[Meme] Is IBM’s Proprietary Software Surveillance in the 2020 Election a Form of Corporate ‘Meddling’?

Posted in IBM at 10:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don’t suppose it’ll offer good answers regarding the Green Party in ‘swing states’

IBM election

Top Gear what the hell: I'll make you a deal

Summary: Called after an infamous recipient of a Nazi medal (Mr. Watson), an “app” with secret code and remote logging/recording will be used to determine whether the Orange One gets re-elected

Learning to Say “No!” to Tyrants

Posted in Deception, IBM at 9:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Oppressive agenda disguised as “morality” (or “Lebensraum”) is still oppressive agenda

IBM: Ik vrees geen man

Summary: IBM continues with its old and oppressive/repressive agenda, even if this time around it’s thinly disguised as “tolerance” and “ethics”

THE FSF has a major asset, whose name is Alex. Well, Alex had worked for Red Hat for a very long time (on GNU projects) and he quit not too long after IBM took over, seeing the direction the new management took. Talk is cheap. Actions matter. It wasn’t like whatever was promised at the time of the takeover (to appease sceptics and critics, averting brain drain). We already know that based on numerous sources, not just blog posts and comments from Alex. Red Hat staff is being compelled to use proprietary software. A lot of IBM projects revolve around mass surveillance, albeit it’s disguised as “health” and “safety” (or “security”). Yesterday’s Daily Links contained about a dozen new examples of that (under the IBM section). IBM is itself advertising surveillance and proprietary software. This either begets eugenics or facilitates future regimes that are eugenicist (like IBM). Not much has changed since buying Red Hat, except the occasional openwashing of stuff that is still proprietary software/hardware.

“A lot of IBM projects revolve around mass surveillance, albeit it’s disguised as “health” and “safety” (or “security”).”IBM seems to be trying to provoke or irritate by stirring up a controversy over things that weren’t really issues until some corporations decided/decreed so. This has led to many unnecessary confrontations, which were expectedly divisive and helped distract from much bigger problems. Feuds and spurious disagreements emerged out of nowhere, even among people who had long gotten along. Cui bono?

This potentially harms collaborations, destabilising some projects and undermining harmony. Does that make them more welcoming? Will this help foster/nourish more contributions and increase the number of volunteers/contributors? We’ve seen no such evidence. A lot more could be said about this or was already said. We could go on and on. Instead, let’s quote what some people have said following yesterday’s articles about IBM.

“Are you interested in learning more about Emb(race) and IBM’s initiative to eradicate racist IT terminology?” -IBM

So said figosdev, jokingly paraphrasing IBM.

“From eradicating the Jews to “eradicating” language isn’t that much of a political shift for these guys. There was a lot of book-burning by their “clients” in those days.

“The goal isn’t to help IT, but to gain control of IT. Ultimately they are gaining control of free software, so it won’t be free. Controlling IT terms to enslave users — that sounds a lot more like IBM than it sounds like fighting for social justice.”

It’s about gaining more and more control. This is IBM’s “Septemberprogramm”. IBM has a long history of monopoly abuse and endless expansion. We covered that before.

As we noted yesterday, IBM is probably more guilty than anyone.

“While common expressions like “sold down the river” and “blackmail” are clear and demeaning vestiges of our historical connection to enslavement,” figosdev noted, “other common terms may not jump out as readily. But they too demand eradication. This is so fucking stupid… also their use of “eradication” is sheer hypocrisy. It readily calls up the “eradication” of races IBM themselves were involved in. This is such a troll!”

“Patent Troll: companies using stupid patent claims for things they didn’t invent, trying to control (and blackmail) others [and] Copyright Troll: companies using stupid copyright claims for things they didn’t create, trying to control (and blackmail) others..”

It’s going to get a lot harder to speak about corporate crimes, isn’t it?

IBM and the Holocaust“What kind of trolls do we trying to control (CON Troll) people now? PC Trolls? Great! This is the pinnacle of “civilisation” right here — abject, rampant fucking stupidity. Slavemasters pretending they hate term “Master” and “Slave” — not unlike the RIAA pretending to give a shit about artists, when all they do is exploit them.”

In his argument (to be shown in IRC logs later today), figosdev cites Wikipedia extensively, explaining the origins of the word “blackmail” and its historical significance.

“Maybe the real reason IBM is doing this is to keep people from holding them accountable for their work in the Holocaust, the same way Gates went after Stallman to keep people away from bothering him about Epstein ties.”
“IBM is blackmailing the entire industry,” figosdev argued, “disguising control as liberation — then painting anybody angry with the dishonesty and bullshit as liking racism, which is a pretty effective defense that compounds the dishonesty. They double down, and it works.”

Tom replied: “Nice reputation you have there – I’d hate to see anything happen to it…”

This is the kind of rhetoric they use. It’s rather scary to those who would otherwise express an opinion or speak out against IBM.

figosdev continued: “This isn’t the first era where computer scientists and developers had to worry about being blackmailed over political nonsense. Alan Turing lived in an era where there was a real danger of people finding out you were gay, and then using that information to blackmail you — like collecting rent on it or they would turn you in. Of course IBM helped “eradicate” gays as well, it’s so bizarre to see Nazis make themselves into the PC Police.”

Paper emotionsPeople have had a long time to think about this and not rush to instinctive judgment. People read both sides of the debate and the argument is typically won by those whose voices are gagged (the gagging is done to conceal the actual debate, which is hard to win otherwise). The consensus was long ago reached in uncensored fora like our IRC channels, where mere discussion isn’t spun as provocation or racism. We’ve already seen, several times in fact, that the issue stretches to a lot more words that aren't related to race or even to gender (like people whom IBM helped the Nazis eradicate in "Aktion T4" because of their mental condition). It’s convenient to introduce speech controls using these vehicles because self-censorship is then encouraged. There’s an atmosphere of fear (“what will my employer think???”), setting aside stubborn censorship of debates, which is already prevalent in this area (in the name of “protecting” people).

“Maybe the real reason IBM is doing this is to keep people from holding them accountable for their work in the Holocaust,” figosdev argued, “the same way Gates went after Stallman to keep people away from bothering him about Epstein ties.”

Links 29/9/2020: Fedora 33 Beta, Krita 4.4.0 Beta 2, Stellarium 0.20.3 and Mesa 20.2 Released; 20 Million Downloads From the LVFS

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Customize an Intel NUC with Linux

      After nearly six months of frequent video conferencing, I was tired of looking at my colleagues as tiny thumbnails on 13″ and 15″ laptop displays. However, I didn’t want the clutter of a desktop or tower case and all the associated cabling.

      I briefly considered a Mac Mini but didn’t want to surrender to a proprietary interface. I really wanted a Linux desktop with power, portability, and a small footprint. I considered System76′s Meerkat but instead opted to build my own computer using an Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC).

      Intel created the NUC as a very small, barebones computer system with a number of options. It’s more powerful and more modular than something like a Raspberry Pi, but it’s smaller than even a microATX sized PC tower.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo announce the sleek ThinkPad X1 Nano that ships with Ubuntu

        Thankfully, Lenovo continue to push Linux with more of their products and this is another. Ubuntu is going to sit along side Windows 10 Pro as a worldwide option when ordering.

      • Lenovo Teases ThinkPad X1 Nano, ThinkPad X1 Fold Preorders

        ThinkPad laptops are popular with Linux-based software developers, so Lenovo will offer an Ubuntu-powered version of the X1 Nano, in addition to the regular Windows 10 flavor. The X1 Nano will be available some time in the fourth quarter of the year with a starting price of $1,399, Lenovo says.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is the lightest ever

        Wireless options include up to WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and either 4G LTE or 5G embedded modems. Lenovo even found space for a Dolby Atmos speaker system and four 360-degree microphones. As well as Windows 10 Pro, there’ll be an Ubuntu Linux configuration as well.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano ultra-light laptop comes with Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux

        While all of this high-end hardware is exciting on its own, some may be more thrilled by the operating system options. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano obviously can be configured with Windows 10 Pro, but interestingly, consumers can opt for Ubuntu instead. This shouldn’t be too surprising, as Lenovo has been increasingly embracing Linux lately.

      • The ThinkPad X1 Nano Ships With Ubuntu Linux, But Read This First

        Are you a ThinkPad fan rocking Ubuntu as your daily driver? Have you been craving an ultra-thin and light ThinkPad with a 16:10 display and 11th Generation Intel processors? Then I bring both good news and bad news: The newly announced ThinkPad X1 Nano might be your new dream machine. Maybe.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano: Extremely lightweight 16:10 ThinkPad goes up against Dell XPS 13 9310

        The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano will be available in December 2020. It will cost at least $1,599. It will ship with either Windows 10 Pro or Ubuntu Linux.

      • Open source’s Eric Raymond: Windows 10 will soon be just an emulation layer on Linux kernel

        Celebrated open-source software advocate and author Eric Raymond, who’s long argued Linux will rule the desktop, reckons it won’t be long before Windows 10 becomes an emulation layer over a Linux kernel.

        In 2002, he said Windows wouldn’t be a viable profit engine for Microsoft once the price of a PC fell below $350. The “Microsoft tax” would eat into too much of OEMs’ margins.

      • Outlandish Theory Suggests Microsoft Will Ditch Windows Kernel In Favor Of Linux

        Recently, an article entitled “Last phase of the desktop wars?” poses an interesting notion and question, that is both polarizing and provocative, regarding the future of Microsoft’s OS strategy. What is next for Windows? As the author of the article, open source software developer and advocate Eric S. Raymond notes, Microsoft has added features to Windows to better align it with Linux. He also suggests that the divide between Linux and Windows could eventually shrink until the two operating systems essentially become one. As he puts it, Linux would win the desktop wars, “not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.” However, is it truly how it “has to be,” or will Microsoft actually shift how Windows is developed and shared, in order to make it more profitable?


        If the cost of developing Windows was to be scaled back, how would Microsoft do it? Raymond writes that the “third ingredient is Proton,” an emulation layer on top of Linux so user can run Windows games. Based on the conclusions presented, since this emulation layer exists, people clearly want some aspects of Windows on Linux. Furthermore, something like Proton could be modified to run other applications that are made for Windows. Thus, what does Microsoft do? Take over Proton’s market share and “Microsoft Windows becomes a Proton-like emulation layer over a Linux kernel.” Eventually, the emulation layer will “thin” out as apps become Linux-native, and Windows will just be Linux under the hood with emulation for “games and other legacy third-party software.”

      • Windows to become emulation layer atop Linux kernel, predicts Eric Raymond

        That collection of ingredients, he argued, will collide with the fact that Azure is now Microsoft’s cash cow while the declining PC market means that over time Microsoft will be less inclined to invest in Windows 10.

        “Looked at from the point of view of cold-blooded profit maximization, this means continuing Windows development is a thing Microsoft would prefer not to be doing,” he wrote. “Instead, they’d do better putting more capital investment into Azure – which is widely rumored to be running more Linux instances than Windows these days.”

      • Linux winning battle against Windows

        Open-source advocate Eric Raymond thinks that Windows development will “inevitably” become a drag on Microsoft’s business and Vole will switch to a Linux kernel.

        Raymond has been gazing at his crystal balls and thinks that a Microsoft corporate strategist will come up with the idea that Vole can save a fortune by making Windows a Proton-like emulation layer over a Linux kernel, with the layer getting thinner over time as more of the support lands in the mainline kernel sources.

        This would enable Vole to shed an ever-larger fraction of its development costs as less and less has to be done in-house.

      • Lenovo rolls out more Linux laptops

        2020 is the year of Linux on the desktop and corona virus

        Lenovo is to roll Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS out across 30 of Lenovo’s ThinkPads and ThinkStations.

        Lenovo started certifying most of its laptop and PC line on the top Linux distributions since June 2020, but this move means that the idea did not die a death and there is some traction. Now, instead of simply acknowledging its equipment will be guaranteed to run Linux, Lenovo’s selling Ubuntu Linux-powered hardware.

      • Dell refreshes its XPS 13 and XPS 13 2-in-1 with Intel Tiger Lake, Thunderbolt 4, and more

        As usual, the XPS 13 is getting a Developer Edition variant, which comes with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Moreover, Dell says it’s added functionality to allow all XPS 13 users switch their system to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, even if they didn’t get the Developer Edition.

      • Dell unveils two new XPS 13 laptops with Intel’s Tiger Lake processors

        Finally, Dell is planning to release a “developer edition” of its XPS 13. Unlike the other two models which are Windows-based, the developer edition is Linux-based. That’s an interesting deviation from the norm that makes it the first laptop to ship with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

        For consumers who want a Linux-based XPS but don’t want the developer edition, Dell is offering a free Ubuntu 20.04 LTS download.

        The new XPS models are slated to arrive in the U.S. and Canada on September 30. The 2-in-1 version will start at $1,249 while the standard XPS 13 starts at $999.

      • Dell Hybrid Client: Seamless Cloud-Optimized Computing With Ubuntu

        At its core, Hybrid Client is a combination of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hardware. It starts with the Dell systems like its OptiPlex 7070 Ultra platform or Wyse 5070 thin clients, running a highly-customized Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support (LTS)-based operating system. However, Dell representatives also told us that basically any Dell system that runs Linux is a good candidate for Hybrid Client, including sleek notebooks like the XPS 13 Developer Edition. Since these systems arrive ready to deploy, this distro should also keep deployment costs down.

      • Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Gets 11th-Gen Intel Refresh, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        The revised model doesn’t buck any conventions. It’s a refreshed version of the XPS 13 model released earlier this year, albeit offering the latest 11th generation Intel processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, Thunderbolt 4 ports, and up to 32GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x RAM.

        These are also the first Dell portables to carry Intel “Evo” certification.

        What’s Intel Evo? Think of it as an assurance. Evo certified notebooks have 11th gen Intel chips, can wake from sleep in under 1s, offer at least 9 hours battery life (with a Full HD screen), and support fast charging (with up to 4 hours from a single 30 min charge) — if they can’t meet any of those criteria they don’t get certified.

      • Tiger Lake is coming in Dell XPS 13, XPS 13 DE, and XPS 13 2-in-1

        Although Dell hasn’t come right out and said it, we expect the new XPS 13 models to also be qualified under Intel’s Project Evo platform brand. This means extremely fast boot and wake-from-sleep times, very long battery life—which must be achieved under high performance settings—and fast charging. Dell has specifically targeted 19 hours’ runtime for the Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 two-in-one, with a slightly more modest 18:40 for the Linux-powered XPS 13 Developer Edition.

      • Dell announce new XPS 13 laptop models, will support moving from Windows to Ubuntu

        Dell is a company we don’t often cover here, however we’re now on their press lists and they sent over something quite interesting today with their new XPS 13 laptop models which come with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

        This is the model that since 2012, Canonical the maker of Ubuntu has teamed up with Dell for their “Developer Edition” that was originally known as “Project Sputnik”. With this latest generation, Dell take the crown for being the first to officially do Linux + Intel Tiger Lake.

        Not only does this mean some will come with Intel’s surprisingly powerful Xe graphics, you’re also getting access to Thunderbolt 4, a RAM boost from 3733MHz (older models) to 4267MHz LPDDR4x and something else a little special. Dell have said, that based on “input from our developer community” they will offer “added functionality” to allow Windows users to switch over to Ubuntu 20.04 even if their original XPS 13 model was not one ordered with Ubuntu (or dual-boot).

    • Linux Magazine’s Latest Issue and 20th Birthday

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • POSIX Compliance Explained: Does It Even Matter In 2020

        Like with the Unix Philosphy, POSIX compliance tends to get simplified far more than it really needs to which sort of makes it seem less important than it really is, so today I thought it would be a good idea to take the time to explain what it is and where it came from and why it was important in the early days of Unix and even now in the days of Linux and various BSD variants.

      • This Week in Linux 118: Lenovo’s New Ubuntu Laptops, GNOME 40, Puppy Linux 9.5, Firefox 81, UBports

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a great show for you even though I’m sick. As they say in show business, the show must go on or something like that. Lenovo Adds Ubuntu Laptops & PCs to their lineup. UBports released their latest update with 16.04 OTA-13. Puppy Linux has a brand new version out with Puppy Linux 9.5. Microsoft announce that after a long wait everyone can rejoice that they are finally bringing Microsoft Edge to Linux! Mozilla also announced a new version of Firefox with Firefox 81. EndeavourOS has a new release of this Arch Linux based distro with version 2020.09.20 and they also announced a new ARM Edition of the distro. GNOME has decided to change the version numbering for the project. We’ll talk about this and why it matters or why it doesn’t. There’s a new update to the very powerful ebook reader Calibre, with Calibre 5.0. We’ll check out the Screenshot Utility, Flameshot and their latest release of 0.8. Then we’ll round out the show with some potentially great news for the Lightworks Video Editor. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Going Linux #397 · Listener Feedback

        We answer questions about problems receiving the podcast, SSH, printers, browsers and more. We also discuss photography and the new major computer brands selling computers pre-installed with Linux.

      • LHS Episode #370: The Sound and the Fury

        Welcome to the 370th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topics episode, the hosts discuss the recent RAC conference, AMSAT elections, the rebirth of AO-7, the rebirth of Linux Journal, the latest release of PostgreSQL, Lenovo and Linux, a new BSD distribution and much more. Thank you for listening and have a fantastic week.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 99

        Why WireGuard is the only VPN software worth using, games becoming open source, the slow demise of Mozilla, Cloudflare synergy with the Wayback Machine, KDE Korner, 3D printing updates, and more.

      • Why Isn’t Emacs More Popular?

        The Emacs community has been debating whether it is time to make some changes with the software to make it more appealing to new users. After all, Emacs is such an extremely powerful and unique piece of software, it deserves to have far more users than what it currently has.

    • Kernel Space

      • Richard Hughes: 20 Million Downloads from the LVFS

        A few hours ago the LVFS provided its 20 millionth firmware update and although it’s just another somewhat unusual base-10 number, it’s an achievement I’m immensely proud of. As one of my friends said last week, “20 million of anything is a big deal”. Right from the start, the fwupd daemon and LVFS website data provider was a result of collaboration between many different companies and open source projects, and is now cemented as an integral part of the firmware ecosystem. People building open source projects, especially low level infrastructure like this, are not good at celebrating success and it’s no wonder so many talented maintainers burn out over long years of dedicated service. This post celebrates some of the things we’ve done.

        Little known to most people, fwupd and the LVFS grew out of the frustration of distributing the ColorHug firmware. If you bought one of those devices all those years ago, you can know you were a tiny part in starting all this. I still use ColorHug devices for all kinds of automated firmware testing, perhaps even more so than for screen calibration. My experience building OpenHardware devices really pushed me to make the LVFS free-for-all, on the logic that I wouldn’t have been able to justify even a $100/year subscription. Certainly making the service free in all respects meant that it was almost risk-free for companies to test the service.


        Peter Jones is another talented member of our team at Red Hat and wrote a lot of the low level UEFI code we’ve used millions of times. Peter has to understand all the crazy broken things that firmware vendors decide to do, and is responsible for most of the EFI code in fwupd. Over the years fwupd has absorbed two of his projects, fwupdate and most recently dbxtool. Without Peter there would have been no UpdateCapsule support, and that’s about half the updates on the LVFS.

      • LVFS/Fwupd Serve More Than 20 Million Firmware Downloads For Upgrades On Linux
      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.155 Released With EXT_shader_image_atomic_int64

          Vulkan 1.2.155 is out this morning as a small weekly update over last week’s spec revision that brought the Vulkan Portability Extension 1.0 for easing software-based Vulkan implementations running atop other graphics APIs.

          Vulkan 1.2.155 is quite a tiny release after that big release last week, but there aren’t even any documentation corrections/clarifications and just a sole new extension.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q3.6 Vulkan Driver Brings Several Fixes

          AMD driver developers today released AMDVLK 2020.Q3.6 as their latest open-source snapshot of their official Vulkan graphics driver.

          The primary new feature of this AMDVLK driver update is VK_EXT_robustness2, which mandates stricter requirements around dealing with out-of-bounds reads/writes. Robustness2 requires greater bounds checking, discarding out-of-bounds writes, and out-of-bounds reads must return zero. This extension debuted back in April as part of Vulkan 1.2.139.

        • mesa 20.2.0
          Hi list,
          After a long wait, mesa 20.2.0 is now available. This is the first stable
          release of the series, but it's also been a very long time since the last
          release, and as such I'd like to reiterate that those looking for the most
          stable experience will likely want to wait for mesa 20.2.1.
          I'm back to the office and finally getting back in the swing of things after a
          long vacation, so expect more regular releases for the 20.2 series from here on
          Alyssa Rosenzweig (1):
                pan/bit: Set d3d=true for CMP tests
          Andrey Vostrikov (1):
                egl/x11: Free memory allocated for reply structures on error
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (7):
                radv: Fix threading issue with submission refcounts.
                radv: Avoid deadlock on bo_list.
                spirv: Deal with glslang not setting NonUniform on constructors.
                radeonsi: Work around Wasteland 2 bug.
                spirv: Deal with glslang bug not setting the decoration for stores.
                ac/surface: Fix depth import on GFX6-GFX8.
                st/mesa: Deal with empty textures/buffers in semaphore wait/signal.
          Boris Brezillon (1):
                spirv: Add a vtn_get_mem_operands() helper
          Danylo Piliaiev (5):
                intel/compiler: Fix pointer arithmetic when reading shader assembly
                glsl: Eliminate assigments to out-of-bounds elements of vector
                nir/lower_io: Eliminate oob writes and return zero for oob reads
                nir/large_constants: Eliminate out-of-bounds writes to large constants
                nir/lower_samplers: Clamp out-of-bounds access to array of samplers
          Dave Airlie (2):
                llvmpipe: include gallivm perf flags in shader cache.
                gallivm: disable brilinear for lod bias and explicit lod.
          Dylan Baker (7):
                .pick_status.json: Update to ef980ac0c1cd65993ba0c1d20e1c09b45bfef99d
                fix: gallivm: disable brilenear for lod bias and explicit lod.
                .pick_status.json: Update to a1f46d7b6943699e5efb60fbcfdd1450db85adb1
                amd/ac_surface: convert tabs to 3 spaces
                .pick_status.json: Update to 90b98c06493f8a9759e5496d5ec91fb60edf7b92
                .pick_status.json: Update to 472a20c5fc0feda0f074b4ff95fd7c7a6305c8cd
                VERSION: bump for 20.2.0 release
          Eric Anholt (4):
                gallium/tgsi_exec: Fix up NumOutputs counting
                freedreno: Make the pack struct have a .qword for wide addresses.
                turnip: Fix truncation of CS shader iovas to 32 bits.
                turnip: Fix truncation of iovas to 32 bits in queries.
          Eric Engestrom (1):
                meson: drop leftover PTHREAD_SETAFFINITY_IN_NP_HEADER
          Erik Faye-Lund (1):
                mesa: handle GL_FRONT after translating to it
          Icecream95 (1):
                pan/mdg: Fix spilling of non-32-bit types
          Jason Ekstrand (6):
                intel/fs: Don't copy-propagate stride=0 sources into ddx/ddy
                iris: Re-emit push constants if we have a varying workgroup size
                spirv: Run repair_ssa if there are discard instructions
                nir: More NIR_MAX_VEC_COMPONENTS fixes
                intel/fs/swsb: SCHEDULING_FENCE only emits SYNC_NOP
                radeonsi: Only call nir_lower_var_copies at the end of the opt loop
          Jesse Natalie (2):
                nir: More NIR_MAX_VEC_COMPONENTS fixes
                glsl_type: Add packed to structure type comparison for hash map
          Jonathan Gray (6):
                anv: use os_get_total_physical_memory()
                util/os_misc: add os_get_available_system_memory()
                anv: use os_get_available_system_memory()
                util/os_misc: os_get_available_system_memory() for OpenBSD
                radv: remove seccomp includes
                vulkan: make VK_TIME_DOMAIN_CLOCK_MONOTONIC_RAW_EXT conditional
          Jordan Justen (1):
                anv, iris: Set MediaSamplerDOPClockGateEnable for gen12+
          Karol Herbst (1):
                spirv: extract switch parsing into its own function
          Lionel Landwerlin (3):
                intel/perf: store query symbol name
                intel/perf: fix raw query kernel metric selection
                intel/compiler: fixup Gen12 workaround for array sizes
          Marcin Ślusarz (4):
                anv: refresh cached current batch bo after emitting some commands
                anv: fix minor gen_ioctl(I915_PERF_IOCTL_CONFIG) error handling issue
                intel/perf: split load_oa_metrics
                intel/perf: export performance counters sorted by [group|set] and name
          Marek Olšák (2):
                ac/llvm: fix unaligned VS input loads on gfx10.3
                Revert "ac: generate FMA for inexact instructions for radeonsi"
          Mauro Rossi (1):
                android: freedreno/common: add libmesa_git_sha1 static dependency
          Michel Dänzer (1):
                ci: Use ignore_scheduled_pipelines anchor in .radeonsi-rules
          Michel Zou (1):
                swr: fix build with mingw
          Mike Blumenkrantz (1):
                zink: reorder create_stream_output_target to fix failure case leak
          Nanley Chery (2):
                iris: Fix aux assertion in resource_get_handle
                blorp: Fix alignment test for HIZ_CCS_WT fast-clears
          Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (9):
                mesa/st: introduce PIPE_CAP_NO_CLIP_ON_COPY_TEX
                radeonsi: enable PIPE_CAP_NO_CLIP_ON_COPY_TEX
                ac/llvm: add option to clamp division by zero
                radeonsi,driconf: add clamp_div_by_zero option
                radeonsi: use radeonsi_clamp_div_by_zero for SPECviewperf13, Road Redemption
                glsl: fix per_vertex_accumulator::fields size
                r600/uvd: set dec->bs_ptr = NULL on unmap
                radeon/vcn: set dec->bs_ptr = NULL on unmap
                mesa: fix glUniform* when a struct contains a bindless sampler
          Pierre-Loup A. Griffais (2):
                radv: fix null descriptor for dynamic buffers
                radv: fix vertex buffer null descriptors
          Qiang Yu (4):
                radeonsi: fix syncobj wait timeout
                radeonsi: fix user fence space when MCBP is enabled
                radeonsi: fix max syncobj wait timeout
                radeonsi: fix user fence GPU address
          Rhys Perry (7):
                aco: fix byte_align_scalar for 3 dword vectors
                aco: fix one-off error in Operand(uint16_t)
                nir/opt_if: fix opt_if_merge when destination branch has a jump
                aco: fix v_writelane_b32 with two sgprs
                aco: don't apply constant to SDWA on GFX8
                radv: initialize with expanded cmask if the destination layout needs it
                radv,aco: fix reading primitive ID in FS after TES
          Samuel Pitoiset (3):
                aco: handle unaligned loads on GFX10.3
                spirv: fix emitting switch cases that directly jump to the merge block
                radv: fix transform feedback crashes if pCounterBufferOffsets is NULL
          Timur Kristóf (1):
                aco: Fix emit_boolean_exclusive_scan in wave32 mode.
          Tony Wasserka (3):
                radv: Fix various non-critical integer overflows
                aco: Fix integer overflows when emitting parallel copies during RA
                amd/common: Fix various non-critical integer overflows
          Vinson Lee (4):
                freedreno: Fix file descriptor leak.
                svga: Fix unused printf argument.
                freedreno: Check file descriptor before write.
                panfrost: Delete debug allocated syncobj.
          git tag: mesa-20.2.0
        • Mesa 20.2 Released With RADV ACO By Default, Initial RDNA2 Graphics Support

          Mesa 20.2 has managed to release just before the end of the the quarter. This Mesa Q3’2020 graphics driver update is coming out about one month behind schedule but the wait is worthwhile given many open-source OpenGL and Vulkan driver updates.

          There is new GPU support, RADV is using the ACO shader compiler by default, much better LLVMpipe OpenGL support, new Vulkan extensions, and much more.

        • Open source graphics drivers get a boost with Mesa 20.2.0 out now

          The latest and greatest in open source graphics drivers has released with Mesa 20.2.0, although you should wait on it if you’re after a stable experience.

          As always, the Mesa team suggest waiting on at least the first bug fix release with Mesa 20.2.1 which is usually out within a few weeks. Developer Dylan Baker who announced the new release mentioned to expect some more regular releases for the 20.2 series, as they’re back from a long vacation.

          What’s new? Lots, as always. Support for new Vulkan extensions, added support for new GPUs including initial work done for AMD’s upcoming RDNA 2 noted as “gfx10.3″, expanded GLES 3.2 and OpenGL 4.5 support for LLVMpipe, lots of work on the Panfrost driver for Mali GPUs. You can find some release notes for Mesa 20.2.0 here.

    • Applications

      • 13 Best Photo Image Editors for Linux

        In this article, I have reviewed of some the best photo editing software available on different Linux distributions. These are not the only photo editors available but are among the best and commonly used by Linux users.

        Thanks for reading and hope you find this article useful, if you know of other good photo editors available in Linux, let us know by leaving a comment. Stay connected to Tecmint for more quality articles.

      • 14 Best Free and Open Source Linux Compression Tools

        Data compression is the process of storing data in a format that uses less space than the original representation would use. Compressing data can be very useful particularly in the field of communications as it enables devices to transmit or store data in fewer bits. Besides reducing transmission bandwidth, compression increases the amount of information that can be stored on a hard disk drive or other storage device.

        There are two main types of compression. Lossy compression is a data encoding method which reduces a file by discarding certain information. When the file is uncompressed, not all of the original information will be recovered. Lossy compression is typically used to compress video, audio and images, as well as internet telephony. The fact that information is lost during compression will often be unnoticeable to most users. Lossy compression techniques are used in all DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and most multimedia available on the internet.

      • 9 Best Free and Open Source RAW Processing Tools

        When a digital camera captures an image, image sensors in the camera record the light from millions of sensing area. The camera’s digital circuitry converts the generated analog voltage signal into a digital representation. Many cameras allow these images to be stored in a raw image file. They are similar to digital negatives, as they have the same role as negatives in film photography.

        RAW files are not directly usable, but have all the necessary information to create an image. RAW files usually offer higher color depth, higher dynamic range, and preserve most of the information of the image compared with the final image format. The downside of RAW files is that they take up far more storage space. Dynamic range in photography describes the ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities (white and black, respectively).

        As implied by the name, RAW files have not been processed. By taking pictures in raw format the photographer is not committing to the conversion software that is built into the firmware of the camera. Instead, the individual can store the raw files, and make use of computer software to generate better JPEG files, and also benefit from future improvements in image software.

        There is a good range of open source Linux software that processes RAW files. Here’s our recommendations. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who has a passion for digital photography.

      • Calibre 5.0 Ebook Manager Released with Text Highlighting Support, Dark Mode

        Coming almost a year after the Calibre 4.0 series, Calibre 5.0 is here with some major changes. This include the ability to highlight text in the E-book viewer, which is one of the most requested feature for this powerful ebook manager.

        Users will be able to use colors when highlighting text in ebooks, as well as to use all sorts of text formatting and styles, including strikethrough and underline. In addition, you can even add notes to your highlights.

        All the highlights will be stored in the respective EPUB file, which makes them easy to share. In addition, you can browse all your highlights in the Calibre library using the Browse annotations tool.

      • Drawing is an Open Source MS-Paint Type of App for Linux Desktop

        For people introduced to computers with Windows XP (or earlier version), MS Paint was an amusing application from sketching random stuff. In a world dominated with Photoshop and GIMP, the paint applications still hold some relevance.

        There are several painting applications available for Linux, and I am going to add one more to this list.

        The app is unsurprisingly called Drawing and you can use it on both Linux desktop and Linux smartphones.

      • dupeGuru – find duplicate files

        Even though the cost of storage per GB continues to fall, it’s common for users to need to find and remove duplicates files. The process of finding and removing duplicates is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are a number of tools that are designed to remove the laborious nature of finding duplicates.

        dupeGuru is a cross-platform GUI tool to find duplicate files in a system. It has three modes, Standard, Music and Picture, with each mode having its own scan types and unique features.

        dupeGuru is written in Python.

      • Stellarium 0.20.3 Released with Tons of Changes [Ubuntu PPA]

        Free-software planetarium Stellarium 0.20.3 was released a day ago with numerous changes. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04 via PPA.

        Stellarium 0.20.3 fixed nutation and, with it, season beginning times, included many changes in AstroCalc tool, Oculars and Satellites plugins, and updated DSO catalog.

      • Present Slides in Linux Terminal With This Nifty Python Tool

        There are so many amusing and fun stuff you can do in the terminal. Making and presenting slides is just one of them.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine-Staging 5.18 Adds sRGB Color Profile, Another Fix For Microsoft Flight Simulator

        Building off Friday’s release of Wine 5.18 is now an updated Wine-Staging that adds just over 600 patches atop the upstream code-base for delivering experimental/testing features.

        Wine-Staging 5.18 is coming in lighter than its predecessors in that it’s down to just 615 patches thanks to a number of patches around MSXML3, NTDLL, XACTEngine, and others making their way into the upstream Wine code-base. But there is also new functionality with Wine-Staging 5.18 including:

        - Initial sRGB color profile support, in addressing a six year old bug around some applications needing sRGB color space support. This helps, for example, Microsoft Office 2007/2010 with PDF export support.

    • Games

      • 3D adventure KAPIA sees a young girl and her grandfather try to save the world

        What could be a sweet tale of family and saving the world, KAPIA is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter with Linux support planned if they hit a stretch-goal.

        KAPIA tells the story of a small girl and her grandfather in the funky apocalyptic world of KAPIA. Set after the “World Union” has collapsed and nations split from each other, all while a “mysterious intelligent infection” has forced people to live under a city in lockdown. That…sounds a little familiar to what’s going on with COVID19 in some way.

      • Atari VCS backers on IndieGoGo might actually get their units soon

        I almost can’t believe it. The retro console Atari VCS might actually be shipping soon, as their initial production run sounds like it went well.

        After so many delays, a lack of clear communication often and still next to no games actually announced for it, IndieGoGo backers on the original campaign will get it in their hands first as they originally announced. In the post on IndieGoGo, it wasn’t made entirely clear how many units have been produced so far but they called it the “Indiegogo production run” and that “Mass production is almost complete”. From the wording it sounds like anyone who has pre-ordered the console are not included just yet but presumably that’s all ongoing.

      • Atari VCS Backer Units are On the Way!

        The Atari team has been putting the finishing touches on the long-awaited first batch of Atari VCS video computer systems and sending them to the United States where they will be sorted and shipped to eager Indiegogo backers very soon.

        This shipment includes the one-time-only, Indiegogo-exclusive Atari VCS 800 Collector’s Edition model. Inspired by and designed as an homage to the original Atari 2600, there will only be 6,000 numbered and authenticated versions of this model.

      • Since release Crusader Kings III has seen over 18 million murders – huge patch out now

        The latest grand strategy game from Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studios with Crusader Kings III seems to have been a big success and a new rather large patch is out.

      • Songs of Syx appears to be an early success brewing on Steam

        After releasing into Early Access on Steam on September 21, 2020 – it appears that the grand strategy city-builder Songs of Syx is seeing some early success.

        The what? Songs of Syx is a fantasy city-builder where you start off as an insignificant colony and build, scheme, and fight your way towards a metropolis and empire. A grand scale, that will eventually involve battles between thousands of troops, politics, trade and all sorts.

      • Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing gets a major upgrade with new Unity game engine and Vulkan

        Liftoff: FPV Drone Racing, a popular drone racer that’s enjoyed by many users on Steam just recently had a massive free upgrade released.

        It’s been available in some form since 2015, with a full release in 2018 and still LuGus Studios continually develop it and add new features. This big 1.3 release is all about preparing it for the future with much of the underlying tech being overhauled and upgraded.

      • Amnesia is now open source!

        Modding has been a huge part of Amnesia. For instance, over the years The Dark Descent has accumulated over a thousand mods and addons on ModDB. This flood of user content has been amazing to see and we are extremely grateful for the whole community surrounding it all.


        Very important note: This doesn’t mean that the game is suddenly free. It just means that people are free to use the source however they want as long as they adhere to the GPL3 licence. The game and all of its content is still owned by Frictional Games. Just like before.

        Think of the release as “free speech”, not “free beer”.

        It feels like we could have released this source code a long time ago. Unfortunately there has always been something else we had to attend to instead. But now that Amnesia: The Dark Descent has had its 10th anniversary and Amnesia: Rebirth is less than a month away, we just couldn’t wait any longer!

        We are all really excited to see what comes out of it! The modding community has been incredibly creative over the years and it will be fun to see what it can do with the full source code at its disposal.

      • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 continues living with a new release of OpenRCT2

        OpenRCT2 is the free and open source game engine reimplementation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, adding in many advanced featured and cross-platform support.

        Another new update is out now with the v0.3.1 “Self Defence Against Fresh Fruit” release that went up on Septembet 27, 2020. Quite a wonderful sounding set of new features too like 2x and 4x zoom level options (which require the use of the OpenGL renderer), there’s a new API for listening and communicating over TCP which they mentioned could be used towards things like Twitch integration, their API expanded to expose more for people to hook into like scenery placement / removal and there’s even new snowy weather types like a blizzard.

      • With an incredible neon style, Vecter is an infinite racing-shooter that is now on Linux

        Vecter from developer Taranasus is a free infinite racing game all about lasting as long as possible and destroying anything in your way. The idea in Vecter is that it constantly tries to destroy you while you race. There’s obstacles, enemies, power-ups sometimes to help and more on the way as it’s further developed.

        After launching into Early Access in November 2019, it’s now officially on Linux too. Curiously, the developer mentioned in their release announcement how they’re actually using Linux themselves now as Manjaro is the main system on their laptop.


        While it’s currently in Early Access they have said a full release is planned for October 15. You can play it right now officially on Linux direct from Steam.

      • Funded and on the way to Linux, Dwerve mixes Tower Defence with dungeon crawling

        After a slick limited-time demo and a Kickstarter campaign, the dungeon crawling / tower defence hybrid Dwerve has now managed to complete the campaign and get fully funded. It’s a blend of genres that’s not usually done, you often get one or the other and to see them blended together like this seems like it could work real nicely.

        The Kickstarter campaign managed to finish with $53,750 pledged and they went through multiple special stretch-goals, which are funding points for them to confirm certain features like a Mario-styled overworld map, a boss-rush mode, more enemies and so on.

      • Play more classics including one from 1976 with a new ScummVM release

        ScummVM, the awesome all-in-one solution for playing tons of classic adventure and RPGs has a brand new release available which expands the games supported.

        Release 2.2.0 “Interactive Fantasy” is out and it’s quite the history lesson. One of the noteworthy titles they mention that’s newly supported is Colossal Cave Adventure, which originally released in 1976 and is known as the first work of interactive fiction in gaming.

        Their support of other interactive fiction games expanded dramatically too as they pulled in support for more game engines like ADRIFT, AdvSys, AGT, Level 9, ZCode and more. They said this has given ScummVM support for around 1,600 more titles.

      • ScummVM “Interactive Fantasy” 2.2.0 Sees the Light

        A new release of ScummVM is ready. This is a thrilling one because we are embracing adventure games as far back as 1976! That’s right, the infamous Colossal Cave Adventure, the very first Interactive Fiction game, is now supported by ScummVM.

      • Warzone 2100 to get a graphics boost with Vulkan support

        The free and open source RTS Warzone 2100 continues advancing, with a big graphics rendering overhaul recently merged in ready for the next release.

        Originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive, released as open source in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. Quite an innovative RTS at the time too, very different to anything else that was out. One I remember spending a great many hours on!

      • Graphics rendering engine ‘OGRE’ to gain Vulkan support in the 2.3 release

        As another win for both open standards and modern graphics APIs, the classic and continually improving open source graphics rendering engine OGRE will get Vulkan support in the upcoming 2.3 release.

        Need a quick primer on what OGRE is? It’s a scene-oriented, flexible 3D engine written in C++ designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications utilising hardware-accelerated 3D graphics. The class library abstracts all the details of using the underlying system libraries like Direct3D and OpenGL and provides an interface based on world objects and other intuitive classes.

        Some time ago, back in November 2019 they announced Vulkan support had been started but it was early days for it. We got an official update on this on September 26, 2020 as their blog post announced that Vulkan support will be landing in the OGRE 2.3 release (along with Android support).

      • Check out some open world gameplay from the upcoming Cassette Beasts

        Cassette Beasts is the in-development title from Bytten Studio (previously Lenna’s Inception), which is an open-world monster capture / transformation RPG inspired by Pokemon Fusion.

        Being made in Godot Engine, it’s a very promising looking game with a fun take on the monster capture genre with the spin that you transform into these creatures using retro cassette tapes.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Second Beta out for Krita 4.4.0

          Today, we’re releasing Krita 4.4.0 beta 2: we found a number of regressions and release blocking bugs.

          This beta has Android builds too, since we fixed many issues with accessing files on Android: however, because we now add translations the APK files are too big for the Play Store, and you will have to download them from download.kde.org

        • KDE Plasma 5.18.6 LTS Brings WireGuard VPN, Wayland, and HiDPI Improvements

          The KDE Project announced today the general availability of KDE Plasma 5.18.6 LTS as the sixth maintenance update to the long-term supported KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS desktop environment series.

          KDE Plasma 5.18.6 LTS is here almost five months after the KDE Plasma 5.18.5 update and brings a total of 36 changes that add various improvements to some of the core components and apps of the desktop environment in an attempt to keep the Plasma 5.18 LTS series stable, secure and reliable.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • First Look at Manjaro Deepin Edition: Deepin Beauty Powered by Arch Linux

          New editions of Manjaro Linux are in the works, Manjaro Deepin Edition with the Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) and Manjaro UKUI Edition with Ubuntu Kylin’s UKUI desktop environment, and today I want to give you a first look at Manjaro Deepin Edition.

          If you ever wanted to use Manjaro Linux with the beautiful and futuristic Deepin Desktop Environment, the Manjaro Deepin Edition will let you do just that without the hustle of installing the Deepin Desktop from the repositories on top of a barebone Manjaro Linux installation.

          Developed as part of the recently released Manjaro 20.1 “Mikah” series, the Deepin Edition promises an out-of-the-box Deepin Desktop experience powered by all the goodies that the Arch Linux and Manjaro Linux distributions have to offer.


          Until the Manjaro team decides which apps will land in the final release, I invite you to download the Deepin Edition of Manjaro Linux below and take it for a spin yourself on your personal computer.

          Do let me know what you think about it in the comments below, but keep in mind that this is a pre-release version so don’t install it on a production machine.

      • BSD

        • OpenSSH 8.4 released

          OpenSSH 8.4 is out. The SHA-1 algorithm is deprecated and the “ssh-rsa” public key signature algorithm will be disabled by default “in a near-future release.” They note that it is possible to perform chosen-prefix attacks against the SHA-1 algorithm for less than USD$50K.

        • OpenSSH 8.4 Brings Better Support For FIDO/2FA Keys

          Version 8.4 of OpenSSH has been released and among its wide assortment of changes is a lot of continued work on FIDO/2FA key handling.

          For those with a FIDO key like the YubiKey or Google Titan Security Key for handling two-factor authentication, OpenSSH 8.4 has better support in place. OpenSSH 8.4 now supports FIDO keys that require a PIN code to be entered for each use, SSHD now supports a “verify-required” option to require FIDO signatures assert the token be verified, SSH-Keygen now supports the FIDO 2.1 credProtect extension, support for verifying FIDO WebAuthn signatures, better support for multiple attached FIDO tokens, and many other fixes.

        • NetBSD Changes Its Default X11 Window Manager After Two Decades

          It’s 2020 and NetBSD has changed its default X11 window manager after more than two decades with TWM.

          NetBSD isn’t going too far though away from TWM as its default X11 window manager in that they are now using the CTWM fork. As for the CTWM fork, they describe its benefits over TWM as: “the primary advantages are that it’s still incredibly lightweight, but highly configurable, and has support for virtual desktops, as well as a NetBSD-compatible license and ongoing development. Thanks to its configuration options, we can provide a default experience that’s much more usable to people experienced with other operating systems.”

        • Wayland on NetBSD – trials and tribulations

          After I posted about the new default window manager in NetBSD I got a few questions, including “when is NetBSD switching from X11 to Wayland?”, Wayland being X11′s “new” rival. In this blog post, hopefully I can explain why we aren’t yet!

          Last year (and early this year) I was responsible for porting the first working Wayland compositor to NetBSD – swc. I chose it because it looked small and hackable. You can try it out by installing the velox window manager from pkgsrc.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Initial Fedora 32 vs. Fedora 33 Beta Benchmarks Point To Slightly Higher Performance

          In addition to Fedora Workstation 33 switching to Btrfs, there are a number of key components updated in Fedora 33 as well as finally enabling link-time optimizations (LTO) for package builds that make this next Fedora Linux installment quite interesting from a performance perspective. Here are some initial benchmarks of Fedora Workstation 32 against the Fedora Workstation 33 Beta on an Intel Core i9 10900K system.

          Given the Fedora 33 beta release, here are our initial benchmarks of Fedora 33 that is due for its official release in late October. Over the past few days I’ve been testing the test compose of Fedora 33 Beta with all updates applied — it’s been quite a nice experience. There hasn’t been any show-stopping bugs and all-around running nicely.

        • Fedora 33 Beta now available

          Today, the Fedora Project, a global community that works to help advance free and open source software, is pleased to announce the beta availability of Fedora 33, the latest version of the Fedora operating system. Fedora 33 Beta continues the Fedora Project’s emphasis on delivering editions, each designed to address specific use cases for modern developers and IT teams. In addition to Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server, Fedora 33 Beta also formally adds Fedora IoT as a supported edition!

          Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server continue to provide open operating systems built to meet the needs of forward-looking developers and server projects. We also continue to foster the development of emerging Fedora editions including Fedora CoreOS and Fedora Silverblue to directly address cloud-native, containerized infrastructure and development.

        • Fedora 33 Beta Released with Btrfs by Default, GNOME 3.38 and Linux 5.8

          Fedora 33 has been in development for the past several months, and now a beta version is ready for public testing so we can finally get a taste of the new features and improvements included in the upcoming release, which is expected later this year.

          The biggest change in Fedora 33 is the fact that Btrfs is now used as default file system for all the official spins, including Fedora Workstation (GNOME), Fedora KDE, Fedora Xfce, Fedora LXQt, Fedora MATE-Compiz, Fedora Cinnamon, Fedora LXDE, and Fedora SoaS (Sugar on a Stick).

        • Fedora 33 Beta Released With Big Changes From LTO To Btrfs
        • Announcing the release of Fedora 33 Beta

          The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Fedora 33 Beta, the next step towards our planned Fedora 33 release at the end of October…Or, check out one of our popular variants, including KDE Plasma, Xfce, and other desktop environments, as well as images for ARM devices like the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3…

        • Business Buddy delivers personalized support for struggling small businesses

          Enter Business Buddy, a Call for Code solution providing a one-stop-shop to deliver personalized and responsive COVID-19 updates to small businesses. The Business Buddy team comes from the University of Sydney in Australia, where they report that small and medium-sized businesses make up 90% of the Australian economy. The Business Buddy team did their due diligence to find the root cause to how and why local businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through their research, they found that 30% of businesses had to reduce staff numbers, and 9 out of 10 businesses expressed solvency concerns over the next 4 – 6 months. Through the team’s engagement with local businesses, they discovered that the major pain point for most companies was not the lack of governmental support, but the ineffective communication channels. Business owners have not been able to access the full breadth of support because information on different fiscal relief programs was scattered across multiple websites, making it prone for businesses to miss opportunities to find assistance. It was this pain point that the Business Buddy team decided to combat – and ultimately, build a solution to address it.

        • Open Source Success: Linux on the Mainframe

          Twenty years ago, IBM opened its most proprietary computer technology—the data-centric, IBM Z mainframe platform—to Linux, an open source operating system. That decision may seem logical and straightforward given the now widespread adoption of Linux and open source software, but at the time it was a bold choice, and it has proven to be a resounding success. In this installment of FOSSlife’s Open Source Success series, we’ll look at this important link in the evolutionary chain of open source.

        • Agrolly advances capabilities for small-scale farmers with technology innovation

          Meet Agrolly, a Call for Code global finalist solution built by a group of Pace University students with diverse backgrounds and experience from Taiwan, Brazil, Mongolia, and India. Agrolly aims to fill in the information gap so that farmers with less resources available to them can still make more educated decisions, obtain the necessary financing, and improve their economic outcome. Using IBM® Cloud Object Storage, IBM Watson® Studio, IBM Watson Assistant, and The Weather Company technologies, the platform provides a full service solution to execute climate risk assessments. Featured in the platform is a long-term rainfall forecast, which is tested periodically for increased accuracy, in addition to crop water requirements for the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO), which is tailored for the location of each farmer, type of crop, and stage of the farm. Agrolly also provides a forum module allowing farmers to exchange information and solutions and allows text and picture uploads. Lastly, the Agrolly platform includes crop-risk algorithms allowing for risk assessments to be executed by small farmers.

        • OffShip connects online shoppers with pro-environment organizations to offset shipping emissions

          Did those last minute holiday gifts you rush-shipped make it in time? How about that impulse purchase from your favorite retailer that you wanted on your doorstep in two days? While shipping companies keep up with the demand and incentivize the market with more efficient and affordable services, attention is rarely placed on who actually suffers the brunt of these simple clicks, the environment.

          With online shopping growing in popularity, consumers are now using this as their primary method of purchasing goods. This rise in popularity, paired with the onset of COVID-19 that’s keeping everyone at home, has made online shopping even more essential and depended upon. This has rippling effects on the environment as carbon-based combustion grows in concert. Online shopping can be an effortless and fun act for the buyer, but its increased heavy usage calls for a reality check in regards to what it is doing to the world around us.

        • Onboard edge computing devices with SDO and Open Horizon

          For many companies, setting up heterogeneous fleets of edge devices across remote sites has traditionally been a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process. This week at the Open Networking & Edge Summit conference, IBM announced that Intel’s Secure Device Onboarding (SDO) solution is now fully integrated into Open Horizon and IBM Edge Application Manager and available to developers as a tech preview.

          The Intel-developed SDO enables low-touch bootstrapping of required software at device initial power-on. For the Open Horizon project, this enables the agent software to be automatically and autonomously installed and configured. SDO technology is now being incorporated into a new industry onboarding standard being developed by the FIDO Alliance.

        • The Call for Code University Edition finalists announced

          Throughout history, we’ve been reminded that solutions can come from anywhere and from anybody. Year after year, Call for Code continues to demonstrate the importance of encouraging participants with diverse backgrounds from around the world to offer their vantage point on some of society’s most pressing issues, locate problems within these challenges, and build solutions that fight back. Tackling global issues at scale requires global action–and The Call for Code University Edition has produced hundreds of promising solutions from the worldwide community of student participants to fight back against COVID-19 and climate change.

        • SchoolListIt keeps students on track and puts parents at ease

          Using IBM Watson® Text to Speech and other technologies, the SchoolListIt app can take information from Google Classroom and WordPress sites and turn these into mobile-friendly assignments with due dates.

        • Safe Queue facilitates social distancing with app-based virtual lines

          Nowadays, standing in lines can have some serious consequences. Whether it’s maintaining six feet of social distance, or wearing a mask correctly, some people continue to not follow current directives — and this can put people at risk. From the trip to the grocery store to picking up medicine from the local pharmacy, we soon realize how integral standing in lines truly is as we shop for daily or weekly essentials. With lines now being moved outdoors to maintain reduced occupancy counts in the respective building, people are not only at risk of the COVID-19 virus, but weather conditions as well.

          This is where Safe Queue comes into play. Safe Queue is a simple app that works using QR codes and your location to hold your place in line while you wait nearby, say in a car in a parking lot. After you get within 1000 feet of your destination, Safe Queue uses your GPS location data to allow you to add yourself to a virtual queue. You can stay a safe distance away from the location, even remaining in your car while tracking your spot in line. When it’s your turn, you can approach the establishment, and the person operating the door can confirm your entry based on a QR code issued by the Safe Queue app. You can then enter the building without ever having to physically wait in a queue. The app is built on simplicity and privacy. At no point is any personal information collected. When it’s your turn to enter, you simply show your phone at the front of the line and can gain access — no registration required.

        • Need to know technologies for junior sysadmins

          This new segment, the Sudoer Sit-Down, will pose questions to small groups of industry pros. You will get real answers and opinions from real people—users, operators, admins, developers, etc.—each offering a varied and valuable perspective to questions surrounding the IT industry and system administration specifically.

        • Automate your SAP HANA System Replication Deployment using Ansible and RHEL System Roles for SAP [Ed: Red Hat is pushing SAP's proprietary software with Microsoft hosting. Red Hat helps the very rivals of Free software and GNU/Linux is it can make a quick buck.]
        • IBM Cloud Now: Elevated Body Temperature Monitoring at the Edge, IBM Cloud Code Engine, and More
      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical have announced a new point release for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS – 16.04.7 (Xenial Xerus)

          Canonical have released the sixth point release of Ubuntu 16.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) as Ubuntu 16.04.7.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 650

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 650 for the week of September 20 – 26, 2020. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • Canonical at OSM Hackfest MR#9

          The 12th OSM Hackfest, or OSM mid-release NINE (MR#9) Hackfest, is one for the books and Canonical happily shared the presenter floor with the rest of the Open Source MANO (OSM) community. The event spanned the whole week from September 7th to 11th, with Wednesday September 9th afternoon being used for the OSM Ecosystem day. As per the last two hackfests, the remote format allowed participation of hundreds of enthusiasts. During the preparation of the hackfest, it was agreed to keep the same theme as the last one, so participants were able to use OSM to manage and orchestrate workloads in an end-to-end open source mobile network solution with the Facebook Connectivity project; Magma.


          David Garcia, the N2VC MDL, had multiple sessions during day 2; an introduction to OSM primitives, Juju relations and a 3 hour workshop on OSM orchestration of VNFs. OSM uses Juju as a core component and leverages operators to drive lifecycle management, workload configuration, daily operations and integration functions. Juju is a universal operator lifecycle manager (OLM) that exposes events to the operators and enables users to deploy simple to complex models of applications declaring business intent instead of dealing with piles of configuration scripts.


          The Ecosystem Day, an integral part of every hackfest, is for the community to learn about vendor-oriented solutions and projects. Among others, we had a demo of 5G Core network automation by OSM from Ulak Communications, we learned about vBNG orchestration using Juju by Benu networks and subscription and notification support in OSM by Tata ELXSI. We also presented a session on Charmed OSM, Canonical’s carrier-grade, hardened OSM distribution. Charmed OSM allows operators, GSIs and NEPs to move faster with NFV transformation through open-source technology and partner programmes.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 5 qualities of outstanding open source community managers

        community manager is the quarterback of an open source community. This is the person who ensures that everything runs smoothly, the one who helps the community and all its members grow. Every thriving community needs one.

        While the specific skills and expertise a community manager needs depend on the community itself—after all, every community is unique—there are a handful of core qualities you’ll see in any outstanding community manager.

      • Ingo announces pta (Plain Text Accounting)

        Recently, i got annoyed because i still didn’t have a free accounting program that was to my liking. So i looked through the OpenBSD ports tree and briefly evaluated the programs i found there. None of them convinced me. Many seemed to have awkward user interfaces, some even require a GUI, and i definitely don’t want a GUI. While i found every feature i wanted in at least one program, i failed to find any program having all the desired features. Some lack cost centers, some lack subaccounts, some lack support for handling unrealized profits and so on… I’m not absolutely convinced that i did not miss a good one, but at some point, it felt like i was wasting more time evaluting inadequate programs than might be needed to write an adequate one from scratch.

        Consequently, i released the plain text accounting program today. Version 0.1 should still be considered experimental, but i’m already using it in production for my own bookkeeping, and a friend of mine is likely to also start using it for their business in 2021, so it is very likely that it will be actively maintained.

      • Open Source Contributors: Who’s Missing–and Why?

        Open source software has indisputably advanced the software industry as a whole in myriad ways. It has fostered faster innovation. It has helped enable new paradigms, like DevOps. It has made all sorts of important software programs, from Web browsers to video editing software, accessible to people who, in past decades, could not have afforded them. Yet, open source also exemplifies, and exacerbates, a major challenge for the software industry: achieving greater demographic diversity. When you look at open source contributors, you find that most of them look very much alike: white and male.

        In fact, the open source space is even less diverse than the tech industry as a whole. And that’s no mean feat, given how incredibly un-diverse tech companies in general tend to be.

        That’s a fascinating reality, and it bears some investigation for anyone who wants to understand the dynamics that determine which sorts of people are envisioning, designing and writing some of the most important software platforms today–from Firefox and Apache to Linux and Kubernetes.


        In some ways, these trends among open source contributors may seem unsurprising. It’s not news that the tech space is mostly white and mostly male, and has been for decades.

        Yet, the fact that open source is even less diverse than tech in general seems harder to explain. If anything, you might think open source would be more diverse. After all, in many cases, the demographic identity of people who contribute to open source projects is not even known to others within those projects, unless for some reason they volunteer it. No one knows your race or gender by looking at your GitHub profile.

        For that reason, it would be hard to argue that active discrimination explains the demographic trends in open source. The lack of diversity at a company could be explained by hiring committees dismissing diverse candidates. But, in open source, there are no hiring committees or other gatekeeping bodies that have much insight into the demographic profile of contributors. You get judged on the quality of your code alone.


        Coupled with the fact that many of the prominent white men in the open source space were quite well-off before they got involved in open source (Torvalds, who wrote the Linux kernel as a penniless college student, is an obvious exception), this is the most compelling explanation to me.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7: First impressions of a solid update

          Being open has broader advantages than being able to rewrite code. As Dave Koelmeyer pointed out after I looked at LibreOffice 5.2, it uses open standards throughout. You get full document interoperability.

          LibreOffice won’t lock you out because of proprietary traps. Microsoft Office and other proprietary suites don’t trap you as much as in the past, but risks remain.

          There is a security angle to this. Governments and many large companies are sometimes wary of proprietary software. This is even more the case now that cloud plays a large role. They fear their data might find its way into a remote data silo and be vulnerable.

        • openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020 Diamond Sponsors

          Collabora, SUSE and The Document Foundation are Diamond Sponsors for openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020. The joint openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020 will run from October 15 – 17, and will be fully virtual. LibreOffice and openSUSE advocates, supporters and contributors are invited to register now and take part! Although different from past conferences, the event will be rich in contents and will also provide the opportunity of open discussions in specific virtual spaces.

        • Collabora is Diamond Sponsor for openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020

          The joint openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020 will run from October 15 – 17, and Collabora has joined as a Diamond Sponsor.

          Collabora is a major contributor to the LibreOffice project: 37% of commits to the LibreOffice source code in the last two years were made by the company.

      • Programming/Development

        • Understand the new GitLab Kubernetes Agent

          GitLab’s current Kubernetes integrations were introduced more than three years ago. Their primary goal was to allow a simple setup of clusters and provide a smooth deployment experience to our users. These integrations served us well in the past years but at the same time its weaknesses were limiting for some important and crucial use cases.

        • GitLab Introduces the GitLab Kubernetes Agent

          The GitLab Kubernetes Agent (GKA), released in GitLab 13.4, provides a permanent communication channel between GitLab and the cluster. According to the GitLab blog, it is designed to provide a secure solution that allows cluster operators to restrict GitLab’s rights in the cluster and does not require opening up the cluster to the Internet.

        • Git Protocol v2 Available at Launchpad

          After a few weeks of development and testing, we are proud to finally announce that Git protocol v2 is available at Launchpad! But what are the improvements in the protocol itself, and how can you benefit from that?

          The git v2 protocol was released a while ago, in May 2018, with the intent of simplifying git over HTTP transfer protocol, allowing extensibility of git capabilities, and reducing the network usage in some operations.

          For the end user, the main clear benefit is the bandwidth reduction: in the previous version of the protocol, when one does a “git pull origin master”, for example, even if you have no new commits to fetch from the remote origin, git server would first “advertise” to the client all refs (branches and tags) available. In big repositories with hundreds or thousands of refs, this simple handshake operation could consume a lot of bandwidth and time to communicate a bunch of data that would potentially be discarded by the client after.

          In the v2 protocol, this waste is no longer present: the client now has the ability to filter which refs it wants to know about before the server starts advertising it.

        • Qt Desktop Days 7-11 September

          We are happy to let you know that the very first edition of Qt Desktop Days 2020 was a great success! Having pulled together the event at very short notice, we were delighted at the enthusiastic response from contributors and attendees alike.

        • Full Stack Tracing Part 1

          Full stack tracing is a tool that should be part of every software engineer’s toolkit. It’s the best way to investigate and solve certain classes of hard problems in optimization and debugging. Because of the power and capability it gives the developer, we’ll be writing a series of blogs about it: when to use it, how to get it set up, how to create traces, and how to interpret results. Our goal is to get you capable enough to use full stack tracing to solve your tough problems too.

          Firstly, what is it? Full stack tracing is tracing on the full software stack, from the operating system to the application. By collecting profiling information (timing, process, caller, API, and other info) from the kernel, drivers, software frameworks, application, and JavaScript environments, you’re able to see exactly how the individual components of a system are interacting. That opens up areas of investigation that are impossible to achieve with standard application profilers, kernel debug messages, or even strategically inserted printf() commands. One way to think of full stack tracing is like a developer’s MRI machine that allows you to look into a running system without disturbing it to determine what is happening inside. (And unlike other low-level traces that we’ve written about before, full stack tracing provides a simpler way to view activity up and down the entire software stack.)

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.39 The Releaser

            Alexander Kiryuhin has been very busy in the past week. Not only did they release a Comma Complete update (the Raku IDE of choice, now with 2020.02 IntelliJ support). They also released the Rakudo 2020.09 Compiler Release implementing the Raku Programming Language. And Claudio Ramirez made sure there are ready to download Linux packages for that release. And Timo Paulssen made sure there’s an AppImage for it as well!

        • Python

          • Padding Strings in Python

            String padding refers to adding, usually, non-informative characters to a string to one or both ends of it. This is most often done for output formatting and alignment purposes, but it can have useful practical applications.

            A frequent use case for padding strings is outputting table-like information in a table-like fashion. You can do this in a variety of ways, including using Pandas to convert your data to an actual table. This way, Python would handle the output formatting on its own.

          • Resources to learn Tableau, Power BI, Python etc
          • Implementing Common Python Built-ins in JavaScript

            In this post we’ll try to implement common Python builtins such as min mas etc in JavaScript.

          • Python’s Generator and Yield Explained

            Generators are iterators, a kind of iterable you can only iterate over once.

            So what are iterators anyway?

            An iterator is an object that can be iterated (looped) upon. It is used to abstract a container of data to make it behave like an iterable object. Some common iterable objects in Python are – lists, strings, dictionary.

            Every generator is an iterator, but not vice versa. A generator is built by calling a function that has one or more yield expressions.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Quantum computers and future of system administration

        Released in 1971, the Intel 4004 was the world’s first microprocessor. I was ten years old and watched on TV as David Scott and James Irwin drove a car on the moon. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and I could not stop dreaming about what the future would bring. Technology has come a long way since then, and I believe we are now on the threshold of the next gigantic leap, thanks to quantum computers. Sysadmins, are you ready?

    • Education

      • It used to be simpler to teach

        Sure, we then showed the effect with ls -1 at a terminal, and demonstrated with ls | cat, etc., but it just wasn’t the same. (At the time I changed from using ls to who(1) – easy to do because these were multi-user systems, and the examples made sense.)

        Why do I mention this?

        Today in some versions of Linux ls puts single quotes around file names which contain white space likely in order to have those paths easier to copy and paste, but it does so only if !isatty().

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft 365 outage affects multiple services [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Microsoft Corp said late Monday a recent change it introduced likely caused a major outage, affecting users’ access to multiple Microsoft 365 services, including Outlook.com and Microsoft Teams.

        • Microsoft says it has resolved its Microsoft 365 service outage [iophk: Windows TCO]

          “Rolling back the previously described change did not resolve the incident as expected,” Microsoft said on its Office.com status page, under the “more details” heading. “We’re evaluating additional options to remediate the problem.”

        • Microsoft’s Office 365 Back From Outage Lasting Several Hours

          A company spokesman confirmed the outages, which also impacted Exchange Online and OneDrive. He didn’t have any information on the causes.

        • Major hospital system hit with cyberattack, potentially largest in U.S. history [iophk: Windows kills]

          Universal Health Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but posted a statement to its website that its company-wide network “is currently offline, due to an IT security issue. One person familiar with the company’s response efforts who was not authorized to speak to the press said that the attack “looks and smells like ransomware.”

        • Ransomware reportedly to blame for outage at US hospital chain [iophk: Windows kills]

          The hospital system, which has more than 400 locations in the US and the UK, said in a statement on Monday that its IT network across several facilities was offline “due to an IT security issue.” No patient or employee data appears to have been compromised, according to the statement, which did not mention malware or ransomware.

        • Cyberattack hobbles major hospital chain’s US facilities [iophk: Windows kills]

          Universal Health Services Inc., which operates more than 250 hospitals and other clinical facilities in the U.S., blamed the outage on an unspecified IT “security issue” in a statement posted to its website Monday but provided no details about the incident, such as how many facilities were affected and whether patients had to be diverted to other hospitals.

        • Cybersecurity Software Firm McAfee Files for Nasdaq IPO

          The San Jose, California-based company listed the size of the offering as $100 million in a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount is a placeholder that will likely change.

          McAfee’s planned offering is part of a software IPO boom this year. The biggest listing for an operating company on a U.S. exchange is software maker Snowflake Inc., which raised $3.86 billion including so-called greenshoe shares this month.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • This free Linux course has trained a million people in open-source tools

                With programming jobs on the up-and-up, it’s little wonder that more people are beginning to seek out training courses to help them find success in the software world.


                “One of our primary goals is to bring more talent into the open-source community, and offering free, high-quality training that is accessible to anyone who wants it is essential to achieving that goal.”

                While Linux hasn’t cracked mainstream adoption amongst general consumers (though recent reports suggest the tide could be beginning to turn ), it remains a core component of enterprise IT architecture. For starters, Linux powers all of the world’s 500 top supercomputers, not to mention the estimated 2.5 billion Android devices circulating in the world today.

                According to a Dice survey in late 2019, a good knowledge of Linux can help you land a lucrative career in the tech industry: figures from the company revealed that employers were typically willing to pay upwards of $100,000 Linux systems engineer and DevOps engineer roles.

                The Linux Foundation’s Introduction to Linux course, which is delivered via the massive open online course (MOOC) edX platform, promises to help put aspiring IT pros on this path, equipping them with knowledge from both a graphical and command-line perspective. Upon completion of the course, students can apply for a verified certificate of completion for $199.

              • Free Linux course has already taught one million people

                Learning about the Linux operating system and the various Linux distros available is a great way for young programmers to get a start in the industry and many have done so using the Linux Foundation’s Introduction to Linux training course.

                In fact, the Linux Foundation recently announced that its training course, which is currently in its sixth edition, has surpassed one million enrollments.


                As Linux powers all of the world’s 500 top supercomputers, the vast majority of mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system and serves as the backbone of the cloud and the internet itself, understanding Linux is an essential first step to pursuing many jobs in the IT industry.

                After completing the Linux Foundation’s Introduction to Linux training course, students possess a good working knowledge of Linux that allows them to easily navigate through any of the major Linux distributions. They can also continue their progress as either a user, system administrator or developer using their newly acquired skill set.

              • Google Cloud Joins Linux Foundation Networking at Platinum Level

                LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open source networking projects, announces Google Cloud has joined as a Platinum member. Since its beginnings, Google’s mission has been to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, and Google Cloud’s vision is to be the most trusted, simple, innovative cloud for customers around the world. Through its membership, Google will further the acceleration of open source technologies across cloud native networking, telecoms, network automation, 5G, and more.

                “We look forward to working with all members and the larger community to continue to find ways to bring further value to consumers and communications services providers alike, demonstrating how public cloud can help fundamentally transform networking in new and exciting ways“, said Amol Phadke, Managing Director: Global Telecom Industry Solutions, Google Cloud. “Google’s excellence in creating and sponsoring components like Kuberntes, Istio and Knative—and successfully integrating them into products like Anthos—will be a key pillar within the Linux Foundation Networking.”

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (curl, libdbi-perl, linux-4.19, lua5.3, mediawiki, nfdump, openssl1.0, qt4-x11, qtbase-opensource-src, ruby-gon, and yaws), Fedora (f2fs-tools, grub2, libxml2, perl-DBI, singularity, xawtv, and xen), Mageia (cifs-utils, kio-extras, libproxy, mbedtls, nodejs, novnc, and pdns), openSUSE (bcm43xx-firmware, chromium, conmon, fuse-overlayfs, libcontainers-common, podman, firefox, libqt4, libqt5-qtbase, openldap2, ovmf, pdns, rubygem-actionpack-5_1, and tiff), SUSE (firefox, go1.14, ImageMagick, and libqt5-qtbase), and Ubuntu (firefox, gnuplot, libquicktime, miniupnpd, ruby-sanitize, and sudo).

          • Mac, Linux Users Now Targeted by FinSpy Variants

            FinSpy has returned in new campaigns targeting dissident organizations in Egypt – and researchers uncovered new samples of the spyware targeting macOS and Linux users.

            The FinSpy commercial spyware is back in recently observed campaigns against organizations and activists in Egypt. While the spyware previously targeted Windows, iOS and Android users, researchers have discovered these campaigns using new variants that target macOS and Linux users.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • DHS Probably Didn’t Clone Phones To Intercept Protesters’ Communications

              More information continues to leak out about the federal government’s ad hoc anti-riot strike force (or whatever) that made its nationwide debut in Portland, Oregon. The federal officers — composed of DHS components, US Marshals Service, and Federal Protective Services — made an immediate impression on the nation as unmarked officers hauled protesters off in unmarked vehicles to undisclosed locations for questioning.

            • Smart Locks Could Make Heartless COVID Evictions More Efficient

              Like most internet of broken things products, we’ve noted how “smart” door locks often aren’t all that smart. More than a few times we’ve written about smart lock consumers getting locked out of their own homes without much recourse. Other times we’ve noted how the devices simply aren’t particularly secure, with one study finding that 12 of 16 smart locks that they tested could be relatively easily hacked thanks to flimsy security standards, something that’s the primary feature of many internet of broken things devices.

            • In TikTok Ruling, Judge Rejects Trump’s View of National Security Powers

              Nichols, who was appointed to the federal bench by Trump himself, soundly repudiates the Trump Administration’s view of the government’s national security powers. The judge agrees the IEEPA grants the executive branch broad authority but doesn’t allow the regulation of informational materials and personal communications. The DOJ argued that Congress never intended to limit the President’s ability to prevent a foreign government from dominating data services, but Nichols says this view finds no support in the text of the statute. The judge says the law forecloses even the indirect regulation of news wires, and analogizes TikTok’s flow of information to such. The DOJ attempted to invoke the Espionage Act for its view that informational materials could be regulated, but Nichols draws the line. “[I]t is not plausible that the films, photos, art, or even personal information U.S. users share on TikTok fall within the plain meaning of the Espionage Act,” writes the judge.

            • The Biden campaign wants to take back YouTube

              But behind the scenes, Biden’s campaign is pushing to make YouTube a more friendly place for Democrats. The Biden campaign has been working directly with YouTube channels and Facebook pages like Occupy Democrats and creators like Brian Tyler Cohen to create content that reaches millions of people, the campaign said, as part of a broader effort to counterbalance influencers like Shapiro and Rubin. A conscious counterpoint to the Trump campaign’s “Death Star,” the effort has been nicknamed “the Rebel Alliance.”

            • [YLE] finds that Chinese watch list including 799 Finnish names was copied from US database

              On Monday, Yle revealed that the list matches one from a database of the US financial news and information company Dow Jones.

              The firm, which owns the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and other publications, is a subsidiary of News Corp, founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

              Yle research shows that Finnish material was primarily copied from the US database. Personal data of the persons featuring in the database appear to have been culled from open sources such as social media and news articles.

            • Trump Administration Likely Exceeded Legal Authority With TikTok Ban, Judge Rules

              The federal judge who blocked the White House’s ban on TikTok downloads in the U.S. Sunday night said the Trump administration “likely exceeded the lawful bounds” of the powers afforded to the president under the the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

              President Trump invoked the IEEPA in his executive order to ban TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, in the United States. The law is designed to let the president take emergency action to prohibit business transactions with an entity that represents “an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”

              However, the IEEPA includes two exceptions — both of which apply to TikTok, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols of the District of Columbia wrote in his opinion, which was unsealed Monday.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘He knew the killer by his eyes’ The evidence that locked up Khabarovsk’s governor

        On September 10, a Moscow court moved Nikolai Mistryukov to house arrest. A key witness in the case against former Khabarovsk Governor Sergey Furgal, Mistryukov has reportedly agreed to a plea bargain with investigators. The case has been ongoing for more than a year, but officials have yet to reveal what evidence they have against Furgal, who was arrested this summer and booted from office on charges of orchestrating multiple contract killings roughly 15 years ago. Meduza explores what little is known about the case materials and who might have provided the testimony needed to lock him up.

      • No Novichok here: Pro-Kremlin pundit broadcasts from hotel room where Navalny was poisoned to ‘prove’ that it couldn’t have happened there

        During Sunday’s episode of his television show Vesti Nedeli, pro-Kremlin pundit and state media executive Dmitry Kiselyov visited the Tomsk hotel where opposition figure Alexey Navalny stayed the night before he became violently ill from severe poisoning. In a bid to prove that Navalny wasn’t poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent, Kiselyov even spent the night in the same hotel room (or so he claims). 

      • How a News Report on Hiroshima Helped Prevent Nuclear War

        Whether you’re reading this with your morning coffee, just after lunch, or on the late shift in the wee small hours of the morning, it’s 100 seconds to midnight. That’s just over a minute and a half. And that should be completely unnerving. It’s the closest to that witching hour we’ve ever been.

      • A Police Cover-Up? New Bodycam Video from Night of Breonna Taylor’s Killing Undermines State Account

        We speak with Vice News correspondent Roberto Ferdman about new body camera footage he obtained from the police raid that killed Breonna Taylor in Louisville in March, which has raised troubling questions about the integrity of the crime scene, and the investigation that followed. “The public deserves more information to understand what we know for sure and what we don’t and why things have been presented the way they have been,” Ferdman tells Democracy Now!

      • Colombians Take On Their Militarized Police

        It’s been less than a year since Colombia’s national strike, in which millions marched en masse to protest unpopular economic reforms, deep-seated corruption, and military abuses. On September 9, protesters took back to the streets. A 2016 peace agreement ending over 50 years of armed conflict with a leftist guerilla group remains unimplemented, activists and social leaders are still being massacred with impunity, and unemployment remains high. Now, a new grievance has been added to the list: police violence.

      • Cars have hit demonstrators 104 times since George Floyd protests began

        Byman said earlier this summer that he’s seen a meme shared by the Charlottesville killer circulating in white supremacist circles. Right-wing extremists turned the man into “a bit of a saint” after the killing, MacNab said.

        Since the grand jury indictment in the Breonna Taylor case Wednesday, and the protests that have erupted in the ensuing days, the use of particular Twitter hashtags referencing such memes has more than doubled, according to Weil.

        “These ‘Run Them Over’ memes continue to circulate. Twitter said they were going to block the hashtag All Lives Splatter, but it still remains in use,” he said.

      • NYT editorial board presses for plan if Trump tweets he won election

        The Times editorial board suggested that if Trump tweets he has won the election before he legally has, social media platforms adjust their algorithms to downplay his posts.

        “Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all pledged to crack down on misinformation around voting and electoral outcomes. Perhaps in the above scenario they append a label to the president’s posts saying that the information is disputed and that the results are not in,” the editorial reads.

      • What’s the Plan if Trump Tweets That He’s Won Re-election?

        Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all pledged to crack down on misinformation around voting and electoral outcomes. Perhaps in the above scenario they append a label to the president’s posts saying that the information is disputed and that the results are not in. They could introduce friction into the algorithms to slow the reach of the posts.

        But pro-Trump lawmakers and pundits most likely would have picked up the argument by then, amplifying the president’s message. What started as one prominent piece of voter disinformation easily could become widespread in the Republican Party and among a large segment of Americans. What would the platforms do then?

        That one cannot answer that question with confidence, weeks before Election Day, is alarming. The platforms’ content moderation decisions are often arbitrary and, when public officials are concerned, left up to the judgment of a few top executives. Their corporate desires to avoid accusations of bias and appear politically neutral, however admirable in principle, break down in an information environment in which the political parties do not share the same relationship to the truth and to democratic norms.

      • Trump’s Massive Debts Are a National Security Crisis

        The New York Times’ explosive new investigation into Trump’s history of tax avoidance and IRS battles not only reveals that Trump paid a measly $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. The Times‘ bombshell — the first in a new series of stories scrutinizing tax records that Trump himself has refused to disclose — also underscores how indebted Trump is personally, and how those debts would come due in the second term of a Trump presidency, posing a grave conflict of interest and a national-security threat.

        The Times reported that Trump is personally responsible for loans and other debts of $421 million, much of which comes due in the next four years. If Trump wins reelection but cannot make his loan payments, his lenders will have to decide whether they want to mount a legal battle against the sitting president to recoup their funds.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Ohio Just Ordered GM to Repay $28 Million in Tax Breaks for Closing the Lordstown Auto Plant

        The state of Ohio on Monday ordered General Motors to repay $28 million in public subsidies for reneging on its promise to keep its sprawling Lordstown plant open.

        The automaker, which had pledged to keep operations going until 2040, closed its assembly plant last October, drawing criticism from elected officials in both political parties, including President Donald Trump. At the time, GM cited the collapsing market for small cars; Lordstown produced the compact Chevrolet Cruze.

      • The Real Threat to Democracy: Concentrated Wealth

        A White House that muses openly about not counting votes. A Senate rushing to cement in place a fiercely conservative Supreme Court. We have plenty of reasons these days to despair for our democracy. The Commission on Presidential Debates has just added another.

      • 10 Things You Need to Know About Trump’s Tax Returns

        7. Does this make Trump a national security risk? You bet. Note that a bipartisan group of nearly 500 national security officials, past and present, last week endorsed Biden for president. The list includes retired General Paul Selva, who served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first two and a half years of Trump’s presidency.8. Why is he so desperate to stay in power? Presumably because a sitting president cannot be indicted, and he won’t have to face federal and state prosecution.9. What’s Trump’s reaction to this bombshell? Not surprisingly, he claims it’s “totally fake news.” But the easiest way to refute it would be to make his tax returns public, which he refuses to do. 10. Will this bombshell affect the election? Probably not. His followers live in a Fox News bubble that this news won’t permeate. It will only confirm what the rest of us already knew. Trump is a conman and a crook. 

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Hate-Speech Law stricken down in France comes back at EU level

        On the 25th of June, one week after the Hate-Speech Law had been stricken down by the French Constitutionnal Court, our government asked the European Commission to get this defunct project adopted at the EU level.

      • Is academic freedom really protected in South Africa?

        South Africa’s concern for academic freedom long predates the post-apartheid constitution. Thomas B. Davie was appointed vice-chancellor of UCT in 1948, the same year that the National Party came to power and began introducing segregation. Five years later, Davie gave an address to students in which he gave a seminal articulation of the “four essential freedoms” that academic freedom consists of: “the freedom of the university to determine without outside pressure or force what to teach, whom to teach, how to teach, and who shall teach”. This definition was subsequently cited in a landmark case by the US Supreme Court in 1957.

        Yet these two recent examples of attacks on high-profile scholars – by government officials on Glenda Gray and by a university executive on Nicoli Nattrass – should give us all pause. Davie would no doubt have approved Jansen’s comment on the letter by the Black Academic Caucus to a government minister: “Not even apartheid’s apparatchiks would pull a stunt like that.”

      • Iranian Refugees in Turkey Fear Arbitrary Deportations, Possible Surveillance

        Besides the growing fear of deportation by Turkish authorities, Iranian refugees are deeply concerned about the regime’s alleged surveillance activities abroad via the Revolutionary Guard’s long reach.

        Some analysts argue that because Iranians can travel in Turkey for 90 days without a visa, Iranian intelligence could enter Turkey to spy on the dissidents in exile.

        “The lack of a visa requirement permits members of Iranian intelligence to enter Turkey using their ordinary passports instead of having to show their official ones. This enables the Quds Force, an elite foreign operations unit of the Revolutionary Guards to increase their activities in Turkey,” Savash Porgham, an Istanbul-based journalist specializing in Iranian politics, told VOA.

      • Exclusive Interview: Women’s Rights Activist Maryam Shariatmadari Detained in Turkey

        Police arrested an outspoken Iranian women’s rights activist in Turkey on Monday, and may deport her to Iran, where she may potentially could face torture, prison and even the death penalty.

        Maryam Shariatmadari is one of the Iranian women who courageously defied compulsory Hijab in the Twelver-Shi’ite clergy-dominated country.

        The anti-compulsory hijab movement, called “the Girls of Revolution Street,” started after a woman took off her headscarf in central Tehran.

      • Twitter Removes Russian Media from Searches

        On Monday, Russia published information that Twitter removed Ria Novosti from the search results. Additionally, users who were not subscribed to the Ria Novosti page will now be unable to find it in Russia or other countries. Earlier, Twitter blocked the profiles of KE and Sputnik in the same manner.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • What Trump and Biden Should Debate at the Cleveland Clinic: Why the Hospital’s Private Police Mostly Arrest Black People

        A few minutes after noon on a September day in 2018, Jacarvi Jackson and Darcell Williams were crossing Euclid Avenue, a main road through Cleveland’s medical area. Both of them worked for a vendor that supplies food to patients at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. Still in their work uniforms after finishing their eight-hour shifts at the hospital’s loading dock, they were heading to a Burger King lot where their cars were parked. They were in a hurry — Jackson was worried about getting to his classes at Cleveland State University — and didn’t take the crosswalk.

        A police cruiser was coming toward them. Eric Parks, the officer inside, rolled down his window and shouted at Jackson and Williams to use the crosswalk. When they didn’t, Parks pulled up and drove onto the sidewalk curb to block their path, they said. Parks then jumped out of the cruiser, grabbed Jackson, bent his arm behind his back and pinned him against the vehicle. Parks held him there for several minutes as two more officers responded to the scene.

      • The Federal Government Promised Native American Students Computers and Internet. Many Are Still Waiting.

        Aubrie Sloan expected to start sixth grade in a virtual classroom where she would learn from her teacher each day and engage with classmates for the first time since the coronavirus forced her school to close in March.

        Instead, she marks her attendance at Kaibeto Boarding School, on the western side of the Navajo Nation, by texting or calling her teacher each morning. Then she dives into paper packets the school delivers to her home, breezing through assignments that her mother says aren’t a challenge because she already knows the material.

      • Planned Parenthood CEO: Trump’s SCOTUS Pick Could Overturn Roe v. Wade & Kill Obamacare

        President Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court could threaten reproductive rights across the U.S., according to Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. Barrett, who once called abortion “always immoral,” would give conservatives a decisive 6-3 advantage on the top court if she is confirmed by the Senate, and President Trump has openly promoted her nomination by suggesting she would help overturn the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S. Barrett “would be a huge threat to reproductive rights” on the Supreme Court, says McGill Johnson. “Reproductive healthcare is healthcare. And the most immediate threat that we are facing in the time of a pandemic is the fact that the ACA, which has been one of the biggest advancements for women’s health across the board, is also under attack.”

      • How “Extremist” Amy Coney Barrett Could Reshape the Supreme Court & Hand Trump the Election

        As President Trump nominates conservative federal judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, we look at how an emboldened 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court could dramatically loosen gun laws, hurt immigrant communities and play a possibly central role in deciding a close presidential election. “Her religious conservatism is not what’s extreme about her. It’s her actual judicial opinions,” says Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation. “She does not use her religion to guide her through her decisions; she uses her extremist conservative views.”

      • Feds open civil rights investigation into Kansas teen killed by police during wellness check

        Federal authorities have opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal police shooting of a Kansas teenager who was backing out of the family’s garage when an officer — responding to a call for a wellness check — fired 13 times.


        After his death, Albers’ family sought answers for what led to the shooting and even for the name of the officer who killed him, which they quickly learned was a struggle because of the state’s restrictive public records laws, including for police documents.

      • Keeping Male Bodies Out of Women’s Rugby

        During this period, instances of biological males playing in the women’s game increased, and some participants began to express alarm. One rugby referee posted on the website Fair Play for Women, for instance, that “being forced to prioritize hurt feelings over broken bones exposes me to personal litigation from female players who have been harmed by players who are biologically male. This is driving female players and referees out of the game.” Another wrote, “I volunteer my time to officiate matches because I love my sport. But I won’t continue much longer if I have stay quiet about the unfairness I see on the pitch or risk abuse by getting called transphobic if I turned a player away.” A chairperson of one UK rugby club expressed shock upon discovering that, as she reported, “If anyone suspects someone on the opposing team might have an advantage because they are transgender, ‘they must not ask.’ They must simply accept that all teams will be ‘complying with the rules.’”

      • After Growth

        In the 1960s, President Julius Nyerere had a difficult message for citizens of the newly independent nation of Tanzania: accept less. Rapid economic growth would require taking loans, threatening Tanzania’s autonomy as a nation. Importing consumer items from abroad would enrich foreign countries at Africans’ expense and make Tanzanians dependent on the outside world. Nyerere urged Tanzanians to reject the forms of wealth that former colonizers had enjoyed and to forge a different version of well-being. Why build cement buildings with corrugated metal roofs, he asked, when the mud clay houses with thatched roofs our parents and grandparents lived in can be made with materials found within our borders? Don’t import clothes or cars or other luxury items; instead make your own clothing with Tanzanian cotton cloth, ride bicycles, and take public transportation. Rather than move to cities, he told Tanzanian youth, stay in your village and participate in communal agriculture.

        For the ambitious president, lowering material expectations was not an act of political piety, but a revolutionary declaration of autonomy in a world system that had long exploited sub-Saharan Africa. But in his idealism, he was asking a lot from his fellow citizens. Under colonial rule, Africans had been denied access to the material trappings of “the good life” while Europeans became wealthy on the fruits of African labor and resources. After winning independence, many Tanzanians were not expecting to be told, once again, that they should accept poverty. Nyerere faced a difficult political task: how do you tell dispossessed people to accept less, in an unjust world in which they have not yet had the chance to have enough?

        Nyerere’s challenge—how to make a compelling argument for less—resonates anew in the context of global climate change. It is also one of the central challenges posed by Julie Livingston in her book Self-Devouring Growth. In giving this name to our collective planetary predicament, she is not invoking a metaphor, but describing an observable physical process. Our collective way of life, as it is currently organized, requires us to grow by devouring the material substance of our planet. There are two problems with self-devouring growth: First, there are the nonrenewable materials that we consume. Second, there is the waste produced by this extractive process. “In other words,” Livingston explains, “self-devouring growth is a cancerous model.” Like cancer spreading through a body, we live by devouring the material basis of our existence, creating necrotic tissue in the form of hollowed-out environments, toxic dumps, and poisons that we spread across the world. We must grow in order to maintain our mode of life; in order to grow, we consume our own future and ensure our eventual collective death.

        Self-devouring growth is a universal story that can be told from any place on earth. Livingston tells her version from the standpoint of a country widely regarded as exemplary, virtuous, even miraculous in its development trajectory. Botswana emerged from British colonial rule in 1966 one of the poorest countries on earth, having been made into a labor reserve for the South African mining industry. Yet within less than a decade of independence, prospectors from the De Beers corporation found diamonds in the country. Botswana used its mineral wealth to build a welfare state, providing universal free healthcare, ten years of free education to all, and clean piped water to all of its residents. Botswana has often been hailed as the African miracle. It is a middle-income country with a strong, functioning democracy. Botswana, by most measures of success, has done everything right.

      • Nicaraguan asylum seekers face hunger in Costa Rica or dangerous returns

        While the exodus of millions of Venezuelans has garnered much media and humanitarian attention over recent years, a large migration in Central America has been taking place under most people’s radar: from authoritarian Nicaragua to comparatively booming Costa Rica.

        However, the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has seen work opportunities in Costa Rica dry up, and thousands of Nicaraguans are now trying to return home as they are going hungry and facing increasing xenophobia fuelled by fears over the spread of COVID-19.

        With the border now closed unless you have a negative test result, would-be returnees often have to choose between taking dangerous, illegal routes back home or resigning themselves to remaining in Costa Rica with little support. More Nicaraguans, meanwhile, are still trying to flee the other way – whether for economic, political, or health reasons – but Costa Rican officials are now only accepting asylum claims at a very limited number of crossing points.

        “The situation at the [Nicaragua-Costa Rica] border is one of the most difficult in the Americas,” Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told The New Humanitarian, calling for more “dialogue” with the Nicaraguan government to try to resolve the crisis.

    • Monopolies

      • Bust ‘Em All: Let’s De-Monopolize Tech, Telecoms AND Entertainment

        The early 1980s were a period of tremendous foment and excitement for tech. In the four years between 1980 and 1984, Americans met:

        But no matter how exciting things were in Silicon Valley during those years, even more seismic changes were afoot in Washington, D.C., where a jurist named Robert Bork found the ear of President Reagan and a coterie of elite legal insiders and began to fundamentally reshape US antitrust law.

      • Uber regains London license after winning court appeal

        Uber has continued operation in the city as it appealed its license following the first decision to revoke it in 2017, a decision made by Transport for London over alleged corporate irresponsibility. The license was rejected again in 2019 over breaches in its app that regulators said put citizens at risk, such as one that allowed some drivers to give rides without insurance.

      • Uber gets 18-month London license after winning court appeal

        It’s a crucial legal victory in a lucrative European market as the company struggles to turn a profit. Uber posted a $1.8 billion loss in the latest quarter because millions of people stayed home amid the pandemic. That has raised doubts that it can meet its goal of becoming profitable by 2021. The company faces a slew of other regulatory challenges around the globe. In Britain, it’s also involved in a separate case at the Supreme Court over whether drivers should be considered workers with rights, in a ruling that could shake up the country’s gig economy.

        Uber’s London license has been revoked twice since 2017 but the company has been able to continue operating while it appealed.

      • CVC Takes Its Turn at Filing Dispositive Motion to End Interference

        For those with long memories, last August the Patent Trial and Appeal Board received proposed motions from the parties (University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, Junior Party, and The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University, Senior Party) in Interference No. 106,115. Thereafter, the Board authorized the parties to file some but not all of these motions; the Decision on these Motions was issued by the Board on September 10th (see “PTAB Decides Parties’ Motions in CRISPR Interference”).

      • Patents

        • Ezetimibe-simvastatin SPC invalid in France for non compliance with both 3a) and 3c)

          Although the Court was presented with various CJEU decisions, it focuses on Sanofi (C-443/12), Georgetown (C-484/12), Gilead (C121/17) and Royalty Pharma (C650/17), and especially Sanofi.

          The Court considers the situation to be very close to the Sanofi one. It also considers Gilead and Royalty Pharma refer to situations in which (i) one of the active principles was not named by its chemical name, and (ii) the SPC granted for the combination product was the first one on that basic patent – and the only one, too. The Court therefore considers that the notion of “distinct product” in recitals 29 + 30 of Georgetown, and in Sanofi, is not applicable to Gilead / Royalty Pharma.

          In Georgetown and Sanofi, where -as in the present case- the same basic patent could serve as a basis for multiple SPCs, there is a requirement that the basic patent protects distinct products.

          The question to be answered, according to the Court, is whether for the skilled person the combination product is a distinct product over the single active ingredient product. To that end the skilled person reads the specification and claims of the basic patent, using if necessary Art 69 EPC and its interpretation protocol, and can use his general knowledge.

        • Product-by-Process Within a Method Claim

          After a five-week-trial, the jury returned a verdict that Biogen’s asserted claims were anticipated by two prior art references. In the lawsuit, Biogen had asserted infringement of its US7588755 against Serono and Pfizer based upon their sale of Rebif (IFN-β used for MS treatment).

          In a post-judgment order, the District Court rejected this portion of the jury verdict–holding that no reasonable jury could have found anticipation. In addition to JMOL, the district court also conditionally granted a new trial on anticipation under R.59. The jury had sided with Biogen on other grounds of infringement/validity and so it looked like a win for the patentee. Because the original jury had found the patent invalid, it did not award any damages. Thus, the district court entered a “partial judgment” and scheduled a new trial on damages.


          After reviewing these issues, the appellate panel found the jury had a reasonable basis for its invalidity decision.

        • China Patent: Supreme People’s Court IP Tribunal Affirms Departure From First-To-File Rule Where A First-Filed Declaratory Judgment Action Yields To A Later-Filed Infringement Action

          The regime of declaratory judgement action was first established in China in Longbao v. Langlifu (2002). The SPC confirmed that a declaratory judgement action was a legitimate action in response to an infringement accusation. However, the court did not address the relationship between an infringement action and a declaratory judgement action, until it heard Honda v. Shuanghuan (2004). The SPC in Honda held that when a declaratory judgment action and a patent infringement action concerning the same patent were filed before two different competent courts, the first-to-file rule should apply and the later-filed action should be transferred to the court that heard the first-filed action, and the two actions should be combined into one case to be tried before the court. The SPC did not indicate whether there was any exception to the first-to-file rule. The dispute in Honda involved three patents concerning the same product. In its rulings, the SPC ordered to transfer a later-filed infringement action to the court hearing the first-filed declaratory judgement action in relation to one of the three patents, and to transfer two later-filed declaratory judgement actions to the other court hearing the first-filed infringement actions in relation to the other two patents. Prior to Linklinear, Chinese courts have long been following Honda to apply the first-to-file rule and combine the two actions into one case to be tried before the court in these circumstances.


          When a company is threatened with patent infringement, it may take pre-emptive action by filing a declaratory judgment action asking the court to confirm whether it infringes the patent at issue or not. This has been quite popular among alleged infringers for it allows them to take proactive action to eliminate the cloud of uncertainty looming over their products and/or processes.

          While the Linklinear decision gives lower courts the discretion to depart from the established first-to-file rule with justification, it does not fully address the conflict caused by an infringement action and a declaratory judgement action that are brought in parallel and the unnecessary consumption of legal and social resources as a result.

          To further address this issue, similar to the mechanism set out in the SPC’s interpretation as mentioned above, we propose that when a declaratory judgment action is duly filed, a later-filed infringement action should be dismissed. The fact that the patentee has not filed an action in a timely manner indicates that there may not be a solid ground for the patentee’s warning and such warning already had certain impact on the alleged infringer.

        • Voluntary CLE for Patent Attorneys and Patent Agents: What are the Issues?

          Curious for your comments on this.

          The USPTO has promulgated a final rule. Originally, it was going to charge a fee every two years for practitioners to register, but it has backed off of that. However, instead of having a fee and allowing a deduction for those who take 6 hours of CLE every two years — one hour of ethics, and 5 hours of CLE related to “patent law and practice” and one on “ethics” — it is going to create an on-line directory where practitioners who certify compliance with that CLE requirement will be listed by the Office.


          To me, putting aside the definitional issues of what is “patent law and practice,” the proposal creates an odd thing: it will cause only patent lawyers to be listed in this directory, not patent agents, unless patent agents think it’s worthwhile to do CLE to be listed on this registry. That is, because all but two states (I think) require CLE for lawyers (but none do for patent agents), patent lawyers will get listed, but my instinct is that patent agents aren’t likely to pay a couple hundred dollars in CLE fees to be listed, one would think.

          In that regard, though, others had raised a concern about the original proposal — a $100 discount off the now-rejected bi-annual registration fee would make no sense for patent agents — and in response the USPTO stated in the final rule announcement that it was going to provide free CLE courses, “thus alleviating the financial burden of obtaining CLE credits.”

          That helps, obviously, but still means six hours of time over two years for patent agents. Does that create a disincentive strong enough to not be on this registry? Do patent agents get business that way anyway?

        • Software Patents

          • Express Mobile patent challenged

            On September 25, 2020, Unified Patents filed an ex parte reexamination proceeding against U.S. Patent 7,594,168, owned and asserted by Express Mobile, Inc., a well-known NPE. The ’168 patent generally relates to website building software. Express Mobile has asserted this patent over 90 times in district court against companies employing both proprietary website-building platforms and open-source platforms like WordPress and Magento. Its numerous complaints have included assertions against companies large and small, including eGrove Systems and Shopify.

      • Trademarks

        • BrewDog’s ‘Elvis Juice’ Now An Approved Trademark In The UK, But Not the EU

          You will hopefully recall that a few years back we discussed a trademark dispute between BrewDog, a UK-based brewery, and the Elvis Presley estate. At issue was BrewDog’s grapefruit IPA dubbed “Elvis Juice” and the trademark application BrewDog had filed for it. Somehow, on first review, the UK IPO managed to side with the Presley estate, despite the fact that Elvis is a common first name, that the trade dress for the brew had nothing to do with Elvis Presley, and that this was all occurring in a country where Elvis Presley might not even be the most famous singing Elvis on the market. Fortunately, BrewDog appealed and won, so Elvis Juice is a registered trademark in the UK.

      • Copyrights

        • Netflix Bets on Mobile Content Blitz to Strengthen Africa Grip

          Yet five years after it arrived in Africa, the U.S. company is struggling to grow beyond the wealthiest segment of the population, held back by poverty, piracy and limited access to broadband. In a continent of more than a billion people, the service has 1.4 million subscribers, according to Digital TV Research. That compares with almost 20 million customers signed up to African pay-TV company MultiChoice Group Ltd.

          Now Netflix is stepping up a gear — experimenting with cheaper, mobile-only subscriptions and commissioning more locally-produced shows that reflect the cultures and experiences of ordinary Africans.

        • Russia Joins WIPO Project to Block Pirate Revenue But There’s Still No Transparency

          After two years of development the World Intellectual Property Organisation launched its BRIP database in 2019 with the aim of strangling advertising revenue to pirate sites. Russia says it will now contribute its resources to the program but which sites are blacklisted overall will remain a mystery due to a complete lack of transparency.

        • Greek Pirate Site Blockade Expands With Hundreds of Pirate Bay, YTS, and 1337x Domains

          Following a request from a local anti-piracy group, Greek ISPs are required to block access to block over 200 new domain names. Most of the targeted domains are proxies for The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and YTS. The order, issued by a special Government-affiliated commission, also denied one blocking request because the targeted domain is not similar to a previously blocked site.

        • Beijing Treaty in Africa series #2 and 3: Angola and Benin (Implementing the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in Africa)

          At the time of starting this series, this Kat was secretly hoping that more African countries would ratify and/or implement the Beijing Treaty or at least, take some visible, decisive steps towards establishing strong performers’ union representation or strengthen existing one(s), collective bargaining environment and/or statutory mechanisms to ensure performers are paid whenever their performances are used. Well, several months later, she’s discovered that apart from the 25 African countries that have signed/ratified/acceded to the treaty as at 28 April 2020 when it entered into force, only one African country – Central African Republic has ratified since then. However, this Kat thinks that this may be neither here nor there because (1) some countries who signed the treaty are yet to ratify and implement the treaty; (2) some who have ratified the treaty have yet to implement the treaty into their national laws; (3) some who have implemented the treaty into their national laws have little or no institutional backbone necessary to give effect to the law. That said; this Kat believes that ratifying and implementing the treaty are significant steps that can signal and drive better conditions for performers. Therefore, this Kat continues to hope.

        • The Casebook of Copyright: are the character traits of Sherlock Holmes protected by intellectual property? [sic]

          Enola Holmes, a new film about the sister of Sherlock Holmes, has been released on Netflix. It stars the brilliant Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin and Helena Bonham Carter and is based on a series of books under the same name by Nancy Springer. The story follows the following premise: Enola, the younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft, awakes on her sixteenth birthday to find that her mother has disappeared. The game to find her mother is afoot! However, what is just as notable for those interested in copyright is the recent case filed by the Conan Doyle Estate alleging that the film, and works that it is based on, are infringing on the copyright and trade marks held by the Estate relating to the world’s most famous detective.

Another Day of ZDNet Being ZDNet, Calling Windows “Linux” (to Confuse People and Help Microsoft Sell Vista 10)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ZDNet farce

Summary: Microsoft propaganda site ZDNet is keeping up with the tradition of presenting Windows as “Linux” and promoting Windows even in the “Linux” section of the site

[Meme] It’s Crazy Not to Eliminate Lame Words That Might Offend Somebody

Posted in IBM, Microsoft at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This entire debate is rather silly

I know it sounds crazy, but I quit programming for stupid reasons

Summary: If the word “stupid” offends you, then maybe programming isn’t for you, in the same sense that submitting patches with Git over E-mail shouldn't be hard if/when you can develop decent code with sanity checks

IBM Fought for ‘Master Race’ and Now It’s Banning the Word ‘Master’

Posted in Deception, IBM at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We need to go back in time to understand why many people are so angry

GitHub to replace master with main starting in October: What developers need to do now

Summary: A lot of the current push to ban the word “master” came from Red Hat (soon IBM, helped by Intel and Microsoft for the most part); we take a hard look at IBM’s history to better understand the incredible double standards and what the real motivations might be

THE ‘international bullshit machine’ (IBM) is telling us that the world’s problems boil down to something like a Git branch being called “master”. That’s easily debunkable. We wrote about it many times before and we explained why it’s a pretty big deal.

“Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners,” George Carlin once said. This whole abolition of master, slave terms (not practice) seems to have been started by Red Hat (soon IBM because of the imminent takeover), at least in this earlier case if not earliest (2 years ago). We’re not aware of the debate going further back than this and it was started by a Red Hat employee. “For diversity reasons,” he asserted, “it would be nice to try to avoid “master” and “slave” terminology which can be associated to slavery.” Notice the references there (GitHub, already Microsoft’s on paper).

IBM cardNow read the comments from fellow developers. We’ll quote a few (this is from 2 years ago, before people became reluctant/afraid to publicly object). “I’m a little surprised by this,” said an early comment (on the bug tracker). “It’s not like slavery was acceptable when these computer science terms were coined and it’s only comparatively recently that they’ve gone out of fashion. On the other hand, there are some areas in computer software where “master” and “slave” are the exact technical terms (e.g. IDE), and avoiding them would lead to confusion. Of the four citations you reference, one of them is a PR for Django, and three of them say “see the Django PR”. The Django PR is an unreadable infinitely-long page of miserable arguing. So the context doesn’t help much. Have there been any actual complaints? Or is this an attempt to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist?”

Early debates included also this: “As a counter-example: A quick grep finds 555 occurrences of the word “kill” in CPython master. Everybody knows killing is bad and using the term might upset certain people. Yet I would not support expunging the word “kill” from Python.”

Another one: “I’m not super-excited by the idea that Python has to change its behavior based on secret comments. Python has traditionally had a very open governance model where all discussions happen in public.”

This was weeks after the creator of Python surprisingly resigned. We cannot prove there’s a connection between those two events (resignation and controversy/commotion).

“To me,” said another person, “there is nothing wrong with the word ‘master’, as such. I mastered Python to become a master of Python. [...] Like Larry, I object to action based on hidden evidence.”

“The term “master” has so many positive connotations that I think it is misguided to effectively eliminate it from the current English language,” another developer noted.

“In fact,” said another developer, “in the BDSM subcultures, “master/slave” can have *positive* connotations. You want to support diversity, then why are you discriminating against that subculture?”

Another comment: “Talking about diversity: my wife is of a nationality that historically were often stolen to be slave [...] Both of us are angered by this attack on our linguistic culture. Stop trying to sanitize and infantalize language.”

Also note: “The discussion under GH PRs [Microsoft GitHub] is now censored. What will be the next level?”

That was after Microsoft bought GitHub, at least on paper. No discussion allowed. The debate was secret.

Wikipedia’s article on this very subject states upfront (at the top): “This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints.”

We know who’s good at gaming Wikipedia. Some people receive a salary to do it. Microsoft even got caught doing this, infuriating Wikipedia’s co-founder.

“IMO,” said another person, “the problem isn’t the master/slave terminology itself but the way how the changes were introduced (no discussion) and the justification (“diversity reasons”???)”

Notice this other ticket, also citing GitHub extensively:

It has come to my attention that CPython’s source code contains problematic ableist/saneist terms and/or pejoratives, namely

sanity check 144
silly 26
insane 13
crazy 13
stupid 6
lame 2
lunatic 1

Some of those slipped into the documentation. In an attempt to make Python community more inclusive and welcoming, we should clean up these usages and replace them with something neutral (where applicable). Unfortunately, to this day many developers deem such efforts as “trolling”, so please note that the precedent has already been set by many major projects. Here’re just a few:






Other resources:



The goal of this issue is not to stir up arguments, but to figure out the alternatives and ways to replace those problematic terms.

So they’re starting to take control of language further and further. Even a word like “crazy” (or “lame”) is going to become a Code of Conduct (CoC) violation of some kind? Where does this go? Where might it end?

“I find this nonsensical and I’m very disappointed that this ideological nonsense is infecting Python,” said another comment.

Guido van Rossum himself wrote (weeks earlier): “Now that PEP 572 is done, I don’t ever want to have to fight so hard for a PEP and find that so many people despise my decisions.”

To CoC antagonists he wrote: “your only option might be to leave this group voluntarily. Perhaps there are issues to decide like when should someone be kicked out (this could be banning people from python-dev or python-ideas too, since those are also covered by the CoC).”

This poses a potential danger to people like Linus Torvalds inside the Linux Foundation, for reasons we covered before [1, 2]. Language control is a slippery slope which overlooks or distracts from the vastly bigger problems.

I’ve always wondered about the timing of Guido van Rossum’s sudden resignation (unscheduled, unplanned, no succession in place), seeing pointless controversies being floated at the time. As Daniel Pocock put it quite recently: “It is permissible for leaders to write nasty things about volunteers but it is not permissible for volunteers to write things about the leaders.”

Now, going back to IBM, it was its initiative initially (or Red Hat’s). IBM keeps pushing this elimination of words, even by sending PR people to me, urging yours truly to suit their nonsensical narrative.

Well, IBM wants us to think that it’s against “masters”. But its history tells an entirely different story. Not only is IBM a deeply racist company; historically it profited a lot from the “master race” agenda, which involved not only discrimination but incarceration/incineration of people of the ‘wrong’ race.

From the full book which contradicts this hypocritical narrative, War Against The Weak:

IBM eugenics p34
page 34

IBM eugenics p36-37
pp. 36-37

IBM eugenics p54
page 54

IBM eugenics p803-807
pp. 803-807

IBM eugenics p852-856
pp. 852-856

IBM eugenics p927
page 927

IBM eugenics p1051-1052
pp. 1051-2

IBM eugenics p1172
page 1172

IBM eugenics p1613-1614
pp. 1613-14

So that’s IBM. How very tolerant a company. IBM knew exactly what it was doing all along. It only stopped when it became a PR embarrassment for Mr. Watson and his associates, after receiving a Nazi medal and meeting Mr. Hitler himself in person.

IBM’s Founder, Mr. Watson (Yes, That Watson), Had “Very Keen Sense of Public Relations”

Posted in IBM at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is it marketing company IBM (Red Hat SPAM this morning) or tech company IBM?

Summary: "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss)

Under IBM’s Leadership Red Hat Becomes a SPAM Marketing Operation, Sending Mass Mails Without Authorisation and Making It Impossible to Unsubscribe

Posted in IBM, Mail, Marketing, Red Hat at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here we go again, days after they said it would stop

Red Hat spam

Summary: Red Hat seems incapable of respecting people’s inboxes; it subscribes people to things which they never ever subscribed to and makes it impossible to unsubscribe; what has Red Hat become or succumbed to?

THAT Red Hat hired its external PR people to work directly for Red Hat (from inside Red Hat) is no secret. We could name some of the people in question because they mailed us, first from E-mail addresses outside Red Hat and later from redhat.com addresses (after Red Hat had hired them). With new leadership comes another culture and IBM is an aggressive marketer, as we noted a decade ago and again several weeks ago. Master liars. Deniers. World-class cheats.

“With new leadership comes another culture and IBM is an aggressive marketer…”Shame on you, Red Hat. Even after unsubscribing (see screenshot, unsbscribing from something never subscribed to in the first place) they still spam today (E-mail from the morning shown at the top), much as predicted last week. Marketing people have no financial incentive to decrease the scale of their spamming operations.

Shame on IBM and shame on Red Hat, too. Red Hat should have remained an independent company, but in this ‘G[I]AFAM’ era there consolidation in ‘tech’ (grand scale of Pentagon-connected and sometimes Pentagon-funded oligopoly, optimised to serve ‘Global Empire’).

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