Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Huawei’s ARM-based desktop PC could leave you scratching your head

        Part of the problem is Huawei’s replacement for Windows, a Linux-based Unity OS (not to be confused with Ubuntu’s Unity). While the OS itself performed smoothly, the apps running on it didn’t. The YouTuber even had to pay 800 RMB ($115) to get access to the UOS app store which had a very limited selection of software. Any Linux user would expect popular proprietary software like Microsoft Office and Adobe’s Creative apps to be absent but the store also strangely didn’t support running 32-bit programs either.

      • Librem 14 Launch FAQ

        There has been a lot of excitement ever since we announced the Librem 14 last week. There has also been quite a few questions. In this post we’ll go through some of the most Frequently Asked Questions for those of you still deciding whether to pre-order and take advantage of our $300 off sale…

      • “Borealis” may be the key to bringing Steam to Chromebooks but what is it?

        For months, we have been digging and theorizing about exactly how Google and Valve would bring “official” Steam support to Chrome OS. Based on conversations with Google’s product manager for Chrome OS, the developers at Google were working closely with Valve to build a Steam package that would leverage the same container technology use by Crostini which is used to deliver Linux apps to Chromebooks. I quickly presumed that this would mean an installation package for Steam that would simply install via .deb package or a terminal command in the native Debian Linux found on Chrome OS. It appears that I was wrong.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #355: Warp Two

        Hello and welcome to the 355th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts wrap up Field Day 2020 and then dive into other topics including: RSGB webinars, the WIA, the QSO Today Ham Expo, open-source COVID-19 tracking software, Linux Mint 20, ADS-B trackers for Raspberry Pi and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week out there.

      • #wiLinux Podcast: Amy Rich | Director of Engineering

        Amy Rich has been an Ops person for over 25 years at a variety of companies, helped ship Firefox to hundreds of millions of users, owned her own consulting business, helped organize multiple conferences for USENIX, and written professionally on the topic of UNIX systems administration.

      • #WOMENINLINUX Podcast: Amy Rich – Redox

        On this episode of the #WomenInLinux Podcast we have Amy Rich!


        In her head, she frames what she loves about her job as “bringing order from chaos.” Amy values being able to use her technical and professional skills to make a positive difference in the world.

        These days her job title reads “Sr. Director of DevOps” at Redox. and a member of the Board of Directors of the USENIX Association. In her spare time she’s a board/card game addict, Star Wars LEGO nerd, horrible guitar player, fan of music, books, and movies, and enjoy taking pictures of the places traveled.

      • #wiLinux Podcast: Denise Barreto | Community & Leadership

        Denise W. Barreto is an entrepreneur, author and TEDx speaker with over 20 years of leadership and marketing experience across multiple industries. As founder and managing partner of Relationships Matter Now her firm serves businesses of all sizes, non-profit and government agencies who want to better leverage their relationships to grow their bottom line through strategic planning, HR system infrastructure, organizational and leader development and inclusion and diversity strategy.

      • #WomenInLinux Podcast: Lynn Langit – BigData/Cloud Architect

        Lynn Langit creates big data and cloud architectures with AWS, Microsoft, Google, and OpenStack technologies. She also works with SQL Server, MongoDB, Google Big Query, Redis, Neo4j, and Hadoop.

        Lynn is also the cofounder of Teaching Kids Programming, and has spoken on data and cloud technologies in many countries. She is an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

      • #WomenInLinux Podcast: Julie Gunderson – Community Manager

        Former Community Manager for Taos.

        Julie Gunderson is a DevOps Advocate at PagerDuty, where she works to further the adoption of DevOps best practices and methodologies. She has been actively involved in the DevOps space for over five years and is passionate about helping individuals, teams and organizations understand how to leverage DevOps and develop amazing cultures. Julie has delivered talks at conferences such as DevOpsDays, Velocity, Agile Conf, OSCON and more, as well as being community moderator at opensource.com. Julie is also a founding member and co-organizer of DevOpsDays Boise.

    • Kernel Space

      • Better Mouse Reporting For The Linux Virtual Terminal Is Being Worked On

        The mouse reporting functionality offered by the Linux VT console is rather basic and seemingly seldom used by text-based, mouse-aware programs. However, a series of patches was sent out this week for improving the implementation to provide for more xterm-like mouse reporting.

      • GNU Guix Begins Publishing System Images Based On Hurd

        Earlier this year was news of GNU Guix wanting to replace their Linux kernel usage with the Hurd microkernel. For those interested, the project recently began producing system images with indeed Hurd wired up for this software distribution.

        The plans laid out earlier this year were on switching to Hurd for increasing “security and freedom for their users.”

        A Phoronix reader tipped us off that the Guix project is indeed offering the system images powered by the Hurd micro-kernel.

      • Redditor Boots Linux Kernel 5.8 On 30-Year-Old Intel Processor via Floppy Disk

        Do you remember your first PC on which you booted Linux from floppy? Well, Floppy disk is almost dead. The majority of people now use USB sticks or DVDs to install Linux distros on their PCs. However, retro enthusiasts love to revive their old hardware and relive the flashback.

        Recently, a Redditor who goes by the name ‘FozzTexx’ demonstrated the latest stable Linux Kernel 5.8.0-rc2+ running from his floppy disk. He successfully booted a tiny kernel on a 30-year-old 32-bit Intel 80486 (i486 or 486) CPU.

      • Linux kernel developers: This new BLM coding style avoids words like blacklist

        Key Linux kernel maintainers have largely welcomed a new proposal by Intel engineer and fellow kernel maintainer Dan Williams to introduce inclusive terminology in the kernel’s official coding-style document.

        The first to sign off on Williams’ proposal were Chris Mason and Greg Kroah-Hartman. But other maintainers have approved the proposal too, which requires kernel developers to avoid using the words ‘slave’, for development trees and branches, and ‘blacklist’.

      • Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: ‘Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale’

        In the light of the 2020 “global reckoning on race relations” the Linux kernel developers have stepped up with proposed new inclusive terminology guidelines for their coding community.

        The proposal came from Intel principal engineer Dan Williams and won support from other Linux maintainers including Chris Mason and Greg Kroah-Hartman.

        Words to be avoided include “slave”, with suggested substitutions such as secondary, subordinate, replica or follower, and “blacklist”, for which the replacements could be blocklist or denylist. The proposal has allowed for exceptions when maintaining a userspace API or when updating a code for a specification that mandates those terms. The existing Linux kernel coding style, described here, and has made no mention of inclusive language.

        The proposal is to add a new document, to be called Linux kernel inclusive technology, which will give the rationale for the changes. Referencing the fact that “the African slave trade was a brutal system of human misery deployed at global scale,” the document has acknowledged that “word choice decisions in a modern software project does next to nothing to compensate for that legacy.”

      • Zstd’ing The Kernel Might See Mainline With Linux 5.9 For Faster Boot Times

        It looks like the long ongoing work for compressing the Linux kernel image with Zstd might finally soon be mainlined, potentially for next month’s Linux 5.9 cycle kicking off as the “v6″ patches sent out this week were done as a Git pull request.

        Nick Terrell of Facebook has been the one herding these Zstd patches for the Linux kernel and trying to get them upstream. Facebook is already using them in production on their many web servers.

        Facebook found that using a Zstd compressed kernel image shrunk their x86_64 decompression time from 12 seconds to 3 seconds with formerly using XZ compression. The actual boot time dropped by about two seconds using Zstd over XZ. When testing the Zstd-compressed kernel on their AArch64 servers, Facebook found the decompression time shrunk from 27 seconds to 8 seconds.

      • “ATGC” Aims To Offer Greater Garbage Collection Efficiency For F2FS

        F2FS as the Flash-Friendly File-System for Linux continues to see a lot of interesting developments for this file-system beginning to appear on more Android devices and elsewhere given its feature set from flash optimizations to native encryption and compression capabilities.

        The newest F2FS feature work worth mentioning is support for age-threshold based garbage collection (ATGC). This ATGC garbage collection is geared to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the background garbage collection for the file-system by evaluating older candidates first based on a defined age threshold.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Testing Accidents

          Armed with a colossal set of patches in my zink-wip branch and feeling again like maybe it was time to be a team player instead of charging off down the field on my own, I decided yesterday morning to check out Erik’s MR to enable ARB_depth_clamp that’s been blocked on a failing piglit test for several weeks. The extension was working, supposedly, and all this MR does is enable it for use, so how hard could this be?

    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT / Ryzen 7 3800XT / Ryzen 9 3900XT Linux Performance In 130+ Benchmarks

        After the AMD Ryzen 3000XT series was announced last month, these new higher-clocked Zen 2 desktop processors are shipping today. Here are 130+ benchmarks on each of the Ryzen 5 3600XT, Ryzen 7 3800XT, and Ryzen 9 3900XT parts compared to various Intel and AMD CPUs. Tests under Ubuntu Linux and also complemented by performance-per-Watt / power and performance-per-dollar data points.

        These “XT” processors were announced in mid-June as still being Zen 2 based like the rest of the Ryzen 3000 desktop line-up but with slight increases to the base and boost clock frequencies to ratchet up the competition on Intel’s new Comet Lake processors.

      • Summing Up AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT vs. Core i9 10900K, Ryzen 5 3600XT vs. Core i5 10600K

        Complementing this morning’s AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT / Ryzen 7 3800XT / Ryzen 9 3900XT Linux benchmarks, here is a side-by-side look at the Ryzen 9 3900XT up against the Core i9 10900K and the Ryzen 5 3600XT up against the Core i5 10600K for these competing processors. This is a quick look at how these competing models stack up in the 130+ benchmarks utilized so far.

        Due to short on time and the Phoronix Test Suite being able to present data visualizations in countless different ways, for this morning’s article these graphs weren’t included but here they are for another way of looking at all the raw performance numbers.

    • Applications

      • Why I stick with xterm

        I use xterm. That’s right, xterm. It may seem like an old school choice, and I do use GNOME 3 now as well, but after many years of trying some and ignoring others, then going back to old standbys, I find I don’t need (or like) newer stuff like GNOME Terminal.

        My philosophy: Start simple, improve over time, and aim for productivity.

      • Avidemux 2.7.6 Released with New Encoder/Decoder [How to Install]

        Avidemux video editor 2.7.6 was released a day ago with new video encoder / decoder, and many improvements. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 16.04.

      • Tauon Music Box – Modern Streamlined Music Player for Linux Desktop

        Touan Music Box is a modern, comfortable and streamlined music player for the playback of your music collection.

        The software is written in Python, and uses GStreamer or optionally BASS Audio Library for playback.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Playing SpringRTS games on Linux gets easier with Flatpak

        SpringRTS, the free and open source game engine for playing various real-time strategy games is now even easier to get running on Linux. If you’ve never heard of SpringRTS: it originally started to bring the classic Total Annihilation into proper 3D and since has expanded over years to become a full game engine with all sorts of games made for it.

        The developers recently announced a new official Flatpak package up on Flathub, enabling users across many different Linux distributions to easily grab the official SpringLobby and keep it nicely up to date. SpringLobby is the official UI for playing online and offline, plus it has a built-in feature to download missing content while trying to play with others.

      • Unique puzzle-adventure ‘OneShot’ now has a Linux build on itch

        If you’ve been itching to play the surreal puzzle adventure OneShot since it arrived on itch.io, we’ve got good news for you. While OneShot is not exactly a new game being originally released in 2016, it only gained Linux support last year in April 2019. Back in March 2020, the developer then went further and released it onto game store itch.io but it was missing the Linux build.

        It became part of the massive itch.io charity bundle that happened recently, so I’ve no doubt plenty of you who picked it up didn’t even realise you owned it. Thankfully, on June 19 the developer added the standalone Linux build too so you can go ahead and play it on Linux.

      • Khronos Group open sources the OpenXR Conformance Test Suite for VR & AR

        In another important step forwards for free and open standards, plus the future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, the Khronos Group have open sourced their OpenXR testing suite.

        What is OpenXR? It’s an open standard for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), collectively known as XR. It’s picking up wide industry adoption, and hopefully means developers won’t have to repeatedly rewrite code as they can support a single standard across platforms—something vitally important for the future of XR. It’s gotten to the point where even Valve have decided to go all-in with OpenXR in their SteamVR.

      • OpenXR Conformance Tests Open-Sourced

        The Khronos Group today continued with their relatively recent trend of the past few years of open-sourcing their conformance tests. The OpenXR conformance tests are now open-source.

        The Conformance Test Suite for this industry-standard for AR/VR is now available as open-source under an Apache 2.0 license. This makes it easier for those developing OpenXR implementations to test against this publicly available set of tests, including the likes of the open-source Monado OpenXR runtime.

      • Floor-destroying party game ‘Hammer Dongers’ adds rockets and new maps

        Hammer Dongers is a great idea for a party game, pitting up to four people against each other in small levels with the ability to destroy the very ground beneath your feet.

        Currently free while it’s in development, not only does it have a good idea but it’s also a huge amount of fun because the gameplay is nicely streamlined. You each start with a big Hammer, which you can use to smash the ground and have it fall away to hopefully take down an opponent. With the latest update, they’ve overhauled the maps with a Castle theme to include new traps and contraptions. There’s also a Rocket Launcher because why the heck not.

      • Free and open source space RPG ‘Destination Sol’ has a big 2.0 release

        Destination Sol might not be a name known to all but it’s a sweet little space exploration RPG that’s free and open source, plus it’s getting big updates.

        The 2.0 release of Destination Sol was released on July 5, bringing with it much easier and expanded modding support. So easy in fact, you should be able to download extra Modules and drop them into the Modules folder to have them work. This release also adds in more ships, more guns and more of everything else.

      • Make nefarious goods in Basement, now up on GOG

        Basement, a game about building up a business making some questionable goods to fund development of a video game is now available DRM-free on GOG.

        You need to deal with other gangs, cops, crazy junkies, a mysterious investor and even ghosts from the past. After being in Early Access for quite some time and in development for 5 years, towards the end of last year it fully released on Steam and now you can also pick it up from GOG.

      • Railway Empire is getting a Complete Collection on August 7

        Publisher Kalypso Media and their in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios have announced that Railway Empire – Complete Collection is coming on August 7.

        After over two years of updates some of which overhauled and improved major parts of the game like re-workings of competitor AI, the addition of a gigantic complete North American map, almost 20 free updates, an all-new Challenge Mode, new buildings and countless other quality of life improvements and bug fixes it seems they’re finally done with it. This full edition will bring together all of the eight expansions under one roof, giving new players the easy option of getting it all together.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.19.3
        • KDE Plasma 5.19.3 Desktop Environment Arrives with More Than 30 Changes

          Packed with more than 30 changes, the KDE Plasma 5.19.3 update is here to make the logout action in the Lock/Logout widget work again, improve the deletion of multiple application shortcuts in the new Global Shortcuts page, and fix a very annoying bug affecting scrolling in a GTK app, which stopped working when a Plasma notification appears.

          Moreover, GNOME’s Nautilus file manager is now listed in the Default Applications page under System Settings when it’s installed, and the System Settings no longer crashes when there are no file managers installed and you open the Applications page.

        • Week 4 and 5: GSoC Project Report

          This is the report for week 4 and week 5 combined into one because I couldn’t do much during week 4 due to college tests and assignments, so there was not much to report for that week. These two weeks I worked on implementing interactions between the the storyboard docker and timeline docker (or the new Animation Timeline docker). Most of the interactions from the timeline docker to the storyboard docker are implemented.

        • Cantor – Plots handling improvments

          this is the third post about the progress in my GSoC project and I want to present new changes in the handling of the external packages in Cantor.
          The biggest changes done recently happened for Python. We now properly support integrated plots created with matplotlib.
          Cantor intercepts the creation of plots and embedds the result into its worksheet.
          This also works if multiple plots are created in one step the order of plots is preserved.
          Also, text results between plots are also supported.

        • Google Summer of Code 2020 – Week 4

          According to my GSoC proposal, I should be done with the general purpose graph layout capabilities for Rocs and free to start working on layout algorithms specifically designed to draw trees. This is not the case for a series of reasons, including my decision to write my own implementation of a general purpose force-based graph layout algorithm and failure to anticipate the need for non-functional tests to evaluate the quality of the layouts. I still need to document the functionalities of the plugin and improve the code documentation as well. Besides that, although it is not present in my original purpose, I really want to include the layout algorithm presented in [1], because I have high expectations about the quality of the layouts it can produce.


          By taking advantage of the properties of trees, even simple solutions such as my one-day experimental implementation can guarantee some desirable layout properties that the general purpose force-based layout algorithm can not. For instance, it guarantees that there are no intersections between edges or between nodes. The force-based layout algorithm I implemented can generate layouts with pairs of edges that intersect even when applied to trees.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Rebuild of EvanGTGelion: Getting Things GNOME 0.4 released!

          We are very proud to be announcing today the 0.4 release of Getting Things GNOME (“GTG”), codenamed “You Are (Not) Done”. This much-awaited release is a major overhaul that brings together many updates and enhancements, including new features, a modernized user interface and updated underlying technology.

        • GNOME 3.37.3 Released With More Features, Code Improvements

          GNOME 3.37.3 is out today as the newest development snapshot working towards the September release of GNOME 3.38.

          GNOME 3.37.3 is another routine development snapshot inching closer to GNOME 3.38. Among the changes with the 3.37.3 milestone include:

          - The GNOME Web Browser (Epiphany) now supports muting individual tabs, a run-in-background option for web apps, a –search command line option, a dark mode for the view source mode, and a wide range of other fixes/improvements.

          - The latest GTK4 toolkit development code has added more APIs, a Tracker3-based search engine implementation under the GtkFileChooser, dropping App Menu support from GtkApplication, improving X11 sync when the NVIDIA binary driver is used, various OpenGL renderer improvements, and other changes.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Release | Endless OS 3.8.4

          Endless OS 3.8.4 was released for existing users today, July 6th, 2020.
          Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days.

          Live + Installer USB now working again

          On Endless 3.8.0 a problem was introduced on installer USB devices created with our Endless Installer for Windows. These devices can be used to try Endless on a live boot, but the actual installation process would fail. This is now fixed with Endless OS 3.8.4 images (you should not need to download a new Endless Installer for Windows, as the problem was in the actual OS image, not in the installer tool), where these USB devices can be used both for trying Endless OS live and for installing it.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo on Android 64bit Release

          Gentoo Project Android is pleased to announce a new 64bit release of the stage3 Android prefix tarball. This is a major release after 2.5 years of development, featuring gcc-10.1.0, binutils-2.34 and glibc-2.31.

        • Gentoo On Android 64-Bit Sees New Release After 2+ Years

          Gentoo’s Project Android is out with a new stage3 Android prefix tarball for those wanting to enjoy a Gentoo experience atop a rooted Android device.

          This new stage3 tarball of Gentoo for Android is their first major release in two and a half years for this path that allows running the Gentoo environment on top of most Android devices, but still the caveat of the device needing to first be rooted.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Insights: Your very own security consultant

          When it comes to system maintenance and management, the most critical aspect is to keep all operating systems as safe and secure as possible. This is where Red Hat Insights steps in – it helps users manage security in an easy and convenient way by analyzing system configurations. Since Red Hat Summit 2020, Red Hat Insights has extended capabilities to manage operational efficiency and security risks.

          Note: Insights is included in all Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions.

        • Improve your code: Tales from confinement without a debugger

          Now that I have coded for some years, I’ve noticed that I have picked up some bad habits along the way. Over-dependence on the debugger is one of them. I often use it as a high-powered crutch, which frequently leads me waist-deep into stack traces, rarely stopping to think things through. I get lost inside 20 levels of recursion and wonder why an irrelevant variable is being tickled.

          Granted, there are many good uses for a debugger, but I’m at 40% on the good use scale. My uses usually start benign but then degrade into cancerous abstractions. So, for my 20th GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) hacking anniversary, I decided to give myself the challenge of one month without a debugger. Here is the tale.


          When I first started hacking GCC, newbies at Red Hat were put on old toolchain support duty. Nine times out of 10, those bugs had already been fixed upstream. I got quite adept at running two parallel gdbs, single-stepping until I found a difference in the codes, and eventually finding the patch that fixed the bug. My technique was effective, but taught me very little about the underlying problem that I was “fixing.”

          Now, I’m a gray-bearded old fogey, and I can’t count the number of times I have put a breakpoint on the garbage collector to find out who created a chunk of memory, just to save time analyzing the where of a given optimization.

        • How Fedora and Outreachy Helped Me Hone My Flexibility With Timelines

          Update: I’m in the seventh week of my Outreachy internship with Fedora! I am working to create a GraphQL API for Bodhi. The following image shows a Gantt chart of the ideal timeline that my mentors and I came up with to get the project up and running…

        • Fedora 33 Btrfs by default Test Day 2020-07-08

          A new change proposal has been submitted for the Fedora 33 release cycle which entails usage of btrfs by default for Workstations, Servers and Spins across x86_64 and ARM architectures As a result, QA teams have organized a test day on Wed, July 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

        • CentOS Community newsletter, July 2020 (#2007)

          We are pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 8.2.2004. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 8 and is tagged as 2004, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Source Code.

        • CentOS Stream Begins Seeing RHEL 8.3 Bits, Real-Time Repository

          Introduced alongside CentOS 8 last year was CentOS Stream as a developer-focused, rolling-release of CentOS/RHEL. With those processes getting squared away and CentOS recently debuting its RHEL 8.2 rebuild, CentOS Stream is beginning to see new and interesting material.

          In particular, early work from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 development is beginning to hit CentOS Stream. There is also an updated installer for CentOS Stream, new modules are coming, and perhaps most significant is the introduction of a real-time/RT repository. These RT packages are optimized for latency-sensitive workloads. The repository can be optionally enabled for those interested in optimizing their software stack for RT workloads.

        • Learn CentOS – Managing Storage

          The Learn CentOS series continues with another episode, this time checking out the concept of storage. The /etc/fstab file will be covered, as well as mounting, unmounting, and formatting storage media.

        • VR hits a new milestone, Mozilla’s growing open source voice library, change in Redis maintainers, and more open source news

          In this week’s edition of our open source news roundup, Mozilla updates its open source voice stack, a tool to tame VR cybersickness, and more open source news.

        • Kafka Monthly Digest – May 2020
        • Kafka Monthly Digest – June 2020

          In this 29th edition of the Kafka Monthly Digest, I’ll cover what happened in the Apache Kafka community in June 2020.

        • Introduction to Watson AutoAI

          AutoML is a current buzzword that appears in a lot in tech industry articles and research, and is a product offering in many vendor product catalogs. It’s also one of the topics that I get asked about, such as “How to approach AutoML products”, “Will these products perform all of the steps of the machine learning lifecycle while giving me as a data scientist some control over the parameters?”

        • Red Hat Learning Subscription News Flash 5: First look at Red Hat Remote Certification Exams
      • Debian Family

        • SparkyLinux 5.12 Released with Epiphany Browser, Openbox Noir, and More

          SparkyLinux 5.12 has been released today as a new maintenance update in the stable series of this desktop-oriented, Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution for your personal computer.

          Coming two months after the SparkyLinux 5.11 point release, SparkyLinux 5.12 is fully synced with the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” repositories as of July 5th, 2020, which means that it comes with up to date technologies and applications.

          Included in this release, there’s the Linux 4.19.118 LTS kernel, Mozilla Firefox 68.10.0 ESR web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 68.9.0 email client, LibreOffice 6.1.5 office suite, and VLC 3.0.11 media player. Also, the MinimalGUI edition now ships with the Epiphany browser instead of Otter Browser.

        • Sparky 5.12

          A quarterly update point release of Sparky 5.12 “Nibiru” of the stable line is out. This release is based on Debian stable 10 “Buster”.

          Changes between 5.11 and 5.12:
          • system upgraded from Debian stable repos as of July 5, 2020
          • Linux kernel 4.19.118
          • Firefox 68.10.0esr
          • Thunderbird 68.9.0
          • VLC 3.0.11
          • LibreOffice 6.1.5
          • Otter Browser replaced by Epiphany Browser (MinimalGUI)
          • added Openbox Noir to the desktop list to be installed as a choice (via MinimalGUI & MinimalCLI and APTus)
          • ‘debi-tool’ replaced by ‘gdebi’
          • disabled package list updating, during installing Sparky via Calamares; even you install Sparky with active Internet connection, the Debian or Sparky server can be temporary off, so it could stop the installation

        • Raspberry Pi 4, now running your favorite distribution!

          With lots of help (say, all of the heavy lifting) from the Debian Raspberry Pi Maintainer Team, we have finally managed to provide support for auto-building and serving bootable minimal Debian images for the Raspberry Pi 4 family of single-board, cheap, small, hacker-friendly computers!

          The Raspberry Pi 4 was released close to a year ago, and is a very major bump in the Raspberry lineup; it took us this long because we needed to wait until all of the relevant bits entered Debian (mostly the kernel bits). The images are shipping a kernel from our Unstable branch (currently, 5.7.0-2), and are less tested and more likely to break than our regular, clean-Stable images. Nevertheless, we do expect them to be useful for many hackers –and even end-users– throughout the world.

          The images we are generating are very minimal, they carry basically a minimal Debian install. Once downloaded, of course, you can install whatever your heart desires (because… Face it, if your heart desires it, it must free and of high quality. It must already be in Debian!)

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Extensions in Firefox for Android Nightly (Previously Firefox Preview)

            Firefox for Android Nightly (formerly known as Firefox Preview) is a sneak peek of the new Firefox for Android experience. The browser is being rebuilt based on GeckoView, an embeddable component for Android, and we are continuing to gradually roll out extension support.

            Including the add-ons from our last announcement, there are currently nine Recommended Extensions available to users.

          • Adding prefers-contrast to Firefox

            In this article, we’ll walk through the design and implementation of the prefers-contrast media query in Firefox. We’ll start by defining high contrast mode, then we’ll cover the importance of prefers-contrast. Finally, we’ll walk through the media query implementation in Firefox. By the end, you’ll have a greater understanding of how media queries work in Firefox, and why the prefers-contrast query is important and exciting.

            When we talk about the contrast of a page we’re assessing how the web author’s color choices impact readability. For visitors with low vision web pages with low or insufficient contrast can be hard to use. The lack of distinction between text and its background can cause them to “bleed” together.

          • Browser Wish List – Tabs Time Machine

            It would be interesting to see the exact distribution, because there is a cohort with a very high number of tabs. I have usually in between 300 and 500 tabs opened. And sometimes I’m cleaning up everything. But after an internal discussion at Mozilla, I realized some people had even more toward a couple of thousand tabs opened at once.

            While we are not the sheer majority, we are definitely a group of people probably working with browsers intensively and with specific needs that the browsers currently do not address. Also we have to be careful with these stats which are auto-selecting group of people. If there’s nothing to manage a high number of tabs, it is then likely that there will not be a lot of people ready to painstakly manage a high number of tabs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Simulated Animation Effects Week#5

          I’ve started past week by going over my implementation of simulated animation effects and getting rid of the rough parts, so it would be somewhat ready to be merged into LO master. While doing so, realized I’ve forgot to add support for other types of ongoing animations in parallel with a simulated animation.

          So to implement this, I thought all animation instances would have a reference to box2DWorld, if box2DWorld is initiated (as in there’s a simulated animation going on), these animations would supply box2DWorld with required information on how to update shape corresponding to this animation instance. The information supplied would have the uno shape reference of that animation effect, type of the update box2DWorld will perform (change position, appear/disappear, change size etc.), and if required any additional info (for instance, if it is an path motion animation, it would supply the updated position of the shape).

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.5 Beta 1

          WordPress 5.5 Beta 1 is now available for testing!

          This software is still in development, so it’s not recommended to run this version on a production site. Consider setting up a test site to play with the new version.


          Keep your eyes on the Make WordPress Core blog for 5.5-related developer notes in the coming weeks, breaking down these and other changes in greater detail.

          So far, contributors have fixed more than 350 tickets in WordPress 5.5, including 155 new features and enhancements, and more bug fixes are on the way.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNUnet 0.13.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.13.0.
            This is a new major release. It breaks protocol compatibility with the 0.12.x versions. Please be aware that Git master is thus henceforth INCOMPATIBLE with the 0.12.x GNUnet network, and interactions between old and new peers will result in signature verification failures. 0.12.x peers will NOT be able to communicate with Git master or 0.13.x peers.
            In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.13.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

          • Glibc-HWCAPS To Help With AMD Zen Optimizations, Other Per-CPU Performance Bits

            Experimental patches under discussion for the GNU C Library (glibc) would make it easier to dynamically load optimized libraries (shared objects) on systems depending upon the CPU in use and its hardware capabilities. This glibc-hwcaps work stems from the desired work on being able to better leverage Linux performance optimizations on AMD Zen-based systems but the hardware capabilities patches themselves can help any CPU microarchitecture family in more easily shipping optimized support.

      • Programming/Development

        • The Current State of Open-Source Testing Tools

          Tricentis and three survey project collaborators recently published findings that provide new insights on global trends in open-source testing.

          The study focused on the open-source tool testing industry, not how or if companies and software developers test their code. This is an issue that confronts both open-source and commercial or proprietary software.

          The results revealed that a lack of technical skills is the major roadblock to open-source tool adoption, with 30 percent of organizations surveyed saying they lacked the skills to adopt open-source tools, according to Kevin Dunne, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Tricentis.

        • DevOps Tools: Why We Don’t Need More CI/CD Suites
        • How to install the Go language on Linux

          Go is one programming language that’s on the rise. In fact, according to Popularity of Programming Languages, Go is at No. 14 and steadily climbing up the ranks. Go is used specifically for distributed systems and highly-scalable network servers and has replaced C++ and Java in Google’s software stack.

          Chances are, you’ll be using Go sometime soon. For those who develop on Linux, you can’t just install it from the standard repositories. So how do you install this popular programming language on the open source operating system? Fear not, I’m going to show you.

        • What if? Revision control systems did not have merge

          A fun design exercise is to take an established system or process and introduce some major change into it, such as adding a completely new constraint. Then take this new state of things, run with it and see what happens. In this case let’s see how one might design a revision control system where merging is prohibited.

        • What you need to know about hash functions

          There is a tool in the security practitioner’s repertoire that’s helpful for everyone to understand, regardless of what they do with computers: cryptographic hash functions. That may sound mysterious, technical, and maybe even boring, but I have a concise explanation of what hashes are and why they matter to you.

          A cryptographic hash function, such as SHA-256 or MD5, takes as input a set of binary data (typically as bytes) and gives output that is hopefully unique for each set of possible inputs. The length of the output—”the hash”—for any particular hash function is typically the same for any pattern of inputs (for SHA-256, it is 32 bytes or 256 bits—the clue’s in the name). The important thing is this: It should be computationally implausible (cryptographers hate the word impossible) to work backward from the output hash to the input. This is why they are sometimes referred to as one-way hash functions.

          But what are hash functions used for? And why is the property of being unique so important?

        • GStreamer 1.17.2 unstable development release

          The GStreamer team is pleased to announce the second development release in the unstable 1.17 release series.

          The unstable 1.17 release series adds new features on top of the current stable 1.16 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

          The unstable 1.17 release series is for testing and development purposes in the lead-up to the stable 1.18 series which is scheduled for release in a few weeks time. Any newly-added API can still change until that point, although it is rare for that to happen.

          Full release notes will be provided in the near future, highlighting all the new features, bugfixes, performance optimizations and other important changes.

          The autotools build has been dropped entirely for this release, so it’s finally all Meson from here on.

        • Qt Design Studio – Sketch Bridge Tutorial Part 1

          Welcome to this Qt Design Studio Sketch Bridge Tutorial, to follow along with this you will need the commercial Qt Design Studio 1.5 Package and Sketch Bridge, macOS and Sketch installed (I’m using 66.1).

          With this tutorial I want to show you how to build up a sketch project that creates a clean export and import into Qt Design Studio (which i will refer to as qds for the rest of the tutorial), uses symbols and instances for proper componentization and goes back and forth from Sketch to qds in iterative loops building up a more complex scene from simple building blocks. I’ll also cover some of the most common issues i come across from other users and the tips and tricks I’ve developed while working with the Bridge Plugin.

          I think it’s important before we start to clarify that although Sketch allows designers to achieve their design concepts in a flexible and open ended manner, in order to have a pixel perfect design built around developer friendly components in qds, it is very important to structure and prepare your project in a certain manner, and although that is not overly complex to learn it does take some time and knowledge to do it well. My hope is this tutorial will provide you with the necessary experience to bring your designs much closer to this point. With this caveat out the way let’s dive right in and start designing.


          Now we have the default background state for the button let’s create the other two states we want to use for this tutorial, a hover and pressed state.

          We can do this by duplicating our original rectangle, renaming the layers and then putting them side by side for now so we can see the design changes in parallel, to make this a bit easier we can drag the symbol width out so we can fit our buttons side by side, we will be resizing this after we are done with the design.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Solidity

          Solidity is an object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts. Solidity lets you program on Ethereum, a blockchain-based virtual machine that allows the creation and execution of smart contracts, without requiring centralized or trusted parties.

          Solidity is statically typed, supports inheritance, libraries and complex user-defined types among other features.

          With Solidity you can create contracts for uses such as voting, crowdfunding, blind auctions, and multi-signature wallets.

          Solidity was influenced by C++, Python and JavaScript. Like objects in OOP, each contract contains state variables, functions, and common data types. Contract-specific features include modifier (guard) clauses, event notifiers for listeners, and custom global variables.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Late Weekly challenge 67 #1 only

            I wrote some library to make combination in 2013.
            I was overwhelming when I found this challenge but I found that it is buggy !!!

            I think that finding combination isn’t necessarily written using recursive calling.
            so this is my first “working” solution.

        • Python

          • Flask project setup: TDD, Docker, Postgres and more – Part 3

            In this series of posts I explore the development of a Flask project with a setup that is built with efficiency and tidiness in mind, using TDD, Docker and Postgres.

          • Stop working so hard on paths. Get started with pathlib!

            In version 3.4, python shipped with a new module in the standard library, pathlib . At the time of its release, I remember hearing some fanfare around it, but I didn’t quite understand the point of it. I had only recently stopped adding strings together to create paths to the files and folders I needed to work with, in favor of using the os and os.path modules. It took me a little while to experiment with it and plumb the documentation for useful bits.
            Since then, I’ve learned a lot about the pathlib module, and as I have said before, it is my favorite module in the standard library.
            While that’s the case, most people I talk to about it are working to hard to access files and folders with python. Many have either not heard about it, or they still don’t understand it.

          • Paolo Amoroso: Repl.it Redesigned the Mobile Experience

            On smartphones, now the focused REPL pane takes up most of the screen. The redesign takes advantage of native mobile design patterns and lets you switch to a different pane from the bottom navigation bar. There are panes for the code editor, the console, and the output.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post | Gsoc’2020 | #6
          • Django Testing Toolbox

            What are the tools that I use to test a Django app? Let’s find out!

            You might say I’m test obsessed. I like having very high automated test coverage. This is especially true when I’m working on solo applications. I want the best test safety net that I can have to protect me from myself.

            We’re going to explore the testing packages that I commonly use on Django projects. We’ll also look at a few of the important techniques that I apply to make my testing experience great.

          • Adding New Columns to a Dataframe in Pandas (with Examples)

            In this Pandas tutorial, we are going to learn all there is about adding new columns to a dataframe. Here, we are going to use the same three methods that we used to add empty columns to a Pandas dataframe.

          • Pointers and Objects in Python

            If you’ve ever worked with lower-level languages like C or C++, then you may have heard of pointers. Pointers are essentially variables that hold the memory address of another variable. They allow you to create great efficiency in parts of your code but can lead to various memory management bugs.

            You’ll learn about Python’s object model and see why pointers in Python don’t really exist. For the cases where you need to mimic pointer behavior, you’ll learn ways to simulate pointers in Python without managing memory.

          • Python 101 – Debugging Your Code with pdb

            Mistakes in your code are known as “bugs”. You will make mistakes. You will make many mistakes, and that’s totally fine. Most of the time, they will be simple mistakes such as typos. But since computers are very literal, even typos prevent your code from working as intended. So they need to be fixed. The process of fixing your mistakes in programming is known as debugging.

            The Python programming language comes with its own built-in debugger called pdb. You can use pdb on the command line or import it as a module. The name, pdb, is short for “Python debugger”.

          • beagle 0.3.0

            beagle is a command line tool for querying a hound code search service such as http://codesearch.openstack.org

          • Python Flask Tutorial: How to Make a Basic Page (Source Code Included!)

            Python Flask is a crucial tool I use daily to prototype my ideas and bring a product to market faster than triditional methods like PHP or Ruby.

            These benefits make it the ideal tool for small teams or startups trying to get an MVP off the ground. It removes the need to worry about complexities and just focus on making cool websites. Today I am going to show you how to make a basic page in Flask and pass input back through to a Python function on the backend.

          • PyCoder’s Weekly: Issue #428 (July 7, 2020)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 6 Blog
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 5 Check-in
        • DTrace

          • Introducing dwatch, the ultimate DTrace tool

            With over 3.5 years of development time and over 16 rounds of refactoring and enhancement, my tool dwatch for DTrace has reached maturity and is quickly becoming the new hip tool for all your monitoring tasks. I would like to show you how to do everything from watching the system process scheduler in realtime to filtering out filesystem events.

        • R

          • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSimdJson 0.1.0: Now on Windows, With Parsers and Faster Still!

            A smashing new RcppSimdJson release 0.1.0 containing several small updates to upstream simdjson (now at 0.4.6) in part triggered by very excisting work by Brendan who added actual parser from file and string—and together with Daniel upstream worked really hard to make Windows builds as well as complete upstream tests on our beloved (ahem) MinGW platform possible. So this version will, once the builders have caught up, give everybody on Windows a binary—with a JSON parser running circles around the (arguably more feature-rich and possibly easier-to-use) alternatives. Dave just tweeted a benchmark snippet by Brendan, the full set is at the bottom our issue ticket for this release.

          • Dirk Eddelbuettel: AsioHeaders 1.16.1-1 on CRAN

            An updated version of the AsioHeaders package arrived on CRAN today (after a we days of “rest” in the incoming directory of CRAN). Asio provides a cross-platform C++ library for network and low-level I/O programming. It is also included in Boost – but requires linking when used as part of Boost. This standalone version of Asio is a header-only C++ library which can be used without linking (just like our BH package with parts of Boost).

    • Standards/Consortia

      • EFF Joins Coalition Calling On the EU to Introduce Interoperability Rules

        Today, EFF sent a joint letter to European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, highlighting the enormous potential of interoperability to help achieve the EU’s goals for Europe’s digital future. EFF joins a strong coalition of organizations representing European civil society organizations, entrepreneurs, and SMEs. We are calling on the European Commission to consider the role interoperability can play in ensuring that technology creates a fair and competitive economy and strengthens an open, democratic, and sustainable society. Specifically, we urge the Commission to include specific measures requiring interoperability of large Internet platforms in the forthcoming Digital Services Act package. This will strengthen user empowerment and competition in the European digital single market.

        Interoperability mandates will enable users to exercise greater control over their online experiences. No longer confronted with the binary choice of either staying on dominant platforms that do not serve their needs or losing access to their social network, users will be able to choose freely the tools that best respect their privacy, security, or accessibility preferences. Interoperability rules will also be crucial to ensure a dynamic market in which new entrants and innovative business models will have a fair shot to convince users of their value.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • How not to treat a customer

        First, my complaint to Simply NUC about the recent comedy of errors around my attempt to order a replacement fan for Cathy’s NUC.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant Women and Babies at Risk

        In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers?

        The CDC had been asserting that pregnant women don’t seem to be at higher risk for severe complications from the virus. As recently as late May, a spokesperson told ProPublica, “Current evidence shows pregnant women have the same risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant.”

      • Covid-19 Has Put Algeria’s Peaceful Revolution on Hold

        Before the Coronavirus crisis brought the world grinding to a halt, Algeria was alive with demonstrations. At the beginning of last year, after our president announced that he would be running for a fifth term, the people had finally had enough: Starting February 22, 2019, Algerians flooded the streets every Friday, millions of people filling the cities with protesting voices. Men and women of all ages walked side-by-side to express their frustration with the political system, demanding change.

      • Fireworks: United States of Covid
      • Donald Trump at 130,000 and Rising
      • As COVID Ravages the US, Trump’s Campaign Insists It’s “Totally Harmless”

        As President Donald Trump gears up for his reelection campaign, one issue is clearly causing him some consternation: the seemingly unchecked spread of coronavirus throughout the United States under his watch.

      • Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant People and Babies at Risk

        In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers?

      • Sanders Calls on “Do-Nothing” Senate to Pass Sweeping COVID Stimulus Legislation

        Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday slammed the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate for refusing to act to address the coronavirus-induced public health and economic crises that continue to intensify, throwing millions more out of work, overwhelming hospitals, and endangering countless lives.

      • No, the Americans With Disabilities Act doesn’t say shop owners have to let maskless people into their stores

        One of the more depressing aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the way that it has revealed just how politicized public health has become, including fights over relatively benign requirements such as wearing a mask in public buildings. The politicization of public health mandates is not new (nothing involving public policy can escape some degree of politics), but what is unprecedented is the level of politicization we are seeing now, including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA, as you will see. Indeed, I first noted this a few years back when it became apparent that school vaccine mandates were becoming increasingly politicized as a result of antivaxxers’ successful messaging to the right wing by portraying school vaccine mandates as government overreach and an assault on “parental rights” and “health freedom”. Indeed, by 2015 and the second Republican Presidential Debate, several GOP candidates were blatantly pandering to the antivaccine movement by expressing support for “parental rights” and support for widely applied “personal belief exemptions” to school vaccine mandates. It wasn’t long before several powerful right wing antivaccine groups, such as Texans for Vaccine Choice and Michigan for Vaccine Choice were wielding considerable influence in Republican Primaries at the local level in some states, which saw a significant number of antivaccine legislators elected and working to block any attempt to eliminate nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates.I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised, then (although I am a little bit) that the same politicization has infected the response to COVID-19, in particular, the discussion over whether mandates requiring mask wearing as a strategy to slow the spread of coronavirus. I will also admit that my knowledge of history was a little lacking, as I did not know that during the 1918 influenza pandemic there was resistance to mask wearing and that there was even an Anti-Mask League (also dubbed the “Sanitary Spartacans“) formed in 1919 in San Francisco. History repeats, only more intensely than 100 years ago. Also, there wasn’t the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for antimaskers to abuse then, as there is now.

      • Trump and the GOP’s Handling of Covid-19 Is Sheer Lunacy

        The economy isn’t roaring back. What’s roaring back is Covid-19. Until it’s tamed, the economy doesn’t stand a chance.

      • As Covid-19 Crisis Continues, UNEP and Global Partners Release 10-Point Plan to Prevent the Next Pandemic

        “The science is clear that if we keep exploiting wildlife and destroying our ecosystems, then we can expect to see a steady stream of these diseases jumping from animals to humans in the years ahead.”

      • American Dreams of Relocating to New Zealand Soared as Nations Diverged on Covid-19 Response

        About 80,000 Americans visited the country’s immigration website in April and May. 

      • Fears of Going ‘Through Hell Again’ as US Covid Infection Rate Hits Record High for 27th Straight Day

        “With American lives on the line, the question now is whether members of the Republican Party will continue to stand by in silence as the President peddles fiction about a deadly virus.”

      • Russian health authorities claim that only 40 medical workers have officially died of COVID-19

        In mid-June, health officials reported that 489 medical workers in Russia had potentially died of the coronavirus. But as of last Friday, July 3, Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko maintained that there have only been 40 confirmed coronavirus deaths among the country’s healthcare professionals. Russia’s health authorities have only made official statements about the number of these deaths on a few occasions: here’s a brief timeline of their claims.

      • How coronavirus hit Aden: A Yemeni doctor’s diary

        As COVID-19 courses through Yemen, taking an unknown number of victims in a country already decimated by war, Dr Ammar Derwish, 32, has been documenting the toll on his community.

        He lives in Aden, where one of his first jobs was treating trauma patients in the early months of the now more than five-year conflict, when the southern port city was besieged in the fight between the internationally recognised government and Houthi rebels. Now his home city has been hit so hard by coronavirus that the UN believes a quarter of its population may be infected, and hospitals have had to turn away patients with symptoms. So, between jobs and not associated with any hospital, caring for his own community has become Dr Derwish’s full-time unpaid occupation. Shortly after Aden’s first COVID-19 cases were announced in late April, he purchased supplies with his own money and began making house calls to sick neighbours and friends. As he fasted for Ramadan, he himself fell ill, and friends and relatives succumbed to the virus. But Dr Derwish continued to treat the sick, taking meticulous notes on his phone – notes that became this diary.

        Since COVID-19 began in China and then went on to attack a lot of other countries, I remained in a state of denial, even though I took some minor precautionary measures. I’m not hiding that. Seeing all the other countries falling down when faced with it, when my country still had no cases, made me think “Oh, maybe it forgot about us, as always”, but this time it was a good thing for Yemen to be forgotten. I thought maybe Yemen’s isolation would save us. Or that perhaps we have better immune systems because we deal with lots of other diseases that people in Western countries have probably never even heard of.

        One of the things that made me hesitant to believe what was happening around the world is that most of the information regarding the disease is coming from governments, both here and in the West. It was coming from governments that we in Yemen lost trust in a long time ago.

        I never expected to see what is happening right now, here in Aden. The situation is insane. People are falling down, one by one, like dominoes. Especially the old and middle-aged. It starts with fever, then very quickly comes difficulty breathing, and then sudden death. People are still afraid, and they hate to hear the name of the virus. Even some medical staff won’t say it in public, like it’s cursed.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • The Best Free Office Suites for Linux in 2020

          FossMint is particular about FOSS and related projects or partnerships. Sadly, though, not all the applications that are vital to certain needs fall under that category. Maybe someday they will but until then, potential users deserve the right to know about all their alternatives.

        • SoftMaker Office 2021 – The Premium Microsoft Office Alternative for Linux [Ed: How typical of FOSSMint to distract from what’s actually FOSS]

          I imagine this will be great news for Windows users who recently switched to working from a Linux distro. You no longer have to miss your Microsoft Office workflow thanks to SoftMaker.

          SoftMaker Office 2021 is a Multi-Platform Office suite application created to be the perfect alternative to Microsoft Office Suite. It is designed to enable you to create impressive documents, calculations, and presentations with ease, coupled with seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office – no conversion needed.

        • FreeOffice 2021 – The Closest Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

          FreeOffice 2021 is the latest version of free office software from SoftMaker. In fact, you wouldn’t be wrong if you called it the free version of SoftMaker Office 2021 seeing as it offers the same suite of applications.

        • IGEL First to Deliver Microsoft Teams Optimization with Citrix Workspace App Linux Client
        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (php7.3), Fedora (gst), Mageia (libvirt, mariadb, pdns-recursor, and ruby), openSUSE (chocolate-doom, coturn, kernel, live555, ntp, python3, and rust, rust-cbindgen), Oracle (virt:ol), Red Hat (file, firefox, gettext, kdelibs, kernel, kernel-alt, microcode_ctl, nghttp2, nodejs:10, nodejs:12, php, qemu-kvm, ruby, and tomcat), SUSE (libjpeg-turbo, mozilla-nspr, mozilla-nss, mozilla-nss, nasm, openldap2, and permissions), and Ubuntu (coturn, glibc, nss, and openexr).

          • Lawsuit & Bi-Partisan Group Of Senators Seek To Push Back On Trump Administration’s Attempt To Corrupt The Open Technology Fund

            Last month we wrote about how the newly appointed head of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) had cleaned house, getting rid of the heads of the various organizations under the USAGM umbrella. That included Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting… and the Open Technology Fund. The general story making the rounds is that Pack, a Steve Bannon acolyte, planned to turn the famously independent media operations into a propaganda arm for the Trump administration. Leaving side the concerns about why this is so dangerous and problematic on the media side, we focused mostly on the one “different” organization under the USAGM banner: the Open Technology Fund.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Coalition Against Stalkerware Expands Membership

              Privacy and security are both team sports, and no one person or organization completely changes the landscape alone. This is why coalition-building is often at the heart of activism. In 2019, EFF was one of the ten organizations that founded the Coalition Against Stalkerware, a group of security companies, non-profit organizations, and academic researchers that support survivors of domestic abuse by working together to address technology-enabled abuse and raise awareness about the threat posed by stalkerware. Among its early achievements are an effort to create an industry-wide definition of stalkerware, encouraging research into the proliferation of stalkerware, and convincing anti-virus companies to detect and report the presence of stalkerware as malicious or unwanted programs.

              Stalkerware is the class of apps that are sold commercially for the purpose of covertly spying on another person’s device. They can be blatantly marketed as tools for “catching a cheating spouse” or they may euphemistically describe themselves as tools for tracking your children or employees’ devices. The key defining feature of stalkerware is that it is designed to operate covertly, to trick the user into believing that they are not being monitored.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Key US Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme

        As the web of lies spun by Clinton and Albright has unraveled, and the truth behind their lies has spilled out piece by bloody piece, the war on Yugoslavia has emerged as a case study in how U.S. leaders mislead us into war.

      • In Burkina Faso, violence and COVID-19 push children out of school and into harm’s way

        When 13-year-old Martine left her village in northern Burkina Faso for a safer town last year, she hoped to restart an education disrupted by jihadist violence. But, alone without her parents —who stayed behind — new risks soon arose: in December she was dragged from a wedding party and raped by a man three times her age.

        “If I was living at home, my parents never would have allowed me to go to the wedding alone and this would never have happened,” said Martine, whose surname is being withheld to protect her identity.

        As jihadist-linked violence surges in Burkina Faso, children are facing particularly severe hardships: more than half of the roughly one million Burkinabe now displaced across the country are 18 and under, and many have been forced out of school by attacks and threats from extremists.

        Rights groups and local authorities say the situation is particularly dire for children like Martine, whose parents sent them away to towns where it is safer to go to school but, without parental supervision, are falling victim to exploitation and abuse from sexual violence to child marriage and labor.

        The risks have been compounded by a nationwide shutdown of more than 20,000 schools, which was introduced in March as a response to the coronavirus pandemic and will continue until September. The closures have left an unknown number of minors alone and with little to do in unfamiliar places.

        To help children who are out of school – due to both violence and the pandemic – Burkina Faso’s ministry of education has begun broadcasting primary and secondary school lessons on radio and TV.

        But as students miss out on months of education – and some miss out on years due to violence ongoing since 2015 – the government and aid groups say remote schooling is no substitute for in-person learning and cannot combat the growing dangers many children are facing.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • There’s a Hidden Economic Trendline That is Shattering the Global Trade System

        Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has recently conceded: “In general, economic thinking has privileged efficiency over resilience, and it has been insufficiently concerned with the big downsides of efficiency.” Policy across the globe is therefore moving in a more overtly nationalistic direction to rectify this shortcoming.

      • Re-Organizing Labor
      • Facebook and Its Big Tech Cronies Are Upgrading Their Anti-Union Tools

        Recently, Facebook unveiled its new Facebook Workplace, a Slack Connect-like intranet-style chat and office collaboration tool that allows administrators to censor certain words, company spokespeople explained, such as “unionize.” The Workplace program with built-in labor suppression is simply the most recent example that suggests, contrary to stereotypes of open and egalitarian corporate cultures, big tech is not that different from Walmart when it comes to its attitudes towards unions.

      • Trump Administration Discloses Some Recipients of $670 Billion Small Business Bailout

        After months of delays and outright refusals, the Trump administration publicly released the names of some companies that received taxpayer money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

        You can see a list of the businesses here. If you work at a business that received aid from the PPP or another bailout program, please tell us about it.

      • Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans

        Companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received up to $24 million from one of the federal government’s key coronavirus economic relief programs, according to data made public Monday.

        At least six companies from Justice’s empire showed up on the list of Paycheck Protection Program aid recipients released by the Small Business Administration.

      • Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

        Businesses tied to President Donald Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.

        A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Topple the Electoral College

        Donald Trump has convinced himself that defending statues of those who fought to preserve human bondage will get him reelected. In a carefully choreographed appearance at Mount Rushmore on the eve of the Fourth of July, the president, who has been complaining for weeks about efforts by anti-racist campaigners to remove statues of Confederate generals and agents of colonialism, fretted, “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.”

      • ‘They Are Failing’: Nationwide Day of Action to Target GOP Senators for Going on Vacation as Pandemic Surges

        “Millions of workers—essential and unemployed—do not have the luxury of a vacation and our elected officials are not entitled to take one during this crisis.”

      • Is Dan Snyder Really Changing the Washington Team’s Name?

        We are so close. After decades of demonstrations, meetings, and boycotts, the Washington football team has finally entered internal discussions about changing its dictionary-defined slur of a name. For the past 25 years, team owner Dan Snyder has refused to listen to the National Congress of the American Indian, the Idle No More movement, and the host of Native American activists who have pleaded with him to do the right thing. He has ignored the American Psychiatric Association, which concluded that these brands harm children. But this time, it’s different: He’s being forced to listen to his sponsors.

      • A Shattered Nation Isn’t Buying Trump’s Angry Nationalism

        Donald Trump is a merchant of anger, a grievance-monger who bonds with his political base over shared resentments. This makes it difficult for him to handle celebratory holidays like Independence Day, which are normally meant to be joyous and unifying events. In the hands of other politicians, Independence Day can be an occasion for somber reflection or for uplifting messages about national achievements. But for Trump, the joy taken in reflecting on America’s success has an emotional potency only if it helps him do what he truly loves: attack his enemies.

      • The Meaning of the 1811 Independence for Today’s Venezuela

        For any country the celebration of independence is of great historical importance and pride. July 5 marks the 209th anniversary of Venezuela’s independence. The meaning of the term “independence” has certainly occupied central stage in the last 21 years of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. Former President Hugo Chávez and current President Nicolás Maduro have made independence and sovereignty the pillars on which the Bolivarian process rests with full participation of all Venezuelans as protagonists. There is no compromise on that today as Simon Bolivar did not compromise in the nineteenth century.

      • Trump’s Reelection Kick-Off Fell Flat. Does He Really Want to Be President?

        A twin-bill tantrum by a petulant president served as a shabby replacement for actual fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend, as Donald Trump delivered a spectacle of divisive balderdash at the headstone of manifest destiny in South Dakota and at his own house of ill repute in Washington, D.C.

      • Frederick Douglass Statue Torn Down on Anniversary of Famous July 4 Speech

        A statue of Frederick Douglass, a formerly enslaved Black abolitionist in the mid-1800s who helped to transport other enslaved people seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, was removed from its pedestal in a park in Rochester, New York, by vandals over the weekend.

      • For All The Hype, Trump’s Favorite ‘News’ Channel (OAN) Faces Shrinking Footprint

        The President’s favorite sycophancy channel, OAN (One America News) has seen no shortage of headlines in the recent weeks for its dubious “news” programming. Said programming has included claims that elderly people are Antifa agitators, that the coronavirus was created in a North Carolina lab as part of a “deep state” plot, all while banning polls that dare to suggest that dear leader may not be doing all that hot in the wake of corruption, incompetence, and a raging pandemic. That’s before you get to media allegations that the outlet has some uncomfortable parallels to Russian state TV.

      • “He Wasn’t Invited”: How Trump’s Racist Mt. Rushmore Celebration Violated Indigenous Sovereignty

        Amid ongoing protests against systemic racism and state violence, Trump attacked protesters, vowed to defend statues of colonizers and white supremacists, and ignored Indigenous sovereignty over the area, when he held an Independence Day rally at Mount Rushmore, sparking even more protests that led to 15 arrests. “The Black Hills, or what we know as He Sápa, is the cultural center of our universe as Lakota people,” says Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. “More than 50 different Indigenous nations actually have origin stories or ties or spiritual connections to the Black Hills.”

      • Take It Down!: Symbolic Politics Is Just That

        No one can right the wrongs perpetrated in the past and yet we must address the injustices of the present.

      • Sanders Calls on ‘Do-Nothing’ Senate to Approve $2,000 Monthly Checks, Cancel Rent, and Expand Medicare

        “This I know: nothing will happen unless the American people stand up, fight back, and demand, in overwhelming numbers, that the Senate act.”

      • ‘The Swamp Is Alive and Well’: Trump-Connected Lobbyists Have Raked in $10 Billion in Covid-19 Aid for Corporate Clients

        “The crisis offered an especially lucrative opportunity for those lobbyists who enjoy close ties to President Donald Trump and his administration—and they seized it.”

      • Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

        Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the New York Times  has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the Times ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the Times of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

      • Why JPMorgan Chase Should Give $1 Billion to Black Neighborhoods in Chicago

        In June, an investigation by two Chicago newsrooms, City Bureau and WBEZ, analyzed more than 168,000 bank loans between 2012 and 2018. The team found that for every $1 banks loaned in Chicago’s white neighborhoods, they invested just 12 cents in the city’s Black neighborhoods. These findings reflect a grim truth that many researchers on urban affairs have long observed: Housing discrimination may be illegal, but residential segregation and de facto redlining have remained the norm.

      • Egyptian Activist Laila Soueif on the Jailing of Her Children & the Fight Against Authoritarianism

        Egyptian authorities have arrested scores of people, including doctors, medical workers, journalists, lawyers and activists, as the country grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. “Unlike nearly every other country in the Middle East, Egypt has not released thousands of prisoners as a precaution against the coronavirus. Instead, it’s arrested more people and cut off communication,” says Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. One of the most high-profile arrests is that of Sanaa Seif, a film editor and the youngest member of one of Egypt’s most prominent activist families. Sanaa’s brother, Alaa Abd El-Fattah — a leading figure of the 2011 revolution — was released from prison last year after serving a five-year sentence on trumped-up charges, but was rearrested in September and remains behind bars in pretrial detention. In an exclusive interview, we speak with their mother, Laila Soueif, who is a professor of mathematics at Cairo University and one of the most outspoken and active advocates for prisoner rights in Egypt.

      • To Defeat Systemic Racism, America Must End Endless War

        As we look inwards to dismantle America’s legacy of racism that pervades the law enforcement and national security apparatuses, we must also recognize that racism and militarism are mutually reinforcing.

      • Vladimir Putin’s cousin is now the head of an anti-corruption political party in Russia

        Vladimir Putin’s cousin, Roman Putin, has been elected to serve as the president of Russia’s “People Against Corruption” political party. In a secret-ballot vote, Roman Putin was chosen for a five-year term as the head of the party, reports RIA Novosti. He says the group’s top priority is now to compete in regional elections this September and later in elections for the State Duma. 

      • Here’s why statisticians are calling Putin’s constitutional plebiscite the most fraudulent vote in Russia’s recent history

        Researchers who study Russia’s electoral statistics believe that the recent nationwide plebiscite on constitutional amendments is the most dishonest vote the country has seen since the year 2000. According to statisticians, their “tests” have revealed a number of red flags that support these claims: from a statistical point of view, the official results in many precincts can’t be attributed to fair voting processes. Researchers say that the only explanation is that somehow, officials responsible for tallying the votes changed the results. According to official data from Russia’s Central Election Commission, a little more than half of the country’s eligible voters supported the changes to the constitution. But if you exclude all of the “excess” votes from precincts that don’t pass statistical “tests,” it turns out that less than a third of Russia’s voters supported the amendments.

      • The ‘certain nuances’ of prosecuting journalists The Kremlin’s spokesman explains why policing ‘justifications of terrorism’ isn’t an assault on free speech

        On Monday, July 6, a military court in Pskov convicted journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva of “justifying terrorism” in an article where she argued that Russia’s federal authorities are partly to blame for a suicide bombing against an FSB building in Arkhangelsk. Though prosecutors wanted her imprisoned for six years, the court only fined her 500,000 rubles (almost $7,000). At a press conference hours after the verdict was announced, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov fielded questions from reporters about the case.

      • ‘Ten people were definitely killed’ Activist Olga Baranova talks about the ongoing persecution of LGBTQ people in Russia’s Chechnya

        On June 30, HBO released Welcome to Chechnya, a documentary film about activists carrying out secret evacuations to get LGBTQ people out of Russia’s repressive Chechen Republic. Filming began in 2017, when the persecution of suspected gay men in Chechnya was at its height. During the documentary’s premier at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Meduza spoke to one of its main subjects, activist Olga Baranova, about the making of the film, how the situation in Chechnya has changed in the last three years, and how LGBTQ people who fled the region are rebuilding their lives.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Trump’s Racist Mt. Rushmore Celebration Violated Indigenous Sovereignty

        Amid ongoing protests against systemic racism and state violence, Trump attacked protesters, vowed to defend statues of colonizers and white supremacists, and ignored Indigenous sovereignty over the area, when he held an Independence Day rally at Mount Rushmore, sparking even more protests that led to 15 arrests. “The Black Hills, or what we know as He Sápa, is the cultural center of our universe as Lakota people,” says Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico. “More than 50 different Indigenous nations actually have origin stories or ties or spiritual connections to the Black Hills.”

      • New ‘National Security’ Law Threatens Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protesters With Life In Prison

        Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 with the understanding the Chinese government would not strip away the rights granted to Hong Kong residents prior to the handover. The Chinese government has no intention of honoring that agreement, which has prompted months of protests.

      • Indigenous Historian Nick Estes on Toppling Statues, Racist Team Names & COVID-19 in Indian Country

        President Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore comes after months of escalating coronavirus infections in Native communities, but Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes says South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, like many of her Republican counterparts across the U.S., has taken a “hallucination-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and notes she refused to enforce social distancing at this weekend’s event that attracted thousands of people. He also reacts to growing pressure on the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians to change their racist names.

      • Defendants appeal sentences in controversial ‘Seventh Studio’ case

        Lawyers for the well-known film and theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and the other individuals convicted in the controversial “Seventh Studio” embezzlement case have filed an appeal against the verdict handed down by Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court, RIA Novosti reports.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Chinese 5G Plans Start At $10, Showing The ‘Race to 5G’ Isn’t Much Of One

        We’ve noted for a while that the “race to 5G” is largely just the byproduct of telecom lobbyists hoping to spike lagging smartphone and network hardware sales. Yes, 5G is important in that it will provide faster, more resilient networks when it’s finally deployed at scale years from now. But the society-altering impacts of the technology are extremely over-hyped, international efforts to deploy the faster wireless standard aren’t really a race, and even if it were, our broadband maps are so terrible (by design) it would be impossible to actually determine who won.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Regulators Urged to Block Uber’s “Domination Game” Acquisition of Postmates

        “These destructive delivery apps… were built to monopolize an essential service and reap profits for investors.”

      • EU Commission opens antitrust investigation into Apple’s App Store rules

        The European Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation into Apple and the rules on its App Store. The investigation opens over a year after Spotify issued a complaint over Apple’s App Store practices. An e-book/audiobook distributor also submitted a separate complaint on similar grounds over the impact of the App Store rules on competition in the e-book and audiobook market.


        Article 101(1) TFEU prohibits agreements between undertakings which may affect trade between Member States and which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market, where that object or effect is appreciable. A non-exhaustive list of such agreements include those which directly or indirectly fix prices or any other trading conditions.

        The investigation will determine whether the contractual obligations imposed by Apple on app developers have an appreciable effect on competition in the market for music streaming services and e-books, by giving an unfair advantage to Apple’s own rival apps.

        Article 102 TFEU, on the other hand, prohibits the abuse of a dominant position by an undertaking within the internal market, such as by imposing unfair prices or trading conditions. The investigation will need to establish whether, by dictating the terms of the App Store, Apple has been abusing its dominance as the only app store supplier for iOS devices to influence competition in the market for music streaming apps and e-books.

      • Patents

        • EPO launches new platform to help researchers in the fight against coronavirus

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a new, expanding “Fighting coronavirus” platform designed to help researchers and decision-makers benefit from patent information in their fight against the new coronavirus. The first data sets released on this platform concerns antiviral vaccines and pharmaceutical therapeutics, with more resources to be released in the coming weeks covering, for example, diagnostics and medical technologies and devices.

        • STIM wins another patent victory for its smoltification feed

          Norwegian feed producer STIM announced that it has achieved another success in terms of patenting its feed SuperSmolt FeedOnly as the European Patent Office (EPO) has expanded the company’s patent rights for the feed.

          The decision by the EPO expands the range of feed ingredients that fall within patent protection. That means that other feeds, which STIM claims imitate SuperSmolt FeedOnly – a patented product that induces smoltification in salmon – now constitute infringements on STIM’s patent.

        • Salmon smolt feed producer hopes to ward off larger competitors with strengthened patent rights

          The strengthened rights expand the range of feed ingredients that fall within patent protection, so that existing feeds imitating SuperSmolt FeedOnly now constitutes infringements on the patent.

          Furthermore, the EPO decided the practical use of such feeds in itself is considered a breach of patent.

          This comes in the wake of STIM´s victory against feed giant BioMar in Oslo District Court in March of this year.

          The court found BioMar guilty of patent infringement related to its product Intro Tuning, ruling it was a copy of STIM’s SuperSmolt FeedOnly.

          “SuperSmolt FeedOnly has unique qualities, so we can understand that others might be tempted to look to our solutions, but we are happy that both the court system as well as EPO concludes that these rights belong to us,” said STIM CEO Jim-Roger Nordly.

          “I truly hope and believe that we no longer need to spend our time and resources in order to defend that.”

          The first patent application regarding SuperSmolt FeedOnly was delivered in 2014 and the first granting from EPO came in 2019.

        • Immunex Corp. v. Sandoz Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit held recently that the “all substantive rights” test, used heretofore to determine the identity of the “patentee” for purposes of satisfying 35 U.S.C. § 281, should be the standard for determining common ownership in applying the judicially created doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting (ODP), in Immunex Corp. v. Sandoz Inc. This decision may serve to complicate the legal landscape for patent licensees when addressing a common ownership question. As in the St Regis Mohawk Tribe v. Mylan decision, ultimately contract law, not patent law, provides the basis for the Court’s decision in this case.

          The case arose in litigation under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA, relevant provisions codified under 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)) over Sandoz’ biosimilar application for its product Erelzi, a generic form of Enbrel® (etanercept), which is used for reducing the signs and symptoms of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Etanercept is a fusion protein “made by combining a portion of a 75 kilodalton human tumor necrosis factor receptor protein (the extracellular portion) with a portion of immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), specifically, the portion including the hinge region, CH2 and CH3 domains.” Immunex is the exclusive licensee of Hoffmann-La Roche for U.S. Patent Nos. 8,063,182 (to the etanercept composition of matter) and 8,163,522 (methods for making etanercept).

          Immunex received FDA approval for Enbrel® and entered into a royalty-bearing license agreement for Roche for patents and applications that contained claims relevant to this product (including the ’182 and ’522 patents). Amgen later acquired Immunex and entered into an “Accord and Satisfaction” agreement with Roche, the purpose of which was “to eliminate the continuing obligations to pay royalties to Roche.” The terms of this agreement gave Immunex a “paid-up, irrevocable, exclusive license to the U.S. patent family for the patents-in-suit.” Relevant to the Federal Circuit’s decision, the Agreement gave Immunex “the sole right to grant sublicenses, to make, have made, use, sell, offer for sale and import products covered by the patent family” and “the exclusive right to prosecute patent applications in the U.S. patent family.” Immunex also received the right to enforce the patents in the first instance, Roche reserving the right to sue (and retain all damages received) upon Immunex’ notice that it would not bring suit. Also, Roche can practice the claimed invention only for internal, research purposes under the terms of the agreement.


          Here, the Accord and Satisfaction agreement did not satisfy this test, according to the panel majority. While there are many factors that can be assessed for this determination, the panel focused on two: “enforcement and alienation,” and “the scope of the licensee’s right to sublicense, the nature of license provisions regarding reversion of rights, the duration of the license grant, and the nature of any limits on the licensee’s right to assign its interests in the patent,” citing Alfred E. Mann Found. v. Cochlear Corp., 604 F.3d 1354, 1360-1 (2010). Under Delaware law, the majority applied the de novo standard of review regarding interpreting the District Court’s construction of the terms of the contract and clear error for parole evidence of the parties’ intent (although in view of the express terms of the agreement the Federal Circuit found no need to resort to parole evidence).

          With regard to the parties’ intent, the District Court found, and the Federal Circuit agreed, that the parties “specifically intended for the Accord & Satisfaction to be a license such that Roche would remain the owner of the patents-in-suit.” This determination was supported in the District Court by the express language of the agreement (wherein it was termed a “license”) as well as testimony from an Amgen witness. This portion of the District Court’s opinion came in for criticism by the panel opinion, the majority stating that “we have clarified that ‘whether a transfer of a particular right or interest under a patent is an assignment or a license does not depend upon the name by which it calls itself, but upon the legal effect of its provisions,’” citing Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC v. Nanya Tech. Corp., 925 F.3d 1225, 1230 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (emphasis in original) (quoting Waterman v. Mackenzie, 138 U.S. 252, 256 (1891)).

        • Return of the Orange Book? German Federal Supreme Court revisits FRAND in Sisvel v. Haier

          Sisvel acquired the patent in suit (the patent expired in 2016), declared essential to ETSI’s GSM standard by its previous owner Nokia, and submitted a FRAND declaration. Sisvel approached Haier in 2012 for a global portfolio license, as Haier was offering standard-compliant mobile phones and tablets in Germany. However, the parties were unable to agree on a license. Finally, Sisvel sued Haier for infringement at the Düsseldorf Regional Court in 2014 while Haier sued for nullity at the Federal Patent Court in 2015. In the infringement proceedings, the first instance Court found the patent to be infringed, dismissing Haier’s FRAND defence and finding Haier had delayed the negotiations. In 2017, the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (Mobiles Kommunikationssystem) upheld the finding of patent infringement but denied an injunction as it considered Sisvel’s licensing offer non-compliant with the non-discrimination prong of FRAND.

          Appealing the case to the Federal Supreme Court, the parties limited scope of the points on appeal by withdrawing the injunction claim after the patent’s expiration. In the meantime, the patent’s validity was partly confirmed by the Federal Supreme Court. On appeal, the Federal Supreme Court essentially granted Sisvel’s appeal.

        • Sufficiency of a Range: UK Supreme Court

          This important patent decision comes from the UK Supreme with a holding that Regeneron’s patents are invalid for insufficiency of the disclosure. The insufficiency doctrine in the UK is parallel to US enablement law.


          Typically a claimed “range” in patent law is thought of as a numerical spread with the claim covering all potential embodiments in-between. The full-scope of a claimed range must be enabled, and this is a common attack-point for defendants. Here, the claims do not specify such a range, but the defendant was able to characterize the claimed replacement regions as constituting a wide swath of potential transgenic mice — thus a range (“range of products”). The Supreme Court agreed here that it is the full scope of claimed “range of products” that must be enabled.

          In the case, the trial court sided with the defendants — holding that “the teaching in the patent did not enable any type of mouse within the range to be made, let alone mice across the whole of the relevant range.” (quoting here from the Supreme Court opinion). The appellate court disagreed — finding that the claim did enable something within the claimed scope — and that the disclosure was sufficient because the invention was inventive and groundbreaking.

          Finally, at the Supreme Court, the Lord Justices followed a third path – that ultimately resulted in the claims being invalid. Like the appellate court, the Supreme Court agreed that some embodiments covered by the claim were enabled. However, the court ruled that “some embodiments ” was not enough.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Prior Art on Patent Owned by Acacia’s Subsidiary, Unification Technologies

            On July 7, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,632,727. The patent is owned by Unification Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of Acacia Research Corp., a well-known NPE.

            The ’727 patent generally relates to managing data stored on non-volatile storage media over the provision of solid-state drive (SSD) devices. This patent has been asserted in district court 3 times this year against companies such as Micron, HP, and Dell.

          • Fraunhofer HHI H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) Halves the Data Requirements of H.265

            There’s a lot of hype around AV1 royalty-free video codec since it has backing from large companies, better characteristics than H.265 or VP9, and is already used by YouTube and Netflix.

          • SecureWave patent held unpatentable

            On July 7, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC et al. v. SecureWave Storage Solutions Inc. et al., holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 7,036,020 unpatentable. The ‘020 patent is owned by SecureWave Storage Solutions, an affiliate of Quarterhill Inc. (f/k/a Wi-LAN Inc.), a well-known NPE. The ‘020 patent, directed to securing areas of a memory device to limit access to stored data, has been asserted against Kingston Technology and Micron.

      • Trademarks

        • More Disputes Over Trademarked Area Codes. Why Is This Allowed Again?

          There are plenty of times when I have questioned why something that the USPTO granted a trademark on should be allowed to be registered at all. But one example that flummoxes me the most is that you can go out there and trademark area codes. You don’t hear about this all that much, but AB InBev made this somewhat famous when it acquired Chicago’s Goose Island Brewing, including the trademark for its “312″ brand of beer, and proceeded to file for trademarks on allllllll kinds of area codes.

        • Indivisibility and visibility in invalidity proceedings of a Community design

          On June 10, 2020, the General Court of the European Union conferred a judicial gift on IP enthusiasts with its judgement in case T-100/19 L. Oliva Torras v EUIPO – Mecánica del Frío (Attelages pour véhicules), providing an intricate analysis of a series of procedural and substantial issues regarding Community design invalidity. While the entire judgement is worthy of attention, this blogpost will focus on probably the two most noteworthy aspects of the decision: (i) the [in]divisible character of the ground of invalidity; and (ii) the necessity that EUIPO’s decisions be based on reasoned statements.


          In this case, the context of article 25(1)(b) CDR implies that the requirements in articles 4 to 9 CDR must be applied cumulatively, such that the failure to satisfy even one of them may lead to a finding of invalidity under article 25(1)(b) CDR, whose purpose is to determine whether or not a Community Design was validly registered at the outset. [Community Designs are examined only after their registration, if challenged in an invalidity proceeding, since no examination on absolute grounds is carried out by the EUIPO.]

          The General Court rejected the Board of Appeal’s interpretation of the indivisibility of the ground of invalidity under article 25(1)(b) CDR as requiring an assessment of all the requirements of articles 4 to 9 in order for the contested design to be declared invalid. It noted that the scope of the invalidity action should be determined by the arguments, facts and evidence adduced by the parties in the invalidity proceeding.

      • Copyrights

        • Amsterdam Court of Appeal issues dynamic blocking injunction in long-running dispute between BREIN and ISPs

          The Amsterdam Court of Appeal (CoA) recently issued a dynamic blocking injunction against two Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Ziggo and XS4All, aimed at preventing access to notorious torrent site The Pirate Bay [Dutch decision here, English translation here, courtesy of BREIN]. The decision is part of a long-running dispute, which started in 2010 and led to the landmark ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in C-610/15 Stichting Brein [Katposts here and here].

          The decision is the latest in a series of judgments by European courts which impose, in one form or another, blocking injunctions to prevent large-scale online copyright infringements [Katpost on a recent decision from Sweden here, and see here for a recent review article by Berdien van der Donk]. Not even ten years ago, such injunctions were controversial, but following a series of CJEU rulings – in particular, C-314/12 UPC Telekabel Wien – they now seem commonly accepted.

          The Amsterdam CoA’s decision is interesting because it applies, in great detail, the UPC Telekabel Wien framework to the case at hand.

[Humour] Television Channels That Don’t Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

Posted in Finance at 10:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media oligarchs, doing it with style (and a suit on)

Black Friday Festival: $100,000,000,000 bailout to the gentleman at the back, $100 TV set to keep the 'masses' aback

Summary: People may need to look beyond (or outside) the television screen to grasp what’s going on

  • Trump Administration Discloses Some Recipients of $670 Billion Small Business Bailout

    After months of delays and outright refusals, the Trump administration publicly released the names of some companies that received taxpayer money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

    You can see a list of the businesses here. If you work at a business that received aid from the PPP or another bailout program, please tell us about it.

  • Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans

    Companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received up to $24 million from one of the federal government’s key coronavirus economic relief programs, according to data made public Monday.

    At least six companies from Justice’s empire showed up on the list of Paycheck Protection Program aid recipients released by the Small Business Administration.

  • Trump Friends and Family Cleared for Millions in Small Business Bailout

    Businesses tied to President Donald Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.

    A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.

(Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Deep thought

Summary: Software is consuming people’s minds; to make matters worse, people have become so attached to such software that they’re unable to see it and get away from it (they associate that software with “social life”)

SHALLOW and hollow superficialities constantly surround society, luring people into gossip about meaningless things like presidential candidates who merely look for attention, online trolls who just try to provoke/dramatise by taking down high-profile people, sporting events that have little impact on anything, and of course conspiracy theories that are based on pure conjecture (with no concrete evidence or solid facts to support them). Isolating oneself from pure lunacy has become harder in the age of social control media as the platform is shared by a lot of people and there’s no quality control.

“Isolating oneself from pure lunacy has become harder in the age of social control media as the platform is shared by a lot of people and there’s no quality control.”In order to understand the world one needs to reduce the signal-to-noise (or s/n) ratio; mainstream media and social control media are impediments to that because they try to set the tone, choose the topics, and cause conflict/arouse for more clicks/interaction (they call that “user engagement”). Ad-selling depends on attention levels and duration. So the last thing they want is for people to get the information quickly, then move on…

Fact-checking seems to be on the decline; it’s time-consuming and it rarely justifies the effort on a monetary level. That’s why journalism seems to have become farcical; it’s all about agenda and emotion. Look no further than some of the supposedly ‘successful’ news channels. It’s quite a circus at times. An illusion of balance is the best they can offer when it pays more to have partisanship.

“Ad-selling depends on attention levels and duration. So the last thing they want is for people to get the information quickly, then move on…”But this article isn’t about the demise of journalism — a recurring topic here, partly because the European Patent Office (EPO) subverted the media by bribes and blackmail (blame António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli for that). It’s actually about focus or concentration.

“Internet addition” was a hot topic about a decade ago. Around the same time people spoke of “information overload”. We no longer see those terms used very frequently (instead we hear about “fake news” and “social justice warriors” and whatnot). Society isn’t getting better; in a lot of ways it has been getting worse and a lot of people — especially young people — grow up with their eyes glued to a tiny screen they call “phone”; some of those “phones” have the microphone constantly turned on and churning out “notifications”, which limit one’s ability to form and develop a thought. Professor Eben Moglen spoke about that last year. It was a very good talk. Here it is again, for those who missed it:

Now enter software.

Proprietary software has long been designed and then optimised to subjugate or manipulate users. It’s about control. It’s not a healthy relationship and it is definitely not reciprocal. The user is viewed as merely a ‘consumer’ (in practice being consumed by the program rather than the other way around).

A lot of people have lost sight of social control media being addictive, even by design. The notifications play a role in that. You’re always behind, always in need of “catching up” (the “FOMO” phenomenon). The user is passive; hardly in control. Always being chased by the program, which pushes updates to the users, instead of waiting for the user to ‘pull’ updates. Users should get to the bottom of things rather than try to always stay on top.

“A lot of people have lost sight of social control media being addictive, even by design.”In the context of all this distraction we can expect users to lose sight of how their lives are being sucked away, how the dependence on this new relationship with a multi-user program (or “network”) actually makes them less happy, less productive, and a lot less independent. These “users” (or “useds” as Richard Stallman calls them) come to believe that some people online are actually their “friends” and that to demonstrate popularity they need to be on “top of the game” (gamification is another aspect of this addiction).

The problem extends to software at another level, not just the personal space but also the commercial space. Many programs which mimic Jabber and IRC now offer a conjoined “app” and send out E-mails to people, based on things that happen in channels. That can make it harder to escape work and find personal space. It harms people’s freedom (from work, from stress).

From the perspective of corrupt and/or oppressive governments, this can be seen as a form of social control. The society is constantly distracted, overly conscious of meaningless details whilst overlooking bigger problems. At the same time surveillance is facilitated and people are easily analysed for their thoughts and feelings.

“Progress means changing status quo and any change to the status quo is seen as a risk to monopolies.”In a better world and better societies with a functional democracy, based upon facts and sobriety, Free software/programs would be proliferated rather than mandated, and people would interact without middlemen like Facebook and Twitter deciding what’s “hot” or “trending”; chats associated with work would be strictly limited to working hours and friends would be people to meet in person, discreetly if necessary, to have private conversations rather than text to be ‘mined’/’farmed’ and sold or audio to be analysed and indexed.

A more productive and free-thinking society would rid itself or isolate itself from GAFAM (or similar). Monopolies are a corrosive force that’s detrimental to personal development and collective progress. Progress means changing status quo and any change to the status quo is seen as a risk to monopolies.

Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article by figosdev

Welcome to Gitrepo, professor

Summary: “There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free.”

Recent articles from Techrights have spawned discussions with a hundred comments or more, and one of Tom’s articles was translated into both Spanish and Czech.

Many of these comments contain confusion as to what the “big deal” is about the GNU Project being eroded by GitHub, while one claims that singling out the GNU Project is “sensationalism” — wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that all software is being eroded by GitHub?

If you haven’t heard it before, it’s news to you (or to me). The recent articles have possibly led to more responses than all the similar articles we did combined; one problem in the article (my fault, really) was that I had made a single comment about how the redirects appeared to be made after Stallman was ousted.

“Whether you dispute or agree with this point, RMS is no longer the FSF President, and this is the context in which the phrase “rms was ousted” was written.”That was probably an error — note that when that comment was made, it was not intended for an article. It was intended as a “heads up” or a lead for people at or close to Techrights.

But it certainly has sparked a debate. I honestly felt that this was redundant and too small a thing to cover, but the responses have proven otherwise. It would be foolish to squander the opportunity to address some of the misconceptions about the GNU-Hub:

1. RMS wasn’t ousted

Actually, we have reasons to believe he was deliberately given misleading information, leading him to step down. Various factors (some of which we predicted months ahead of time) make the realistic definition of what happened to rms closer to “being ousted” than voluntarily resigning.

Officially of course, he resigned. More truthfully, it seems that several deliberate and dishonest actions fed into his stepping down. The reasons for our predictions and the confirmation of our suspicions came from very different places. It’s not at all unrealistic to say he was “ousted”. It’s almost ridiculous, however, to say his resignation was “voluntary”.

2. RMS is still head of the GNU project

Again, this is officially true; and Elizabeth II is still technically the head of state, but she can’t actually use her power for very much except bestowing it on other people.

Whether you dispute or agree with this point, RMS is no longer the FSF President, and this is the context in which the phrase “rms was ousted” was written.

“There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free.”Note also that there have been two further coups since he “voluntarily” resigned as President; one to fake his resignation from the GNU Project, and another to try to “vote” him out of the GNU Project. It would be naive to assume that these various (and closely timed) efforts to unseat him from all forms of influence were unrelated; though it is technically possible they are not from the same groups of actors.

This is all highly relevant, however, since rms has made it clear that GitHub is wrong for Free software. To quote, “GitHub does things that are quite bad for Free software and is not interested in changing them. If you want to move off Savannah, please pick some other place.”

3. GitHub doesn’t make software projects less free

There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free. The FSF lists several of them — when people “refute” this notion, they always seem to leave part of the reasons out. Perhaps this is because there are so many (it’s also because the people who refute this don’t care about or necessarily even consider your freedom).

Above all, joining GitHub helps one of Free software’s most tenacious enemies — it hands control over to a company that continues to promote software patents, attack copyleft, and attack (and try to control) various software projects, including the Linux kernel. Let’s not pretend there is any reason to trust Microsoft. There are plenty of reasons not to.

4. GitHub isn’t controlled by Microsoft

This one is just funny. Microsoft’s M.O., not just recently, but throughout the history of the company — has been to try to control every competitor in the industry. Along those lines, GitHub is probably the best thing they could have ever purchased.

Microsoft goes out of their way to control companies they don’t own — you think they don’t control companies they literally own? That’s marketing/P.R. nonsense. It’s pure nonsense.

5. Git is distributed, GitHub doesn’t lock users in

Git was developed by Linus Torvalds, and its future is tied into Microsoft via the Linux Foundation — which is practically a Microsoft front group by now.

“Let’s not pretend there is any reason to trust Microsoft. There are plenty of reasons not to.”But the lock-in that makes GitHub so successful is a “side-channel” attack on project autonomy, not unlike their similar tactics against proprietary software. Techrights has covered side-channel attacks on software freedom for years now — if you can’t attack GPL-licensed directly, just attack copyleft, attack the FSF, attack rms, and lock users in with years worth of community exchange they can’t practically move to any new service.

The effects of lock-in are obvious to behold, but somehow the lock-in itself remains something users (and fans) are in denial about.

In short, if you suggest that people leave GitHub, they will state the reasons why it’s not practical to do so — this includes naming the very causes of lock-in as things they can’t afford to leave behind. But if you suggest that lock-in occurs, they will say it doesn’t exist.

Discussions of lock-in efforts that work around the license will invariably shift towards mentioning the license. Do people not know how much effort Microsoft has made to erode and minimise the effects of the licenses that are supposedly impervious to Microsoft? This is a corporation that seems to take over entire organisations, just to get at their code, activists and licenses.

6. You can’t blame the GNU maintainers, they only move to GitHub because Savannah sucks

Of course you can blame the GNU maintainers. Both the FSF and rms have made it perfectly clear that moving to GitHub is a bad idea — you can blame the developers for not heeding the warning. RMS is still the head of the GNU Project, right? Officially, at least.

“As you can perhaps tell from this list, a lot of excuses are being made for doing the wrong thing — against the Chief GNUisance’s advice and/or leadership.”In practice, the maintainers aren’t listening and quite a few have moved to remove rms from his position. They are hopefully in the minority, though the problem isn’t “all GNU maintainers” — it’s many of them. It’s enough that we can certainly blame GNU maintainers.

As you can perhaps tell from this list, a lot of excuses are being made for doing the wrong thing — against the Chief GNUisance’s advice and/or leadership.

As rms pointed out in 2015, if people aren’t happy with Savannah (a platform forked from SourceForge when it was still Free software, which provides the GNU project with more autonomy than most other solutions — a clear advantage in and of itself) there are better options than GitHub — GitHub was already among the worst options even before Microsoft owned them.

So hating Savannah isn’t a legitimate reason to use GitHub; it is a legitimate reason to consider other options, the worst of which by far is GitHub. Yet due to lock-in and network effect, people take the path of least resistance (a path associated for centuries with erosion of freedom and autonomy — freedom requires vigilance, does it not?) and then try to paint that as a reasonable, logical decision.

If you don’t care about freedom — which is exactly the accusation being made here — then yes, it is somewhat reasonable and logical (within the context of a very glib and superficial decision process).

“The GNU Project couldn’t move to GitHub without drastically changing the nature of the GNU Project.”If on the other hand, freedom still matters — there is absolutely no reasonable way that anybody would move a GNU project to GitHub.

This is basic litmus test stuff here. The GNU Project couldn’t move to GitHub without drastically changing the nature of the GNU Project.

7. The GNU Project isn’t that important anymore (we’ve actually heard this recently).

The various attacks we’ve documented on the GNU Project over the past few years suggest otherwise. It’s also really a change of subject; like a bank robber saying “I only took Pound notes, and they’re in a giant slump anyway since Brexit”. They were still valuable enough to steal though, right?

Also, if the GNU Project doesn’t matter, why haven’t all GNU/Linux distros switched to the BSD versions of everything? Like the BSD version of Emacs, for example. (Wait, there isn’t a BSD version of Emacs?) I don’t use Emacs, though I know there are several clones. Most of the Emacs fans I know are using the “real” Emacs though.

8. Why single out GitHub and Microsoft? There are other monopolies

This comes up so often, it probably originated at Microsoft (I’ve read stories on Techrights that suggest it might).

“It’s good that people are making all these excuses. It means they suddenly feel the need to justify this series of very bad decisions.”It really shouldn’t be necessary to explain, when one company is doing far more than any other to control Free software and the GNU project, why we would single out that company above the others. That’s just common sense, but it gets questioned anyway because that’s just how P.R. campaigns work — against common sense.

IBM also does a great deal of harm in this regard, but we talk about that all the time. So not only is there a perfectly good reason to single out Microsoft — we really don’t single them out, at least not to the exclusion of talking about other problems with other companies.

It’s good that people are making all these excuses. It means they suddenly feel the need to justify this series of very bad decisions.

We are (and were) aware of the fact that not all the changes are recent; for example, GNU Radio and GNU Aspell moved to GitHub in 2016; Microsoft didn’t purchase it until 2018. And we’ve known this since May.

That doesn’t change the fact that the GNU Project has continued to erode. Perl (which is not part of the GNU Project, but the most important parts of the GNU Project rely on Perl) just moved to GitHub two months after rms resigned. ALSA (GNUsound has modules for ALSA and Jack, which are both now based on GitHub) and NPM both moved farther into GitHub since the Microsoft acquisition was announced, and Techrights has talked about Python being bribed into Microsoft’s clutches for months.

“GNU is THE Free software project, the cornerstone of the Free software ecosystem.”We are singling out the GNU Project for the same reason we put stress on Microsoft’s efforts to control it; Microsoft is one of the worst actors in this regard, even bribing people to join GitHub (people defending the GNU-Hub debacle have said perhaps they enjoy getting “free” hosting on the enemy’s dime; we think the bribery suggests that Microsoft is clearly investing in control — there is nothing “free” being offered here, and it’s pretty naive to think there is) while the GNU Project is the most important Free software project. GNU is THE Free software project, the cornerstone of the Free software ecosystem.

Funnily enough, the only thing that led me to notice this happening to the GNU Project, was trying to get an idea of how much it had happened to other important projects. We started tripping over projects close to (then within) the GNU Project. So of course we wanted to know how compromised the GNU Project had managed to get.

Certainly people dispute GNU’s importance, because (as with Nokia Handset) you have to devalue your enemy first, before you can destroy (or own) them. Whether that’s rms or the GNU Project, you can’t expect people attacking your freedom to say that it matters.

You can tell that freedom is under attack when monopolies gain influence. One erodes the other, if you are giving into Microsoft and Github you are sacrificing freedom and autonomy. They’ve gone to great lengths to get people to do just that — and they still do. The fact that people are denying this is a story by itself; it might as well be the 11th coup in the past year.

Long Live rms, and bring back GNU someday.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

Posted in News Roundup at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • What’s the Difference Between Linux and Unix?

      Linux is a free and open-source operating system. Unix is a commercial product, offered by a variety of vendors each with its own variant, usually dedicated to its own hardware. It’s expensive and closed source. But Linux and Unix do more or less the same thing in the same way, right? More or less, yes.

      The subtleties are slightly more complicated. There are differences beyond the technical and architectural. To understand some of the influences that have shaped Unix and Linux, we need to understand their backstories.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Getting Started with the Librem Mini

        With the Librem Mini shipping, we put together this short quickstart guide so you can know your hardware before it arrives. Dive into how the Librem Mini protects your digital freedom as well as look at the technical specs here.

        In the box, you should expect to see the Mini itself, as well as a power adapter. All of which are covered by a one-year warranty. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from expert support staff ready to ensure your Mini runs well.

      • Purism Launches a Mini PC

        For anyone looking to deploy small form factor PCs, and are wanting them powered by Linux, Purism might have what you’re looking for. The Librem Mini is a tiny device that packs plenty of features. The form factor is smaller than a Mac Mini, bigger than a Raspberry Pi, and includes everything you need to work with Linux.

      • Use Samsung DeX with a Chromebook or Linux PC (unofficially)

        Liliputing’s primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the “Shop” button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we’ll get a small commission).

        But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you’re using an ad blocker and hate online shopping.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Melissa Wen: GSoC First Phase – Achievements

          Outside the context of exploring and becoming acquainted with the case, examining the anatomy of the kms_cursor_crc I caught useless parameters in a general IGT function, i.e., it requires two parameters, but never uses them within its code. I checked the author (git blame) and asked him on IRC about the need for these additional parameters, but I didn’t get a response (or maybe I missed the reply due to disconnection). Then, I sent an RFC patch to the mailing list and also nothing. Finally, my mentor took a look, and he agreed that the parameters seem useless and can be removed. He asked me to resend as a normal patch.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Fragcolors

          SPIR-V has no builtin for a color decoration on variables, which means that gl_FragColor goes through as a regular variable with no special handling. As such, there’s similarly no special handling in the underlying Vulkan driver to split the output of this variable out to the various color attachments, which means that only the first color attachment will have the expected result when multiple color attachments are present.

    • Benchmarks

      • Seagate FireCuda 520 PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Linux Performance

        For those that have been considering the Seagate FireCuda 520 as a PCI Express 4.0 NVMe solid-state drive, here are some benchmarks under Ubuntu Linux with this ZP500GM3A002 drive.


        With the FireCuda 520 I benchmarked it against the PCIe 4.0 NVMe Corsair Force MP600 1TB/2TB drives as well as various PCIe 3.0 Samsung SSDs for reference. With this just being a unit purchased retail and not often receiving solid-state drive review samples, this is just a collection of tests for a few drives available at the time and mostly putting out these results for reference purposes.

    • Applications

      • Handwritten Notes App ‘Write’ Adds Split-Pane View, Improved SVG Support

        Three years on and with a new release available for download I’m pleased to say that my conclusion still stands — heck, this freeware app is now even better at what it sets out to do.

        Which is what?

        Well, Write is Qt-based note-taking app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and (new) iOS. It’s designed (ideally) for use with an active stylus. Using it on a non-touch device is possible, though with so many solid typing-based Linux note taking apps available, it’s not necessarily optimal.

        Where Write excels compared to more general purpose note-taking apps and annotation tools (like Xournalpp, a similar open source app I’ve written about before) is in its focus on catering to the scribbled word and nothing else.

        This app describes itself as “a word processor for handwriting” and the feature set it comes with is totally geared towards that aim, offering…

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The first DLC for Oxygen Not Included sounds huge, free update soon too

        Klei Entertainment have been busy working behind the scenes on the next free update and first expansion for Oxygen Not Included and they’ve detailed what’s coming.

        First, the free update coming within the next few days should fix plenty of issues, including one involving infinite digging which sounds annoying. More exciting is the DLC though, it’s sounding like it’s going to be massive!

      • VKD3D-Proton is the new official Direct3D 12 to Vulkan layer for Proton

        VKD3D was originally a project created directly by the Wine team, the compatibility layer that Proton is built upon. However, the original founder passed away and it seems Valve-funded developers are taking the torch to push it much further. It’s actually been a thing for a while but today they adjusted the name of their project as VKD3D-Proton, to give it some official status plus preventing any naming conflicts elsewhere and just be clear about their goals.

        They’re going for supporting the “full” Direct3D 12 API on top of Vulkan, with an aim of both performance and compatibility using modern Vulkan extensions and features, so this comes at the expense of compatibility with older drivers and GPUs. They’re also not looking to keep backwards compatibility with the original vkd3d.

      • Valve Starts Official VKD3D-Proton To Bring D3D12-Based Games On Linux

        Valve’s Proton compatibility tool has unarguably turned the table for gaming on Linux. As we reported months ago, Proton brought about 6,000 games to Linux in the last two years.

        Now Valve has started working on a new project to further bring Windows-exclusive games on Linux. Hans-Kristian Arntzen, a developer from Valve’s Proton team, has forked out a VKD3D library built on top of Vulkan. To mark it as Proton’s official project, he has renamed the project VKD3D-Proton.

      • Valve Working On A VKD3D Fork For Getting Direct3D 12 Advanced For Proton / Steam Play

        While upstream Wine developers continue working on VKD3D for providing a Direct3D 12 to Vulkan translation layer for Wine, a developer on Valve’s Proton team has now forked it as Proton-VKD3D for focusing their efforts on getting the D3D12 support moved along for Proton that powers Steam Play.

        While upstream Wine developers and in particular CodeWeavers do continue to work on VKD3D, VKD3D-Proton appears to be Valve’s fork or downstream of that where they can more freely work on their game-focused support for enabling Direct3D 12 Windows games to be better supported on Linux with Steam Play. Presumably it will be more along the lines of a downstream / moving fork of VKD3D rather than a hard fork, similar to Proton re-basing against Wine every once in a while.

      • GDScript progress report: Type checking is back

        After completing the new tokenizer and parser as mentioned in the previous reports, I started working on the code analyzer, which is responsible for type checking and also for used for other features like warnings and some optimizations.

        This was done before as a second pass inside the parser but it was now moved to another class to make it clear that it doesn’t happen at the same pass thus avoiding issues with functions being called out of order (which happened by a few contributions that missed this detail).

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • GSoC 2020 with KDE

          Much to my delight, the first phase of my project for GSoC has completed successully. All the goals according to my proposal timeline for the first month have been met and I’m pleased to say that I have passed my first evaluation.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Trim Video Clips on Linux Fast with This New GTK App

          I won’t pretend that it’s difficult to trim video on Linux because, honestly, it isn’t; a plethora of ace apps designed to make basic cuts and simple edits exist (with Qt-based VidCutter and the best known).

          But if you’re a GNOME user you might be on the hunt for something that feels and functions a bit more like the rest of your apps. If so, then there’s a new option worth looking in to.

          The succinctly titled ‘Video Trimmer’ is a new(ish) addition to the roster of video trimming apps for Linux and it’s incredibly simple to use.

        • Getting Things GNOME To-Do App Is Back with a New Major Release, Here’s What’s New

          Probably not many of you reading this remember Getting Things GNOME, especially because it’s been more than six years since it received an update.

          Getting Things GNOME is a personal taks and to-do list items organizer for the GNOME desktop environment, inspired by the “Getting Things Done” methodology.

          The new release, Getting Things GNOME 0.4, is here to prove that the app isn’t dead and that it is here to stay for a long time to come, helping you getting your everyday stuff done and be more productive.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • MX Linux 19.2 KDE Beta 1 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at MX Linux 19.2 KDE Beta 1. Enjoy!

        • MX Linux Releases First ISO For Its KDE Plasma Edition

          Last month, the MX Linux dev team released a new version 19.2 in its MX Linux 19 ‘Patito Feo’ series. Based on Debian Buster 10.4, MX Linux 19.2 came with Xfce 4.14 desktop environment and some other minor updates and bug fixes.

          On high user demand, MX dev team is now working on a new official edition featuring KDE Plasma desktop for the first time. Subsequently, the team has released the first Beta of MX Linux 19.2 with KDE 5.14.5 for testing purposes.

        • Stable Clonezilla live 2.6.7-28 Released

          This release of Clonezilla live (2.6.7-28) includes major enhancements and bug fixes.
          ENHANCEMENTS and CHANGES from 2.6.6-15

          • The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2020/Jun/30).
          • Linux kernel was updated to 5.7.6-1.
          • ocs-iso, ocs-live-dev: sync syslinux-related files when copying syslinux exec files.
          • When creating recovery iso/zip file, if it’s in Clonezilla live environment, we have those syslinux files. Use that first so the version mismatch can be avoided. Ref: https://sourceforge.net/p/clonezilla/support-requests/127/
          • Move grub-header.cfg from bootx64.efi to grub.cfg so that it’s more flexible.
          • To avoid conflict with the patch of grub in CentOS/Fedora, for GRUB EFI NB MAC/IP config style, the netboot file is now like grub.cfg-drbl-00:50:56:01:01:01 and grub.cfg-drbl- not grub.cfg-01-* anymore.
          • Add xen-tools
          • Partclone was updated to 0.3.14. The codes about xfs was updated to be 4.20.0.
          • Package exfat-fuse was removed since the kernel has module for that.
          • A better mechanism to deal with linuxefi/initrdefi or linux/initrd in the grub config was added.
        • Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 Released with Linux Kernel 5.7 and Improved exFAT Support

          Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 has been released today as a new stable version of this powerful and very useful live system based on Clonezilla, an open-source partition and disk imaging/cloning program.

          Coming exactly a month after Clonezilla Live 2.6.6, the Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 release is here to bump the kernel to the latest Linux 5.7 series. Linux kernel 5.7.6 is included in the new ISO image, which was fully synced with the upstream Debian Sid repository as of June 30th, 2020.

          As you probably know already, Linux kernel 5.7 comes with a new and improved exFAT file system implementation. Therefore, starting with Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 the developer removed the exfat-fuse package as it is no longer needed to support exFAT formatted drives.

          XFS file system support was improved as well in this release, which comes with the Partclone 0.3.14 tool for backing up partitions, Xen-tools for VM provisioning and installation, as well as a better mechanism for handling linuxefi/initrdefi or linux/initrd in the GRUB configuration.

      • BSD

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Top tips for making your Call for Code submission stand out

          With the deadline for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge rapidly approaching (it’s Friday, July 31st at 11:59pm PDT), I have three last-minute tips and a checklist to review before you submit your entry.

        • IBM Cloud Pak for Applications in 2 minutes
        • Fedora Community Blog monthly summary: June 2020

          In May, we published 13 posts. 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.

          The most read post last month was Fedora 32 election results available, which published at the end of April.

        • Madeline Peck: Finished Storyboards!

          I also attended an executive talk this week which was really interesting to listen to. I believe it was by DeLisa Alexander (Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer) and hearing about her career track and how she encouraged working for cool places who actually took listened to your demands was an important thing to remember.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • ScreenKey Shows Keyboard Presses on Screen in Ubuntu

          Mac and Windows screencasters have access to a wide array of apps designed specifically to display key presses on screen as they are typed with macOS tool Screenflick perhaps the best known.

          But for Ubuntu? You’ll want to try Screenkey.

          Screenkey is a free, open-source alternative to Screenflick designed for use on Linux desktops, like Ubuntu. When run the app shows each key press on screen as it’s pressed (and while you record, perhaps using the hidden GNOME Shell screen recorder).

          The majority of Ubuntu users won’t have much use for this tool. But for the 0.25% making video tutorials, explanatory gifs, or other how-to related content? For them Screenkey will be invaluable.

          Put simply: if you need to illustrate actions associated with a specific keyboard shortcut or command in a screenshot or video clip there is nothing easier to use than this.

          Screenkey features multi-monitor support, lets you customise font size, font style, and font colour, and offers a crop of advanced settings to control position, timing, opacity, specific character key presses, and more.

          You can also choose what shortcut activates the app, and decide whether multimedia keys (e.g., volume, pause, brightness, etc) are supported or not.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 638

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 638 for the week of June 28 – July 4, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Linux Plumbers Conference: Testing and Fuzzing Microconference Accepted into 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference

          We are pleased to announce that the Testing and Fuzzing Microconference has been accepted into the 2020 Linux Plumbers Conference!

          Testing and Fuzzing is crucial to the stability the Linux Kernel demands. Last year’s meetup helped make Kernel CI a Linux Foundation hosted project, collaboration between Red Hat CKI and KernelCI. On the more technical side, KUnit was merged upstream, and KernelCI integration is underway, syzcaller reproducers are being included in the Linux Test Project[5], and Clang is integrated in KernelCI.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Announcing Rustup 1.22.0

            The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.22.0. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

          • This Week In Servo 131

            Welcome back everyone – it’s been a year without written updates, but we’re getting this train back on track! Servo hasn’t been dormant in that time; the biggest news was the public release of Firefox Reality (built on Servo technology) in the Microsoft store.

            In the past week, we merged 44 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

          • Performance Improvements via Formally-Verified Cryptography in Firefox

            Cryptographic primitives, while extremely complex and difficult to implement, audit, and validate, are critical for security on the web. To ensure that NSS (Network Security Services, the cryptography library behind Firefox) abides by Mozilla’s principle of user security being fundamental, we’ve been working with Project Everest and the HACL* team to bring formally-verified cryptography into Firefox.

            In Firefox 57, we introduced formally-verified Curve25519, which is a mechanism used for key establishment in TLS and other protocols. In Firefox 60, we added ChaCha20 and Poly1305, providing high-assurance authenticated encryption. Firefox 69, 77, and 79 improve and expand these implementations, providing increased performance while retaining the assurance granted by formal verification.

          • Mozilla Accessibility: Broadening Our Impact

            Last year, the accessibility team worked to identify and fix gaps in our screen reader support, as well as on some new areas of focus, like improving Firefox for users with low vision. As a result, we shipped some great features. In addition, we’ve begun building awareness across Mozilla and putting in place processes to help ensure delightful accessibility going forward, including a Firefox wide triage process.

            With a solid foundation for delightful accessibility well underway, we’re looking at the next step in broadening our impact: expanding our engagement with our passionate, global community. It’s our hope that we can get to a place where a broad community of interested people become active participants in the planning, design, development and testing of Firefox accessibility. To get there, the first step is open communication about what we’re doing and where we’re headed.

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Next Steps for Net Neutrality

            Two years ago we first brought Mozilla v. FCC in federal court, in an effort to save the net neutrality rules protecting American consumers. Mozilla has long fought for net neutrality because we believe that the internet works best when people control their own online experiences.

            Today is the deadline to petition the Supreme Court for review of the D.C. Circuit decision in Mozilla v. FCC. After careful consideration, Mozilla—as well as its partners in this litigation—are not seeking Supreme Court review of the D.C. Circuit decision. Even though we did not achieve all that we hoped for in the lower court, the court recognized the flaws of the FCC’s action and sent parts of it back to the agency for reconsideration. And the court cleared a path for net neutrality to move forward at the state level. We believe the fight is best pursued there, as well as on other fronts including Congress or a future FCC.

            Net neutrality is more than a legal construct. It is a reflection of the fundamental belief that ISPs have tremendous power over our online experiences and that power should not be further concentrated in actors that have often demonstrated a disregard for consumers and their digital rights. The global pandemic has moved even more of our daily lives—our work, school, conversations with friends and family—online. Internet videos and social media debates are fueling an essential conversation about systemic racism in America. At this moment, net neutrality protections ensuring equal treatment of online traffic are critical. Recent moves by ISPs to favor their own content channels or impose data caps and usage-based pricing make concerns about the need for protections all the more real.

          • Frédéric Wang: Contributions to Web Platform Interoperability (First Half of 2020)

            Web developers continue to face challenges with web interoperability issues and a lack of implementation of important features. As an open-source project, the AMP Project can help represent developers and aid in addressing these challenges. In the last few years, we have partnered with Igalia to collaborate on helping advance predictability and interoperability among browsers. Standards and the degree of interoperability that we want can be a long process. New features frequently require experimentation to get things rolling, course corrections along the way and then, ultimately as more implementations and users begin exploring the space, doing really interesting things and finding issues at the edges we continue to advance interoperability.

            Both AMP and Igalia are very pleased to have been able to play important roles at all stages of this process and help drive things forward. During the first half of this year, here’s what we’ve been up to…

          • Community crossover, Rust at CNCF, and more industry trends

            The impact: The Rust community has a reputation of welcoming loveliness; increased overlap in the Rust and CNCF Venn diagrams is a harbinger of good things for both communities.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

        • LibreOffice Writer: Page Formatting

          Page formatting is determining page size, margins, boundaries, and orientation. With this we prepare our document for printing papers and how it would look like in general. You will utilize menubar Format a lot in this case. Let’s go!

        • LibreOffice GSoC Week 5 Report

          Hello, Last week I finished this academic year. Finally, I don’t have any exam that I have to study. So, I can spare more time to my project.
          Unfortunately, I just sent a little patch. For now, this patch has some parts that need to be fixed. I will finish the solving problems on this patch.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Linux In The Machine Shop Hack Chat

          Enter LinuxCNC, the free and open-source CNC package. With support for realtime operation, one-step installations, and a huge range of capabilities provided by a team of volunteer developers and supported by an active community, LinuxCNC has democratized the world of CNC machines.

      • Programming/Development

        • Let’s make a Teeny Tiny compiler, part 3

          We are finally here. It is time to create the emitter for our Teeny Tiny compiler, which will give us a the foundation to a working compiler. The fame and fortune is so close! Previously, we implemented the lexer (part 1) and the parser (part 2). The source code from this tutorial can be found in the GitHub repo.

          The emitter is the component that will produce the compiled code. In this case, our compiler will be producing C code. Luckily, we designed our parser in such a way that will make emitting C code quite easy! Since C is so ubiquitous, we will rely on your favorite C compiler (e.g., GCC or LLVM) to produce the executable for us. This means our compiler will be platform independent without dealing with assembly code or complex compiler frameworks.

          Back before I started coding this compiler, I wrote several fictitious examples of Teeny Tiny code and the corresponding C code that I think the compiler should generate. This was a good exercise to see which things translate nicely (i.e., one line of Teeny Tiny equals one line of C) and what doesn’t.

        • A Go lesson learned: sometimes I don’t want to use goroutines if possible

          One very simple metric is how long it takes to read a little file from every NFS filesystem we have mounted on a machine. As it happens, we already have the little files (they’re used for another system management purpose), so all I need is a program to open and read each one while timing how long it takes. There’s an obvious issue with doing this sequentially, which is that if there’s a single slow filesystem, it could delay everything else.

        • [Old] How to fix the broken web as a site owner and web developer

          The web is broken. Behavioral tracking without consent, abuse of personal data, annoying walls, prompts and popups and a lot of disrespect to the web user in general.

          More technically savvy people use browser extensions and better browsers to avoid most of the noise and have a clean and distraction-free web experience. The “average” internet user on Chrome without extensions is browsing a very broken web and is regularly being taken advantage of.

          Here’s how you as a website owner and web developer can help fix this broken web so we don’t require hacks and extensions to make it usable and everyone can have a great experience.

        • Data Prep Still Dominates Data Scientists’ Time, Survey Finds

          Data cleansing – fixing or discarding anomalous or wrong numbers and otherwise ensuring the data is an accurate representation of the phenomenon it is meant to measure — accounts for more than a quarter of average day for data scientists, followed by 19% for data loading (the “L” in ETL), according to Anaconda’s annual survey.

          Data visualization tasks occupied for about 21% of their time, while model selection, model training and scoring, and model deployment each consume 11% to 12% of the day, the survey found.

        • Rcpp 1.0.5: Several Updates

          Right on the heels of the news of 2000 CRAN packages using Rcpp (and also hitting 12.5 of CRAN package, or one in eight), we are happy to announce release 1.0.5 of Rcpp. Since the ten-year anniversary and the 1.0.0 release release in November 2018, we have been sticking to a four-month release cycle. The last release has, however, left us with a particularly bad taste due to some rather peculiar interactions with a very small (but ever so vocal) portion of the user base. So going forward, we will change two things. First off, we reiterate that we have already made rolling releases. Each minor snapshot of the main git branch gets a point releases. Between release 1.0.4 and this 1.0.5 release, there were in fact twelve of those. Each and every one of these was made available via the drat repo, and we will continue to do so going forward. Releases to CRAN, however, are real work. If they then end up with as much nonsense as the last release 1.0.4, we think it is appropriate to slow things down some more so we intend to now switch to a six-months cycle. As mentioned, interim releases are always just one install.packages() call with a properly set repos argument away.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.27 Advanced Beginning

            Vadim Belman has kicked off a series of blog posts about advanced Raku subjects, but for beginners! And what a kick off it was! With already three blog posts to savour:

        • Python

          • Pure Python Configuration Management With PyInfra

            Building and managing servers is a challenging task. Configuration management tools provide a framework for handling the various tasks involved, but many of them require learning a specific syntax and toolchain. PyInfra is a configuration management framework that embraces the familiarity of Pure Python, allowing you to build your own integrations easily and package it all up using the same tools that you rely on for your applications. In this episode Nick Barrett explains why he built it, how it is implemented, and the ways that you can start using it today. He also shares his vision for the future of the project and you can get involved. If you are tired of writing mountains of YAML to set up your servers then give PyInfra a try today.

          • GraphQL – ORM

            GraphQL aims to overcome REST’s shortcomings through a flexible query language, and succeeds in doing so on the client side. But on the server side, GraphQL resolvers have effectively recreated the same over- and under- fetching problems that have long plagued ORMs. The fact that ORMs remain popular despite of their inefficiency is a testament to the benefits of having in-memory objects behave consistently. There is no such trade-off for server-side GraphQL, where the only point of the objects is to be immediately serialized.

            The so-called N+1 problem is generally acknowledged in the GraphQL community, but this article will argue only the symptoms are being addressed with workarounds like dataloader.

          • Massive memory overhead: Numbers in Python and how NumPy helps

            Those numbers can easily fit in a 64-bit integer, so one would hope Python would store those million integers in no more than ~8MB: a million 8-byte objects.

            In fact, Python uses more like 35MB of RAM to store these numbers. Why? Because Python integers are objects, and objects have a lot of memory overhead.

            Let’s see what’s going on under the hood, and then how using NumPy can get rid of this overhead.s

          • Can Anybody Become a Data Scientist?

            Introduction to Programming with Python is my first stop on this journey. RMOTR co-founder Santiago Basulto leads this course and, boy, does he cover a lot.

          • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) in Python 3

            Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a method of structuring a program by bundling related properties and behaviors into individual objects. In this tutorial, you’ll learn the basics of object-oriented programming in Python.

            Conceptually, objects are like the components of a system. Think of a program as a factory assembly line of sorts. At each step of the assembly line a system component processes some material, ultimately transforming raw material into a finished product.

            An object contains data, like the raw or preprocessed materials at each step on an assembly line, and behavior, like the action each assembly line component performs.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC 2020 Blog Post (#3)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC Weekly Blog #3
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: I’m Not Drowning On My Own
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Phase 2 – Weekly Check-in 6
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Blog Post #3
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check In – 5
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #6
          • Understanding Virtual Environments in Python

            Most often than not, as a programmer, you will be required to work on different projects. These projects would also have different dependencies.

            Let’s say you’re building two Python application simultaneously. Each of these applications have their own set of dependencies of Python version and packages.

            One of them is a To-Do list app written in Python3 version and uses Django Rest Framework and another one is a Music Library written in Python2 version using Requests library and different/older version of Django to fetch music information from SoundCloud API.

          • CircuitPython Game Development (PewPew M4)

            Check out this open source CircuitPython game development platform based on the ARM M4 microcontroller. If you’re looking to do some homebrew game development on a handheld platform, this is a great option.

            In this video I give an overview of the hardware itself and show how the CircuitPython programming environment works on it along with some basic programming examples.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Blog post for week 5: Polishing

            Last week was another week of code and documentation polishing. Originally I planned to implement duplicate filtering with external data sources, however, I already did that in week 2 when I evaluated the possibility of disk-less external queues (see pull request #2).

  • Leftovers

    • Private Facebook groups illegally selling human remains and macabre curios

      A reporter from Live Science kept track of various private groups on Facebook and the items being sold there. They saw human body parts ranging from whole skeletons to skulls of teenagers being sold at various prices. The source of most of the items remained murky. However, the buyers did not seem to be bothered about the source of the bodies or body parts.

    • Education

      • Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

        You didn’t really even have to ask, but Bruce Perens stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. In 1997, I wrote non-discrimination provisions into the Debian Free Software Guidelines, which then became the Open Source Definiton. While they still stand, they have been constantly under attack.

        My personal experience with prejudice comes from how I was treated as a neurologically handicapped child. But I am also subject to ageism, and most bigots do not consider me to be “white” because of my ethnic Jewish origin.

        There has been some (fortunately unsuccessful) movement to cast aspersion on Open Source as the product of “old white men”. This is humorous because of the explicitly non-discriminatory nature of the work, and its origin within the Debian team, which has always been very diverse. Nobody should be rejecting anyone’s work due to their skin color.

      • Drastic Declines Expected in Foreign Students in US

        In May, a report from the Institute of International Education (IIE) showed that 88% of nearly 600 respondent institutions anticipate international student enrollment decreasing in the 2020-2021 academic year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Seventy percent of those institutions said they anticipate that some international students will not return to their campus in person in fall 2020. Three-quarters are giving students the option to defer in-person enrollment to later in the fall or spring 2021.

        And while many colleges and universities are scrambling to devise a strategy that will bring students back to school while keeping them safe and healthy, half indicated they plan to offer students online enrollment in the fall.

        If ICE enforces their statement, those students will have to withdraw.

      • ICE says international students must take in-person classes to remain in the US

        New students matriculating at schools offering fully online programs will not receive visas, per ICE. Students who are already enrolled at such schools will be required to transfer or leave the country. Eight percent of US colleges are planning for an online-only semester, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, including Harvard and Bowdoin, though some of those schools plan to invite a reduced number of students back to campus.

      • New Rules: Foreign Pupils Must Leave US If Classes Go Online

        Under the updated rules, international students must take at least some of their classes in person. New visas will not be issued to students at schools or programs that are entirely online. And even at colleges offering a mix of in-person and online courses this fall, international students will be barred from taking all their classes online.

        It creates an urgent dilemma for thousands of international students who became stranded in the U.S. last spring after the coronavirus forced their schools to move online. Those attending schools that are staying online must “depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction,” according to the guidance.

    • Hardware

      • USB-C Hubs and Ethernet

        USB-C continues to be an exciting mess. And by exciting I mean frustrating and by mess I mean omnishambles. I already cycled through many, many USB-C hubs with various different degrees of success but the latest iteration of failure I think is pretty interesting that it’s worth sharing.

        For the most part my USB-C hub pains have been isolated to them just breaking eventually, overheating, not delivering the necessary power or just plain not working. The most recent breakage is that I have three hubs where if I connect an ethernet cable to it and a USB-C charger but disconnect my laptop, after about 30 seconds the network goes haywire and eventually more and more devices in it become unavailable.

        The curious bit here is debugging this mess and why it happens. Initially I thought it was a faulty switch because only devices behind a certain switch (A Netgear one) cut out, so I got it replaced but that did nothing. It’s also weird that this behavior did not immediately surface. I have been using these USB-C hubs for an extended period of time but only lately did it cause my network to completely go haywire. My hunch is that it has something to do with generally having an additional two switches on the network and changed the overall topology slightly.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Coronavirus and the Surveillance State

        The evolution of information technologies will beckon us to expand the powers of governments, especially when we believe they would serve the common good, like during a pandemic.


        Yet changing technologies upend established compromises on these matters and force us to confront possibilities that once seemed fantastical. In the last few years, for example, political campaigns have turned to techniques like geofencing, which enable strategists to scan crowds and identify their members—without the latter’s knowledge—by the signals emitted by their cell phones. This information makes it possible to trace the presence of those targets in future public venues. Law enforcement agencies at many levels have wide recourse to related technologies, such as Stingray, that track the movements of persons of interest using the signals between the targets’ phones and the nearest towers. The legal status of these activities is unclear, and court orders are rarely sought for them. Many of these technologies have been developed not by government agencies but by advertising and marketing entrepreneurs.
        Thus far use of these capabilities in the United States has largely been scattered across different private-sector and government organizations, rather than concentrated in any single institution. By contrast, mainland China has openly deployed its considerable resources to track the movements of virtually every member of its population. During the pandemic, citizens were classified by three color codes—green, yellow, and red—based on the history of their movements. These codes were available via each person’s cell phone, which must be used for crucial transactions. When seeking access to high-speed rail service or bus connections, or entering other public spaces likely to be crowded, everyone expected to have their code checked. Those coded red or yellow were assumed to have had close contact with a confirmed coronavirus carrier; the authorities would block holders of these phones from further travel and possibly assign them enforced quarantine. Those lucky enough to show a green classification faced few restrictions. An additional feature of the system enables the authorities to drill down into the detail of the person’s traveling history should suspicions remain. Citizens revealed to have traveled recently to Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan, risked further investigation as possible virus carriers.

      • Bring Back Health Planning

        When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, my life as a critical care physician in a Boston-area hospital changed quickly. Massachusetts weathered the third biggest outbreak, in total cases, in the nation. Patients who had contracted the novel coronavirus filled our intensive care units. Their lungs failed; our days started early and ran late. To expand capacity, we acquired more ventilators and brought in new staff. Our surgical recovery room was converted into an open-ward ICU exclusively for critically ill COVID-19 patients.

        Another change: we began to cooperate with other hospitals in a novel way.

        The ICU capacity at our region’s mid-sized hospitals could evaporate overnight with a surge of admissions of patients in respiratory failure. Much larger institutions nearby had more space and some specialized technologies, like extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)—a sort of external artificial lung that pushes oxygen into the bloodstream and sucks out the carbon dioxide, which can help some of those with refractory lung failure. When I wasn’t treating patients, I joined daily phone meetings with physicians working throughout the greater Boston area. We shared data and learned where we could send critically ill patients when we ran out of beds. Something similar played out in New York, where the crisis, by necessity, spurred unprecedented cooperation among the state’s hospitals.

        Pandemics lay bare the need for cooperation in health services. But cooperation, and planning, will be equally important after the pandemic is over, and must go well beyond meetings. We need to envision a health system where the distribution of infrastructure and resources is not left to the dictates of the market, but rationally planned according to the needs of communities—and the certainty of future disasters.

        Planning has been a dirty word in healthcare for decades. Competition is today’s idol. But it was not always so: in the postwar era, though the United States failed to achieve European-style reform, a “health planning” movement emerged. The Hill−Burton Act of 1946 provided billions of federal dollars to expand existing hospitals and build new ones, particularly in underserved regions. In the 1960s and 1970s, state and later federal legislation—culminating in the 1974 National Health Planning and Resources Development Act—created planning bodies tasked with assessing local community health needs, approving new capital projects, and ensuring an adequate distribution of health infrastructure. But in the absence of universal healthcare financing for patients, à la Medicare for All, the movement was only marginally effective—and the rise of a new capitalist healthcare paradigm in the Reagan era easily brushed it aside.

      • Introduction: Already Sick

        COVID-19 has produced some of the greatest social convulsions in living memory. In the early stages of the pandemic, our preceding political concerns, not to mention our daily lives, were thrown into disarray. We tried to keep up with the dizzying pace of events—both the spread of the virus (especially in our home city of New York) and the haphazard response. It often proved overwhelming.

        In this section, we have enlisted some contributors to help us think through what’s been going on. What has this pandemic changed? What has it revealed, or clarified? What assumptions do we need to revisit, and where could all of this be heading?

        In the meantime, history keeps happening. As we head to press, we are living through new days of rage over the police killing of George Floyd and so many other black Americans. Thousands upon thousands, wearing face masks, have taken to otherwise empty streets. Who imagined these scenes when they daydreamed about the end of social distancing?

        The short essays that follow offer some ways to orient our political thinking in disorienting times.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Revealed: How home router manufacturers dropped the ball on security

          The June report by Fraunhofer-Institut fur Kommunikation (FKIE) extracted firmware images from routers made by Asus, AVM, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link, and Zyxel—127 in all. The report (as noted by ZDNet) compared the firmware images to known vulnerabilities and exploit mitigation techniques, so that even if a vulnerability was exposed, the design of the router could mitigate it.

          No matter how you slice it, Fraunhofer’s study pointed out basic lapses in security across several aspects. At the most basic level, 46 routers didn’t receive any updates at all in the last year. Many used outdated Linux kernels with their own, known vulnerabilities. Fifty routers used hard-coded credentials, where a known username and password was encoded into the router as a default credential that asked the user to change it—but would still be there, accessible, if they did not.

          FKIE could not find a single router without flaws. Nor could the institute name a single router vendor that avoided the security issues.

        • [Attackers] Start Exploiting Recently Patched BIG-IP Vulnerability

          F5 informed customers last week that a BIG-IP configuration utility named Traffic Management User Interface (TMUI) is impacted by a critical remote code execution vulnerability whose exploitation can result in “complete system compromise.”

          The flaw is tracked as CVE-2020-5902 and it was reported to F5 by cybersecurity firm Positive Technologies. The vendor has released patches for impacted versions.

        • Taiwan’s defense science institute entangled in security breach over Chinese cloud service

          A procurement flaw has been found at Taiwan’s military technology development institute, and critics say it may have jeopardized the country’s national security because it involved a Chinese cloud service.

          For successful bidders for online storage server equipment in 2018, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST) required that a Beijing-based cloud service provider, Baidu, be included on a list of cloud service software to be used for backup needs. The incident was first reported by Apple Daily on Monday (July 6).

          The requirement meant NCSIST files would be synchronized automatically on the Baidu program. The revelation has stunned people in many quarters, as the leaking of Taiwanese military technology to China poses a grave national security threat, wrote iThome.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • All About CLAs and DCOs

                Of the fundamental structural questions that drive discussions within the open source community, two that continually spur fervent debate are (a) whether software code should be contributed under a Contributor License Agreement (“CLA”) or a Developer Certificate of Origin (“DCO”), and (b) whether code developed by an employee or independent contractor should be contributed under a CLA signed by the developer as an individual or by her employer under a corporate CLA.

                Are there any clear answers to these questions? As so often is the case, the answer to that question is, “it depends.”

                CLAs and DCOs serve the same basic function – to help ensure that when code is contributed to a project, company or open source foundation (“Project”) for use as part of an open source work (“Work”), the Project and its users (“Users”) have the rights needed to use and redistribute the contributed code as intended without fear of being sued.

                In part, the decision between using a CLA or DCO depends on a host of legal considerations, such as: the nature and use of the Work; whether the Project is a legal entity; whether the code is contributed by an individual, or by an employee or contractor on a company’s behalf; whether the Project needs the ability to change downstream licensing terms; User needs; developer concerns and preferences; logistical challenges of administering CLAs and DCOs; whether use of the code may infringe contributor or third party patent rights; and other factors.

                But the fervor, and the decision whether to use a CLA, DCO, or perhaps nothing, is not only about legal factors. The debate stems from fundamental differences among the stakeholders in ideology, and in their views and opinions regarding risk tolerance and their respective roles, interests, rights, responsibilities, administrative burdens, and other considerations.

              • Success Story: Linux Foundation Training Helps SysAdmin Bring Open Source to Government Applications
        • Security

          • Bryan Quigley: Wrong About Signal

            A couple years ago I was a part of a discussion about encrypted messaging.

            - I was in the Signal camp – we needed it to be quick and easy to setup for users to get setup. Using existing phone numbers makes it easy.

            - Others were in the Matrix camp – we need to start from scratch and make it distributed so no one organization is in control. We should definitely not tie it to phone numbers.
            I was wrong.

            Signal has been moving in the direction of adding PINs for some time because they realize the danger of relying on the phone number system. Signal just mandated PINs for everyone as part of that switch. Good for security? I really don’t think so. They did it so you could recover some bits of “profile, settings, and who you’ve blocked”.


            In summary, Signal got people to hastily create or reuse PINs for minimal disclosed security benefits. There is a possibility that the push for mandatory cloud based PINS despite all of the pushback is that Signal knows of active attacks that these PINs would protect against. It likely would be related to using phone numbers.

            I’m trying out the Riot Matrix client. I’m not actively encouraging others to join me, but just exploring the communities that exist there. It’s already more featureful and supports more platforms than Signal ever did.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Claim filed against Russia at European Court of Human Rights for mass surveillance during Moscow protest

              Opposition politician Vladimir Milov and public figure Alyona Popova have filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the mass use of facial recognition surveillance during a rally in Moscow on September 29, 2019.

            • Google, Deutsche Bank Agree to 10-Year Alliance Including Cloud

              The companies will soon sign a formal contract lasting at least 10 years, according to people familiar with the accord, who asked not to be identified before the agreement was announced. They also plan to make joint investments in technology and share the resulting revenue, which could result in engineers from both firms developing products together, the people said.

            • [Old] TikTok guidelines said not to promote posts by ‘ugly’ and poor users

              The guidelines also ban videos from people who appear to be poor. Cracked walls or old decorations are enough to have a video suppressed, according to the leaked guidelines.

            • TikTok to pull out of Hong Kong

              Between the lines: The move comes as TikTok parent ByteDance has looked to more clearly separate TikTok, which operates outside of China, from a similar app used within mainland China. The company has said that TikTok has not shared data with the Chinese government nor would it, a position that would be difficult — if not impossible — to maintain under the new law.

              TikTok said last September it had 150,000 users in Hong Kong. While that number has probably since increased, it remains a small market and an unprofitable one, according to the company.

            • TikTok pulls out of Hong Kong due to new security law

              TikTok says it will stop offering its social video app in Hong Kong after the region adopted a new national security law granting expanded powers to the mainland Chinese government. “In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong,” a spokesperson tells Axios.

              Global tech companies operating in Hong Kong have expressed concern that the new law could force them to comply with China’s draconian censorship standards and possibly send user data to the mainland. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have already stopped processing requests for user data from the Hong Kong government.

            • TikTok Pulling Out of Hong Kong After China Law Controversy

              But its retreat could also benefit the Communist Party by removing a forum pro-democracy protesters have used to post videos calling for an independent Hong Kong. The Chinese-owned company didn’t explain its decision but said its Hong Kong exit could occur within days.

            • U.S. “Looking At” TikTok Ban Says Sec. of State Mike Pompeo

              The news comes as TikTok increasingly looks to distance itself from its parent company Beijing-based ByteDance. Last week, TikTok, along with 58 other China-made apps, were banned from India over national security and privacy concerns. The ban came as a huge blow to TikTok as India was one of it fastest growing and most profitable markets. There have also been reports that Australia’s government was looking at a ban.

            • Exclusive: TikTok says it will exit Hong Kong market within days

              TikTok will exit the Hong Kong market within days, a spokesman told Reuters late on Monday, as other technology companies including Facebook Inc (FB.O) have suspended processing government requests for user data in the region.

            • [Old] The Growing Problem of Malicious Relays on the Tor Network

              I’ve a long standing interest in the state of the Tor network. In 2015 I started OrNetRadar to help detect new relay groups and possible Sybil attacks that could pose a risk to Tor users. In 2017 I was asked to join a closed Tor Project mailing list to help confirming reports of malicious Tor relays — a list where I previously submitted suspicious relays to. Soon after joining that list I suggested some improvements but things didn’t change since then. Even though I’m on that list since then, the decision process to get relays actually removed happens elsewhere (dir-auth) and remains opaque to me.

              In April 2018 a Tor core member — the most active Tor Project person on that closed mailing list — made an attempt to initiate a “do not do” relay requirements list to improve and streamline the handling of malicious Tor relay reports. (I’m not mentioning his name since he does not want to be publicly associated with bad-relays handling for safety reasons.) Unfortunately also this attempt failed since no Tor directory authority operator answered. (Tor directory authorities are required to enforce any Tor network wide rules unless it is part of the tor code itself.)

              Starting with June 2019, after multiple reports about suspicious relays remained with no reaction I stopped sending them to the list. Occasionally I sent some suspicious relay groups to the public tor-talk mailing list instead — which ironically was more fruitful.

            • [Old] Are Americans as stupid as we seem on Twitter?

              First, the banner that attracts the most people is always the dumbest version of your opinion. It has to lose all nuance to win over the most people. It’s ironic, because most people have actually pledged their sword to a smarter, more complex version of the idea that ultimately takes off, but they quickly realize they have to unite with others under a big, simplified banner if they are to get the power of accumulating members.

              Second, people only rally when there’s another, equally active side that they view as opposing theirs. You can’t win a war against indifference. If you’ve ever written an op-ed that fizzled, held a rally no one came to or got worked up on social media and no one cared, this was likely the problem: It’s not that you weren’t right; it was that no one was motivated to tell you that you were wrong.

              Third, the other side’s banner can never be the exact opposite of yours. That’s because sustained arguments aren’t over morals or facts; they are over the framing. It’s the fight about what the fight is about that keeps the fight going.

            • Mainers with data exposed in crime center’s breach have little recourse

              The Maine Information and Analysis Center has been under fire recently, both as the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit from a state trooper who alleges it has been illegally spying on residents and as the subject of a June 24 legislative hearing where lawmakers questioned how it holds itself accountable or keeps Maine people safe.

              Legislators’ questions continued in the days following news stories about the [crack], which appears to have happened through the center’s website development vendor Netsential.

            • How a coin shortage is impacting retailers and grocery stores

              Constance Nobis, director of Retail Market Operations at Comerica Bank, said the bank is limiting what it gives to customers because its supply from the Fed has been cut by 90%.

              “It’s a supply chain issue,” Nobis said. “Normally there’s a lot of recycling. Customers bring in coin to the bank, we ship it to the Fed and we fill our order out for customers.”

              Nobis said the shortage is temporary.

              “As more banks open and they are able to take those coin deposits in and the Fed is going to increase what they are minting,” she said.

              In the meantime, she said, the bank is urging customers to bring in coin. It’s also doing centralized ordering, doing half boxes and rationing.

            • Facebook Advertisers Boycott, Demand Changes

              More than 600 companies say they won’t advertise on Facebook and its sister firm, Instagram, in July, as part of a campaign called Stop Hate for Profit.

              The goal?

              Force Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address his firm’s negative effects on society, says Jim Steyer, chief executive and founder of Common Sense Media, a children’s media education non-profit, and one of the boycott’s backers.

            • Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

              Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.

            • Only 9% of visitors give GDPR consent to be tracked

              If you implement a proper GDPR consent banner, a vast majority of visitors will most probably decline to give you consent. 91% to be exact out of 19,000 visitors in my study.

              What’s a proper and legal implementation of a GDPR banner?

              It’s a banner that doesn’t take much space

              It allows people to browse your site even when ignoring the banner

              It’s a banner that allows visitors to say “no” just as easy as they can say “yes”

            • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t think ad boycott will change anything

              “We’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” Zuckerberg said in a virtual meeting with staff last Friday, according to The Information, which got hold of a recording. “My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.” Zuckerberg reportedly went on to say that the boycott was a “reputational and a partner issue,” rather than a financial issue.

    • Environment

      • Ireland looks forward to a greener future

        Often called the Emerald Isle, Ireland prides itself on its green image – but the reality has been rather different.

      • The Navajo Nation faced water shortages for generations — and then the pandemic hit

        Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Navajo Nation coped with a different public health problem: access to safe, running water. One in three Navajo citizens don’t have indoor plumbing. Now, with infections skyrocketing across the Southwest, families without running water aren’t able to easily wash their hands. They also increase their risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus each time they venture outside to buy limited supplies of bottled water from stores or haul it home from communal wells. That’s made it harder for the nation to stamp out the disease.

      • Bizarre “pink snow” in the Alps is actually a bad omen for Earth

        Watermelon snow, which takes on a reddish-pink hue, is caused by snow algae. While most fresh-water algae thrive in warmer temperatures, watermelon snow is cryophillic, meaning the organisms thrive in cold temperatures. The algae is red because of its carotenoid pigment.

        The scientific concern over the algae’s growing presence in the Alps arises because the red color increases sunlight absorption into the snows — meaning they will melt earlier and thereby exacerbate the impact of climate change. Biagio Di Mauro, a researcher at the Institute of Polar Sciences at Italy’s National Research Council, explained to Earther that the algae blooms in question here are Chlamydomonas nivalis, which is found not only in the Alps but also in both polar regions, including Greenland and the Antarctic.

      • Energy

        • Judge orders temporary shutdown of controversial Dakota Access Pipeline

          The Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down by August 5 during an in-depth environmental review of the controversial project, a district court ruled Monday in a defeat for the Trump administration.

          The rare shutdown of an operating pipeline marks a major win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and environmental groups that have fought fiercely for years against the oil pipeline.

          In its decision, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia vacated an easement granted by the US Army Corps of Engineers that allowed Dakota Access to build a segment of the pipeline beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota and South Dakota.

        • Dakota Access Pipeline to Shut Down Pending Review, Federal Judge Rules

          The Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil route from North Dakota to Illinois that has inspired intense protests and legal battles, must shut down pending an environmental review and be emptied of oil by Aug. 5, a district court ruled on Monday.

          The decision, which could be subject to appeal, is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Native American and environmental groups who have fought the project for years, and a significant defeat for President Trump, who has sought to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline alive.

        • Judge orders Dakota Access pipeline shut down pending review

          A federal judge on Monday sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down until more environmental review is done.

          In a 24-page order, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption” that shutting down a pipeline that has been in operation for three years would cause, but that it must be done within 30 days. His order comes after he said in April that the pipeline remained “highly controversial” under federal environmental law, and a more extensive review was necessary than the assessment that was done.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • What if water shortages destabilise China?

          The film was understood by many viewers as a coded complaint about chronic water shortages that have blighted China in recent years, despite ever-larger investments in dams, flood-defence barriers and desalination plants, and campaigns to move millions of people from one side of the country to the other.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • US Supreme Court Says States May Punish ‘Faithless Electors’ [iophk: negates the very purpose of the Electoral College]

        In a unanimous decision, the nine-member high court Monday ruled that members of the Electoral College, the body that elects the U.S. president, are not “free agents” and that states may penalize them for breaking their pledge.

      • CCP using pandemic as cover for expansionist agenda

        Would the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) use the country’s control of a large proportion of the medical supplies market to hold the world to ransom over personal protective equipment (PPE)? Will it miraculously discover a vaccine sold to the world at a sky-high price, while simultaneously claiming credit for vanquishing the disease?

        The answer is in fact simpler and much more serious. The pandemic has provided the perfect cover for Xi Jinping’s (习近平) regime to pursue its expansionist agenda more aggressively than ever before.

      • Conservative Incoherence

        As I write this, armed protesters have occupied the Michigan statehouse to protest the state’s stay-at-home orders. Men in fatigues and MAGA hats, some wielding assault-style long guns, filled the lobby outside the house floor, where lawmakers debated a twenty-eight-day extension to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency. Whitmer, a Democrat, has become a target of particular bile, thanks in part to President Trump’s tendency to single her out (“that woman from Michigan,” he called her, and later, “Gretchen ‘Half’ Whitmer”). Protesters have taken to calling her “Governor Hitler.”
        The images were chilling but familiar. Open-carrying firearms has become a mainstay of conservative protests in recent years. Some Michigan lawmakers donned bulletproof vests on the floor, from which gun-toting protesters could be seen in the rafters above. But the protest concluded peacefully. And the Republican-controlled legislature denied Whitmer’s request to extend her emergency powers.

        When this essay appears in print, this moment will either represent a passing exhibition of the inchoate ire of a small segment of conservatives, egged on by the president and funded by partisan libertarian groups, or else the first glimmers of a genuine cohering of dangerous social forces. I hope for the former, but I have learned to entertain ever darker premonitions of the future’s shape.

        Thus far, the conservative response to COVID-19 has been defined by its heterogeneity: a blur of contradictory recriminations, confirmation biases, and conspiracy peddling.

        There are those, like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who have treated the crisis as an opportunity to hammer away at their ideological hobbyhorses, summoning the menace of China and blaming globalized supply chains for shortages of medical supplies. Some fringier but no less popular figures, like Candace Owens, have continued to take their cues from Trump and Fox News circa late February, when the party line on coronavirus was that it was no more dangerous than the flu, that those panicking about it were doing so with the intent of harming the economy and thereby the president’s reelection prospects. Tucker Carlson, who personally beseeched Trump to take the virus more seriously in early March, has reversed course, joining the chorus of doubters. Ever the chameleon, Carlson now says the pandemic “just isn’t nearly as deadly as we thought it was” and dismisses the role of state lockdowns in preventing healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.

        Meanwhile, conservatives of a more bookish and spiritual self-concept have taken quarantine as an opportunity for rumination on their preferred themes. R. R. Reno, the wily anti-anti-Trump editor of the religious magazine First Things, calls the stay-at-home measures “an ill-conceived crusade against human finitude and the dolorous reality of death.” Patrick Deneen, tribune of Catholic illiberal conservatives, marshaled the late iconoclastic cultural critic Christopher Lasch to distinguish the liberal “elites” who favor the lockdowns from the “masses” protesting them. The latter, Deneen suggested, quoting Lasch, appreciate the “inherent limits on human control over social development, over nature and the body, over the tragic elements in human life and history.” Where denizens of the liberal cosmopolis do daily battle with the entropic forces of earthly existence—aging, clutter, unhappiness, inequality—the wizened common-folk accept the inevitability of decay. They will get sick and die at their warehouse jobs while Deneen and his ilk continue to tweet at a safe distance. So it goes.

      • Fox News says it ‘mistakenly’ cropped Trump out of photo featuring Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Internet censorship increasing in Turkey, report reveals

        A report prepared by the Freedom of Expression Association in Turkey has revealed the extent of [I]nternet censorship in the country, as the debate over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks on shutting or controlling social media platforms is ongoing.

        The report prepared by Prof. Yaman Akdeniz from Istanbul’s Bilgi University said that access to a total of 408,494 web sites were blocked in 2019.

      • Hong Kong scholars may stay abroad to evade security law’s reach

        Under the legislation, authorities have been given new powers to punish “offences of secession, subversion, organisation and perpetration of terrorist activities”. Within hours of its introduction, the law had been used to arrest hundreds of protesters – including some holding placards with pro-democracy slogans – for alleged violations.

        While activists believe that the law will be used mainly to stifle dissent within Hong Kong, legal experts have also drawn attention to its “long-arm jurisdiction” which allows offences committed by non-permanent Hong Kong residents outside the city to be prosecuted.

        This could mean that internationally based Hong Kong academics who advocate for independence or for international sanctions against China could be arrested when they return, said Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute, who was born and educated in Hong Kong.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • I Need A Craig Murray

        I tried to do a public service in making available to everybody key facts from the Julian Assange extradition hearing and the Alex Salmond trial, which revealed a picture very different from that portrayed in the mainstream media. I find myself wishing now I had somebody to perform the same service for me.

      • Local councils across Australia call for Assange to be freed. Councils in the UK should follow their lead…

        Murad Qureshi from the Greater London Authority (GLA) said, ‘this is a great initiative by local councils in Australia. I hope UK local authorities follow suit in the fight to defend free speech’.

      • [Old] US indictment against Assange fails to disclose crucial information as required by UK law

        The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has issued a new superseding indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But the indictment fails to disclose crucial information as generally required under UK law.

        This failure could be seen as highly prejudicial and therefore present another opportunity for the defence to lodge a challenge to the extradition request.

      • Russian Journalist To Appeal Ruling By Russian Court In Controversial Case

        Prokopyeva, a freelance contributor to RFE/RL’s Russian Service, has maintained her innocence throughout the trial and described the case as an attempt to “assassinate freedom of speech” in Russia.

        “Svetlana’s conviction means that there is no presumption of innocence, no protections for journalists against the brute force of the state,” said RFE/RL acting President Daisy Sindelar. “Her case recalls the show trials that were used by Soviet authorities to punish critics. It is a grim assault against free speech and the mission of an independent press.”

      • Journalists protest against new media policy in Kashmir

        However, the journalists said it is against all newspapers, news channels and other news platforms. “The policy provides for informing the government and police beforehand before carrying any story,” said a protester, Imtiyaz Ahmad.

        “In case one fails, his newspaper registration will be canceled, FIR will be filed against him or government advertisements will be stopped,” he added.

        Most of the journalist bodies in Kashmir have so-far maintained silence over the issue. While most newspaper owners refused to comment or write on the new media policy fearing reprisals from the government, some journalists have termed it as a coercive measure to silence the media voices.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Together Against Evil Personified
      • What does community control of police look like?
      • Pyramids. Plantations. Projects. Penitentiaries

        We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries and you think America has love for me/we – We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries, and you think America wants to give Us Free.

      • Episode 96 – Jewish/Black Relations And Dialogue In Contentious Times With Rabbi Dan Ain – Along The Line Podcast

        Along The Line is a non-profit, education-based podcast that provides listeners with context and analysis about various critical and contemporary issues and topics. Hosted by Dr. Nolan Higdon, Dr. Dreadlocks (Nicholas Baham III), and Janice Domingo.

      • How Netflix Beat Hollywood to a Generation of Black Content

        He attributes the show’s place at Netflix to a Black executive there, Tara Duncan. “It’s the classic thing of — you just have Black people working at your company,” he said. The director Spike Lee voiced a similar sentiment to The Hollywood Reporter in 2017: “At the other places, there were no Black people in the room.”

        In reality, Netflix didn’t necessarily have a higher proportion of Black people buying content than other studios. But it had a lot of people buying content, and an unusual approach of distributing the power to make decisions. There were five Black executives who could buy content in 2015, and some of them built relationships with Black directors and producers. One former employee said Black executives were sometimes pulled into meetings with Black directors or actors for show.

      • Let expats vote in the countries where they live

        A quirk lurks at the heart of the EU’s cherished freedom-of-movement rules. Poles who move to Spain can find work, send their children to a local school, claim benefits if they fall on hard times, or enjoy health care if they fall on a hard floor, just like any Spaniard. But they cannot vote in the elections that determine these services, even though they pay for them through their taxes. Free movement is fundamental for the EU, but it comes at a civic cost. Taxation without representation was famously a bugbear of American colonists in the 18th century. It is a fact of life for some EU citizens today.

        About 13m people live in a different EU country from the one they were born in, and are thus barred from the main democratic process in the country in which they live. If this group were a country, it would be the EU’s eighth-largest (bigger than Belgium; smaller than the Netherlands). Although they can vote in local and European elections, this gives them a say only on things like bin collections and the transnational business regulations that are still the core of EU governance. Life in between is untouched. When the democratic urge strikes, they can vote only in their home country—setting policy for others, but not themselves.

      • Union: Criminalise underpayment of workers

        “It has been well known that the exploitation of foreign labour happens, and that it takes place specifically in the service sectors,” Vilches said.

        Vilches added that she had proposed three measures aimed at addressing the exploitation of workers to a working group set up by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in early June.

      • Rethinking Humanitarianism: Welcome to the debate

        This year, The New Humanitarian marks 25 years of journalism from the heart of crises. Just the time, we thought, to look back on the world’s response to crises over the last quarter century: Had aid delivered on its promises? And what lessons could we draw for the future? We dubbed the series Rethinking Humanitarianism and set out to explore these questions.

        But then a global pandemic shook the entire world. It overwhelmed healthcare systems, even in developed countries. And it dramatically challenged the way aid is delivered, from funding models hard hit by a global recession to international aid operations severely disrupted by travel restrictions.

        If that wasn’t enough, a resurgent #BlackLivesMatter movement in the wake of the police killing of an unarmed Black man in the US led to another moment of reckoning for the aid sector. Humanitarians began asking: To what extent are we equipped to deal with these kinds of deeply rooted injustices? Is it even the role of humanitarians to relieve suffering in “the West”? Does racism exist within the humanitarian aid sector? And perhaps more fundamentally: To what extent is the sector part of — or even propping up — a world order that, for many, is designed to keep power and resources in the hands of some people and countries while keeping others poor and powerless?

      • TNH@25 | Rethinking Humanitarianism

        This year, The New Humanitarian marks 25 years of journalism from the heart of crises. Founded in 1995 as IRIN, our newsroom emerged from the ashes of the Rwandan genocide. Twenty-five years on, we are looking back on the world’s response to that genocide — and to the many crises that have followed — to explore how humanitarian aid has evolved over the last quarter century and where it goes from here. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter movement are challenging the very concept of humanitarianism, this series invites reflections on the future of international solidarity. Revisit this page as we gather your ideas throughout 2020, and read more about the series here.

      • How the Relief Effort Ran Aground

        The goal was simple enough to print on a bumper sticker: freeze the economy. Take the economic arrangements that existed in January and have the government put them into hibernation long enough to survive the worst of the pandemic. After the outbreak was controlled, thaw the economy out, allowing it to continue on its own.

        The Trump administration was always going to be a failure when it came to containing the outbreak. But the freezing should have gone easier. It mostly involves spending money, which the government is capable of doing quickly. And private markets were screaming for the government to spend massively. Yet two of the signature recovery efforts, the expansion of unemployment insurance and creation of payroll protections, have floundered.

        To freeze businesses, you can either backstop the businesses themselves by covering their payroll, or you can cover workers by funding unemployment insurance so they can go on leave and then come back to their jobs when the crisis is over. Each course of action has run into problems of execution. We need to understand why, not just because it’s making this recovery worse, but because the headwinds fighting against both approaches will plague any and all efforts at reform going forward. It’s easy to think big and bold, but implementation matters.

        Consider the massive expansion of unemployment insurance. The idea was that everyone would be furloughed for a few months, the government would pick up the tab, and then people would go back to work. But unemployment, an essential piece of social insurance, has been neglected in the past several decades. States set the terms and execute the program, and they’ve both narrowed the scope of who qualifies and reduced the amount of workers’ income that gets replaced. The Democrats who authored the expansion in March found an ingenious workaround. First, to boost replacement, they added $600 a week onto what people would normally get. Second, they extended unemployment to those who don’t normally qualify, like contractors and the self-employed, using a simple formula that then gets the extra $600 per week added to it. It is $260 billion worth of social insurance that goes straight to workers—so generous that Republicans almost killed the entire stimulus bill at the last minute to stop it.

      • Turn Mutual Aid Into Meaningful Work

        When people ask me, as a climate reporter, what I think will happen next, my answer has been cruel and blasé in its bluntness: “More pandemics.” There will be more pandemics, driven by deforestation, habitat destruction, and disease vectors extended due to warming climates, all egged on in their spread by the global nature of our economy. We also know there will be an increase in other kinds of climate disasters: wildfire, drought, hurricane, flood. The future is pocked with relentless catastrophe.

        As of now, we have nowhere near the workforce needed to respond to this new reality. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was already running short on staff by April, with only the coronavirus on its hands. With the wildfire and hurricane seasons both set to peak over the summer, overlapping crises are inevitable, but there isn’t a plan for how to cope. “It’s an unimaginably complex set of problems,” Irwin Redlener, a physician and the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told me in an interview for the New York Times in early April. He wondered what would happen if New Orleans was hit with a storm surge; at the time, it was becoming one of the cities hardest hit by coronavirus. “I’m just cringing to think of what happens,” he said. “This is one of those questions we haven’t even thought about yet. . . . I think we’re out of steam.”

        Elsewhere, though, we have steam in abundance. In her 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit recounts the phenomenon of mutual aid that emerges in the wake of disasters. I read that book the year before Hurricane Sandy struck New York and then watched as its thesis came alive in hard-hit neighborhoods like the Rockaways. My friends with cars shuttled other friends to parking lots near the beach to deliver prescriptions and hand out food. Today, mutual aid has returned. Everyone I know is joining neighborhood aid groups, getting trained to make deliveries and welfare checks. Most of them are newly unemployed. The relief at having a sense of purpose is palpable. The logic is reflexive, simple, obvious: when disaster strikes, we learn how to take care of each other. And it feels incredibly good to do.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Your next BMW might only have heated seats for 3 months

        In a VR presentation streamed from Germany today, BMW ran through a series of digital updates to its cars, including more details on the new BMW digital key service announced with Apple at last week’s WWDC and confirming that current model cars will be fully software upgradeable over the air, a la Tesla. The first such update will hit BMW Operating System 7 cars in July. Packages are said to be approximately 1GB in size and will take roughly 20 minutes to install.

        But, the most notable part of the day’s presentation was the new plan to turn many options into software services. BMW mentioned everything from advanced safety systems like adaptive cruise and automatic high-beams to other, more discrete options like heated seats.

    • Monopolies

      • Uber acquires meal delivery service Postmates for $2.65 billion

        Postmates’ app will continue to run separately after the acquisition, but it’ll be able to tap into a merchant and delivery network combined with Uber Eats. Uber says this will mean more restaurant options for consumers and more efficient deliveries for drivers who pick up multiple orders at a time. The companies intend for the deal to close in Q1 2021.

        Uber desperately needs its meal delivery division, Uber Eats, to make up for the huge losses it’s been experiencing since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Food delivery is not profitable, nor is Uber’s core ride-hailing business. But the company is hoping that with restaurants closed to in-person dining, more people will be ordering takeout in the future.

      • Patents

        • Biosimilars and Temporary Restraining Orders

          42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(8)(A). Here, Amgen provided notice, but then supplemented its FDA application to add an additional manufacturing facility and to make a change to its drug label.

          Genentech thought that the 180 day notice should be reset based upon the supplemented application. However, Judge Connolly (D.Del.) denied Genetech’s motion for a temporary restraining order. The Federal Circuit allowed immediate appeal — implicitly finding that the denial of a TRO was an order to refuse an injunction that is immediately appealable under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1). [See Below for my criticism of this.]

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed based upon its statutory interpretation of Section 262(l)(8)(A) (quoted above). In particular, the court looked at the statutory notice requirement — requiring notice of “commercial marketing of the biologic product.” Here, the “biologic product” – as also defined in the statute – is separate and distinct from its manufacturing facility or its product label. When Amgen changed those details it did not alter the biologic product. Thus, the original notice was sufficient.

        • Software Patents

          • IPCO wireless patent challenged as likely invalid

            On July 6, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 6,044,062, owned and asserted by IPCO, LLC, an NPE. IPCO, also known as IP Co., LLC and IntusIQ, is affiliated with Glocom Inc. and shares a common ownership with SIPCO, LLC.

            The ’062 patent is related to a wireless network system and is currently being asserted against Jasco Products Company and Qolsys for their use of the Z-Wave standard wireless mesh protocol. Prior litigations against Fibar USA, FrontPoint Security Solutions, Emerson Electric, Crestron Electronics, Ingersoll-Rand, Tropos Networks, and Cellnet Technology have been terminated or are currently inactive.

      • Copyrights

        • Anti-Piracy Company & Record Labels Are “Running Pirate Sites”, Investigation Claims

          An ongoing anti-piracy investigation being carried out by The Music Mission project has teased some interesting findings. According to the groups involved, the owner of one pirate site not only has its own watermarking company but also supplies an anti-virus solution. But the industry foxes inside the hen house don’t stop there.

        • Sports Streaming Site Rojadirecta Loses Appeal of Danish Site Blocking Case

          Famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta has lost its appeal against a Danish site-blocking injunction. The court upheld a lower court’s decision in favor of Spanish football league ‘La Liga’ and anti-piracy group Rights Alliance. The injunction requires local ISP Telenor to prevent users from accessing the stream-linking site.

[Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Star Trek Hailing: Captain, patent quality is slipping rapidly. Excellent! Just as planned.

Summary: Contrary to what the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps saying, patent quality is slipping very fast in Europe (based on the EPO's own analysis!) but patent trolls-funded publishers deny that

When They’re Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They’ll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

António’s spark for fashion is well documented around the Web

António Campinos in Alicante Press
Photo credit: Alicante Press

Summary: The mental dysfunction — an infectious condition — that says everything in the world must be patented should be resisted; it overlooks the fact that patents were introduced to protect/promote actual invention, not thoughts, feelings, nature and art

MR. António Campinos came from the area of trademarks (EUIPO), which is used heavily by the fashion industry along with copyright law. Nowadays the European Patent Office (EPO) grants all sorts of crazy patents on life and nature, especially when they get genetically modified (even by natural means like breeding). That’s crazy enough; examiners of the EPO can understand why that’s unethical. Even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is rather strict about those sorts of things, but the EPO cares about nothing but so-called ‘production’ (especially after 2010, i.e. since Benoît Battistelli came, ushering in software patents as well, another thing that the USPTO is hesitant about, more so because of 35 U.S.C. § 101).

“Your boss Mr. Campinos is being dressed up and wrapped up in ridiculous gowns and showered with voyeurism awards by the people whose agenda he serves — the same people whom his father fought until his early death in Africa.”How many people know about patents in clothing, including shoes? A recent dispute between Adidas and Nike brought that back to light (half a dozen articles in last week’s and last month’s Daily Links covered that). Imagine being a scientist, enlisted to examine patents on fashion items instead of something like physics and engineering. This is where today’s EPO is heading, for it wrongly asserts that the more patents it grants, the better off Europe (and science) will be. That’s rubbish. It is the sort of rubbish promoted in ‘news’ sites that are owned and controlled by law firms. They profit from such illusions.

Our cordial message to EPO examiners is, engage in civil and polite dissent if not disobedience. The monopolists will never cease expansion of patent scope, provided there’s no pushback (from the public, public officials, and workers). It’s not about innovation and it’s definitely not about economic benefit (except their own). Your boss Mr. Campinos is being dressed up and wrapped up in ridiculous gowns and showered with voyeurism awards by the people whose agenda he serves — the same people whom his father fought until his early death in Africa.

[Humour/Meme] IBM’s Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

Posted in FSF, IBM at 4:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev (spoiler: many IBM employees)

Janeway and Q: FSF, RMS, IBM, GNU

Summary: IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist

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