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07.06.20

[Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

Posted in IBM, Red Hat at 11:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Always very open… for business

The Open Org

Star Trek President Warning: Wash the organisation (off the geeks); Then the 'open org' will become 'open wash'

Summary: IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping ‘masters’

IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

Posted in FSF, IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 11:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM could not even choose a Free software-based communication tool, instead outsourcing it all to ‘surveillance capitalism’ at GAFAM (AWS in IBM’s case)

Reasons not to use Zoom
Reasons not to use Zoom by Richard Stallman (Zoom also gives back door access for authorities, as there’s faux encryption)

Summary: There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the ‘Red Hat way’ or the so-called ‘open org’

FOR a very long time (nearly 2 decades) Alexandre Oliva worked for Red Hat (he now works inside the FSF, where he’s a Stallman loyalist inside the Board). He left Red Hat not too long after IBM had unofficially/tentatively taken over, perhaps seeing the writings on the wall. Oliva is a GCC (compiler) contributor and IBM seems to be pushing LLVM. In his blog he said: “If only I’d quit over an imposition of non-Free Software on me, over the increasingly clouded business, over some great new opportunity to make a difference, it might have ended up being more than a negligible blip within the Free Software community, nevermind the grand scheme of things. Alas, it was just rotten office politics on a global scale, after a misunderstanding blown way out of proportion, that resulted in an unbearable situation for me.”

“Inevitably, what this will likely lead to is departure of Red Hat workers who do value ethics and software freedom, leaving in place mostly the apathetic.”In some online threads (at the time) it felt like it resulted from objections to some non-free software in the workplace (including clown computing). I too have had such experiences, leading to severe arguments. According to press reports, “IBM picks Slack over Microsoft Teams for its 350,000 employees” and we suppose that covers Red Hat employees as well. Slack is about as horrific as Microsoft and the same goes for Zoom. Bad, bad stuff.

To me, based on my readings (a daily errand), Red Hat became less about freedom and more about business since IBM took over. The patent policy shows no signs of changing. It’s still “Red Hat” in name, but it is IBM ‘in spirit’. Privacy of staff is being squashed and the culture just isn’t the same, based on anonymous murmurs from the inside.

Inevitably, what this will likely lead to is departure of Red Hat workers who do value ethics and software freedom, leaving in place mostly the apathetic. And look what happened to Canonical, which seems to be hiring Microsoft 'moles' while the actual GNU/Linux geeks leave. Ubuntu may never be the same; as for Fedora, it has been dreary and quiet lately. Some hours ago the Fedora Community Blog said that in the entire month “the site had 3,753 visits from 1,736 unique viewers. Readers wrote 1 comment. 119 visits came from Fedora Planet, while 553 came from search engines.” These are ridiculously low numbers and IBM is hardly helping Fedora in any way whatsoever. With help from the Linux Foundation IBM has been openwashing its proprietary products that cost a fortune. This is what the strategy is likely to be.

They Tell the Free Software Community That It is Racist While Saying Nothing at All About Trump’s Racism (Because He Gives Them Government and Military Contracts)

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 10:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If they were genuinely against racism, they would have put up a statement condemning their president in their Web sites (but they don’t)

Star Trek Rand Sulu: Your software community is racist! But they say nothing about Trump saying 'kung flu' and 'Chinese virus'

Summary: While their president compares ‘foreign’ people to a virus (using innuendo, dog whistles and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the Nazi era) the big US corporations (American surveillance giants) turn their attention to rather innocuous words inside people’s code (which almost nobody sees anyway)

WITH over 3 million cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the US the virus is now a lot more “American” than “Chinese”. Notice how the GAFAM cabal, which shames the community over the presumption of racism, never issues a statement to condemn Trump. Funny that, eh?

Who is for racism (for personal gain) and who is against it?

“A day ago we checked who in Intel is pushing to remove allegedly ‘racist’ words from Linux. It’s the person who puts TPM inside it.”The answer should be almost self-evident.

Don’t let companies like Intel or Microsoft or Google tell you who’s racist. Also don’t forget Red Hat’s (IBM) past and present. They have no moral authority/high ground to stand on.

A day ago we checked who in Intel is pushing to remove allegedly 'racist' words from Linux (no, not “slave”; it goes way beyond that). It’s the person who puts TPM inside it (we leave out names and links; it’s in IRC logs). Oh, so much for freedom and goodwill. Maybe guilt. Over one’s controversial technical ‘contributions’… (Intel also puts DRM inside the kernel!)

Readers can decide what offends them more, DRM in Linux or some curse words (which the compiler rubs off anyway).

Talk about priorities, sir. Maybe it’s more urgent to learn from the past and deal with ongoing, naked and blatant racism. Not some parameter names which someone can (mis)interpret as ‘racist’.

LibreOffice ‘Personal Edition’ Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

Posted in FUD, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 9:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t panic

LibreOffice 'Personal Edition'

Summary: Had LibreOffice developers (and the Document Foundation) communicated these changes more openly, they would have averted/avoided some of the FUD

OVER the weekend, in the “Planet” of LibreOffice, one contributor complained [1] (links below) about what was addressed a day later (Monday) by the Document Foundation [2]. Some sites took notes of the clarification [3], some did click-bait nonsense [4] and others said that it had “raised some alarms since it implies that businesses, governments, schools, or other institutions might need a different license to use LibreOffice in the future.”

“From what we can gather, there’s nothing nefarious and/or sinister here. It was an honest mistake.”Transparency is very important. Had the Document Foundation negotiated this language prior to implementing the changes (in “dev” build), a lot of negative publicity and rumours would be spared. From what we can gather, there’s nothing nefarious and/or sinister here. It was an honest mistake. It served to highlight the need for participation at all levels. To avoid unnecessary misunderstandings always work in the open.

References

  1. Will LibreOffice 7.0 be only Personal Edition for individual use???

    Look at LibreOffice logo with “Personal Edition” phrase, look at sidebar in Start Center with the same phrase and note to “The Personal edition is supported by volunteers and intended for individual use.”
    And what is mean? Where is any public announcement? They say it was in marketing mail list. How many people read that mail list? Five?
    It means that I can’t install LibreOffice 7.0 in any organization in Russia, because our controlling people will be see very simple to legality in this case: open the About dialog -> read that “intended for individual use” and LibreOffice logo with “Personal Edition” -> you can’t use LibreOffice here! Nobody will check what say MPL 2.0 license about it or why TDF made it, they just point a finger at it and they will be right!
    It will close for LibreOffice any education organizations like schools or colleges or universities.
    I wont popularize LibreOffice for young people because they will never see LibreOffice in them schools.
    I against these changes. Please revoke it!

  2. Board statement on the LibreOffice 7.0 RC “Personal Edition” label

    Thanks to the hard work put in by many individual and ecosystem contributors, working together as a team in different fields, such as development, QA, design, marketing, localisation, release engineering, infrastructure, just to mention some, in a few weeks’ time we will be welcoming our LibreOffice 7.0 milestone.

    At the same time, we are discussing our vision for the next five years, with a starting point being marketing and branding. See our marketing and board-discuss mailing lists.

    Due to draft and development work in the area of branding and product naming, some speculation, in particular related to the “Personal Edition” tag shown in a LibreOffice 7.0 RC (Release Candidate), has started on several communication channels. So let us, as The Document Foundation’s Board of Directors, please provide further clarifications:

    1. None of the changes being evaluated will affect the license, the availability, the permitted uses and/or the functionality. LibreOffice will always be free software and nothing is changing for end users, developers and Community members.

    2. Due to the short time frame we are working with, the tagline appeared on the RC and we apologise if this caused some of you to think we unilaterally implemented the change. Rest assured that the consultation with the Community is still ongoing.

  3. The Document Foundation Clarifies LibreOffice 7.0′s “Personal Edition” Branding

    Yes, it’s true the LibreOffice builds in recent days — including the new LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 — have “Personal Edition” branding for the open-source builds. But given user concerns, The Document Foundation board has issued some clarifications to try to ease any immediate rumors, etc.

    The LibreOffice builds provided are indeed marked now as “LibreOffice Personal Edition” as part of planned but not yet finalized marketing changes for LibreOffice. These builds of the open-source office suite remain free and available to anyone without restrictions.

  4. Linux users might find themselves paying money to use LibreOffice one day

    If you are a Linux nerd or Windows user without much money, you probably use LibreOffice. That free software is actually quite good, although Microsoft’s Office is far superior. Regardless of how you feel about the Windows-maker, its office suite of software is second to none. If you use Windows or Mac and can afford it, I always recommend using “real” Word and Excel over knockoffs, such as the aforementioned LibreOffice’s Writer or Calc. Sadly, other than the web version, Microsoft Office is not available for Linux. With that said, as a Linux user, I appreciate LibreOffice’s existence and use it regularly.

    But what if LibreOffice wasn’t free? Would people still use it if it cost money? Some folks became very worried about that exactly, as the release candidate of LibreOffice 7.0 labeled itself as “Personal Edition.” To some, it was a sign that a paid version of LibreOffice was on the horizon. Well, guess what? They weren’t totally wrong. In the future, you might find yourself paying money to use LibreOffice software. According to a new blog post from The Document Foundation Board aimed at quelling fears, however, there is no need to panic.

  5. Lilbits 7-06-2020: LibreOffice Personal Edition?

    LibreOffice is a suite of office applications for creating, editing, and viewing text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases, among other things. LibreOffice is free and open source software. Anyone can download it, use it, and even examine and modify the source code.

    But with version 7.0 set to launch next month, some users have been noticing unusual language in pre-release builds suggesting that LibreOffice “Personal edition” is “intended for individual use.

    That’s raised some alarms since it implies that businesses, governments, schools, or other institutions might need a different license to use LibreOffice in the future.

It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already ‘Bought’ Canonical

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 7:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom | Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

canonical-micosoft-mvp

Summary: Canonical’s disturbing trajectory and betrayal of the community continue unabated; one can easily get the impression that Ubuntu exists to help Microsoft at some level

WORKING for Microsoft while being salaried by Canonical? If so, what does that say about Canonical?

Well, as the two links (added above) have outlined already, Ubuntu certainly feels far too close to Microsoft and to Windows these days. Ubuntu helps the E.E.E. Gone are the days when Ubuntu worked to actually replace Windows; it seems like Canonical is happy enough for it to just become a Vista 10 ‘feature’…

“If Canonical brags about working for Microsoft, then one can brag about saying goodbye to Canonical.”It’s no secret that the relationship between Microsoft and Canonical has disturbed a growing number of people in recent years. Speculations aren’t needed; there’s a money flow (Azure) and Canonical isn’t profitable, which may make it easier for Microsoft to manipulate.

Thankfully, in the GNU/Linux world we have plenty of options. If Canonical brags about working for Microsoft, then one can brag about saying goodbye to Canonical. The days of “bug number one” (Windows market share) are long gone. Canonical is bugging a lot of people. It was under no obligation, for instance, to issue the tactless blog post above (a few hours ago). It gives the wrong impression about Ubuntu. People choose Ubuntu (typically) to get away from Windows and from Microsoft.

Update to GNU Project Bleeding into Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:24 pm by Guest Editorial Team

By Thomas Grzybowski and Editor

At the end of June we published an article that has been viewed over 25,000 times since. After more research has brought additional information to light, some clarification to the previous information may be in order. The earlier article stated about:

https://gnu.org/software/macchanger

https://gnu.org/software/jwhois

https://gnu.org/software/fribidi

https://gnu.org/software/httptunnel

https://gnu.org/software/which/

https://gnu.org/software/guile-dbi

That “[i]nterestingly, most of these redirections seem to have made fairly recently, not long after Richard Stallman was ousted.”

This should now be restated: “Timings of redirection can be difficult to trace, as they can go through changes. A couple of these redirections seem to have occurred recently, since June 4, 2018, with others having been in place earlier. In any case, the existence of the redirections to GitHub and the participation of these projects in GitHub has continued unaddressed over time. It is also worth noting that “redirection from GNU” is distinct in meaning from having a significant presence on GitHub. An additional number of GNU projects have presense on GitHub. GNU “less” for instance, now redirects to http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/ , although it is unclear when this first took place; and note that “gnu less” is also active in a repository on GitHub.”

Accuracy matters and some have pointed out that the projects were in GitHub even before Stallman was being pushed out. But that’s another matter altogether; we all along focused on the redirects themselves.

Microsoft is Going to Get Tired of Whining About “GAFA” and Accept That It’s Just as Bad If Not a Lot Worse at Privacy

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drake Dukat Meme: don't grill us about surveillance. Yes, we got caught again.

Summary: Microsoft is being treated by the US government as if it’s not abusing anything, let alone people’s privacy; if anything, this demonstrates the degree to which Microsoft infiltrated or ‘vendor-captured’ regulatory branches

  • [Microsoft] LinkedIn says it will stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard

    The behavior was discovered thanks to a new privacy feature in iOS 14, which is currently in a limited beta for developers. The operating system now notifies users when an app copies something from another app or device. This has led to people spotting questionable behavior from apps that appear to copy clipboard contents with every keystroke.

  • Reddit and [Microsoft] Linkedin apps also caught copying and pasting clipboard contents

    Linkedin and Reddit both check your clipboard and copy and paste your clipboard contents with every keystroke – even when you’re in another app. Another set of potential privacy violators have been called out by iOS 14’s new paste notifications. The discovery was publicized on Twitter by Don Cubed of urspace.io, who noted that his discovery was very similar to the experience of Jeremy Burge who called out Tik Tok for the same behavior early this week.

  • [Microsoft] LinkedIn and Reddit Are The Latest Apps Found to be Snooping On Your Clipboards

    LinkedIn and Reddit aren’t the only apps that have been caught copying clipboard contents. Researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk have published a list of more than 50 iOS apps that do the same thing. One of the apps that caught the most attention on the list was TikTok, which isn’t exactly a privacy role model.

Links 6/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1, Linux 5.8 RC4

Posted in News Roundup at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • How to access Samsung DeX mode on Linux and Chrome OS

      Google has yet to offer a full-fledged desktop interface in Android, but you can access the hidden barebones version of it on some devices running Android 10. A handful of OEMs, on the other hand, offer their own implementations of the desktop mode, and Samsung’s DeX is inarguably the most polished and feature-rich option among them. The latest version of Samsung DeX can even seamlessly integrate itself with Macs and Windows PCs.

      While Samsung did backport DeX for PC support to older flagships, they still don’t provide an official Linux (and Chrome OS) companion app corresponding to this handy feature. From the perspective of a regular Samsung user who uses Linux, it means that you could only access the DeX mode if you had an external display. There is no OS level limitation per se, so XDA Senior Member KMyers has decided to create a proof-of-concept technique that ultimately works as a Linux client for Samsung DeX.

      [...]

      Typical features like clipboard sharing and drag-and-drop installation of APK files are working without issue in this method, but sound routing is a bit messy. You might have to compile scrcpy from source, though, because the available build on the default package repository of Debian based operating systems (e.g., Ubuntu and the Crostini environment on Chrome OS) is usually outdated. This step can be particularly problematic on ARM-powered Chrome OS devices, so opt for cross-compiling instead.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo improves ThinkPads running Linux but issues with problem machines remain

        Last month, when Lenovo announced it was going to certify its ThinkPad lineup for use with Linux operating systems, my mind turned to one device, the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2.

        At the end of last year, I chronicled my issues with the device, and while it was fair criticism at the time that my use of Fedora might not have been the best, with news that Lenovo was going to offer to preload Ubuntu, Red Hat, and Fedora distributions, that choice was more relevant than I could have imagined at the time.

        Since its announcement, a surprising number of firmware updates have appeared for the X1 Extreme.

        It went unmentioned last year, but the Synaptics fingerprint reader on the laptop was completely useless until around two weeks ago. That brand of reader had long been a pain point when combined with Linux, so it is nice to see some support finally land.

        As usual with new Linux compatibility, there are a couple of caveats. You can log in with your fingerprint, but GNOME 3 will not unlock its keyring until you type in a password, so it is best to type in a password when you log in, and use the fingerprint to unlock the lock screen thereafter. On the other end, once a fingerprint is registered, sudo will demand a fingerprint instead of a password. It’s really hard to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to desktop Linux.

        But the biggest pain point with the X1 Extreme by far was the hybrid graphics setup, which at the time appeared to be a choice between using only the Nvidia GPU or the Intel integrated graphics.

      • Microsoft just sank to a new low by shoving Edge down our throatss

        People should run whatever the hell they damn well please, but the last few years it has become increasingly clear that Windows is deteriorating fast. Oddly enough, it’s not the operating system itself that’s deteriorating – in fact, Windows is probably in a better technical state than it’s ever been – but the policies and anti-user ‘features’ draped around it.

        If you read OSNews, you are most likely technically inclined. People who read OSNews don’t need Windows, and shouldn’t be running it. It’s actively hostile towards its users, and you deserve better.

    • Server

      • 20 Things to Know for Becoming a Successful Linux System Administrator

        Linux system administrators are people who are responsible for managing IT infrastructures that are powered by Linux. It is one of the most sought after positions by modern enterprises. Competetive sysadmins are always in high demand and will get rewarding workplace benefits. But, what does it take to become a successful sysadmin? If you’re a seasoned Linux user who wants to try his hand at system administration, this guide is for you. Today, we will discuss some of the key aspects of becoming a Linux admin. You will find out the things a competitive system admin needs to know from this guide.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Noodlings | Amiga 1200, openSUSE Leap 15.2 and Documentation
      • GNU World Order 361

        Pdfmom is a macro set for Groff meant to make it simple and intuitive. Here’s an example MOM document. .TITLE “My example mom doc” .AUTHOR “Klaatu” .CHAPTER 1 .DOCTYPE CHAPTER .PRINTSTYLE TYPESET .PT_SIZE 10 .LS 12 .START .PP This is some sample text. I hope it comes out alright. It probably will. Thanks to \fBpdfmom\fP. Process it with the **pdfmom** command: $ pdfmom example.mom > my.pdf

      • This Week in Linux 108: Linux Mint 20, openSUSE 15.2, CutiePi Raspberry Pi Tablet, and more!

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some big Distro News from Linux Mint, openSUSE and there may be a way to have a Rolling Release of Ubuntu now. We’ve also got some Linux Mobile news thats to the team at XDA Developers making it possible to put Ubuntu Touch from UBports on a lot of Android based devices. We’re going to talk about a new Kickstarter that is going on right now to develop a Raspberry Pi based Tablet called the CutiePi. In App News, were going to talk about a new Task Manager app called Planner and there’s some changes coming to the Matrix Client, Riot.im which is much needed so I am excited for that. We’ve also got some odd news from Microsoft as they have decided to release an Antivirus for Linux called Microsoft Defender ATP. Apple recently announced they are dropping Intel for their own processor platform and we’ll discuss how that will relate to people wanting to run Linux on that hardware. Then we’ll round out the show with some awesome Humble Bundles that are live right now. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8-rc4
        
        Well, if rc3 was larger than usual, rc4 now makes up for that by being
        smaller than usual. It's been quite a calm week.
        
        Is that just the normal fluctuation? Probably. The timing of the
        individual pull requests end up just varying, so some rc's end up
        large and some end up smaller, and maybe rc4 is small exactly
        _because_ rc3 was larger..
        
        It might also be due to the July 4th preparations in the US, where
        presumably a number of US developers might have made this a three-day
        weekend.
        
        For example, for me, usually Friday and Saturday are my busiest days
        during the release windows, because that's when a lot of developers
        send in their end-of-the-week work pull request. But just looking at
        my pull requests, this week there were (a) fewer of them and (b) they
        were skewed to Thursday/Friday instead.
        
        So who knows. The end result is that it's been fairly calm, and
        there's certainly been discussion of upcoming fixes, but I still have
        the feeling that 5.8 is looking fairly normal and things are
        developing smoothly despite the size of this release.
        
        The shortlog is appended, but it's all really pretty small and nothing
        odd stands out. From a stats standpoint, the drm fixes are about a
        quarter of the diff (and i915 stands out there), but even that is
        mainly because the sources for the i915 context state clearing shaders
        had been missed.
        
        In fact, if you consider those shader sources to be documentation fro
        what the blobs in the i915 state clearing were about, then almost half
        the diff in rc4 ends up being basically documentation, scripts, and
        self-tests.
        
        The rest is small fixes all over: mainly architecture code, drivers,
        and filesystems. Scan the shortlog below if you care deeply about the
        details, but honestly, I'd rather you all just build the result, and
        report back if you find any issues..
        
        Thanks,
                      Linus
        
      • Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc4

        The 5.8-rc4 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “The end result is that it’s been fairly calm, and there’s certainly been discussion of upcoming fixes, but I still have the feeling that 5.8 is looking fairly normal and things are developing smoothly despite the size of this release.”

      • Linux 5.8-rc4 Released Following A Calm Week

        As for the 5.8-rc4 material, Torvalds wrote in the rc4 announcement and is mostly just routine regression/bug fixes. One notable change this week is adding the Intel Assembly sources for the shaders mitigating iGPU Leak on Gen7/Gen7.5 graphics hardware, in order to satisfy the GNU Linux-libre folks.

      • Linus Torvalds Likes His New AMD Threadripper System

        This week Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel re-created their keynote conversation for a special all-virtual edition of the Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference North America.

      • Linux 5.9 To Bring Arm Memory Tagging Extension Support

        The 64-bit ARM code building up for the Linux 5.9 cycle is set to mainline Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) support as another security improvement inbound.

        The Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) of the ARMv8.5-A specification is intended to help fend off potential memory safety violations that could lead to exploits of the system. MTE has the mechanism with supported hardware to detect the most common memory safety violations and can assist in detection of vulnerabilities.

      • COVID-19 has not stalled Linux development

        Linus Torvalds and Dirk Hohndel have been telling anyone who will listen that while COVID-19 has slowed down many technologies, while speeding up other tech developments, it hasn’t affected Linux development much at all.

        Torvalds said that none of his co-developers have been hugely impacted either.

        “I was worried for a while because one of our developers was offline for a month or two…. [But,] it turned out that it was just RSI [repetitive strain injury], and RSI is kind of an occupational hazard to deal with.” He added.

        “One of the things that is so interesting about the Linux community is how much it has always been email-based and remote, how rarely we get together in person..”

        Torvalds took time out to praise his new AMD Threadripper 3970x-based processor-powered developer desktop.

        Torvalds later added that, although he had been concerned about its fan noise it actually works well for him. Torvalds moved to this new homebrew computer because he needed the speed.

      • I don’t do any coding anymore, I write emails, says Linux creator
      • Graphics Stack

        • User-specific XKB configuration – part 2

          Several moons have bypassed us [1] in the time since the first post, and Things Have Happened! If you recall (and of course you did because you just re-read the article I so conveniently linked above), libxkbcommon supports an include directive for the rules files and it will load a rules file from $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/xkb/rules/ which is the framework for custom per-user keyboard layouts. Alas, those files are just sitting there, useful but undiscoverable.

          To give you a very approximate analogy, the KcCGST format I described last time are the ingredients to a meal (pasta, mince, tomato). The rules file is the machine-readable instruction set to assemble your meal but it relies a lot on wildcards. Feed it “spaghetti, variant bolognese” and the actual keymap ends up being the various components put together: “pasta(spaghetti)+sauce(tomato)+mince”. But for this to work you need to know that spag bol is available in the first place, i.e you need the menu. This applies to keyboard layouts too – the keyboard configuration panel needs to present a list so the users can clickedy click-click on whatever layout they think is best for them.

        • Monado OpenXR Runtime Now Supports Multi-Application Rendering / Overlays

          The Monado open-source OpenXR runtime has seen a lot of features added this year and the most recent is support for OpenXR’s XR_EXTX_overlay extension to allow for multi-application / overlay rendering.

          The XR_EXTX_overlay extension from LunarG, Epic Games, and Pluto VR is for allowing contents of separate OpenXR applications to be composited on top of the main OpenXR application. Some of the intended use-cases for this OpenXR overlay extension is for debug environments that may want to render metrics on top of the main window, showing a heads-up display (HUD), and exposing other panels on top of the main window/application being rendered. The extra applications are rendered in a separate process and then composited on top of the main application.

        • AMD Epyc Milan (ZEN3) generation CPU Surfaces in Linux Reference

          If you are smiling at your 64-core ZEN2 based beast of a PC or Server, it’ll be based on the current Rome architecture. These processors are beasts. But we all know that AMD is paving that processor arena full, and there has been word of a Milan ZEN3 generation this year already.

          Well, guess what. A Milan architecture based Epyc processors have surfaced, Twitter user ExecutableFix came across the reference to Milan in a Linux changelog, and it’s a valid one alright. Interesting is the product code, you can deduct the (boost) clock speed of 2.2 GHz and the base clock is 1.5 GHz for this engineering sample. Those speeds are slightly higher than the first Rome sample. The number of cores of the Milan chip is not known.

        • LLVMpipe Now Exposes OpenGL 4.2 For GL On CPUs

          It was just a few days ago that the LLVMpipe OpenGL software rasterizer within Mesa finally achieved OpenGL 4.0 support while today it has crossed both OpenGL 4.1 and 4.2 milestones.

          Thanks to much of GL 4.1 and GL 4.2 support for this Gallium3D software driver already being in place, it didn’t take too much work to get it over the latest hurdles.

    • Applications

      • Meet RecApp, a New Screen Recording App for Linux Desktop

        RecApp is a simple open-source screen recorder tool. It doesn’t boast of huge features but gives you enough to record your screen with a simple user interface.

        We have plenty of screen recorders available for Linux. Abhishek prefers to use Kazam while I like using SimpleScreenrecorder. Neither of us use the GNOME’s built-in screen recorder.

        Recently we were contacted by the developer of RecApp, a new screen recording tool. Since I like experimenting with different applications, I took it upon myself to cover RecApp as this week’s open source software highlight.

      • Zettlr Markdown Editor 1.7 Adds Vim And Emacs Input Modes, Tabs Support, Faster Startup Time

        Zettlr, a free and open source Markdown editor for personal knowledge management and publishing, had a new release recently (1.7.0, followed by 1.7.1 to fix some issues) which adds Vim and Emacs input modes, tabs support, and faster application startup time thanks to caching, along with many other improvements.

      • Three internet radio clients for the Debian 10 terminal

        There are so many music players that support audio streaming, but what if you prefer to listen to your favorite radio stations without leaving the comfort of the command line? There are actually quite a few command line music players

      • Avidemux 2.7.6 Free Video Editor Released with New AV1 Decoder, Many Changes

        Avidemux, the free, open-source and multi-platform video editor used for cutting, filtering and encoding videos has a new major release, Avidemux 2.7.6, which comes about 10 months after the previous release, so you can imagine that it packs quite some changes.

        First, the big ones. Avidemux gained an AV1 decoder based on the libaom library, as well as VP9 encoder based on the libvpx library, and support for FFmpeg 4.2.3. Only for Linux, it now features a hardware accelerated deinterlacer and resizer based on the Video Acceleration API (VA-API).

        Also new in this release is the ability to detect cut points in HEVC video streams that could result in grave playback issues and warn the user about it, as well as the fact that the maximum supported video resolution was bumped to 4096×4096.

        Furthermore, a 2-pass mode and extended configuration options were added to the NVENC-based H.264 and HEVC encoders, HE-AAC and HE-AACv2 profiles were added to the FDK AAC encoder plugin, and support for OGG Vorbis and LPCM audio was added to the MP4 muxer.

        Avidemux now supports external audio tracks in DTS format and MPEG-TS files with duration in excess of 13:15:36, uses DTS core from DTS XLL audio in MPEG-TS files instead of rejecting the track, and correctly detects mono MP3 audio tracks in MP4 files.

      • LMMS 1.2.2 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 20.04

        Free open-source digital audio workstation software LMMS 1.2.2 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10, Ubuntu 20.04, and derivatives.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Starship action RPG ‘Drox Operative 2′ arrives on GOG

        The currently in development space action RPG Drox Operative 2 can now be picked up DRM-free on GOG. If you enjoy 2D space exploration, plenty of combat, dealing with warring races and a bunch of RPG-styled progression mechanics then Drox Operative 2 might be a good pick for you.

        Soldak Entertainment were kind enough to provide us with an Early Access key, so we will be taking a look when it gets a bit further along. So far though, it does seem like a promising step up from the original with graphical improvements, smoother combat and more enhancements that currently feels like a remaster of the first rather than a huge sequel.

      • Dungeon exploring puzzler ‘The Wizard: WizHarder Edition’ announced

        The Wizard: WizHarder Edition was announced recently, as an expanded and upgraded edition of the very popular free web game that’s been going for 6 years now.

        Initially starting as a small experiment written in HTML5/JavaScript, it eventually grew into a full game with an extensive campaign, high-quality soundtrack, and delightful 16-bit visuals. To this day, Hypnotic Owl say it’s gained “over half a million players” and considering the very warm reception to the web-game with players “demanding more”, they’ve decided to remake it for desktop players with The Wizard: WizHarder Edition.

      • FOSS Linux game launcher ‘Lutris’ has a new bug-fix release out

        It’s free, it’s open source and it helps you manage your thousand+ game library, a fresh update of the game launcher Lutris has arrived.

        Not a game store but a launcher. Letting you add games from GOG, Humble, Steam and more along with compatibility layers like Wine/Proton and emulators too. It’s an all-in-one solution for gaming on Linux. It’s also seen plenty of recognition with even Epic Games granting them a small sum. Lutris can make managing things like Origin or Battle.Net on Linux with Wine a much smoother experience, thanks to people writing various scripts to automate everything they need to be setup nicely.

      • Valve silences the bots in Team Fortress 2, TF2 Classic Mod out now

        Valve silences the bots in Team Fortress 2, TF2 Classic Mod out now
        Team Fortress 2 continues to have a bot problem but Valve are actually fighting back and the latest update takes another blunt approach to dealing with them.

        After a few updates recently aimed at bots, Valve took away a few features from newer accounts like text chat, taking away name changing during games, new in-game options for players to actually turn off text and voice chat and so on. A few days ago another update released that removes all types of voice chat from accounts that cannot use text chat.

        It’s a very blunt and harsh approach, that has also limited voice commands for newer accounts, presumably to also stop voice commands like calling for a medic from being spammed into games. The knock-on effect is that legitimate players won’t be able to use any of these systems either, until they get a TF2 Premium account status by buying something so it’s become a free to play game that heavily reduces what people can actually do until they pay something. It’s a shame but hopefully Valve will come up with a better solution eventually.

      • Charge Kid, a new open source platformer where each jump is a puzzle

        Up for some more open source gaming fun? Charge Kid, released on June 30 is a platformer that makes you think about your jumps and turns every single one into a puzzle.

        Mechanically and artistically simple but what it does with it is pretty great. You have to be clever, making great use of the limit abilities it gives you to reach across each level to progress onto the next. Instead of needing super-precision with your platforming, you need to solve the jumping puzzle on how to reach each section. It’s definitely challenging.

      • Proton GE compatibility layer has a big new release up

        Proton GE, the community-built fork of the Proton compatibility layer for Linux has a big new release out.

        Need a quick reminder? Wine is a compatibility layer that can help to run Windows apps and games on Linux. Valve have their own version called Proton which is included with the Linux Steam Client in Steam Play, and Proton GE is a special version of it built by user “GloriousEggroll”. Why use it? You might find certain games need adjustments not currently in the official Proton and Proton GE can make them run “out of the box”.

        Proton-5.9-GE-3-ST is the brand new release aimed to now be the stable Proton GE release. It pulls in tons of fixes to help various Windows games run on Linux including GTA V, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Planet Zoo, Jurassic World: Evolution, Origin client fixes and much more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 24 Excellent KDE Plasma Widgets (Updated 2020)

          After desktop hopping for many years, I’m fairly settled on KDE Plasma 5. It’s a lightweight (yes these days it really is lightweight) and responsive desktop which is full-featured and beguiling to the eye. In my opinion, one of the aspects that stands KDE Plasma head and shoulders above its desktop peers is extensibility. Plasma lets you configure the desktop to your specific preferences.

          KDE Plasma widgets (also known as plasmoids) are a smart way of customizing the desktop. There’s an abundance of widgets available that act like building blocks, constructing a desktop that’s perfect for your needs and requirements. I’ve tried the vast majority of KDE Plasma widgets.

        • Week #5 Status Report [Preset Editor MyPaint Engine]

          The second month of Google Summer of Code has been started. This month my prime focus would be to improve the mypaint brush engine, fix some issues and also I aim to add a better preset editor than the one provided by other painting applications.

          Last week I worked solely on the preset editor for the newly available MyPaint brush engine in Krita.

          This was in accordance to the mockup as was presented in the proposal and contained only the very basic 3-4 settings for the engine. All most all of the applications with MyPaint integration just provide some 3-4 basic settings for the engine. Though the library does provide api to add all of the mentioned settings.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Meet the GNOMEies: Kristi Progri

          What is your role within the GNOME community?

          I am the Program Coordinator in the GNOME Foundation where I help to organize various events, leading many initiatives within the community including the Engagement Team, and working closely with all the volunteers and contributors. I also coordinate internships and help with general Foundation activities.

          Do you have any other affiliations you want to share?

          Before joining GNOME, I was very active in Mozilla community. I have been part of the Tech Speakers program and a Mozilla Representative for more than seven years now. I have organized many events and workshops and also have participated as a speaker talking about Free Software communities at many events around the globe.

          Why did you get involved in GNOME?

          I was introduced to Free Software when I was in high school, my friend had a computer running Debian and he started explaining how it worked. This was the first time I heard about it and I immediately understood that I would never be part of these communities. It looked so complicated and not my cup of tea, but it looks like I was very wrong. Once I went for to a hackerspace meeting I completely changed my mind and from that moment the hackerspace become my second home.

    • Distributions

      • Top 3 Open-Source Cross-Distribution Package Management Systems for Linux

        Package management or software installation on Linux systems can be very puzzling especially for newbies (new Linux users), as different Linux distributions use different traditional package management systems. The most confusing part of it all in most cases is package dependency resolution/management.

        For example, Debian and its derivatives such as Ubuntu use .deb packages managed using the DPKG package management system and distributions in the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) family use .rpm packages managed using the RPM package management system.

        In the last few years, package management and distribution in the Linux ecosystem have never been the same after the rise of universal or cross-distribution package management tools. These tools allow developers to package their software or applications for multiple Linux distributions, from a single build, making it easy for users to install the same package on multiple supported distributions.

        In this article, we will review the top 3 open-source universal or cross-distribution package management systems for Linux.

      • Reviews

        • Review: Linux Mint 20

          Linux Mint is a desktop distribution which is available in two branches, one based on Debian and the other which uses Ubuntu as its base. The project recently published Linux Mint 20 which is based on Ubuntu 20.04 and promises five years of security updates. The distribution is available in three editions: Cinnamon, MATE, and Xfce. These editions are available for 64-bit (x86_64) computers exclusively and the download for each edition is approximately 2GB in size.

          There are a few key new features in Linux Mint 20. One is Warpinator, a simple desktop tool which makes it easy to share files in a peer-to-peer fashion with other computers running Mint on the same local network. Warpinator replaces a past Mint utility called Giver and works much the same way, making sharing files across the network a point and click experience.

          This release also features the NVIDIA Prime applet that can be used to switch between using one video card and another. This is helpful when running laptops that have an Intel video card and another from NVIDIA.

          The Cinnamon desktop now allows each monitor attached to the computer to have different fractional scaling and this should improve the visual experience on HiDPI screens.

          Unlike its parent, Mint does not ship with support for Snap packages. In fact, Deb packages which would normally install Snap bundles (the way Ubuntu’s Chromium package does) have been replaced with empty packages. Mint instead supplies Flatpak support for people wishing to run portable package formats.

          The project’s release notes include a few warnings and workarounds. For instance, we are told that encrypted home directories are available, but may not unmount properly when logging out of the system due to a regression between the ecryptfs software and systemd.

          Guest sessions are available, though disabled by default, and can be activated through the Login Window settings module. We are also warned that Chromium web browser packages are not available in the default repositories, but can be found in an add-on repository if the browser is needed.

        • Zenwalk Linux Review

          Zenwalk Linux surprise me from the very first moment with this new release. They have done a really great work at all levels: a pretty, nice, polished, and well worked XFCE desktop that works in low resources hardware, and preinstalled localization for support non US languages. As I said previously, it’s a good move to include Flatpak support since installation, because all users can access to a lot of software easily. By the way, I need to mention that Zenwalk uses Lilo and eLilo (for MBR and UEFI systems, respectively) instead of grub2. This is not a bad thing, but it’s not a standard on these days. Both Lilo and eLilo do their work perfectly, so there’s no problem with that.

      • New Releases

        • MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1 available for testing

          We are pleased to offer MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1 for testing purposes.

          MX-19.2 KDE is an Advanced Hardware Support (AHS) enabled 64-bit only version of MX featuring the KDE/plasma desktop. Applications utilizing Qt library frameworks are given a preference for inclusion on the iso.

          This will be first officially supported MX/antiX family iso utilizing the KDE/plasma desktop since the halting of the predecessor MEPIS project in 2013.

          MX-19.2 KDE includes the usual MX tools, antiX-live-usb-system, and snapshot technology that our users have come to expect from our standard flagship Xfce releases. Adding KDE/plasma to the existing Xfce/MX-fluxbox desktops will provide for a wider range user needs and wants.

        • MX Linux Now Has a KDE Plasma Edition, First Beta Is Available for Testing

          The Debian-based, systemd-free MX Linux distribution now has an official edition with the modern and powerful KDE Plasma Desktop environment.

          MX Linux is known as a very lightweight, stable and fast GNU/Linux distribution. It’s always based on the latest stable Debian GNU/Linux operating system release and uses the lightweight Xfce as default desktop environment.

          The latest release, MX Linux 19.2 “Patito Feo,” arrived earlier this week based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster,” the Xfce 4.14 desktop environment, Linux 5.6 kernel, and Mesa 20 graphics stack.

        • GParted Live 1.1.0-3 Stable Release

          The GParted team is pleased to announce a new stable release of GParted Live.

          This release includes GParted 1.1.0, updated packages, and other improvements.

          Items of note include:
          Based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2020/Jul/1)
          Linux kernel updated to 5.7.6-1
          Fix issue #94 – Netsurf browser crashes for some sites
          This release of GParted Live has been successfully tested on VirtualBox, VMware, BIOS, UEFI, and physical computers with AMD/ATI, NVidia, and Intel graphics.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Official Gentoo Docker images

          Did you already know that we have official Gentoo Docker images available on Docker Hub?! The most popular one is based on the amd64 stage. Images are created automatically; you can peek at the source code for this on our git server. Thanks to the Gentoo Docker project!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Earn a Red Hat containers certification online

          Lockdowns and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have meant limited access to testing centers for most certification programs in much of the world. We recently announced that remote exams would be an option in the near future for taking some Red Hat certification exams. In the meantime, many organizations are using the current situation as an opportunity for their teams to learn and build new skills in support of containers and Kubernetes. The need to provide the hands-on validation of these skills provided by Red Hat Certification has never been greater.

          In order to address these limitations and needs, and to help organizations and IT professionals pursue the opportunities offered by these technologies, Red Hat is offering a new certification, Red Hat Certified Specialist in Containers for Kubernetes to people who pass the Preliminary Exam in Containers, Kubernetes, and Openshift (PE180).

          This certification will be given to those who have already taken the exam since it was launched in late 2019 as well as those who pass it going forward. This affordable certification offers IT professionals a remote option to strengthen their Kubernetes skills and embrace a DevOps mindset.

        • Grupo Condis Embraces the Hybrid Cloud with Red Hat OpenShift

          Red Hat, Inc, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Grupo Condis has adopted Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, as part of its digital transformation strategy. Building on the back of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift helps Condis respond to market needs faster, build greater customer loyalty and create more innovative services without sacrificing the stability of critical operations.

      • Debian Family

        • SolydXK 10.4 Distro Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster”

          As its version number suggests, SolydXK 10.4 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4, which was released in early May 2020 with more than 50 security updates and over 100 bug fixes.

          The SolydXK team has worked hard over the past several months to bring you SolydXK 10.4, which includes the latest Linux 4.19 kernel and up-to-date packages from the Debian Buster repositories.

          On top of that, the new release comes with some important under-the-hood changes. For example, the /usr directories have been merged and the /bin, /sbin and /lib directories have now become symbolic links to /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /usr/lib.

        • Thorsten Alteholz: My Debian Activities in June 2020

          This month I accepted 377 packages and rejected 30. The overall number of packages that got accepted was 411.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Arcade shooter with a massive skill tree ‘BYTEPATH’ goes open source

        A few years after release, adnzzzzZ has released the source code for their crazy skill-tree arcade shooter BYTEPATH.

        “Expect BYTEPATH to be a mix of Bit Blaster XL and Path of Exile, created with the intention of expanding Bit Blaster XL’s relaxing and addictive gameplay with Path of Exile’s build depth, build diversity and RPG elements.”

        Now available under the MIT license, it’s another good look into how indie games get made and a good starting point for those looking to see a properly finished game. Not only that, it can now live on with community fixes and continue working far into the future.

      • Web Browsers

        • German Translation in the Brave Desktop Browser: A moan about localisation

          In Linux, smaller distributions in particular have an issue with well done localisation, the bigger ones have this sorted as far as I can tell. It also seems to depend on the desktop environment but this alone is not an axcuse. For instance, the Cinnamon desktop in a standard Linux Mint Debian install is well translated and fully localised from the start. Trying the same in Artix though with their Cinnamon edition offering yields a half-baked, half-localised desktop where parts of the menu, the submenus and application entries themselves, and interestingly all Gnome and other applications that are not part of the Cinnamon desktop tools have fully translated menus and options but the Cinnamon desktop, including its control panel/ system settings and file manager are not. This can hardly be due to missing support because it works in LMDE, so the use of English is certainly not hard-coded. Perhaps it’s missing a language pack somewhere, but the real reason is down to QA and probably, in the case of smaller projects like Artix, lack of manpower. And that’s understandable.

          What I am trying to say here is that localisation in Linux is still an issue in 2020, but one would only notice if actually trying to use something other than American English, or any form of English. That reminds me, I’ve never tried the South African English locale.

          Brave is a browser I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately as a well supported Chrome and Chromium alternative where you do actually get updates, in contrast to the Debian world where even using the latest stable release means outdated libraries are keeping us on Chromium 73. That or install the privacy invading Google-Chrome. Brave has got a few good features incl. effective built-in ad-blocking and stripping out a lot of Google’s tracking and API’s so that I’m now using it in all my installs.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox UX: UX Book Club Recap: Writing is Designing, in Conversation with the Authors

            Beyond the language that appears in our products, Michael encouraged the group to educate themselves, follow Black writers and designers, and be open and willing to change. Any effective UX practitioner needs to approach their work with a sense of humility and openness to being wrong.

            Supporting racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement must also include raising long-needed conversations in the workplace, asking tough questions, and sitting with discomfort. Michael recommended reading How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

            [...]

            In the grand scheme of tech things, UX writing is still a relatively new discipline. Books like Writing for Designing are helping to define and shape the practice.

            When asked (at another meet-up, not our own) if he’s advocating for a ‘content-first approach,’ Michael’s response was that we need an ‘everything first approach’ — meaning, all parties involved in the design and development of a product should come to the planning table together, early on in the process. By making the case for writing as a strategic design practice, this book helps solidify a spot at that table for UX writers.

          • Tantek Çelik: Changes To IndieWeb Organizing, Brief Words At IndieWebCamp West

            A week ago Saturday morning co-organizer Chris Aldrich opened IndieWebCamp West and introduced the keynote speakers. After their inspiring talks he asked me to say a few words about changes we’re making in the IndieWeb community around organizing. This is an edited version of those words, rewritten for clarity and context. — Tantek

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Results from the survey about LibreOffice’s web presence

          In total 794 people visited the survey of them 569 completed it. We asked first how often the site is accessed, what people are looking for, and if they succeed.

          [...]

          We also asked in what situation people use the application (almost even for personal, business and dual use), about their expertise with LibreOffice (25% basic, 65% intermediate, 10% expert level), and tech-savviness in general. The idea was to possibly split answers in beginners and experts. But unfortunately most participants are very interested in IT and proficient in LibreOffice.

          People who answered the question whether they contributed to the project with yes (97) were asked a few more questions.

          Almost evenly distributed is the frequency of contribution from once per week over month and year to non-recurring. Most contributors do user support, followed by QA and documentation.

        • [LibreOffice GSoC] Week 5 Report

          The last week was the 5th week of coding weeks in GSoC program. I continued adding support for the non supported items.

          [...]

          1) The last week I left the Calc Comments support in this patch not merged waiting the final review. the patch added a function in FuDraw class to help in closing the Comment window. So the work this week done was to move this function from the FuDraw class to the UI testing code. This approach is done in the last patch and tested on the test case in this patch. So the patch waiting for the final review.
          =====================================

          2) I worked this week also in fixing the issue in the DSL grammar that related to “EditUIObject”. It was simple modification in the string of the grammar rule but without it any selection of text inside any EditUIObject will make the automatic generation of the test case fail. The patch is now merged .
          =====================================

          3) I also This week worked on the “Hyperlink dialog. Insert ->Hyperlink” item from the list of unsupported items . After working with this dialog I found that it wasn’t work because the tabcontrol of the dialog is vertical tabcontrol not the normal tabcontrol. So I worked on adding support for vertical TabControl Object. This patch has the support.

        • LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.0 will be released as final at the beginning of August, 2020 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 the forth pre-release since the development of version 7.0 started in the beginning of June, 2019. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta2, 174 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 116 bugs have been fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in LibreOffice 7.0.

          LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 can be downloaded from here for Linux, MacOS and Windows.

          In case you find any problem in this pre-release, please report it in Bugzilla ( You just need a legit email account in order to create a new account ).

        • LibreOffice 7.0 RC1 Is Out For Testing This Skia+Vulkan Open-Source Office Suite

          With just about one month to go until the official release, the first release candidate is out today of the LibreOffice 7.0 open-source, cross-platform office suite software.

          The biggest change with LibreOffice 7.0 is migrating from Cairo to Skia for rendering of the UI and in the process that means supporting optional Vulkan acceleration for using this modern graphics API for rendering.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Understanding Copyleft

            The concept of copyleft means making a software program or other work free to use and additionally requiring all modified and extended versions of that program to be free as well. It’s important to note that “free” in this sense refers to freedom – not cost – and you may hear the commonly used phrases “free as in speech” and “free as in beer” used to make this distinction.

            According to the LINFO website, “the origin of the term copyleft is not certain. It may have first appeared in a message contained in Tiny BASIC, a free version of the Basic programming language that was written by Dr. Li Chen Wang in the late 1970s.”

            [...]

            As Joe Casad states in a Linux Magazine article, “The GNU General Public License was born of the simple idea that freedom matters. Yet this simple tool for protecting freedom has another important feature that makes it even more powerful, and that is the ability to build communities.” The amazing growth of projects and communities that make up the open source ecosystem stems in part from this ability to modify and extend tools to meet changing needs.

      • Programming/Development

        • Pocket Lisp Computer

          I recently built three Lisp Badge computers with some help from my kids. I bought a hot air soldering station and learned TQFP soldering. The kids did some through-hole and SMT soldering and really enjoyed it!

          The hardware assembly and debugging process was really fun, other than worrying several times that I had put too much heat into a component, or set the wrong programmable fuse. During that phase I received some advice from the board’s designer, which really helped.

          I’ve learned from the hardware people at work to always order extra parts, and I did, including an extra PCB. I was half expecting to damage stuff while learning, so I was really happy that we ended up with all three boards fully working, after locating and fixing some cold solder joints.

        • When a deleted master device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

          Out of ideas, Jim decided to crash (rather than halt) the system by typing the BREAK sequence at the console. The server would not get the chance to close the file cleanly…

          “We said a small prayer, crossed our fingers, booted the server, and waited for the file system check (fsck) to repair the damage we had done,” he recalled.

          “I’ve never typed the letter ‘y’ more carefully than when asked if we wanted to re-link orphaned inodes.”

          With an elevated heart rate, Jim logged in and checked the file system’s lost+found directory.

        • GCC Compiler Support Posted For Intel AMX

          Building upon Intel working on GNU toolchain support for AMX, the newly-detailed Advanced Matrix Extensions being introduced next year with “Sapphire Rapids” Xeon CPUs, the GCC compiler support has been sent out in patch form.

          On top of the GNU bits that began at the end of June following Intel publishing documentation on AMX, AMX started landing in LLVM too a few days ago. The latest is AMX enablement for the GNU Compiler Collection sent out overnight.

        • 9 open source test-automation frameworks

          A test-automation framework is a set of best practices, common tools, and libraries that help quality-assurance testers assess the functionality, security, usability, and accessibility of multiple web and mobile applications. In a “quick-click” digital world, we’re accustomed to fulfilling our needs in a jiffy. This is one reason why the software market is flooded with hundreds of test-automation frameworks.

          Although teams could build elaborate automated testing frameworks, there’s usually little reason to spend the money, resources, and person-hours to do so when they can achieve equal or even better results with existing open source tools, libraries, and testing frameworks.

        • Profile-guided optimization in Clang: Dealing with modified sources

          Profile-guided optimization (PGO) is a now-common compiler technique for improving the compilation process. In PGO (sometimes pronounced “pogo”), an administrator uses the first version of the binary to collect a profile, through instrumentation or sampling, then uses that information to guide the compilation process.

          Profile-guided optimization can help developers make better decisions, for instance, concerning inlining or block ordering. In some cases, it can also lead to using obsolete profile information to guide compilation. For reasons that I will explain, this feature can benefit large projects. It also puts the burden on the compiler implementation to detect and handle inconsistencies.

          This article focuses on how the Clang compiler implements PGO, and specifically, how it instruments binaries. We will look at what happens when Clang instruments source code during the compilation step to collect profile information during execution. Then, I’ll introduce a real-world bug that demonstrates the pitfalls of the current approach to PGO.

          [...]

          Clang and GCC both support using obsolete profile information to guide the compilation process. If a function body changes, obsolete information is ignored. This feature can be beneficial for large projects, where gathering profile information is costly. This puts an extra burden on the compiler implementation to detect and handle inconsistencies, which also increases the likelihood of a compiler bug.

        • Perl/Raku

          • CY’s Take on PWC#067

            This is a part of Perl Weekly Challenge(PWC) and the followings are related to my solutions.

            [...]

            The discussion of Perl 7 in blogs.perl.org # was so hot last week made me too shy to write PWC experience (stop, it’s just an excuse!).

            Some discussions were quite technical for a beginner. Anyway as a beginning coder in Perl 5, I would add “use warnings” in my final coding stage from now on to prepare for the change.

          • It was bound to happen.

            While I don’t actually work in Perl these days, and not by choice, I still keep an eye on the community. The language is chugging along nicely. Perl 6 is out, so at least that joke has died down, features are being added, some beneficiary, some not. All is well in perland.

            Then the news dropped. Perl 7. I was very interested. More so when I realised that it was a rebranding of the latest Perl. First, let me say one thing right off the bat. It’s a good call. I’m all for it. In fact, I’m so all for it that I called for it in a post from 2011. At the time I suggested using codenames like Apple and others do, or to rebrand Perl 5.14 (at the time) as Perl 14 like Java did.

            Here’s why I thought, and still do, that this “rebranding” is a Good Thing:

            It bypass the whole perl5/per6 story. With perl 6 not being perl anymore and Perl 5.32 being rebranded Perl 7 the community will be able to finally move past this whole deal.

        • Python

        • Rust

          • GStreamer Rust bindings 0.16.0 release

            A new version of the GStreamer Rust bindings, 0.16.0, was released.

            As usual this release follows the latest gtk-rs release.

            This is the first version that includes optional support for new GStreamer 1.18 APIs. As GStreamer 1.18 was not released yet, these new APIs might still change. The minimum supported version of the bindings is still GStreamer 1.8 and the targetted GStreamer API version can be selected by applications via feature flags.

            Apart from this, new version features mostly features API cleanup and the addition of a few missing APIs. The focus of this release was to make usage of GStreamer from Rust as convenient and complete as possible.

          • Set up Vim as your Rust IDE

            Text editors and integrated development environment (IDE) tools make writing Rust code easier and quicker. There are many editors to choose from, but I believe the Vim editor is a great fit for a Rust IDE. In this article, I’ll explain how to set up Vim for Rust application development.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • H.266/VVC Standard Finalized With ~50% Lower Size Compared To H.265

      The Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard is now firmed up as H.266 as the successor to H.265/HEVC.

      H.266/VVC has been in the works for several years by a multitude of organizations. The schedule had been aiming for finalizing the standard by July 2020.

    • DSA Is Past Its Prime

      DSA is not only broken from an engineering point of view, though, it’s also cryptographically weak as deployed. The strength of an N-bit DSA key is approximately the same as that of an N-bit RSA key4, and modern cryptography has painstakingly moved away from 1024-bit RSA keys years ago considering them too weak. Academics computed a discrete logarithm modulo a 795-bit prime last year. NIST 800-57 recommends lengths of 2048 for keys with security lifetimes extending beyond 2010. The LogJam attack authors estimated the cost of breaking a 1024-bit DLP to be within reach of nation-states in 2015.5 And yet, DSA with keys larger than 1024 bits is not really a thing!

    • Email Isn’t Broken, Email Clients Are!

      You wouldn’t say “the Web” is broken (or HTTP for those reading who happen to be technologists). Actually some of you (of the HTTPS all-the-things variety) might but that’s beside the point. The real problem with email is managing the massive volume received in a way that’s relatively sane. You can’t fix this problem at the protocol level, it’s an application-level problem. The only real solution to dealing with massive amounts of email is automation (maybe even massive amounts of it). The uninitiated might be shocked to realize how much preprocessing their email messages undergo before they make it to the inbox, researching spam filtering is a great way to get a glimpse into what’s happening, but it’s not enough because it’s not personalized in a way that’s truly effective for the end-user.

  • Leftovers

    • Claudia Conway Says Her Parents Are Trying to Silence Her

      That said, Claudia emphasized that she’s taken time to educate herself on social and political issues, and has formed her own opinion independent of her mother’s work. “I believe that ignorance stems from a lack of education and a lack of knowledge,” she told Insider. “And I believe knowledge is power.”

    • Science

      • Chicken Origins Established (But Philosophical Questions Remain)

        The domesticated chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus, is the most numerous domestic animal and a preferred source of animal protein. Chicken domestication has been thought (based on traditional measures) to have arisen in the Holocene (beginning ~11,650 years ago) from related species subspecies of wild jungle fowl, including five subspecies of red jungle fowl (RJF): G. g. gallus, G. g. spadiceus, G. g. jabouillei, G. g. murghi, and G. g. bankiva, using traditional morphological methods of comparison. But these methodologies have been stymied (with regard to a definitive determination regarding which of these subspecies was the progenitor) because there are no features of the bone morphology that distinguish one subspecies from another.

        Recently, an international group of researchers published a paper entitled “863 genomes reveal the origin and domestication of chicken” in Cell Research (2020). This paper provides data consistent with modern domestic chickens being descendants of one of these subspecies, Gallus gallus spadiceus, which today exists in Southwestern China, northern Thailand and Myanmar. However, these studies also showed that as chickens were “translocated” through South and Southeast Asia in association with human dispersal there arose interbreeding with local red jungle fowl subspecies and other species. As a consequence, the White Leghorn chicken (the predominant commercially important breed) is a genetic mosaic of ancestries from other RJF subspecies.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus

        The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century.

      • ‘Completely Out of Control’: China Says ‘US Epidemic’ Threat to Rest of the World

        ‘In the coming fall and winter, the US epidemic will likely run rampant, and more countries and regions will be forced to suffer because of the US.’

      • Coronavirus Is Creating a Crisis of Energy Insecurity

        As the nation remains in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, a more insidious crisis is taking root as households are unable to pay their energy bills, risking serious health consequences and increasing debt, while federal and state governments fail to adequately protect vulnerable families.

      • Minor League Teams Could Be Latest Casualties of COVID’s Disaster Capitalism

        No Minor League season. Teams releasing players. Some team owners continue to pay Minor League players, while others convey “tough luck” sentiments and cut the players off. More than 40 Minor League teams to be eliminated; untold damage for local economies as a result. This is our new reality in the age of COVID-19.

      • Trump Rushed to Reopen America. Now Covid is Closing in on Him

        Rubbish. The Labor Department gathered the data during the week of June 12, when America was reporting 25,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day. By the time the report was issued last week, that figure was 55,000.

      • Scientists Say Coronavirus is Airborne

        The scientists say the coronavirus is airborne, meaning virus particles can hover in the air in indoor spaces and infect people when the particles are inhaled.

        The WHO has said the virus is spread through larger respiratory droplets from an infected person’s coughs and sneezes, but which drop out of the air quickly because of their size.

      • IP Federation celebrates 100th birthday by fighting COVID-19 and improving social mobility [Ed: A monopoly federation quick to exploit pandemic for self-serving purposes; in reality, its work harms work towards solving pandemics, but who cares about the truth?]

        In 1920, the Spanish flu was raging its final battle against the world. By the end of 1920, it had infected a third of the world’s population (an estimated 500 million people) and killed 50 million. Europe was seeing a rise of far-right radicalized political movements. In August 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the US Constitution giving women the right to vote, although it would be decades later when that right would be afforded to all women. The boom of economies in the 1920s would soon come to an end, with Black Tuesday leading to the Great Depression. Though many people didn’t know it when the Paris Peace Conference ended, another world war was just around the corner. At the same time, the world witnessed great leaps in progress in science, technology and the arts. By the end of the 1920s, the world would benefit from Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, the first liquid-fueled rocket, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Winnie-the-Pooh. And on 23 April 1920, the IP Federation (previously known as the less catchy Trade Marks Patents and Designs Federation) was established.

        Through world wars, unimaginable technological and social progress, protest and political upheaval, the IP Federation has been steadfastly devoted to representing the views of UK industry in IPR policy and practice within the EU, the UK and globally. It has operated on the belief that an efficient and strong IP system will foster innovations and creation for the benefit of society. That IP can solve and promote solutions that solve the world’s pressing issues from climate change to a global pandemic.

        The centenary of the IP Federation has coincided with as challenging a time for the world as that faced by its predecessors in 1920. The IP Federation and its members have been tirelessly navigating the COVID-19 crisis – its impact on the lives and well-being of its members and society and its toll on the economy. If one reads some mainstream press, you might be forgiven in thinking that IP is the roadblock to finding a vaccine.

      • Whistleblower Lawsuit: Tamiflu Maker Won $1.4B Contract after Deceiving the FDA about Drug’s Pandemic Effectiveness
      • French medics sue over mask, equipment shortages amid virus

        A collective of French health care workers said Thursday it is seeking a broad legal inquiry into France’s failure to protect its members and their colleagues by providing adequate masks, gloves and other protective equipment as the coronavirus swept across the country.

        The professional association, Collectif Inter Urgences, (Inter-Emergencies Collective), said it was filing a four-count civil complaint alleging manslaughter, involuntary harm, voluntary failure to prevent damage and endangering the life of others.

      • Crunch, crunch: Africa’s locust outbreak is far from over

        The crunch of young locusts comes with nearly every step. The worst outbreak of the voracious insects in Kenya in 70 years is far from over, and their newest generation is now finding its wings for proper flight.

        The livelihoods of millions of already vulnerable people in East Africa are at stake, and people like Boris Polo are working to limit the damage. The logistician with a helicopter firm is on contract with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, helping to find and mark locust swarms for the targeted pesticide spraying that has been called the only effective control.

        “It sounds grim because there’s no way you’re gonna kill all of them because the areas are so vast,” he told The Associated Press from the field in northwestern Kenya on Thursday. “But the key of the project is to minimize” the damage, and the work is definitely having an effect, he said.

      • As home births rise in Nepal, so do fears for maternal health

        Home births are rising in Nepal as fewer pregnant women visit hospitals, fuelling fears that the coronavirus pandemic could reverse years of progress on maternal health in the South Asian nation.

        The government says less than half of pregnancies are now taking place in health facilities, compared with about 70 percent before coronavirus lockdowns began in March. A separate survey of health facilities across Nepal, conducted by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in April, found that visits by pregnant women had dropped as much as 50 percent.

        Health experts say the trend is driven by fears of contracting the virus – among both mothers and health workers – as well as transportation shortages and health facility closures during lockdowns.

        In June, Nirmala Joshi, 24, walked two hours to her nearest hospital in Baitadi, a mountainous district in Nepal’s remote far west, for her first prenatal check-up.

        “I was scared to go to the hospital, but I had no choice: I wanted to have an ultrasound and see if the baby was doing OK,” she told The New Humanitarian by phone through an interpreter.

        “My friends told me not to go, that with Covid it wasn’t safe,” said Joshi, who is four months pregnant with her first child. “They told me that they had their babies without doing checkups and all of them were fine, but my sister-in-law said I have to come.”

        Health experts say convincing more women to give birth in hospitals and clinics has been crucial to reducing maternal deaths in recent years. But fears about the coronavirus, along with access problems and reduced health services, could see progress rolled back in Nepal and across the globe.

      • Now More Than Ever

        The virus didn’t break the United States. It found a broken country, and then dug its boot into cracked glass.

        Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, articles have explained that—now, more than ever—we should listen to serious experts, shop locally, think globally, appreciate teachers, practice self-care, look after our brand’s identity, foster a positive workplace culture, and donate to [highly endowed university X]. The list, of course, goes on.
        The rise of now-more-than-ever-ism is an understandable reaction to crisis. When the world is falling apart, it’s a relief to hold onto the familiar. And there are plenty of instances where the last few months have either brought into focus or accelerated preexisting trends. Long before COVID-19 was a glimmer in a pangolin’s eye, Americans were laying the groundwork for a response that would sacrifice supposedly “essential” workers, keep the stock market booming while employment cratered, and still couldn’t stop a wave of mass death. The virus didn’t break the United States. It found a broken country, and then dug its boot into cracked glass.
        But it’s not a sign of intellectual weakness to acknowledge that a once-in-a-century (we hope) catastrophe might not fit precisely with the way you thought about the world six months ago. Double-digit unemployment rates that toss millions of people off their healthcare plans are a tragic illustration of the need for Medicare for All. Yet as I’m writing this, the U.S. per capita death rate is still lower than in much of Western Europe, despite our bungled response and their comparatively generous welfare states.
        And coronavirus has done more than clarify what’s already here. It’s transforming the country, too, in ways that nobody can predict. Just think about the race for the White House. Maybe the crisis will open the gates for a new New Deal, with Joe Biden as our unlikely FDR. But it’s just easy to picture the former senator from Mastercard following in the footsteps of Warren Harding, a seat-filler who tried to put history on pause after promising a return to normalcy in the wake of the Spanish flu. And somehow, it’s still possible to imagine Donald Trump sticking around for four more years.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • How you get multiple TLS certificate chains from a server certificate

            However, several certificates can have the same keypair and X.509 Subject Name, provided that other attributes differ. One such attribute is the issuer that signed them (including whether this is a self-signed CA root certificate). So the first thing is that having more than one certificate for an issuer is generally required to get multiple chains. If you only have one certificate for each issuer, you can pretty much only build a single chain.

            There are three places that these additional certificates for an issuer can come from; they can be sent by the server, they can be built into your certificate store in advance, or they can be cached because you saw them in some other context. The last is especially common with browsers, which often cache intermediate certificates that they see and may use them in preference to the intermediate certificate that a TLS server sends. Other software is generally more static about what it will use. My guess is that we’re unlikely to have multiple certificates for a single CA root issuer, at least for modern CAs and modern root certificate sets as used by browsers and so on. This implies that the most likely place to get additional issuer certificates is from intermediate certificates sent by a server.

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 204 – What Would Apple Do?

            Josh and Kurt talk about some recent security actions Apple has taken. Not all are good, but in general Apple is doing things to benefit their customers (their customers are not advertisers). We also discuss some of the challenges when your customers are advertisers.

          • Security 101: Encryption, Hashing, and Encoding

            Encoding is a manner of transforming some data from one representation to another in a manner that can be reversed. This encoding can be used to make data pass through interfaces that restrict byte values (e.g., character sets), or allow data to be printed, or other transformations that allow data to be consumed by another system. Some of the most commonly known encodings include hexadecimal, Base 64, and URL Encoding.

            Reversing encoding results in the exact input given (i.e., is lossless), and can be done deterministically and requires no information other than the data itself. Lossless compression can be considered encoding in any format that results in an output that is smaller than the input.

            While encoding may make it so that the data is not trivially recognizable by a human, it offers no security properties whatsoever. It does not protect data against unauthorized access, it does not make it difficult to be modified, and it does not hide its meaning.

            Base 64 encoding is commonly used to make arbitrary binary data pass through systems only intended to accept ASCII characters. Specifically, it uses 64 characters (hence the name Base 64) to represent data, by encoding each 6 bits of raw data as a single output character. Consequently, the output is approximately 133% of the size of the input. The default character set (as defined in RFC 4648) includes the upper and lower case letters of the English alphabet, the digits 0-9, and + and /. The spec also defines a “URL safe” encoding where the extra characters are – and _.

          • Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in June 2020

            One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security.

            But whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into seemingly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, php7.0, and thunderbird), Fedora (ceph, gssdp, gupnp, libfilezilla, libldb, mediawiki, python-pillow, python36, samba, and xpdf), Mageia (curl, docker, firefox, libexif, libupnp, libvncserver, libxml2, mailman, ntp, perl-YAML, python-httplib2, tcpreplay, tomcat, and vlc), openSUSE (chocolate-doom, python3, and Virtualbox), Slackware (libvorbis), and SUSE (mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, systemd, tomcat, and zstd).

          • macOS Security Failure – Apple’s ‘fix’ doesn’t work

            Security vulnerability means standard accounts can read all files on the Mac hard drive – and Apple’s ‘fix’ didn’t fix it

          • Home router warning: They’re riddled with known flaws and run ancient, unpatched Linux [Ed: Right now ZDNet blames “Linux” for people not keeping routers up to date. This is typical CBS tabloid practice.]
          • Wladimir Palant: Dismantling BullGuard Antivirus’ online protection

            Just like so many other antivirus applications, BullGuard antivirus promises to protect you online. This protection consists of the three classic components: protection against malicious websites, marking of malicious search results and BullGuard Secure Browser for your special web surfing needs. As so often, this functionality comes with issues of its own, some being unusually obvious.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • NSA Issues VPN Security Guidance

              The document came in two flavors: a guide to securing VPNs and a version with more detailed configuration examples. It warned that many VPN vendors provide cryptography suites and IPsec policies pre-configured for their devices, along with extra ones for compatibility. The Internet Security Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) and the IPsec policy define how VPNs should authenticate each other, manage their security associations, and generate their keys at different phases of a VPN connection.

              “If either of these phases is configured to allow obsolete cryptography, the entire VPN will be at risk, and data confidentiality might be lost,” the document warned.

            • LinkedIn and Reddit Are The Latest Apps Found to be Snooping On Your Clipboards

              LinkedIn and Reddit aren’t the only apps that have been caught copying clipboard contents. Researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk have published a list of more than 50 iOS apps that do the same thing. One of the apps that caught the most attention on the list was TikTok, which isn’t exactly a privacy role model.

            • Reddit says it’s fixing code in its iOS app that copied clipboard contents

              Reddit says it’s releasing a fix for a piece of code that copied contents from users’ clipboards. Users in a beta version of iOS 14, which sends an alert when an app tries to copy clipboard information, reported receiving the alerts with each keystroke in Reddit’s iOS app.

            • LinkedIn says it will stop repeatedly copying iOS clipboard

              The behavior was discovered thanks to a new privacy feature in iOS 14, which is currently in a limited beta for developers. The operating system now notifies users when an app copies something from another app or device. This has led to people spotting questionable behavior from apps that appear to copy clipboard contents with every keystroke.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • As ‘Annexation’ Looms, Let’s Expand Our Compassion to Include Palestinians

        Since we are able to accept the suffering of others when we dehumanize them, we must start with the simple recognition that Palestinians are fully human.

      • US News Falsely Reports That North Korea Threatened to Nuke US

        Does this statement made by the North Korean government sound like a threat to launch a nuclear strike on the US?

      • Don’t Let Erdogan Erase Turkey’s Christian Past

        Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia was, for nearly 1,000 years, the largest and most important house of Christian worship in the world until it was converted into mosque in the 15th century. The building, now a museum, is still filled with priceless Christian mosaics and frescoes. It is also one of the most contested religious buildings in the world.

      • Christian Man Shot for Living in a “Muslim Neighborhood” in Pakistan Dies

        In the June 4 attack, Joseph was shot twice in his stomach. Joseph’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law were both shot once in the shoulder and in the leg. All three were admitted to local hospital where Joseph succumb to his wounds on June 30.

      • The 53 countries supporting China’s crackdown on Hong Kong

        Supporting: China, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, UAE, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

      • Al-Shabab Militants Abduct, Kill Somali Lawmaker

        A regional Somali lawmaker has been abducted and killed by al-Shabab militants near the town of Bal’ad, 30 kilometers north of Mogadishu.

      • Military chief: Troops were issued bayonets in DC unrest

        The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has confirmed a report by The Associated Press that some of the service members who were mobilized to Washington, D.C., last month in response to civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd were issued bayonets. Defense documents obtained by the AP show some were not trained in riot response.

        Members of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, which is based in D.C. and typically guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, were mobilized last month to respond to massive protests over the treatment of Black Americans and systemic issues of police brutality. But the troops were never actually sent to the protests after they arrived.

      • The 25 crises that shaped history

        From war and genocide, to disaster and disease; from insect invasion and terrorism, to election violence and economic collapse: humanitarian crises have come in all forms over the last quarter century.

        Some have been confined within state borders; others have destabilised entire regions. Some have killed hundreds of thousands of people in an instant; others have displaced communities over generations. Some make global headlines and draw immense funding; others fly under the radar of international interest. What they have in common is that they all influenced the evolution of the humanitarian sector and continue to shape our collective history.

        We went back through our reporting and chose 25 crises that most defined our world. A look back on why these crises mattered then, and why they still matter today, reveals the magnitude of the problems that humanitarians are called upon to address and suggests ways we might address the crises of the future.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Rashida Tlaib Tweets Solidarity with Palestinian Terrorist

        The post Tlaib retweeted to her one million followers falsely claimed that the terrorist, Ahmed Erekat, 27, was tragically killed for no reason by the Israeli police. Erekat was the nephew of Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority and secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.

        Besides the fact that in many of the car rammings carried out by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians and military personnel, the terrorist gets out of his car after he crashes into people and continues his attack with a knife or machete, this terrorist actually left a virtual suicide note behind: [...]

    • Finance

      • How Ottawa is Driving Up the Cost of Infrastructure by Listening to Wall Street
      • Supreme Court Could Soon Show Us Why Trump Is Refusing to Share His Tax Returns

        The Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases regarding access to President Donald Trump’s tax filings soon. At the heart of the cases: Can House committees and a New York grand jury subpoena financial institutions for Trump’s personal and business tax filings?

      • The Relational Economy

        Both romantic and working relationships are under extraordinary pressure. Can we seize this moment to reclaim our hearts from our jobs?

        “The fact is, we take home to work and we take work home. Love and work are the two pillars of our life . . . Sigmund Freud said it before me: in both we experience a sense of identity, a sense of belonging, a sense of continuity, and—hopefully—a sense of self-worth and fulfillment.” So says Esther Perel, probably our most famous relationship therapist. The Belgian daughter of concentration camp survivors has garnered more than 20 million views for her TED talks, and her book Mating in Captivity has been translated into twenty-five languages. More importantly, she’s the host of two extraordinary podcasts, where she takes you inside real therapy sessions, anonymized but excruciatingly raw.

        The first, Where Should We Begin?, is about romantic relationships. In each episode, listeners eavesdrop as Perel advises couples on how to rekindle the spark, sort through the wreckage left after infidelity, and navigate a host of other problems. Since the advent of the coronavirus, she’s released a new series on the podcast, “Couples Under Lockdown,” looking at the extraordinary pressures that tight quarters and a lack of freedom place on our most intimate bonds.
        Her most recent podcast, How’s Work?, takes the same shape—anonymous therapy sessions—but instead of romantic partners, she’s talking to pairs of coworkers about their relationships on the job. In doing so, she not only gives us a little frisson of voyeurism but lays bare a multitude of dysfunctional attitudes toward work.

        I listened to Where Should We Begin? in the wake of a major breakup, yet I felt flayed open by How’s Work? in an entirely different way. Romantic relationships, after all, aren’t the only ones in our lives; often, as Perel points out a few times over the eleven episodes, they actually take a back seat to the relationships at our jobs, where we spend the majority of our time. But according to Perel, romantic relationships and working relationships have something else in common: both are under extraordinary pressure in this particular phase of capitalism.

      • Work in the Time of Coronavirus

        Since March, we have been collecting short stories about what workers are facing during the crisis, and how they have been fighting back. You can read eight of them here.

        Food service and retail workers in North Carolina, organizing with NC Raise Up, the local chapter of the Fight for $15, are on strike today after being deemed “essential workers” yet treated as anything but. Jamila Allen, who works at regional fast food chain Freddy’s, told me she’s striking “because we need healthcare for everybody.”

        At Freddy’s, she said, only the drive-thru is currently open and the workers have been given some cleaning supplies, but she’s heard from others that they’re being denied the basics. It’s been a year since she’s been part of the Raise Up campaign, and she worries about family members without access to healthcare. “Paid sick leave is also something that we need,” she said. “Not just the coronavirus but if somebody just gets a cold or the flu or whatever, they have to be out of a job with no pay.”

        Other workers, she said, have had their time cut back—she’s one of the longest-standing workers at her store, so she is essential, but others are losing hours, which means losing money. The drive-thru remains busy, she said. “A lot of people are still coming but a lot of those people might have the virus. They might be scared of me because a lot of people keep their windows rolled up every day. I have to touch money every day. Even though I might have gloves, a lot of people touch money. That’s the part that really scares me.” She also worries about using public transit in this time. “I ride the bus. Just in case somebody has the coronavirus, they don’t know that they have it, they touch something on the bus, and I have to get on the bus and then go to work with my coworkers and other people in the drive-thru.”

      • Unsteady Work

        The literature of work is a literature of belonging. In novels and memoirs set in the cubicles of twenty-first-century offices, there is a struggle between the embrace of the collective and the conflicting desires and incentives of the individuals within it, between diving into a well-developed, gossip-rich office culture and bearing down on the more difficult task of defining the self. The works that makes up this genre are often coming of age stories, in which a company gives the narrator a trajectory, a vocabulary, and a context—the building blocks of a life—and only slowly, devastatingly, do they begin to discover the limits of their new identities.

        Everyone has their place in an office. They are the employee who once mistakenly sent a reply-all talking trash about a coworker, or the staffer obsessed with upgrading to a better model of swivel chair (as one character is in Joshua Ferris’s 2007 office novel Then We Came to the End). They are the CEO, or the CTO, or the VP of social impact. Some of them are simply, terrifyingly, “HR.” All the team-building exercises do, in fact, bring everyone together, even if only by giving them something to disdain collectively. Work enters every aspect of the employees’ identities. They start to dress the same way, listen to the same music, use the same industry slang and buzzwords, and measure their lives against the same systems of value. Nothing can harm them—except layoffs.

        Still, the office novel only scratches the surface of work’s complex bearing on a life, a self. It is not exactly concerned with the office so much as with salaried employment. Its heroes are college-educated knowledge workers in buoyant job markets. They have W-2s and good benefits. They can afford to worry about their levels of satisfaction and to discern existential questions in the rhythms of well-remunerated daily life. Much of this experience will be a distant memory to those workers who’ve pivoted into more precarious freelance work over the past few decades, the legions of independent contractors and permalancers who perform many of the same functions as staff and contribute to the same bottom line, but without the same inclusion in the organization.

        For those who string together gigs in the sharing economy or perform microtasks on platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, the white-collar employee’s genteel ironies—oh the free snacks, the lavish corporate-bonding retreats—are as relatable as The Age of Innocence. The central experience of work in the twenty-first century is one of instability. And yet that experience is largely unrecorded in contemporary fiction.
        Hilary Leichter’s Temporary is the rare novel that reckons with unsteady work. If the book is a surreal, absurd, sometimes self-defeating entry in the office genre, that is because temporary work is all those things. “I have a shorthand kind of career,” the opening pages declare. “Short tasks, short stays, short skirts.” The wry unnamed narrator progresses from placement to placement, bolstering her résumé and attempting to fake it until she makes it. She lives by an inspirational quote—“Nothing is more personal than doing your job”—which she also identifies as nonsense she got from the back of a granola packet. Landing a permanent job here has little to do with good work or persistence. The characters term the ascent to a staff position “the steadiness” and talk about it in mystical tones. It’s an elusive state: the narrator’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother each spent a lifetime “filling in,” never advancing beyond temp status.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Eugene Debs’s Independence Day Address

        On July 4, 1901, socialist luminary and labor agitator Eugene V. Debs proclaimed in a fiery speech: “I like the Fourth of July. It breathes a spirit of revolution.” We reprint the fiercely anticapitalist address here in full.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Censors board destroys uncensored films worth N25million in Jos, Bauchi

        “The Board is sending a clear message to those engaged in the business of producing unclassified and uncensored films and video works to henceforth desist from such activities as there is no hiding place for them anymore.”

        He informed that the Board has trained over 150 in various Police colleges to combat the activities of these criminals, commending the Nigeria Police for collaborating with the Board to satitise the market.

        Thomas noted that filmmakers have no excuse not to censor their movies, as the Board has introduced virtual censorship of films to help filmmakers censor their works even during this lockdown. The censorship and issuance of certificate, according to him, is now done in one week.

      • In Russia, portraying women’s bodies can get you arrested

        The pornography charge came after the police discovered a group called “The Vagina Monologues” (named after Eve Ensler’s play) that Tsvetkova founded and moderated on Russian social media network VKontakte, which encourages women “to remove the stigma around the vagina and female physiology in general.” She says that she posted most of the content, which was all created by other people.

        Tsvetkova, who lives in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in a part of Siberia that used to house Gulag labor camps, says police searched her apartment last November, and that they seized computer equipment and documents.

        “There were lots of questions and then they found my work on the Internet and understood how they could make this case,” she said. “It’s a pretty common scheme: the police search for what crime they can find in the activist’s work and then open a case.”

        She is currently forbidden to leave her town or change address and is waiting for a court date.

      • A Young Lawyer Is Acquitted Of Political Charges In Iran, Helped By Social Media

        Mohammad Ali Kamfiroozi was tried on charges of “insulting” the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, but in fact his only asked if the top leader can be questioned or not.

        While confirming his acquittal, Kamfirouzi tweeted on Saturday, July 4, that he should be happy for the verdict but “has a guilty conscience,” knowing that students across the clergy-dominated Iran who were convicted only for writing “a few articles, participating in protest rallies and chanting slogans.”

        Many social media users have attributed the young lawyer’s acquittal to widespread reactions and condemnations to the initial verdict on social media.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • White Men in Suits, Original Sin, and Rumplestiltskin
      • Police Reform Hasn’t Stopped the Killings Before. It Won’t Now Either.

        President Trump signed an executive order on police reform this June that was more a defense of policing than an indictment. Democrats assembled in their usual formation to say it did not go far enough. But amid crystal-clear calls from protesters in the streets to defund the police, there is bipartisan agreement among national politicians to do just the opposite: fund them. As presumptive Democratic candidate and major architect of mass incarceration Joe Biden said recently, “Every single police department should have the money they need to institute real reforms.”

      • Hitler’s Ideologues: The U.S. Racism that Bore Fruit in Mein Kampf
      • Far Right Reading List Shows Link Between Its Literature and Real-World Violence

        On May 4, far right personalities Milo Yiannopoulos and Michelle Malkin published what they call their “America First” reading list as a Google Doc that they then promoted through their social media accounts. Yiannopoulos has recently gained attention for promoting conspiracy theories about both COVID-19 and the recent anti-police brutality protests across the United States. Malkin, who might be best known for writing a book arguing that Japanese internment during World War II was justified, has similarly promoted dangerous disinformation about COVID-19 and reduced Movement for Black Lives protesters to “invaders [and] ransackers.” None of this is out of character for a pair whose recommended reading list is rife with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, paranoid invasion fantasies, and at least one prominent fascist philosopher who explicitly denied the notion that he should rely on empirical evidence.

      • Racism Is Real. But Science Isn’t the Problem

        The claim that science per se is not racist is not the claim that no scientists are racist; nor that physicists of color never experience racism inside or outside of academia. My own PhD supervisor, who happened to be black, advised me that if I rented an apartment in the Boston neighborhood of Bunker Hill (as I considered doing for a short time), he wouldn’t feel safe visiting me. But such personal experiences, awful as they are, don’t primarily explain the under-representation of minorities in academic departments. The more fundamental problem isn’t the culture of science, but rather that many people of color get driven away long before they might experience this culture in the first place.

        Between 1993 and 2005, I was chair of a university physics department in Cleveland, Ohio. The dismal situation in many inner-city Cleveland public schools struck me as a disgrace. At one point, when we renovated our building, I got permission to send some of our older elementary physics equipment to a nearby local, primarily black, public high school. In spite of the special nature of the school, which was for gifted students, it didn’t even have enough science textbooks to go around.

        When I went to talk to students at a local inner-city school where my ex-wife volunteered, the children asked me what a scientist did. They didn’t have the slightest idea of what trajectory they could take to become one themselves, or whether it involved education beyond high school. The topic seemed so alien as to be beyond any of their realistic aspirations. Situations such as this remain common in many areas of the United States. And as long as they persist, there is little likelihood that the demographics of PhD scientists will reflect the underlying population.

      • ‘Common sense, not patriotism, wins’ Interview with the Russian journalist facing six years in prison for allegedly ‘justifying terrorism’

        On July 3, prosecutors in the case against Radio Svoboda journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva — who stands accused of justifying terrorism — made their sentencing recommendation to the military court that will decide her fate: six years in a correctional labor facility. A ruling is expected on Monday, July 6. The investigation against Prokopyeva began more than a year ago in February 2019, after she wrote an article about a terrorist attack against a Federal Security Service building in Arkhangelsk. In the text, Prokopyeva wrote that “the state itself raised” the generation now fighting against it. Ahead of Monday’s verdict, Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov spoke to Prokopyeva to find out how her trial has progressed in the past year and why she thinks Russia’s authorities have decided to make a public example of her.

      • Stone Mountain, Georgia: The Flashpoint Now at Center of Confederate Monument Removals

        The mountain, known for its massive Confederate memorial carving, was the location of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in 1915.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Software Update Brings Subscription based Functions-on-Demand to BMW Cars

        Consumers used to select options like an air conditioner or a satellite navigation system at the time of purchase, but now BMW will have the option to enable or disable some of the features by software depending on whether you pay for a subscription. This obviously does not include critical or safety functions like breaks or airbags, but currently you have to pay a subscription to use active cruise control and adaptive M suspension among others. Car companies will also have to way find to handle second-hand cars, as a new owner may not be able to access all advertised functions without paying extra.

        Connected cars will also offer challenges in the future, as potentially your car could refuse to start depending on your social credit score, alcohol/drugs blood level, driving habits, a missed payment on the car loan, etc… Governments may also decide to mandate auto-fining drivers who exceed speed limits, park in the wrong location, and so on.

    • Monopolies

      • Legislation Introduced in United States Concerning Semiconductor Manufacturing and Innovation

        The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act (CHIPS Act) has been introduced in Congress to reinvigorate U.S. chip manufacturing and innovation, particularly by pushing chip manufacturing back to the United States because of national security concerns. Steve Blank summarizes and discusses the current situation in the United States concerning national security, China and chip manufacturing, here.

        [...]

        Establishes a trust fund in the amount of $750M over ten years to be allocated upon reaching an agreement with foreign government partners to participate in a consortium in order to promote consistency in policies related to microelectronics, greater transparency in microelectronic supply chains, and greater alignment in policies towards non-market economies. To incentivize multilateral participation, a common funding mechanism is established to use this fund to support the development of secure microelectronics and secure microelectronics supply chains. A report to Congress is required for each year funding is available.

      • Around the IP Blogs

        The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act (CHIPS Act) has been introduced in Congress to reinvigorate U.S. chip manufacturing and innovation. The CHIPS Act pushes chip manufacturing back to the United States due of national security concerns. IP finance reported on the main provisions of the CHIPS Act.

      • ECHR gives content owners new tools in site-blocking war

        European Court of Human Rights ruling may force IP rights owners to seek additional resources in order to obtain blocking orders

      • Patents

        • ACI Advanced Summit on Life Sciences Patents Conference [Ed: People pretending that life and nature are "inventions", seek patent monopolies on those]

          • Exploring the Realities of the New USPTO Guidance on Section 101 to Uncover New Meaning of “Invention or Discoveries”

        • German UPC Ratification 2.0 – Can the quick fix be the solution?

          Lastly, one should not count out the Parliament in this one. In 2017, the ratification act was passed without a handful of members in attendance. Not necessarily a sign of disinterest but rather of consensus. With constitutional questions looming and a changed landscape of participants, it may not be so easy the next time around. Parlamentarians may wish to use this for a real debate on the project with an open outcome or a call for a clear proposal on how to deal with the UK‘s absence.

        • G 4/19: double patenting at the European Patent Office

          The pending referral G 4/19, from the appeal of T 318/14, seeks answers from the Enlarged Board of Appeal regarding the issue of double patenting at the European Patent Office (EPO). G 4/19 is a referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal under the provisions of Article 112(1) EPC, where an appeal board may refer a question, or set of questions, to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in order to ensure uniform application of the law (in the event of divergence of the case law) or where a point of law of fundamental importance arises.

          As of yet, no decision has been received from the Enlarged Board of Appeal in G 4/19. In this article, we will take a look at both the underlying patent application and the appeal which led to this referral. Furthermore, we look at the current status of the referral and consider what we may learn from the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s decision in G 4/19.

        • Digital documents and signatures in European patent practice

          With large numbers of patent attorneys and clients working remotely across the globe, the ability to substitute handwritten signatures and original documents with electronic equivalents has been a concern of many. In this article, we discuss the electronic filing of documents and digital signatures in European patent practice.

          Electronic filing of documents

          All documents other than priority documents may be filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) electronically using the different EPO online filing platforms – the Online Filing software, Case Management System (CMS) and web-form filing. However, authorisations may only be filed using the Online Filing software or CMS.

          Documents may also be filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) electronically via its website, or using the EPO’s Online Filing software.

          Under European patent practice, all documents filed with the EPO apart from annexes must be signed by the applicant or their representative. If the signature is missing, or if the document is signed by an unentitled person, the EPO will issue an invitation to sign the document within a specified time limit. If the time limit is met, the document retains its original filing date. For patent applications, if the time limit is not met but the signature is received before preparations are made for publication, the application will still retain its original filing date. Otherwise, the application is refused, or subsequently filed documents are considered to have not been received. Similarly, the UKIPO will issue an invitation to sign the request for grant, if the signature is missing.

        • EPO and CNIPA confirm stronger ties in the fight against COVID-19 [Ed: World Intellectual Property Review as propaganda machine of EPO]
        • Bee Revels in Patent Nod

          Mississauga, Ontario-based Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (TSX-Venture: BEE) told investors Thursday the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a patent for BVT’s Clonostachys rosea CR-7 microbial strain (CR-7), and there has been no opposition filed in the nine-month post-grant window which has now closed.

          This patent claims the usefulness of CR-7 as a plant treatment, thus protecting a critical component of BVT’s proprietary natural precision agriculture system, and has been further validated in 14 European countries, including Germany, France and the U.K.

        • What mice can teach patent attorneys about sufficiency

          Kymab’s win over Regeneron at the UK Supreme Court has lessons for pharma innovators on sufficiency, and could lead companies to reconsider trade secrets

        • Realfiction : Updates on the Development of its Patent Pending ECHO 3D Display Technology

          Realfiction Holding AB (“Realfiction”) announces that the company will develop a complete integration license package for its patent pending ECHO 3D display technology that includes all the technology and software solutions needed for integration into display products based on LCD or OLED technology. This next step in the development of ECHO follows a successful round of virtual meetings with flat screen industry entities, including a leading international research institute in Organic Electronics.

          [...]

          “Following the successful completion of the basic ECHO technology, we are now enhancing and finetuning its performance when paired with current display technologies such as LCD and OLED. Achieving a high fidelity, social (glasses-free, walk-around capacity) holographic 3D experience for multiple users has always been our aim for ECHO, and we are therefore truly excited to be able to take the technology to this level together with new and existing research partners. If we are successful in doing so, it will open many new and exciting possibilities, while of course also having a huge positive impact on the valuation of our ECHO IP portfolio,” says Realfiction’s CEO Clas Dyrholm.

        • G 3/19: plants produced by essentially biological processes are excluded from patentability

          The Enlarged Board of Appeal has handed down its decision regarding the allowability of product and product-by-process claims in which the product is exclusively obtained by an essentially biological process.

          The main judgment is as follows: “Taking into account developments after decisions G 2/12 and G 2/13 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the exception to patentability of essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals in Article 53(b) EPC has a negative effect on the allowability of product claims and product-by-process claims directed to plants, plant material or animals, if the claimed product is exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process or if the claimed process features define an essentially biological process”.

          Whilst this is not a favourable outcome for applicants, there is some positive news as the Enlarged Board of Appeal also decided that: “This negative effective does not apply to European patents granted before 1 July 2017 and European patent applications which were filed before that date and are still pending.”

          The reason for this distinction is that the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s current decision to change its previous interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC was based on new Rule 28(2) EPC, which came into force on this date.

        • Time to be demanding: getting additional value from the PCT patent application procedure

          In the context of obtaining patent protection in a number of territories around the world, this is often achieved via the use of an international PCT patent application.

          A PCT patent application must be applied for within 12 months of any first (priority) patent application made in respect of an invention. Once applied for, the PCT application then acts a single application from which any required national/regional patent applications can ultimately be pursued. The deadline for pursuing such national/regional patent applications, in most of the possible territories covered by the PCT procedure, is either 30 or 31 months from the underlying priority date of the PCT application. In essence therefore, one of the primary benefits of the PCT procedure is that it can effectively buy an additional 18 months of time before having to decide where to pursue any required patent protection (and incur the associated cost) overseas.

          Aside from buying time, another procedural benefit of the PCT patent procedure is that it includes the provision of an accompanying international search report and written opinion (ISA-WO), which provides the owner of the PCT patent application with an initial indication on the potential allowability of the invention outlined in the PCT application.

        • Valeo files 1,304 patents in 2019, ranked France’s second biggest

          12 new tech platforms
          Drawing on its experience and investments R&D, Valeo says it has perfected 12 new technological platforms to profoundly transform its product portfolio and cement its position as a world leader in vehicle electrification and driving assistance systems. Now operational, these platforms allow Valeo to begin reaping the rewards of its innovation strategy.

          Patents filed by Valeo in 2019 mainly concerned:
          - 48V electrical systems for affordable vehicle electrification and hybridisation and new forms of electric mobility, an area in which Valeo is now the pioneer and leader, accounting for 40% of global order intake;
          - Lighting systems, featuring in particular artificial intelligence;
          - Onboard telematics systems to locate vehicles and assist drivers;
          - Cleaning systems to ensure that the driving assistance sensors developed by Valeo, such as cameras and LiDARs, continue to operate optimally in all road conditions (rain, mud, fog, snow).

          In March, Valeo was also ranked France’s second biggest patent filer with the European Patent Office (EPO) for 2019, with 539 patents filed (37th worldwide).

        • Four ways IP lawyers can make stars shine in court

          Lawyers who represent celebrities explain how they navigate preconceived notions about their clients, and why they don’t want to litigate their cases in the press

        • Artificial Intelligence and its treatment in IP
        • Protecting inventions which use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

          Patents protect technical innovations and technical solutions to problems. They can offer broad legal protection for the technical concept you develop, albeit in exchange for disclosure of the invention.

          [...]

          All patent applications are drafted for the skilled person who in this context would be somebody skilled in the techniques of ML and AI, although not necessarily an expert. That is to say, it needs to be enough information to enable such a person to put the invention into effect.

          This should include technical information about features which provide an advantage over previous systems and clear identification of advantageous features and why they are advantageous. This will give your Patent Attorney the best possible chance of framing the invention in a way which convinces patent offices around the world to grant a patent.

          It is also advisable to include disclosure of at least one set of training data and details of how it has been trained.

          In the context of AI and ML it is particularly important to draw attention to technically advantageous features as some patent offices will need a lot of convincing to grant patents for these inventions.

        • Upadhye Cwik LLP celebrates its first anniversary as innovative IP/FDA law firm

          Upadhye Cwik LLP’s first year was busy and fruitful since opening in June 2019. The firm started with four experienced litigators in court cases and arbitrations involving claims of patent infringement, incorrect patent inventorship, false advertisement, unfair business practices, trademark infringement, antitrust violations, etc., as well as non-litigation or quasi-litigation matters before the PTO (such as inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews), FDA, FTC, EPO, ITC, and state attorney generals’ offices. We “punch above our weight,” zealously represent our clients assertively and efficiently, and provided, we believe, excellent and affordable legal representation and insightful and timely communications to our clients in the pharmaceutical, medical, chemical, biotechnology, electronics, and other technical fields.

        • European decision expands protections over aquafeeds

          A recent decision by the European Patent Office (EPO) should mean greater protection for aquafeed innovations, according to “SuperSmolt” technology owner STIM.

          The EPO has significantly expanded the patent rights held by STIM for its smoltification feed SuperSmolt FeedOnly, the firm said. Earlier this year STIM announced it was appealing the outcome of a recent court case with BioMar Group — despite winning the original.

          “Yesterday´s decision by EPO expands the range of feed ingredients that falls within patent protection, so that existing feeds imitating SuperSmolt FeedOnly now constitute infringements on the patent,” said STIM.

          “Further, EPO decided that the practical use of such feeds in itself is considered a breach of patent.”

          The company’s CEO, Jim-Roger Nordly, said he believed the company would “no longer need to spend our time and resources in order to defend” its feed patents.

        • Bee Vectoring Technologies Granted Patent by European Patent Office For Biological Fungicide CR-7

          Mississauga, Ontario and Sacramento, California–(Newsfile Corp. – July 2, 2020) – Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (TSXV: BEE) (OTCQB: BEVVF) (CVE: BEE) (the “Company” or “BVT”) today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a patent for BVT’s Clonostachys rosea CR-7 microbial strain (CR-7), and there has been no opposition filed in the nine month post-grant window which has now closed. This patent claims the usefulness of CR-7 as a plant treatment, thus protecting a critical component of BVT’s proprietary natural precision agriculture system, and has been further validated in 14 European countries (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, UK, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Turkey). The patent has previously been granted in six countries, and is under review by another nine patent authorities around the world.

          [...]

          The European patent grant (Patent Number EP3044307B1) recognizes the unique properties of BVT’s proven CR-7 strain as a plant-beneficial microbe that offers natural control of various plant diseases. It also protects CR-7 independently of its use as a biologic control agent vectored by bees, enabling the Company to also develop revenue streams in foliar sprays and seed treatments in the well-established traditional global fungicide market.

        • Bee Vectoring Technologies Granted Patent by European Patent Office For Biological Fungicide CR-7

          BVT is also pleased to announce it has closed a non-brokered private placement of 1,111,111 units (“Units“) at a price of $0.315 per Unit for gross aggregate proceeds of $349,999.96 (the “Offering“). Each Unit will consist of one common share (a “Share“) and one transferable common Share purchase warrant (a “Warrant“). Each Warrant will entitle the holder, on exercise, to purchase one additional Share for a period of 24 months following the closing, at an exercise price of CAD$0.525 per Share.

          Should the 10-day volume weight average price of the Shares, as traded on the TSX-V, be equal to or greater than a 100% premium to the Warrant exercise price prior to the expiry date of the applicable Warrants, the Company may accelerate the expiry date (“Accelerated Expiry Date“) of the Warrants by providing the Warrant holders with notice (the “Acceleration Notice“) of its election to do so. The Accelerated Expiry Date referenced in an Acceleration Notice may be no earlier than the 30th day from the date on which such Accelerated Expiry Date is delivered to the warrant holders. For greater certainty, the Acceleration Notice may not be delivered to the subscribers prior to the Warrant exercise date

        • Nullity judgment in Ranpak and Sprick paper technology dispute

          European patent EP 18 96 250 covers a design for paper technology for ‘Selectively tearable stock material for a dunnage conversion machine and method.’ The patent protects a design for perforated paper for a so-called dunnage conversion machine.

          [...]

          In 2015, the infringement proceedings began. Netherlands-based packaging solutions provider Ranpak faced German packaging system provider Sprick GmbH Bielefelder Papier at the Regional Court Düsseldorf (case no. 4a O 169/15) over the patent for paper technology. Ranpak claimed Sprick infringed the German part of EP 250.

          Ultimately, the court granted an injunction against Sprick. The court also ordered a claim for a rendering of accounts, recall of infringing products, destruction of infringing products, and damages.

          Sprick did not appeal the infringement decision. However, in 2015 Sprick also filed a nullity action at the German Federal Patent Court in Munich (case no. 4 Ni 7/17). This succeeded at first instance. However, Ranpak then appealed the nullity decision of the Munich court to the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (case no. X ZR 154/18). Following an oral hearing on 16 June, the court rejected the previous nullity decisions. The judges upheld the patent, albeit to a limited extent.

        • Software Patents

          • Essential guidance on patenting software-based inventions at the EPO – Part 2

            “The technical solution does not go beyond the concept of a mere automation of constraints imposed by the business related aspects”. The dreaded words are etched in the minds of anyone who prosecutes software patents in Europe. In our experience, examiners in certain fields such as fintech, e-commerce and advertising can swiftly resort to this kind of objection.

            Following on from our analysis of T 697/17 and the guidance to consider when drafting a new software related application, we analyse recent decision T 1749/14 and outline what steps you should take to increase your chances of success for patenting your software-based inventions at the EPO. Practice points are set out at the end of this article.

            [...]

            The closest prior art describes a cellular phone and docking module combination POS that does prompt user for a PIN. All the security relevant handling and encryption is done by the docking module, which belongs to the merchant. The applicant argued that this embodied the very security related problem of the customer having to provide his PIN and account number to a merchant device solved by the invention.

      • Trademarks

        • Rebranding a City: Milton Glaser and the Ubiquitous “I Love New York” Logo

          The “I Love New York” logo design is so ubiquitous that many believe that it resides squarely in the public domain for any/all to use. As it turns out, that is not the case. In fact, the logo – which was designed by Milton Glaser, a legendary graphic designer, in the late 1970s – is a registered trademark owned by the New York State Department of Economic Development. In 1977, William S. Doyle, the New York Deputy Commissioner enlisted a team of advertisers to help rebrand the state, and in particular, the city, in light of enduring strife. Among that group was Glaser, who – piggybacking on the slogan created by advertising executives Mary Wells Lawrence and Charlie Moss – came up with the now-widely famous “I Love New York” logo.

          [...]

          So, what is the state of the ubiquitous “I Love New York” logo some 40 years later? Well, it remains the property of the New York State Department of Economic Development, which maintains an arsenal of federal trademark registrations for the logo for use of a sweeping array of goods and services, and for various iterations of the original design. Such trademark rights are enduring, as the logo remains in use by New York State and the city to promote tourism and events, while also being licensed to third parties for related uses and in connection with numerous products, such as t-shirts and coffee mugs.

          Reflecting on the logo, itself, in an interview in 2008, Glaser said that the design “certainly changed things,” noting that even 30 years after its creation, it “appears every day with great frequency, and it has been used to fulfill its original intention to make the city attractive; to make people feel good about being here; or attract people from overseas and generate a sense of commitment and morale to the people who live here.”

      • Copyrights

        • The CJEU Brompton Bicycle case: a UK view

          As reported by IPKat, here, the CJEU delivered a judgment concerning the Brompton bicycle on 11 June 2020. This judgment has the potential to turn the world of design on its head because of the way the Court was prepared to grant copyright protection to product designs and, with it, the long term of intellectual property protection provided under copyright law. Specifically, the CJEU stated that copyright protects products whose shape is, at least in part, necessary to obtain a technical result, provided the design is original. It is interesting to consider how this decision could play out under UK copyright law.

          Under the UK’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, a functional product currently only enjoys copyright protection if it is a ‘work of artistic craftsmanship’. This is a rather quaint, limited and ill-defined category of products. They are articles that have been made by a person who is both a craftsman and an artist. Courts have rarely conferred copyright under this category; examples from Commonwealth courts include certain hand-knitted woolen sweaters, pottery and dinnerware. On the face of it, therefore, other designs that have to date only been entitled to the protection of design rights (or not even that) should enjoy the far longer protection of copyright law.

          [...]

          Product designers or manufacturers in the UK who wish to take advantage of the Brompton Bicycle judgment, so as to gain the benefit of a longer term of protection for their designs, would need to bring about amendment of UK copyright law. To achieve this, they would likely need to convince the UK government either that such a measure is legally necessary and/or resort to appropriate legal action to achieve the desired result.

          Despite the imminence of Brexit, there is still time, so product designers and manufacturers would do well to assess their options, based on sound legal advice, and take action accordingly.

        • Meet FitGirl, The Repack ‘Queen’ Of Pirated Games

          Repacked games are in high demand on pirate sites as they save considerable bandwidth. One of the leading names in this niche is FitGirl. In recent years, the Russian-born repacker transformed from a home archivist into the best-known releaser on the Internet. Today we unpack part of this fascinating story.

        • Pirate IPTV Crackdown Underway in England & Northern Ireland, Arrests Mount

          This week police in the UK targeted another IPTV provider, arresting a 24-year-old man. However, there are other cases too involving at least three arrests and the seizure of luxury vehicles. All targets were detained under suspicion of fraud and money laundering offenses.

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