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Links 5/10/2020: Sparky 4.13, U-Boot 2020.10, GIMP 2.10.22 and Vulkan 1.2.156

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO Aura 15 Linux Laptop is Powered by AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Processor

        There are few Linux laptops on the market and usually higher-end ones, so some people may decide to buy a Windows or FreeDOS laptop and install Ubuntu or another Linux distribution themselves. In theory, this is supposed to work, but when installed Ubuntu 18.04 on an Acer Ryzen 7 laptop a couple of years ago, it took me several hours of work to get this working despite it being pre-loaded with Linpus Linux operating system.

        So more choice is always welcome, and TUXEDO Computers has now added a mid-range Linux laptop to their offerings with TUXEDO Aura 15 powered by a 15W AMD Ryzen 7 4700U octa-core processor and shipping with Ubuntu 20.04, openSUSE 15.2, or TUXEDO_OS 20.04 based on Ubuntu plus Budgie Desktop.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9-rc8 Is Out With PCIe IDs for AMDs Upcoming Sienna Cichlid GPUs

        The previous Linux 5.9 release candidate, Linux 5.9-rc7, would just crash the i915 driver for Intel graphics as soon as X or Wayland or anything else graphical was started. That has been fixed in Linux 5.9-rc8. We tested it on two machines with Intel CPUs using integrated Intel graphics and they appear to work just fine. Linux 5.9-rc8 will still hang after 5-10 minutes without booting with either the intel_idle.max_cstate=1 kernel parameter or the ahci.mobile_lpm_policy=1 kernel parameter or both on many, mostly laptop, Intel machines using Intel graphics. That’s not new to Linux 5.9, that’s been a problem since Linux 5.0 was released ages ago.

      • U-Boot v2020.10 released
        Hey all,
        It is release day and here is the v2020.10 release.  With this release
        we have a number of "please migrate to DM" warnings that are now 1 year
        past their warning date, and well past 1 year of those warnings being
        printed.  It's getting up there on my TODO list to see if removing
        features or boards in these cases is easier.
        In terms of a changelog, 
        git log --merges v2020.10-rc5..v2020.10
        git log --merges v2020.07..v2020.10
        The merge window is once again open and I plan to tag -rc1 on Monday,
        October 26th, bi-weekly -rcs thereafter and final release on January
        11th, 2021.
        I am merging the next branch to master shortly and will send a separate
        email when that is done.
      • Intel Continues Bringing Up DMA-BUF Support For RDMA

        Presumably with Xe-HP in mind, Intel engineers continue working on adding DMA-BUF support to the Linux kernel’s RDMA code.

      • Opportunistic Memory Reclaim Support Proposal Updated For The Linux Kernel

        Canonical kernel engineer Andrea Righi has sent out an updated patch series implementing opportunistic memory reclaim support as a way of forcing the kernel to attempt to reclaim system memory.

        Opportunistic memory reclaim provides a user-space interface to trigger an artificial memory pressure condition for the kernel to force it to reclaim memory. By artificially triggering a memory reclaim event before the system RAM is actually under pressure is being done in hopes of keeping the system more responsive.

      • Arm Contributions to Xen Based Safety Systems

        Arm, a member of the Xen project, has made valuable contributions to the Xen Project through the years. In this talk, Bertrand Marquis, Principal Software Engineer, Arm Ltd, highlights some of these contributions and outlines what’s to come.
        Bertrand starts with the Autonomy reference stack, a Yocto based collection of layers providing a way to create a Xen based virtualized autonomous system. He also explains PCI passthrough support on Arm and also talks through several future contributions including 1:1 mapping and static mapping.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA delays launch of GeForce RTX 3070 until end of October

          It seems NVIDIA don’t want a repeat of what happened with the GeForce RTX 3080 and GeForce RTX 3090 as they’ve delayed the launch of the GeForce RTX 3070.

          When both the 3080 and 3090 launched they sold out within only a few minutes, and pretty much every store went down at some point due to the demand. This was obviously frustrating for anyone wanting to get a card, since a lot of bots appear to have grabbed them. NVIDIA themselves offered an apology on what happened in the case of the 3080 launch noting that the demand was simply unprecedented and that they saw ” 4 times the unique visitors to our website, 10 times the peak web requests per second, and more than 15 times the out clicks to partner pages” when compared to previous launches.

        • NVIDIA Online GTC 2020 Kicks Off Today But No Open-Source Linux Announcement Expected

          NVIDIA’s online GTC 2020 event kicks off today with a ton of announcements coming across the wire but not one many Linux users have been clamoring to hear more about.

          In addition to announcing the $59 NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB, this morning has also seen the announcements for the Ampere RTX A6000 and A40 graphics cards, Jarvis and Merlin in open beta, more Arm ecosystem support, EGX edge AI platform, and more

        • Radeon Software for Linux 20.40 Released With RX 5300 Series Support

          AMD released an updated Radeon Software for Linux packaged driver at the end of September that went seemingly unnoticed. Only today when seeing “20.40″ firmware binaries hitting the linux-firmware.git tree was I even aware of this updated packaged AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver focused on enterprise distributions.

    • Benchmarks

      • Easier CPU/GPU Comparisons On OpenBenchmarking.org, Other New Features

        With the new OpenBenchmarking.org that’s been out in public form since last month and being developed as part of the soon-to-be-released Phoronix Test Suite 10.0, here is the latest feature now enabled in making it much easier for quickly carrying out high-level processor (CPU) and graphics card (GPU) component comparisons along with other improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp Launches October 2020 on PC, Linux, and Mac

        Developer Beautiful Glitch have announced a release date window for competitive monster dating-sim Monster Prom 2: Monster Camp.

        The sequel will be coming to Windows PC, Linux, and Mac (via Steam) during October. The game’s official Twitter account also stated “Just to be clear: it’s coming out on PC first. Consoles may happen later.” The original Monster Prom later came to Nintendo Switch.

      • Choice-driven horror adventure novel Scarlet Hollow funded in a single day on Kickstarter

        After releasing the entire first episode free, Black Tabby Games now have Scarlet Hollow live on Kickstarter and it appears they’re onto quite a success.

        Scarlet Hollow is a choice-driven horror adventure game and visual novel brought to life by critically acclaimed graphic novelist Abby Howard who is known for The Last Halloween, The Crossroads at Midnight, Junior Scientist Power Hour and more. Linux is a clearly confirmed platform for support.

      • Perception puzzler Superliminal comes to Steam in November, along with Linux support

        After seeing success on the Epic Games Store, and then consoles it’s now confirmed to be launching on Steam on November 5 along with Linux support.

        What is it? Superliminal is a single-player first-person puzzle game that uses perception as a mechanic. You play as someone who wakes up in a surprisingly lucid dream. As you complete puzzles to get to the next exit, certain patterns and truths become more apparent. It sounds like a genuinely brilliant idea, that involves plenty of thinking outside the box. What you see, is what you get.

      • Farmer Supreme offers a very different and super adorable take on the casual sim

        Do you have what it takes to become Farmer Supreme? This isn’t another Stardew Valley, as Farmer Supreme offers up a genuinely unique looking take on the casual farming sim.

        In a world where monsters, villains and heroes are the norm, heroes rise and kingdoms fall with children dreaming of becoming a hero. Not Maximus Abico or “Lil’ Max”, an orphan who has decided to find the last known survivor of a long line of great farmers to feed hungry townsfolk and perhaps become the last Farmer Supreme.

      • Protect the dungeon in the biggest update to Legend of Keepers yet

        In preparation for the full launch planned for next year, the rogue-lite dungeon manager Legend of Keepers gets a massive upgrade with plenty of new content.

        Legend of Keepers is a tactical dungeon management game where you play as the bad guys. You’re the Boss of the Dungeons Defending Department and you’re in charge of protecting the company’s treasures against pesky heroes! Plan your defences by placing traps and monsters across various rooms and in between battles deal with all the team management issues.

      • Check out the demo for Bonfire Peaks, a beautiful upcoming voxel-art puzzle game

        Coming to Linux sometime in 2021, Bonfire Peaks looks absolutely gorgeous. Set in a world with seriously lush chunky voxels, it’s going to be good.

        Bonfire Peaks is the latest puzzle game designed by Corey Martin, developer of Pipe Push Paradise & Hiding Spot, with art by Mari Khaleghi and Zach Soares. They also recently announced that Draknek & Friends, the publisher and developer of A Monster’s Expedition and Cosmic Express will be publishing it as their first external title

      • Crusader Kings III is quite a joy to learn, even if you’re not particularly smart

        Crusader Kings III has been out for little over a month now and it’s probably one of the most successful release from Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studios.

        Ushering in a new era of grand strategy, Crusader Kings III much like the game before and other Paradox titles have a crazy amount of depth to them. To newer players, Paradox strategy games can often feel ridiculously overwhelming. For me personally, the only other Paradox title I’ve ever gotten into was Stellaris – because it nicely eased you in.

        For Crusader Kings III it seems like Paradox have learned many great lessons on how to handle newer players since Stellaris. Crusader Kings III is still a massive game, and our contributor BTRE went into some detail as a veteran of their games in a previous review. I, however, am something of a dummy. An idiot you might say when it comes to these big complicated world-spanning grand strategy games. So what’s it like for a true beginner?

      • Girl Genius – Adventures In Castle Heterodyne gets fully funded

        After what seemed like a crowdfunding campaign that might struggle, Girl Genius – Adventures In Castle Heterodyne was comfortably funded passed the initial goal.

        Coming from Rain Games creators of Teslagrad, World To The West and the soon to release Mesmer, Girl Genius – Adventures In Castle Heterodyne is their upcoming character-driven action-adventure metroidvania. You play as the main protagonist in the Girl Genius series, Agatha Heterodyne.

      • Nonsense Soccer is a pretty hilarious upcoming ‘platformer-soccer-hybrid’ with a demo up

        Nonsense Soccer turns the game of Soccer (well, Football if you’re not an American) into a pretty great competitive local multiplayer experience.

        A nice simple idea that puts up to 4 people into a side-view platformer arena, with each side jumping around trying to kick the ball into the goal. That’s Football alright, and testing it out it’s a huge amount of fun and certainly does get quite chaotic quickly.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Tracker 3.0: What’s New?

          It was only a single line in the release notes. There weren’t any new graphics to show in the video. We leave cool UIs to others.

          So what do we have to show, after a year of focused effort and a series of disruptive change to Tracker and GNOME?

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • 20 Years of The FreeBSD Foundation: Interview With Deb Goodkin, Executive Director

          Besides Linux distributions, FreeBSD is one such Unix-like operating system, which is free and open source. It is one of the oldest and most popular operating systems descended from the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD).

          It is still actively maintained and used on desktops, servers, and embedded devices. As the FreeBSD Foundation recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, we spoke with Deb Goodkin, executive director of the FreeBSD Foundation, about the FreeBSD project.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat extends collaboration with NVIDIA to optimize infrastructures across the hybrid cloud

          As an increasing number of applications and related complexity put unprecedented demands on computing infrastructures, our customers are realizing that the future of computing needs to be more heterogeneous in nature; a single technology, no matter how innovative, cannot address all the requirements of modern, let alone future computing.

          Keeping a large number of systems running smoothly is a hard problem, and special devices are often required to help run well-balanced and optimized data center infrastructure. These devices, called data processing units (DPUs), employ an easily programmable multi-core CPU, a state-of-the-art network interface and a powerful set of networking, storage and security accelerators that can be programmed to perform multiple software-defined, hardware-accelerated functions.

        • Red Hat Envisions Linux Operating System As More Than ‘Just A Commodity’

          The problem with Windows, Mac OS X, the various distributions of Linux, Android on mobile and all other computer Operating Systems (OS)s, is that users – and indeed technical professionals – all too often think of them as nothing more than an engine.

          Like the engine in your car, motorbike, electric scooter, boat or personal jet (delete personal mode of transport as appropriate), you care enough about it to know that it’s there, you’re happy that it runs with a purr, you’re prepared to put oil in it and get it serviced for maintenance and updates when needed… and you have a basic understanding of the fact that you’re not supposed to over-rev it and put it under undue stress and pressure.

          But as much as those factors offer some love for our operating system engines, the vast majority of users will simply consider the OS to be a commodity i.e. just a piece of infrastructure that has to be there, but not an entity that might influence the way we work or behave with our machines.

        • Windows x64 Binaries Can Now Run On POWER9 Under Linux With Hangover

          Windows x86 binaries can now run on POWER9 hardware under Linux with Wine thanks to Hangover.

          The Wine Hangover project was initially started for running Windows x86_64 programs on 64-bit ARM. While Wine itself supports AArch64 and other architectures, it isn’t focused on emulating support across architectures — that’s where Hangover comes in.

        • Exploring Podman RESTful API using Python and Bash

          You may have heard that Podman V2 has a new RESTful API. This document demonstrates the API using code examples in Python and shell commands. Additional notes are included in the code comments. The provided code was written to be clear vs. production quality.

        • Risks with Machine Translation- Trust but verify

          Machine translation (MT) quality has significantly improved since I first started working in the multi-lingual world, but the raw output can still be problematic. If you neglect to build in human verification and rely solely on the software, results can be embarrassing and at times, costly.

          At IBM Developer, we offer content in five languages: Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Our language teams that manage translation quality reside within the primary language geography. Teams are steeped in current vernacular, including which technical terms should remain in English.

        • How Red Hat continues to shape the future of software-defined hardware-accelerated datacenter

          It shouldn’t be a surprise that as we demand more complex applications at both a business and consumer level, that we’re also, in effect, demanding more computational power. In a number of cases, these applications are driven by data and artificial intelligence (AI) in some way, either at the user level or on the backend. These workloads require AI models to analyze and parse the huge amounts of data necessary for these apps to actually do their job…which leads to a need for even more processing power. As organizations use technology to differentiate their businesses they are inevitably becoming more software-defined. For the IT industry, this means that we must be even more creative when it comes to developing and supporting emerging hardware to address these challenges.

          But given the scale of the computing challenges today and emerging for tomorrow, it’s unlikely that one singular processor or hardware solution is the answer to our voracious appetite for computational power. Instead, we need to pair technologies together to work in concert to meet these needs, even if they disrupt our view of what “traditional architecture” may be in the datacenter. One of these blended technologies is data processing units (DPUs), which can impact nearly every level of the IT landscape, from single systems to multi-region cloud deployments.

      • Debian Family

        • Sparky 4.13

          There is an update of Sparky oldstable 4.13 code name “Tyche” out there. It is based on the Debian oldstable “Stretch”.

          • system upgrade from Debian oldstable “Stretch” repos as of October 2, 2020
          • Calamares doesn’t refresh package list to avoid breaking installation if Debian or Sparky repo is off
          • Sparky repos changed from ‘oldstable’ to named ‘tyche’; make sure you use right Sparky repositories
          • Linux kernel upgraded up to 4.9.228-1
          • Firefox 78.3.0esr
          • Thunderbird 68.12.0
          • LibreOffice 4.3.3

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Groovy Gorilla Beta Available

          Canonical has released the first beta version of the upcoming 20.10 (Non-LTS) release, named Groovy Gorilla. The support window for Short Term Releases (STR) is only 9 months. After that 9 months expires, users of STR releases will receive no updates. So keep that in mind, when installing these non Long Term Release versions of Ubuntu.

          That being said, if you want the latest-greatest version of Ubuntu, the STR releases are a good choice.

          The features and improvements to be found in Ubuntu 20.10 include the newest GNOME release (3.38). With GNOME 3.38 you’ll enjoy the ability to manually arrange icons in the Applications grid, folder support has been added to the grid, scale-aware application grid sizing, a new Restart option in the System menu, Wi-Fi sharing QR codes, a much-improved sound recorder and screenshot app, and new parental controls have been added to the Settings app. For more information on the GNOME 3.38 release, check out the official release notes.

        • NVIDIA’s Ariel Kit Explains How NVIDIA BlueField DPUs Are Redefining Data Center Services

          NVIDIA is redefining the data center around the concept of data processing units (DPUs): powerful network cards running Ubuntu out of the box that combine hardware and software to deliver new classes of cloud architectures – in the data center and at the edge.

        • Canonical expands collaboration with NVIDIA to bring AI to the edge

          Canonical has been working closely with NVIDIA for many years to fuel innovation and support open source software with the power of accelerated processing. That already allowed us to jointly deliver GPU acceleration into Linux, OpenStack and container workloads on traditional datacenter servers.

          We continued working together, with Ubuntu forming the base operating system for NVIDIA DGX systems, including the latest NVIDIA DGX A100 system. Today we are announcing the support of a new class of acceleration at the edge, on the NVIDIA EGX Edge AI platform, powered with Ubuntu.

        • First Look: Ubuntu 20.10 Wallpaper Revealed – But is it Groovy Enough?

          When the Ubuntu 20.10 beta arrived last week it did so without a new background image. This had some (well, me) worrying that the upcoming release wouldn’t ship with a new wallpaper at all.

          But no fear: the Groovy Gorilla is now here.

          Ubuntu devs are gearing up to release the Groovy Gorilla to a global audience, having put in a gallant six-months of groundwork so far. But every great Ubuntu release needs a great wallpaper to go alongside it.

        • Automatic Theme Installation for Snap Apps is Shaping Up Nicely [Video]

          But that method relies on the theme you’re using being in the common themes Snap bundle (which for older, niche, or brand new themes is unlikely).

          Earlier this year we touched on the (growing) availability of GTK themes as Snap apps. That effort improves the “Snap theming” situation greatly: you install a GTK theme, install the relevant theme Snap, and …then you run a copy/paste a series of complex (and unmemorable) commands to get the theme to take effect on your Snap apps.

          But things are improving.

          Canonical’s Marcus Tomlinson shares an update on automatic theme installation for snaps. He says that “…whenever you install and apply a new theme to your desktop, a background service will check if its associated theme snap is installed, and, if not, ask if you’d like to install it.”

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Jetson Nano 2GB dev kit to launch for $59

        Nvidia unveiled a $59 “Nano 2GB Developer Kit” for makers and students with a Jetson Nano limited to 2GB RAM. The kit lacks the M.2, PoE, and DP of the $99 kit and has fewer USB ports.

        In March of last year, Nvidia reached out to the maker community by launching a hacker-friendly, $99 dev kit for its new Linux-driven, AI-focused Jetson Nano module. Now it has introduced a $59 Jetson Nano 2GB Developer Kit designed for students, educators, and hobbyists.” The kit is supported with free online training and AI-certification programs.

        The Nano 2GB Developer Kit uses a new configuration of the Jetson Nano with 2GB LPDDR4 RAM — half that found on the standard Nano used on the original kit. The Nano modules used on both kits lack the 16GB of eMMC found on the commercial version and instead supply a microSD slot.

      • NVIDIA Unveils $59 USD Raspberry Pi Competitor With Jetson Nano 2GB

        Last year NVIDIA announced the Jetson Nano at $99 USD as their lowest-priced ARM SBC board to date focused on inference, robotics, and other GPU-accelerated tasks in a small, low-power form factor. The Jetson Nano at $99 USD is already significantly cheaper than the other numerous Jetson boards over the past several years while now today they are introducing a $59 board.

      • 7-slot Raspberry Pi CM3 cluster board returns in limited run

        Turing Pi has launched preorders for its last batch of $189 “Turing Pi” cluster boards, which integrate 7x GbE-switched Raspberry Pi CM3 modules for private cloud applications, each with its own 40-pin GPIO.

        Our July 2019 report on the Turing Pi Clusterboard was one of our more popular posts of the year so we thought you might also be interested in this update: After being sold out for some time, Turing Pi has launched its last 1,000-unit run of Turing Pi boards, which cluster seven Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) modules.

      • How to Develop for ARM on a Budget

        Developing a full computer cluster in one’s bedroom may seem like an exotic or complicated thing to do. However, with the wonderfully versatile Raspberry Pi platform any interested tinkerer can now easily play with building such as clusters themselves, and on a reasonable budget! While any developer can start some nodes on AWS or Azure at the click of a button, developing your own physical cluster has a satisfaction all its own, and allows one to learn things you never would otherwise. At the end of this cookbook, you will have a small, but fairly fast and stable arm64-based Kubernetes cluster, paired with GitLab to use as a build and deployment platform, so the cluster can be used for something real.

        While Raspberry Pis are simple and cheap, they are real computers running a real OS, making them an ideal tinkering platform. One of the major differences with other ‘real’ computers is the CPU architecture, but this may soon change as well. Intel and x86 have dominated the server and desktop markets for many years, but there are some major moves happening hinting that this landscape is about to shift. Amazon AWS released their 2nd generation arm-based 64-bit CPU instance type, Canonical releases Ubuntu 20 with support for arm 64-bit, and Apple announced ARM based Apple silicon for their upcoming Mac computers. Raspberry Pis offer probably the cheapest and easiest way to gain some real experience with ARM64 right now!

        The moves around ARM ignited my interest in doing something interesting with a couple Raspberry Pis I had lying around. While doing so, I did encounter some issues while trying to make everything work, which I’ve tried to document in this story. I used six Raspberry Pis to form a Kubernetes development cluster, which I integrated into a workflow developing web applications. It will fulfill an important part of my personal development pipeline where I test the apps I make, before these are shipped into production. I will touch various subjects and tools which are put together to make this work. It’s quite involved, so there’s no deep-dive on the architecture or software used. You can use this as a cookbook to replicate the set-up I made. Some steps are abbreviated, and I presume basic knowledge of using Ubuntu Server with the command-line, shell usage, and editing files.


        I’ve decided to go with the Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB of memory, because it has the required power to run the ‘regular’ k8s version of Kubernetes maintained by CNCF and Google. While the ‘lightweight’ version k3s may work as well, with more memory to spare and thus workable on Pis with 2GB memory or less, I opt for the regular version to stick as close as possible to a production-grade cluster.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • FeatherS2 Board Brings ESP32-S2 to Adafruit Feather Form Factor

          We’ve covered a fair number of development boards following Adafruit Feather form factor in the last year or so with products such as QuickFeather Cortex-M4 + FPGA board, OrangeCrab (Lattice FPGA), nRF9160 Feather providing LTE IoT & GPS connectivity, and other boards.

          But here’s yet another Adafruit Feather themed board that has just launched: FeatherS2. The tiny board is equipped with the latest Espressif Systems ESP32-S2 WiFi SoC, 16 MB SPI Flash, 8 MB PSRAM, several I/O, and a USB-C port for power and programming.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • PeaZip 7.4.2

        PeaZip is an open source file and archive manager. It’s freeware and free of charge for any use. PeaZip can extract most of archive formats both from Windows and Unix worlds, ranging from mainstream 7Z, RAR, TAR and ZIP to experimental ones like PAQ/LPAQ family, currently the most powerful compressor available.

      • Nextcloud Hub 20 Now Available

        Nextcloud has announced the immediate availability of Nextcloud Hub 20 at the Nextcloud Conference in Berlin.

        The new release introduces users to a dashboard with an overview of the day, integrating information from across Nextcloud as well as third party social media, productivity and collaboration platforms.

      • Nextcloud 20: One private cloud to rule them all

        I’ve long recommended Nextcloud as a wonderful open-source, private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud. I run it myself both on a server in my office and on my TMDHosting remote server. Over time, though, Nextcloud has been adding more features. These include built-in video-conferencing and group meeting services. Nextcloud Talk and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of the LibreOffice office suite, Collabora. Now, with Nextcloud 20, other third-party services such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Jira, GitHub, Twitter, and dozens of others are being integrated.


        It adds on to its existing strengths by using an open application programming interface (API), the Open Collaboration Services (OCS). This is a long, established API. Started as part of KDE’s open desktop standardization effort in 2009, OCS now handles basic file functionality like file access, sharing, versioning, and commenting. It also covers communications, calendaring, and task management.

        Nextcloud is using it to bridge the gap between its own Talk chat service with other communications services, besides the ones mentioned earlier, such as Matrix, IRC, XMPP, and many others. More IM services, such as HipChat and Telegram, are in the works.

      • PlayerCTL: The Best MPRIS Media Player Control Out There!
      • Librsvg is accepting interns for Outreachy’s December 2020 round

        Outreachy’s December 2020 / March 2021 round is available only for students in the Southern hemisphere. People in the Northern hemisphere can wait until the 2021 mid-year round.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: New add-on badges

            A few weeks ago, we announced the pilot of a new Promoted Add-ons program. This new program aims to expand the number of add-ons we can review and verify as compliant with our add-on policies in exchange for a fee from participating developers.

            We have recently finished selecting the participants for the pilot, which will run until the end of November 2020. When these extensions successfully complete the review process, they will receive a new badge on their listing page on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) and in the Firefox Add-ons Manager (about:addons).

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Adolfo Jayme Barrientos

          I live and work in Mexico. I grew up in a home where we didn’t have video games or a computer, but it was filled with books; I developed a liking for reading, typography, typesetting and book design.

          I was mesmerised when I got my first computer: reading also gave me an edge for learning languages, and when it came to choosing a university major, I went straight to linguistics. I work as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher with 12 to 15-year-old pupils.

          I started translating software eleven years ago, and started doing it professionally some five years ago, to finance my university tuition. I am now trilingual, and continue reading books in various Romance languages whenever I have free time.

      • FSF

        • Free Software Foundation Turns 35

          The Free Software Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA, USA, was founded by honorary doctor Richard Stallman on October 4th, 1985 – two years after he publicly announced that his intention to create a free Unix-like operating system called GNU. Richard Stallman was president of the Free Software Foundation from it’s creation until he was forced to resign in August 2019.


          Large corporate interests would much rather fund and back organizations that don’t stand for such ideals. This is why the Linux Foundation has 1000+ corporate members ranging from primarily software companies like Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft to financial companies like BlackRock and Tencent holdings and a budget close to a hundred million USD per year while the FSF has a much smaller budget close to one million dollars per year. It is also why groups like the “Open Source Initiative” has a long list of corporate sponsors who happen to be mostly the same multi-national corporations who fund the Linux Foundation: Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft are happily funding the “Open Source Initiative” yet they wouldn’t go near the Free Software Foundation with a 10-foot pole.

        • GNU Projects

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Python 3.9: Cool New Features for You to Try

            Python 3.9 is here! Volunteers from all over the world have been working on improvements to Python for the past year. While beta versions have been available for some time, the first official version of Python 3.9 was released on October 5, 2020.

            Every release of Python includes new, improved, and deprecated features, and Python 3.9 is no different. The documentation gives a complete list of the changes. Below, you’ll take an in-depth look at the coolest features that the latest version of Python brings to the table.

          • Test and Code: 133: Major League Hacking – Jonathan Gottfried

            Hackathons have been spreading around the world; many at university campuses. Major League Hacking, MLH, has been encouraging and helping hackathons.

            Hacking can be thought of as tinkering. Taking things apart and putting them back together as an interesting experience. There’s always been some of this as part of software culture.

            The people at Major League Hacking have taken this to a whole new level, bringing together Tech creators who enjoy playing around with and crating new technology, on campuses, and now in virtual spaces, all over the world.

          • Python Anywhere: A Tale of Two Deployments

            It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of remote work, it was the age of pyjamas, it was the epoch of bread baking, it was the epoch of pineapple pizza, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness… This is a short but exciting story about two system updates. Spoiler alert: no one has been guillotined.

          • Tryton News: Release 1.2.0 of python-sql

            We are proud to announce the release of the version 1.2.0 of python-sql.

            python-sql is a library to write SQL queries in a pythonic way. It is mainly developed for Tryton but it has no external dependencies and is agnostic to any framework or SQL database.

          • How to Create an AWS Lambda Layer For Any Python Dependency
          • Serving Static Files in Python With Django, AWS S3 and WhiteNoise

            Websites generally need additional files such as images, CSS, and JavaScript files that are necessary to render complete web pages in a browser. In small projects, we can work our way around by providing absolute paths to our resources or by writing inline CSS and JavaScript functions in the HTML files. This is not only against the best coding practices but it also gets tricky when we are handling bigger projects, especially with multiple applications.

          • PyCharm: Early Access PyCharm Podcast — Episode 3: The One where Kirill talks about Version Control

            Welcome to Early Access PyCharm, a brand-new podcast that goes behind the scenes of how the PyCharm IDE is made and all the thinking that goes into it. In the upcoming episodes, you will hear from the people who work daily to make you more productive and your code even better.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Vulkan 1.2.156 Released With Device Memory Report Extension

        Vulkan 1.2.156 was released this morning and while it’s a small revision to the API documentation it does come with a new extension.

        Vulkan 1.2.156 adds one new extension and then has a fix for referring to memory import/export using the term payload rather than “the same underlying memory.” The new extension is VK_EXT_device_memory_report.

  • Leftovers

    • What Goes Around
    • Health/Nutrition

      • Reports Emerge Showing Trump “Knowingly Exposed” Those Around Him to COVID

        Journalists and public health experts on Saturday raised questions over the mixed messages coming out of the White House and President Donald Trump’s medical team after Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician, told reporters Trump was “72 hours into the diagnosis” of Covid-19.

      • Trump’s Biggest Advantage in Fighting Off Covid: His Wealth

        Trump has a number of risk factors that increase the chance of mortality with the disease. But the president’s wealth may be the best medicine he has.

      • A New Nonviolent Medicaid Army Is on the March

        Led by the poor and dispossessed, this movement is bringing the demand for healthcare rights to corporate profiteers, state houses, prisons, and police stations.

        Nijmie Zakkiyyah Dzurinko is a lifelong Pennsylvanian who believes in the power and potential of everyday people.

      • Investors Extracted Millions From Hospital Chain Struggling to Serve Patients

        In the decade since Leonard Green & Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, bought control of a hospital company named Prospect Medical Holdings for $205 million, the owners have done handsomely.

      • As Covid-Positive GOP Politicians Enjoy Healthcare They ‘Would Deny Others,’ Coronavirus Pandemic Again Makes Case for Medicare for All

        “The moral of the story is, he lied to you for months and encouraged you to live recklessly during a pandemic, and when it got to him he received every top tier treatment and medication to ensure his survival while your friends and family died alone.”

      • Why We’re on a Long Road to COVID-19 Immunity Even With Vaccines

        As the pandemic continues to spread throughout the world, many countries seem to have given up the fight against COVID-19 and are now waiting for a vaccine to protect against the virus. With cases exceeding 32 million, and more than a million dead, the world economy has taken a bigger hit than at any other time since the end of the Great Depression of 1929-39.

      • AMPFest: Antivaxxers team up with QAnon and COVID-19 cranks

        If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made crystal clear, it’s that the antivaccine movement is at its heart driven by a conspiracy theory—multiple conspiracy theories, actually. The primary conspiracy theory behind the antivaccine movement is that “they” (“they” being the CDC, big pharma, the government, the medical profession) “know” that vaccines cause autism, autoimmune diseases, and all the other conditions and diseases attributed to vaccines by antivaxxers but that “they” are keeping the data and evidence showing the links between vaccines and these conditions from you. Most antivaccine conspiracy theories are variants of this kind of conspiracy theory, which I like to call the “central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement“. The two main examples are the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory popularized by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in 2005, which claimed that the CDC “knew” that the mercury in the thimerosal preservative that was used in several childhood vaccines until 2001 was the cause of “autism” but massaged the data to make the link go away, and the “CDC whistleblower” conspiracy theory popularized by Del Bigtree and Andrew Wakefield in their conspiracy movie disguised as a documentary VAXXED in 2016, which claimed that the CDC “knew” that the MMR vaccine causes autism in African-American boys but massaged the data—you guessed it!—to make the link go away. Which brings us to something called AMPFest

      • Bodies on the Line

        In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the crisis of work and of care—of production and social reproduction—to new extremes. This summer, unemployment reached record levels. Essential workers were called on not only to tend to the sick, but to deliver groceries, collect trash, and drive buses—to perform tasks that have always been hard and undervalued, but now entail a health risk every time you clock on. Capitalist society depends on this essential work—carried out by nursing assistants, transportation workers, and caretakers—and its dangers are distributed unevenly, across divisions of race, class, and gender. For decades, socialist feminists have brought these realities to our attention; the pandemic has made their insights undeniable. For many, whether they are nurses in hospitals or parents trying to work full time while also educating children or caring for dependents, the labor of maintaining and sustaining life—paid and unpaid, public and private—is becoming too much to bear.

        The pandemic has also confirmed and deepened the powers of digital technology companies. Google, Apple, and Salesforce are building contact-tracing software. Palantir is pivoting to the pandemic, winning contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services in the United States and national health services across Europe. Zoom enables the professional classes to work from home, and to see friends and family. Netflix and Hulu and Twitch provide entertainment. Care.com helps parents and children look for babysitters and home health aides. Google for Education lets (some) school age children keep learning (sort of). Uber and Lyft are available for those who want or need to avoid public transit; Instacart allows them to avoid stores. Amazon has hired hundreds of thousands of additional workers to deliver everything from textbooks to toilet paper, while continuing to sell much of the computing power that makes the system run. (Nearly half of the world’s public cloud runs on Amazon Web Services; Jeff Bezos has added $85 billion to his personal wealth since January.) The most powerful entities of our era are these platforms: more than just monopolistic corporations, they provide key social infrastructure and have become involved in vast rearrangements of our everyday lives.

      • Essential and Untrusted

        The pandemic has exacerbated an existing child care crisis. Platforms like Care.com are growing, while exposing care workers to new forms of surveillance and discrimination.


        The ACLU and other critics have noted the limited effectiveness of temperature screening, while warning about the invasiveness of this practice. The use of thermal cameras, like other technologies of virus detection, is an example of the increasingly intimate surveillance of our bodies in public life. But these technologies don’t only measure body temperature; like background checks, they also shape our ideas about who is risky, and who is trustworthy. For many, the pressure to hand over personal information in order to prove compliance to employers will feel familiar.

        For the past three years, I’ve been studying domestic labor platforms—websites and apps like Care.com and Sittercity—which have come to play an important role in the ways care workers and families find one another. These platforms are not considered as newsworthy as companies like Uber and Lyft, and they are usually excluded from policy research and systematic data collection about the online gig economy. But they are immensely popular: Care.com hosts more than 11 million worker profiles in the United States alone.

        Since 2017, researcher Alexandra Mateescu and I have conducted more than forty interviews with nannies, babysitters, and home-care workers who had used these apps to find work. We met them through many of the same avenues where they look for jobs, including nanny agencies, Craigslist, email lists, and Facebook groups. We learned about how these platforms push workers to share ever more about themselves. Features like background checks, profile pictures, and guidance about how to conduct social media searches allow clients to peer into the lives of prospective hires.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Over 1 Million Enrollments For Intro To Linux on edX

                The Linux Foundation has announced that its Introduction to Linux training course, currently in its sixth edition on edX, has had over one million enrollments. This course was the first on edX from the Linux Foundation and now there are many more.

        • Security

          • Reproducible Builds in September 2020

            Welcome to the September 2020 report from the Reproducible Builds project. In our monthly reports, we attempt to summarise the things that we have been up to over the past month, but if you are interested in contributing to the project, please visit our main website.


            In August’s report, we announced that Jennifer Helsby (redshiftzero) launched a new reproduciblewheels.com website to address the lack of reproducibility of Python ‘wheels’. This month, Kushal Das posted a brief follow-up to provide an update on reproducible sources as well.

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvirt, snmptt, squid3, and xen), Fedora (chromium, libproxy, mumble, samba, and xawtv), openSUSE (bcm43xx-firmware, dpdk, grafana, nodejs12, python-pip, xen, and zabbix), Oracle (thunderbird), Red Hat (cockpit-ovirt, imgbased, redhat-release-virtualization-host, redhat-virtualization-host and qemu-kvm-rhev), and SUSE (perl-DBI).

          • Operation Fortify: A US Ransomware Plan

            To be clear, it’s not that I think this is a good idea. There are many challenges with it. I simply think it’s the best option we have.

            It activates Americans. It puts them in play against a serious threat. And it simultaneously functions as an infrastructure enhancement project—kind of like Roads and Bridges—and a national training program that addresses the cybersecurity skills gap.

          • Ransomware Groups Add a Third Threat Vector: DDoS

            Some groups play the sympathy card, and apologize for asking for the ransom. Others pretend their threats are “findings” that are part of a bug bounty program, which gives the company the out of paying security researchers instead of hackers.

            Whatever the tactic, the problem is that the attackers are evolving a lot faster than defender defenses. And we should expect that gap to continue and even widen in the coming months and years.

          • Culture, Vulnerabilities and Budget: Why Devs and AppSec Disagree [Ed: TheNewStack is connected to Ponemon, which is not a positive thing]

            The Ponemon Institute conducted two surveys sponsored by ZeroNorth in May and June of 2020, one of 581 application security (AppSec) professionals and another of 549 application developers. Three-quarters of the AppSec respondents believe there is a cultural divide between them and developers, while only 49% of developers feel the same way towards the AppSec function. The difference in opinion is not because of DevSecOps has taken hold among developers — adoption is almost the same among both respondent categories.


            As compared to AppSec professionals, developers are significantly less (39% vs 60%), to believe application security risk at their organization has increased. At the core of the matter, AppSec professionals think the development team is difficult to work with because they push code with known vulnerabilities, with many also complaining that developers accept flaws if they believe an app will be a big seller. Whether or not developers are actually pushing a lot of serious vulnerabilities up for debate, but their self-perception is incredibly different from that of their AppSec peers — only 27% of developers say code is frequently being published with known vulnerabilities, compared to the 57% of application security specialists that estimate likewise.

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

            • Crypto-mining worm adds Linux password stealing capability [Ed: This totally and likely intentionally neglects to say that it's a problem on already-compromised machines]

              The TeamTNT cybercrime group has recently updated its crypto-mining worm with password-stealing capabilities and with an additional network scanner to make it easier to spread to other vulnerable devices.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Tens of Millions in PPP Loans Went to Corporate Polluters After Companies Were Fined $52 Million, Analysis Shows

        “Our federal government should not be essentially giving back portions of the penalties they’ve paid, but that’s exactly what the Trump administration is doing through the PPP.”

      • Ominous Economic Signs: Long-Term Employment and People Leaving the Work Force

        The September employment report showed a sharp slowing in the rate of job growth, with the economy adding 661,000 jobs, less than half of its August rate. The unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percentage points to 7.9 percent, but most of this was due to people leaving the labor force. The employment to population ratio (EPOP) only rose by 0.1 percentage point. At 56.6 percent, it is still 4.4 percentage points below its year-ago level.

      • Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.

        Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector.

        In August, Encore Capital, the largest debt buyer in the country, announced that it had doubled its previous record for earnings in a quarter. It primarily had the CARES Act to thank: The bill delivered hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stimulus checks and bulked-up unemployment benefits to Americans, while easing pressures on them by halting foreclosures, evictions and student loan payments. There was no ban on collections of old credit card bills, Encore’s specialty.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Donald Trump Makes the Swamp Bigger

        Donald Trump brought a whole new world of corruption to Washington.

      • How to Avoid Banana Republic Elections

        “However this election turns out, a bipartisan effort should be mounted to make voting more efficient and secure.”

      • Episode 110 – Election 2020: Covering The Media with Professor Melissa Camacho – Along The Line Podcast

        On today’s episode, Nicholas Baham II (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo, and Nolan Higdon host San Francisco State University’s Melissa Camacho.

      • Trump and the Lost Country

        Where, oh where, is the United States of America — global leader, creator of democracy, hope of humankind? It certainly wasn’t up there on the debate stage last night.

      • An Election Letter to White Male Boomers
      • How Do You Cover an Administration That Has Lost Touch With Reality?

        This column is almost always critical of journalists and spotlights the many mistakes, malfeasances, and misunderstandings that characterize so much of our political coverage. But today I just want to offer my condolences. We have had presidential administrations run by criminals before. It would be fair to call certain past presidents con men. (See my new book, Lying in State, for details.) This administration is all that and more, but there’s a new problem: Donald Trump’s White House, the party it represents, and its most prominent supporters in the media are untethered from reality. How do you cover one of the two major parties—the one that controls the Oval Office, the Senate, and increasingly the courts—and the most popular (and most profitable) cable station in America when their arguments consist almost entirely of dangerous lunacy?

      • Beyond Obama and Bernie
      • Fractal Politics 2.1
      • ‘Middle-Class Joe’ Doesn’t Understand the Middle Class

        Despite his (alleged) nickname, “Middle-Class Joe” Biden doesn’t seem to understand the middle class. It’s become customary for Democratic presidential candidates to vow not to raise taxes on this particular group of voters. Hillary Clinton repeatedly made that pledge in 2015 and ’16—a tactic Barack Obama also used in 2008. It’s a commitment that sounds nice on the campaign trail, but it hamstrings policy-making. And now Biden, as the 2020 Democratic nominee, has made that bad promise even worse.

      • Trump Unmasked

        “I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight,” Donald Trump said Thursday night. A day later he was airlifted to Walter Reed Hospital, down with (reportedly) mild symptoms of COVID-19—so “mild” that he’s now going to stay “several” days instead of “a few” as initially reported.

      • Trump’s Covid: Empathy for the World’s Least Empathetic Person?

        Joe Biden is praying for him. Kamala Harris sends him heartfelt wishes. President Obama reminds us we’re all in this together and we want to make sure everyone is healthy.

      • Abolition Is Not Merely a Demand, But a Long-Term Struggle

        Recently, I received this text from a longtime comrade: “You’re not gonna believe this but the governor is on TV saying they are going to shut down all the juvenile prisons in Illinois.”

      • Trump Needs Accomplices at Every Level of Government to Pull Off a Coup

        For months, Donald Trump has been mounting a preemptive strike against the democratic election process. He signals his intent to manipulate — indeed, steal — the presidential election in the event that Joe Biden wins. With no evidence to support him, Trump repeats the mantra “voter fraud” to lay the groundwork for political, legal and extra-legal challenges to a Biden victory. In an unprecedented move, Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power as he orders right-wing militias armed with assault weapons to “stand back and stand by.”

      • Regression as a National Theme

        Going Backwards

      • Amy Coney Barrett Would Ensure an Anti-Worker Supreme Court
      • Heels Not Heils: Hijacking the Proud Boys and MAGA Narrative Amidst Ruinous Reality
      • Fascism, American-Style

        The United States is facing its most dangerous domestic crossroads since the Civil War. Donald Trump has told the nation that he would not necessarily abide by the results of the November election, that violence could not be ruled out in the wake of the election, and that a Joe Biden victory would be fraudulent.  At last week’s tumultuous debate, Trump threatened to challenge a possible defeat in next month’s election in the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, or even in the street.  Attorney General William Barr ominously stated that he would follow the results of the election if the results were “clear.”

      • Trump and Covid

        It had to happen.

      • The Last Empire (Hopefully)

        Is Trump really positive for covid? Did Melania say “fuck Christmas”? Did Brad Parscale win the Florida Man crown this year? Will the Proud Boys stand by?  Is my ballot in the creek? These are the Days of Our Lives (cue the Werther’s original, loose perfumed powder atmosphere of a 70’s era grandparent living room). Our government has the plot and timing of a very poorly written soap opera.

      • Why is Trump Not Facing Impeachment Over COVID-19?

        President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have both tested positive for the coronavirus in what is perhaps the most shocking “October surprise” in the history of presidential races. If he recovers with only mild symptoms, he will undoubtedly make the case that he was right all along in downplaying the virus. If he suffers, he will gain sympathy from the public at large. Even in contracting the virus himself, he is likely to use it for his political gain. But none of this should obscure the fact that Trump’s negligence on the coronavirus ought to be the greatest stain on his presidency—and that’s saying a lot considering the lengthy list of his cruel deeds, lies, and many potential conflicts of interest and crimes.

      • Irving Howe: A Socialist Life

        Walking on Manhattan’s Upper West Side one chilly day in the 1980s—it was not long after a suggestion came from within the Reagan administration that ketchup replace vegetables in school lunches to save money—Irving Howe made a remark to me that captured a great deal about his own political journey: “I know how to debate with these guys about politics and economics, but how do you argue with social meanness?”

        Howe, whose centennial we commemorate this year and who was Dissent’s founding spirit, could have easily launched into a dissection of capitalism. His political awakening began in the 1930s and 1940s as a teenaged Marxist. A half century later his aversions hadn’t much changed, but his ways of understanding had. Instead of an “analysis,” he expressed simple moral outrage. If his intellectual evolution has meaning for today’s left, and certainly it does, it is to be found in his struggle to transcend sectarian mindsets while remaining principled.

        Two factors were particularly important in his case. One was an ability to speak frankly about things that had gone wrong on the left. The other was how literature shaped his sensibilities. When this “liberal socialist” used the word “critical,” it was not just against foes but to trouble his own deepest beliefs. Egalitarian humanism was at their core. However, the experiences of the twentieth century, particularly the damage inflicted on the very idea of socialism by Communist parties, taught him the need for modifiers. The word liberal implied not just individual freedoms but the importance of “self” and securing spaces for an individual’s life. Engaging literature fostered the self.

      • Living Constitutions

        While constitutions are often conceived as elite projects, the Indian example illustrates that founding texts can have unexpected meanings for popular politics.


        Last December, mass demonstrations erupted across India in response to new legislation that granted a fast track to citizenship for a number of religious groups but excluded Muslims. A violent crackdown followed. Protesters turned to the country’s seventy-year-old Constitution for a moral language to critique both the anti-Muslim legislation and the state’s repression of dissent. Life-size cutouts of its chief drafter, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, and other members of the Constituent Assembly accompanied marchers on the streets. Mass readings of the Constitution’s preamble were staged in different languages. Live artwork, poetry, and songs disseminated this appeal to the Constitution beyond the gatherings on Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.

        The TikToking of India’s Constitution is a remarkable thing. Constitutions are rarely understood as mandates for protest. Often closing a revolutionary period, they organize, distribute, and stabilize the exercise of political power. They give institutional form to the routine practices of politics. And as mechanisms designed to settle political arrangements, they are removed from—if not antagonistic to—popular mobilization.

        This gap between constitutionalism and popular politics should be even greater in India. Though the 1950 Constitution marked the culmination of national independence, the Constituent Assembly did not emerge from a revolution; its authority was based in frameworks created during British rule. Members were elected under the limited franchise of the colonial era. Although the Constitution made universal adult suffrage the cornerstone of postcolonial citizenship, the document itself was an elite project. Ambedkar recognized this problem when he told the Assembly, “Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realize that our people have yet to learn it.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • How a Police State Starts

        On Saturday a small, socially distanced vigil of 18 people for Julian Assange at Piccadilly Circus was broken up by twice that number of police and one elderly man arrested and taken into custody. The little group of activists have been holding the vigil every week. I had just arrived to thank them and was astonished to see eight police vans and this utterly unnecessary police action. There could not be a clearer example of “Covid legislation” being used to crack down on unrelated, entirely peaceful political dissent.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Today Marks the Start of a Truly Terrifying Supreme Court Term

        With the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, our nation, so badly shaken during these past months, has been rattled to its very core. Her passing has already jolted the 2020 elections—and it will have far-lasting effects on the makeup and, potentially, the very structure of the Supreme Court, reshaping the legal terrain for a generation of American life.

      • Ginsburg Institute for Justice Needed for Our Depleted Democracy

        Jean Monnet – a founder of the European Union once said: “Nothing is possible without men, but nothing is lasting without institutions.”

      • What’s at stake in the US election for refugees and asylum?

        In less than four years in office, the administration of President Donald Trump has largely dismantled the US asylum system and refugee resettlement programme. If elected on 3 November, Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger, has said he will take a starkly different approach, vowing to “reassert America’s commitment to asylum seekers and refugees”.

        A significant departure from the Trump era, Biden’s proposals represent a return to the traditional US political consensus that the country should offer humanitarian protections to people fleeing persecution, according to policy experts. If Biden wins the election and takes office in January, however, rebuilding the asylum system and refugee resettlement programme will require significant attention and will likely be more politically complicated than advocates might hope.

        “It is going to take a lot of work to even get things to where they were on January 19, 2017 (the day before Trump took office),” Sunil Varghese, policy director at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a legal support and advocacy organisation, told The New Humanitarian. “That itself is going to take a lot of time and effort, and it’s not going to be as easy as just rescinding a few things and it will happen.”

      • Mr In-Between

        Working on Dissent has been both a great pleasure and a ceaseless responsibility. It is time to let others have all the fun and carry most of the burden.

        A little more than thirty years ago, I received one of Irving Howe’s famous little postcards. “Shouldn’t you be writing for us?” was all he said—and all he needed to say. I had been reading the magazine since the late 1960s, arguing with as many of the pieces as I agreed with. But I still tore through every issue as soon as it arrived in the mail. To my mind, no publication on the American left was so intelligent, so well-written, and so endlessly provocative. I still think that’s true today.

        But after this issue, my name will appear next to Irving’s on the masthead where the editors emeriti are listed. A dozen years after Michael Walzer asked me to join him as co-editor, I am leaving that task to the wise and talented Timothy Shenk and Natasha Lewis in partnership with the similarly adept Nick Serpe, Mark Levinson, Flynn Murray, and Lyra Walsh Fuchs. Working on Dissent has been both a great pleasure and a ceaseless responsibility. It is time to let others have all the fun and carry most of the burden.

      • Inside Story: How we broke the Ebola sexual abuse scandal

        Early last year during a trip to the Ebola outbreak zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we were tipped off that aid workers might be sexually abusing and exploiting women.

        “Oh, they love our ladies,” reporter Robert Flummerfelt was told in March 2019 at a bar in Butembo, one of two hubs for workers trying to contain the virus in Congo’s northeast. “They arrive in military convoys to take the sick for treatment, and they are always taking the women.”

        Even though the practice seemed well known, we were warned few women would talk. “The victims of this are carrying a secret that they will bring to their graves,” one man said.
        We set out to find the women.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • “Same Claim” and Post-Judgment Infringement

          When I first wrote about this case, I explained my view that the Federal Circuit issued “a really poor decision” in the way that it recklessly expanded-out the scope of claim preclusion without consideration of the impact. The case was decided just after Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1589 (2020). In that case, the court clamped-down on expansion of issue or claim preclusion beyond their traditional bounds.


          Petition. Note here that the Federal Circuit decision does not cite to the Kessler Decision, but instead appears to shift its approach to capturing the post-judgment actions as captured by claim preclusion. That shift makes sense when considering the Lucky Brand warning against non-uniform preclusion principles.

        • PTAB Denies Broad Motion No. 3 to De-designate Claims as Not Corresponding to Count No. 1

          n the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s decision on motions issued September 10th in Interference No. 106,115 (see “PTAB Decides Parties’ Motions in CRISPR Interference”) between Senior Party The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Junior Party the University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”), the Board denied Broad’s Motion No. 3 to De-designate Claims as Not Corresponding to Count No. 1.


          On the merits, the Decision states that the standard it has applied is whether each involved claim in Broad’s patents-in-interference would have been anticipated or rendered obvious by the subject matter of Count 1. The Board notes that “[m]any of Broad’s supporting reasons are similar to those put forth in Motion 2,” setting forth examples. The Board being specific in its language interprets some of Broad’s arguments to be limited to its claims wherein reciting “fused” or “chimeric” RNA species should be construed to recite single RNA molecule CRISPR species. The Board expressly rejects Broad’s assertion that “all but 43 of Broad’s 387 involved claims” should be designated as not corresponding to Count 1 on this rationale, which the Decision states is based on Broad’s argument (rejected by the Board in its denial of Broad Motion No. 2) involving the claim term “guide RNA.”

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

          Finding it difficult to keep up with an ever-changing world in the midst of a health, environmental, social and political crisis, while keeping up with patent law? Do not worry, the IPKat is doing a series of half-yearly “catch-ups” of the main European patent law jurisdictions before we all start a new “school year”. In this post, the French Kat’s friends Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier, Julie Pailhès, Luca Chevallier and Camille d’Angerville at Gide Loyrette Nouel in Paris report on the first half of this year’s patent cases in France. Over to Raphaëlle, Julie, Luca and Camille…


          The well-known Dutch group (yes, we’re referring to Philips here) is the owner of a standard essential patent (SEP) portfolio related to UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G) standards, declared as such with the ETSI. Following the failure of licensing agreement negotiations between the two parties, Philips sued TCL for patent infringement before the High Court of Justice of England and Wales in 2018. To cut the ground from under Philips’ feet, TCL initiated proceedings in France in early 2020 before the Paris Court of First Instance (Tribunal Judiciaire de Paris) suing not only Philips but also the France based ETSI.

          Long story short, TCL claimed that Philips refused to negotiate licenses on FRAND conditions and therefore did not comply with the commitments made in the context of its membership to the ETSI. It requested the Court to impose such licences on Philips and to enjoin the ETSI to contribute to this outcome.

      • Copyrights

        • Google vs Oracle tech dominance battle heads to US Supreme Court
        • This week at the Supreme Court

          Oral Argument set for October 7, 2020 in Google v. Oracle.

          (1) Whether copyright protection extends to software code and the organizational structure of a programming language; and
          (2) Whether, as the jury found, the petitioner’s use of a software interface in the context of creating a new computer program constitutes fair use.
          What is the role of the Jury in deciding fair use? (Raised by the Court)
          What is the role of patents in the protection of a software code? (Raised by Crouch)

        • Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Website Linked to Pirate Site Offering Mulan

          The official website of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort surprised visitors this weekend with an unexpected ‘bonus’. In addition to promoting the luxurious location, it also contained a link to a well-known pirate movie site, illegally streaming Disney’s Mulan among hundreds of other movies.

        • ACE TV, Firestick Plusman Repo, and Other Domains Seized By ACE / MPA

          The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has taken over domains previously connected to Firestick Plusman. In addition to ‘seizing’ the popular FSPMKodi.com repository, the group has also commandeered domains belonging to ACE TV. But the latest grabs don’t stop there.

        • EU Allows Accused ‘Pirate’ Sites to Rebut Copyright Holder Claims

          The European Commission is working on its 2020 piracy watch list, which will provide an overview of notorious markets located outside of the EU. The annual report is largely based on input from copyright holders but the Commission is actively approaching accused pirate sites to rebut these claims before publication.

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    Links for the day

  3. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities

  4. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens

  5. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day

  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022

  7. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day

  8. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious

  9. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day

  10. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose

  11. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day

  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022

  13. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule

  14. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies

  15. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day

  16. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)

  17. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day

  18. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics

  19. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022

  21. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda

  22. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller

  23. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

    Links for the day

  24. Links 13/1/2022: Sparky 5.16, Fwupd 1.7.4, and KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released

    Links for the day

  25. Call a Spade a Spade (Microsoft 'Contributions' to Linux)

    Call a spade a spade; Microsoft does not love Linux and doesn’t try to help Linux, as it’s still all about Windows and proprietary software with surveillance, back doors, and worse things

  26. No Excuses for Using GitHub Anymore

    Software developers become living witnesses to more and more reasons to abandon Microsoft for good

  27. Links 13/1/2022: Slackware Linux 15.0 RC3 and More Microsoft Aggression Against Linux

    Links for the day

  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 12, 2022

  29. Links 12/1/2022: IPython 8.0, Iranian Attacks on Microsoft Windows

    Links for the day

  30. Non-Fungible Membership in OSI

    The OSI tells us that it got over a thousand members, but that boils down to just people clicking a URL or a button

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