09.21.20

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

Posted in News Roundup at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux/UNIX

    • Solaris

      • Oracle Solaris: Update to the Continuous Delivery Model

        The Oracle Solaris 11 Operating System (OS) is synonymous with three words: consistent, reliable and secure. With Oracle Solaris OS being designed to deliver a consistent platform to run your enterprise applications, Oracle Solaris has become the most trusted solution for running both modern and legacy applications on the newest system hardware while providing the latest innovations. Oracle Solaris combines the power of industry standard security features, unique security and anti-malware capabilities, and compliance management tools for low risk application deployments and cloud infrastructure. In its most recent avatar, Oracle Solaris 11.4 has already provided our customers with the latest features and observability tools and the list of new features in build grows with every SRU release.

      • Oracle To Stick With Solaris “11.4″ For Continuous Delivery SRU Releases

        With no new indications of Solaris 12 or Solaris 11.next and given the past layoffs and previous announcements from Oracle, today’s statement that Solaris 11.4 will remain as their continuous delivery model with monthly SRU releases come as little surprise.

        Tanmay Dhuri who has been at Oracle since April as the Solaris product manager wrote today on the Oracle Solaris blog about their continuous delivery model. Basically it’s reiterating that Solaris 11.4 will be sticking to a continuous delivery model moving forward. This comes after Solaris 11.4 turning two years old and seeing monthly SRU releases during that time. These monthly releases are designed to offer up timely security fixes and other mostly small updates to Oracle Solaris.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • GNU World Order 372

        History of containers, and a look back at this past weekend’s Open Jam game jam.

      • LHS Episode #368: Remote Operation Deep Dive

        Welcome to the 368th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this deep dive episode, the hosts discuss several ways to operate your station from a remote location or unattended when necessary and legal to do so. The options include remote desktop operation, network audio forwarding, hardware to physically separate your radio from your head unit via network and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you find this episode entertaining and educational.

    • Kernel Space

      • Jonathan McDowell: Mainline Linux on the MikroTik RB3011

        I upgraded my home internet connection to fibre (FTTP) last October. I’m still on an 80M/20M service, so it’s no faster than my old VDSL FTTC connection was, and as a result for a long time I continued to use my HomeHub 5A running OpenWRT. However the FTTP ONT meant I was using up an additional ethernet port on the router, and I was already short, so I ended up with a GigE switch in use as well. Also my wifi is handled by a UniFi, which takes its power via Power-over-Ethernet. That mean I had a router, a switch and a PoE injector all in close proximity. I wanted to reduce the number of devices, and ideally upgrade to something that could scale once I decide to upgrade my FTTP service speed.

      • Which file systems support file cloning

        OpenZFS isn’t part of the Linux kernel because of licensing issues, and that is unlikely to change. OpenZFS doesn’t support any of the relevant Linux syscalls for cloning files or blocks. It doesn’t offer a replacement for these syscalls on FreeBSD or Linux. (This is why there are no out-of-band deduplication tools for OpenZFS.)

        Bcachefs isn’t in the kernel yet either, but it’s developed under a Linux-kernel compatible license with the ultimate goal of being merged into the kernel. It supports all the relevant Linux-specific syscalls for file cloning.

        Over the last three years, Apple has switched all of its products to its new CoW-based Apple File System (APFS). Microsoft has decided to go in the opposite direction, and removed its copy-on-write file system, ReFS, from Windows 10 Professional in 2017. ReFS is now only available on Workstation and Server editions. ReFS was not suitable for use on Windows desktops anyway. This does leave Windows as the only computer operating system without a CoW file system.

        I find file cloning fascinating, and I’ll explore several potential use cases for it in the coming weeks. Next up will be how you can identify a cloned file. Something that is surprisingly difficult because the file system doesn’t keep track of it.

      • Intel Platform Monitoring Telemetry Appears Destined For Linux 5.10

        As first outlined earlier this year, Intel has been working on the Linux support for Platform Monitoring Technology as a new hardware telemetry feature first introduced with new Tigerlake hardware. It’s looking like the initial Intel PMT support will come with Linux 5.10 while further work is being prepared that builds off its foundation.

      • Announcing updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM

        Oracle is pleased to announce updated Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM and Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager.

        Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images. Use of Oracle Linux Templates eliminates the installation and configuration costs, and reduces the ongoing maintenance costs helping organizations achieve faster time to market and lower cost of operations.

        [...]

        New Oracle Linux Templates for Oracle Linux KVM and Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager supply powerful automation. These templates are built on cloud-init, the same technology used today on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and includes improvements and regression fixes.

      • POWER Coregroup Support Coming With Linux 5.10

        There is some new feature code in the IBM POWER CPU architecture’s “-next” Git tree for the Linux 5.10 kernel.

        Queued up this past week is coregroup support for POWER processors on Linux. This includes a cleanup of the PowerPC topologies code and adding the Coregroup support, which in this context is about a group/subset of cores on a die that share a resource.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Dynamism

          In Vulkan, a pipeline object is bound to the graphics pipeline for a given command buffer when a draw is about to take place. This pipeline object contains information about the draw state, and any time that state changes, a different pipeline object must be created/bound.

          This is expensive.

          Some time ago, Antonio Caggiano did some work to cache pipeline objects, which lets zink reuse them once they’re created. This was great, because creating Vulkan objects is very costly, and we want to always be reusing objects whenever possible.

          Unfortunately, the core Vulkan spec has the number of viewports and scissor regions as both being part of the pipeline state, which means any time either one changes the number of regions (though both viewport and scissor region counts are the same for our purposes), we need a new pipeline.

    • Benchmarks

      • Open-Source Vivante Driver In Some Cases Outperforming Proprietary Driver

        One of the less talked about open-source graphics drivers talked about is Etnaviv as the reverse-engineered, community-based driver providing OpenGL/GLES support for Vivante graphics IP. While it’s still working towards OpenGL ES 3.0 compliance, its performance is currently in some cases competitive — and even outperforming — the Vivante proprietary driver.

        Christian Gmeiner who has been involved with the Etnaviv driver effort for years presented at last week’s X.Org Developers Conference (XDC2020). There he talked about the progress on the driver, the support spanning from the GC600 through GC7000L series at present with i.MX8M, and its OpenGL ES 2 capabilities along with desktop OpenGL 1.3/2.0 support. OpenGL ES 3.0 support remains a work-in-progress.

      • New OpenBenchmarking.org Features Enhance Discovering Popular + Reliable Tests

        As part of the new OpenBenchmarking.org being developed as part of Phoronix Test Suite 10.0 due out next quarter, some new features were deployed live on OpenBenchmarking.org this weekend.

    • Applications

      • Free Linux Cloud Servers to Test or Host Your Web Applications

        Looking for free cloud Linux server to test your web-app or service? Here are the best cloud servers with free credits options.

      • 11 Best Free and Open Source Linux Video Editors

        Video editing is the process of editing motion video footage. In the new age of personal video, video editing is becoming a central function of the desktop, with the popularity of video editing software ever increasing.

        Any self-respecting operating system that has ambitions on becoming the dominant force on the desktop therefore needs to have a good selection of video editing software. Video sharing websites such as YouTube are now enormously popular with hundreds of thousands of new videos uploaded every day.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Unity 2020.2 Bringing Some Hefty Performance Optimizations [Ed: Microsoft Mono unfortunately]

        Not only did Unity Software experience a successful IPO last week but they also rolled out the Unity 2020.2 engine into public beta and with that comes some “major speed-ups” for performance.

      • Super Slap Sisters [Ed: Requires WINE]

        These are some great additions that allow for an even wider variety of playstyles, keeping your opponent guessing as to when the best time to strike is. For example, not only can the clutch be used during an attack to throw your opponent off, it can also be a lifesaver just as you’re about to reach the blastzone (knockout boundaries) after getting hit. The clutch will reverse your momentum, meaning that the sooner you perform the clutch after flying, the closer you’ll get to the stage and therefore have a more successful recovery.

        Players who are new to this type of fighting will not be left in the dark here, as there is a great tutorial mode. The tutorial is very interactive with the player, giving them everything they need to get a basic grasp on how the game works. You can also read about the various mechanics that are available in-game, what they do, and how to do it, as well as get a bio on each character and what their moves entail.

      • Go on an epic quest as a not-so-average clown trying to find their dog in Ayo the Clown

        Ayo the Clown is an upcoming adventure platformer from developer Cloud M1, it should be releasing this year and it looks so full of charm it could pop like a balloon at any moment.

        Funded on Kickstarter back in September 2019 with 475 backers pledging $20,397 we totally missed this, it even had a Linux demo back then too. Cloud M1 said their take on the busy platformer genre is one that’s supposed to “reintroduce you to the incredibly fun platformer games of the ‘90s where platforming is accompanied by an inspiring and memorable story”. It has a pretty amazing style, one you can easily say is quite Nintendo-like.

      • Valve rolls out News Channels onto Steam to follow your favourite curators – like us!

        Over time Steam continues to grow as much more than just a games store, and Valve are showing how today with their next Steam Labs experiment to let you get your news.

        Steam Labs Experiment 009 announced here is an addition to the News Hub, which is now hooked up with the Steam Curator system. Valve said it’s now nearing completion and it’s a big stop towards the full launch. This will presumably replace the old Steam news feed.

      • First person dungeon-crawler ‘Delver’ properly open source again, pulls in lots of updates

        After only recently being released on itch.io, it seems the team behind the chunky-pixel first-person dungeon crawler Delver aren’t done.

        What actually is Delver? It’s a dungeon crawler that has a sweet mix of 90s FPS combat blended with classic RPG mechanics, permadeath and procedural generation so it’s a good test of skill and something fun to keep coming back to for just one more run. It also looks pretty darn awesome.

      • Explore a nightmarish world of twisted religion in Blasphemous – now available for Linux

        The Game Kitchen and Team17 have now delivered on their promise of official Linux (and macOS) support for Blasphemous as it’s now available.

        Set in a world where a foul curse has fallen upon the land simply known as The Miracle, which visibly and tangibly manifests peoples “guilt, repentance, mourning and every pain of the soul of all kind”. You play as The Penitent One, sole survivor of a massacre known as the Silent Sorrow. Trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth, it’s down to you to free the world from this terrible fate and reach the origin of your anguish. It sounds quite horrible but it sure does make for an engrossing setting.

      • A little hacking on a Monday morning? Why not with the online sim Grey Hack

        Feel like letting off some steam and do a little hacking? How about in a safe environment that also happens to be a game where everyone is trying to do it? Grey Hack sounds amusing.

        Grey Hack is not a new game, it actually released on Steam in Early Access back in 2017. Similar in idea to another game called hackmud, except that Grey Hack is constantly updated with new features and expands what you can do.

      • Arachnowopunk is a single-button infinite-runner mini-metroidvania

        Benny Heller, developer of Arachnowopunk emailed in to show off their new single-button infinite-runner mini-metroidvania and it’s quite sweet.

        Developed partly on Ubuntu with the wonderful cross-platform HaxeFlixel, it’s an incredibly accessible and simple game on the surface. You just have to keep going, tapping the up arrow key to switch between platforms and keep on running. Mechanically simple, with smooth pixel-art but the game certainly isn’t simple to actually play. It will require your full attention to get through.

      • Bevy seems like an impressive upcoming free and open source game engine made with Rust

        Feeling a little rusty? After a new game engine for your next game development project? Have a look at Bevy, a cross-platform and open source data-driven game engine built in Rust.

        [...]

        Just recently on September 19, 2020 it had a big new release too. Bevy 0.2 brings in some advanced new features, like a custom async-friendly task system which they showed some impressive CPU performance wins. It also adds in some early work towards Bevy running on the web using WebAssembly/WASM, with an example game (try it here). On top of that it adds in cross-platform support for most controllers with with GilRs game in put library and plenty more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Running PlasmaShell with Vulkan

          QtQuick, in slightly more words, is a scene graph implementation. At a developer level we create abstract “Items” which might be some text or a rectangle etc or a picture. This in turn gets transformed into a tree of nodes with geometry, “materials” and transforms. In turn this gets translated into a big long stream of OpenGL instructions which we send to the graphic card.

          Qt6 will see this officially change to sit on top of the “Render Hardware Interface” stack, that instead of always producing OpenGL, will support Vulkan, Metal and Direct3D natively. The super clever part about it is that custom shaders (low level fast drawing) are also abstracted; meaning we will write some GLSL and generate the relevant shader for each API without having to duplicate the work.

        • Experiments Are Underway With Vulkan Powering The KDE Plasma Shell

          Well known KDE developer David Edmundson has been experimenting with a Vulkan-powered KDE Plasma Shell and did manage to get things working with Qt 5.15 using a few modifications.

          Given that Qt 5.15 has a tech preview of the new Render Hardware Interface (RHI) with Vulkan support for Qt Quick, Edmundson was experimenting with getting Vulkan rendering the Plasma shell. With a few Plasma changes, the necessary development packages for Vulkan, and some tweaks to the environment variables, he was able to get a working Vulkan-powered Plasma shell.

        • Plasma Beta Review Day

          Plasma 5.20 is now in beta, which gives us one month of intense testing, bugfixing and polishing.

          During this time we need as many hands on deck as possible to help with finding regressions, triaging incoming reports and generally being on top of as much as possible.

          In order to make this process more accessible, more systematic and hopefully more fun we are going to run an official “Plasma Beta Review Day”

        • KDE’s Akademy 2020 – A Quick Summary

          Akademy is the yearly conference for the KDE community, which is a community devoted to creating free software for desktop and mobile. Typically, Akademy takes place in a different city each year. However, due to the pandemic, the conference was online this time around. September 4-11 marked the dates of Akademy 2020.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Give Your GNOME Desktop a Tiling Makeover With Material Shell GNOME Extension

          There is something about tiling windows that attracts many people. Perhaps it looks good or perhaps it is time-saving if you are a fan of keyboard shortcuts in Linux. Or maybe it’s the challenge of using the uncommon tiling windows.

          From i3 to Sway, there are so many tiling window managers available for Linux desktop. Configuring a tiling window manager itself requires a steep learning curve.

          This is why projects like Regolith desktop exist to give you preconfigured tiling desktop so that you can get started with tiling windows with less effort.

          Let me introduce you to a similar project named Material Shell that makes using tiling feature even easier than Regolith.

        • GNOME Gets New Versioning Scheme
    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Firefox updated to 81.0

          Mozilla Firefox, or simply Firefox, is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. Firefox uses the Gecko layout engine to render web pages, which implements current and anticipated web standards.

        • FreeFileSync updated to 11.1

          FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool.

        • Bitwarden updated to 1.22.1

          Bitwarden is an open source, cross platform password manager that sync passwords but also allows accessing passwords offline.

        • gThumb updated to 3.10.1

          gThumb lets you browse your hard disk, showing you thumbnails of image files. It also lets you view single files (including GIF animations), add comments to images, organize images in catalogs, print images, view slideshows, set your desktop background, and more.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • PHP extensions status with upcoming PHP 8.0

          With PHP 8.0 entering stabilization phase, time to check the status of most commonly used PHP extensions (at least, the ones available in my repository).

        • Red Hat Training delivers new courses for OpenShift developers and administrators

          Red Hat OpenShift includes what you need to meet your team’s objectives by enabling a high velocity DevOps pipeline, leading to faster, dynamic application deployments. It includes an enterprise-grade Linux operating system, container runtime, networking, monitoring, container registry, authentication, and authorization solutions. These components are tested together for unified operations on a complete Kubernetes platform spanning major public clouds.

          While the promise of container-based architecture is compelling, the road to container adoption can be complex. To gain the full benefit of containers, administrators and developers alike need a flexible program that delivers a modern, container-based infrastructure—with the necessary organizational process changes. With our new courses Red Hat is able to better facilitate your organization’s container adoption journey at both the administrative and developer level.

        • A recipe for presenting at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women – Ideas, dedication and a dash of energy

          One professional milestone for developers as they get more experience is to present at a major technical conference. To evolve from passionate conference attendee to conference session presenter is a huge step that not only requires technical chops, but also important soft skills like public presentation, writing, and communications. We sat down with two mid-career developers, Megan Kostick and Cindy Lu as they were preparing for the upcoming, Grace Hopper Celebration in the fall of 2020. Here’s a quick peek into the whats, whys, hows and lessons learned in presenting at a major technical conference!

          [...]

          Megan: IBM recently launched Developer Advocacy as its own career path and being part of the Developer Advocacy organization here at IBM, Cindy and I thought we could bring some light to this emerging role and give individuals of all technical levels a chance to learn about another career option that may not have been on their radar screen. GHC is traditionally a very big networking and hiring event for college students and just maybe our talk will get some future new hires interested in pursuing developer advocacy as a potential career. Or influence mid-level to senior-level developers that would like a change of pace. It’s always fun to share insider tips as well to help others be successful and grow.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Years of OpenStack – SeongSoo Cho at NHN / OpenStack Korea User Group

        Happy 10 years of OpenStack! Millions of cores, 100,000 community members, 10 years of you.

        Storytelling is one of the most powerful means to influence, teach, and inspire the people around us. To celebrate OpenStack’s 10th anniversary, we are spotlighting stories from the individuals in various roles from the community who have helped to make OpenStack and the global Open Infrastructure community successful.

      • CMS

        • Developing a WordPress Website Without Programming Knowledge

          WordPress is the solution to those who want to create websites but have minimal programming and coding experience. If you’ve heard that expression multiple times, why not check it out at least once? You don’t need to worry about your programming skills, since this powerful Content Management System (CMS) can be easily used by a layman to create stunning websites. However, you will need to understand the way WordPress functions as there are two WordPress versions that you can work with, and all that can be a bit confusing. In this article, we shall look at WordPress from a beginner or a novice’s perspective and determine whether it’s truly easy to learn. Let’s get started.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 10 Natural Language Processing Tools For Today’s Demand
        • Python

          • Teach Python with the Mu editor

            Teaching kids to code is very popular in schools. Many years ago, in the days of the Apple II and Logo programming, I learned about turtle graphics. I enjoyed learning how to program the virtual turtle and later helping students to do the same.

            About five years ago, I learned about Python’s turtle module, and it was the segue to my Python journey. Soon, I started using the turtle module to teach students Python programming basics, including using it to create interesting graphics.

            [...]

            In the early days of my Python adventure, I used IDLE, Python’s integrated development environment. It was much easier than entering commands into the Python shell, plus I could write and save programs for later use. I took some online courses and read many excellent books about Python programming. I taught teachers and students how to create turtle graphics using IDLE.

          • Use this Python script to simulate Babbage’s Difference Engine

            Charles Babbage (1791–1871) was an avid mathematician with very wide interests. He is well-known for envisioning the idea of computers and single-handedly developed what he called a Difference Engine to make serial calculations. It was a mechanical machine with a series of axles and gears to make calculations, with the output being a printed table. I recently began reading his 1864 book, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, where he explains how the Difference Engines came to be.

            One of the problems his Engine was designed to solve relates to the idea of children playing with marbles and arranging them in a progressive pyramidal shape, with one marble in the top row, two in the second, three in the third, and so on. For small pyramids, you can simply count the marbles to find how many there are. But Babbage wanted to create an automatic list or table with one column showing the number of rows and another column showing the total number of marbles.

          • TDD in Python with pytest – Part 5

            This is the fifth and last post in the series “TDD in Python with pytest” where I develop a simple project following a strict TDD methodology. The posts come from my book Clean Architectures in Python and have been reviewed to get rid of some bad naming choices of the version published in the book.

          • PyDev of the Week: Jim Anderson

            This week we welcome Jim Anderson (@jimande75053775) as our PyDev of the Week! Jim is a contributing writer for Real Python.

            [...]

            I love to snowboard in the winter and I’m an avid bike commuter, though I’ll admit that sounds more impressive than it is – I only live 3 miles from work! I’ve got two grade-school aged daughters and a lovely wife, all of whom ski and give me grief for snowboarding.

            I’ve been lucky enough to get to program for a living since I was a kid, mainly on low-level and embedded software, with a couple of brief turns doing enterprise-level band-end code.

          • Test and Code: 131: Test Smarter, Not Harder

            Some people avoid writing tests. Some drudge through it painfully.
            There is a better way.

          • Replace Occurrences of a Substring in String with Python

            Replacing all or n occurrences of a substring in a given string is a fairly common problem of string manipulation and text processing in general. Luckily, most of these tasks are made easy in Python by its vast array of built-in functions, including this one.

          • PB Python Article Roadmap

            September 17th is Practical Business Python’s anniversary. Last year, I reflected on 5 years of growth. This year, I wanted to take a step back and develop a guide to guide readers through the content on PB Python.

            As of this writing, I have 84 articles on the site. They vary from fairly complex and lengthy to quick summaries. When I wrote them, I did it based on my interests at the time and without much thought on progression. Now that I have a decent volume of articles, I want to organize them in a more meaningful way.

            My ultimate goal for this site is that I want it to be a resource to help people use Python to automate away many of the repetitive tasks they do on a daily basis with tools like Excel. A secondary goal for is to cover more advanced Python topics that are difficult to do in Excel.

          • Python Practice Problems: Get Ready for Your Next Interview

            Are you a Python developer brushing up on your skills before an interview? If so, then this tutorial will usher you through a series of Python practice problems meant to simulate common coding test scenarios. After you develop your own solutions, you’ll walk through the Real Python team’s answers so you can optimize your code, impress your interviewer, and land your dream job!

          • Learn to Code Free — Our Interactive Courses Are ALL Free This Week!

            Exciting news: for the next week, all courses are free. Yup, every single course in every learning path is free from Sept 21-28.

            This free week includes all of our courses in R, Python, SQL, machine learning, Git, the command line, and much more!

            Even more exciting: complete at least one mission during this week and you’ll unlock an additional prize: a downloadable data science career resources pack sent to your email!

            Now, it’s easier than ever to go from total beginner to job-qualified using Dataquest. The paywall is down!

          • Molfile “S SKP”

            In the last couple of essays I described some of the parts of a SDF record then pointed out some of the ways to break simple SDF record tokenizers. In this essay I’ll point out an documentation curiosity which makes it even harder to parse a molfile with simple tools, though until I wrote this essay I had never seen it in actual use.

        • Rust

        • Java

          • Java 15 Goes GA as the Language Turns 25

            Oracle today announced the general availability release of Java 15 during the opening keynote of its Developer Live conference, the online version of the company’s annual CodeOne and OpenWorld events, underway this week.

            The latest Java Development Kit (JDK) delivers new functionality, preview features now finalized, incubating features in preview, the continued modernization of the existing code, and a host of bug fixes and the deprecation of outdated functionality.

            This release comes as Java turns 25, noted Georges Saab, vice president of development for Oracle’s Java Platform Group, in a statement.

          • Solve a real-world problem using Java

            As I wrote in the first two articles in this series, I enjoy solving small problems by writing small programs in different languages, so I can compare the different ways they approach the solution. The example I’m using in this series is dividing bulk supplies into hampers of similar value to distribute to struggling neighbors in your community, which you can read about in the first article in this series.

            In the first article, I solved this problem using the Groovy programming language, which is like Python in many ways, but syntactically it’s more like C and Java. In the second article, I solved it in Python with a very similar design and effort, which demonstrates the resemblance between the languages.

            Now I’ll try it in Java.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Vulkan Portability Extension 1.0 Now Shipping For Expanding Vulkan’s Reach

        The Vulkan Portability Extension (VK_KHR_portability_subset) has been released as part of the effort by The Khronos Group in getting Vulkan running on as many platforms as possible, including the likes of Apple macOS/iOS.

        The VK_KHR_portability_subset extension is about getting Vulkan up and running on non-Vulkan APIs, as opposed to the success we have already seen in areas like getting OpenGL or Direct3D atop Vulkan. The VK_KHR_portability_subset extension makes it easier for the likes of GFX-RS and MoltenVK for getting Vulkan running on platforms like Apple’s operating systems where Vulkan is not supported and thus having to reside on top of say the Apple Metal API.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (inspircd and modsecurity), Fedora (chromium, cryptsetup, gnutls, mingw-libxml2, and seamonkey), openSUSE (ark, chromium, claws-mail, docker-distribution, fossil, hylafax+, inn, knot, libetpan, libjpeg-turbo, libqt4, librepo, libvirt, libxml2, lilypond, mumble, openldap2, otrs, pdns-recursor, perl-DBI, python-Flask-Cors, singularity, slurm_18_08, and virtualbox), SUSE (jasper, less, ovmf, and rubygem-actionview-4_2), and Ubuntu (sa-exim).

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Beyond the bang-bang: Reporting from the front lines of peace

        But it isn’t. Which is why we’re launching a new series, reporting from the front lines of peace. We’ll report on how atrocities can be prevented, how societies can be made more resilient, and how peace can be sustainably built.

        In short, we’re looking at the flipside of humanitarian disaster: attempts at healing and redemption with a focus on the “triple nexus”: the fusion of peace work, development, and humanitarianism.

        Below, we introduce you to some of the people our reporters have met, offering their unique take on what peace means for them. You can also click through a graphic that tots up the number of agreements around the world (the huge number is both positive and alarming). And take a look at our “war and peace, defined” section – explaining some of the ideas you might find in our coverage.

      • Overlapping crises in Lebanon fuel a new migration to Cyprus

        Driven by increasingly desperate economic circumstances and security concerns in the wake of last month’s Beirut port explosion, a growing number of people are boarding smugglers’ boats in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli bound for Cyprus, an EU member state around 160 kilometres away by sea.

        The uptick was thrown into sharp relief on 14 September when a boat packed with 37 people was found adrift off the coast of Lebanon and rescued by the marine task force of UNIFIL, a UN peacekeeping mission that has operated in the country since 1978. At least six people from the boat died, including two children, and six are missing at sea.

        Between the start of July and 14 September, at least 21 boats left Lebanon for Cyprus, according to statistics provided by the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR. This compares to 17 in the whole of 2019. The majority of this year’s trips have happened since 29 August.

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Estuary Education Goes Virtual

          Each year as many as 90,000 students visit the 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves on field trips, summer camps, and other educational programs. But this year has been different. To continue giving children the environmental education experience, reserve staff got creative, developing robust virtual educational programs and activities for children, teachers, and the homeschooling parents.

          California’s Elkhorn Slough Reserve, for instance, posts “walk-abouts” to take children on virtual trail tours to introduce them to wildlife and plants. Students can also use the web cameras to participate in this reserve’s sea otter monitoring program.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Patent case: EPA-Vertreter, Germany

          The FCJ confirmed that the costs of the participation of a European Patent Attorney (Professional Representative before the EPO) in a patent case before the German civil courts are always recoverable from the losing party pursuant to sec. 143 (3) Patent Act.

        • Keeping up with German patent litigation: Half-year case law review 2020

          Finding it difficult to keep up with an ever-changing world in the midst of a health, environmental, social and political crisis, while keeping up with patent law? Do not worry, the IPKat is doing a series of half-yearly “catch-ups” of the main European patent law jurisdictions before we all start a new “school year”. In this post, the Kat’s friend Arnold Ruess in Germany in the form of Dr Lisa Schneider report on the first half of this year’s patent cases in Germany.

          Over to Lisa for her view from Germany:
          “Like in the Netherlands and the UK, COVID-19 also impacted the German courts. After being closed for some time and only conducting essential oral hearings, the courts are now trying to catch up. The German courts are becoming increasingly familiar with video conferencing tools. Even if counsel can be physically present in the hearing, the parties themselves may not be able to travel and therefore follow the hearing from abroad using video conferencing tools.

          2020 definitely is a FRAND year also in Germany. In Sisvel v. Haier the Federal Court of Justice gave its first FRAND ruling since Huawei v. ZTE. It does seem that SEP-holders are making up ground in Germany. Several injunctions have been granted this year and there may be more to come. On the other hand the German patent law is under legislative review, with the role of proportionality in injunctive relief being highly controversial.

          Patent law also keeps the Federal Constitutional Court busy. Eventually the UPC ratification was found unconstitutional and has to start from the beginning. Haier filed a constitutional complaint against the Federal Court of Justice ruling and last but not least the Federal Constitutional Court raises concerns on ex parte injunctions in IP law.

          [...]

          In several press law cases the Federal Constitutional Court has criticised courts for issuing preliminary injunctions without hearing the defendant. Two decisions were already handed down in 2018 (1 BvR 1783/17 and 1 BvR 2421/17). Three more decisions followed this year (1 BvR 1246/20, 1 BvR 1379/20, 1 BvR 1380/20). In two cases the court even lifted the PIs.

          The Federal Constitutional Court established that for reasons of “procedural equality of arms” (zivilprozessuale Waffengleichheit) an injunction in general must not be issued without hearing the defendant. The civil procedure rules allow for making decisions without having an oral hearing in urgent cases. However, this does not justify that the defendant is not heard at all.

          So far there is no decision on whether the same applies in patent law cases. The second decision this year was an unfair competition case and the court actually decided not to accept the constitutional complaint. It held that established principles generally also apply in unfair competition law and that there is no need for further guidance by the Federal Constitutional Court. With regard to Art. 9(4) of the Enforcement Directive (2004/48/EG) and whether it requires the availability of ex parte relief the court held that there is no need for a decision on the issue in this case either, since the directive does not apply to §3a Act against Unfair Competition (Breach of law).

          It is also uncertain whether a protective letter can constitute a “hearing of the defendant”. In one of the press law cases, the applicant sent a warning letter before filing for a preliminary injunction. The defendant responded to this warning letter and also filed a protective letter. The court lifted the PI and argued that the application went beyond the warning letter and was much more detailed. A procedural involvement of the other party may only be replaced by a pre-litigation warning letter, if this warning letter and the PI application are identical (and any reply by the other party is made available to the court).”

        • PTAB Decision Denying Broad’s Substantive Motion No. 1 in CRISPR Interference

          The Board is direct in denying Broad’s Motion No. 1, saying they have not been persuaded by Broad’s arguments. Because the Board dissolved the ’048 interference because there was no interference-in-fact, that judgment “neither cancel[ed] nor finally refuse[d] either parties’ claims,” citing its Judgment. Accordingly, in the Board’s view, “the resolution at the end of the ’048 interference was that interference between the claims presented at that time did not deprive either party of its claims.” Broad’s estoppel arguments are based on CVC losing rights to claims directed to eukaryotic embodiments of CRISPR; in the Board’s view, the basis for its decision in the ’048 Interference is contrary to Broad’s characterization.

          Turning to specifics, the Board addressed Broad’s contention that Rule 127(a)(1) mandated its request relief. The Board disagreed, noting that “[t]he prior CVC claims did not interfere with Broad’s claims, whereas Broad does not contest that the currently involved CVC claims do.” Accordingly, “it is not clear that the subject matter of the interference is the same, even if the subject matter of Broad’s claims is the same.” Evidentiarily, the Board’s decision states that “Broad fails to provide a sufficient comparison of the subject matter of the two interferences to persuade us that the current interference is, or will be, the same subject matter of the ’048 interference and will raise the same issues.” Specifically, the Board notes that “Broad fails to compare the count in the current interference, or Broad’s proposed counts, with either parties’ claims in the prior interference” and that “the current count in the current interference recites a limitation on the RNA configuration that is not recited in the count of the ’048 interference.” The Board finds further fault with the Broad’s arguments in support of its motion in that “whether the prior count and the current count are drawn to the same subject matter is a disputed issue, which is not sufficiently addressed in Broad’s Motion 1.”

          Turning to Broad’s argument that CVC is estopped under Rule 127(a)(1) because Junior Party did not request authorization to file a motion to add eukaryotic CRISPR embodiment claims in the ’048 Interference, the Board agreed with CVC’s argument that the first sentence of Rule 127(a)(1) does not mention estoppel, and that sentence is limited to decisions “disposing all issues of the proceeding.” A holding of no interference-in-fact, according to the Board, disposes of no issues other than whether there is an interference-in-fact and thus Rule 127(a)(1) does not apply. Indeed, such a finding precludes the Board from deciding any other issue, states the opinion, citing Berman v. Housey, 291 F.3d 1345, 1352 (Fed. Cir. 2002). Similarly unpersuasive was Broad’s citation of PTO comments during the Notice-and-Comment period related to adoption of the current interference rules, because those comments were directed to interferences directed to the same subject matter and “Broad fails to persuade us that the current interference is for the same subject matter as the prior ’048 interference.” And while not expressly agreeing with CVC, the Board cites the MPEP consistent with CVC’s argument that “there is no losing party” resulting from a determination of no interference-in-fact.

        • Software Patents

          • Omnitek Partners patent challenged as likely invalid

            On September 18, 2020, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 8,224,569, owned by Omnitek Partners LLC, an NPE. The ’569 patent is generally directed towards a method for generating and displaying driving directions. The patent is currently being asserted in litigation against Ford, GM, Here Global B.V., Mazda, Toyota, Volvo, Apple, and Alpine Electronics.

      • Trademarks

        • Guest Post: Appeals to the Appointed Person in the UK – the unappealing truth (part 2)

          In O/267/20, British American Tobacco (“BAT”) applied to register the mark PODS in relation to cigarettes and other goods and this application was opposed by JT International SA (another tobacco company). The application was opposed under sections 3(1)(b), 3(1)(c) and 3(1)(d) Trade Marks Act 1994.

          The Hearing Officer found that the term “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes” and went on to consider the extent to which the term “pods” was used descriptively in relation to e-cigarettes. On the basis of that review she found the term “pods” was descriptive and devoid of a distinctive character of “e-cigarettes” and closely related goods and she rejected the application for “cigarettes, tobacco, cigars and cigarillos” goods under s3(1)(b) and (c) but not s3(1)(d). (The application was allowed for some other goods such as lighters and matches.)

          BAT appealed, essentially on the basis that it was unreasonable to find that the term “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes”. Both parties had submitted evidence in the proceedings but not on this point (and neither party addressed the point in their submissions). The Hearing Officer did not give any explanation for the reasoning which led her to conclude that “cigarettes” encompassed “e-cigarettes” and this lack of reasoning, taken together with the fact that the parties had not been asked to address this crucial issue, led Amanda Michaels, sitting as the AP, to the conclusion that this was an appealable error. Ms Michaels referred the case back to the Registry to reconsider this issue, noting that the parties may wish to file additional evidence.

          [...]

          In relation to the average consumer, the Hearing Officer found the average consumer comprised two groups – ordinary members of the public and businesses. Concerning the level of attention that would be applied by the average consumer when purchasing the goods – ceramic floor coverings and tiles – the Hearing Officer stated:

          “The contested goods will vary in price depending on the size and nature of the area to be tiled especially as some commercial projects have very specific technical requirements such as water repellence or other safety concerns. As such I would expect a normal to high level of attention will be paid during the purchasing process …”

          It was accepted by the AP that the Hearing Officer did not appear to feed this finding of two groups of purchasers and different levels of attention into her global determination of likelihood of confusion and this constituted an appealable error.

          The decision was also found to be deficient in relation to the Hearing Officer’s assessment of aural similarity, the Hearing Officer did not correctly consider the alternative ways in which the Applicant’s mark could be pronounced and, separately, the Hearing Officer failed to consider whether the distinctive character of the earlier trademarks had been enhanced through use. In that regard the Hearing Officer said:

          “The opponent’s marks are invented words which have no meaning in relation to the goods, so I consider them to be inherently distinctive to a very high degree. I have considered the evidence filed on this case showing use of the earlier marks, but in my view, this does not put the opponent in any stronger position with regard to the distinctiveness of the earlier marks.”

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