12.07.20

Links 7/12/2020: Linux 5.10 RC7 and OpenRGB 0.5

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: Manjaro 20.2, KDE Plasma 5.20.4, Chromium as Flatpak

      Here’s this week’s roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights. Have a look.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Sad! Linux System Vendor ZaReason Shuts Down Due to Covid-19 Pandemic

        Independent Linux system vendor ZaReason couldn’t survive the Coronavirus economic downturn and decided to call it a day.

      • Linux hardware vendor ZaReason has officially closed up shop

        Always sad when a Linux-focused business fails. ZaReason announced recently that they’re no longer in business.

        ZaReason aren’t even a name that was heard all that often, which is part of the problem. You hear a lot about System76, TUXEDO, Slimbook, Star Labs and other Linux vendors but ZaReason gradually reduced their output and now we know why.

        In the statement they sent out it mentioned how their product line was getting smaller and their tech support was “slowing down to a crawl”. So what happened? Well, “the pandemic has been the final KO blow” they said with their “little town” being hit hard and they’ve been unable to recover from it. They officially shut on November 24, 2020. No other reasons were given but it’s likely increased competition from the previously mentioned vendors plus the likes of Dell, Lenovo and others in the Linux space also not helping them.

      • Will Businesses Make 2021 The Year of the Linux Desktop?

        Writing for TechRepublic, open source advocate Jack Wallen predicts 2021 will be a year where open source technology dominates the world of big data even more than 2021 (with a big role predicted for SUSE). But he also sees businesses cutting costs by switching to open source solutions — including a big move to Linux on enterprise desktops, thanks to enterprise-ready options now available from System76, Lenovo, and Dell…

      • 2021 will be the year of Linux on the desktop

        Open source advocate Jack Wallen predicts 2021 will be a year where open source technology dominates the world of big data even more than 2021, with a big role predicted for SUSE.

        Writing in Techrepublic, Wallen thinks that businesses will cut costs by switching to open source solutions — including a big move to Linux on enterprise desktops, thanks to enterprise-ready options now available from System76, Lenovo, and Dell.

    • Server

      • Mirantis will support deprecated Kubernetes dockershim

        It was only a few days ago in the forthcoming Kubernetes 1.20 release notes, Kubernetes, everyone’s favorite container orchestrator, that Kubernetes developers announced: “Docker support in the kubelet is now deprecated and will be removed in a future release.” Old-school Docker developers were not happy. But, at a closer look, dockershim removal from Kubernetes really wasn’t that bad. But now Mirantis, which owns Docker Enterprise Platform, along with Docker, will continue to support dockershim as a Kubernetes-compatible Container Runtime Interface (CRI) for Docker Engine.

      • Service Mesh Offers Promising Solution for Cloud Native Networking

        “Cloud native” doesn’t just mean “running in the cloud.” It’s a specific deployment paradigm and uses containers and an orchestration system (usually Kubernetes) to help provision, schedule, run and control a production workload in the cloud, or even across multiple clouds. Within cloud native deployments, an increasingly common approach to networking is the service mesh concept. With a service mesh, instead of each individual container requiring a full networking stack, a grouping of containers all benefit from a mesh that provides connectivity and networking with other containers as well as the outside world.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.10-rc7
        Things look pretty good (knock wood), and  rc7 is solidly in the
        average size department, with nothing that looks particularly scary.
        
        There's patches all over: drivers, architectures, networking.
        filesystems, mm, tooling, etc. But most of it is pretty small. The
        exceptions are a revert of a new virtio MEI driver that wasn't quite
        ready, some changes to the IBM vnic driver, and some arm64 entry code
        fixes. But those don't feel particularly worrisome, and the rest all
        looks normal.
        
        So unless something odd and bad happens next week, we'll have a final
        5.10 release next weekend, and then we'll get the bulk of the merge
        window for 5.11 over and done with before the holiday season starts.
        
        And in the meantime, please do give this all a whirl,
        
                      Linus
        
      • Linux 5.10-rc7 Arrives – Linux 5.10 LTS Debut Expected Next Weekend – Phoronix

        While for a while the Linux 5.10 development was trending concerningly high on changes late in the cycle, 5.10-rc7 is out today and Linus Torvalds appears comfortable in planning to release the 5.10 kernel next weekend.

        Linux 5.10-rc7 is looking “pretty good” and “solidly in the average size department”, much to Linus Torvalds delight. There are changes all over from the past week but seemingly nothing too bad.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.10-rc7

        Linus has released 5.10-rc7 for testing; he seems happy with how it is coming together. “So unless something odd and bad happens next week, we’ll have a final 5.10 release next weekend, and then we’ll get the bulk of the merge window for 5.11 over and done with before the holiday season starts.”

      • OpenZFS has released an update, but how many users really care?

        The release of version 2.0.0 by the OpenZFS project has some crowing as though some revolutionary new software, which will bring benefits to world+dog, has landed.

        The fact is, until Oracle chief Larry Ellison offers the software community a written assurance that his company – which owns ZFS through its purchase of Sun Microsystems in 2010 – will not sue anyone for using it, its take-up will be limited.

      • Tencent Updates Their “Direct Memory File-System” Proposal For Linux – Phoronix

        Back in October there were engineers from Tencent proposing DMEMFS as the “Direct Memory File-System” for Linux. DMEMFS is about reserving some RAM that is not managed by the kernel to avoid that overhead and in turn expose it directly to virtual machines in the cloud. Those initial DMEMFS kernel patches have now been updated by Tencent as they continue working to get this functionality into the Linux kernel.

        The focus of Tencent’s DMEMFS is all about avoiding the bits of memory saved by removing the struct page that is traditionally associated with each physical memory. It’s tiny and not much overhead for even high-end desktops today, but when it comes to massive servers and other deployments by hyperscalers, the memory savings can be beneficial. Tencent engineers estimate that by avoiding the struct page for each physical page for guest memory on a server with 320G of RAM, they can save roughly 5G of memory with DMEMFS.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux 5.9.12 Is In Good Shape With The AMD Radeon RX 6800 Series – Phoronix

          With my testing of the Radeon RX 6800 series graphics cards last month it’s been off Linux 5.10 (aside from when using the Radeon Software for Linux package driver) due to the Linux Git state often offering the best performance and features particularly for brand new hardware. As mentioned in the launch day article for the RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT, there was also an issue being encountered on Linux 5.9. Fortunately, that bug is indeed fixed with the recently released Linux 5.9.12 kernel.

        • RadeonSI Finally Sees Experimental ACO Patches As Alternative To LLVM Shader Compiler – Phoronix

          The Valve-backed ACO shader compiler for Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan “RADV” driver has been an enormous success story where this year it’s been the default as opposed to AMD’s officially supported AMDGPU LLVM shader compiler back-end as pretty much for all major Linux gaming workloads is delivering superior performance. RADV+ACO performance has been so great that gamers have been eager to see the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver also adapted to see ACO as an option to the same AMDGPU LLVM back-end. Well, experimental patches have finally materialized.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Look At Linux 5.10 + Mesa 21.0-dev On Intel “Tiger Lake” Xe Graphics

        For those that may find their hands on an Intel Tiger Lake laptop this holiday season with the “Gen12″ Xe Graphics, here are some Linux OpenGL/Vulkan benchmarks in varying driver configurations if you are left wondering whether it makes sense upgrading your kernel or Mesa for better performance.

        From the Dell XPS 13 9310 with the Core i7 1165G7 Tiger Lake processor, I ran some benchmarks atop Ubuntu 20.10 looking at various possible driver combinations. The tests carried out included:

        Linux 5.8 + Mesa 20.2 – The default configuration found for Ubuntu 20.10 as well as some other autumn 2020 Linux distributions.

        Linux 5.8 + Mesa 21.0-dev – The performance if sticking to Ubuntu 20.10′s default kernel but employing Mesa 21.0-devel from the likes of Oibaf PPA for having newer Intel Iris Gallium3D and ANV Vulkan driver support.

    • Applications

      • GStreamer 1.18.2 stable bug fix release

        The GStreamer team is pleased to announce another bug fix release in the stable 1.18 release series of your favourite cross-platform multimedia framework!

        This release only contains bugfixes and it should be safe to update from 1.18.x.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 Milestone 2 Brings More Testing Enhancements

        Following last month’s Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 Milestone 1 development release that brought many improvements to our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking software a second development release is now available.

        The prior Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 Milestone 1 release brought better support for Apple Silicon / M1 hardware, improved detection and Phodevi features around the Ampere Altra, Google Compute Engine detection improvements, and other changes.

        [...]

        Over on the Phoronix Device Interface “Phodevi” library side there is now reporting to the system table whether the CPUfreq “boost” capability is enabled or disabled where relevant.

        For those making use of a Phoromatic server, the Phoromatic Server now is much faster at responding to requests with the web-based viewer. Particularly when involving large SQLite databases, the performance is much faster now.

      • ampd – web-based MPD client

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        ampd is a web-based client for MPD. It is built with Angular and Spring Boot. ampd is cross-platform software. We tested the software on Ubuntu, but as ampd is written in Java, it’ll run on a wide range of Linux distributions and non-Linux based operating systems. You’ll just need a Java 11 runtime on your system.

      • Linux CPU Speed And Power Optimizer auto-cpufreq Can Now Enable Turbo Boost Based On The CPU Temperature

        auto-cpufreq, an automatic CPU speed and power optimization tool for Linux has been updated to version 1.5.0 (and then to 1.5.1 to fix some issues) with changes among which there’s an important new feature: a mechanism to enable turbo boost based on the CPU temperature in combination with CPU utilization/load, in order to prevent overheating.

        The tool changes the CPU frequency scaling, governor and turbo boost status based on the battery state, CPU usage and system load. It can also show some basic system information, monitor the CPU frequency and temperature for each core, system load, and battery state.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Graylog on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Graylog on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Graylog is a free and open-source powerful centralized log management tool based on Elasticsearch and MongoDB. Graylog helps you to collect, index, and analyze any machine logs centrally.

        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 Graylog on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Get Google Trends data with Raspberry PI and Python
      • Use Oracle’s Universal Connection Pool with Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7.3 and Oracle RAC – Red Hat Developer

        Data is a critical business application component, but ensuring consistent, reliable data access can be challenging. Adding distributed services and high availability to your application requirements makes data access even more complicated. You can now use Oracle’s Universal Connection Pool (UCP) together with Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) 7.3. This article introduces connection pooling with Oracle Universal Connection Pool and demonstrates how to integrate UCP with an Oracle RAC database in a JBoss EAP 7.3 deployment.

      • Story of debugging exit 0

        For more than a month, my primary task at SecureDrop land is to make the project ready for a distribution update. The current system runs on Ubuntu Xenial, and the goal is to upgrade to Ubuntu Focal. The deadline is around February 2021, and we will also disable Onion service v2 in the same release.

      • Configuring OpenShift with self-contained NTP · Pablo Iranzo Gómez’s blog

        In a self-contained cluster with no connection to external networks NTP server is not reachable, but a reachable NTP server is required for proper cluster synchronization. Cluster does use SSL certificates that require validation and might fail if the dates between the systems are not in sync or at least pretty close in time.

        [...]

        Once the above (or equivalent) file is applied for both master and workers, we can execute oc describe machineconfigpool to check the status of the applied overrides.

      • How to store credentials on AWS using Parameter Store

        We can store our credentials or plain-text data in the Parameter Store. Parameters Store comes under System Managers in AWS. It allows us to separate our secrets and configuration data from the code. It can be tagged and organized into hierarchies which can us to manage parameters more easily. It is integrated with AWS Key Management Service (KMS), allowing us to automatically encrypt the data we store. Once we have our data in Parameter, we can centrally and securely reference this data in our scripts, commands, and SSM documents.

      • How to Install Cacti Network Monitoring Tool on Ubuntu 20.04

        Cacti is a free, open-source and web-based network monitoring tool written in PHP. It is a front-end application for the RRDtool. It uses the SNMP protocol to monitor the bandwidth utilization and network traffic of a router or switch. It displays the CPU load and network bandwidth utilization in a graph format and populates them with data in a MySQL database.

      • Securely Transfer Files Using SCP [Linux]

        When accessing a Linux server, you have a few options. If it’s a server with a user interface, you could use VNC, but the more common option is to log into a headless server with Secure Shell, or SSH. It’s an encrypted, secure protocol that gives you access to a remote system through an SSH client. However, you may just want to send some files to a server. For that, you can use a program called Secure Copy, or SCP, that runs over the stalwart SSH protocol to quickly transfer files over your network to a remote system. Here we show you how to transfer files securely using SCP in Linux.

      • How to switch the Docker container runtime to containerd with Charmed Kubernetes | Ubuntu

        This article describes how easy it is for users of Charmed Kubernetes to switch from the Docker container runtime to containerd. You may have heard that Kubernetes is deprecating Docker as a container runtime after v1.20. Docker as an underlying runtime is being deprecated in favor of runtimes that use the Container Runtime Interface(CRI) created for Kubernetes, such as containerd.

        One of the hardest problems of infrastructure-as-a-service operations is replacing the component of an already deployed solution to another. Charms make this an easy 3-step process that is highly repeatable and predictable in its outcome.

        Ubuntu is the reference platform for Kubernetes on all major public clouds, including official support in Google’s GKE, Microsoft’s AKS and Amazon’s EKS CAAS offerings. Canonical delivers pure upstream Kubernetes tested across the widest range of clouds — from public clouds to private data centres, from bare metal to virtualised infrastructure.

      • How to install VirtualBox on Elementary OS- latest version

        Elementary OS, based on Ubuntu Linux is one of the easy to use, beginners friendly and also quite popular among netizens. Thus, if you are its user and want to run and explore other operating systems virtually on it, then Oracle VirtualBox on Elementary OS will be one of the best available options.

      • How to reset or crack the password in CentOS/RHEL?

        If you have the access of root password then it is easy to change local user password but you have forget the root password then you will not able to change.

        We will show you the methods to crack or reset password in CentOS8/RHEL

      • How To List Services on Linux
      • installing fun stuff for the terminal on ArcoLinux | Arcolinux.com

        Use our meta package to install all these fun applications

        sudo pacman -S arcolinux-meta-fun

      • How to View Current EST Time in Linux – TecAdmin

        This tutorial will help you to find time of different time zones on Linux command prompt or shell scripts. For example, your system is running with UTC timezone. When you execute “date” command on terminal, it will show you the current time of the timezone configured on your system. How do you find the time in other timezone without changing timezone of your system (eg: current EST time)

      • How to Download Files Using Aria2

        Aria2 is a free and open-source lightweight multi-protocol command-line utility that grabs files from the internet. It supports a variety of protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and even BitTorrent. Aria2 works on windows, Linux, and Mac OSX.

      • Logical Volume Manager (LVM) versus standard partitioning in Linux | Enable Sysadmin

        Use this guide to integrate the flexibility, scalability, and increased features of LVM into your server storage strategies. Traditional partitioning is good, but LVM is better.

      • How to Install Minikube on Debian 10 (Buster)

        If you are looking for an easy and cost-effective way of getting started with Kubernetes, then Minikube is your go to resource. So what is Minikube? Minikube is a free and opensource Kubernetes implementation that allows you to create a virtual machine locally on your PC and deploy a simple one-cluster node. Minikube provides a command-line interface that enables you to manage cluster operations such as starting, stopping and deleting nodes from the cluster. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Minikube on Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Manage multiple service instances with systemctl

        Services, services, services. A service is a huge part of computing. You’re reading this article on a service. Your computer is running services. The internet is filled with them.

      • Monitoring Disk I/O on Linux with the Node Exporter

        Monitoring disk I/O on a Linux system is crucial for every system administrator.

        When performing basic system troubleshooting, you want to have a complete overview of every single metric on your system : CPU, memory but more importantly a great view over the disk I/O usage.

      • Monitoring Linux Processes using Prometheus and Grafana

        Whether you are a Linux system administrator or a DevOps engineer, you spend a lot of time tracking performance metrics on your servers.

        You may sometimes have instances that are running very slow without having any real clues of what the issues might be.

        You may have unresponsive instances that might block you from running remote commands such as top or htop on them.

      • Add storage to your Fedora system with LVM

        Sometimes there is a need to add another disk to your system. This is where Logical Volume Management (LVM) comes in handy. The cool thing about LVM is that it’s fairly flexible. There are several ways to add a disk. This article describes one way to do it.

      • How To Install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Tomcat on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Tomcat is an open-source web server and servlet container developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It implements the Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), Java Unified Expression Language, and Java WebSocket specifications from Sun Microsystems and provides a web server environment for Java code to run in.

        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 Apache Tomcat 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 Virtualbox on Manjaro Linux latest version – Linux Shout

        Although Manjaro is not that much popular as compared to Ubuntu or Debian based Linux among the users. However, the users those understand the beauty of Manjaro, are really a fan of it. And if you are new to Manjaro and want to try out Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, or any other OS virtually on it then that is possible using the open-source Oracle VirtualBox.

      • How to install Runelite on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Runelite, also known as Old School Runescape, 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.

    • Games

      • Beamdog need testers for major updates to Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to move through their library of classic RPGs starting with the first Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, there’s now the 2.6 Beta available for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition. Eventually this update will also be coming to Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition too.

        This is a massive upgrade for the tech behind the game, as well as solving numerous bugs and other issues. To try it, which is currently only on Steam until it’s ready for everyone, you can opt into it by going into the Properties -> Beta tab and selecting “road_to_2.6″.

      • #AkiRobots is a clever puzzle-platformer where you control multiple robots simultaneously | GamingOnLinux

        Spread across 100 levels that increasingly test your ability to think about movement for multiple characters, #AkiRobots is an absolutely charming puzzle-platformer out now. Note: key provided by the developer to our Steam Curator.

        It looks easy, it starts simple enough and then when you get further into it the whole idea really comes together to melt your brain. #AkiRobots is a fine example of how to make a single simple design idea and do it perfectly. The levels are all quite small too, and it keeps everything easy to understand but it’s what they do with this compact style that really is impressive and a joy for a puzzle game fan.

      • The latest Vintage Story update adds in Character Customization and the Steel Age | GamingOnLinux

        Continuing to be seriously impressive, the 1.14 update to the deep survival game Vintage Story is officially out now after multiple testing builds.

        As mentioned recently, Vintage Story is the survival game for those of you who love the blocky style of Minecraft but want something deeper, something much more complex and exciting. This is actually a pretty large update to the base game bringing with it a character customization system so you can make it all feel a little bit more personal. Coming with it is also the Steel Age which adds in lots of new blocks, more metal working objects, a more expansive body temperature system, new shader effects and so much more it’s hard to really sum it up correctly.

      • Deck-building fast-paced battler One Step From Eden gets a huge free expansion update | GamingOnLinux

        Mixing in elements inspired by Mega Man Battle Network along with the popularity of deck-building, One Step From Eden is quite a highlight from earlier 2020 and now it’s bigger and better.

        Getting the biggest update since the original release, not only is it a free expansion it’s also an update to address some pain-points for players. Noticeably, there’s now an “easy” mode and other accessibility options to make it not so difficult – which by default it certainly is.

      • Fantastic puzzle game Superliminal now has a level editor in Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Want to build your own crazy dream-world perspective puzzles? Superliminal now has a level editor available in Beta.

        Probably one of my absolute favourite Linux releases this year, Superliminal works on what you see and how you see it. It’s all about perception as you move objects around to resize them against what you see, and also line up what you see in the environment to make new objects pop out. It’s absolutely wonderful.

        When it released on Steam and came with Linux support in November, they allowed the important of any 3D model with the Steam Workshop but that was a small step. Now you can create entire puzzles and levels.

      • Become a powerful Rogue in the latest update to the action-RPG Last Epoch | GamingOnLinux

        This might actually be my favourite class so far in Last Epoch, the impressive time-travelling action RPG.

        Last Epoch 0.8 is out now and adds in the 5th playable character class with the Rogue, giving you the chance to dance around your enemies with some blades. This new class comes with 2 mastery classes with the Bladedancer and Marksman, 17 skills and specialization trees, 46 class-specific affixes for body armour and helmets along with it having a unique character model, animations and some wonderful voice acting. Easily now my go-to character because seeing blades spinning around and throwing shurikens is ridiculously satisfying.

      • OpenRGB 0.5 Released With Support For More Devices

        OpenRGB 0.5 was released overnight for this open-source RGB lighting control solution that works not only on Linux but Windows too. OpenRGB supports a wide range of devices from the likes of ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte, Corsair, MSI, Razer, Thermaltake, and more. With OpenRGB 0.5 there is support for EVGA graphics cards that have RGB lighting, Philips Wiz, Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB, Sony DualShock 4, Logitech G213, ASUS mice, HyperX Fury Ultra, Cooler Master ARGB, and other new devices supported. There is also better performance with the NZXT Hue+, Kingston HyperX DRAM handling improvements, and other device-specific work. OpenRGB continues to advance primarily through reverse-engineering the RGB control protocols for the different vendors and also other open-source projects that have similarly carried out reverse engineering efforts on these protocols that generally lack public documentation.

      • Get colourful with the new release of the open source lighting control OpenRGB

        Love your flashy lights, your colourful RBG LEDs covering your computer and your desk? How about controlling them from Linux? OpenRGB is your friend.

        Supporting both Windows and Linux it brings the mess of vendors and their highly specific applications under one free and open source roof. It’s a fantastic project and one that I love to see become bigger and better. Set colours and effect modes, setup profiles for them, get a tidy command line interface and a sleek UI and much more.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Docklike Plugin: Xfce Panel Icon-Only Taskbar With Support For Pinning And Window Grouping

        Docklike Plugin is a dock-like taskbar for the Xfce panel. Using it on your Xfce desktop, you’ll get an icon-only taskbar with support for pinning applications and window grouping.

        This Xfce panel plugin is a great alternative to DockBarX, although lighter and with fewer features and customization.

        [...]

        One of the basic features of a taskbar is reordering items. This Docklike Taskbar plugin doesn’t support reordering items directly using your mouse. You’ll need to hold down the Ctrl key while dragging an item on the taskbar to reorder it.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • The new Plasma System Monitor – Is it good?

          So far, I don’t know what to say about Plasma System Monitor. Looking at the official screenshots, which look much nicer and tidier than mine – they also show network info plus a few pretty custom dashboards – yes, this could potentially make sense. But the primary purpose of graphs is to provide meaningful information not to be pretty. Pie charts, colors, lovely, but ultimately, unnecessary. Or rather, why not, as long as the core data is not compromised by the presentation layer.

          Then, there’s the question of functionality (out of the box and then some) – Plasma System Monitor does not offer cardinally more value than the existing utility. It’s more or less the same, so then, why do we need this replacement? I would like to see the great differentiating factor that makes this utility rock. At the moment, it does more or less what KSysGuard does, with a new and less optimal layout. BTW, I’m not worried about the bugs and issues, those will be solved. That’s perfectly fine. It’s the philosophical value that concerns me. Hopefully, by the time Plasma System Monitor goes proper live, this will be an awesome, practical, perhaps even indispensable tool for KDE users. At the moment, it feels a bit like an experiment, without a clear objective. Thus endeth this review.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Optimize your GNOME experience with the Gedit text editor

          Being the default text editor is a thankless job. People usually regard a default text editor almost as a demo app—a slightly elevated “hello world” example of how an application on that platform is meant to run. Users resort to the default text editor in the rare occasions they need to dump some text into a file they’ll probably never look at again. For “serious” work, they turn to a word processor or an IDE, or an editor in the terminal, or at least a different text editor that has to be downloaded and installed like a “real” application.

          It’s strangely difficult for a default text editor to be taken seriously, and yet the GNOME desktop’s editor, Gedit, is widely regarded as a truly valuable text editor beyond its parent desktop. It’s used as the required text editor in web design classes, a recommended tool for new developers and sysadmins, and a favorite reliable companion to many a desktop Linux user.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Pop!_OS 20.10 and FuguIta 6.8

          During the third week of October, immediately following the release of Ubuntu 20.10, I found myself downloading and testing, not only Canonical’s flagship distribution, but also the various community editions of Ubuntu. One thing which kept drawing my attention, as I tested software and took screenshots, was that most of the community editions ran faster, smoother, and required less memory than Ubuntu’s Desktop edition. Ubuntu MATE and Lubuntu in particular offered great performance, nice themes, and some friendly tools. At the time I was tempted to do a side-by-side comparison with Ubuntu 20.10 and one of its snappier community editions, but I was pressed for time and I wasn’t sure any one-on-one comparison would be entirely fair since Ubuntu uses the comparatively heavy GNOME Shell desktop while most community editions use lighter desktops.

          Later on though I thinking about Ubuntu again and realized there was an opportunity to do a fair comparison with one of its close relatives, Pop!_OS. The Pop!_OS distribution (or “Pop” as I will refer to it in this review) is based on Ubuntu, uses most of the same software, and ships with the same GNOME 3.38 desktop environment. The differences are almost entirely in the configurations of the two distributions – which extensions are enabled, the front-end applications for managing software, themes, and installers. The underlying nuts and bolts are the same and I believed this would make for a fair and straight forward comparison.

          Pop!_OS does not list many changes on its website for version 20.10. It includes the ability to stack windows and to mark exceptions to make some windows free-floating. This provides users with a sort of hybrid tiling and free-floating window manager. The release announcement also mentions there is no need to reboot into NVIDIA graphics mode when in Hybrid Graphics mode if we wish to use an external monitor. Otherwise it does not look a though much has changed since we reviewed the distribution six months ago. In an attempt to keep this overview of Pop brief I will be focusing mostly on the differences between Ubuntu 20.10 and Pop!_OS 20.10 with the assumption most components and options will be the same.

          [...]

          Another project which interests me and I wanted to take a quick look at this week was FuguIta. FuguIta is a live operating system designed to be run from a DVD or USB thumb drive in order to test or rescue systems. The operating system ships with an optional graphical user interface. The FuguIta project is unusual in that it uses OpenBSD as its base. OpenBSD is commonly used in areas where lightweight computing and security are the primary focus and it is not often we see live utilities or platforms with graphical interfaces based on this hardened operating system.

          FuguIta is available in 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds. The project provides separate downloads for optical media and USB thumb drives. I downloaded the 64-bit build for both targets. The images are compressed and about 310MB in size when initially downloaded. Once the builds are unpacked they expand to around 960MB.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE OpenStack Cloud reaches the end of life

          There are 6 months left to solve this problem. So it is time to think about a solution. While there are many options available, ensuring business continuity, non-stop service availability and budget control is always a priority. Therefore, continuing to use OpenStack makes the most sense in the majority of cases.

          Fortunately, SUSE is not the only vendor to offer enterprise-class services for OpenStack. There are also tools that enable a smooth migration from SUSE OpenStack Cloud to other OpenStack platforms. So don’t panic and continue reading!

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro Linux 20.2 has Been Unleashed

          Aside from the regular expected updates, such as kernel 5.9, Pamac 9.5.12, and GNOME 3.38.2, the 20.02 release from the developers of Manjaro Linux has a few added surprises that might intrigue many a user.

          One of the coolest features to be found in Manjaro “Nibia” is borrowed from System76’s Pop!_OS. This feature is called Pop Shell and makes it possible to quickly enable automatic window tiling with a click of a button. For anyone who likes their application windows to always be perfectly organized on their desktop, this new tiling feature will go a long way to scratch that itch.

          But Manjaro Linux 20.2 isn’t just limited to one tiling option. If your device happens to have a touch screen, you can opt for the Material Shell take, which enables touch-friendly automatic window tiling. So whether you have a standard mouse interface or a touch interface, you can enjoy window tiling.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Dev Interview: Launching a career as an enterprise developer in Austin, Chapter 3

          After working through IBM’s onboarding program (Chapter 2), it’s time for Da-In, Diana and Luc to get started on some internal work projects. It’s also a time to get to know people on your team and develop those soft skills as the newbie. While being a developer is considered a technical endeavor, you’re usually on a squad and working with quite a few others in the organization: colleagues, leaders and internal customers. That requires the ability to comfortably work in teams and developing your EQ (emotional intelligence). Let’s drop back in on our developer trio to see what life is like where the rubber hits the road and what life is like, after college.

        • Digital innovation imperatives for successful business transformation

          The current reality for many European organizations is that business as usual is not working. In many industries, it became clear who were the thrivers and laggards based on their digital capabilities, and the ability to respond to the immediate need to innovate and adapt operations and processes. Every organization must evaluate how to adapt technology strategies to support business change, operational resiliency and digital response. The role of app delivery teams in responding to COVID-19 has been fundamental – not only in making sure software and critical apps continue to work but to support remote working, staggering increases in the use of online platforms, and transforming analog to digital services at speed. Software without doubt a bigger piece of how every enterprise competes.

        • Using Snyk and Podman to scan container images from development to deployment

          In this post we’re going to focus on the container scanning functionality available through the Snyk CLI, and how that can integrate with Podman and the new Podman API which landed in Podman 2.x and is available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3. Using Snyk and the Podman API in this way provides container image scanning directly in your local command line, helping developers and admins to scan images and check for vulnerabilities right from the start of the image development process.

        • From best practices to community of practice: The Open Source Way journey

          When you have a question about a practice in open source software communities—such as “What does ‘release early, release often’ mean?”—what resources do you use? What if you want to know more than, “Here’s what to do and how to do it”—you also want to know why people do open source best practices a certain way?

          One way to answer these questions now is with The Open Source Way, a guidebook to community management best practices, now in preview release. This preview features an early look at chapters on communication, governance, and metrics, as well as what contributors consider best practices on creating a diverse and inclusive community and attending to the well-being of community managers themselves. The full release of the guidebook will be released later in December.

        • Multus takes a leading role in container networking

          Here’s how Multus can unlock the potential of multiple network interfaces and CNI plugins for your containers, with a Shakespearean twist.

          [...]

          On the surface, Multus is a multi-container networking interface (CNI) plug-in designed to support the multi-networking feature in Kubernetes using Custom Resources Definition (CRD)-based network objects. CRD itself is a way to extend the Kubernetes application programming interface (API).

          Multus enables pods, which have been patiently waiting in the wings to join the action, to escape from ethernet0 isolation and to not only have multiple network interface connections, but also use advanced networking functions—like port mirroring and bandwidth capping—attached to those interfaces.

          There are other techniques one can employ to achieve some of the functionality that Multus provides. But those methods, like configuring pseudo-interfaces to support virtual bridging and multiplexing, are bit players that lack the sophistication, oomph, and flexibility of Multus.

        • Distro Devroom @ FOSDEM CfP open – Fedora Community Blog

          We are excited to announce that the call for proposals is now open for the Distribution Devroom at the upcoming FOSDEM 2021, to be hosted virtually on 6 February 2021.

          As more and more workloads are being considered for containerization in the future and are finally landing in virtualized environments today, distributions remain a critical success factor and are more important than ever. Containers, like virtual machines, are not magical and rely on piles of software being assembled in a way that is repeatable, reliable, and functional. This is at the very heart of the problem that distributions have always solved.

        • Systemd’s Lennart Poettering Wants to Bring Linux Home Directories into the 21st Century [Ed: Red Hat puff pieces]

          Red Hat is a sponsor of The New Stack.

        • Linux home directories, open source advice, and more industry trends [Ed: Red Hat cites its own puff pieces]

          The impact: I don’t have a strong feeling about home directories, but I do pay attention when the argument against doing something is “but this is how we’ve always done it.” Does anyone think having a secure home directory is getting less important over time?

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “Bullseye” Installer Adds Support for Pinebook Pro, Other ARM Devices

          The third alpha of the Debian Installer for Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye” packs many goodies for top-notch hardware support, starting with support for the Linux 5.9 kernel series and continuing with the enablement of the graphical installer for the AArch64 (ARM64) architecture.

          With that, the Debian “Bullseye” Installer also gained support for new ARM devices, including PINE64′s Pinebook and Pinebook Pro ARM Linux laptops, as well as FriendlyARM’s NanoPi NEO Air and NanoPi NEO Plus2, Olimex’s A64-OLinuXino and A64-OLinuXino-eMMC, and HoneyComb’s SolidRun LX2160A open source ARM boards.

        • Debian 10.7 Released. What’s New and Download, Upgrade Steps

          The Debian project announced the release of Debian 10.7 “Buster”. In this summary post, we take a look at what’s new and Download, Upgrade Steps of Debian 10.7.

          Debian is the most stable and truly GNU/Linux distribution out there today. It’s one of the oldest Linux operating systems and popular for its stable nature. Debian project lifecycle is conservative in terms of adopting new features and changes immediately upon release. This is the main reason it is stable and preferred for most critical deployments for enterprises and average users.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Set up Home Assistant to manage your open source smart home

        In the first article in this series, I introduced Home Assistant and why you might be interested in it. In short, Home Assistant is an automation hub for some of the most common smart devices on the market today. It enables centralized coordination of disparate hardware. By using it, you no longer have to choose suboptimal tech from a single vendor to manage your smart home from a single app. It also means you will no longer struggle with a hundred different apps that all function slightly differently to manage all your devices. One program to rule them all… or at least that’s the dream.

        In the second and third articles, I looked at some of the decisions to make when developing home automation, namely local vs. cloud control, and whether to choose Zigbee, Z-Wave, or WiFi, just to hit the high points. This fourth article will be much more hands-on than the previous ones by walking you through setting up a virtual machine (VM) with the Home Assistant-provided image.

      • Meet Twake, A Modern Open-Source Collaboration Platform [Nextcloud Alternative]

        We’ve covered Nextcloud as one of the finest options to facilitate remote working and collaboration. At It’s FOSS, we use it to store our internal documents, manage tasks via Kanban board and more.

        I’m sure you will find several other options as collaboration platforms. Here, I’m going to give you a brief introduction on something that I stumbled upon i.e. Twake.

        Twake is a modern take on a collaboration platform which aims for a rich user experience along with useful features as well. Unlike Nextcloud or ownCloud, you can opt to use the official hosted instance without any hassle or just self-host it if you want.

      • Webboot Is Becoming Quite Useful For Quickly/Easily Booting ISOs From The Web

        The Webboot project has been in development now for more than one year as an easy means of booting Linux ISO images from the web. From this minimal boot environment users can configure their network connection and download a new ISO or use a pre-existing ISO. From there Webboot allows kexec’ing into that ISO for booting it up.

        Webboot was announced at the Open-Source Firmware Conference 2019 while at last week’s OSFC 2020 the developers were providing an update on its many improvements over the past year. Webboot is part of the Golang-based U-Root and used with LinuxBoot. Webboot is intended to allow having multiple live ISOs on a single USB boot and similar scenarios where you may want to quickly and easily fetch and boot new Linux ISOs.

      • Open-source: the missing piece in your digital transformation puzzle

        Rapidly shifting business conditions are compelling organisations to rethink how they operate. Organisations need to have a foundation to support the needs of modern workplaces in a way that can handle and quickly bounce back from future contingencies.

        Digital transformation is about integrating new technology and new applications into your existing infrastructure, fundamentally changing how it operates. But changing and adapting technology alone is not transformation. It must encompass technology, process and culture – in concert with one another. It requires adjustments in the processes and, ultimately, the culture of an organisation.

        Because it doesn’t matter how functional and efficient your applications and infrastructure are if old bottlenecks still slow you down.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Shivam Kumar Singh – The Document Foundation Blog

          I am a undergraduate Engineering student at the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology in Shibpur, India. Currently I am in my pre-final year, and for the last two years have been involved in development and all things tech-related. I run a programming club in my university, in which, along with my team, I educate our peers on how to start programming.

          [...]

          I think the LibreOffice community is one the best communities someone can be a part of. People here are very welcoming to new contributors, and that’s really a big boost when trying to understand or work on a new codebase. I really want LibreOffice to expand its network and be a part of other programs like Google Code-in (which later got closed this year though) and CommunityBridge, as in that way, more people – particularly students – will be able to know about the community and the software.

          I have always prioritized Open Source over commercial software. But it’s very unfortunate that in countries like India, where student and youth contribution is very high, not many people are unaware of Open Source technologies in general – and Libreoffice in particular. Everyone is paying huge sums for Microsoft Word or other suites, even though there are suites like LibreOffice available completely for free, with a lot of new and cool features.

          A lot has been done and a lot still needs to be achieved. The Document Foundation’s growth has been spectacular in these past 10 years. I cannot wait to see what the team will achieve in this decade :-)

      • CMS

        • Kiwi TCMS 8.9

          IMPORTANT: this release includes many improvements, API changes, bug fixes, translation updates, new tests and internal refactoring. It is the seventh release to include contributions via our open source bounty program. You can explore everything at https://public.tenant.kiwitcms.org! This is also the second release after Kiwi TCMS reached 200K pulls on Docker Hub!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Octave Improves Matlab Compatibility

            GNU Octave 6.1 has been released with improvements including changes to the graphics backend, compatibility with Matlab and a number of new and improved functions.

            GNU Octave is popular as a free open source alternative to MATLAB. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems, and has extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation.

          • The Best Free Photo and Video Editing Software or Apps to Try

            GNU Image Processing Program or ‘GIMP’ is a popular photo editing app that often gets compared to Adobe Photoshop, with the only difference being that it’s 100% free. It offers the same editing resources, including blending, paints, text, and more. The software also allows you to use presets and plugins.

            For aspiring editors who have a passion for bringing photos and videos to their pinnacle but don’t have the budget for it, these free software and apps can help you hone your skills, helping you become one step closer to your dream at no cost.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6 in OpenEmbedded and Yocto

          Embedded developers have been using the open source meta-qt5 layer for years with their OpenEmbedded and Yocto builds. We have also been using it extensively in our Qt for Device Creation product and have tried to do our part in keeping the latest Qt version available in the upstream layer. With Qt 6 on its way, there was a clear need for a new meta layer for providing continued support for building Qt for embedded devices.

          Work for the new layer was started quite early when the Qt 6 build system change to CMake was still being developed and, for obvious reason, the layer was named meta-qt6. The switch from qmake to CMake as the build system of choice has caused large changes in Qt code and the recipes in meta-qt6 are mostly written from scratch to account this change. The good news is that thanks to use of CMake, most of the recipes are now much simpler than they were with qmake.

        • Perl/Raku

          • 2020.49 Shaped Shaping Up – Rakudo Weekly News

            Shaped arrays have been a thing since the initial release of what is now Raku. But they have always suffered from a severe performance hit that was understood to an extent, but never understood widely enough to be solved. Fortunately, thanks to some extensive extra-curricular digging by Jonathan Worthington and some additional tuning by Elizabeth Mattijsen, the performance of shaped arrays is now almost on par with normal arrays, which means it is up to 60x as fast as before. Thus making shaped arrays a viable alternative in production situations. The final goal is to have shaped arrays perform better than resizable arrays.

          • A problem solved in 22 programming languages – Andrew Shitov

            Christmas time, and it’s time to talk to each and every one! It’s a great idea to approach people by speaking their languages. In today’s post, let me demonstrate a number of working solutions of the first problem of Week 89 of The Weekly Challenge in 22 different programming languages. It is a kind of continuation of my last year’s Advent series ‘A Language a Day’.

          • Day 7: Mixing Bash and Raku Using Sparrow – Raku Advent Calendar

            Sparrow is a Raku automation framework which could be easily integrated with many programming languages. So if you come from none Raku language – you’re welcome.

            In this post I’ll show you have one can effectively mix Bash scripts and Raku language using Sparrow.

            The idea of Sparrow – to choose the language that fits best to your domain and let Raku orchestrate your code on a high level.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

          • The Foundation Conversation

            This blog post announces the start of the “Foundation Conversation”. This is a week-long period in which we have planned a number of forums and opportunities where folks can ask questions about the Foundation and get answers from the Core team. It includes both text-based “question-and-answer” (Q&A) periods as well as live broadcasts. We’re also going to be coming to the Rust team’s meetings to have discussions. We hope that this will help us to share our vision for the Foundation and to get the community excited about what’s to come.

            A secondary goal for the Foundation Conversation is to help us develop the Foundation FAQ. Most FAQs get written before anyone has ever really asked a question, but we really wanted to write a FAQ that responds honestly to the questions that people have. We’ve currently got a draft of the FAQ which is based both on questions we thought people would ask and questions that were raised by Rust team members thus far, but we would like to extend it to include questions raised by people in the broader community. That’s where you come in!

            [...]

            We have scheduled a number of 3 hour periods in which the repository will be open for anyone to open new issues. Outside of these slots, the repository is generally “read only” unless you are a member of a Rust team. We are calling these slots the “Community Q&A” sessions, since it is a time for the broader community to open questions and get answers.

            We’ve tried to stagger the times for the “Community Q&A” periods to be accessible from all time zones. During each slot, members of the core team will be standing by to monitor new questions and post answers. In some cases, if the question is complex, we may hold off on answering right away and instead take time to draft the response and post it later.

          • Advent of Rust 6: Please Continue | The Mad Scientist Review

            It’s that time again, time for the daily stream-of-consciousness log of me trying to teach myself the Rust programming language by doing programming puzzles at Advent of Code 2020.

            In yesterday’s installment I talked about how people had been providing helpful and encouraging comments, which I appreciated! This time, I also got one unfriendly comment, complaining how I was increasing GNOME’s dependency on Microsoft with Rust. That’s just nonsense, and I don’t even understand how they got from here to there, but for avoidance of all doubt: this series is unconnected to GNOME or my volunteer work for the GNOME Foundation, and also unconnected to my employer (Igalia, not Microsoft.) It is a learning exercise for me personally.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • IRS to Make ID Protection PIN Open to All

        Tax refund fraud is a perennial problem involving the use of identity information and often stolen or misdirected W-2 forms to electronically file an unauthorized tax return for the purposes of claiming a refund in the name of a taxpayer.

        Victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it. Even those who are not required to file a return can be victims of refund fraud, as can those who are not actually due a refund from the IRS.

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (ceph, gitea, matrix-synapse, musl, mutt, neomutt, opensc, and webkit2gtk), Debian (debian-security-support, openldap, salt, xen, and xorg-server), Fedora (fossil, pdfresurrect, tcpdump, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Gentoo (chromium, firefox, mariadb, pam, postgresql, seamonkey, thunderbird, and xorg-server), Mageia (mutt, pdfresurrect, privoxy, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, minidlna, neomutt, opera, pngcheck, python, python-cryptography, python-pip, python-setuptools, python3, rclone, thunderbird, xen, and xorg-x11-server), Red Hat (ksh and net-snmp), and SUSE (crowbar-openstack, grafana, influxdb, python-urllib3, fontforge, mariadb, mutt, postgresql12, python-cryptography, and xen).

          • Secureworks Announces Additional Security Solutions Availability in AWS Marketplace [Ed: Press release, remotely related to GNU/Linux]

            Secureworks is recognized as an AWS Service Ready Partner for Amazon Linux 2. Secureworks’ endpoint security agent provides enterprise-grade endpoint security on the most common Linux workloads on AWS, including Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu and Red Hat operating systems.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google Fi is offering $100 to upgrade your 3G phone before it stops working

              Google’s hand is forced in the matter. Customers subscribe to Fi, but as an MVNO, Fi actually piggybacks on T-Mobile and US Cellular’s networks to provide coverage. Since T-Mobile has already announced its own plans to phase out support for non-VoLTE phones starting in January 2021, Fi has to as well.

              VoLTE stands for “Voice over LTE”, which is the handling of phone calls over LTE data rather than older 3G tech. VoLTE calls are typically clearer, with fewer drops in connection, though they’re completely unavailable to older phones that only use 3G radios and even some early LTE models as well. Google stopped activating 2G and 3G phones August 4th of this year according to the Fi FAQs, but requiring VoLTE all but assures 3G’s days are numbered.

            • [Old] Some remote students receive emails from Brown accusing them of violating code of student conduct

              According to Clark, students “were identified based on a range of factors, including, for example, indications of having accessed buildings or facilities on our campus directly, having accessed private university electronic services or secure networks from the Providence area, and/or reports from other community members.”

              Over the summer, students were asked to fill out a Fall 2020 Location of Study form indicating whether they planned to study on campus, off campus in the Providence area, remotely, as a commuter or in housing at the Rhode Island School of Design. “If you chose ‘remote’ as your location of study, you are affirming that you have no intention to visit the campus or reside in the Providence area,” according to an FAQ from the Office of Residential Life. Visiting campus “is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.”

            • Apple Patent Application Filing Details New Biometric Authentication Sensors for Wearable Devices
            • All the ways Microsoft Teams tracks you and how to stop it

              The rollout of new Microsoft 365 features to track productivity, which would monitor 73 pieces of “granular data” about workers, was meant to be a boon time for the technology company. But it quickly turned into a nightmare. Announced in October, and criticised heavily by technology researcher Wolfie Christl in November, the feature – Microsoft Productivity Score – was drastically scaled back this month.

              The incident has proven embarrassing for Microsoft, and made people more aware than ever of the data its products collect on users. That includes Microsoft Teams, its productivity and communications tool which rivals Slack. If you’ve watched the Microsoft Productivity Score imbroglio and want to put limits on the data Teams collects on you, there are some ways to wrest back control.

              [...]

              Some of the data is collected as standard, while others require opting in or out of sharing information with the company. Census data is collected by default, and can’t be opted out of – though Microsoft is at pains to say none of the information collected can identify an organisation or individual user.

              In addition, Microsoft collects usage data, including the number of messages sent, calls and meetings joined, and the name of your organisation as registered with Teams. It also tracks when things go wrong, in order to improve services. Much of this performance collected by all the apps you use.

              Microsoft also gathers data on your profile – including your email address, profile picture and phone number – and the content of your meetings, including shared files, recordings and transcripts, which are stored in the cloud for users’ personal use. That data is retained by Microsoft “until the user stops using Microsoft Teams, or until the user deletes personal data”. For individual users, data is deleted within 30 days of the user deleting the local versions of their data.

              [...]

              But for some, that’s too intrusive: administrators could theoretically produce a report on the way individuals use Teams, including the number of messages users post on any given day, the amount of time they spend on video and audio calls, whether you’ve read messages but not responded to them, and when you were last active on Teams. There doesn’t seem to be a way for users to opt out of this data collection from their company administrators – though many companies don’t seem to realise this kind of data is available.

            • Google Cloud Policy Change Update – Coding For Noobs

              Google Cloud Policy to be changed from June 1, 2021. Earlier, the Google platform users will be able to save unlimited photos in Google Photos. Android users might be very much aware of Google Photos and they enjoy the unlimited storage. Whenever they change their photos, they find the new photos in the Google photos application automatically. This was possible due to Google’s cloud policy. Recently Google has decided to make a move and change the policy slightly but this policy will make a significant impact on Android users. Let’s discuss the new Google Cloud policy below.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Some in media are supposedly “going hard” on Trump — but it’s too little and too damn late

        Calling out Trump’s lies should have been job one for political journalists starting well over five years ago. There have been countless occasions in which the press failed in the interim, none more crucial than in their willingness to promulgate Trump’s dangerous and willful ignorance about COVID-19 and spiteful misinformation about voting.

        Even now, these theoretically emboldened mainstream political reporters still stop short of calling out Trump’s enablers in the Republican Party for the same kind of lies and misinformation.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Garuda Linux “Imperial Eagle” (201205)

        This time we focused on fixing some bugs & inconveniences as well as providing a more consistent, fresh look to some parts of the “Garuda experience”. In order, you will find a refreshed look browsing our website, two new themes & improved existing ones for our forum, a sweetified Cinnamon & MATE theme while i3 is returning to its old look with Conky. Garuda network assistant and Garuda boot options were previously unthemed, now they correctly use the existing Kvantum theme.

        As some of you might have noticed, our garuda-* metapkgs were replaced by *-support packages. Since the plan was to move them to AUR rather than our GitLab the names had to be adjusted accordingly. Also, some of them were dropped entirely due to MWHD being responsible for VAAPI/VDPAU packages now too.

        As part of this update the standard kernel was changed from Linux-zen to Linux-tkg-bmq as this one has some advantages (read more here: https://github.com/Frogging-Family/linux-tkg) and performed better.
        There are also CPU specific versions of this one available on Chaotic-AUR.

        Along with the kernel change, the ISO names are now less confusing as the Lite tag was dropped (these are regular versions right now). As there were 2 KDE versions in the last release, KDE dr460nized became the new KDE standard edition.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Will Biden Remember the Promise He Made to Asylum Seekers Trump Sent to Mexico?
      • Democracy ‘Has To Be Defended’: It Is Possible and Necessary, Critics Say, To Stop Trump From Running in 2024

        “In a society fully committed to democracy, Congress would use this lame-duck period to impeach, convict, and disqualify Donald Trump from pursuing public office in the future, as the Constitution allows.”

      • Tracking the Continuing Election Fallout in Georgia

        Several Republicans are under fire for questionable efforts to boost Trump. 

        Olivia Paschal is a staff reporter with Facing South whose work focuses on democracy, money in politics, the census, and agriculture.

      • Super PACS Run by Former McConnell Aides Are Pouring Money Into Georgia Runoffs
      • Trump Slams Georgia GOP Governor for Refusing to Overturn State Election Results
      • Hours After Brian Kemp Declined to Overturn Georgia’s Election Results, Trump Slammed GOP Governor at Lie-Filled Rally

        “What I need” one journalist said, “is for lawyers who specialize in little-used federal criminal statutes like Sedition to explain to me why a federal official openly seeking to conspire with another federal official to overthrow a democratically elected government isn’t a crime.”

      • The Key to Trump’s Effectiveness is Believing His Own Lies

        In other words, you have to stop trying to get him on the lies and the morality, and instead get him on being a dangerous crazy person who doesn’t understand reality.

        This is the only path that will work, and if we don’t figure this out soon we might go throught his whole thing again in 2024.

      • Jim Crow Joe

        Nixon’s ‘68 campaign strategy relied on polished racist dog whistles and rhetoric promising law and order, which delivered the southern vote along with the White House. With a political realignment — where segregationist southern Democrats found refuge within the GOP — political newcomer, Joe Biden found opportunity.

        Delaware’s Dixiecrat

      • [Old] The False Positive Problem of Automatic Bot Detection in Social Science Research

        The identification of bots is an important and complicated task. The bot classifier Botometer was successfully introduced as a way to estimate the number of bots in a given list of accounts and, as a consequence, has been frequently used in academic publications. Given its relevance for academic research and our understanding of the presence of automated accounts in any given Twitter discourse, we are interested in Botometer’s diagnostic ability over time. To do so, we collected the Botometer scores for five datasets (three verified as bots, two verified as human; n=4,134) in two languages (English/German) over three months. We show that the Botometer scores are imprecise when it comes to estimating bots; especially in a different language. We further show in an analysis of Botometer scores over time that Botometer’s thresholds, even when used very conservatively, are prone to variance, which, in turn, will lead to false negatives (i.e., bots being classified as humans) and false positives (i.e., humans being classified as bots). This has immediate consequences for academic research as most studies using the tool will unknowingly count a high number of human users as bots and vice versa. We conclude our study with a discussion about how computational social scientists should evaluate machine learning systems that are developed to identify bots.

      • Letter to Young People

        We have received many direct messages — and see it in social media postings on platforms like TikTok viewed by millions in some cases — in which young people in their teens and twenties say that our campaign inspired them and urge us to keep going.

        Let us first say that your support inspires us! And, yes, we will keep going.

        Youth have been the drivers of social change throughout modern history, from American, French, and Haitian revolutions of the 18th century, to the abolitionist, suffragist, labor, civil rights, and anti-war movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, to the pro-democracy and climate justice movements around the world today.

        You are fighting for your futures – for climate action, racial justice, economic justice, and peace.

        You cannot afford to settle for compromises that don’t provide real solutions to these life-or-death issues.

        Politicians in office may have to vote for compromise legislation that comes out of negotiations at times because it is progress, if not a full solution.

        But our job as a movement for change is to demand real solutions and make the political system respond to us.

        We got started in activism in our teens and would like to offer a few suggestions based on our experience.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The Moroccan Monarchy’s War on Journalism

        Caught at the height of this final assault on freedom of expression is Maati Monjib, a pro-democracy activist and among Morocco’s most preeminent modern historians. He has long been in regime cross-hairs due to his critical scholarship, principled political interventions, and intransigent intellectual independence.

        A stalwart veteran of the Moroccan left and one of its only spokespeople with a profile abroad, Monjib has had to spend much time under the scrutiny of Morocco’s politicized courts. An international appeal saved Monjib’s life in 2015 by ending his 24-day hunger strike protesting the imposition of a travel ban meant to prevent him from speaking about Morocco to international audiences. Scurrilous judicial harassment has since never ceased, and in October of this year Monjib was charged with “money laundering” on unconvincing grounds. In a country whose metropolitan skylines consist of tacky high-rises universally known to launder the ill-begotten fortunes of the elite, the idea that the personal property of a modest academic such as Monjib is worthy of the attention of the king’s prosecutor is risible. Previously brandishing directly political prosecutions, this change of tack is indicative of the Moroccan state’s current strategy. Reached at home in the capital Rabat, Monjib says, “In the past, an independent or dissident journalist was granted the ‘honor’ of a political accusation: violating entities deemed religiously sacred or threatening the integrity of the state, etc. Today, their reputation is tarnished first, subsequently leading to imprisonment.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Google bosses should learn how to accept defeat with grace

        The boffins at Google know many things, but one of the lessons in life they have failed to grasp is that one should learn to acknowledge defeat gracefully.

      • Living Constitutions | Dissent Magazine

        Last December, mass demonstrations erupted across India in response to new legislation that granted a fast track to citizenship for a number of religious groups but excluded Muslims. A violent crackdown followed. Protesters turned to the country’s seventy-year-old Constitution for a moral language to critique both the anti-Muslim legislation and the state’s repression of dissent. Life-size cutouts of its chief drafter, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, and other members of the Constituent Assembly accompanied marchers on the streets. Mass readings of the Constitution’s preamble were staged in different languages. Live artwork, poetry, and songs disseminated this appeal to the Constitution beyond the gatherings on Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok.
        The TikToking of India’s Constitution is a remarkable thing. Constitutions are rarely understood as mandates for protest. Often closing a revolutionary period, they organize, distribute, and stabilize the exercise of political power. They give institutional form to the routine practices of politics. And as mechanisms designed to settle political arrangements, they are removed from—if not antagonistic to—popular mobilization.
        This gap between constitutionalism and popular politics should be even greater in India. Though the 1950 Constitution marked the culmination of national independence, the Constituent Assembly did not emerge from a revolution; its authority was based in frameworks created during British rule. Members were elected under the limited franchise of the colonial era. Although the Constitution made universal adult suffrage the cornerstone of postcolonial citizenship, the document itself was an elite project. Ambedkar recognized this problem when he told the Assembly, “Constitutional morality is not a natural sentiment. It has to be cultivated. We must realize that our people have yet to learn it.”

        [...]

        De’s A People’s Constitution takes up this approach through a social history of the Constitution in its early decades. He focuses on provisions that allowed citizens to petition the Supreme Court for the enforcement of fundamental rights and that empowered state and provincial courts to issue writs against the government for violations of rights or “any other matter”—broad procedural remedies that allowed citizens to contest the Constitution’s ambitious efforts to reshape Indian society. By considering the figures who challenged the Indian state in court, De establishes that constitutional interpretation was not restricted to elites. The Constitution, he argues, facilitated the emergence of a particular kind of political subject: the citizen-litigant. In keeping with Khosla’s view of the Constitution as a pedagogical textbook, India’s citizen-litigants learned to speak the language of constitutional law.
        The link between litigiousness and democracy will be familiar to readers of Alexis de Tocqueville. “Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question,” he wrote in Democracy in America. According to Tocqueville, lawyers were suspended between the people (from which they emerged by “birth and interest”) and the aristocracy (whom they resembled in “taste and habit”). They had a moderating role in democratic society. At the same time, citizens’ participation in legal proceedings, especially through juries, democratized the habits of the courtroom.
        As De shows, however, the citizen-litigant takes on a distinctive character in the postcolonial context. The four sets of litigants he identifies represented minority religious and caste communities. As vilified minorities, they invoked the rights of workers and property owners in ways that deflected from their ascriptive status. But they did not leave behind communal politics. Their litigious practices illuminate the complex interplay between “liberty, property, and community,” De writes, disrupting a strict separation of individual and group rights.

      • The New Humanitarian | What’s driving the deadly migrant surge from Senegal to the Canary Islands?

        Like many compatriots, Abdou Diakaté didn’t feel he had much choice when he boarded a long, wooden boat on the Senegalese coast in October with around 100 others and set off into the Atlantic Ocean. The boat was heading for the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off West Africa that has seen a surge in migration this year.
        The Atlantic maritime route, considered the most dangerous sea passage for Africans trying to reach Europe, had been mostly dormant since 2006, when a record 31,000 asylum seekers and migrants made the crossing. In 2019, just under 2,700 people arrived in the Canary Islands by boat. Already this year, that number stands at more than 19,500.
        The majority of people attempting the journey are North Africans and sub-Saharan Africans who set out from southern Morocco or from the contested territory of Western Sahara, crossing somewhere between 100 to 450 kilometres of ocean. But Senegal has also seen a sharp uptick in the numbers departing its shores, even though they’re an eight-day, 1,500-kilometre boat journey away.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The 5 Boldest Media-Tech Companies of 2020 (Guest Column)

        Welcome to my fifth annual “Fearless Five”: the five companies that made the boldest and most audacious entertainment-media-tech moves of the year.

        This doesn’t mean these companies ultimately will be the most successful. What it does mean is that they were the most fearless and made the biggest, boldest bets in 2020. Each can be defined by its own signature Wow! moment. I name them in order of “audacity” in this unprecedented and bizarre year that bombarded us with multiple crises, some of which were downright existential.

      • Why WarnerMedia’s Blockbuster HBO Max Play May Not Boost Its Leverage in Roku Talks

        But the question in the WarnerMedia-Roku situation still remains: Which side needs the other more?

        This summer, asked about HBO Max, Roku CEO Anthony Wood told Variety that the company offers comparable deal terms to all content partners. He’s also touted Roku’s role in fueling Disney Plus’ rapid subscriber ramp. “Fair and reasonable content distribution deals are how we finance the low-cost easy-to-use Roku platform that consumers use to access these services on their TVs,” he said.

    • Monopolies

      • Blockchain Standard for IP Offices: The WIPO Blockchain Projects

        WIPO aims to provide guidance for IPOs and organisations looking to use blockchain for IP rights protection processes, including the management, storage, exchange and dissemination of IP data. Even a blockchain-based “unique and global IP registry” is being examined.

        According to the WIPO Blockchain Whitepaper Project Team, the application of blockchain technology will allow for more efficient and harmonized cooperation among IPOs, and at the same time give public users better access to and possibilities of using IP information. Thus, the intention of the WIPO Standard is to simplify and accelerate the implementation of blockchain technology and promote interoperability within the IP ecosystem.

        Also, the WIPO standardization process began to focus on a “decentralized verifiable identifier” (DID), which is seen as key for the IP community to use blockchain-based IP applications. As the name suggests, DID is a global and unique identifier to verify a decentralized digital identity. Examples are the DID of a corporation or an individual person. The idea is that, by using cryptography, it might allow identification without the need for a centralized authority.

        Furthermore, the Blockchain Task Force’s focus is to provide IP reference models that use blockchain technology and “guiding principles, common practice and use of terminology as a framework supporting collaboration, joint projects and proofs of concept.” Moreover, the Blockchain Task Force is examining existing standards and reports from organizations such as the ISO, ITU and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

        This work by the WIPO Blockchain Task Force, together with the new creation of subtasks in October 2020 (“Regulatory, Governance, Technical Standard, and Use-cases”), indicate that the development of the WIPO Standard remains an intensive ongoing process.

      • Patents

        • Vectura Ltd. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          Trial courts tend to get more than the benefit of the doubt when their decisions are viewed under the “abuse of discretion” standard, and juries similarly are affirmed unless there isn’t substantial evidence supporting their verdicts. Both these rubrics, which extend more generally to cases involving disputes outside patent law, were used by the Federal Circuit to affirm both the finding of infringement and a hefty ($89,712,069) damages calculation in Vectura Ltd. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC.

          [...]

          GSK’s second argument on appeal was that proper construction of the claim limitation “composite active particles” required that these particles be produced by a “high-energy milling” process (which GSK argued does not describe their process). According to GSK, the ’991 specification discloses high-energy milling, and disclosure of this process was used during prosecution of the ’991 patent to overcome a prior art reference. Thus, according to GSK, a correct construction of the “composite active particles” requires the particles (and drugs made from those particles) to be made using a “high-energy milling” process.

          [...]

          GSK argued that Vectura’s analysis was flawed because it used the “entire market value” approach rather than distinguishing the non-infringing components of the accused infringing articles. The Court considered the damages theories to relate to “a rather unusual circumstance,” because the choice is usually between where “an entire-market-value royalty base is appropriate only when the patented feature creates the basis for customer demand or substantially creates the value of the component parts, and apportionment is required when an entire-market-value royalty base is inappropriate,” citing Virnetx, Inc. v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 767 F.3d 1308, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Here, however, the Court thought that any such apportionment is contained (“built-in”) in the earlier license so re-apportionment was unnecessary. The panel opined that the District Court properly credited Vectura’s expert’s testimony regarding the comparability of her damages calculations as a reasonable royalty and the terms of the earlier license. And with regard to the lack of a royalty cap, the Court held that “[i]t was . . . permissible for the jury to credit Ms. Schenk’s testimony and to award damages without applying a royalty cap.”

          GSK’s other grounds for a new trial based on damages was that Vectura’s damages expert and counsel mentioned the total sales of GSK’s products and that this was prejudicial. The District Court had found some of these references to be improper but in total that they were not so prejudicial as to warrant a new trial. Asserting that “[o]n the issue of the impact of improper conduct at trial, the views of the judge who supervised the trial proceedings are entitled to considerable weight,” Fineman v. Armstrong World Indus., Inc., 980 F.2d 171 (3d Cir. 1992), the Federal Circuit found these disclosures not to be sufficiently prejudicial for it to find the District Court’s denial of JMOL to be an abuse of discretion.

        • Certiorari in Patent Cases

          In the decade from 2010 to 2019, the Supreme Court has decided more patent law cases than in the prior three decades combined. A higher percentage of its docket has been patent cases–5.45%–than in any decade in the last century. A number of scholars have advanced theories of why this rate of review of patent cases has increased and provided quantitative analyses. Yet no scholarship to date has used qualitative data to investigate why the Supreme Court’s patent docket is increasing and what factors the Supreme Court considers in its review of patent cases. This paper shares statistics of the Supreme Court’s review of patent cases and for the first time reports on qualitative interviews with former Supreme Court clerks about certiorari in patent cases.

          In many ways, the results confirm prior hypotheses of the key factors in Supreme Court grants of certiorari in patent cases. For example, the interviews confirm the teachings of prior scholarship that the views of the Solicitor General and the number, type, and focus of amicus support play an outsized role in patent cases. However, the interviews contradicted other views from prior scholarship, such as familiar names of top Supreme Court advocates spurring certiorari in patents cases. As to why cases filed by these advocates have a higher rate of success, it appears that such advocates are simply more skilled at preparing petitions that address the considerations most important to the Court. The research presented in this Article also suggests that the narrative of the Federal Circuit as applying rigid rules rather than flexible standards urged by the Supreme Court is pervasive at the Court. The interviewees also suggest that patent cases are viewed as ideologically safe choices, which the author hypothesizes might be partially responsible for the increase in the Supreme Court’s percentage of patent cases in recent years of ideological division. This article concludes by advocating that the Supreme Court should consider one other factor in its decision on certiorari in patent cases: whether a decision in the case will support or undermine the stability and certainty of patent law.

        • An Empirical Study Comparing Patent Validity Challenges at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board vs. the Federal District Courts

          Using an originally-constructed database of over 12,000 patent decisions heard at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) and over 75,000 patent law decisions heard by the federal district courts from 2012 through October 2020, this Article analyzes the interplay between the two forums in how patent validity claims are adjudicated, particularly focusing on inter partes review (“IPR”). Reviewing over 7,500 patents assessed at the PTAB over the past six years of the adjudicative tribunal’s existence, the Article analyzes whether there are differences in institution rates and final outcomes depending on the type of patentee owner, the technology type, and whether or not there is a prior or past district court case and decision. While about 80% of PTAB proceedings involve a patent that has or is being litigated in at least one district court, there are only about 2,000 PTAB cases in which the district court has ruled on invalidity grounds. Further, in most cases that do involve a PTAB proceeding, the district court rules a patent invalid based on lack of statutory subject matter—a legal challenge that cannot even be brought in an IPR proceeding. Comparing district court cases where the court rules on eligible PTAB statutory sections—namely obviousness and anticipation grounds—indicates preliminarily that the district court and the PTAB largely agree on outcomes. Overall, this empirical research contributes to the debate about how the patent system—and in particular, the practices at the PTAB—should be reformed, and about the role that the administrative state has in patent policy and in influencing outcomes in the federal courts. Specifically, it questions whether the grounds for PTAB proceedings should be enlarged to encompass challenges based on section 101 subject matter issues.

        • Amarin Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Hikma Nasdaq:AMRN

          The Amarin complaint alleges that Hikma has induced the infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,700,537 (Composition for preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular event in multiple risk patient), 8,642,077 (Stable pharmaceutical composition and methods of using same), and 10,568,861 (Methods of reducing the risk of a cardiovascular event in a subject at risk for cardiovascular disease) by making, selling, offering to sell and importing generic icosapent ethyl capsules in or into the United States. Amarin is seeking remedies including a permanent injunction against Hikma’s unlawful inducement of infringing uses of its generic product to reduce cardiovascular risk and monetary damages in an amount sufficient to compensate Amarin for such infringement. Amarin is considering its legal options against similarly situated parties acting in concert with Hikma by making or selling any drug product or component thereof covered by the subject patents, or inducing others to do the same.

        • Reviewing Summary Judgment for Abuse of Discretion?

          This pending petition for certiorari focuses on the civil procedure question: What is the standard for review of a partial summary judgment that is not reopened at trial? Normally summary judgment is reviewed de novo on appeal, but this is a case where the Federal Circuit switched the standard.

          [...]

          The Federal Circuit gave full deference — noting that the district court “held an eight-day bench trial in which materiality was squarely before it.” Further, the district court did not simply apply its prior summary judgment determination but rather it incorporated the summary judgment evidence and admitted additional relevant evidence, including previously unheard testimony relating to materiality and ultimately “confirmed” its summary judgment determination in finding materiality. On appeal, the Federal Circuit found this sufficient to move the on-sale determination fully under the abuse-of-discretion shelter of the inequitable conduct trial and identified the patentees arguments as lacking nuance. (“This argument is jejune.”).

          The patentee also directly appealed the summary judgment of invalidity, but the appellate panel did not hear that issue (which it would have given de novo review). Rather, the appellate panel found the issue moot based upon the unenforceability holding.

        • Software Patents

          • Unified Comments on USPTO Discretionary Denials — Unified Patents

            On December 3, 2020, Unified, along with over 800 commenters, answered the USPTO’s request for comments (RFC) related to their recent use of “discretionary” non-merits denials and potential future rulemaking. Early analysis of the 832 comments submitted reveals the breakdown was relatively evenly split for and against, with many form-filled or irrelevant comments. In our comments, Unified highlighted the prejudicial nature of the RFC itself, the lack of statutory authority to implement discretionary denial rules, and the USPTO’s lack of data supporting the policy behind their new de facto rules.

      • Copyrights

        • Spotify’s Anti-Plagiarism Tool To Protect Copyright is Too Black Mirror

          This week it was revealed that Spotify wants to patent a technology that will enable artists to check whether their uploaded songs have elements that are too similar to others. One of the aims is to help artists avoid copyright infringement lawsuits. But, doesn’t the thought of artistic impression being policed by a computer sound like an episode of Black Mirror?

        • Warner Bros. isn’t just sending movies to HBO Max. AT&T is limiting its content to its platforms.

          Or, to put it another way, Warner Bros.’ parent company AT&T suddenly has a ton of new exclusive content that will be delivered not by independent vendors across the country — which is to say, movie theaters — but by its lucrative products: HBO Max, its home internet service in many cases and probably a few mobile phones, too.

        • DMCA Review Triggers Opposition Against Site Blocking and Staydown Requirements

          US Senator Thom Tillis has asked various stakeholders to shed light on possible DMCA reforms, including easier website blocking options and a notice-and-staydown regime. These potential changes will be welcomed by major copyright holders but groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Re:Create, and Public Knowledge are fiercely against.

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