Open Invention Network (OIN) and Big Banks: Shared Agenda

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, IBM, OIN, Patents at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The press release and puff pieces from Bergelt et al won’t tell the public what OIN really does, in practice (which is worse than nothing at all)

THE Open Invention Network (OIN) has been covered here since its inception, back when an IBM person (founding member) ran the whole thing and seemed mostly reasonable, even better than benign, at least at the time (much like the Linux Foundation, which is partly connected not just in the sense that sponsors and agenda overlap). Big banks aren’t our friends; they might be OIN’s friends. OIN isn’t our friend and these people often undo the goals of FFII and other groups that oppose software patents.

“OIN isn’t what it seems or what it claims to be. It exists to serve and protect monopolists.”Nowadays many of us in the Free software world have already grown cynical and critical of the IBM-centric OIN. Adding Microsoft as a member did not lend legitimacy but mostly harmed it, especially in light of the fact that Microsoft continued to attack Linux — sometimes with patents — after it had joined OIN. The video above is a response to this morning’s press release. As we put it earlier on in Daily Links, OIN is not a community (the word “community” is used in the headline) but a front group of software patents proponents looking to openwash their monopolies and striving to make software patents look benign w.r.t. Linux. They say they were “formed to safeguard open source software (OSS)” (no “F” word, nothing about Freedom) and then they call themselves a “community” again. Nowadays companies like to portray themselves as “green”, “open” and even “communities”…

Yes, nothing says “community” like ruthless for-profit corporations that help bomb people…

Keith Bergelt is then quoted naming a bunch of buzzwords and name-dropping hype like “fintech” (one of the many weasel words that software patents’ proponents use). A few hours ago the ‘news’ site ZDNet did a puff piece about the whole thing, as usual. The video above only scratches the surface of what we know and what we’ve shown about OIN over the years. This is just more of the same.

Not too long ago the Linux Foundation was greenwashing big banks, so why can’t OIN? The puff piece keeps mentioning “trolls” and “patent trolls”, but nowhere is it mentioned that OIN never stops trolls and moreover it hired trolls to lead the OIN. What a lousy piece of cheap propaganda.

OIN isn’t what it seems or what it claims to be. It exists to serve and protect monopolists.

Cancel Canonical?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Ubuntu at 4:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Only days after Ubuntu/Canonical staff defended what the Raspberry Pi Foundation had quietly done with Microsoft (behind users’ or customers’ backs) we see Canonical under fire — yes, once again! — for privacy abuses, facilitated in part by Microsoft

THE latest breach of trust (and breach of privacy) at Canonical isn’t going to help Ubuntu’s image. That’s a fact. The community that once existed in an orbit around Ubuntu is long gone, so what’s left to lose, right? Let’s get closer to Microsoft, through Canonical…

“The video above goes through some other ramifications and mentions some older privacy scandals implicating Ubuntu/Canonical.”The issue isn’t exactly breaking news; we mentioned this in passing in relation to the Raspberry Pi-Microsoft scandal the other day because the ‘news’ site The Register had covered the issue (it had also been mentioned in some podcasts and new videos, social control media aside).

Over at ZDNet, albeit days late (4 days after The Register), SJVN has just mentioned this. “Bongiorni was a little more “frank” about his annoyance and surprise that a Canonical salesperson had tracked him down on an entirely different service and knew that he had just used Ubuntu on Microsoft Azure,” SJVN wrote.

Microsoft is spying and this has long been a reason for concern about the Raspberry Pi-Microsoft blunder. That Microsoft also shares the private data with other companies is certainly noteworthy and it may merit a GDPR complaint. The video above goes through some other ramifications and mentions some older privacy scandals implicating Ubuntu/Canonical.

Links 15/2/2021: Siduction is Back, GNU Linux-Libre 5.11 is Out, Canonical Spies With Microsoft

Posted in News Roundup at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Why everyone should try using Linux

      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. Let’s explore why anyone can try Linux.

      Linux can seem mysterious to the uninitiated. People talk about Linux like it’s something only meant for computer programmers or sysadmins, yet people also talk about running Linux on laptops or mobile devices. Tech sites list the top 10 Linux commands you need to know, and yet there’s just as much talk about how exciting the Linux desktops (plural!) are.

    • PTV Vissim traffic simulation now available for Linux OS as Vissim Kernel

      Traffic simulation software PTV Vissim, from PTV Group, is now also available for the Linux operating system, for analysis of complex multimodal transportation systems, with particular benefits for the automotive industry.

      PTV Vissim Kernel provides detailed and realistic simulations of the entire traffic environment, including the movements and interaction of different road users and modes of transport. Innovative concepts and services such as shared mobility, mobility-as-a-service and autonomous driving can be evaluated and verified in a virtual environment.

    • Could future Chromebooks with native Android and Linux apps run on Google’s Fuchsia OS?

      Since 2016 when it first appeared, Google’s Fuchsia effort has been shrouded in mystery.

      If you’re not familiar with Fuchsia, Google describes it as a “new open-source operating system” that can be scaled to run on small microcontrollers all the way up to traditional computing devices. Unlike Chrome OS, which runs on a Linux kernel, Fuchsia will have its own microkernel called Zircon.

      Up until now, I didn’t see Fuchsia having much future impact to Chromebooks.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #393: DUDE-Star Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to Episode 393 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts interview Doug, AD8DP, the author and primary coder of the DUDE-Star project. This project allows someone to use most of the VHF and UHF digital radio modes that have become all the rage: YSF, D-Star, DMR, P.25, NXDN and more. In the process, we learn much more about the M17 Project than we thought we would so stay tuned for an upcoming deep dive on that subject. If you want to dive into digital and not spend a lot of money, then DUDE-Star is for you!

      • Linux Action News 176

        Microsoft and Ubuntu’s relationship is under a new spotlight this week.

        Plus our rundown of the feature-packed 5.11 release, a Fuchsia surprise, exciting hardware news, and more.

      • Josh Bressers: Episode 258 – Stop using C

        Josh and Kurt talk about the Google Project Zero report titled “A Year in Review of 0-days Exploited In-The-Wild in 2020”. It’s a cool report but we don’t agree on the conclusion. The answer isn’t to security harder, it’s to stop using C.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds Releases Linux Kernel 5.11: Here’s What’s New

        As usual, after two months of development and seven release candidate, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has officially released a new stable Linux Kernel 5.11.

        The latest version, 5.11, contains several changes ranging from new hardware enablement (from both AMD and Intel), ARM hardware support, networking enhancements, to driver updates.

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 Released With Support for Wi-Fi 6E, RTX ‘Ampere’ GPUs, Intel Iris Xe and More

        The development of Linux Kernel 5.11 has been going on in full swing for a while now. Finally, Linus Torvalds announced the release after endless testing and adding support for new software and hardware.


        Wi-Fi 6E is the biggest update to the Wi-Fi standard in the last 20 years. The new standard aims to provide a new wireless band to the public, the 6 GHz band. This will help reduce signal drops on connected devices over a distance and can transfer more data faster across longer distances.

        With Linux Kernel 5.11, support has been added for 6GHz band / Ultra High Band (UHB). Support for Wi-Fi 6E chips from manufacturers such as Intel, MediaTek and Qualcomm has also been added.

        Other notable additions include, Fast Initial Link Setup (FILS) for the Qualcomm ath11k driver, Dual-Band Concurrent (DBDC) support for the MediaTek Mt7915 driver and various other performance improvements.

      • Linux 5.11 is out with AMD and Intel improvements (and Linus Torvalds is happy)

        The version arrived on Sunday’s Valentine’s Day with only a small amount of changes from the previous seventh release candidate (RC). It’s been in development since before December and brings support for Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX), a hardware-isolated trusted execution environment for applications to store and process secrets in enclaves.

      • AMD users should immediately switch to the latest Linux 5.11 kernel

        The latest release of the Linux kernel features some impressive performance enhancements for AMD hardware.

        Released over the valentine’s day weekend, Linux kernel 5.11 fixed a major performance regression that impacted the AMD Zen architecture. Thanks to the fix, Zen-based processors such as Ryzen and EPYC have been benchmarked as being faster out of the box than on previous kernels. Also debuting in the release is support for AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey Cavefish” GPUs.

        The semiconductor company has recently put out a number of Linux-related job postings, and the improvements to AMD hardware in the latest release is further evidence that the chip giant is actively working to improve support for its hardware on Linux.

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 Released

        Linus Torvalds released version 5.11 of the Linux kernel on February 14. This latest release, otherwise known as the Valentine’s Day edition, is the first major stable release for 2021.

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 Released. This is What’s New

        Linux Torvalds announced the release of the latest Linux Kernel 5.11 (“Valentine’s Day Edition”) with some interesting new features. We take a look at what’s new and how you can get the latest Kernel in your favorite Linux Distribution.

      • New Linux 5.11 Released, This is What’s New

        A brand new Linux kernel is now available and in this post we do our very best to recap the core changes and new features you’ll find tucked up inside.

      • Linux Kernel 5.11 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

        Linux Kernel 5.11 was released a day ago on Valentine’s Day. Here’ how you can install it in Ubuntu and Linux Mint based systems.

        Linus Torvalds announced the Kernel 5.11: “Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out.
        In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start..”

      • Linux 5.11 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

        Last time around, Linux 5.10 was an LTS release that added EXT-4 performance enhancements, improved post-Spectre performance, as well as the enablement of BCM2711 (Raspberry Pi 4) display pipeline, among other many changes.

      • Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.11, says it’s so good your significant other wants you to test it on Valentine’s Day

        Linus Torvalds has delivered version 5.11 of the Linux kernel to the faithful.

        “Nothing unexpected or particularly scary happened this week, so here we are – with 5.11 tagged and pushed out, Torvalds said in his weekly state of the kernel post.

        Big inclusions in this release include support for Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX) technology that allows developers to use walled-off enclaves of memory in which it’s theoretically possible to get some work done without the rest of a system having any idea what’s going on inside. It’s a nice idea but SGX has been compromised on several occasions .

        AMD admirers get support for more silicon plus finer controls for power management and handling workloads as CPUs throttle up and down. The new kernel also improves Linux performance of some AMD CPUs.

      • How to Install Linux Kernel 5.11 in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

        Linus Torvalds announced the Linux Kernel 5.11 after seven weeks in development and available for general usage with new features, improvements, and better hardware support.

        As per Linus Torvalds for Kernel 5.11

        In fact, it’s a smaller-than-average set of commits from rc7 to final, which makes me happy. And I already have several pull requests lined up for tomorrow, so we’re all set for the merge window to start.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install kernel 5.11 in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and LinuxMint 20.1

      • Updated FUTEX2 Patches Posted For The Linux Kernel With A Focus On Helping Games

        It’s approaching one year since the proposal of FUTEX2 for addressing shortcomings of the existing FUTEX system call and allowing the semantics to better match that of the Windows behavior, which is of use when running Windows games on Linux via Steam Play’s Wine/Proton. In the end the FUTEX2 system call can lead to lower CPU utilization and in turn allowing for greater Linux gaming performance.

        André Almeida of Collabora today posted the latest patches introducing the FUTEX2 system call though with these patches are still marked as “request for comments” (RFC) so don’t expect them to be merged to mainline in short order — plus the fact that it would already be too late for trying to get it into the now-open 5.12 merge window.

      • AMD Ryzen 5000 Temperature Monitoring Support Sent In For Linux 5.12

        Due to an unfortunate misalignment of the Ryzen 5000 series launch and the Linux kernel cycles, CPU temperature monitoring for Ryzen 5000 (Zen 3) desktop CPUs isn’t landing until now with the Linux 5.12 kernel cycle.

        The hardware monitoring (HWMON) subsystem updates were sent in this morning for the just-opened Linux 5.12 merge window. There is now Zen 3 desktop CPU temperature monitoring support within the existing k10temp driver. The patch just needed to add the IDs for the Zen 3 parts to the k10temp driver while the rest is unchanged. The two line patch didn’t come from AMD but a community developer and has been verified to work on the Ryzen 5800X / 5900X / 5950X processors to provide correct CPU temperature monitoring.

      • AMDGPU FreeSync Video Mode Optimization Updated But Too Late For Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        Going back to last year there has been work by AMD engineers on an experimental FreeSync video mode optimization to avoid screen blanking around full-screen video playback. Basically avoiding an entire mode-set when changing the timing mode during video playback to bypass any screen flickering/blanking. That work has now been updated to its sixth spin while it’s being viewed as a temporary measure until a better solution can be devised.

        That FreeSync video mode optimization has continued seeing new revisions following the public code review process. The sixth version of the patches were posted this week but obviously given the timing is too late for possibly seeing it in the imminent Linux 5.12 merge window — it will now wait until at least Linux 5.13.

      • There Are Big Changes On The Horizon With Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        Linux 5.11 should be released today as stable but we’ll see if 5.11-rc8 is decided instead given there has been an uptick in last minute changes for this kernel. This will mean either the Linux 5.12 merge window is kicking off at the end of today or could be pushed back by one week, but in whatever case there are many changes that have been queuing up for this next kernel version window.

      • AMD “Green Sardine” Firmware Published For Linux Users – Phoronix

        The open-source Linux graphics driver support for the Ryzen 5000 series mobile hardware has been developed under the “Green Sardine” codename. With the soon-to-be-stable Linux 5.11 kernel offering the initial enablement for the new hardware and Ryzen 5000 series laptops expected this quarter, the Green Sardine firmware blobs have landed in linux-firmware.git.

        On Thursday the necessary “Green Sardine” firmware binaries were merged into linux-firmware.git, the central repository for Linux harware firmware/microcode files. All 11 binaries, which are required for working hardware acceleration with the open-source driver, were merged. Hopefully the major Linux distributions will all quickly pick up the new firmware files and thus when paired with a new kernel will allow for working out-of-the-box 3D acceleration with the new AMD graphics hardware.

      • Google Engineers Propose Adding Linux Kernel Option For ARM SLS Mitigation – Phoronix

        Made public last year was the Arm Straight Light Speculation (SLS) vulnerability. SLS with ARM hardware can result in speculative executing instructions following an unconditional change in control flow. The Linux kernel may soon have an option for enabling the mitigation of the Arm SLS vulnerability.

        Mitigating the Arm Straight Line Speculation vulnerability involves using speculation barrier sequences following vulnerable instructions — either the Speculation Barrier (SB) instruction or the DSB+ISB instruction sequence. The GCC compiler added its support along with the LLVM Clang compiler handling of this vulnerability in the same manner.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Cloud-Hypervisor 0.13 Brings Support For NVIDIA GPUs With Proprietary Drivers

          Cloud-Hypervisor 0.13 released this week as the newest version of the Intel-led open-source hypervisor that has also the involvement of other key organizations. With this v0.13 update there is broader VFIO device support, which most significantly now means that NVIDIA graphics cards are supported in conjunction with their proprietary graphics driver. The VFIO device support improvement is for devices not supporting MSI/MSI-X but relying on INTx interrupts as is the case with NVIDIA.

        • Vulkan 1.2.170 Released With VK_KHR_synchronization2

          Heading out of Valentine’s weekend, there is a new Vulkan specification update with a notable new extension.

          Vulkan 1.2.170 is available this morning and includes the VK_KHR_synchronization2 extension. VK_KHR_synchronization2 is an update over the original Vulkan synchronization APIs.

        • Updated Linux Kernel Patches Posted For Bringing Up The Apple M1 SoC

          Earlier this month Hector Martin and the Asahi Linux developers posted their initial Linux kernel patches for bringing up the Apple M1 ARM SoC platform for the mainline kernel with devices like the 2020 Mac Mini / MacBook Pro / MacBook Air devices. The second iteration of those Apple M1 Linux patches have now been posted.

          Hector Martin continues working on the Apple M1 Linux support via crowdfunding with the ambitious goal of getting Linux running well on these modern ARM-powered Apple devices. Linux is already booting on Apple M1 hardware but will be quite a while before it’s a polished, performant experience especially when it comes to accelerated graphics support on the M1.

    • Applications

      • Meet Plots: A Mathematical Graph Plotting App for Linux Desktop

        Plots is a graph plotting application that makes it easy to visualize mathematical formulae. You can use it for trigonometric, hyperbolic, exponential and logarithmic functions along with arbitrary sums and products.

        Plots is a simple application inspired by graph plotting web apps like Desmos. It allows you to plot graphs of different math functions, which you can enter interactively, as well as customizing the color of your plots.

        Written in Python, Plots takes advantage of modern hardware using OpenGL. It uses GTK 3 and thus integrates well with the GNOME desktop.

      • You Won’t be Able to Recognize VLC When Version 4.0 Releases

        VLC 4.0 is probably one of the most anticipated software release with a major UI overhaul.

      • Daniel Berrange: ANNOUNCE: libvirt-glib release 4.0.0

        I am pleased to announce that a new release of the libvirt-glib package, version 4.0.0, is now available from


        The packages are GPG signed with

        Key fingerprint: DAF3 A6FD B26B 6291 2D0E 8E3F BE86 EBB4 1510 4FDF (4096R)

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Set up RabbitMQ Cluster on Ubuntu 20.04

        RabbitMQ is a free, open-source and multi-protocol messaging broker software written in the Erlang programming language. A message broker is used to store messages for an application. When an application sends data to another application, the app publishes the message onto the message broker. RabbitMQ supports multiple messaging protocols and can be easily deployed in a distributed configurations. The message broker act as a middleman for various web application and used to reduce loads and delivery time of web application.

      • How to install Microsoft Office 2007 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Linux Shout

        Although we already have Libre Office out of the box on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, yet if you have a Microsoft office 2007 copy then you can install it on Ubuntu Linux using Wine; to use just like any other software…

      • How to install XFCE desktop in Linux [Guide]

        XFCE is a lightweight, highly customizable desktop environment for the Linux platform. Many Linux users choose to use it over other flashy options as it stays out of the way and uses very little memory. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install it on your system.

      • How to search for text within a file using the nano text editor – TechRepublic

        Nano is my text editor of choice on both the Linux and macOS platforms. How many times have you read my words saying, “open so-and-so configuration file in the nano editor, locate entry X and change it?” If that configuration file is a few short lines, you’d have no problem locating the entry in question. What if it’s 100+ or 1,000+ lines of options to comb through?

        At that point, you’d spend way too much of your precious time searching for the entry in question. Fortunately, the nano editor includes a handy feature to make this task exponentially easier. Said feature is, you guessed it, a search tool. With this search tool you can quickly locate those entries, no matter how big the configuration file is.

        How do you use the search feature? Let me show you.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS/RHEL 8

        PHP 8.0 is a major update released by the PHP team on Nov 26, 2020. It contains a large number of new features and optimizations over previous versions. To read more about read the PHP 8 change log.

        REMI and EPEL are the most popular repositories contains latest RPM packages for installation. It also contains the PHP 8 RPM packages to be install on CentOS/RHEL 8 systems.

        This article will describe you to how to install PHP 8 on CentOS 8 or RHEL 8 Linux system.

      • How to Install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 20.04 – TecAdmin

        Apache Kafka is an open-source, distributed event streaming platform developed by the Apache Software Foundation. This is written in Scala and Java programming languages. You can install Kafka on any platform supported Java.

        This tutorial described you step by step tutorial to install Apache Kafka on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux system. You will also learn to create topics in Kafka and run producer and consumer nodes.

      • How do I install HTOP in Linux ? – LinuxTechLab

        HTOP command is used to monitor our Linux system’s resources. It provides information related to system processes, system memory, Load average, etc. It is a cross-platform, interactive process viewer. It is quite similar to the ‘top’ command, which comes pre-installed with almost all Linux distributions. But the HTOP command is quite an improvement over the TOP command.

      • Linux 101: How to remove legacy communication services – TechRepublic

        Linux is a very secure operating system, but it’s not perfect. No operating system is. In fact, any platform that’s connected to a network is, in many ways, vulnerable. Like all other operating systems, there are a number of steps you can take to help mitigate those insecurities.

        One thing you can do with Linux is remove the legacy communications services that can be installed by default, even though they are never used. Services like xinet, nis, tftp, tftpd-hpa, telnet, and rsh are not only unnecessary, they can pose security risks to your system. What do you do? You delete them.

      • How to create a Bootable USB using Rufus for Linux Distributions

        When you have decided to switch from Windows 10 to Linux Distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or any other Distribution’s.

        It is a piece of cake to create a bootable drive using the Rufus tool. In Windows, one of the best tools to create a bootable Disk is Rufus.

      • The Reason That Web Templates Fail, and Why Custom Design Is Always Best

        But the problem with designing pages this way is that you end up with a bunch of disparate objects that just float around without any coherent design system bringing them all together.

        In writing, this would be akin placing several paragraphs of text on a page without linking one to the next. The reader would lose the thread. In visual design, the user senses something is missing: a unifying theme that helps it all make sense.

        For me, this lack of cohesion in the page design negates any time or money saved. It doesn’t matter how elegant the delivery process is if the end result is lacking. This is standardization run amok.

        Upon realizing this, I iterated my processes once again.

      • Blogging is futile/Axel Beckert: Starting a GNU Screen session via SSH’s ~/.ssh/config

        This is more or less a followup to this blog posting of mine about AutoSSH and GNU Screen from nearly ten years ago — which by the way is still valid and still the way, I use SSH and GNU Screen.

      • Riccardo Padovani: Integrating JetBrains Qodana with GitLab pipelines

        JetBrains Qodana is a new product, still in early access, that brings the “Smarts” of JetBrains IDEs into your CI pipeline, and it can be easily integrated in GitLab.

      • [Older] How to sort ps output

        The ps command makes it fairly easy to sort its output by any column of data. Learn more about the –sort option and how to use it, plus how to pass ps output to the sort command.

      • How to Install PowerShell on Ubuntu & Other Linux Distributions [Ed: Helping to spread Microsoft monopoly to rival systems is a really bad idea]

        Developed by Microsoft, PowerShell is a powerful tool that is used for automating tasks and simplifying configuration management. You can use it to automate virtually any tasks on a Windows environment including installing roles and features and making changes to the Active Directory on a Windows server system.

      • How to use Cron jobs – Anto ./ Online

        A Cron job is a job that runs automatically after a fixed interval of time. A Cron job can either be a command or a shell script that you want to run periodically at a specified time.

      • How to protect backups from ransomware | Network World

        Backups can be defended against ransomware attacks by moving them offsite from primary systems, removing file-system access to the backups, and avoiding using Windows as a backup platform.

      • ADB: How to use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or even in a browser

        If you want to do any number of things that require access to Google’s Android Debug Bridge (ADB) or fastboot tools for Android — sideload apps, install custom ROMs, take screenshots on certain Android platform versions, or access certain hidden features — you’ll need to get it up and running on your platform of choice first. Fortunately, doing so virtually anywhere is possible at this point — even from another Android phone, or a web browser. We’ll help you get set up no matter what platform you’re on in this guide.

      • Installing Nextcloud 20 on Fedora Linux with Podman – Fedora Magazine

        Nowadays, many open source projects offer container images for easy deployment. This is very handy when running a home server or lab environment. A previous Fedora Magazine article covered installing Nextcloud from the source package. This article explains how you can run Nextcloud on Fedora 33 as a container deployment with Podman.

      • Maxim Burgerhout: Wrong colors with Solarized theme in shell

        I like Solarized, but every now and then, I switch to a different theme just to check it out. Eventually, I’ll go back to Solarized, and run into the same problem over and over…

      • How to install Dart on Linux and set up VIM as IDE – nixCraft

        Dart is easy to use BSD licensed programming language to build mobile, desktop, server, and web apps. Google creates and maintains the Dart ecosystem. It follows C-style syntax. We can compile code either to the native platform or JavaScript. Flutter allows building iOS/Android mobile and desktop/web apps from a single code base. Let us see how to install Dart programming language on a Debian or Ubuntu Linux and set vim as IDE.

        This page explains how to install the Dart SDK on the Ubuntu Linux desktop to build Dart command-line, server, and non-Flutter web apps.

      • How To Install EPEL Repo on an RHEL 8
      • How to Add New User with Key Pair in AWS EC2 – Cloudbooklet

        How to Add New User with Key Pair in AWS EC2. Learn how to create new user with new key pair and provide separate access to developers. Instead of using the default private key for all operations you can create additional users and share the corresponding private key to access the instance.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to create new SSH key pair with public key and private key and add it to your EC2 instance.

      • How to Access Remote Windows Desktop from Ubuntu Linux

        You must have heard about the Windows app “Remote Desktop Connection“. This application comes with default windows installation and allows you to access another PC or server remotely. It uses remote desktop protocol to establish remote desktop connection sessions.

        Some of the Linux distributions may provide you RDP clients to connect to the Windows system. However, for some linux distributions you may need to install RDP clients to establish remote desktop connection.

        As a Linux user there are some rdp tools available which you can install and use for windows remote connection. In this article we are going to explain how to install RDP clients on Ubuntu linux and use them to access (or connect) remote windows desktop.

      • Emacs remote file editing over SSHFS

        Previous article described how to use emacsclient inside of an SSH session. While the solution mentioned there relied on TRAMP, I’ve confessed that it isn’t what I’m actually using. From my experience, TRAMP doesn’t cache as much information as it could and as a result some operations are needlessly slow. For example, delay of find-file prompt completion is noticeable when working over connections with latency in the range of tens of milliseconds or more. Because for a long while I’d been working on a workstation ‘in the cloud’ in a data centre in another country, I’ve built my setup based on SSHFS instead.

        It is important to note that TRAMP has myriad of features which won’t be available with this alternative approach. Most notably, it transparently routes shell commands executed from Emacs through SSH which often results in much faster execution than trying to do the same thing over SSHFS. grep command in particular will avoid copying entire files over network when done through TRAMP.

      • [Older] Beginner’s guide to compression with xz on Linux

        xz compression has been rising in popularity because it offers smaller file sizes than gzip and bzip2. You’re still likely to see all three on a Linux system, but you may want to start opting for xz if you want smaller file archives.

        In this guide, we’re going to introduce you to xz compression, starting from basic examples to more specific and advanced usage. If you’ve worked with compressed tar files or gzip compression (files with the .tar.gz extension, for example) in the past, you’ll find that xz feels very familiar.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine – Guest post – “Small Team, Big Project”: Building Moonwards

        Moonwards is the experience of building a world together. That world is an advanced town on the moon designed on hard science and engineering. It starts with a vast set of habitats and infrastructure, and a detailed development timeline based on solid known technology. The community that takes up residence there – by making actual homes and offices – then brings it alive, fills it in, and advances it. Because this world depicts a future that is entirely feasible, it provides a unique reward – a sense that your participation influences the world towards a better future. For the same reason, it can call for support from a resource few games can – the industry devoted to building the future it depicts, that being the space industry.

        We need to draw in the many space engineers out there starving for the kind of space development they imagined when they chose their careers. Moonwards gives them a place to express those visions, but they will need help from game developers interested in providing the tools they need to do so in a game environment. The Godot community is clearly the best one for this. From the beginning, we’ve financially supported Godot as much as we can. As Moonwards grows, it will be providing a series of add-ons back to the community for any project to use, adapted from our code. Our architecture is also being designed to be a platform for game devs looking for a great place to test, experiment, showcase, or browse other developers’ ideas.

        Our three lovely devs can explain – Karim, Yael, and Zach. Read on…

      • ComPressure is a new puzzler like something Zachtronics would make | GamingOnLinux

        Do we call this a Zach-like now? ComPressure is a puzzle game that has you design increasingly complex computation units powered by high pressure steam.

        You’re tasked with investigating the mathematical properties of steam, which appears to power an entire city from steam umbrellas to steam xylophones. Yes, really. I’m not sure why you would want a steam umbrella but that is apparently a thing in ComPressure.

      • Inspired by Thief, The Dark Mod 2.09 is out with modern OpenGL rendering | GamingOnLinux

        Mod which is a standalone free and open source first-person stealth game. Calling it a game isn’t entirely correct though. Well, it is, sort-of. The Dark Mod is really a platform for others to create with, it’s a big beautiful toolkit for developers to make stealth games and missions with and it’s quite fantastic actually.

        The Dark Mod 2.09 was announced today bringing in a big overhaul to the graphics rendering, thanks to it using more modern OpenGL. The team mentioned that all their changes “gives TDM some of the performance advantages of rendering using a low level API like Vulkan”.

      • The Dark Mod 2.09 Released With New OpenGL Rendering Backend – Phoronix

        The Dark Mod that began as a total conversion mod for Doom 3 but evolved into a standalone game making use of the open-source id Tech 4 game engine is out with a big update. This is one of the few open-source games making use of the public id Tech 4 code-base and with today’s v2.09 update is a large rewrite to its graphics back-end.

        This open-source id Tech 4 game has a new OpenGL 3.3 renderer that replaces the existing graphics back-end, which will be removed moving forward. ARB shaders have been gutted from the new back-end, an effort made to minimize driver overhead, and supporting other “newer” OpenGL features like bindless textures, multi-draw indirect, UBO streaming, and more. The graphics support is still dated compared to the latest commercial games, but a step forward for open-spurce games and again The Dark Mod being one of the few active open-source projects atop id Tech 4.

      • Space-shooter idle game SPACE / MECH / PILOT now available for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        In need of a game to just click around in and idle for a while? SPACE / MECH / PILOT from October 2020 has been updated and is now supported on Linux too. Don’t see the point in idle games? It’s probably not going to be for you. However, if you do usually like them then it looks like another good choice to sink some time into. Positively rated by users too!

        “Hello (Hello), welcome to the SPACE/MECH/PILOT program, a idle-RPG clicker video game entertainment simulation unlike any other. With this exciting (and brand-new) SPACE/MECH/PILOT program, you get to fully live out the dream of being a totally violent space pilot, soaring through the universe, the stars, and through the broken chassis of your foes!”

      • AI-made maps for your favourite adventures? Dungeon Alchemist sounds very interesting | GamingOnLinux

        With an aim to release in late 2021, Dungeon Alchemist is an AI-powered mapmaking tool for both players and dungeon masters to use with your favourite Virtual Tabletop Application.

        Planned to support Linux, macOS and Windows through Steam the idea is that Dungeon Alchemist takes a map size, a theme and then lets you draw a few rooms which it then populates using AI. Pretty much everything is done for you, and you can then take the AI-made maps with you through PDFs or import it directly into something like Foundry VTT or Fantasy Grounds.

      • WW2 Co-op FPS Projekt Z shows off more impressive progress | GamingOnLinux

        Three months since their last devlog, 314 Arts have shown off some more footage on Projekt Z, their upcoming first-person co-op game set during the second world war on a mysterious island full of zombies.

        Inspired by the Left 4 Dead series, it’s going to offer a rather different and far more brutal take on it. There’s going to be multiple different game modes, along with a special hub area you build up as you progress through the game. Youalso have different characters with various abilities, along with plenty of realism sprinkles in like weapon malfunctions and a minimal HUD.

        With the latest devlog they show off one of the modes: wave-based survival. They mentioned it’s a good way to get plenty of gun-play testing to make sure it feels good. This mode sounds very much like the early Zombies mode in Call of Duty. Overall though Projekt Z is really shaping up to look good.

      • The Co-op News Punch Podcast – Episode 26 | GamingOnLinux

        The first GOL Podcast episode of 2021 is here, come get it while it’s hot and ranty as we cover a range of weird and wonderful topics in Linux, open source, gaming and more.

        Apologies on the delay with this episode but we’re back! As usual, it’s a very casual and frank chat between two friends (myself) and GOL contributor / Linux livestreamer Samsai about many different Linux-related topics.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Latte Dock v0.10~ | Templates, templates…

          Hello everyone,

          let’s improve our layout and view templates in order to make distros and users life easier when they share their Latte layouts and views. View in Latte stands for a Dock or Panel.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Shell UX Changes: The Research

          This post is part of an ongoing series about the overview design changes which are being worked on for GNOME 40. (For previous posts, see here.)

          Ongoing user research has been a major feature of this design initiative, and I would say that it is by far the best researched project that I have worked on. Our research has informed the design as it has proceeded, resulting in particular design choices and changes, which have improved the overall design and will make it a better experience for users. As a result of this, we have a much greater degree of confidence in the designs.

          This post is intended as a general overview of the research that we’ve been doing. I’m excited to share this, as a way of explaining how the design came about, as well as sharing some of the insights that we’ve found along the way.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • Is this the FUTURE of Operating Systems?
        • A Trip into FreeBSD

          I normally deal with Linux machines. Linux is what I know and it’s what I’ve been using since I was in college. A friend of mine has been coaxing me into trying out FreeBSD, and I decided to try it out and see what it’s like. Here’s some details about my experience and what I’ve learned.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 “Argon”: First Impressions after Install

          Please do not misinterpret me. I do not mean that I under appreciate the hard work of the OpenMandriva developers and community in making sure that everything under the hood of this distro functions smoothly; it’s quite the opposite. I, for one, truly value their commitment and effort. However, I cannot pretend to grasp the technicalities. I am one of those users who do not understand what “Qt Framework 5.15.2, LLVM/clang 11.0.1, systemd 247, Java 15, Calamares 3.2.35, binutils 2.36.1, gcc 10.2.” imply on the system.

          My perspective is, then, one of a non-technical user and this is what I have seen so far…

        • OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 has Arrived

          The latest stable version of OpenMandriva has been released and offers the newest KDE desktop and ARM support.

          OpenMandriva is a direct descendant of the not forgotten (and much-loved) Mandriva Linux, and was the first to ever make use of the LLVM toolchain by default. With the release of Lx 4.2, OpenMandriva brings to the table a few improvements, as well as the latest release of the KDE desktop environment, and some exciting ARM news.

          As for software, OpenMandriva improves the OM Welcome, which is an on-boarding tool that makes it incredibly easy for new users to do things like install software with a single click. Beyond the welcome app, OpenMandriva includes LibreOffice 7.1, Krita 4.4.2, Digikam 7.2, SMPlayer 21.1.0, VLC, Falkon browser 3.1, SimpleScreenRecorder 0.4.3, and much more. Also included with OpenMandriva is Desktop Presets, which allows users to easily customize the appearance of the Plasma Desktop to look and feel similar to other desktop environments.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 8 Tips for reliable automation for Linux container builds

          The basis for this list is multiple years of experience supporting automation for the upstream container-runtimes team (podman, buildah, skopeo, etc.). I will not take full credit, as many of these tips are based on an amalgam of evolved experience and individual contributions from a large community of users and developers.

          Most items below can be boiled down to a single principle: Eliminate or reduce complexity. This concept is based on a compound application of Murphy’s Law: The more “breakable things” you have, the more likely Murphy will show up. Here are eight ways to avoid those chance encounters.

        • Integrating Spring Boot with Red Hat Integration Service Registry – Red Hat Developer

          Most of the new cloud-native applications and microservices designs are based on event-driven architecture (EDA), responding to real-time information by sending and receiving information about individual events. This kind of architecture relies on asynchronous, non-blocking communication between event producers and consumers through an event streaming backbone such as Red Hat AMQ Streams running on top of Red Hat OpenShift. In scenarios where many different events are being managed, defining a governance model where each event is defined as an API is critical. That way, producers and consumers can produce and consume checked and validated events. We can use a service registry as a datastore for events defined as APIs.

        • The NeuroFedora Blog: Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 15 February 1500 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 15 February at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

        • Facebook’s Linux Desktop Choice Is Fedora But Ramping Up CentOS Stream – Phoronix

          Among Facebook employees while they are mostly using Windows and macOS on their laptops/desktops, for those using Linux the primary choice has shifted from Ubuntu to Fedora but they have begun ramping up CentOS Stream too.

          Michel Salim of Facebook presented at last weekend’s FOSDEM 2021 virtual conference on the company’s internal desktop fleet. While Facebook is known for their usage of CentOS on servers, when it comes to Linux on their employee desktops Fedora is the primary target but with growing support for CentOS Stream.

      • Devuan Family

        • Systemd-Free Devuan GNU/Linux 3.1 Distro Released for Freedom Lovers

          Devuan GNU/Linux 3.1 comes nine months after the release of the Devuan GNU/Linux 3.0 series to provide the freedom loving community with up-to-date ISO images in case they need to reinstall the system or deploy the systemd-free distribution on new computers.

          While Devuan GNU/Linux 4.0 “Chimaera” is still in the works, Devuan GNU/Linux 3.1 brings updated desktop-live, server, and minimal-live ISO images powered by the Linux 4.19 LTS kernel from Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series.

        • Devuan Beowulf 3.1.0 point release

          Once again the Veteran Unix Admins salute you on this day commemorating six years since the first Devuan pre-alpha Valentine’s Day release in 2015!

          Devuan Beowulf 3.1.0 point release installer ISOs, desktop-live, and minimal-live isos are now available. Note that ARM and virtual images are not updated in this release.


          We wish to thank all of you for the incredible support given to this development effort, which continues to make Devuan a useful and reliable base distribution.

        • Devuan 3.1 Released – Debian Fork Now Offers Runit Plus Sysvinit, OpenRC

          Devuan 3.1 is the latest release of this Debian fork/downstream while new to it is offering Runit as an init system alternative. Devuan 3.1 now supports the options of Runit, SysVinit, and OpenRC that can be selected from during the Devuan installation process. The Runit init daemon is also what is used by Void Linux, Dragora, antiX, and other platforms.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian-Based Siduction Linux OS Returns After Three Years with New Major Release

          As far as I remember, Siduction offered monthly releases with up-to-date components and latest security patches for those who wanted to deploy the Debian-based distro on new computers. The last official ISO release of Siduction Linux was version 2018.3.0, announced back in March 2018.

          But the developers never quit working on the distro during this time, even with all the economic and social disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, and they still generated updated ISO images for those who wanted to install the distribution on their computers without having to download hundreds of updates from the repositories.

        • Introducing the Linux Mint Devuan Edition

          The Mint project has been a long-time favorite among Linux users who are mainly home users. Its friendly and common sense approach to a distribution appeals to many people who want to run something with the Linux kernel on their desktop. There’s ample testimony of this, from the inception and creation of the Cinnamon desktop as common sense, traditional but still sleek and modern alternative to the evolving desaster and dumbing-down assault from other desktops at the time to coming up with great little tools like the Warpinator for file sharing on a LAN, the Hypnotix IPTV app and other little improvements to make things just a little easier, for the average Joe and the Techie who just wants to get things done alike.

          For various reasons I am one of the very small percentile who happen to prefer the Debian Edition over the regular Ubuntu derived offering, which is almost identical in features though. For example, shortly after the release of Linux Mint 20.1 we saw all the small improvements and additions trickle down to LMDE4. Within days we received Cinnamon 4.8.6, including the new ability to add files and folders to Favorites in Nemo file manager which would be reflected in the menu and on the panel, Hypnotix, the Warpinator and new themes and backgrounds through the update channel. I think the newly refereshed icon theme was even trialled first in LMDE. It is definitely not a step child.

          There’s only one thing wrong with LMDE and that is that it’s based on Debian rather than on Devuan with its more traditional and predictable init. So I set out on a little experiment to build a LMDE-like system on top of Devuan and what can I say, it works very well. Steps are outlined here on the LM forum.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Microsoft Azure and Canonical Ubuntu Linux have a user privacy problem

          It was just another day for Luca Bongiorni, a security advisor for Bentley Systems. He’d just spun up an Ubuntu Linux 18.04 instance on the Microsoft Azure cloud using a corporate sandbox for testing purposes. Three hours later, on Bongiorni’s LinkedIn account he received a message from a Canonical sales representative saying, “I saw that you spun up an Ubuntu image in Azure,” and telling him he’d be his “point of contact for anything Ubuntu-related in the enterprise.” Say what??

          Actually, Bongiorni was a little more “frank” about his annoyance and surprise that a Canonical salesperson had tracked him down on an entirely different service and knew that he had just used Ubuntu on Microsoft Azure. “What the f*** is happening here? WHY [did] MICROSOFT FORWARDED TO UBUNTU THAT I SPUN A NEW VM!?!” Customer privacy, what’s that?

        • Microsoft & Canonical being creepy with Ubuntu Azure users
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenUK Belonging

        OpenUK is an organisation promoting open tech, come join us and belong. OpenUK Belonging video.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Steve Fanning

          LibreOffice has extensive documentation in many languages, thanks to the great work of our worldwide docs community. Today we’re talking to Steve Fanning, who has been working on the updated LibreOffice Calc Guide…

          Hi Steve! Tell us a bit about yourself…

          I live near Bolton in the North West of England with my wife and, sometimes, our adult son (he has recently been working in Australia for a year). I studied applied mathematics and theoretical physics at university and subsequently enjoyed a career mostly spent implementing and designing complex real-time software systems.

          Passionate about improving the documentation for the company’s systems, I moved into specialist technical writer roles during the last few years of my employment. I retired around two years ago and now enjoy indulging in my main hobbies, which are bridge, computing, reading and coarse fishing. I guess that some readers might wonder about coarse fishing – it is angling for freshwater fish for pleasure and relaxation rather than food (all fish caught are returned to the water alive).

      • CMS

        • about wordpress html and the web as users know it – top 20 cms content management systems in 2021

          WordPress has no multi-million dollar marketing campaign or celebrity sponsors, but we do have something even better—you. If you enjoy WordPress please consider telling a friend, setting it up for someone less knowledgable than yourself, or writing the author of a media article that overlooks us.

          WordPress is the official continuation of b2/cafélog, which came from Michel V.

          The work has been continued by the WordPress developers.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Health Hospital Management component 3.8 released!

            Dear community:
            I am very proud to announce the release of the series 3.8 from the GNU Health Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) component!
            Twelve years old, the GNU Health project has now become a Libre digital Health ecosystem, with different solutions to meet different realities, integrating them in the Federation.
            The year 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, has put our societies against the ropes, and challenging the public health system of every country around the globe.
            The GNU Health community responded swiftly to this formidable challenge. Within hours of the official World Health Organization announcement, we were able to deliver the new ICD-10 codes of the COVID-19 disease; Include the pathology in the person record when it was confirmed by laboratory and setting the disease as a notifiable disease so the Min. of Health could have uptodate epidemiological information.
            GNU Health has played a crucial role in many public health systems, not only by providing real-time observatory of COVID-19, but also, very importantly, study the impact of the socioeconomic conditions in both the incidence and severity of the disease on the underprivileged.
            Our community keeps growing! A notable example is that GNU Health is now also part of the KDE community! KDE has adopted MyGNUHealth, the GH Personal Health record.
            We are very grateful to KDE for trusting us! Most GNU/Linux users will have in their favorite GNU/Linux distribution a Personal Health Record focused on privacy and integrated with Libre devices and trackers. MyGNUHealth also runs on the PinePhone!

          • GNU Linux-Libre 5.11 Kernel Is Out for Those Seeking 100% Freedom for Their PCs

            Based on the recently released Linux 5.11 kernel series, the GNU Linux-libre 5.11 kernel is now available for the GNU/Linux community seeking 100% freedom for their PCs with deblobbed drivers, but featuring the same new features and improvements as the upstream kernel release.

            These include support for AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey Cavefish” GPUs in the AMDGPU driver, support for Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions), support for task-local storage in the BPF subsystem, suspend-to-idle support in user-mode, as well as a new “big block” mode in the virtio-mem mechanism.

          • GNU Linux-libre 5.11-gnu (ilovefs)
            GNU Linux-libre 5.11-gnu cleaning-up scripts, cleaned-up sources, and
            cleaning-up logs (including tarball signatures) are now available from
            our git-based release archive git://linux-libre.fsfla.org/releases.git/
            tags {scripts,sources,logs}/v5.11-gnu.
            Tarballs and incremental patches will also be published at
            The scripts are unchanged since first published for this cycle, last
            This was a quite busy cycle.  New drivers needed cleaning up in a
            broader than usual range of types of peripherals: qat_4xxx crypto,
            lt9611uxc dsi/hdmi bridge, ccs/smia++ sensor, ath11k_pci, nxp audio
            transceiver, and the mhi bus pci controller.  The wimax drivers were
            moved in the tree, so the code to clean them up was adjusted.  Other
            drivers that needed adjusting to deblobbing were wakeup m3 rproc,
            idt82p33 ptp clock, and qualcomm arm64.  New blob versions had to be
            handled in amdgpu, btqca, btrtl, btusb, i915 csr.
            For up-to-the-minute news, join us on #linux-libre of irc.gnu.org
            (Freenode), or follow me on P2P or federated social media.  Check the
            link in the signature for directions.
            Be Free! with GNU Linux-libre.
            What is GNU Linux-libre?
              GNU Linux-libre is a Free version of the kernel Linux (see below),
              suitable for use with the GNU Operating System in 100% Free
              GNU/Linux-libre System Distributions.
              It removes non-Free components from Linux, that are disguised as
              source code or distributed in separate files.  It also disables
              run-time requests for non-Free components, shipped separately or as
              part of Linux, and documentation pointing to them, so as to avoid
              (Free-)baiting users into the trap of non-Free Software.
              Linux-libre started within the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution.
              It was later adopted by Jeff Moe, who coined its name, and in 2008
              it became a project maintained by FSF Latin America.  In 2012, it
              became part of the GNU Project.
              The GNU Linux-libre project takes a minimal-changes approach to
              cleaning up Linux, making no effort to substitute components that
              need to be removed with functionally equivalent Free ones.
              Nevertheless, we encourage and support efforts towards doing so.
              Our mascot is Freedo, a light-blue penguin that has just come out
              of the shower.  Although we like penguins, GNU is a much greater
              contribution to the entire system, so its mascot deserves more
              promotion.  See our web page for their images.
            What is Linux?
              Linux is a clone of the Unix kernel [...]
            (snipped from Documentation/admin-guide/README.rst)
            Alexandre Oliva, happy hacker  https://FSFLA.org/blogs/lxo/
               Free Software Activist         GNU Toolchain Engineer
                    Vim, Vi, Voltei pro Emacs -- GNUlius Caesar
          • GNU Linux-libre 5.11 Released With Many Peripheral Drivers Needing To Be De-Blobbed

            Building off yesterday’s release of the Linux 5.11 kernel, the GNU folks have put out their “GNU Linux-libre 5.11-gnu” kernel that removes support for loading closed-source kernel modules, stripping out drivers/functionality that are dependent upon closed-source microcode/firmware, and other sanitization work in the name of maintaining a fully free software system.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • Hindawi and Maverick announce open access publishing services collaboration

            Hindawi’s publishing partnerships services, built upon its open source journal management platform, Phenom, are designed to run open access publishing workflows from submission and peer review, through to production and publication. The program offers publishers the option to retain editorial control and ownership of their journals while benefiting from Hindawi’s proven track record in delivering excellence in open access scholarly publishing. Current partners include leading publishers such as Cambridge University Press, SAGE and GeoScienceWorld.

      • Programming/Development

        • ENIAC anniversary: What 75 years of computer technology have delivered

          Although such advances make it possible for everyone to have access to advanced computer systems, Thompson believes programming skills are being eroded. “We are not teaching people how to do things any more,” he said.

          One example is the trend for using low-code/no-code tooling to lower the skillset needed to create useful business applications. But, says Thompson: “Tasks get automated that shouldn’t be.” In other words, automation does not necessarily help to grow programming skills.

          Glen Beck (background) and Betty Snyder (foreground) program ENIAC
          Unlike a modern computing architecture, the ENIAC did not use memory; instead, it comprised a series of modules for performing calculations. Recalling his experiences of programming, Thompson says: “I remember working on mainframes with 6MB of memory. We needed to code in obscure ways to get the most from the machine.

          “Today’s programmers do less coding than before. Memory is limitless, I/O [input/output bandwidth] is not a problem. In a traditional sense, we are not doing data processing any more. Programmers today are building applications.”

        • A practical guide to JavaScript closures | Opensource.com

          In 4 reasons why JavaScript is so popular, I touched on a few advanced JavaScript concepts. In this article, I will dive into one of them: closures.

          According to Mozilla Developer Network (MDN), “A closure is the combination of a function bundled together (enclosed) with references to its surrounding state (the lexical environment).” Simplified, this means that a function inside another function can access the variables from the outer (parent) function.

        • Don’t be shady, deploy your JavaScript source maps

          JavaScript source code minification is a beneficial tool for reducing download file sizes. However, the resulting obfuscation makes the code difficult to read, and reduces trust and transparency. Public source maps will help restore code readability and transparency. As a bonus, it enables others to learn from your code.

          The Web Almanac 2020 found that 99,5 % of JavaScript is minified. It’s a more popular data-reduction strategy than using transport layer compression, which is at only 85 %. However, the 2019 Web Almanac found that only 18 % deployed source maps. This last number should be much higher.

        • [Older] Ruby gems: Using Linux/BSD packages vs. gem install

          As a Ruby user and programmer, I thought that Linux distributions and BSD projects offered packaged versions of Ruby gems to add sanity and stability to a computer.

          The problem is that every distribution and project packages a different subset of all the Ruby gems available.

          I’ve always tried to use as many “packaged” gems as possible in the systems I run — chiefly Debian and Fedora Linux, along with OpenBSD.

          If you only need a couple of gems, distribution packages might be the way to go. But once you start to pile up the gems and get one or more with a LOT of dependencies on other gems, the whole thing can get a bit tangled.

          The documentation to my blogPoster project has included a lot on how to install gems with package managers like apt. I’m about to pull all of that out in favor of recommending that all Ruby gems be installed with Ruby’s own gem install program.

        • Python

          • Python “tricks” I can not live without

            There is plenty of similar articles on the web, but I just thought that I can add my perspective on the topic, and make the “tricks” list more complete. The code fragments used here are somehow crucial to my workflow and I am reusing them over and over again.

        • Rust

          • Zeeshan Ali: zbus and Implementing Async Rust API

            As many of the readers already know, for the past (almost) 2 years, I’ve been developing a Rust-crate for D-Bus, called zbus. With this being my first big Rust project to start from scratch done almost entirely in my spare time, the progress was rather slow for many months. My perfectionism didn’t help much with the progress either but also the fact that implementing a SerdeAPI for the D-Bus format was quite challenging. Then along came my old friend and ex-colleague, Marc-André Lureau who sped up the progress 10 times and soon after we had the 1.0 release of zbus.

            While my original plan (perfectionism again) was for the API to be primarily async, with the synchronous API mostly just a wrapper around it, it was Marc-Andre who ended up doing most of the work and coming up with nice high-level API and his use case was primarily synchronous so we decided to go with synchronous API first. I still believe that was the right thing to do, since neither of us were familiar with async programming in Rust and going with the original plan would have meant the first release getting delayed by at least another half an year.

            This may sound very disappointing to readers who come from glib programming background but a purely synchronous blocking API in a Rust app is not at all as bad it would be in a glib+C (or even Vala) app. There is a reason why Rust is famous for its fearless concurrency.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • SVG: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

        I’m actually thinking about making a slim machine-focused vector graphics format (the name “SlimSVG” has been suggested :D) and writing my own human-focused Haskell graphics creation library with similar goals for my own purposes in the future, maybe as a student research project for the university.

        In summary: Decide whether a language is for humans or for machines and do one of those things. And do the one thing well instead of both, but badly.

  • Leftovers

    • This Valentine’s Day, Celebrate Love as Growth and Liberation
    • Health/Nutrition

      • The Growing Vaccine Corps of Medical Students Could Aid Underserved Areas
      • The New Humanitarian | Calls for fast action after Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Congo

        Two new outbreaks of Ebola in two weeks – first in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now in Guinea – have sent health teams scrambling to try to contain the spread of the deadly disease, ramping up contact tracing and medical support to local authorities.

        Guinea declared an Ebola epidemic on 14 February after three people died and four others became ill in the rural southeast of the country – the first reported outbreak in West Africa since a region-wide pandemic ended five years ago after claiming more than 11,000 lives.

        The initial case in Guinea’s new outbreak involved a nurse in rural Gouéké who died on 28 January, and the six other reported cases were people who had attended her 1 February funeral – with unsafe burials a known danger in Ebola transmission.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • What deserves firing? Asking for Excel, or ignoring the alternatives?

          The Idaho Statesman (IS) is a USA local newspaper, that is owned by a company called McClatchy. A few years ago, McClatchy decided to cut costs by, among other things, “doing away with subscriptions to Microsoft Office for new employees”. Consequentely, in late January 2021 McClatchy denied a request by a new IS reporter to have “access to Microsoft Excel”. Faced with resistance to get a software program as basic as a spreadsheet for a member of her staff, the IS top editor, Mrs Christina Lords, complained about this on Twitter.

          Eventually, it seems, the reporter was “granted access to Excel on her company laptop”. But Lords was fired, for violating McClatchy’s social media policy.


          As far as I am concerned, I find nothing wrong in McClatchy’s decision to not pay anymore for Microsoft Office. What I find hard to accept is just their refusal to buy the most expensive variety of a software essential for daily tasks… without concretely encouraging all of their staff to use license-free alternatives, or at least allowing them. It is almost like saying “we won’t buy gold-plated Mont Blanc pens for new employees anymore, but even those employees must write only with gold-plated Mont Blanc pens”. Please tell me that there is more to this story.

        • Report: Microsoft recently sought to acquire Pinterest

          Microsoft Corp. at one point considered acquiring the social network Pinterest Inc., according to a report today in the Financial Times.

          Pinterest had a market capitalization of about $51 billion prior to the publication of the report. The company’s stock price jumped more than 5% following the Financial Times’ scoop, after previously rising more than 600% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

          The paper, citing people familiar with the matter, said that Microsoft had approached Pinterest about an acquisition “in recent months.” One of the tipsters was citing as saying that the negotiations are currently not active. It’s unclear whether the talks were shelved completely or simply paused.

        • Security

          • Arrests in Ukraine hit Windows Egregor ransomware gang

            Law enforcement authorities in France and Ukraine have joined forces to arrest a number of people in Ukraine who were using the Windows Egregor ransomware to make money.

          • NVD – CVE-2020-24074
          • CVE – CVE-2020-24074
          • Singtel affected by cyber attack on Accellion file-sharing software

            Singapore’s multinational telecommunications conglomerate Singtel has been breached by an attack on a file-sharing system from Accellion that is nearing its end-of-life, with the breach ocurring on 20 January, the telco says.

          • Open-Source Kernel Security Technologies

            Lockdown is a relatively new security feature designed specifically for the Linux kernel. Part of the Linux kernel 5.4 branch, it is a feature that must be activated. Its default mode is off, simply because it can negatively affect existing systems. However, the primary function of lockdown is to prevent root account interactions with kernel code. By strengthening this divide, Lockdown counters potentially dangerous interactions that have been possible since the launch of the Linux OS. Once lockdown has been activated, there will be limitations on kernel functionality, but these will make it significantly more difficult for root accounts that have been compromised to affect the rest of the OS.

          • Here’s why you should be wary of installing anything that sets SELinux to permissive

            In the world of Android modding, people tend to regard root access as the cornerstone of all things. It allows users to take complete control of their devices and add features that aren’t always available in the stock configuration. But as they say — “with great power comes great responsibility” — it’s not wise to bypass Android’s security model unless you know what you’re getting into. For veteran Android enthusiasts on our forums, you are probably aware of the potential for backdoors to exist on your device, and you are more likely to be running a trusted root-enabled mod on top of the latest Android version with the latest security patches. Having said that, you might know a few people who don’t really care about what root tweaks they install so long as they seemingly work for them. This is why you can still find a truckload of mods that only work when SELinux is set to permissive, which, in turn, leave their users extremely susceptible to security threats.


            For a user to get full root access on their own device running Android 10 (or higher) with SELinux set to permissive is shockingly easy to do: All you have to do is press install, and “Magica” will automatically gain root access in a service and install Magisk to the boot image. This is something far wider in scope than just tweaking your device. According to XDA Senior Recognized Developer and Magisk maintainer topjohnwu, any arbitrary app, including malware, can permanently root your device without your consent and permission by utilizing the PoC.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Was Social Media a Mistake?

              This entire post is a big pile of opinions. Please feel free to skip this one if you don’t want to hear it. It says so in the footer of each page, but I want to emphasize that these opinions are my own and not that of my employers (past, current or future). This is my subjective opinion. I cannot be unbiased about this topic (though I also doubt that anyone who has experienced it can be), so instead of trying to pretend to be unbiased in this article I’m just going to let the words out.

              I also don’t really have any solution to propose in this article. This is a problem that is way bigger than a single shitposter like me can really handle on their own. I am one person among an unfathomably large crowd. If this makes you think, then I have done my job.

              Buckle up, I’m doing a philosophy.

            • Apple’s App Privacy Labels — I have Questions [Ed: Perpetuating the lie that #apple values privacy even though its CEO Tim Cook put the company in NSA PRISM. How quickly cultists delude themselves and forget. PR power.]

              Apple’s privacy labels are a great start in letting consumers know what is happening with their data, but in my opinion, it is not clear enough in terms of how this data collection happens.

            • Mozilla Privacy Blog: Mozilla Mornings: Unpacking the DSA’s risk-based approach [Ed: Mozilla spies on Firefox users, but it has something called "Mozilla Privacy Blog", which it adds "content" to, so they must be caring about privacy (not really). Posturing and posing.]

              On 25 February, Mozilla will host the next installment of Mozilla Mornings – our regular event series that brings together policy experts, policymakers and practitioners for insight and discussion on the latest EU digital policy developments.

              This installment of Mozilla Mornings will focus on the DSA’s risk-based approach, specifically the draft law’s provisions on risk assessment, risk mitigation, and auditing for very large online platforms. We’ll be looking at what these provisions seek to solve for; how they’re likely to work in practice; and what we can learn from related proposals in other jurisdictions.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Thrillcraft are Taking Over Wild Places, More Wilderness will Help

          Those were the days. In the 1980s, backcountry skiing out of Cooke City, Montana, provided access to endless untracked snow on moderate terrain. The snow falls soft and deep all winter in Cooke. I would go with friends every winter for fresh tracks and quiet mountain adventures.

          Equipped with leather telemark boots and 215 cm skinny skis we explored the ski potential of Miller Mountain, Mount Henderson, Crown Butte, Fisher Mountain, Mount Abundance and Scotch Bonnet Peak. We earned out turns with sweat and muscle power, and nearly every run was untracked and deep. The possibilities for more runs were endless.

    • Finance

      • CEOs of Reddit and Robinhood and ‘Roaring Kitty’ slated to testify in GameStop hearing

        The Senate Committee on Banking also plans to hold a hearing into the “current state of the stock market.” The House hearing, which has the catchy title “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide,” will stream live on its website beginning at 12PM ET on February 18th.

      • The ‘Roaring Kitty’ Rally: How a Reddit User and His Friends Roiled the Markets

        Roaring Kitty — who is Keith Gill, 34, a former financial educator for an insurance firm in Massachusetts — has now become a central figure in this week’s stock market frenzy. Inspired by him and a small crew of individual investors who gathered around him, hordes of young online traders took GameStop’s stock on a wild ride, pitting themselves against sophisticated hedge funds and upending Wall Street’s norms in the process.

        Their actions — pushing up GameStop’s price by buying so-called options contracts that offer a cheap way to bet on a stock’s direction — have shocked established investors because Mr. Gill and his online comrades are the antithesis of the Wall Street titans who have long ruled the stock market.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Google, Facebook Nearing Deals to Pay for News, Australia Says

        Alphabet Inc.-owned Google and Facebook oppose planned Australian legislation forcing them to pay media companies for news, and Google has threatened to shut down its search engine if the law is enacted. Parliament will consider the legislation from this week, giving the internet giants an incentive to agree compensation terms for news companies before the law is passed.

      • Seven West joins Google’s News Showcase, thanks Frydenberg for help

        The Federal Government appears to be trying to remove the need for passing the news media code legislation by encouraging, and helping, media companies to join up to Google News Showcase.

      • News media code: Govt may yield to wishes of Google, Facebook

        The Federal Government is likely to give Google and Facebook a major concession before it puts its news media code legislation up for a vote, with a clause that says the two companies do not have to cut deals with publishers under the law if they can convince them to sign up to their news products.

      • Federal government concession sends tech giants scrambling

        However, industry sources, who requested anonymity to speak about the confidential discussions, said the government had indicated it was prepared to hold off on the designation process to give the tech giants more time to sign commercial agreements through their respective products: Google News Showcase and Facebook News. Google and Facebook would prefer these products to be allocated instead of search and newsfeed.

      • Act to adapt copyright law to the requirements of the Digital Single Market

        A separate new law implements Article 17 DSM Directive and regulates the copyright responsibility of upload platforms. It also contains provisions on user rights and on remuneration claims of creators for uses on platforms (Copyright Service Provider Act [UrhDaG-E], Article 3 of the draft).

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • You shouldn’t have to publicly humiliate AT&T to get usable internet

        It’s certainly good for Epstein that his ad worked, especially given how much it cost. But it’s been estimated that there are millions of Americans who don’t have access to any access to home internet at all, let alone broadband (which itself is arguably not fast enough), and they can’t all afford ads in the WSJ. Besides, that certainly seems like a trick that would only work once, especially given that it may only work for one household at a time — Ars Technica wasn’t able to get a straight answer about whether Epstein’s neighbors would be getting faster service anytime soon.

    • Monopolies

      • Antitrust Legislation Is Essential to Racial and Economic Justice in Agriculture
      • Patents

        • Buying up Overlapping Patents — and Double Patenting

          This new petition asks the Supreme Court to chime-in on the judicially created doctrine of obviousness-type double-patenting. The basic rule is that it is improper for a patent owner to extend the term of a first patent by simply obtaining a second patent that is an obvious extension. You might ask – why do we need a separate double patenting doctrine here? Doesn’t Section 103 obviousness do the trick already?

          Evergreening via continuation used to be much more of a potential problem in days of yore when the 17-year patent term only began running at the the patent issue date. This would allow a patentee to receive a first patent in a family, and then receive a second patent extending out the patent term. And, that result was seen as an abuse of the system. The obviousness doctrine did not work for this situation because the first patent filing was not prior art to the second filing. Rather, obviousness-type-double-patenting and resulting requirement of terminal disclaimers were the solution.

          Although the change in patent term has reduced the potential dramatic impact of term extension via double patenting, the prior art exclusions under 102(b)(2) and generous patent term adjustments for PTO delays maintain a steady demand for the principle.

          In Sandoz, the patentee (Immunex) is attempting to extend its patent term with an arguably obvious innovation, but in a bit of a different way. The second patent is not a continuation or even a creation of the patentee. In addition, the second patent was not even one purchased or owned by the patentee. Rather, Immunex exclusively licensed the second patent from Roche. In its decision, the Federal Circuit held that obviousness type double patenting did not apply against Immunex because the company did not own both patents and did not even hold all-substantial-rights since Roche retained a “secondary right to sue” infringers. To be clear on this, the license appears to have been specifically designed to thwart an obviousness-type-double-patenting challenge.

        • Board of Appeal considers the legal basis and effect of the EPO’s 2020 COVID-19-related deadline extension (J10/02) [Ed: EPO management again referring a case to judges that it controls and terrorises (they’ll probably rubber-stamp whatever is at stake)]

          Just over a year ago, the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unprecedented extension of all deadlines at the EPO (OJ EPO 2020, A29) (IPKat). Subsequent announcements in the official journal (OJ) eventually extended all deadlines to June 2020. A recently published Board of Appeal decision (J 10/20) is the first to consider the legal basis and effect of these extensions.

          The case in question involved a series of missed deadlines dating back to 2018, the last of which fell within the period of the COVID-19 extensions. In the decision, the Board of Appeal (BA) is characteristically strict on the deadlines pre-dating the pandemic, but accepted the use of the COVID-19 extension period for the final deadline. An interesting aspect of the decision is the consideration given by the BA to the legal justification for the COVID-19 extension. Reassuringly however, the BA concluded that regardless of how the extensions were legally justified, a user of the EPO should not be penalised without good reason for relying on notices published by the EPO itself.


          The extraordinary measures taken by the EPO during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic have been criticised for not being explicitly allowed or provided for by the EPC (see, for example, the comments on IPKat here regarding ViCo oral proceedings). The reasoning of the Board of Appeal in J 10/20 seems to suggest that the COVID-19 related extensions of 2020 could possibly be accused of not having legal basis in Rule 134(2) EPC (although the BA pointedly leaves the question open). However, this Kat would be surprised if there were many who would argue that justice would have been best served by the EPO not providing the extension, just because the general chaos at the start of the pandemic did not necessarily include “a general disruption of mail”. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of these arguments users of the EPO can be reassured that, at the very least, the EPO considers itself legally bound by its own announcements.

        • The FRAND Lectures (Part 2): which Judge can order a cross-border injunction? [Ed: Interjecting toxic 'FRAND' (misnomer) agenda of patent monopolists]

          For the second time, I will have the pleasure and the Honor of welcoming Professor Anne-Catherine Chriariny. Professor Chiariny teaches Patent Law and International Private Law at the University of Montpellier. She is notably the author of a famous doctoral thesis on international patent litigation awarded by the Prix Pierre Véron and published in 2006 and the Prix Montesquieu in 2007 (you can order it here) and has kindly accepted to offer us two brief lectures on issues relating to FRAND litigation in an global context: which Judge can fix a global rate (Part 1)? Which judge can order a cross-border injunction (Part 2)?

          Professor Chiariny, who answered to the first question two weeks ago, will address today the second one. Although the issue is less topical than the one dealt with the week before, the cross-border injunction is nonetheless a fundamental and recurrent question in FRAND litigation. Often the Netherlands, known for this practice, is considered as its preferred field (see recently here for instance). We will see hereafter that however this strategy is not specific to the “other cheese country” and can prosper just as well in the other countries of the European Union.


          On the other hand, the effectiveness of a judgment given under a national rule of international jurisdiction – in particular by the French court which would have jurisdiction because of the existence of infringing acts in France – against a defendant domiciled in a non-EU Member State will be more uncertain, especially if the latter were to be executed in this state requiring compliance with his exequatur procedure . Moreover, the practice of anti-suit injunctions, which is common in Common Law countries, is likely to seriously delay the resolution of the dispute. However, such a practice cannot be formulated within the European Union since the Turner judgment[11], under the principle of mutual trust. Note that since Brexit, British courts have regained their freedom to accommodate these anti-suit injunctions. Hence the development of anti-suit and anti-anti-suit[12]… which will not be able to appease the numerous judicial battles in this area.”

          Eventually, in the light of Professor Chiariny’s analysis, one conclusion clearly emerges: contrary to popular belief, cross-border injunctions is not exclusive to the Netherlands and is no less conceivable in other European countries.

        • Highlights from the new EPO guidelines for examination 2021: ViCo oral proceedings, description amendments and antibodies

          The draft EPO Guidelines for Examination for 2021 (coming into force on 1 March 2021) have been released and can be read here. A controversial update to the guidelines this year is the new section on amending the description. The new guidelines also include changes reflecting the new norm of Examining Division oral proceedings by video conference, as well as new sections on antibodies and sequence identity that will be of particular interest to biotech attorneys.


          It is becoming increasingly apparent that the EPO considers oral proceedings by video conferencing (ViCo) to be the new norm, at least during Examination (IPKat: The inexorable rise of EPO oral proceedings by video conference). The default to ViCo oral proceedings in the Examining Division is now made explicit in the guidelines, with the new guidelines specifying that “[a]s a rule, oral proceedings in examination proceedings are held by videoconference” (C-VII-5 and E-III-1). Oral proceedings may be held on the EPO premises only if there are “serious reasons” for doing so. Serious reasons include, for example, a proven visual impairment of a representative. Serious reasons do not include “sweeping objections against the reliability of videoconferencing technology”.


          The draft 2021 guidelines also include a heavily amended section on Examiner interviews (C-VII-2.1). Previously, telephone consultations with the Examiner were permitted during Examination. These procedures have now been formalised as “consultations”, to preferably be held by video-conferencing. The new guidelines also include example situations that might prompt such a consultation, including enquiries about the processing of a file, errors in an official communication and clarification of minor issues.

        • The Toolgen Interference: Broad Preliminary Motions List [Ed: Patents were never meant to be granted on nature and on life, so this whole case shows the absurdity of what some patent systems are letting themselves succumb to because of lobbying and corruption]

          Senior Party Toolgen and Junior Parties The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (collectively, “Broad”) in Interference No. 106,126 and University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (collectively, “CVC”) in Interference No. 106,127 each filed Lists of Proposed Motions that the Board considered recently and responsive thereto will issue its rulings shortly (see “The CRISPR Chronicles: Enter Toolgen”). The Broad list will be the subject of this post.

        • Software Patents

          • Conference & CLE Calendar [Ed: The patent profiteers and zealots who work for patent trolls teach “New Ways of Understanding the Patent-Eligibility of Software and Business Methods”, so they basically bypass the law]
          • TD Bank Group Joins the Open Invention Network Community [Ed: OIN is not a community but a front group of software patents proponents looking to openwash their monopolies and striving to make software patents look benign w.r.t. Linux]

            Open Invention Network (OIN), the organization formed to safeguard open source software (OSS) and now the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that TD Bank Group (TD) has joined as a community member. Offering a full range of financial products and services to more than 26 million customers worldwide, TD is focused on constantly improving its operating platforms, and frequently uses OSS to do so. By joining OIN, TD is demonstrating its commitment to patent non-aggression in OSS.

            “The financial services and fintech industries are increasingly relying on open source technologies for building and integrating feature-rich platforms,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “As the first major North American bank to join our community, we are pleased that an established leader like TD is committed to patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies.”

            “We remain focused on leveraging the best technologies for our platforms and are excited to join the Open Invention Network (OIN), that supports protection from patent infringement claims for the greater good of the wider innovation community,” said Josh Death, Intellectual Property and Patentable Innovations Lead at TD.

            OIN’s community practices patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent OSS technologies by cross-licensing Linux System patents to one another on a royalty-free basis. Patents owned by OIN are similarly licensed royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System.

          • Top banks join Linux and open-source patent protection group

            When it comes to defending the intellectual property (IP) rights of Linux and open-source software, global leading banks aren’t the first businesses to come to mind. Things have changed. Barclays, the London-based global corporate and investment bank, and the TD Bank Group, with its 26-million global customers, have joined the leading open-source IP defense group, the Open Invention Network (OIN)


            The sheer number of patent infringement suits filed by patent trolls has continued to grow over the past several years. Changes in legal precedent and the economic effects of the global pandemic appear to have further fanned the flames of the patent troll threat. Left unaddressed, the practice of asserting questionable patents diverts companies’ resources away from Innovation to costly defenses again trolls.

            Besides joining the OIN, Barclay is also joining the LOT Network. This is another fast-growing nonprofit group of companies that aims to stop patent trolls in their tracks. It has over 1,100 member companies and covers over 2 million patent assets.

            Lee Braine, Barclays’s Managing Director and CTO said in a statement: “By fostering a culture of innovation across the financial services ecosystem, we can help protect our future and better serve our clients. Spurious claims from PAEs to divert resources and investment away from true innovation and collaboration. We also recognize that a modern approach to technology development and innovation requires a level playing field around the use of open-source software. With membership of LOT and OIN, we are pleased to contribute to and extend the growing global community working together to prevent the PAE threat and remove barriers to use of open-source technologies.”

      • Trademarks

        • As Givenchy Campaign Stars Style Themselves, Questions of Authorship and Ownership Abound

          For his first ad campaign at the helm of Givenchy, Matthew Williams asked Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Playboi Carti, Anok Yai, and Liam Powers to “style themselves,” with the creative director telling WWD that his “ethos is about the luxury of infusing clothes with your own personality, not being worn by them.” Hence, the subjects’ widely-reported self-styling of Givenchy’s Spring/Summer collection in the Heji Shin-lensed campaign, which aimed to elicit fashion editorials of the 1990s.

          Having models-as-stylists appears to have been more a creative choice by Williams than a COVID-19 restriction. However, this comes as brands have had to get creative in recent months as a result of pandemic-imposed challenges. In an April editorial spread for Vogue Italia, for instance, supermodel Bella Hadid posed in front of a white wall and doorway in strappy DSquared2 sandals, a camouflage-meets-animal print jacket, and itty-bitty bikini briefs, with a single prop in hand – err mouth: a blue balloon. The magazine spread had – quite notably – been shot via FaceTime, as models, designers, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, and all of the various essential assistants were shut-in at home due to the pandemic.

        • Around the IP Blogs – The IPKat

          TheFashionLaw blog addressed an interesting question of copyright ownership in fashion campaigns, which, due to the pandemic, are increasingly being shot through FaceTime, often by the models themselves, under the direction of a photographer who guides the shooting remotely. The blog looks at this recent trend of “models-as-authors” against the background of existing US caselaw on joint authorship

      • Copyrights

        • Microsoft’s Edge extensions store hosted illicit copies of Sonic and Mario Kart 64
        • Corrosion-proofing the UK’s intermediary liability protections

          Consistently with that, in October 2020 the government published post-transition guidance, stating that it “has no current plans to change the UK’s intermediary liability regime or its approach to prohibition on general monitoring requirements”.
          Articles 12 to 14 provide limitations on the liability of conduits, caches and hosts for unlawful user information. Article 15 prohibits EU member states from imposing general monitoring obligations on those intermediaries. Whether and how long the government’s commitment to Articles 12 to 15 would survive was an open question. With nothing said in the UK-EU Trade and Co-Operation Agreement about online intermediary liability, there appeared to be nothing to prevent the government – should it wish to depart from its previous policy – from legislating in future contrary to Articles 12 to 15 – subject always to the possibility of a legal objection on fundamental rights grounds.

          There was a detectable drift away from the overt commitment to Article 15 with the publication of the government’s Full Consultation Response to the Online Harms White Paper, published on 15 December 2020. The Response strayed into proposing proactive monitoring obligations that could not readily be reconciled with that policy. That drift was also evident in the simultaneously published Interim Voluntary Codes of Practice on Terrorism, and Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, which are in effect a template for obligations likely to be imposed under the future Online Safety Bill. The Full Response was silent on the apparent conflict with Article 15.

        • The French Supreme Court rules that Knoll ‘Tulip’ Chair is not protected by copyright

          In a judgment of 7 October 2020, the French Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Paris of 13 April 2018 that ruled that Knoll’s ‘Tulip’ chair is not protected by copyright in France. Under the reciprocity rule set out in Article 2(7) of the Berne Convention on works of applied art, the Court of Appeal sovereignly found that the famous Tulip chair is not eligible for copyright protection under the national law of the country of origin, i.e. US law, and therefore is not eligible for copyright protection in France. This rule of conflict is rarely used, which makes this case all the more interesting.


          Article 2(7) of the Berne Convention therefore departs from the general system of national treatment set out in Article 5(1) of the Convention (i.e., equal treatment for foreign rightholders from a country of the Union), as it contains a rule of reciprocity under which a country of the Union grants national treatment only if the country of origin of the work also does so. Thus, there is a possible conflict between Article 2(7) of the Berne Convention and Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which establishes a principle of non-discrimination on grounds of nationality. In Tod’s, a 2015 case in which the defendant had raised a plea of inadmissibility under Article 2(7) of the Berne Convention, contending that the Italian shoemaker Tod’s is not entitled to claim copyright protection in France for designs of shoes that do not qualify for such protection in Italy, the European Court of Justice ruled that Article 12 EC (which has become Article 18 of the TFEU) must be interpreted as meaning that the right of an author to claim in a Member State the copyright protection afforded by the law of that State may not be subject to a distinguishing criterion based on the country of origin of the work.

        • DISH Secures Patent for Blockchain Based Anti-Piracy System

          DISH Network has secured a patent for a next-generation anti-piracy management system that’s built around a blockchain. The company envisions a universal and scalable solution that can be used by copyright holders and websites around the world. It’s not only cheaper but also more efficient than current anti-piracy options, DISH promises.

        • Google Lawyer Bill Patry Has a Solution to Stop Copyright Trolls

          If there’s one thing you could change in US copyright law, what would it be? Bill Patry, Senior Copyright Counsel at Google, says he would revise the current system where copyright holders can demand up to $150,000 in statutory damages, as it enables a copyright troll industry. At the same time, the seasoned lawyer warns that copyright trolls will exploit the new CASE Act too.

Matthias Kirschner, Jonas Oberg & FSFE: Paternity, Maternity, Sick Leave Hypocrisy

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software at 10:38 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship

FSFE, Matthias Kirschner, student union, sexism

Today the Fellowship is proud to leak to more messages from the FSFE proving the hypocrisy of Matthias Kirschner.

To recap the sequence of events:

  1. A fellow left a EUR 150,000 bequest to the FSFE.
  2. There was fighting about the money and Matthias Kirschner, President, fell out with Jonas Oberg, Executive Director
  3. To avoid being sacked, Oberg took paternity leave while looking for another job.
  4. Kirschner had a huge fit. He wanted to fire Oberg but he couldn’t. So Kirschner took paternity leave too, his message announcing paternity leave is leaked below
  5. When Kirschner came back, he was still pissed off so he decided to remove the elections from the constitution.
  6. The representative elected by the community resigned in disgust
  7. Kirschner was angry that all the serious people quit and he had nobody to blame. So he spread rumours that the community representative, who had already resigned, is a spammer and pedophile
  8. When the two female employees, Susanne Eiswirt and Galia Mancheva, spoke about wage equality, Kirschner sacked them. Finally, he got to fire somebody. Women. In particular, he sacked Galia while she was on sick leave, he didn’t give her the same support that people gave Kirschner during his paternity leave episode.

To summarize: the only people Kirschner actually sacked or expelled were women. All the serious people resigned in disgust before Kirschner could get out his knife.

Leak 1: Matthias Kirschner paternity leave

Matthias Kirschner, President, FSFE, paternity leave, sexism, baby

Subject: [GA] New fork / MK off until 23 April

Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2018 07:33:09 +0200

From: Matthias Kirschner <mk@fsfe.org>

To: FSFE General Assembly <ga@lists.fsfe.org>, FSFE EU core team <team@lists.fsfe.org>

This week my child Paul Benjamin Kirschner was born. We are all fine and enjoy those wonderful and unique moments of our lives. Until 23 April I will be offline to spent time with my family.

I am very happy that the FSFE is in a state which enables me to take this time off, knowing that all day to day operations will be performed reliably by our volunteers and staffers. During that time some topics will be on hold, and I will not follow-up any e-mail discussions. Heiki and Patrick will decide if something is important enough to contact me. In case you have issues to discuss which are not absolutely urgent, I ask you to wait with bringing them up, until I am back again.

Thank you for enabling me to enjoy the birth of my child and fully concentrate on my family for the next weeks. All the best from a tired but exuberantly happy,


Matthias Kirschner – President – Free Software Foundation Europe

Schönhauser Allee 6/7, 10119 Berlin, Germany | t +49-30-27595290

Registered at Amtsgericht Hamburg, VR 17030 | (fsfe.org/join)

Contact (fsfe.org/about/kirschner) – Weblog (k7r.eu/blog.html)

Galia Mancheva’s comments about her medical leave

Does Kirschner’s wife, Kristina, know that Kirschner intruded on Galia’s home?

An extract from Galia’s full report:

I suspected Matthias was preparing to fire me, and indeed I was on a clock. He needed to make sure he was re-elected FSFE president before he could get rid of me. It would have damaged his chances to have fired all the full-time women in the office in the two months leading up to the elections – an unnecessary risk – but once approved he would have another two years’ free reign.
At this time my friends were starting to worry – the psychological pressure and lack of enough time off caused my condition was decline. I had to take a sick leave. Certain that I was about to get fired, my friends encouraged me to seek legal counsel, if so only to keep myself focussed on constructive tasks.
Immediately after my sick leave announcement, Matthias fired me over the phone on a Friday night, and threatened me to immediately go to the office to hand over work-related items. Appearing in the office during a sick leave is illegal in Germany, so I refused. A weekend of non-stop calls followed, including from hidden phone numbers. He even texted telling me I should answer my phone, for my own better. Even after my lawyer warned him to terminate all attempts to communicate with me and send someone else to pick up my work laptop, he came in person to my house, and was very irritated that I was not alone.

Leak 2: Jonas Oberg paternity leave

Subject: Continuation in volunteer roles

Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2018 09:55:47 +0100

From: Jonas Oberg <jonas@fsfe.org>

To: team@lists.fsfe.org

Hi everyone,

I just reviewed the mailing lists where I was subscribed for the FSFE, and wanted to give you a heads up about what you can expect from me in the coming months (and years!).

From the 14th of February, I will be largely disconnected from the day-to-day operations of the FSFE, owing to my parental leave. I’m still a member of the association, and I still have an interest in many of our activities, so I will continue my work in some areas as a volunteer.

Specifically, I will, as a member, remain subscribed and part of the ga@ and team@ lists, but I will read team@ less seldom and focus my attention to the much needed work in the GA.

I will also remain as a volunteer for the following activities:

– Our Legal team

– The FSFE Nordic local group


In addition, I plan to volunteer time to oversee some of the work with the AMS implementation and system administration. It’s not conceivable we will manage a proper handover of all tasks in the time remaining, and I have a personal interest in making sure this is properly done.

This all being said, you can of course always rely on my help or guidance if you need it for any other activity too. Just make sure that you ask me specifically (direct mail) about it, and understand that from the 14th, my ability to respond will be much lower during the days and I’ll catch up more infrequently, often in the evenings.

In the coming months, I will also have two weeks when I’ll work full time for the FSFE; for the REUSE activities we will have at the Open Source Leadership Summit, and for the LLW in Barcelona. So you can expect more mails from me those weeks (w10 and 16) :-)


Jonas Öberg

Executive Director

FSFE e.V. – keeping the power of technology in your hands. Your

support enables our work, please join us today http://fsfe.org/join

Susanne Eiswirth, Matthias Kirschner, Galia Mancheva, FSFE, workplace bullying, harassment

Patents Over Parents at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Europe’s second-largest institution does not treat parents fairly; this jeopardises the standards of labour rights across Europe’s as a whole

LAST night we posted some information about how parents — especially young parents — are being treated by Europe’s largest patent office (certainly no parent office). EPO autocrats like Benoît Battistelli (with his grown-up daughters) and his “Orange Man” think alike; EPO workers are just “spoiled”… after all, they do all the work. How dare they demand that their human rights be respected?

“The EPO’s management is in fact not seeing much of a future, judging by the plans to lay off staff and the squeezing of the goose for its golden egg.”Further to last night's post we’ve produced the video above, which explains why today’s EPO cannot attract talent and won’t manage to attract any (in the foreseeable future). The EPO’s management is in fact not seeing much of a future, judging by the plans to lay off staff and the squeezing of the goose for its golden egg.

Today’s EPO is self-destructive and it mostly serves monopolists that aren’t even European (they’re usually not law-abiding, either, but they have a grip on governments and patent offices). Here’s the document shown above, as text:

Staff Committee The Hague
Comité du personnel de La Haye
Personalausschuss Den Haag

10 February 2021

Childcare during the pandemic

Shared effort: request special leave for childcare and home-schooling

Dear Colleagues,

Your Staff Representation has been made aware that an overwhelming number of colleagues struggled to cope with trying to balance work and home schooling or caring for young children during the lockdowns caused by the pandemic.

These difficulties have been acknowledged by the President who announced the crediting of 10 extra parental leave days to all eligible parents1 at the beginning of 2021.

Extra parental leave alone is however not sufficient as it creates a financial gap which can prove unaffordable. For a number of staff, the only solution presently available is to take annual leave to care for their offspring, thus depleting their annual leave credit, or work when their caring responsibilities are over, both of the above leading to physical and mental exhaustion2.

Your Staff Representation hereby advises colleagues who need to combine their EPO duties with childcaring responsibilities during the pandemic to request special leave with a corresponding target adjustment for example according to the following pattern, which seems to be a common practice3, embraces the principle of duty of care and shows a genuine “shared effort” between the employee and the employer:
in the absence of schooling and day care facilities due to lockdown, quarantine or stricter rules relating to keeping children away from said establishments, a staff member taking half day of annual, parental or unpaid leave requests half day of special leave to make up a whole day dedicated to childcare or home-schooling.

Childcare centres and some schools have reopened but a third wave and lockdown are looming on the horizon. If they materialize, if your child(ren) is/are sent home because they or another pupil in the group have symptoms, or if they need to quarantine, please request leave according to the above distribution.

1 N.B: For the sake of consistency with the Codex, any supplementary parental leave should be given per child rather than per parent – this is to avoid that families where both parents work at the EPO receive double the amount compared to families where only one parent is an Office employee.
2 Research shows the increased risk of parental burnout and pandemic fatigue: Parental Burnout and Child Maltreatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic, A, K, Griffith, J. Fam. Violence, 2020.
3 See for example KPN giving 4 hours leave for every 4 hours taken by its employees for childcare: “Betaald verlof en docent aan huis: zo helpt de baas zijn werknemers”, RTL, NL. For other examples of common practice in the matter, see “Zusätzliche Kinderkrankentage für Eltern”, Bundesregierung, DE and “Can I be furloughed to look after my children?”, BBC, UK.

The reasons listed for requesting special leave in MyFips -> Teleworking, time and leave -> Special leave do not include “force majeure” or “childcare during the pandemic”4, which is why we advise sending the template below to HR and your manager to request that the corresponding special leave days be credited to your leave account and your yearly target adjusted.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones,

Your Staff Representation

4 It should be noted that the list of reasons for granting special leave in Article 59 and circular 22, rule 6 of the Codex is not exhaustive.


If anybody at the EPO has something to tell us and requires anonymity, stay tuned as we might implement document-dropping (or tip-dropping) software over Gemini protocol. It’s a little project.

Syndication, Feeds and Subscriptions in Gemini

Posted in Site News at 8:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The Gemini (gemini://) protocol is both exciting and functional; this video explains how it can handle requests from visitors and deal with subscriptions to capsules/pages

WE have added 2019 archives (full) to our Gemini capsule, which is now self-updating (kept in sync with HTTP) every 3 hours. The capsule now has about 5,000 pages in it. That number will grow over time. The capsule’s address (URL) is gemini://gemini.techrights.org/ and the feed is at gemini://gemini.techrights.org/feed (not RSS feed, Gemini does it differently).

“We hope that more people will join us at Gemini (as some reader of ours already have).”This video explains the concept of “subscriptions” in Gemini and shows how this is managed in Amfora, a command-line client for Gemini (the GUI clients have their own means for maintaining subscriptions).

We hope that more people will join us at Gemini (as some readers of ours already have). This isn’t some passing fad; Gemini is fast-growing and it has its place alongside the World Wide Web.

Diversity, Elitism and Racism, When Google Expelled a Student From Google Summer of Code (GSoC)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google at 8:02 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

In October 2016, one of the administrators of Debian’s Outreachy program informed the Debian Project Leader (DPL) and I that his girlfriend would apply to my project. Four days later her application was withdrawn. If the DPL had any discussion with those people, it was done behind my back and I didn’t see it.

I was reminded of this on Friday when France’s grandes écoles were in the news again. It has been argued that these schools separate the ruling class from the rest of society. In negotiations with the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement, President Macron had agreed to shut them down, he has subsequently decided to offer diversity scholarships to underrepresented groups.

Our previous GSoC/Outreachy admin and his girlfriend were French and they had both met during their time in one of these grandes écoles, ENS Cachan. As reported in the article, over seventy percent of people in grandes écoles have parents with a similar education and social class.

In this intellectual class, people struggle to relate to the outside world. President Macron graduated from the most prestigious of these schools. In 2018, at the height of the gilets jaunes conflict, it became clear how he was struggling to understand the working class when he made an appeal for calm while sitting at a golden desk.

In Debian, people gave said couple the benefit of the doubt.

President Macron, golden desk

When something like that happens, it sets a precedent in the culture of the organization. Or does it?

In 2018 Debian faced a very similar challenge involving an application from a student. I decline to identify the student. Nonetheless, in discussion with the admin team and other mentors, I informed people how Debian handled the case in 2016.

When Stephanie Taylor at Google found out about this relationship, she was absolutely furious. Everybody up to the DPL feigned amnesia, nobody could remember how Debian applied this logic to distinguished volunteers from the grandes écoles. It was purported that this was my personal policy. I never advocated for such a policy, I simply explained this is how Debian handled it last time.

This was one of those cases where people with sinister motives play word games, cutting and pasting your words into something you never wrote.

Before asking any questions, Stephanie Taylor immediately expelled the student from the program. Why was there such a dramatic difference between the handling of the case in 2016 and 2018? Why did the Debian Project Leader cover up the 2016 case? This is the us-and-them mentality that separates social classes. Sinners in your class have a get-out-of-jail-free card. People draw the wagons into a circle and defend their own. This is why the gilets jaunes call for the grandes écoles to be closed, for the students of every social class to study together in the larger public universities.

Indian flag half mast

Why did Taylor act so dramatically, shoot first and ask questions later? In the latter case, the student was not from a grande école, they were from India.

When you make a judgment about somebody without gathering evidence first, that means you are showing contempt for their status as human beings. Arbitrary punishment like that is well within the definition of harassment. Take a moment to empathize with how each student felt, the French student and the Indian student: the Indian student would have felt a lot worse after an experience like that. When such a dramatic difference occurs, the implication of harassment could well be racial harassment.

Standing up for the same precedent, that our contributors from India should be treated to the same rules as contributors from grandes écoles doesn’t mean I endorse those conflicts of interest. I don’t. I resigned immediately after GSoC 2018 finished. Nonetheless, when I look at the difference between these two cases, I feel that talk about diversity is just window dressing and whenever a challenging situation occurs, impatience and intolerance reigns.

Disclaimer: I was not party to any personal relationship with the students in this blog post, in fact, I never even met them.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 14, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:51 am by Needs Sunlight

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