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09.16.20

Links 17/9/2020: GNOME 3.38 and LabPlot 2.8

Posted in News Roundup at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The new TUXEDO Book XUX7 is an absolute monster desktop-replacement laptop

        While today we had Slimbook offer up good value with their affordable Slimbook Essential, on the complete opposite end we have Tuxedo Computers with their monster TUXEDO Book XUX7.

        This, Tuxedo said, is a “high-end desktop replacement”. It’s big and bulky, with a high price tag and the performance to back it up with ridiculous specifications. It’s their new flagship gaming laptop coming in at 43.5 mm high and weighing 3.8 kg so it’s certainly not light but not overly heavy – equivalent to a few bags of sugar over in the UK. This puts it at about the same weight as the System76 Bonobo WS. In fact, the shell even looks the same.

      • TUXEDO Book XUX7 Launches as Behemoth of a Linux Gaming Laptop

        TUXEDO Book XUX7 is a monster of a Linux laptop, powered by 10th Gen “Comet Lake” Intel Core desktop processors up to Intel Core i9-10900K, which features 10 cores and 20 threads, as well as up to 5.3 GHz clock speeds and a nominal power consumption of 125 watts.

        Being a gaming machine, the TUXEDO Book XUX7 laptop provides Linux gamers with maximum graphics performance on-the-go thanks to either the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Refresh, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics cards, which feature 8GB GDDR6 VRAM.

      • The Slimbook Essential is new affordable Linux laptop line with two models

        When a lot of companies reveal their new Linux hardware, it often ends up being towards the high end. Slimbook have come along to help remedy that with their Slimbook Essential line.

        Slimbook said in an email to us today: “A new computer that may establish a milestone in our trademark history, not for being the best Linux ultrabook, because some already claim that the PRO X holds that title, but for being the most affordable Linux ultrabook for everyone.

        During our 5 years of service, we have released several high performance ultrabooks targeting professional environments with relatively moderate / high prices, but never as low as 499€ like the new Essential. With this new addition, we aim to widen our client base and reach customers that look for the best price / quality ratio.”

      • The Slimbook Essential is a Surprisingly Affordable Linux Laptop

        The suitably-named Slimbook Essential packs a fair bit of power for a low starting price of just €499. This makes it the cheapest Linux laptop this company has produced to date.

        In this post we dive in to the Slimbook Essential specs, price, and release date. We also ask if the device is a better buy than pricer portable, like the phenomenally powerful Slimbok Pro X.

      • Slimbook Essential is a Linux laptop with 10th-gen Intel Core for € 499 and up

        Spanish PC maker Slimbook’s latest Linux laptops are thin, light, and affordable models powered by 10th-gen Intel Core processors.

        The Slimbook Essential 14 ships with a choice of Intel Ice Lake processors, while the Slimbook Essential 15 sports Intel Come Lake-U processor options. Both feature full HD displays, compact designs, and support for a variety of GNU/Linux distributions, which can be pre-installed for free.

      • Working From Home with a New-to-Me ThinkPad

        Like so many, but not nearly enough, I’ve been work-from-home since mid-March.

        My daily driver is a Dell desktop with Ubuntu 16.04 (the GNOME spin), but it’s in the living room. It’s not the easiest place to work during the day, in that it’s high-traffic. My two-year-old daughter is way too fascinated by video calls! I took to working in the bedroom on my fairly old T420i ThinkPad for chunks of the day. It’s probably around 10 years old, but it’s rock solid, even though it’s 32-bit architecture and 8GB RAM. I ran Linux Mint Cinnamon on it and while it wasn’t blazingly fast, it handled my daily work without any issues. That is, until a Zoom update broke Zoom. Without Zoom, the computer was much less useful. And unfortunately, finding support for Zoom on a 32-bit Linux system isn’t as easy as it sounds.

        [...]

        I wrote this to remind everyone that while there’s a shortage of new laptops, there are lots of good used options, and Linux breathes new life into older hardware. As the people on the ThinkPad reddit are quick to point out, the more you’re able to fix up a ThinkPad yourself, the more favorable the pricing. I needed something quick and operational, but I’m comfortable with the specs I got for the price.

        I’m a ThinkPad nerd. I love them (this is my third) and have had nothing but great experiences with them. But this isn’t about ThinkPads. It’s about affordability and sustainability. My story is a reminder that even if you’re not looking for a fixer-upper, you can still find something used and reliable, that runs Linux, at a good price.

    • Server

      • Nginx vs. Apache: When to Use One or the Other

        The two most popular web servers in the world are Apache and Nginx, with over 60% of all websites worldwide being run by these two web servers. Both Apache and Nginx offer excellent performance and similar features. However, they differ in terms of their architecture, security, and performance.

        Because both of these servers are pretty great, it can be hard to choose between them. It’s important to make the right decision since each web server has its own pros and cons.

        In this tutorial, we will introduce Apache and Nginx, compare both servers and help you to decide which one is best for your website.

      • Build multi-architecture container images using Kubernetes

        Recently I’ve added some Raspberry Pi 4 nodes to the Kubernetes cluster I’m running at home.

        The overall support of ARM inside of the container ecosystem improved a lot over the last years with more container images made available for the armv7 and the arm64 architectures.

        But what about my own container images? I’m running some homemade containerized applications on top of this cluster and I would like to have them scheduled both on the x64_64 nodes and on the ARM ones.

        There are many ways to build ARM container images. You can go from something as simple, and tedious, as performing manual builds on a real/emulated ARM machines or you can do something more structured like using this GitHub Action, relying on something like the Open Build Service,…

        My personal desire was to leverage my mixed Kubernetes cluster and perform the image building right on top of it.

        Implementing this design has been a great learning experience, something IMHO worth to be shared with others. The journey has been too long to fit into a single blog post; I’ll split my story into multiple posts.

        Our journey begins with the challenge of building a container image from within a container.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 596: Self-Sovereign Identity – Evernym & Verifiable Credentials

        Self-sovereign identity, and the importance of verifiable credentials with Richard Esplin a product manager from the company Evernym. Historically we have expressed our identity through a piece of paper, driver’s license, and documents given by an authority but, now in the digital age, we have companies holding the credentials, like Facebook & Google. Richard Esplin, an open-source advocate, talks with Doc Searls and Shawn Powers about the importance of taking control of your identity. Richard Esplin works for Evernym, which is the world’s leading platform for verifiable credentials.

      • Fern Vim: It’s Been Fun Netrw, But I Have A Better File Tree

        I’ve been using Netrw since the day I stopped using Nerdtree and it’s been ok after dealing with a few hacky problems but it’s always been sort of lacking but recently I discovered another file explorer called fern vim and you know what it does everything that I could possibly want it to do plus it’s dead simple to extend.

      • Are Snaps Bad?

        How to Remove Snaps 02:47 Why are Snaps Bad

      • Unfettered Freedom, Ep. 7 – Nvidia Buys ARM, GNOME CoC, Linux Exploits, Free vs Proprietary

        Unfettered Freedom is a video podcast that focuses on news and topics about GNU/Linux, free software and open source software. On this freedom-packed episode:

      • Destination Linux 191: GNOME 3.38 & Our Must Have Linux Apps!

        The DL Triforce brings to your our Must Have Linux Apps, the applications and software we can’t live without. We discuss the latest big GNOME release with GNOME 3.38. In the Gaming section this week we reveal our new DLN Xonotic Server and show you a way to get some table-top gaming back in action on Linux. Later in the show we’ll give you our popular tips/tricks and software picks. Plus so much more, coming up right now on Destination Linux.

      • Neckbeards Get Shaved | Coder Radio 379

        Is it a Post-Open Source world now that the mega-clouds are here? We share our thoughts on this renewed idea.

        Plus, our reactions to Nvidia buying Arm, your feedback, and much more.

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #182

        Groovy Gorilla Is In Feature Freeze

        https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel-announce/2020-August/001279.html

        Ubuntu Beginning the Switch to NFTables in Groovy Gorilla

        https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-devel/2020-August/041142.html

        IP Fire 2.25 Core Update 148 Released with Location-based Firewall

        https://blog.ipfire.org/post/ipfire-2-25-core-update-148-released

        Lenovo to Ship Fedora on its Thinkpads

        Raspberry Pi OS 2020-08-20 Out

        https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspberry-pi-os/

        Q4OS 3.12, Centaurus Out

        https://q4os.org/blog.html

        Linux from Scratch and Beyond LFS 10 Out

        http://lists.linuxfromscratch.org/pipermail/lfs-support/2020-September/053845.html

        Linux Mint’s Warpinator via Flatpak Out

        https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.x.Warpinator

        SuperTuxKart 1.2 Out

        https://blog.supertuxkart.net/2020/08/supertuxkart-12-release.html

        Htop 3.0 Out

        https://groups.io/g/htop/topic/htop_3_0_0_released/76441967

        Credits:
        Ubuntu “Complete” sound: Canonical

    • Kernel Space

      • Microsoft: These patches aim to make Linux run as root partition on Hyper-V
      • Microsoft finally announces Azure Files support for NFS v4.1 protocol – MSPoweruser
      • Microsoft’s Latest Patches Could Allow Linux Distros To Runs As Root Partition On Hyper-V Allowing Direct Access To Hardware
      • Graphics Stack

        • X.Org Developers Conference 2020 Starts With Many Interesting Talks

          XDC2020 as the annual gathering of X.Org developers was due to take place in Poland this year but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused it to be yet another conference happening exclusively online. Day 1 of XDC2020 has just begun.

          XDC2020 is organized by Intel’s graphics engineering team in Gdansk, Poland. The virtual event is leveraging existing Linux Plumbers Conference infrastructure as well as YouTube for video streaming. Intel is the platinum sponsor of XDC2020 while Google and NVIDIA are the gold sponsors.

        • After Reaching Vulkan 1.0 Conformance, V3DV Raspberry Pi Vulkan To Pursue Mainline Mesa

          The V3DV driver for providing Vulkan support on the Raspberry Pi 4 is very close to Vulkan 1.0 conformance and once squaring that away along with other lingering bits they will be pursuing the upstreaming of this driver within Mesa.

          Upstreaming the V3DV driver in Mesa will be a huge help for those wanting to see this Vulkan driver readily available on the many Linux distributions shipping Raspberry Pi spins and sticking to just upstream/mainline code. V3DV is very close to Vulkan 1.0 conformance with Quake III Vulkan, vkOpenArena, Vulkan-powered emulators, and various demos now running well on the Raspberry Pi 4 with this driver developed by Igalia under cooperation with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Thus once upstream in 2021 we are looking at Linux distributions shipping this driver with their upstream Mesa.

        • XDC 2020 conference is today – Vulkan Ray Tracing and Vulkan for Raspberry Pi 4

          Today the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC 2020) begins and there’s a couple of interesting talks worth checking out, especially if you like to follow OpenGL and Vulkan. What is the event? The X.Org Developers Conference is the event for developers working on all things open graphics related including in the Linux kernel, Mesa, DRM, Wayland, X11 and so on.

          Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, it’s going to be quite a streamlined virtual event spread across three days from September 16 to September 18. There’s still going to be quite a few talks and lots of them sound really interesting.

        • NVIDIA GeForce NOW on Linux can run without user agent spoofing in a browser

          Looks like NVIDIA might be ready for the next push in cloud gaming with their GeForce NOW service, as it’s even easier to run it on Linux. What is it? GeForce NOW allows you to play games you already digitally own on other platforms, on whatever device you have available. It hooks in with Steam, EA / Origin, Epic Games and more.

          Back in August, NVIDIA officially opened it up to Chromebooks by letting people playing with it in the browser. For everyone else, it needed you to spoof your user agent string to act like it was a Chromebook. It was a small thing but still a minor nuisance. That now, appears to no longer be needed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Left 4 Dead 2 – The Last Stand releases September 24

        Left 4 Dead 2, the nearly 11 year old shooter from Valve now has a set release date of September 24 for the huge update made along with a community of modders.

        A collaborative effort from both Valve and over 30 different people from the community to improve on an already fantastic game. This update has been in progress for a long time now, and it will be available free to all owners of Left 4 Dead 2. Not only that, it will get a long free weekend when it goes live.

      • Beamdog just gave Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition a big graphical boost

        Beamdog have released the latest development updates to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition for everyone, and it comes with some wonderful upgrades.

        As we reported on before during the Beta, several noteworthy graphical boosts have been added to it. These can really change and improve the RPG experience found here. Beamdog are absolutely comitted to making it the best it can be, with this update being the biggest since the Enhanced Edition release back in 2018.

      • Gamescope Continues Advancing As Wayland/Vulkan Compositor Backed By Valve

        Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais just provided an update during XDC2020 on the Gamescope compositor work as an evolution of Valve’s prior “steamcompmgr” X11 window manager used by SteamOS.

        Pierre-Loup Griffais has been working on Gamescope for a number of months now as a Wayland-based, Vulkan-minded compositor for use in potential new SteamOS releases but it’s also beginning to work well for desktop use-cases. Gamescope is much more efficient than steamcompmgr thanks to Wayland efficiencies, aims to remove excess copies on present, and for any compositing it makes use of Vulkan async compute. Gamescope in part leverages the WLROOTS Wayland library. XWayland is supported by Gamescope for games lacking native Wayland support.

      • Slime Rancher hits 3 million copies sold, gets a big discount

        Slime Rancher is quite possibly one of the sweetest games around, and it’s clearly something a lot of people enjoy.

        It’s now another indie team success story too, as Monomi Park have announced that Slime Rancher has officially blown passed 3 million sales. A game about exploring, sucking up slimes with your ‘vacpack’ and selling their shiny poop for profit. That’s a slightly amusing way to explain it but it’s pretty accurate. You capture the slimes, put them into your nicely built fenced-off areas, feed them and wait for the shiny Plorts to pop out of them to collect.

      • Dicey Dungeons, the innovative and great fun deck-builder has a huge update out

        Modding also gets a big upgrade here too. While Dicey Dungeons already had a modding API, and plenty of mods available, the 1.9 update delivers “a massive number of features that modders have been requesting for a while”. This means future mods can do a lot more and hopefully be more compatible with each other. Some great mods were also pointed out like Floorplan to add more floor layouts and Pyromancer which adds a whole new character. Perhaps you want bigger though? There’s also Cauldron Mania which adds whole new episodes and equipment.

        Additionally, over 200 issues reported have been closed on the bug tracker so it should be better than ever. Some new content even made it in with 9 new remix rules for the Bonus Round episodes.

      • Everafter Falls looks like another absolutely charming casual crafting adventure

        Another game coming to Linux that mixes in cute graphics, a casual theme, plenty of crafting and something about eating cards? Everafter Falls looks like another absolutely charming casual crafting adventure.

      • Free to play strategy Epicinium releases October 12 with a climate change gameplay twist

        Fast turn-based strategy where the map changes along with the climate, Epicinium could be interesting with its fresh take on tactical battles.

        War, war never changes. Except when it does and the land around you is ruined. That’s what Epicinium will have a focus on when it releases free on October 12. The idea is that you need to be seriously careful to balance firepower against the enemy, and damage to the environment. There’s a ‘global warming’ system that will also include a multitude of different weather effects adding to gameplay depth and variety.

        [...]

        You win by being careful. Combat will destroy grass, crops, trees and so on. Building industry will accelerate the global warming system and more environmental destruction will happen as battles go on. Players get a score based on how much of nature is left at the end of the war. While it’s turn-based it does have a simultaneous turn system so no one should be left waiting around too.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • LabPlot 2.8 Released

          In 2.8 we made it easier to access many online resources that provide data sets for educational purposes. These data sets cover a variety of different areas, such as physics, statistics, medicine, etc., and are usually organized in collections.

        • Asus Vivobook – Kubuntu Bionic to Focal upgrade

          A year and a half ago, I was quite pleased with my Vivobook upgrade, and I thought it had been a sensible move. Plasma seemed to offer a good, pleasing work environment. Fast forward to now, my impression is less glamorous. The look & feel and performance are solid, but there are too many bugs and issues to make me feel happy or comfortable.

          This ties into how I’ve been feeling about the Linux desktop in general these past few years. At the end of the day, yes, my laptop works, and it’s got a stylish enough operating system with a plenty of goodies in there for casual and even advanced use. But then, why do I need to have this flicker thingie on a laptop with Intel graphics? It’s worked fabulously for seven odd years. Or why do I need to fret about Samba in 2020, when every other desktop environment – and certainly Windows – does streaming perfectly fine? I don’t know, maybe I should stop writing about Linux and just do pottery instead or something. Anyway, the upgrade worked, but the top layer shows cracks in the facade, the slow and steady decline of care, love, passion and fun in the Tuxy desktop. But will I keep the distro installed? Not sure really. Really not sure. The end.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • The GNOME Extensions Rebooted Initiative

          With the advent of the new release of GNOME 3.38 – we want to start focusing next cycle on improving the GNOME Extensions experience.

          I’m using my blog for now – but we will have a extensions blog where we can start chatting about what’s going on in this important space.

          [...]

          To appreciate and expand on the details of this project, you should check out the Extensions Rebooted Bof on the last GUADEC and my GUADEC talk.

          The Extensions Rebooted initiative’s ultimate goal is to get the extensions community to work with each other, have closer ties with GNOME shell developers and provide documentation and tools.

          Extension writers are encouraged to get involved and build this better experience. Consumers of extensions are requested to help spread the word and encourage extensions developers to participate so we can all benefit.

        • GNOME 3.38 ‘Orbis’ is out now to showcase a modern Linux desktop

          GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” just landed today, which brings in another 6 months of hacking away at all the tech behind the GNOME desktop for a fully modern Linux environment. The Orbis code-name is to recognise the team behind the GUADEC 2020 conference, which the GNOME team said “is only possible thanks to the hard work of many volunteers”.

        • GNOME 3.38 is Here With Customizable App Grid, Performance Improvements and Tons of Other Change

          GNOME 3.36 brought some much-needed improvements along with a major performance boost. Now, after 6 months, we’re finally here with GNOME 3.38 with a big set of changes.

          The app grid or the app menu will now be customizable as part of a big change in GNOME 3.38.

          Now, you can create folders by dragging application icons over each other and move them to/from folders and set it right back in the app grid. You can also just reposition the icons as you want in the app grid.

        • GNOME 3.38 ‘Orbis’ is here — the best Linux desktop environment gets better

          One of the best things about Linux-based desktop operating systems is having access to many wonderful desktop environments. While there are many great user interfaces available, only one can be the best. For many years now, GNOME has been the greatest DE, and that is still true today. What makes it so wonderful? Well, GNOME 3.x is ideal for productivity, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand. Not to mention, it is beautiful and simple — it provides a no-nonsense computing experience. There’s a reason both Ubuntu and Fedora use GNOME as their default environment.

          Today, the best Linux desktop environment gets even better. You see, GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” is finally here, and it is chock-full of improvements. For instance, the default web browser, called “Web,” now has improved privacy settings, including cross-site tracking. There is also a new app called “Tour” which introduces the user to GNOME features after installation. Retro gamers will be thrilled to learn that Nintendo 64 support has been added to the “Games” app. Orbis also provides support for varying refresh rates when using multiple monitors. Best of all, the developers have killed the “Frequent” and “All apps” views, replacing it with a single customizable grid with the ability to drag to reorder the icons.

        • New Features And Improvements In GNOME 3.38

          One of the most important changes in GNOME 3.38 is the elimination of the Frequent and All app views, which have been replaced with a single, more consistent apps view that allows the user to reorder the applications, and to optionally arrange them in folders…With this, the layout algorithm of the app grid was rewritten, with the number of rows and columns now being based on the monitor aspect ratio and the available space.

          GNOME developers say that even though the customizable app grid is a feature in itself, it’s also something that’s needed for future design changes. It remains to be sees what these design changes are.

        • GNOME 3.38 Released With Many New Features, Better Performance

          GNOME 3.38 has shipped as the newest half-year update to this desktop environment and will be featured in the upcoming Ubuntu 20.10, Fedora 33, and other autumn Linux distribution updates.

          GNOME 3.38 brings numerous performance optimizations, continued maturing of the Wayland session, a moderate overhaul to the GNOME Shell application overview area, systemd integration enhancements, various applications redesigned, better screencasting, new parental control capabilities, and much more.

        • GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Six months in the works, GNOME 3.38 “Orbis” is finally here and it’s packed with many goodies for fans of one of the most popular Linux desktop environments out there, used by default by numerous GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora Linux.

          Highlights of GNOME 3.38 include a new GNOME Tour app that acts as a first-run tour and greeter for newcomers to the GNOME desktop environment, as well as a highly customizable app grid that lets users created folders more easily using drag and drop, move apps between folders, and reorder apps inside the app grid.

        • GNOME 3.38 is here. This is What’s New

          The popular GNOME 3.38 desktop environment is here. In this post, we take a look at the top 10 new features of the GNOME 3.38 desktop environment, and updates that are going to change your desktop experience in the coming days.

        • GNOME 3.38 released

          Version 3.38 of the GNOME desktop environment is out.

        • Introducing GNOME 3.38: “Orbis”

          GNOME 3.38 is the latest version of GNOME 3, and is the result of 6 months’ hard work by the GNOME community. It contains major new features, as well as many smaller improvements and bug fixes. In total, the release incorporates 27896 changes, made by approximately 901 contributors.

          3.38 has been named “Orbis” in recognition of the team behind GUADEC 2020. GUADEC is GNOME’s annual conference, which is only possible thanks to the hard work of many volunteers. This year’s event was meant to be held in Zacatecas, Mexico, but had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very much looking forward to meeting in Mexico in the near future.

        • GNOME 3.38 Released with New App Grid Features, Fingerprint Login + More

          Six months of intense development, iteration, and ideation has been poured into making the latest release of GNOME the best release yet. In all it comprises a colossal 27,000+ commits from more than 900 contributors.

          What’s new? Our feature roundup spotlights the best new features in GNOME 3.38. A sizeable set of improvements are on offer, from a re-arrangeable app grid and fingerprint login, to a brand new Welcome Tour app to help educate new users on how the GNOME workflow flows.

        • Why the Next Version of GNOME Will Have a New Version Number

          Here’s a curve ball: GNOME developers have announced that the next major stable release of the desktop environment will come with a new version number.

          And no: I don’t mean GNOME 3.40 as you (and me) might’ve been expecting. The current the GNOME 3.38 release followed on from GNOME 3.36, that from 3.34, and so on going all the way back to 2011 and GNOME 3.0.

          But GNOME 40 will be the next stable release.

          Yes, GNOME 40.

          Since there’s a rather dramatic leap between GNOME 3.0 and GNOME 40 (37 if you’re keeping count) you might be wondering what’s going on and why.

          Enter the GNOME Foundation’s Emmanuele Bassi who, in a forum post to unveil the new versioning, explains the reasoning behind the leap: to simplify the ‘unwieldy’ numbering.

        • GNOME 40 Is the Next Major Release of the Linux Desktop, Coming March 2021

          GNOME 3 series is finally over! Now that the GNOME 3.38 release hit the streets, the development team unveiled earlier today that they are changing the versioning scheme and the development cycle of the next major release.

          Coming after GNOME 3.38, will be GNOME 40 (yes, Forty), due for release in March 2021, which will have a total of three milestones during its six-month development cycle: Alpha, Beta and RC (Release Candidate).

        • Succeeding GNOME 3.38 Will Be “GNOME 40″ – Yes, GNOME Forty

          Following today’s GNOME 3.38 release a new versioning scheme was announced whereby the next release in six months time will be GNOME 40.0.

          Not GNOME 4.0, but GNOME’s new versioning scheme is jumping next to GNOME 40.0. Stable point releases will go on as GNOME 40.1, 40.2, 40.3, etc.

        • Epiphany 3.38 and WebKitGTK 2.30

          It’s that time of year again: a new GNOME release, and with it, a new Epiphany. The pace of Epiphany development has increased significantly over the last few years thanks to an increase in the number of active contributors. Most notably, Jan-Michael Brummer has solved dozens of bugs and landed many new enhancements, Alexander Mikhaylenko has polished numerous rough edges throughout the browser, and Andrei Lisita has landed several significant improvements to various Epiphany dialogs. That doesn’t count the work that Igalia is doing to maintain WebKitGTK, the WPE graphics stack, and libsoup, all of which is essential to delivering quality Epiphany releases, nor the work of the GNOME localization teams to translate it to your native language. Even if Epiphany itself is only the topmost layer of this technology stack, having more developers working on Epiphany itself allows us to deliver increased polish throughout the user interface layer, and I’m pretty happy with the result. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Shotcut updated to 20.09.13

          Shotcut is a free and open-source cross-platform video editing application. Shotcut supports many video, audio, and image formats via FFmpeg and screen, webcam, and audio capture. It uses a timeline for non-linear video editing of multiple tracks that may be composed of various file formats. Scrubbing and transport control are assisted by OpenGL GPU-based processing and a number of video and audio filters are available.

        • Zoom updated to 5.2.458699.0906

          Zoom, the cloud meeting company, unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one easy-to-use platform. Our solution offers the best video, audio, and screen-sharing experience across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and H.323/SIP room systems.

        • Basilisk browser updated to 2020.09.11

          Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo Offers Up New Easy Kernel Options

          The three kernel packages now offered are sys-kernel/gentoo-kernel providing a Linux kernel with the Gentoo “genpatches” applied, sys-kernel/gentoo-kernel-bin as a prebuilt kernel binary of the gentoo-kernel, and sys-kernel/vanilla-kernel as an upstream kernel build without any extra patches. The hope is these new packages will make keeping the kernel up to date easier and a bit more streamlined.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 20 years of Linux on Big Iron

          Let’s take the way-back machine to March 1991. Back then Stewart Alsop, venture capitalist and one-time editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, predicted “the last mainframe will be unplugged on March 15, 1996.” In IBM’s last quarter, IBM Z mainframe led IBM’s systems revenue to $1.9 billion, a gain of 6% over the last quarter. Oh well, you can’t get them all right.

          So, what happened? Linux happened.

          At the time, this seemed a very unlikely marriage of software and hardware. Linux was the open-source software darling and the IBM mainframe was the proprietary hardware king. IBM leadership could see, long before other major companies would, that Linux was the future of operating systems.

        • IBM MQ on Raspberry Pi – our tastiest developer edition yet!

          The IBM MQ team is sometimes asked if MQ can only run on large enterprise systems, like a mainframe. The answer is always a resounding “yes!” IBM MQ supports a wide range of platforms, but to make life easier for developers, we have developer builds for Windows and Linux, a Mac client, our MQ on Cloud managed service, and an IBM MQ container image. (You can learn more about these developer platforms on our “Get started with IBM MQ” page.)

          Now, we’ve created a developer edition of IBM MQ for the smallest platform yet. Introducing… the IBM MQ Developer Edition for Raspberry Pi OS!

          The Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer about the size of a credit card that’s more than powerful enough to run MQ. They’re often used as part of DIY computing projects and as educational tools. For example, our MQ Developer Experience team used two $12 Raspberry Pi Zeros to run an image transfer demo to show system resilience to developers at several conference…

        • What are containers and why do you need them?

          Sadly, it is not all about ball bearings nowadays. It’s all about containers. If you’ve heard about containers, but not sure what they are, you’ve come to the right place.

          [...]

          The best analogy for understanding containers is a shipping container. That’s why the majority of all container articles and blogs, you see a photo of a shipping container – including this one. I’m sure you’ve seen the transport of those big steel shipping containers. (I’ve also seen some “off-the-grid-type” people using them to build houses and swimming pool.) The shipping industry standardized on a consistent size container. Now, the same container can move from a ship to a train to a truck without unloading the cargo. The container contents do not matter.

          Just like a shipping container, a software container is a standardized package of software. Everything needed for the software to run is inside the container. The software code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, settings are all inside a single container.

        • 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge Regional Finalists

          Today, I’m excited to announce the Regional Finalists for the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations. Through Call for Code, developers connect, learn, share their expertise, and build open source solutions that can scale around the world and be deployed in individual communities.

          After much deliberation, our judges have identified the top solutions from Asia Pacific, Europe, Greater China, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and North America. Congratulations to all these teams, and thank you all for your time, commitment, and ingenuity!

          The everyday effects of climate change and especially COVID-19 have revealed the limits of the systems we take for granted. That’s why Call for Code is focused on these two unprecedented challenges in 2020. Because these issues are experienced differently by local communities, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We learned this in the first two years of Call for Code, creating solutions to mitigate the effects of natural disasters. We need solutions that work on the local level but also have the ability to scale and help any community, anywhere. Now in our third global competition, we’ve seen thousands of solutions built using Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, IBM Blockchain, data from The Weather Company, and APIs from partners like HERE Technologies and InteliPeer.

        • IDC paper highlights the business value of Red Hat software certifications [Ed: Red Hat/IBM paying IDC again. They’re basically producing propaganda for money.]

          A recent IDC study1 sponsored by Red Hat revealed significant benefits for partners that certify their software as part of the Red Hat Partner Connect program, including greater return on investment, increased revenue and faster development lifecycles. In fact, the study showed that partners can see an average of 49% higher revenue for software products that have been certified by Red Hat.

        • Mainframe Open Education Project Launched | Open Mainframe Summit
        • Open Mainframe Project Launches 4 New Projects
        • At the Intersection of Mainframe and Open Source, Linux Foundation’s Open Mainframe Project Reports Record Growth
        • New name for ABRT?

          The project ABRT started in 2009. The initial name was CrashWatcher. Very quickly changed to CrashCatcher. But in one month, it got its final name ABRT. ABRT is the name of a POSIX signal and stems from the word abort.

          ABRT project was meant as a tool to ease the life of Red Hat Support. Unfortunately Red Hat Support never fully utilized and used ABRT (with some minor exceptions). I recently analyzed the use of ABRT, and its strength are for developers and DevOps. We can identify and helps to report bugs when new software or major release is released. Devops can leverage that we can identify crashes in their deployments and show it in a private instance of ABRT Analytics.

      • Debian Family

        • Steve Kemp: Implementing a FORTH-like language ..

          At the time I read that comment I’d just hacked up a simple FORTH REPL of my own, in Perl, and I said “thanks for posting”. I was recently reminded of this discussion, and decided to work through the process.

          Using only minimal outside resources the recipe worked as expected!

        • Salsa hosted 1e6 CI jobs

          Today, Salsa hosted it’s 1,000,000th CI job. The price for hitting the target goes to the Cloud team. The job itself was not that interesting, but it was successful.

        • Debian Local Groups at DebConf20 and beyond

          There are a number of large and very successful Debian Local Groups (Debian France, Debian Brazil and Debian Taiwan, just to name a few), but what can we do to help support upcoming local groups or help spark interest in more parts of the world?

          There has been a session about Debian Local Teams at Debconf20 and it generated generated quite a bit of constructive discussion in the live stream (recording available at https://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2020/DebConf20/), in the session’s Etherpad and in the IRC channel (#debian-localgroups). This article is an attempt at summarizing the key points that were raised during that discussion, as well as the plans for the future actions to support new or existent Debian Local Groups and the possibility of setting up a local group support team.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Taler operational at Bern University of Applied Sciences

            The GNU Taler payment system was launched at the BFH in the presence of a representative of the Swiss National Bank. Students, staff, faculty and visitors can visit the cafeteria at Höheweg 80 to withdraw the electronic equivalent of Swiss Franks (CHF) onto Taler Wallet App running on their mobile phones and pay at a Taler-enabled snack machine. The system is expected to expand to allow payments at other places in the future. Various faculty members and students are involved various aspects of the project. Students interested in working on projects or theses related to the subject should contact Prof. Grothoff.

      • Programming/Development

        • RcppSpdlog 0.0.1: New and Exciting Logging Package

          Very thrilled to announce a new package RcppSpdlog which is now on CRAN in its first release 0.0.1. We had tweeted once about the earliest version which had already caught the eyes of Gabi upstream.

          RcppSpdlog bundles spdlog, a wonderful header-only C++ logging library with all the bells and whistles you would want that was written by Gabi Melman, and also includes fmt by Victor Zverovic.

        • LZHAM + Crunch Now Placed Under The Public Domain

          Compression expert Rich Geldreich who previously worked for the likes of Valve and Unity prior to co-founding his own consulting firm has now made the Crunch and LZHAM technologies available under the public domain.

          LZHAM is a lossless data compression codec with a compression ratio comparable to LZMA but with 1.5~8x faster decompression. This LZ-based data compression codec performs excitingly well for decompression purposes. More details on LZHAM via this repository.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Python vs. JavaScript: Is It a Fair Comparison?

            When we talk about building a project with Python or JavaScript, we very rarely mean building every software component with one programming language.

          • Python Requests Library: Sending HTTP GET and POST requests using Python

            HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is the protocol of the world-wide-web. When you visit a webpage with your web browser, the browser is making a series of HTTP requests to web servers somewhere out on the Internet. Those servers will answer with HTTP responses.

            The Python Requests library makes it easy to write programs that send and receive HTTP. Instead of having to understand the HTTP protocol in great detail, you can just make very simple HTTP connections using Python objects, and then send and receive messages using the methods of those objects.

          • Sending email with attachments using Python built-in email module

            The email built-in Python module lets us easily construct email messages.

            We’ll start by using the email.message.EmailMessage class to create an email message.

          • Python: Check if Variable is a Number

            In this article, we’ll be going through a few examples of how to check if a variable is a number in Python.

            Python is dynamically typed.

          • Numbers in Python

            You don’t need to be a math whiz to program well. The truth is, few programmers need to know more than basic algebra. Of course, how much math you need to know depends on the application you’re working on. In general, the level of math required to be a programmer is lower than you might expect. Although math and computer programming aren’t as correlated as some people might believe, numbers are an integral part of any programming language, and Python is no exception.

          • Pandas Convert Column to datetime – object/string, integer, CSV & Excel

            In Pandas, you can convert a column (string/object or integer type) to datetime using the to_datetime() and astype() methods. Furthermore, you can also specify the data type (e.g., datetime) when reading your data from an external source, such as CSV or Excel.

            In this Pandas tutorial, we are going to learn how to convert a column, containing dates in string format, to datetime. First, we are going to have a look at converting objects (i.e., strings) to datetime using the to_datetime() method. One neat thing when working with to_datetime() is that we can work with the format parameter. That is, we will also have a look at how to get the correct format when converting. After that, we will go on and carry out this conversion task with the astype() method.

          • Faster gzip reading in Python

            In this essay I’ll describe how I improved chemfp’s gzip read performance by about 15% by replacing Python’s built-in gzip module with a ctypes interface to libz. If you need faster gzip read performance, you might consider using zcat or similar tool in a subprocess – if so, look at the xopen module.

            Gzip decompression overhead is enough that the 15% read speedup corresponds to a 5% overall speedup for chemfp’s sdf2fps tool.

            chemfp is a high-performance cheminformatics fingerprint similarity search package for Python. See its home page and documentation for details. Various licensing options are available, including the option to download a pre-compiled package that works on most Linux-based OSes so you test most of the features right now.

        • Rust

          • Rav1e 0.4 Alpha Released With Much Faster Performance For Rust AV1 Encoding

            After over a half year working on this new version, Rav1e 0.4 is on the way but first is the alpha milestone out today.

            Rav1e 0.4 Alpha delivers from a few percent to over 100% speed-up on x86-64 depending upon quality settings and more. The Arm 64-bit speed-ups are even more pronounced with the Rav1e 0.4 performance slated to offer at least a 50% speed-up at nearly all quality settings. The ARM speed-ups are coming thanks to writing more NEON Assembly.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 356
  • Leftovers

    • On the Death of My Brother

      My brother Panages (Pete) was eleven years older than me. By the time I was six, he left the village and our beautiful Greek island of Cephalonia for America. I knew he was my brother, but we did not have anything in common, not even memories of childhood. There were none. My older sisters used to tell me he was a trouble maker in high school. Once he drove a motorcycle into his class.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Empathy Saves Lives as Pandemic Makes Addiction More Dangerous

        In our new era of nearly unparalleled upheaval, as a pandemic ravages the bodies of some and the minds of nearly everyone, as the associated economic damage disposes of the livelihoods of many, and as even the promise of democracy fades, the people whose lives were already on a razor’s edge — who were vulnerable and isolated before the advent of Covid-19 — are in far greater danger than ever before.

      • ‘American Carnage’ Unveiled

        It doesn’t seem to sink in that this country’s so-called president withheld deadly serious information from the American people about such a life-altering, once-in-a-century coronavirus that it could kill them. It was his biggest lie yet.

      • The Difference Between the U.S. and China’s Response to COVID-19 is Staggering

        In Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, he reports on interviews he did in February and March with U.S. President Donald Trump about the coronavirus. Trump admitted that the virus was virulent, but he decided to underplay its danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” Trump said, “because I don’t want to create a panic.” Despite months of warnings from the Chinese authorities, Trump and his health secretary Alex Azar completely failed to prepare for the global pandemic.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Opera 71 Released with Tab & History Searching Improvements

          Opera web browser 71 was released one day ago. The new version features more options for tab searching and history searching, custom shortcuts for Messengers & Workspaces.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (libssh, python35, and xen), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (librepo and mysql:8.0), SUSE (perl-DBI), and Ubuntu (Apache Log4j, Apache XML-RPC, bsdiff, libdbi-perl, luajit, milkytracker, OpenJPEG, ruby-loofah, and ruby-websocket-extensions).

          • SSH Attack Vector: Dormant & Forgotten Keys

            SSH keys are everywhere. However, despite their widespread use and high-privilege access, they’re often overlooked by IT and security teams. Meanwhile, malicious actors seek to exploit unmanaged and unprotected keys to perform SSH attacks and spread through networks undetected.

            In this blog, we’ll discuss the underlying problem of SSH key sprawl and how to prevent emerging SSH attacks, such as FritzFrog and Lemon_Duck, by implementing proper key management and security practices.

          • Optional L1d Flushing On Context Switching Looks Like It Will Try Again For Linux 5.10

            The feature to provide opt-in flushing of the L1 data cache on each context switch looks like it will be coming with the Linux 5.10 cycle for this functionality providing security benefits but at the cost of further performance degradation.

            Earlier this year an Amazon engineer proposed the L1d flushing on context switching in the name of security due to vulnerabilities like MDS. Linux 5.8 was going to add this optional feature but was quickly reverted as Linux creator Linus Torvalds found it to beyond stupid, the software fallback not necessarily working, and the performance implications.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • It’s Time to Repeal the President’s License for Endless War

        Congress must rein in our government’s ability to do harm in the world.

      • Breonna Taylor’s Family to Receive $12 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

        The City of Louisville, Kentucky, and the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was shot five times by police in her sleep earlier this year, have reached a settlement regarding a wrongful death lawsuit.

      • America’s War on Terror is the True Cause of Europe’s Refugee Crisis

        Syria surpassed Afghanistan in 2013 as the country in the world producing the most refugees. As violence and economic collapse continue, the number of Syrians forced to flee their homes is likely to go up rather than down. One feature the eight post-9/11 wars have in common is that none of them have ended, despite years of inconclusive fighting. This is why the numbers displaced is so much higher than in extremely violent but far shorter conflicts in the 20th century. The endless nature of these present-day conflicts has come to seem to be part of the natural order of things, but this is absolutely not the case.

      • Power Politics and Imperial Gambles

        In grand power politics, there are only national interests, not friendships. This is a point often missed on Australia’s dedicated Americanophiles. Faith is put in such untestable propositions as extended nuclear deterrence. Faith is also unqualified. Foreign conflicts with US forces are bound to see the company, albeit small, of Australian contingents.

      • US Marine Corps: Semper Fi, But Why?

        Seventy years ago today, September 15, 1950, the U.S. Marine Corps won one of its greatest battles, landing at Inchon on the Korean coast, collapsing the North Korean lines, and enabling U.S. forces to regain the capital of Seoul, South Korea.  General Douglas MacArthur conducted the operation over the objections of the Joint Chiefs, who feared that the operation would fail and that there were no reserves to take the place of the Marines who would be lost.

      • American Imperialism and the Murder of Jennifer Laude
      • Jordan returns refugees to desolate Syrian border camp, rights groups cry foul

        The Jordanian authorities have over the past few months deported dozens of Syrian refugees to a desolate camp on the Syria-Jordan border, despite deteriorating conditions and accusations from rights groups that the returns are a breach of international law.

        Jordan has been sending refugees back to Syria for years, but this is the first time it has been accused of forcible transfers to the desert no man’s land, known as Rukban.

        “People with security issues or other problems [in Jordan] have been deported” to Rukban, starting in July, a member of the camp’s administrative council told The New Humanitarian by phone, requesting anonymity out of fear for his safety.

        The source could not provide the exact number, but Mahmoud al-Hmeili, a spokesperson for one of the councils that help govern the settlement, told TNH that 39 people had been sent to Rukban from inside Jordan in the past two and a half months. Most had not remained for long, opting instead to travel on into Syria, al-Hmeili said.

        In a statement issued on Tuesday, Amnesty International said at least 16 Syrian refugees had been “forcibly transferred” to Rukban on 10 August alone.

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Kenyon College Students Are Organizing the First Campus-Wide Undergraduate Union

        On August 31, students at Kenyon College, a private liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio, announced their intent to unionize with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) in an open letter to the school’s president and board of trustees. Students have requested voluntary recognition through a card-check neutrality agreement with the school’s administration. If successful, the Kenyon Student Worker Organizing Committee (K‑SWOC) will become the first union to organize its entire undergraduate workforce, which will include all 800 student worker positions available on campus.

      • Groundbreaking Study Shows ‘Deep Listening’ Over 100 Times More Effective in Winning Undecided Voters Away From Trump

        Research shows “respectful, non-judgmental conversations are able to move voters where many other tactics have failed, producing meaningful increases in Biden’s vote margin.”

      • God, Guns, Bats, and Patriotism

        I live in Portland, Oregon, where presently the state is suffering from the worst wildfires in its history. Eventually, these wildfires will be called what they really are: “Climate Fires.” 500,000 Oregonians are on alert to evacuate. Whole towns have been completely destroyed.

      • Readers React | Should humanitarian aid always be neutral?

        We recently published a commentary by the former policy chief at the International Committee of the Red Cross, academic and ethicist Hugo Slim, arguing that you don’t have to be neutral to be a good humanitarian.

        As part of our series on #RethinkingHumanitarianism, his opinion challenged one of the four principles long considered sacrosanct in the emergency response sector: Humanitarian aid workers must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious, or ideological nature.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘It Is Past Time for Action’: Ahead of Senate Antitrust Hearing, Groups Demand AGs Sue Google to End Monopoly Abuses

        “Such an action would be the most significant act of antitrust enforcement since U.S. v. Microsoft was filed over 20 years ago.”

      • Patents

        • Jumping the patent exam queue in the Philippines

          But what if the applicant eagerly needs the patent application to be granted faster? For example, the applicant wants to take action against a potential infringer but cannot commence for the sole reason that the application is still pending. In such circumstances, applicants can accelerate the examination of the application with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

          There are two recommended ways to accelerate examinations with the IPOPHL: (1) file a request for accelerated examination under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme; or (2) file a request for accelerated examination under the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) programme.

        • Online Trade Mark Filing System Introduced in Ethiopia

          The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office (EIPO), in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has adopted an online trade mark filing system. The development was borne of an agreement between EIPO and WIPO to modernise the IP system in Ethiopia.

          The new system is expected to change the culture of doing business and obtaining trade mark registrations in Ethiopia. There will be less reliance on hard copy records; therefore, the efficiency of EIPO is likely to improve overall.

          The online system facilitates the filing of applications for the registration of trade marks. However, the prescribed fees and original supporting documents, such as legalised Powers of Attorney, which are still required, will need to be presented at the Registry by an agent once the online application has been reviewed and approved by an examining officer.

        • Mylan and Development Partner, Synthon, Win Significant European Patent Office Ruling Related to Copaxone® 40mg/mL

          Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) today announced that the Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has held that Yeda Research and Development Company, Ltd.’s European Patent no. 2 949 335 related to Teva’s Copaxone® 40 mg/mL three times weekly product is invalid and revoked across Europe.

          With the EPO’s decision, Mylan has once again overcome Teva’s attempts to restrict MS patients’ access to safe and affordable alternatives. Over the course of the last eleven years, Mylan has successfully defeated Teva’s four waves of U.S. patent litigation, eight Citizen Petitions, injunction proceedings in India, and more than 15 regulatory challenges, patent litigations or commercial actions across Europe. The EPO’s positive ruling will allow Mylan to immediately return to the market and accelerate commercialization in other markets across Europe.

        • Software Patents

          • $1,000 Awarded for Landmark Technology prior art

            Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Ekta Aswal, who received a cash prize of $1,000 for prior art submitted for U.S. Patent 7,010,508. The ’508 patent is owned by and asserted by Landmark Technology, LLC, and specifically relates to a means for screening loan applications, but has been broadly asserted against a variety of products and services using e-commerce systems.

            To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

          • $2,500 for CDN Innovations prior art

            On September 16, 2020, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,500 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 13 of U.S. Patent 6,311,180, using the preamble as a limitation. The ’180 patent is owned by CDN Innovations, LLC, an entity of IP Investments Group and an NPE, and generally relates to a method that allows documents to be viewed on a plurality of devices according to the preferences of the user.

            The ‘180 patent is currently being asserted against Grande Communications Networks, LLC. View CDN Innovations’s district court litigation.

          • The Public-Private Role of Federal Reserve Banks

            Bill Bozeman’s patents cover what he calls “Universal Positive Pay” for fraud detection and check clearing. Back in 2017, the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (but not the Board) sued Bozeman seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement. The banks then also filed for Covered Business Method (CBM) review of the patents at the USPTO. The PTO instituted review and concluded that the claims were ineligible under Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014). In its decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed and also held that the banks are “persons” under the statute because they “are distinct from the government for purposes of the AIA.”

            [...]

            This case is not huge for the patent system — although there are hundreds of federally-created entities that might be “people.” In addition, the CBM program has sunset and is unlikely to be revived.

            The case is still a big deal as our country discusses the role of socialist governmental policies providing a safety net for Americans. The US system is already ripe with “private” entities designed to serve a public good: Federal Reserve banking system; Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; Highly regulated utilities (that are given the power of eminent domain); etc. For over 100 years, this approach has been a form of back-door socialism that becomes palatable because of paperwork showing a separation from government. This case would shine some interesting light on the field with the simple question — Are the Federal Reserve Banks part of the U.S. Government?

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