11.03.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 3/11/2020: Librem Mini v2, Raspberry Pi 400, LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.6

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Librem Mini Desktop PC Gets a 10th Gen Intel Refresh, But No Price Increase

        Linux computer company Purism has announced a new version of its Librem Mini desktop PC.

        The Librem Mini V2 has the same diminutive form-factor as the company’s older model, but packs in more power thanks to its use of 10th Gen i7-10510U Intel processors — which are quad core at up to 4.9 GHz.

        “While the Mini v1 was already a capable desktop or home server, upgrading the CPU makes the Librem Mini v2 even more powerful while still offering the same PureBoot or coreboot firmware and running the same freedom-respecting PureOS,” Purism say of the revamped unit.

        Fans of bijou computers paired with open source firmware won’t pay over the odds the spec bump either. The Librem Mini v2 costs from $699 — the same price as the original version despite now having a much faster processor.

      • Librem Mini v2 is a little Linux PC with Intel Comet Lake

        Purism’s Librem Mini is a small desktop computer that ships with the Linux-based PureOS operating system pre-installed.

        When the computer began shipping earlier this year, it was powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake processor. Now Purism has introduced the Librem Mini version 2 which has an Intel Core i7-10501U Comet Lake processor instead.

        It’s available for from the Purism shop for $699 and up, which is the same price as the original.

      • Announcing the Librem Mini V2

        It was less than a year ago when we announced our new Librem Mini campaign. We wanted to offer people a powerful and accessible desktop PC in a mini form-factor running the same free firmware and operating system as our laptops. The Librem Mini campaign was a big success and now we are excited to announce an upgrade to the Librem Mini product line.

        The Librem Mini v2 in just about all respects matches the Mini v1 including the same base price. The big difference is that we can now offer a new, 10th gen i7-10510U Intel processor. This gives the Librem Mini four cores at up to 4.9Ghz!

        While the Mini v1 was already a capable desktop or home server, upgrading the CPU makes the Librem Mini v2 even more powerful while still offering the same PureBoot or coreboot firmware and running the same freedom-respecting PureOS.

      • 5 reasons to use Linux in 2020

        Some of the best technology is a moving target. When technology stagnates, society tends to outpace and outgrow it. Linux, the widely used open source operating system (OS), is a foundational technology and the basis for some of the most progressive modern computing ideas. So, while it’s startlingly unchanged after three decades of development, it also allows adaptation. As a result, Linux is in a unique position of being both a sound investment in skills because it doesn’t change and a seemingly eternal driving force for new skills to learn.

        The year 2020 has been a strange one—by any measure—but for Linux, it’s been a typical development cycle. Here’s a look back at the year so far and a review of what you need to know about Linux in 2020.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Fedora 33, DMCA Takedown on youtube-dl, Pro1 X, X Server Being Abandoned? | This Week in Linux 123

        This week has been packed with news, including some personal news of my own. If you are watching the video version you may notice that I am in a different room. Well I moved but more on that later. This week’s episode is so jam packed! Fedora announced the latest release of Fedora 33. There was a DMCA Takedown on youtube-dl by RIAA and we have updates on this. A new Linux powered smartphone has been announced called the Pro1 X and it’s said to come with your choice of LineageOS & Ubuntu Touch. AMD made 2 big announcements this week with the Radeon RX 6000 Series and that AMD is set to acquire Xilinx. SiFive announced a new development board called HiFive Unmatched which is powered by the RISC-V architecture. At long last, Snap Packages Are Getting A Speed Boost. There has been some confusion around the X Server recently and there are discussions of if it has been abandoned. Then we’ll round out the show with another distro release, this time from NixOS with version 20.09. All that and much more coming up right now on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Bat: Syntax Highlighting For All Your Needs – YouTube

        Bat markets itself as a cat clone but this tool is much more than it, it also provides access to the vast libraries of sublime text syntax highlighting themes in form for printing out text directly to your terminal

      • LHS Episode #376: The Future of Amateur Radio Deep Dive | Linux in the Ham Shack

        Welcome to the 376th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we talk with Sterling Mann, N0SSC, about his past involvement in the youth of amateur radio, his current roles with the IARU and YOTA, the highlights and lowlights of amateur radio, the future direction of the hobby and many other topics too numerous to mention. Thank you for listening to this extended episode. We hope you enjoy and please send us feedback. We want to hear from you!

      • Linux Action News 161

        A RISC-V development PC is in the works, we have the details and try to set expectations.

        Plus what’s new in Fedora 33, and an important youtube-dl update.

      • Bringing Artificial Intelligence Projects From Idea To Production – The Python Podcast

        Artificial intelligence applications can provide dramatic benefits to a business, but only if you can bring them from idea to production. Henrik Landgren was behind the original efforts at Spotify to leverage data for new product features, and in his current role he works on an AI system to evaluate new businesses to invest in. In this episode he shares advice on how to identify opportunities for leveraging AI to improve your business, the capabilities necessary to enable aa successful project, and some of the pitfalls to watch out for. If you are curious about how to get started with AI, or what to consider as you build a project, then this is definitely worth a listen.

      • Noodlings 22 | On the Edge – CubicleNate’s Techpad

        Computers are a tool, it’s a wrench or hammer, maybe more like a drill as it is a kind of power tool. It is there to serve you in whatever the task is. Whether it is organizing and storing information, one of the core functions of computers; entertainment, home security or designing and building something to improve your “foxhole”, it is a tool. Computers can just be fun to tinker around with too. It’s for people who like to mess around with computers and learn how they work as well. It’s for all types. Linux along with the free and open source applications on top of it just happens to be the best solution for me.

        Would open source software be the best and most ideal solution? Of course it would, but that is just not the case much of the time. What I do believe is best is that the core and base layers of the operating system are free and open. Having projects like KDE Plasma, Gnome and Xfce which are completely open source Desktop Environments is the key. Should you need some proprietary applications to run on top of it, sure, it is less ideal but much preferred to the whole stack being closed and proprietary.

        I run Fusion 360 on my machine as well as FreeCAD, I support the FreeCAD project but I still have some trouble with it. I do think it is getting better but for the time being Fusion 360 is my go-to CAD application because of what it can do so effortlessly. Does that make my system, as a whole compromised? I don’t believe so. Would running only free and open source software be better? Absolutely but that is not where things are today and rather than get upset, I would rather get projects done.

        Consider this, if your living was dependent on designing and building widgets and you needed to collaborate with other designers, what would be the best tool for the job? I can’t say for certain what your case may be, but if I were working on a project and collaborating with a team, as a small business owner, Fusion 360 has those tools baked into it. If it reduces the time-to-market enough to offset the costs, it is worth it. If it shortens the development time enough to offset the cost of software, than it is indeed worth it.

        On the contrary, if you have developed a method for product life-cycle management while using FreeCAD, and you are able to do all that is required, to include the machining process, just as well. Than go with that application. The bottom line is, you MUST use the tool that works best for you and you shouldn’t receive grief by anybody for it.

        Personal computers should be just that, personal, use what is best for you. Should someone choose something different or go down a different path to get to their ultimate solution, even if it is a winding path, that personal discovery is extremely valuable. The best ideas will surface and suppressing the journey is of no benefit to anyone.

        Give people space to discover and grow at their own pace. Allow them to figure out their world, show them kindness and grace as they learn and ask questions. Technology is but one vehicle to make our world a better place, positive and supportive attitudes are another. Stop and ask yourself why you do the things you do and have that honest conversation with yourself.

    • Kernel Space

      • A good, solid Linux kernel, and more industry trends

        The impact: Linux kernel development is a never-ending series of itches getting scratched. Sometimes those are big, widely felt itches, sometimes they’re more niche or targetted ones, but the progress and the process never ceases to amaze me.

      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Adds Support for EGL Protected Surfaces Using AMDGPU TMZ [Ed: More DRM in Linux — a kernel that now works to prevent you doing what you want on your very own PC]

        This year AMD has been working on the likes of TMZ as well as HDCP support for handling DRM’ed/encrypted content on Linux. This work appears to be mainly driven by AMD APUs beginning to appear in Google Chromebooks and ensuring copy-protected content can play properly, etc. For most users EGL_EXT_protected_surface will go unused but at least the capability is there for those who want it.

      • Setting Up the ARM32 Architecture, part 1

        After we have considered how the ARM32 kernel uncompressed and the early start-up when the kernel jumps from executing in physical memory to executing in virtual memory we now want to see what happens next all the way until the kernel sets up the proper page tables and starts executing from properly paged virtual memory.

        To provide a specific piece of the story that does not fit into this linear explanation of things, i have also posted a separate article on how the ARM32 page tables work. This will be referenced in the text where you might need to recapture that part.

      • Setting Up the ARM32 Architecture, part 2
      • Reiser4 + Reiser5 File-Systems Updated For Linux 5.9 Support – Phoronix

        For any of you that happen to still be relying on the out-of-tree Reiser4 file-system or interested in the technical design of Reiser5, these file-system drivers have been updated for Linux 5.9 compatibility.

        Edward Shishkin continues with Reiser file-system development and spent a portion of his Sunday getting out updated patches for applying Reiser4/Reiser5 support against upstream Linux 5.9.

        The v5-unstable patches have been updated against Linux 5.9.2 and in the process also adds optimized operations on striped extents to deliver a data migration speed-up. There are also other changes as a result of the re-base.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Monado Open-Source OpenXR Implementation Begins Working On Android – Phoronix

          Monado as the open-source OpenXR implementation has been working on support for Google’s Android platform.

          Monado 0.4 adds initial support for Android to the extent that Android-supported OpenXR clients and demo applications are running on Android hardware. This also includes supporting Android orientation/acceleration sensors and other features of modern smartphones. OpenXR applications in VR mode with the likes of Google Cardboard and Daydream have also been tested.

        • Monado update: Passing conformance, Android support & more

          Monado 0.4 passes all of the OpenXR conformance tests with both OpenGL and Vulkan, on desktop with a simulated device.

          Monado is not yet an officially conformant OpenXR implementation because it did not go through Khronos’ OpenXR conformance/adopter process, but because the OpenXR Conformance Test Suite is publicly available and Open Source, every user can run it on Monado themselves.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Bringing The Heat

          The biggest news of the day is that work is underway to merge some patches from Duncan Hopkins which enable zink to run on Mac OS using MoltenVK. This has significant potential to improve OpenGL support on that platform, so it’s awesome that work has been done to get the ball rolling there.

        • Zink Seeing macOS Support For OpenGL Over Vulkan Then MoltenVK On Top Of Metal – Phoronix

          The Zink Gallium3D driver that implements OpenGL on top of Vulkan has been on quite a roll recently… Beyond reaching OpenGL 4.6 support in yet-to-be-merged patches and passing ~97% of the Piglit OpenGL tests and increasingly good performance compared to Intel’s OpenGL driver, the latest interesting milestone is seeing initial work on bringing Zink to macOS.

          Given Apple’s been phasing out support for OpenGL (and OpenCL), Zink on macOS holds merit — arguably even more so than Linux where there still is great OpenGL drivers available for all major hardware. With the forthcoming macOS 11.0 “Big Sur”, the OpenGL support will ultimately be either in a poor state or outright removed. For several years now Apple has been pushing for the OpenGL/OpenCL deprecation in their software ecosystem to instead emphasize their in-house Metal API. But with there still being plenty of macOS software out there making use of OpenGL as well as use-cases like running Wine/CrossOver for Windows software on macOS, Zink on macOS is an interesting candidate moving forward.

    • Applications

      • Richard Hughes: New fwupd 1.5.1 release

        Hot on the heels of 1.5.0, I’ve just tagged and uploaded fwupd 1.5.1. Most importantly, if fixes the regression we recently included for an as-yet-unnamed OEM who wants to ship dock firmware. Any day now, I promise.

      • Excellent System Utilities: Ventoy – create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files

        Essential System Utilities is a series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems.

        The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the bottom.

        This article looks at Ventoy, a versatile utility that creates a bootable USB drive for ISO (and other) files. A USB drive is formatted, and you install Ventoy once. Then you can copy ISO files to the USB drive and boot from it.

      • Do you prefer audiobooks then Cozy is your pal.

        In this application guide, you will get to know about an amazing audiobook player, Cozy for Linux.

        Cozy is an open-source audiobook player with minimal looking modern user-interface. The player comes with all the essential features that you may want in your audiobook player.

        Here is a list of features that it offers.

      • 8 Best Free and Open Source Linux Boot Utilities

        The Linux startup process (or boot process) is the manner in which the Linux operating system is started. The process begins with the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) which undertakes hardware-platform specific startup tasks, and starts the partition boot code. The latter contains the first part of a Linux boot loader. The boot loader will typically give the user a choice of possible boot options. After one of these options is selected, the boot loader then loads the operating system.

        Boot time has a real impact on the first impression of the speed of a system. The time taken for the computer to be ready for use is also important in realizing a positive experience for the user.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Cron Jobs: Complete Beginners Tutorial – Linux Hint

        Cron is the most useful utility in a Linux or UNIX-like operating system that allows running commands or scripts on a given schedule without any user intervention. The scheduled commands and scripts are also named as cron jobs. It is mostly used for automating recurring jobs like running scheduled backups, cleaning temporary files, system maintenance, and various other recurring jobs. It is similar to the Task Scheduler in Windows OS.

        In this tutorial, we will provide you with the basic introduction of everything you need to understand for scheduling a job with cron. This includes basic syntax of cron, editing crontab file, schedule a job with cron with few examples, view cron job, etc.

      • How to Try Linux Without a Classical Installation | Linux Journal

        For many different reasons, you may not be able to install Linux on your computer.

        Maybe you are not familiar with words like partitioning and bootloader, maybe you share the PC with your family, maybe you don’t feel comfortable to wipe out your hard drive and start over, or maybe you just want to see how it looks before proceeding with a full installation.

        I know, it feels frustrating, but no worries, we have got you covered!

        In this article, we will explore several ways to try Linux out without the hassle of a classical installation.

      • How to install the Game Jolt Client on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install the Game Jolt Client on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

        At the time of making this video, the mouse pointer disappears when launching a game. Many of the games, like the example we use, has its own keyboard base pointer, so many of the games are playable.

      • Best Practices for Deploying Hadoop Server on CentOS/RHEL 7 – Part 1

        This article will go through various Benchmarks about OS installation and some best practices for deploying Cloudera Hadoop Cluster Server on CentOS/RHEL 7.

      • How to install and use Dolphin Emulator on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        Dolphin Emulator is an open-source and cross-platform project which is among the popular game emulators for PC. It is highly compatible with various platforms and allows you to play your favorite Gamecube and Wii games on your Linux PC. Dolphin is available for Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and run the Dolphin emulator on Linux. Our distribution of choice in this tutorial is Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

      • How To Install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce solution that allows you to maintain your own online shop. Its PrestaShop is 100% free. This software is published under the Open Software License (OSL). It is written in PHP programming language with support for the MySQL database management system. More than 250,000 e-commerce sites run on PrestaShop. It supports many different payment gateway systems like PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.

        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 PrestaShop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Latest KiCad in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 [New Official PPA] | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to install the latest KiCad, schematic capture & PCB design software, in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Linux Mint via PPA.

      • How to Install Python 3.9 on CentOS/RHEL 7 & Fedora 32/31 – TecAdmin

        Recently, Python development team released latest stable version of Python 3.9. You can download it from its official pages. New version comes with multiple new features and security updates.

        This tutorial will help you to install Python 3.9 on CentOS/RHEL 7 & Fedora systems. We will compile Python from source code.

      • Install Odoo 14 on CentOS 8 | Linuxize

        Odoo is the most popular all-in-one business software in the world. It offers a range of business applications, including CRM, website, e-Commerce, billing, accounting, manufacturing, warehouse, project management, inventory, and much more, all seamlessly integrated.

        Odoo can be installed in different ways, depending on the use case and available technologies. The easiest and quickest way to install Odoo is by using the official Odoo APT repositories.

        Installing Odoo in a virtual environment, or deploying as a Docker container, gives you more control over the application and allows you to run multiple Odoo instances on the same system.

        This article explains how to install and deploy Odoo 14 inside a Python virtual environment on CentOS 8. We’ll download Odoo from the official GitHub repository and use Nginx as a reverse proxy.

      • A Quick Guide to Linux Partition Schemes – Make Tech Easier

        What partition setup should you use when installing Linux? Follow this quick quide to find out Linux partition schemes and how to do it.

      • A Bash Function To Extract File Archives Of Various Types – OSTechNix

        So many applications available to extract various types of archive files. Here is a Bash function to extract file archives of various types.

    • Kodi and Games

      • Steam On Linux Ticks Lower For October 2020 – Phoronix

        Valve has published their latest Steam Survey results. For October 2020 the Linux gaming marketshare pulled back or at least not keeping up with the pace of Steam’s growing user-base.

      • Kodi 19.x “Matrix” – Alpha 3

        So… drum roll…hot on the heels of 19.x “Matrix” Alpha 2, and after a quick detour for an unexpected 18.9 “Leia” release, we bring you the stunningly-named 19.x “Matrix” Alpha 3. This will hopefully be the last of our alpha releases, before we move into beta and onto formal release (but no promises, obviously).

        Usual caveats: while we’re approaching beta, this is still an alpha, and some things will be broken. That is, basically, the whole point of releasing it, after all: find the problems, and fix them before final release.

        Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the major feature changes since the last release, although there have also been many more improvements and “behind the curtains” fixes:

      • Kodi 19 Alpha 3 Brings Intel Integer Scaling Support For Pixel Art Games – Phoronix

        The third alpha release of Kodi 19 “Matrix” was released on Sunday for this popular multi-platform HTPC software.

        Notable with Kodi 19 Alpha 3 is the gaming integration now has support for Intel integer scaling in order to improve the quality of primarily pixel art games. As mentioned recently, Linux 5.11 brings integer scaling support for the Intel graphics driver. The Intel Linux driver support is coming after the open-source patches were stuck pending until a user-space client was ready to go in exercising the functionality to ensure it would be suitable. Now that Kodi merged its support, the Intel driver code is in DRM-Next until the Linux 5.11 cycle.

      • Grab a free copy of Kingdom: Classic from Humble Store | GamingOnLinux

        Consider this your weekly quick tip! Humble Store are currently doing a free game giveaway with Kingdom: Classic, you will need to act fast on this one.

        To be eligible, you need to subscribe to the Humble Bundle newsletter which of course you’re able to unsubscribe at any point if you decide you don’t like their regular deal emails. Small price to pay to grab a free and highly rated game by users on Steam.

      • 13 New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Oct. 2020 – Boiling Steam

        Halloween is behind us, and winter is coming. It’s time to think about what games you could grab for Christmas, since it’s just around the corner. As usual, we look at the latest data dumps from ProtonDB to give you a quick list of new games that work (pretty much?) perfectly with Proton since October 2020 – the Median rating indicates that games work either out of the box (5) or well enough with tweaks (4)…

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Bugzilla integration for KDE Project API

          The KDE Bugzilla handles a lot of projects and they often match with the repo name, but not always. For instance we have ancient products and components at Bugzilla, as projects have a lifecycle from playground into Release Service, or Frameworks, sometimes with a change of name. So you may end up searching Bugzilla quite awhile for the correct product and component to be able to confirm or create bug reports against an application. Let’s have a look at KPeople, and see why the situation is complicated. You find two products in KDE Bugzilla: kpeople (the repository’s name) and on the other hand Frameworks have the scheme of a “frameworks-” prefix: frameworks-kpeople. From the data displayed even I as a developer am unable to tell which is the correct product to add new bug reports. Both have bug reports this year that got fixed and the number of bug reports is too low to get a clear picture of which to choose.

          This is not only a problem of KDE; it is a general problem in different communities that it is hard for newcomers to find the correct place to search and add new bug reports.

          That’s why Debian added the bug report information for every package. This should help users to search the upstream bug reports or create new ones (Bug-Submit and Bug-Database): https://wiki.debian.org/UpstreamMetadata#Fields

    • Distributions

      • The 11 Best Linux Distros for Programmers

        If you are a developer or programmer, then Linux-based operating systems are best suited for you because these operating systems are configured for almost every process to work efficiently and smoothly. Various Linux Distributions oo Linux Distros are available, but you need to choose the best Linux Distro from a vast list. Linux Distros offer you great power, flexibility, stability, and compatibility. Apart from these features, if you want to learn new things and technologies such as website development, blockchain, game development, and machine learning, Linux Distros will work as the best way to learn these technologies. In this article, we have included the best information on the 11 best Linux distros for programmers.

      • OpenIndiana Hipster 2020.10 Released: Here’s What’s New

        new version of OpenIndiana Hipster is now available for download. For starters, the OpenIndiana Operating system is derived from OpenSolaris and is based on illumos.

        Hipster uses a rolling release model and uses MATE as its default desktop environment. After 6 months of development, the 2020.10 update brings lots of additions and improvements.

        [...]

        The development team said, “we weren’t able to update some important packages like Firefox and Thunderbird. These are high on our agenda, but due to our limited developer and test capacities, we couldn’t care for them yet.”

        “We are planning for improvements for our infrastructure to lower the barriers for testing and developing OpenIndiana Hipster,” they added.

        Folks over OpenIndiana are looking for developers to contribute to the project. Hence, if you have a knack for problem-solving in programming, now is a great time to reach out to them and contribute.

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.3.4 Released With LTS Linux 5.4, Heads-Up Display Functionality

          Nitrux founder Uri Herrera has announced this month’s release, Nitrux 1.3.4, which brings the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          For starters, Nitrux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with Calamares installer, NX Desktop, and NX Firewall built on top of the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment and MauiKit Applications.

        • Linux Lite 5.2 Released: Here’s What’s New

          On September 22, we reported that the first release candidate of Linux Lite 5.2 is available for downloading and testing. Creator of Linux Lite Jerry Bezencon, on October 31, released the final version of Linux Lite 5.2, which is now available to download. “This is the most feature-rich, complete Linux Lite release to date. This is the release many people have been waiting for,” he added.

          Linux Lite 5.2 is based on the Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and Linux Kernel 5.4. What makes this distro special is its ability to run on ancient hardware. It ships with a customized Xfce desktop environment.

        • MX-19.3 Release Candidate 1 now available

          MX-19.3 Release Candidate 1 available for testing

        • LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.6

          We have currently no plans yet to create an official Alpha release of LE10 with the Alpha version of Kodi 19. Due the drawn out release cycle of Kodi and the experiences from the past few years we are waiting a bit longer to avoid major problems. Nightly builds could be downloaded like usual, that includes the latest unstable development snapshot of LE10/Kodi19.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • New features in Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.17 GA and JBoss Tools 4.17.0 Final for Eclipse 2020-09

          JBoss Tools 4.17.0 and Red Hat CodeReady Studio 12.17 for Eclipse 4.17 (2020-09) are now available. For this release, we focused on improving Quarkus and container-based development and fixing bugs. We also updated the Hibernate Tools runtime provider and Java Developer Tools (JDT) extensions, which are now compatible with Java 15. Additionally, we made many changes to platform views, dialogs, and toolbars in the user interface (UI).

          Keep reading for an overview of what’s new in JBoss Tools 4.17.0 and CodeReady Studio 12.17 for Eclipse 4.17 (2020-09).

        • Oracle Linux 8: Administration made easy with free videos

          Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about Oracle Linux 8 installation – you did check out the prior blog – right? You’ll want to continue learning Oracle Linux 8 by delving into the next set of free, short videos on some common administration tasks that you can perform on Oracle Linux 8. These videos are applicable for deployment via on-premises systems or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure instances.

        • Share your experience! Review Oracle Linux on TrustRadius

          Today, Oracle is announcing a partnership with TrustRadius to gather feedback from real-life Oracle Linux users.

          TrustRadius is one of the most trusted review sites for business technology. Optimized for content quality and data integrity, they help buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews.

          Customers choose Oracle Linux to improve security, reduce downtime, simplify operations, and save operating costs by switching from other operating environments.

        • Multi-arch solution for scanning – sharkcz — LiveJournal

          You might know that I am using a Power9-based Talos II system running Fedora as my primary workstation not only for my job’s duties. One of the few issues I had on this path is that my multi-function printer (Brother DCP-9020CDW) requires a binary driver for scanning (naturally provided only for x86-based systems). I have worked that around by using the “scan-to-a-network share” feature of the printer/scanner, but being able to use a local application for scanning documents would be nice. Then sometime during last week I have noticed that a package called sane-airscan has been updated in Fedora 32. I have checked what it is about and when I saw “Apple” and “Windows” names, then I became skeptical. But I couldn’t be wrong more :-) Both Apple and Microsoft developed standards for accessing printers and scanners over web services and the list of devices supporting these standards is pretty large and includes also my printer/scanner. The sane-airscan project provides an open implementation of the protocol for SANE and then it was matter of running airscan-discover, updating the SANE config file and I can scan documents using the simple-scan application.

        • 4 cool new projects to try in COPR from October 2020 – Fedora Magazine

          COPR is a collection of personal repositories for software that isn’t carried in Fedora. Some software doesn’t conform to standards that allow easy packaging. Or it may not meet other Fedora standards, despite being free and open-source. COPR can offer these projects outside the Fedora set of packages. Software in COPR isn’t supported by Fedora infrastructure or signed by the project. However, it can be a neat way to try new or experimental software.

          This article presents a few new and interesting projects in COPR. If you’re new to using COPR, see the COPR User Documentation for how to get started.

        • Final Set of F32-20201102 updated isos released | Jbwillia’s Weblog

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F32-20201102-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.8.16-200 kernel.

          This is the Final set of respins for the Fedora 32 release.

          Due to the failure of XFCE building, F32-XFCE-Live-20201016 was renamed and re-released for this set

        • Fedora Developers Discuss Retiring NTP, Deprecating SCP Protocol – Phoronix

          Following the successful shipping of Fedora 33, Red Hat developers have begun proposing more changes for future Fedora releases.

          Jakub Jelen of Red Hat’s Crypto Team today proposed deprecating SCP. Yes, SCP as in Secure Copy, but the deprecation is actually about the SCP protocol and not the tool itself. Jakub has written a patch for the SCP tool to use SFTP internally and would allow using the scp tool as-is with existing behavior albeit is actually done via SFTP rather than the SCP protocol. There are some items missing but otherwise appears to be in good shape. The patch would still support falling back to the SCP protocol if desired/needed.

        • TeamViewer RPM repo left door open for malicious packages

          Three months ago, I discovered a security vulnerability in TeamViewer RPM auto-updates on Linux. The vulnerability allowed an attacker-in-the-middle (AITM) to subvert the TeamViewer RPM package repository to install and execute arbitrary software with root permissions.

          First thing first: TeamViewer followed best practices and used cryptographic signing (GPG) on the repository metadata and its software packages. These measures should have prevented anyone from tampering with either the repository or any of its packages. However, it assumes that the system has a copy of TeamViewer’s public GPG key.

        • ansible 2.10.x and Fedora/EPEL – Kevin’s musings

          As some of you all may know, there were some big changes around how ansible upstream is distributed and maintained with the 2.10.x release(es). I thought I would recap for everyone who was not aware of these changes, then share my plans for the Fedora/EPEL ansible packages. Everyone is going to end up in a better place after this settles out, so there’s no need to panic.

          ansible has some good problems with their community: They are very popular, very easy to work on and very widely used. This means there’s a flood of people always submitting bug reports, pull requests, fixes, enhancements, and all manner of things. In the old ansible setup before 2.10, this resulted in bottlenecks. The core ansible maintainers couldn’t review, merge and handle all the incoming flow of things. There were a bunch of things that were tried to help this (ansibot marking up issues and PR’s), making modules git submodules of ansible, making more people ‘community maintainers’ with merge and other powers over some modules, etc. Even with these measures however, that hits another problem: ansible only releases every N months. If you have fixed some big bug in your module, users aren’t going to get that fix very quickly at all.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian NEW Queue, Rust packaging | Ganneff’s Little Blog

          So for some reason I got myself motivated again to deal with some packages in Debians NEW Queue. We had 420 source packages waiting for some kind of processing when I started, now we are down to something around 10. (Silly, people keep uploading stuff…)

          That’s not entirely my own work, others from the team have been active too, but for those few days I went through a lot of stuff waiting. And must say it still feels mostly like it did when I somehow stopped doing much in NEW.

          Except – well, I feel that maintainers are much better in preparing their packages, especially that dreaded task of getting the copyright file written seems to be one that is handled much better. Now, thats not supported by any real numbers, just a feeling, but a good one, I think.

          [...]

          One of the possible solutions for the feature package problem would be something that another set of packages could also make good use of, I think. The introduction of a new archive or component, meant only for packages that are needed to build something, but where users are discouraged from ever using them.

          What?

          Well, take golang as an example. While we have a load of golang-something packages in Debian, and they are used for building applications written in go – none of those golang-something are meant to be installed by users. If you use the language and develop in it, the go get way is the one you are expected to use.

          So having an archive (or maybe component like main or contrib) that, by default, won’t be activated for users, but only for things like buildds or archive rebuilds, will make one problem (hated metadata bloat) be evaluated wildly different.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 will be called Hirsute Hippo – and it arrives sooner than you might think

          Ubuntu developers, continuing the tradition of naming releases in alphabetical order, had to pick a name beginning with the letter H, following the recently released Groovy Gorilla 20.10.

          The Hirsute Hippo name was announced by Ubuntu’s desktop lead Martin Wimpress. Announcing the name also signals the official launch of development work on the release.

          While the final list of features for the release is still some months away – it doesn’t go into feature freeze till February 25, 2021 – we can guesstimate that it’ll ship with Linux Kernel 5.11 and Gnome 40.

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 655

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 655 for the week of October 25 – 31, 2020.

        • Ubuntu Membership Boards Call for Nominations

          As you may know, Ubuntu Membership is a recognition of a significant and sustained contribution to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community. To this end, the Community Council recruits from our current member community for the valuable role of reviewing and evaluating the contributions of potential members to bring them on board or assist with having them achieve this goal.

          Our board members have now expired, and we are looking to restaff our 12:00 and 20:00 UTC Membership Boards with seven new members for each board.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Pktvisor: Open source tool for network visibility

        The importance of applications and digital services has skyrocketed in 2020. Connectivity and resilience are imperative to keeping people connected and business moving forward. Visibility into network traffic, especially in distributed edge environments and with malicious attacks on the rise, is a critical part of ensuring uptime and performance.

        “NS1 created pktvisor to address our need for more visibility across our global anycast network,” said Shannon Weyrick, VP of architecture at NS1. “By efficiently summarizing and collecting key metrics at all of our edge locations we gain a deep understanding of traffic patterns in real time, enabling rich visualization and fast automation which further increase our resiliency and performance. We are big users of and believers in open source software. As this tool will benefit other organizations leveraging distributed edge architectures, we’ve made it open and we invite the developer community to help drive future updates and innovation.”

      • Slaying the Digital Frankenstein With Open Source | CDOTrends

        Say you are a large publicly-listed financial services organization under the supervision of a vigilant regulator. You are running legacy systems that you need to upgrade, which maintains all your compliance and ensures business continuity.

        It is a dilemma that many organizations have been through. Some of them, many times. But it does not necessarily lessen the pain or minimize the complexity each time you have to do it.

        Most organizations, somewhere or other, have those little legacy applications lurking in dark places. They are unsupported and incompatible but are business-critical in some way. The word “Frankenstein” has an IT implication.

        [...]

        For IAG, the Red Hat solution was one that ticked the essential boxes of scalability and flexibility. It had the benefit of automation capabilities to improve application migration and processes right across the organization.

        IAG is also moving towards a hybrid cloud environment. Some of its work was not suited to a container approach, so OpenStack offered an alternative because, as IAG’s principal platform architect Burak Hoban told the forum, “you can’t leverage containers for everything.”

        “The alternative was to build a brand-new cloud, and that would have been a nightmare for us,” Hoban said.

        Come late 2019, and IAG wanted to upgrade, and the decision was made to skip three versions and move from version 9 to 13. Certainly do-able, but there was one obstacle: the storage provider was not certified to provide services in the upgraded environment.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla’s DeepSpeech 0.9 Released For Open-Source Speech To Text Engine – Phoronix

            Following this summer’s big round of layoffs at Mozilla, the organization’s deep learning open-source speech-to-text engine has been among the projects considered at risk. Fortunately, at least for now, DeepSpeech is still moving forward and is up to version 0.9.

            After the summer’s layoffs at Mozilla, the future of DeepSpeech has been in question even as the project has been nearing its 1.0 stable release. While back in August they said DeepSpeech 1.0 would be released “soon”, that hasn’t happened yet but today marks version 0.9.

          • This week in Glean: Glean.js

            In a previous TWiG blog post, I talked about my experiment on trying to compile glean-core to Wasm. The motivation for that experiment was the then upcoming Glean.js workweek, where some of us were going to take a pass at building a proof-of-concept implementation of Glean in Javascript.

            [...]

            The reason for our initial focus on webextensions is that the Ion project has volunteered to be Glean.js’ first consumer. Support for static websites and Qt/QML apps will follow. Other consumers such as Node.js servers and CLIs are not part of the initial roadmap.

            Although we learned a lot by building the POC, we were probably left with more open questions than answered ones. The Javascript environment is a very special one and when we set out to build something that can work virtually anywhere that runs Javascript, we were embarking on an adventure.

            Each Javascript environment has different resources the developer can interact with. Let’s think, for example, about persistence solutions: on web browsers we can use localStorage or IndexedDB, but on Node.js servers / CLIs we would need to go another way completely and use Level DB or some other external library. What is the best way to deal with this and what exactly are the differences between environments?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • OpenOffice Or LibreOffice? A Star Is Torn | Hackaday

          When it comes to open source office suites, most people choose OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and they both look suspiciously similar. That isn’t surprising since they both started with exactly the same code base. However, the LibreOffice team recently penned an open letter to the Apache project — the current keepers of OpenOffice — asking them to redirect new users to the LibreOffice project. Their logic is that OpenOffice has huge name recognition, but hasn’t had a new major release in several years. LibreOffice, on the other hand, is a very active project. We could argue that case either way, but we won’t. But it did get us thinking about how things got here.

          It all started when German Marco Börries wrote StarWriter in 1985 for the Zilog Z80. By 1986, he created a company, Star Division, porting the word processor to platforms like CP/M and MSDOS. Eventually, the company added other office suite programs and with support for DOS, OS/2, and Windows, the suite became known as StarOffice.

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • LG Wing and Samsung Galaxy S20 FE kernel sources are now available

            Apart from the compliance with the GNU General Public License v2, kernel source releases also help developers cook up custom ROMs and enhanced third party kernels which, in turn, boosts the aftermarket modding scene for the device. Manufacturers like LG and Samsung have a good track record of releasing such sources in a timely manner and they have now posted kernel source codes for the LG Wing and the Galaxy S20 FE, respectively.

      • Programming/Development

        • Inheritance in PHP – Linux Hint

          The three main features of object-oriented programming include Encapsulation, Inheritance, and Polymorphism. When programming, you may need to use certain code multiple times, and using inheritance reduces the repetition of rewriting code manually by reusing the code. Inheritance is a method for creating a new class by inheriting a base class. The object of the new class will be able to access all class members of the new class, as well as the base class, through inheritance. In this way, the same code can be reused many times by writing it only one time. PHP uses the extend keyword for inheritance. This tutorial shows how to implement inheritance using PHP script.

        • RcppSimdJson 0.1.2: New Upstream, New Utilities

          A new RcppSimdJson release arrived on CRAN late yesterday bringing along the one recently updated simdjson release 0.6.0.

          RcppSimdJson wraps the fantastic and genuinely impressive simdjson library by Daniel Lemire and collaborators. Via very clever algorithmic engineering to obtain largely branch-free code, coupled with modern C++ and newer compiler instructions, it results in parsing gigabytes of JSON parsed per second which is quite mindboggling. The best-case performance is ‘faster than CPU speed’ as use of parallel SIMD instructions and careful branch avoidance can lead to less than one cpu cycle per byte parsed; see the video of the talk by Daniel Lemire at QCon (also voted best talk).

          Other than the upstream update, Brendan added some new utilities to check for valid utf-8 or json format, and to minify json plus a small workaround for a clang-9 bug we encountered. We can confirm Daniel’s statement on ridiculously fast utf-8 validattion. It is so cool to work with amazing tools.

        • Nibble Stew: You wanted Boost via Meson subprojects? You got it! (sorta)

          In the previous blog post we saw a way to build SDL transparently as a Meson subproject. In the discussion that followed I got a question on whether you could consume Boost in the same way. This is an interesting question, because Boost is a, let’s say, challenging dependency. It is very big and set up in an unusual way. As an example I would estimate that the single fact that they don’t ship Pkg-Config files has cost Meson developers tens of hours of unnecessary troubleshooting. Having something simpler and more reliable would be welcome.

          To test this out I created an MVP program that uses Boost’s flat map from the container library and then added dependencies until it worked. The actual code can be downloaded here (tested on Linux, VS and Mac).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl 6 Inside Out: Raku Challenge, Week 85

            Welcome back to another week of the Weekly Challenge, and today I’ll briefly describe my solutions to the Week 85.

            The solutions of this week actually make me think that Raku changes my definition of what is a straightforward solution. All those tiny Raku bits such as any or X or ^$N are awesome even in a not fully-optimised program.

          • 2020.44 Comma Comma – Rakudo Weekly News

            Jonathan Worthington has just announced the 2020.10 release of Comma, the IDE of choice for the Raku Programming Language. And this release comes with an impressive amount of new features and even direct support for Red, the Raku ORM!

            In related news, Alexandr Zahatski has announced a new version of the dedicated Pod6 desktop editor called Podlite. This release supports import from markdown and export to HTML. It’s great to see Pod6 becoming easier and easier to work with for desktop publishing. But also for documenting Raku code as well, of course!

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 10: the -rw things – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll discuss three elements in the Raku programming language that have the -rw suffix.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 11: wrapping things – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll talk about the built-in wrap routine and its possible applications.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 12: all and any – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue we’ll briefly talk about practical cases where junctions are really handy — both in syntax and in making the program simpler.

          • The Pearls of Raku, Issue 13: functional elements and recursive sum – Andrew Shitov

            In this issue, we’ll take a look at an interesting pattern of passing multiple arguments to a function and use it to implement a recursive sum algorithm.

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 085

            The latest installment of the Perl Weekly Challenge just dropped so I thought I would take a crack at it. Please note that the challenge is still currently open (as of date of publishing) in case you are participating.

          • 2020.44 Comma Comma

            Jonathan Worthington has just announced the 2020.10 release of Comma, the IDE of choice for the Raku Programming Language. And this release comes with an impressive amount of new features and even direct support for Red, the Raku ORM!

        • Python

          • Just updated – Optimize Images v1.4.0 | The No Title® Tech Blog

            Optimize Images has a new version just released on PyPI! Besides the usual clean and polish, this release includes two new features that may be of interest for you, especially if you are using this utility on servers.

            The first one is a new –watch-directory (or the more abbreviated form -wd), which puts the application in a listening mode, waiting for newly created files in a given folder – any new files are immediately processed, continuously, until you press CTRL-C to exit the application. For now, it runs a single process at a time, so please be aware that in most cases it will take longer to process an equal number of images. It also adds a third-party dependency (Watchdog), which is considered optional, since it is only required for this new feature.

          • PyDev of the Week: Kevin Thomas – The Mouse Vs. The Python

            This week we welcome Kevin Thomas (@mytechnotalent) as our PyDev of the Week. Kevin is the author of Python for Kids, which is “a comprehensive and FREE Online Python Development course FOR KIDS utilizing an official BBC micro:bit Development Board”.

          • Django bugfix releases issued: 3.1.3, 3.0.11, and 2.2.17 | Weblog | Django

            Today we’ve issued 3.1.3, 3.0.11, and 2.2.17 bugfix releases.

          • Early Access PyCharm Podcast — Episode 4: The One Where We Talk About How It All Started – PyCharm Blog | JetBrains

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

          • Fourier Transforms With scipy.fft: Python Signal Processing – Real Python

            The Fourier transform is a powerful tool for analyzing signals and is used in everything from audio processing to image compression. SciPy provides a mature implementation in its scipy.fft module, and in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use it.

            The scipy.fft module may look intimidating at first since there are many functions, often with similar names, and the documentation uses a lot of technical terms without explanation. The good news is that you only need to understand a few core concepts to start using the module.

            Don’t worry if you’re not comfortable with math! You’ll get a feel for the algorithm through concrete examples, and there will be links to further resources if you want to dive into the equations. For a visual introduction to how the Fourier transform works, you might like 3Blue1Brown’s video.

          • Python: How to Flatten List of Lists

            A list is the most flexible data structure in Python. Whereas, a 2D list which is commonly known as a list of lists, is a list object where every item is a list itself – for example: [[1,2,3], [4,5,6], [7,8,9]].

            Flattening a list of lists entails converting a 2D list into a 1D list by un-nesting each list item stored in the list of lists – i.e., converting [[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6], [7, 8, 9]] into [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

            The process of flattening can be performed using nested for loops, list comprehensions, recursion, built-in functions or by importing libraries in Python depending on the regularity and depth of the nested lists.

          • Python Monthly October 2020 | Zero To Mastery

            Being a Python developer is a fantastic career option. Python is now the most popular language with lots of growing job demand (especially in the fields of Web, Data Science and Machine Learning). You have many job opportunities, you can work around the world, and you get to solve hard problems. One thing that is hard, however, is staying up to date with the constantly evolving ecosystem. You want to be a top-performing python developer, coder, programmer, software developer, but you don’t have time to select from hundreds of articles, videos and podcasts each day.

            This monthly newsletter is focused on keeping you up to date with the industry, keeping your skills sharp, without wasting your valuable time. I will be sharing the most important articles, podcasts and videos of the month. Think Tim Ferriss and the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) meeting the Software Development world. What’s the 20% that will get you 80% of the results?

          • Tryton Release 5.8 – News – Tryton Discussion

            We are proud to announce the 5.8 release of Tryton.
            This release provides many bug fixes and some significant improvements. Among other changes you will find big general performance improvements, a new theme for the web client and support for web shops.

          • Understand your Python code with this open source visualization tool | Opensource.com

            VizTracer visualizes and traces Python code to provide greater insight into how the code works.

          • Johnnycanencrypt 0.4.0 released

            Last night I released 0.4.0 of johnnycanencrypt module for OpenPGP in Python. This release has one update in the creating new key API. Now, we can pass one single UID as a string, or multiple in a list, or even pass None to the key creation method. This means we can have User ID-less certificates, which sequoia-pgp allows.

            I also managed to fix the bug so that users can use pip to install the latest release from https://pypi.org.

            You will need the rust toolchain, I generally install from https://rustup.rs.

          • Create a PyTorch Docker image ready for production

            A tutorial on how to use Torch Serve to create a production-ready Docker image with your model integrated

          • Riccardo Padovani: A gentle guide to deploy a PyTorch model in production over AWS ECS with CI/CD.

            Your team has provided you a PyTorch model, and they have asked you to make it available online, so their magic can be used all around the world! How to do so?

            In this three parts tutorial we will see how to deploy such a model on AWS ECS, discussing different approaches, which technologies are available and what are our options. We will gather some best practices, based on real word experience in deploying models to production.

            The first tutorial is about how to properly package the model inside a Docker image thanks to PyTorch Serve. While it is not a hard task, there are some tricks and optimizations that are worth sharing, to make the Docker image as small as possible, and to make it faster to build.

          • sphinxcontrib-spelling 7.0.1 – Doug Hellmann

            sphinxcontrib-spelling is a spelling checker for Sphinx-based documentation. It uses PyEnchant to produce a report showing misspelled words.

        • Java/JS

          • JavaScript onClick – Linux Hint

            JavaScript is a well-known programming language. It is used in more than 95% of the websites we interact with daily. You may often see that on the click of a button, a whole page gets changed, a form field is opened, or a pop-up box appears. From the perspective of a programmer/developer, how can we implement such functionality and handle the website’s interactions with users? When it comes to interaction, JavaScript provides built-in functions to control events on a site.

          • 4 reasons why JavaScript is so popular

            ECMAScript is the standardized version of JavaScript as well as an open standard language. Companies can use ECMAScript to create a JavaScript implementation. According to Wikipedia, “an ECMAScript engine is a program that executes source code written in a version of the ECMAScript language standard, for example, JavaScript.” The most popular engines, V8 and SpiderMonkey, are open source projects.

            JavaScript has been around for 25 years and has a vast community behind it. A developer is spoiled for choice. The community has built so many plugins and frameworks that the phrase “framework fatigue” was coined.

  • Leftovers

    • A Thing or Two About Life

      Michael Apted’s great Up series, about a cohort of English children, wasn’t conceived as a series at all. In 1963, fresh out of Cambridge and as a trainee at Granada TV, Apted was asked to find a group of talkative 7-year-olds for a 40-minute special about the children who would be Britain’s barristers and businessmen, factory workers and housewives, at the century’s turn. Directed by Paul Almond and screened in 1964, Seven Up! was to have been a one-off. But when someone at Granada suggested revisiting the children at 14 and again at 21, Apted jumped at the offer to direct. Even after his career took off and he moved to Hollywood, he made time to make a new installment every seven years.

    • ‘Greatest Journalist of His Generation’: Robert Fisk, Veteran War Reporter and Fierce Critic of US Imperialism, Dead at 74

      The managing editor at The Independent—where Fisk worked for 30 years —called him “fearless, uncompromising, determined, and utterly committed to uncovering the truth and reality at all costs.”

    • Robert Fisk, veteran UK journalist, dies aged 74

      He resigned from the Times in 1989 after a dispute with the owner Rupert Murdoch and moved to the Independent, where he worked for the remainder of his career.

    • President Trump tells advisers that he fears prosecution if he loses the election: report

      Trump fears not only the state and local investigations already underway but also possible new federal probes

    • Science

      • Gabe Newell of Valve is launching Gnome Chompski into space (yes really)

        As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, today a press mail from Valve Software entered our inbox because Gabe Newell, president of Valve, is getting a garden gnome sent into space. Yes, really, truly this is actual news and a thing that is happening. No this is not Kerbal Space Program.

        [...]

        The gnome is no ordinary garden ornament either. Created with the help of Weta Workshop, not only is it printed in the shape of Half-Life gaming icon Gnome Chompski, part of this is also to test “and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components” and also as something of a homage to “the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide”. Sadly, Chompski is not expected to make it back to earth as it will burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during the de-orbiting process.

        For those who didn’t know, Gabe Newell has been in New Zealand visiting Weta Workshop and Rocket Labs, when the pandemic hit and has since called Auckland his temporary home. The email mentioned that Newell has been “looking for a way to help the economy and the community that sheltered him (or at least hasn’t kicked him out yet)” and to assure the people of New Zealand that “his eccentric attempts at charity are largely harmless and pose no immediate threat to their way of life”.

      • The Work of John von Neumann – Linux Hint

        John von Neumann was born in Budapest on December 28, 1903, into a wealthy banking family that had been elevated to the Hungarian nobility. From an early age, he showed great intellect and was labeled a prodigy. By the age of 6, von Neumann could speak Ancient Greek and divide a pair of 8-digit numbers in his head, and by 8, he had learned differential and integral calculus. When von Neumann was 15, his father arranged for Gábor Szegő to serve as his private math tutor. At their first lesson, the famous mathematician Szegő was brought to tears after watching the speed and ability of the young von Neumann. In addition to these incredible feats, von Neumann had a photographic memory and could recite entire novels word-for-word.

        Von Neumann completed a two-year certificate in chemistry at the University of Berlin and a PhD in mathematics at Pázmány Péter University. After completing his PhD, von Neumann went to the University of Göttingen to study under David Hilbert, one of an important mathematician whose work helped to develop the computer. Thereafter, von Neumann went to Princeton University to accept a lifetime appointment to the Institute of Advanced Study. His office was several doors away from Albert Einstein’s office, and Einstein complained that von Neumann played German march music on his office phonograph too loudly.

        While at Princeton, von Neumann was brought in to work on the Manhattan Project. He took many trips to Los Alamos Laboratory to monitor the development of atomic weapons, and he was crucial in many stages of the design and construction of the two nuclear weapons dropped on Japan. He was an eyewitness to the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945, and he served on the committee tasked with deciding which two Japanese cities would be targets for the bomb. For his involvement in the Manhattan Project, von Neumann became perhaps the biggest inspiration for the character Dr. Strangelove in Stanley Kubrick’s homonymous film.

    • Education

      • The Failing Business Model of American Universities

        The business model adopted by our academic institutions is increasingly at odds with those seeking higher education and with the broader society as well. It is undesirable to have entire generations unable to participate in the economy, and as of June 2020, contribute a staggering $1.67 trillion to the national debt according to the National Reserve. This is more than auto loan debt and almost twice the amount of credit card debt in the US. It is crucial to understand the various factors that led to this predicament and to recognize where the system went wrong in order to find solutions.

    • Hardware

      • My collection of vintage PC cards

        Recently, I have been gathering some old hardware at my parents’ house, notably PC extension cards, as they don’t take much room and can be converted to a nice display item. Unfortunately, I was not very concerned about keeping stuff around. Compared to all the hardware I have acquired over the years, only a few pieces remain.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic

        It was mid-February and Maria Konnikova — a psychologist, writer and champion poker player — was on a multicity trip. From her hotel room in New Orleans, she called her sister, a doctor, to discuss the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Konnikova saw there were early cases in Los Angeles, where she was headed for a poker tournament.

        The odds of Konnikova getting infected or spreading the virus by participating in a large indoor event were unknown. But as a poker player she had a lot of experience thinking through the probable risks associated with different decisions. So she played it conservatively. She cut short her trip and went home to quarantine in New York.

      • Thanks to Mitch McConnell, 30 Million Workers Head Into Election Day Unnecessarily Hurting

        It is both cruel and terrible economics that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate last Tuesday with no COVID relief.

      • Four Pandemic Americas: Infinite Choices, Few Choices, Pseudo-Choice, and No Choices at All

        Why? Because she was more likely to survive there. Let me explain.

        After President Trump’s recent Covid-19 hospitalization, people said there were two Americas — one where people like him top shelf medical care and drugs, while the rest of us don’t.

      • ‘Quite a Closing Message’: As Covid-19 Soars, Trump Threatens to Fire Fauci After Election Over

        “Trump is telling Americans that he has given up on protecting them from the virus. And that that’s what they can expect in a second term.”

      • Facing COVID-19 Outbreak Among Workers, USPS Seeks Help With Mail-In Ballots In Swing States

        The coronavirus has had such a severe impact on U.S. Postal Service workers in Wisconsin and Michigan that state agencies are reportedly asking Minnesota to send help as Election Day looms on the horizon.

        An outbreak affecting letter carriers could have major consequences for Wisconsin and Michigan voters, as both states have a hard Election Day deadline for votes to be received. 

      • Sex-Offense Registry Sweeps Intended To Boost Support For Cops Unwittingly Spread COVID-19

        The Oklahoma City Police Department pulled off a social media coup on July 7. “Meet the top 10 most wanted individuals being sought by our Sex Offender Registration Unit,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “It’s important we keep tabs on these guys (and gal), so help us find them.” The post engaged a huge number of readers, receiving 1,500 shares and nearly 500 comments.

        Told dangerous people were loose on city streets, readers responded. “[She] works at [a local store] I’m fucking sick!” posted one. Shadowproof is withholding this individual’s name and place of work to protect them from retaliation.

      • Monitoring COVID-19 vaccine safety during a pandemic

        Vaccine safety has long been a major topic on this blog for a number of reasons, not the least of which is to counter the longstanding efforts of the antivaccine movement to cast doubt on vaccine safety. Many health problems have been falsely linked vaccines such as MMR (and, previously, the thimerosal preservative that used to be in several childhood vaccines) and autism, or demonstrably incorrect claims that vaccines predispose babies to sudden infant death syndrome, or autoimmune disease, or infertility and premature ovarian failure in females, or obesity, and a whole host of other conditions, diseases, and problems up to and including cancer and death. It doesn’t matter that vaccines are effective and among the safest of medical interventions. (They have to be, given that they are administered to mass populations of children and adults without disease in order to prevent disease.) Indeed, the benefits of some vaccines go beyond even the diseases that they prevent, diseases that are more dangerous than most people appreciate, such as in the case of the measles vaccine. Most people are unaware of the multiple layers of systems monitoring vaccine safety and the National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO), the closing or “reorganization” of which has led me to great concern for the monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine safety.

      • How America Can Avoid Dual Cataclysms

        Public health is a national-security issue. A destabilized and unwell populace cannot survive. Lately, Acton, who directs a new program, Kind Columbus, has been thinking about kindness as a path to building the kind of resilience and preparedness that will be necessary to mentally manage the coming year, in phases. She said, “The real battle is that people are suffering. We’re seeing the diseases of despair, like depression. Overdoses are up. There’s not a person I meet, from any walk of life, who’s not struggling right now, to make sense of it all, to tolerate ambiguity. Add the election; add the racial unrest.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • How to Build a Highly Qualified Cloud-Native Team – DevOps.com

                If you’re reading this, you more than likely are aware of the struggles involved in recruiting and building a team of technical professionals skilled in cloud-native computing technologies such as Kubernetes, Helm, Prometheus and service mesh. The Linux Foundation and edX’s “2020 Open Source Jobs Report” found 93% of hiring managers are having difficulties filling open positions that require open source skills like these. The report also found that cloud and container technologies are the most in-demand aside from Linux, which itself is a necessary basic skill for cloud professionals.

              • Open source jobs are in high demand, but wait–what’s an open source professional?
              • Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Has Died

                Dan Kohn, leader of the Linux Foundation’s Public Health (LFPH) initiative and former executive director at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), has passed away of complications from colon cancer. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin wrote yesterday (via LFPH)…

              • We mourn the passing of Dan Kohn

                To the Linux Foundation Public Health community,

                I write today with tremendous sadness to share the news of a great loss in our midsts. Dan Kohn passed away earlier today of complications from colon cancer. While many of you know him as the founder of Linux Foundation Public Health, this was only his final chapter in an incredible career of using technology to change the world.

              • Remembering Dan Kohn | Kubernetes

                Dan Kohn was instrumental in getting Kubernetes and CNCF community to where it is today. He shared our values, motivations, enthusiasm, community spirit, and helped the Kubernetes community to become the best that it could be. Dan loved getting people together to solve problems big and small. He enabled people to grow their individual scope in the community which often helped launch their career in open source software.

                Dan built a coalition around the nascent Kubernetes project and turned that into a cornerstone to build the larger cloud native space. He loved challenges, especially ones where the payoff was great like building worldwide communities, spreading the love of open source, and helping diverse, underprivileged communities and students to get a head start in technology.

              • An open guide to evaluating software composition analysis tools

                With the help of software composition analysis (SCA) tools, software development teams can track and analyze any open source code brought into a project from a licensing compliance and security vulnerabilities perspective. Such tools discover open source code (at various levels of details and capabilities), their direct and indirect dependencies, licenses in effect, and the presence of any known security vulnerabilities and potential exploits. Several companies provide SCA suites, open source tools, and related services driven as community projects. The question of what tool is most suitable for a specific usage model and environment always comes up. It is difficult to answer given the lack of a standard method to compare and evaluate such tools.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Bethesda, Microsoft Make Conflicting Statements About Game Exclusivity After Studio Purchase

              Several weeks ago, Microsoft bought Zenimax Media, the parent organization of Bethesda Softworks for over $7 billion. Bethesda is a celebrated studio best known for its Fallout and Elder Scrolls titles. Both series have long histories of being published across a wide range of gaming platforms, including the PC, PlayStation, and Xbox markets. Almost immediately after the deal, however, many gamers openly worried that Microsoft would warehouse the properties to either the PC or Xbox markets exclusively.

            • GitHub warns users to avoid uploading copies of youtube-dl script

              The Microsoft-owned software code repository GitHub has warned users not to upload banned content to the site, following its decision to take down the youtube-dl script after a complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America.

            • The Github youtube-dl Takedown Isn’t Just a Problem of American Law

              The video downloading utility youtube-dl, like other large open source projects, accepts contributions from all around the globe. It is used practically wherever there’s an Internet connection. It’s especially shocking, therefore, when what looks like a domestic legal spat–involving a take-down demand written by lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),  a U.S. industry group, to Github, a U.S. code hosting service, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a U.S. law–can rip a hole in that global development process and disrupt access for youtube-dl users around the world.

              Those outside the United States, long accustomed to arbitrary take-downs with “DMCA” in their subject line, might reasonably assume that the removal of youtube-dl from Github is yet another example of the American rightsholders’ grip on U.S. copyright law. Tragically for Internet users everywhere, the RIAA was not citing DMCA Section 512, the usual takedown route, but DMCA Section 1201, the ban on breaking digital locks. And the failures of that part of American law that can allow a rightsholder to intimidate an American company into an act of global censorship are coded into more than just the U.S. legal system.

            • GitHub Warns Users Reposting YouTube-DL They Could Be Banned

              Importantly, the action also angered those who maintain, use, and support the software, plus those who didn’t appreciate the perceived overreach into the open source community. As a result, large numbers of people united to stand shoulder to shoulder.

              In many instances their response struck at the heart of the RIAA’s aims: if they wanted YouTube-DL to be harder to find, activists would make it even easier. The software was mirrored, cloned, uploaded to hosting platforms and even turned into images that could be easily shared on millions of sites. This, despite the software still being distributed defiantly from its own site.

              One of the responses was to repost the content to Github itself, where hundreds of YouTube-DL forks kept the flame alight. A copy even appeared in Github’s DMCA notice repository where surprisingly it remains to this day. Now, however, Github is warning of consequences for those who continue to use the platform for deliberate breaches of the DMCA.

            • how to publish git repos that cannot be republished to github

              So here’s an interesting thing. Certain commit hashes are rapidly heading toward being illegal on Github.

              So, if you clone a git repo from somewhere else, you had better be wary of pushing it to Github. Because if it happened to contain one of those hashes, that could get you banned from Github. Which, as we know, is your resume.

              Now here’s another interesting thing. It’s entirely possible for me to add one of those commit hashes to any of my repos, which of course, I self host. I can do it without adding any of the content which Github/Microsoft, as a RIAA member, wishes to suppress.

              [...]

              What would then happen if you cloned my git repo and pushed it to Github?

              The next person to complain at me about my not having published one of my git repos to Github, and how annoying it is that they have to clone it from somewhere else in order to push their own fork of it to Github, and how no, I would not be perpertuating Github’s monopolism in doing so, and anyway, Github’s monopoloy is not so bad actually …

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (cimg, junit4, kernel, openldap, qtsvg-opensource-src, spice, spice-gtk, tzdata, and wireshark), Fedora (firefox, java-1.8.0-openjdk, java-11-openjdk, and thunderbird), openSUSE (apache2, binutils, libvirt, lout, pacemaker, pagure, phpMyAdmin, samba, sane-backends, singularity, spice, spice-gtk, thunderbird, nspr, tomcat, virt-bootstrap, and xen), SUSE (graphviz, liblouis, and samba), and Ubuntu (samba).

          • Memo Warns of “Imminent” Cyberattacks on Hospitals [Ed: Does this memo warn about Microsoft Windows in hospitals? Because it should.]
          • Episode 222 – HashiCorp Boundary with Jeff Mitchell – Open Source Security

            Josh and Kurt talk to Jeff Mitchell about the new HashiCorp project Boundary. We discuss what Boundary is, why it’s cooler than a VPN, and how you can get involved.

          • Malicious npm package opens backdoors on programmers’ computers
          • Big US transportation services firm hit by Windows REvil ransomware

            Publicly listed US transportation services firm Matson appears to have been hit by a gang of cyber criminals using the Windows REvil ransomware, with the thieves claiming to have stolen a terabyte of data.

          • Windows Maze ransomware group announces end to operations

            The operators of the Maze ransomware group, that has been used extensively to compromise Windows systems, have formally announced they will be shutting down.

          • U.K. Spies Help NHS Fight Pandemic-Fueled Cyber Crime Attacks

            The NCSC’s response included an assessment of the state-run health service’s vulnerabilities. This uncovered a weaknesses including about 35 internet domains that could be exposed to malicious activity.

          • Hacker group uses Solaris zero-day to breach corporate networks | ZDNet

            Mandiant, the investigations unit of security firm FireEye, has published details today about a new threat actor it calls UNC1945 that the security firm says it used a zero-day vulnerability in the Oracle Solaris operating system as part of its intrusions into corporate networks.

          • Capsule8 Enhances Linux Protection for Production Infrastructure
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Abusive surveillance in the name of public health is a widespread problem around the world, new report says public health surveillance

              When Privacy News Online first wrote about Covid-19, in February, we noted that it would touch on key concerns of this blog: freedom of speech, surveillance and privacy. Already by March, it was becoming clear that the actions taken by governments to deal with the pandemic posed a serious threat in that regard. Since then, this blog has reported on various examples of how privacy was being eroded as a result of national responses to Covid-19.

            • No Police Body Cams Without Strict Safeguards

              EFF opposes police Body Worn Cameras (BWCs), unless they come with strict safeguards to ensure they actually promote officer accountability without surveilling the public. Police already have too many surveillance technologies, and deploy them all too frequently against people of color and protesters. We have taken this approach since 2015, when we opposed a federal grant to the LAPD for purchase of BWCs, because the LAPD failed to adopt necessary safeguards about camera activation, public access to footage, officer misuse of footage, and face recognition. Also, communities must be empowered to decide for themselves whether police may deploy BWCs on their streets.

              Prompted by Black-led protests against police violence and racism, lawmakers across the country are exploring new ways to promote police accountability. Such laws are long overdue. A leading example is the federal Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120 and S. 3912). Unfortunately, this bill (among others) would expand BWCs absent necessary safeguards. We respectfully recommend amendments.

            • New Release: Tor Browser 10.0.3 (Android Only)

              After many months of design and development we are very happy to announce the release of Tor Browser 10.0.3 for Android. This is the first Android Tor Browser version in the stable 10.0 series. The Desktop version was released at the end of September. We began working on this project in April 2020 with the goal of rebuilding the Android Tor Browser on top of Mozilla’s new Android Firefox Browser, Fenix. Over the last six months, we successfully achieved this goal and we reached feature parity with the previous Android Tor Browser version.

            • Singapore Schools to Make Virus Tracing Token, App Mandatory

              The implementation of the entrance requirement to schools will be enforced for children age seven and above, and when they all have had a chance to collect the state-issued tokens or download the app, the Ministry of Education said Monday, according to updated guidelines on its website. The policy follows an earlier announcement that the “TraceTogether” technology must be used at popular venues like local restaurants, offices and shopping malls by December.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Parallel Universe of Peace

        Armageddon is against the law!

        Well, sort of. And the Trump administration doesn’t agree. Indeed, no nuke-armed nation has, as far as I can tell, anything but contempt for this infringement on its right to blow up the world (only if necessary, of course). War and peace, it seems, exist in parallel universes.

      • Police Pepper-Spray Marchers Heading to the Polls in North Carolina

        Police in Alamance County in North Carolina pepper-sprayed a peaceful get-out-the-vote march Saturday, descending on the crowd after they stopped near a Confederate monument to kneel in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. Viral videos of the violent police action show officers in riot gear attacking the marchers, including young children and elderly people, who had intended to walk to a polling place on the last day of early voting in North Carolina. At least eight people were arrested, including march organizer Rev. Greg Drumwright, who says police gave the crowd of hundreds only 14 seconds to clear out before attacking. “We never made it to the polls,” says Drumwright. “We believe that this interaction, this interference from local authorities, has obstructed our marchers from not only lifting up our First Amendment rights to protest, to speak out, but also our rights to vote.”

      • Beware of CIA Threats

        Within the past week, we have witnessed an overwhelming Chilean victory to rewrite the constitution forced upon them by General Augusto Pinochet, in 1980, and Bolivia’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal confirmation that former President Evo Morales’ political party, Movement for Socialism (MAS), won the election on October 18.

        The new Bolivian president, Luis Arce, and vice-president, David Choquehuanca, beat right-winger coup-makers Carlos Mesa (a former president) and Luis Fernando Camacho: 55% to 29% and 14%. Both houses of parliament will also have a MAS majority.

      • Biden and Trump compete for South Florida swing voters with anti-communist conspiracies and interventionist chest-beating
      • Cuban Report Says U.S. Blockade Causes Much Grief and Immense Monetary Loss.

        The Report is supposed to inform the General Assembly delegates and the public as to the nature of the blockade and its impact on Cuba and the Cuban people. The blockade is the principal tool the United States uses to undermine Cuba’s government. A State Department official in the Eisenhower administration, in 1960, expressed counter-revolutionary purpose. In recommending a blockade, Lester D. Mallory sought “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

        The 53-page Report, covers U.S. measures taken against Cuba and effects experienced in Cuba and elsewhere during the twelve months between April 2019 and March 2020. It summarizes the U. S. legislation and administrative decrees used to authorize the blockade’s rules and regulations and details U.S. and worldwide opposition to the blockade.

      • Beheadings in France

        In October 2020, beheadings in France outraged the people and President Emmanuel Macron, who explained that “Islam in crisis” attacks France’s “core values.” First, a Chechen-born teenager, who entered France as a refugee, beheaded a history teacher sharing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet of Islam with his students. Soon after that, a Tunisia-born tourist “virtually beheaded” a woman and a man inside a church in Nice.

        Both perpetrators used sharp blades.

      • Survivors of Bolivia coup massacre cry out for justice – A Grayzone original documentary
      • Islamic State Claims Kabul University Attack That Kills 22

        Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on Kabul University that killed at least 22 people and injured a dozen more. Afghan security forces said the attack ended after an hourslong gunfight. VOA’s Hikmat Sorosh reports from Kabul.

      • Attack on Kabul University in Afghanistan’s capital leaves at least 19 dead

        The militants “next door won’t be able to wash their conscience of this stinking and non-justifiable attack on Kabul university,” Saleh said.

      • IS Attack on Afghan University Leaves 22 Dead, 22 Wounded

        Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gun battle and leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

        Most of the casualties were students and there were fears the death toll could climb further with some of the wounded said to be in critical condition.

        It was the second attack on an educational institution in Kabul in as many weeks.

      • Gunmen Storm Kabul University, Killing at Least 19

        The Islamic State has staged numerous high-profile attacks in Kabul in recent years, often striking government postings and Shiite Muslims at schools, places of worship and other easily infiltrated — or “soft” — targets.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Letter to My Landlord: November Rent (or Lack Thereof)

        (Please forward to corporate.)

        I appreciate the advice you’ve been sending to your tenants about rental assistance that is available from the local authorities, most of which, as you may know, actually is not available, because the need here in Portland and around the country far outstrips the supply. This is in the news regularly, especially in the business press, which you and I probably both consume daily.

      • Why a Biden Administration Needs to Spend Big

        If Democrats take the White House and Senate, Joe Biden will be in a position to pass legislation that will shape the economy for decades to come. But before the party gets into the policy weeds, there’s a major mental hurdle that needs to be cleared. Biden and his administration will need to rapidly spend money and maintain deficits not seen or even debated in decades. We are entering what I’m calling the Era of Large Numbers: massive spending, giant deficits, a high debt-to-GDP ratio. It is important to understand why this is necessary and why we must defend it from opportunistic opposition.

      • Whoever Wins the Election Will Face Severe Eviction Crisis, as 30 Million Brace for Homelessness

        Despite the massive mortgage debt overhang and the impending foreclosure crisis there is very little talk about how debt might be restructured or how to house the many who will be left homeless.

      • Trump Sold Out Workers Like Me

        Trump likes to brag about how many jobs he’s created. He likes to claim that he’s fulfilled his promise to be the “the greatest jobs president that God had ever created.”

        “Over the next four years, we will make America into the manufacturing superpower of the world. And we will end our reliance on China once and for all,”  he bellowed into the wind in Des Moines. “It’s already happened.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Three Questions That Didn’t Get Asked During the Presidential Debates (and Probably Never Will)

        The questions that never make it through the corporate media’s screening process.

      • Turning White House Into a ‘Fortress’? Federal Agents to Install ‘Non-Scalable’ Fence Just Before Election Day

        “Does this feel like preparation for a peaceful transfer of power?”

      • The Next Battle Is to Stop Trump From Sabotaging the Count

        Lagging in the polls, Donald Trump has made it clear that he’s preparing to subvert a full counting of votes to stave off electoral defeat. On Sunday Axios reported that “President Trump has told confidants he’ll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he’s ‘ahead,’ according to three sources familiar with his private comments. That’s even if the Electoral College outcome still hinges on large numbers of uncounted votes in key states like Pennsylvania.… Trump’s team is preparing to claim baselessly that if [counting those votes] changes the outcome in Pennsylvania from the picture on election night, then Democrats would have ‘stolen’ the election.”

      • Honoring Day of the Dead
      • Have You Been Online Lately?

        Hari Kunzru’s Red Pill has the trappings of a thriller you might buy at an airport. It involves a chase of sorts, one that starts in the suburbs of Berlin, moves back in time to Stasi-controlled East Germany, and then trapezes around from Paris to the highlands outside Glasgow and, finally, to Brooklyn. There are spies, intrigue, Peeping Toms, conspiracy, and violence haunting the many corners of his novel, and yet the sensibility of the book is much more digressive, cerebral, and torturously self-conscious. That’s because at its core, Red Pill is a novel of ideas, probing seemingly disparate poles of thought: the conception of the self, the creation of whiteness in European Romanticism, and the threat of the Internet—the way it has destroyed our sense of privacy, circulated fringe ideas, and popularized the alt-right.

      • Déjà Vu in France

        On this occasion too it was French president Emmanuel Macron’s vigorous assertion that cartoons of the Prophet produced by the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo , in January 2015 and republished since  represented freedom of speech that angered a lot of Muslims in France and elsewhere, though some other remarks he had made recently about ‘Islam being in crisis’ and ‘Islamic separatism’ had also annoyed some people. However, it was the beheading of a French schoolteacher who had shown the cartoons in a class discussion on freedom of speech by a Muslim youth of Chechen origin that provoked not only Macron but also other leaders and a huge segment of French society to react with hostility towards Muslims and even Islam. It should be emphasised that almost all major Muslim leaders and organisations in France also condemned the beheading.  So did many Muslims in other parts of the world.

        It is not enough just to denounce an ugly, insane murder of this sort. Not many Muslim theologians have argued publicly that resorting to mindless violence to express one’s anger over a caricature of the Prophet is an affront to the blessed memory of God’s Messenger. For even when he was physically abused in both Mecca and Medina, Prophet Muhammad did not retaliate with violence against his adversaries. He continued with his mission of preaching justice and mercy with kindness and dignity. It is such an attitude that should be nurtured and nourished in the Muslim world today especially by those who command religious authority and political influence among the masses.

      • How 3 Democratic Women in Swing States Aim to Win This Week

        North Carolina House candidate Aimy Steele is back on the doors.

      • The Democrat Who Could Prevent Democrats From Winning a Georgia Senate Seat

        Democrats are surging in Georgia. Joe Biden could be the first Democratic presidential contender to win the state’s electoral votes since Bill Clinton in 1992, and a pair of Democratic US Senate candidates—one running in a regular election and one running in a complex special election—could win with him. That delicious prospect is so enticing that Biden swept into the state Tuesday and appeared with the Senate candidates, Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.

      • Citing Potential for Election-Related Violence, Australia and New Zealand Update Warnings Against Travel to US

        “Take precautions to keep safe during the election season.”

      • The Trauma of Trump’s Presidency Will Haunt Us

        There was never a way to understand the forcible separation of migrant parents and their children as anything other than a program to intentionally inflict widespread punitive psychological harm. Even as Trump administration officials publicly claimed ripping apart families was an unforeseen consequence of begrudging compliance with existing immigration law, they privately promoted the policy as one that would create mental anguish to deter migrant arrivals.

      • Nonviolence as a Strategy for Protecting the Election Results

        The particular situation we are facing, in the mass rallies that are planned, is a classic one where enforcing nonviolence by people who show up on our side is important.

      • ‘Our Agenda Is on the Ballot’: On Election Eve, Sanders Joins Other Progressive Leaders for Final Get Out the Vote Rally

        “Our progressive values are on the ballot—and the progress we’re fighting for isn’t possible under a Trump presidency.”

      • Warning of ‘Dark Days Ahead,’ Historians of Fascism Stress ‘It Is Not Too Late’ to Avoid Descent Into Authoritarianism

        “We believe that unless we take immediate action, democracy as we know it will continue in its frightening regression, irrespective of who wins the American presidency,” the scholars warned. 

      • I No Longer Hate Trump. In Fact, I Love Joe Biden Too.

        It is nearly Election Day, and I would like to clear up any confusion out there. If you think I am only voting against President Donald Trump, you are terribly mistaken. I have a hawkish crush on former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, and their campaign, and I cannot wait to see the Biden-Harris ticket triumph.

        I mean it. I may have a history of supporting bombing campaigns in the Middle East. I may have shilled for a few right-wing policies here and there that would benefit powerful corporations. I may have framed the first page of the crime bill in 1994. But that is exactly why I will kneel on the ground Biden walks upon before he boards the Amtrak to the White House.

      • How DHS and FBI officials spun a dubious Russian election threat days before voting
      • Biden: A War Cabinet?

        Susan Rice for Secretary of State

        Susan Rice, who was also reportedly being considered for the role of Biden’s Vice President, served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations and as National Security Advisor, both under the Obama administration.

      • Dear Fellow Progressives: Please Vote for Biden

        The best hope of removing Trump from the White House is a landslide victory for Biden.

      • The Time Is Now: Dump Trump!
      • Be Prepared to Defend Democracy

        The threat level has increased consistently during Donald Trump’s presidency; hate crimes are up, and law enforcement and intelligence services have thwarted a number of troubling plots including a plan to kidnap and execute a duly elected Governor.

        When Donald Trump has been called to denounce these terrorist and extremist groups, he chooses instead to tell them “stand back and stand by.” Members of Trump’s team report their concerns for his willingness and potential use of those who offer violent support that Trump could leverage in pursuit of his illegitimate goals.

      • Warning ‘Wannabe Fascists,’ Philly DA Says People Dressing ‘Up Like G.I. Joe’ to Intimidate Voters Will Be Prosecuted

        “If you want to dress up like a G.I. Joe and claim you are protecting the polls when we all know what you’re really doing is intimidating voters, you’re getting locked up,” said Larry Krasner. 

      • Dump Trump AND!!! Singing Across the Generation Gap for a 21st-Century Revolution

        Dump Trump AND!!! (defund the military and the police), Dump Trump AND!!! (grow a culture of love and peace).

      • Happy With Absentee Ballot Opportunities, Voters Ask Why CT Doesn’t Have Early Voting
      • Misinformation Image on WeChat Attempts to Frighten Chinese Americans Out of Voting

        At least two dozen groups on the Chinese-owned social media app WeChat have been circulating misinformation that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is “preparing to mobilize” the National Guard and “dispatch” the military to quell impending riots, apparently in an attempt to frighten Chinese Americans into staying home on Election Day.

        The misinformation, which takes the form of a photo of a flyer and is in both English and Chinese, also warns that the government plans to impose a national two-week quarantine and close all businesses. “They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to prevent looters and rioters,” it states. The flyer originally appeared on WeChat during the first surge of the pandemic, and it later spread to other social media. It recently resurfaced on WeChat.

      • No Ballot in the Mail? How You Can Still Vote in Bergen County
      • North Carolina Residents With Disabilities Can Get Help Voting at the Polls
      • So Far, Trump’s “Army” of Poll Watchers Looks More Like a Small Platoon

        Donald Trump Jr. looked straight into a camera at the end of September as triumphant music rose in a crescendo. “The radical left are laying the groundwork to steal this election from my father,” he said. “We cannot let that happen. We need every able-bodied man and woman to join the army for Trump’s election security operation.”

        It was an echo of what his father, President Donald Trump, has said in both of his presidential campaigns. At a September campaign rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the president encouraged his audience to be poll watchers. “Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do,” he said. “Because this is important.”

      • More Than 91 Million Ballots Cast As of Saturday, As Hopes and Tensions Magnify Ahead of Election Day
      • Louisiana Expects “Unprecedented” Voter Turnout on Election Day; Here’s How Officials Are Prepping
      • Trump Rally or Voter Intimidation? Wayne Officials Add Insight
      • For Two U.S. Diplomats From St. Paul, Appeals Court Ballot Ruling May Mean Losing Their Vote
      • Ballot Rejections, Trump Sign-Stealing Scandal Sow Distrust in South Carolina County Election
      • Minnesota Voters Scramble to Return Early Absentee Ballots
      • This Election, Black Women Are Leading the Way—Again

        Black women are one of the most powerful voting blocs in the nation. Although they occupy a marginalized position in American society—shouldering multiple and intersecting forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, and classism—Black women have always used whatever was at their disposal to shape American politics. As the essential, if unsung, backbone of the Democratic Party, Black women have effectively harnessed the power of the vote to advance their political interest—while actively working to strengthen the party’s platform. Now, with voter suppression tactics on the rise, Black women are leading the charge to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.

      • We’ve Been on Trump’s Road for a Long Time

        It was summer almost half a century ago when I got into that Volkswagen van and began my trip across country with Peter, a photographer friend. I was officially doing so as a reporter for a small San Francisco news service, having been sent out to tap the mood of the nation in a politically fraught moment. The Vietnam War, with all its domestic protests and disturbances, was just ending. North Vietnamese troops would soon enough enter Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital; the president of the United States, Richard Nixon, was then trapped in an escalating scandal called “Watergate.”

      • Don Jr. Told Dad’s Supporters “Have Fun” With Biden Campaign Before Bus Incident

        President Donald Trump criticized the FBI on Sunday for announcing an investigation into some of his supporters in Texas for harassing and endangering the lives of passengers on a Joe Biden campaign bus last week — an action that may have been inspired in part by the president’s own son just a couple of days prior.

      • Amnesty Slams Trump for ‘Condoning Violence and Intimidation’ as President Praises Texas Mob for Harassing Biden Campaign Bus

        “This aggressive, abusive conduct by his supporters results from Trump continuing to incite acts of intimidation and violence.”

      • QAnon and John Jr.

        A serial adulterer, Giuliani has, ironically, made it his mantra to say the US election system is mired in fraud. He actively incites MAGA supporters – pushing Trump’s many conspiracy theories and cultivating anger amongst embittered factory workers against minorities and the socially progressive. This is the part where the movie fails. Cohen seems to imply it is only the American leaders who are to blame. I believe it is naïve to assume that ordinary folk are inherently good and are manipulated into being prejudicial. Trump, in reality, is the conscious projection of millions of Americans. Without them Trump would not be president. Trump only says what his followers want to hear – it is as the psychiatrist Carl Jung said, “The true leader is always led.”

        Social media inundates us with information at a frenetic pace. As people, we have an aversion to see events as being random. We are genetically wired to connect the dots trying to make sense of the world we live in. Viruses, bigotry, taxation and our hyper-partisan politics somehow all need to be linked to be understood. The fact people are cognitively hardwired for “could be or perhaps” but not for “absolute truth” allows for the spread of conspiracy theories. It is in this environment QAnon has coalesced.

      • Author Edwidge Danticat: “Be the Vote for Immigrant Families Under Threat by Trump Administration”

        We go to Florida, which could prove decisive in the 2020 presidential election and where immigration is a key issue for many voters, to speak with Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat, who says voters in the state should cast their ballots to protect immigrant families under threat of deportation by the Trump administration. Trump has repeatedly tried to end temporary protected status for Haitians in the country. We also speak with 13-year-old Christina Ponthieux, the U.S.-born daughter of two TPS recipients from Haiti. “Terminating TPS would affect all of us, especially kids like me who are U.S.-born children who have never been to their parents’ country before,” says Christina, a member of Family Action Network Movement, or FANM, and a co-chair of the group’s Children for Family Reunification initiative.

      • The huckster and the hack: UK govt report undermines stars of Cambridge Analytica-Russiagate scandal
      • UK Labour civil war? Jeremy Corbyn suspended even as report vindicates him on anti-Semitism smears
      • Civil Rights Group Bashes ‘Highly Politicized’ Trump DOJ Election Monitoring Plan

        “This plan appears to be nothing but a thinly-veiled effort to deploy federal government personnel to communities in so-called ‘battleground states.’”

      • ‘Huge Victory for Texas Voters’: Federal Judge Rules in Favor of 127,000 Drive-Thru Ballots

        “This is what democracy looks like,” said one ACLU lawyer. “Our justice system did its duty today to ensure voting rights are protected and our democracy remains intact.”

      • An American History of Separating Families

        I initially was unable to answer my students’ question of how the U.S. government can engage in such cruelty, until together we realized that family separation is embedded in American history.

      • ACLU’s Closing Argument: ‘Everyone Should Be Able to Vote, and Everyone’s Vote Should Be Counted’

        The national civil liberties group says that it “is at the ready to act swiftly and use all of the tools and resources at our disposal to protect the vote.”

      • Battleground Texas: GOP Sues to Toss 127K Votes as Trump Caravan Tries to Force Biden Bus Off Road

        This weekend, a caravan of Trump supporters in Texas tried to run a Biden campaign bus off the road, ahead of a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court Sunday rejecting a Republican effort brought by a QAnon supporter to throw out nearly 127,000 early votes from 10 drive-thru polling locations in Harris County, but now a similar lawsuit has been filed in federal court. The drive-thru polling locations allowed any registered voter to cast their ballot in a car instead of going inside polling centers, as polls show a close race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in Texas, a traditionally Republican state. Susan Hays, a special counsel to Harris County on election matters, says the drive-thru locations have been “enormously popular” during the pandemic, and tossing those ballots undermines the democratic process. “An election contest is the remedy to any issues with the voting process, not lawsuits that happen before the election,” she says.

      • “We Never Made It to the Polls”: Police in North Carolina Pepper-Spray Voting March, Arresting Eight

        Police in Alamance County in North Carolina pepper-sprayed a peaceful get-out-the-vote march Saturday, descending on the crowd after they stopped near a Confederate monument to kneel in honor of George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis in May. Viral videos of the violent police action show officers in riot gear attacking the marchers, including young children and elderly people, who had intended to walk to a polling place on the last day of early voting in North Carolina. At least eight people were arrested, including march organizer Rev. Greg Drumwright, who says police gave the crowd of hundreds only 14 seconds to clear out before attacking. “We never made it to the polls,” says Drumwright. “We believe that this interaction, this interference from local authorities, has obstructed our marchers from not only lifting up our First Amendment rights to protest, to speak out, but also our rights to vote.”

      • FAQs About What’s Ahead

        I’m more frightened for my country than I’ve ever been. Another four years of Donald Trump would be devastating. Nonetheless, I suspect Biden will win.

      • Why Critical Media Literacy is an Essential Component of Media Education – The Project Censored Show
      • Facebook avoided punishing Trump Jr’s Instagram account over fear of backlash: report

        Two former employees familiar with the matter told the Post that at the end of 2019, Facebook, which owns Instagram, removed a fact-checking strike against President Trump’s eldest son. The sources said that would have categorized him as a repeat offender and instituted penalties, and the company feared the response of taking those steps.

        These penalties could involve reduction of traffic and a potential demotion in searches. One former employee told the Post that this incident was one of numerous strike removals in the past year for the president’s family members.

      • ‘Excluded’ Presidential Candidates – Howie Hawkins of the Green Party – On The Ground

        Corporate media may do their best to vote-shame or silence third party candidates and movements but Howie Hawkins, presidential candidate for the Green Party USA, and Gloria La Riva, presidential candidate for the Party for Socialism and Liberation are speaking loud and clear. We host a forum with these two candidates excluded from the “debates.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Three TikTok Influencers Influenced A Judge To Block Trump’s TikTok Ban

        Remember Trump’s ridiculous executive order to ban TikTok if it wasn’t sold to an American company? Then there was a grifty non-deal in which Oracle agreed to host TikTok’s new American subsidiary, though nothing about that deal appears to have been finalized, and the executive order was still somewhat in place. The first stage of the ban on the app was blocked by a judge in a lawsuit from TikTok itself. But that ruling did not (yet) block the second stage of the executive order which was set to go into effect this month.

      • Defence Fund and Contempt Case Update

        I have transferred £10,000 from my defence fund to Mark Hirst’s defence fund, which needs money immediately. If anybody who donated objects, your donation can be refunded if you use the contact button top right to send a message.

      • Shiva Ayyadurai’s Lawsuit Against A Massachusetts Official Actually Raises An Interesting 1st Amendment Question About Election Disinformation

        It hasn’t garnered that much public attention, but a couple weeks ago Shiva Ayyadurai decided to sue Massachusetts’ Secretary William Galvin, claiming that efforts to have some of Shiva’s tweets removed from Twitter violated the 1st Amendment. It may surprise many people to hear this, but I think Shiva has a point. And it actually raises some interesting (and somewhat new) 1st Amendment questions regarding social media, election disinformation, and the role of election officials in fighting disinformation online.

      • Why Depicting Prophet Muhammad Is Controversial in Islam?

        Wasington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center shows that most Muslim nations have laws against blasphemy, with some countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enforcing the death penalty. Insulting Prophet Muhammad in both verbal and nonverbal ways, such as in a caricature, are widely considered blasphemous.

        Muslim artists and filmmakers have in recent decades avoided showing Prophet Muhammad’s face in their works on Islam’s inception years. In a 1976 movie called “ar-Risalah” (or The Messenger), Muhammad was shown only as a shadow.

      • How To Tell If You’re Being Canceled

        Nearly 30 years later, attacks on free thought have persisted and in some ways become even more pervasive as cancel culture has become part of the American lexicon. We live in a world where a Boeing executive was forced to resign over a 33-year-old article opposing the idea of women in combat and a respected art curator was pushed out of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for saying he would “definitely still continue to collect white artists.” Earlier this summer, the editor of The New York Times opinion page left his job after publishing an article by Sen. Tom Cotton (R–Ark.).

        What, exactly, does it mean to be canceled? Is free thought under unprecedented attack? And if it is, what’s driving the repression? Rauch, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution who is working on a book tentatively titled The Constitution of Knowledge, spoke to Reason’s Nick Gillespie to answer those questions and discuss the best way to engage today’s censors and cancelers.

      • Your Problem Is Not With Section 230, But The 1st Amendment

        With that, it seems that Americans haven’t fallen out of love with Section 230, rather, alarmingly, they’ve fallen out of love with the First Amendment. In case you’re wondering if you too have fallen out of love with the freedom of speech, consider the following:

        If you’re upset that Twitter and Facebook keep removing content that favors your political viewpoints,

        Your problem is with the First Amendment, not Section 230.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • This is Now

        I have had the same experience with my articles and papers in every single publication I have submitted them to (even CP). I came to learn that each journal has its ideological boundary, within which is its acceptable orthodoxy, and outside of which is rejected heresy. The arbiter determining the exact contour of that boundary is the editor, and moreso when also the publisher.

        This is not necessarily bad if the precepts of the orthodoxy and contour of its boundary line are clearly stated, and uniformly adhered to. Then you as a reader and writer know how to pick and choose what to get into, or not. We all prefer to sing in our own choirs and thus perpetuate a world of mutually repellant cacophonous babel, because it is so much easier to maintain our ignorance and prejudices that way.

      • Genealogy and Greenwald

        It’s easy to dump on Glenn Greenwald. But he’s a hero, no matter what people say about him. He has risked his life as a journalist in ways few, if any, can claim. That being said I am having trouble getting the point he is trying to make in his recent resignation.

        The thesis just doesn’t hold up. Trump isn’t the underdog and if anything we are seeing how little power the media has in the face of massive dark money going to conservative forces. The corporate media has never been serious about taking down Trump, and they aren’t serious in taking down Biden either. But the truth is that most reasonable people could not support anything about the Republican Party. Any educated or honest person of course would be against an organization with so little claim to truth. The media is educated, not moral. Greenwald seems to get these two things confused.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • This Uber driver died of COVID-19. Proposition 22 will sway his family’s fate

        Through the state-administered workers’ compensation program — created to provide wage replacement and medical benefits to workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses — the family might be eligible for at least $320,000 in death benefits, according to a lawyer the Zayyids consulted. Given that his wife, Lamis, and the two of their children who are still teenagers had been dependent on Zayyid’s earnings, the lawyer said the family might even be eligible for additional hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next few years.

        Still numb from the loss, the Zayyids filed a workers’ compensation claim. But the claim was shut down. A letter dated Sept. 30 said benefits were denied because Khaled Zayyid had been an independent contractor and never an Uber employee.

        As part of Proposition 22, one of the highest-profile measures on Tuesday’s ballot, Californians will decide what should happen to families like the Zayyids.

      • NLG Continues Intensified Mass Defense Efforts Amid Election | National Lawyers Guild

        The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is continuing its mass defense efforts in preparation for the possibility of a contested US presidential election, and uprisings that may emerge as a result. Many NLG chapters are partnering with Election Protection to provide volunteer attorneys, legal workers, and law students in the interest of fair and free elections.

        The NLG Mass Defense Program has had an extremely busy year following the police murder of George Floyd and the mass movements for racial justice that reemerged this summer—and which continue today. Fueled by our volunteer members at local chapters, the Mass Defense Program is an organized infrastructure of Legal Observers, arrest hotlines, and on-call defense attorneys responding to mass arrests and police violence. The NLG released this elections know-your-rights page to help voters protect themselves and their vote, and defend themselves from instances of voter suppression, harassment, or intimidation they may encounter at the polls.

        Additionally, responding to broad concerns about the possibility for unlawful orders regarding the election, the NLG’s Military Law Task Force (MLTF) is providing new and expanded resources for attorneys, GI rights advocates, and servicemembers, including a phone line (619-463-2369) for free, confidential telephone consultations with attorneys to discuss possible illegal orders and related issues. See here for additional MLTF election-related resources for service members and advocates.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • When Academic Freedom Depends on the Internet, Tech Infrastructure Companies Must Find the Courage to Remain Neutral

        And universities must stand up for the rights of their faculty and students.

        During the past eight months of the pandemic, we have collectively spent more time online than ever before. Many of us are working and/or learning from home, and staying in touch with friends and family through social media and other proprietary services.

      • Vint Cerf’s Mission to Bring the Internet to Outer Space

        Seventy-seven-year-old Vint Cerf is credited as the father of the internet — but he’s now tackling an even bigger challenge. He’s joined with the scientists who envision a network that can scale across hundreds of millions of miles, in an airless vacuum, where data transmissions can be blocked by, for example, the planet Jupiter. Cerf’s working with a team whose lofty new dream is an internet which can connect our spacecraft in outer space — to the other spacecraft, and to listeners waiting here on earth.

        It’s instructive to see how engineers approach a task that stretches endless on an interplanetary scale — and what it took to lead scientists to this galaxy-sized dream.

        [...]

        Quanta notes extra resilience comes from “bundling” protocols, which Cerf explains can accommodate a temporarily inauspicious positioning of the planet Jupiter. While data packets are still switched from node to node — or, in some cases, space-based relays — “Why throw the information away, instead of hanging on to it until Jupiter shows up?” One reason there’s no storage component in TCP/IP is that the cost of memory in the 1970s could be prohibitively expensive, Quanta notes.

        Interestingly, the protocol isn’t just useful for outer space. One Sweden-based project successfully used the protocol to bring email and web access to Sweden’s remote population of reindeer herders. A paper on the project describes it as “opportunistic routing” through both fixed relays and “mobile” relays (tablets and laptops). Because even electricity was hard to come by, they used a combination of diesel generators and high-capacity batteries to power hotspots (and re-charge their tablets and laptops).

        Cerf describes other possible scenarios to Quanta — for example, after a major disaster when there’s damage to the communication infrastructure, or in use with instruments sending data from the ocean floor that are only intermittently connected. “You need a protocol that says: ‘Don’t panic! It’s OK, just hang onto it.’” And it could also help battery-driven devices conserve power, so Cerf is exploring its use in mobile environments.

    • Monopolies

      • NBN Co behaving much as Telstra did during its monopoly days: Budde

        The situation with the national broadband network at the present moment is similar to the time when Telstra was a monopoly and dictated terms to the rest of the market, well-known telecommunications analyst Paul Budde claims.

      • Patents

        • Federal Circuit: No Appeal of IPR Institution Denial, even If Denied for Extra-Statutory Reasons

          PTAB denied Cisco’s petitions to institute inter partes review (IPR) against two patents owned by Tel Aviv Univ. (Ramot). The statute is clear that the decision of whether to institute is not appealable, but Cisco filed for writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit. Mandamus has now been denied.

          The Statute empowers the USPTO Director to decide whether or not to institute an IPR. “The Director shall determine whether to institute an inter partes review.” 35 U.S.C. § 314(b). Before instituting, the Director must first find a “reasonable likelihood” that one-or-more claims will be cancelled. However, the statute does not expressly require that the Director grant review of all petitions that meet that requirement, and the PTO believes that the statute provides the Director discretionary power in this process. In a set of regulations, the PTO Director delegated the institution decision to the PTAB. The PTAB, in turn, has established a set of factors that it uses to determine whether to grant an IPR, including efficiency, fairness, and merit.

          Parallel District Court Litigation: In this case, the PTAB declined CISCO’s petitions on the grounds that parallel district court litigation was moving forward with a trial set to occur well-before the PTAB’s likely final written decision. In its decision, the PTAB noted that the same or very similar issues had all been briefed and were being presented in the district court and that “instituting would be an inefficient use of Board, party, and judicial resources.”

          On mandamus, Cisco argued that the PTO’s approach here is unlawful for a variety of reasons, including violation of the America Invents Act as well as the Administrative Procedures Act. [CiscoBriefingShowCause].

        • Software Patents

          • New Patently-O Law Journal Essay: Parsing the Impact of Alice and the PEG

            Almost two years have passed since the USPTO issued its January 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance (PEG), itself a response to the Supreme Court’s Alice decision, and what many perceived as its destabilizing impact on the certainty of patent prosecutions. Leveraging new data releases, we report on trends in prosecution following the USPTO’s PEG and the Guidance on 112, finding 1) a decline in subject matter rejections and stabilization of subject matter appeals, 2) no discernable increase in 112 rejections, 3) no evidence that small entities were being left behind in Alice-impacted art units by forum shopping by large entities, 4) no noticeable decline in “medical diagnostic” or “software” applications following Alice or Mayo, and 5) more unique words in issued patent claims post Alice. The scripts and techniques we developed to navigate data discontinuities and a lack of labels and complete our analysis are included in this essay.

          • Patent Prosecution Trends Following the Patent Eligibility (101) and 112 Guidelines

            Almost two years have passed since the USPTO issued its January 2019 Patent Eligibility Guidance (PEG). As the prospect of near-term Supreme Court or Congressional action on Section 101 remains murky, it is worth taking stock of patent prosecution and application trends following the PEG, and also, the Office’s accompanying Guidance on Section 112. In this post, we report on quarterly trends in office actions and filings before and after the PEG. We build on earlier analyses reported in PatentlyO and the USPTO Office of Chief Economist’s own report from earlier this year, Adjusting to Alice, which found that the PEG was followed by decreases in both the likelihood of receiving a rejection and the uncertainty in patent examination.

            It is thanks to the exciting continued releases of patent data from the Patent Office, collectively as part of the Open Data Portal (in beta), that we can follow these trends in an attempt to understand the impact of policy. We encourage the USPTO to continue providing data and improving its coverage and quality, providing the only source of data that the courts and policymakers can turn to on the prosecution impacts of their work, as well as research and patent data startups. As to the office action and appeals data, discontinuities and quality issues in currently available datasets presented challenges to our analysis, which we overcame by developing a number of computational approaches. The accompanying PatentlyO Bar Journal Article, Parsing the Impact of Alice and the PEG, (hereinafter referred to as “Article”), has the details and code we used, as well as a summary of the supporting analyses described below.

            [...]

            The data indicate that, following the PEG, the prevalence of 101 subject matter rejections, and likely frustration associated with same, declined. At the same time, we did not find that 112 rejections increased noticeably to take their place, or that caselaw or the PEG resulted in sustained diminished filings. While we are not able to report on the impact of the PEG on filings and application “quality” (words and details), due to time effects, fortunately, the USPTO’s data releases should seed continued study and analysis of the impact of it and future guidance and court decisions.

      • Copyrights

        • US Govt’s Pirate Site List Doesn’t Prove Anything, YouTube Rippers Tell Court

          Several major record labels recently cited the USTR’s notorious markets list as evidence in their ongoing legal battle with YouTube-rippers FLVTO.biz and 2conv.com. This mention wasn’t well-received by the defense team, which counters that this “proof” is misleading because the USTR list itself doesn’t constitute a legal finding and is based on input from the RIAA.

        • Spotify will let artists give their songs a boost — and get paid less in exchange

          In return for this extra promotional boost, Spotify says it’ll be paying artists a lower “promotional recording royalty rate” whenever songs are played during those autoplay or radio sessions. A spokesperson wouldn’t say how much that rate is because the feature is in testing, but they added that “the idea is for artist teams to be able to earn a positive ROI by using the tool,” and that the company would “calibrate to make sure that the widest group of artists and labels can find success.”

        • Say Hello to Our New CC Open Source Website!

          “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  3. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  4. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  5. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  6. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  8. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  9. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  10. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  11. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  12. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  13. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  14. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  16. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  17. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  18. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  20. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  21. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  22. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  23. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  24. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  25. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  28. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  29. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  30. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised


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