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07.15.20

Links 16/7/2020: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report, LibreOffice Has Plans, FSF Warns Against ‘Online’ Voting

Posted in News Roundup at 6:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Investing in Real Convergence

        Like “privacy” and “security” the word “convergence” has become a popular term these days. When words like these become popular, companies tend to redefine them to match whatever they happen to sell. For instance when Google says they protect your privacy they mean “from everyone but us.” When Apple says they are secure, they mean “as long as you give us full trust and total control.”

        When most people think of the promise of convergence they think of what I’ll refer to as “real convergence”–the idea of a single, portable computer that has your data and applications and that can be a desktop computer, a laptop or a pocket computer. To summarize: real convergence means taking your desktop computer with you in your pocket wherever you go. Fake convergence is the opposite: stretching a phone to fit on a larger screen.

      • Purism Librem 14

        The next generation of Librem laptop brings a lot to the table. Gigabit throughput over native RJ45 enables you to enjoy blazing-fast download speeds, security, and reliability. Compared to the Librem 13, the Librem 14 has a similar device footprint while the Intel 10th Gen Comet Lake i7 is much more powerful.

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 587: Internet vs. Broadcasting

        Open source has enabled democratized communication in the tech world. Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennett talk with Tim Pozar, who has been building out network infrastructure since the 80s. They discuss the philosophy of communication and the history of open source, how it got its start with broadcasting. Now, in the last 20 years, open source has exploded, however, we are in the digital age and still have limited access to ISPS. They discuss how Starlink, could be a great solution to fix that problem.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Timestamps

          I spent a few days locked in a hellish battle against a software implementation of doubles (64-bit floats) for ARB_gpu_shader_fp64 in the raging summer heat.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Psychological horror adventure ‘Saint Kotar’ gets extra Kickstarter time

        Saint Kotar, the upcoming psychological horror adventure from Red Martyr Entertainment has been given extra time on Kickstarter and it’s really close to the goal.

        What is it? A point and click horror adventure with a chilling atmosphere and a stylish hand-painted world. You follow the tale of Benedek Dohnany and Nikolay Kalyakin as they try to find the truth behind a macabre series of murders and strange phenomena, allegedly related to devil worship and witchcraft. You can try it yourself too, as they actually released a prologue going by the name of Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask to give you a small 2-3 hour slice of what to expect.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Cinnamon Desktop Review: A Very User-Friendly Desktop Environment

        A sometimes-forgotten Linux Desktop Environment, Cinnamon is a contender for your desktop that you may not have seen coming. While Cinnamon is developed by the Linux Mint team as a flagship for their distribution, it is also available to download and use on any other distro. This article covers Cinnamon desktop in depth, exploring the user experience and customization options, performance, usability, and recommendations for who should use Cinnamon.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Raspberry Pi OS & Plasma – Troubly McTroublesome

          After I completed my testing, I powered down the Pi, let it cool, and then turned it on again and continued using the MATE desktop. While I’d love to have a tight, nifty Plasma setup in place, the existing packages in the Raspberry Pi OS repos are simply not built for purpose. You get an old build, which suffers from all sorts of bugs and problems and woeful performance. Add to that Samba issues – not resolved in this Plasma version – and MATE just offers a superior experience on all levels.

          In a way, this has always been the paradox of open-source choice. On paper, you get tons of options, but when only one or two actually work properly, then your bubble of freedom narrows down quite a bit. For instance, here, I’d like to use Plasma on the Pi, but neither of the last two experiments offered me a setup that is good enough, for whatever reason. Specifically, the Plasma desktop available in Raspberry Pi OS just doesn’t do any justice to itself, or the system. But in a way, this is what I tried to accomplish. Another aspect of the question of using Pi 4 as a mini desktop has been answered. We’re done.

        • foss-north kdenlive workflow

          As some of you might already have noticed, we’ve complemented foss-north with a new pod / vod / vlog – I’m not sure what to call it. Basically, it is a video based pod cast (making it available as a audio only pod-cast is high on the todo). Our main focus right now is a series on licenses and copyright, but there is more to come.

          As a part of this, I’ve started editing videos in kdenlive on a weekly basis, and I’m very happy with it so far.

          In this blog, I want to share my workflow. It is probably far from ideal, but it does the work for me.

        • Weekly Report 5: Qt3D based backend for KStars

          In the sixth week of GSoC, I worked on adding mouseevents and integrate the custom qt3d window with existing skymap

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME Opens an Official Merch Shop

          The GNOME Shop is a new, official storefront. It stocks a range of GNOME branded items, including t-shirts, hoodies, socks, and (topically) colourful face masks – all bearing the famous lone foot logo.

          GNOME says it’s using a ‘print on demand’ company to fulfil orders and that all products ‘are unique and producer per order’.

          “Due to this, and the limitations of our print suppliers, returns or exchanges are not supported for incorrect order issues such as wrong size or color,” they add.

          So what’s available?

          Well, a simple grey v-neck mens t-shirt sporting the GNOME logo will set you back a cool $25 and is available in sizes XS through to 3XL. A navy “Cruiser Logo Hoodie” costs just over double that at $55 and it is available in sizes up to 2XL.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

          This report will be covering FreeBSD related projects between April and June, and covers a diverse set of topics ranging from kernel updates over userland and ports, as well to third-party work.

          Some hilights picked with the roll of a d100 include, but are not limited to, the ability to forcibly unmounting UFS when the underlying media becomes inaccessible, added preliminary support for Bluetooth Low Energy, a introduction to the FreeBSD Office Hours, and a repository of software collections called potluck to be installed with the pot utility, as well as many many more things.

          As a little treat, readers can also get a rare report from the quarterly team.

        • FreeBSD Getting Close To Finally Migrating Development From Subversion To Git

          The FreeBSD project has published their Q2’2020 status report that outlines their neat-complete work on migrating from Subversion to Git plus many hardware support improvements for this BSD operating system and more.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Financial institution of America, Google, and Pink Hat Executives Be part of OASIS Board of Administrators
        • Bank of America, Google, and Red Hat Executives Join OASIS Board of Directors

          Their depth of experience in the open source and open standards communities bolsters the Board’s reach and establishes OASIS as the home for worldwide standards in cybersecurity, blockchain, privacy, cryptography, cloud computing, IoT, urban mobility, emergency management, and other content technologies. These three new members join the continuing members of the Board: Martin Chapman of Oracle; Bruce Rich of Cryptsoft; Jason Keirstead of IBM; Beth Pumo of Kaiser Permanente; and Daniel Reidel of New Context. Reelected Board members Frederick Hirsch, Individual member; Gershon Janssen, Individual member; and Richard Struse of Mitre will each serve a two-year term starting in July 2020.

        • Bank of America, Google, and Red Hat Executives Join OASIS Board of Directors

          OASIS, the international standards and open source consortium, today announced that three new members were elected to its Board of Directors: Jeremy Allison of Google, Rich Bowen of Red Hat, and Wende Peters of Bank of America.

        • Approved: Fedora 33 Desktop Variants Defaulting To Btrfs File-System

          The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee formally signed off today on allowing Fedora 33 desktop variants to default to using the Btrfs file-system rather than the existing EXT4 default or other alternatives.

          About a decade after the Btrfs default for Fedora was originally proposed for multiple release cycles, with the Fedora 33 release due out this autumn is when that milestone may finally be realized. Of course, if issues come up with the Btrfs usage of Fedora, the change could still be reverted, but FESCo gave the go-ahead. As stated, this default change just affects desktop variants of Fedora 33 like Fedora Workstation.

          [...]

          Fedora developers are still evaluating possible transparent file-system compression and other features that could get flipped on for Fedora 33.

          So as it stands now desktop variants of Fedora 33 are positioned to be using Btrfs by default now that FESCo has formally granted approval but we’ll see if any issues come up between now and the anticipated October F33 release.

      • Debian Family

        • Utkarsh Gupta: GSoC Phase 2

          In early May, I got selected as a Google Summer of Code student for Debian to work on a project which is to write a linter (an extension to RuboCop).
          This tool is mostly to help the Debian Ruby team. And that is the best part, I love working in/for/with the Ruby team!
          (I’ve been an active part of the team for 19 months now :))

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Apache SpamAssassin Leads A Growing List of Open-Source Projects Taking Steps to Correct Instances of Racism and White Privilege

        Over the past few weeks, a heated debate has arisen on the Apache SpamAssassin users list regarding the replacement of racially charged terms like “whitelist” and “blacklist” used in the Apache Spamassassin Project’s code with more inclusive language. Certain community members have been very supportive of Apache SpamAssassin’s efforts to remove racially insensitive language from the project, while others have loudly voiced their disapproval.

        Guardian Digital, the open source cloud email security company, is committed to the open-source development model and the core values of transparency and inclusion that it embodies. We felt it was important to speak with members of the community about this critical issue and share this story with other leaders and those not directly involved – hopefully inspiring them to take similar action in their communities.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • No-judgment digital definitions: VPNs explained

            Many of us spend multiple hours a day using the internet to do everyday things like watching videos, shopping, gaming and paying bills, all the way to managing complex work projects and having confidential video calls. A virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to stay private and secure online, and keep your personal data protected.

            [...]

            Connecting to a public WiFi network is at times convenient, like when you’re without internet service or can’t get any bars on your phone. On the other hand, connecting to public WiFi can be a risky endeavor. It’s impossible to be sure that someone else isn’t connecting to the same network to snoop on what you’re doing. Even if your traffic is encrypted they can still see which sites you are visiting. And if you’re using an app that doesn’t have encryption — and even today, many don’t — then they can see everything you are doing.

            When you’re at home, the risk of bad actors showing up on your home network is lower. However, your internet service provider (ISP) can track and share your online activities because all the data that you access on the web is routed through your ISP’s network, some of which may not be encrypted. A VPN can prevent ISPs from spying on you by encrypting your traffic to your VPN provider no matter where you are.

          • Mozilla VPN Goes Live …But Not For Linux Users

            Mozilla’s VPN service has officially launched in six countries, but Linux users will find they can’t take advantage of the tech just yet.

            The new subscription-based privacy service is available to web surfers in the USA, the UK, Canada, New Zealand and several other locales from today. But, frustratingly for tux fans, it requires a Windows, Android, and/or iOS system to use.

            The good news is that Mozilla VPN Linux support is on the way. The company hasn’t shared an exact timeline on when to expect it but says it is “coming soon” to more devices and platforms.

            The benefits of using a VPN are fairly well known at this point: better security on public wi-fi; anonymous surfing and no IP logging; and network-level encryption. And since Mozilla VPN runs on over 280 servers in 30+ countries it should provide dependable with less downtime too.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • A new LibreOffice strategic marketing plan

          LWN recently covered the effort within the LibreOffice project to find ways to support the companies doing the bulk of the development work. The project has now posted a revised marketing plan [PDF] with a number of changes, including the removal of the “personal edition” name. Regarding LibreOffice Online: “Following our normal development process, the Ecosystem will release their own versions in their own timing, allowing some features to reach their Enterprise versions before they are subsequently shipped in TDF builds (this allows the Ecosystem to positively differentiate by contributing new features & functionality)”.

      • FSF

        • FSF

          • Don’t let proprietary digital voting disrupt democracy

            Here at the Free Software Foundation (FSF), we fight for the freedom of all software users. We believe that everyone has the right to understand and study the systems that they use, and that not being able to exercise this right is a violation of our freedom. This applies to our personal software usage, but becomes even more important in processes of democracy. It is particularly relevant for the upcoming November 2020 elections in the United States.

            A free country has the responsibility to make sure all of its citizens can be heard, and that voting processes are transparent and fair. So what happens if people are still self-isolating in November, in order to try and prevent a second wave of the novel coronavirus? As more of our life processes have gone online due to the pandemic, we have seen debates rise over a call for mail-in voting. This discussion seems to be clearing a path for a renewed interest in online voting software as a remote alternative to in-person voting. This is cause for grave concern.

            I am arguing in this post that it is essential that software used in any part of the voting process be published free software. It is unacceptable for such an important democratic system to be placed in the hands of any for-profit, proprietary software corporation that controls the source code, data management, reporting, updates, and testing. No good can come from requiring a court order to be permitted to study the source code of voting software in order to confirm the process is fair and democratic. But additionally, I might surprise the reader by laying out arguments to say that despite supporting the wish to increase access and ease for all eligible voters, the only truly free, ethical, and democratic voting system is actually a system that steers clear from using software.

      • Programming/Development

        • Stupid RCU Tricks: So rcutorture is Not Aggressive Enough For You?

          The rcutorture.stall_cpu=22 says to stall a CPU for 22 seconds, that is, one second longer than the default RCU CPU stall timeout in mainline. If you are instead using a distribution kernel, you might need to specify 61 seconds (as in “rcutorture.stall_cpu=61”) in order to allow for the typical 60-second RCU CPU stall timeout. The rcutorture.fwd_progress=0 has no effect except to suppress a warning message (with stack trace included free of charge) that questions the wisdom of running both RCU-callback forward-progress tests and RCU CPU stall tests at the same time. In fact, the code not only emits the warning message, it also automatically suppresses the forward-progress tests. If you prefer living dangerously and don’t mind the occasional out-of-memory (OOM) lockup accompanying your RCU CPU stall warnings, feel free to edit kernel/rcu/rcutorture.c to remove this automatic suppression.

          If you are running on a large system that takes more than ten seconds to boot, you might need to increase the RCU CPU stall holdoff interval. For example, adding rcutorture.stall_cpu_holdoff=120 to the –bootargs list would wait for two minutes before stalling a CPU instead of the default holdoff of 10 seconds. If simply spinning a CPU with preemption disabled does not fully vent your ire, you could undertake a more profound act of vandalism by adding rcutorture.stall_cpu_irqsoff=1 so as to cause interrupts to be disabled on the spinning CPU.

          Some flavors of RCU such as SRCU permit general blocking within their read-side critical sections, and you can exercise this capability by adding rcutorture.stall_cpu_block=1 to the –bootargs list. Better yet, you can use this kernel-boot parameter to torture flavors of RCU that forbid blocking within read-side critical sections, which allows you to see they complain about such mistreatment.

        • Python

          • Python 3.8.3 : Lists in Python 3 – part 001.

            I am currently working on a project that involves the use of complex data structures and lists and my time is limited.
            This led me to start a new series of python tutorials on python lists.
            I realized that the lists had no substantial changes in the evolution of the python programming language, see the official documentation.
            You will find on the internet a lot of questions related to lists, algorithms, and problems involving lists.
            If you are not a beginner then it will seem boring at first but over time I will try to draw attention to really significant elements in python programming with lists.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check In – 6
        • Rust

          • GStreamer Rust Bindings & Plugins New Releases

            I won’t write too much about the bindings this time. The latest version as of now is 0.16.1, which means that since I started working on the bindings there were 8 major releases. In that same time there were 45 contributors working on the bindings, which seems quite a lot and really makes me happy.

            Just as before, I don’t think any major APIs are missing from the bindings anymore, even for implementing subclasses of the various GStreamer types. The wide usage of the bindings in Free Software projects and commercial products also shows both the interest in writing GStreamer applications and plugins in Rust as well as that the bindings are complete enough and production-ready.

            Most of the changes since the last status update involve API cleanups, usability improvements, various bugfixes and addition of minor API that was not included before. The details of all changes can be read in the changelog.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • New Training Course Teaches Kubernetes Application Management with Helm
              • Linux Foundation Partners With CNCF on Kubernetes Certs, Training

                The Linux Foundation and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) announced today they are collaboratively developing a Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification expected to be available in November.

                At the same time, the two open source consortiums announced the availability of a training course dubbed “LFS244 – Managing Kubernetes Applications with Helm.” The CNCF is an arm of The Linux Foundation.

                Clyde Seepersad, senior vice president and general manager for training and certification at The Linux Foundation, says the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification will require IT professionals to be certified in Kubernetes management fundamentals as a prerequisite. The goal is to expand the amount of cybersecurity expertise IT professionals can bring to bear while also managing Kubernetes clusters, he says.

                The exam for the certification covers cluster setup, cluster hardening, system hardening, microservice vulnerabilities minimization, supply chain security, monitoring, logging and runtime security.

        • Security

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • NLG Partners with Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp

        The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is proud to announce a new sustainable partnership with Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC), founded by Colin Kaepernick. KYRC’s mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, and mass mobilization.

        KYRC and NLG will partner to expand legal support for social justice movements and increase capacity for providing legal resources for freedom fighters arrested in relation to the movement for Black lives. The agreement includes a $500,000 grant to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation. “This inspiring grant will help the NLG strengthen digital security for mass defense organizing, assist chapters with mass defense infrastructure, expand criminal defense preparations, and create timely new know-your-rights publications,” said NLG Executive Director Pooja Gehi.

        [...]

        The NLG is a proud endorser of #8toAbolition, which calls for defunding police, investing in communities, and freeing people from jails and prisons. “Abolitionism is a crucial component of the NLG’s mass defense efforts because both seek to dismantle the institutions most responsible for driving the racist exploitation of Black and Brown communities and political repression of activists,” said NLG Director of Mass Defense Tyler Crawford. The NLG recognizes and welcomes the recent increased public support for abolition movements and dedicates itself to continuing to support communities working to make this a reality.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • 2020 First-Half Transport Zone Update: Litigation Doubles

          As patent litigation continues to rise, the Transport Zone is expected to see an 105% increase by the end of 2020. At the halfway point of the year (78 cases), litigation has already reached last year high (76 cases). This means that based on current numbers litigation is expected to hit 150+ cases reaching near all-time highs in this zone.

          Transport manufacturers continue to be the main targets of litigation. These manufacturers comprise 89% of all first-named defendants. Manufacturers are defined as companies such as Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Tesla. Dealerships are defined as a company that primarily sells for the manufacturer. These would include Kinsel Ford and Zimbrick Honda. Suppliers are companies such as Bosch Automotive, ABB, and even Uber that provide components or services.

        • [Older] The German Constitutional Court moves powers from parliament towards itself – and makes politics in an unprecedented and questionable way [Ed: What a totally ridiculous thing to say; Team UPC lost its marbles and now it’s attacking judges and Justices]
        • Sharp grants automotive component-level SEP license to Huawei, partially withdraws patent infringement suits against Daimler

          With multiple simultaneous filings dated July 6, 2020, Sharp partially withdrew its German standard-essential patent (SEP) infringement actions against Daimler as the Foxconn-owned Japanese electronics maker has concluded an automotive component-level license agreements with Huawei. The infringement actions are continuing with respect to Daimler cars that do not come with a Huawei baseband chipset, telematics module, or telematics control unit (TCU).

          In terms of the economic significance of the remaining claims, it’s a safe assumption that well over half of the dispute between Sharp and Daimler has been amicably resolved by virtue of patent exhaustion. But this breakthrough agreement far transcends that particular set of cases. It divides the Avanci gang led by patent abusers and formed for the purpose of dissuading blue-chip SEP holders such as Sharp from granting component-level licenses, while exposing Nokia’s dogged denial of the feasibility and fairness of component-level SEP licenses as purely pretextual. Sharp’s partial withdrawals conclusively prove that it is possible to differentiate at the end-product level based on upstream suppliers.

          I applaud Sharp–which owns a large SEP portfolio and has proven its will to enforce its rights in court–for showing the way forward for licensing cellular SEPs to the automotive industry, which has traditionally required its suppliers to secure the prerequisite patent licenses; I congratulate Huawei on having convinced Sharp of the benefits of such an agreement at the negotiating table; and I’m happy to see Daimler–as a beneficiary of its indirect customer relationship with Huawei, which is known to provide connectivity modules to Daimler’s tier 1 suppliers such as Continental and Harman–being relieved from a significant part of the litigation pressures it has been facing for a while. In practical terms, the Sharp-Daimler cases are now merely about past damages with respect to cars that came without Huawei components. Injunctive relief is a practical non-issue as Daimler could presumably equip 100% of its products with components supplied by Huawei or coming with Huawei chips and modules.

        • Carrum Technologies patent held unpatentable

          On July 15, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC et al. v. Carrum Technologies, LLC et al., holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 7,925,416 unpatentable. The ‘416 patent, directed to vehicle sensors, had been asserted against BMW, FCA, and Ford.

Links 15/7/2020: New PinePhone, GCC 10.2 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Star Lite Mk III Linux laptop now available to pre-order from $426

        Star Labs kingdom that preorders for its Linux laptop in the form of the 11.6 inch notebook the Star Lite Mk III. As the name suggests the latest Linux laptop from the company yields on previous iterations and is now available from $426. The Star Lite Mk III features an 11.6″ ARC display, a true matte display that prevents glare with an Anti-Reflective Coating. It also features a hard coat rated at 3H to prevent against damage.“It’s power-efficient LED backlighting produces bright and vibrant colours. The combination of 1920×1080 resolution and IPS technology ensures optimum viewing clarity at angles up to 178°” says Star Labs.

    • Server

      • The Supercomputing Monoculture

        But that very competition led to fragmentation. Alpha, MIPS, SPARC, and all the others each sold to a small niche of users. Meanwhile, Intel was selling x86 processors by the truckload to every PC maker on the planet while backing up forklifts full of cash into its bank vaults. The x86 franchise was an obscenely lucrative cash cow, even if some engineers ridiculed it as outmoded technology. Intel sold more processors than all the other vendors put together. And CPU development is expensive. Very expensive. One by one, the boutique CPU makers (Sun, Digital, Silicon Graphics, Intergraph, et al.) gave up on their in-house designs and started buying commercial processors, often from Intel. And, one by one, those companies failed anyway. PCs running Windows on x86 were ubiquitous and cheap. Artisanal Unix workstations running proprietary RISC processors were expensive – and not much faster than a PC anyway. The full-custom route just didn’t add up.

        The huge uptake in x86-based supercomputers starting around 2005 wasn’t because Intel chips got a lot faster (although they did). It’s because most of the other competitors defaulted. They left an empty field for Intel to dominate. If the brains behind Alpha (to pick just one example) had had Intel levels of R&D money to work with, they probably would have stayed near the top of the performance heap for as long as they cared to. But that’s not reality or how the game is played. If my grandmother had wheels she’d be a wagon.

        Now the same story is playing out again, but in ARM’s favor. ARM has the volume lead, beating even Intel by orders of magnitude in terms of unit volume. And, although ARM collects only a small royalty on each processor, not the entire purchase price, it also doesn’t have the crushing overhead costs that a manufacturer like Intel carries. ARM’s volume encourages a third-party software market to flourish, and that fuels a virtuous feedback loop that makes ARM’s architecture even more popular. There’s nothing inherently fast about ARM’s architecture – it definitely wasn’t designed for supercomputers – but there’s nothing wrong with it, either. If the x86 can hold the world’s performance lead, any CPU can. All it takes is time and volume.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 182: Security Keys, Disk Encryption & Two Factor Authentication (2FA)

        Coming up on this week’s episode of Destination Linux: Google & Canonical are teaming up to bring Flutter to Linux for a cross-platform game changer. How Important is Disk Encryption & Security Keys – should you be using them or do you just prefer being hacked? We’ve got community feedback, a DRM FREE Game called Drox Operative and our beloved tips/tricks and software pick. All of this and so much more on this week’s Destination Linux.

      • Jon “maddog” Hall Discusses Global Open Source Certification

        Jon “maddog” Hall, a long-time FOSS advocate and educator, joined Doc Searls and Aaron Newcomb on a recent episode of the FLOSS Weekly podcast. The wide-ranging interview touched on topics including global certification, Hall’s early career, open source licenses, Project Cauã, the “Maddog” nickname, and much more. In this article, we’ll cover a few highlights of the podcast.

        Hall currently serves as the board chair at Linux Professional Institute (LPI, which also sponsors FOSSlife). He is the cofounder of Caninos Loucos, a project to get single board computers designed and manufactured in Brazil and is President of Project Cauã, which teaches university students how to set up and run their own IT business in order to pay for school.

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel slammed by Linux founder for using ‘power virus’ tech

        Intel has been called out by Linux founder Linus Torvalds over the power usage of one of its most central technologies.

        Intel’s 512-bit AVX-512 SIMD extensions for x86 instruction set architecture are used for various compute-intensive workloads on workstations and servers, but AVX-512 hardware execution units are power hungry and that causes some headaches for developers.

        This led Linux creator Linus Torvalds to recently condemn AVX-512 and call on the company to develop a better solution for complex HPC problems. The software icon went as far as calling AVX-512 a ‘power virus’ and wished it to ‘die a painful death.’

      • Measured boot with a TPM 2.0 in U-Boot

        A Trusted Platform Module, in short TPM, is a small piece of hardware designed to provide various security functionalities. It offers numerous features, such as storing secrets, ‘measuring’ boot, and may act as an external cryptographic engine. The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) delivers a document called TPM Interface Specifications (TIS) which describes the architecture of such devices and how they are supposed to behave as well as various details around the concepts.

        These TPM chips are either compliant with the first specification (up to 1.2) or the second specification (2.0+). The TPM2.0 specification is not backward compatible and this is the one this post is about.

        [...]

        A solid TPM 2.0 stack has been around for Linux for quite some time, in the form of the tpm2-tss and tpm2-tools projects. More specifically, a daemon called resourcemgr, is provided by the tpm2-tss project. For people coming from the TPM 1.2 world, this used to be called trousers. One can find some commands ready to be used in the tpm2-tools repository, useful for testing purpose.

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMD’s Next-Gen Navi 22 ‘Navy Flounder’ GPU Spied In Latest Linux Driver Release

          There’s a new Linux driver release that contains a reference to an upcoming AMD graphics processing unit (GPU) codenamed “Navy Flounder,” and now I can’t get that Pinkard & Bowden song out of my head. You know, the fishy one titled, “I Lobster But Never Flounder.” Yeah, don’t judge, click that link and it will be stuck in YOUR head as well. You’re welcome.

          But I digress—I’m not here to discuss goofy country songs. This is all about AMD’s upcoming Navi launch, which is underpinned by the same second-generation Radeon DNA (RDNA 2) architecture that will power both Sony’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X consoles, as well as a new round of Radeon graphics cards.

        • Libinput 1.16 Will Warn You If Your System Is Too Slow

          It’s been over a half-year already for the current libinput 1.15 series for this input handling library used on both X.Org and Wayland environments. But libinput 1.16 is finally en route with the first release candidate out today.

          Libinput 1.16 has been baking a while due to no pressing features that needed to be shipped right away and seeing a number of 1.15.x point releases. Coming with this new series for libinput are:

          - Monitoring of timestamps compared to when the libinput dispatch function is called by the compositor. If the difference is too large that it could result in issues for input processing, a new warning is displayed in the log that the event processing is lagging behind and the system is “too slow.”

        • Intel Adds More “Elkhart Lake” IDs To Their Linux Graphics Driver Code

          Two new PCI IDs were added for Elkhart Lake and two for Jasper Lake graphics that are in new hardware configurations as well. The new 0×4555 is Elkhart Lake graphics in a two subslice configuration with eight EUs per subslice along with a similar 0x4E55 addition for Jasper Lake with the 2×8 configuration.. The two other new IDs are 0×4557 and 0x4E57 for Elkhart and Jasper, respectively, that are for a four subslice configuration with five EUs per subslice.

        • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Scheduling Improvements In The Works

          Longtime open-source Intel Linux kernel graphics driver developer Chris Wilson has out a big new set of patches.

          Last month I wrote about the work done by Chris Wilson on fair low-latency scheduling for the Intel graphics driver. At the time it amounted to 28 patches for this code inspired by the BFS/MuQSS CPU scheduler. But now it’s morphed into a much larger scheduling rework that is at 68 patches.

        • Linux Seeing Kernel GPU Driver Support Two Decades Later For Matrox G200 Graphics Cards

          The Matrox G200 series desktop graphics cards released in the late 90′s are now seeing open-source DRM kernel driver support emerge in 2020.

          The Linux kernel has provided a “MGAG200″ Direct Rendering Manager driver going back to the early Linux 3.x kernel days. This MGA G200 DRM driver though has just been focused on the numerous server motherboards having G200 chips for display purposes. The actual MGA G200 series desktop graphics cards have not worked with this Linux kernel driver, at least until now.

    • Applications

      • VirtualBox 6.1.12 Released with New GLX Graphics Output

        Oracle Virtualbox 6.1.12 was released a day ago as the sixth maintenance release for the 6.1 series.

        Oracle Virtualbox 6.1.12 release highlights:

        UI fixes for Log-Viewer search-backward icon
        Fixes and improvements for the BusLogic SCSI controller emulation
        Regression fixes in FIFO data handling
        Experimental new type of network attachment, allowing local VM to act as if it was run in cloud
        Improved resource management in the guest control functionality
        Fixed command option parsing for the “snapshot edit” sub-command
        Fix crash of ‘VBoxManage internalcommands repairhd’ when processing invalid input.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Conjure portals between worlds in Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue – now on GOG

        Unbound: Worlds Apart Prologue, an impressive demo for the upcoming 2D metroidvania puzzle platformer can now be picked up on GOG and it’s been updated a few times.

        In Unbound, you play as Soli, who can conjure magic portals to travel between different realities. It’s a really clever and great-looking game mechanic that puts a new and challenging spin on platforming puzzles. Inside certain portals, the physical properties of the character or world elements can change, offering new gameplay possibilities.

      • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 reimplementation OpenRCT2 needs your feedback

        OpenRCT2 is a fantastic reimplementation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and the team are doing a survey to gather some feedback on how it’s used and where to focus.

        Currently, OpenRCT2 is already fully playable providing you have the existing game assets while they work on a set of free replacements. Lots of advancements over the original including UI themes, fast-forward gameplay, multiplayer support, improved translations, OpenGL hardware rending and of course Linux support. It’s constantly being improved too with a new release out back in April and another is coming soon with plenty more enhancements.

      • Play the classic Super Smash Bros Melee online on Linux with Slippi

        Super Smash Bros Melee, the 2001 title originally on the Nintendo GameCube is something of a classic and to this day it remains really popular. So popular, it has a dedicated project to play it online.

        That project is Slippi, a version of the Dolphin emulator that’s been specifically designed to offer advanced features for Super Smash Bros Melee. These additions include: portable replay files, complex gameplay stats, improved streaming video quality, improved online netcode with rollback support, online matchmaking and much more.

      • The Battle of Polytopia: Moonrise releasing August 4 for Linux PC

        The award winning mobile game The Battle of Polytopia which we wrote about coming to Linux previously with a big revamp is now confirmed to be launching on August 4.

      • Dota 2 gets a free dungeon crawling Summer Event game mode

        Valve have updated Dota 2 with a Summer Event that’s free for everyone to play even if you don’t have the Battle Pass.

        This new mode, Aghanim’s Labyrinth, sees you and three others team up and take on a rogue-like game mode where you go through a randomized dungeon taking down Aghanim’s monsters while also getting to pick various upgrades. Valve went all-out with this too, as it even features its own special out-of-game skill tree so you can continue to advance through different runs through it.

      • Narrative-driven adventure about creative block ‘Forgotten Fields’ is funded

        From the creator of Rainswept, Forgotten Fields is an upcoming narrative-driven adventure about an author struggling with a creative block. Covered previously by GOL here, thankfully their Kickstarter campaign has finished and they managed to get fully funded at £10,907 from 320 backers.

        Set in an atmospheric, warm, coastal world with a story about nostalgia, creativity and the passage of time. You follow Sid, a fiction author struggling with a creative block, attempting to recapture the feelings of inspiration he felt when he was younger. In order to pay the bills, he needs to think up a story and apply for a grant – the deadline is today – a lazy Sunday in the middle of summer. Inspired by the developers own issues with creative block.

    • Art

      • Krita

        • Compiling Krita for ARM: an AppImage tale

          Someone on #krita, can’t remember their exact nick, asked if it was possible to run Krita on ARM-based computers, specifically the Raspberry Pi 3B+. AFAIK, no one has tried to do so, so I will tell you: yes, it is possible! (Although it will run as slow as a turtle!) This work took me the whole weekend, but it was an excellent experience as well as a wonderful way to test our infrastructure.

          A key warning before moving on: DO NOT TRY THIS ON YOUR PI. It will be unbearably slow I built mine with a Ryzen 7 with 12 threads and it still took me two 12-hour shifts!

          This post covers three steps: setting up the build environment, compiling the dependencies and Krita itself, and finally packaging the AppImages themselves. As per the official instructions, we’ll target Ubuntu 16.04 ARM. I chose the armhf port to match the Raspberry Pi’s default distro, Raspbian. I also tested aarch64 – see the last section for the necessary changes.

        • Wasabi character design

          While the printed book project is doing good progress, I started writing the next episode 34. It’s not an easy scenario and it still require a lot of attention (but thanks to a solid proofread team, I’m also doing good progress here). The big outline of the scenario starts to appear: it will finally explore a bit more the land of Shichimi and her magic school. So, here is a screenshot while searching for how Wasabi −master of Shichimi− would look. It feels good to put back my hand on Krita after almost a full week of only pre-press work with Scribus/Imagemagick/Bash and writing in a world of Git/Markdown. I also adopted the new watercolor brushes made by Ramon Miranda built-in Krita 4.3.

    • Distributions

      • Endeavour OS: Our first anniversary, the July release and what’s next?!?

        We’ve reached a memorable milestone, today it is one year ago that we made our fantastic debut in the Linux universe and boy, what a year it has been!

        I’ve already said it in previous blog posts, on our forum and on our Telegram group, but that fuel is provided by you, a friendly, energetic and loyal community and I’ll say it again, we’re so grateful to you all.

        EndeavourOS had very big shoes to fill in the first place, we weren’t starting with an entirely blank canvas, unlike any new starting project. The mission was to give the former Antergos community a new home and at the same time develop our own identity. According to the familiar faces and the many new ones, we had the honour to welcome in our community this past year, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve succeeded that mission.

        One year has passed with big learning curves and challenging goals that seemed unreachable but we conquered them anyway and now it’s time for EndeavourOS to re-enter the atmosphere and heralded by a twin sonic boom to announce its landing back to base…

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Installation of RHEL 6.10 with Screenshots

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a Linux-based operating system developed by Red Hat and targeted the commercial market. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 is available for x86, x86-64 for Itanium, PowerPC and IBM System z, and desktop versions.

          This article explains how to boot the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 installation wizard (anaconda) to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.10 on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 systems.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Why Is SUSE Acquiring Rancher Labs?

          Last week SUSE announced its intent to acquire Rancher Labs. We sat down with Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, President of Engineering & Innovation at SUSE to discuss what the two companies would look like post acquisition. What will happen to the Rancher leadership. What will happen to products and projects and more importantly, what value does Rancher bring to SUSE.

        • Rancher’s Sheng Liang To Lead Innovation & Engineering at SUSE

          What will happen to the core Rancher team once the company becomes part of SUSE? Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, President of Engineering & Innovation at SUSE shares some details about how the Rancher team will lead different business units at SUSE.

        • OpenSUSE board non-confidence effort fails

          The openSUSE board troubles that LWN reported on in May have continued to simmer, and the promised election for an empty seat has not yet been held. During this time, instead, the project has voted on a petition to declare a lack of confidence in the board as a whole, a result that would have forced the election of an entirely new board. In the end, the number of votes fell far short of the number required, and the existing board will move forward with the election plan.

        • How to become an openSUSE contributor?

          Every package available in openSUSE distribution goes through the Factory.
          This continuous integration (CI) pipeline test all the code submited by the developpement teams on various virtual machines to build code on various environment.
          From standard x86 to ARM Soc for IOT and Edge
          You can see this pipeline in real time via our dashboard and see which packages have errors.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The evolution behind Red Hat Summit Virtual Labs: Pivoting to Success

          With the wrap-up of Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience, we often look back and reflect on the highlights of what we as an organization have successfully accomplished in delivering to our attendees. However, this particular Summit stands out among its predecessors, in that our entire planned on-site conference for San Francisco was completely virtualized in a matter of weeks. The first of its kind, our virtual experience reached an audience like never before.

          Completely free for anyone to attend, talk to subject matter experts, learn about new and exciting advancements in open source technologies, and understand what makes Red Hat an industry leader. More than 56,000 attendees globally joined over two full days of keynotes, general sessions, live chats with experts, breakout sessions and virtual labs.

          To have an event with such a broad reach required a significant undertaking in ensuring that the supporting structure behind the scenes could handle the load. This included the supporting structure for attendees to take part in lab environments to get hands-on experience with popular applications and platforms, including Red Hat Ansible, Red Hat Ansible Tower, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Without the ability to be physically present at the event, a new solution was necessary.

        • Fedora Classroom Session: Git 101 with Pagure

          The Fedora Classroom is a project to help people by spreading knowledge on subjects related to Fedora for others, If you would like to propose a session, feel free to open a ticket here with the tag classroom. If you’re interested in taking a proposed session, kindly let us know and once you take it, you will be awarded the Sensei Badge too as a token of appreciation. Recordings from the previous sessions can be found here.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Will No Longer Track Which Packages Users Install

          The “popularity-contest” tool that has shipped as part of the standard Ubuntu install since the distro debuted in 2006 is being removed.

          What does popcon do? To quote the Ubuntu help page for it…

          The stats that popcon gathers is used to help “improve future versions of Ubuntu so that the most popular packages are the ones which are installed automatically for new users.”

          Except it’s been a long time since Ubuntu added or removed apps to its default install.

          And with Snaps, Flapaks, and PPAs giving developers more direct ways to market to users (not to mention more accurate numbers on how many people use their software) the relative merits of “what’s popular in the repos” is …Well, a touch moot.

        • Canonical launches enhanced GSI partner programme, bringing scalability and automation to modernise enterprise IT deployments

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, today announces the launch of its enhanced Global System Integrator (GSI) Programme. Alongside new partnership benefits, it includes resell and integration opportunities for the entirety of Canonical’s secure, open source portfolio for the data centre, multi-cloud, edge and IoT. GSIs can now drive increased revenue by building customer solutions on an automated and scalable platform that accelerates time to market, decreases customer OPEX and delivers IT modernisation to their enterprise clients.

          “GSIs are at the forefront of bringing digital transformation to the enterprise in the form of best-fit solutions around AI, multi-cloud, high performance computing (HPC), IoT and intelligent automation. Our re-designed programme helps them to deliver this to customers quickly, securely and with better economics over a deployment’s lifetime,” said Regis Paquette, VP of Alliances at Canonical. “GSIs increasingly need to recommend, incorporate and deliver open source technologies to build bespoke solutions for enterprises while addressing their complex IT requirements. With this GSI programme, Canonical makes that process easy for them.”

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Rust code in Linux kernel looks more likely as language team lead promises support
          • Armen Zambrano: New backfill action

            In the screenshot above you can see that the task mdaturned orange (implying that it failed). In the screenshot we can see that a Mozilla code sheriff has both retriggered the task four more times (you can see four more running tasks on the same push) and has backfilled the task on previous pushes. This is to determine if the regression was introduced on previous pushes or if the failure is due to an intermittent test failure.

          • Mozilla Puts Its Trusted Stamp on VPN

            Starting today, there’s a VPN on the market from a company you trust. The Mozilla VPN (Virtual Private Network) is now available on Windows. This fast and easy-to-use VPN service is brought to you by Mozilla, the makers of Firefox, and a trusted name in online consumer security and privacy services.

            The first thing you may notice when you install the Mozilla VPN is how fast your browsing experience is. That’s because the Mozilla VPN is based on modern and lean technology, the WireGuard protocol’s 4,000 lines of code, is a fraction in size of legacy protocols used by other VPN service providers.

            You will also see an easy-to-use and simple interface for anyone who is new to VPN, or those who want to set it and get onto the web.

            With no long-term contracts required, the Mozilla VPN is available for just $4.99 USD per month and will initially be available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand, with plans to expand to other countries this Fall.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New Czech translation of Getting Started Guide 6.4

          The Czech translation of the LibreOffice 6.4 Getting Started guide is now available! The history behind this book is quite long: first, another team translated the version 4.2 guide in 2014, but they never fully finished it (didn’t do corrections, publishing etc.) Then they started to update for version 5.1, but never finished the translation. I was not part of the team in these days, so this is what I’ve found out from the mailing lists. Thanks to CA tool OmegaT, we could used their old translations and build upon it. In 2020 we started translation again with version 6.0, but we quickly jumped to version 6.4 and followed the documentation team’s updates.

      • Programming/Development

        • GCC 10.2 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
          The first release candidate for GCC 10.2 is available from
          
          https://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/10.2.0-RC-20200715/
          
           ftp://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/10.2.0-RC-20200715/
          
          and shortly its mirrors.  It has been generated from git commit
          932e9140d3268cf2033c1c3e93219541c53fcd29.
          
          I have so far bootstrapped and tested the release candidate on
          x86_64-linux.  Please test it and report any issues to bugzilla.
          
          If all goes well, I'd like to release 10.2 on Thursday, July 23th.
          
        • GCC 10.2 Gearing Up For Release Next Week – RC Available For Testing

          The GCC crew is preparing to issue their first stable point release to the GCC 10 series next week.

          GCC 10.1 as the first stable GCC 10 version released back in early May while now GCC 10.2 as the first point release is preparing to make its way out, hopefully on 23 July.

        • GNU Toolchain Continues Phasing Out Native Client Support (NaCl)

          WebAssembly has seen much greater industry interest and adoption than Google’s former Native Client (NaCl) effort for sandboxed applications that can be run within web browsers. Native Client hasn’t seen any real activity in years and continues fading away.

          Google has been encouraging any Native Client users to migrate to WebAssembly for years with just a few remnants remaining.

        • LLVM 11 Feature Development Is Over With Many Changes

          LLVM 11 feature development has ended with the code having been branched in Git this morning and the first release candidate expected shortly.

          LLVM 11.0 was branched today in its mono repository including sub-projects like Clang. This branching is going as planned with aiming to ship LLVM 11.0 officially around 26 August.

        • Python

          • Pandas Project: Make a Gradebook With Pandas

            One of the jobs that all teachers have in common is evaluating students. Whether you use exams, homework assignments, quizzes, or projects, you usually have to turn students’ scores into a letter grade at the end of the term. This often involves a bunch of calculations that you might do in a spreadsheet. Instead, you can consider using Python and pandas.

            One problem with using a spreadsheet is that it can be hard to see when you make a mistake in a formula. Maybe you selected the wrong column and put quizzes where exams should go. Maybe you found the maximum of two incorrect values. To solve this problem, you can use Python and pandas to do all your calculations and find and fix those mistakes much faster.

          • How should I start learning Python

            After you have made up your mind that you are going with Python, Here are certain steps that I followed to get started with it and I am sure it will work out for anybody,

          • Python 101 – Creating Multiple Processes

            Most CPU manufacturers are creating multi-core CPUs now. Even cell phones come with multiple cores! Python threads can’t use those cores because of the Global Interpreter Lock. Starting in Python 2.6, the multiprocessing module was added which lets you take full advantage of all the cores on your machine.

          • A Hundred Days of Code, Day 008 – Python Basics, Lists, Tuples, Dictionaries, Sets and Done!
        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Hack Brief: Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old ‘Wormable’ Bug

            Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially “wormable” vulnerability—meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction—has appeared in Microsoft’s implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet.

            As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company’s researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years.

          • Security when you’re suddenly remote

            Imagine a scenario where forces outside of your control have suddenly made it impossible for people to be in close proximity to each other, forcing them to vacate their offices but somehow continue “business as usual.” This upheaval of daily life is all to help limit the spread of a virus that is spreading across the globe.

            It sounds like the opening scenes to a sci-fi movie, but it’s our reality. In late January here in the US, and earlier in many other parts of the world, the global pandemic known as COVID-19 forced authorities to respond by recommending and/or requiring that we all stay at home and avoid non-essential contact with people outside of our households. This, of course, makes it very difficult to maintain a business.

            If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably either already working in IT or adjacent industry, or you’re considering it. Most IT workers have the ability to think and work at a keyboard all day, no matter where they’re geographically located. Other than a few datacenter roles that require you to be physically onsite, most IT jobs can be done from anywhere in the world. That also goes for most of the support, customer service, billing, and even human resources roles at an organization.

          • Patching OpenSSL and GNU C Libraries Without Service Restarts

            According to the 2020 Global Threat Intelligence Report, “cyber-attack volumes increased across all industries between 2018 and 2019.” Web shells, exploit kits and targeted ransomware are just a few tools that bad actors use for attacks. Mostly, such attacks are still successful due to organizational practices related to networks, operating systems and application configurations, testing, security controls and overall security posture. Attackers are still trying to exploit vulnerabilities which are several years old and have patches available, but nevertheless are not being addressed by many organizations’ patch and configuration management programs.

            Persistent exploitation of old and famous vulnerabilities such as HeartBleed (CVE-2014-0160) make OpenSSL the second most targeted software technology involved in 19% of hostile activity globally. According to researchers, OpenSSL was the most targeted technology in both the manufacturing and technology industries.

          • IPFire on AWS: Update to IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146

            Today, we have updated IPFire on AWS to IPFire 2.25 – Core Update 146 – the latest official release of IPFire.

            Since IPFire is available on AWS, we are gaining more and more users who are securing their cloud infrastructure behind an easy to configure, yet fast and secure firewall.

            This update brings a new kernel as well as many other exciting changes.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (dbus), Debian (python3.5), Fedora (podofo and roundcubemail), Oracle (dbus, dovecot, jbig2dec, kernel, nodejs:10, nodejs:12, sane-backends, and thunderbird), Red Hat (.NET Core and kernel), SUSE (ansible, ansible1, ardana-ansible, ardana-cluster, ardana-freezer, ardana-input-model, ardana-logging, ardana-mq, ardana-neutron, ardana-octavia, ardana-osconfig, caasp-openstack-heat-templates, crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, documentation-suse-openstack-cloud, grafana, kibana, openstack-dashboard, openstack-dashboard-theme-HPE, openstack-heat-templates, openstack-keystone, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-installer, openstack-neutron, openstack-octavia-amphora-image, python-Django, python-Flask, python-GitPython, python-Pillow, python-amqp, python-apicapi, python-keystoneauth1, python-oslo.messaging, python-psutil, python-pyroute2, python-pysaml2, python-tooz, python-waitress, storm, bind, jasper, java-1_8_0-openjdk, LibVNCServer, libxml2, python-ipaddress, rubygem-bundler, rubygem-puma, samba, slirp4netns, xen, and xrdp), and Ubuntu (firefox and webkit2gtk).

          • ‘Wormable’ Flaw Leads July Microsoft Patches

            Microsoft today released updates to plug a whopping 123 security holes in Windows and related software, including fixes for a critical, “wormable” flaw in Windows Server versions that Microsoft says is likely to be exploited soon. While this particular weakness mainly affects enterprises, July’s care package from Redmond has a little something for everyone. So if you’re a Windows (ab)user, it’s time once again to back up and patch up (preferably in that order).

            [...]

            “We consider this to be a wormable vulnerability, meaning that it has the potential to spread via malware between vulnerable computers without user interaction,” Microsoft wrote in its documentation of CVE-2020-1350. “DNS is a foundational networking component and commonly installed on Domain Controllers, so a compromise could lead to significant service interruptions and the compromise of high level domain accounts.”

            CVE-2020-1350 is just the latest worry for enterprise system administrators in charge of patching dangerous bugs in widely-used software. Over the past couple of weeks, fixes for flaws with high severity ratings have been released for a broad array of software products typically used by businesses, including Citrix, F5, Juniper, Oracle and SAP. This at a time when many organizations are already short-staffed and dealing with employees working remotely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Forced displacement and violence fester four years after Colombia peace deal

        The elderly were shaking in fear as they disembarked their slender boats, having escaped the violence that has plagued villages in Colombia’s southwestern department of Nariño for decades. Many, including Gonzalez’s nephews, uncles, and aunts, were from her own village of Palambi, on the banks of the River Chagüi, near Tumaco.

        Around 3,100 people – 1,179 families – had fled as clashes broke out between armed groups vying for control of drug-trafficking routes and coca crops. Many more were unable to leave, “confined”, as local residents described it, to their villages by the armed groups.

        “They said there were explosions going off,” Gonzalez told The New Humanitarian. “Their wooden houses shook and they were hiding under beds, behind doors; there was no safe place – they thought they were coming to kill them.”

        This scene took place in late January, but reflects what continues to happen – not only in Nariño, but in other communities nationwide – four years after the signing of Colombia’s historic peace agreement, and as the country now hosts 1.8 million Venezuelans, many forced from their homeland by hunger and struggling to get by due to the COVID-19 fallout.

      • Is a new Plan Colombia putting a fragile peace at risk?

        On 14 May, bombers from the Colombian air force deployed to a remote rural area in the north of Bolivar province. Their target: a camp of National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, in particular one of its leaders, a commander who went by the name of Macho Tierra.

        The mission was a success, at least from the government’s perspective: Macho and two other guerrillas were killed. But it was also the latest in a series of dramatic escalations to threaten the increasingly shaky 2016 peace accord, which brought an end to a 50-year civil war.

        During that war, Colombia earned the dubious distinction of the country with the highest number of internally displaced in the world: some 7.6 million people, roughly 15 percent of the total population, fled violence from both armed groups and Colombian military forces.

        As the state ratchets up aggressive military action once again, the UN is also reporting increased displacements in conflict zones where the peace never truly arrived in practice, with armed groups continuing to vie for territory even during the supposed COVID-19 lockdown.

        The bombing in Bolivar was part of a larger plan by the Colombian government to militarise five conflict regions dubbed “future zones” – Pacífico nariñense, Catatumbo, Southern Cauca, Arauca, and Chiribiquete. The goal, according to a statement by President Iván Duque, is to “stabilise, develop, and transform illicit economies into licit ones”.

    • Finance

      • The Return of the Labor Question

        Has the pandemic brought the labor question back to life? It may not have achieved the salience of the public-health-in-the-time-of-pandemic question, but it’s surely the most prominent subset of it. The coronavirus has brought a new visibility to a huge share of America’s working class—treated as both essential and disposable—that was previously invisible to much of the nation’s political elite.

        The pandemic’s disproportionate effect on the working class and people of color came to light at the end of a decade in which the labor question had already crept back into the nation’s discourse. Since Occupy Wall Street sounded the alarm in 2011, stratospheric levels of economic inequality in the United States have been a growing concern in left, liberal, and, more recently, centrist circles. Until recently, many on the center left confined their concerns to inequality itself—favoring, for instance, a hike in the minimum wage. Workers, in this view, suffered from a deficiency of training, not a deficiency of power.

        Millennials—disproportionately powerless, underpaid, and radical—wanted none of that. Mobilized by two Bernie Sanders presidential campaigns, they joined unions wherever they could (on campuses, in the media, and in nonprofits) and helped push the conversation beyond inequality to one of its root causes: deunionization. This shift coincided with the shockingly belated realization among Democratic politicos that deunionization was also a root cause of the white working class’s defection from Democratic ranks.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Reliance Jio claims to have developed in-house 5G solution

        “Each of these solutions, once proven in India, has the potential to transform the world.”

        It remains to be seen how successful Jio’s in-house 5G solution can be, given various threats from the market.

        The area of telecom technology is notorious for disputes relating to intellectual property and patents.

    • Monopolies

      • Santen ends Neurim-style SPCs

        The wording of Article 3d of the SPC Regulation requires that the SPC application must rely on “the first authorisation to place the product on the market as a medicinal product”. This always suggested that a marketing authorisation granted for a new indication of a previously approved active ingredient could not be relied upon as the basis of an SPC for the patent directed to the new medical use.

        However, based on a purposive construction of the Regulation, the CJEU decision in Neurim in 2012 opened the door to just that possibility.

        Unusually, the CJEU has now reversed its own Neurim decision in the Santen decision C-673/18 issued on 9 July 2020. A later MA to a new indication cannot be used as the “first MA” supporting an SPC on a new medical use of the same active ingredient.

      • Fortress Wins First Round in Apple-Intel Antitrust-Patent Fight

        U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco allows Apple and Intel to revise and refile antitrust complaint alleging that Softbank’s Fortress Investment Group is backing a network of small companies that drive up the cost of technological innovation by filing a myriad of meritless lawsuits to protect vast portfolios of “weak” patents.

      • Patents

        • Toyota loses bid to revive anti-fingerprinting patent

          The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday denied a bid by Toyota Motor Corp to revive a patent on technology for keeping fingerprint stains off of car windows.

          The court affirmed a ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the Toyota patent was invalid on obviousness grounds.

        • A couple of thoughts on Sisvel v. Haie

          First, as Picht and Haber point out, the decision puts a great deal of emphasis on whether, at step two of the Huawei v. ZTE framework, the implementer has adequately expressed its willingness to conclude a license on FRAND terms–to the extent of actually disagreeing, at one point, with the lower court’s analysis of the evidence (see decision para. 95). Presumably, then, in future cases much will depend on how well (or how poorly) the implementer can document its efforts to negotiate in good faith. See, e.g., para. 83 (stating, in the Arnold Ruess translation of the decision, that “the infringer . . . must clearly and unequivocally declare his willingness to conclude a licence agreement with the patent proprietor on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and must also subsequently participate in the licence agreement negotiations in a target oriented manner”).

          Second, although the court notes the difficulty, in the SEP/FRAND context, faced by implementers in discovering and clearing all relevant patents in advance of launching a product–and cites this as one reason for the competition-law defense to make it more difficult for patent owners to obtain injunctions than in other types of patent cases (see para. 74 of the decision)–the court doesn’t see this difficulty as a reason for departing from the traditional German rule that allows courts to award damages based on the assumption that a defendant who launches a product without clearing the relevant patent rights first is, in general, negligent (see para. 109). The court therefore clears the way for owners of FRAND-committed SEPs to recover damages against infringers under any of the three methods available in Germany (lost profits, reasonable royalty, or defendant’s profits), though it notes that if the defendant’s competition-law counterclaim succeeds, the damages would be to some extent offset and the plaintiff would only recover the value of a FRAND royalty (paras. 110-12). I’m not sure this rule is economically sound, particularly in the FRAND context, where the nature of the commitment is such that the plaintiff should expect to recover only a FRAND royalty. I realize, of course, that if the reason the competition-law defense doesn’t apply is that the implementer has been negotiating in bad faith, some remedy above the value of the FRAND royalty may be necessary for deterrence purposes (and enhanced damages, as such, are not an option in Germany); though one would think the injunction itself would have much the same function, as Dan Burk has pointed out (though maybe not in a case like Sisvel v. Haier, where the patent in suit expired before the appeals had all run their course). I also recall that one of the Supreme Court judges on the Sisvel panel, Dr. Meier-Beck, has previously written that in his view the damages awarded under any of the three methods should, in principle, converge (a point with which I disagree); see previous discussion here.

        • Major win for Eli Lilly pemetrexed patent in Germany

          Yesterday, the Federal Court of Justice heard the validity case for patent EP 1 313 508 (case ID: X ZR 150/18) regarding drug pemetrexed. Eli Lilly manufactures the folic acid analogue, which doctors use in palliative chemotherapy for certain advanced forms of lung cancer. The focus of yesterday’s hearing was if the combination of the chemotherapy drug with folic acid and vitamin B12 constituted an invention, or whether it was obvious to a person skilled in the art.

          The combination of folic acid and vitamin B12 reduces the side effects of chemotherapy in patients. However, the Federal Court of Justice has now ruled that the patent is valid. This decision stands in contrast to the decision of the lower court.

          This is a blow for plaintiff Hexal and co-litigant Fresenius. On the other hand, for Stada the dispute could continue before the infringement courts. The company also distributes the formulation pemetrexed L-arginine, meaning the courts could hear a discussion on equivalence. Disputes with manufacturers such as Hikma Pharma, Zentiva and Synthon, although not directly involved in yesterday’s proceedings, are similar.

        • Hoyng ROKH Monegier wins first instance infringement dispute for Q-Cells

          In June, the first instance decision at the Regional Court of Düsseldorf found that Jinko Solar, REC Group and Longi Solar Technologie infringe the German part of European patent EP 22 20 689 (case nos. 4a O 20/19, 4a O 21/19 and 4a O 32/19). Q-Cells owns the patent.

          The patent in question protects a solar cell with two surface-passivating dielectric layers on a silicon substrate. The layers are intended to reduce the efficiency losses of the solar cell, and to significantly increase the output of the solar cell.

          In the decision, the judges concluded that the three defendants have distributed solar modules containing specific solar cells, which use the technology covered in the EP 689 patent. Furthermore, the court found that the three parties distributed the solar modules without a prior licence agreement with Hanwha’s Q-Cells.

        • AI Patents and the Self-Assembling Machine

          Legal scholarship has begun to consider the implications of algorithmic pattern recognition systems, colloquially dubbed “artificial intelligence” or “AI,” for intellectual property law. This emerging literature includes several analyses that breathlessly proclaim the imminent overthrow of intellectual property systems as we now know them. Indeed, some commentators have prophesied the demise of patentable innovation under the influence of AI research and development tools.

          Although AI systems pose fundamental challenges to the many areas of law and legal institutions, careful consideration suggests that intellectual property generally, and the patent system particularly, encompasses sufficient flexibilities to address AI innovation. In many cases, previous accommodation of biotechnology within the patent system points the way similar accommodation of AI tools. However, the incorporation of AI innovation into patents reveals a significant gap in patent doctrine regarding issues of causation, which deserves resolution quite apart from the unnecessary furor over the intersection of AI and patent doctrine.

        • Federal Circuit Eliminates Pre-Suit Damages for Failure of Licensee to Mark

          A jury sided with the patentee Packet Intelligence–finding its three patents willfully infringed by NetScout and the claims not-invalid. The jury also awarded the patentee $5.75 million in a running royalty. US6665725; US6839751; US6954789. Judge Gilstrap topped the awarded with extra $2.8 million in enhanced damages and also denied a variety of post-verdict JMOL motions. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed most aspects of the decision, but has reversed the pre-suit portion of the damage award.

          [...]

          35 U.S.C. § 287(a) provides a limitation on damages in patent cases. If authorized patented articles are being sold or imported, they should be marked as patented (with the patent numbers). If not marked, then the statute bars any damages from before “the infringer was notified of the infringement.” The statute was amended as part of the AIA to allow for “virtual marking” that has now become common.

          Although Packet Intelligence doesn’t make any products itself, it has licensed its patents, and the marking requirement extends to authorized (i.e., licensed) products made under the patent.

        • Software Patents

          • Apple, Visa Escape Smartphone Payment Patent Infringement Claims

            Apple Inc. and Visa Inc. defeated patent infringement claims covering technology that lets smartphones be used to authenticate payments, after convincing a Delaware federal court on Tuesday that the relevant parts of the patents were invalid.

            Rejecting a magistrate judge’s recommendation, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware found the four patents covered the abstract idea of securely verifying a person’s identity, and didn’t include a patent-eligible inventive concept.

      • Trademarks

        • A distinction without a difference: what about non-EU languages? In particular: Chinese and Russian

          In our previous post, we discussed the issue of terms that are descriptive in English but still lead to likelihood of confusion on an EU level, given the General Court’s belief that ” …if the word is not part of the mother tongue of a territory such understanding cannot be presumed unless a sufficient knowledge by the public in that territory is a well-known fact“. Do the same principle apply also to other languages which are spoken in the EU, without being an “official” language of any Member State?

          The answer to this question is not always consistent, as two recent decisions show, one EUIPO Board of Appeal (BOA) decision regarding Chinese, the other a Court of Justice (CJEU) judgment concerning a Russian expression.

          [...]

          Now to the CJEU judgment of June 18, 2020 (C-142/19). This concerns the transliteration in Latin characters of a term that, in Russian language, would be descriptive. To advance the outcome, likelihood of confusion was found in the end, although the Fourth Board of Appeal saw this differently:

          Back in 2011, the EUIPO granted the EUTM n. 9171695 PLOMBIR for ‘Compotes, eggs, milk, and milk products’ in class 29 and ‘Ices, coffee, cocoa’ in class 30. PLOMBIR is the transliteration of “Пломбир”, apparently a Russian word for “ice cream”. In 2014, an invalidity action was brought, based on consumers in Germany and in other EU countries, such as the Baltic States, would understanding Russian and being able to perceive the descriptive character of PLOMBIR.

          The invalidity action was accepted by the EUIPO Cancellation Division, but the Fourth BOA reversed considering that it had not been proven that German consumers – or a sufficiently significant part thereof – understood Russian. Nothing was said about the Baltic States.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          The Kluwer Trademark Blog discussed whether descriptive terms in languages which do not hold official EU language status might still be deemed to give rise to a likelihood of confusion where there is nevertheless a significant population in at least one EU Member State which speaks that language – whether that is Russian in Germany or the Baltic States, or the growing Chinese-speaking community.

        • Headaches and Handbags: A Fragility Theory of Trademark Functionality

          A group of test subjects are randomly assigned one of two treatments for their frequent headaches: generic or brand-name ibuprofen. Subjects taking the branded ibuprofen, Nurofen®, report markedly greater pain relief and fewer side effects than the generic group. The experiment is repeated with new subjects, but this time the Nurofen pills are swapped for Nurofenlabeled placebos. The result still holds. A sugar pill with a trademark can outperform genuine, but unbranded, pharmaceuticals. According to functionality doctrine, trademark protection cannot be granted for any feature that is essential to the product’s use or purpose, or affects the product’s cost or quality. But because of the placebo effect, even seemingly inert names and symbols are imbued with precisely this kind of power. In fact, a wide variety of real-world phenomena challenge the prevailing understanding of trademark functionality, from the social uses of high-fashion marks to the cost reductions enabled by certification marks. More fundamentally, a valuable trademark of any kind should act to reduce search costs for consumers and improve quality through the mechanism of reputation. And yet, rather than leading to invalidation, these well-documented functionalities are apparently tolerated by trademark law — sometimes merely ignored, but often celebrated explicitly. This article proposes a more unified theory of functionality: fragility. Some product features affect cost, quality, use, and purpose in ways that are non-fragile — the effects would persist even if every producer were to copy the same feature. But some features affect the product in ways that are fragile — the effects would be degraded or broken through unchecked copying. In reality, only non-fragile functionalities are actually prohibited, whereas fragile functionalities are permitted and even encouraged. In a manner surprisingly similar to patent or copyright law, trademark law appears to carefully distinguish between improvements that require its protection in order to manifest, and those that do not. This fragility theory is not only a descriptive improvement in terms of explaining real-world case outcomes and the doctrine’s full history, but also a conceptual improvement that can be applied to all types of trademarks without issue. A generic term, for example, exhibits non-fragile linguistic functionality. At the same time, recognizing this fragility pattern in trademark law calls attention to potentially adverse consequences in terms of distributive justice and market competition — consequences that trademark law itself may not be able to remedy.

      • Copyrights

        • The broadside ballad as newspaper: When the melody of “Greensleeves” met the latest public hanging in the City of London

          In an age where this Kat’s offspring are more likely to read a newspaper on line (just one of them still gets home delivery), it is easy to forget that the hawker was the last hooray of a tradition of news distribution that reached back four centuries. In its heyday in the 17th century, this form of proto-newspaper, known as the broadside (or broadsheet) ballad, mixed the textual with the artistic and musical, the better to reach the potential customer. So, let us pay IPKat homage to the broadside ballad, where the haunting melody of Greensleeves would meet the latest crime report in the City of London.

          The broadside ballad brought together two developments. First was the long-standing oral tradition of the ballad, which was passed on from generation to generation. These ballads usually dealt with stories reflecting their provenance, such as medieval knights and damsels, ghosts, spurned love, and popular folk heroes (think Robin Hood). They were intended to appeal to the populace, with music and song as the platform by which to transmit their contents.

          The traditional ballad was already well-established by the time that the invention of the printing press began to make available printed texts to the public. We tend to think about this transition to printed contents in terms of books, pamphlets, and the like. But it is likely that broadside ballads and similar published ilk, especially in that crucial time of transition, the 17th century, was the most ubiquitous form of printed material.

          The new world of printing technology had improved the distribution of ballads by enabling multiple copies of their contents to be made cheaply. Word of mouth could only take a ballad so far; with the ability to print a ballad in multiple copies, the potential scope for distribution increased significantly. And the most economical way to do so was by using the broadside technique. In its most basic form, this meant printing the ballad on a single sheet of newspaper, together with a woodcut illustration, usually of a stock variety (whether or not the illustration was related to the content of the ballad).

        • In copyright reform, Germany wants to avoid over-blocking, not rule out upload filters – Part 1

          The recently published discussion draft for implementation of Article 17 falls short of that promise – upload filters are part of the rationale of the German Ministry of Justice that penned the proposal. Nevertheless, the draft makes use of the considerable room for manoeuvre that Member States have in implementing the provision by including the most detailed proposals to date for somewhat limiting the negative impact of upload filters on freedom of expression and freedom of information, namely through rules designed to prevent the inadvertent blocking of legal uploads, also known as over-blocking. Still, more fundamental concerns over the imposition of upload filters expressed by the CJEU in its Netlog and Scarlet judgments, notably their impact on privacy and freedom to conduct a business, are not addressed by the German proposal. This two-part post will not recap the contents of Article 17, which have been extensively discussed elsewhere, but instead take a close look at the German implementation proposal. Part 1 of this post deals with the proposed rules on user rights and pre-flagging as a means to counteract filtering obligations. Part 2 covers the proposal of a new, automatically enforceable compensated exception designed to protect insignificant uses of third-party material, as well as taking a closer look at the efforts of the German proposal to make Article 17 more predictable for platform operators.

          The discussion draft (made available in English, indicating that the Justice Ministry is interested in engaging in the implementation debate in other Member States) proposes to implement Article 17 in an entirely new standalone law, the Copyright Service Provider Act, rather than incorporating the provisions into the existing German copyright act. This choice is partially made to improve readability, but also due to the uniqueness of the legal regime introduced by Article 17, which is a sui generis extension of the communication to the public right introduced by the 2001 InfoSoc Directive, according to the ministry. This is not the only point on which the German approach differs markedly from that of other Member State governments such as the Netherlands.

        • In copyright reform, Germany wants to avoid over-blocking, not rule out upload filters – Part 2

          The first part of this post provided an introduction to the German implementation proposal for Article 17 DSM Directive (the Copyright Service Provider Act), and a discussion of the proposed rules on user rights and pre-flagging. This Part 2 continues with an analysis of the newly proposed exceptions and limitations, the German efforts to achieve greater legal certainty for platform operators, and some concluding remarks.

          A compensated exception to reconcile rightsholder and user interests

          Unsurprisingly, the German proposal implements the newly made mandatory exceptions for caricature, parody and pastiche (§ 5 – the German “free use” exception, which had traditionally served a similar purpose in German copyright law – was recently declared incompatible with EU law by the CJEU in its Pelham ruling). However, the proposal fails to incorporate new exceptions for criticism and review in its copyright law, which are required by Article 17 alongside the concept of quotation.

          The most innovative element of the German proposal is the introduction of a new compensated copyright exception not explicitly included in the EU copyright acquis. The ministry proposes a new exception for “mechanically verifiable uses authorized by law” (§ 6) that cover the non-commercial use of third-party material below a quantitative threshold – 20 seconds of video or audio material, 1000 characters of text, or individual images up to a file size of 250 kiloBytes. A central promise of Article 17’s supporters during the legislative process at EU level was that memes would not be banned from platforms. This proposed exception is clearly an attempt by the German government to protect this central part of online culture, which has become emblematic for the cultural and generational gap between supporters and opponents of Article 17, while reconciling the interests of users with the interest of creators in being remunerated for these uses. While it is questionable whether non-commercial de minimis uses cause any harm to rightsholders, the inclusion of a compensation requirement for the new exception, to be paid by platforms (§ 7), is likely to increase the acceptance of this legislative innovation among a broad range of stakeholders.

        • XXL Mag Prevails in Copyright Fight Over Embedded Image About Tom Ford’s Cardi B Lipstick

          Back in September 2019, Tom Ford and Cardi B made headlines when the famed fashion designer revealed that he would name a shade of lipstick from his cosmetics collection after the rapper. Amid the frenzy of New York Fashion Week and a headline-making eruption in the then-ongoing feud between Cardi B and fellow rapper Nicki Minaj, Ford released the deep blue-hued “Cardi” lipstick, and it sold out within 24 hours. In a nod to the buzzy new lipstick, XXL published an article on its site detailing how Cardi B had “Partner[ed] with Tom Ford for [a] New Lipstick Shade.”

          At the bottom of the article – which documented “the latest shade in Tom Ford’s Lips & Boys collection,” and consumers’ general responses to Cardi’s name being included in the collection alongside the likes of Julianne (Moore), Cristiano (Ronaldo), Bella (Hadid), and Naomi (Campbell), among others – XXL embedded three images from Instagram. One of those images, a photo of Cardi B sitting front row at Tom Ford’s NYFW runway show, ended up landing the publication on the receiving end of a copyright infringement lawsuit, and as of last month, XXL has prevailed.

        • Against Progress: Interventions About Equality in Supreme Court Cases About Copyright Law

          This symposium essay is adapted from my forthcoming book Against Progress: Intellectual Property and Fundamental Values in the Internet Age (Stanford University Press 2021 forthcoming). The book’s primary argument is that, with the rise of digital technology and the ubiquity of the internet, intellectual property law is becoming a mainstream part of law and culture. This mainstreaming of IP has particular effects, one of which is the surfacing of on-going debates about “progress of science and the useful arts,” which is the constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights.

          In brief, Against Progress describes how in the 20th century intellectual property legal doctrine and scholarship focused on economic models of progress, which were framed in terms of wealth accumulation and market theories facilitating economic growth. The rise of digital technology that facilitates all sorts of copying at the turn of the century puts pressure on the anti-copying regulations defining intellectual property. Combine this technological development with the focus on economic rationales and incentive-based reasons for exclusive rights, and federal intellectual property rights expand to regulate more of the behavior that technology enables. The result is an increase in the amount of intellectual property itself: more copyrighted works, more patents and more trademarks.

          Despite expanding scope and the rise of “more” intellectual property, Against Progress explains how turn-of-the century intellectual property practice challenges the “progress as more” paradigm. Through various methodological interventions – close reading of cases, doctrinal analysis, and various qualitative empirical methods – Against Progress demonstrates how contemporary accounts of intellectual property are not primarily anchored by claims of “more” or in economic growth terms. Instead, creative and innovative practices (and disputes concerning them) revolve around adjacent values and principles central to our constitutional system such as equality, privacy, and community or general welfare.

          In this short essay, I provide only two examples of the shifting narratives at play in intellectual property disputes that are refocusing concerns from economic resource allocation to fundamental values that ground the rule of law in the United States. These examples are drawn from the chapter on equality, which traces themes of equal treatment and substantive equality doctrine through intellectual property cases at the United States Supreme Court. This essay concerns two controversial copyright cases, but the chapter discusses cases about patent, trademark, and copyright law.

[Humour/Meme] Stop Shaming Free Software Geeks Over What They Wear While They’re Coding and Testing

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 12:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It does not have any impact whatsoever on the quality of their work (comfort matters more than appearances)

Bathtub guy: Remote worker, laid-back remote worker

Summary: The corporate media repeatedly shamed Linus Torvalds because he's not wearing a suit and sometimes works in a bathrobe instead; this is the sort of ‘cancel culture’ psyche that looks to remove geniuses and achievers (Torvalds made Linux and Git) based on dumb assertions and superficialities

Free Software as a Tree (It’s Hard to Cut Off the Roots)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shallow tree

Summary: Free software is extremely difficult to ban or to eradicate; it’s almost inevitable that, by one route or another, ‘world domination’ will be attained in many sectors

LIKE a multi-headed hydra, Free software continues to grow. Kill GNOME? That’s OK, we have KDE. GitHub shuts down? Not a problem, we still have Git anyway. Good riddance, GitHub (and also Microsoft, announcing no less than three rounds of layoffs last month).

The branches of Free software make it stronger, not weaker. It makes us more robust. Look what happened to Windows with Vista (and WinFS). What a mess. A “clusterfuck” (if it’s still permissible to use such a ‘dirty’ word). They never quite recovered from that. We still use the term “Vista 10″ as it’s built on the very same ‘base’ with DRM and other nasty stuff.

“GNU/Linux is doing just fine the way it is. Its market share continues to grow, despite all the FUD and the patent attacks.”Don’t fall for the same old tales about how we need just one single distro with one instance of everything (like systemd). People who promote this basically say that GNU/Linux should just become another MacOS or Windows. Do we want that? Is that freedom?

Not only does this restrict technical freedom; it also makes GNU/Linux far more vulnerable to attacks. Microsoft’s CEO has always complained (even on the public record) that it was difficult for him to attack GNU/Linux because it was not a company and it was all over the place. He loathed the GPL with a passion because the software that’s GPL-licensed is far more robust to attacks from — and abuse by — proprietary overlords (ask the ‘BSD heads’ how their licensing worked for them, e.g. financially and technically, when Apple stepped in).

Men's Bathroom vs Boy's Bathroom: What they tell us a 'unified' Linux would look like; What they tell us a 'fragmented' GNU/Linux looks like

Nowadays I use three dual-headed laptops in tandem. Each runs a different desktop environment, but they all connect rather well over Barrier (Synergy but better). All those people who lecture us about how GNU/Linux is “fragmented” don’t necessarily give informed and constructive advice; maybe they honestly don’t know about GNU and Linux interfaces and APIs; or about POSIX principles and modularity. Maybe they even think that moving from Ubuntu to Fedora, for instance, is a massive task. In practice, it’s hardly any harder than upgrading from one version of Ubuntu to the next.

Keep the tree alive. Water it. Cherish it. Help all the branches grow and bear fruit, or at least leaves.

GNU/Linux is doing just fine the way it is. Its market share continues to grow, despite all the FUD and the patent attacks.

Censorship is for Pussies

Posted in Deception at 11:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bengal Cat in the Garden

Summary: The attempts to remove words that aren’t in any way racist (or even suggestive of racism) are misguided at best; they don’t solve actual problems, but they pretend to be making people feel good (like the activists who push for it; that gives them as sense of power and morality)

Pussies. Kittens. Kitties. Remember when the word “pussy” meant a small cat? There were even songs about pussies. Ask Mr. Roy (Harry Roy & His Orchestra with ‘My Girl’s Pussy’ in 1931). What’s new pussycat? Well, I’ll tell you what’s new, Mr. Jones. You can no longer use such words. It’s offensive now. And if you use the word “gay” in a song, that too will be misinterpreted.

“A “mastermind” can be black, a “masterpiece” can be African, and there’s even a famous rapper called “Master P” (I loved many of his songs when I was young).”Words change over time. The meaning or the connotations are inside people’s heads, never mind the dictionaries.

Many books are being banned for containing the “n word”; in the old days it was more acceptable to use that word — and we are not defending that! But right now we’re in state of transition wherein words like “master” and “whitelists” are increasingly seen as implying white supremacy (even though this was never the intended use of the phonetics/terms). A “mastermind” can be black, a “masterpiece” can be African, and there’s even a famous rapper called “Master P” (I loved many of his songs when I was young; the lyrics of some songs are a lot more vulgar than “master” and one might say misogynistic). Will the activists try to censor black music as a whole next? For being “offensive”? They already phase out the term “urban” even though it’s a term that black people themselves use to describe their genres. Who does this actually help? Maybe they’ll also remove words like “gangsta” and “ghetto” as if gangs and ethnic ghettos (or slums) would go away if only the words went away. Don’t get me started about “uncle” and “aunt” or “plantations” (yes, those too have somehow been spun as ethnic). Can we still write history books and tell stories?

“Intel pretends that it’s protecting black people whilst actually attacking Africans.”Loss of words or erosion the ability to express oneself is a method. It’s not the end but the means. The idea is, if we can magically make people unable to express particular ideas or thoughts, that thing talked about will simply go away. When the Department of War was renamed “Defense” it became harder to speak about what it actually does (killing millions of people halfway around the world, not defending people). It’s all about domination. Like “masters”… somehow the horrors of war have escaped the attention of these activists. Opposing wars isn’t as beneficial to the cause.

The other day we mentioned how a longtime Fedora contributor had been banned (just hours earlier). He has since then opened a ticket with Fedora’s council and it was immediately closed (no appeal rights!). Our source told us that he did not respect some corporations — perhaps that being the reason for the ban. Who pushed for the ban? Someone who was using Windows (at the time), not even Fedora, let alone GNU/Linux. Sometimes it feels like there’s no simple explanation for what’s happening right now. It’s not about banning trolls or racists or women haters. It’s a lot to do with corporate control and making people fearful to speak out candidly. But those corporations don’t want us to think or to feel that there might be a layer or indirection at play. Intel pretends that it’s protecting black people whilst actually attacking Africans. And don’t get us started on Microsoft… (going through the trouble of replacing black people in photographs with white people)

Twitter in 2020 is Where Information Comes to Die or to be Corrupted

Posted in Deception at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With lack of editing/quality control (an inherent problem in all social control media) Twitter is nowadays far too full of provocative fools — as provocation is rewarded — who doom the platform as a laughing stock or a ‘nuthouse’

Moment of peace

Summary: Twisting words, lying about the cited articles, declaring people dead (who are still alive!) are just some among the many reasons to quit Twitter and not bother with that noise machine (except maybe in a write-only fashion, copying from elsewhere and never receiving (mis)information from tweets)

THE recent ‘googlebomb’ that said Microsoft was “protecting Linux” or something to that effect (no, not the 2018 OIN spin but some newer Azure nonsense, basically promoting proprietary software that likely has NSA back doors) was a reminder of the media’s corruption. It doesn’t even attempt to get the story right. Some truly laughable headlines would have people believe that not only does Microsoft “love Linux” but also “owns it” and “protects” Linux.

But what’s even worse than the media is social control media. Vastly worse.

“Welcome to social control media (sometimes capitalised here in Techrights) — a place for people to take actual information, distort what it actually said or meant, then have a debate over a newly-manufactured lie or straw man.”Over a month ago I 'quit' Twitter because it was far too full of lies and distortion. It had become a source of noise, not signal (or misinformation rather than reliable information). Days ago in Twitter someone twisted what I had actually said about IBM and Red Hat and then all the replies in Twitter also distorted what I had said (albeit somewhat differently). Welcome to social control media (sometimes capitalised here in Techrights) — a place for people to take actual information, distort what it actually said or meant, then have a debate over a newly-manufactured lie or straw man. We get lots of that when people cite our Gates Foundation articles (seeing in them things we never said or even intended to say). Twitter may eventually become “Land of the Trump, home of QAnon…” (don’t take this lightly; in many ways it’s already happening)

I am so glad I left all this nonsense behind; I no longer even bother responding to any of these inaccuracies. It’s almost always unproductive; it fosters the 'cancel culture' too… based on falsehoods or false allegations.

Star Trek's Scotty, McCoy: Well, it's true because I saw it on Twitter; that's like saying, it's true because I saw it on Star Trek

One noteworthy thing is, the Twitter account of the European Patent Office (EPO) no longer posts anything of significance. Almost everything is just derived from some template text with a bundle of stock photography and repeated dozens of times, over time.

In the past 2 days I received replies from the “5G causes coronavirus” crowd. Enough said.

Mr. Lovenstein-Derived Joke about Microsoft’s WSL (an Attack on GNU/Linux)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Microsoft at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mr. Lovenstein on WSL/WSL2

Summary: Mr. Lovenstein’s cartoon (or someone’s modified version of it) about WSL/WSL2 sort of nails it (credit MinceR for the pointer)

(Attribution) Copyright © 2010-2019 J. L. Westover

[Humour/Meme] Code of Conduct and Language Wars: Another Tool by Which to Oust Community Voices and Poor/Opinionated People of Colour (Because War Must Go On)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can’t criticise corporate powers and brutal ‘masters’ that bomb people of colour (that might ‘offend’ the wealthy new sponsors)

Waiting alone: They take GNU and then Linux; Microsoft kicked me out; Microsoft hates Linux

Summary: The coup against GNU/Linux isn’t hard to see; Intel and Microsoft viciously attacked poor people in Africa (because they had adopted GNU/Linux) and now they get a say on who to kick out from Linux (based on entirely nontechnical things, including cultural differences)

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