11.01.20

Links 1/11/2020: Chromium in Linux Mint, PinePhone at 3GB/32GB

Posted in News Roundup at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Video: podman systemd-based system containers with GUI Desktop

        In this screencast I show how to build a podman image using the Fedora 33 base image to include httpd, mariadb, openssh-server as well the XFCE desktop environment with a sampling of desktop applications. I then make and run a container with the image and show you how to connect to it with ssh, http, and X2Go. Oh, and I do all of it as a regular user… as a rootless container. The POWER of podman. Obviously watch it in full-screen or download. Enjoy!

        For information on how to convert a podman container into a systemd service flle that can be managed with systemctl… even as a user service… see this fine video: Managing Containers in podman with systemd Unit Files

      • How2: Programmers Are Lost Without Stack Overflow – YouTube

        Programmers would be lost without stackoverflow so today we’re looking at a tool called how2 that let’s you query stack overflow and stack exchange directly from your terminal so you never have to leave your comfy workspace.

      • The Best Raspberry Pi | TitusPi – YouTube

        Want a desktop replacement, that plays games, multiple workspaces, and has the programs you need on a Raspberry Pi?

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Formally Announces Iris Xe MAX Graphics, Deep Link – Phoronix

          Given the great performance of Gen12 Xe Graphics on Linux for OpenCL / oneAPI Level Zero / Vulkan, we are certainly excited about the prospects of Xe MAX graphics appearing in more laptops and ultimately in desktops starting next year. From our Tiger Lake testing thus far there is long overdue substantial uplift over Gen9 (and Gen11) graphics. The Linux driver support for Gen12 Xe Graphics have been spot-on and continues seeing new optimizations in Mesa and the Linux kernel as well. It will also be interesting to see what comes of the open-source/Linux support of Deep Link moving forward.

    • Applications

      • Linux Jargon Buster: What are GUI, CLI and TUI in Linux? – It’s FOSS

        When you start using Linux and follow Linux-based websites and forums, you’ll often come across terms like GUI, CLI and sometimes TUI.

        This chapter of Linux Jargon Buster briefly explains these terms so that you as a (new) Linux user can understand the context better when these acronyms are used.

        To be honest, the terms like GUI, CLI or TUI are not exclusive to Linux. These are generic computing terms and you’ll find them used in non-Linux discussions as well.

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – October 2020 Updates

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set Up an SSH Jump Server

        In this blog post we’ll cover how to set up an SSH jump server. We’ll cover two open source projects.

        1. A traditional SSH jump server using OpenSSH. The advantage of this method is that your servers already have OpenSSH pre-installed.

        2. A modern approach using Teleport, a newer open source alternative to OpenSSH.

        Both of these servers are easy to install and configure, are free and open-source, and are single-binary Linux daemons.

      • Archiving Debian-Administration.org, for real

        Back in 2017 I announced that the https://Debian-Administration.org website was being made read-only, and archived.

        At the time I wrote a quick update to save each requested page as a flat-file, hashed beneath /tmp, with the expectation that after a few months I’d have a complete HTML-only archive of the site which I could serve as a static-website, instead of keeping the database and pile of CGI scripts running.

      • Setting up the YubiKey on Ubuntu (Desktop and Server) – YouTube

        I’ve recently had a chance to check out some newer YubiKeys, and decided to make a video on it. In this video, I’ll show you how to set up the YubiKey on Linux, with examples that include setting it up on your local laptop/desktop as well as using it to secure OpenSSH to a remote server.

      • mural graffiti
      • How to set up Rclone Browser on Linux

        Rclone is a command-line utility that allows Linux users to quickly and easily connect to any cloud storage service (using Dropbox, Google Drive, Open Drive, and many more). The trouble is, Rclone is complicated and tedious to use for the average user.

        If you need to use Rclone to connect to your favorite cloud storage service on Linux, there’s a better way. Introducing Rclone Browser. It takes away the difficulty of doing everything from connecting to uploading/downloading files with an elegant UI. Here’s how to set it up on your system.

      • mythcat: Fedora 33: Upgrade from Fedora 32.
      • How to install Keycloak in Ubuntu 20.04 > Tux-Techie

        Keycloak is an excellent tool for providing authentication and authorization for your applications. Single sign-on or Open ID is among the authentication options. You can also integrate Keycloak with your OpenLDAP server. This enables you to use OpenLDAP for account management and use Keycloak to provide authorization, enabling you to grant or deny user access to your applications. In this article, we will be sharing the steps that we have taken to install Keycloak in Ubuntu 20.04 from a docker image.

      • How To Install Pip on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Pip on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Pip is a tool for installing Python packages. With pip, you can search, download, and install packages from Python Package Index (PyPI) and other package indexes. With the help of pip, you can also install the package of a particular version. Most importantly pip has a feature to manage full lists of packages and corresponding version numbers, possible through a “requirements” file. It performs the same basic job as an easy install, but with some extra features.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Pip on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Hangover Alpha 2 Lets Windows x86/x64 Programs Run On ARM64, POWER 64-bit

        The Wine program for running Windows games/applications on Linux and other platforms can run on a number of different architectures, but Wine doesn’t handle the emulation of running Windows x86/x64 binaries on other architectures like 64-bit ARM or PowerPC. But that’s what the Wine-based Hangover is about with currently allowing those conventional Windows binaries to run on AArch64 (ARM64) and 64-bit POWER too.

        Hangover started out with a focus on Windows x64 binaries on ARM64 in looking at the possible use-case of running Windows software on ARM mobile devices and more. This year with the help of Raptor Computing Systems there has been Hangover support added for IBM POWER 64-bit.

      • Come And Find Out About Her Story

        Why talk about Her Story now? No reason really. It’s been sitting in my library for a while, and I knew it did not run properly with Proton. It will install fine, but the videos will not show up which makes the whole experience pointless. I had a glimmer of hope as Proton 5.13 came out and announced some better support of video files, but that did not change anything. Instead of waiting, I decided to play it dirty by tinkering with the install, as recommended on ProtonDB.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • This week in KDE: Continuous bug massacre

          This week the bug squashing continues at full speed! We’ve made short work of tons of bugs throughout our software stack, including the infamous login sound bug, some very important and longstanding issues with extended attributes, and a ton of quality-of-life improvements for the Plasma Wayland session.

          But we also managed to add a few nice new features that I think you’ll like.

        • KDE Saw A “Bug Massacre” This Week With Better NVIDIA Wayland Experience, Many Fixes

          The bug fixing in KDE land continues and ends the month with a “bug massacre”, for how KDE developer Nate Graham describes it in his weekly recaps.

          Graham also commented of this week’s KDE efforts as “bug squashing continues at full speed!” Some of the work that got addressed this week for KDE includes:

          - The KDE Plasma Wayland session no longer requires manually setting an environment variable to make NVIDIA GPUs with the proprietary driver properly function. This change is with KDE Plasma 5.20.2 for offering a better KDE Wayland out-of-the-box experience on NVIDIA’s proprietary driver. This is addressed by automatically detecting the NVIDIA proprietary driver and EGLStreams rather than making the user set KWIN_DRM_USE_EGL_STREAMS.

        • The Many Features of the KDE Plasma 5.21 Desktop Environment

          KDE Plasma 5.21 promises to ship with a new look and feel called consisting of a new “Breeze Twilight” global theme that features a Dark mode for Plasma and a Light mode for apps, smaller shadows for inactive windows, more distinct colors for Plasma pop-ups, notifications and windows, as well as colorful icons for sidebars in settings windows.

          Apart from the new look and feel, under the hood, KDE Plasma 5.21 promises faster startup and load times due to the use of the systemd init system on GNU/Linux distribution where it’s available.

        • New Repository for KOSMIndoorMap

          The indoor mapping component for KDE Itinerary has been moved to a new Git repository and is now undergoing the standard KDE review process for inclusion in the release service for 20.12. Here’s a quick update on what changed.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Control Philips Hue lights in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 via Gnome Extension

          For those who have Philips Hue compatible lights, now it’s easy to control them via a Gnome Shell Extension.

          Hue-lights is an extension that offers a system tray indicator to control Philips Hue compatible lights using Philips Hue Bridge. The extension groups the lights in zones and rooms, allows you to control the state, the brightness, and the color.

        • Control Philips Hue Lights on Ubuntu with this GNOME Extension

          In 2016 we wrote about a GTK app for managing Phillips Hue lights on the Linux desktop. Though very handy that tool hasn’t been updated for a while. But no worries: now there’s something better.

          If you use Ubuntu (or any distro with GNOME Shell) and your Hue bulbs are connected to a Hue Bridge you can turn lights on or off, control their brightness, and even change their colour — directly from your desktop PC.

          The brightly named “Hue Lights” GNOME Shell extension is able to discover Hue Bridges (or connect directly by IP). It lets you manage individual bulbs or groups of lights in “zones” (e.g., ‘bedroom lights’, ec).

        • Spooky GTG features to try out for Halloween 2020 – The Open Sourcerer

          Are you an irresistible creature with an insatiable love for the dead… bugs? Well, grab your bug hunter crossbow, because we need you to test some big technological changes in GTG so that we can confidently release version 0.5 sometime soon (way before the year end, ideally).

          [...]

          In addition to the LXML port, another area where Diego brought down the might of his code refactoring skills is the new “task editor” backend and view renderer, which includes a bunch of new features and refinements such as support for subheadings (with the “#” markdown syntax), the use of GTK checkboxes to represent subtasks, tag highlight colors that match the tag’s color, and a bunch of bugfixes. It was also envisioned as a way to address one of the performance issues I theorized about.

          [....]

          As you can imagine, Diego’s changes are all major, invasive technological changes (particularly the proposed file format change), and they would benefit from extensive testing by everybody before 0.5 happens. I’ve done some pretty exhaustive testing before he merged his first two branches of course, but I’m only human, and it is possible that issues might remain. As for the third (file format) branch, we’d like to have more people testing it with copies of “real data” before we feel confident about merging it. So please grab GTG’s git version ASAP, with a copy of your data (see the instructions in the README, including the “Where is my user data and config stored?” section), and torture-test it to make sure everything is working properly, and report issues you may find (if any).

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Kick Microsoft Windows 10 to the curb — switch to Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.2 today!

          Many technology pundits have been theorizing and discussing the possibility of Windows eventually becoming a Linux-based operating system. They cite the fact that Microsoft has become less dependent on Windows for revenue, making it silly to dedicate so many resources to it. Not to mention, Microsoft has certainly cozied up to both the Linux and open source communities nowadays.

          Do I think Microsoft will make this move one day? Who knows. Years ago I’d say it was crazy, but in 2020, the company’s flagship mobile device — the Surface Duo — runs the Linux-based Android. For now, Linux-based Windows remains pure conjecture. With that said, I think we can all agree on one thing — Linux is the future of desktop computing, with Chrome OS leading the sea change.

        • Arch Linux’s ISO Is Now Powered by Linux Kernel 5.9, Offers New Accessibility Features

          If you’ve been waiting to install the famous Arch Linux distribution with the latest Linux 5.9 kernel series, the wait is finally over. Arch Linux’s November 2020 ISO release is here and it’s the first to be powered by Linux kernel 5.9, a major branch that introduces numerous new features and improvements for better hardware support.

          Besides shipping with the Linux 5.9 kernel series (version 5.9.2 is included), the November 2020 release of Arch Linux’s ISO installation image is also the first to come with new accessibility features that help those with special needs to install the powerful GNU/Linux distribution on their computers.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Jonathan Dieter: Switching to OSTree

          Given our shift towards containers, the most obvious solution would have been to switch to Fedora CoreOS, but a number of our call servers have Sangoma telephony cards with kernel drivers that are, unfortunately, out-of-tree. While there are some elegant ways to load custom kernel modules into Fedora CoreOS, we needed a more stable kernel, due to the (lack of) speed in which these modules are updated to build with new kernels.

          So we decided to go with a custom OSTree distribution (surprisingly named SpearlineOS), built using rpm-ostree and CentOS 8. SpearlineOS has two streams, staging and production. At the moment, we’re manually building each new release, pushing it to staging, running it through some smoke tests, and, then, finally, pushing it to production. We are in the process of setting up a full staging environment with automatic builds and automatic promotion to production once a build has been functioning correctly for set period of time. We’ve also setup greenboot in SpearlineOS so that our servers are able to fail back to an older release if the current one fails for any reason.

        • AI Technologies Are Fundamentally Changing How Work Gets Done

          After decades of promise and hype, artificial intelligence is finally becoming one of the most important technologies of our era. AI technologies, like machine learning, are clearly having a major impact on the very nature of work. But, how can we best quantify their impact on the actual evolution of jobs?

          The best approach for exploring the relationship between technology and jobs is to look at the individual tasks that comprise a job. Most jobs involve a number of tasks. Some of these tasks are relatively routine and based on well-understood rules, while others require judgement, social skills and other human capabilities. The more routine and rules-based the task, the more amenable it is to automation.

          However just because some of its component tasks have been automated, does not imply that the whole job has disappeared. To the contrary, automating the more routine parts of a job will often increase the productivity and quality of workers by complementing their skills with technologies and tools, thus enabling them to focus on those aspect of the job that most need their attention. While automation substitutes for labor, automation also complements labor, increasing productivity and other economic outputs in ways that often raise the demand for and earnings of workers.

          “The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) poses a new set of opportunities – and challenges – for work and workers,” said The Future of Work: How New Technologies Are Transforming Tasks, a research report released last Fall by the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. “The tasks that can be done by machine learning are much broader in scope than previous generations of technology have made possible. The expanded scope will change the value employers place on tasks, and the types of skills most in demand.”

      • Free Software Reports

        • Kevin Fenzi: Bugzilla and the art of package maintenance

          The first part of 2020 (in addition to all the horrible things happening in the world) was pretty heads down in our datacenter move. Now that that is over, and Fedora 33 is out the door (hurray!), I’m slowly trying to catch up on other things I normally do that are now a bit backlogged. This weekend, I decided to try and catch up (at least some) on my package maintaining and bugzilla bugs.

          In the distant past (before 2020) I basically tried to work on this stuff mostly as it came in. Update packages when release monitoring let me know there was a release, ask questions of bug reporters as they reported and try and get something actionable. Of course now I’m behind, so lets try a different process to catch up.

        • MORTEN LINDERUD: FOSS Activities in October 2020

          I wanted to start writing these for myself as I have been reading quite a few monthly reports from Chris Lamb and other Debian contributors. They make for interesting content for readers curious about what distribution maintainers do during a month, and motivation for myself as not everything one does is visible work.

          I’ll try have some sort of structure with them, by starting off with the menial tasks, and add the meeting notes and misc contributions at the bottom.

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-10

          Another month, another bunch of uploads. The freeze for Debian 11 (bullseye) is edging closer, so I’ve been trying to get my package list in better shape ahead of that. Thanks to those who worked on fixing lintian.debian.org and the lintian reports on the QA pages, those are immensely useful and it’s great to have that back!

        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in October 2020
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • A Brief History of Ubuntu Touch

          Sensing the tech trend, Ubuntu tried its hands on creating a Linux-based mobile operating system. The first announcement came a decade back and six years down the line, Ubuntu closed the curtains on the project.

          What went wrong? How it started? Is Ubuntu Touch still alive? Let’s take a look at the history of Ubuntu Touch in chronological order.

          The Ubuntu Touch project began with a blog post by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth. The blog post, dated October 31, 2011, started with a bold prediction: “By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud.”

          Shuttleworth went on to explain that this move would be accomplished mainly through the use of the company’s new desktop environment, Unity. (Unity was introduced in Ubuntu 10.10.) “Unity, the desktop interface in today’s Ubuntu 11.10, was designed with this specific vision in mind.”

        • Chromium Browser Now Officially Available in Linux Mint and LMDE, Here’s How to Install It

          After making it hard for users to install the Chromium web browser on their distributions by deciding to drop support for Ubuntu’s Snap universal packages with the Linux Mint 20 release onwards, the Linux Mint developers are now packaging Chromium and distributing it trough the official repos.

          Chromium is not only available in Linux Mint, but also in the Debian spin LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition). Users can now easily install the open-source web browser with a few mouse clicks. Depending on the edition you’re using (Cinnamon, MATE or Xfce), all you have to do is open the Software Manager and install Chromium.

        • Linux Mint Now Packaging Their Own Chromium, Developing New IPTV Player

          With this month’s Ubuntu/Debian-based Linux Mint development news there are two items worth calling attention to.

          First up, Linux Mint is finally packaging Chromium. Linux Mint previously offered Chromium when Ubuntu offered it as a Debian package prior to migrating to Chromium Snaps. Meanwhile the upstream Debian packaging for Chromium often falls well out of date. Thus Linux Mint is now packaging Google’s open-source Chromium web browser on its own for users interested it in place of the official Google Chrome package or using the likes of Firefox.

          After soliciting feedback from users last month, Linux Mint has also begun developing their own IPTV player. They have begun working on it and this IPTV player is called Hypnotix. They haven’t yet determined if it will be included in Linux Mint moving forward or even how much time will be devoted to the effort.

        • Monthly News – October 2020

          The Chromium browser is now available in the official repositories for both Linux Mint and LMDE. If you’ve been waiting for this I’d like to thank you for your patience.

          To guarantee reactivity and timely updates we had to automate the process of detecting, packaging and compiling new versions of Chromium. This is an application which can require more than 6 hours per build on a fast computer. We allocated a new build server with high specifications (Ryzen 9 3900, 128GB RAM, NMVe) and reduced the time it took to build Chromium to a little more than an hour.

          Although Chromium was present in Debian we noticed it was rarely up to date so the decision was taken to also build for LMDE. We had to adapt a few things and there were hurdles along the way but it’s finally here.

          The package name is the same in Linux Mint and LMDE: “chromium”.

        • Linux Mint re-adds Chromium to its official repositories

          Clem Lefebvre, head of the Linux Mint project, has shared some of the project’s developments for October. He announced that the Chromium browser is now available from official repositories on Linux Mint and LMDE after it was previously removed and that the project has started work on an IPTV player.

          During the development of Linux Mint 20, you may remember that the Linux Mint team was angry about Chromium’s snapd requirement added by Canonical – the maintainers of Ubuntu. In response, it replaced the Chromium package with a dummy package forcing users to download it from other places. To remedy this, the Linux Mint team has decided to begin providing Chromium builds on its own.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Programming/Development

        • A closer look at the interpreter

          Another, albeit lesser, downside with the interpreter is that modern processors are very optimized for patterns commonly found in “ordinary” native code. For example, nearly all of them have a special branch predictor just for calls and returns. Assuming that every call has a corresponding return lets it predict returns perfectly unless an exception is thrown, but since the interpreter does not use native calls and returns, it cannot make use of this optimization.

          Unfortunately there’s not a whole lot that can be done about this, and after over two decades of refinement it’s becoming increasingly difficult to optimize it in meaningful ways.

          Because of that our quest to improve performance has instead focused on two areas: improving the compiler and implementing a JIT. We’ve made great strides with both as of late, and are very proud to have finally merged the latter.

        • AOMP 11.11 Released For LLVM Clang OpenMP Offloading To Radeon GPUs – Phoronix

          This week brought the release of AMD’s ROCm 3.9 as their open-source compute stack for Radeon GPUs. With ROCm 3.9 the AOMP work for LLVM/Clang-based compiler with OpenMP offload capabilities to Radeon GPUs was integrated. AOMP though is still advancing independently of the ROCm releases with Friday night marking the release of AOMP 11.11.

        • LLVM Clang 12 Adds Support For AVX-VNNI – Phoronix

          The LLVM Clang compiler stack has merged its support for AVX-VNNI, the Vector Neural Network Instructions for AVX to complement the AVX-512 version.

          Earlier this month GCC added AVX-VNNI support after the most recent Intel programmer’s reference manual update outed this new VNNI variant without AVX-512. The Vector Neural Network Instructions are also known as DL BOOST and optimized to deliver greater deep learning performance out of CPUs for more efficient training and inference.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Finding Squares in Matrices | Toby Inkster

            I don’t usually take part in the Perl Weekly Challenge but one of this week’s challenges caught my eye. I thought it could be a fun thing to attempt and decided to use Zydeco to help solve it.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 084 | Samir Parikhblogs.perl.org]

            As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’ve been trying to learn the Perl programming language. You can read all the books and tutorials you want, but for me, the only way to really learn a language is to apply it to real world problems. Unfortunately for me, I currently don’t have any real world problems (suitable to be solved by Perl) so I’ve been practicing by solving coding puzzles on the internet. In addition to making my way through the bioinformatics site Rosalind, I’ve also started working on the Perl Weekly Challenges. This week, I managed to muddle my way through the latest installment, Challenge 084. The deadline to submit solutions is fast approaching so if you haven’t solved it yourself yet, you may want to come back to this post later.

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • The Great Pumpkin
    • Another reminder not to use seasons in tech press

      Technical journalists, podcasters, Wikipedia editors, companies, PR departments, social media posters, all of you: I implore you once again to not use seasons to denote time. They’re not only vague and ambiguous, they literally ignore half the planet. Possibly slightly more than half, given that seasons also mean absolutely nothing to people on or near the Equator.

    • Hardware

      • China smartphone shipments fell 15% in 3Q compared to 2019

        The smartphone market in China during the third quarter fell by 8% quarter-on-quarter and 15% on a year-on-year comparison, with 83 million units being shipped, the technology analyst firm Canalys says.

      • Inside the stacked RAM modules used in the Apple III

        This module was built from two 16-kilobit memory chips, constructed from the standard MK4116 dynamic RAM (DRAM) chip packaged in a leadless ceramic chip carrier; these are the golden rectangles on top of the carrier.

        You might wonder why customers didn&pos;t simply use these surface-mount packages directly, but at the time soldering surface-mount components was still a challenge for many customers. However, mounting two leadless chips on a dual inline-package (DIP) carrier allowed customers to double their memory density while still using their standard through-hole soldering techniques.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • College Football’s Great Defender Has Covid-19

        Donald Trump is running for reelection on the claim that he “saved college football.” He did so by recklessly applying presidential pressure to college football conference leaders to forget about Covid-19 and have players take the field. Granted, these conference chiefs truly did not need that much pressure, eager as they were to claim their seven and even eight-figure salaries to keep the trains running on time. And after four years of Trumpian decay with little to justify four more years, the thinking was that bringing football back—especially to swing states in the Big Ten and ACC—would put him on a toboggan ride to electoral college victory.

      • Trump’s HHS Is Withholding Detailed COVID Hospitalization Data From the Public

        As surging coronavirus hospitalizations across the U.S. push already-strained medical facilities to the brink of full capacity, internal documents obtained by NPR show that the Trump administration is withholding from the public critical hospital data that experts say would be extremely useful in helping communities prepare for, track, and overcome Covid-19 outbreaks.

      • How to take a social media break, 4 steps to winning at it

        It is very important to take a social media break now in midst of a global pandemic. COVID-19 has already done a lot of damage. Don’t be pulled into endless steam of not so good news. This is not the best for your mental health. Social media can also be a hindrance to your work from home productivity.

      • ‘Trump Is KILLING Americans’: As US Cases Top 9 Million, Stanford Study Ties President’s Rallies to Covid-19 Spread

        The analysis links 18 rallies to over 30,000 cases and 700 deaths—but doesn’t include events in October, when states saw infections surge.

      • Science journal Lancet blasts Trump’s virus ‘disaster’, urges vote for change

        America is the world’s worst-hit country, with 8.94 million cases, and on Thursday it announced a record number of new coronavirus cases, topping the grim milestone of more than 90,000 diagnoses in 24 hours.

        The Lancet editorial said the US was experiencing a “continuing devaluation of science”, as well as a range of rights inequalities.

      • The US election 2020

        The USA in 2020 continues to experience unrest borne out of these still-open wounds: violence against people of colour, vast income inequality, immigration restrictions, and gender barriers, as well as a continuing devaluation of science. Under the banner of making America great again, the Trump administration has pursued regressive nationalist policies, rolled back protections for individuals, labour, and the environment, and withdrawn from international agreements and multilateral organisations, such as WHO. Led by a relentless agenda of deregulation and dysregulation, America has retreated from its once prominent position of leadership and abandoned its beneficence. With the election, Americans have the power to address these issues, both at home and around the world, by eschewing the falsehood of nostalgia.

      • I Signed Up to Study Sexual Health. What I Got Was Gender Ideology, Fetishism, and Porn

        I am not a conspiracy theorist. And as recently as a year and a half ago, if someone had told me the things I am reporting here, I would have accused them of culture-war paranoia. That was before I enrolled in a professional training program that I’d hoped would expand my skills as a therapist, but instead delivered an extreme form of ideological indoctrination.

        The Sexual Health Certificate Program is a prestigious University of Michigan program conducted in affiliation with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). As someone who recently studied in the program, I can attest that, notwithstanding whatever mission AASECT once had, it now operates largely as a de facto activist group that seeks to reshape standards applied to mental health care and education, and to limit the rights of parents to make decisions about their children.

      • Six graphs that led to the new Covid lockdown for England

        Boris Johnson’s chief medical officer and scientific adviser spelled out in stark detail the threat the NHS is under this winter as Covid surges across the England.

        Showing a series of graphs during the live Downing Street press conference, Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance warned infections were rising, patients were filling hospital beds rapidly and deaths are expected to climb.

        As a result, the prime minister announced a new set of stricter measures to lock down England from November 5 until December 2.

        Here are six graphs that spurred Mr Johnson to take action.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Humans are Bad at URLs and Fonts Don’t Matter

        Been a lot of “victim blaming” going on these last few days. The victim, through no fault of their own, has been the target of numerous angry tweets designed to ridicule their role in internet security and suggest they are incapable of performing their duty. Here’s where it all started: [...]

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Top Open Source Projects Using Artificial Intelligence

              These open-source projects using AI were created by the developers in top companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, etc. They are mostly groundbreaking projects that have created new innovations in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. And even more important is the fact that the advances from these open-source projects have benefited the AI sector as a whole with even more funding and innovation provided for newer projects. So let’s check out these trailblazing projects now!

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • China Now Has The Ability to Track Internet Users Who ‘Scale The Wall’

              Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang recently detained and warned an [Internet] user after they were detected using a circumvention tool to read information on Wikipedia, which lies outside China’s complex network of blocks, filters, and human censorship known as the Great Firewall.

              According to social media reports, [Internet] user Zhang Tao received a visit from police soon after after using the open-source online encyclopedia, suggesting that the authorities’ ability to monitor people’s [Internet] activity in real time has been stepped up recently.

            • Is The SNSI The New PRISM?

              This past week, these public relations efforts were dialed up a notch or ten to a whole new level. At an SNSI webinar entitled „Cybersecurity Landscape – Protecting the Scholarly Infrastructure“, hosted by two Elsevier employees, one of the presenters suggested „develop or subsidize a low cost proxy or a plug-in to existing proxies“ in order to collect user data. That user data, it was explained, could be analyzed with an “Analysis Engine” to track biometric data (e.g., typing speed) or suspicious behavior (e.g., a pharmacology student being suspiciously interested in astrophysics). The angle towards Sci-Hub was confirmed by the next speaker, an Ex-FBI agent and security analyst.

              Considering the track record of academic publishers, this reeks strongly of PR attempts to ‘soften the target’, i.e., to make installing publisher spyware on university servers sound less outrageous than it actually is. After the PRISM debacle, the publishers now seem to have learned from their PR mistakes. This time, there is no ‘pitbull’ around. This time, there is only a strange article in a major newspaper, a shady institute where it appears hard to find out who founded it, who is running it and who funds it.

              SNSI is an apparent PR project aimed at compromising, not strengthening, network security at research institutions. However, unlike with PRISM, this time the PR effort may pay off.

            • I bumped out some more bad relays

              I spent some time this week refining a new exit scanner, and today we pushed some new reject rules to kick out some relays that we confirmed were running mitmproxy to do more sslstrips.

            • Google brings HVAC monitoring, early warnings to all Nest Thermostats

              Earlier this year, Google started testing HVAC monitoring capabilities for Nest Thermostats. The feature was highlighted with the launch of the new Nest Thermostat and is officially rolling out to all existing and current devices in the US and Canada.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Remembering Stephen F. Cohen: Katrina vanden Heuvel on life and love with eminent Russia scholar
      • Puerto Ricans struggle for independence from US colonialism
      • Belt and Road Hazards, Coming to the Americas

        As Chinese firms poured billions into real estate and infrastructure projects at both ends of the Panama Canal, many locals worried that Panama’s sovereignty was being threatened—a sovereignty only recently achieved, when the US handed over the Canal Zone to Panama in 1997. In a 2018 editorial in La Estrella, Universidad Interamericana de Panama professor Euclid Tapia warned of the debt-trap diplomacy for which China has become infamous in many other BRI countries. Tapia cited Sri Lanka, “where to pay its debts to Chinese creditors the country was forced to lease its most important port for 99 years.” He said similarly, and with little public attention, China was now seeking to construct a new fourth set of locks on the Panama Canal at an “unspeakable” cost of $15 to $20 billion—which “will gladly be financed by China,” precisely because Panama would likely be unable to pay it back. “Knowing the degree of corruption of our governments,” wrote Tapia, “it is highly probable that the fate of the Panama Canal will follow that of the Suez Canal, which due to Egyptian debt, England took from France. China could take over our canal and swallow us by osmosis.”

      • Pakistani Shias live in terror as sectarian violence increases

        His ordeal began with a Facebook post in early September, where he condemned the killers of a Shia Muslim martyred centuries ago. Though Kareem had meant it as a post of religious devotion, it caught the attention of an extremist Sunni Muslim group, who called him a traitor to Muslims.

        Two days later, the 21-year-old student found himself the subject of a police report, accused of violating Pakistan’s draconian laws on blasphemy. He is one of over 50 Shia Muslims in Sunni-majority Pakistan, who have been booked under blasphemy and antiterrorist charges over the last month. The youngest was three years old.

        “I fear they will kill me,” said Kareem, his voice shaking as he spoke from his place of hiding. “I am being targeted because I am from a Shia religious minority. I fear for myself and my family.” With the police on their way to interrogate him, and fearing the violent fate that extremist Sunni groups in Pakistan inflict on those accused of blasphemy, last month Kareem and his family chose to disappear.

      • France’s Emmanuel Macron seeks to calm tensions with Muslims

        The interview will air on Sunday, but Macron posted the full, French-language interview on his YouTube channel.

        France has been on edge since an attack in September outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which republished cartoons of the prophet in a recent edition.

        Macron emphasized in the interview that the cartoons were not the work of the French state. He said political leaders had distorted the truth, leading people to believe the French government was responsible for the caricatures.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • KSP training slideshow quotes Hitler, advocates ‘ruthless’ violence

        The slideshow was included in KSP documents obtained via an open records request by local attorney David Ward of Adams Landenwich Walton during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Ward requested KSP materials used to train a detective who shot and killed a man in Harlan County, and Ward shared the presentation with Manual RedEye.

        One slide, titled “Violence of Action,” in addition to imploring officers to be “ruthless killer[s],” instructs troopers to have “a mindset void of emotion” and to “meet violence with greater violence.”

    • Environment

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Our new “Freedom of Speech” policy

        Our beloved Vice-Chancellor proposes a “free speech” policy under which all academics must treat other academics with “respect”. This is no doubt meant well, but the drafting is surprisingly vague and authoritarian for a university where the VC, the senior pro-VC, the HR pro-VC and the Registrary are all lawyers. The bottom line is that in future we might face disciplinary charges and even dismissal for mockery of ideas and individuals with which we disagree.

        The policy was slipped out in March, when nobody was paying attention. There was a Discussion in June, at which my colleague Arif Ahmad spelled out the problems.

      • Ex-Muslims have to struggle to have their messages heard – on social media as well

        Globally, they’ve been censored, jailed, flogged and killed for expressing views we take for granted in most of the West. Even those who live in the United States, where citizens have the freedom to say almost anything, have faced threats, ridicule and smearing campaigns for promoting ideas and speaking truths.

        But ex-Muslims reject a faith that calls for a violent wrath upon those who do just that. Apostasy from Islam is illegal in 23 countries with it being a capital offense in thirteen. As they go public, ex-Muslims must balance the delivery of their message to those who’d benefit from their enlightenment, while avoiding harm from those who adhere to the obedience system that prohibits such liberties.

      • PA cleric calls for ‘day of rage’ in support of Mohammed

        Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem and a preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, called for Friday to be declared a “day of rage” in support of the Prophet Mohammed and in protest against attempts to harm Mohammed’s honor.

        In a statement, Sabri said that Muslims oppose illustrations that deliberately harm the Prophet Mohammed, and that the public is therefore called upon to come to the Al-Aqsa Mosque to express its protest.

      • Internet disrupted in Tanzania on eve of general elections

        Real-time metrics show that Twitter, WhatsApp, backend servers for Instagram and some Google services including GMail and Translate are generally or partially unavailable via Tanzania’s leading network operators Vodacom, Airtel, Tigo, Halotel and ZanTel. Meanwhile, data indicate a more generalized disruption of services on state-owned operator TTCL, the Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Begging Outrage: British Journalists For Assange

        The dangers to the Fourth Estate to Oborne are incalculable. On UK soil, an effort is being made by the US “to prosecute a non-US citizen, not living in the US, not publishing in the US, under US laws that deny the right to a public interest defence.” Yet a myopic British press remains more interested in Assange’s character, one attacked for breaching the Bail Act in avoiding extradition to Sweden to face sexual misconduct suspicions, and the distracting point as to whether he really is a journalist.

      • Two Charged In Sweden With Attempted Murder Over Chechen Blogger Assault

        Swedish authorities have charged two individuals with attempted murder and accessory to attempted murder in a hammer attack on a blogger and outspoken critic of the authoritarian leader of Russia’s North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

        The Swedish Security Service (SAPO) said in a statement late on October 29 that the attack in February on Tumso Abdurakhmanov was suspected of being linked to “a regime in another country, the Russian republic of Chechnya.”

      • Journalists are pawns as China and US vie for supremacy on world stage

        But another move in the game is the proposed new rules over visas that The Department of Homeland Security released in late September for “international students, exchange visitors, and foreign information media representatives to encourage program compliance, reduce fraud and enhance national security.”

        For foreign journalists, the change in rules would mean that their visas would be limited to a maximum of 240 days. While they can apply for an extension, that one extension would only be for another maximum of another 240 days. The proposed rules do not mention multiple extensions being possible.

        This news of the six media groups being made to register as foreign missions was followed by the now usual reaction by Beijing, this time requiring The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Feature Story News, the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), The Bureau of National Affairs and Minnesota Public Radio to report to Beijing about their staffing, finances and real estate holdings.

      • ELECTION 2020: Media Silence on Assange Aids Trump

        The same U.S. media that benefited from the Chelsea Manning-era publications that Assange is now being prosecuted for publishing, and who nominally consider themselves avatars of “resistance” against Trump, are avoiding what would amount to a hard-hitting scandal for Trump, were it to be properly covered in the press.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Out of Jail and Back in School, Grace Finds Her Voice

        Ten minutes before her debut and three months after she became known as the Michigan girl sent to juvenile detention for failing to do her online schoolwork, Grace* hurried into a bustling doughnut shop in suburban Detroit and plopped into a leather chair next to her mother. She straightened her headband and searched her pockets, unsuccessfully, for lip gloss. She tapped a few final notes into her phone.

        Then, ignoring her mother’s request to sit up straight, Grace leaned in toward her laptop and, for the first time since her case gained national notoriety as a symbol of racial inequities in the juvenile justice system, she began to speak publicly about what had happened to her.

      • Founded on Inequality, Can the US Ever Be Truly Democratic and Inclusive?

        Our contemporary problem in the U.S. is not monolithic. It resides at the intersections of race, class, gender, hegemonic policing and failed leadership. The inclusive term “syndemic” is what captures more accurately our lived zeitgeist. It is through the framework of this synergistic aggregation of problems that I engage in a generative discussion with distinguished scholar T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, who is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University, where she directs the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Global Black Cultures and Politics, and chairs the Department of African American Studies. She is author/editor of 15 scholarly books and three novels, including the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Bricktop’s Paris: African American Women Expatriates in Jazz-Age Paris and Pimps Up, Ho’s Down: Hip Hop’s Hold on Young Black Women. In this interview, Sharpley-Whiting, articulating part of her way of understanding contemporary race relations through the lens of race realism, does not hesitate to encourage our collective need to do our part in maximizing democratic ideals.

      • Don’t Let the Supreme Court Open the Door to More Discrimination Against LGBTQ People

        LGBTQ people already get turned away from food banks, shelters and more. The high court’s decision in Fulton could make things worse.

      • Social Movements Can Win Even With a Hostile Supreme Court

        With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, how will the Supreme Court decide future cases? Most people will probably think of it as a “6-3 Court” and expect decisions based on the number of justices nominated by each of the two ruling parties. Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act, was a perfect 5-4 split between the justices nominated by Democrats and Republicans at the time.

      • Minnesota state agencies defend fourth-grade reading material after police criticism

        “Language in this book leaves the impression unchecked that police officers routinely pull over, arrest and kill black people without consequence,” MPPOA President Brian Peters wrote in the letter. “It says cops are ‘mean to black people’ or ‘shot them because they were black’ or police officers ‘stick up for each other’ to help police officers get away with doing bad things.”

      • Tibetan Woman Dies After Being Tortured in Chinese Custody

        Lhamo, a 36-year-old herder who was detained by police in June, died shortly after being sent to a hospital by police, a Tibetan living in India told RFA’s Tibetan Service, citing contacts in Driru (in Chinese, Biru)..

        “Her family believes her death was caused by severe torture that she suffered in custody,“ Konchog Rinchen said from India.

      • China’s Panchen Lama Tours Tibet to Push CCP Agenda, ‘Sinification’ of Buddhism

        Norbu’s activities in Tibet as a religious leader are aimed only at advancing the agenda of China’s ruling Communist Party, Zikyab Rinpoche—abbot of the Indian exile branch of Tashilhunpo—told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

        “This is a long-term scheme of the Chinese government to turn Tibetan religious matters into something political for their own benefit,” Rinpoche said, adding that Beijing’s hope is that their chosen Panchen Lama will someday sign off on their selection of a successor to Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

        The Panchen Lama selected by the Dalai Lama, and now in Chinese custody, “is revered as Tibet’s second-highest religious leader, and the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama have historically been involved in the recognition of each other’s incarnations.”

        “It is clear now that China hopes to usurp the selection of the next Dalai Lama,” Rinpoche said.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • UK High Court rejects AI inventors

          Readers may be aware of the increased interest in the question of whether an artificial intelligence can be named as an inventor of a patent application. The UK High Court has now issued a decision on the appeal raised by Dr Thaler regarding whether his AI named “DABUS” can be named as an inventor of his UK patent applications.

          This decision runs alongside a decision earlier this year from the EPO which concluded that an inventor of a patent must be a natural person. The corresponding news statement released by the EPO summarises the decision:

          “In its decisions, the EPO considered that the interpretation of the legal framework of the European patent system leads to the conclusion that the inventor designated in a European patent must be a natural person. The Office further noted that the understanding of the term inventor as referring to a natural person appears to be an internationally applicable standard, and that various national courts have issued decisions to this effect.

          Moreover, the designation of an inventor is mandatory as it bears a series of legal consequences, notably to ensure that the designated inventor is the legitimate one and that he or she can benefit from rights linked to this status. To exercise these rights, the inventor must have a legal personality that AI systems or machines do not enjoy.

        • $REGN Sanofi: EPO Rules In Sanofi And Regeneron’s Favour On Praluent

          Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN) – European Patent Office Rules in Favor of Sanofi and Regeneron Concerning Praluent® (alirocumab).
          Ruling Invalidates Amgen’s European Patent Claims Directed to Pcsk9 Antibodies Relevant to Praluent(®) (alirocumab).
          Praluent(®) (alirocumab) Continues to Be Available in European Countries Where It is Approved for Use and for Sale.

        • EPO rules in favor of Sanofi and Regeneron concerning Praluent

          [...]

          This latest EPO decision follows a ruling in Sanofi and Regeneron’s favor in August 2019 by the US District Court for the District of Delaware which found as a matter of law that certain of Amgen’s asserted patent claims for antibodies targeting PCSK9 are invalid based on lack of enablement.

          Under a restructured agreement announced in December 2019, Sanofi possesses sole rights for Praluent outside the U.S. The drug generated sales of 196 million euros ($228.5 million) for Sanofi in the first nine months of 2020, a year-on-year rise of 6.6%.

          Regeneron has sole rights for Praluent inside the USA. Each party is solely responsible for funding development and commercialization expenses in their respective territories.

        • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

          The Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) have revised the safety measures for conducting oral proceedings before the Boards. The Boards of Appeal for the EPO has released revised measures for conducting oral proceedings before the Boards. The measures include restricting attendance to two people per party; staggered meeting times where necessary; and the use of videoconferencing technology. The full order and modified measures can be accessed here.

        • Innovation capture – what to look for and how to capture it effectively (09 December 2020)

          He also has wide experience representing clients at hearings before the European Patent Office (EPO) and UK Intellectual Property Office, in the preparation of validity and infringement opinions, the restoration of patent rights and attacking and defending patents during the EPO opposition procedure.

          Before joining Potter Clarkson, Ben worked for a large private practice firm in Birmingham. During his time there he was seconded to Ericsson to work with its in-house department on optical networks and other networking technology.

        • Caution Required When Using Electronic Signatures in Patent Filings

          The European Patent Office (EPO) and UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) typically do not require the filing of assignment documents unless there is doubt in the issue, such as where the applicant of the priority applications differs from that listed in the EP or UK filing. In that case, the EPO and UK IPO may ask for evidence of the assignment, which should have been executed prior to the Convention filing (e.g., the PCT filing). This applies to U.S. provisional applications as well, particularly where inventors are listed on the provisional and the PCT is filed in the true applicant’s name. In such a case, an assignment should be executed before filing the PCT.

          The EPO will not accept electronic signatures on assignments.3 In the United Kingdom, at least one decision of the UK courts has indicated that an electronic signature may be given the same weight as a handwritten signature, but the law is unsettled and may vary from country to country. Further, if a UK or another national court were to decide the validity in the context of a patent derived from a European patent, there is a significant chance that it would adopt the EPO’s stringent rejection of electronic signatures for non-procedural acts, which include assignments.

          Numerous other countries and jurisdictions have rejected the use of electronic signatures for assignments. These include—but are not limited to—China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Eurasia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

        • Software Patents

          • This week in IP: politics shapes pharma, FTC appeal rejected, Brexit guidance published

            In yet another SEP loss for the car manufacturer in Germany, Daimler was defeated by Conversant Wireless at the Munich Regional Court last Friday, October 23, after the court determined that it was an unwilling licensee.

            The 21st chamber of the German court granted Conversant an injunction against Daimler over European patent 2934050, which is for an “apparatus and method for providing a connection”. It is used in connectivity modules in certain cars and is considered essential for the LTE standard.

            The security deposit for enforcing the ruling is €5 million ($5.8 million), a slightly smaller amount than the court asked Sharp to pay for its injunction against Daimler – €5.5 million ($6.5 million) – and a much smaller number than the €7 billion ($8.31 billion) the Mannheim Regional Court wanted from Nokia.

            Daimler has since announced its intention to appeal against the ruling, stating: “Daimler continues to hold the view that a company cannot be prohibited from using standard essential patents if its suppliers are prepared to pay for a corresponding licence.

            “We do not anticipate that this will lead to a stop in production and delivery.”

            Daimler has already been defeated in cases brought by Nokia and Sharp for SEP infringement at the Munich Regional Court and the Mannheim Regional Court respectively.

          • Marathon musings – patenting running watch algorithms in Europe

            If you managed to catch a bit of the rainy real-life event on TV at the beginning of October, you may have noticed the large number of runners wearing a smart running watch. These devices (from companies like Fitbit, Garmin and TomTom) have revolutionised the way runners are able to train through a myriad of clever features. These include the “basics” like measuring time, distance and current pace. Many models also include more advanced features such as heart rate detection, real time mapping and VO2 max estimation. Some models are even able to generate bespoke training plans based on their wearer’s current fitness level and training goals. It’s a far cry from the days of having to work out one’s pace using a paper map, a piece of string and a stopwatch!

            One of the neatest things about these running watches is the algorithms they use to accurately estimate an impressive range of fitness parameters from a limited set of physical inputs (e.g. from electrical, light and/or motion detectors). Such algorithms are often uniquely developed by the maker of the watch and the quality of these algorithms can be key to the success of a particular model or brand. It is therefore highly desirable to keep these algorithms protected from competitors. One way to try to protect such algorithms is to seek patent protection.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • Movie Company Demands $10K From BitTorrent Pirate, Court Awards $750

          Not mounting a defense in a BitTorrent piracy lawsuit can be a recipe for disaster, with large damages handed down in a default judgment. However, a judge in the United States has treated one such absent defendant lightly, rejecting a $10,000 damages demand in favor of one considerably smaller, just $750. How the judge arrived at this decision is of particular interest.

        • Tech Giants Want EU ‘Safeguard’ to Proactively Remove Pirated Content

          Several of the world’s leading Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, are calling for a new safeguard under EU law, so they can take proactive measures against piracy and other illegal content. Through the industry organization EDiMA, the tech giants argue that they want to proactively remove content, but only if they’re not held liable as a result.

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