EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.19.20

Links 20/8/2020: New Oracle Solaris, Linux 5.8.2, GraalVM 20.2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Home Computer Emulators – Week 7

      This is a weekly blog chronicling my experiences of using the AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC on Linux.

      This week’s blog looks at running home computer emulators on the AWOW AK41.

      Emulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behavior of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

      Back in the 80s, home computers came to the forefront of teenagers’ minds. Specifically, the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Atari ST were extremely popular. They were hugely popular home computers targeted heavily towards games, but they also ran other types of software.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • My Journey to Finally Ditching Windows for Good

        I was a young teenager in the late 90s, browsing the aisles of the local Babbage’s (before it became GameStop), having somehow convinced my dad, not a lover of games, that we needed something to test the new CD-ROM drive. I knew nothing except that the Starcraft box (remember those?) looked the coolest and that’s what we got. On a birthday around that year I eagerly ripped into the wrapping of a present to reveal…Baldur’s Gate. I had never seen an RPG before or known anything about Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), but clearly the kid at the local game store knew exactly what to recommend to my mom for a kid like me.

        Sometimes you get lucky: the right games at the right time and a lifelong hobby is born. Other times you work hard: software RAID and fiery, wobbly windows, Gentoo, full disk encryption… but you love the work of tinkering and a love of Linux is born. The blending of those worlds is often like oil and water, but with the magic of open-source and indie game developers I’ve been living in the best of both worlds. This is my journey to a Linux only life, while still gaming. Thinking back, some of my memories are more hazy than I would like, but I’ll blame all the different computers, hardware, distros, and constant trying of new things, rather than age.

    • Server

      • Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU24 Released With A Plethora Of Package Updates

        Solaris 11.4 continues chugging along per the Oracle/Solaris maintenance terms but still with no signs of life beyond the 11.4 series with any radical changes. The twenty-fourth stable release update was issued on Tuesday for Oracle Solaris 11.4.

        Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU24 ships with some new Python 3.7 packages like PyCUPS, Netaddr, and ISO8601 as well as providing other new Python packages like Bcrypt support. This SRU update also has fixed support for the Samsung MS9AC2DD2SUN7.6T / MS9AC2DD6SUN200G drives, offers Explorer 20.2, and other minor refinements.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 187: The Future of Computing with Jill Bryant Ryniker

        On this week’s episode of Destination Linux, the number ONE video-centric Linux podcast on the planet. We’re going to talk about the future of interacting with your computer with some dream hardware discussion. We have a very special guest this week, Jill has returned to guest host and she’s going to show off one of her amazing computers from her tech vault. We’re also going to discuss some unfortunate news from the Mozilla team. We’re going to CS:GO for it in the Gaming section, then we’ve got our popular tips, tricks and software picks. Also if you’ve not heard yet, we’re having a DLN Game Fest on Sunday August 30th, go to https://destinationlinux.network/gamefest for more info. We’ve got all this and so much more, on this week’s Destination Linux podcast.

      • Bed: Incredibly Simple Modal Text Editor Written In Bash

        Generally when people want a text editor they’ll go with one of the standard solutions like Vim, Emacs, VS code or any of the other existing solutions but have you ever considered making something custom for yourself, something that takes pieces of all your favourite text editors and puts them into one complete package.

      • 2020-08-19 | Linux Headlines 190

        Guardicore warns of a cryptominer spreading across the Internet, Nextcloud aims at the enterprise market with new security features, and the latest update to Kali Linux preps a switch to Zsh.

      • FLOSS Weekly 592: Hyperledger Update – Open Source Blockchain Software Initiative

        Hyperledger is an open-source community focused on developing a suite of stable frameworks, tools, and libraries for enterprise-grade blockchain deployments. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk with Brian Behlendorf, the executive director of Hyperledger. They discuss the growth of Hyperledger since the last time Brian was on the show. Open source started with operating systems 20 years ago, but now it is stretching into different domains. One of those ways is in public health. They discuss the Linux Foundation of public health, which sustains open-source software to help public health authorities (PHAs) combat COVID-19 and future epidemics. They also ask Brian about how the Mozilla Foundation Model compares to Linux Foundation.

      • mintCast 341.5 – Don’t Cross the Streams

        1:27 Linux Innards
        29:12 Vibrations from the Ether
        47:56 Check This Out
        55:30 Outro

        In our Innards section, we talk OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)

      • Podcatcher Play-off | LINUX Unplugged 367

        We round up the best podcast clients for your Linux desktop, mobile, and the web.

        Plus we announce the official Jupiter Broadcasting Matrix server, share some great picks, and a thought-provoking email.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.8.2

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.8.2 kernel.

        All users of the 5.8 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.8.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.8.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 5.7.16
      • Linux 5.4.59
      • Linux 4.19.140
      • Open Source Success: Linux

        Many of you are probably familiar with Linux—perhaps through your favorite distribution and tools—and you may know about its history and original development by Linus Torvalds, but you may not realize the relentless pace of development that the project entails. And, those new to open source may not be familiar with its far-reaching influence and pervasive use.

        In this article, we’ll highlight details of the continuous Linux kernel development process and look at some of the operating system’s successes.

      • Graphics Stack

        • TensorFlow Lite Now Supports Tapping OpenCL For Much Faster GPU Inference

          TensorFlow Lite for AI inference on mobile devices now has support for making use of OpenCL on Android devices. In doing so, the TFLite performance presents around a 2x speed-up over the existing OpenGL back-end.

          To little surprise, the TensorFlow developers are finding their new OpenCL back-end for TFLite to be much faster than their OpenGL back-end for mobile inference. Thanks to better performance profiling abilities, native FP16 support, constant memory, and OpenCL being better designed for compute than OpenGL ES with compute shaders, the TFLite performance is much improved — and especially so compared to doing inference on the mobile SoC CPU cores.

        • GRVK Allows AMD’s Deprecated Mantle API To Run Atop Vulkan

          There are just a handful of games like Battlefield 4, Thief, and others that can make use of AMD’s long-deprecated Mantle graphics API as the predecessor to modern graphics APIs like Vulkan and Direct3D 12. Mantle never was brought to Linux given the emphasis quickly turned to Vulkan within The Khronos Group, but now with the open-source “GRVK” project it’s being mapped on top of Vulkan.

          Independent open-source developer Clément Guérin took to implementing Mantle on top of the Vulkan API largely as a learning exercise. But it does have the potential of helping the few games/engines supporting Mantle to potentially run faster under Wine / Steam Play than the likes of the D3D11 code paths, but that’s yet to be determined given the initial release of GRVK does little more than correctly render a triangle.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Xfb Redux

          In the course of handling ARB_enhanced_layouts, I came across another interesting xfb-related issue: shaders are now allowed to specify all the xfb buffer info in the layout, and they’re also now allowed to set the location of the variable. And locations aren’t considered to overlap unless they have overlapping components.

          For those who recall so many years ago when I explored xfb integration in ntv, you know that this is a problem because I’ve been tracking xfb outputs based solely on the location.

    • Benchmarks

      • 6 Best CPU Stress Test and Performance Benchmark Linux Tools

        Do you want to push your Linux system to its maximum limits? Or are you interested in evaluating your Linux PC in terms of performance? Either way, benchmark apps and stress test tools can give you a quantitative understanding of the performance of your Linux PC.

        With this in mind, we have a list covering some of the best Linux apps to benchmark performance and stress tests. But first, let’s get a clear understanding of benchmarking and stress testing and the differences between the two.

    • Applications

      • Nextcloud Desktop Client v3.0. Now Available

        Nextcloud GmbH has announced the immediate availability of the Nextcloud Desktop Client v3.0. This new release marks the availability of the company’s end-to-end encryption technology across its mobile and desktop clients and the introduction of a new user interface with a deeper integration of Nextcloud Hub in the desktop experience of users.

        The new interface for the desktop client makes Talk and other apps on the Nextcloud server easier to access for desktop users. A click on the icon in the system tray pops up a new menu, showing a list of events on the server with on top user account information, a link to Files, Talk and a button that brings a list of other apps.

        From the list of server activity, users can directly access the sharing settings of a file. In the file manager, a right-click on a document now gives the option to edit directly in the online office document editor in Nextcloud.

      • Kiwi TCMS container images now available via Red Hat Quay.io

        Hello testers, we have very important news around how container images for Kiwi TCMS will be distributed! Recently Docker. has announced several changes in their storage plans which makes it less viable for our team to continue using their services in full!

      • curl 7.72.0 – more compression

        Welcome to another release, seven weeks since we did the patch release 7.71.1. This time we add a few new subtle features so the minor number is bumped yet again. Details below.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 4 of the Best Handhelds for Retro Gaming

        Between the Raspberry Pi and mini consoles from your favorite names in video games, it’s safe to say that retro gaming is in a renaissance period. But what if you want to take your nostalgia-fueled gaming experience on the go? Luckily, there is no shortage of portable handhelds to give you your retro gaming fix.

      • Pathfinder Kingmaker: Definitive Edition out now, adds in a free turn-based mode

        As a free and major upgrade for Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Enhanced Edition, the Definitive Edition upgrade is out now and it’s a pretty huge update.

        “Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the first single-player isometric CRPG set in the world of a top-selling D&D type role-playing game by Paizo. Being a tribute to such classics as Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Establish your kingdom to bring peace, hope, and prosperity to the land or take everything for yourself and drive it into darkness.”

      • 7 Days to Die has a massive overhaul with Alpha 19 out now

        A little midweek Zombie hunting? Sure, why the heck not. 7 Days to Die has a big upgrade out with Alpha 19. 7 Days to Die has become, slowly, one of the best open-world survival games around. They’ve gradually built it up with some seriously great features and Alpha 19 has continued that effort.

      • Valve announces the next three Steam Game Festivals – first is in October

        After a brief announcement on the Steamworks Development group a week ago, Valve have now properly announced the next three Steam Game Festivals. This is where Steam users get to play through a ton of limited-time demos, which originally started back in December 2019 to go along with The Game Awards.

        Not just demos, as there are also livestreams, Q&A sessions with developers and a whole lot more. It’s interesting but there’s so much crammed in that it can be hard to follow it all. You’re not expected to be able to look at everything though but it may perhaps give you a chance to demo a game or two you’ve been waiting on. You can see a little overview here of the last one if you missed it, which was a lot of fun.

      • Become ferrymaster to the deceased, Spiritfarer is out now

        You will become a Spiritfarer, ferrymaster to the deceased, someone who looks after the spirits before they get released into the afterlife. The dead have things on their mind and things they need you to do, the afterlife is a very busy place with plenty of quirky characters around. With thanks to the team over at GOG.com for supplying a copy.

        [...]

        One technical issue I did come across was that gamepad prompts seem broken, giving you codes instead of the button in the text that appears. They seem to be having all sorts of gamepad issues with the PC release, as noted by a number of posts asking for support so this is not a Linux issue. To be clear, gamepad input works it’s just unclear.

      • Verdant Village releases in Early Access on PC, Mac and Linux

        Indie developer Exodus Software has announced the Early Access release of Verdant Village on Steam and Itch.io for PC, Mac and Linux. This retro-inspired farming life simulation with RPG elements is expected to fully release at the end of next year though the Early Access provides plenty of content to explore.

      • Absurd comedy puzzle adventure Helheim Hassle is out now for Linux PC

        Available now for Linux PC is Helheim Hassle, a comedy narrative adventure game with puzzle platforming elements that’s a bit of a Viking battle-culture parody.

        Developer Perfectly Paranormal mentioned that Helheim Hassle is actually set in the same slightly bizarre universe as their 2016 game Manual Samuel. You play as Bjørn, a Viking, who also happens to be a pacifist who is trying to avoid going to Valhalla and ends up dying and going there anyway. You end up getting resurrected by the mysterious Pesto and then proceed through ridiculous puzzle solving and platforming with the ability to detach and combine limbs at will.

      • Cursed Letters is an upcoming first-person survival horror with a retro PSX style

        More retro original PlayStation-style horror experiences? Say no more, sign me up. Cursed Letters is another coming to Linux PC later in 2020. In development by Letters Team and Flow Studios with a focus on providing a distubing horror experience that bring together PSX (original PlayStation) style with some modern mechanics.

      • Stadia round-up, more games live including DOOM and SUPERHOT: MCD

        Today we round up some more Stadia news about new and upcoming titles for the game streaming store and service.

        First up, a reminder that Rock of Ages III is a new free claimable game for Stadia Pro subscriptions which launched on August 14. It’s a competitive tower defense and arcade game rolled into one with Monty Python-esque humour.

      • Dino survival-horror ‘Goner’ gives some serious Jurassic Park vibes, coming to Linux PC

        Goner from Canary Islands based developer Loco Players is going to provide quite a frightening looking survival horror, with plenty of dinosaurs roaming the lands.

        They’re clearly not making another ARK: Survival Evolved either, as this seems to have much more of a focus on the story of your survival with plenty of primal fear involved. In Goner, you take on the role of Anthony Sunder, who is on a journey to find their missing mother and her expedition crew. This search leads you to the location of a ghost island inhabited by hostile members of a lost civilization and feral fauna you thought extinct.

      • Completely adorable puzzle game TaniNani gets a big content upgrade

        TaniNani is a rather sweet puzzle experience that was released in early 2020 and now it’s quite a lot bigger.

        You’ve played plenty of platforming puzzlers by now I’m sure but what about when you control the platforms, not the characters? It’s not a game mechanic that’s done often and even less often done well. TaniNani is great though. As challenging as it is cute. You have two squishy little characters trying to meet, and it’s your job to move tiles around to allow them to do so.

      • Annie of the Stars has been announced for Skullgirls 2nd Encore

        While Annie was designed initially for the Skullgirls Mobile, it’s already confirmed in a post that Annie will also be coming to Skullgirls 2nd Encore (the enhanced version, available as DLC for the PC release). “All of us at Hidden Variable collaborated closely with the whole team at Lab Zero to help make Annie a reality. While we went into this process knowing that her mobile release was top priority, we also went out of our way to ensure she was ready to take the stage on 2nd Encore when the time comes.”

      • A Short Hike, probably 2019′s most chilled game gets a boating update

        A Short Hike is a game that doesn’t need much of an introduction, or does it? Developer adamgryu crafted a ridiculously relaxing little adventure and it’s still being updated.

        It’s all about the journey here. Hike, climb, and soar through the peaceful mountainside landscapes of Hawk Peak Provincial Park as you make your way to the summit. How about a little boating to go with it? It might be nothing to do with hiking but with plenty of water around, it’s a fun addition to travel around.

      • Spiritfarer Available Now on PC, Linux, Mac, Switch, and Xbox One

        Thunder Lotus Games have announced narrative adventure game Spiritfarer has launched today during the Nintendo Indie World Showcase.

        The game tasks players with building and managing a boat for the deceased, depicted as anthropomorphic animals. Gather resources, explore islands, relax, and get to know your passengers; before you have to let them go. The game supports two-player co-op.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kali Linux 2020.3 Released: Top 5 New Features For Ethical Hackers

          A major update to the new v2020.3 is the addition of ZSH shell (or Z Shell). You may know that Kali Linux uses BASH (Bourne Again Shell) by default. But with the introduction of ZSH, Kali is now planning to switch from default BASH to ZSH shell.

        • Kali Linux 2020.3 released: A new shell and a Bluetooth Arsenal for NetHunter

          Last but not least, one big announcement: the company aims to switch bash (aka “Bourne-Again SHell”) with ZSH as Kali’s default shell.

          ZSH is based on the same shell as bash, but has additional features and support for plugins and themes.

          The switch is scheduled to happen in the next iteration of the distro. In the meantime, users are urged to try it out and offer feedback.

          “We hope we have the right balance of design and functionality, but we know these typically don’t get done perfect the first time. And, we don’t want to overload the default shell with too many features, as lower powered devices will then struggle or it may be hard to on the eyes to read,” the company explained.

        • Win-KeX is a graphical desktop environment for Kali Linux running in Windows Subsystem for Linux
        • Rejoice KDE Lovers! MX Linux Joins the KDE Bandwagon and Finally You Can Download MX Linux KDE Edition

          Debian-based Linux distro MX Linux is now offering KDE flavors. This is an excellent choice for people who want to have a modern desktop on a moderate system specs.

        • Pen-Testers of the World Rejoice, Kali Linux 2020.3 Is Here

          Kali Linux, maybe the most popular and successful Linux distribution that specializes in digital forensics and penetration testing, has released a new version – the “2020.3”. Apart from the usual updating of all packages to their latest available versions from Debian’s stable repositories (Kali is Debian-based), this release brings quite a few new features to make it particularly interesting.

          For starters, Kali is now initiating the process of switching from the Bash shell to the ZSH. Bash has been the standard choice of a Unix command-line shell for most Linux distros all these years, and it was even used by all macOS versions prior to 16 (Catalina).

          ZSH is richer in features, interactive, sports auto-completion, globbing, spell correction, path replacement, and more. So, for Kali, switching to ZSH for its default shell was a natural step at this point.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33 Gnome 3.37 Test Day 2020-08-19

          Wednesday, 2020-08-19 is the Fedora 33 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.37 in Fedora 33, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • Red Hat Bringing Multipath TCP To RHEL 8.3 As A Tech Preview

          Red Hat confirmed today it is bringing Multipath TCP (MPTCP) to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 as a “tech preview” feature.

          Multipath TCP is an extension of TCP to allow end-to-end delivery over multiple simultaneous TCP paths. Multipath TCP was upstreamed for Linux 5.6 as a means of greater TCP performance/efficiency and redundancy. MPTCP has been around for years and the reference implementation for Linux remained out-of-tree but this year is finally all in mainline. In kernels since Linux 5.6 there has continued to be more tuning/additions around MPTCP

        • Red Hat Drives the Future of Open with Asia Pacific Partners

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the Red Hat Asia Pacific Partner Conference 2020. The event will be a fully virtual experience and expects the attendance of more than 2,200 Red Hat partners, distributors, systems integrators, independent software vendors (ISVs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and solution providers.

        • Sunrise Adopts Agile Culture and Accelerates Time to Market by 75% with Red Hat’s Hybrid Cloud Technologies

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Sunrise Communications AG has worked with Red Hat to build a hybrid cloud-ready platform and adopt an agile DevOps culture to help speed innovation and reduce time-to-market. Sunrise has migrated several critical customer applications to its microservices architecture on Red Hat OpenShift, supported by Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage and Red Hat Runtimes and managed with the help of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.

        • Code@Think video: Modernize your infrastructure with Kubernetes and IBM Cloud Pak for Applications on IBM Z

          Back in May, I participated in IBM Think Digital 2020 with my colleague Filipe Miranda to present a Master Class titled “Modernizing Your Infrastructure with Kubernetes and ICPA on IBM Z.”

          In this 93-minute video, I kick things off by giving a quick tour of IBM Z and then dive into current options available for Kubernetes on Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE, including Kubic from SUSE, Canonical distribution of Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift, and other deployments supported by IBM partners and community. I wrap up by demonstrating how you’d run a simple nginx deployment from a Dockerfile on OpenShift running on IBM Z.

        • OpenShift 101: Introduction, architecture, and operators

          Red Hat OpenShift is an open source container application platform that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS (RHCOS) and is built on top of Kubernetes. It takes care of integrated scaling, monitoring, logging, and metering functions. With OpenShift, you can do anything that you can do on Kubernetes and much more with OpenShift-specific features.

          OpenShift includes everything you need for hybrid cloud, like a container runtime, networking, monitoring, container registry, authentication, and authorization. I explain how OpenShift can do all of that by introducing its architecture and components.

        • Fedora 33 LTO Support Is Now In Good Shape For Faster, Smaller Packages

          Fedora’s plans to make use of link-time optimizations (LTO) by default with the GCC compiler when building Fedora 33 packages is looking like it will successfully pan out.

          Thanks to the upstream GCC support being in quite good shape these days for LTO’ing software due to the upstream work done by SUSE, Red Hat, and others, Fedora 33 should join the likes of openSUSE employing LTO when building their packages. Fedora developers have been working through issues when enabling LTO optimizations while now they have it under control and at least have the list of packages sorted out for the time being to skip in applying link-time optimizations until the bugs in the package or upstream compiler shortcomings are sorted out.

        • Fedora Involvement

          I’m Fedora Test days greatest armchair quarterback and my first task has been understanding the communication channels between key players.

          I spent a minimal time attending Nest, and took away some bullet points: Resilience and Newspeak. Resilience is encouraging while Newspeak is worrisome.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Welcoming Element

        Ubuntu users now can use Element the new free group chat app. Element which formerly called Riot.im is a complete instant messenger for phones and computers with standard features like voice and video calls as well as special ability to connect to other instant messengers. This article introduces Element to everyone especially Ubuntu users still within the celebration of Focal Fossa. Let’s go chatting and sharing once again!

      • Top 5 open source projects that failed in the past decade

        In our technology-driven world, innovations abound – in both hardware and software. In recent years most of those innovations have been in big data and artificial intelligence, including the realm of self-driving vehicles. I’m not a hardware guy per se, so much of my interest is in open source or free software, so while some people unwind by playing games like Desert Treasure slot online, I tend to spend some of my time looking into all things Linux and BSD, occasionally looking back at some of those projects that did not pan out as intended.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Thunderbird e-mail client survives Mozilla layoffs

            Ali Taghavi, Mozilla’s director of corporate communications, said: “Thunderbird is not impacted by the layoffs.” As of January this year, Thunderbird began operating from a new wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, MZLA Technologies Corporation.

            In this latest incarnation, as a standalone business, Thunderbird can “collect revenue through partnerships and non-charitable donations” in its own right. Nevertheless, moving forward, Thunderbird will remain an open-source program. It is also staying focused on open standards, user privacy, and productive communication. While a corporation now, the Thunderbird Council continues to steward the project.

            Still, it’s perfectly understandable why people might assume that Thunderbird might have been tossed into the trash can. The e-mail client certainly has its fans outside of Mozilla, but, within Mozilla, its history has been rocky.

          • Mozilla Shrinks to Survive Amid Declining Firefox Usage

            While payments for Firefox search results have brought Mozilla hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the past, a declining number of users has brought those days to an end.

          • Robust Rust trust discussed after Moz cuts leave folks nonplussed: Foundation mulled for coding language

            Following Mozilla’s announcement last week that it would restructure and cut 250 jobs, the Rust Project, which oversees the Rust programming language, on Tuesday said it plans to work with Mozilla to create a Rust foundation by the end of the year.

            “Understandably, these layoffs have generated a lot of uncertainty and confusion about the impact on the Rust project itself,” the project’s spokespeople said in a statement. “Our goal in this post is to address those concerns.”

            Starting a foundation, or putting a software project under an existing one, is a step that occurs when the code base has reached a level of maturity, adoption, and stability. It’s commonly done when projects incubated within commercial companies seek to advertise their independence and neutrality; signals essential to generating enthusiasm from contributors at competing firms and independent developers.

            Google’s decision not to put its Istio and Knative projects under a neutral foundation like the CNCF, and the ongoing concern in the open source community about that choice, serves as an example of the importance of perception in such matters.

            For Rust, there’s less concern about the ulterior motives of its corporate patron, given that Mozilla doesn’t throw its weight around like Oracle or other tech giants that oversee or contribute to open source projects.

            But the Rust project, which only reached its 1.0 release five years ago, remains concerned with being seen as a healthy, evolving endeavor, a prerequisite for corporate adoption and for attracting contributors.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0 – Words are very unnecessary

          Linux, Firefox, LibreOffice. I see the same pattern really. It’s becoming harder and harder for open-source projects to flourish in the shark-eat-shark market that the modern Internet has become. Goodwill carries only that far, but then tenacity and stubbornness founded in ideology don’t help either. With LibreOffice, it could have been a simple optional toggle to choose between native and Office Open XML formats, and that way, open an entire world of possibilities. But when pretty much any semi-complex file created in Office looks wrong when loaded in LibreOffice, I simply cannot make it into my daily driver.

          On top of that, LibreOffice feels stagnant. No, user interfaces need not change every Monday to look modern or some nonsense like that. But there’s no reason to stick with a 2003 interface – with all its inefficiencies mind – just because the competition does the opposite. And then, when LibreOffice does acknowledge there is a third way, then you get way too many options – five or six UI layouts too many really. Finally, LibreOffice simply isn’t as productive as it could be. I’m saying this as someone with 1,000,000+ words written every year, a good deal of them in Writer. It can be more streamlined, more elegant. Like it or not, you usually need fewer actions in Microsoft Office to achieve an (equivalent) result.

        • Nominations still open for TDF’s Membership Committee!

          Are you a Member of The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice? Want to get more involved in the foundation, and help to shape its future? Apply to become part of the Membership Committee (MC)!

          By being part of the MC, you can work with the people at the core of the LibreOffice community: the TDF members. It’s also a good chance to understand how the international community and foundation works behind LibreOffice, the leading FOSS office suite. Learn more about the current MC here.

        • SmartArt improvements in Impress, part 5

          This builds on top of the previous improvements around SmartArt support.First, thanks to our partner SUSE for working with Collabora to make this possible.

      • Programming/Development

        • Intel Compute Runtime 20.32.17625 Prepares For oneAPI Level Zero 1.0

          Intel’s open-source team responsible for their Compute Runtime on Tuesday released version 20.32.17625 for this HD/UHD/Iris/Xe Graphics compute stack providing OpenCL 2.x/3.0 and oneAPI Level Zero capabilities.

          With Intel Compute-Runtime 20.32.17625 they have updated their Level Zero code against the “v1.0″ state. As outlined earlier this month, they’ve been preparing for oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 support. Last week at the Intel Architecture Day 2020, Intel also confirmed the entire oneAPI 1.0 “Gold” will ship in H2’2020. Long story short, the Compute-Runtime is getting squared away on its side for the oneAPI Level Zero 1.0 interface.

        • GraalVM 20.2 Released With Compile Time Improvements, Better Error Reporting

          Oracle engineers have released a new version of GraalVM, their Java virtual machine that supports JIT compilation, ahead-of-time compilation with GraalVM Native Image, an LLVM runtime, JavaScript runtime, and other language support like Python and R.

          With GraalVM 20.2 released on Tuesday there is now support for releasing memory used by the GraalVM library (libgraal) back to the operating system when the application enters a stable phase and the compilation goes idle. GraalVM 20.2 also has improvements to the “excessive” compile time of some programs, and improved error reporting with libgraal.

        • What was your first programming language?

          A few weeks ago, Jim Hall shared his story about how he became involved with the open source software community. He shared that he and his brother taught themselves BASIC on their family’s computer. When the two brothers entered college, Jim, a physics student, was formally trained on Fortran while his brother, a computer science student, learned the C programming language. Subsequently, Jim took up an interest in C as well, which lead him to create his passion project, FreeDOS, more than 25 years ago. His programming journey continues to evolve today as he teaches others about C.

          Jim’s story inspired me, and it got me thinking about how every programmer had to start somewhere. I was curious about what others considered their first programming language, so I posed some questions to my Twitter followers and the Opensource.com Correspondents. Here are a few of their responses.

        • Python

          • Ask for Forgiveness or Look Before You Leap?

            “Ask for forgiveness” and “look before you leap” (sometimes also called “ask for permission”) are two opposite approaches to writing code. If you “look before you leap”, you first check if everything is set correctly, then you perform an action. For example, you want to read text from a file. What could go wrong with that? Well, the file might not be in the location where you expect it to be.

          • Python Recursion – Fun with Fractals

            One of the great things about Python Turtle Graphics is how it gives you instant visual feedback on what you program is doing. This makes it a very powerful tool for exploring many topics is Computer Science and programming in general. This article is about using Python Turtle Graphics to draw a fractal pattern, using an important programming technique called recursion. You can read more about recursion in general in this blog post. Here we will focus more on how Turtle Graphics is used to draw the pattern.

          • Python Bytes: #195 Runtime type checking for Python type hints
  • Leftovers

    • College Football Should Be Totally Shut Down, Even if It Hurts

      Justin Fields is one of the great talents in college football. The Ohio State quarterback was supposed to be a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy this season, and the Buckeyes in turn were poised to win a national championship. That all changed last week, when the Big Ten Conference canceled the fall football season because of the continued spread of Covid-19.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • India’s Frontline Health Workers Laboring Through the Lockdown

        “We have gone through a lot of strain during the lockdown. Apart from the Covid-19 surveys, I handled 27 childbirths from just April to July. Right from the mother’s check-up to taking her to the primary health centre for delivery, I was there for all of them,” says Tanuja Waghole, an ASHA worker – accredited social health activist – in Nilegaon village of Osmanabad district.

      • The Democratic Platform and Medicare for All: A Nod Is as Good as a Wink (To a Blind Horse)

        Medicare for All has won the battle of ideas. Now we have to win the battle against entrenched economic and political power.

      • Multi-Agency Funding for COVID-19 Vaccine Development

        Moderna’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is a so-called “mRNA” vaccine, which works through a novel mechanism that is not used in any existing vaccine. Traditional vaccines involve injecting an inactivated virus or fragments of a virus; the immune system learns to attack the foreign material and “remembers” that target if the patient is later exposed to the virus. mRNA vaccines take a different approach. The vaccine is a small piece of mRNA—an intermediate between DNA and protein to be made by a cell—coding for the “spike protein” of SARS-CoV-2, which targets the surface of human cells. In theory—but not yet conclusively demonstrated—once the mRNA is injected into a patient’s arm, it will travel inside cells, which will then produce the spike protein. The immune system, recognizing a foreign protein, should attack the spike protein—and learn to attack and destroy the virus just as if the patient were actually infected.

        This approach is new and exciting. mRNA vaccines have the potential to be cheap, easy, stable to manufacture, and easy to scale up to very large quantities. And an mRNA vaccine could be changed to target a different virus (or different variant of the same virus) more easily than a traditional vaccine.

        But the newness of mRNA vaccines is also potentially problematic. mRNA vaccines have never been used or made at scale, and one researcher has described Moderna’s vaccine as having the “most unknown unknowns.” Nonetheless, mRNA-1273 was ready for testing on February 7—weeks before the first reported COVID-19 death in the United States. The firm began Phase III trials on July 27, which it expects to complete by the end of this year after early promising results.

        At the same time, Moderna’s vaccine has not come out of nowhere. Moderna had been working on mRNA vaccines for years under a longstanding CRADA (p. 19) with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the NIH. The agreement consisted of some level of funding from Moderna to the NIH, along with a roadmap for NIAID and Moderna investigators to collaborate on basic research into mRNA vaccines and eventually development of such a vaccine. Such agreements are not unusual for government agencies in general or the NIH in particular. Often, the industry partner may engage in more basic research than it otherwise would, and the NIH takes a greater interest in the later development than it normally might—and often partial ownership of the final product (as it claims for Moderna’s vaccine).

        Even with the NIH as a partner, successfully taking a therapeutic product across the finish line—let alone an untested, novel vaccine to be produced at immense scale to combat a globe-spanning pandemic—needs additional support. Enter BARDA. BARDA, which may be less familiar to innovation policy scholars than NIH, is an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services formed in 2006 in response to—wait for it—SARS-CoV-1 (and other health threats). BARDA focuses on countermeasures for biomedical and public health emergencies, which can range from a bioterror attack to public health crises like antibiotic resistance. It provides direct investment in technologies to firms, but also engages in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and coordinates between agencies. A specific part of BARDA’s mission is taking technologies through the “valley of death” between creation and commercialization.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Internet Explorer is dead as Microsoft kills off 25-year-old browser

          Microsoft has finally killed Internet Explorer The browser will be finished on 17 August, 2021, the company said.

        • [PC Linux OS] Vivaldi browser updated to 3.2.1967.45

          Vivaldi is a new web browser based on Chromium that is built by an Opera founder. It’s aimed mostly at power users, but it can be used by anyone.

        • [PC Linux OS] Opera browser updated to 70.0.3728.119

          Opera is a Chromium-based browser using the Blink layout engine. It differentiates itself because of a distinct user interface and other features.

        • Flashpeak Slimjet browser updated to 27.0.7.0

          Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Academy Software Foundation Announces Unity Technologies as a New Premier Member [Ed: Pusher of Microsoft Mono enters a group that's already dominated in part by Microsoft but has the "Linux" label in it]

                The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a collaborative effort to advance open source software development in the motion picture and media industries, today announced that Unity Technologies has joined the Foundation as a Premier member, Conductor Technologies as a General member, and SMPTE as an Associate member.

              • CNCF Announces Intuit As Gold Member [Ed: Linux Foundation reinforces its status as proprietary software stronghold controlled by proprietary giants]
              • Linux Foundation showcases the greater good of open source

                The role of open source collaboration was highlighted during a presentation to tie in with the start of the Linux Foundation’s KubeCon and Cloud Native Computing Forum (CNCF) virtual conferences.

                Many believe that open source is the future of software development. For instance, in a recent conversation with Computer Weekly, PayPal CTO Sri Shivananda said: “It is impossible for you to hire all the experts in the world. But there are many more people creating software because they have a passion to do it.”

                These passionate software developers not only help the wider community by contributing code, but they also help themselves. “You can help others as well as helping yourself,” said Jim Zemlin. executive director of the Linux Foundation.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (imagemagick and ruby-websocket-extensions), Fedora (libetpan, LibRaw, and php), Gentoo (nss), Mageia (apache, ark, clamav, claws-mail, dovecot, firefox, firejail, freerdp, golang, jasper, kernel, libssh, libx11, postgresql-jdbc, python-rstlib, radare2, roundcubemail, squid, targetcli, thunderbird, tomcat, and x11-server), Red Hat (rh-mysql80-mysql), SUSE (dovecot22, freerdp, libvirt, and postgresql12), and Ubuntu (curl and linux-hwe, linux-azure-5.3, linux-gke-5.3).

          • Sophos EDR achieves Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation

            Sophos is pleased to announce that it has achieved the Amazon Linux 2 Ready designation as part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Service Ready Program.

          • What They Don’t Tell You About Being a Bounty Hunter or Security Content Creator

            No matter what, make sure that you’re having fun. Never forget that your enjoyment of the activity is the true source of both your skill and your happiness.

            Much love to you all, and thank you for doing what you do.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Civil Rights and First Amendment Defenders Urge First Circuit to Require a Warrant for Border Device Searches

              Last month, EFF, along with co-counsel ACLU and ACLU of Massachusetts, filed a brief in Alasaad v. Wolf urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to require a warrant for searches of electronic devices at the border. In fiscal year 2019, border officers searched over 40,000 electronic devices, more than an eight-fold increase since 2012. Because of the significant privacy interests that travelers have in the digital data on their devices, we argued that the government’s warrantless, and usually suspicionless, searches and seizures of electronic devices violate the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

              Seven amicus briefs were filed in support of our position:

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US govt-funded Coda Story smears American journalists who undermine new Cold War propaganda

        Coda Story’s NATO links and mysterious office in Georgia

      • Seth Rogen Turns the Truth Into a Joke

        Just how much erosion has support for Israel suffered among Western Jews under the age of 40? The polls are not much help, because they tell contradictory stories. However, in anecdotal terms, there is a strong sense that the gap is growing between an increasingly rightwing and racist Israeli society and younger, liberal/progressive Western Jews. The well-publicized recent interview with Seth Rogen, a comedian and filmmaker with an “ability to capture the Jewish cultural conversation,” and a fan base among Jewish millennials (i.e., those born between 1981 and 1996), may be a case in point.

      • Don’t be Hoodwinked by Trump’s UAE-Israel “Peace Deal”

        “HUGE breakthrough today,” crowed Donald Trump on twitter as he announced the new peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The deal makes the UAE the first Gulf Arab state and the third Arab nation, after Egypt and Jordan, to have diplomatic ties with Israel. But the new Israel-UAE partnership should fool no one. Though it will supposedly stave off Israeli annexation of the West Bank and encourage tourism and trade between both countries, in reality, it is nothing more than a scheme to give an Arab stamp of approval to Israel’s status quo of land theft, home demolitions, arbitrary extrajudicial killings, apartheid laws, and other abuses of Palestinian rights.

      • Oliver Stone on challenging Hollywood convention & film as a “disappearing” art form
      • Conflict and coronavirus spark a hunger crisis in Burkina Faso

        The number of people in need of emergency food aid in Burkina Faso has tripled to more than 3.2 million – some 11,000 of whom are suffering from “catastrophe” levels of hunger – as the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic hits a country already engulfed by violence.

        The latest data – which includes famine conditions in a part of the country for the first time in more than a decade – comes in a new food security report from the government and UN agencies. The report was sent to The New Humanitarian by the World Food Programme but is not yet available online.

        Emaciated children and malnourished mothers are streaming every day into poorly equipped local hospitals, where doctors and nurses who spoke to TNH on visits to northern, western, and southwestern parts of Burkina Faso said they are feeling overwhelmed and bracing for things to get worse.

        “There are people who have nothing to eat,” said Philomene Sawadogo-Ouedraogo, head of the paediatric ward of the main hospital in the town of Kongoussi in the Centre-North region.

        While there should be enough food to go around in the country – production increased in recent months by nearly 10 percent compared with a five-year average, according to the report – attacks by extremists and a patchwork of other armed groups have now uprooted one million people, cleaving farmers from their land and leaving crops rotting in fields and granaries.

    • Environment

      • Trump’s Attacks on Science Will Hasten Climate Catastrophe
      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Industrial Recreation isn’t Conservation

          Industrial strength recreation is a clear and present danger to our public wildlands. Legendary Montana wilderness guide Smoke Elser observed there is a new breed of recreationist on the land: “Mountain bikers are out to challenge the resource. It’s about how fast you can go and how many miles you can put on. Snowmobilers are after the highest mark on the hillside, the highest speed across the meadow.” (Missoulian 4/23/17).

    • Finance

      • Posadism: The Rise and Fall of Apocalypse Communism

        During the middle of the 20th century, Homero Rómulo Cristalli Frasnelli, better known by his pen name, J. Posadas, was one of the most prominent Trotskyists in the Western Hemisphere. He unionized workers across Latin America and supported Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement. He led the Latin American bureau of the Fourth International, but eventually split from the revolutionary socialist organization in 1962 and created his own Posadist Fourth International.

      • The COVID Pandemic and the Housing Crisis

        Over 20 million people lost jobs and wages during the initial months of the pandemic. In July 2020, the economy was still down nearly 13 million jobs from its February level. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, included a number of provisions designed to replace lost income and keep people in their homes. These federal measures, along with ones adopted in some states and cities, have undoubtedly helped millions of people stay in their homes during the pandemic. Yet, housing insecurity — as measured by missing or deferring rent or mortgage payments, or having little confidence in one’s ability to make rent or mortgage payments — was very high during the initial months of the pandemic.

      • Money Becomes King: University Greed in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

        Students around the nation prepare to return to campus amid the COVID-19 pandemic and are met with empty promises of safety: social distancing in the classroom, a hybrid education system with in-person and online teaching, an overwhelming feeling that the return to campus will be just as lonely as the long trek home in early March. Yet despite the seeming decrease in the quality of education, many students nationwide received their financial aid packets and were faced with the shocking reality of a steep increase in cost. Why are institutions with billions of dollars in endowment funds forcing their students to drive themselves into even more overwhelming debt for a subpar on-campus experience?

      • Introducing Bitcoin Casinos, Here’s All You Need to Know

        Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency globally. Satoshi Nakamoto developed it in 2008 and its implementation released under the General Public License (GNU) license.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Why Keep Section 230? Because People Need To Be Able To Complain About The Police

        The storm has passed and the charges have been dropped. But the fact that someone who tweeted about police behavior, and, worse, people who retweeted that tweet, were ever charged over it is an outrage, and to make sure that it never happens again, we need to talk about it. Because it stands as a cautionary tale about why First Amendment protections are so important – and, as we’ll explain here, why Section 230 is as well.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Future Ada: Tech Organizing Through an Intersectional Lens

        Ada Lovelace’s work on the first analytical engine helped lay the path for our modern world and continues to serve as an inspiration to people worldwide, including Electronic Frontier Alliance member Future Ada.

        Based in Spokane, WA, Future Ada was founded in 2017 to advance opportunities and support for underrepresented genders in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. That same year, Forbes noted that closing the gender gap could increase U.S. Gross Domestic Product by two trillion dollars, yet work environments in many of these fields are so hostile to women that over fifty-percent will leave the sector as a result.

      • Judge Forbids Facebook Users Being Sued By A Cop From Publishing The Cop’s Name On Social Media

        Eugene Volokh reports an Ohio court has hit a number of defendants in a libel lawsuit with an unconstitutional order forbidding them from posting the name of the man suing them. It’s no ordinary man, though. It’s a police officer who several attendees of a Cincinnati city council meeting have both identified and claimed used a racist hand sign while interacting with them.

      • Why I Write

        I was born in Iowa, raised in the mountains of Virginia, and attended Virginia Tech sporadically from 1974 to 1976 before dropping out to try my luck writing. At some point in the late 1970s, individual liberty became my highest political value and I resolved to do what I could to defend it. I had seen the federal government sabotage the currency, ravage southeast Asia with an unjust war, and tumble into disgrace with the Watergate scandal.  The pratfalls of the Carter administration, following the depravity of the Johnson and Nixon administrations,  spurred a sense of impending political and economic collapse.

      • Needed: Indicators for Measuring Injustice and Societal Decay

        Economic indicators – data points, trends, and micro-categories – are the widgets of the big information industry. By contrast, indicators for our society’s democratic health are not similarly compiled, aggregated, and reported. Its up and down trends are presented piecemeal and lack quantitative precision.

      • Daddying, Celebrating Black Fathers
      • Perm court sentences activists accused of dressing a Putin mannequin in a prisoner’s uniform

        The Leninsky District Court in Perm has handed out sentences to the three defendants in a hooliganism case launched over a protest action involving a Putin mannequin dressed up in a prisoner’s uniform, reports the Telegram channel “Apologia Protesta.”

      • 19th Amendment Turns 100: Fight for Voting Rights Builds on Centuries of Struggle Led by Black Women

        As this year marks 100 years since the ratification of 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women’s right to vote, we look at the connection between the movement for women’s suffrage and the movement to abolish slavery. Many states created laws to continue to deny women the vote, and African American women were subjected to the same Jim Crow laws already used to deny the vote to African American men. “To look for African American women and their history of the vote in 1920 is to miss the important chapter that begins in 1920 and doesn’t culminate until the Voting Rights Act is adopted in 1965,” says author and Johns Hopkins University history professor Martha Jones, whose forthcoming book is “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All.”

      • Will COVID-19 Spur a Wave of Unionization?

        Workers have been infuriated by the callous treatment they’ve received in their workplaces. Many of them recognized that the most surefire way to get their employers to provide the protection they needed was through collective action.

        [...]

        We’ve seen that kind of action from workers at Amazon, McDonald’s, Domino’s, Instacart, Perdue Farms, Whole Foods, and smaller grocery stores like MOM’s Organic Market in Philadelphia. Many workers have incorporated social distancing into their battles—standing six feet apart as they picketed their workplace, or using cars to block the drive-thru at their McDonald’s.
        Many of these workers would no doubt vote to join a union tomorrow if they could (even though Trump’s anti-union National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] temporarily suspended all unionization elections in late March). But it remains very unclear whether all the coronavirus-inspired anger and activism will result in increased union membership. The overriding reason why it might not is an old one: when there are unionization elections in the United States, the playing field is tilted sharply in favor of corporations and against workers seeking to organize.
        Kate Bronfenbrenner of Cornell University found in a study that companies often use intimidation tactics to thwart organizing drives. In her analysis, which looked at NLRB-supervised unionization elections between 1999 and 2003, 57 percent of companies threatened to close operations if workers voted to unionize, while 47 percent said they would cut wages or benefits. Bronfenbrenner also found that 34 percent illegally fired union supporters, 28 percent illegally attempted to infiltrate the union organizing committee, and 22 percent illegally used “bribes and special favors” to encourage workers to vote against the union. Another study of elections in 2016 and 2017 found that companies terminated nearly one in five rank-and-file workers who spearheaded unionization campaigns.
        The federal judiciary’s conservative tilt makes unionization harder still. Not only do employers often require workers to hear anti-union consultants and watch anti-union videos, but they also have the right to prohibit union organizers from setting foot on company property, thanks to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that exalted private property rights far above workers’ rights and concerns. Under that ruling, employers can even bar organizers from putting flyers on windshields in the employee parking lot.
        During the pandemic, many employers remain as aggressive as ever in fighting unions. Amazon seems to have gone out of its way to signal that it won’t tolerate organizing efforts. The company fired Christian Smalls, who spearheaded a walkout by employees at its Staten Island warehouse who felt Amazon was doing far too little to protect them from the virus. Amazon also fired Bashir Mohamed, the lead worker-activist at a Minnesota warehouse, as well as two tech workers in Seattle who were outspoken climate campaigners and had criticized safety conditions at the warehouses. Whole Foods, an Amazon subsidiary, has created a heat map that uses twenty-five metrics, including diversity levels and number of complaints about safety, to keep tabs on which of its stores are most at risk of union activity.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Verizon Forced To Back Off Charging Extra For 5G

        While fifth-generation (5G) wireless will result in faster, more resilient networks (once it’s finally deployed at scale years from now), the technology has been over-hyped to an almost comical degree. Yes, faster, lower latency networks are a good thing, but 5G is not as paradigm-rattling as most wireless carriers and hardware vendors have led many in the press to believe. 5G is more of a useful evolution than a revolution, but it has become the equivalent of magic pixie dust in tech policy circles, wherein if you simply say “it will lead to faster deployment of 5G!” you’ll immediately add gravitas to your otherwise underwhelming K Street policy pitch.

      • California Governor Newsom’s Broadband Plan Lays Important Foundation and Opens Possibilities

        On August 14, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to establish a state goal of 100 mbps download speeds for all Californians, citing the 2 million Californians who lack access to high-speed broadband today. This announcement is significant, as it firmly illustrates that the state of California believes the federal definition of broadband is no longer sufficient to estimate modern needs.  It is completely right in doing so. The federal definition of broadband lost its relevance long ago,  and it is both useless and harmful as a means to measure equality of access.

        While the governor acknowledged that a 100 mbps download speed does not deliver speeds synonymous with fiber networks, the emphasis on high-speed access holds a lot of overlap with fiber infrastructure. Inherently, any network delivering these types of speeds requires fiber to some degree. If done right, Governor Newsom’s broadband plan could be the stepping stone towards universal fiber that all communities need to embrace to compete in the gigabit era that 21st-century economies are entering.

    • Monopolies

      • The Fortnite App Store Battle: A Real Antitrust Conundrum, Or Just A Carefully Planned Out Contract Negotiation?

        Last week there was quite a lot of news paid to Apple kicking Fortnite out of the iOS app store for violating the rules by avoiding Apple’s in-app payment setup (out of which Apple takes 30%). Epic, who had been hinting at this for a while, introduced a direct payment offering that effectively avoided the 30% charge that Apple (and Google) require from developers.

      • Epic Games asks district court to order Apple to keep Fortnite on App Store and end user devices, and to enable further development of Unreal Engine for iOS and Mac

        Epic Games’ antitrust action against Apple in the Northern District of California is so fresh the iPhone maker hasn’t even appointed counsel yet–and the Fortnite publisher is already urging the court to make a far-reaching decision of temporary effect. Epic filed and published (PDF) a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), which it would like the court to issue as early as today, and which would (if granted) have to be replaced by a preliminary injunction (PI) within a couple of weeks as a TRO, which courts can issue without hearing the other party, is meant to provide some ultra-short-term protection only.

        Epic’s argument for this incisive and instantaneous court order is based on both Apple’s decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store (which in a next step could entail the removal of Fortnite from end user devices) and a 14-day ultimatum Apple gave Epic to “cure[]” its “violations” of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement, threatening otherwise to terminate that contract. Epic tells the court that termination of its developer program license agreement would have effects going beyond Fortnite (with respect to which Epic showed the court a variety of user comments and messages reflective of confusion surrounding the game’s future on iOS devices): it would also affect Epic’s ability to further develop the Unreal Engine (which many action games are built on) for iPhones, iPads and Macs.

      • First Epic Games v. Apple court clash (videoconference) scheduled for next Monday; Apple has until noon on Wednesday to respond

        A few hours ago, I wrote in my post on Epic Games’ motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Apple with respect to the removal of Fortnite from the App Store and iOS devices as well as an ultimatum that could lead to the termination of Epic’s developer agreement (with implications even for the Unreal Engine used by many other game companies) that “the court is likely to hold a preliminary injunction hearing, possibly on very short notice, or at least a TRO hearing before enjoining Apple in any way.” Epic had asked the court to hold a hearing as soon as possible, ideally even on the same day (Monday by local time), but as I looked at how Epic’s lawyers described the urgency of the situation, the earliest date that seemed somewhat critical was August 28.

        With Apple not having appointed counsel (as this litigation was just brought late last week), a same-day hearing would have been tantamount to an ex parte TRO (an order without hearing the other party), which didn’t appear reasonable to me under the circumstances of a lengthy and complex motion on the heels of a complaint that spanned more than 60 pages.

      • Patents

        • Don’t fall at the final hurdle at the European Patent Office

          The number of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) has been increasing year-on-year – except for 2014, which saw a 3.1% decrease – with an average annual increase of 10.7% since 2010 (when figures started to be published).

          Indeed, we have seen the same trend – but with even higher numbers than the EPO – with European patents represented by FRKelly having an average annual increase of 18.2% over the same period.

          With more and more European applications proceeding to grant, it’s more important than ever to ensure the final stages of the grant procedure before the EPO is complete and accurate.

          In the final stages of the grant procedure, the EPO will inform the applicant of the text intended for grant – which might include amendments/corrections made by the examining division on its own initiative – and request approval of the text by the applicant.

          Once the applicant approves the text, any amendments/corrections will be only exceptionally admitted under the discretionary power of the examining division.

        • Managing the Nexus between Patent Pools and Competition in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Case of the UAE

          The reasoning to develop a strong patent regime is an old and straightforward one. Research and development (R&D) requires incentive and strong intellectual property regime provides that incentive. It is estimated that the total cost of developing a new drug, including the costs of capital and failed R&D efforts, amounts to billions of dollars. Without strong protection for these costs, there will be no economic justification for investment.

          During normal times in today’s complex world, to produce certain goods, any manufacturer would have to obtain licenses to several interrelated patents, something that is known as the complements problem. Where there are many patents to obtain, this will complicate matters for innovation and indeed could lead to underuse of technologies and heavy patent costs. In order to simply the process, patent pools can be created between patent owners that bundle multiple pieces of intellectual property together, rather than on a patent-by-patent basis, into a single license so that they can license their patents to other parties collectively. As countries are still in the thick of fighting the COVID-19 health crisis and scientists and pharmaceutical companies are in the process of uncovering the molecular secrets of this novel coronavirus and developing potential vaccines, we need to revisit the issue of patent pools. Patent pools thus reduce transaction costs for licensees and preserve the financial incentive for patent holders to commercialize their products.

        • Immediate Appeal of Denied Dismissal

          As Patently-O readers are aware, lots of patent infringement lawsuits have been ending very quickly – with courts ruling that plaintiffs patents are directed to ineligible subject matter and therefore cannot support a patent infringement claim. In this case, the patentee AlexSamwanted to ensure that it stated-a-claim and so added page-after-page to its initial complaint explaining inventiveness of its asserted US6000608. (Excerpt below).

        • “Creativity Machine” Cannot Be Named As Inventor

          In a Decision on Petition issued in April, and signed by Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy Robert W. Bahr, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to vacate a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application mailed on August 8, 2019 in U.S. Application No. 16/524,350. The ’350 application, which is entitled “Devices and Methods for Attracting Enhanced Attention, was filed on July 29, 2019.

          The Decision notes that an Application Data Sheet (“ADS”), substitute statement under 37 CFR 1.64 in lieu of declaration under 35 U.S.C. § 115(d), statement under 37 CFR 3.73(c), assignment, and Statement of Inventorship accompanied the application papers. The ADS listed a single inventor with the given name “[DABUS]” and the family name “(Invention generated by artificial intelligence),” and listed the Applicant as the Assignee “Stephen L. Thaler.” The substitute statement listed “DABUS (the invention was autonomously generated by artificial intelligence)” as the inventor and was executed by Mr. Thaler. The 3.73(c) statement identified Mr. Thaler as the assignee of the application. The assignment assigned the interest of “DABUS, the Creativity machine that has produced the . . . invention” in the ’350 application to Mr. Thaler, with Mr. Thaler executing the document on behalf of both DABUS, as legal representative of the assignor, and himself as assignee. The Statement of Inventorship states that the invention was conceived by a “creativity machine” named “DABUS.”

          The Office issued a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application on August 8, 2019, which indicated that the ADS for the ’350 application did not identify each inventor by his or her legal name. In response to the Notice, a petition under 37 CFR 1.181 was filed, requesting supervisory review of the Notice and also requesting that the Notice be vacated as unwarranted and/or void. The Office issued a second Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application on December 13, 2019, and dismissed the petition under 37 CFR 1.181 on December 17, 2019. In response to the second Notice, a second petition under 37 CFR 1.181 was filed on January 20, 2020, requesting reconsideration of the Office’s dismissal of the first petition.

      • Copyrights

        • An Open Letter to the Government of South Africa on the Need to Protect Human Rights in Copyright

          Five years ago, South Africa embarked upon a long-overdue overhaul of its copyright system, and, as part of that process, the country incorporated some of the best elements of both U.S. and European copyright.

          From the U.S.A., South Africa imported the flexible idea of fair use — a set of tests for when it’s okay to use others’ copyrighted work without permission. From the E.U., South Africa imported the idea of specific, enumerated exemptions for libraries, galleries, archives, museums, and researchers.

        • Article 17: Germany Shows Creativity, but EFF Wants More

          The implementation of Art 17 (formerly Article 13) into national laws will have a profound effect on what users can say and share online. The controversial rule, part of the EU’s copyright directive approved last year, has the potential to turn tech companies and online services operators into copyright police. It is now up to national Member States to implement the directive and to ensure that user rights and freedom of speech is giving priority over notoriously inaccurate filtering and harmful monitoring of user content.

          The initial forays into transposition were catastrophic. Both France and the Netherlands have failed to present a balanced copyright implementation proposal. Now, the Germany government presented launched a public consultation on a draft bill to implement the EU copyright directive. The draft takes a step in the right direction. Options for users to pre-flag uploads as “authorized” and exceptions for every day uses are a clear added value from a user perspective. However, in its current shape, the draft fails to adequately protect user rights and freedom of expression. It seems inevitable that service providers will use content recognition technologies to monitor all user uploads and privacy rights are not considered at all. 

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Red Hat is Spamming People in Order to Promote Its Sites and Its Products, Subscribing People to Mass-Marketing Lists Without the Recipients' Consent

    "Engagements" from Red Hat; have the IBM-led marketing people gone overboard, subscribing lots of people to marketing spam without bothering to ask for consent?



  2. “If I'm the Father of Open Source, It Was Done by Artificial Insemination With Stolen Sperm”

    The father of the Free software movement, Richard Stallman, is being wrongly compared to some patron of an “open source” ‘movement’ (an early effort to cancel Stallman and the FSF), which is basically a hostile corporations-led ploy these days



  3. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 23, 2020



  4. The Second Wave (of Free/Libre Software)

    Despite some major setbacks and new threats to digital freedom (autonomy is perhaps a more suitable term), progress is being made and activism must adapt to tackle newer trends



  5. Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They're Barely Even Rivals Anymore

    The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)



  6. Microsoft Lost More Than 15 Million Web Domains in One Month!

    Microsoft's presence on the Web is being reduced to ridiculously low levels; sooner or later Microsoft will turn from 'king' of parked (unused) domains to master of nothing



  7. Links 23/9/2020: Lenovo's Deeper GNU/Linux Dive and Tor Browser 10/Tails 4.10

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 22, 2020



  9. The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just 'Chinese Propaganda'

    When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)



  10. Links 23/9/2020: Librem 14 Shipping in December, Linux Journal Returns, Istio 1.6.10 Released, Release Candidate 3 of LLVM 11.0

    Links for the day



  11. Welcome Back, Linux Journal!

    Linux Journal is coming back under the ownership/umbrella of Slashdot folks, who are sadly preoccupied and obsessed with Microsoft talking points and PR campaigns



  12. What the Efforts to Remove Dr. Stallman Reveal About the Agenda of Large Corporations (Looking to Absorb the Competition, Remove Freedom, Spread Proprietary Software in 'Open' Clothing)

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) positions and foresight are usually correct; at the moment we're losing access to key people whose leadership positions are essential for the independence of cornerstone projects



  13. Links 22/9/2020: Tails 4.11, Linux Lite 5.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  14. Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

    Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, September 21, 2020



  16. Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

    As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).



  17. Erosion of Free Speech and Tolerance of Opposing Viewpoints in Free Software Communities

    The concept of free speech is being reinvented by oversensitive people who nowadays expand the list of exclusions/exemptions (from scope of 'permissible' speech) to politics and criticism of large and highly abusive corporations



  18. Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

    Links for the day



  19. Guest Post: The Worrying State of Political Judgement in Free Software Communities

    A look at what Mozilla has become and what that teaches us about the Web and about software



  20. Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 20, 2020



  22. Git is Free Software, GitHub is Proprietary Trap

    More and more people all around the world understand that putting their fruit of labour in Microsoft's proprietary (but 'free') prison is misguided; the only vault they have is for human beings, not code



  23. Daniel Pocock on Codes of Conduct and Their Potential Dangers in Practice

    In Debian we’ve already witnessed several examples where Codes of Conduct, if put in the wrong hands (in the Linux Foundation it’s corporate hands), can achieve the very opposite of their intended goal and its a true shame as well as a travesty for legitimate victims of real abuse



  24. Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

    Links for the day



  25. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)



  26. [Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

    Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that's not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft's proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard 'extensions'.



  27. DDOS Attacks Against Us Lately

    (Distributed) Denial-of-service attacks or DDOS attacks have slowed down the site, but we treat that as evidence of suppression and fear (of what's to come and what was recently published), or accuracy (in reporting) rather than inaccuracy



  28. [Meme] Windows as Dead Man Walking (Patches Accelerate the Death)

    Microsoft is squeezing whatever life is left in its “burning platform” (which is already exceeded in terms of market share by Android) that has a "burning" (bricked) WSL with barely any users and plenty of critical problems



  29. We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

    The Microsoft propaganda machines (notably ZDNet this weekend) are busy portraying Microsoft as a “good company” for censoring words, never mind the actual, meaningful, substantial actions of Microsoft, which is boosting authoritarian people who imprison even babies (for the ‘crime’ of being on the ‘wrong’ side of the border)



  30. High-Profile and Invalid (Invalidated) European Patents Harm the Presumption of Validity of European Patents

    The EPO's 'printing machine' (over-producing patent monopolies) is harming the legal certainty associated with such patents, helping nobody but deep-pocketed monopolists and law firms


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts