Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The ‘Unix Way’ Has a Right Way That’s Almost a Lost Way

      I’ve often extolled the philosophy of Unix, and as the title implies, I’m not about to stop. Before I learned computer science, I thought all computers were impenetrably arcane. But when I grasped Unix, through the imperfect medium of Linux, it made intuitive sense to me. Through all its evolution, at its heart Unix retains the charm that I have previously remarked on.

      To touch on one such trait that is relevant to the point I want to make, I love that Unix’s simplest tools are also its most versatile. This is because its creators believed that a handful of default tools should allow users to do anything imaginable. To that end, Unix’s brain-parents also ensured effortless interoperation via the common interface of textual data. All these design choices consciously facilitated user freedom.

      But this bears an important caveat: freedom has reasonable implied limits. Philosophies with the cardinal virtue of liberating adherents can never afford to shed all limitations for the simple fact that philosophies without doctrines are self-effacing. A philosophy, by existing, defines what it is and thus implicitly delineates what it is not.

      This is what I call the “Daoism Paradox.” Without getting too esoteric, Daoist philosophy holds that all is a perfectly effortless way. Existence is as it must be. In fact, its nature is so all-encompassing that defining it is impossible. So how does Daoism express this if expressing Daoism is impossible?

    • Server

      • Istio / Announcing Istio 1.9.1

        This release fixes the security vulnerability described in our March 1st, 2021 news post as well as bug fixes to improve robustness.

        This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.9.0 and Istio 1.9.1.

      • ISTIO-SECURITY-2021-001

        This issue only affects Istio 1.9.0; previous versions of Istio are not affected. This issue has been given a CVSS score of 8.2 by the Istio product security working group.

      • Power To The Kubernetes People

        Big Blue shelled out an incredible $34 billion to buy open source infrastructure software juggernaut Red Hat, and it is determined not to just tend and

      • Introduction to k3d: Run K3s in Docker | SUSE Communities

        k3d is a small program made for running a K3s cluster in Docker. K3s is a lightweight, CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution and Sandbox project. Designed for low-resource environments, K3s is distributed as a single binary that uses under 512MB of RAM. To learn more about K3s, head over to the documentation or check out this blog post or video.

        k3d uses a Docker image built from the K3s repository to spin up multiple K3s nodes in Docker containers on any machine with Docker installed. That way, a single physical (or virtual) machine (let’s call it Docker Host) can run multiple K3s clusters, with multiple server and agent nodes each, simultaneously.

      • Sysdig Contributes eBPF Components to CNCF

        Sysdig, Inc. recently announced that it has contributed the sysdig kernel module, eBPF probe, and Falco libraries to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The contributed source code will be moved into the Falco organization, a cloud-native runtime security project and de facto Kubernetes threat detection engine, which was also contributed to the CNCF by Sysdig.

      • Sysdig contributes Falco’s kernel module, eBPF probe, and libraries to the CNCF

        Today, I’m excited to announce the contribution of the sysdig kernel module, eBPF probe, and libraries to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The source code of these components will move into the Falco organization and be hosted in the falcosecurity github repository.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Right Wallpaper Is The Key To A Beautiful Desktop

        The key to creating a beautiful desktop is finding the right wallpaper. In Linux, we have a number of great wallpaper packs available to us in our distro’s repositories, as well as some nice programs that will fetch wallpapers from the Internet.

      • Arch User Repository: How Does It Really Work – YouTube

        The Arch User Repository is an amazing tool for Arch users but a lot of new Arch users and people who don’t use Arch don’t really understand how it works and what makes it so useful so today I thought I’d try to explain a bit about the AUR.

      • Destination Linux 215: Open Source vs Commercial: Endless War or Symbiosis? & Jill’s Treasure Hunt

        This week on Destination Linux, we’re going to discuss why being a supporter of open source does not mean that you are anti-commercial. Later in the show, we’re going to go on a Treasure Hunt in Jill’s silicon world of wonders and hardware museum! Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Championed Work From Home Before Everyone Else: Greg Kroah-Hartman [Ed: This is a revisionist load. GNU predates this. Linux and LF trying to delete GNU from history…]

        Linux kernel is the world’s largest collaborative technology. It’s created by thousands of people from around the world, working together from the comfort of their homes, just via email. In this episode of TFiR Insights, we hosted none other than Greg Kroah-Hartman, the leading Linux kernel developer and maintainer of the stable branch. We discussed a wide range of topics including work from home and the progress Linux has made over the years.

    • Benchmarks/Graphics

      • Let’s talk about Wayland …

        In the past few weeks, I read several articles on Wayland. And I thought, what the Internet needs is more debate, not less! So I figured I should add my own opinion into the ether and foster the productive, respectful and totally not emotional discussion around Wayland, the new desktop thingie what shows images on your screen. If you’re a techie, you are already flipping, but if you’re not, you may be wondering, what? Indeed, for non-techies, Wayland doesn’t mean anything. Neither does Xorg.

        But the two are display engines, which results ultimately in stuff being painted on your monitor. Xorg is the old technology, a display server, and Wayland is the new display server protocol, and it is meant to replace the former. Except … this has been going on for more a decade, without end in sight. It boils down to a boss fight of Xorg vs Wayland, and why one is better than the other, and so forth ad infinitum. Now, the real problem is, because this debate is heralded by techies, it boils down to technical details, which is WRONG. The reality is far simpler, far more abstract. Follow me.


        Thirdly, logging keystrokes can be done in many many different ways. Why limit the discussion to this being possible with Xorg? Do you know how you prevent such a scenario? Don’t have a rogue application or process on your host! Very simple. But then, why not go for malware that is sophisticated enough to install its own driver, or install its own device? Why not something that does all sorts of wonders when installed?

        If you have malware on your system, then you have a much bigger problem than the fact once it gets past your perimeter security, it could potentially do bad things. The solution is to make sure that your system does not get exposed or infected, and then, the discussion around Xorg is no longer relevant. Moreover, if someone gets onto your system, it’s game over. Not in the movie drama sense, but there’s no reason to limit oneself to an arbitrary usecase that serves the narrative. Why not listen to the microphone? Why not delete data? Why not pop a message in your terminal every nine seconds? Lots of options.


        We also need to put things into perspective. The Linux desktop – desktop, as in you actually have a graphical interface where the Xorg vs Wayland argument would matter – controls a tiny proportion of the global PC market. To make things worse, the 1% mark has been around for a good decade plus, so it’s not like we’re going anywhere with any great majesty.

        The discussion around Wayland and Xorg affects 1% of users at best – and even then, lots of people don’t really care about the technological ingredients in their systems, they just want functionality. The same way you don’t care where the flax in your bed linen was sourced, how porcelain in your plates is made, the angle of the spark plug in your car’s cylinders, or the composition of the fertilizer at the nearby farm. Those are trivial details behind functionality. They are only of interest to diehard fans.


        The discussion around Wayland and Xorg shouldn’t be about implementation details – those matter to the experts in the field, of course. But lacking any fundamental user-centric reasons why Xorg should be gone and why something (Wayland) should replace it, the narrative must deteriorate to bickering about tech lingo and buzzwords. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Functionality. Usability.

        Can Wayland do what Xorg does today? Does it offer users at least what they have today? Can a person, no matter their tech credentials, achieve their basic needs using this thing? And the answer to all of these is, unfortunately, NO. Wayland is just part of the greater equation called Linux. But it is a great example of a technology tool that intrudes into userspace and breaks the user experience, whereas technology should be the opposite. Totally invisible and silent. Hint: for those of you already rushing for your pitchforks, Xorg isn’t the ideal solution either. It also breaks the user experience, only much less than Wayland.

        But the Linux desktop as a whole does not offer the seamless functionality that people need, because it is designed with software tools as the end goal and not with the user experience supported by software tools as the end goal. Cause and effect, reversed. Because it’s not a product. It’s a bundle of tech. And until this mindset changes (extremely unlikely), the Linux desktop will never get past its 1% share.

      • AES-NI XTS Crypto Performance Looking Good For AMD With Linux 5.12 Fix

        Of the performance-related changes with Linux 5.12 worth noting is faster AES-NI XTS performance for systems relying upon return trampolines “Retpolines” as part of the CPU’s Spectre V2 mitigations. On the Intel side this primarily impacts older CPUs where Retpolines is still used while on the AMD side through Zen 3 the Retpolines is still relied upon, which as shown by these benchmarks is now much better off for AMD Ryzen AES XTS performance as measured by Cryptsetup.

        As reported last year, AES-NI regressed heavily under Retpolines and seemingly went unnoticed for the better part of three years. Now with Linux 5.12 the AES-NI kernel module code has been reworked so it doesn’t face such overhead in Retpolines-enabled environments and in turn really helps out with performance.

        I previously ran some benchmarks while now for getting an idea as to the impact with Linux 5.12 mainline, I carried out some fresh cryptsetup benchmarks with two AMD systems of Linux 5.11 stable versus Linux 5.12 Git at the end of the merge window.

    • Applications

      • Fish shell 3.2.0 released

        Version 3.2.0 of the fish shell has been released. New features include undo and redo support (for command-line editing, not commands!) and a long list of incremental improvements; see the announcement for details.

      • RSS Guard 3.9.0 – Neowin

        RSS Guard is a simple (yet powerful) feed reader. It is able to fetch the most known feed formats, including RSS/RDF and ATOM. It’s free, it’s open-source. RSS Guard currently supports Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian. RSS Guard will never depend on other services – this includes online news aggregators like Feedly, The Old Reader and others.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Get started with CrowdSec v.1.0.X

        The official release of CrowdSec v.1.0.X introduces several improvements to the previous version, including a major architectural change: the introduction of a local REST API.

        This local API allows all components to communicate more efficiently to support more complex architectures, while keeping it simple for single-machines users. It also makes the creation of bouncers (the remediation component) much simpler and renders them more resilient to upcoming changes, which limits maintenance time.

      • Open Source Web Radio with Icecast and Raspberry PI – peppe8o

        As web became more popular, a number of web radio born because of their low maintenance costs. One of most popular platform to broadcast a private web radio is Icecast2, which runs also on Raspberry PI computer boards


        Icecast is an open source software (distributed indet GNU GPL, version 2) able to create a self hosted streaming server. Supports a number of audio/video media formats, like Ogg (Vorbis and Theora), Opus, WebM and MP3.

      • How to install Citra Emulator on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Citra, a Nintendo DS emulator, on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to change Apache Document root directory on Ubuntu 18.04

        To modify the root folder in Apache, you would need to make changes to two files basically. We will first start by modifying the file /etc/apache2/apache2.conf.

    • Games

      • Joan Fons is hired to work on Godot’s rendering

        I started contributing to Godot about 3 years ago while I was still studying at uni. I quickly felt at home and I started focusing on 3D editor and rendering contributions. Not long after that, I got a job as a Godot consultant at Prehensile Tales, which I kept till last Friday…

        My latest big contribution to the engine is the new CPU lightmapper, which will be landing with the 3.2.4 release, and should make lightmaps a viable option for 3.2. Here you can see some screenshots…


        Moving forward, and with my full focus on Godot development, my goal is to work on Godot’s 3D rendering and help bring Godot 4.0 finish line.

        My first task will be integrating an occlusion culling system into the new Vulkan renderer. While occlusion culling is not a silver bullet, it can give big performance improvements in a variety of scenes. I have been working on a small prototype implementation and the results so far are promising, but it still needs to be integrated in the rendering backend and exposed to the user.

      • Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer – Part 1: Dumpster Diving | GamingOnLinux

        Before I begin, I feel I should state that this project is just a bit of fun. The goal is not to build the most powerful retro gaming computer I can, or to engage in any kind of serious analysis or benchmarking. All I want to do is play around with old hardware and software, explore what could be done with Linux back in the day, and maybe learn a thing or two about how far we have come along the way.

        Older computing hardware is getting harder and harder to find. What would have been given away just five or ten years ago can now often only be found on websites such as eBay for inflated prices and heavy shipping costs, at least for Canadian buyers like myself. So when I noticed an interesting looking beige box ready to be recycled at my local dump, I did not hesitate to rescue it in order to see what was inside.

      • DXVK 1.8.1 Is Released With Better DirectX 9 Performance On AMD GPUs

        The DirectX to Vulkan translation layer DXVK, popular among Wine uses who like to play Windows games on Linux, got a huge speedbump for DirectX 9 games using MSAA on AMD graphics cards using the Mesa RADV driver in the latest 1.8.1 release. There’s also workarounds for Mafia II and Warhammer Online.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KStars v3.5.2 Is Released

          Developer Jasem Mutlaq has released another fine version of the user-friendly yet very advanced astronomy program KStars. The highlights in the new version are mostly for those who happen to have their own observatory. KStars is still a great little program for anyone who wants to brush up on the constellations or have an interest in the night sky.


          There’s also two major improvements to the Ekos Polar Alignment Assistant, contributed by Hy Murveit, in KStars 3.5.2. Polar Alignment can now be done while pointing anywhere in the sky, and the user-interface for it has been greatly improved.

        • Plasma Mobile updates make the user interface more customizable (and a bit more Android-like)

          There are several different user interfaces available for Linux smartphones, but the one that will probably feel the most familiar to Android users is KDE’s Plasma Mobile.

          Like Android, it has a home screen, an app drawer, navigation buttons on the bottom, status notifications at the top, and a quick settings panel that appears when you swipe down from the top of the screen.

          Soon, it may work even more like Android – developers plan to add support for multiple home screens that you can scroll through horizontally, giving you more space for app icons and widgets. Support for custom app launchers may also be on the way.

        • Plasma Mobile February Update

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to present the Plasma Mobile updates from January and February 2021.


          The highlights for Plasma Dialer include one bug fix and two new features. First off, Powerdevil no longer suspends calls. (Bhushan Shah: plasma-mobile/plasma-dialer!31) The two new features are that it is now possible to send DTMF tones and send USSD requests. DTMF tones can be sent during a call and can be used to navigate the menus of certain automated calling systems. USSD requests, also called “quick codes”, can be used to request the current pre-paid balance from the mobile phone operator, as well as other data. Both features were tested to work on the Pinephone. (Alexey Andreyev: plasma-mobile/plasma-dialer!32 and plasma-mobile/plasma-dialer!33)

        • Maui 1.2.1 & 1.1.0 Releases

          Today, we are pleased to announce the release of MauiKit and Maui Apps 1.2.1!.

          Are you a developer and want to start developing cross-platform and convergent apps, targeting, among other things, the upcoming Linux mobile devices? Then join us on Telegram: https://t.me/mauiproject. If you are interested in testing this project and helping out with translations or documentation, you are also more than welcome.

        • January/February in KDE PIM

          Since the last report two month ago we saw the 20.12.2 release of Kontact, had a virtual New Year meetup, and integrate more than 1600 changes by more than 30 contributors. Here are some of the highlights.


          The bulk of the changes again focus on preparing the upcoming migration to Qt6 and KF6. This mainly consists of porting away from deprecated functionality in Qt, KDE Frameworks or the build system, towards the respective future-proof alternatives.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Martín Abente Lahaye: Portfolio 0.9.10

          This new release introduces a new home page, which serves as the starting point for the navigation experience. Besides its utility as “quick access”, it also provides a better interface for managing external devices. Kudos to @nahuelwexd for designing it.

        • Sam Thursfield: Return to Codethink

          2020 was a year full of surprises, so surprise that I finished it by returning to work in the same job that I left exactly 3 years ago.

          There are a few reasons I did that! I will someday blog in more detail about working as a language teacher. It’s a fun job but to make the most of it you have to move around regularly, and I unexpectedly found a reason to settle in Santiago. Codethink kindly agreed that I could join the ongoing remote-work revolution and work from here.

          Three years is a long time. What changed since I left? There’s a much bigger and nicer office in Manchester, with nobody in it due to the pandemic. The company is now grouped into 4 internal divisions. This is still an experiment and it adds some management overhead, also helps to maintain a feeling of autonomy in a company that’s now almost 100 people. (When I started there ten years ago, I think there were seventeen employees?!)

          I also want to mention some research projects that my colleagues are working on. Codethink is a services company, but has always funded some non-customer work including in the past work on dconf, Baserock, Buildstream and the Freedesktop SDK. These are termed ‘internal investments’ but they are far from internal, the goal is always to contribute to open software and hardware projects. The process for deciding where to invest has improved somewhat in my absence; it still requires some business case for the investment (I’m still thinking how to propose that I get paid to work on music recommendations and desktop search tools all day), but there is now a process!


          My contribution to Codethink’s RISC-V research was writing an article about it. The tl;dr is we are playing with some RISC-V boards, mainly in the context of Freedesktop SDK. Since writing that article the team tracked down a thorny bug in how qemu-user uses GLib that had been blocking progress, and got GNOME OS running in qemu-system-riscv. Expect to see a video soon. You can thank us when you get your first RISC-V laptop

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • GParted 1.2.0 Live CD & USB Image: Nimble and Effective

          Continuing the theme of Debian based rescue distributions, simply because most of them are built on Debian, I am looking at GParted this week as last one in this short series. GParted is of course known as a tool to work with and edit partitions that is included with most distributions where it could be considered a de facto standard. But it also lends its name to a rescue CD image where it is at the centre of the collection of tools.

          Images are updated frequently, about every two months, but core functionality stays the same so there is no need to focus on numbers too much. That said, I downloaded the gparted-live-1.2.0-1-amd64.iso which was 387 MB in size and is using the 5.10 Linux kernel. 1.2.0-2 is currently in testing. These newer builds are based on the unstable branch of Debian for obvious reasons, to stay relevant with support for newer hardware, but are in themselves considered stable.

          The systemd software is running under the hood. With its small size GParted can be written to USB, CD or DVD and is available for i686 and x86_64 architectures, as ISO or extractable USB image. There‘s also a PAE enabled version for 32-bit computers. The 64-bit version supports booting UEFI machines. The home page advises to have a minimum of 320 MB RAM available.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Call for Papers Open for openSUSE Conference

          The call for papers is open until May 4. This leaves a little more than 60 days to submit a proposal. The dates of the conference are scheduled for June 18 – 20. Registration for the conference has also begun.

      • Arch Family

        • [Arch] FOSS Activities in February 2021

          The start of this month was marked with FOSDEM! I held a talk about secure boot and the tooling stuff I have written, sbctl. It’s a tool to help you manage secure boot keys and signing files. With help from sbsigntools it also does live enrollment of keys.

          The talk went great (I think) and it was fun to see how FOSDEM pulled off the conference with matrix and jitsi. I gave me some inspiration for Arch Conf 2021 that I should try kick off some planning on.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Red Hat Risk Report: A tour of 2020′s branded security flaws [Ed: Branding is just hype and marketing for FUD agenda]

          An article from December 2020 reported that 2020 had a record high number of CVEs reported for the fourth year in a row (yet another reason to dislike the year!). Across the technical spectrum more than 176,447 CVEs were reported. Back when we started the Red Hat Risk Report the volume of CVEs across all software vendors numbered in the 4,000-8,000 range. The specific reasons for the increase will be debated for some time to come, but the harsh reality is that the organizations need to address a growing number of vulnerabilities each year.

        • Customer Success Stories: Red Hat solutions found around the world

          We regularly publish customer success stories that highlight how we’re helping customers gain efficiency and transform the way they deliver software. Read on to see how we helped Tomago Aluminium, the MGEN Group, and Alliance Bank—three customers in three different continents—find success in application deployment, automation, and more.

        • Ben Williams: F33-20210301 updated Live isos released

          The Fedora Respins SIG is pleased to announce the latest release of Updated F33-20210301-Live ISOs, carrying the 5.10.18-200 kernel.

          This set of updated isos will save considerable amounts of updates after install. ((for new installs.)(New installs of Workstation have about 1.1GB+ of updates savings )).

        • Developers can now use IBM’s cloud services across multiple environments with IBM Cloud Satellite

          Today we announced that IBM Cloud Satellite has designed its cloud services to be available across multiple environments — on IBM Cloud, on premises, or at the edge. This is big news for enterprise developers for several reasons.

          The first is that increasingly enterprise developers are being asked to build applications across a wide range of environments, and that trend is only accelerating. A recent IBM Institute for Business Value study found that a typical enterprise uses nearly eight clouds from multiple vendors. There has been a surge in the adoption of hybrid clouds — the combination of public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises IT — noting that in the next three years, hybrid cloud adoption is expected to grow by 47%, and the average organization will be using nearly six clouds.

      • Debian Family

        • Charging the Librem 5

          When you find yourself low on power, it’s helpful to know how long it takes to charge your device. This video will go over the expected charge time of the Librem 5.

        • Built-in “Xray” like UNO object inspector – Part 2

          Since my last blog post I’ve been continuing the work on DevTools and since then a lot of things have progressed. Point & click has been implemented and the object inspector view has been greatly improved to show current object’s properties and methods. In this part I will mainly talk about the point & click and a bit about the current state, and in the next blog I will extensively talk about the object inspector.


          The object inspector is already in a very good shape so I encourage everyone to try it and give feedback, what can be improved, changed or added – especially if you use Xray or MRI regularly.

          For the next steps the major focus will be to fix a couple of bugs and crashes (mainly due to missing checks if objects are available), work on the UI, object stack (so it is possible to go back to the previous object) and finalizing all the features of the object inspector.

        • Sparky news 2021/02

          Many thanks to all of you for supporting our open-source projects, specially in this difficult days. Your donations help keeping them and us alive.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Apache Month in Review: February 2021
      • Approved: Four New Open Source Licenses

        As the steward of the Open Source Defintion, the Open Source Initiative has been designating licenses as “open source” for over 20 years. These licenses are the foundation of the open source software ecosystem, ensuring that everyone can use, improve, and share software. When a license is approved, it is because the OSI believes that the license fosters collaboration and sharing for the benefit of everyone who participates in the ecosystem.

        The world has changed over the past 20 years, with software now used in new and even unimaginable ways. The OSI has seen that the familiar open source licenses are not always well-suited for these new situations. But license stewards have stepped up, submitting several new licenses for more expansive uses. The OSI was challenged to evaluate whether these new concepts in licensing would continue to advance sharing and collaboration and merit being referred to as “open source” licenses, ultimately approving some new special purpose licenses.

      • Cryptographic Autonomy License Approved by OSI

        The controversy over the scope of copyleft these days remains brisk. Regarding CAL, it was so heated that OSI founder Bruce Perens resigned in protest, as the license approached approval. There is a also a larger controversy over whether copyleft licenses written by single companies, and not part of the community drafting process, should be approved, regardless of content.

      • Programming/Development

        • DRY enums for Absinth macros

          Absinth is a great GraphQL library for Elixir, but it brings a few challenges as it’s practically implemented using macros. One of these challenges is a DRY way of reusing enumerables in Absinth enums.


          The only thing we had to do is to use require to require the module beforehand.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Rust

          • Weird architectures weren’t supported to begin with

            You don’t know about any of the above until the bug reports start rolling in: users will report bugs that have already been fixed, bugs that you explicitly document as caused by unsupported configurations, bugs that don’t make any sense whatsoever.

            You struggle to debug your users’ reports, since you don’t have access to the niche hardware, environments, or corporate systems that they’re running on. You slowly burn out as an unending torrent of already fixed bugs that never seem to make it to your users. Your user base is unhappy, and you start to wonder why you’re putting all this effort into project maintenance in the first place. Open source was supposed to be fun!

            What’s the point of this spiel? It’s precisely what happened to pyca/cryptography: nobody asked them whether it was a good idea to try to run their code on HPPA, much less System/3906; some packagers just went ahead and did it, and are frustrated that it no longer works. People just assumed that it would, because there is still a norm that everything flows from C, and that any host with a halfway-functional C compiler should have the entire open source ecosystem at its disposal.

          • Woodruff: Weird architectures weren’t supported to begin with

            William Woodruff has posted a rant of sorts on the adoption of Rust by the Python Cryptography project, which was covered here in February.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox, ImageMagick, libexif, thunderbird, and xorg-x11-server), Debian (docker.io, python-aiohttp, and thunderbird), Fedora (chromium, firefox, kernel, and rygel), Mageia (nodejs, pix, and subversion), openSUSE (glibc, gnuplot, nodejs12, nodejs14, pcp, python-cryptography, qemu, and salt), Red Hat (bind and podman), and SUSE (csync2, glibc, java-1_8_0-ibm, nodejs12, nodejs14, python-Jinja2, and rpmlint).

          • KDE neon Blog: Offline Updates are Coming

            For a very long time we’ve been paving the road for offline updates. We are excited to finally introduce the first step to the KDE neon Unstable Edition today and would love to hear your opinion in the forum.

            Unlike regular updates offline updates are not applied immediately but are only download and marked for installation on the next system restart. This has the tremendous advantage that you no longer need to interrupt whatever you are doing to update the system. They also prevent the system from entering a curious state of inconsistency resulting in an increased chance of bugs and crashes just after updating. Previously you might have been angrily looked at by Firefox, had Dolphin crash on you, or even got locked out of the session because the lockscreen jumped off a cliff after you applied an update. The reason for this is that most complex pieces of software really do not fare well if essential files change out from under it. Offline updates solve this problem by simply moving the installation stage to a time when the system is in a less vulnerable state.

          • Working Linux exploit for Spectre flaw found by French researcher

            A French researcher claims to have found a working exploit for the Spectre vulnerability on Linux systems on the VirusTotal database, the first such exploit to come to light since the flaw was made public by Intel back in 2018.

            Julien Voisin said in a short post on Monday that a Windows exploit had also been uploaded, adding that he had not looked at it closely.

          • Working Windows and Linux Spectre exploits found on VirusTotal

            Working exploits targeting Linux and Windows systems not patched against a three-year-old vulnerability dubbed Spectre were found by security researcher Julien Voisin on VirusTotal.

            The vulnerability was unveiled as a hardware bug in January 2018 by Google Project Zero researchers.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Singapore reveals open-source blockchain COVID-test result tracker, eyes uses as vaccine passport app [Ed: Openwashing surveillance and Orwellian stuff, as has become common]

              Singapore has proposed a blockchain-based document verification system developed by its GovTech agency to provide proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests, and hopes it becomes used to offer proof of vaccination status around the world.

              Named “HealthCerts”, the system is based on open-source framework known as OpenAttestation that uses blockchain to issue cryptographically trustworthy documents. The technology is already applied by some local universities to issue and authenticate diplomas.


              From that date travelers planning to leave Singapore will book in for a COVID PCR test before they fly. Results will be uploaded to a government website and aspiring tourists will then go online to request the results be notarised by the Ministry of Health. If approved, the QR code linking to the notarised digital certificate will appear in SingPass Mobile, the nation’s app for consuming digital government services.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Hardware Unboxed Has Been Shadow-Banned From YouTube

        The somewhat popular Australian hardware review channel Hardware Unboxed, with 730k subscribers, has been shadow-banned from the Google-owned video hosting platform YouTube. This illustrates the importance of diversifying by creating your own video hosting platform using free open source software if you are completely reliant on one or two big-tech platforms.


        YouTube has a long history of shadow-banning, and outright de-platforming, anyone who mentions any inconvenient truth or has that today rare quality called “critical thinking skills”. The rampant YouTube-censorship has so far not affected any bigger mainstream technology-related YouTube channels. That seems to have changed with the current shadow-banning of the Australian hardware review channel Hardware Unboxed.


        YouTube never told Hardware Unboxed that their channel is shadow-banned or why. YouTube did warn them that their channel had been flagged for some kind of “suspicious activity” the same day the shadow-ban took effect, so there is likely some relation between that vague warning and the shadow-ban. Nobody from Hardware Unboxed can tell you what, concretely, that means or what, if anything, they have done on their end that would qualify as “suspicious activity”.

        The shadow-ban is hurting the channel badly both in terms of viewership and financial revenue.

        Hardware Unboxed does not have any website of their and do not have their own video hosting platform. The excellent free software video hosting platform PeerTube is very easy to install, configure and use. Hardware Unboxed could easily diversify and become less reliant of the whims of big tech. Luke Smith is one of many mostly Linux-focused video creators with his own video hosting platform at videos.lukesmith.xyz. Hardware Unboxed aren’t even on any of the alternative free-to-use video hosting platforms like BitChute thought they do have a presence on the subscription-based pay-walled Canadian video hosting platform floatplane.com.

      • this what happens when a user pisses off Google

        this is why there need to be alternatives to Google, Youtube, GoogleDrive… actually in every country.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Court Affirms Damages on Very Wide Royalty Range Testimony

          A jury sided with the patentee Bayer — finding the patent infringed and not proven invalid. The judge refused to allow the jury to decide willfulness, and instead found no willful infringement as a matter of law. Affirmed here on appeal.

          The basic setup: Bayer’s U.S. Patent No. 9,364,520 covers a conjugate that includes a “functional Factor VIII polypeptide” having a particular amino acid sequence (“or an allelic variant thereof”). Factor VIII is normally produced by the human liver and is important to blood coagulation. Thus, Factor VIII is also a helpful treatment for hemophilia A. The conjugate also includes polyethylene glycol (PEG) that is used as a preservative and has a particular binding site on the polypeptide (“the B-domain”). The process of joining the two factors together is known as PEGylation. The B-domain binding site limitation was important because prior researchers had found that non-specific conjugation changed the Factor VIII in a way that reduced or eliminated its functionality.


          RANDOM: Construing the Claim Construction. The district court construed the claimed polypeptide conjugation as “not random” based upon statements in the patent and the prosecution history. On appeal, the defendant argued that the term random – although not found in the claims – should have been construed by the district court.

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit found no error — explaining that claim construction need not “purge every shred of ambiguity.” quoting Acumed LLC v. Stryker Corp., 483 F.3d 800 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Here, the defendant had asked for a particular narrow construction and the district court had refused — finding it too narrow.

ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Security at 5:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)

THE Microsoft FUD machine known as ZDNet is at it again. “ZD” stands for Zero & Dreck.

Anyway, this Microsoft propaganda site is constantly spreading FUD against Golang just because more and more people, both developers and non-developers, use it. It has enjoyed fast adoption/growth, unlike the failing frameworks from Microsoft (which are barely adopted after decades out there). It’s envy. It’s fear. It’s FUD. The core of the FUD has (more so lately) been something like this: people can write malware using Golang. So that means Golang itself is “malware” or “for malware” or “helps malware” (something along those lines; anything to tarnish Golang’s name by association).

“Fake reporting and fake security are a growing problem online.”Shame on Brittany Day for amplifying all this ZDNet trash and FUD. It’s not the first time LinuxSecurity.com does this; the site not always anti-Linux, but too often it relays anti-Linux pieces without some basic “Sanity Check” or fact-checking. So the FUD gets added to the mix and perpetuated for anti-Linux elements’ benefit.

Golang logoThe latest FUD says: “There’s been a 2,000% increase of new malware written in Go over the past few years. Many of these malware families are botnets targeting Linux and IoT devices to either install crypto miners or enroll the infected machine into DDoS botnets.”

We would rather not link to either site and send traffic in this stuff’s direction/way. But for those who are interested the video gives enough of a starting point (such as headline or URL).

Fake reporting and fake security are a growing problem online. Faking stuff is the business model.

Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

Posted in News Roundup at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 Laptop Is Now Available with Fedora Linux

        As you probably already know, Lenovo and Fedora Project announced last year a collaboration to support as many Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and workstations with the Fedora Linux operating system. The initial offering included the ThinkPad P1 Gen2, ThinkPad P53, and ThinkPad X1 Gen8.

        As of today, the ThinkPad P1 Gen 3 laptop is included as well in the Fedora partnership program, and you can buy the ultra-thin, stylish, and powerful mobile workstation with Fedora Linux 33 right now from Lenovo’s online store starting at $1,594.42 USD.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds reveals why the latest Linux kernel was almost seriously delayed

        The recent icy storms that battered most of the United States left Linux kernel’s head-honcho Linus Torvalds without electricity, holding up the release of the latest release.

        A resident of Portland, Torvalds even considered delaying the launch of the next development version due to the outage that left over a quarter million people without electricity in the Portland area.

      • Linus Torvalds battles power cuts to keep Linux releases rolling out

        Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds has announced the first release candidate of Linux 5.12 after a merge window that was hampered by power outages in the US north west.

        It’s only been two weeks since stable Linux kernel 5.11 was released, and now the Linux kernel project is back with the first release candidate for version 5.12 after closing its merge window.

      • Google, Linux Foundation Fund Linux Kernel Developers To Focus Exclusively On Security

        Google and the Linux Foundation announced that they are prioritizing funds to underwrite two full-time maintainers for Linux kernel security development, Gustavo Silva and Nathan Chancellor.

        Silva and Chancellor’s exclusive focus will be to maintain and improve kernel security and associated initiatives in order to ensure the world’s most pervasive open source software project is sustainable for decades to come.

      • Linux 5.12 Coming In At Around 28.8 Million Lines, AMDGPU Driver Closing In On 3 Million – Phoronix

        The Linux kernel source tree following the eventful 5.12 merge window is at 28.81 million lines in the source tree across more than sixty thousand files. The largest in-tree kernel driver continues to be the AMDGPU kernel driver, which in the next kernel release or so should be crossing three million lines.

        Linux 5.12′s merge window wasn’t the biggest in recent time with some 508k lines of code added and 312k lines of code removed, or a net gain of 196k lines. The Linux 5.11 merge window meanwhile saw some 596k lines added and even the Linux 5.10 merge window saw a net gain of some 284k lines. Even so, bit by bit the Linux kernel source tree is closing in on 29 million lines likely to be breached with the Linux 5.13 merge window.

      • Linux 5.12 Will have A New Memory Safety Detector Called KFence

        Linus Torvalds merged a new low-overhead memory validator called KFence, short for Kernel Electric Fence, into the Linux git tree in time for Linux 5.12-rc1. KFence is a low-overhead memory error detector and validator similar to the existing KASAN (Kernel Address SANitizer) suitable for production kernels.


        Linus Torvalds has merged a new alternative memory validator written by Google called KFence, or Kernel Electric Fence, into the Linux git tree. It will be available in Linux 5.12 as CONFIG_KFENCE.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Radeon ROCm Updates Documentation Reinforcing Focus On Headless, Non-GUI Workloads – Phoronix

          The Radeon ROCm open-source compute documentation has been updated to more clearly spell out what was already implied: their focus is on compute for headless, GUI-less workloads and not OpenCL or compute for conventional desktop applications.

          Added last week to the main README file on the ROCm repository is a notice that the AMD ROCm platform is intended as a “compute stack for headless system deployments” and not focused on GUI-based software applications. This doesn’t appear to be a change in policy but just making it clear that their focus is on HPC and other headless deployments — not necessarily on allowing you to have a nice OpenCL compute stack for the likes of Blender, Darktable, DaVinci Resolve, and other OpenCL-using GUI desktop programs.

        • Vulkan 1.2.171 Is Released With Ray-Tracing Fix And BlackBerry QNX Support

          The Khronos Group has released an updated specification for the Vulkan graphics/compute API. Vulkan 1.2.171 has a new VK_QNX_screen_surface extension specifically for the BlackBerry QNX real-time operating system used in many cars and a improvement for raytracing pipeline creation.

        • Vulkan 1.2.171 Released With New Extension For BlackBerry QNX Support – Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.171 is out this morning with several fixes and clarifications to this high performance graphics / compute API specification while there is also a new extension for allowing BlackBerry QNX support.

          As reported on Phoronix back in January, BlackBerry was working to bring Vulkan to QNX. That tentative extension reserved back in January, VK_QNX_screen_surface, is now formally added to the Vulkan specification.

        • There’s Finally An Easy Way To Track Mesa’s OpenCL Support – Phoronix

          Hitting Mesa 21.1-devel this weekend is finally the OpenCL status reporting to the features documentation (docs/features.txt). The OpenCL status reporting is done in a similar manner to the Vulkan and OpenGL extension/version reporting, which makes it now quite easy and quick to check on the current Mesa OpenCL status.

          The current Mesa features reporting can be seen via the Git interface. Or more easily is MesaMatrix.net that tracks the Mesa Git features.txt in a nice, HTML’ed interface.

    • Applications

      • Flameshot 0.9 Release Brings in Global Shortcut Menu, Latest Uploads, JPEG Support, and More

        Flameshot is one of my daily drivers that I utilize to take screenshots. You can also find my guide to use Flameshot on Linux if you want to get it installed and configure it to use it.

        Now, with the new 0.9 release for Flameshot, it is better than ever before!

        Unlike Shutter and Ksnip, which received some major updates recently, Flameshot 0.9 does not include big changes but some useful ones.

        Let me highlight the key changes with this release.


        Before the update, when you upload a screenshot, the Imgur link was automatically copied to your clipboard. But, if you upload another screenshot, then you lose the previous link unless you have a clipboard manager like CopyQ.

        Now, with the Latest Uploads section, you get to see all your recent uploads and find the links to them as well. Pretty useful, I think!

        Not just limited to these two useful feature additions, you can finally change the image format of your screenshot to JPEG instead of PNG if you want save disk space and don’t mind the potential quality loss (especially when trying to scale the images).

      • Release Roundup: X11 Gestures, Ventoy 1.0.36, Clight 4.3, Flameshot 0.9, SimpleNote 2.7.0 And Quod Libet 4.4.0

        Quite a few applications were updated recently, and this article covers the changes in these new releases. There’s also a brand-new GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11. Read on to find out more!

        X11 Gestures (GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11)

        X11 Gestures is a brand-new GNOME Shell extension for multi-touch gestures on X11, created by the Touchegg developer. The extension requires having Touchegg installed (this is an application that runs in the background and transforms touchpad or touchscreen gestures into actions for your desktop).

        This extension enables 1:1 gestures that are available on GNOME in the Wayland session, to those using the X11 session. It requires GNOME 3.36 or newer but, according to the developer, it’s GNOME 40 where it really shines.

      • Excellent System Utilities: Fail2ban – ban hosts that cause multiple authentication errors – LinuxLinks

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

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

        This article looks at Fail2ban, a daemon to ban hosts that cause multiple authentication errors. Fail2ban is free and open source software.

      • Meet SysMonTask: A Windows Task Manager Lookalike for Linux [Ed: Copying a farce of an OS (with back doors) using Microsoft GitHub account (proprietary software) as if this is what GNU/Linux needs (it has vastly better tools for this)]

        Thanks to the desktop environments, almost all Linux distributions come with a task manager application. In addition to that, there are several other system monitoring applications for Linux that have additional features.

        But recently I came across a task manager created for Linux that looks like … wait for it … the task manager of Windows.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Magento 2 on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Magento 2 with LEMP stack on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

        Magento is one of the most popular open-source e-commerce platforms available, thanks to its customizability and flexibility. It is created using the Zend Framework and uses MySQL as its database management system. Magento provides online merchants with a very flexible shopping cart and it comes with a rich set of features.

        Installing Magento 2 on Ubuntu 20.04 should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Let’s get started with the tutorial.

      • How to create an RPM package from a tarball

        Creating RPM package files can be both as easy or complicated as you desire. If you’re needing to create an RPM package from a tarball (.tar.gz) that a vendor sent you, this tutorial will be beneficial for you. In this tutorial, I will describe a step-by-step procedure for building an RPM package from a tar file. The procedure includes creating the required directory structure, configuring a .spec file required for the rpmbuild process, and building and installing the RPM package. An additional step is added for those who may need to create more RPM packages in the future via a skeleton file.

      • CrowdSec – Open Source Security Automation Tool – Putorius

        CrowdSec is a massively multiplayer firewall designed to protect Linux servers, services, containers, or virtual machines exposed on the internet with a server-side agent. It was inspired by Fail2Ban and aims to be a modernized, collaborative version of that intrusion-prevention tool.

        CrowdSec is free and open source (under an MIT License), with the source code available on GitHub. It is using a behavior analysis system to qualify whether someone is trying to hack you, based on your logs. If your agent detects such aggression, the offending IP is then dealt with and sent for curation. If this signal passes the curation process, the IP is then redistributed to all users sharing a similar technological profile to “immunize” them against this IP.

      • Ubuntu Blog: Creating Graphical Shells – Try Mir in a Virtual Machine

        Mir works with the modern Wayland protocol which, in principle, provides many advantages over the traditional X protocol used by legacy systems. With Wayland becoming more widely supported the practice is now catching up with the theory.

        There are a range of graphical shells created with Mir ranging from the simple “kiosk” used for IoT by the mir-kiosk snap to the Lomiri shell used by the Ubuntu Touch phone.

        We have made it simple to try out a range of Mir-based shells in a virtual machine. This should give you some idea of the possibilities of using Mir.

      • Creating and merging PDFs on Linux | Network World

        There are a number of ways that you can create PDFs on a Linux system. You can use an application like LibreOffice or OpenOffice, or you can take advantage of any of a number of commands that can generate PDFs from text files or from a group of other file formats. There are also a number of ways that you can merge a group of PDFs into a single PDF file.

      • 10 Useful Websites for Learning PostgreSQL Database System

        PostgreSQL (also known as Postgres ) is the world’s most popular and advanced open-source enterprise-grade object-relational database management system (ORDMS). PostgreSQL has a broad variety of community and commercial support choices accessible for users.

        The PostgreSQL community and other online learning resource providers, provide many helpful resources to become familiar with PostgreSQL, discover how it works, and learn/master how to use it.

      • Access Clipboard Contents Using Xclip and Xsel In Linux

        In this guide, we are going to learn what Xclip and Xsel programs are, and how to manipulate and access Clipboard contents using Xclip and Xsel programs in Linux.

        What are Xclip and Xsel programs?

        Xclip is a command line interface to X selections i.e. Clipboard. Xclip reads the data from one or more files and makes the data available as an X selection for pasting the data into X applications. If no files are specified, it reads data from the standard input. It can also print the X selection to the standard output.

      • How to Install Blender 2.92 in Ubuntu 20.04, 20.10 via PPA

        For those prefer installing apps via the classic apt method, you can now install Blender 2.92 via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and also Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04.

        The open-source 3D modeller software Blender 2.92 was released a few days ago. Features “a completely new workflow for editing meshes, new physics simulation methods, faster Cycles rendering, better compositing with Eevee, and so much more.”

        Blender offers official Snap package, which runs in sandbox, and is available to install directly from Ubuntu Software. As well, a Linux portable package is available to download in its website. For those prefer the classic deb packages, Thomas Schiex’s PPA has made it for Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 20.10 users.

      • How to Install and Use GVM Vulnerability Scanner on Ubuntu 20.04

        GVM also called “Greenbone Vulnerability Management” is an open-source vulnerability scanning and management software that provides a set of network vulnerability tests to find security loopholes in systems and applications. This is an all-in-one suite of tools used by many security experts and normal users around the world.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure GVM on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to Get Started Using Linux

        New to Linux and not sure how to get started? It’s easier than you might think. Whether you’re coming over from the macOS or Windows side, or just Linux-curious, you’re sure to gain useful knowledge from this beginner’s guide to using Linux.

      • How To Install Python 3.9 on Ubuntu, Debian & LinuxMint

        Python is an object-oriented, high-level programming language. The Python 3.9 stable version has been released with several improvements and security updates. Which included multiple new modules and improved existing modules and new features.

        As of today, Python 3.9 is the latest stable version available for production used. Most of the Debian based Linux distribution’s includes older version of Python in software repositories. Also the Debian packages are not available for all distributions. In this tutorial you will learn to compile Python 3.9 from source code and install on Debian based systems.

        This tutorial will help you to how to install Python 3.9 on Ubuntu, Debian, and LinuxMint systems using source code.

      • How To Install DirectAdmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install DirectAdmin on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, DirectAdmin is a web hosting control panel providing a graphical interface and automation tools to simplify server and account management. Features include E-mail, FTP, DNS and web management, Statistics, Apache configuration, User and reseller management, and more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the DirectAdmin control panel on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Use AUR in Arch Linux – Make Tech Easier

        If you’re using Arch Linux or an Arch-based distribution like Manjaro, Archbang, or EndeavourOS, you’ve probably seen the term AUR. What is it? How can you use it? Find out what AUR is and how to use AUR in Arch Linux.

        What Is AUR?

        The Arch User Repository (AUR) is a place where you can find software that’s not tested by Arch’s creators and maintainers but by its users. Thanks to this, you can access more software that’s not in the official repositories.

      • How to migrate CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux – YouTube

        AlmaLinux is an exciting new distribution, that aims to carry on CentOS (as we used to know it). In this video, I show of a migration script that can be used to migrate from CentOS8 to AlmaLinux, in place.

      • How to use NMAP command to test Server/Network Security – The Linux GURUS

        NMAP command (short for Network Mapper) is an open-source network security tool & is the best port scanner for your server/network. Nmap command is widely used for auditing the network security & also for the penetration testing of your networks.

        It displays the open or exposed ports or services on your or another target machine/network & along with that, it will also provide other information of the system like Operating system, etc.

        Another way that we can use Nmap is for “Network Discovery”.

      • How to fix apt’s “the following packages have been kept back” issue

        Have you ever run sudo apt-get upgrade, only to be told there are packages that will be kept back? What this warning means is that the dependencies have changed on one of the software packages you have installed, and if upgrading that dependency would cause problems with the standard upgrade, the dependency in question is kept back.

        In other words, it’s a precaution to prevent upgrades from breaking. Of course, you can always get around that by issuing the following command:

        sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

        However, that can be dangerous, as it may remove packages to resolve rather complex dependency problems. It’s an issue that can be tricky to resolve, but not really. There are a couple of ways to resolve this issue.

      • How to run the Raspberry Pi Os in a virtual machine with Qemu and Kvm – LinuxConfig.org

        Although many operating system are available for the Raspberry Pi, the official one is the Raspberry Pi Os. The operating system is made to run for the arm architecture, and can be easily installed on the SD card which will be used as the main Raspberry Pi storage device. Sometimes we may want to perform some tests or try some applications without having a physical Raspberry Pi machine; in this tutorial we will see how we can create a virtual machine with the Raspberry Pi Os system using Qemu and Kvm (Kernel Virtual Machine).

      • How To Install CyberPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CyberPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CyberPanel is one of the first control panels on the market that is both open sources and uses OpenLiteSpeed web server which also packs Email, DNS, and FTP server.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the CyberPanel control panel on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Apache on Ubuntu 20.04 and Host Website

        Apache is an open source and free web server software developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It is officially called Apache HTTP Server. Apache is one of the oldest, cross-platform web servers and it is beginner-friendly.

        In this tutorial, we are going to install Apache version 2 (Apache2) on Ubuntu 20.04. Furthermore, we are going to configure virtual hosts so that more than one website can be hosted on a single server.

      • Source Command in Linux

        The source command is a built-in shell command used to read and execute commands from a file inside the current shell session. The source command is commonly used to retain/change the environment variable in the current shell. In short, sourcing a script will run execute commands in the current shell.

      • How to Install and Use Docker on Ubuntu 20.04 / 20.10

        Docker is a free and open source tool designed to build, deploy, and run applications inside containers. Host on which docker is installed is known docker engine. To work the docker engine smoothly, docker daemon service must always be running. For the applications where multiple containers are used then with the help of docker compose these containers are spin up as a service.

        In this guide, we will demonstrate docker installation on Ubuntu 20.04 /20.10 and will also learn about docker compose installation and its usage.

      • Build a home thermostat with a Raspberry Pi | Opensource.com

        My wife and I moved into a new home in October 2020. As soon as it started getting cold, we realized some shortcomings of the home’s older heating system (including one heating zone that was always on). We had Nest thermostats in our previous home, and the current setup was not nearly as convenient. There are multiple thermostats in our house, and some had programmed heating schedules, others had different schedules, some had none at all.


        The rest of the “temp” logic is relatively straightforward, but I do want to highlight a piece that I initially missed. My code was running for a few days, and I was working on the hardware, when I noticed that my relays were turning on and off every few seconds. This “short-cycling” isn’t necessarily harmful, but it certainly isn’t efficient. To avoid that, I added some thresholding to make sure the heat toggles only when it’s +/- 0.5C°.

    • Games

      • ET: Legacy 2.77 Released For Letting Wolfenstein Enemy Territory Live On In 2021 – Phoronix

        ET Legacy 2.77 is out today as the newest version of this open-source game project continuing to advance the open-sourced Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory game from the early 2000′s.

        See this earlier article should you be unfamiliar with the ET: Legacy open-source game that is continuing to build off the open-source foundation of the original Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. ET Legacy has been one of the exciting community, open-source game efforts to follow in recent years given the greatness of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory back in the day.

      • Play Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory with the new release of ET: Legacy | GamingOnLinux

        Miss the classic shooter from Splash Damage and id Software? Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory has a modern open source version you can play with ET: Legacy and there’s a new release available.

        Thanks to the original source being released back in 2010, it lives on with the dedicated team behind ET: Legacy and it’s easily the best way to play the game with many improvements over the original while remaining compatible with the latest version of the original release.

      • Transport Tycoon Deluxe reimplementation OpenTTD has a fresh Beta with OpenGL

        OpenTTD, the free and open source game that’s a reimplementation and much enhanced version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe has a big new Beta up with some huge changes. Ahead of their plans to release on Steam on April 1, they’re making some sweeping changes to the underlying code to make it run as great as possible across all systems.

        With OpenTTD 1.11.0-beta2 they’ve massively improved their rendering work with OpenGL support now merged in. They said it’s such a big improvement they had to add a setting to limit the maximum fast-forward speed due to it. The display will now run at 60FPS and there’s also now generic Linux builds in addition to per-distro packages making it easier than ever to try out OpenTTD.

      • DXVK 1.8.1 Released With More Performance, Game Fixes – Phoronix

        Building off the recent DXVK 1.8 release is a new point release with more performance optimizations, game fixes, and related work to this Direct3D-on-Vulkan translation layer that is extremely popular with Linux gamers.

        DXVK 1.8.1 is out as the newest stable release for driving Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan for helping Wine / Proton (Steam Play) Windows games often run incredibly well on Linux.

      • Direct3D 9-10-11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.8.1 is out now | GamingOnLinux

        After the 1.8 release of DXVK on February 19, a small 1.8.1 release just went out for this Direct3D 9-10-11 to Vulkan translation layer. DXVK is usually used for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers for running Windows games on Linux.

        Quite a short and sweet release this one with no major new features, instead there’s some nice bug fixes and improvements.

      • Free and open source RTS Warzone 2100 gains Vulkan support in the 4.0 Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for even more open source goodness? The classic real-time strategy game Warzone 2100 is gearing up for a new release with some absolutely huge changes.

        Warzone 2100 was originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive, released as open source in 2004 and the legacy of it continues on as a completely free game. To this day it’s still one of the most innovative RTS games around.

        The brand new 4.0.0 Beta version is out and it brings in a rendering overhaul. There’s now support for Vulkan, OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0, DirectX (using libANGLE) and Metal (using MoltenVK) in addition to the OpenGL 3.0 Core and OpenGL 2.1 Compat modes it already supports. Switching can be done in-game via the Video menu.

      • Fun hack and slash dungeon crawler Son of a Witch gets a massive free expansion

        With a price increase to come mid-March, the amusing action-roguelite Son of a Witch from Bigosaur has a huge content expansion out now with the Demon Hunter update.

        If you’ve never played it before it’s often compared to the likes of Castle Crashers, The Binding of Isaac and other similar titles that have you battle through smaller arenas with plenty of random generation. An action roguelite with colourful and inviting graphics that sees you fight through tons of different enemies and bosses. This fresh update is the biggest to the game so far adding in the likes of a new hero, level, enemies, bosses, weapons, items, pets, quests and challenges, potions, magic scrolls, achievements and so on.


        The Linux version seems to continue running perfectly fine too and now is a great time to get back into it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE’s Plasma Mobile Gets Improved Homescreen and Settings, Lots of App Updates

          In February 2021, Plasma Mobile received an improved homescreen to make the drawer behave as an applications list, an initial implementation of horizontal pages for widgets and apps, as well as support for those who want to create new custom launchers.

          The revamped homescreen is pretty neat and you can check it out in action on PINE64’s PinePhone Linux phone in the video below, courtesy of Plasma Mobile developer Marco Martin who did all the awesome work.

        • KStars v3.5.2 is released

          KStars v3.5.2 is is released on March 1st, 2021 for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. This release incorporates significant improvements to Ekos Polar Alignment Tool in addition to supporting manual rotations in the Alignment Module.

          Brodrick Bassham added a manual rotation dialog to the Alignment module in Ekos for Load & Slew. Now users without motorized rotators can adjust their camera manually in order to achieve the desired frame orientation. Check the video below for a demonstration of this feature.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.3.8 Release Packs in KDE Plasma 5.21, Linux 5.11, and More Changes

          Nitrux is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that comes equipped with NX Desktop (based on KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment), Debian package manager with Advanced Packaging Tool and a host of other KDE software.

          After the recent release of Nitrux 1.3.7, we were wondering what is next for Nitrux. As it turns out, a new release has been announced with updates to the kernel, KDE applications, many bug fixes, and an alternative ISO offering.

          Let’s have a look at what is on offer with this new stable release.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 8 is Now Available with Linux 5.10 LTS

          The latest release of Mageia includes improved graphics support for both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs.

          NVIDIA Optimus laptop users rejoice, Mageia 8 now includes improved support, thanks to an upgraded graphics stack that includes Mesa 20.3.4 and X.Org Server 1.20.1. This upgrade improves both the AMD and NVIDIA GPU experience with the platform. For NVIDIA users, there’s the new experimental mageia-prime configuration tool that makes it possible to get the most out of your NVIDIA GPU.

          But the new release isn’t all about the graphics stack. Anyone who begins Mageia 8 with a live instance will see faster performance, thanks to the inclusion of Zstd compression on the base file systems, and better optimizations for hardware detection. NFS file system support has also been improved, with added support for NFSv4.

          Mageia also includes a new version of RPM (version which offers a number improvements, such as automatic SSD detection and optimization, filesystem sync at the end of transactions, SHA256 digest added to gpg-pubkey headers, support for meta dependencies, and parametric macro generators. Overall RPM should be considerably faster, thanks to several optimizations. Mageia also ships with DNF version 4.6.0.

      • Arch Family

        • First Arch Linux ISO Release Powered by Linux Kernel 5.11 Is Here, Download Now

          That’s right, Arch Linux 2021.03.01 is now available and it’s the first Arch Linux ISO release to be powered by the latest and greatest Linux kernel 5.11 series, which introduces numerous new features and performance improvements, as well as new and updated drivers for top-notch hardware support.

          Linux kernel 5.11 introduces lots of goodies for AMD users, including support for AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey Cavefish” GPUs in the open-source AMDGPU driver. It also adds support for Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX), suspend-to-idle support in user-mode, as well as a new system-call interception mechanism.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 5 ways to ruin a sysadmin’s day

          I don’t subscribe to the notion that there’s a “sysadmin brain,” but there are a few things that really get under a sysadmin’s skin. Sysadmins are generally very busy people and might appear to be curt, less-than-amused, or even rude at times. If you’ve ever heard the old saying, “Don’t poke the bear,” you should take heed. You have been warned.


          Linux sysadmins are passionate about Linux. And, why shouldn’t they be passionate about it? It is, after all, the best operating system ever created. See what I did there? If you want to ruin a sysadmin’s day, say the opposite of that or disparage Linux in any way. Not only will you receive a litany of insults, rants, and passionate movie and song references, but you might also get a plateful of stale pizza bones* thrown at you.

          Linux sysadmins are Linux sysadmins because they love Linux and probably not for any other reason. There are easier, less stressful jobs to have. Air Traffic Controller often comes to mind as one option. Seriously, ruining a sysadmin’s day with anti-Linux dialogue is perhaps the best way to end your friendly relationship and to place you at the bottom of the service request queue.

        • The NeuroFedora Blog: Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 1 March 1300 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 1 March at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend.

        • 5 tips for choosing an Ansible collection that’s right for you | Opensource.com

          In August 2020, Ansible issued its first release since the developers split the core functionality from the vast majority of its modules and plugins. A few basic Ansible modules remain part of core Ansible—modules for templating configuration files, managing services, and installing packages. All the other modules and plugins found their homes in dedicated Ansible collections.

          This article offers a quick look at Ansible collections in general and—especially—how to recognize high-quality ones.

        • IBM brings Red Hat to Power systems | Network World

          IBM already has what it calls Enterprise Linux on Power, but this is bringing Red Hat, which IBM paid $34 billion to acquire, to its big iron. IBM Power systems now feature Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power Virtual Server leveraging OpenShift’s bare metal installer, Red Hat Runtimes, and newly certified Red Hat Ansible Content Collections.

          Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Power Virtual Server is a move to bring the OpenShift container platform to IBM Power Virtual Server. The IBM Power Virtual Server is an enterprise infrastructure-as-a-service offering built around IBM POWER9 and offering access to more than 200 IBM Cloud services. In addition, IBM Power Virtual Server clients can now run business applications like SAP HANA in an IBM POWER9-based cloud.

        • Red Hat Launches RHEL For Open Source Infrastructure

          Red Hat recently announced a new, no-cost program tailored for the requirements of projects, foundations and more: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for Open Source Infrastructure.

          According to the company, the program provides a clearer and documented process for projects, communities, standards bodies and other not-for-profit software groups engaged with open source to gain access to RHEL subscriptions.

      • Debian Family

        • Utkarsh Gupta: FOSS Activites in February 2021

          This was my 26th month of active contributing to Debian. I became a DM in late March 2019 and a DD on Christmas ‘19! \o/

          This month was a nice mix of amusement, excitement, nervousness, and craziness. More on it below.
          Anyway, whilst I was super-insanely busy this month, I still did some Debian stuff here and there. Here are the following things I worked on:

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, January/February 2021

          In January was assigned 7 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 8.5 hours from earlier months. However, I only used 0.25 hours of these to write December’s report. In Feburary I was assigned another 16 hours to work, and have worked 19 hours. I will carry over the remaining hours to March.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities February 2021

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

        • Open sourcing my blog [Ed: Ouch. Outsourcing to Microsoft proprietary software as "open sourcing" (in Planet Debian)]

          I have received a lot of positives feedback for my blog lately, and I do really appreciate it and try to integrate the suggestions to update my posts and make things better.

          With the aim of continous improvement of this blog, I have decided (a bit late?) to open source it. The source code is now available on Github!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 15 ways to leave your cloud provider

        Avoid concentration

        While it’s tempting to keep things simple by using the same cloud for everything, the danger is that one cloud becomes a big point of failure. Microsoft, for instance, bought GitHub and this should give Azure users a reason to start thinking about storing their code in other repositories. Or at the very least, make sure it is pushed regularly to backups. The same goes for the other clouds.

        Use open source

        Proprietary code has many wonderful aspects. Sometimes the business model delivers some amazing software. There are many times in life when you get what you pay for and that can be true in the software world too. But only open source software offers you the freedom to move the code easily and quickly without begging, “Mother, may I?” Richard Stallman always said that he was after “free as in speech, not free as in beer.”

        Avoid proprietary tools

        The cloud providers usually offer two types of products: open source clones and proprietary tools. While the closed source products may offer plenty of tempting options and attractive innovations, the threat of losing service is too great to risk using them. If you choose the MySQL service at AWS, you can move to MySQL on your own box. If you choose a proprietary tool, you can’t.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Jan-Erik Rediger: Three-year Moziversary

            Has it really been 3 years? I guess it has. I joined Mozilla as a Firefox Telemetry Engineer in March 2018, I blogged twice already: 2019, 2020.

            And now it’s 2021. 2020 was nothing like I thought it would and still been a lot like I said last year at this point. It’s been Glean all over the year, but instead of working from the office and occasionally meeting my team in person, it’s been working from home for 12 months now.

            In September of last year I officially became the Glean SDK tech lead and thus I’m now responsible for the technical direction and organisation of the whole project, but really this is a team effort. Throughout the year we made Project FOG happen. At least the code is there and we can start migrating now. It’s far from finished of course.

          • Firefox 86 TOTALLY FIXES the cookie problem.

            Firefox 86 is the latest release of Firefox and it’s got two killer features. One of them is how Firefox handles cross-origin requests and cookies: by silo-ing each web page. Now, when you visit a new site for the first time, any assets loaded from other websites (read: Google Analytics) don’t have your login information from your Google Account. This is CRITICAL!

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Community Member Monday: Rafael Lima

          I am a university professor in Brazil, and I teach and research optimization applied to management sciences. In my work I often need to write papers and prepare spreadsheets to analyze data, and for that I’ve been using LibreOffice for over a year now. I have been working with supply chain optimization problems such as vehicle routing, network design and facility location.

          I have always been an enthusiast of Open Source, since my undergraduate days in 2001. At the time I started using Linux and most of my current research work is done using FOSS tools. The dynamics of how open source software is developed is a topic that has always caught my attention.

          Outside of work, I like to spend my free time practicing sports (mostly playing tennis) and whenever I have the opportunity I like to travel to new places. And obviously, like many tech enthusiasts, I like gaming too!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Learning the Poke language in Y minutes

            Mohammad-Reza Nabipoor has written a nice short tutorial called “Learn
            the Poke Language in Y minutes”. The tutorial has the form of a Poke
            program itself, and I think it really highlights the most uncommon
            (and useful!) features of our domain-specific language.

            The tutorial is also available as part the poke source distribution in
            `doc/learn-poke-language-in-y-minutes.pk’ so you can play with it. Find
            the plain source file here.

            Mohammad will be improving and updating it as the language grows.
            Thanks Mohammad, and happy poking!

          • Swiss National Bank releases paper regarding CBDC and GNU Talers

            The Swiss National Bank has released a paper on the advantages of GNU Talers over blockchain and account-based digital money transactions for Central Bank Digital Currency.

            A possible technical implementation was presented in a paper by the Swiss National Bank (SNB), discussing the merits of token-based digital cash called GNU Talers. The Swiss Bank has been developing the concept of ‘Taxable Anonymous Libre Electronic Reserves’, or Taler for short. Interested parties have been able to try out the cryptographically secured digital ‘coins’ for some time.

      • Programming/Development

        • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2021 [Ed: Microsoft-sponsored Stephen O’Grady/Redmonk uses Microsoft data to rank programming languages as if a proprietary software repository occupied by a monopolies says what the trends are in industry at large
        • IAR Systems adds Functional Safety certification for build tools for Linux

          IAR Systems®, the future-proof supplier of software tools and services for embedded development, announces that its build tools supporting deployment in Linux-based frameworks has been certified by TÜV SÜD for functional safety development.

        • Clazy Framework Employed To Help Port Qt 5 Code To Qt 6 – Phoronix

          The Qt Company is now offering some checks for the Clazy framework to help in porting Qt 5 code to Qt 6 compatibility.

          Clazy is KDE’s Qt-focused static code analyzer built atop LLVM’s Clang. Clazy has been very useful for years in helping KDE/Qt developers discover bugs in their code and also help in some areas with automatic refactoring.

        • Porting from Qt 5 to Qt 6 using Clazy checks [Ed: Moving to proprietary software releases of Qt, which is no longer suitable for freedom-respecting developers]

          If you are looking for some help to port from Qt 5 to Qt 6, look no further. Within the Clazy framework, we’ve implemented some checks and fixits dedicated to help porting your Qt-based project.

          Those checks can be run using Clazy as a compiler plugin, using clazy-standalone on a .json file or from within Qt Creator.


          First, you need to get Clazy or make sure your version is up to date. Version 1.10 will contain a corrected check for the deprecated API fixes, in the mean time please use the master branch.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.09 Best of Raku?

            Daniel Sockwell has started a discussion on what to do with the contents provided by the CCR Project with an idea to publish a “Best Of Raku” book. Modelled after books such as Coders at Work and Introduction to Best Software Writing, it would ask the Raku community to select 15-30 blog posts that do a good job of telling the story of the Raku Programming Language, thereby providing a good overview of what Raku is all about. Further suggestions, and other ideas, are very much welcome! And on a related note, 328 blog posts have been remastered so far!

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Using Increment (++) and Decrement (–) Operators in Bash

            Similar to other programming language bash also supports increment and decrement operators. The increment operator ++ increases the value of a variable by one. Similarly, the decrement operator — decreases the value of a variable by one.

        • Rust

          • Henri Sivonen: Rust Target Names Aren’t Passed to LLVM

            TL;DR: Rust’s i686-unknown-linux-gnu target requires SSE2 and, therefore, does not mean the same as GCC’s -march=i686. It is the responsibility of Linux distributions to use a target configuration that matches what they intend to support.

            From time to time, claims that Rust is “not portable” flare up. “Not portable” is generally means “LLVM does not support my retrocomputing hobby target.” This is mostly about dead ISAs like DEC Alpha. There is a side track about x86, though: the complaint that Rust’s default 32-bit x86 (glibc) Linux target does not support all x86 CPUs that are still supported by a given Linux distribution.

            Upstream Rust ships with two preconfigured 32-bit x86 glibc Linux targets: The primary one has the kind of floating-point math that other ISAs have and requires SSE2. “Primary” here means that the Rust project considers this “guaranteed to work”. The secondary does not require SSE2 and, therefore, works on even older CPUs but has floating-point math that differs from other ISAs. “Secondary” here means that the Rust project considers this only “guaranteed to build”. Conceptually, this is simple: x86 with SSE2 and x86 without SSE2. Pick the former if you can and the latter if you must.

  • Leftovers

    • The Final Inch
    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Corporate Media Parrot FBI Talking Points as More Americans Turn to Encrypted Communication Online

              Before he became a household name as the accused spoiler of the 2016 election, James Comey, FBI director under President Barack Obama, was already well-known in tech circles as a crusader against strong encryption. Still smarting from Edward Snowden’s exposure of the US government’s massive and illegal domestic spying operations, Comey grabbed any microphone he could during the waning years of Obama’s tenure to warn Americans that encryption technology was putting us all at grave risk by causing law enforcement to “go dark.”

            • WhatsApp Threat Spells Out How Accounts Will Be Deleted

              WhatsApp has a strange way of appeasing its users. The embattled social messaging platform is forcing a change in terms on its users after its data-collecting practices were learned. It followed this by threatening its users, then recently clarified what it means. Does this WhatsApp threat really mean that users’ accounts will be deleted if they don’t accept the new terms?

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Anatomy of Fascism Denial

        George Jackson, Blood in my Eye, 1972 [1]

        Part 1 of this essay presented and criticized 14 interrelated falsehoods whereby intellectuals, commentators, and activists denied that the Trump presidency and Trumpism deserved designation as fascist [2]: (1) the classic “It Can’t Happen Here” claim that American “constitutional democracy” has safely inoculated the United States against fascism; (2) the notion that fascism is purely a 20th Century (1920s-1940s) European phenomenon; (3) the idea that a handful of selectively tapped “fascism scholars” who happen mostly to be historians of 20th Century European fascism are qualified to offer “expert” commentary on 21st Century American politics and American fascism/neofascism; (4) the time-frozen and Eurocentric definition of the only relevant fascism as a fully consolidated fascist regime on the model of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Third Reich; (5) the denial that fascism could arise within and through formally constitutional and electoral institutions; (6) the “old guard” (George Jackson’s excellent description) definition of fascism solely as a corporatist political-economic regime under the command of a single party state and dictator; (7) the idea that Trump’s lack of intellectual and doctrinal rigor and discipline disqualified him and his presidency from being considered fascist; (8) the notion that Trump had/has “no ideology” beyond pure venal selfishness; (9) the idea that Trump was just another “authoritarian;” (10) the claim that Trump was/is a “populist;” (11) the notion that fascism requires a pre-existing revolutionary challenge from a powerful radical Left in order to have any relevant existence; (12) the notion that Trump was/is some kind of anti-imperialist; (13) the idea that Trump’s weak response to the COVID-19 epidemic was non-and even anti-fascist; (14) the idea that Trump’s fascism was merely symbolic, rhetorical, and performative, without serious consequences.

      • Opinion | Iran’s Refusal to Meet Not Surprising

        There is no perfect solution to this imperfect situation. Both sides will have to swallow some pride and pay a political cost.

      • Opinion | Biden Must Realize There Is No Winning an Endless War

        There is only loss and suffering.

      • How the CIA Helped to Crush Turkey’s Post-War Left

        Turkey’s exploitation by the U.S. is an overlooked case-study, including its networks of far-right, anti-left militia trained and organized by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The events can be divided into three historical phases. In phase I (1940s-50s), the U.S. trained and armed the Turkish forces which banned and frequently rounded up socialist and communist groups. In phase II (1960s-70s), CIA-trained militias waged dirty wars against leftists, and in phase III (1980s-present) they focused their attention on “pacifying” Kurdish groups, many of whom espouse leftist political ideas.


      • Under Israeli Apartheid, There Are Two Different Pandemics
      • Germany doesn’t disclose information on Paris killer’s collaborator

        PKK founder Sakine Cansız, KNK Paris Representative Fidan Doğan and Kurdish Youth Movement member Leyla Şaylemez were murdered in Paris, on 9 January 2013. Their killed, Ömer Güney died suspiciously in prison in France on 17 December 2016, but the role of his friend in Germany, Ruhi Semen, has not yet been fully clarified and no investigation has been launched against him.

      • ‘I wake up and scream’: Secret Taliban prisons terrorise thousands

        One of the Taliban’s most fearsome tools for doing so is a loose network of prisons, an improvised archipelago of mistreatment and suffering, in which the insurgents inflict harsh summary judgment on their fellow Afghans, arbitrarily stopping them on the highway. Mostly, they are looking for soldiers and government workers. The government too has been accused of mistreatment in its prisons, with the United Nations recently finding that nearly one-third of the Afghan army’s prisoners have been tortured.

        In the Taliban’s case, the detained are locked up in hidden makeshift prisons, a universe of incarceration in which the hapless charges are often moved, day after day, from ruined house to isolated mosque, and back again — without any sense of how long their detention will last. The approach is anything but discriminating.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • E-bikes that look like motorcycles take another hit in B.C. Court of Appeal decision

          At the heart of the issue are the XMr’s small pedals, which Court of Appeal Justice Harvey M. Groberman agreed would do little to propel the nearly 115-kilogram bike. Groberman said the XMr is designed to almost exclusively operate as a low-powered electric motorcycle, or as “a very heavy, impractical bicycle.”

          Although the XMr meets many of the technical requirements of a motor-assisted cycle as defined in B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, Groberman wrote, it doesn’t do so in practice.

          “If a piece of legislation defines ‘cat’ as ‘a small four-legged furry mammal that purrs,’ we would not expect that definition to include a dog fitted with a loudspeaker that plays a purring sound,” he said.

        • The City Where Cars Are Not Welcome

          Mr. Würzner’s goal is to reduce dependence on cars, no matter where they get their juice. Heidelberg is buying a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses, building a network of bicycle “superhighways” to the suburbs and designing neighborhoods to discourage all vehicles and encourage walking. Residents who give up their cars get to ride public transportation free for a year.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Why Trump’s Takeover of the GOP is Great for Biden and the Democrats (but a Potential Disaster for America)

        The Grand Old Party, founded in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin, is now dead. What’s left is a dwindling number of elected officials who have stood up to Trump but are now being purged. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s popularity has dropped 29 points among Kentucky Republicans since he broke with Trump.

      • Opinion | Senate Democrats Can and Must Abolish the Filibuster. Now.

        As long as the filibuster is intact, Senate Republicans could keep the Senate in gridlock, and then run in the 2022 midterms on Democrats’ failure to get anything done.

      • Hong Kong banks freeze accounts of pro-democracy protesters

        High-profile dissidents and pro-democracy protesters have become targets for banks in Hong Kong, according to Apple Daily.

        One protester arrested by police during the anti-extradition bill protests in 2019 reported that his bank accounts were canceled or frozen without his consent over the past few months. Cases of accounts being canceled by local banks in the semi-autonomous city have risen, one local lawyer said.

      • Nevada Just Letting A Crypto Firm Run Entire Town As “Innovation Zone” (?!?)

        Of course, many are rightfully concerned that this is rapidly turning into a wait-a-minute-we’re-just-doing-company-towns-again-aren’t-we scenario — but Blockchains LLC’s CEO Jeffrey Berns unsurprisingly believes it’s all in good faith and that his company’s technology is a force of good (and not the bleak, dystopic consequences of unfettered capitalism).

      • Nevada governor proposes giving tech firms power to govern

        Under the proposal, companies developing cutting-edge technologies that have at least 50,000 acres (200 sq. kilometers) of land and promise to invest $1.25 billion could establish “Innovation Zones.” The zones would be governed by a board responsible for overseeing zoning, taxation, law enforcement and other government functions on their land. It would override local county regulations.

        The governor’s office of economic development would initially appoint three members to govern the zone, including two required to be from the company.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Sir Kazuo Ishiguro warns of young authors self-censoring out of ‘fear’

        Sir Kazuo, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2017, warned that a “climate of fear” was preventing some people from writing what they want.

        He said they may be concerned that an “anonymous lynch mob will turn up online and make their lives a misery”.

        He told the BBC: “I very much fear for the younger generation of writers.”

        The 66-year-old said he was worried that less established authors were self-censoring by avoiding writing from certain viewpoints or including characters outside their immediate experiences.

      • China Persecutes Those Who Question ‘Heroes.’ A Sleuth Keeps Track.

        At least seven people over the past week have been threatened, detained or arrested after casting doubt over the government’s account of the deaths of Chinese soldiers during a clash last year with Indian troops. Three of them are being detained for between seven and 15 days. The other four face criminal charges, including one man who lives outside China.

      • Social media censorship promotes a mean view of humanity

        A friend of mine was recently suspended from Twitter. His posts were charming, funny and civil to a fault. I’m not sure why he was suspended but it seems to be related to his ironic quoting of the film Mean Girls, which included the term “fugly slut”. I’m guessing his account was a victim of algorithms patrolling the platform for “harmful” words, automatically suspending those who use them.

        Hopefully a human moderator comes in to rectify this. But this isn’t uncommon. Many accounts have been removed for similarly opaque reasons recently. A lot of this seems to have coincided with former president Trump’s Twitter suspension. The reasons in that high-profile example were clearly defined after the fact on Twitter and in the media, but there are plenty examples that haven’t been.

      • Journalism Against The Odds: Student Press Freedom Day 2021

        NCAC is proud to partner with the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) to celebrate the 3rd annual Student Press Freedom Day. NCAC is s strong supporter of student journalism as an enabling force in maintaining a free and open civil society and robust democracy. Student journalists, like professional journalists, provide an essential–and constitutionally-protected–service to their communities. This year’s theme is Journalism Against the Odds in acknowledgment of the phenomenal news coverage student journalists have produced despite being faced with incredible challenges of a year consumed by not only a global pandemic, but widespread racial justice protests, a major election and a rise in targeting and censorship of journalists.

      • Twitter’s New ‘Hacked Materials’ Warning Is Already Facing Pushback

        The Grayzone, an independent news outlet, was recently caught by surprise when Twitter added a warning to one of its tweets.

      • Internet disrupted in Armenia amid political turmoil and alleged coup attempt

        Metrics show a fall in observed national connectivity to 82% of ordinary peak levels from around 2 p.m. local time, followed by a slight recovery as Armenia Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused the army of attempting a coup. Work is ongoing to assess the incident with no direct attribution made at the present time.

      • Internet disruption registered in Iran following days of outages in southeast

        Network data from the NetBlocks Internet Observatory confirm disruption to internet connectivity in Iran on the evening of Saturday 27 February 2021 from 10:30 p.m. local time. The disruption follows four days of localized regional network disruptions reported in the Sistan and Baluchestan region amid deadly protests.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • ‘This Will Embolden the Murderous Prince’: Biden Rebuked for Letting MBS Off Hook for Butchering of Khashoggi

        “That President Biden has chosen not to pursue that course suggests that the ‘fundamental’ change he promised in U.S.-Saudi relations will not include holding to account its reckless ruler, who consequently is unlikely to be deterred from further criminal behavior.”

      • Democrats call for Biden to punish Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi’s murder

        Following the report’s release Friday, the State Department announced sanctions — including visa travel restrictions — for many of MBS’s associates and deputies, but no direct punishment for the crown prince himself. According to a New York Times report, Biden and White House officials decided that personal sanctions against MBS — who is expected to one day occupy the Saudi throne — could potentially poison relations with one of the US’s closest Middle Eastern allies.

      • Crushing dissent: The Saudi kill team behind Jamal Khashoggi’s death

        The role of operatives from the so-called Rapid Intervention Force, or RIF, in the Khashoggi killing helped bolster the US intelligence case that crown prince Mohammed approved the operation. “Members of the RIF would not have participated” in the killing without the crown prince’s consent, according to the report.

        The group “exists to defend the crown prince” and “answers only to him” the report said. On Friday, the Treasury Department designated the Rapid Intervention Force for economic sanctions for its role in the Khashoggi killing.

      • Saudi Crown Prince Is Held Responsible for Khashoggi Killing in U.S. Report

        An elite team of operatives helped carry out the killing, the report said. The team reported directly to Prince Mohammed, who cultivated a climate of fear that made it unlikely for aides to act without his consent, according to the report. It omitted the brutal details of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, including the dismemberment of his body with a bone saw after Saudi officials lured him to their consulate in Istanbul.

      • US Implicates But Won’t Punish Saudi Prince in Khashoggi Murder

        U.S. President Joe Biden was the one who decided to make the report public, although he first called Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

      • Opinion: Saudi crown prince has blood on his hands

        In the wake of Friday’s publication of the CIA report detailing Saudi involvement in the murder of journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi, the last doubts have now been dispelled: Khashoggi’s 2018 murder in Istanbul was approved, if not ordered, by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

        It was not the work of a hit squad that lost control without the knowledge and consent of those at the top, as the Saudi royal family would still like the world and its own citizens to believe.

      • US will not sanction Saudi prince despite implicating him in murder of Khashoggi

        The United States on Friday for the first time publicly accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of approving the gruesome murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, unveiling a raft of punitive measures but stopping short of directly targeting the powerful heir apparent.

      • Kosovar Investigative Journalist Attacked By Masked Assailants

        Duriqi said he did not know the reason for the attack. The journalist has written about sensitive topics such as corruption, organized crime, and religious groups in Kosovo.

        The Office of the EU in Kosovo said in a post on Twitter that it is “deeply disturbed” by the attack on Duriqi and called on authorities to swiftly investigate the incident.

      • Hundreds march in Bangladesh to protest death of imprisoned writer

        Demonstrators marched at Dhaka University chanting slogans condemning the government’s treatment of Mushtaq Ahmed as well as other writers, journalists and activists.

        Another protest was staged at the National Press Club, while dozens of people carried a symbolic coffin around Dhaka University demanding the scrapping of the Digital Security Act (DSA) under which Ahmed was detained last May.

        The wide-ranging DSA has been used to crack down on dissent since it was enacted in 2018.

      • Ukraine Puts Pro-Kremlin Blogger Living In Europe On Wanted List

        Ukraine’s Security Service announced on February 25 that it has put a pro-Kremlin blogger and politician on its wanted list after he failed to show up for questioning.

        Anatoliy Shariy was charged earlier this month with high treason and hate speech and ordered to come in for questioning on February 22.

      • Abysmal treatment of Julian Assange by media is embarrassing

        What Assange did was no different to what Daniel Ellsberg did 50 years ago when he passed secret documents (The Pentagon Papers) about the Vietnam War on to The Times and Washington Post. However, what is different is that those newspapers fought a restraining order through the courts and won, unlike today’s complicit mainline media, which has nothing to say. What is also different is that the worst Ellsberg suffered was attempts to discredit him by the powers that be.

      • If Biden is committed to the First Amendment, he must stop the persecution of Julian Assange

        Since then, there has been a concerted defamation campaign against WikiLeaks, and in particular, Assange — including rape allegations we now know to have been fabricated by Swedish police; now-discredited claims of meetings with Paul Manafort and Russian spies to hack the DNC; and baseless claims that he smeared feces on the walls of the Ecuadorian embassy in which he was confined for seven years. Furthermore, Assange was secretly and illegally surveilled 24/7 by the CIA during those seven years of political asylum in the embassy.

        There is, however, extensive evidence that the US has been conducting an all-out war against Assange, his family and WikiLeaks for about a decade. In fact, Wikileaks itself obtained leaked emails from American private intelligence firm Stratfor (longtime US federal government partners) that show an intention to “move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years … [and] seize everything he and his family own.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Opinion | Fiasco in Australia Illustrates How Facebook Is Ruining the Internet

        The situation in Australia is a significant opportunity to examine how much power Facebook has over the ways people can seek information online.

      • California’s Net Neutrality Law Is Now Moving Forward Following Federal Court Ruling

        Judge John Mendez paved the way for the implementation of the three-year-old law by denying a request from internet service providers (ISPs) to block the measure from going into effect. The stringent law specifically prohibits ISPs from limiting consumers’ access to lawful websites and throttling connections with regard to individual sites or platforms, among other measures.

        For additional background, a different appeals court in 2019 upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 decision to scrap Obama-era net neutrality laws – albeit while ruling that the FCC couldn’t overturn the net neutrality measures put into place by states. The decision appeared to set the stage for continued courtroom confrontations between the federal government and certain states, though the Biden administration dropped the FCC’s 2017 net neutrality-focused lawsuit against California earlier this month.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • I won’t watch it if it’s inaccessible

        Media companies either don’t realise this is happening, or they think that a tiny and ever-shrinking piece of pie is better than bending to the whims of Netflix, or not having pie at all. Both are silly.

        In that post I theorised that piracy would be the natural outcome of this. If you don’t make your content accessible, people will resort to the methods they used to access it before streaming existed. You know the adage about fences keeping honest people honest? This is not how you make honest people.

    • Monopolies

      • FOSS Patents: Epic Games v. Apple trial scheduled to start on May 3: exact duration and in-person vs. video testimony to be determined

        Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said at the outset of today’s Epic Games v. Apple case management conference that this is a very significant case, so the judiciary should give it the best it has to offer, which is an in-person trial. But under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be necessary to conduct the trial, in whole or in part, via Zoom. Even if it’s fully in-person, the number of persons simultaneously present in the courtroom will be very limited.

        The judge won’t take it lightly if someone who’s a “COVID denier” on Facebook or goes on extensive travel for other purposes asks to be excused from showing up in person for the trial. She expects counsel for the parties to “investigate” the witnesses in that regard.

        For now the plan is that witnesses won’t have to wear masks when testifying. Judge Gonzalez Rogers mentioned that the court has plexiglass shields. Actually, experts doubt or even ridicule the effectiveness of such shields as I reported last summer. But Judge Gonzalez Rogers explained she would be closer to the witnesses than anyone else, and by May she’d be “fully vaccinated.” While I remain skeptical of plexiglass shields, I don’t doubt at all that this judge is very committed to preventing COVID infections in the courtroom. She is in contact with Judge Albright in the Western District of Texas, who is holding patent trials all the time despite the pandemic.

      • Patents

        • EPO congratulates Hungarian Intellectual Property Office on its 125th anniversary [Ed: Another lousy EPO puff piece, a third for today (what are they distracting from this time??)]

          EPO President António Campinos addressed a celebration gala today (1 March) to mark the 125th anniversary of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO). He was joined by guests from the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the Hungarian Minister of Finance, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

          In his address, which was delivered by videoconference, Mr Campinos said: “Since its foundation, the Hungarian Office has played a pivotal role in promoting innovation and economic progress – in Hungary and beyond. You have an IP system that’s helped promote Hungarian innovation and given us well-known, and much valued, inventors.”

          To mark the occasion, the EPO sent the HIPO a copy of the first ever European patent granted to a Hungarian inventor, almost 40 years ago.

        • Compulsory EPO video hearings leave some parties in doubt [Ed: EPO is once again breaking the law and asks judges whom it is besieging to say “OK”]

          In January 2021, the EPO Boards of Appeal conducted a total of 109 oral hearings. Of these, 84 were via video conference.

          By the end of February, the EPO alone will have conducted around 1,100 oral video proceedings in examination and opposition. In 2020, the EPO conducted over 2,600 oral proceedings in examination and opposition via video. This is a rise from 900 video proceedings for examinations in 2019.

          As such, the EPO sees video hearings as a way to ensure the protection of participants during the pandemic. However, the EPO was also already pushing video conferencing for hearings as part of its new long-term strategy.

          Until now, EPO users and patent attorneys have supported for virtual hearings. This is especially the case in small hearings in the first instance, where only two parties are involved. But, since the EPO enforced the new rule, legal problems have emerged.


          The strawman opposition function at the EPO is often used in pharmaceutical proceedings. For the strawman and client, public participation in video proceedings presents new opportunities.

          This is because the company and its technical experts can join the hearing as interested members of the public. They can then provide instructions to their representative in the negotiation via chat or mail during the negotiation.

          This procedure is expressly permitted for other parties and their representatives, to enable communication between the client and the patent attorney. Previously, at in-person hearings, the EPO permitted breaks in order for parties to talk to their clients. This might happen several times over the course of a three-day hearing.

          However, during a video conference the EPO permits opening another communication channel such as a virtual chat. This is to ensure the client and patent attorney can communicate in lieu of in-person interaction.

        • IPCom v Vodafone: Arnold LJ abdicates Crown use defence [Ed: Brian Cordery (Bristows) works for the patent trolls and parasites in question]

          Normal service looks to have been resumed following the Court of Appeal judgment in IPCom v Vodafone [2021] EWCA Civ 205, in which Arnold LJ reversed a first instance finding by Recorder Douglas Campbell QC that Vodafone was entitled to a defence of Crown use in respect of certain acts which infringed an IPCom patent, as well as providing some interesting commentary on the application of the de minimis infringement defence.

          A detailed review of that first instance decision and the technology underpinning the dispute can be found here. In brief, IPCom brought proceedings against the network infrastructure provider Vodafone for infringement of a patent relating to a method for controlling whether a particular mobile device is granted authorisation to access a given telecommunications channel at a given time. The proposed method is used in the UK during emergency situations under the Mobile Telecommunications Privileged Access Scheme (“MTPAS”) to provide priority access to the network at a given base station for the phones of certain groups of end-users (inter alia emergency services) by virtue of an identifying class which is assigned to phones by their SIM cards. Under MTPAS, a request that emergency responders be given priority access to the network is sent from a relevant senior police officer to mobile network providers, such as Vodafone.


          In his typical style, Arnold LJ provided a thorough and considered history of the existence of Crown use from its inception in 1623. Charting decisions from the last century and a half, Arnold LJ found that the trend was to limit government authorisation to only those instances where infringement was expressly approved, or necessarily implied by virtue of the approved action. He further noted that the UK had acceded to the TRIPs, which contains provisions at Art.31 which limit the circumstances in which governments may infringe a party’s intellectual property rights without authorisation, but had not found it necessary to amended s.55 (as it had other sections of the Patents Act). He pointed out that it must therefore be the case that s.55 can be read consistently with Art.31.

          In reaching his conclusion, Arnold LJ listed some 13 reasons for his decision at paragraphs 149 to 173. Without repeating these in the whole, Arnold LJ disagreed that option (3) was the most natural reading of the text or the easiest to operate in practice, and noted that option (2) was most consonant with the law of agency and reduced the burden upon the Crown. Similarly, the Lord Justice disagreed that the authoriser should bear the risk, rather than actor – rather, he pointed out that typically when goods are provided they come with an implied warranty of quiet enjoyment, and that the burden of ensuring the goods or services are non-infringing or licensed ought properly to rest with their provider.

          He further considered that the weight of past decisions supported option (2), as did the opinion of the editors of Terrell over the past century. He accepted the submission that if permission did not have to be specific, then the mechanism for retroactive authorisation in s.55(6) was redundant, but did not accept the submission that s.55(7) operated so as to limit authorisation only to a specific named patent, which so construed he considered created a “difficult, if not impossible” obligation.

        • Parties Again Ask the Federal Circuit to Follow the Law and Issue an Opinion in PTO Appeals [Ed: Dennis Crouch just keeps pushing to slow down or obstruct invalidation of fake patents]

          Perry Cooper, Full Court Patent Review Bids Often ‘Waste of Time,’ Judge Says. In many ways, these no-opinion judgments are the shadow docket of the Federal Circuit without the usual full-court or expositive guardrails of ordinary appellate practice.

          Before 1989, the Federal Circuit and its predecessor courts (going back 100+ years) wrote an opinion in each and every appeal of a patent case from the Patent Office. Now, about half of the cases are decided without opinion. Back in 2010, this represented fewer than 20 cases per year, many of which were pro se and ex parte. By 2019, more than 120 R.36 no-opinion judgments were issued in PTO cases, most of these were in hotly litigated inter partes reviews. In their article, Paul Gugliuzza and Mark Lemley looked at one area of law – patent eligibility – and concluded that the court was subtly shifting the law through its R.36 practice. Gugliuzza and Lemley, Can a Court Change the Law by Saying Nothing?, 71 Vanderbilt Law Rev. 765 (2018).

          In a number of cases, parties have petitioned the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit for a hearing on the issue — arguing as I did in my 2017 article that 35 U.S.C. 144 requires the court to issue an opinion when reviewing an appeal from the Patent Office. So far, no court has agreed to even hold such a hearing.

        • Software Patents

          • Karamelion reexamination request granted

            On February 25, 2021, the USPTO granted Unified’s request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for all claims of U.S. Patent 6,275,166, owned by Karamelion LLC, an NPE and affiliate of IP Edge. This order comes just under three weeks from the filing date. This patent relates to relaying communications to appliances from a central computer and has been asserted against smart home products in over 40 district court litigations.

      • Trademarks

        • Zoomlion: ‘My green, grey and black’. Another colour combination mark case in China

          Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (‘Zoomlion’), according to Wikipedia, is China’s largest, and the world’s sixth-largest, construction machinery enterprise. Zoomlion owns the trade mark registration no. 18338886 in China. This, as shown below, is a colour combination mark (hereinafter ‘the Z mark’).


          The CFI considered that Zoomlion’s concrete mixer trucks, pump trucks, pumps and related decorations, i.e. the green, cold grey and warm grey colours, had gained sufficient distinction to function as a source indication due to long-term, uninterrupted use.

          Furthermore, the CFI found the three-colour decoration qualified as ‘specific decoration of commodity with certain influence’ under the Anti-Unfair Competition Law of China (AUCL), the unauthorised use of which would fall within the scope of the unfair competition acts (Article 6(1) of the AUCL). The evidence regarding reputation included large intensive exhibitions on multiple occasions, e.g. the 13th China (Beijing) International Construction Machinery, Building Materials Machinery and Mining Machinery Exhibition and Technology Exchange Conference, the American International Construction Machinery Expo and the Changsha International Construction Machinery Exhibition as well as multiple awards won by Zoomlion, including the first China Machinery Industry Science and Technology Award and inclusion in 2015’s Top 100 Chinese Machinery Industry and 2016’s Top 500 Chinese Brand Value and Top 500 Asian Brands in 2016.

          Then came the fun part: the disputes regarding the coating decoration.

          The CFI did recognise that the colours shown on the relevant products were not exactly the same in terms of positioning and proportions thereof. However, those differences were ‘too minor to cause a difference in the overall visual effect’. Thus, confusion was still easily possible amongst the general public.

      • Copyrights

        • 2021 US Copyright Compendium Series #1: Works of Artistic Craftsmanship

          On January 28, the US Copyright Office released the latest version of the Compendium of US Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition. The Compendium details the general practices of the US Copyright Office concerning registration and recordation. Registration decisions by the Office are generally governed by the practices outlined in the Compendium.

          Among the revisions in the latest version is an expansion of the “works of artistic craftsmanship” category. Although this category is present in the statutory definition of pictorial, sculptural, and graphic works, it received scant mention in the prior version of the Compendium. Let’s explore the history of this category of work and the implications of its recent expansion in the Compendium.


          While there are clearly parallels between the design of a useful article and a work of artistic craftsmanship, each category is the functional inverse of the other. While a work of artistic craftsmanship may serve “primarily an ornamental, and incidentally a useful, purpose,” a useful article is a work with an intrinsic utilitarian function.

          The relationship between works of artistic craftsmanship and the designs of useful articles is most clearly elucidated by the copyrightable authorship that is protected in regards to each category. Useful articles are not subject to copyright protection, but the design of such an article may be protected by copyright only “if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.” By contrast, a registered work of artistic craftsmanship is protected as a whole, but copyright does not “cover any of the mechanical or utilitarian aspects of the work.”

        • Just 7,500 Artists on Spotify — Out of 8 Million — Make $100,000 or More Annually
        • Earn $1 Million by Snitching on Companies that “Copy That Floppy’

          Nearly three decades ago, the Software and Information Industry Association released its infamous “Don’t Copy That Floppy” PSA to educate kids on the harms of online piracy. Today, software piracy remains a problem and the industry group is still calling on the public for help. However, they’re now offering a potential $1 million reward.

        • RuTracker Crowdfunding Drive Raises Cash To Seed Old & Rare Files

          Russia-based RuTracker is not only one of the oldest torrent sites online but also one of the most popular. The site is heavily blocked in its home territory, something which contributes to a fall in seeder counts. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, RuTracker is set to address this problem by adding 800 terabytes of storage on top of almost 2,500 terabytes already dedicated to old and rare content.

Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: We’ve warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn’t just EPO President right now but he’s also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff

THE EPO President António Campinos took over from Benoît Battistelli on July 1st, 2018. But we had already written about him (as the likely next President of the EPO) since March of 2016, i.e. half a decade ago. He has since then secured that job, partly because of rogue intervention, i.e. the usual, and he’s gaslighting examiners whilst abusing them, just like Battistelli did.

“If the Administrative Council and its delegates don’t do something fast, the EPO is doomed, according to what EPO insiders keep telling us.”To mark this 5-year anniversary we’ve decided to do a quick video (ended up longer than half an hour) about the history of Campinos as the most overhyped EPO President, who pretends to be laid back and aloof while he’s destroying the lives of examiners (and likely destroys what’s left of the institution in the process). If the Administrative Council and its delegates don't do something fast, the EPO is doomed, according to what EPO insiders keep telling us. They’ve been saying it for years, but the urgency of the matter is nowadays stressed even more. Those people are afraid they don’t have more than a few years left in this career path. And once you leave the EPO it’s difficult to get reintegrated into the workforce elsewhere (because the specialisation is notoriously narrow, mostly inapplicable in the private sector).

We’ve meanwhile taken note of the fact that there’s another EPO puff piece (warning: epo.org link), the third one for today. What are they distracting from this time?

In 2021 the EPO Works for Parasites Instead of Scientists (and It Cannot Even Hide That Anymore)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Europe’s second-largest institution is working for those who attack instead of create (or those who attack actual creators, with lousy and sketchy patents as ammunition)

IT has been no secret that for quite some time the EPO acted like an anti-scientific institution which besieges the scientists it employs. It was very much true under the term of Benoît Battistelli and so far under António Campinos nothing has actually improved. Campinos, who barely knows anything about computers, is pushing European software patents in defiance of the EPC and the Office barely cares about input from anyone but litigation giants, patent trolls, and multinational mega-corporations. This is very much removed or detached from the goals of the EPC, but this doesn’t prevent the EPO issuing yet another call (warning: epo.org link) for patent profiteers to submit their suggestions for guidelines (obviously it’s in their interest to see more and more patents being granted). To quote:

Today the EPO is launching a public user consultation on the Guidelines 2021, which have just entered into force[1], and is inviting you to provide input. You can submit your comments in any one of the EPO’s three official languages via an online form. The deadline for your contributions is 12 April 2021.

The Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office (“EPC Guidelines”) and the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (“PCT-EPO Guidelines”) give instructions on the practices and procedures to be followed in the examination of European and international applications and patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention (EPC), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and their Implementing Regulations.

In the video at the top I mention that the European Patent Convention (EPC) is routinely violated by the EPO. They enjoy total impunity while doing so. A few hours later the EPO wrote about another collaboration (warning: epo.org link) with a think tank of litigation or blackmail artists. “On 25 February,” it said, “the EPO together with Licensing Executive Society International (LESI) held the first edition of a new online forum designed especially for high-growth technology businesses and small and medium-sized technology enterprises, the major drivers of Europe’s economic growth.”

Notice how they throw SMEs (“small and medium-sized technology enterprises”) in there, just like Team UPC has long mentioned SMEs, which it is actively trying to undermine (they both know this, but the lies carry on). LESI never represented small and medium-sized technology enterprises; this is a lie and the EPO should be ashamed of itself for associating with those aggressive elements instead of scientists, who routinely come under attack from those aggressive elements.

The EPO is a militant and highly aggressive institution. It literally hires quite a few managers from the military (in spite of a lack of suitable scientific background).

Links 1/3/2021: Manjaro ARM 21.02 and First Linux 5.12 RC Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: February 28th, 2021

      This has been a great week of Linux news and releases. We saw lots of goodies, including Kali Linux’s first ISO release in 2021 with the latest Xfce 4.16 desktop environment, a new Firefox release, a new Nitrux release, Xfce’s apps update for February, and more good things from the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment.

      If you missed this week’s most important Linux news, distro and software releases, you can catch up with what’s new in the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup for February 28th below.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #119

      We had a full week in the world of Linux Releases with Kali Linux 2021.1, Mageia 8, Linux Lite 5.4 RC1, and Nitrux Linux 2021.02.27.

      We hope you have a wonderful week, stay safe, and enjoy Linux!

    • Linux Release Roundup #21.09: Mozilla Firefox 86, Kodi 19, Nextcloud Hub 21 and More New Releases

      In the Linux Release Roundup series, we summarize the new application and distribution versions release in the last few days. This keeps you informed with the latest developments in the Linux world.

    • Server

      • 4 open source tools for running a Linux server

        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. Here are four open source tools for turning any device into a Linux server.

        Sometimes I detect a certain mystique around the idea of a server. Many people, should they have an image in their mind at all, think servers must be big, heavy, rack-mounted machines, carefully maintained by an overly deliberate sysadmin and a group of magical tinker gnomes. Other people envision servers as vaporous clouds that somehow power the internet.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Import: ImageMagick Can Even Take Screenshots – YouTube

        ImageMagick is a really cool image processing application but it can do so much more than most people realize, one of these things is taking screenshots, even though it’s not the most convenient tool to do so it’s here to use if you want less stuff taking up space on your linux system.

      • GNU World Order 395

        Musings about community and choice in Linux and open source.

      • This Week in Linux 140: Red Hat RHEL For FREE, Kali Linux, GNOME 40, Modular Laptops, DIY N64 ROMs | This Week in Linux – TuxDigital

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got some updates for Red Hat’s CentOS and RHEL topic that is still making waves. We’ve also got a lot of distro releases this week from Mageia, Kali Linux, and one of the smallest distros around, Tiny Core Linux. GNOME has announced the beta release of GNOME 40 so there’s a lot to talk about there. Then we’ll check out a new exciting modular laptop that has been announced. Later in the show, we’re going to check out the latest release of Mozilla’s Firefox and a really cool hardware project from the RetroArch team. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • LHS Episode #396: M17 Deep Dive

        Hello and welcome to the 396th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode we interview Steve Miller, KC1AWV, one of the major contributors to the M17 amateur radio project. In the interview, Steve tells us the history of the M17 project, how to build and use it, the level of current development and what the future holds. We hope you enjoy this in-depth look at M17 and have a great week.

      • Open Source Security/Josh Bressers: Episode 260 – Dave Jevans tells us what CipherTrace is up to

        Josh and Kurt talk with Dave Jevans CEO of CipherTrace and chairman of the anti-phishing working group about the challenges of keeping track of cryptocurrency in the modern age.

      • Linux Action News 178

        Red Hat is still in damage control mode, a new hacker laptop called Framework makes bold promises, and what Google is spending money on in the Linux kernel.

        Plus why we’ve recently switched back to Firefox, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • First Linux Kernel 5.12 Release Candidate Is Now Available for Public Testing

        The merge window that opened with the launch of the Linux 5.11 kernel series two weeks ago is now closed and Linus Torvalds published the first Release Candindate in the upcoming Linux kernel 5.12 series, giving us an early taste of the new features and improvements.

        The final release of Linux kernel 5.12 is expected to hit Linux distros sometime this Spring in late April 2021, either on the 18th or the 25th, which depends on how many Release Candidate milestones will be published during the entire development cycle.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc1

        Linus Torvalds has released 5.12-rc1 (codename now “Frozen wasteland”) and closed the merge window despite getting a late start due to bad weather…

      • Linux 5.12 “Frozen Wasteland” rc1 Is Released

        Linux Torvalds managed to release Linux 5.12 rc1 on schedule even though he was without power for six days during the critical merge-window. The Linux kernels Makefile was appropriately updated with a new kernel release NAME = Frozen Wasteland.

      • Linux 5.12-rc1 Released As The “Frozen Wasteland” Kernel
      • Linux 5.12-rc1
        So two weeks have passed since the 5.11 release, and so - like
        clockwork - the merge window for 5.12 has closed, and 5.12-rc1 is out
        there for your perusal.
        That said, we have now have two unusual merge windows in a row: first
        we had the holiday season, and this time around the Portland area had
        over a quarter million people without electricity because we had a
        winter ice storm that took down thousands of trees, and lots of
        electricity lines.
        So I was actually without electricity for six days of the merge
        window, and was seriously considering just extending the merge window
        to get everything done.
        As you can tell, I didn't do that. To a large part because people were
        actually very good about sending in their pull requests, so by the
        time I finally got power back, everything was nicely lined up and I
        got things merged up ok.
        But partly this is also because 5.12 is a smaller release than some
        previous ones - and that wasn't due to the lack of electricity, that
        showed independently in the statistics in the linux-next tree. Of
        course, "smaller" is all relative, but instead of the 12-13+k commits
        we've had the last few releases, linux-next this time only had 10+k
        commits lined up. So that helped things a bit.
        That said, if my delayed merging caused issues for anybody, please
        holler and explain to me, and I'll be flexible during the rc2 week.
        But that's _not_ a blanket "I'll take late pulls", that's very much a
        "if my delayed merge caused problems for some tree, explain why, and
        I'll work with you".
        Anyway, on to the actual changes. Even if it was a slightly smaller
        merge window than previous ones, it's still big enough that appended
        is just my usual merge log, not the full list of the 10982 non-merge
        commits by 1500+ people. So it's  more of a flavor of the kinds of
        things that have happened rather than a deep dive.
        The one thing that perhaps stands out is that this release actually
        did a fair amount of historical cleanup. Yes, overall we still have
        more new lines than we have removed lines, but we did have some spring
        cleaning, removing the legacy OPROFILE support (the user tools have
        been using the "perf" interface for years), and removing several
        legacy SoC platforms and various drivers that no longer make any
        So even if we more than made up for that with all the _new_ drivers
        and code we added, that kind of cleanup is always nice to see.
      • Linus Torvalds went six days without electricity, swears smaller 5.12 kernel is co-incidental

        Linux overlord Linus Torvalds has revealed that inclement weather in the USA meant he recently endured six electricity-free days in his Portland, Oregon, home during which he was unable to tend to the kernel. As a result he therefore pondered adding an extra week to the merge window for version 5.12 of the Linux kernel.

        “As you can tell, I didn’t do that,” he said in his State of The Kernel update that announced release candidate one of the new Kernel cut. “To a large part because people were actually very good about sending in their pull requests, so by the time I finally got power back, everything was nicely lined up and I got things merged up ok.”

        It wasn’t just penguinistas behaving well that helped. Torvalds said this version of the kernel has received around 10,000 commits. That’s rather fewer than the 12,000 or 13,000 he usually sees.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Roman Gilg: Curious Child

          Last week we studied window children on X11 and Wayland at a high level. With this general knowledge acquired, we will quickly go through the recent changes to window children in KWinFT’s new version.

    • Applications

      • Flameshot 0.9 Released with Global Shortcut Menu, Improved Wayland Support

        Flameshot, the popular screenshot software, released version 0.9.0 with great new features!

        Flameshot 0.9.0 adds new global shortcut menu in configuration dialog. All actions hotkeys are fully customizable.

      • Mousepad 0.5.3 Is Released

        The Xfce team has released another version of the extremely plain and simple Mousepad editor. The latest version has a keybinding for resetting the font size and some small fixes. It still lacks absolutely everything beyond the ability to edit text and load and save files.


        Mousepad still lacks all the features other simple text-editors like KWrite have beyond the very basic ability to edit text. There is no syntax high-lighting, there is no spell-checker, you can’t select text and make it uppercase or lowercase or much else for that matter. It does have a search-and-replace function, and you can load and save files, and you can even have multiple files open in tabs. It does have those things going for it even though it is severely lacking in all other areas.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Papirus Icon Theme on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        Papirus is a popular and eye-catching icon theme. The Papirus icon theme works with various desktop environments, i.e., Cinnamon, GNOME, Unity, etc., and is available in multiple variants. It can be installed on Linux Mint from the PPA repository, installer script, and Debian package.

      • How to Setup Synology NAS? – Linux Hint

        Synology specializes in Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and software. Synology NAS devices are easy to use and configure. Its built-in DSM (DiskStation Manager) web app allows you to access and configure the NAS from a web browser. Synology’s management web interface, the DSM web app, is one of the best NAS management tools out there. The DSM web app differentiates the Synology NAS from its competitors.

      • How to Install WireGuard VPN on CentOS 8 – Linux Hint

        WireGuard is a popular point-to-point open-source communication protocol that is used to create a secure and fast Virtual Private Network tunnel. This VPN was designed for use in the Linux Kernel. WireGuard is a lightweight VPN that provides extremely fast speeds to users.

        This article shows you how to install and set up WireGuard on your CentOS 8 system. The installation and setup of WireGuard are much easier than the already-existing VPNs, like OpenVPN, and this is a major reason behind its growing popularity in the Linux community.

      • How to Install Yarn on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        Yarn is a JavaScript package and dependency management tool that helps users to automate the tasks of installing, updating, removing, and configuring NPM packages. Yarn is an open-source package manager that saves a lot of time for JavaScript programmers because it creates a cache of downloaded packages. Using Yarn, a programmer can easily access and re-use a package without re-downloading it every time.

        This article shows you how to install Yarn on Linux Mint 20.

      • Linux List All IP Addresses on the Interface – Linux Hint

        All the people who belong to the networking background know that an IP address acts as a unique identifier of the devices within a network. Therefore, we must know the IP addresses of the devices within a network to enable smooth network communication. Today’s article will focus on the different methods of listing all the IP addresses on the Interface in Linux Mint 20.

      • Running Docker Containers on Synology NAS – Linux Hint

        Docker is a containerization platform. Docker is used to running lightweight containers on your computer.
        Synology NAS has official support for Docker. Docker can be an alternative to virtual machines. If you don’t have enough memory to run virtual machines on your Synology NAS, you can run Docker containers instead. Docker containers require a very little amount of memory and system resources to run.

        In this article, I will show you how to install and use Docker on Synology NAS. So, let’s get started.

      • How to Enable Automatic Login on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        For Ubuntu’s latest versions, users can enable automatic login for the ease of users. If enabled, then users do not need to type the password whenever they try logging in. If you are the only user of your system, then it is a very useful method for easy access to relevant files.
        In this article, we will analyze the methods of enabling the automatic login on the Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • How to configure a static IP address on Fedora? – Linux Hint

        IP address configuration is one of the normal tasks system administrators do on a System.
        IP address is used for identifying a device on a network. There are basically two types of IP addresses: 1) Public 2) Private. We can further divide these IP addresses into IPv4 and IPv6.

        By default, Fedora uses DHCP-provided IP addresses when it is connected to a DHCP server. We can use the below methods to use static IP addressing and other networking options like vlans, bonds, bridges, teams, etc.

      • How to Install and Configure Git on Fedora? – Linux Hint

        Git is one of the popular Distributed Version Control Systems (DVCS) among programmers. It lets you manage the incremental changes you make to your code. We can also easily revert to the earlier version of a code. Multiple developers can work simultaneously on the same project. Team members can see the changes to a project, message associated with the changes, their collaborators, project timeline, progress of the work, etc.

      • How do I Upgrade my Linux Kernel Version on Debian 10? – Linux Hint

        The kernel in Linux acts as a bridge to enable communication between software/applications and your machine’s hardware. It acts as the backbone of your operating system upon which the normal processing of all your system functions is based. That is why it is always good to keep it updated and upgraded regularly. In today’s article, we will be exploring the procedure of upgrading our Linux kernel version on Debian 10.

      • Best Debian 10 Netstat Alternative – Linux Hint

        The Socket Statistics, or ‘ss,’ command has replaced the netstat command through its incorporation of the iproute suite of tools. Using the ss command, a user can print all the relevant information about network socket connections more quickly and with more detail than the netstat command. The netstat command approach is also slower because it collects information from reading the /proc files, and it takes a significant amount of time to display several network connections at once. Meanwhile, the ss command directly collects information from kernel space. Even so, the options that are used with ss command are quite similar. So, you can easily use the ss command as an improved alternative for the netstat command.
        This article covers the usage of the ss command with some straightforward examples. All the commands shown in this article were executed on the Ubuntu 20.04 distribution to check the statistics of socket and network connections.

      • How to Create a WiFi Hotspot in Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        The WiFi Hotspot allows us to connect the same and heterogeneous devices wirelessly to the Internet. Using the WiFi Hotspot, files can be easily shared with other devices. In this guide, you will learn how to create a WiFi Hotspot in Linux Mint 20.


        Creating the WiFi Hotspot is a very easy and straightforward process on Linux Mint 20. By creating the WiFi Hotspot, we can easily share the files with the other system connected to the same network. This guide explains the WiFi Hotspot creation on Linux Mint 20.

    • Games

      • Derivation: Peppertown video-game by Congusbongus and StarNavigator

        Thanks to the authors because the game is fully open-source and released on Github under the MIT License [2]. It was made with FLOSS tools (GIMP, VS Code, Phaser, Audacity, git, Tiled) for the MiniJam22 contest [3] and congratz to Congusbongus and StarNavigator for reaching the 2nd place with Peppertown!

      • How to install Sheep It Render Farm on a Chromebook

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

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Jamie McClelland: From openbox to sway

        I’ve been running the Openbox window manager since 2005. That’s longer then I’ve lived in any one apartment in my entire life!

        However, over the years I’ve been bracing for a change.

        It seems clear the Wayland is the future, although when that future is supposed to begin is much more hazy.

        Really, I’ve felt a bit like a ping pong ball, from panicking over whether Xorg is abandoned to anxiously wondering if literally everything will break the moment I switch to Wayland.

        In fact, I started this blog post over a year ago when I first decided to switch from the Openbox to Sway.

        This is my third major attempt to make the change and I think it will finally stick this time.

        In retrospect, it would have been more sensible to first switch from openbox to i3 (which is a huge transition) and then from i3 to sway, but I decided to dive into the deep end with both changes.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: LibreELEC 9.2 and Kodi

          I recently got into a discussion with someone who had purchased a second television for their house and, knowing that I have a fondness for open source and do-it-yourself projects, they asked if there was a suitable alternative to Fire TV. For those not familiar with the device, a Fire TV stick is a small device which looks like a large USB thumb drive and attaches to the HDMI port of a television. The device connects wirelessly to local networks and can be used to stream shows and movies from a variety of services like Netflix and Disney+. The device is operated by a small, dedicated remote control.

          I was pretty sure a minimal Linux distribution running on a spare, minimal personal computer or a single-board device like a Raspberry Pi would probably be a suitable replacement. I figured a distribution that ran Kodi could probably do the work, connecting to the TV through an HDMI cable. The user could likely use the Kodi mobile app in place of a dedicated remote control.

          For the sake of comparison, I looked up information on the Fire TV stick which was $55 USD if i wanted it in two weeks or $60 if I wanted it in one week. The person I was talking with already had one and knew it was a “plug and play” type device, so the total set up time would be under ten minutes.

          I did some on-line shopping in my area and the closest open source style equivalent I could come up with was a Raspberry Pi 3B. The Pi was $47 USD. The Pi included a Wi-Fi option, but no microSD card, no HDMI cable, and no power supply. Adding these items to my tally brought my total up to $78, including tax. In other words, even with a free software solution, it looked like the open source route was going to be slightly more expensive with parts available in my region.

      • New Releases

        • Ubuntu-based Linux Lite 5.4 RC1 is here to replace Microsoft Windows 10 on your PC

          Windows 7 and Windows 10 aren’t terrible operating systems. In fact, they are both very good. With that said, the newest version of Windows 10 has many bugs. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 is no longer supported, its users are stuck in a conundrum. They have to decide whether to use an unsupported Windows 7 or upgrade to Windows 10 that is full of telemetry and other “spying” that passes their information to Microsoft’s servers. That is a very difficult decision.

          Thankfully, there is a better option — just switch to Linux! Yes, modern Linux-based operating systems will be supported (unlike the now-obsolete Windows 7) and most will run great on aging hardware (unlike Windows 10). Linux Lite is one of the best Linux distributions for Windows-switchers, as it is lightweight, modern, and familiar.

        • Manjaro ARM 21.02 Released with Xfce 4.16 and KDE Plasma 5.21 by Default

          Manjaro ARM 21.02 comes two months after Manjaro ARM 20.12 and ships with the latest Xfce 4.16 and KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environments by default. The previous release shipped with Xfce 4.14 and KDE Plasma 5.20, but after an initial system update you’d get Xfce 4.16 and KDE Plasma 5.21.

          If you’ve read my hands-on article of Manjaro ARM on the Raspberry Pi, you would know that the first thing I did was to update the system. I reviewed the Xfce edition, and Xfce 4.16 is a massive update that offers a huge performance boost compared to Xfce 4.14.

      • BSD

        • [Old] BSD vs Linux

          That shows through in a lot of ways. It shows up in the design of the base system and the packaging of addons. It shows up in the partitioning of the mass storage. It shows up in a lot of details of the commands. And it shows up in the attitudes and reflexes and prejudices of the developers, which are reflected in the code and in the users.

          BSD is designed. Linux is grown. Perhaps that’s the only succinct way to describe it, and possibly the most correct.

        • [Old] Explaining BSD

          In the open source world, the word “Linux” is almost synonymous with “Operating System”, but it is not the only open source UNIX® operating system.

          So what is the secret? Why is BSD not better known? This white paper addresses these and other questions.

        • What security does a default OpenBSD installation offer? (by solene@)

          In a recent blog post, OpenBSD developer Solène Rapenne (solene@) offers an over view of the security features offered by a default OpenBSD installation.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Mageia 8 Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Mageia 8, KDE edition.

        • Mageia 8 Is Released With GNOME, KDE Plasma And Xfce Live Installation Media For x86-64

          The Mageia 8 operating systems offers the KDE Plasma, GNOME and Xfce desktop environment, updated system packages including Linux kernel 5.10.16, Mesa 20.3.4 and GCC 10.2, updated applications and an updated, but still somewhat lacking, installer.


          Mageia is a free community-developed Linux-based operating system the systemd init system and the dnf package manager to manage software packages in the RPM package format.

          The latest Mageia 8 is available as a “classic installation” variant that lets you install it but not trying it beforehand, “Live Media” editions with a live environment you can use to test it, and optionally install it, and a very small (just 50 MiB) “Network installation” image. The “Live Media” images are available in variants with KDE Plasma, GNOME and Xfce. All the images can be acquired using either HTTPS or the BitTorrent protocol.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Jonathan Dieter: WANPIPE and DAHDI COPR for EL8

          At Spearline, we have a number of servers around the world with Sangoma telephony cards, which use the out-of-tree wanpipe and dahdi kernel modules. As we’ve been migrating our servers from CentOS 6 to SpearlineOS, one of the problems we’ve hit has been the out-of-tree modules don’t compile against the EL8 kernels that we use as the base for SpearlineOS.


          If there’s any interest in using the kmod RPMs without the other packages in the COPR, I could look at splitting them into a separate COPR. Please email me if you would like me to do this.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Delegation of responsibility for spec finalisation

        Sean is a natural choice for me to delegate this task to. He has been involved in the development of the Gemini specification for longer than anybody other than myself – he was the first person to actually implement the protocol in software, transforming it from the largely academic thought experiment that I had created it as into an actual real world project. He is the developer of a Gemini server (GLV-1.12556) and the admin of a server running it (gemini://gemini.conman.org), which means the details of the specification are of direct and practical relevance to him. He has a long-standing presence in Gopherspace, where the Gemini project was born, and therefore understands and appreciates the value of simple-by-design systems with limited scope. Finally, he has an excellent track record of constructively engaging with the mailing list even at its busiest and most frantic, which certainly can no longer be said for me. For all these reasons I trust him to make good decisions on the basis of careful consideration.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • My Firefox addons as of Firefox 86 (and the current development version)

            I was recently reminded that my most recent entry on what Firefox addons I use is now a bit over a year old. Firefox has had 14 releases since then and it feels the start of January 2020 was an entirely different age, but my Firefox addons have barely changed in the year and a bit since that entry. Since they have updated a very small amount, I’ll repeat the whole list just so I have it in one spot for the next time around.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • How to Install MySQL on Linux Mint 20 and Ubuntu 20.04?

          MySQL is an open-source, simple, and relational database that uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to manage and manipulate the data.

        • MySQL Add a Column to Existing Table

          MySQL Database System is a highly scalable database service for creating cloud-native applications. Therefore we have to perform different operations while working on it. The ALTER TABLE declaration is being cast-off to add, remove, or alter columns while working on an already existing table in any schema of MySQL. We’ll teach you exactly how to declare a column to an existing table utilizing the MySQL ADD COLUMN expression in this guide.

        • MySQL Count Matching Records With COUNT

          Data redundancy occurs for a lot of reasons. Several of the complicated duties you should cope with while working with database systems is trying to discover duplicate values. For this purpose, We will be using the COUNT() aggregate method. The COUNT() method returns the sum of rows residing in a specific table. The COUNT() function permits you to sum all rows or only rows matching the condition defined. In this guide, You’ll get to know how to identify duplicate values for one or maybe more MySQL columns using COUNT().

        • MYSQL Import Data from CSV File – Linux Hint

          A CSV or comma-separated value document is a delineated text document that distinguishes values from a comma. Every line is its information record. Each data, parted by commas, comprises one or extra fields. The origin of the title for this document layout is the usage of the comma as a field divider. For sharing information between various programs, such documents are used. For instance, Database and contact administrators also endorse CSV files. The theory is that from one program to a CSV document, you may transfer complex information and afterward import the information in that CSV document to some other program. In this tutorial, we will learn how to import data from a CSV file into MySQL workbench. Let’s get started.

        • MYSQL Find Matching Records with LIKE – Linux Hint

          The MySQL LIKE operator tests if a particular character string resembles the pattern mentioned. We will match a portion of the overall data present in a segment that doesn’t need to match precisely. We will cup tie our keyword with the sequence of the information available in columns by using wildcard query in various combinations. MySQL Wildcards are symbols that help match difficult criteria with search results and have been used in combination with a compare operator called LIKE or a contrast operator called NOT LIKE.

        • MySQL Limit Results Returned With LIMIT – Linux Hint

          You eventually hit the stage where data volume greatly increases when we start to deal with DBMS like MySQL. It is difficult for us to manage and use. MySQL has built-in capabilities that make it easy to handle. In MySQL, the LIMIT clause is being used to cut down the number of rows throughout the result set using the SELECT expression. We will discover how to use the MySQL LIMIT clause in this guide to restrict the number of rows that a query returns.

        • MySQL Sort Results with ORDER BY Statement – Linux Hint

          While working with MySQL queries, the results are obtained in the same sequence as the records inserted into the schema utilizing the SELECT command. It’s the standard order for sorting. You would be aiming at how we might arrange our query result. Sorting is re-arranging the outputs of our query in a defined manner. Sorting may be done on one field or more than one field. The ORDER BY statement is being used to arrange the query results in an ascending or descending order in MySQL. The ORDER BY statement organizes data by default in go-up order if ASC or DESC is not specified. The DESC term is being used to organize the data in descending way.

        • MySQL Subqueries – Linux Hint

          A subquery is a SQL query within a greater query that is recursive, or a subquery is considered an internal query. In contrast, an outer query is termed as the query that includes the subquery. A MySQL subquery can be embedded in the queries, including SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE. Furthermore, within another subquery, a subquery may be nestled. The phrase subquery should be closed in brackets wherever it is used. We’ll teach you how and when to use MySQL subquery to compose complicated queries and describe the idea of the associated subquery. Open the command-line shell from your desktop and write your password to start using it. Press Enter and continue.

        • PostgreSQL FAQs – Linux Hint

          According to StackOverflow’s 2020 Annual Developer Survey, PostgreSQL is the second most popular database management system available, and this is not without good reason. Since its initial release in 1996, PostgreSQL, or Postgres, has improved considerably, adding several useful features, including user-defined types, table inheritance, multi-version concurrency control, and more.
          PostgreSQL is also very lightweight, easy to set up, and can be installed on several platforms, such as containers, VMs, or physical systems. Besides its default GUI, pgAdmin, Postgres also supports over 50 other IDEs, a third of which are free to use. This article will cover some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about PostgreSQL.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Let’s Try LibreOffice Online

          You want to try LibreOffice Online for free, right? For your information, it is Writer, Calc, and Impress made accessible on the web browser developed by the infamous Collabora. For a long time, there was barely free service to try but now you and I can try. This article invites you to try it by showing how it looks like. Enjoy!

          LibreOffice Online (also called Collabora Office) is the computer office suite program LibreOffice made web based i.e. you access it using web browser without installing anything to your computer. Speaking about the technology, it is integrated with Nextcloud on the server.

      • Programming/Development

        • Knowing when to look past your code

          At some point, though, your journies will take you to places where things aren’t so clear cut, and you’ll start to gain a sixth sense; a kind of visceral experience that things are not as they have been promised to be.

          A few weeks ago, that sixth sense whispered in my ear: “what if, instead of your cruddy bootloader written in a pre-1.0 systems language for a platform you don’t fully understand, it’s the 20 year-old project with 80,000 commits that’s wrong?” And it was right.

        • Cambalache…
        • C++ Friend Function – Linux Hint

          A function is a block of code that performs a certain task and provides the output. It is mainly used to eliminate repetitive code. In this tutorial, we will look into the friend function in C++ and explain its concept with working examples.

        • mrcal: principled camera calibrations

          In my day job I work with images captured by cameras, using those images to infer something about the geometry of the scene being observed. Naturally, to get good results you need to have a good estimate of the behavior of the lens (the “intrinsics”), and of the relative geometry of the cameras (the “extrinsics”; if there’s more than one camera).

          The usual way to do this is to perform a “calibration” procedure to compute the intrinsics and extrinsics, and then to use the resulting “camera model” to process the subsequent images. Wikipedia has an article. And from experience, the most common current toolkit to do this appears to be OpenCV.

          People have been doing this for a while, but for whatever reason the existing tools all suck. They make basic questions like “how much data should I gather for a calibration?” and “how good is this calibration I just computed?” and “how different are these two models?” unanswerable.

        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: Undocumented escape hatch

            On my quest to a custom when-statement I did quite a bit of reading. The study of roast and Actions.nqp can lead to great gain in knowledge.

        • Python

          • How to Use Group by in Pandas Python – Linux Hint

            Pandas group by function is used for grouping DataFrames objects or columns based on particular conditions or rules. Using the groupby function, the dataset management is easier. However, all related records can be arranged into groups. Using the Pandas library, you can implement the Pandas group by function to group the data according to different kinds of variables. Most developers used three basic techniques for the group by function. First, splitting in which data divide into groups based on some particular conditions. Then, apply certain functions to these groups. In the end, combine the output in the form of data structure.

            In this article, we will walk through the basic uses of a group by function in panda’s python. All commands are executed on the Pycharm editor.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Use Dash as /bin/sh

            I want startup scripts and everything that has a #!/bin/sh shebang to use the lightest possible shell by default, but I still want my trusty bash in interactive terminal sessions, and for complex scripts.

        • Java

          • Revisiting Html in Java

            Some time ago I wrote a post about creating an embedded dsl for Html in Java. Sadly, it was based on an abuse of lambda name reflection that was later removed from Java.

            I thought I should do a followup because a lot of people still visit the old article. While it’s no longer possible to use lambda parameter names in this way, we can still get fairly close.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • A Saturday waste of CPU cycles: building time_t values

        It was bad enough trying to split up all of those date strings into their constituent parts – year, month, day – all of that stuff. But, then when I tried to consistently turn them back into a time_t, I ran into a bunch of other problems. That lead to the post called time handling is garbage. That then lead into the followup post three months later which talked about making time_t values without using mktime and the TZ variable.

  • Leftovers

    • Marcus Lundblad: Excursions: Driving on the wrong side

      I think it’s about time for the next installment in the Excursions series.

      One area I was always interested in this a long time back has been transportation-related infrastructure like roads and rail. And a fact that comes up quite naturally along that is the “sidedness” of traffic in different countries. Today a majority makes use of right-hand traffic, but this has changed over the cause of time. It is sometimes said the prevalence of right-hand traffic in Europe (and the Western world in general) is related to Napoleon and him wanted to keep England “at arms length”. This seems to quite disputed though…

      But rather that going through various countries handedness here. I thought we should look at something more interesting and quirky. Because as it turns out, it’s not always the case that the standard is entirely the same within a single country.


      Next we go east to Hong Kong. Under British influence Hong Kong practiced left-hand trafic. And this has been kept also after 1997. Thus on the borders to mainland China contraptions like these can be seen to facilitate switching sides…

    • Education

      • https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/many-lecturers-lack-technology-and-support-teach-online

        One in three teachers in English universities think live lectures should continue to be online once the pandemic is over, and half think student one-to-ones should stay digital, according to a survey.

        The figures come from the sector regulator’s review of digital teaching and learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, led by its chair, Sir Michael Barber. The Office for Students surveyed 1,285 students and 567 teaching staff from higher education providers in England.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Synthetic vanilla edges out Mexico’s production of the genuine variety

        A 2019 report by National Public Radio in the U.S. highlighted the problems vanilla growers in Papantla, Veracruz, had with theft by criminal gangs as the prices for the crop went up due to poor weather that year in other vanilla-producing countries like Madagascar. At that time, vanilla was fetching 10,000 pesos a kilo but the price is currently about half that.

        These days, the price of Mexican vanilla has gone down significantly — 500,000 pesos a tonne, said Hernández. However, he also says that Mexico has incentives to invest in the resurrection of vanilla farming. Countries like France, Japan, Germany and the United States still are interested in buying the Mexican variety, he said.

      • Kristi Noem tried to take a victory lap for her coronavirus response on CBS. It did not go well.

        In reality, South Dakota’s laissez faire approach the pandemic — including Noem’s refusal to enforce a mask mandate — has amounted to “a failed experiment in herd immunity,” as Bloomberg recently put it. The state has one of the 10 highest mortality rates in the United States. More than 1 in 500 residents has died since the pandemic began. And, as Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan noted during the CBS interview, South Dakota’s mortality rate has been the highest in the country since last July.

        Noting that the governor is a staunch conservative, Brennan pressed Noem to explain how someone who claims to care about the sanctity of life can “justify making decisions that put the health of your constituents at risk.” Her response was nonsensical whataboutism.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in February 2021

            The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, therefore allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.


            I also made the following changes to diffoscope, including preparing and uploading versions 167 and 168 to Debian…

          • Here’s why VPN services are turning to WireGuard

            When it comes to VPN services, everyone has their individual preferences, and the same is true of the protocols used to encrypt them.

            OpenVPN and IPsec encryption protocols have long ruled the roost, but up-and-coming protocol WireGuard is proving that high levels of encryption can be had for less overhead.

            We caught up with Daniel Sagi, COO at Kape Technologies, parent company of Private Internet Access, to find out about the value WireGuard can deliver and the company’s approach to protocols going forward.

          • COMB: largest breach of all time leaked online with 3.2 billion records

            It’s being called the biggest breach of all time and the mother of all breaches: COMB, or the Compilation of Many Breaches, contains more than 3.2 billion unique pairs of cleartext emails and passwords. While many data breaches and leaks have plagued the internet in the past, this one is exceptional in the sheer size of it. To wit, the entire population of the planet is at roughly 7.8 billion, and this is about 40% of that.

            However, when considering that only about 4.7 billion people are online, COMB would include the data of nearly 70% of global internet users (if each record was a unique person). For that reason, users are recommended to immediately check if their data was included in the leak. You can head over to the CyberNews personal data leak checker now.

          • Create Your Own Certificate Authority (CA) for Homelab Environment

            I use my own Root CA to manage certificates in the homelab environment.

          • SolarWind, enough with the password already!

            This is a much delayed discussion on the complexity and nuance of the SolarWind hack. The simplistic and wrong messaging from some quarters of the infosec community has resulted in an atrocious misunderstanding of the hack in the public sphere. This has extended into the policy world as these bad takes are treated as cogent analysis.

          • Microsoft chief’s claims on cloud security result in sharp rejoinder

            Comments made by Microsoft president Brad Smith to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which held a hearing on the SolarWinds attacks last week, claiming that there is more security in the cloud than in on-premises servers, have met a tough response from former NSA hacker Jake Williams, who characterised them as having caused more harm to security than the SolarWinds attackers did in the first place.

            Williams, a well-known figure in the infosec community who runs his own private security outfit, Rendition Infosec, said in a tweet: “I’ve been thinking a LOT about Brad Smith’s testimony this week about #SolariGate. He repeatedly implies that if organisations ‘just’ adopt a cloud first model, they won’t experience these sorts of attacks. I called that reckless then, I’m doubling down now.”


            The SolarWinds attacks were first revealed by the American security firm FireEye on 9 December, when it revealed that its Red Team tools had been stolen. Five days later, FireEye issued a blog post outlining the scale of the attack as known at that stage: a global campaign to compromise public and private sector bodies through corruption of software supply chains, using software that runs on Windows.

            FireEye chief Kevin Mandia also gave testimony to the same committee hearing.

            Williams said Smith should have offered more nuance and caveats in his statements. “With his statements that lacked appropriate nuance and caveats, I predict that Smith has caused more harm to security than the Russians did with #SolariGate in the first place,” he said. “Yes, I know that’s a strong statement. Yes, I mean it.”

            He added: “A lot of leadership who don’t know any better heard this testimony and are constructing cloud-first directives as I type this. But they’re doing it without understanding the risks and trade-offs. They’re doing this without the benefit of creating a strategy first.”

            Microsoft has made a number of statements since the attack first came to light, initially denying its products were part of the problem, but later admitting that the attackers had accessed its source code.

          • The World Economic Forum Warns That 2021 Could Be The Year Of The CyberAttacks

            Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and author of the book “COVID19: The Great Reset”, has repeatedly warned about the possibility of devastating large-scale cyberattacks. One of his firmest warnings was given in a heartwarming speech at the WEF-sponsored Cyber Polygon event on July 24th, 2020. The World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity expects the total cost of cyberattacks this year to be $6 trillion.


            Running up-to-date free software based solutions such as Linux and *BSD is a good preventative measure against real cyberattacks. It will, sadly, not do much difference if a government decides to cut power or Internet access as part of a global “Great Reset” agenda or because inconvenient mass-demonstrations break out.

          • Switching back to OpenSSL

            For most users, there should be no noticeable change. If you have any packages installed that are no longer provided by Void, or your system has explicit dependencies on LibreSSL, you will of course need to take action to ensure your system continues to function after the switch.

          • [Old] LibreSSL languishes on Linux

            The LibreSSL project has been developing a fork of the OpenSSL package since 2014; it is supported as part of OpenBSD. Adoption of LibreSSL on the Linux side has been slow from the start, though, and it would appear that the situation is about to get worse. LibreSSL is starting to look like an idea whose time may never come in the Linux world.

            OpenSSL provides the low-level plumbing for a number of important cryptographic functions; it provides TLS and SSL implementations and a number of utilities for functions like key generation and signing. Most programs that need to communicate securely over the network end up linking to OpenSSL for that functionality. OpenSSL has always had a bit of a strange position in the Linux world due to its special license, which contains an advertising requirement that is deemed to be incompatible with the GNU General Public License. To get around this problem, many GPL-licensed programs include a special exception allowing linking to OpenSSL.

          • Microsoft patches serious NTFS drive corruption flaw in Windows 10… but there’s a catch

            Around a month and a half ago we reported about a serious flaw in Windows 10 that could be exploited to corrupt the contents of an NTFS drive. With Microsoft dawdling in its response, it was down to security researchers from OSR to produce a third-party patch.

            But now Microsoft has stepped up to the plate and, finally, come up with an official fix for the flaw. Sadly, it’s not all good news as the fix is not currently available for everyone.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Linux Mint developers will force updates on users like Microsoft does with Windows 10 [Ed: Brian Fagioli is lying. This headline is false and contradicted by what the body of the article says. Unnecessary spam/clickbait. Read the original from Linux Mint’s blog for a better explanation.]

              Did you catch that? Regarding the Linux Mint update manager, Lefebvre says “it might even insist” that users install some updates. So, yes, Linux Mint may soon be insisting, or forcing, its users install software they may not want. You know what? That may not be a bad thing. Look, Mint users are often acting irresponsibly, and if forced updates make them safer, maybe that is acceptable.

            • Linux Mint team wants users to upgrade, may enforce some [Ed: Better than the above]

              Last month, the Linux Mint team published a post on the organization’s official blog about the importance of installing security updates on machines running the Linux distribution.

              The essence of the post was that a sizeable number of Linux Mint devices was running outdated applications, packages or even an outdated version of the operating system itself.

              A sizeable number of devices run on Linux Mint 17.x, according to the blog post, a version of Linux Mint that reached end of support in April 2019.

              A new blog post, published yesterday, provides information on how the team plans to reduce the update reluctance of Linux Mint users.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Large-scale Analysis of DNS-based Tracking Evasion – broad data leaks included?

              User tracking technologies are ubiquitous on the web. In recent times web browsers try to fight abuses. This led to an arms race where new tracking and anti-tracking measures are being developed. The use of one of such evasion techniques, the CNAME cloaking technique is recently quickly gaining popularity. Our evidence indicates that the use of the CNAME scheme threatens web security and privacy systematically and in general.

              I pointed to some of such risks back in 2014, but I must say that the landscape changed significantly. Our current work is the first systematic, deep security & privacy analysis of the technique. Because the CNAME technique is today increasingly used on the web, the results are worrying. I would actually say that we’re near the worst scenario, with systemic data leaks and security vulnerabilities found in the wild, making the ecosystem more fragile. In this post, I explain the implications, including regulatory-wise.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Nigeria: Parents Anxiously Await Return of 300 Abducted Girls

        Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls were infamously kidnapped by the extremist group Boko Haram in 2014. Known as the Chibok girls, they were taken from their boarding school. In the seven years since, many of the 276 girls have escaped, been rescued or released, but more than 100 remain missing.

        Since then, Nigeria has seen several such kidnappings. As recently as Saturday, 24 students were released after having been abducted February 17 from the neighboring nation of Niger.

      • Arrival of ‘sticky bombs’ in Kashmir sets off alarm bells

        The arrival of the sticky bombs in Kashmir – including 15 seized in a February raid – raises concerns that an unnerving tactic attributed to the Taliban insurgents in nearby Afghanistan could be spreading to the India-Pakistan conflict.

      • Tokyo gives coast guard authorization to fire on foreign vessels

        Tokyo’s immediate justification for the change is China’s own new law allowing its coast guard to use their weaponry against vessels in territories it claims. Beijing’s legislation took effect on February 1, but was drawn up towards the end of 2020, after four years of increasingly belligerent provocations by the Trump administration in Washington.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Monopolies

      • Why companies could flock to the ITC this year [Ed: You know patent law may have outlived its usefulness when it's mostly used for embargo and blackmail rather than innovation or collaboration/coordination]

        Four in-house and private practice lawyers set out why the ITC has become more popular in Q1 of 2021, and why that trend could well continue

      • FOSS Patents: Could a single state legislature topple both mobile app store monopolies? At least it could make a historical contribution.

        This is just my first post on legislative initiatives in multiple states concerning mobile app stores, so I’ve really just begun to research the topic and have a lot to learn.

        A couple of weeks ago, the North Dakota state senate voted against a bill that would have required Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store to allow app developers to use other payment in-app payment systems. The fact that the state legislature decided against it doesn’t represent a ringing endorsement of the status quo of mobile app stores. It’s possible that many of the lawmakers who voted against the proposal simply didn’t want their state, with not even a million inhabitants, to take such a fundamental decision against two of the country’s largest and most powerful companies.

        There definitely is broadbased political support for the fight against app store monopolies: last fall, the Democratic majority of the United States House of Representatives adopted a report on digital markets that condemns the current situation in pretty strong terms.

        All three branches of U.S. government are dealing with the issue in different ways: the judiciary has various antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google before it (with a case management conference in Epic Games v. Apple taking place tomorrow, Monday); the executive government (the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and various state attorneys-general) may bring antitrust cases as well; and as far as lawmakers are concerned, there’s the aforementioned House report (which is non-legislative, though it does recommend that measures be taken) as well as activities in multiple states.


        The first state legislature to enact such an app store state law could make history, and would benefit consumers and developers alike. I keep my fingers crossed, but there are so many other things going on that I’m sure it’s not a question of if, but when, the app store situation will improve. When I campaigned against the EU software patent directive in 2004 and 2005, I thought it was the most fundamental threat to developers ever. It’s how I became a campaigner for the first time in my life, and a little over a year after joining the fray, I received an award that went to Governor Schwarzenegger two years later, and I received more votes than fellow nominee Bono, which shows there were a number of people who thought I had made an impact on a major issue. But this app store cause is more important. I’m not going to be a full-time campaigner again, but I am determined to make my little contribution.

      • Patents

        • Medical device in-house reveal top challenges for 2021 [Ed: Well, "patent eligibility are some of their biggest hurdles" just means they want patent scope to expand infinitely for more monopolies and litigation rather than access to health and public wellbeing]

          Counsel at three medical device companies say communication and patent eligibility are some of their biggest hurdles

        • Arbitrability of IP Disputes [Ed: This part about UPC (below) is nonsense. UPC has died. Law firms carry on pretending it's "imminent" or "inevitable"]

          Arbitration is generally the result of a contract between parties, and most often the parties’ contract determines rights and obligations only as between the parties to that contract. Even though the parties’ contract establishes the matters that are subject to arbitration, the jurisdictional law where the arbitration will be held often delineates what subject matter the parties can agree to submit to arbitration. Whether a particular subject matter is arbitrable is often referred to as ‘objective arbitrability.’[2] As used in this chapter, ‘arbitrability’ means the question of whether a particular issue in dispute is capable of resolution by arbitration or whether that issue is reserved for determination by the national courts or another forum under the relevant jurisdictional law.


          The EU is in the process of revamping its patent system with the unitary patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

        • Monday March 1: US v. Arthrex — Was the PTAB Unconstitutionally Appointed [Ed: Patent zealots and profiteers try to claim courts that throw out fake patents are not constitutional. Will that stunt work out for them at SCOTUS? Ask those who bought the Justices.]

          On Monday, March 1, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this important case focusing on administrative power of the USPTO Patent Trial & Appeal Board. PTAB judges have cancelled thousands of issued patents — that judicial role (with little direct control guidance from the USPTO Director) suggests that the PTAB judges are “Officers of the United States” that must be appointed by the President. Although PTAB decisions are not directly reviewable by the USPTO Director, the director has substantial authority in controlling panel selection, rules of practice, and job performance. All those suggest that perhaps the judges are “inferior Officers” that may be appointed by a Head of Department – such as the Secretary of Commerce. If the Principal Officer theory prevails, the potential result is that a substantial number of PTAB Decisions will be rendered void.

          The Federal Circuit decision in the case was a bit quirky, to be mild. The appellate court agreed with the patentee that the judges were Principal Officers that should have been appointed by the President. However, the court also purported to “save” the appointments by eliminating some of the statutory rights provided to the Judges under the APA via judicial fiat. That severing, according to the court, was sufficient to reduce the judges once again to Inferior officers.

          None of the parties were satisfied with this result, and each petitioned for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court granted the writ (as to the two questions above) and consolidated the cases.


          At the briefing stage, the US Gov’t presented an additional waiver challenge — arguing that the patentee had not preserved its right to appeal on the appointments challenge. SCOTUS declined to hear that issue in this case. However, the issue is central to a parallel appointments challenge in Carr v. Saul. That case is looking at whether administrative law judges deciding cases under the Social Security Act should have been appointed by the President

        • The Humira Patent Thicket and the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine [Ed: Killing people with (and for) patent monopolies]

          Humira (adalimumab) is among the best-selling drugs in the United States and around the world. Even though the core patent for Humira expired in 2016, the manufacturer, AbbVie, has continued to increase the price to consumers year-after-year, so that the 2019 average yearly retail price was $84,454. Another 7.5% price increase is expected in the near future. AbbVie’s conduct to promote the rising price of Humira was recently challenged in In Re: Humira® (Adalimumab) Antitrust Litigation, No. 19-cv-1873. In March 2019, a group of indirect payers for Humira (labor unions and health and welfare funds) filed a novel lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging antitrust activity on the part of AbbVie in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The antitrust challenge, which was dismissed by the District Court on the basis of the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, is predicated on AbbVie’s patent thicket that surrounds Humira and on legal settlements it has reached with six biosimilar companies to keep them out of the market until 2023. This article examines In Re Humira and provides a legal rationale for the conclusion that the District Court’s dismissal of the case should be overturned on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The case will be heard on February 25, 2021.

        • Bank Liquidity Creation and Technological Innovation [Ed: Since when are patents a measure of actual innovation? Baloney.]

          This paper examines the association between bank liquidity creation and technological innovation. Using a comprehensive measure of bank output, I find that bank liquidity creation decreases technological innovation, measured by patent-based criteria. This is robust to using the instrumental variable approach, time-varying unobserved factors that may drive the demand for commercial loans, and several other robustness checks. The state-industry-level results show that the observed negative relation between bank liquidity creation and technological innovation is mainly driven by the manufacturing and finance industries. I also find that bank liquidity creation enhances innovation by firms that have above-median asset tangibility. Further analysis reveals that the relationship between bank liquidity creation and technological innovation is asymmetric. Overall, the results in this paper stress the fundamental role played by innovation in the finance-growth nexus.

        • Can You Protect An Idea? [Ed: "Intellectual property is intangible personal property" is a lie. No, it's not property. Neither legally nor technically. Law firms spreading sheer, pure, unadulterated propaganda again. You need to lie to pass law and bar exam.]
        • Software Patents

          • Slack Sued for Infringement of Instant Messaging Related Patents

            On Friday in the District of Colorado, Ginegar LLC filed a complaint against defendant Slack Technologies for patent infringement, alleging that the plaintiff’s workplace instant messaging platform infringes upon its intellectual property.

            The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 9,367,521 (the ’521 patent) and 9,760,865 (the ’865 patent). For example, the ’521 patent, entitled, “Content and Context Based Handling of Instant Messages, allegedly “claims a method of processing instant messages.” The plaintiff stated that the “method comprises logging an instant message client into an instant message server, obtaining from the instant message server at least one handling rule that is evaluated in an instant messaging environment where each established handling rule defines a condition based upon at least one of identified content or identified context, and a corresponding event handling action which is performed within the instant message environment.”


            Furthermore, as described in claim 1, Slack “software connects to a messenger server in order to function.” Additionally, “(h)andling rules are stored on a message server and are obtained by downloading to the user device,” according to the plaintiff. The plaintiff noted that Slack also utilizes synchronized apps, so “(w)hatever you do on one device is reflected everywhere.” Moreover, the handling rules are “stored and synced by the Slack server. The content of received messages are evaluated” by message type, such as direct message, mentions, etc. Thus, Slack purportedly “uses each handling rule to define a condition based on at least one of identified content or context,” such as “highlight(ing) content in response to a username or specific keywords.” After which, Slack allegedly “performs a corresponding event handling action within the instant message environment,” while identifying the instant message environment the message is in, the parties involved, and if handling conditions are met. Lastly, the plaintiff added that Slack notifies users with pop-up notifications. As a result, the plaintiff claimed that Slack has utilized the patented method for its instant messaging communication technology.

          • Apple Sued for Infringement of Biometric Technology Patents via Face ID Feature

            On Tuesday, plaintiff CPC Patent Technologies Pty Ltd. (CPC), “an investment company focused on biometric technology,” filed a complaint against Apple in the Western District of Texas for patent infringement, alleging that Apple infringed the patents-in-suit.

            The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 9,269,208 (the ’208 patent), 9,665,705 (the ’705 patent), and 8,620,039 (the ’039 patent). According to the complaint, the “products accused of infringing the ’208 Patent and the ’705 Patent include iPhones and iPads equipped with Touch or Face ID (‘the Secure Access Accused Products’)” and the “products accused of infringing the ’039 Patent include the Secure Access Accused Products equipped with Apple Card loaded into the iPhone Wallet (‘the Secure Pay Accused Products’).” Collectively, Apple’s purportedly infringing products are called the Accused Products.

            The plaintiff claimed that the ’208 and ’705 patents “provide for enrollment in a biometric security system where the user’s biometric data is stored securely. Once the user’s biometric data is secure in an electronic device (e.g., a smartphone), the biometric data can be used to unlock the electronic device.” Meanwhile, the ’039 patent, according to the plaintiff, is “directed to improved smart card device security provided using biometric data.”

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 28, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:27 am by Needs Sunlight

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