02.11.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 11/2/2021: System76 Keyboards, GRUB 2.06 Plans and More

Posted in News Roundup at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lilbits: Open source keyboards, E Ink smartwatches, the fastest (least user friendly) PinePhone software

        System76 has been selling Linux laptop and desktop computers since 2005, but up until recently most of the company’s computers were designed and manufactured by other companies and customized with small tweaks and Linux software by System76.

        A few years ago the company started manufacturing some of its own desktops, and notebooks may eventually follow. But the next product from System76 that was designed in-house and which will be manufactured in the US, is a keyboard – the System76 Launch Configurable Keyboard.

      • System76 Begins Detailing Their Open-Source “Launch Configurable Keyboard”

        For months System76 has been teasing that they were getting into prototyping and manufacturing their own keyboards. This moves follows them manufacturing their own cases with the beautifully engineered Thelio line-up while now it looks like they are ready to go public with details on the System76 keyboard.

      • The Darter Pro, Lightweight Linux Laptop: Full Review – Boiling Steam

        The Darter Pro… the newly revised notebook from System76. This is aimed towards those who daily bring a laptop with them on the go, while being sleek, slim, and easy to carry. While I can’t recommend it for AAA gaming, it certainly is fast enough to handle all of your indie or 2D games, and the Tiger Lake CPU boasts fast compile times.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 616: Software Heritage – Robert Di Cosmo, Software Archives

        Software Heritage is an extraordinary, yet necessary effort to save all the world’s software in all its versions and generations for all time. This effort is to help make historical source code accessible to everyone, but this initiative does come with many challenges. Naturally, Software Heritage is started with open source code and principles. Doc Searls and Simon Phipps talk in much length and depth on all of it, with founder & CEO Roberto Di Cosmo.

      • Ethics Has No Place In Software Licenses

        In recent years a new software movement has been growing, known as the Ethical Source Movement and they’ve made a software license known as the Hippocratic License. But it has a bit of a problem, it’s fundamentally flawed and completely impractical in the real world.

      • BSDNow 389: Comfy FreeBSD Jails

        A week with Plan 9, Exploring Swap on FreeBSD, how to create a FreeBSD pkg mirror using bastille and poudriere, How to set up FreeBSD 12 VNET jail with ZFS, Creating Comfy FreeBSD Jails Using Standard Tools, and more.

      • Alan Pope: My Podcast Listening List

        My podcast listening tastes have changed quite a bit over the years. I first got into listening to podcasts in the early 2000’s, on the commute to the office – remember them? I initially started listening on my iRiver iHP-140 then moved on to using a Nokia N82. Both fantastic devices for their time.

        I used to use hpodder to download episodes and then squirt them down a cable to the device. Later then I’ve listened on various iPods and iPhones where I would use the onboard iTunes / Podcasts app to get my podcasts.

        Most recently I’ve used Android, and my current podcast consumption device of choice is the OnePlus 5. I tried a few apps and finally settled on PocketCasts. It has a ton of advanced features I don’t use, as I basically subscribe, download and listen, and that’s about it.

      • Bad Request | Coder Radio 400

        After reflecting on more than 8 years of the show, we get into solving problems and taking names.

        Plus a couple of special announcements, and some Hoopla we’ve just got to talk about.

    • Kernel Space

      • Catch up on Collabora’s work in the Linux Kernel for futex2 to help Wine & Proton

        There’s so much going on when it comes to Linux gaming it can be hard to keep up with it all, especially with many different companies getting involved. Collabora is one that has contracts with Valve and they have a refresher up on some of the work they’re doing.

        During the LCA2021 (linux.conf.au 2021), André Almeida of Collabora did a presentation on futex2. According to the presentation overview: “futex2 is a work in progress system call to replace the current futex implementation. This new interface will have features to allow better resources utilization from the system, like NUMA-awareness, and different futexes’ sizes. This talk will provide an overview of the interface, along with the current state of the development and some initial results that we got by modifying Proton/Wine to use it.”

      • 5.10.15
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.10.15 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.10 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.10.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.10.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.4.97
      • Linux 4.19.175
      • Linux 4.14.221
      • Linux 4.9.257
      • Linux 4.4.257
      • The AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 Performance Fix For Linux 5.11 Has Landed – Phoronix

        Just in time for the expected Linux 5.11 stable release on Sunday, the AMD frequency invariance performance regression I’ve been noting and writing about since Christmas day has been resolved with the previously covered fix having been merged today.

        That regression affecting Zen 2 / Zen 3 laptops and desktops through servers stems from the introduction of AMD frequency invariance that is new this kernel cycle and quickly showed itself if using the Schedutil (scheduler utilization) governor while the likes of the performance governor were unaffected. The change only affects AMD Zen 2 / Zen 3 hardware due to the frequency invariance support depending upon ACPI CPPC data, which isn’t found on prior generations of AMD processors. Intel has had their own frequency invariance implementation for the Linux kernel going back a while.

      • Lenovo IdeaPad Improvements En Route To Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        In addition to Linux 5.12 positioned to see Lenovo laptop “platform profile” support for controlling the power/thermal behavior of their newer ThinkPad and IdeaPad laptops, this next kernel version also has other improvements on the IdeaPad front.

        The ideapad-laptop driver has been seeing a number of improvements queued in platform-drivers-x86 ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.12 merge window.

        First up there is support coming for controlling the always-on USB charging behavior for various laptops. The always-on USB charging behavior can be toggled on/off via ACPI methods and in turn with Linux 5.12+ will allow enabling/disabling that behavior via a new “usb_charging” attribute in sysfs.

      • 2021: Xen Project, virtualization and beyond – Xen Project

        The Xen Project has been around for the better part of two decades. As a leading virtualization software, that has the benefit of being both mature and open source, many predictions have already come to fruition. We could predict that Xen would be in a satellite or a rocket, but it already is. We could predict that Xen will help deliver your Christmas presents, but it’s been doing that for years thanks to Amazon. We could also predict that Xen would help build an F1 car, but it’s been doing that for years, too. Just because Xen is a common software for many of the world’s advancements and everyday conveniences, doesn’t mean we don’t have a few tricks up our sleeves.

    • Benchmarks

      • FreeBSD 13 BETA Benchmarks – Performance Is Much Better

        The official release of FreeBSD 13.0 is coming up in March, while already from our preliminary tests of the newly minted FreeBSD 13.0 BETA1, the benchmark results are extremely tantalizing compared to FreeBSD 12.2… Ultimately the performance should be much more competitive now compared to Linux (at least on Intel x86_64) and other operating systems with the big FreeBSD 13 release.

    • Applications

      • Manage your budget on Linux with this open source finance tool

        In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I’ll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. This article is about personal financial management.

        Personal finances can be difficult to manage. It can be frustrating and even scary when you don’t have enough money to get by without financial assistance, and it can be surprisingly overwhelming when you do have the money you need but no clear notion of where it all goes each month. To make matters worse, we’re often told to “make a budget” as if declaring the amount of money you can spend each month will somehow manifest the money you need. The bottom line is that making a budget is hard, and not meeting your financial goals is discouraging. But it’s still important, and Linux has several tools that can help make the task manageable.

      • Draw Mandelbrot fractals with GIMP scripting

        The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is my go-to solution for image editing. Its toolset is very powerful and convenient, except for doing fractals, which is one thing you cannot draw by hand easily. These are fascinating mathematical constructs that have the characteristic of being self-similar. In other words, if they are magnified in some areas, they will look remarkably similar to the unmagnified picture. Besides being interesting, they also make very pretty pictures!

        GIMP can be automated with Script-Fu to do batch processing of images or create complicated procedures that are not practical to do by hand; drawing fractals falls in the latter category. This tutorial will show how to draw a representation of the Mandelbrot fractal using GIMP and Script-Fu.

      • Flowblade 2.8 Now Lets You Configure Panel Position And Adds Fresh New Themes

        Flowblade is an open-source video editing software for Linux. It is designed to be beginner-friendly, however, it includes all the tools that you would find in a standard video editor.

        Recently, Flowblade 2.8 was released with configurable panel positioning, new themes, free bar for customizing the middle bar layout along with some other improvements. This is also the first release of 2021.

        Let us take a look at the new features and changes in this release of Flowblade.

      • The best Linux VPN 2021

        Simply put, a VPN, or virtual private network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet – whether that be on Windows, Macs or, yes, with a VPN for LInux.

        These days however, VPNs are popularly used for activities like bypassing Internet censorship, accessing region-restricted websites, shielding your browsing activity from prying eyes especially on public Wi-Fi, and more.

        While Linux users routinely draw the short straw in terms of software support for their beloved OS, when it comes to VPNs, the situation isn’t so bad, with a decent amount of providers offering native apps for Linux. There’s no dearth of Linux VPN services out there, and in this guide we’ve selected some of the best ones to help you cut through the clutter.

      • Rediscover Productivity With RescueTime – A Time Management Tool for Linux

        As much as the internet and technology as made our lives easier, so has it also made us lazier and less productive than the last generation before us. With the advent of social media, and whole other lot of distraction the internet has to push to our faces it can be extremely hard to focus on one thing for a long period of time, and boy oh boy, I blame you not as I am very much as guilty of this charge as you are.

        But the good news is, you can get your life back together and rediscover your productivity self – it’s never too late.

        RescueTime is a cross-platform application that aims to better your engagement with your work by monitoring how much time you spend by monitoring every possibly imaginable process on your system and how long you spend using them.

        The application is proprietary and has both the free and paid side of things called Lite and Premium respectively and you can spot the differences in the image below.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Bitwarden on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Bitwarden on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Bitwarden is password management open-source software.

      • PostgreSQL 9.4 for RHEL/CentOS 8 – x86_64 – Failed to download metadata for repo ‘pgdg94’ Error: Failed to download metadata for repo ‘pgdg94’
      • How to Download Java JRE (32-bit and 64-bit) Latest Version

        Java is an object-oriented programming language used by numerous applications, websites, and even computer games. It’s specifically designed to require as few implementation dependencies as possible.

        This also ensures cross-platform usability: if an app was developed using Java on Windows, then it can also be used on Mac or Linux with Java.

      • How to Check CPU is 64/32 Bit in Linux System

        As a system administrator and IT professional, it is very important to know whether the system’s CPU architecture is 32 bit or 64 bit.

        When it comes to third-party applications you need to be aware of your system architecture because the 64-bit applications can not be run in a 32-bit system. Whereas we can easily run 32-bit applications in a 64-bit system.

        This article shows how to check CPU architecture on a Linux machine.

      • Martin Peres: Setting up a CI system part 1: Preparing your test machines

        Under contracting work for Valve Corporation, I have been working with Charlie Turner and Andres Gomez from Igalia to develop a CI test farm for driver testing (most graphics).

        This is now the fifth CI system I have worked with / on, and I am growing tired of not being able to re-use components from the previous systems due to how deeply-integrated its components are, and how implementation details permeate from one component to another. Additionally, such designs limit the ability of the system to grow, as updating a component would impact a lot of components, making it difficult or even impossible to do without a rewrite of the system, or taking the system down for multiple hours.

        With this new system, I am putting emphasis on designing good interfaces between components in order to create an open source toolbox that CI systems can re-use freely and tailor to their needs, while not painting themselves in a corner.

        I aim to blog about all the different components/interfaces we will be making for this test system, but in this article, I would like to start with the basics: proposing design goals, and setting up a machine to be controllable remotely by a test system.

      • Exploring The Ubiquiti AP Firmware

        There is a small issue that I noticed in the UAP-AC-PRO firmware images — I’ve posted this issue on the community forums and also filed a tracker report. It’s a shell script (or incomplete image) type of error depending on how you look at it but if you SSH into the AP you’ll notice this file…

      • How to enable Hyper-Threading on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to enable Hyper-Threading on a Chromebook. This feature can increase the performance of your Chromebook, but it can also make your Chromebook warmer as the CPU works harder. Please make sure that all your Linux applications are closed before rebooting your Chromebook.

      • Bastian Venthur: Installing Debian on a Thinkpad T14s

        Recently, I got a new work laptop. I opted for Lenovo’s Thinkpad T14s that comes with AMD’s Ryzen 7 PRO 4750U Processor. Once everything is installed, it works like a charm: all hardware is supported and works out of the box with Debian. However, the tricky part is actually installing Debian onto that machine: The laptop lacks a standard Ethernet port and comes with Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 AX200 module. So if you don’t happen to have a docking station or an Ethernet adapter available during install, you’ll have to install everything over WiFi. The WiFi module, however requires non-free firmware and this is where the fun starts.

      • How to install KDE Connect on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        KDE Connect is an open-source platform to integrate some feature of your phone directly into your PC. In simple words, it is a Linux application that is also available for Windows and macOS (not officially) to connect smartphones with PC or laptops. Currently, it is available for Android only, well iOS version does not officially exist.

        Well, KDE Connect is implemented with a server service that runs on the desktop device and a client application on the mobile device, which interact with each other via a secure network protocol. So, that the user can easily transfer data using a local network.

      • How to install DHCP Server on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        DHCP is an abbreviation for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. We can define it as a network protocol whose usefulness is evident when a host computer needs a server computer to grant it some network configuration privileges like the automatic assignment of an IP address. In a server environment, we have many server instances. You could be dealing with a web server, a mail server, a domain name server (DNS), and in this article, a DHCP server.

        IP addresses are important in identifying client computers configured within a network. It is as unique as an individual’s social security number or national identity card number. A DHCP server ensures that each computer in a configured network retains its uniqueness by not sharing an IP address.

      • How to Install EtherCalc on CentOS 8 | RoseHosting Blog

        EtherCalc is an open-source and web-based spreadsheet that allows you to collaborate and work remotely and in real-time. It allows multiple users to edit the same spreadsheet at the same time. It is an alternative to Google Sheets and accepts various mathematical formulas and functions.

      • How to Start Drawing on Your Screen in Ubuntu 20.04 & Higher | UbuntuHandbook

        Want to start drawing on your screen and save artwork as PNG or SVG? It’s easy to do this in Ubuntu via Gnome Extension.

        “Draw On Your Screen” is a Gnome Shell extension allows to start or stop drawing on screen easily via Alt+Super+D keyboard shortcut. With it, you can start free drawing, create basic shapes, insert text, and export your artwork to SVG file.

      • How to Fix Steam Games Cracking Sound Issue in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        You’ve installed Steam in Linux, then some games from your library, and went on to enjoy the games. You launched your favorite game, turned on your speakers or put on your headphones, and then rushed to mute them because of the annoying cracking sound. Is that your experience with Steam games for Windows playing under Linux?

        The source of the problem is an incorrectly-configured parameter in Pulseaudio and can show up in any Linux distributions. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix. Read on to find how you can fix the Steam games cracking sound issue in Linux with a simple tweak.

      • Don’t use RouterOS DHCP lease scripts to manage DNS

        The RouterOS DHCP Server (MRDS) from MikroTik doesn’t natively support registering hostnames from DHCP leases to its DNS server. Instead, it supports executing a “DHCP lease script” when new leases are issued, released, or expires. You can use a lease script to manage DNS entries for DHCP leases. However, this isn’t the best solution for managing static DNS registrations for your network hosts.

        DHCP lease scripts may sound like the ideal solution, but MikroTik’s implementation in MRDS has some severe limitations. The lease script is only executed when a new DHCP lease is issued, released, or expires. In a perfect world, this should suffice.

      • How to expand your machine learning capabilities by installing TensorFlow on Ubuntu Server 20.04

        TensorFlow is an open source development platform for machine learning (ML). With this software platform, you’ll get a comprehensive collection of tools, libraries, and various resources that allow you to easily build and deploy modern ML-powered applications. Beginners and experts alike can make use of this end-to-end platform, and create ML models to solve real-world problems.

        How do you get started? The first thing you must do is get TensorFlow installed on your machine. I’m going to show you how to make that happen on Ubuntu Desktop 20.04.

      • Install Git 2.30.1 in Ubuntu 20.04 / Linux Mint / CentOS & Fedora

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install git 2.30.1 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.10 LTS, CentOS 8.X, Fedora 33, and Linux Mint 20.

        The latest version of GIT is 2.30.1 which is a stable version and it is released on 8th Feb 2020 and this release is primarily to fix merges accumulated on the master front to prepare for the 2.31 release.

      • Add standardized support information to your Node.js modules – Red Hat Developer

        The Nodeshift team recently improved the consistency of the projects we use to maintain our Node.js modules. We made sure that the same linter and tests—ESLint and Tape, for those interested—were used on all projects. We also added support information for the modules we publish to the npm registry. We looked to the Node.js Package Maintenance Working Group for the standardized support information to add.

        In this article, I detail the changes we made based on the Package Maintenance Working Group’s recommended best practices. After reading the article, you’ll be familiar with the recommended support information and the tools available for adding it to your Node.js modules. First, I will introduce the Node.js Package Maintenance Working Group and its purpose.

      • Configure multi-tenancy with Kubernetes namespaces | Opensource.com

        Most enterprises want a multi-tenancy platform to run their cloud-native applications because it helps manage resources, costs, and operational efficiency and control cloud waste.

        Kubernetes is the leading open source platform for managing containerized workloads and services. It gained this reputation because of its flexibility in allowing operators and developers to establish automation with declarative configuration. But there is a catch: Because Kubernetes grows rapidly, the old problem of velocity becomes an issue. The bigger your adoption, the more issues and resource waste you discover.

      • Got automation? Here’s a quick guide to get you up to speed on Ansible

        Ansible is an open source automation tool that sysadmins use to automate infrastructure configuration, application deployment, and configuration management. It is agentless, which means it does not require any software to be installed onto hosts—unlike some other automation tools—to perform the needed tasks. Instead, it uses SSH, if the target system is Linux-based, WinRM if the target system is Windows-based, or an API if the target system exposes an API.

        It uses a declarative programming language to define the desired target configuration. However, it does not declare how the configuration needs to be accomplished. For instance, to create a new virtual machine, you need to define the specifications of the target virtual machine and how it is to be deployed. The Ansible Engine, with the aid of the relevant module, then performs the needed task.

      • Ubuntu: change time zone [Guide]

        To change the time zone on the default Ubuntu Linux desktop, Gnome Shell, do the following. First, press the Win key on the keyboard to open up search mode. After opening up the search mode in Gnome, type out the word “time.”

        Once you’ve typed in the word “time” in the search box, Gnome should display “Settings” with “Date & Time” next to it. Select the “Date & Time” option with the mouse. By selecting this option, you will open up the Gnome time settings area.

        Inside the Gnome time settings area, you’ll see several different time options. If you’d like to change the time zone on Ubuntu from the one chosen when Ubuntu was installed, do the following.

      • How to create a subscription between an SQS queue and SNS topic on AWS

        The idea behind subscribing to SQS in SNS is to send messages from SNS to SQS. One can send both raw messages and any other message attributes included in the SNS message. Before proceeding with this article, it is assumed that you have an SNS and SQS in the account. The creation of SNS and SQS is not in the scope of this article.

        SNS can have multiple SQS queues subscribed to it and SNS will publish the same message to all its subscriptions.

        Go to AWS’s official page to know the pricing of SNS and SQS.

      • Install and Configure PHP OPcache on Ubuntu 20.04

        Opcache is a powerful PHP extension used to increase PHP performance by storing precompiled script bytecode in shared memory. So PHP does not need to load and parse scripts on each request. This will speed up the performance of PHP based applications.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and enable the Opcache PHP extension with Apache and Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Create your own WordPress Website from Scratch : Step by Step – LinuxTechLab

        Are you looking to create a wordpress website from scratch? Do you want to start blogging & need to host a wordpress website for that but don’t know how to? Worry not. In this tutorial, we will learn the step by step process to create a WordPress website from scratch.

        But one can ask why should you create your website on WordPress? There are plenty of other hosting methods to use, so why use WordPress?

      • How to Install and Use NVM on Ubuntu 20.04 & CentOS 8

        NVM also know as “Node Version Manager” is used to manage and control multiple active versions of Node.js in Linux. It is a command-line tool that allows developers to easily switch between different versions of Node.js. NVM is very useful when your application does not support the latest Node.js version.

      • How to Get Filename from the Full Path in Linux

        The full path of a file in Linux refers to the complete address including directories and subdirectories using which the file can be located. Every operating system has different variants of the full path of a file.

      • How to Create Bootable USB using dd command

        We have several options to create bootable USB drive in Linux such as balenaEtcher, Ventoy, Unetbootin and many others.

        Today we will see a unique way to create a bootable disk, In this method, you do not need to install any third-party applications or libraries, and it is a most simple way to create a bootable disk. Do you want to know how to do? Follow our instructions.

    • Games

      • Roboggled is a nice casual Sokoban inspired block pushing puzzler out now | GamingOnLinux

        Developed on Linux with the excellent Godot Engine, we have the Sokoban like block-pushing puzzle game Roboggled.

        The gameplay in Roboggled is simple: you’re a little tracked robotic vehicle in small confined levels, with a task of sending crates down a shoot. Imagine if you will that it’s some sort of factory and you’re part of the sorting to get everything to its destination through 60 levels of pushing objects around. It’s pretty simple overall but charming enough with various environmental objects you need to work around including conveyor belts, lasers, mirrors and more.

      • PlayStation Portable (PSP) emulator PPSSPP version 1.11 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Keeping a classic Sony console alive is the PPSSPP emulator for the original PlayStation Portable (PSP) and it continues to see development with a 1.11 release out now.

        It’s been a long time now since Sony really cared about the PSP from 2004, with the Vita eventually succeeding it in 2011. The PSP is no longer manufactured either, so the PPSSPP emulator keeps the spirit of it alive and allows you to play some of the classic games released on it with plenty of enhancements.

        What’s new in PPSSPP 1.11? Quite a lot actually. Plenty of game-specific fixes went in like AdHoc networking fixes for Dragon Ball Shin Budokai, PowerStone, Bleach Heat The Soul 7, Kingdom Hearts, GTA: VCS and many more. Cut off cards in Yu Gi Oh was fixed, Outrun and Dirt 2 saw a fix for car reflections, a new fullscreen option, partial microphone support, Test Drive Unlimited should see better performance and the list of fixed titles goes on.

      • Steam Play Proton has a new build up needing testing with a 5.13-6 RC

        Ready for the next release of the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer? Proton 5.13-6 has hit the Release Candidate stage so it’s time to give it a run.

        If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It’s a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

      • Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan announced letting players have smaller focused realms | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for one more attempt? Paradox Interactive and Paradox Tinto have announced he newest expansion to Paradox’s flagship grand strategy game about the early modern world with Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan.

        Leviathan offers new tools that allow you to play “tall” with smaller and more focused realms with a few centres of power. Paradox aren’t yet giving away everything that’s in it but they did say it also has a host of other changes to well-established game features like Regencies and Colonies. Additionally you will get new ways to quickly develop your capital, drawing resources and power from vassals or newly conquered territories, and allows you to build beyond your province’s construction limit if you are willing to pay the price.

      • GOG have launched a ‘we love games’ sale with lots discounted | GamingOnLinux

        DRM-free store GOG have launched their latest massive sale named the ‘we love games’ sale and of course there’s absolutely loads now discounted to take a look at.

      • The Great Plague Exodus will have you guide your family through dark times | GamingOnLinux

        As if times weren’t tough enough in 2021, imagine what it was like in 1665. The Great Plague Exodus from Priory Games is a choice-based narrative adventure out now.

        The Great Plague Exodus is set during the Great Plague of London in 1665. The game is played through a series of menus which dictate how your custom-made family survives while fleeing from London. Including finding work, trading valuables, using medicine, managing activities and more. The player travels along The Great North Road from, London to Newcastle, being confronted by random events that test how far the player is willing to go to keep their family alive.

      • Godot Engine gains a $120K grant from game developer Kefir | GamingOnLinux

        Since Godot Engine is not run for profit (like Unity, Unreal, Game Maker and others are) any funding given to them is handled by the Software Freedom Conservancy. This ensures all funds are handled properly, and that it all goes towards furthering development on it. All work done, including when paying contributors is under the MIT license.

      • Godot Engine receives $120,000 grant from game development studio Kefir

        We are delighted to announce that the game development studio Kefir is giving the Godot Engine project a USD 120,000 grant to fund further development of the engine. Thank you Kefir for supporting our free and open source game engine!

        Kefir is known for hit survival games such as Last Day on Earth, Grim Soul and Frostborn (not made with Godot). They’re currently using Godot for internal prototypes and are considering using it more in the future.

      • Cities: Skylines is free to play until the end of the weekend, big Paradox sale going on | GamingOnLinux

        Want to try one of the best city builders around? Cities: Skylines is currently free to play until the end of the weekend (yes a whole 5 days!) and it’s on sale too along with plenty of other Paradox titles.

        Paradox are running their own dedicated Lunar Sale, so from now until February 15 (on Steam) and February 17 (on their store) you can build up your collection of their own games and titles they publish by others.

        Cities: Skylines, originally released in 2015, is one of their best selling published games that was originally developed by Colossal Order Ltd. (who also made Cities in Motion). It’s still hugely popular too, regularly seeing around 20 thousand players online at any one time on Steam. Part of that is thanks to their modding and Steam Workshop integration which has grown to some truly insane levels of content. There’s over 44 thousand maps to download, over 52 thousand saved games you can try and the list goes on of extras you can add in.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • First Look at GNOME 40’s New Design Changes in Fedora 34

          As you probably already know, the biggest change in the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop series, due for release in late March 2021 (that’s only a month and a half from the moment of writing), is the redesigned Activities Overview, the screen you see when clicking on the Activities icon on the panel in the left top corner.

          In GNOME 40, the horizontal layout also places the dock at the bottom of the screen, and workspaces are now displayed horizontally as previews on the top of the window picker, right under the search field, and navigated horizontally even using the mouse wheel.

        • Orchis Is A Cool GTK / GNOME Theme With Rounded Elements

          I recently stumbled upon Orchis, an interesting GNOME/GTK theme, and I wanted to share it with you, in case you are not aware of it.

          Orchis supports GNOME (Shell), Xfce and Budgie desktops using GTK 3.20 and newer, and the theme pack also includes Firefox and Plank dock themes, as well as a wallpaper. If you use KDE Plasma, there’s also an Orchis theme pack for KDE.

          You can use this GTK theme with Tela icons, which comes with folders in 13 color variants, or the new Fluent icon theme, which supports 8 colors for its folder icons. Both are created by the same Vince (vinceliuice), who has also designed Orchis.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux vs. Ubuntu

        Kali Linux is essentially a Debian computer Software application. Highly developed network monitoring, together with access controls, is the primary objective. Laptop includes various instruments established to prevent and promote the security of knowledge. Ubuntu is a Linux – based operating system that is Debian dependent. It’s a fully accessible production.

        Ubuntu is powered by Canonical Company limited and is known as an effective laptop Cloud operating platform for learners. Desktop computers have been the central objective of this web browser because they can be used on databases.

      • New Releases

        • Forget pricey Microsoft Windows 10 — the Ubuntu Linux-based Linspire 10 is cheaper

          Windows 10 is actually a really great operating system. The problem? It is actually quite expensive at its normal retail price. Amazon sells Windows 10 Home for a whopping $130! Not to mention, Microsoft’s desktop OS is quite resource intensive, making it a bad choice for those with aging hardware. For those with older computers, Linux-based operating systems are often a better option.

          While many people associate Linux distributions with “free,” the truth is, some can actually cost money. There is nothing wrong with paying for a Linux distro either — it is a fine way to support the development. One such operating system, Linspire (formerly known as “Lindows”) recently hit a major milestone — version 10. Starting at just $29.99, the Ubuntu-based operating system is far cheaper than the expensive Windows 10.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Chromium browser update 88.0.4324.150

          Chromium is a free and open-source software project developed by the Google-sponsored Chromium project. The source code can be compiled into a web browser. Google uses the code to make its Chrome browser, which has more features than Chromium.

        • IceWM window manger update 2.1.2

          Window Manager for X Window System. Can emulate the look of Windows’95, OS/2 Warp 3,4, Motif or the Java Metal GUI. Tries to take the best features of the above systems. Features multiple workspaces, opaque move/resize, task bar, window list, mailbox status, digital clock. Fast and small.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux Static 152 – sussing out the desktop experience

          GeckoLinux is an okay distribution. It definitely offers friendlier defaults than openSUSE, but it also introduces problems of its own. Notably, a whole range of visual and some functional inconsistencies. The theming could be better, network connectivity should be better, and I’m baffled by the audio clarity. That said, the fonts and media are definite pluses in this system.

          I wish I had stellar news, but I guess there’s only so much one can do by remastering a system that already has inherent limitations and problems. At the end of the day, Gecko is 90% openSUSE, just like Ubuntu forks are all essentially the same – or at least, should be, so it will always be ceiling-ed by what happens upstream. Anyway, it’s definitely worth a try, as it does introduce more newb-friendly features than its parent. But there’s also a lot of room for improvement, too, mostly on the ergonomic side. All in all, decent but nothing too special. So far, on the IdeaPad 3, Manjaro did the best job, methinks. And that would be ze end of this article.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • How to activate your no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription

          A few weeks ago, we announced the new, no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscription. Here’s a quick guide for developers who want to set up a subscription and start using it right away.

        • Get started with RHEL for Edge

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.3 introduces a new deployment option that is well-suited to solve many of the challenges common for edge deployments. In this post, we will walk through the use of Image Builder to create a (custom) RHEL for Edge OSTree commits and how to install those to a disk or a virtual machine image.

        • Which workload did you first use Linux containers for? | Enable Sysadmin

          Containerization is not really a new technology, but it endures because of its efficiency, ease of use, security, and rapid deployment capability. Containers are perfect for isolating applications from on another on a single system. You can containerize just about any service including web, database, application, storage, communication, and so on.

        • Developers: This is the one skill most likely to get you hired, according to IBM | ZDNet

          In every career, some skills will land you a better job than others – and developers are no exception. According to IBM, there is one ability that will make a real difference in the interview room: developers who can create the open-source technologies that underpin the cloud are by far the ones most likely to get a call-back.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Your Service is not Open Source

        Open Sourcing the code to your SaaS is insufficient to make it actually be Open Source. Sounds self-contradictory?

        Most services that espouse “Open Source”, do so by simply throwing the code over the wall. It’s better than nothing, but really misses the point that powers Open Source: enabling users to make a change to the software they’re using.

        Some other popular services powered by Open Source software, such as GitLab.com or ElasticSearch do include the tools used to operate/deploy their service. Pause for applause

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mike Hoye: Text And Context

            This image is a reference to the four-square Drake template – originally Drake holding up a hand and turning away from something disapprovingly in the top half, while pointing favorably to something else in the lower half – featuring Xzibit rather than Drake, himself meme-famous for “yo dawg we heard you like cars, so we put a car in your car so you can drive while you drive”, to whose recursive nature this image is of course an homage. In the upper left panel, Xzibit is looking away disappointedly from the upper right, which contains a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder of the biblical Tower Of Babel. In the lower left, Xzibit is now looking favorably towards an deeply nested meme.

            This particular meme features the lead singer from Nickelback holding up a picture frame, a still from the video of their song “Photograph”. The “you know I had to do it to ’em” guy is in the distant background. Inside, the frame is cut in four by a two-axis graph, with “authoritarian/libertarian” on the Y axis and “economic-left/economic-right” on the X axis, overlaid with the words “young man, take the breadsticks and run, I said young man, man door hand hook car gun“, a play on both an old bit about bailing out of a bad conversation while stealing breadsticks, the lyrics to The Village People’s “YMCA”, and adding “gun” to the end of some sentence to shock its audience. These lyrics are arranged within those four quadrants in a visual reference to “loss.jpg”, a widely derided four-panel webcomic from 2008.

          • Love lockdown: Four people reveal how they stay privacy-aware while using dating apps

            Dating during a global pandemic is the definition of “it’s complicated”. Between the screen fatigue and social distancing, meeting someone in today’s world feels impossible. Yet, people are still finding ways to connect through dating apps.

            Like lots of apps, what users might not realize is the amount of personal information revealed when using these services. Information like your sexual orientation, location data, what high school you went to, and even your pet’s name, can be sold to third-party companies or used to target users with ads. This practice is known as surveillance capitalism, and its implications go beyond ads. Last year Grindr, Tinder, and OkCupid got into hot water for sneaky privacy practices that included the sale of personal data.

          • The Mozilla Blog: Next steps on trustworthy AI: transparency, bias and better data governance

            Over the last few years, Mozilla has turned its attention to AI, asking: how can we make the data driven technologies we all use everyday more trustworthy? How can we make things like social networks, home assistants and search engines both more helpful and less harmful in the era ahead?

            In 2021, we will take a next step with this work by digging deeper in three areas where we think we can make real progress: transparency, bias and better data governance. While these may feel like big, abstract concepts at first glance, all three are at the heart of problems we hear about everyday in the news: problems that are top of mind not just in tech circles, but also amongst policy makers, business leaders and the public at large.

            Think about this: we know that social networks are driving misinformation and political divisions around the world. And there is growing consensus that we urgently need to do something to fix this. Yet we can’t easily see inside — we can’t scrutinize — the AI that drives these platforms, making genuine fixes and real accountability impossible. Researchers, policy makers and developers need to be able to see how these systems work (transparency) if we’re going to tackle this issue.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • FSF Blogs: Celebrate I Love Free Software Day on Feb. 14th by staying connected

            Times are tough in 2021, but free software enthusiasts are a tenacious lot, and while we haven’t been able to hug many friends, we haven’t lost touch with them, either, thanks to a wonderful plethora of free software communications tools. Given how crucial our families and social networks are to our ability to survive and thrive right now, we’re so fortunate to be able to talk to all the people we love, anywhere in the world, without sacrificing our principles or exposing ourselves and our loved ones to the predatory and abusive practices of proprietary software companies. The handcrafted communications tools we use don’t come with strings attached – they are a simple and perfect gift, shared with an absolute commitment to generosity and respect.

            Accordingly, our friends at the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) have chosen the theme of “staying connected” for their I Love Free Software Day celebration, which happens every year on February 14, Valentine’s Day, and we also want you to share the love!

          • GRUB 2.06 Should Be Released This Year, Cooperation Increasing With Distro Vendors – Phoronix

            While GRUB 2.06 was aiming for release in 2020, having to deal with the BootHole security issue among other challenges last year ended up delaying that release. Fortunately, it looks like this long awaited GRUB feature update should be out this year and there has been increased cooperation between upstream GRUB developers and distribution vendors.

            GRUB 2.04 as the last feature release happened back in July 2019. Since then GRUB has seen improved Btrfs RAID support, support for LUKS2 encrypted disks, new security features, and more. Having to deal with the GRUB BootHole fiasco last year thwarted their plans for the infrequent GRUB 2.06 release but that is now back to moving along. GRUB developer Daniel Kiper at Oracle once again presented at last weekend’s FOSDEM about the ongoing work.

          • GNU Guix: Join GNU Guix through Outreachy

            We are happy to announce that GNU Guix offers a three-month paid internship through Outreachy, the inclusion program for groups traditionally underrepresented in free software and tech.

            The initial application deadline is on Feb. 22, 2021 at 4PM UTC.

            For further information, check out the timeline, information about the application process, and the eligibility rules.

            If you’d like to contribute to computing freedom, Scheme, functional programming, or operating system development, now is a good time to join us. Let’s get in touch on the mailing lists and on the #guix channel on the Freenode IRC network!

      • Programming/Development

        • Open source Linux debugging tool focuses on IPC

          Guardicore has released an open source debugging tool called “IPCDump” for tracing and visualizing interprocess communication on Linux. Features include tracing IPC between short-lived processes.

          Guardicore, which defines itself as the “the segmentation company disrupting the legacy firewall market,” announced the availability of IPCDump, an open source debugging tool for Linux interprocess communication (IPC). The Alpha-stage. GitHub-hosted software has been tested with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS.

          IPCDump covers IPC mechanisms such as pipes, fifos, signals, Unix sockets, loopback-based networking, and pseudoterminals. It can also be used for debugging multi-process applications “and gaining transparency into how they communicate with one another in their IT environment,” says Guardicore. The tool is said to achieve this goal by “tracing both the metadata and contents of apps’ communication.”

        • Guardicore Unveils IPCDump, a New Open Source Tool for Tracing Interprocess Communication on Linux

          Guardicore, the segmentation company disrupting the legacy firewall market, announced the availability of IPCDump, a new open source tool for tracing interprocess communication on Linux. The tool covers most interprocess communication (IPC) mechanisms, including pipes, fifos, signals, Unix sockets, loopback-based networking, and pseudoterminals, and is useful for debugging multi-process applications and gaining transparency into how they communicate with one another in their IT environment.

        • $50 Watchy hackable e-paper smartwatch goes on sale

          Modern smartwatches can sell for hundreds of dollars and run proprietary software or for as little as $25 while running open source code.

          Watchy is closer to that latter category. It’s a smartwatch with a paper-like monochrome display and open source hardware and software.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppSMC 0.2.3 on CRAN: Updated Snapshot

          A new release 0.2.3 of the RcppSMC package arrived on CRAN earlier today. Once again it progressed as a very quick pretest-publish within minutes of submission—thanks CRAN!

          RcppSMC provides Rcpp-based bindings to R for the Sequential Monte Carlo Template Classes (SMCTC) by Adam Johansen described in his JSS article. Sequential Monte Carlo is also referred to as Particle Filter in some contexts.

        • What Is a Software Engineer?

          Previously in Life in Tech, we explored the role of software developer, examining the skills and responsibilities of this key tech position. Now, as promised, we’ll look at the related, and often overlapping, role of software engineer.

          As we explained before, it’s important to note that the terms software developer and software engineer are often used interchangeably. “The difference between the terms may be meaningful or not depending on many factors, including the industry, the organization, and the team in which you work.”

        • Python

          • The 22 Most-Used Python Packages in The World in 2021

            This question inspired me to write this piece. I figured a list of the most-used Python packages would give a good indication.
            As a starting point, I took a list of the most downloaded Python packages on PyPI over the past 365 days. Let’s dive in and find out what they do, how they’re related, and why they rank so high!

  • Leftovers

    • Soundtrack of the Sixties: An Elastic Essay

      I have long been ruminating about the essential misconception so many entertain about the sixties. Those younger than me, who were not around to experience the sixties, read about them in their history books. It is ancient history to those folks. It was certainly a controversial decade and remains so today. Like any controversial period, it has grown distorted over time. Everyone seems to have their own axe to grind.

      Some divide the decade into subunits. There is the “flower power” era, that is depicted as short, sweet, and imminently misguided, followed by a quick and decisive descent into decadence and madness. The cut-off point is the massacre of innocents carried out by the Manson Family in smoggy LA.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Disarticulation of Pandemic War Propaganda

        A now-deleted fact sheet published by the U.S. State Department on January 15, 2021, claimed that for over a year, “the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has systematically prevented a transparent and thorough investigation of the COVID-19 pandemic’s origin.” The official release of that fact sheet focuses on the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV); a controversial research lab in the Hubei province of China which has been the target of well-earned suspicions over its work on bat-borne zoonotic diseases like SARS-CoV-2, better known as the COVID-19 coronavirus.

      • Going Airborne: Coronavirus and Hotel Quarantine

        A discouraging pattern is emerging from Australia’s hotel quarantine system.  In January, 2.5 million residents across the Greater Brisbane area in the state of Queensland faced a short, sharp lockdown after a hotel quarantine worker tested positive for the virus.  “The cleaner did everything right,” claimed the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

        Western Australia followed suit, with its government imposing a five-day lockdown in the wake of a positive test for a hotel quarantine guard.  Known as Case 903, the guard in question tested positive to the UK variant of the virus, seemingly from a returned overseas traveller.  He had not interacted with the person in question, having been stationedtwo metres away from the room at the Four Points by Sheraton in Perth.  Paul Armstrong, state director of communicable disease control, revealed that security guards at quarantine hotels were not required to don personal protective equipment except in cases when guests would arrive or when the room door would open.

      • Are We Ready For Vaccinating With Sputnik V?

        The scientific journal The Lancet has confirmed that “Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine shows 91.6% efficacy in clinical trials.” Wow. What a relief. Since Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are in short supply, this should be a most welcome development.

        But it hasn’t been. Why not?

      • House Democrats Ask DeJoy to Answer For Spike in Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Among Postal Workers

        “In view of these troubling reports, we request a briefing by March 1, 2021, on Covid-19 infections and deaths affecting postal workers, as well as the impact on mail service that the pandemic has had.”

      • The Value of Universal Vaccination Is So Great That Even the IMF Is Being Forced to Rethink Its Callousness to the Global South

        The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its January 2021 report, talks about “strong multilateral cooperation” and “universal distribution of vaccines… at affordable prices for all” for the global economy to recover.

        Meanwhile, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Research Foundation has commissioned a study that shows that even in their self-interest, rich countries need to share vaccines with poorer countries instead of the vaccine-grabbing they have been doing.

      • Disabled Advocates Demand Better Vaccine Access as They Face Greater Risks of Dying from COVID-19

        As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus tops 465,000, we speak with two disability rights activists about growing calls to prioritize giving COVID vaccines to people with physical and mental disabilities. Some states, including California, are failing to prioritize vaccines for people with serious physical or developmental disabilities, even though studies show they are up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19. “I use a ventilator to breathe, and I have respiratory failure,” says disabled activist Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project and host of the podcast “Disability Visibility.” “If I get the virus, I will not survive. That is a certainty.” We also speak with Rabbi Elliot Kukla, a disability activist who offers spiritual care to those who are ill, dying or bereaved at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, it’s been clear that disabled lives simply don’t matter as much,” he says.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Ex-NSA man Aitel launches fresh attack on NYT reporter’s cyber security book

            Ex-NSA hacker and former owner of security company Immunity, Dave Aitel, has launched a fresh salvo of tweets against a book published by New York Times cyber security reporter Nicole Perlroth, after securing and reading a copy of the tome which was published on Tuesday US time.

          • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2021 Edition

            Microsoft today rolled out updates to plug at least 56 security holes in its Windows operating systems and other software. One of the bugs is already being actively exploited, and six of them were publicized prior to today, potentially giving attackers a head start in figuring out how to exploit the flaws.

          • Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt takes a hit from ransomware

            Polish video game developer CD Projekt, a company that is known for its game series The Witcher and the CyberPunk 2077 project, says it has suffered an attack from unspecified ransomware, but claims that users’ personal data has not been affected.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (connman, firejail, libzstd, slirp, and xcftools), Fedora (chromium, jackson-databind, and privoxy), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (kernel and kernel-container), Slackware (dnsmasq), SUSE (java-11-openjdk, kernel, and python), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.6, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, linux, linux-gke-5.0, linux-gke-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-raspi2-5.3, openjdk-8, openjdk-lts, and snapd).

          • Top web hosting provider shuts down following cyberattack

            Cybercriminals often attack websites in order to extort a ransom from their victims but a recent cyberattack against the web hosting company No Support Linux Hosting took quite a different turn.

            After a hacker managed to breach the company’s internal systems and compromise its entire operation, No Support Linux Hosting has announced that it is shutting down. The company alerted its customers to the situation before shutting down its website in a message, which reads:

            “On February 8, 2021, a hacker successfully compromised all the servers we use to operate our business including the No Support Linux Hosting web site, Admin section, and our customer database. We can no longer operate the No Support Linux Hosting business.”

          • Google Introduces A Database To Easily Track & Manage Open-Source Vulnerabilities

            Google has launched a platform – OSV (Open-Source Vulnerabilities), which is a vulnerability database and triage infrastructure meant for open-source projects.

            It is going to help the contributors and users of open-source software by providing precise data on vulnerabilities so that those can be worked upon as soon as possible.

          • TeamViewer – the ultimate security problem?

            TeamViewer (now with automatic updates) generates a unique 10x digit per-device ID and also generates a password for every new session (but it is possible to also assign a fixed password (that is probably what was done in the water-treatment plant… probably with a bad too easy to guess password… because some employee wanted to remote admin that machine))

            There is also a portable version, that does not need installation and will not keep running in the background as a service, but for users that want to remote-administer their machines… that aint’ suitable, is it?

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Canadian Privacy Commission Says Clearview’s App Is Illegal, Tells It To Pack Its Things And Leave

              Clearview has screwed with the wrong people. The reprehensible facial recognition AI company that sells access to its database of scraped photos and personal info managed to raise the ire of some of the most restrained and polite people in the world, as Kashmir Hill reports for the New York Times.

            • Chastity Penis Lock Company That Was Hacked Says It’s Now Totally Safe To Put Your Penis Back In That Chastity Lock

              While we’ve covered the Internet of Broken Things for some time, where companies fail to secure the devices they sell which connect to the internet, the entire genre sort of jumped the shark in October of last year. That’s when Qiui, a Chinese company, was found to have sold a penis chastity lock that communicates with an API that was wide open and sans any password protection. The end result is that users of a device that locks up their private parts could enjoy those private parts entirely at the pleasure of nefarious third parties. Qiui pushed out a fix to the API… but didn’t do so for existing users, only new devices. Why? Well, the company stated that pushing it out to existing devices would again cause them to all lock up, with no override available. Understandably, there wasn’t a whole lot of interest in the company’s devices at that point.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • With Biden’s Backing, Space Force Threatens to Accelerate the Arms Race
      • From Concentration Camps to Overflow Facilities: With Biden in Charge, Media Forgets Kids in Cages

        The Biden administration is opening a new child prison along the United States-Mexico border. The center, located in Carrizo Springs, around 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, is being specifically built for unaccompanied migrant children attempting to cross the border and will hold around 700 people when finished, although plans noted it will be expanded if the government deems it necessary.

      • Opinion | Time to Negotiate for Peace in Space

        A legally binding international treaty banning the basing of weapons in space should be the global objective of all.

      • Farmers’ Protest in India: Price of Failure Will Be immense

        While the brands lining the shelves of giant retail outlets seem vast, a handful of food companies own these brands which in turn rely on a relatively narrow range of produce for ingredients. At the same time, this illusion of choice often comes at the expense of food security in poorer countries that were compelled to restructure their agriculture to facilitate agro-exports courtesy of the World Bank, IMF, the WTO and global agribusiness interests.

        In Mexico, transnational food retail and processing companies have taken over food distribution channels, replacing local foods with cheap processed items, often with the direct support of the government. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to this process and the consequences for public health have been catastrophic.

      • Rich Farmers, Global Plots, Local Stupidity

        But we, our government and ruling elite are preoccupied with far more pressing concerns. Such as how to smash the conspiracy of dreaded global terrorists Rihanna and Greta Thunberg aimed at defaming and humiliating the greatest nation on earth.

        As fiction, that would be insanely funny. As reality, it’s merely insane.

      • The Clash Between the UK and EU Over Northern Ireland is a Precursor to Confrontations That will Last Decades
      • ‘Freedom is Never Voluntarily Given’: Palestinian Boycott of Israel is Not Racist, It is Anti-Racist

        Yang, a former Democratic Presidential candidate, is vying for the Jewish vote in New York City. According to the reductionist assumption that all Jews must naturally support Israel and Zionism, Yang constructed an argument that is entirely based on a tired and false mantra equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

        Yang’s pro-Israel logic is not only unfounded, but confused as well. “A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment,” he wrote, referring to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

      • Andrew Yang Got it Wrong: Palestinian Boycott of Israel is Not Racist, It is Anti-Racist

        Claims made by Democratic New York City mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang, in a recent op-ed in the Jewish weekly, The Forward point to the prevailing ignorance that continues to dominate the US discourse on Palestine and Israel.

      • UN Security Council adopts UK Presidency statement on Libya

        As part of the international effort to signal their full support for the newly selected Libyan Presidency Council and prime minister of the Government of National Unity, the UN Security Council adopted the UK’s statement on Libya yesterday.

        The UK has taken over as the President of the Security Council as of 1 February.

        The statement welcomes the 5 February Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) in Geneva agreement on a new unified interim executive authority (GNU) charged with leading the country to the 24 December 2021 constitutionally based elections.

        [...]

        The Presidency Statement is not a Security Council Resolution, but it signals early and clear support to all domestic and international stakeholders for the new Libyan administration.

      • The New Humanitarian | Aid groups welcome Colombia move on Venezuelan migrants

        Aid groups welcomed Colombia’s offer of temporary legal status for a decade to more than 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants, but cautioned that implementation will take time and said greater assistance was needed for one of the world’s most underfunded humanitarian crises.
        “We need to take action,” President Iván Duque said during the announcement on Monday afternoon in the Colombian capital, Bogotá – made alongside Filippo Grandi, the UN’s high commissioner for refugees.
        Despite many unanswered questions regarding the specific rights Venezuelans will receive and how it will be logistically rolled out, humanitarian groups and international NGOs praised the government’s decision, although some warned it could drive up already rising xenophobia due to increased competition for jobs with local workers.
        “This is a turning point,” Marianne Menjivar, Colombia and Venezuela director for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), told The New Humanitarian. “What the Colombian government has done is extraordinary, and it’s a world-class example. We still have a lot of work on our hands. This is still the second most underfunded crisis in the world, and the needs are huge.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Opinion | Top Reasons It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage Now

        When employers don’t pay people enough to survive, those workers are compelled to seek government assistance, meaning taxpayers are essentially subsidizing the corporations. 

      • Opinion | Hedge Funds Tried to Kill Gamestop. Now They’re Coming for Our Health Care System Too

        Hedge funds and private equity firms make profits off our misery and threaten any future health care reform. 

      • Democrats Stick With $75K Threshold for Stimulus Checks After Pressure From Left
      • The Unintentional Honesty of Jeff Bezos

        The Bezos decision to exit Amazon’s CEO suite, Bloomberg laments, at least partially ends “one of the most epic runs in modern business history.” Bezos, adds CNET, gave us “more than a quarter-century of shattering the status quo.” The man built, exclaimsCNBC, “a $1.6 trillion company from nothing.” His “genius,” the UK Telegraph sums up, makes Bezos, “the Henry Ford of his generation.”

        Look, Jeff Bezos certainly does rate as a smart guy. But smart people abound in the Internet economy. Many of them work at Amazon. Collectively, as a group, all these smart people have brought us the many innovations that have sped Amazon’s rise to global dominance, everything from personalized recommendations to “1-Click” shopping.

      • As Progressives Secure $15 Wage in House Covid Bill, Jayapal Says ‘Democrats Have to Fight’ to Make It Law

        “We shouldn’t care whether Republicans are gonna vote for this or not. The vast majority of the American people support this package, Republicans and Democrats.”

      • Kremlin denies reports of plans to unveil $6.7 billion spending package to ease discontent

        During a press briefs on Tuesday, February 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied reports from Reuters that the Russian authorities are considering rolling out a $6.7-billion funding package to ease popular discontent ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for this fall. 

      • Big Business Goes Up Against Democracy in Seattle

        Last year’s dreadful miasma of Covid, recession, police violence, and coup attempt obscured some remarkable advances by local and national left-wing movements. Florida voters, while rejecting the Biden/Harris ticket, overwhelmingly approved a $15 minimum wage. Arizona and Oregon approved tax increases on the wealthy to fund public education. Colorado passed paid family leave. Portland, Me., voters approved rent control. All six representatives in historically swing districts who supported Medicare for All won reelection. Ninety-two of the 93 House Democrats—including all four in swing districts—who ran in November as Green New Deal sponsors won reelection. At least 20 candidates endorsed by Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) won office. In a year of historic uprisings against police brutality and economic inequality, support for socialism rose, especially among younger people.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Marjorie Taylor Green Falsely Suggests Capitol Attackers Weren’t Fans of Trump
      • To Make ‘Most Compelling Case’ for Conviction, Progressives Say Trump Trial Must Include Witnesses

        “The Senate, and the nation as a whole, need to hear from witnesses who can testify not only about the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, but also about Trump’s actions leading up to that attack.”

      • As Trump Trial Begins, Impeachment Officials Promise ‘Devastating’ New Evidence

        “I think it very well may be the case that reluctant senators change their mind and vote to convict,” prosecution aides said.

      • New Evidence Expected at Trump’s Impeachment May Change GOP Minds, Aides Say
      • Don’t Impeach Trump. Impeach the Deep State for Its Conspiracy to Kill the Constitution

        Let’s be clear about one thing: the impeachment of Donald Trump is a waste of time and money. Impeaching Trump will accomplish very little, and it will not in any way improve the plight of the average American. It will only reinforce the spectacle and farce that have come to be synonymous with politics today.

      • What’s to Become of the Republican Party

        And the conspiracist freshman Georgia Republican congresswoman, stripped of two committee assignments by Democrats incensed at her extremist statements, says she will push the GOP further to the right.

        How far right can one go without becoming a fascist or an oft-mentioned avatar of the rightwing, Attila the Hun? That cruel, non-Christian leader ruled in the 5th century A.D. from the central plains of what is now Hungary.

      • ‘Show the Video to Someone You Know’: Watch Democrats’ Must-See Exhibit A at Trump Trial

        “If the pursuit of justice does not fuel you, let the rage and horror of this piece of testimony do it.”

      • WaPo Curates the Memory of George Shultz

        George Shultz, a prominent cabinet member of both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, holding posts at State, Treasury, Labor and the Office of Management and Budget, died over the weekend at age 100. His death prompted no fewer than three fawning tributes in the Washington Post, in addition to the paper’s official obituary.

      • ‘The Senate Must Convict. America Is Watching’: Watchdogs Demand Trump Be Held to Account

        “The president of the United States incited a murderous insurrection, then used his bully pulpit to fan the flames of hatred.”

      • Watch Jamie Raskin Deliver ‘Heartbreaking’ Personal Account of Insurrection on Day 1 of Trump Trial

        “This cannot be the future of America,” the Maryland Democrat said. “We cannot have presidents inciting… mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people.”

      • Georgia Launches Inquiry Into Trump’s Demands to “Find” Votes in His Favor
      • Trying To Be a Good Citizen

        In the light of the decision of the Fabiani Inquiry to exclude the statement of Alex Salmond as well as the evidence of Geoff Aberdein, leading to the effective collapse of the committee, I am trying to assist them.

      • Opinion | Democrats Disarm Themselves Before Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial

        If the Democrats do not go full throttle in this trial—this last clear chance to exercise the Constitution against Tyrant Trump—they will be remembered as profiles of infamy.

      • Democrats Disarm Themselves Before Trump’s Senate Impeachment Trial

        Now the Democrats are moving forward into an impeachment trial, using only a fraction of the voluminous incriminating evidence against a president who incited insurrection against Congress and the Constitution. Trump directly incited an armed mob, bent on mayhem, against both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate who were gathered to count state-certified electoral votes under the Twelfth Amendment and the Electoral Count Act. The Joint Session of Congress heard the vile mob chant the chilling phrase “Hang Mike Pence,” the Vice President who had fallen from Trump’s favor by refusing to compromise his constitutional duty to count rather than to second-guess the state-certified votes.

        The Democrats know if the Senate neglects to convict Trump (requiring a two-thirds majority), and prohibit him from running for the White House ever again (requiring only a simple majority) they will be unleashing a vengeful monster, loaded with cash for a 2024 presidential run. Republicans should fear that prospect to avoid the risk of internecine warfare.

      • Opinion | Impeachment Trial Must Result in Trump Lifetime Ban To Protect Our Democracy

        We cannot begin to address this threat and rebuild trust unless we send a clear message that future presidents cannot incite an insurrection at the end of their term and get away with it. 

      • Just Six GOP Senators Join Democrats in Reaffirming Trump Impeachment Trial as Constitutional

        Sen. Bill Cassidy, the only Republican to change his vote from last month, said that “the House managers made a compelling, cogent case—and the president’s team did not.”

      • Opinion | Still Crooked, Clueless and Complicit After All These Years
      • Your Official Souvenir Guide to the Trump Impeachment Trial

        Congratulations! You are one of small number of Americans selected by U.S. Senators to witness in person the 2021 Impeachment Trial of former President Donald J. Trump.  In keeping with Electoral College protocols, every senator has been allotted the same number of tickets, regardless of the size of their state. It is therefore expected that all citizens of Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, South and North Dakota will have an opportunity to attend the trial.

        Please note: Tickets for the 2019 Impeachment trial of Trump will not be honored for the 2021 trial.

      • GOP Senators Face a Reckoning Over Impeachment

        On Tuesday, the epilogue to Trump’s rancid presidency begins. The post-presidency Senate impeachment trial, unique in the long annals of American presidential history, promises to be both spectacular political theater and also profoundly important for the future of American democracy—and, most immediately, for the future of the Republican Party. In this trial, the House impeachment managers, led by Representative Jamie Raskin, will argue that, far from being protected free speech, “President Trump’s incitement of insurrection was itself a frontal assault on the First Amendment,” in attempting to undo the free expression of America’s voters. They will argue that the president, by mustering a violent mob—under the guise of baseless “stop the steal” allegations—to assault the Capitol while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote, was deliberately engaging in an effort to undermine the peaceful transfer of power; and that, having so thoroughly violated the Constitution that he had sworn an oath to uphold, Donald Trump should first be convicted by the Senate and then prevented from ever running for or holding public office again.

      • Will American Sports Recover From Trumpism?

        Overwhelmed by the intertwined plagues of Covid-19 and Trumpism, sports didn’t stand a chance in 2020. No wonder I’m weirded out by the strange, metaphorical moments of that last disastrous year and the first days of this one. To mention just three among so many: Dr. Anthony Fauci’s errant pitch on opening day of the Major League Baseball season; Ben and Jerry’s announcement of its newest ice cream flavor, Colin Kaepernick’s Changing the Whirled; and President Trump’s awarding of the Medal of Freedom to three pro golfers the day after his own all-too-“proud” team stormed the Capitol.

      • Haiti: Too Many Presidents, Too Little of Everything Else

        Haiti now has three presidents—or it did as of last night.

      • Despite Biden’s Moratorium, ICE Deports Dozens to Haiti — Including a Baby
      • Outrage After ICE Accused of Deporting ‘Defenseless Babies’ to Haiti During Pandemic

        Rep. Mondaire Jones demanded the immediate return of “wrongfully deported” as Rep. Ayanna Pressley denounced ICE as “rogue agency.”

      • Party of Trump

        Check out all installments in the OppArt series.

      • Senate Puts Trump on Trial in Historic Second Impeachment Case for Inciting Capitol Insurrection

        The historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump marks the first time a president will face impeachment after leaving office, and many Republicans claim the trial of a former president is unconstitutional. But most legal experts disagree. “Of course the Senate can conduct this trial,” says Alan Hirsch, author and chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He says doing otherwise would give presidents a “get-out-of-impeachment-free card” at the end of their terms. Since the U.S. was founded, the Senate has conducted just three other presidential impeachment trials: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1999 and Donald Trump in 2020. The House’s second impeachment of Trump came a week before his term ended for inciting the deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which was aimed at stopping lawmakers from counting the Electoral College votes.

      • Democrats Have Inherited a Broken Senate. Can They Make It Work?

        Tom Udall used his farewell address as New Mexico’s senior senator to deliver a dire assessment of the chamber in which he had served for 12 years. “The Senate is broken,” he said in December. “Our government is supposed to respond to the will of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority. Instead, we have the tyranny of the minority. That minority is superwealthy, politically powerful, and dangerously out of touch with the American people.”

      • Exit Trump, Sort Of

        When he got on that airplane to Florida, You could hear a great sigh of relief At the prospect of no longer having Such a man as commander in chief.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Section 230 Lets Tech Fix Content Moderation Issues. Congress Should Respect That

        Congress is on the brink of destroying the internet as we know it.

      • Facebook, the ADL and the Brewing Battle to Label Zionism as Hate Speech

        The Biden administration is opening a new child prison along the United States-Mexico border. The center, located in Carrizo Springs, around 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, is being specifically built for unaccompanied migrant children attempting to cross the border and will hold around 700 people when finished, although plans noted it will be expanded if the government deems it necessary.

      • The “Deplatforming” of the Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas – The Project Censored Show
      • Facebook hires ex-NATO press officer and social media censor Ben Nimmo as intel strategist
      • Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer as Intelligence Chief

        Ben Nimmo, a former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, has announced Facebook has hired him to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Russia, Iran and China as potential dangers to the platform.

      • Pornhub, QAnon and the War on Sex

        Following the publication of Kristof’s piece in the NYT, credit card behemoths Visa and Mastercard discontinued their service to the site, adversely affecting the livelihoods of scores of sex workers and performers. In addition to this, far right groups, such as Exodus Cry, have seen the article as a clarion call in their crusade for sexual “purity.” Morphing from the early Puritans into today’s evangelicals, this war has never ended for them. Exodus Cry claims that its aim is to stop human trafficking, an admirable goal. But the organization never addresses decriminalizing sex work or the inhumane immigration laws and policies which are at the root of the problem. They also exclude gay men and transgender people as victims of sex trafficking and assault, even though this is a well documented problem. In addition to this, the founder Mike Bickle and the president Benjamin Nolot have expressed their antigay and anti-choice positions on several occasions, with one comparing being gay to opening “the demonic realm.”

        Pornography has always been a charged topic in America, and it is often painted with a broad brush. Most people understand that exploitation of children or non-consensual sex are abusive and thus designated as crimes. Certainly, the modern porn industry is rife with abuses. But beyond this, who decides what is acceptable for adults? Back in the late 1980s, Robert Maplethorpe’s art works were censored in the US because they were labeled “obscene” by some politicians. And the genre of erotica is often lumped in with more explicit, hardcore pornography. Indeed, sexual expression in the visual medium has been a part of human culture for millennia. In fact, to many evangelicals and other religious conservatives all or most displays of public nudity or eroticism are considered offensive or perverse.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Relatives of journalists killed in CAR speak out against memorial sponsored by oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin

        Weeks after Kremlin-linked oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin offered to finance the construction of a monument at the site where Russian journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Orkhan Dzhemal, and Kirill Radchenko were murdered in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2018, the journalists’ family members have spoken out against the memorial.

      • ‘Double standards everywhere’: Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s ‘TASS’ interview, in a nutshell

        In a 30-minute interview with the Russian state news agency TASS, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Western diplomats for their recent shows of support for imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny (this comes after Moscow expelled three European diplomats on February 5). She then went on to accuse the West of having “double standards” when it comes to political prisoners and criticized the “policy of containment” allegedly directed towards Russia and China. Here’s what Maria Zakharova said, in a nutshell. 

      • Biden justice department opts to continue with case against Assange

        The Department of Justice under new US President Joe Biden has decided to continue its bid to seek the extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange from the UK, according to a report from Kevin Gosztola, a freelance journalist who has his own site on Substack.

      • Assange Prosecution, Launched By Trump Justice Department, Will Continue Under Biden

        The following was originally published as part of The Dissenter Newsletter.The Justice Department under President Joe Biden plans to continue the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that was launched under President Donald Trump.“We continue to seek his extradition,” Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi told Reuters, days before February 12, the deadline for the United States government to submit its “grounds for appeal.”The statement represents a departure from President Barack Obama’s administration, which declined to prosecute Assange. Justice Department officials were reportedly concerned about the threat it would pose to press freedom.On January 4, British district judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the U.S. government’s extradition request and concluded Assange’s mental condition was “such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.”She accepted that Assange would likely be imprisoned at a supermax prison in the U.S. under special administrative measures (SAMs) and would find a way to commit suicide.

        “I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate causing him to commit suicide with the ‘single minded determination’ of his autism spectrum disorder.”

      • Biden administration will continue to seek Assange extradition
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • If We’re Going To Talk About Discrimination In Online Ads, We Need To Talk About Roommates.com

        It has been strange to see people speak about Section 230 and illegal discrimination as if it were somehow a new issue to arise. In fact, one of the seminal court cases that articulated the parameters of Section 230, the Roommates.com case, did so in the context of housing discrimination. It’s worth taking a look at what happened in that litigation and how it bears on the current debate.

      • Letter to Justice Clarence Thomas: Time to Pack It In

        Let me unpack my logic. I’m advocating for a national campaign calling on Justice Clarence Thomas to pack it in and announce his retirement. Here’s the letter I sent him.

        ***

      • Incarcerated People Airlifted To Hospital Following Violent Attack By Alabama Prison Guards

        Tensions were higher than usual at Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama early on the morning of January 30. A couple of days prior, guards had attacked and choked an elderly incarcerated man, Cat Diamond, in the cafeteria under the reportedly false pretense that he had gotten in line for a second meal.

        That morning, Robert Earl Council, an incarcerated organizer who is also known as Kinetik Justice, questioned Officer Griffin about the beating, witnesses said. Officer Griffin called for reinforcements and Sgt. “Shakedown” Brown, Sgt. Binder, and Officer Milton liberally maced the area. 

      • Amid Unrest in Haiti, ICE Deports Dozens — Including a 2-Month-Old Baby — into “Burning House”

        U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported at least 72 people to Haiti, including a 2-month-old baby and 21 other children. The deportations appear to be a contradiction of the Biden administration’s order to deport only people with serious charges against them. Haiti faces an increase in political violence and ongoing protests against President Jovenel Moïse’s U.S.-backed regime, and Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, says sending people to Haiti is putting them in danger. “We should be providing protection for those people, but we are sending them into a burning house,” says Jozef.

      • How Progressive District Attorneys Are Leading the Charge to Fix Our Broken Justice System

        Last year’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations—the most widespread protest movement in American history—have resulted in concrete action from national leaders to combat systemic racism. In his first week as president, Joe Biden issued four executive orders designed to advance racial equity in areas such as housing and the criminal justice system. And, earlier this month, lawmakers in both houses of Congress introduced legislation to dismantle structural racism in American health care.

      • Navalny’s associates announce protests planned for February 14

        Alexey Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, has announced that the opposition politician’s supporters are planning to conduct a protest action on Sunday, February 14.

      • Rennie Davis, 1940–2021

        Rennie Davis, who died on February 2, was one of the New Left’s most talented organizers—and also one of the sanest and best-liked. Fifty years after his heroic days as a leader of the anti-war movement of the 1960s, he returned to the news when the Aaron Sorkin film The Trial of the Chicago 7 opened on Netflix in September. Rennie had been one of the organizers of the anti-war protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, charged by the Nixon administration with inciting a riot, but his portrayal in the film was a travesty—Sorkin’s Rennie was a nerdy guy concerned mostly with not offending his girlfriend’s conservative parents. “I felt sorry for Tony winner Alex Sharp who played me,” he said. But he nevertheless urged people to see the film, because of its “timely message” about the value of protest and the necessity of speaking truth to power.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • DOJ Drops Ridiculous Trump-Era Lawsuit Against California For Passing Net Neutrality Rules

        After the Trump FCC effectively neutered itself at telecom lobbyist behest, numerous states jumped in to fill the consumer protection void. California, for example, passed some net neutrality rules in 2018 that largely mirrored the FCC’s discarded consumer protections. There’s a strange contingent of folks who try to claim that because the internet didn’t immediately explode in a rainbow of fireworks, the net neutrality repeal must not have been a big deal. But a major reason why ISPs didn’t behave worse (than they already are) is because they didn’t want to violate new state laws.

      • Twenty-Six Words Created the Internet. What Will It Take to Save It?

        Way back when AOL was a big tech company and people reached the World Wide Web via dial-up modems, Congress added a provision to federal law that has had a profound effect on every aspect of our democracy and public life. It’s called Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, and it ruled that internet platforms, or message boards as they then were largely called, are not legally liable for false or defamatory information posted by users.

        Although no one could have imagined it at the time, the 1996 legislation made possible the explosive growth of the modern internet. Freed from the threat of being sued for libel, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and other corners of cyberspace became places where literally billions of people felt free to say whatever they wanted, from robust political disputes to false accusations of horrific acts to the spread of disinformation and lies. People often wrote actionable things about others but were seldom, if ever, sued personally for what they had said, the only recourse allowed under the new law. Also, individuals were less attractive targets for costly lawsuits than wealthy corporations.

    • Monopolies

      • In The Rush To Strengthen Antitrust Law, We Could Kill Useful Mergers And Acquisitions

        Last week, Senator Amy Klobuchuar introduced a major antitrust reform bill, entitled the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act. This isn’t much of a surprise, as Democrats have made it quite clear that they seek to use antitrust much more aggressively than it’s been used over the past few decades. I’m a big believer in the need for more competition, in general, but often worry that antitrust is not the best way to get there.

      • Opinion | Corporate Concentration in the US Food System Makes Food More Expensive and Less Accessible

        A resilient food system that feeds everyone can be achieved only through a more equitable distribution of power.

      • Uber Misses Revenue, Burns Another $454MM Despite Continued Growth In Delivery
      • Patents

        • A world Record Inferential leap—worthy of Bob Beamon

          I previously wrote briefly about this double-anonymous lawsuit. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in secret in order to avoid spooking the defendants. The complaint was followed up by a request for temporary restraining order. District Court Judge Matthew Kennelly quickly denied plaintiff’s request to conceal its identity and also issued an order to show cause as to why the case should not be dismissed for improper joinder under 35 U.S.C. § 299. This ex parte situation provides an instance where it is important that the case was routed to a patent-knowledgeable judge such as Judge Kennelly.

          In its opinion, the court begins with a discussion of a common practice in trademark litigation — to file suit naming “dozens or even hundreds of claimed infringers and counterfeiters.” In those cases, an attachment to the complaint offers some information that partially identifies the defendants. And, that attachment is filed under seal to avoid tipping-off the defendants before a TRO can be filed to payment processors (such as PayPal) to attach any of the defendants assets in the US. In those cases, however, the plaintiff’s name is ordinarily made public.

          [...]

          The papers mention a site that I have not explored sellerdefense.cn — a site that “monitors this District’s PACER filings and screens for Plaintiff counsel’s filings as well as all Trademark and Patent filings throughout the District.” In his opinion, the Judge found that the existence of the website as justification for sealing Plaintiff’s name an “inferential leap—worthy of Bob Beamon in the 1968 Olympics—that if it becomes known that the plaintiff has filed a lawsuit against someone, the defendants will all hide their assets. The Court is unwilling to draw this inference without some supporting evidence and argument.”

        • RNIX & SVIX, the first tool set to help objectively save on annuities

          With patent annuities sky rocketing into the billions of dollars over the next few years, Unified has developed the world’s first tool set to objectively help in deciding what to continue paying annuities on. Unified algorithms calculated 70 million unique patent families based on their Patent Value (PVIX) and an indexed score of their future lifetime cost (SVIX). Combining these two items together makes RNIX, the world’s first tool which provides portfolios managers an objective and easy way to quickly ascertain which families are likely to provide the highest value at the lowest cost (and vice versa).

        • Legality concerns prompt review of mandatory EPO video hearings – World Intellectual Property Review [Ed: EPO puff piece which fails to mention the attack on the judges actually assigned to deal with this]
        • BREAKING: Munich I Regional Court orders preliminary injunction against Google over antitrust violation in health information context

          The Landgericht München I (Munich I Regional Court) has just handed down a landmark antitrust ruling against Google: the court’s 37th Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Gesa Lutz) prohibited a partnership between Google and the German Federal Ministry of Health under which Google gives a health information portal (gesund.bund.de) prominent exposure among Google’s search results, thereby disadvantaging private-sector health information providers such as the plaintiff in this case, NetDoktor.de, a subsidiary of the Hubert Burda Media conglomerate.

          The unholy alliance in question was formed last year in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

          Google can and presumably will appeal this preliminary injunction to the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court).

          I have just obtained a copy of the written ruling and translate it here later (you’ll find my translation further below).

          In a recent post on Google’s inexplicable approval of the “official” app of a coronavirus lockdown offender group I already mentioned the NetDoktor case. My own app development company recently brought antitrust complaints in half a dozen jurisdictions against Google’s (and Apple’s) rules concerning COVID-related apps. The Android situation is even worse than the one on the search engine: on Android, app developers like my company are completely barred from using COVID-related keywords, as opposed to merely giving preferential treatment to governmental entities. Yesterday Google updated its COVID app rules, but the changes Google made do nothing to alleviate my competition concerns, and today’s Munich decision shows that monopolists can’t just disadvantage (much less exclude from the market, as is the case on Android) private-sector offerings.

          [...]

          This dispute between the parties is about the legality of a cooperation between Defendant [Google] and the [German] Federal Government, pursuant to which content of the “National Health Portal” operated by the Federal Ministry of Health is afforded prominent exposure in special information boxes next to or, respectively, above general search results in connection with Google searches for certain illnesses.

          Plaintiff/Movant, a subsidiary of [Hubert Burda Media], has been operating for more than 20 years an advertising-financed online portal for health information at the www.netdoktor.de domain, which in accordance with scientific standards, yet in a manner that is simultaneously intelligible to lay persons, provides information on illnesses, symptoms, medications, therapies, and laboratory values.

        • Swing and a Miss: Federal Circuit finds Claims Lack Precision – and thus Definiteness

          I have not played golf in a decade, and I had assumed that the rest of the world was following suit. Apparently though there is still some money in the game. When I played, I had a crazy slice. Back then, I thought it was me. But, it looks like Saso found a solution with some subtle shifting of the club head weighting. Basically, Saso redesigned the clubs so that more weight was on the heel-side of the club rather than the toe-side. This means that the toe end of the club is less likely to twist during a swing. The image below shows the result.

          During prosecution, the patent examiner rejected broadest claims directed toward shifting the weight because they were clearly anticipated. At that point, Saso altered the claims to focus on re-shaping of the head of a “metallic wood type” club such as a driver. The annotated figure below shows how the heal-side has a bulge (12) and the toe-side has been shaved-down (11).

          [...]

          Indefiniteness: The statute requires “one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the inventor or a joint inventor regards as the invention.” 35 U.S.C. 112(b). A claim that fails this provision is deemed indefinite and thus invalid. In Nautilus, the Supreme Court set the standard for indefiniteness as reasonable certainty as to the scope. Patent claims are indefinite if they “fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention.” Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 572 U.S. 898 (2014). In general, the Federal Circuit sees definiteness as an extension of claim construction — and thus is for the judge to decide. However, the issue may involve underlying factual questions — such as the understanding of someone skilled in the art.

          Here, the claim at issue (Claim 7) divides up the profile of the back-side of the club into two portions. (1) the toe side extends from “the toe” to the “most rearwardly point of the head;” and (2) the heel extends from “the heel” to that same “most rearwardly point.” The claim then requires that the “radius of curvature” of the toe side be “larger than the radius of curvature” of the heel side. If you look at figure 1 above, you know what they mean — the back portion of the toe side is flatter (larger radius of curvature) and the heel side rounder (smaller radius of curvature).

          The problem is that the patent does not expressly define what part is “the toe” and “the heel.” Do we know with reasonable certainty what the claim covers? The district court said no: “With nothing suggesting where the toe side and heel side end points are located, it is not clear from where on each surface one measures to the most rearwardly point to determine the radii of curvature.”

        • Software Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Trademark counsel reveal must-haves for portfolio management [Ed: When you know it's a job of a parasite who creates nothing? It's called "portfolio management"]

          Technology companies are competing to provide state-of-the-art IP management solutions for in-house counsel, but what do brand owners actually want?

        • How district court trademark litigation played out in 2020 [Ed: Law firms' marketing disguised as 'reporting' by think tank funded by law firms?]

          Illinois saw a huge influx of matters, Republic Technologies filed the most cases and Greer Burns & Crain was the busiest firm, according to new data

      • Copyrights

        • Why Is Congress Pushing For Locking Up More Culture?

          In a weird bit of performative nonsense, Senators Thom Tillis and Pat Leahy, along with Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Nancy Mace, have come together to… try to help kids lock up culture under copyright. Specifically, they want a bill that would allow kids to register a copyright for free for participants in the Congressional Art Competition and the Congressional App Competition. It is not at all clear why this is necessary, other than to perpetuate the myth that you need a copyright to be creative.

        • Google Takes Out YouTube Ripper with WIPO Domain Dispute

          Google has won its WIPO domain name dispute against Youtubeconverter.io, a site that allowed people to download music and video from YouTube. The WIPO panel concluded that the domain was not used for legitimate purposes and ordered it to be transferred to Google. The owner of the site didn’t put up a defense and simply switched to a new domain.

        • Hacker Blackmails Pirate IPTV Services, Threatens To Send User Data To Police

          Two pirate IPTV services have become the latest victims in a growing line of services to be hacked by malicious actors. The platforms, which appear to be linked, have been ordered to pay a bitcoin ransom of around US$94,000. There is also a live threat to email customer data and banking information to the police and anti-piracy groups.

        • Podcast: Who owns the rights to a robot’s art? [Ed: The copyright maximalists cannot stand the concept of some work lacking copyrights. What are "AI experts"? Buzzwords gurus?]

          Managing IP speaks to AI experts who question the legal and philosophical ramifications of what happens when AI gets creative

        • Why The Secrecy on Bill C-10?: How the Liberals Abandoned Their Commitment to Consultation, and Transparency in Pushing Their Broadcast Reform Bill

          The 2015 election of the Liberals brought with it a promise of greater transparency, open government, and robust public consultation. While there were plenty of initial consultations, disappointing reforms on access to information and closed by default policies, provided a reminder that change is hard. More recently, the secrecy on vaccine agreements has frustrated many who wonder why Canada lags behind many other OECD countries in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Bill C-10 admittedly pales in comparison to vaccine issues. But given the importance of legislation that is only updated every few decades, all Canadians deserve better than Bill C-10’s persistent secrecy and fast-tracked consultation theatre.

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  8. Moving From Ubuntu to Another GNU/Linux Distro Would Harm Microsoft (or Its Efforts to Control the Competition)

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  12. Links 15/08/2022: liveslak 1.6.0 and Android 13 is in AOSP

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  22. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part VI — Lessons Learned on Moral Depravity

    So-called 'journalists' who are in fact Microsoft spinners are a truly toxic bunch; they're allergic to truth and dangerous to truth-tellers; they're better off avoided and exposed, not informed (or shown hard evidence) because their covert allegiance means they're simply a trap rather than genuine agents of truth in reporting, thinly disguised as "objectivity" (to better parcel the lies Microsoft tells)



  23. Jim Zemlin Giving His Talks on an Apple Mac Again? (July 2022)

    Mr. “Big Shot” (no personal accomplishment but power broker for monopolies which privatise the Commons) can’t even deliver a keynote speech properly; Maybe he should try using Free software to make his presentations; the proprietary software he uses clearly isn’t reliable enough



  24. Links 13/08/2022: Steam Deck as KDE-Based PC, Arduino Projects

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/08/2022: Sparky 6.4 and Many Raspberry Pi Projects

    Links for the day



  26. How We Envision Information Flow on the Internet (and Offline)

    We're no longer just a Web site; in fact, we encourage others to look beyond the Web, which despite the media not talking about it has rapidly waned (many sites have already turned into "apps")



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, August 12, 2022



  28. IPFS at Techrights: The So-called 'Web3' Cargo Cult, Except With Some Practical Benefits

    For censorship resistance’s sake we’re increasing our embrace or adoption of IPFS; almost all our archives are there



  29. Techrights Site Migration to Alpine Linux Has Already Started

    We’ve begun upgrading our systems and tidying up the growing piles of material



  30. Microsoft Lost About 70% of Its Relative Share in the United States (for Operating Systems)

    When mobile platforms are taken into account Windows suddenly seems vanishingly small; Microsoft therefore started blocking GNU/Linux from even booting on new PCs


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