07.20.20

Links 20/7/2020: Linux 5.8 RC6, KStars 3.4.3, Skrooge 2.23.0

Posted in News Roundup at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • This cheap Linux smartphone can replace your PC

      Pine64, a maker of Linux smartphones, has introduced its new PinePhone Convergence Package handset that can be used as a PC when plugged to an external display and a keyboard. The device costs just $199 and is aimed primarily at Linux enthusiasts.

      The PinePhone Linux smartphone is based on the Alpine Linux-based PostmarketOS that can be used both in smartphone and desktop modes.

      The smartphone mode works just like one comes to expect from a Linux-based handset, whereas the desktop mode currently acts like the second screen to the device, meaning there could be more features to come soon.

    • Could Pine64′s Cheap Linux Smartphone Replace Your PC?
    • May Pine64′s Low cost Linux Smartphone Change Your PC?

      TechRadar experiences on Pine64’s new “PinePhone Convergence Package deal” handset, calling it “a Linux desktop you possibly can hold in your pocket” that can be utilized as a PC when plugged into an exterior show and a keyboard.

      The machine prices simply $199 and is aimed primarily at Linux fans. The PinePhone Linux smartphone is predicated on the Alpine Linux-based PostmarketOS that can be utilized each in smartphone and desktop modes… The principle element that transforms the PinePhone right into a PC-like machine is its USB-C docking bar that options an HDMI show output, two USB Sort-A connectors, and a 10/100Mb Ethernet port.

      The thought of utilizing a smartphone with an exterior show and keyboard to run sure purposes has not gained a lot traction neither with HP’s Elite x3 Home windows Telephone 10 handset nor with Samsung’s smartphones with its DeX software program. Maybe, since Linux group is mostly extra inclined to experiment with their devices (and their time), Pine64’s PinePhone Convergence has a greater probability to be really used as a desktop by its homeowners.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • New Pinebook Pro ARM Linux Laptop Batch Is Now Available for Pre-Order from $199.99

        If you’ve been waiting to buy the Pinebook Pro ARM-powered Linux laptop from PINE64, the wait is finally over. A second batch of units is now available to order from the PINE64 online store, and you can get your hands on this jewel for only $199.99 USD. Both ISO and ANSI keyboards options are available.

        Featuring a 14.1-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD (1920×1080) resolution, the Pinebook Pro Linux laptop is powered by 64-Bit Dual-Core ARM 1.8GHz Cortex A72 and Quad-Core ARM 1.4GHz Cortex A53 processors, Quad-Core MALI T-860 GPU, 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM, and 64GB eMMC 5.0 storage.

      • PINE64 Reopens Pre-Order Of $200 ARM Linux Laptop Pinebook Pro

        In March 2020, PINE64 opened the pre-order window for its ARM-based Linux laptop Pinebook Pro. If you missed placing an order last time, you now have another chance to grab Pinebook Pro.

        Yes, PINE64, the maker of the original Pinebook Pro, has started to take the next batch of pre-orders for Pinebook Pro. Both the ISO and ANSI keyboard versions of Pinebook Pro are in stock right now and available to place an order from the official site here.

    • Server

      • What can you do with MicroK8s?

        For those who are still new to MicroK8s, let’s start by defining it. Microk8s is a lightweight, pure-upstream Kubernetes aiming to reduce the barriers to entry for K8s and cloud-native application development. It comes in a single package that installs a single-node (standalone) K8s cluster in under 60 seconds. You can also use it to create a multi-node cluster with just a few commands. MicroK8s has all the Kubernetes core components and it is also opinionated. What this means is that a lot of the add-ons that you would typically look for in Kubernetes, such as DNS and the Dashboard are a single command away.

        MicroK8s is available for most popular Linux distributions and also for Windows and Mac workstations, through a native installer for both operating systems. On Windows, you also have the option to get MicroK8s on WSL.

        It uses the snap packaging mechanism, which is really convenient, as this brings automatic updates. This means that as soon as a new stable Kubernetes version is available upstream your MicroK8s cluster will be automatically updated. You will similarly get all available security patches for your K8s.

      • Best Linux web hosting services of 2020 [Ed: It seems like the links might be promotional here, i.e. ads/spam, but it's hard to tell]
    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • The Small DRM Drivers See Another Round Of Updates For Linux 5.9

        In addition to this week bringing an AMDGPU pull request with new GPU support and initial Intel DG1 graphics card support as material for DRM-Next to in turn land with Linux 5.9 in the weeks ahead, there was also another DRM-Misc-Next pull with further material to these smaller drivers.

        DRM-Misc-Next is where core DRM subsystem changes tend to be sent in from as well as for the channel for smaller Direct Rendering Manager driver changes like the various embedded display drivers.

      • Linux 5.8-rc6
        Things continue to look very normal, even if this is a big release.
        rc6 is pretty much par for the course, and nothing in here stands out
        size-wise or otherwise.
        
        The stats all look normal, with a fairly flat diffstat (so no huge
        hotspots, no big scary changes). Drivers (all over), architecture
        updates (arm64, x86), with some filesystem and core kernel changes.
        
        Shortlog appended, but I doubt most people will find anything exciting
        in there. Which is all good. Calm and boring is how I like it.
        
                    Linus
        
      • Linux 5.8-rc6 Kernel Released – “Things Continue To Look Very Normal”

        While Linus Torvalds has been concerned by the size of Linux 5.8 at times, he just released Linux 5.8-rc6 and so far things are looking good.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.8-rc6

        The 5.8-rc6 kernel prepatch is out for testing. “Things continue to look very normal, even if this is a big release. rc6 is pretty much par for the course, and nothing in here stands out size-wise or otherwise.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.148 Release Tacks On Two More Extensions

          Vulkan 1.2.148 represents the latest maintenance release of this high performance graphics and compute specification. On top of various clarifications and corrections to the documentation, two additional extensions were introduced. New Vulkan 1.2.148 extensions are VK_EXT_image_robustness and VK_EXT_shader_atomic_float.

        • Radeon R600 Gallium3D NIR Backend Continues Advancing

          While the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver allows pre-GCN AMD graphics card owners continue making use of their graphics cards, there are diminishing returns with newer games requiring Vulkan that is not supported by pre-HD7000 series hardware as well as far greater performance and efficiency improvements in the more recent generations. In any case, if you are still using a Radeon HD 2000 through HD 6000 series graphics card, some new life is being pushed into the open-source driver via the in-development NIR back-end.

    • Applications

      • Zrythm Approaching Beta As An Easy-To-Use, Open-Source Digital Audio Workstation

        When it comes to open-source audio software, the Ardour digital audio workstation and Audacity audio editor are the two flagship offerings. But Zrythm continues advancing as another promising open-source digital audio workstation project. Zrythm is currently in a late alpha stage with its newest release this weekend but a beta appears to be on the horizon.

        Zrythm is an open-source DAW that is cross-platform, supports JACK and other audio backends, supports a variety of plugins, and has a growing list of other features for this digital audio workstation that is based on a GTK3 interface.

      • Zrythm 0.8.694 release
        Zrythm v0.8.694 has been released!
        
        Screenshot:
        
        https://www.zrythm.org/static/images/jun-26-2020.png
        
        Zrythm is a digital audio workstation designed to be featureful and
        easy to use. It allows limitless automation through curves, LFOs and
        envelopes, supports multiple plugin formats including LV2, VST2 and
        VST3 (via Carla), works with multiple backends including JACK,
        RtAudio/RtMidi and SDL2, assists with chord progressions via a special
        Chord Track and chord pads, and can be used in multiple languages
        including English, French, Portuguese, Japanese and German.
        
        Zrythm is free software written in C using the GTK+3 toolkit and can be
        extended using GNU Guile (Scheme).
        
        Current state:
        Zrythm is still in the late alpha stage and we are working towards
        stabilizing the project format and entering the beta phase.
        
        Changes in 0.8.694:
        
        Added
        - Allow routing from chord track to instrument tracks
        - Integration test for creating/deleting tracks using Helm
        - Add additional checks when tracks are added to the project
        - Add shift-selection for selecting multiple tracks or channels
        - Add option for level of UI detail (improves CPU usage on lower end
        machines)
        - Show bug report dialog on non-fatal errors
        - Add tests for creating plugins and port connection actions
        - Make port connections and channel sends undoable
        - Show error if icon is not found at startup
        - Add authors to credits section in the manual
        - Add Guile API for creating sends between tracks, connecting ports
        between a plugin and a track, and creating tracks as undoable actions
        - Add Guile test runner
        - Add Trademark Policy for Zrythm wordmark and logo
        - Add option to override the program name
        
        Changed
        - Refactor: add `is_project` to many objects
        - Use weakjack on Windows
        - Add version requirement on RtAudio dependency
        - Only create MIDI notes on track 1 when exporting a MIDI region
        - Update German, Galician, Japanese translations
        - Print function name and line number in the log
        - Open plugins that require the KX UI interface with carla
        - Various drawing optimizations (by passing integers to cairo)
        - Use configuration file for tests
        - Each plugin instance now has its own state directory, including non-
        project plugin instances
        - Save plugin states when plugin instances are created
        - Ignore sysex messages from LV2 plugins for now
        - Update Guile API docs with more examples
        - Catch invalid SFZ/SF2 paths instead of crashing
        - Add detailed license information for each icon
        
        Fixed
        - Fix crash when undoing twice after deleting a track
        - Fix crash when creating a new plugin fails
        - Fix MIDI note offs not being sent at the right time when moving MIDI
        notes
        - Fix issues with initialization of undoable actions when loading
        projects
        - Fix crash when closing Zrythm after resizing an automation region
        - Fix automation tracks not being cloned properly
        - Fix crash when undoing track deletion with automation
        - Fix automation regions not properly duplicated when duplicating
        tracks
        - Fix MIDI file import on Windows
        - Fix loading new projects from a loaded project
        - Fix an issue with exporting
        - Fix crash when connecting a plugin CV out port to another track's
        balance control
        - Fix automation track ID track positions not being updated when moving
        plugins from one track to another
        - Fix passing a project file as a command line argument not working
        - Fix crash when moving tracks
        - Fix editor not being refreshed when region owner track is deleted
        
        You can view the whole changelog here:
        
        https://git.zrythm.org/cgit/zrythm/tree/CHANGELOG.md
        
        
      • Video Trimmer: A No-nonsense, Simple Video Trimming Application for Linux Desktop

        Video Trimmer is a dead simple tool to trim videos quickly without re-encoding it. It doesn’t do anything else other than trimming videos and that’s by design.

      • ExifCleaner – image metadata tool

        Metadata is information that is part of the image file and contains information about the image itself and the creation of the image. It can set textual information such as title, description, exposure time, ISO value, focal length, and copyright. Some modern digital cameras and camera phones are GPS enabled and they can save the location co-ordinates (latitude and longitude) with the photographs. There are more than 460 metadata tags within the exchangeable image file format for digital still cameras, EXIF 2.3.

        Metadata is useful for many reasons. First, it provides the photographer with a great way to learn. When you capture an image and you want to see why it works (or doesn’t), the metadata will help. However, sometimes it’s advisable to scrub EXIF metadata from photos before sharing them. Besides protecting your privacy, removing the metadata reduces the file size.

        ExifCleaner lets you remove privacy-invading information from your photos. It’s a cross-platform tool that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. We’ve only tested the software on Linux.

        ExifCleaner uses ExifTool, a command-line application and Perl library for reading and writing EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, makernotes and other meta information in image, audio and video.

      • Link Tray

        It’s a better tab management system, what I felt weird was building a whole browser to do that. Obviously, I am being extremely naive when I am saying it because I don’t know what it takes to build a utility like that.

        Now, since they discontinued it for a while and I never got a chance to use it. I thought let me try building something very similar, but my use case was totally different. Generally when I go through blogs or articles, I open the links mentioned in a different tab to come back to them later. This has back bitten me a lot of time because I just get lost in so many links.

        I thought if there is a utility which could just capture the links on the fly and then I could quickly go through them looking at the title, it might ease out my job. I bounced off the same idea across to Abhishek and we ended up prototyping LinkTray.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 5.13 Comes With 669 Patches Atop Upstream Wine

        Riding off Friday’s Wine 5.13 release, an updated Wine-Staging is now available coming with 669 patches atop the code-base.

        While the recent trend of Wine-Staging has been to lighten it up as more patches are getting upstreamed, Wine-Staging 5.13 is roughly the same size as its predecessor. Wine-Staging 5.13 saw many patches upstreamed around NTDLL, Winebuild, and other areas, but there were also some new patches leading for it to be roughly the same size in terms of patch count.

    • Games

      • Linux game manager Lutris gets a small update for Direct3D 12 using VKD3D-Proton

        The free and open source game manager Lutris had a small update focusing on having better Direct3D 12 support on Linux thanks to it now using VKD3D-Proton.

        What is Lutris? An application you can use to manage Linux games across GOG, Steam and more along with support for scripts to manage Wine / Proton installs for Windows games and applications too. It’s super useful.

        It had quite a big update earlier this month so this recent update is on the smaller side, although still interesting. With Lutris 0.5.7.1, they now provide D3D12.DLL based on the VKD3D-Proton project as part of their provided DXVK runtime for Wine which they said will “help push updates faster and provide better compatibility for Direct3D 12 titles such as World of Warcraft”.

      • Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is back, free and under the GPL

        Before the likes of FTL: Faster Than Light we had Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, one of the first spaceship roguelikes and it’s made a return.

        Originally released in 2002, it was later made open source in 2005 and eventually the actual game assets became freeware too. It’s now seen something of an updated re-release, using improved source code that remains under the GPL license and they’ve also now made the game assets freely available under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license. Nice!

        “Experience the little game that did. The game that opened the door just a crack, yet wide enough to allow a new roguelike subgenre to emerge. One which would eventually give us classics like FTL.”

      • Don’t Starve Together gets a ‘Troubled Waters’ update expanding the seas

        Life on the sea is dangerous and now perhaps even more so in Don’t Starve Together with the latest free update named Troubled Waters and it sounds great.

        Don’t Starve Together is the incredibly fun co-op survival game from Klei Entertainment, it’s the standalone multiplayer version of the original uncompromising Don’t Starve. It’s going through an update chain named Return of Them, which comes in multiple parts. Starting with Turn of Tides in August 2019 which added in new boat mechanics to travel across the seas together and this update further expands that.

      • Tomb of the Eaters is the ‘biggest update ever’ for Caves of Qud

        Caves of Qud, the science fantasy roguelike epic had an absolutely colossal update released named Tomb of the Eaters with a huge new area.

        Probably one of the top 10 roguelikes available for Linux, it’s a big game full of some really wild stories and character design possibilities. The crazy side of it just expanded with a gigantic tomb complex that’s 12 stories tool and Freehold Games said it includes around 100 maps. That’s madness.

        There’s also aton of new creatures, NPCs, objects and mechanics scattered throughout the Tomb and surrounding environments along with the Tomb of the Eaters questline. There’s also a new village, new side quests, new factions, new music and more to go along with it.

      • Dev snapshot: Godot 3.2.3 beta 1

        Godot 3.2.2 was released on June 26 with over 3 months’ worth of development, including many bugfixes and a handful of features. Some regressions were noticed after the release though, so we decided that Godot 3.2.3 would focus mainly on fixing those new bugs to ensure that all Godot users can have the most stable experience possible.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Cantor – File Browser Panel

          this is the fourth post about the progress in my GSoC project and I want to present some user experience improvements related to the handling of panels in Cantor and to present a new panel “File Browser” that I implemented recently.

          The status of Cantor’s panels was not saved when the user closed the application. Potential rearangements and size changes done on panels were gone and the user had to do the changes again upon the next start. Very bad UX, of course. Now, the state is saved and even more, the state is saved for every backend in Cantor. So, if you have a Python session in Cantor, open some panels and arrange them at your will, close and reopen Cantor with a Python session again – the previous state of the panels appears on start.

        • GSoC ’ 20 Progress: Week 5 and 6

          The Second Phase began with Week 5 of the coding period. The next two weeks involved debugging the previously written code and including necessary connections for it to work. For this, I made use of the signal – slot mechanism of the splendid framework that is Qt.

          For those of you who are unfamiliar with this mechanism: a signal is emitted when a particular event occurs. For example, if a new subtitle line is added, i.e., the rows in the list model have changed, the rowMoved signal will be emitted. Similarly, if the model is reset upon startup, the modelReset signal will be emitted.

        • KaOS 2020.07 Released: A Lean and Independent KDE Linux Distribution

          KaOS is an independent rolling Linux distribution built from scratch. It mainly focusses on one desktop environment (KDE), one toolkit (QT), and one architecture (x86_64).

          Following the monthly development cycle, a new stable version 2020.07 of KaOS Linux has been released. The latest KaOS 2020.07 supersedes the previous 2020.05 with up-to-date software packages and other changes. So, let’s take a look at the list of new enhancements.

        • KaOS – Lean KDE Distribution Brings Latest Release

          KaOS, the lean and slick KDE based distribution announced its latest release “2020.07″.

        • KStars v3.4.3 is Released

          It is useful for users who do not have a motorized focuser and prefer to focus manually with the aid of the mask. After capturing an image in the focus module with the Bahtinov mask algorithm selected, Ekos would analyze the images and stars within it. if Ekos recognizes the Bahtinov star pattern, it will draw lines over the star pattern en circles on the center and on an offset to indicate the focus.

        • Summer 2020 (real short)

          What this means for the rest of the summer is that I’ll occasionally be “on vacation” which will mean “in the front yard, building an awning” or “in the back yard, building a chicken coop”, but no long absences from the Free Software world. In general, the plan is:

          release Calamares every two to three weeks,
          track KDE software releases (Frameworks, Plasma, and the release service) on FreeBSD within a few days of release,
          keep up with KDE-FreeBSD CI failures and bug reports as and when Nate pokes me about it (thanks, Nate, for watching all the things so I don’t have to).

        • It finally arrived

          I still have the night time hacking test to perform – will my wife accept this keyboard clicking in the early morning hours? She preferred the MacBook Pro over the XPS13, so let’s see how this fares ;-).

          I also have to see if I can adopt to Manjaro Linux, or if I’ll go to Debian, which I run on all my other machines. It has been years since I tried any alternative distro, so I’ll give it a few days at least to see how much I will miss apt-get – at least it runs KDE Plasma ;-)

        • Skrooge 2.23.0 released

          The Skrooge Team announces the release 2.23.0 version of its popular Personal Finances Manager based on KDE Frameworks.

          [...]

          Grab Skrooge from your distro’s packaging system. If it is not yet included in repositories, go get it from our website, and bug your favorite distro for inclusion.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The ABI stability matryoshka

          Going from this we can find out the actual underlying problem, which is running programs of two different ABI versions at the same time on the same OS. The simple solution of rebuilding the world from scratch does not work. It could be done for the base platform but, due to business and other reasons, you can’t enforce a rebuild of all user applications (and those users, lest we forget, pay a very hefty amount of money to OS vendors for the platform their apps run on). Mixing new and old ABI apps is fragile and might fail due to the weirdest of reasons no matter how careful you are. The problem is even more difficult in “rolling release” cases where you can’t easily rebuild the entire world in one go such as Debian unstable, but we’ll ignore that case for now.

          It turns out that there already exists a solution for doing exactly this: Flatpak. Its entire reason of existance is to run binaries with different ABI (and even API) on a given Linux platform while making it appear as if it was running on the actual host. There are other ways of achieving the same, such as Docker or systemd-nspawn, but they aim to isolate the two things from each other rather than unifying them. Thus a potential solution to the problem is that whenever an OS breaks ABI compatibility in a major way (which should be rare, like once every few years) it should provide the old ABI version of itself as a Flatpak and run legacy applications that way.

        • Apoorv Sachan: The Second Milestone

          This is the second post, about my GSoC progress. I know this is a late post but hope that the content coming your way suffices for the delay. So, cheers readers! Lets dive into it!

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Linux Lite 5.0

          Linux Lite is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution featuring the Xfce desktop. The project includes several “Lite”-branded tools to make system maintenance easier. The project also provides a good deal of documentation that covers how to perform common tasks and customizations.

          [...]

          One of the reasons I wanted to test Linux Lite 5.0 was to see how it would compare to Ubuntu 20.04. In particular I was curious to see if both distributions, installed with all the default settings (and on ZFS) would encounter similar problems or not. As it turned out, Lite ran smoothly and rarely gave me any issues, regardless of the test environment or filesystem being used.

          In the past I have found Linux Lite to be a solid desktop distribution, the sort of project I tend to suggest Linux newcomers try, especially if they are on older hardware which might not be responsive when tasked to run the Cinnamon or GNOME desktops. The project’s team does a nice job of communicating well and this tends to show itself in the documentation. There are often clear examples or screenshots in the project’s release announcements and documentation. The welcome window presents common tasks we might want to use, and I feel the distribution does a fine job of walking the line between streamlining the user experience and providing enough options for more advanced users.

          I like the distribution’s hardware support, its documentation, its responsiveness, and its custom “Lite” tools. During my trial there was little for me to complain about as I was generally able to dive in and get work done with minimal fuss. I might prefer a friendly software manager with a wider range of applications, or a logout menu with fewer options, but these are tiny nit-picks.

          Some of my few complaints or suggestions were with features which were mostly good, but could be improved just a little to make for a smoother user experience. For instance, the firewall service is disabled by default. This is certainly a valid default configuration for a lot of home users. However, when the user tries to launch the firewall tool, it exits with an error saying it cannot connect to the service. This seems like a great opportunity to give the user a choice – close the firewall tool or start the firewall service. This would save them a trip to the command line to enable and start the firewall, which is not something less experienced computer users will be comfortable doing.

          Likewise, the Timeshift tool can be very useful, but it only works with rsync and Btrfs. It would be great to have this tool, or a similar one included, that would handle ZFS snapshots since ZFS is a new feature.

          I’d like to note that I’m not necessarily suggesting the small Linux Lite team address these missing features, it’s probably work that needs to be done upstream as the distribution’s developer efforts are limited. In this case Lite is just the vehicle that displays these powerful tools and some areas where they could be improved. Still, I hope these are changes which will show up in a future version as little features like this can make the difference between a good user experience and a great one.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Ad-hoc Board Election 2020

          Back in February 2020 Christian Boltz resigned from the openSUSE Board explaining the reasons behind his decision on the project mailing list. His resignation came about two weeks after Sarah Julia Kriesch’s resignation from the Board.

          The openSUSE Board was left with two vacant seats to be filled. Sarah had been a board member for just about a few weeks after the 2019-2020 board elections. After her resignation, the openSUSE Board decided to appoint Vinzenz Vietzke on the board based on the results of the 2019-2020 board elections. Following that, only one seat remained vacant on the board. However, before the Election Committee could start discussions for an election to fill that vacant seat, about two weeks after Vinzenz’s appointment, openSUSE member Pierre Böckmann called for a No-Confidence vote against the current board. It was unprecedented in the community and that put things on halt for a while.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Workstation 32 is Exceptionally Good

          The mythical “Year of the Linux Desktop” never quite came to fruition the way many of us had hoped. Our market share has risen slightly over the years and the developer community at large focuses on Linux as a development platform for backend services because Linux dominates the Datacenter and The Cloud. However, we still struggle to make a dent in that Desktop and Laptop market share quite to the same scale. The Open Source Community is vast, we have massive communities of users and developers who run Linux on their Desktop, Laptop, and various other niche personal computing hardware devices with great success and they are extremely happy doing so, and I count myself among these people. Unfortunately though, I always felt like we weren’t “quite there yet” and I see this opinion a lot with Linux Desktop users and I feel there’s validity in it with supporting evidence in the form of Linux Desktop users seeking refuge on a Mac, Chromebook, or Windows machine and running Linux in a VM, Container, or using WSL. The frustrations we all had, I shared in from time to time … until now.

          (Yes, I know someone’s going to come at me with anecdotal evidence of how they’ve been happily using Linux on their Desktop for X years without issues and/or considerably less issues than with Operating System Y. That’s great, I’m happy for you but this has not been the global experience. Do a couple internet searches and I think you’ll see what I’m getting at. Let’s continue …)

        • Best practices: Using health checks in the OpenShift 4.5 web console

          For an enterprise application to succeed, you need many moving parts to work correctly. If one piece breaks, the system must be able to detect the issue and operate without that component until it is repaired. Ideally, all of this should happen automatically. In this article, you will learn how to use health checks to improve application reliability and uptime in Red Hat OpenShift 4.5. If you want to learn more about what’s new and updated in OpenShift 4.5, read What’s new in the OpenShift 4.5 console developer experience.

          [...]

          A startup probe checks whether the application within the container has started. The system will disable the liveness and readiness checks until the startup probe succeeds. Running the startup probe first ensures that the liveness and readiness probes don’t interfere with the application startup. You can also set a startup probe to adopt liveness checks on slow-starting containers, which will help avoid your container being killed by the Kubelet before it is running. If the startup probe fails, then the container is killed.

        • Advanced Helm support in the OpenShift 4.5 web console

          Helm is a popular package manager for Kubernetes that is fully supported on Red Hat OpenShift. Starting with OpenShift 4.5, we’ve made working with Helm charts in the OpenShift web console more intuitive than ever. In this article, we introduce the new features for accessing and managing Helm charts.

        • Rethinking API Strategy for digital era

          In our earlier post Role of APIs we covered the importance of APIs in an increasingly digital world. We covered how APIs enable digital transformation and also some essential use cases especially in the context of COVID-19.

          To get the most value from API initiatives organizations have to rethink and evaluate their API strategies. Just implementing an API enabled use case is not enough.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 9.13 Released as final update to stretch version of Linux. [Ed: Might be a dodgy site]

          Those of you who don’t know! Debian is an operating system of Linux counterpart, the same as the Windows operating system. Created for more technical & advanced users with command-oriented UI and functions as opposed to user-friendly windows. Debian 9.13 update serves as the last update for Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” series. Ending the support of the current generation of Linux ‘stretch’ series. Fixing a lot of issues with performance, bugs, software updates, and security fixes. Making it compatible with software that faces serious bugs and issues. With that being said, Read on more to know what 9.13 release packs various features and addressing several bug fixes in the latest build.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Everything You Need to Know about Linux Containers (LXC)

          Microservices have been gaining steady popularity since the cloud uprising. Companies like Amazon and Netflix are using cloud platforms to deliver their most in-demand services. Containers sit at the core of such cloud-native applications. A container is an isolated environment that facilitates microservices and offers benefits like superior scaling and rapid deployment. There’s a huge difference between traditional hypervisor-based virtual machines like VMware and OS-level virtualization services like Docker and Linux Containers (LXC). In this guide, we will provide our readers with a working knowledge of LXC, a robust system-level virtualization tool for Linux.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine Reached End of Life

          Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine reached end of life on July 17 2020. Users are recommended to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

          Ubuntu 19.10 was released 9 months ago, on October 17, 2019. As a non-LTS release, it has 9 months support. Now it is no longer supported by Canonical. No more security and package updates will be accepted to 19.10.

        • Top 10 Tips using the Ubuntu Software & Updates

          Since its release, the Ubuntu Software Center has proved to be a reliable utility for users who want to install applications graphically without the hassle of executing multiple Terminal commands. It’s an easy to use tool that provides users even with search functionality enabling them to look up for any application they need and install it with a single click. Additionally, most of these applications available are entirely free for use.

          Let’s get into details and learn how to effectively use the Ubuntu Software Center for installing and managing the applications.

        • Employee spotlight: Alice Cambridge, Inside Sales Representative

          Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, but who are the people behind Canonical? This blog will be the first in a series getting to know some of the different employees that make up our company. We will be talking to people across roles and departments, starting with Alice Cambridge.

          [...]

          The travel opportunities have been fantastic. I’ve been at Canonical for less than a year, and I’ve already visited Berlin, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, and South Africa.

          Progression-wise, I started at Canonical as a Sales Development Representative, and I performed well enough that I was promoted just four months later. It came as a very pleasant surprise. I didn’t imagine that I would be promoted so quickly into a role with so much responsibility, but Canonical has supported me really well with one-to-one training, and I recently closed my first two big opportunities!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • PeerTube – A Libre, Decentralized YouTube Alternative

        PeertTube is a P2P (BitTorrent) federated (ActivityPub) video streaming platform that allows users to watch videos directly in their browser using WebTorrent and Angular.

        Fancifully referred to as a “Homemade YouTube“, PeerTube is built with the aim of allowing people to create a network of several small interconnected video hosting providers that value transparency, ethics, and freedom.

        PeerTube relies on existing open technologies like BitTorrent for its streaming transport layer and it offers users a WebTorrent-compatible torrent daemon which reduces the load on the server, thus making it slightly more scalable.

      • Open source cross-platform development with TotalCross

        There’s a question that pops up quite frequently at TotalCross—in our day-to-day work, after presentations, in Reddit discussions, and sometimes even in our Telegram channel. Let’s answer it once and for all: No, TotalCross Virtual Machine is not another Java Virtual Machine. This article explains the differences between the two, how TotalCross interacts with Java, and how to know which is best for your application.

        TotalCross Virtual Machine (TCVM) was conceived by Guilherme Hazan, who also created one of the first cross-platform tools in the world, SuperWaba, before he started working on TotalCross. Fabio Sobral joined the team to start the TotalCross SDK, an ambitious project to create a cross-platform tool to run applications with maximum performance even on low-computing power devices (including the ones with only 32MB RAM and 312MHz CPUs that were common at the time).

      • Project V: Open-source Tools to Build your Own Private Network

        If you are interesting to build your own internet-ready privacy network, You are in luck with this open-source project (Project V).

        But wait, Why would any one would be interested to go through all of the troubles to build his own configured structure instead of choosing a service from the free dozens up-there?

        For many the thrill of learning and see how it works, for others they like to be in-control of their own tools.

        Project V is a multi-platform production-ready set of tools to build privacy-ready networks. It’s core called V2Ray; a tool that manages network protocols and communications.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • What’s New In Thunderbird 78

            Thunderbird is among the must-have applications on any operating system. It is developed by the same company that develops Firefox, Mozilla Foundation. Recently, Thunderbird 78.0 was released with a couple of interesting features and improvements.

            The popular email client is installed on almost all Linux distributions. All you need to do is search for it in the app menu. In case, your distro does not have it, you can install it from the repository. Just use the package manager to install Thunderbird on your distro.

            Though Thunderbird 78.0 is officially out now, the update is not yet available from the repositories. Repositories still have the older version.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • (Y)our recent successes towards software freedom in Europe

            The spread of Covid-19 brought dramatic and drastic changes for us and our societies. One of the things most of us experienced was to stay at home or in quarantine. Apart from severe consequences people have been facing, suddenly many people also have been forced to work from home. In response, our community was quick and eager in helping people to stay in control of technology. In the very beginning already, our community members gathered knowledge and wrote a guide to freedom respecting online collaboration and communication tools into our wiki.

            In our official channels, the FSFE focused early on highlighting that global problems need global solutions. And on explaining why only Free Software creates global solutions and cooperations. We received positive feedback and we luckily have seen tremendous success with our message: the European Union, the World Health Organsation and the EU eHealth Network followed our arguments and they now recommend to any COVID-19 contact tracing app development to be published as Free Software. Many countries followed their recommendations, for example StoppCorona in Austria, PrivateTracer in the Netherlands, the Corona Warn App in Germany or eRouška in Czech Republic.

            This is a huge success for software freedom! And it is a result of our daily work we all persistently invest in Free Software advocacy. Since almost 20 years the FSFE is part of an ever growing freedom respecting community in Europe. We gather reliable expertise and consultancy and continuously explain the public and political representatives the benefits of software freedom. Now, in the face of the crisis, national and international players finally seem to realize the advantages of Free Software.

            [...]

            If we take a look at the big picture and away from the COVID-19 apps, many administrations recently have announced to follow our road to freedom. Hamburg wants to focus more on Free Software, Munich commits to “Public Money? Public Code!”, the Netherlands commit to Free Software by default, the Spanish Municipality of Benigànim signs our Open Letter of the “Public Money? Public Code!” campaign and the German city of Bühl uses Free Software to connect their citizens. We like to help them on their journey and ask more to join! We like to make sure people understand that this is a long term activity and offer help and guidance.

      • Programming/Development

        • Graph Data Structure Tutorial

          In computing, a graph is a set of nodes connected by links. The main difference between a tree and a graph is that a tree has one root node, while a graph has more than one root node. You should already have basic knowledge of tree data structure before coming here, as the concepts there, will be used here with little or no explanation.

        • Emacs vs Vim

          There have been numerous topics on which fans have shared their views and argued with one another against those opposing their views. These holy wars have been everywhere: iPhone vs. Android, Marvel vs. DC, tabs vs. spaces, etc. A similar discussion over which users, particularly those of the Linux community, tend to get heated has been the Emacs vs. Vim debate, which has been ongoing for decades.
          This article dives into this long, ongoing Editor War and makes a decision over which program – Emacs or Vim – takes the edge over the other.

        • Important VIM Options and Settings

          Vim is one of the most popular open-source command-line text editors. It is highly configurable and supports a lot of options, which is the reason for its popularity among users. In this article, we will discuss some of the Vim setting options that will help you to optimize your editing environment according to your preferences. Most of the options mentioned here are not enabled by default in Vim.

        • How to Delete Lines in Vim / Vi

          Vim or its precursor Vi comes preinstalled on most Linux distributions and macOS. Knowing the basics of Vim is important if you are a system administrator or just a regular Linux user.

        • How to create Macros in VIM for Repetitive Tasks?

          A macro is defined as a process that specifies the execution sequence of a certain operation. Macros are generally created for the tasks that are supposed to occur quite frequently. In Windows operating system, Microsoft Word also allows you to create macros for editing purposes. Similarly, in the Linux operating system, the VIM text editor provides you with the ability to create macros very easily. Therefore, in this article, we will explain to you the method of creating macros in VIM for repetitive tasks while using Ubuntu 20.04.

        • Integrating Vim with ctags

          Ctags is a tool used for navigating source code indexing methods, classes, identifiers, and variables. Ctags stores the index of programming code in a separate tags file. In the tags file, each line contains a single tag. You can obtain a lot of details from this index. Ctags supports 41 programming code languages and make it easier to search for methods or function blocks in large projects, especially when you do not know the working of code lines. For example, sometimes, you might not know how the particular method to be called when programming. With the ctags tool, you can immediately jump to the method definition.

        • Tricks with Pseudorandom Number Generators

          Pseudorandom number generators (PRNGs) are often treated like a compromise: their output isn’t as good as real random number generators, but they’re cheap and easy to use on computer hardware. But a special feature of PRNGs is that they’re reproducible sources of random-looking data:

          [...]

          This simple fact enables a few neat tricks.

          A couple of famous examples come from the gaming industry. The classic example is the space trading game Elite, which was originally written for 8b BBC Micros in the early 80s. It was a totally revolutionary game, but just one thing that amazed fans was its complex universe of thousands of star systems. That was something you just didn’t normally get in games written for machines with kilobytes of RAM total. The trick was to generate the universe with a PRNG seeded with a small value. There was no need to store the universe in memory because the game could regenerate each star system on demand, repeatedly and deterministically.

          PRNGs are now widely exploited for recording games for replays. You don’t need to record every frame of the game world if you can just record the PRNG seed and all the player actions. (Like most things in software, actually implementing that can be surprisingly challenging.)

        • Traditional Unix Toolchains

          Older Unix systems tend to be fairly uniform in how they handle the so-called ‘toolchain’ for creating binaries. This blog will give a quick overview of the toolchain pipeline for Unix systems that follow the V7 tradition (which evolved along with Unix, a topic for a separate blog maybe).

          Unix is a pipeline based system, either physically or logically. One program takes input, process the data and produces output. The input and output have some interface they obey, usually text-based. The Unix toolchain is no different.

        • Detect and Recognize Car License Plate from a video in real time

          Approach:

          Find all the contours in the image.

          Find the bounding rectangle of every contour.

          Compare and validate the sides ratio and area of every bounding rectangle with an average license plate.

          Apply image segmentation in the image inside validated contour to find characters in it.

          Recognize characters using an OCR.

        • [Old] Mastering JQ: Part 1

          jq is a valuable tool that every fast coder has in their tool chest. It contains depths of immense power. In part 1, we’ll start off with the basics.

          For each application of jq, we’ll lead off with an example that you can copy and paste into your shell to see how it works. The rest of the section discusses the application in more detail.

        • [Old] Mastering jq: xml (and any other data format)

          In this section, we’ll use jq to transform xml data.

        • Perl/Raku

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #069

            The Task #1 of Perl Weekly Challenge – 069 raised a very interesting question i.e. is 1 strobogrammatic number? So far, I got mixed response some says yes and some not. My first thought was Yes, it is but later changed my mind. It is controversial and I don’t want loose the focus on the task itself. Please remember the objective is to have fun and not to get into controversial domain. I am also very flexible and not tied to any thing. Some even discussed that “upside down” is not same as “180 degree rotation”. I am staying away from it. I like the open culture of Perl Weekly Challenge as you are free to take the route you are comfortable with. There are no compulsion.

        • Python

          • Tracking Daily User Data in Django with django-user-visit

            It can be tedious to figure out what data to track, create data models and build middleware for your Django project if you just want to collect some basic information about clients that connect to your web application . Fortunately, the library django-user-visit is a handy Django project that quickly handles all of this complexity for you. In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to use django-user-visit in a new Django project to add daily visit data tracking to Django projects.

          • Iterators in Python

            An iterator is a valuable tool for Python. It is an object used to iterate all the elements of a collection. Iterator gives access to the elements of a container, but it does not do the iteration on its own. It works like a database cursor and is used to read the record list one by one. For example, a ‘for’ loop that iterates the values of a container works as an iterator. Python has many in-built iterators for iterable objects, such as lists, tuples, dictionaries, etc. Without these iterators, ‘itertools‘ functions can be used to return other iterators in Python. This article shows how to use the loop as an iterator, custom iterator, infinite iterator, and control infinite iterator in Python 3. Some uses of the ‘itertools’ functions are also explained in the last part of this tutorial.

          • Python Functions: Explained for Beginners

            Python functions are usually referenced by a name, and when this is the case, the set of statements can be reused or executed as many times as needed in a program. It is a way to run the same statements from multiple places in a program without having to rewrite them each time they are needed.

            In Python, functions are first-class citizens. This means that you can pass functions around like any other object; you can assign them to variables, store them in lists and tuples or define them inside other functions. Python already comes with pre-defined functions like print(). These predefined functions are known as built-in functions and Python allows you to create your functions called user-defined functions.

          • BangPypers: Talks – Jul, 2020

            We had 4 talks in the online meetup of July 2020. The theme decided as a virtue of talks selected was Testing and Code Quality.

          • Django 3.1 release candidate 1 released

            Django 3.1 release candidate 1 is the final opportunity for you to try out the potpourri of new features before Django 3.1 is released.

            The release candidate stage marks the string freeze and the call for translators to submit translations. Provided no major bugs are discovered that can’t be solved in the next two weeks, Django 3.1 will be released on or around August 3. Any delays will be communicated on the django-developers mailing list thread.

          • An introduction to mutation testing in Python

            You have tests for everything; maybe you even have a badge in your project repository stating 100% test coverage. But what are these tests helping you do? How do you know?

            The costs of unit tests are clear to developers. Tests have to be written. Occasionally they don’t work as intended: there are false alarms or flapping tests that alternate success and failure without any code changes. The small bugs you can find through unit tests are valuable, but often they happen quietly on a developer machine and are fixed before a commit ever goes into version control. But the truly alarming bugs are mostly invisible. And the worst of all, the missing alarms are completely invisible: you don’t see the bugs you failed to catch until the code gets into a user’s hands—and sometimes not even then.

            There is one type of test that makes it possible to make the invisible visible: mutation testing.

          • PyDev of the Week: Jim Crist-Harif

            This week we welcome Jim Crist-Harif (@jcristharif) as our PyDev of the Week! Jim is a contributor to Dask, Skein and several other data science / machine learning Python packages. Jim also blogs about Python.

            [...]

            Hi, I’m Jim! I grew up near Minneapolis, MN. Growing up we weren’t allowed much screen time, so I didn’t really get into computer-y things until college. I was more into building physical things, and spent a large amount of time in my dad’s workshop.

            In college I studied Mechanical Engineering, and liked it so much I continued on to graduate school, focusing on System Dynamics and Controls. Graduate school ended up being fairly detrimental for my mental health, so after 2 years I quit, moved to TX, and took a job with Anaconda. This turned out to be a great decision! My job there was to better the Python ecosystem, which let me work on all sorts of interesting projects (it also led me to give several talks).

          • RunSnakeRun 3.0.0 Beta 1

            So I finally sat down and finished off the work I was doing a while ago to get RunSnakeRun updated to run on Python 3 and support pyspy/speedscope files. There was a bunch of stuff needed to make us compatible with the wxPython Pheonix releases, a huge and horrible hack to let us load Python2 pstats dumps on Python3 (basically running python2 in a subprocess), a seeming loss of Meliae support (since AFAIK it doesn’t run on python3), and really far too much code churn, but oh well.

          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 7 : Completion of Multiple KML Overlay UI
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-In: Week 8
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week 8: InputEngine.extend(functionalities)
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: GSoC: Week #8
          • PSF GSoC students blogs: Weekly Check-in #8
  • Leftovers

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • The Intel 8086 processor’s registers: from chip to transistors

        I’ll start by explaining how the 8086 is built from NMOS transistors. Then I’ll explain how an inverter is constructed, how a single bit is stored using inverters, and how a register is constructed.

        The 8086 and other chips of that era were built from a type of transistor called NMOS. These chips consisted of a silicon substrate, which was “doped” by diffusion of arsenic or boron to form transistors. Above the silicon, polysilicon wiring created the gates of the transistors and wired components together. Finally, a metal layer on top provided more wiring. (Modern processors, in comparison, use CMOS technology, which combines NMOS and PMOS transistors, and they have many metal layers.)

      • Beware of Fake Heart Rate Sensors in Low-Cost Fitness Trackers

        Manufacturers always attempt to lower the BoM costs of their products to increase sales and boost profits. Most do it in an honest way, but some are either incompetent or deceptive as we’ve recently seen in an IR thermometer was the infrared unit was not connected to the mainboard.

        I’ve just been informed about another trick that’s been going on for a while. Some ultra-cheap fitness trackers come with fake heart rate sensors that are simply replaced by two LED’s to simulate the real thing.

        [...]

        I was told fitness trackers with fake heart rate monitors were still being sold on Aliexpress for about $5 despite being advertised with a photoelectric heart rate sensor. I suppose they use the accelerator to estimate the heart rate. Those trackers can still be useful to estimate the step count, but just don’t rely on the heart rate data.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Josh Bressers: Episode 206 – Confidential Virtual Machines; The future of cloud computing

            Josh and Kurt talk about Google’s new confidential VMs. The AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization is the technology that makes it all possible. What is SEV, how does it work, and why should you care? This technology is going to be the future of the cloud.

          • Reverse Threat Modeling for Pursuing Attribution

            To be clear, I don’t think this always gets you an answer. Well I’m sure it doesn’t, otherwise attribution would be easy.

            But it does get us thinking about the problem in the right way. And that’s usually a good start.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The Twitter [Attacks] Have to Stop

              Internet communications platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube—are crucial in today’s society. They’re how we communicate with one another. They’re how our elected leaders communicate with us. They are essential infrastructure. Yet they are run by for-profit companies with little government oversight. This is simply no longer sustainable. Twitter and companies like it are essential to our national dialogue, to our economy, and to our democracy. We need to start treating them that way, and that means both requiring them to do a better job on security and breaking them up.

            • Disney Pulls Facebook Ads for Disney Plus Amid Boycott Over Hate-Speech Concerns (Report)

              Disney, the biggest spender on advertising with Facebook in the first half of 2020, has reportedly suspended ads for Disney Plus and Hulu with the social giant.

              Disney recently has “dramatically slashed” advertising with Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing anonymous sources. Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Progressive Caucus Announces Opposition to ‘Wasteful, Bloated’ $740 Billion Pentagon Budget Proposal

        “Enhanced unemployment benefits expire in less than two weeks. The federal eviction moratorium expires in six days. Congress should be focused on addressing these urgent crises.”

      • Reflection on the Upcoming 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

        As the daughter of a nuclear victim, I raise my voice on this upcoming anniversary to say with the Hibakusha (survivors of the original N-blasts) nuclear weapons must be abolished.

      • Does Jihadis’ ‘Conception of Islam’ Really Rely on a ‘Flawed Reading of the Koran’?

        But Bitton does go on to contradict himself, and to let slip that the Qur’an has more in mind than a “spiritual conquest”: [...]

      • The Dark Obsessions of QAnon Are Merging With Mainstream Conservatism

        The QAnon faithful’s belief in the omnipresence of child sex trafficking is not a feature of QAnon alone. As I have been arguing since before Q’s rise, an only slightly moderated form of the child sex trafficking paranoia that animates it is utterly mainstream. Before the Q antecedent Pizzagate became notorious—with an attempted armed rescue of nonexistent children sold into made-up sex slavery at the Washington, D.C., restaurant Comet Ping Pong—fighting sex trafficking through sensational rescues had become a national cause célèbre, as it had been widely venerated a century before, when the sex slavery fight was enshrined in federal law. Even the mainstream anti–sex trafficking movement is populated by those who have invented claims, like the disgraced Somaly Mam, upon whom Nick Kristof at The New York Times relied for gripping yet untrue stories of sex trafficking, or those who see criminal conduct when none exists, as Cindy McCain did infamously when reporting a mixed-race family as a suspected trafficking case. Unsurprisingly, anti–sex trafficking advocates capitalized on the Wayfair conspiracy theory to promote their efforts—including one backed by the president.

      • As aid money dries up, Yemenis are at ‘the end of the line’

        Over the past five years of war, I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought to myself that surely things can’t get more desperate in Hodeidah, the Yemeni city where I live and work as an aid worker.

        But then they do, and time and time again I have to watch families squeezed just a little more, making it that much harder for them to survive.

        In Hodeidah, once a bustling port city and trading hub, things have been going from bad to worse for years. In November 2018, I wrote about the battles, airstrikes, and shelling making it harder for Islamic Relief, where I work, to help my neighbours. Back then, with the help of the international community, we narrowly averted a widespread famine, and eventually fought off a cholera epidemic that peaked in 2017 and went on to infect more than two million people.

        Now, the fighting that plagued our streets has eased (although it rattles on elsewhere in Yemen), but it feels once again like we’ve been abandoned by the world, and at precisely the most dangerous moment.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Questions Biden’s Mental Sharpness

        Trump declined to say whether he would accept the results if he loses the election.

        “You don’t know until you see. It depends,” he said. He claimed, as he has in recent weeks, that mail-in voting, which Democrats and some Republicans have supported as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, “is going to rig the election.”

      • Is this what democracy looks like? With federal goons in the streets, history hangs in the balance

        Let’s have the decency not to pretend we weren’t warned about this, shall we? Since virtually the day Donald Trump was elected, if not before that, people like journalist Masha Gessen and historian Timothy Snyder have told us that his presidency would be a sustained assault on democracy, and that America stood at a historical fork in the road, with at least one of the paths leading into darkness. We began to talk about “fascism” and “authoritarianism,” and maybe those terms seemed metaphorical or melodramatic, for a while. Do they seem that way now?

        It didn’t feel like the end of democracy, did it? To use Gessen’s language, did it feel like the dangerous moment between the “autocratic attempt” and the “autocratic breakthrough”? Not the way that alarming news reports from Hungary and Russia and Turkey and the Philippines do. The problem is, as history informs us, that we’re not likely to notice such dangerous moments while they’re happening. So the insults and outrages piled up and the news cycle grew ever more discordant and surreal, but there was still takeout and Netflix and Amazon. Life was about the same, for most people most of the time. Maybe it was all an “aberrant moment in time,” in Joe Biden’s immortal phrase. There was no Reichstag fire. There were no troops in the street. Not until now.

      • The Case for Universal Voting

        It is time for the United States to take a major leap forward and recognize voting as both a fundamental civil right and a civic duty required of every eligible U.S. citizen.

        If citizens were required to vote, our democracy would be improved in critical and far-ranging ways. In Australia, which has had such a policy for ninety-six years, turnout is consistently above 90 percent of all registered voters, and registration is nearly universal. Imagine if that were the case in the United States. With dramatically increased turnout, the voting population would look much more like America. As things are now, the pool of actual voters is skewed by race, income, and age. Election processes would open up significantly. The nature of campaigns would change—for the better. Other institutions, including schools and employers, would be pushed to recognize their civic obligations as the nation moves toward full participation.
        Universal civic duty voting would also represent a milestone in the two-century-long struggle to expand the franchise. It is a story of progressive advance and class- and race-based resistance and reaction. For the last decade, it has once again been an intense, public, racially charged, and largely partisan engagement.

        On the one hand, there have been cynical attempts to suppress the vote. After the Tea Party wave of 2010, some Republican state legislatures enacted new obstacles to the exercise of suffrage, an effort that received a major boost from the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision in 2013. Strict voter ID laws, aggressive voter list purging, voting site manipulations, and egregious partisan gerrymandering have all been part of this effort.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Tunisian Woman Sentenced to Prison Over Joke Alluding to the Quran

        The “Sourate Corona,” a design that appears to have been created in France, delivered a simple “wash your hands” message framed in recognizable green contours and adorned with virus symbols, mimicking the style of Quranic verse. Ms. Chargui, 27, shared the post.

        But what was meant as a simple quip about the outbreak has become a fight for Ms. Chargui’s freedom of expression that could result in a prison sentence.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Russian Media Fights for Survival Under Putin

        Since Putin came to power in 2000, Russia has moved to limit news media and critics. Steps have included passage of a 2014 law threatening bloggers and a 2019 law to control the internet, plus measures on extremism, foreign interference and false news that can be used to punish journalists.

        Media buyouts by state-owned companies or Putin supporters have led to journalists quitting over censorship. While some independent news outlets have survived or emerged, many are located overseas for protection from interference or retaliation.

        Impunity has increased the sense of threat. Since January 2000, at least 25 journalists have been killed for their work, but full justice has been achieved in only one case — Anastasiya Baburova of Novaya Gazeta — according to a count by the press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). A Moscow court in 2015 sentenced the leader of an extremist group to life in prison for her murder. Two others were convicted in connection with the killing 2011.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Community Peacemakers in Chicago Offer a Proven Alternative to Policing

        Imagine a world where after being accused of using a counterfeit bill, George Floyd was approached by a community member who helped mediate the situation, rather than the police officer who suffocated him as he begged for his life. A world where Rayshard Brooks was not murdered for falling asleep in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot, but given a ride home. A world where Elijah McClain was not choked and injected with ketamine for “acting suspicious,” but simply asked by a neighbor how he was doing.

      • A Historical Cycle That Limits Progress

        I think both of those have been happening to the west for the last 20 years especially, and they represent an opening to evil men who will offer an alternative.

        It’s not immoral to hold opinions on how the world works, or how it should be organized. What’s evil is when those opinions cannot be discussed and debated freely, and when people are so afraid to have them that only sociopaths will do so.

      • Barriers, Water Cannons, Arrests: Netanyahu Treats Thousands of Israeli Protesters Against His Corruption Like Palestinians

        Of course Palestinians are treated even worse. But the ninth decile of Israelis, and the majority of the country that will not vote directly for Netanyahu or his close allies, are clearly seen by the state as a danger to the status quo.

      • Oregon Sen. Vows Amendment to Bar Trump’s Paramilitary Squads From US Streets

        Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley on Saturday announced plans to introduce an amendment barring the Trump administration from deploying federal law enforcement to U.S. streets as backlash continues over the White House’s use of unidentified agents to violently crack down on protests in Portland and detain demonstrators without cause.

      • A Constitutional Crisis in Portland

        We’re taking the Trump administration to court to block the unconstitutional actions of federal agents in Portland, Oregon.

      • A New Wave of Pan-Africanism Seeks to Combat Global Anti-Black Racism

        The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately hurting African Americans and racist killings of Black people continue. A massive uprising is occurring throughout the U.S. in response to the Minnesota police killing of George Floyd and systemic police violence against Black people; this uprising has inspired similar protests against anti-Black racism around the world. A new wave of Pan-Africanism is emerging and is actively challenging these ills.

      • Oregon Senator Vows Amendment to Bar Trump From Sending “Paramilitary Squads Onto America’s Streets”

        ‘We won’t let these authoritarian tactics stand.”

      • Environmental Watchdogs Failed Neighborhoods of Color During Pandemic

        A nationwide study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health links a higher rate of death from COVID-19 for people living in areas with high levels of air pollution. Contamination from refineries and trucking in Los Angeles County and Long Beach, California, are exposing communities to an alarmingly high risk of respiratory infection, and laying bare the disproportionate effects of air pollution and environmental racism in the region.

      • How We Remember a Prophet

        A state trooper beats John Lewis in Selma, Ala., on Sunday, March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis sustained fractures to his skull. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at the time. (AP Photo)

        Representative John Lewis, who died at the age of 80 this past Friday, was a preacher before he was anything else for which he will be remembered. Yes, he risked his life to desegregate Nashville’s lunch counters. He demonstrated remarkable courage to challenge Jim Crow in the Freedom Rides and spilled his own blood for voting rights on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Lewis served for three decades as the conscience of the Congress and fought against voter suppression in his own home state until he breathed his last breath. But before all of that, Lewis was a boy in Troy, Ala., who went to school with a Bible tucked under his arm and came home to preach to the chickens. As a fellow preacher, I can only understand his life’s work in light of Scripture.

      • ‘Existential Threat to Our Democracy’: Trump Refuses to Commit to Accepting 2020 Election Results

        “A dangerous affront to our democratic system and a slide toward totalitarianism. We cannot take this lightly.”

      • Why libertarians are joining BLM calls to defund police

        Libertarians trace their wariness of unchecked police powers back to Enlightenment Age thinkers. Clark Neily of the libertarian Cato Institute says, “In America, I would say the most basic right we have is to be free from state interference, and certainly state violence, absent a legally sufficient reason.”

      • India Offers Safety to Afghan Hindu and Sikh Minorities Facing Attacks

        The Hindu and Sikh communities in Afghanistan once numbered in the tens, if not the hundreds, of thousands, with well-established businesses and high-ranking positions in the government. But most have been forced to flee to India, Europe, or North America over decades of war and persecution. In the eastern province of Nangarhar, only 45 families remain from thousands before. In Paktia, another eastern province, only a single herbal doctor, Jagmohan Singh, is left, living with his wife and two of their children. Their other two children have already decamped for Kabul.

      • The hidden hand that uses money to reform troubled police departments

        In recent years, a little-known player has been quietly reshaping America’s smaller police departments: the insurance industry. Across the nation, city insurers have demonstrated surprising success in “policing the police,” eliminating risky protocols, ousting police chiefs and even closing problematic departments altogether.

        Yet insurance is no white horse, experts caution. Some experts worry that many insurers do little more than shield cities from the consequences of police misconduct.

        “As an aggregate, insurers need to wake up,” said John Rappaport, a University of Chicago law professor who specializes in criminal justice. “There are high levels of fatal police violence. You may think you’re an insurance company, but you’re actually a police regulator.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • A conspicuous absence of connectivity

        ON AN October afternoon in 2001, as I was leaving the central library of the University of Dhaka after interviewing a librarian, who was showing me out, for a report on the library automation project, we met a teacher of a then fledgling department, on the ground floor of the library building, who was holding a handwritten sheet of paper. The librarian I interviewed jokingly asked the teacher to learn how to send e-mail and not to depend on the library staff for such small chores. He even cut a joke, telling the teacher, whom I knew but he did not know me, that I was a journalist and could make a good story on a teacher resorting to others for help to send an e-mail.

        [...]

        A few years before this in 1996, Bangladesh commissioned its first VSAT-based data circuit for an access to the internet, which had until then, since 1993, been an offline e-mail affair that we would call UUCP, or Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol. Two days after the very small aperture terminal had been commissioned, the first internet service provider began its journey, with the second one appearing on the scene the next month.

    • Monopolies

      • Who owns your BankID? A billion Swedish krona in damages saga to be continued…

        Accumulate has now appealed the ruling of the Patent and Market Court (PMT 6997-17) of 8t June 2020, regarding trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and copyright infringement with respect to the service BankID.

        BankID is one of the most lucrative services in Sweden, since it is the sole electronic signature accepted by banks, public authorities and private entities. It is a service developed by several banks in cooperation, including Swedbank, Handelsbanken, SEB and Danske Bank. Having a BankID is vital for citizens in Sweden and an indispensable facilitator for contacts with both the public and private sector.

        [...]

        Should the court conclude that no trade secret infringement has occurred, Accumulate claims that BID should still be liable for damages in the amount of 50.000 Swedish krona for copyright infringement. It is not only the level of damages being sought that is striking in this case, but also the amount of legal costs. In the decision at first instance, the court ordered Accumulate to pay 13.7 million Swedish krona, 11 million of which is for attorney costs.

        At the end of June, Accumulate applied for company restructuring, claiming that the legal proceeding against BID has been too costly for the company. It remains to be seen whether the Patent and Market Court of Appeal will in fact rule on the case and what the outcome will be. It is not only that over a billion krona are at issue, but also the future of a key service used by millions of people in Sweden on an everyday basis that may be at stake.

      • Patents

        • Arthrex Files Certiorari Petition in Arthrex case

          Arthrex recently filed a(nother) certiorari petition with the Supreme Court, this time in Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., which has also been the subject of petitions from the U.S. government and Smith & Nephew. (This is the later-decided case between the parties, and has as its hallmark the Federal Circuit’s decision that Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB, were improperly appointed under the Appointments Clause because they are principal officers requiring Presidential appointment and Senate approval).

        • Is this the end of patent claim construction as we know it?

          The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (“NDCA”) has adopted its Patent Local Rules (“PLRs”) to facilitate case management of patent litigation. Its PLRs in turn have been a model for other district courts that also have adopted PRLs. As well, the NDCA PLR’s have been adopted by individual judges in districts that do not have PLRs. PLRs generally seek to level the playing field by burdening both sides with some limited technical discovery and disclosure obligations going to the merits of the patent claims early in the case. PLRs require that the patent owner disclose detailed infringement contentions about what patent claims are asserted against which products or services, and how to apply the claim limitations to the products or processes to assert infringement. The accused infringer is obliged to develop and disclose its invalidity contentions, namely arguments why the asserted patent claims are invalid or unenforceable. The timetable is designed to move the case along towards trial and inform the parties about the real strength of their positions.

          More specifically, the NDCA PLRs provide a default schedule that starts with the patent owner disclosing its initial infringement contentions after the initial case management conference. The accused infringer responds by developing and disclosing its invalidity contentions. After exchanging their proposed constructions for the terms identified to be most significant for resolving the dispute (including any supporting evidence), the parties develop a joint claim construction and prehearing statement, addressing the agreed upon and disputed constructions. The subsequent briefing of the claim construction is then followed by a claim construction or Markman hearing.

          Generally, the court will issue a claim construction order before the end of fact discovery. Accordingly, the experts will have the benefit of using the court’s constructions in developing their expert opinion, reports and testimony. In a significant number of cases, a claim construction decision is determinative of the case and may lead to a summary judgment motion that will cause one side or the other to quit (or at least consider whether to quit).

        • Arthrex Remands: Treat or Trick?

          With Arthrex certiorari petitions hitting the Supreme Court over the past weeks, one issue that seems to be underappreciated is the judicial retroactivity question raised by Judge Dyk in his Bedgear concurrence, which was joined by Judge Newman. It is fair to say that these two venerable judges don’t always agree, so on the rare occasion when they team up for a concurrence one might reasonably expect that they have a serious point. They do, for the dozens of remands now stayed before the USPTO pending the petitions were unnecessary and at least mostly imprudent under the law of retroactivity as properly understood. If the Supreme Court were to take up this issue, it would have an opportunity to eliminate this wasteful multiplication of administrative hearings, as well as to clarify retroactivity law.

          The Supreme Court has stated: “The principle that statutes operate only prospectively, while judicial decisions operate retrospectively, is familiar to every law student.” Rivers v. Roadway Express, Inc., 511 U.S. 298, 311-12 (1994). But this fundamental principle was overlooked by the Federal Circuit in its Arthrex decision, where the court ruled that the relevant Administrative Patent Judges were “not constitutionally appointed at the time” they had previously issued final appealable decisions, despite the fact that the court at least purportedly cured the unconstitutionality with its as-applied severance of removal restrictions. See Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320, 1338-39 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 31 2019).

          [...]

          Apart from the lack of even an assertion of any actual harm caused by the prior statutory mirage of removal restrictions, such harm is unlikely also because the Supreme Court has applied standing (specifically traceability) requirements rather loosely in the Appointments Clause context. See Free Enterprise Fund v. Pub. Co. Accounting Oversight Bd., 561 U.S. 477, 511-12 n.12 (2010). It is one thing to allow litigants to raise Appointments Clause challenges that make no likely difference to their case, but it is another to retrospectively vacate prior agency actions that were almost certainly unaffected by those issues, especially where doing so is not required by and in fact runs counter to the Court’s retroactivity jurisprudence.

          Finally, concurring in the denial of rehearing en banc, Judge Moore downplayed the disruption of the unnecessary rehearings, stating that the Arthrex decision would result in at most eighty-one remands. See Arthrex, 953 F.3d at 764 n.4. Squaring this statement with the PTAB general order issued on the first of May staying over one-hundred remanded matters (and expecting more to come) pending certiorari petitions would seem to be more than trivial. Regardless, even if the PTAB chooses not to reopen briefing or the record, a new hearing before a new panel of APJs plus a new final written decision subject to a new appeal, in each of the dozens of remanded matters, is not without significant expense, disruption, and waste.

      • Copyrights

        • Twitter Deletes Donald Trump Video With Linkin Park Song Over Copyright Violation

          Donald Trump had tweeted the video Saturday, which was previously uploaded by the White House’s head of social media on Friday. A message in that video now reads, “This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner.”

          The Lumen database of DMCA takedown notices shows a July 18 filing from Machine Shop Entertainment, Linkin Park’s business arm and management company, formally requesting the removal of the video under the U.S.’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act law.

        • Most Dedicated VPN IP-addresses Are Not Anonymous

          Many VPN services advertise themselves as ideal tools to offer security, privacy, and anonymity. To ensure the latter, they often have no-logging policies to prevent individual users from being exposed. However, this is not necessarily true for the small group that use dedicated or static IP-addresses.

        • Anti-Piracy Groups Mull “Know Your Customer” Proposal to Tackle Pirate Sites

          Anti-piracy groups and rightsholders in Europe are reportedly interested in a so-called “Know Your Customer” proposal to tackle pirate sites. In the finance world, companies are required to know exactly who their clients are to prevent money laundering but what if this stretched to domain, hosting and cloud storage companies too?

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