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Links 4/7/2020: Grml 2020.06 and diffoscope 150 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux-driven Comet Lake laptop offers security features and dual 4K display support

        Purism’s 14-inch, $1,199 and up “Librem 14” laptop runs the Linux-based, security-enhanced PureOS on a hexa-core Comet Lake-S and offers dual NVMe-ready M.2 slots plus dual 4K displays via HDMI and DP/USB Type-C.

        Purism has replaced its earlier, 13-inch Librem 13 laptop with a 14-inch Librem 14 model. Thanks to a smaller bezel, the 322 x 220 x 17mm laptop has a nearly identical form factor. The system is available for pre-order starting at $1,199 early bird pricing, with shipments due in early Q4 2020.

      • Librem Mini Shipping with Active Cooling

        There’s nothing like making a public announcement to ensure that a situation will change. That’s certainly been true in the case of our Librem Mini. Just over a week ago we announced the Librem Mini was ready to ship and highlighted one issue we intended to solve with a future software update…

        Well it turns out that while we were contacting all of the Mini customers to determine whether they wanted their Mini immediately, or whether they wanted to wait for a firmware update, we resolved the fan speed control issue! As we ship out all of the Librem Mini orders, they will all have fully-updated firmware and active cooling.

      • This 15.6 inch Linux laptop features an AMD Ryzen processor

        Enter the Tongfang PF5PU1G. It’s a 15.6 inch laptop with an AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor and Radon Vega 8 graphics. The notebook is available from Laptop with Linux for €769 ($865) and up.

    • Server

      • Demystifying Kubeflow pipelines: Data science workflows on Kubernetes – Part 1

        Kubeflow Pipelines are a great way to build portable, scalable machine learning workflows. It is one part of a larger Kubeflow ecosystem that aims to reduce the complexity and time involved with training and deploying machine learning models at scale.

        In this blog series, we demystify Kubeflow pipelines and showcase this method to produce reusable and reproducible data science.

        We go over why Kubeflow brings the right standardization to data science workflows, followed by how this can be achieved through Kubeflow pipelines.

        In part 2, we will get our hands dirty! We’ll make use of the Fashion MNIST dataset and the Basic classification with Tensorflow example, and take a step-by-step approach to turn the example model into a Kubeflow pipeline so that you can do the same.

      • Why Docker?

        Before discussing Docker, it is important for you to understand what microservices are. Consider a very large application that is broken down into smaller services. Each of those services can be termed as microservices. Microservices are small processes that communicate with each other over a network. For example, consider an online shopping application that can be broken down into smaller microservices, such as the user-accounts service, product catalog, order server, and shopping cart server.


        Docker resolves this inefficiency problem by running several microservices in the same VM through running various containers for each microservice. Docker is an open-source application that helps you create, deploy, and run applications with the help of a container. Docker containers are small and lightweight VM alternatives that use the host operating system and use up relatively fewer resources.

        To understand Docker, first, you must understand what is the problem statement that Docker is trying to resolve. Here, the problem is that after designing a project, it might run perfectly fine on your system initially, but has trouble opening on other systems and servers. As soon as you move the project to the production stage, on someone else’s computer or on some other server, the project does not show the same level of performance, same level of working, or same optimization, even when you move that project from one place to another.

        For example, when you develop a website by using ASP.net or PHP, and you work on it and move the project to the web server, there are some uncertainties that could occur. This includes images not properly loading, or perhaps a bit difference or glitch in the path. On the developer’s machine, everything may work perfectly, but it might not work the same when moved to another machine.

    • Intel

      • Intel Compute Runtime Update Adds OpenCL + oneAPI Level Zero For DG1

        Intel’s open-source Compute Runtime stack for providing OpenCL and oneAPI Level Zero support for their graphics hardware has now rolled out support for the DG1 Xe discrete graphics card.

        Building off the DG1 support that has materialized for the Linux kernel and other components, most recently the IGC graphics compiler now supporting DG1, today’s release of the Intel Compute Runtime has DG1 support in place.

      • Google testing native Steam client on Chromebooks powered by 10th generation Intel CPUs

        Chrome OS, Google’s other operating system to Android, has evolved very rapidly since the 2016 introduction of the Google Play Store, allowing Chromebooks to download and install Android apps. Google has since introduced support for running native Linux apps under the project name of Crostini. Crostini allows full desktop applications to run on Chromebooks and is based on the Debian Linux distribution. Running Android and Linux apps relies on Chrome OS’ ability to run containerized virtual machines, a means of allowing the core operating system to run different segmented virtual machines in an efficient and secure manner. That’s a fancy way of saying your Chromebook can have multiple personalities, and it’s the same technology underpinning how some Chromebooks will soon be able to run Windows apps. Today’s news is that the team at 9to5Google have identified a new special project in the Chromium open-source code called Borealis. Borealis is a Linux distribution based on popular Ubuntu, and comes complete with Steam already installed:

      • Steam on Chromebooks could be a game changer

        There have been continual developments in the realm of Linux on ChromeOS for some time. There early builds — Crostini — were based on Debian Linux.

        What is very different with the new version “Gerrit” versus the older Crostini builds is that it’s now Ubuntu based vs Debian. This is likely due to the previous iterations of Valve’s Steam for Linux running on Ubuntu.

      • Google could bring Steam gaming to Chromebooks (via Linux)

        Chrome OS is an operating system that was originally designed to support a single app – the Chrome web browser. But in recent years Google has brought support for Android apps and Linux apps to Chromebooks.

        So far that Linux support has come through a feature called Crostini, which is basically a virtual machine that runs Debian Linux in a way that lets you install and run Linux software without leaving Chrome OS.

        But 9to5Google was digging through the source code for Chromium OS (the open source version of Chrome OS) and discovered a new Linux virtual machine called Borealis, which uses Ubuntu rather than Debian. Borealis also includes a pre-installed version of Valve’s Steam game client for Linux.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Plumbers Conference: Linux Plumbers Conference is Not Sold Out

        We’re really sorry, but apparently the Cvent registration site we use has suffered a bug which is causing it to mark the conference as “Sold Out” and, unfortunately, since today is the beginning of the American Independence day weekend, we can’t get anyone to fix it until Monday. However, rest assured there are plenty of places still available, so if you can wait until Monday, you should be able to register for the conference as soon as the site is fixed.

      • Linus Torvalds: ‘I Do No Coding Any More’

        The Linux Foundation recently uploaded its video from the Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference: Europe. And there was a poignant moment when Linus Torvalds did his traditional keynote conversation with Dirk Hohndel, VMware’s vice president and chief open source officer.

        Honndel had asked Linus — his hair now uncharacteristically long — what he spends his time on as a kernel maintainer. What’s his workflow? “What do you do?”

      • Keynote: Linus Torvalds in conversation with Dirk Hohndel

        Keynote: Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux & Git, in conversation with Dirk Hohndel, VP & Chief Open Source Officer, VMware

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Smol Extension

          I recently came across a number of failing tests where the problem was related to variable sizing in a shader.

        • The Annual X.Org / Wayland / Mesa Conference Is Going Virtual Due To COVID-19

          XDC 20 was set to take place this September in Poland but is now moving to an online event as a result of the ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.

          The X.Org Foundation has decided to make XDC 2020 a virtual conference due to uncertainty over the COVID-19 situation come September in Europe. This will be the first time the annual X.Org Developers’ Conference has been an entirely online event.

          The announcement was made today as well as extending the call for presentations by an additional two weeks.

    • Benchmarks

      • XFS / EXT4 / Btrfs / F2FS / NILFS2 Performance On Linux 5.8

        Given the reignited discussions this week over Btrfs file-system performance stemming from a proposal to switch Fedora on the desktop to using Btrfs, here are some fresh benchmarks of not only Btrfs but alongside XFS, EXT4, F2FS, and for kicks NILFS2 was also tossed into the mix for these mainline file-system tests off the in-development Linux 5.8 kernel.

        With the yet-to-be-approved proposal specifically to use Btrfs for desktop installations, for this testing a single NVMe solid-state drive was used for testing in jiving with conventional desktop use-cases rather than any elaborate RAID setups, etc. Each of the tested file-systems were carried out with the default mount options in an out-of-the-box manner.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        The Wine development release 5.12 is now available.
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - NTDLL converted to PE format.
          - Support for the WebSocket API.
          - Improved RawInput support.
          - Vulkan spec update.
          - Various bug fixes.
      • Wine 5.12 is out – better RawInput and WebSocket API support

        The Wine compatibility layer continues progressing, with the latest development release Wine 5.12 out now.

        What is Wine, apart from a tasty liquid that you should drink responsibly? It would be a bit weird if we were covering the world of fermented grapes—we are in fact talking about software. A quick reminder for the newer Linux user: it’s a compatibility layer that allows the running of Windows-only applications and games on Linux and other operating systems. It’s one of the driving forces behind Steam Play Proton.

      • Wine 5.12 Brings WebSocket API Support, Better RawInput Handling

        Wine 5.12 is out for the US Holiday weekend testing.

        Wine 5.12 brings NTDLL now converted to PE format, support for the WebSocket API, improved RawInput support, updated Vulkan specification compliance, and around 48 known bug fixes. The bug fixes for this bi-weekly release help out software ranging from Battle.net to Adobe Photoshop to multiple games.

    • Games

      • Humble Choice for July is up with Railway Empire, EARTHLOCK and more

        Humble Choice, the monthly curated bundle from Humble Bundle is up with a fresh set of games to pick from and claim to be yours. 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.

      • The Universim god game gets early-game love, a new explainer trailer plus more

        A city builder that’s also a sort-of god game sim and eventually it will also be a multi-planet strategy game? The Universim certainly has a grand plan and a new explainer trailer to help.

        I’ve written about this one numerous times now, personally supporting it quite early on because it seemed so promising and I absolutely love where they’re going with it. Thankfully, one of my pet-peeves has been solved a little and this with the early game seeing some love in the ‘Melting Shoe’ update out now.

      • [Older] Neville Antony: Full Throttle

        Coding period for GSoC 2020 has started and I have begun my work on my summer project. As said in my introductory post, I will be working on adding functionality to create and manage game collections in GNOME Games with help from Alexander (@alexm). After the project is complete, it will provide users with a shiny new ability to add any games to their own custom collections. And some additional feature to provide users with a quickly accessible, automatically generated collections such as recently played, favorites and hidden games.

        I started out by separating the work into independently manageable chunks so that I can open several smaller merge requests, rather than a single large one, which I can imagine would be horrible to manage, and even worse for Alexander to review. And my code, however small it is, usually needs a lot of fixing.

        So the first chunk I decided to work on is… Selection Mode! I decided selection mode would be the best part to start with so that when I get to modifying the database part to store all the collections and the games in it, I will have all the necessary functionality to test it with actual real world data rather than some made up data using temporary spaghetti code.

      • Neville Antony: GSoC Progress Update

        In my last blog post, I explained how selection mode was implemented in Games. That was one of the first steps to support Collections in Games, as an efficient way to select games to add/remove from collection is crucial for managing collections. In this post I’ll be talking about how “Favorites Collection” will be implemented in GNOME Games.


        The first thing to do was to introduce a Collection interface to define a behavior that all types of collections must follow. All collections must have an ID and a title. Apart from that, all collections must provide a way to add and remove games from it. And on adding or removing a game from the collection, it should emit a “game added” or “game removed” signal respectively. A collection must also implement a load(), which when called, should load the games belonging to a collection from the database. Since there’s going to be different types of collections, how a collection has to be loaded might differ from each other.

        Every collection has its own GameModel and must implement a get_game_model(). A GameModel is a ListModel which stores the list of games in a collection, and get_game_model() returns its GameModel which can be bound to the flowbox of a GamesPage (a widget where games can be displayed with thumbnail and title).

        Other than these, all collections must also implement on_game_added(), on_game_removed() and on_game_replaced(). These are unrelated to games being added or removed to or from a collection. These has to do with games being discovered, and when some games are no longer available to the app. When a game is discovered by tracker or a cached game is loaded, it is added to a games hash table. This emits a game_added signal (unrelated to a collection’s game_added), which every collection listens to. If the added game belongs to the collection, it adds this game to the collection. Similarly on_game_removed() and on_game_replaced() handles stuff related to when a game which was cached but is no longer found by the app, and when a game has been renamed, moved to a different directory, or when it’s still the same cached game but with different UID etc.

        With the general behavior of a collection defined, it was time to introduce a FavoritesCollection which implements Collection.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KSnip and Spectacle

          Switching back-and-forth between the tabs gives me a “pixels moved” sense, and that’s really useful. KSnip’s wide selection of annotation tools – it’s nearly a specialized drawing application – helps, too: I tell people to draw big red arrows on screenshots pointing to problems (because describing things is difficult, and a glaring visual glitch to you may be totally invisible to me).

          With KSnip, adding detail to a screenshot is child’s play.

          That’s not to say that KSnip doesn’t have its issues. But a blog post is not a place to complaing about someone else’s Free Software: the issue tracker is (with constructive bug reports, not complaints).

        • Third alpha release of my project

          I’m glad to announce the third alpha of my GSoC 2020 project. For anyone not in the loop, I’m working on integrating Disney’s SeExpr expression language as a new type of Fill Layer.

        • Norbert Preining: [Debian] KDE/Plasma Status Update 2020-07-04

          Great timing for 4th of July, here is another status update of KDE/Plasma for Debian. Short summary: everything is now available for Debian sid and testing, for both i386 and am64 architectures!

          With Qt 5.14 arriving in Debian/testing, and some tweaks here and there, we finally have all the packages (2 additional deps, 82 frameworks, 47 Plasma, 216 Apps) built on both Debian unstable and Debian testing, for both amd64 and i386 architectures. Again, big thanks to OBS!

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Epiphany GSoC Milestone

          During the past month I have been hacking on Epiphany’s Preferences dialog. The first piece of submitted work was splitting the dialog source code files into smaller ones. The split didn’t reflect any visual changes on Epiphany’s user interface so I decided to postpone writing this blog post.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Elive Review: For the Enlightened Linux Users

          Elive is a Linux distribution based on Debian that features a great implementation of the Enlightenment desktop environment. It is a distro that is self-proclaimed as not being aimed at one particular kind of user but one that is primarily designed to be used on very old computers. The default ISO image is 32-bit and installs with Linux 3.16 by default. It uses just a hair over 160 MB RAM and runs beautifully with one CPU core and zero 3D acceleration. This allows Elive to tout itself as capable of turning a 15-year old computer into one of high performance, and I quite honestly believe it. In this Elive Review, we’ll discuss system performance, usability, and why it may or may not be the distro for you.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2020/27

          Week 27 has mostly been in the light of the release of openSUSE Leap 15.2. With the developers mostly focusing on getting the best Leap release yet out of the door, it’s just natural that Tumbleweed has seen a bit less of churn. But honestly: has it? We have released 6 snapshots during this week so that does not talk for the ‘less active development’ of Tumbleweed during this period. The snapshots released were 0625, 0626, 0627, 0628, 0630, and 0701.

      • Fedora and IBM/Red Hat

        • Red Hat CTO On Racial Justice, Immigration & More…

          In this interview Chris Wright, CTO of Red Hat, sat down with TFiR founder Swapnil Bhartiya to talk about some of the topics facing our society – racial justice, immigration, discrimination in work force and beyond. We are grateful to Wright for agreeing to talk about things that most of us feel uncomfortable with.

        • GNOME Internet Radio Locator 3.0.1 for Fedora Core 32

          GNOME Internet Radio Locator 3.0.1 features updated language translations, new, improved map marker palette and now also includes radio from Washington, United States of America; London, United Kingdom; Berlin, Germany; Radio Eins, and Paris, France; France Inter/Info/Culture, as well as 118 other radio stations from around the world with audio streaming implemented through GStreamer.

        • Fedora program update: 2020-27

          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.

        • Outreachy design internship: budget templates and infographics

          Hey, I’m Smera. I’m one of the Outreachy interns this year, working on creating new designs for the Fedora Project. I work with Marie Nordin (FCAIC) and the Fedora Design team. I started on the 19th of May and this is what I have been up to!

        • Will Red Hat Rule the Supercomputing Industry with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)?

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux has achieved a significant milestone after serving as an operating system for the world’s fastest supercomputer, according to Top500. This opens up the debate on why Linux is the most preferred operating system for supercomputers.

          Supercomputers process vast datasets and conduct complex simulations much faster than traditional computers. From weather modeling, disease control, energy efficiency,nuclear testing, and quantum mechanics, supercomputers can tackle numerous scientific challenges. Countries like the U.S. and China have forever been in the race to develop the most powerful and fastest supercomputers. However, this year technological superpower Japan stole the show, when its Fugaku ARM-based supercomputer was ranked the no.1 supercomputer in the world by the Top500 list. The system runs on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform. In fact, the June 2020 Top500 list of supercomputers declared that the top three supercomputers in the world and four out of the top 10 supercomputers run on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) platform. That is a pretty powerful validation of RHEL’s capability to meet demanding computing environments.

        • A developer-centered approach to application development

          Do you dream of a local development environment that’s easy to configure and works independently from the software layers that you are currently not working on? I do!

          As a software engineer, I have suffered the pain of starting projects that were not easy to configure. Reading the technical documentation does not help when much of it is outdated, or even worse, missing many steps. I have lost hours of my life trying to understand why my local development environment was not working.

        • Automate workshop setup with Ansible playbooks and CodeReady Workspaces

          At Red Hat, we do many in-person and virtual workshops for customers, partners, and other open source developers. In most cases, the workshops are of the “bring your own device” variety, so we face a range of hardware and software setups and corporate endpoint-protection schemes, as well as different levels of system knowledge.

          In the past few years, we’ve made heavy use of Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces (CRW). Based on Eclipse Che, CodeReady Workspaces is an in-browser IDE that is familiar to most developers and requires no pre-installation or knowledge of system internals. You only need a browser and your brain to get hands-on with this tech.

          We’ve also built a set of playbooks for Red Hat Ansible to automate our Quarkus workshop. While they are useful, the playbooks are especially helpful for automating at-scale deployments of CodeReady Workspaces for Quarkus development on Kubernetes. In this article, I introduce our playbooks and show you how to use them for your own automation efforts.

        • What does a scrum master do?

          Turning a love of open source communities into a career is possible, and there are plenty of directions you can take. The path I’m on these days is as a scrum master.

          Scrum is a framework in which software development teams deliver working software in increments of 30 days or less called “sprints.” There are three roles: scrum master, product owner, and development team. A scrum master is a facilitator, coach, teacher/mentor, and servant/leader that guides the development team through executing the scrum framework correctly.

      • Debian Family

        • Grml 2020.06 – Codename Ausgehfuahangl

          We did it again™, at the end of June we released Grml 2020.06, codename Ausgehfuahangl. This Grml release (a Linux live system for system administrators) is based on Debian/testing (AKA bullseye) and provides current software packages as of June, incorporates up to date hardware support and fixes known issues from previous Grml releases.

          I am especially fond of our cloud-init and qemu-guest-agent integration, which makes usage and automation in virtual environments like Proxmox VE much more comfortable.

        • NsCDE

          There is a new desktop available for Sparkers: NsCDE

          What is NsCDE?

          Not so Common Desktop Environment (NsCDE) is a retro but powerful (kind of) UNIX desktop environment which resembles CDE look (and partially feel) but with a more powerful and flexible framework beneath-the-surface, more suited for 21st century unix-like and Linux systems and user requirements than original CDE.
          NsCDE can be considered as a heavyweight FVWM theme on steroids, but combined with a couple other free software components and custom FVWM applications and a lot of configuration, NsCDE can be considered a lightweight hybrid desktop environment.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Back from the Dead: How to Install Shutter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Shutter was the go-to screenshot app for the Ubuntu desktop a few years back, but development stalled and the Linux-loving world, sob, moved on without it.

          Now it’s back as a Snap app!

          “And just why-oh-why is that news, Mr Sneddon?”, you say.

          “Because it’s a great app,” I reply.

          See, I love Flameshot (it made our list of the best Ubuntu apps) but it’s not quite as intuitive to use or as versatile in the screenshot taking and image editing department as Shutter was. The tool’s “Session” screen alone was a major highlight for me.

          Now, if you want to run Shutter on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (and have it run reliably) you can — but you need to roll up your sleeves to get it working. The app is no longer in the Ubuntu repos, and older builds acquired from older Ubuntu releases have dependencies issues that require …let’s just sat “logistical intervention” to workaround.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • SpiderMonkey Newsletter 5 (Firefox 78-79)

            SpiderMonkey is the JavaScript engine used in Mozilla Firefox. This newsletter gives an overview of the JavaScript and WebAssembly work we’ve done as part of the Firefox 78 and 79 Nightly release cycles.

            If you like these newsletters, you may also enjoy Yulia’s weekly Compiler Compiler live stream, a guided tour of what it is like to work on SpiderMonkey and improve spec compliance.

          • In Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path I describe the feature.

            In Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path I describe the feature. In this post I will explain how it came about.
            I want to highlight the process between a conversation and a deployed feature. Many times, it is an unseen part of the development process that can be useful for contributors and junior developers who are trying to grow as developers.
            Back in the Fall of 2019 I started inquiring into developers’ satisfaction with Treeherder. This is one of the reasons I used to go to the office once in a while. One of these casual face-to-face conversations led to this feature. Mike Conley explained to me how he would look through various logs to find a test path that had failed on another platform (see referenced post for further details).
            After I understood the idea, I tried to determine what options we had to implement it. I wrote a Google Doc with various alternative implementations and with information about what pieces were needed for a prototype. I requested feedback from various co-workers to help discover blind spots in my plans.
            Once I had some feedback from immediate co-workers, I made my idea available in a Google group (increasing the circle of people giving feedback). I described my intent to implement the idea and was curious to see if anyone else was already working on it or had better ideas on how to implement it. I did this to raise awareness in larger circles, reduce duplicate efforts and learn from prior work.
            I also filed a bug to drive further technical discussions and for interested parties to follow up on the work. Fortunately, around the same time Andrew Halberstadt started working on defining explicitly what manifests each task executes before the tasks are scheduled (see bug). This is a major component to make the whole feature on Treeherder functional. In some cases, talking enough about the need can enlist others from their domains of expertise to help with your project.

          • Filter Treeherder jobs by test or manifest path

            This feature is useful for developers and code sheriffs because it permits them to determine whether or not a test that fails in one platform configuration also fails in other ones. Previously, this was difficult because certain test suites are split into multiple tasks (aka “chunks”). In the screenshot below, you can see that the manifest path devtools/client/framework/browser-toolbox/test/browser.ini is executed in different chunks.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Resizing with GIMP

            On your computer, with GIMP you can resize pictures easily to later accompany your texts with them. I present you here how to do that using Scale Tool and either manually or numerically shrink a picture. Below is a one minute video followed by explanations and exercises you can download. Don’t forget this is the 4th part of GIMP Guide for Authors. Happy editing!

      • Programming/Development

        • New Tech Vocabulary for 2020 Could Break Software Compatibility

          2020 has been an interesting year with plenty of disruption to most people lives, and political changes. Now it appears some of those changes will affect technology, and by that, I mean things like changes to datasheets and even source code.


          Twitter’s senior management is allegedly backing the effort for the changes. This goes beyond racially charged terms, but if it’s the world we’re going to live in so be it. Some changes in the datasheet may not be a big issue, except for the initial confusion, but it may become problematic when changes happen in the source code as it may break other programs and scripts.

          One example is Github planning to replace the master branch by another name. If it’s going to happen, and others are going to follow suit, I wondered about many “slave” code results there are in the Linux kernel. Answer: 2,878.

        • Complete Guide To Writing A PKGBUILD: Ready For The AUR
        • #28: Welcome RSPM and test-drive with Bionic and Focal

          Welcome to the 28th post in the relatively random R recommendations series, or R4 for short. Our last post was a “double entry” in this R4 series and the newer T4 video series and covered a topic touched upon in this R4 series multiple times: easy binary install, especially on Ubuntu.

          That post already previewed the newest kid on the block: RStudio’s RSPM, now formally announced. In the post we were only able to show Ubuntu 18.04 aka bionic. With the formal release of RSPM support has been added for Ubuntu 20.04 aka focal—and we are happy to announce that of course we added a corresponding Rocker r-rspm container. So you can now take full advantage of RSPM either via docker pull rocker/r-rspm:18.04 or via docker pull rocker/r-rspm:20.04 covering the two most recent LTS releases.

        • Python

          • Release of CubicWeb 3.28

            It is with pleasure (and some delay) that we are proud to annonce the release of CubicWeb 3.28.

          • Test and Code: 120: FastAPI & Typer – Sebastián Ramírez

            FastAPI is a modern, fast (high-performance), web framework for building APIs with Python based on standard Python type hints.
            Typer is a library for building CLI applications, also based on Python type hints.
            Type hints and many other details are intended to make it easier to develop, test, and debug applications using FastAPI and Typer.

            The person behind FastAPI and Typer is Sebastián Ramírez.

          • The Real Python Podcast – Episode #16: Thinking in Pandas: Python Data Analysis the Right Way

            Are you using the Python library Pandas the right way? Do you wonder about getting better performance, or how to optimize your data for analysis? What does normalization mean? This week on the show we have Hannah Stepanek to discuss her new book “Thinking in Pandas”.

          • How to Write a Makefile – Automating Python Setup, Compilation, and Testing

            When you want to run a project that has multiple sources, resources, etc., you need to make sure that all of the code is recompiled before the main program is compiled or run.


            Well, Python is technically both an interpreted and compiled language, because in order for it to interpret a line of code, it needs to precompile it into byte code which is not hardcoded for a specific CPU, and can be run after the fact.

            A more detailed, yet concise explanation can be found on Ned Batchelder’s blog. Also, if you need a refresher on how Programming Language Processors work, we’ve got you covered.

          • Configuring Emacs for Python

            Python is one of the most popular programming languages out there, and the growth that it is seeing is continuously on the rise. Python is a high-level language, known for being universal and relatively easier to understand and learn. Having an extremely active and supportive community, along with excellent documentation and a large number of tutorials and guides, has led to it being incredibly easy to analyze and meeting various development needs of users.
            Furthermore, having libraries like NumPy, OpenCV, scikit-learn makes it perfect to be used for projects of various Computer Science fields like machine learning and data science. For a language that keeps on rapidly growing, it is thus imperative for developers to use editors that are fully able to grasp the intricacies behind it.

            One such text editor is Emacs, which, being open-source and cross-platform along with a highly customizable and user-friendly interface, offers some scintillating features to its users such as multiple editing modes, text manipulation tools and integration with external tools. Since it is extremely customizable, it can easily be configured to be used as a Python IDE. Hence today, we will be looking at how one can configure Emacs for Python Development and turn it into a Python IDE.

          • A Labyrinth of Lies

            In the 1986 movie Labyrinth, a young girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) is faced with a dilemma. The adorable Jim Henson puppets explain to her that one guard always lies, and one guard always tells the truth. She needs to figure out which door leads to the castle at the center of the eponymous Labyrinth, and which one to certain death (dun-dun-dun!).

            I decided that like any reasonable movie watcher, I need to implement this in Python.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash append to array

            The array data type is used in bash to store multiple data. The new data can be inserted at the end of an array variable in various ways. Bash has no built-in function like other programming languages to append new data in bash array. How you can insert single and multiple data at the end of the array in bash is shown in this article.

          • How to Replace a String in a File in Bash

            As a programmer, you might need to work with different types of files to store data temporarily or permanently. Sometimes, you may need to replace part of the file or modify the particular content of the file. To replace content in a file, you must search for the particular file string. The ‘sed’ command is used to replace any string in a file using a bash script. This command can be used in various ways to replace the content of a file in bash. The ‘awk’ command can also be used to replace the string in a file. This tutorial will show you how to replace any string value from a file using a bash script.A text file named Sales.txt with the following content is created to show the replacement operations.

          • How to append a line to a file in bash

            Sometimes we need to work with a file for programming purposes, and the new line requires to add at the end of the file. This appending task can be done by using ‘echo‘ and ‘tee‘ commands. Using ‘>>’ with ‘echo’ command appends a line to a file. Another way is to use ‘echo,’ pipe(|), and ‘tee’ commands to add content to a file. How these commands can be used in the bash script are shown in this article.

  • Leftovers

    • Maya Moore for the Win

      After 22 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, Jonathan Irons is at long last a free man. Irons, who is only 40 years old, had been sentenced to 50 years for a burglary and assault he was said to have committed at 16. Despite a lack of evidence linking him to the crime, an all-white St. Louis jury convicted the then-16-year-old as an adult.

    • Biopic? Shirley, You Jest

      On the evening of August 1, 1943, after breaking bread and pulling corks, talking folklore, jazz and blues, with New Yorker critic Stanley Hyman and novelist Shirley Jackson in their Queens apartment, up-and-coming writer Ralph Ellison said goodnight to them and took the train home to Harlem. When he emerged at 137th Street, he walked right into a raging race riot. Fires, massive looting, chaos.

    • Try to Get Published; Try to Be Heard

      Want to write nonfiction or fiction with a left bent or left themes and get any attention? Lots of luck in the age of the Internet and giants like Amazon!

    • Jon Fosse’s Existential Doppelgängers

      In the mystical fictions of Jon Fosse, plot dangles behind consciousness like a tail from a kite. Events do not occur so much as they circle outward in dense, leaden rings. His protagonists are little theaters of repetition. Particular thoughts and phrases are compulsively returned to, adjusted, undermined, and reconstituted in pale, fleeting action. The surfaces of his characters’ lives are scoured by gestures of obsession and doubt. They are derivatives in a divine calculus that forever exceeds their understanding. Fosse often dramatizes these states of consciousness under duress—paranoia, delusion, mania—to theorize about the limits of life and art.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New Study Suggests Thousands of Deaths Are Missing From Coronavirus Toll

        A new study published this week suggests that tens of thousands of deaths in the United States have not been included in national COVID-19 death tolls despite the fact that many of those fatalities are likely attributable to the disease.

      • Trump Does U-Turn Stating He’s “All for Masks” as Case Numbers Soar

        As his disapproval numbers rise amid the coronavirus crisis, and as nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the pandemic will get worse, President Donald Trump appears to be shifting his position when it comes to wearing masks.

      • Disbelief, Belief and the Perils of Pandemic Re-opening

        As a business owner, I ought to be all over the re-opening going on in full swing now in NYS. My daughter tells us customers have been clamoring for weeks about returning to “normalcy.” For Orin and me, the decision has layers of complication, including the fact that the Cafe’s finances are precarious, and that our daughter, understandably, is tiring of the burden of helping us keep a small (“quirky” as Google calls it) business going. We’re tired, too, and fearful as we see the spikes in coronavirus in states that re-opened “too soon,” where there’s no pandemic leadership alternative to the federal government (Trump). No leadership leaves a space for mindless anti-authoritarianism, a “cowboy” mentality that exists here too: the divisiveness and chaos it engenders, in turn, means there’s no end in sight to the disaster for local businesses on the frontline for re-opening.

      • Racial disparities in healthcare innovation in the time of COVID-19

        In previous posts, we have explored how structural racism contributes to disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths and in access to COVID-19 treatments and preventatives. Legal institutions have also been complicit in creating a healthcare innovation system in which those receiving scientific and medical education are far from representative of the U.S. public. The resulting disparities by race, gender, and class raise substantial problems for both equity and economic growth—but these inequalities receive too little attention from most health and innovation scholars, ourselves included. This week, we examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated racial disparities in three slices of the healthcare innovation ecosystem: medical education, medical patenting, and clinical trials.


        In addition to creating barriers to entry into the medical profession, legal institutions have expanded the activities requiring licensure. For example, until the 1940s, Black midwives provided most prenatal and childbirth care to Black women in the United States—an essential service, at a time when many white doctors and midwives would have refused to care for them. But these midwives were regulated out of existence through state scope-of-practice laws and the Sheppard–Towner Act of 1921, which provided federal funds to states for professionalized prenatal care.

        In the midst of a pandemic, a physician workforce that does not represent patients is problematic both because Black patients are less likely to face discrimination from Black doctors and because Black doctors—and other medical workers such as nurses and technicians—have been hit hardest during this crisis. They have spoken out in recent weeks about their frustration and fatigue. Professor Adia Harvey Wingfield, a sociologist who focuses on Black health care workers, fears that COVID-19 may cause “a setback of the modest advances the medical industry has made towards improving racial diversity.”


        Today, structural barriers—a product of centuries of overt and structural racism—remain an impediment to Black medical innovation. First, patents are not cheap—they can cost tens of thousands of dollars from preparation to issuance, and actually bringing an invention to market can cost orders of magnitude more. In a world stratified by racial disparities in wealth (and access to capital), this is likely to contribute to a significant deficit of Black inventors. Second, exposure to “centers of innovation”—specifically, areas of high socioeconomic status, strong education systems, geographic areas that produce a larger number of patents—is correlated with a strong likelihood of becoming an inventor oneself. Given the racial disparities in these measures, this further contributes to the paucity of Black patentees. And third, as shown by Professor Cook, concerns over violence and personal safety—emblematic in the ongoing spate of police violence against Black citizens—have dampened innovation. Black patenting rates—even in 2010—continued to lag behind those of 1899.

        Like many other illnesses, innovations to treat and diagnose COVID-19 come largely from the medical profession. With a diminished roster of Black physicians, and consequently, Black physician-innovators, a dearth of Black patentees ensures that those suffering the most from the disease have not been afforded equal opportunities to cure it.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (docker.io and imagemagick), Fedora (alpine, firefox, hostapd, and mutt), openSUSE (opera), Red Hat (rh-nginx116-nginx), SUSE (ntp, python3, and systemd), and Ubuntu (firefox, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-gke-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oem, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-riscv, linux, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux-gke-5.0, linux-oem-osp1, net-snmp, and samba).

          • What is Software Security?

            Software security is the building of secure software with inherent defense so that it continues to function under malicious attacks, to the satisfaction of the users and owners of the software. This article explains the threats and solutions, from a general point of view. Standard vocabulary in information security is also explained. You should be computer and Internet literate to understand this article; you should also have studied a computer language, e.g., Perl, C, C++, PHP, etc.
            What is secured is information and software packages (applications and documents). Information is any message that is useful to anybody. “Information” is a vague word. The context in which it is used gives its meaning. It can mean news, lecture, tutorial (or lesson), or solution. A software package is usually a solution to some problem or related problems. In the past, all information not spoken was written on paper. Today, the software can be considered as a subset of information.

          • L1TF Cache Flushing Mode Could Soon Be Controlled Via Kconfig Build Option

            Approaching the two year anniversary next month of the L1TF / Foreshadow vulnerability, a Google engineer has proposed allowing the default mitigation state to be controlled via a Kconfig build-time option.

            This speculative execution attack on Intel CPUs has been mitigated since August 2018 and has offered for KVM virtual machine mitigation the kvm-intel.vmentry_l1d_flush module parameter for controlling the L1 data cache flushing behavior. But now a Google engineer has proposed setting the default L1 data flushing mode to be configurable at build-time via a new KVM_VMENTRY_L1D_FLUSH knob. This knob doesn’t provide any new L1 Terminal Fault mitigation but rather just allows adjusting the default behavior for the default configuration of that kernel image, whether it be to never flush the cache before a VMENTER, conditionally flush, or the most impactful state of always flushing.

          • diffoscope 150 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 150.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Time to Rethink the US-ROK Alliance

        North Korea has blown up the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong. It is threatening an all-out pamphlet war in response to defectors sending anti-regime propaganda to the north. South Korea’s unification minister has stepped down after failing to meet with his North Korean counterparts during his 14-month tenure.

      • Representative Barbara Lee: ‘Defund the Pentagon Budget’

        Barbara Lee tweeted a four-word message last week that made the connection between domestic and foreign policy that is too often neglected: “Defund the Pentagon budget.” The Democratic representative from California, who cast the sole vote against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force that became an excuse for bloated military budgets and forever wars, has long argued for a reordering of priorities that places human needs above the demands of the military-industrial complex.

      • Here Are the 16 Democrats Who Voted With GOP to Kill Amendment to Withdraw All US Troops, End Afghan War

        “After nearly 19 years, over 147,000 casualties and total costs over a trillion dollars, it’s long past time to bring troops home and invest in political, diplomatic, and development tools.”

      • Congress Could Rubber-Stamp a Defense Spending Spree

        The annual US defense budget has never been crafted through a particularly transparent process. Now, a global pandemic has taken the yearly passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from merely murky to downright opaque.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • It’s Not Just Meat: All Farm and Food Workers Are in Peril

        COVID-19 outbreaks are now reaching far beyond the meatpacking industry. Migrant farmworkers in fruit orchards and vegetable fields, long the targets of intense exploitation, are seeing their health put in even greater jeopardy as they’re pushed to feed an increasingly voracious supply chain in pandemic-time.

      • Fair Housing Advocates Celebrate Passage of AOC’s Repeal of Faircloth Amendment

        “The Faircloth Amendment is one of the most heartless pieces of legislation that has prevented any substantive action on housing for years.”

      • We Won’t Have a Truly Global Economy Until People Start Taxing It That Way

        Major talks between the United States and the European Union to establish a shared tax framework for multinational companies broke down on the issue of seeking to secure an agreement on digital taxation. Big tech, which is heavily a U.S. creation, has long been in the sights of European economies, as their profits and revenues have soared and they have increasingly become major components of the 21st-century economy.

      • What Media Aren’t Telling You About Reopening Risks

        In the second half of June, the story of the United States’ coronavirus pandemic began to shift dramatically, as a massive surge in new infections took hold, particularly across states in the South and West that had previously been spared the worst of the outbreak. Media reports abruptly switched gears from declaring that reopening was proceeding with few ill effects (Reuters, 5/17/20; Tampa Bay Times, 5/28/20) to expressing alarm that health officials’ warnings against lifting social distancing restrictions too soon had been proven right—a cognitive dissonance perhaps most dramatically depicted in Oregon Public Broadcasting’s headline, “Oregon’s COVID-19 Spike Surprises, Despite Predictions of Rising Caseloads” (6/10/20).

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • The Kafkaesque Imperium: Julian Assange and the Second Superseding Indictment

      The Kafkaesque Imperium has taken yet another absurd step towards mean absurdity with another superseding indictment against Julian Assange. This move by the US Department of Justice seems to have surprised those involved in his extradition proceedings. Mark Summers QC, one of the members of the Assange legal team, did not conceal his astonishment at the call over hearing at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court. “We are surprised by the timing of this development. We were surprised to hear about it in the press.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Regional investigators reject appeal for criminal case over deadly raid on Yekaterinburg man’s home

      The Sverdlovsk region’s Investigative Committee branch has refused to launch a criminal case regarding the killing of Vladimir Taushankov, a Yekaterinburg man who was killed by National Guard officers during a raid at his home on May 31, 2020, Znak.com reports. 

    • Progressive Pulses Among the Ruins of Riot

      The violence that erupted from the mostly-peaceful demonstrations around the killing of George Floyd has subsided, though many businesses in Long Beach are now boarded up. In addition to the property damage itself—in many instances not covered by insurance because deemed “domestic terrorism”—these protective measures have a chilling effect on efforts to participate in the full reopening of the economy. Slogans in sympathy with Black Lives Matter (BLM) grace the facades of many businesses to express solidarity with the protests, or to at least immunize them from further attacks.

    • 150+ Civil Society Groups Issue Global Call for ‘New—and Improved—Normal’ for Post-Pandemic World

      “Now is the moment to reflect on the world as it is and consider a better alternative for the future,” the groups say in the letter.

    • ‘Threat to Our Privacy and Civil Liberties’: Nearly 40 Groups Demand Congress Ban Facial Recognition Surveillance

      “Even if the technology were accurate, it cannot be dissociated from the racist policies that are embedded in policing.”

    • Trump Campaign Faces Outcry for Selling T-Shirts With Nazi-Like Symbol

      Several users on social media this week took note of a product for sale on the website for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, and condemned the item for its apparent Nazi symbolism.

    • Beware of Anti-Trump Republicans Who Endorse Joe Biden

      A stampeding herd of “anti-Trump” Republican organizations and PACs has flooded the 2020 presidential campaign with ads attacking the president and endorsing his rival, Joe Biden. If beating Donald Trump in November is your main thing, this would appear to be only good news. I am forced to wonder, however, what the real intent is behind this sudden solidarity after three long years of near-silence from the deeply compromised “Never Trump” crew.

    • New York’s City Hall Encampment Is a Middle Finger to Our Elected Leaders

      Shortly before 3 am on Wednesday, several hundred protesters gathered in the plaza directly east of City Hall Park in downtown Manhattan. A few were new faces, but many had been there on and off for a week, when activists set up an encampment and declared that they were occupying the space as part of the nationwide movement against racism and policing.

    • A Friend of the KKK Built Mount Rushmore Monument on Sacred Lakota Land

      As tribal governments call on President Trump to cancel his Mount Rushmore Independence Day celebration, we look at why Native Americans have long pushed for the removal of the monument carved into the sacred Black Hills and designed by a sculptor with ties to the Ku Klux Klan. “This place is very, very sacred to our people,” says Nick Tilsen, president and CEO of the NDN Collective. “Stealing our land and then carving the faces of four white men who were colonizers, who committed genocide against Indigenous people, is an egregious act of violence.”

    • ICE Just Became Even Less Transparent

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can now operate in greater secrecy, thanks to a special security classification quietly granted to it by the Trump administration. While ICE chief Matthew Albence heralded it as “a tremendous achievement,” experts say the designation deals a blow to transparency.

    • Fear of Falling: Can Making Black Lives Matter Rescue a Failing State?

      You know that feeling when you trip on the street and instantly sense that you’re about to crash hard and there’s no way to prevent it? As gravity has its way with you, all you can do is watch yourself going down. Yeah, that feeling.

    • Cuban Asylum Seeker Describes Vicious Pepper Spray Attack on Hunger Strikers at ICE Detention Facility

      More than 2,000 migrants and refugees in U.S. detention facilities have contracted Covid-19 as advocates demand their release.

    • Vulnerable LGBTQ+ Sex Workers Targeted Again by Politicians With EARN IT Act

      The EARN IT Act, which the Senate could advance tomorrow, is dangerous.

    • The Great Wall of Wokeness

      Does there exist a political force, partisan or populist, organized or decentralized, that can liberate the U.S. citizenry from the clutches of the neoliberal order? As I wrote in Feb. of last year, the neoliberal order seemed impervious to partisan defeat because its roots lie in a powerful evolutionary strategy called senescence. Now that the Sanders insurgency has been crushed and the faux populism of Donald Trump seems to be on a downward electoral trajectory due to his tone deaf response to the death of George Floyd and his bungled domestic response to covid-19, the Malevolent Evolutionary Stable Strategy (MESS) seems to have fully repelled the party populisms of both Right and Left, confirming my prediction. However, the murder of George Floyd has sparked an organic, grassroots, multiracial uprising that seems to present a new, novel threat to the neoliberal order and the MESS. Will this protest movement outcompete the MESS? The outlook is not good.

    • Ethiopian protests, Greek pushbacks, and a Myanmar mystery: The Cheat Sheet

      More than 90 people have died in protests in Ethiopia over the killing on Monday of iconic Oromo singer, Hachalu Hundessa. Seen as the voice of his generation, Hundessa’s songs captured the struggles of the historically marginalised Oromo people. The songs were a soundtrack to the anti-government protests that led to a change in leadership in 2018, with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed taking office. Hundessa was shot dead in the capital, Addis Ababa, by unidentified gunmen – although his supporters blame the security forces. There have been multiple bomb blasts in the city, and some residents have armed themselves fearing ethnic violence. Human Rights Watch called on the government to act urgently to reduce tensions and ensure the “security forces do not make a combustible situation worse.” But on Tuesday, the internet was switched off, and the police then detained Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Gerba, and media mogul and Abiy critic Jawar Mohammed. Abiy, an Oromo himself, has charted a reformist course after decades of repression. But ethno-regionalist passions have also been ignited, which are proving hard to contain, with the security forces playing by the old rule book of rights abuses. Delayed elections have added to the tensions.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Charter Spectrum Lobbies FCC To Kill Time Warner Cable Merger Conditions

      When Charter proposed its $79 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, former FCC boss Tom Wheeler brought in net neutrality advocate Marvin Ammori to help hammer out conditions that wound up actually being semi-meaningful, a rarity in the telecom space. Under the deal, Charter was banned from imposing usage caps, engaging in interconnection shenanigans with content providers like Netflix, or violating net neutrality (even if the rules themselves were killed) for a period of seven years. Charter was also required to expand broadband to 2 million additional locations.

  • Monopolies

    • Facebook Follows Twitter In Recognizing A ‘More Speech’ Approach Is Best For Newsworthy Liars

      As you may recall, a few weeks back, Twitter made a decision to add a fact check to some tweets by President Trump, and a few days later, to put a label on some of his tweets, saying that they violated Twitter’s policies, and would normally be deleted, but Twitter decided that given the newsworthiness of the speaker, they would be left up (though without the ability to comment or retweet them). The president reacted about as well as expected, meaning he whined vociferously, and eventually issued a silly executive order.

    • #StopHateforProfit: What Pundits Get Wrong About the Facebook Ad Boycott

      To stop profiting from hate—and align the company more closely with its mission—Facebook would have to rewire the technology that drives its multi-billion-dollar advertising enterprise.

    • Microsoft Edge has reportedly come close to being intrusive nagware
    • Patents

      • Federal Circuit Overhauls Rules of Practice and Forms: Important Takeaways

        Yesterday, the Federal Circuit issued extensive revisions to the 2019 Rules of Practice and also overhauled the vast majority of its required filing forms. While all practitioners should take a comprehensive review of the new rules (which can be found here and apply to “all cases filed or pending on or after July 1, 2020, to the extent practicable”), a few of the most substantial and practical are discussed below.

      • Counterproductive Patent Incentives

        Earlier this year, a pair of economists, Jay Bhattacharya and Mikko Packalen, published a research paper proposing an explanation for why scientific progress appears to have slowed. Their theory? An overemphasis on citation count, h-index, and similar metrics for scientists incentivizes them to pursue safe, late-stage research, not the scientific exploration needed to create the breakthroughs that lead to late-stage research.

        In other words, by making the incentive one that most rewards scientists who work in established and developed areas, scientists tend to work in those areas. Beyond that, the emphasis might also affect who becomes a scientist, tending to push the field towards those who tend to accept the received wisdom while pushing out those who might challenge it or explore new ideas.

        The same concerns might well apply to the modern emphasis on increasing the number of issued patents without any consideration for the quality or technological advancement each patent contains.

      • Confronting Your Accuser via ZOOM

        Federal Courts have been delaying trials since March 2020. There have been a handful here and there – but not jury trials.

        One patent case preparing for a jury trial before Judge Leonard Stark (D.Del) is Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals L.P. v. Powder Springs Logistics, LLC, 2020 WL 3605623 (D. Del. July 2, 2020). The lawsuit was filed back in 2017 alleging infringement of Sunoco’s patents for cutting its gasoline with cheaper butane. US9494948 and US9606548 (“continuous in-line blending of butane and petroleum”).

        In a recent order, Judge Stark announced that he is moving forward with an in-person jury trial, albeit with a few exceptions.

      • Software Patents

        • Velos Media patent determined to be likely invalid

          On June 30, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims in an IPR filed by Unified against U.S. Patent 9,414,066, owned by Velos Media, LLC. The ’066 patent is directed to video decoding techniques and was originally assigned to Ericsson before being transferred to Velos in 2018.

          Velos claims to have and seeks to license patents allegedly essential to the HEVC / H.265 standard (such as the ‘066 patent). Unified filed this challenge as part of its ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone after independently determining that the allegedly standard essential ‘066 patent is likely unpatentable.

        • Unified Affirmed Against Sound View by the Federal Circuit, Cancelling Claims

          On July 2, 2020, the Federal Circuit, in a written opinion, affirmed Unified Patents’ IPR2018-00096 and dismissed the appeal as moot for two other unrelated IPRs. The opinion, written by Judges Lourie, Dyk, and Chen, held that all claims at issue in U.S. Patent 6,125,371, owned by Sound View Innovations, LLC, were invalid. To date, Unified has never lost an appeal before the Federal Circuit.

    • Trademarks

      • One more on Aunt Jemima

        I’m sure that there will be a few references to the Aunt Jemima trademarks in upcoming law review articles. Let me direct you to a handful of court decisions regarding the mark. The cases offer an important look at how judges saw race & commerce in the mid-20th century.

        The courts here effectively concluded that only one company could sell flour (or syrup) branded with the caricature of a black-skinned person.


        A third Aunt Jemima case from 1917 is the more famous. Aunt Jemima Mills Co. v. Rigney & Co., 247 F. 407 (2d Cir. 1917). Rigney started selling “Aunt Jemima” branded maple syrup (name + image) without the permission or consent of the Aunt Jemima company (who at the time did not make syrup). The Second Circuit (Judge Ward) sided with Aunt Jemima Mills – holding that “[n]o one has a right to apply another’s name to his own goods” even if not in direct competition and no provably damages. The court then awarded an injunction to stop the use. Judge Learned Hand dissented and would have awarded no injunction because of acquiescence (8 year delay). The 2nd Circuit does not comment on the content of the mark other than remarking that it “consists of the words ‘Aunt Jemima’s,’ accompanying the picture of a negress laughing.” In a decision a few years later, the 2nd Circuit redescribed the mark as a “fanciful picture of a colored woman.” Anheuser-Busch v. Budweiser Malt Products Corp., 295 F. 306 (2d Cir. 1923).

        The final case I’ll discuss here is Gardella v. Log Cabin Products Co., 89 F.2d 891 (2d Cir. 1937). The decision here identifies Tess Gardella as “a white woman, of Italian extraction” who was a fairly famous actress who went by the stage-name Aunt Jemima (and applying black-face). “She said the Aunt Jemima character suggested itself to her because as a child she received that name from a colored maid who cared for her.” Gardella sued after an Aunt Jemima radio advertising campaign — alleging unfair competition and rights of publicity. She was awarded $115k (around $2 million in 2020 dollars). The basic idea here was that the company owned the imagery of the jovial colored woman caricature, but then Gardella made her come to life in a particular way. The company’s advertising campaign then hired an actor of “inferior quality” who appeared to imitate Gardella’s claimed style of imitating.

      • Book Review: 3D Trademarks and other Non-Traditional Trademarks

        Trade mark laws across the globe are increasingly accepting various categories of “non-traditional” trade marks as eligible for registration and protection. Still, being a relatively new occurrence, a thoughtful analysis of these legal developments is lacking. To fill this gap, Prof. Jacques de Werra (University of Geneva, UNIGE) has recently published the edited volume “3D Trademarks and other Non-Traditional Trademarks” [for the UNIGE conference, which preceded this publication, read the IPKat’s event report here]. This publication is the 12th volume of the UNIGE’s books’ series on intellectual property [previous volumes, including those on geographical indications, trade secrets, design law, are available in open-access.]


        The last two chapters offer an opposite and rather critical opinion as to the place of non-traditional trade marks. In Chapter 7, Prof. Irene Calboli challenges non-traditional trade marks as a negative phenomenon for innovation and creativity in the fashion industry. Using non-traditional trade marks from four luxury brands –Louboutin, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Bottega Veneta– as a guiding thread for her analysis, Prof. Calboli argues that non-traditional trade marks not only foreclose the competitors, but also chill the creativity of brands themselves, as they are bound to repeat their signature designs to fulfil the “use” requirement of trade marks.

        The volume closes with Chapter 8, authored by Prof. Martin Sentfleben, who addresses the growing tension between non-traditional trade marks and fundamental rights. The authors views the absolute grounds for refusal under the EU law, as potential gatekeepers, which serve to preserve the necessary balance between the interests of right holders and freedom of competition and expression.

    • Copyrights

      • Research Libraries Tell Publishers To Drop Their Awful Lawsuit Against The Internet Archive

        I’ve seen a lot of people — including those who are supporting the publishers’ legal attack on the Internet Archive — insist that they “support libraries,” but that the Internet Archive’s Open Library and National Emergency Library are “not libraries.” First off, they’re wrong. But, more importantly, it’s good to see actual librarians now coming out in support of the Internet Archive as well. The Association of Research Libraries has put out a statement asking publishers to drop this counter productive lawsuit, especially since the Internet Archive has shut down the National Emergency Library.

      • YouTube Jacks Live TV Streaming Prices 30%, As Streaming Sector Starts To Resemble Good Old Cable

        There’s absolutely no doubt that the streaming TV revolution has, by and large, been a positive thing. Thanks to a ridiculous surge in streaming TV competitors, consumers now have far more options than they’ve ever had before, resulting not only in lower prices and more flexibility in TV options, but customer service that far surpasses the clumsy trash fire that is Comcast customer service.

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  9. Looking Back at the Real Story of Microsoft

    Let's take a moment to examine what Microsoft was all along (since its formation in 1975)

  10. Europe Deserves Better Than Today's EPO

    Overly restrictive society with countless monopolies (even on seeds!) will neither serve people nor will it breed general acceptance

  11. European Patent Office Management Swims With Sharks and Liars

    It has become increasingly if not abundantly evident that European Patent Office President Campinos is no better than Battistelli as he’s still a ‘darling’ of patent litigation trolls and their front groups/lawyers

  12. Linked In to Pedophilia

    As the above articles show (one published a couple of days ago), the 'Web of Lies' and the incredible deceit/cover-up run deep and we still lack answers from those who enabled what Salon has just said involved "trafficking five or six girls a day."

  13. Whistleblower Aid Already Showed Cover-up of Bill Gates 'Contributions' to MIT

    The Goodwin Procter report which failed to actually investigate whether Gates and Epstein jointly directed payments to MIT (the latter was already dead) can be understood differently in light of the above leak, which was published earlier this year

  14. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, August 10, 2020

  15. Proof (Archived Original Letter): Bill Gates Lied to the New Yorker, BBC and Others About Connection of MIT Money to Mr. Jeffrey Epstein and Their Close Relationship

    As the article (“The anatomy of Bill Gates’ Jeffrey Epstein-facilitated MIT donations”) put it at the time (just 2 days before Dr. Stallman received all the heat at MIT), “Secrecy in the funding of academic programs is highly problematic, as University of Virginia professor Siva Vaidhyanathan explains in a long Twitter thread. “Companies and the billionaires who run them are always bending research agendas (and sometimes even results) to their interests,” he writes. “Anonymity would prevent any examination or accountability.”” But there are more high-level Microsoft links to Mr. Epstein; “Hoffman invited both former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito and Epstein to an August 2015 dinner in Palo Alto with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel. He tells Axios that he invited Epstein at Ito’s behest, and only because Ito vouched for the convicted criminal, saying that he had successfully cleared MIT’s vetting process.” In 2016 the article “Bill Gates talked to Reid Hoffman about being on Microsoft’s board of directors” was published. “Furthermore,” it notes, “Gates and Hoffman have a lot in common: They both hold board seats and advisory roles, and no other formal status or day-to-day obligations, at the tech companies they founded.”

  16. All This Happened While Bill Gates' Engineer Was on Trial for Amassing Child Pornography

    While MIT relies on the word of someone who repeatedly lied about his relationship with Mr. Epstein (refuted even by MIT itself), the record shows what happened just when Bill Gates’ own engineer faced conviction for pedophilia (the media diverted attention to Dr. Stallman just days after the above E-mails came to light)

  17. Links 10/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC, Finnix 121, GhostBSD 20.08.04, EasyOS 2.3.8

    Links for the day

  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 09, 2020

  19. Release: Bill Gates' Engineer Busted for More Child Pornography Than Reported in the Media

    Based on our analysis, which was repeated carefully twice, the sum of recognised hashes turns out to be about 7,500 (7,430 objects), which is more than was reported in the media after the arrest of Rick Allen Jones at Bill Gates' mansion

  20. Links 10/8/2020: KPhotoAlbum 5.7.0 and MX Linux RC

    Links for the day

  21. UserLibre: What I Want You to Get From This Book

    "Corporate-backed lies run the world, and the FSF used to get in the way."

  22. Even the Mainstream/Corporate Media is Trying to Study Why (or If) Bill Gates and Epstein's Sex Abuse Ring Were Closely Connected

    People in the media are eager to understand why Mr. Gates was so close to Mr. Epstein and even flew his plane (despite having several of his own)

  23. The Incredible Demise of News Sites About Patents

    Sites for (and by) patent lawyers/attorneys seem to be perishing, which means it's hard to know what's going on

  24. Understanding Users and the Three Kinds of Computers: New, Slow and Broken

    "Understanding the user is the first step towards a practical response to misconceptions."

  25. The Good and Bad of a (GNU?) BSD (not GNU/LINUX) Future

    "The software industry now occupies Free software's own territory. No longer is it Free software vs. Windows and MacOS, it's Free software vs. GIAFAM-co-opted Free software."

  26. Links 9/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC and New Interview With Richard Stallman

    Links for the day

  27. Education and Free Software

    "If students learn how to code, they'll be able to figure out the applications."

  28. Features Considered Harmful (Revised)

    "But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn't in control."

  29. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."

  30. I Would Have Supported the Coup (Under Very Different Circumstances)

    Richard Stallman's (rms) ordeals are showing us how not to deal with a founder; this is how power transition could be done instead, according to figosdev

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