubuntu Based Linux Rescue Distro Rescuezilla 1.0.6 Released

          A new point release of Rescuezilla, a Ubuntu-based Linux operating system for backup and rescue has been released. It comes with major new features.

          Rescuezilla 1.0.06 is a 64-bit version, based on the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. If you want to try a 32-bit version, then you need to go for the earlier version of Rescuezilla like based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Since Ubuntu dropped all support for the 32-bit architecture, Rescuezilla 32-bit won’t be available onwards.

          Rescuezilla is a live USB, and You can use the same tool to backup and restore every machine. With this tool, All your documents and settings will be restored to the exact same state they were in when the last snapshot was taken.

        • Ubuntu Unity Distro: An Unofficial Desktop Revival

          Perhaps one of the most missed Linux desktop environments is Ubuntu Unity Desktop, developed by Ubuntu’s parent company, Canonical. It was either loved or hated by users otherwise endeared to the vastly popular Ubuntu Linux OS.

          But now that it has been replaced by GNOME 3 as Ubuntu’s default desktop environment. An infant cottage industry of sorts has made a smattering of appearances and disappearances with replacement Unity integrations.

          The Unity desktop was a radical change from more traditional desktop offerings. Its vertical panel was anchored to the left screen edge. It introduced a totally different graphical user interface at a time when the more standard GNOME 3 desktop was undergoing its own set of design changes.

          Canonical introduced Unity some 10 years ago. After Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was released in early 2018, the developer abandoned Unity 7 in favor of the GNOME 3 desktop. That was mostly due to unsolved technical issues in getting the planned Unity 8 to run with the Mir display server with the planned replacement of the X Window System with Wayland for Ubuntu.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What Is Harmony OS? Huawei’s New Operating System Explained

        No. Although both are free software products (or, more accurately, Huawei has pledged to release Harmony OS with an open-source license), Harmony OS is its own distinct product. Moreover, it uses a different design architecture to Linux, preferring a microkernel design over monolithic kernel.

        But wait. Microkernel? Monolithic kernel? I’ve lost you.

        Let’s try again. At the heart of every operating system is something called a kernel. Like the name implies, kernels are at the heart of every operating system, effectively serving as a foundation. They handle interactions with the underlying hardware, allocate resources, and define how programs are executed and operated.

      • DataStax Vector: Making Cassandra NoSQL DBMS clusters more manageable

        Apache Cassandra is a great NoSQL database, but no one’s ever said it was easy to monitor or manage. Now, DataStax is bringing out a private beta of Vector, an AIOps service for Cassandra. Vector will continually assess the behavior of a Cassandra cluster to provide developers and operators with automated diagnostics and advice. This will help them deal successfully with Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise (DSE) clusters.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Private Network will soon go public as Mozilla VPN with Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux clients

            Mozilla Corp., the organization behind popular Firefox web browser, has been working on its own paid VPN service since last year. The service, called Firefox Private Network, was launched in beta last year as a browser extension for desktop versions of Firefox web browser that was followed by an Android app in February this year. Now, the service is set to be renamed as Mozilla VPN and launched as a standalone and system-wide VPN service for Android, iOS, Windows, ChromeOS, macOS, and Linux platforms over the next few weeks.

            [...]

            Mozilla, unlike other web browser creators like Opera, isn’t offering the service for free. They claim that a paid service will allow the organization to continue offering the service without profiting from users’ data.

          • TenFourFox FPR24b1 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 24 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This includes Raphaël’s mitigation for Twitch frame crashes and Ken’s Intel build system fixes, plus minor updates to JavaScript, DOM and layout, and fixes for sundry issues with MP3 playback (make that G4 Mac mini an Internet radio today) along with the usual security updates. Assuming all goes well, TenFourFox FPR24 will go final on or about June 29 parallel with Firefox 78.

      • Programming/Development

        • LLVM Developers Plotting Path Forward For Moving To A New Git Branch Name

          LLVM is the latest open-source project working to shift their Git development terminology away from the “master” branch naming and to something more inclusive. Nearly everyone who voiced their opinion so far were in favor of this change, but there still are open matters such as what to call their new main development branch, the involved technical costs, and how quickly such a transition should happen.

          Today on LLVM-dev has been a very lively discussion over calling their main LLVM Git repository branch “master” and moving to something else like “trunk”, “dev”, or “main” as some of the leading contenders.

        • Python

          • How to prepare to write your first Mycroft AI skill using Python

            With the recent worldwide pandemic and stay-at-home orders, I have been looking for things to do to replace some of my usual activities. I started to update my home electronics setup and, as part of that, to delve into home automation. Some of my friends use Amazon’s Alexa to turn lights on and off in their house, and that is appealing on some level. However, I am a privacy-conscious individual, and I was never really comfortable with devices from Google or Amazon listening to my family all the time (I’ll ignore cellphones for the sake of this conversation). I have known about the open source voice assistant Mycroft for about four years, but due to early struggles with the project, I’d never investigated it too closely.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 2 Blog Post

            1. Use clean_command() to remove tabs and line indentations.

            2. Add code to extract statements for a loop in parse_shell_loop_and_branch().

            3. After discussion with my mentor, i remove the pipe symbol ‘|’ from the seperators and add command ‘export’ as a variable assignment.

          • PyCharm 2020.2 EAP2: In-place rename and signature change

            PyCharm 2020.2 EAP2 was released today with a feature that will blow your mind! You can download this EAP build from our website or from the Toolbox App.

            If you see yourself going through a cumbersome modal dialog when renaming or changing signatures of methods and classes you will like this new feature. With in-place refactoring, you can simply edit names or parameters of a class or a method and then either click the new gutter icon or use the intention action (alt+enter) to preview the changes and apply it to all its usages.

          • Working with Celery and Django Database Transactions

            In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to prevent a Celery task dependent on a Django database transaction from executing before the database commits the transaction. This is a fairly common issue.

  • Leftovers

    • Fire Scar Historical Reconstructions: Accurate or Flawed?

      Tree fire scars are used to reconstruct past fire occurrence. These historical reconstructions are often used to guide current forest management on federal lands.

    • A Fatal Skirmish on the Line of Actual Control
    • Remembering “Ball Four,” So We Can Forget You-Know-Who

      In 1964, an 18-year-old New York Military Academy first baseman named Don Trump slammed a game-winning home run against Cornwall High School that perked the interest of scouts for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. No question about it — the big kid was a professional prospect!

    • Remembering Jim Bouton’s ‘Ball Four’

      In 1964, an 18-year-old New York Military Academy first baseman named Don Trump slammed a game-winning home run against Cornwall High School that piqued the interest of scouts for the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox. No question about it—the big kid was a professional prospect!

    • Latinxs Don’t Need to Speak Spanish

      Like many Latinxs raised in the United States, I’ve taken shit for not speaking perfect Spanish. Mexicans even have a word for someone like me—someone born to a Mexican family north of the border, who speaks Spanish with an accent. Pocho. In its simplest sense, pocho (literally meaning “faded”) describes an Americanized Mexican. It’s not a compliment, but like any Mexican slur, it gets equal use as an insult and as a term of endearment. Growing up, I even found comfort in the word. In California, I rarely had to explain myself to other Mexican Americans at school. Instead, it was always white kids who took it upon themselves to police my race and ethnicity. “You’re not really Mexican,” they would say when I spoke stilted Spanish.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Illegal, Unscientific, and Unconscionable’: Despite Risk of Brain Damage to Infants, Trump EPA Won’t Regulate Rocket Fuel Additive for Water Supplies

        “EPA has abdicated its responsibility to set federal drinking water standards for a chemical long known to be unsafe.”

      • AT&T Says Being Misleading About ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans Was Ok, Because Reporters Told Consumers It Was Being Misleading

        Back in 2014 the FTC sued AT&T for selling “unlimited” wireless data plans with very real and annoying limits. The lawsuit noted that, starting in 2011, AT&T began selling “unlimited” plans that actually throttled upwards of 90 percent of your downstream speeds after using just two or three gigabytes of data. AT&T spent years trying to wiggle out of the lawsuit via a variety of legal gymnastics, including at one point trying to claim that the very same net neutrality and FCC Title II rules AT&T was attempting to kill, prevented the FTC from holding it accountable.

      • COVID-19’s double dangers for Venezuelan women in Colombia

        Gabriela Mota sells ice from her home to earn enough money to feed her two young children and pay the rent in Cúcuta, near the border with her native Venezuela. Since strict social distancing measures to fight COVID-19 were put in place mid-March, she can no longer sell food on the street or take on any sewing – the work that had been helping her get by.

        “I’m afraid that if I go out to sell, I could bring the virus back home with me,” she says.

        Months of strict quarantine measures throughout Colombia have led to empty streets and severe economic hardship for the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants who make ends meet via informal work. Yet Gabriela is determined to stay and considers herself one of the lucky ones.

        Gabriela and other Venezuelan women who continue to live in Colombia are up against not only a tough economy brought on by COVID-19 restrictions; they are also facing upticks in domestic violence and new risks of sexual exploitation and abuse.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Recipe for Disaster: Dirty Deals Done Dirt Cheap

        During the early days of the coronavirus lockdowns, in some quarters there was a certain degree of optimism around. Although things were really bad for millions of people, the claim was that the Covid-19 crisis would shine light on societal and economic systems all across the world, exposing some of the deep-rooted flaws of capitalism. There was a belief that we could start building a fairer and more sustainable economy with the state playing a leading role to serve the public interest over the long term.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • “Ballot Access Fairness”: the Answer is Already in Some Voters’ Hands

        Every two years, independent and “third” party candidates for various offices scramble to get their names on ballots around the United States.

      • Trump’s Desperate, Despicable Diversions

        Reality is catching up with President Trump. His failure to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously early on has contributed to the deaths of untold thousands of Americans, which is expected to reach 140, 000 by July 4, with well over 2 million affected. Come November, he will have to defend words that reveal his willful negligence and denial. “We think we have it very well under control,” he said “Five –and those people are all recuperating successfully.” “A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat.” “It’s going to disappear. One day – it’s like a miracle.” “And we’re prepared. And we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm.” He also referred to the coronavirus as the Democrats’ “new hoax.” The importance of testing citizens for the virus, instituting social distancing measures, including staying at home and wearing a mask, all languished until Trump could no longer interpret reality to his liking.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • FCC’s O’Rielly Musters A Tiny Bit Of Courage To Almost Acknowledge Trump’s Executive Order Is Unenforceable Gibberish

        So we’ve already noted how Trump’s executive order governing social media is a load of fluff and nonsense. Like most brain farts that stumble out of the head of the current president, there’s been a lot of breathless hyperventilation about what the executive order means, despite the fact the order itself is largely indecipherable gibberish. You can’t ignore the rule of law and the Constitution via executive order, and the order’s underlying justification (that social media outlets disproportionately target Conservatives) is, and has always been, unsupportable bullshit.

      • Content Moderation At Scale Is Impossible: Facebook Kicks Off Anti-Racist Skinheads/Musicians While Trying To Block Racists

        So, this one brings me back. A few decades ago, I spent a lot of time hanging out with skinheads. And back then, it was all too common to have to go through the standard explanation: no skinheads are not all racists. Indeed, original skinheads in the 1960s were working class Brits with an affinity for Jamaican music, immortalized in songs like Skinhead Girl and Skinhead Moonstomp by the Jamaican band Symarip — and that meant that many of the original skinheads were also immigrants to the UK from the Caribbean. It was only in the 1980s that a group of newer skinheads started associating with various fascist movements in the UK. Of course, as with so many things, the media picked up those neo-nazi skinheads, and ignored the roots of the movement. In response to the media suddenly believing that all skinheads were nazis, many started associating with the “SHARP” movement (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice — though also a play on the fact that skinheads like to dress “sharp”). There’s a lot more to all of this and a lot of sub-cultures and sub-groupings, and there are plenty of skinheads who are neither racists nor officially “SHARPs” but I’d kinda thought I’d left all that debate and culture behind many years ago, only to have it crashing back into my consciousness last week with the news that Facebook had kicked off a ton of anti-racist, and SHARP skinhead accounts, believing that they were racists.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • ‘The Sims’ Becomes An Outlet For Would-Be Protesters Who Cannot Attend Protests

        As the country continues to witness massive protests throughout the states, focused on changing the way policing is done in the country, it’s useful to remember that not everyone can protest in the streets. Even for those who would love to carry the message that police violence against minorities, or really anyone, is massively out of control, there are factors that might keep them home. Such as a global pandemic that has been addressed by the federal government like a little league shortstop kicking a ball around without being able to pick it up. See, there are a great many people in this country that are either at higher risk for devastating effects from COVID-19, or who are immunocompromised. Where do they go in 2020 to protest these problems?

      • With ‘Systemic Violations’ of Worker Rights, US Comes in Dead Last in Labor Rankings of Wealthy Nations

        The U.S. was identified as a country where “the government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers, putting fundamental rights under threat.”

      • Reaction in a Time of Protest: Black Lives Matter and Its Critics

        As a general rule, in times of social unrest the basest reserves of reaction quickly boil to the surface. These always take forms that are quite predictable. Thus, the moment that George Floyd’s life expired with Officer Chauvin’s knee on his neck it was clear that his life and character would be dragged through the mud. As would the poor black community as a whole.

      • Critics Say Canada Should Seize Failure to Win UN Security Council Seat as Catalyst for ‘Foreign Policy Reset’

        “The Liberals promised change, but the world is unconvinced.”

      • Robert’s DACA Ruling Had Nothing to Do With His Own Moral Awakening

        Donald Trump’s lazy incompetence has defeated Donald Trump’s racism and bigotry—again. Last year, it was over his attempt to add a question about citizenship to the Census. This time, it was over his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). The Trump administration keeps failing one of the easiest tests of policy-making in our country—basic competence—with the happy result that hundreds of thousands of people are now spared the threat of deportation.

      • It’s Time for Roger Goodell to Change the Name of the Washington Football Team

        Roger Goodell wants the public to think he is sincere about fighting racism in the NFL. He has now said that the league was “wrong” to discourage political protest in the recent past. He announced that the NFL will pledge $250 million over 10 years to racial justice causes (that works out to about $700,000 a year per team, basically coins in the cushions for this multibillion-dollar behemoth of a sports league). Yet there is one thing that Goodell could do right away to show that he will address the blind spots that have marred his tenure as commissioner: call for a new name for the Washington football team.

      • US Slammed as ‘Rogue State’ for Withdrawing From Global Effort to Make Tech Giants Pay Fair Share in Taxes

        “It is a provocation… to all the citizens of the world who say that it is still legitimate for all the digital giants to pay their taxes.”

      • ‘Their Masks Are Off’: Facebook Removes Trump Ads Using Nazi Concentration Camp Symbol Used to Signify Political Prisoners

        “Nazis used the red triangle to mark political prisoners and dissidents, and now Trump and the RNC are using it to smear millions of people protesting racist police violence.”

      • Why Must the People Protest?

        “A philosophical tradition in the Americas began with Bartholome de Las Casas (writer of The devastation of the indies: a brief account) in 1514” – Enrique Dussel

      • Victory! New York’s City Council Passes the POST Act

        After three years of organizing by a broad coalition of civil society organizations and community members, New York’s City Council has passed the POST Act with an overwhelming—and veto-proof—majority supporting this common-sense transparency measure. 

        The POST Act’s long overdue passing came as part of a package of bills that many considered longshots before weeks of public protest calling attention to injustices in policing. However, in recent weeks many of the bills detractors, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, came to see the measure as appropriate and balanced. 

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Claim Specificity Required for an Inventive Concept

            The appellate court here invalidates three Dropbox patents as ineligible (abstract ideas) and also confirms that the lawsuit was properly disposed on the pleadings. U.S. Patent Numbers 6,178,505, 6,058,399, and 7,567,541.

            [...]

            Specificity Required for an Inventive Concept: Regarding Alice Step 2, the patentee argued that its approach provided a more “economically secure way to transmit data.” On appeal, the Federal Circuit found that advance – even if true – to be insufficient. Rather, a claim includes an “inventive concept” at Step 2 when it “recites a specific, discrete implementation of the abstract idea where the particular arrangement of elements is a technical improvement over the prior art.” Slip Op. (Quoting BASCOM).

          • Preclusion: Expanding Upon the Kessler Doctrine

            In In re PersonalWeb Techs. LLC, 2019-1918, 2020 WL 3261168 (Fed. Cir. June 17, 2020), the court reinvigorates the Kessler Doctrine — holding preclusion is triggered even in cases voluntarily dismissed (with prejudice) by the patentee and is subsequently operable to block actions against subsequent allegations of infringement against the original defendant its customers. The doctrine is seen as a gap-filler for a situation not covered by either issue or claim preclusion. Another similar gap-filler (is) was defense preclusion. However, the Supreme Court in Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1589 (2020) held that defense preclusion does not exist as a stand-alone doctrine going beyond the traditional notion of issue and claim preclusion. Although a substantially parallel situation, the court here does not cite or mention Lucky Brands.

            [...]

            Although the Federal Circuit has spoken of Kessler in the form of preclusion, it has also provided the analogy of shop rights – a “limited trade right” that is attached to the product that “extends to protect any product as to which the manufacturer established a right not to be sued for infringement.”

            In the end, the Federal Circuit provided an important caveat – parties are free and empowered to draft their settlement agreement in a way that overcomes the Kessler doctrine. [I]t can do so by framing the dismissal agreement to preserve any such rights that the defendant is willing to agree to. Settling parties will remain free to limit the preclusive effect of a dismissal; they simply have to fashion their agreement in a way that makes clear any limitations to which they wish to agree as to the downstream effect of the dismissal.”[6]

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