10.29.20

Links 29/10/2020: LibreOffice 7.0.3, Linux 5.9.2, NVIDIA 455.38 Linux Driver

Posted in News Roundup at 4:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSDNow 374: OpenBSD’s 25th anniversary

        OpenBSD 6.8 has been released, NetBSD 9.1 is out, OpenZFS devsummit report, BastilleBSD’s native container management for FreeBSD, cleaning up old tarsnap backups, Michael W. Lucas’ book sale, and more.

      • Bad Voltage 3×16: Not Fun To Watch

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which the utilities question comes up again, we create spin-off show “Sussing Out Stocks With Stuart”, and…

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E32 – Sleeping northwards

        This week we’ve been escaping from Hell and using Stadia controllers over WiFi. We

        It’s Season 13 Episode 32 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.9.2
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.9.2 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.9 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.9.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.9.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.8.17
      • Linux 5.4.73
      • Linux 4.19.153
      • Linux 4.14.203
      • Linux 4.9.241
      • Linux 4.4.241
      • Real-Time Patches Updated For Linux 5.9/5.10 With The Code Not Yet Mainlined

        There was talk earlier this year of mainlining the real-time Linux kernel patches after similar discussions last year didn’t result in it happening. Merging the RT code didn’t happen for the recent Linux 5.10 merge window but at least the out-of-tree patches were quickly re-based for Linux 5.9 stable and 5.10-rc1.

        Sebastian Andrzej Siewior announced today 5.9.1-rt20 and 5.10-rc1-rt1 as the latest real-time patches for the current stable and development kernels.

      • [ANNOUNCE] v5.9.1-rt20
      • Graphics Stack

        • Nvidia 455.38 Adds GeForce RTX 3070 Support, AMD Secure Memory Encryption Compatibility

          Nvidia 455.38 is the second short-lived driver that Nvidia releases this month. Coming three weeks after Nvidia 455.28, this new release introduces support for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, but only on GNU/Linux and BSD platforms.

          Only for Linux users, Nvidia 455.38 also adds compatibility with AMD Secure Memory Encryption, as well as support for using an Nvidia-driven display as a PRIME Display Offload sink with a PRIME Display Offload source driven by the open-source xf86-video-intel driver.

        • NVIDIA 455.38 Linux Driver Released With RTX 3070 Support, AMD SME Compatibility – Phoronix

          Timed with today’s (limited) availability of the GeForce RTX 3070 graphics cards, the NVIDIA Unix driver team has released the 455.38 Linux driver with support for this new Ampere graphics card plus tucking in a few new features and fixes too.

          With this being another NVIDIA 455 series driver, the 455.38 driver update isn’t all that huge and headlined by having the official GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card that is shipping today at $499 USD. Unfortunately we haven’t received any review sample yet of the GeForce RTX 3070 and thus have no Linux benchmarks to share today.

        • AMD ROCm 3.9 Released With AOMP OpenMP Offloading Integrated – Phoronix

          A new version of the AMD Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) has been released on the same day as the company announcing the Radeon RX 6800/6900 series. Meet ROCm 3.9.

          While announced on the same day as the Big Navi RX 6800/6900 reveal, ROCm 3.9 has no mention of supporting these GPUs starting to ship in November. In fact, the Radeon RX 5000 “Navi 1″ graphics cards are still not listed as supported with ROCm 3.9 with Vega/GFX9 still being listed as the latest hardware support.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q4.2 Vulkan Driver Released – Phoronix

          As we hit the end of October AMD has issued their second open-source Vulkan driver code drop of the quarter with the AMDVLK 2020.Q4.2 availability.

          Listed with this morning’s AMDVLK 2020.Q4.2 update is just updating against Vulkan API 1.2.157 and fixing a GPU hang that can occur with DOOM Eternal running under Steam Play. That’s it as far as the listed changes go for today’s update.

    • Intel

      • Intel Begins Their Open-Source Driver Support For Vulkan Ray-Tracing With Xe HPG – Phoronix

        Intel’s open-source developers have begun publishing their patches enabling their “ANV” Vulkan Linux driver to support Vulkan ray-tracing! This is in preparation for next year’s Xe HPG graphics card that will feature hardware-accelerated ray-tracing.

        Jason Ekstrand as the lead developer originally on the Intel ANV driver has posted today the initial ray-tracing code for ANV in order to support VK_KHR_ray_tracing for their forthcoming hardware. Today is the first time Intel has approved of this open-source code being published and more is on the way. The code today isn’t enough for Vulkan ray-tracing but more is on the way and based against the latest internal Khronos ray-tracing specification. At the moment they are not focusing on the former NVIDIA-specific ray-tracing extension but may handle it in the future if game vendors continue targeting it rather than the forthcoming finalized KHR version.

      • Intel Reveals Few More Details Regarding 11th Gen “Rocket Lake” Processors – Phoronix

        While 11th Gen “Rocket Lake” desktop processors aren’t expected to be released until the end of Q1’2021, given the interest building around AMD Ryzen 5000 “Zen 3″ processors, Intel revealed a few more details today about their next-generation wares.

        Intel reiterated that Rocket Lake S is on track for Q1’2021 and will combine Cypress Cove cores with Gen12 Xe Graphics. Nothing new and was already expected based on prior Linux patches. Intel says that Rocket Lake will provide “double-digit percentage IPC performance improvements” gen-over-gen and enhanced graphics.

      • Intel’s oneDNN Continues Improving Support For Non-Intel Hardware – Phoronix

        Earlier this year was the surprising move of Intel’s oneDNN neural network library adding AArch64 support and that was then complemented by adding IBM POWER support to this neural network library that is part of their oneAPI collection. Now with the latest oneDNN 2.0 beta they have furthered the support and performance for non-Intel hardware.

        Not only is there IBM POWER (PowerPC 64) support but IBM z (390x) is also now supported by this library formerly known as MKL-DNN and DNNL. This library is focused on providing the “building blocks” for constructing deep learning applications.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Set up CUPS Print Server in Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        The job of a print server is to accept print requests from multiple machines, process those requests, and then send them to the specified printer for serving those requests. CUPS is a utility designed for Linux operating systems that can turn a regular computer system into a print server. This article provides a method for setting up the CUPS print server in Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Ubuntu Unity Groovy Gorilla

        This tutorial explains how to switch Ubuntu 20.10 user interface back to Unity rather than GNOME. This is for computer users who prefer Ubuntu with its innovative Unity appearance that found in version 10.04 LTS and 16.10. Now let’s have fun!

      • Install a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate on Debian 10 – PragmaticLinux

        This PragmaticLinux article teaches you how to generate a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and install it on your Debian based web server.

      • Install Squid Proxy On Ubuntu 20.04 | Itsubuntu.com

        Squid is a caching proxy for the Web. It has support for the HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and other protocols. It helps to speed up a web server by caching repeated requests, caching web, DNS and access geo-restricted content.

      • How to Install Pandora FMS Monitoring Tool in Ubuntu 20.04

        Pandora FMS also know as “Pandora Flexible Monitoring System” is a monitoring tool used for servers, networks, applications, and virtual infrastructure. It is simple, scalable and suitable for complex and larger environments. It uses several protocols including, TCP, UDP, SNMP, HTTP and agents to collect the different metrics. You can monitor the status and performance of web servers, database servers, applications, routers, and other network devices using the Pandora FMS.

      • Display Git Repository Summary In Terminal Using Onefetch – OSTechNix

        Onefetch is a command line tool to display Git repository summary in terminal. Onefetch is like Neofetch but for Git repositories only.

      • How To Install AnyDesk on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial we will show you how to install AnyDesk on CentOS 8, as well as some extra required package by AnyDesk

      • How to Format a USB drive in Debian

        Formatting a USB is a common operation in most computer systems and it comes in handy in a number of ways. For instance, you can format a USB drive if it gets infected with a virus, and data is corrupted or you want to change the file system as it is not compatible with your OS. Similarly, it can be helpful if you want to completely wipe off the old data so that you can fully use the storage space. So whatever the reason, you can easily format your USB device through different methods in a Debian operating system.

        In this article, I will show you different methods to format a USB drive on the command-line and on Debian Desktop. You can use either of them based on your preferences.

        Note that we have run the commands and procedure mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 system.

      • Linux Netstat Command Tutorial for SysAdmins [40 Examples]

        The netstat (network statistics) utility in Linux provides information related to network connections. You can use various netstat commands to display active network connections, interface data, routing tables, and so on. These are essential information for network admins and infosec professionals. That’s why we have prepared this guide with a wide selection of useful netstat examples. After completing this guide, you will be able to inspect all the network-related information for your Linux machine. We also encourage readers to try these examples on their own machine for obtaining a more hands-on experience.

      • Linux Fu: Troubleshooting Incron | Hackaday

        You probably know about cron, a program that lets you schedule programs to run at various times. We’ve also talked about incron, which is very similar but instead of time, it reacts to changes in the file system. If you ever wanted to write a program that, say, detects a change in a file and automatically uploads it to a programmer, backs it up, e-mails it somewhere, or anything else, then incron might be for you. Although we’ve talked about it before, incron has some peculiarities that make it very difficult to debug problems, so I thought I’d share some of the tricks I use when working with incron.

        I was thinking about this because I wanted to set up a simple system where I have a single document directory under git control. Changing a markdown file in that folder would generate Word document and PDF equivalents. Conversely, changing a Word document would produce a markdown version.

        This is easy to do with pandoc — it speaks many different formats. The trick is running it only on changed files and as soon as they change. The task isn’t that hard, but it does take a bit to debug since it’s a bit nontrivial.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Enable a Magic Lamp Effect on Ubuntu with this GNOME Extension

          Called “Compiz-alike magic lamp effect”, this a free, open source GNOME Shell extension does an excellent job of recreating this famously flashy window minimisation effect on the Ubuntu desktop (as well as other Linux distros which use GNOME Shell).

          The “genie effect” animation is synonymous with Mac computers as it was the default window minimisation effect used during the early years of the system. Notably, the effect was first shown off during an Apple keynote way back in 2000 — it’s been around that long!

          Linux users wanting to add the animation to their systems have had several ways to do it over the years. The best known effect is the ‘Magic Lamp’ effect for Compiz, the 3D composited window manager, though (naturally) elementary OS provides it too.

        • Friends of GNOME Update – October 2020

          We’re working with our friends at KDE on the Linux Application Summit (LAS). This event takes place November 12 – 14. It will be online this year. The event will cover all things to do with apps in a Linux environment. Registration is open! LAS is also looking for volunteers, so if you’d like to get involved, please fill out this form.

          Registration for GNOME.Asia is open! The GNOME.Asia Summit 2020 will be taking place online on November 24 – 26. While the conference is centered around the GNOME Project, there will be talks, workshops, and Birds of a Feather sessions for everyone interested in free and open source software. You can register online.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • PostgreSQL 13, Latest Stable Kernel Update in Tumbleweed

          One of the two major version updates in the latest 20201026 snapshot was a Mozilla Firefox 82.0 update; the new version resolved seven Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures and improved performance with restoring sessions and page loads. Mozilla Thunderbird also had an update to version 78.4.0, which added some mail extension Application Programming Interfaces. The printing update to cups 2.3.3 added a workaround for the scheduler’s systemd support and fixed a warning options support for GNU Compiler Collection 9. A daylight saving time fix for glib2 2.66.2 changed the default format. The 5.9.1 Linux Kernel arrived in the snapshot and fixed a kernel panic bsc#1177973. MariaDB updated to version 10.5.6 from 10.4.14, which implemented new features and made all binaries previously beginning with mysql to begin with mariadb or with symlinks for the corresponding mysql command. The other major version update was to perl-URI 5.05 from version 1.76; the change was made to bump all versions to 5.05 in order to remove various version mismatches, according to the changelog. The snapshot is trending moderately at an 83 rating on the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer.

          Only two Python packages arrived in snapshot 20201025, which is trending at a 96. A major version update of python-hyperlink 20.0.1, which provide pure-Python implementations of immutable URLs, fixed several bugs related to hidden states; this made all data on a URL object (including rooted and uses_netloc) reflective by and consistent with its textual representation. The update of python-numpy 1.19.2 increased the required memory to avoid test failures and openQA found an issue (boo#1176832) and upgraded older distro versions, which did not package f2py using update-alternatives.

          Two more major version updates arrived in snapshot 20201024 and postgresql 13 was one of them. Significant improvements in postgresql 13 include indexing and a lookup system that benefit large databases; this helps with space savings and performance gains for indexes as well as faster response times for queries that use aggregates or partitions. A list of improvements can be found in the project’s news release. The other major version update was to the utility manager ndctl 70.1, which added firmware activation support. A few Advanced Linux Sound Architecture packages updated to version 1.2.4, which lists some configuration changes along with a few new hotplugs for AICA (Dreamcast) Firmware and AudioScience ASIHPI Firmware. Debugging tools in the xfsprogs 5.9.0 package fixed the potential unterminated string problem for libhandle. The snapshot is trending at a 90.

        • openSUSE Community To Have Kickoff Session for Leap 15.3 – openSUSE News

          The openSUSE community is inviting package maintainers, contributors, open source developers and Leap 15.3 stakeholders to join the openSUSE community for a kickoff of Leap 15.3.

          The kickoff session starts Nov. 4 at 16:30 UTC on https://meet.opensuse.org/LeapKickoff.

          The session will start with a short pre-recorded video updating attendees about the status of Jump 15.2.1, explaining what to expect from the Leap 15.3 release and presenting a roadmap forward for the release.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 33: This new Linux distribution is designed to ‘just work’

          Red Hat’s community-driven Fedora Project has released the latest version of its open-source Linux distribution, Fedora 33.

          The latest version of Fedora Workstation is designed for developers who want a desktop Linux setup that requires minimal configuration and “just works”, according to Fedora Project Leader, Matthew Miller.

        • The OpenShift opportunity for the partner ecosystem

          Red Hat’s Ernest Jones reflects on recent OpenShift momentum and what it means for the partner ecosystem.

        • Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 and Red Hat Developer Toolset 10 Beta now available

          The latest versions of Red Hat Software Collections and Red Hat Developer Toolset are available now in beta. Red Hat Software Collections 3.6 delivers the latest stable versions of many popular open source runtime languages, web servers and databases natively to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform. These components are supported for up to five years, helping to enable a more consistent, efficient, and reliable developer experience.

        • Red Hat Insights dashboard provides automatic discovery, health and security assessment for SAP HANA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
        • What’s new in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3? Enhanced container tools, more system roles and new cloud admin tools just for starters

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3 will be available in the coming weeks. In this post we’ll take a look at some of the highlights and important new features that are planned for RHEL subscribers.

          A RHEL release has many constituencies. RHEL has to meet the needs of system administrators who crave system stability and predictability, and developers who want flexibility and new language and software choices. With new system roles, a major RHEL container tools update, cloud administration updates and more, RHEL 8.3 delivers for those who depend on enterprise open source to run today’s businesses.

          The third update since RHEL 8′s release in early 2019, RHEL 8.3 continues the six-month cadence of minor releases. By offering a predictable, time-based release cycle we help drive new features in a timely fashion without compromising the reliability of RHEL that our users and customers depend on.

        • Collect JDK Flight Recorder events at runtime with JMC Agent – Red Hat Developer

          JDK Flight Recorder, or JFR, is an event-based production environment profiler available from OpenJDK 8u272 forward. Being a HotSpot-native feature, JDK Flight Recorder performs with extremely low overhead in terms of how it uses both space and time.

          While JDK Flight Recorder collects basic Java runtime information by default, it is also possible to use JFR’s Event API to collect custom events. Developers who want to collect application-level events must actively define and instantiate them in their application source code.

          In this article, we’ll show you how to use JMC Agent and the JMC Agent Plugin to instrument your application classes with event-emitting code. When you use JMC Agent with the JDK Flight Recorder Event API, you do not need to shut down the JVM and recompile the application code.

        • New custom metrics and air gapped installation in Red Hat 3scale API Management 2.9 – Red Hat Developer

          We continue to update the Red Hat Integration product portfolio to provide a better operational and development experience for modern cloud– and container-native applications. The Red Hat Integration 2020-Q3 release includes Red Hat 3scale API Management 2.9, which provides new features and capabilities for 3scale. Among other features, we have updated the 3scale API Management and Gateway Operators.

          This article introduces the Red Hat 3scale API Management 2.9 release highlights, including air-gapped installation for 3scale on Red Hat OpenShift and new APIcast policies for custom metrics and upstream mutual Transport Layer Security (TLS).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Design and Web team summary – 28th October 2020 | Ubuntu

          The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. This iteration was slightly different as we began a new cycle. A cycle represents six months of work. Therefore, we spent the first-week planning and scheduling the cycles goals. Therefore, the following highlights of our completed work from the previous week.

        • UbuntuDDE Remix 20.10 Released With Linux 5.8, Snap Plugin, And More

          Earlier this year, we reported about a brand new UbuntuDDE Remix that combines the power of Ubuntu Linux and Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) from Deepin Linux.

          After the successful launch of the first-ever UbuntuDDE Remix 20.04 LTS release, its project leader Arun Kumar Pariyar has now announced a new iteration called UbuntuDDE Remix 20.10 codenamed “groovy” (Groovy Gorilla).

    • Devices/Embedded

      • PolarFire SoC board has GbE port and 40-pin GPIO

        Sundance will soon launch an SBC-like, $995 “PolarBerry” module that runs Linux on Microchip’s FPGA-enabled, RISC-V based PolarFire SoC with 4GB DDR4 and eMMC, dual CAN, a GbE port, and RPi style 40-pin GPIO.

        Microchip’s PolarFire SoC, the world’s first SoC to combine a Linux-ready RISC-V architecture CPU with an FPGA, has so far appeared on an Aries M100PFS module and Microchip’s own PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit SBC. Now, UK-based FPGA manufacturer Sundance has announced a Raspberry Pi sized PolarBerry SoM equipped with the hybrid SoC. It will soon launch on Crowd Supply for $995, with shipments due in January.

      • The Pro1-X will help support FOSS by donating to the Linux Foundation

        After years of rumors and plenty of April Fools’ jokes, we actually made a phone! The new Pro1-X is an adaptation of the Pro1 launched by our friends at F(x)tec last year and features more RAM, more storage, and more importantly, it runs a different platform. The first smartphone to run LineageOS out of the box, there’s plenty of reasons to like the Pro1-X but here’s one that we haven’t revealed until just now: we will be donating an amount per device to the Linux Foundation, to go towards supporting free, open-sourced software.

        [...]

        That’s not all though: the Pro1-X is also only available via the Indiegogo campaign, and will not be available to buy afterward. Miss it, and well, you miss the world’s first smartphone running LineageOS out of the box. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also the most powerful Ubuntu Touch OS smartphone ever made, with the HDMI-out allowing you to just plug a cable in and use a full Ubuntu desktop experience using nothing more than the keyboard on the phone, and the screen as a trackpad.

      • Yeah, XDA made a phone and it’s only available for 6 weeks!

        There have been many rumors and running jokes over the years that XDA would, and probably should, make a phone. Our history with alternative platforms such as LineageOS (and CyanogenMod that came before it) has meant that XDA has been at the forefront of helping develop viable alternatives to the primary platforms available on smartphones.

        Today, we’re super excited to announce that we’ve finally done it – we’ve made a phone. Earlier this year, we partnered with F(x)tec to discuss how we can bring an alternative platform to a wider audience. The F(x)tec Pro1-X does just this: it’s the world’s first phone to run LineageOS out of the box, and you can also get a version running Ubuntu Touch OS.

        [...]

        For years, we’ve teased that we’re planning to create a phone. So why did we finally do it? This year especially, privacy has become more important than ever before, and LineageOS is known for letting you go beyond the controls you’d find on a traditional Android smartphone. In particular, the Privacy Guard – in LineageOS 16, which was replaced by AOSP’s Permissions Hub in LineageOS 17 – allows you to only share the data you want to share, and not share the data you don’t want to share.

        We’ve also seen that the popularity of LineageOS and other platforms across our community has grown over the past few years and there’s more interest in these alternative Android distributions.

        Beyond just LineageOS, there’s a large community of Ubuntu users who’ve always dreamed of having a smartphone running Ubuntu Touch, and the Pro1-X is the first Qualcomm-powered smartphone to run Ubuntu Touch. Not only that, we’ve also managed to get the HDMI-out feature working, so you can plug an HDMI cable in and connect it to a big screen, and use the display as a trackpad.

      • Foreshadowing, Why the Purism Logo is a Rectangle

        When I started Purism in 2014 I knew I wanted to build secure computing hardware bundled with a privacy-respecting operating system that had freedom-respecting applications and services. I also knew that a computer could be a server, desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, watch, among many other form factors, and most of these have screens or at least a screen used to interact with (until we get to read/write electrical signals in our brains–what I call brain embeddables, sci-fi terminology sometimes calls “beddies”–we will continue to see devices with screens).

        In early 2005 (when I started the first online cable company) I presented that the movie and television industry needed to look at all computers as TVs, since a TV is just a computing device showing videos on a screen, and the only difference was size of screen, distance to viewing, and user interaction. A “TV” in that sense was remote controlled from a couch, a laptop was keyboard and mouse controlled from close-up, a tablet and phone (realize this was 2005 so pre-smartphone) could also become a video device. All of these are “just screens” from my point of view.

        Forming Purism, I knew we would iterate from laptop toward phone; but also could include servers (with monitor), desktops (with monitor), tablets, watches, routers, and all sorts of brainstorm-worthy products–nearly all containing a screen or access via a screen. It was very easy for me to “just use a screen” as a logo, and in what is probably a very rare story, I drew the first logo which was the only logo and remains our logo to this day. A simple rectangle to reference that all these screen based devices are just computers and with them we can do anything we desire.

      • InferX X1 SDK, PCIe and M.2 Boards for edge inference acceleration

        YOLOv3 is out now through the compiler framework and we can expect it to be demonstrated in the coming weeks. By Q1 2021, it will support popular customer models and initial support for Linux-based operating system Ubuntu and CentOS.

      • STMicro unveils VL53L5 multi-zone ToF ranging sensor

        We’ve previously covered or even tested STMicro Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensors with devices like VL53L0X with up to 2-meter range or VL53L1X extending the range to a maximum of 4 meters to measure the distance to one object aka region of interest (ROI).

      • NuMaker-IoT-M263A board is the Swiss army knife of IoT development
      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • SiFive Is Launching The Most Compelling RISC-V Development Board Yet – Phoronix

          If you’ve been waiting to port your software to RISC-V until having a decent RISC-V system where you can develop on-host, wanting to experiment with the libre processor architecture or even use it as a daily desktop system, or just wanting a Linux system that’s not x86_64 / ARM / POWER, SiFive today is announcing a new board today that is the most promising yet. The SiFive HiFive Unmatched is the best RISC-V development board we’ve seen to date and the closest to being the first “RISC-V PC” for Linux use.

        • SiFive unveils plan for Linux PCs with RISC-V processors | VentureBeat

          SiFive today announced it is creating a platform for Linux-based personal computers based on RISC-V processors.

          [...]

          SiFive raised $61 million in August from investors that included chip superpowers Intel and Qualcomm. The startup has raised $190 million to date, and former Qualcomm executive Patrick Little recently joined SiFive as CEO. His task will be to establish the company’s RISC-V processors as an alternative to Arm. This move comes in the wake of Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of the world’s leading processor architecture.

          If Little is also looking to challenge Intel and AMD in PCs, he’ll have his work cut out for him. For starters, SiFive is currently focused on Linux-based PCs, not Microsoft Windows PCs. Secondly, SiFive wouldn’t build these processors or computers on its own. Its customers — anyone brave enough to take on the PC giants — would have to do that.

        • SiFive’s RISC-V PC coming soon for $665 – Liliputing

          As promised, SiFive has unveiled a new computer featuring the company’s SiFive FU740 processor based on RISC-V architecture.

          The company, which has been making RISC-V chips for several years, is positioning its new SiFive HiFive Unmatched computer as a professional development board for those interested in working with RISC-V. But unlike the company’s other HiFive boards, the new Unmatched model is designed so that it can be easily integrated into a standard PC.

        • The quest for a blob-free WiFi & Bluetooth stack for BL602 WiSoC

          I thought I was done writing about Bouffalo Lab BL602 WiFI & Bluetooth RISC-V SoC for a while after first covering the chip itself, and then an inexpensive BL602 development board this weekend. But the BL602 SDK has shown up in various Github repositories, including Bouffalo Lab’s own bl_iot_sdk repository, and as more people are looking into it, there’s now an effort to develop a fully open-source blob-free WiFi & Bluetooth stack for BL602, and other Bouffalo Lab WiFi and/or Bluetooth wireless chips.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Collabora developers mentor successful GSoC Projects

        Autumn is just around the corner. For many participants in the GSoC 2020, a busy and instructive summer full of hacking on open source projects came to an end a few weeks ago. Commits have been contributed and final reports have been written. This year experienced Collabora Productivity developers were again mentors for various projects of the Google Summer of Code for the LibreOffice project. Here are some examples of projects our team helped to succeed!

      • OpenBehavior: A Rich Directory for Open-source Behavioral Neuroscience Projects

        OpenBehavior is an open-source repository for tools, software, projects and scripts that are dedicated for behavioral neuroscience research.

        The main goal is to promote and accelerate the collaboration of open-source neuroscience projects, neuroscience researchers and developers.

        Currently, OpenBehavior has 145 projects and active community of developers and research who are supporting this project. The project is founded and maintained by a group of researchers and professors. It started 2016 by Mark Lubach (PhD) and Alexxai Karvitz (PhD).

        The project is funded by NASA DC Space Grant Consortium to ML, Summer 2017. However, It’s still looking for more support as it’s 100% volunteer work.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Taskcluster’s DB (Part 1) – Azure to Postgres [Ed: Mozilla flirtations with Microsoft again]

            This is a deep-dive into some of the implementation details of Taskcluster. Taskcluster is a platform for building continuous integration, continuous deployment, and software-release processes. It’s an open source project that began life at Mozilla, supporting the Firefox build, test, and release systems.

            The Taskcluster “services” are a collection of microservices that handle distinct tasks: the queue coordinates tasks; the worker-manager creates and manages workers to execute tasks; the auth service authenticates API requests; and so on.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.0.3 Released with More Than 90 Bug Fixes, Update Now

          Initially scheduled for the first or second week of November, LibreOffice 7.0.3 is here only three weeks after LibreOffice 7.0.2 to address some important issues discovered in the Calc component, which were introduced in the previous update, as well as to improve to document compatibility.

          LibreOffice 7.0.3 includes a total of 92 bug fixes, and you can study them all here. If you’re using the LibreOffice 7.0 office suite series on your personal computer, I highly recommend that you update to the new version as soon as possible if you want to experience improved stability and reliability, hopefully without any critical bugs.

        • The Document Foundation releases LibreOffice 7.0.3

          LibreOffice 7.0.3, the third minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is now available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/, ahead of the planned schedule. LibreOffice 7.0.3 includes over 90 bug fixes, including Calc issues introduced with 7.0.2, and improvements to document compatibility.

          LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena, starting from native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – with better security and interoperability features – to wide support for proprietary formats.

          LibreOffice 7.0.3 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites. Users wanting the robustness of a more mature version optimized for enterprise class deployments can still download LibreOffice 6.4.7.

        • Next batch of videos from the openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020 – The Document Foundation Blog

          We’ve uploaded another batch of presentations and workshops from the recent openSUSE + LibreOffice Conference 2020! You can see them in the playlist, and here are the individual videos:

          Building LibreOffice’s Korean community, and CJK issues (DaeHyun Sung):

          Please confirm that you want to play a YouTube video. By accepting, you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Chinese Translators Team – News: Committee begins review of High Priority Projects free software list — your input is needed by January 8 [Savannah]

            The High Priority Free Software Projects (HPP) initiative draws attention to areas of improvement to the HPP list and specific projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users. Longtime committee member Benjamin Mako Hill said previously that an “updated High Priority Projects list is a description of the most important threats, and most critical opportunities, that free software faces in the modern computing landscape.” As computing is more ubiquitous than ever, the HPP list must reflect ongoing changes in priorities for the free software movement. The committee is starting the new process of updating the HPP, and we need your input.

            We need your input! Send your suggested changes for the list to hpp-feedback@gnu.org by January 8, 2021.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Excerpt from Masur & Ouellette’s Free Patent Law Casebook (Forthcoming Summer 2021)

            In January 2020, Jonathan Masur (Chicago Law) and I decided to write a free patent law casebook, which has turned out to be a rewarding pandemic project. As James Grimmelmann has documented, there are now many inexpensive and open-access IP and technology law casebooks, but none focused on patent law. Jonathan and I plan to pilot our casebook with our own patent law courses in spring 2021, and we will release the casebook in summer 2021 for free download online and in print on an at-cost, royalty-free basis through Amazon.

            [...]

            To help instructors use active-learning pedagogical strategies, our casebook emphasizes problems and practical exercises that ask students to apply patent doctrine to situations from recent cases. We are also attempting to make the book as concise and conceptually clear as possible, with graphical illustrations to summarize the doctrine and manageable reading assignments focused on the details of modern patent practice and policy.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Who invented the microprocessor?

        The microprocessor is the engine of all modern computers including, desktops, laptops, and smartphones. The microprocessor is the component of computers that performs all of the functions of the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The microprocessor is one type of integrated circuit. An integrated circuit is a collection of circuits on a silicon chip. A typical integrated circuit might connect billions of transistors in a structured way to form the various logic gates and perform different operations.
        Microprocessors follow the machine instructions, and it can involve one of three basic functions. The first function is calculating various mathematical operations, which is done by the Arithmetic Logic Unit. The next function is moving data to different memory registers. The final function of a microprocessor is to read the instructions and jump to new instructions if needed.

        The history of the invention of the microprocessor is tendentious and controversial; the invention of the transistor was the first step. They came into production in 1947, long before microprocessors arrived on the scene. These original transistors were bipolar transistors. Integrated circuits containing multiple bipolar transistors were developed in the 1960s. The 1960s also saw the invention of the metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor. These transistors were originally slow, unreliable, and expensive, but rapid innovation made them the best option in transistors by the middle of the decade.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Impact of the Pandemic on Superstar Cities

        This view is a bit peculiar. The argument in the article is essentially that these cities are very attractive places to live, and that will continue to be the case even if people have more opportunities to work remotely.

        However, that is not really the question. This is not a zero/one proposition. People will still want to live in places like Seattle, San Francisco, and New York even if everyone could work remotely. But that is besides the point. The issue is whether fewer people will want to live in these cities if they had the option to keep their jobs and work somewhere with much lower housing costs.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open Source Drive-Thru Contributors [Ed: Openwashing agenda by VM Brasseur or how to 'farm' a community for 'free labour']

              VM Brasseur explains open source “drive-thru contributions” and explores how the process can be improved.

              In the ongoing efforts to create a sustainable free and open source software ecosystem—one where projects receive the attention they need without burning out their maintainers in the process—a lot of attention has justifiably fallen on increasing the number of FOSS contributors.

              Much of the discussion around increasing contributors assumes that the primary goal is to get contributors who will stick around and become community members and maintainers. It’s certainly true that many hands make light work, and the more maintainers a project has the less likely it is that any one of them will bear the brunt of the work and burn out. But, this isn’t the only way to support project sustainability through contributions. Another approach is to optimize your project for drive-thru contributors.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Open Source Skills in Demand, According to Recent Jobs Reports

                The Robert Half Salary Guide 2021 details a long list of sought-after technology skills. As CRN’s Donna Goodison reports, “in-demand IT skills and expertise include Agile and Scrum, Angular, ASP.NET, C#, cloud computing (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud), containerization (Docker, Kubernetes, and Helm), Golang, ITIL, Java, JavaScript, Kotlin, Linux, PHP, Python, ReactJS and React Native, Ruby on Rails, SQL, virtualization and virtual, augmented, mixed and cross reality.”

              • Why the hunt is on for open-source skills

                Shedding its earlier associations with small groups of software ‘enthusiasts’, open-source has become a household phenomenon driven by a common interest to support and improve solutions that both enterprises and communities can benefit from. It’s not just about throwing code out into the ether and waiting for comment, it’s about building communities around it.

                Cost is the immediate benefit to businesses, especially in the uncertain economic climate. No license fee requirements make for a distinctive advantage. But building these communities of often not-so-like-minded developer talent leads to richer, more capable, and robust code unlocked more quickly, while troubleshooting fixes can happen faster when issues occur.

                The software is not only superior in reliability but is often more secure. Rather than just one team within a company, a worldwide community develops a codebase that can be developed on online forums to be guided by experts. The result is rigorously reviewed and vetted source codes – any issues that do arise can be fixed more quickly and diligently when compared to proprietary software.

              • Open Source is Revolutionizing Careers in Cybersecurity – What You Need to Know

                Within the realm of cybersecurity, there are many sub-disciplines – but there are common technical foundations shared between cybersecurity jobs, too. You should be able to manage operating systems (for instance, numerous Linux distributions and Windows), as well as understand their architecture and administration, plus know about networking and virtualization software. You’ll also need to understand network load balancers and firewalls, plus common programming languages – among other topics

                Many employers will require you to have certain certifications before you’re hired, and these qualifications will be a major factor in this process; they show how much you know about this sector. Industry experience is essential in acquiring the correct skills as well. Open source talent and certifications are becoming increasingly sought after, with 81% of hiring professionals citing open source skills and certifications as at top priority.

        • Security

          • Ubuntu publisher, Samsung, Huawei join major open-source security initiative

            Security has always been of utmost importance to the entire open source ecosystem.

            Eric S. Raymond, one of the luminaries of the open source movement, in his famous essay, Cathedral and the Bazaar, wrote “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” While still true, the complexity of software, and the increasing number of collaborators, puts an increasing onus on the eyeballs hunting for vulnerabilities.

            In addition to well-defined security policies at a project level, virtually all of the top organisations that contribute to open source software have security initiatives of their own.

          • Open Source Security Foundation Announces Education Courses and Participation Initiatives to Advance its Commitment to Securing the World’s Software Infrastructure

            OpenSSF, a cross-industry collaboration to secure the open source ecosystem, today announced free training for developing secure software, a new OpenSSF professional certificate program called Secure Software Development Fundamentals and additional program and technical initiatives. It is also announcing new contributors to the Foundation and newly elected advisory council and governing board members.

            Open source software has become pervasive across industries, and ensuring its security is of primary importance. The OpenSSF, hosted at the Linux Foundation, provides a structured forum for a collaborative, cross-industry effort. The foundation is committed to working both upstream and with existing communities to advance open source security for all.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (linux-4.19), Fedora (tcpreplay, xen, and yubihsm-shell), SUSE (pacemaker), and Ubuntu (gosa and pam-python).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Zoom Shuts Down NYU Event To Discuss Whether Zoom Should Be Shutting Down Events Based On Content

              Last month we wrote about Zoom blocking an online event by San Francisco State University because one of the speakers was Leila Khaled, a Palestinian activist/politician. 50 years ago she was involved in two airplane hijackings. As I noted in the post, this blockade was somewhat different than social media companies doing content moderation. Zoom is not hosting content, but rather just transmitting it, and thus is more akin to telecommunications infrastructure, and that raises significantly more questions about what it means when it starts reviewing the content of calls.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Ninth Circuit Dumps Sentencing Enhancement Handed To Defendant For Opening Social Media Accounts For ISIS Sympathizers

        The FBI is still creating terrorists — finding loud-mouthed online randos to radicalize by hooking them up with undercover agents and informants seemingly far more interested in escalating things than defusing possibly volatile individuals.

      • Impunity and Carefree Violence: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan

        Campbell duly tasked the inspector-general of the Australian Defence Force, James Gaynor, with the role of investigating war crimes allegations connected with the Special Operations Task Group during stints in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. Paul Brereton, a New South Wales Supreme Court judge and major general in the Army Reserve, was given the task of leading the inquiry. For four years, it has been conducted under conditions of utmost secrecy. The instrument directing the inquiry, and the terms of reference of the inquiry, remain unpublished.

        The report is expected to be completed by year’s end, though some preparations for softening the blow are already being made. The IGADF annual report of 2018-9, tabled in parliament in February, at least alludes to the fact that more than 338 witnesses have been examined since March 2016, noting “55 separate incidents or issues under inquiry covering a range of alleged breaches of the Law of Armed Conflict, predominantly unlawful killings of persons who were non-combatants or were no longer combatants, but also ‘cruel treatment’ of such persons.” Exclusions are already clear: decisions made during the “heat of battle,” for instance, are of no concern. Focus, instead, “is on the treatment of persons who were clearly non-combatants or who were no longer combatants.”

      • Palestinian Maher Al-Akhras Demands: Freedom or Death

        Under the cover of chaos from the coronavirus crisis, Palestinian Maher Al-Akhras is on the brink of death in an Israeli hospital, on hunger strike to protest his administrative detention in Israeli prison.

      • The Case for Abolition After Philadelphia Police Kill Walter Wallace Jr.

        Protesters in Philadelphia mark a second night of calling for the abolition of police after two Philadelphia police shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man, while he was having a mental health crisis. The shooting reflects decades of defunding of social services, including for mental health, while police departments have continued to grow, says author and activist Marc Lamont Hill, who argues, “If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.” Lamont Hill is professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University and author of We Still Here: Pandemic, Policing, Protest, and Possibility.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Reclaiming Possibility: A Rant Against Despair

        Fear can crowd out our imaginations and damper our compassion. What does it take to hold onto hope in these times? Kelly Hayes reflects on the world-building poetics of organizing.

      • Paul Gilroy: ‘Whiteness Just Ain’t Worth What it Used to Be’

        In 1987, the historian and academic Paul Gilroy published There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack, a searching examination of racism and nationalism in the United Kingdom in the second half of the 20th century. Its dissection of the fictions that contribute to ideas about “Englishness”—and the emphasis given at the time to a white, Christian frame for recognizing Englishness—as well as its examination of the ongoing accommodation of racist ideas by the British political and media establishment, were received at the time with great enthusiasm on one side and great ire on the other.

      • NLG 2021 Haywood Burns Fellowships

        The application for the NLG’s Haywood Burns Memorial Fellowship for Social and Economic Justice for Summer 2021 is now available! The Burns Fellowship is open to students and legal workers working on projects that find creative ways to use the law to advance justice.

        [...]

        Check out the Fellowship Page for information on previous Fellows and their projects. Please also take a look at the history of the Fellowships and the bio of Haywood Burns, which all applicants (and really everyone) should read. Fellowships may be completed with any existing organization whose mission addresses the needs of underserved individuals and groups. We encourage applicants to identify grassroots and non-traditional work opportunities for which there is a serious current societal need. This could be a small non-profit, a short-staffed community law firm, or an organizing campaign that needs legal assistance. In 2021, we expect to award $3,000 for ten weeks of full-time work and will be considering both in person and remote internships.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • [Guest Post] How can the AfCFTA advance transformative industrialisation? – Event Report – The IPKat

        The agreement establishing the AfCFTA was signed in Kigali Rwanda on 21 March 2018 at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) Assembly. AfCFTA creates the AU’s free trade area covering at least 55 countries and a potential market of more than 1.2 billion people. With the key objectives to establish a single market for goods and services and free movement of people to deepen economic integration, when fully implemented it will be the largest free trade area. It covers trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy, which are addressed in the different protocols of the agreement. The agreement establishing the AfCFTA, and protocols on trade in goods, trade in services and dispute settlement were adopted during Phase I and entered into force on 30 May 2019. Phase II of negotiations includes intellectual property rights, investment and competition policy and is currently ongoing.

        What made Professor Ncube’s presentation of significant interest is that the draft AfCFTA IP Protocol is not yet publicly available, therefore this was an opportunity to know what we should expect. Also, as the Covid-19 pandemic rages and access to the vaccine on the continent remains topical, her perspectives on what mechanisms could facilitate continental access to pharmaceutical products were key.

        She offered some insight into the structure of the document highlighting that it follows the template established in the protocols adopted under Phase I. For instance, the administrative structure will be a Committee on IP just as there are committees in all the other protocols. The negotiations have been underpinned by the same principles underlined in the AfCFTA, that is, variable geometry, flexibility and special and differential treatment, among others.

        [...]

        Professor Ncube reiterated that it was important to act locally as whatever the substantive provisions of the AfCFTA IP Protocol and whatever would emerge from the discussions at the WTO TRIPS Council on the waiver proposal, states would need to have the necessary mechanisms for implementation. She summed up with a powerful nugget: Context (IP and African Trade), Coordination (of regional hubs), Coherence (regulatory and policy positions) and a rallying cry for national action.

      • Three Damages Questions for the Supreme Court

        Following the verdict, the district court held a bench-trial on indefiniteness and found some of the claims indefinite. Since some of the infringed-claims were now invalid, the court awarded a new trial on damages issues. In addition, the court granted JMOL of no-willful-infringement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed the willfulness judgment since Halo‘s more flexible test had replaced Seagate by that time. The new damages trial was also appealed, but the Federal Circuit refused to consider the issue since a new trial order is not a final judgment.

        On remand, the district court reconsidered its new trial order — and instead reinstated the verdict. The court decided that the verdict questions structured to allow damages on “either” of the patents. Since claims in one of the patents were still valid and infringed, the court found the verdict sufficient. This was supported by the evidence since the damages expert had apparently treated the patents together as a group. The court also reinstated the jury’s willfulness decision and then doubled the verdict — up to $268 million. Now the money is getting serious.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Express Mobile reexamination request granted — Unified Patents

            On October 28, 2020, the Central Reexamination Unit of the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Unified Patents’ request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for all claims of 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, Shopify, Web.com Group, Inc., Squarespace, and HubSpot.

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