03.05.21

Links 5/3/2021: Qubes OS 4.0.4 Release and Wine’s Project Leader is Open to Wayland

Posted in News Roundup at 9:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Release Roundup #21.10: Nitrux 1.3.8, Steam Link, Flameshot 0.9, 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.

    • Linux Magazine

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Don’t Try Or Use Linux 5.12-rc1

        Linus Torvalds has renamed Linux 5.12-rc1 to 5.12-rc1-dontuse in git and the release has been pulled from kernel.org due to an extremely unfortunate bug related to swap files, not swap partitions, that could cause random files to be overwritten with garbage data. You may want to revert to a previous kernel if you’ve already upgraded to Linux 5.12 rc1.

      • Updated Kernels Available

        The following kernels have been updated:

        longterm: 5.10.20 2021-03-04
        longterm: 5.4.102 2021-03-04
        longterm: 4.19.178 2021-03-04

        In addition the following firmware pkgs have been updated:

        kernel-firmware-20210301-1pclos2021
        kernel-firmware-extra-20210301-1pclos2021
        iwlwifi-firmware-20210301-1pclos2021
        radeon-firmware-20210301-1pclos2021

      • Torvalds warns the world: Don’t use the Linux 5.12-rc1 kernel

        As it turns out, when Linus Torvalds flags some code dontuse, he really means it—the problem with this 5.12 release candidate broke swapfile handling in a very unpleasant way. Specifically, the updated code would lose the proper offset pointing to the beginning of the swapfile. Again, in Torvalds’ own words, “swapping still happened, but it happened to the wrong part of the filesystem, with the obvious catastrophic end results.”

        If your imagination is insufficient, this means that when the kernel paged contents of memory out to disk, the data would land on random parts of the same disk and partition the swapfile lived on… not as files, mind you, but as garbage spewed directly to raw sectors on the disk. This means overwriting not only data in existing files, but also rather large chunks of metadata whose corruption would likely render the entire filesystem unmountable and unusable.

        [...]

        This also leads into one of my own rather frequent warnings to fellow Linux users: don’t blindly leap ahead into cowboy code that hasn’t yet been sufficiently tested. Linux kernel release candidates are usually very, very solid, and it’s tempting to dive into new features as early as possible—but doing so can have very, very ugly consequences. And many of those consequences could have been avoided by waiting for the code to enter production status in the first place.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA 470 Linux Driver Series To Be “Even More Wayland-Friendly”

          The next major NVIDIA driver series, the 470 release series, is slated to be “even more Wayland-friendly” but what all that encompasses remains to be seen.

          NVIDIA engineers already had confirmed that the DMA-BUF passing support will be in place for this major driver series. The NVIDIA DMA-BUF passing support is long overdue and should improve their Wayland compositor support will be part of the R470 driver series. This goes along nicely with NVIDIA working on proper XWayland support.

        • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 455.50.10 rolls out for Linux

          Need the absolute latest special fixes? The developer-focused NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Driver 455.50.10 has rolled out and it includes quite a few fixes – including some just for Linux.

        • Intel Tiger Lake Xe Graphics On Linux 5.12 Git, Mesa 21.1-devel – Phoronix

          Recently I wrapped up some tests looking at the Dell XPS Linux laptop with Core i7 1165G7 “Tiger Lake” processor when looking at the Linux kernel performance of 5.10 vs. 5.11 vs. 5.12 as well as the impact if upgrading to the Linux 5.12 kernel.

          In this quick article are some benchmarks looking at the Tiger Lake Xe Graphics performance with these newest open-source graphics driver components.

    • Applications

      • QBittorrent Support For BitTorrent 2.0 Is Looking Good

        BitTorrent 2.0, defined in BEP52 all the way back in January 2008, is a big upgrade to the existing BitTorrent protocol. It uses SHA-256 instead of the now very insecure SHA-1 hash algorithm, it has a much more efficient directory structure in the .torrent files and the pieces of files within a torrent are represented by merkle hash trees.

        One potentially fun advantage of the new .torrent file format is that individual files within a .torrent get their own hash. That could be used to participate in two or more public swarms if two or more torrents happen to contain the same file(s). There is no code for such a cross-leaching feature as of today, but is in theory quite possible.

        BitTorrent clients have been very slow to implement the new BitTorrent 2.0 protocol. libtorrent-rasterbar 2.0, released in October 2020, was the first widely used BitTorrent library to full support it and all its features.

        The popular qBittorrent client, available for macOS newer than High Sierra, Windows 7+ and Linux, is built on the libtorrent-rasterbar library. The latest stable v4.3.3 release from January 2021 uses libtorrent-rasterbar 1.2.

      • ytfzf – Search (With Thumbnails) And Play YouTube Videos From A Terminal

        ytfzf – search and play youtube with thumbnails from the command line
        ytfzf is a script to search, download and play YouTube videos by making use of mpv and youtube-dl under the hood. It works on Linux and macOS. The command line script had its first stable (1.0.0) release today.

        The tool initially started as a single line script, but has since evolved, recently gaining the ability to show YouTube thumbnails in the terminal, along with other enhancements.

        For each YouTube search query, a list of results in shown in the right-hand side pane. On the left-hand side you can see the selected video title, the channel that posted the video, the number of views, video duration, upload date, and the video thumbnail (which is optional).

        Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate through the search results, and press the Enter key to play the video (or download it, it ytfzf was started with the -d command line parameter). The videos are played using mpv by default, but you can change this with another video player, as long as it has the ability to launch YouTube links.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Use oathtool Linux command line for 2 step verification (2FA)

        I do not wish to use Google Authenticator or Authy app that generates 2 step verification (2FA) codes on my iOS/Android phone. Is there any way I can produce 2FA codes from Linux command line for popular sites such as Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and more?

        The mobile apps generate secure 2 step verification codes to protect your online accounts from hackers (bad guys). You get an additional layer of security. In addition to your password, you need to input 2FA codes for each login. This page explains how to use oathtool OTPs (one-time password) on Linux to secure your Gmail and other online accounts. Instead of waiting for text messages, get verification codes for free from the oathtool Linux command.

      • How to install the NVIDIA drivers on AlmaLinux 8 – LinuxConfig.org

        In this article we will be perform an installation of the NVIDIA Driver on AlmaLinux. Nvidia driver is needed by your NVIDIA Graphics GPU to function with better performance. To do this we are first going to identify your NVIDIA graphic card, download an appropriate NVIDIA driver , disable the default nouveau driver by modifying the GRUB boot menu and finally install a official NVIDIA driver.

      • How to install Jenkins using a .war file on AWS EC2 Ubuntu 20.04 instance

        Jenkins is an open-source Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment tool. It is an automation tool that helps build, test and deploy software reliably. It is written in Java and comes with hundreds of plugins. Jenkins also supports the distribution of work across multiple servers. It is very easy to configure Jenkins and get started with it. In this article, we will install Jenkins using the .war file in Apache Tomcat. We will use AWS EC2 Ubuntu 18.04 server to perform this activity. You can even use a Virtual Machine on your local machine or remote server with Ubuntu 18.04 on it.

      • How to install Attack on the Deathstar by freds72 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Attack on the Deathstar by freds72 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 configure network settings with Ansible system roles | Enable Sysadmin

        This is the second article in series using Ansible system roles. In the previous article, I introduced you to Ansible and system roles and provided some examples. System roles help you manage OS-level tasks like SELinux, managing network settings, NTP, etc. In that article, you saw an example where you changed SELinux mode using system.role-selinux role. In this article, I look at the network role in detail so that you can modify the remote machine network connections with a single playbook.

      • How to Set Up Multi-Factor Authentication for SSH on Ubuntu 20.04

        SSH is a “Secure Shell Protocol” used to connect and manage remote Linux systems securely over an unsecured network. It is very useful for system administrators to perform day-to-day tasks on the remote server. So securing an SSH server is an essential part of any system administrator.

        By default, you can connect to SSH with a password or using the private key. That means, it is only a single factor authentication. So it is a good idea to implement multi-factor authentication in the SSH server to add an extra layer of security. In multi-factor authentication, you will need to provide your system user password and another password generated on a mobile device. This will significantly enhance your server’s security.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to set up multi-factor authentication for SSH on Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

      • How to Install and Use Nmap on Linux Mint 20

        Nmap is a very popular free and open-source network security tool and port scanner. It has been designed to perform security scans and discover hosts on a network by sending different packets to them and then analyzing their responses. In today’s tutorial, I will show you how to install and use Nmap on a Linux Mint 20 system.

      • How to Change the Icon Size in Default File Browser in Ubuntu | UbuntuHandbook

        The default size of files and folders in Nautilus file browser does not meet you need? It’s easy to change it in all current Ubuntu releases with Gnome.

        Though you can’t find how to configure it in the System Settings and Gnome Tweaks, Ubuntu do provide an option to set an even larger or smaller icon size, and here’s the quick tip shows you how.

      • How To Install PostgreSQL on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PostgreSQL on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, PostgreSQL is a relational database management system that provides an implementation of the SQL querying language. It’s standards-compliant and has many advanced features like reliable transactions and concurrency without reading locks.

        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 PostgreSQL on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • What is Kubernetes ?

        Kubernetes is an open source platform originally developed by Google. Today it is supported and developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. With Kubernetes, containers can be orchestrated. The platform enables the simplification and the automated setup, provision, operation, scaling and maintenance of the containers. It is the basis for many cloud-native applications that consist of microservices.

        The platform works on a master-slave basis with a structure consisting of pods, nodes and clusters. Containers can be operated on physical or virtual computers. Kubernetes provides a technical basis for modern cloud-native applications consisting of many individual microservices.

      • Build a printer UI for Raspberry Pi with XML and Java | Opensource.com

        Creating a GUI from scratch is a very time consuming process, dealing with all the positions and alignments in hard code can be really tough for some programmers. In this article, I demonstrate how to speed up this process using XML.
        This project uses TotalCross as the target framework. TotalCross is an open source, cross-platform software development kit (SDK) developed to create GUIs for embedded devices faster. TotalCross provides Java’s development benefits without needing to run Java on a device because it uses its own bytecode and virtual machine (TC bytecode and TCVM) for performance enhancement.

        I also use Knowcode-XML, an open source XML parser for the TotalCross framework, which converts XML files into TotalCross components.

      • Fix “Implementation of the USB 2.0 controller not found!” VirtualBox Error
      • How to make a multiboot USB for All OS [ Complete Guide ] – Webleit.info

        Have you ever had to install different computers constantly and carry twenty flash drives, Linux, Windows, BSD and many more? Well today we will try to find an easy and pleasant solution to this problem! The software we will use is free and is called Ventoy. Ventoy is extremely easy to maintain as you will simply have to copy it to your flash drive without having to make millions of settings.

      • How to Use Tails Linux OS in VirtualBox Virtual Machine – Linux Shout

        Well, Debian-based Tails is not the Linux system that we can install on our PC like Windows or other Linux distros. Instead, it is a hardened Linux system meant to run in a Live environment via DVD or USB stick. So it offers extensive security. Here we learn the steps to set up, run and use Tails in VirtualBox Virtual Machine to learn and get familiar with it.

        The Tails Linux distribution is designed as a live system particular for data protection and anonymity on the Internet. We can easily write in on a USB drive using software such as Rufus or Etcher; or else burn it on a DVD. This makes it a portable Linux OS that a user can use on any system without leaving a trace behind or storing any data on the computer’s hard drive.

      • Pro tips to master any Linux admin task – TechRepublic

        Linux administrators need to be ready for any job that comes up in the daily routine of managing networks, servers and users. This collection of TechRepublic Premium downloads covers the basics of this job such as selecting the best admin GUI in addition to more complex tasks like how to configure networking on Linux servers.

      • The Top 5 Linux Courses for Developers, Cloud Engineers, and DevOps in 2021

        The world of technology is booming, and there is plenty to learn, especially for developers, cloud engineers, and devops. Add Linux to this list, and you will never fall short of options. There are a series of courses to choose from, all of which can be undertaken from the comfort of your home.

        Choose from a variety of options like Udemy, Coursera, and Pluralsight, amongst others. The best part: some of them even provide you a completion certificate, which you can publish on your LinkedIn profile, and even on your resume.

        Here are some of the best online Linux courses.

      • Installing latest syslog-ng on openSUSE, RHEL and other RPM distributions

        The syslog-ng application is included in all major Linux distributions, and you can usually install syslog-ng from the official repositories. If the core functionality of syslog-ng meets your needs, use the package in your distribution repository (yum install syslog-ng), and you can stop reading here. However, if you want to use the features of newer syslog-ng versions (for example, sending log messages to Elasticsearch or Apache Kafka), you have to either compile syslog-ng from source, or install it from unofficial repositories. This post explains you how to do that.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine’s Project Leader Has Given A Blessing To The Wayland Effort

        Published last month was an updated but still experimental version of the native Wayland support for Wine after that code was originally published last year. One of the lingering questions has been around the prospects of mainlining this Wayland driver in Wine while last week the longtime Wine project leader, Alexandre Julliard, provided some clarity on the matter.

        The engineers at Collabora have been making good progress on the Wayland driver for Wine to allow Windows games/applications to run on Wayland without having to go through XWayland while in the ensuing discussion on the latest version of the patches were the prospects or requirements around getting it accepted upstream.

    • Games

      • Skullgirls: Annie goes up in Beta along with the Season Pass and a Linux support update | GamingOnLinux

        Ready to beat ‘em up? Get ready for a fight as Skullgirls 2nd Encore now has the Annie DLC available in Beta along with the Season Pass and Linux users can get in on the fun.

        Before getting into the thick of it, there’s some really good news to share on two fronts. Not only is Linux support continuing, with the Linux client up to date – they’ve also pulled in a new developer. Well, actually, it’s an old developer – sort of. They announced that Future Club, a co-op formed from the ashes of Lab Zero, has joined them on the development of Annie and the rest of the Season Pass. Perfect news if you’re a Skullgirls fan.

      • Griftlands from Klei Entertainment to arrive on Linux in May, full launch this Summer | GamingOnLinux

        Klei Entertainment creator of the popular Don’t Starve and Oxygen Not Included will be bringing their roguelite deck-builder Griftlands over to Linux in May ahead of the full release.

        “Griftlands is a deck-building rogue-like where you fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. Every decision is important, be it the jobs you take, the friends you make, or the cards you collect. Death comes quickly, but each play offers new situations and strategies to explore.”

        Originally an Epic Store exclusive, it eventually made its way onto Steam a year or so later in June 2020. It’s still in Early Access and it seems they’ve managed to do well with it hitting an Overwhelmingly Positive user rating overall. They’ve now revealed their updated roadmap, which shows a full launch in the Summer along with a Linux supported build going up in May!

      • CaveExpress – classic 2D platformer with physics-based gameplay

        We’ve received tons of feedback asking for more exposure to Linux’s open source gaming scene. We’re always wanting to make Linux more glamorous, sexy, and attractive. Or it could be that work is sometimes not as exciting as playing an addictive game.

        CaveExpress is a classic 2D platform game set in prehistoric times. You play the hero masquerading as a caveman. Survival is paramount but there are beasties that want to change that. Dinosaurs, mammoths and giant fish to be precise.

        CaveExpress is published under an open source license and it’s cross-platform software.

      • mGBA | Game Boy Emulation on Linux

        I have received quite the number of comments about emulating the Game Boy on modern hardware and all the work that is going into it. I learned so much about the extensive community around emulating Game Boy games and the technology, research and absolute passion that goes into it. Though I was given many suggestions, the one that I settled on trying was mGBA. It appears that the latest version in the openSUSE repositories and on Flathub is 0.8.3, although, there seems to be a bit of discrepancy on what the change log says vs what the application itself says… not big deal. The latest release as of today is 0.8.4 which is available from the Snap Store. Since I am not emulating any of the more difficult games, the changes between the versions won’t likely affect my usage.

        I do recommend checking out this Gameboy Emulator Shootout Matrix from here. I will get to some more of these at some point but considering what is widely available, and I see that it is in the middle of the pack on the tests, this was a good place to start. I would also be interested in more feedback here, what should I try next and what should I specifically check out between the emulators.

      • Proton Has Enabled 7000 Windows Games to Run on Linux

        We are reaching another milestone with ProtonDB: we are very close to 7000 Windows games confirmed to be working out of the box with Proton on Linux.

        Proton has been receiving many updates in the past few months as well, with the introduction of the Soldier Linux runtime container and Proton Experimental on top of the regular Proton releases. We are still getting about 100 new titles working flawlessly (according to user reports) on a monthly basis, which is a very healthy and steady growth. Another point is the percentage of Windows games working out of the box in Proton over time. The number has been close to 50% since for a long time and seems to be fairly stable.

      • Brace yourself, Winter is coming to Crusader Kings III | GamingOnLinux

        As if you didn’t have enough problems with backstabbers, finding someone to marry and keeping your kingdom together – winter is coming to Crusader Kings III in the 1.3 update.

        This will be a free update for everyone that drops along side the first DLC. While there’s no date, we should find out a little bit more when the Paradox Insider event happens on March 13. Fear not though, we’ll keep an eye out for any interesting announcements and let you know after the event.

        When it comes to winter, snow will be heading to Crusader Kings III making the already difficult world much harsher overall. The map will gradually get covered in snow and Paradox said their system is pretty flexible so they can control where it flows. It’s not just a cosmetic change though and does a few interesting things. For starters, there’s going to be variants of it like mild and harsh winters, including visual effects to show the differences.

      • Political strategy game Rogue State Revolution gets a demo and a release date

        Rogue State Revolution from LRDGames, Inc. (Deep Sixed, Precipice) and publisher Modern Wolf is an upcoming challenging roguelike geopolitical thriller strategy game. In the game you take control of the presidency and rebuild, reform and prepare for new challenges as the Glorious People’s Republic of Basenji becomes a new political, economic and cultural hotspot.

        The developer just announced it’s going to release on March 18 with full Linux support.

      • plus-x is a simple tool to help developers on Windows set Linux permissions for games | GamingOnLinux

        Here’s a small and very useful sounding application from game developer Cheeseness. It’s called plus-x and the aim is to allow developers on Windows to set the correct permissions on Linux executables.

        The problem: when game developers put out a Linux build and then zip it up for download, Linux users download it and then often need to manually set permissions on the executable for it to be launched. plus-x gets around that by allowing developers to inspect the package and then set the correct permissions.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • António Fernandes: Files 40.beta: More productivity and some eye candy

          Development of the nautilus project has picked up the pace for version 40, thanks to contributions from multiple people, new and old contributors alike.

          I’ve previously blogged about the new Creation date property and the enhanced Wallpaper action, and this time I’m talking about changes which have made it into the beta or are set for the final release. There is a mix of enhancements, bug fixes and redesigns. And lot of screenshots.

        • Amanda Shafack: NEW FEATURES ON THE TRANSLATION EDITOR

          New feature alert!!
          I just wrapped up with my Outreachy internship at the GNOME foundation and I’m very excited to say it’s now possible to “reserve” and “upload” a translation module, directly from the GNOME Translation Editor. However, these changes are yet to be added to the master branch; definitely after the string freeze. There are still a number of UI/UX improvements that need to be done but it’s functional.
          As with every new version, there’s always room for improvement so don’t hesitate to provide feedback.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Qubes OS 4.0.4 has been released!

          We’re pleased to announce the release of Qubes OS 4.0.4! This is the fourth stable release of Qubes 4.0.

        • XSAs released on 2021-03-04

          The Xen Project released one or more new Xen Security Advisories (XSAs) on 2021-03-04. The security of Qubes OS is not affected by these XSAs. Therefore, no user action is required.

      • BSD

        • NomadBSD 1.4 Release Brings A New GUI to Easily Install Browsers & Other Important Improvements

          NomadBSD is an open-source persistent live system for USB flash drives, this means that one can run this operating system on a USB flash drive and any changes done to the system will be saved and won’t be lost when it is booted the next time. It is based on the popular open-source operating system “FreeBSD“.

          The team behind the development of the operating system have announced the release of “NomadBSD 1.4”. It is based on “FreeBSD 12.2-p4”, this has allowed for enhanced support for trackpads, automatic graphics driver detection and more with this release.

          [...]

          The release fixes a bug where booting the operating system in UEFI mode would cause issues.

          A new GUI (Graphical User Interface) has been added to the operating system that makes it easy to install software like Linux Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, Netflix, Spotify and more.

          Also, i386 support for accelerated graphics for Intel and ATI/AMD cards has been dropped due to a legacy DRM driver becoming obsolete.

          For a more detailed outlook of the changes, you can read the official release notes.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Two Nice Discoveries on PCLinuxOS 2021

          Today I bought a wireless mouse. Truth be told, I did it because, long ago, I had read that Linux had problems running such devices and I wanted to experiment.

          I had booted my laptop with PCLinuxOS and, in my ignorance, I got ready to struggle with Bluetooth to configure it. I placed the batteries and plugged in the USB connector. That was all it took for PCLinuxOS to start using the device correctly, he, he. No struggle whatsoever.

          Then I remembered that I could no longer type in Japanese using PCLinuxOS because iBus simply would not be displayed in the task bar (even after a correct installation of all the packages). So, I decided to tinker a bit to see if I could get Japanese IME to function once again.

          All I did was to go to the PCLOS control center, System, Manage localization and, once there, select iBus after choosing the language. A message asked me to restart the session, so I logged out and back in.

          But the iBus icon was not in the task bar. I looked in the menu and found “run iBus,” so I ran it. Still, no icon in the task bar.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS 7 – Ah ah ah stayin’ alive (in 2021)

          I have to admit I was sad to read about the upcoming and early demise of CentOS 8. As soon as I saw the announcement, I remembered the two instances of CentOS installed on my test laptop, 7 and 8, sitting side by side in a lovely, complex eight-boot setup. Both are heavily tweaked systems, used in the desktop fashion, offering stability and fun in the home environment that were never intended from this server distro. And as it turns out, CentOS 7 will outlive the newer version by a long mile, or furlong if you will.

          So I thought, well, how relevant can CentOS 7 be in the coming years? After all, it’s a good few years behind CentOS 8 software wise. And here, I want to take a purely home use approach. I do not want to discuss or debate the actual announcement or the impact this has on the wider IT industry. I want to see if CentOS 7 is still a viable choice for desktop use, should you decide to put it on your PC or laptop. After me.

          [...]

          I am surprised not surprised by own experience. I knew CentOS is rock solid, and I didn’t expect any complications, but the results surpass my own expectations. I guess I’ve been removed from the good ole stuff for too long to remember and appreciate the steadfast simplicity from the heyday of the desktop – roughly the first half of the past decade. And if I think more deeply about it, CentOS 7 actually has a wider collection of software available than its successor, as lots of the stuff, even in RPM Fusion and EPEL, didn’t make it into CentOS 8. Like LyX. The one thing I’m missing here is Plasma 5, so maybe I will actually hassle myself up to get this working all nice and proper like, just for fun.

          But there you have it, a coincidental mini-review of an old distro that keeps on giving. Good stuff, excellent functionality and stability, modern, up-to-date software of all sorts and kinds, a beautiful, elegant, fast desktop despite its inherent shortcomings, and still some four years left on the clock. Makes me feel a bit less sad about CentOS 8. Just a little.

        • Siemens, IBM, Red Hat Launch Hybrid Cloud Initiative to Increase Real-time Value of Industrial IoT Data

          Siemens, IBM and Red Hat today announced a new collaboration that will use a hybrid cloud designed to deliver an open, flexible and more secure solution for manufacturers and plant operators to drive real-time value from operational data. In one month, a single manufacturing site can generate more than 2,200 terabytes of data according to a report by IBM – yet most data goes unanalyzed.

          Through the joint initiative, Siemens Digital Industries Software will apply IBM’s open hybrid cloud approach, built on Red Hat OpenShift, to extend the deployment flexibility of MindSphere®, the industrial IoT as a service solution from Siemens. This will enable customers to run MindSphere on-premise, unlocking speed and agility in factory and plant operations, as well as through the cloud for seamless product support, updates and enterprise connectivity.

        • IT leaders see open source as higher quality

          While enterprises believe open source software provides benefits including higher quality software and innovations, they also perceive barriers to adoption including levels of support and compatibility, according to a Red Hat report assessing enterprise open source usage.

          Curiously, security shows up as both a positive and negative in the report, with open source seen as offering better security but the security of the code seen as a barrier. Released on March 2, the 2021 State of Enterprise Open Source report covers data collected from interviews with 1,250 IT leaders worldwide, who were not necessarily Red Hat customers, Red Hat said.

        • Operators over easy: an introduction to Kubernetes Operators

          You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Kubernetes Operators, but if you don’t work directly with Red Hat OpenShift or another Kubernetes distribution you may not know precisely what an Operator is. In this post, we’ll explain what Operators are and why they’re important.

          To better understand the “what” and the “how” about Kubernetes Operators, we need to understand the problem(s) that motivated the need for Kubernetes Operators.

          Kubernetes is notorious in its ability to integrate and facilitate declarative configuration and automation. This was out-of-the-box manageable for most stateless applications. However, for stateful applications this was a bit problematic. How do you manage and persist the state of your application and it’s dependencies? How do you keep the rest of your application going when you add or remove dependencies? Of course, much of this management was done manually and/or required additional personnel resources to help manage (i.e., DevOps) and, in general, required more of your attention.

          Much of these pains, boiled down to one ultimate question at hand: How do you effectively automate stateful applications on Kubernetes?

          That answer came in the form of what we call Kubernetes Operators.

        • Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-09

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! The Beta freeze is underway. The Fedora Linux 34 Beta Go/No-Go meeting is Thursday.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • Colin Walters: Why I work on OpenShift and Fedora/RHEL

          Every weekday for many years now I’ve woken up, dropped my kids off at school, then grabbed a coffee and sat down at my computer to work on OpenShift and Fedora+RHEL.

          Doing this for so long, over time I’ve thought about and refined the why I do this, and I want to write it down so that I can refer to this in various places. Some of this is a more condensed/rephrased variant of this blog post.

          I was inspired to be here originally (over 20 years ago) by the Free Software movement – one thing in particular I remember is seeing the Emacs start screen linking to the FSF website on our school’s Solaris workstations (In app advertisement worked!). Along with that, one thing I always found fascinating about software in general is the feeling of “the power of creation” – I can type something and make it happen.

          Since then, software has become much, much more foundational to our society (in some cases, probably too much re: social media, etc). In particular here the rise of software-as-a-service and the public clouds. And while we say “public” which has connotations of “openness” – these are all very proprietary clouds.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 To Offer GNOME 40 Apps with GNOME 3.38 Desktop

          Ubuntu 21.04 is probably not the most exciting release for some after they decided not to include GNOME 40.

          Of course, that could be a good thing for some users as well.

          However, it looks like even though you won’t get the GNOME 40 desktop experience, you might get the chance to utilize GNOME 40 default applications on top of GNOME 3.38 desktop.

        • Ubuntu Blog: Code the future together using Ubuntu

          Described by the organisers as an event made by developers for developers, CodeMotion is an event that we love to attend. In November last year, we announced that Ubuntu wanted to code the future of Italy and we joined CodeMotion 2020, with a session about MicroK8s and Kubeflow as the necessary tools to build an environment for any artificial intelligence project. This year, Canonical and Ubuntu will also be present for the Italian event.

        • Simos Xenitellis: How to compile lxd-p2c to migrate physical servers to LXD containers

          The lxd-p2c utility helps you to migrate your physical servers to LXD containers. Dan Mac Donald wrote a tutorial with practical instructions on how to perform such a migration. There has been a recent discussion on compiling lxd-p2c and I am summarizing here.

          You would run lxd-p2c on a physical server that is to be migrated to a LXD container. It is preferable to avoid compiling it on that physical server, but rather use a static binary of the executable. By doing so, the executable would not have any dependencies for the system libraries of the physical server. You would just need to have the correct architecture (such as amd64 or i386).

          You can either compile lxd-p2c statically yourself, or grab a pre-compiled static binary from the output of Github Actions. Select which alternative is suitable for you.

        • Fourty [sic] Years On

          On Christmas day 1981 I awoke with the usual excitement of any 9 year old boy. I clearly remember going downstairs and being told not to go into the lounge because my Dad was busy setting up my main Christmas present. In those days we’d get a main present and some other smaller presents. My parents weren’t well off, we lived in a typical 3 bedroom semi in Southern England and got by as best we could.

          After breakfast in the kitchen we were eventually allowed to go into the lounge to open some presents. What greeted me was the device that propelled me into the world of computing. My parents has bought me a Sinclair ZX81.

          The reason we weren’t allowed into the lounge was because my Dad had got up early to go and set it up, connecting it to the family TV. He spent most of the early morning typing in some code from a manual or magazine (I forget which) so I’d have something to play with right away.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Is Moving To A 4-Week Release Cycle In Q3 2021

            Google, the company in control of the Chromium web browser codebase used as a basis for Chromium, Microsoft Edge, the Brave Web Browser and many, many more, feels confident enough in their testing and release processes to cut the release-cycle for new major Chromium releases down from six to four weeks.

            The new release-schedule will go into effect starting with Chromium 94 in Q3 2021. Google will begin offering “Extended Stable” releases with an eight week release-cycle for developers using the Chromium codebase and enterprise-customers using the proprietary Google Chrome product. The “Extended Stable” branch will receive security-updates on a bi-weekly schedule.

            Mozilla Firefox has had a four-week release-cycle since 2019. Mozilla Firefox is currently at version 86, the latest stable Chrome/Chromium release is currently at version 89. It is an odd coincidence that Firefox would have overtaken Chrome/Chromium and gotten the higher version number if it were not for this sudden change in Chromiums release-cycle.

          • Chrome release cycle accelerated to four-weekly frenzy

            The Chromium crew has revved its engines and decided it will soon emit a new stable release every four weeks and create a new type of release for those who are built for comfort rather than speed.

            “For more than a decade, Chrome has shipped a new milestone every six weeks,” opens a post by Alex Mineer, technical program manager for Chrome operations.

            “As we have improved our testing and release processes for Chrome, and deployed bi-weekly security updates to improve our patch gap, it became clear that we could shorten our release cycle and deliver new features more quickly.”

      • Education

        • 5 useful Moodle plugins to engage students

          A good e-learning platform is important for education all over the world. Teachers need a way to hold classes, students need a friendly user interface to facilitate learning, and administrators need a way to monitor the educational system’s effectiveness.

          Moodle is an open source software package that allows you to create a private website with interactive online courses. It’s helping people gather virtually, teach and learn from one another, and stay organized while doing it.

          What makes Moodle unique is its high usability that can significantly increase with third-party solutions. If you visit the Moodle plugins directory, you’ll find over 1,700 plugins developed by the open source community.

          Picking the best plugins for your learners might be a challenge with so many choices. To help get you started, here my top five plugins to add to your e-learning platform.

      • FSFE

        • 20 Years FSFE: Interview with Reinhard Müller

          Reinhard Müller claims that his T-shirt folding capabilities are legendary. Without denying this fact, anyone who has worked with Reinhard on behalf of the FSFE can confirm that his dedication to Free Software and the FSFE is legendary as well. Reinhard joined the FSFE as a volunteer in its first year and met in person with the volunteers behind the FSFE’s very first booth at FOSDEM in 2002. In the years following, Reinhard held many different positions inside the FSFE community. Reinhard became a founding member of the Austria country team, joined the FSFE’s General Assembly as an official member and even helped to run the organisation for several years as Financial Officer and part of the FSFE’s Executive Council. In all these positions Reinhard helped shape the organisation of the FSFE and still does, so much that many people are surprised when they hear that Reinhard is a volunteer and not a paid staffer of the FSFE.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • This Week In Security: Text Rendering On Windows, GNU Poke, And Bitsquatting | Hackaday

            The good folks at GNU have minted the 1.0 release of poke, a new binary editing tool. The real killer feature of poke is that it can interpret binary data, decoding it back into readable data structures. If you’re familiar with the way Wireshark can decode packets and give useful, organized output, it seems that poke will provide a similar function, but not limited to network traffic.

            It looks like it could become a useful tool for getting a look inside otherwise opaque binaries. What poke brings is a system where you can write pretty-printing templates on the fly, which should be very useful when mapping out an unfamiliar binary. Distros will likely pick up and start packaging poke in the coming weeks, making it even easier to get and play with.

      • Programming/Development

        • Ubuntu Makes Flutter ‘Default Choice’ for Future Desktop Apps

          Flutter is the default choice for future mobile and desktop apps created by Canonical.

          Google’s open-source and cross-platform UI making framework continues to grow in popularity, particularly among web devs looking for an easy “in” to mobile and desktop app development.

          Flutter is underpinned by the Dart programming language, but the desktop SDK (which is now available as a stable release) means there’s plenty of support for crafting pseudo-native software that integrates with the underlying desktop OS.

        • How to Build Your Own React Hooks: A Step-by-Step Guide

          Custom React hooks are an essential tool that let you add special, unique functionality to your React applications.

          In many cases, if you want to add a certain feature to your application, you can simply install a third-party library that is made to solve your problem. But if such a library or hook doesn’t exist, what do you do?

          As a React developer, it’s important to learn the process of creating custom hooks to solve problems or add missing features within your own React projects.

          In this step-by-step guide, I will show you how to create your own custom React hooks by breaking down three hooks I’ve made for my own applications, along with what problems they were created to solve.

        • Python

          • What Python’s new pattern matching can do for you | InfoWorld

            Python, for all its power and popularity, has long lacked a form of flow control found in other languages—a way to take a value and match it elegantly against one of a number of possible conditions. In C and C++, it’s the switch/case construction; in Rust, it’s called “pattern matching.”

            The traditional ways to do this in Python aren’t elegant. One is to write an if/elif/else chain of expressions. The other is to store values to match as keys in a dictionary, then use the values to take an action—e.g., store a function as a value and use the key or some other variable as input. In many cases this works well, but can be cumbersome to construct and maintain.

          • PyTorch 1.8 Release, including Compiler and Distributed Training updates, and New Mobile Tutorials

            We are excited to announce the availability of PyTorch 1.8. This release is composed of more than 3,000 commits since 1.7. It includes major updates and new features for compilation, code optimization, frontend APIs for scientific computing, and AMD ROCm support through binaries that are available via pytorch.org. It also provides improved features for large-scale training for pipeline and model parallelism, and gradient compression.

          • PyTorch 1.8 Released With AMD ROCm Binaries – Phoronix

            PyTorch 1.8 was released on Thursday as the newest version of this widely-used machine learning library. Exciting many will be easier AMD Radeon ROCm support with Python wheels now provided for that Radeon Open eCosystem support.

  • Leftovers

    • How Pelé Sold Out

      Pelé’s public image has become something of a sad joke in recent years. He is the embodiment of the commercialization soccer has undergone since the first World Cup television broadcasts in the 1950s, when he became the sport’s first global icon. “A perfect representation of his current persona: nothing more than a walking billboard,” Zito Madu wrote in 2015 for SB Nation. When he was enlisted as a brand ambassador for Subway in 2013, Pelé not only recorded commercials but also posed for pictures behind some of its sandwich counters and dressed up for a Premier League game wearing a necktie with the fast food chain’s colors and two branded enamel pins. A BBC journalist wrote around that time that scoring an interview with him “usually means turning up at a fast food restaurant or bank to be met by an ever-smiling Pelé dressed in the colours and logos of his sponsors.” Just months before the Subway ad blitz, he was reportedly suffering from kidney stones and urinary infections, attached to a dialysis machine in an intensive care unit of a Brazilian hospital.

    • Opinion | Banksy Does Oscar Wilde
    • Postcard From the Ancestors
    • Fire Suppression Hyperbole

      We hear that 100 years of fire suppression has contributed to the “unnatural” accumulation of fuels and is one of the primary reasons for large fires.

      The solution, we are told, is to do more thinning/logging to remove “excess” fuels (or raking if you are former President Trump).

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Three Top Russian Cybercrime Forums Hacked

          Over the past few weeks, three of the longest running and most venerated Russian-language online forums serving thousands of experienced cybercriminals have been hacked. In two of the intrusions, the attackers made off with the forums’ user databases, including email and Internet addresses and hashed passwords. Members of all three forums are worried the incidents could serve as a virtual Rosetta Stone for connecting the real-life identities of the same users across multiple crime forums.

        • US Navy On The Hook For ‘Pirating’ German Company’s Software

          A couple of years ago, we discussed the somewhat ironic story of a German software company suing the United States Navy for pirating its software. The initial story was a bit messy, but essentially the Navy tested out Bitmanagement’s software and liked it well enough that it wanted to push the software out to hundreds of thousands of computers. After Bitmanagement sued for hundreds of millions of dollars as a result, the Navy pointed out that it had bought concurrent use licenses through a third party reseller. While Bitmanagement pointed out that it didn’t authorize that kind of license itself, the court at the time noted that without a contractual arrangement between the company and the Navy, the Navy had an implied license for concurrent users and dismissed the case.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Ever wondered why the big beasts in software all suddenly slapped an ‘I heart open-source’ badge on?

              A shift within the enterprise to open source is gathering pace due less to total cost of ownership and more to innovations around infrastructure and container technologies, according to a new report.

              The survey, based on interviews with 1,250 IT leaders (unaware that it was Red Hat sponsoring the activity) found 64 per cent of respondents citing “infrastructure modernisation” as the top use for enterprise open source (up from 53 per cent two years ago) with application development and the nebulous “digital transformation” coming second and third respectively.

              Almost half of respondents had container technologies (such as Kubernetes) in production and another 37 per cent were using containers for development.

              It all seems a little fast-moving for the traditionally lethargic world of enterprise technology.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (389-ds-base, dogtag-pki, dpdk, freeipa, isync, openvswitch, pki-core, and screen), Mageia (bind, chromium-browser-stable, gnome-autoar, jasper, openldap, openssl and compat-openssl10, screen, webkit2, and xpdf), Oracle (grub2), Red Hat (java-1.7.1-ibm, java-1.8.0-ibm, nodejs:10, and nodejs:12), SUSE (freeradius-server), and Ubuntu (wpa).

          • Reproducible Builds: Reproducible Builds in February 2021

            Welcome to the report from the Reproducible Builds project for February 2021. In our monthly reports, we try to outline the most important things that have happened in the world of reproducible builds. If you are interested in contributing to the project, though, please visit our Contribute page on our website.

            [...]

            A few days earlier, Eric Brewer, Rob Pike, Abhishek Arya, Anne Bertucio and Kim Lewandowski wrote a post on the Google Security Blog proposing an industry-wide framework they call “Know, Prevent, Fix” which aims to improve how the industry might think about vulnerabilities in open source software, including “Consensus on metadata and identity standards” and — more relevant to the Reproducible Builds project — “Increased transparency and review for critical software”…

          • The Hijacking of Perl.com

            For a week we lost control of the Perl.com domain. Now that the incident has died down, we can explain some of what happened and how we handled it. This incident only affected the domain ownership of Perl.com and there was no other compromise of community resources. This website was still there, but DNS was handing out different IP numbers.

            First, this wasn’t an issue of not renewing the domain. That would have been a better situation for us because there’s a grace period.

            Second, to be very clear, I’m just an editor for the website that uses the Perl.com domain. This means that I’m not actually the “injured party” in legal terms. Tom Christiansen is the domain registrant, and should legal matters progress, there’s no reason for me, nor anyone else, to know all of the details. However, I’ve talked to many of the people involved in the process.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • China’s Sharp Eyes CCTV surveillance program redefines the Neighborhood Watch

              Dave Gershgorn described the Neighborhood Watch aspect of the Sharp Eyes Project on OneZero:

            • Data Leaks Found on Android and iOS Apps Stored in Cloud

              If there were ever a compelling season to not trust third-party app developers with your data, it’s this. A mobile security firm has found data leaks from thousands of third-party Android and iOS apps through cloud storage. Data Leaks Discovered It would be great to say this is stunning news, but it’s not. It’s really not all that surprising that user data was leaked while unsuspecting mobile users continued to set up their many accounts.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Senators Move to Repeal Some Presidential War Powers After Airstrikes in Syria
      • The Pentagon, First, Last, and Always

        Keep in mind that our democracy is suffering as well. After all, former president Donald Trump incited an insurrection when he wasn’t able to win at the polls, an assault on the Capitol in which military veterans were overrepresented among those committed to reversing the election results (and endangering legislators as well). If you want a mood-of-the-moment fact, consider this: even after Joe Biden’s election, QAnon followers continued to insist that Trump could still be inaugurated to his second term in office. Addressing economic and political instability at home will take significant resources and focus, including calling to account those who so grossly mishandled the country’s pandemic response and stoked the big lie of questioning the legitimacy of Biden’s election victory.

        If, however, you weren’t out here in the real world, but in there where the national security elite exists, you’d find that the chatter would involve few of the problems just mentioned. And only in our world would such a stance seem remarkably disconnected from reality. In their world, the “crisis” part of the present financial crisis is a fear, based on widespread rumors and reports about the Biden budget to come, that the Pentagon’s funding might actually get, if not a genuine haircut, then at least a trim — something largely unheard of in the twenty-first century.

      • Opinion | Marshall Islanders Remember “Castle Bravo” Nuclear Bomb with Honolulu Veterans and Supporters

        The Honolulu remembrance was part of the Golden Rule Project’s educational program about the growing danger of nuclear war, and the great damage that has already been done by nuclear weapons.  

      • Opinion | Wait, Don’t Tell Me: The Capitol Riot Was Yet Another “Intelligence Failure”

        This is Washington’s go-to excuse for basic failures of policy, but we should not tolerate it any longer.

      • Berlin Bulletin: Surprise on the Left!

        The surprise was rather that the bitter, possibly fatal inner conflicts, greatly feared by some, greatly desired by others, simply did not happen. Unlike the angry quarrels, hostility and near split-ups which troubled some earlier congresses, this time there was an amiable, friendly atmosphere throughout.

        No surprise, at least for most members, was the choice of new party leaders. Their predecessors stepped down as required after two four-year terms (plus extra months due to the postponements). Only outsiders may have been surprised that both new co-chairs were women, which was new.

      • Aurora Police Killed Without Consequence, Now Their Protestors Face 48 Years for “Kidnapping” Cops

        Elijah McClain would have turned 25 last week. However, in 2019, the introverted Black massage therapist was killed on the street by police in his native Aurora (a part of the Denver metropolitan area). None of the officers involved have faced charges for the incident. Yet the leaders of mass protests against the killing are now facing up to 48 years in prison on a host of charges they see as retaliation for standing up to police power.

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Decades-Long Struggle Over Big Corporations and Poverty Wages

        This is just the latest battle in a struggle over big business wage practices that goes back decades. There was a time when landing a job with a large corporation was, even for blue collar workers, a ticket to a comfortable life — good wages, generous benefits, and a secure retirement. Women and workers of color did not share fully in this bounty, but they generally did better at big firms than small ones.

        All this began to unravel in the 1980s, when big business used the excuse of global competition to chip away at the living standards of the domestic workforce. This took the form of an assault on unions, which had played a key role in bringing about the improvements in the terms of employment. In meatpacking, for instance, what had been a high-wage, high-union-density industry turned into a bastion of precarious labor.

      • Is a Tax on ‘Ultra-Millionaires’ the Answer to Massive Inequality?

        On the 2020 presidential primary campaign trail, one of Elizabeth Warren’s applause lines came when she talked about her plan for a “wealth tax”—two cents on every dollar over $50 million. She made the issue vivid. “How many of you own a home?” she asked; at most stops, it was roughly half the crowd. “Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?” People start nodding. “I just want to make sure we’re also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios.” After a few months, Warren admirers would chant “Just two cents!” as she began her pitch.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Fear and Celebration of Substack Are Both Misplaced

        A debate rages in the media world about the trend of writers with substantial online followings moving away from writing for traditional publications and simply going to the website Substack, where writers sell content directly to their readers, untethered from any editorial constraint. (It’s like a less titillating version of OnlyFans.) Substack has a number of investors, including the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

      • GOP Bill That ‘Does Nothing But Criminalize Peaceful Protest’ Advances in Florida Legislature

        “We know the true nature of this bill and its origins,” said the ACLU of Florida. “It is not about public safety, but about criminalizing peaceful protesters advocating for racial justice.”

      • Bernie Sanders Slams Ron Johnson after Republican Forces Reading of 628-Page Coronavirus Relief Bill on Senate Floor

        “Good thing we have time during a national emergency to do this,” quipped the independent senator from Vermont.

      • GOP Senators Opposed to Becerra for HHS Have Taken Nearly $10 Million From Big Pharma: Analysis

        “While Xavier Becerra has spent his career taking on the pharmaceutical industry for their corrupt price gouging, Senate Republicans have spent their political careers lining their pockets with millions of dollars from Big Pharma.”

      • Florida Man Goes Fascist: An Encounter With Enrique Tarrio

        Orlando, Fla.—It would be easy to see the relative calm of Donald Trump’s post-insurrection career as an ignominious end to six years of MAGA. For those of us used to waking up every day for the past four years wondering what wreckage he left behind overnight—and then compulsively scrolling through Twitter to find out—it’s been tempting to regard Trump as a spent force. But the atmosphere outside the hotel here last weekend hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)—with demonstrators cavorting in cheerful defiance of Trump’s election defeat—gave a very different vision of that movement’s future. It didn’t take long for me to realize that these people have no plans of going away.1

      • Democrats Can Win in Ohio. Will They Choose the Right Strategy?

        The 2020 election showed that there is a right way and a wrong way for Democrats to try to win in states where they have historically lost. The extent to which they have learned those lessons will be revealed by the ways in which they pursue the winnable open Senate seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina next year.

      • As House Passes For the People Act Without One GOP Vote, Progressives Warn Bill Is ‘Dead’ If Senate Filibuster Remains

        “Let’s not be coy: Mitch McConnell will filibuster these reforms to death unless pro-democracy senators stop him.”

      • Opinion | Same Old, Same Old from the Mouth That Roared

        Trump’s CPAC speech may have been a rehash of his greatest hits but it made clear his lust for tyranny is undiminished.

      • Enact the “For the People Act,” But Without the Matching Funds Program

        Howie Hawkins, the Green Party presidential candidate in 2020, said today that Congress must enact the For the People Act to protect voting rights from Republican voter suppression efforts in the states. But Hawkins wants it enacted without its matching funds program, which he says effectively excludes third party candidates from public funding and fails to stem the domination of campaign funding by big donors.

        “Federal voting rights must be enacted defeat state-level Republican voter suppression bills that constitute the biggest assault on voting rights since the Jim Crow era. But the matching funds program should be cut from the For the People Act to protect third party candidates’ access to public funding and to reject its protections of big private donors,” Hawkins said.

        “The matching funds program has nothing to do with voting rights. Congress should propose a progressive system of public campaign funding in separate legislation,” Hawkins added.

        The For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) passed in the House Wednesday night by a 220-210 vote with no Republicans in support. It now heads to the Senate where the Democrats do not have 60 votes for cloture to break a promised Republican filibuster. Meanwhile, over 250 voter suppression bills in 43 states introduced by Republicans are working their way through state legislatures. The conservative US Supreme Court is unlikely to overturn these laws when challenged.

        “Now is the time for the Democrats to kill the filibuster in the Senate before racist senators use it again to block civil rights legislation as they have repeatedly since the 1950s. It is time for the Democratic leadership to play hardball and send the filibuster to the dustbin of history. If they fail, the Democrats are handing the power over to the Republicans even though they have the presidency and a majority in both houses of Congress,” Hawkins said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Monopolies

      • Arizona Moves Forward With Law To Force Google & Apple To Open Up Payments In App Stores

        Arizona appears to be moving forward with an interesting (though, potentially unconstitutional) bill to say that Apple and Google would need to allow alternative payment systems in their app stores. I think this bill means well in that it’s targeting what appears to be a real issue: the control that Apple (especially) and Google (to a lesser, but still significant extent) have over getting apps onto iOS and Android devices. Both companies take a pretty large cut out of in app-purchases — basically 30% (it’s a little more complicated than that).

      • Patents

        • Anixa Biosciences Announces European Patent Issued for its CAR-T Cancer Therapy

          Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of Anixa Biosciences, stated, “We are pleased that the European Patent Office (EPO) has issued this patent…”

        • What Patent reforms are on the minds of IP Owners?

          The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) is hoping to help push through some patent law reforms and recently published a letter to Congressional leaders on IP reform reiterates suggestions already given to the White House.

        • Paper C 2021 – First solution

          We’re still working on double checking the solution to Paper C 2021, but we didn’t want to delay posting a solution any longer.

          My first impression was that the first half was a bit more work than the second half. The claims related to some fairly complex mechanical structures, so in the first half you spent quite some time getting a grip on things. The second half had more tricky features though, although perhaps a bit less work.

          A funny detail is that some of the dramatis personae of Paper C 2015 returned in this paper. In 2015 Mr. Eilasie Kacez of Sabela Sports Industries asked the attorney Ms Molly Dorsett Pauley to file an opposition against Winterwute Corp. Now in 2021, Eilasie Kaceth (the same person?) switched jobs, but again asks Ms Molly Dorsett Pauley to file an opposition against Winterwute Corp.

        • Paper C e-EQE 2021: first impressions?

          What are your first impressions to this year’s C-paper? Any general or specific comments?

          What was the effect of doing it online? Of typing your answer rather than writing it by hand? Could you benefit from being able to copy from the exam paper into your answer? And from copying parts of your answer elsewhere into your answer?
          How did you experience taking the exam from your home or office location rather than in an examination center?
          (How) was it different due to the due of the LockDown Browser?
          What was the effect of the situation that you had to take the exam largely from the screen (as only a part could be printed) rather than from paper?
          Did you experience any technical difficulties during the exam? How & how fast were they solved?

          How did you handle the situation with the paper being split into two parts?
          What was the effect of the paper being split into two parts?
          How did you use the break?

        • SCOTUS ‘shouldn’t eliminate assignor estoppel altogether’ [Ed: lobbying disguised as 'journalism'; nobody asked about it except the litigation fatnatics and patent profiteers]

          With the deadline for amicus briefs now passed, counsel set out why the US Supreme Court should or shouldn’t preserve assignor estoppel in Minerva v Hologic

        • Jury asks Intel to pay $2.2bn in Albright’s second jury trial

          In Judge Alan Albright’s second jury trial, VLSI Technology was awarded $2.18 billion in damages after a jury ruled on Tuesday, March 2, that Intel infringed two of the plaintiff’s patents.

          The jury, at the District Court for the Western District of Texas, ruled that the patents belonging to the Fortress Investment Group subsidiary were valid and that Intel did infringe, but that the infringement was not wilful.

          It awarded VLSI Technology $1.5 billion for US patent no. 7,523,373 and $675 million for no. 7,725,759. Intel plans to appeal the decision.

          Intel had asked to delay the trial because of COVID, but Albright rejected this request. The case was postponed by a week, however, because of the winter storm that hit Texas last month and caused millions to lose power.

          VLSI Technology v Intel was the second patent jury trial to take place in Albright’s court since his appointment in 2018, and it was the first plaintiff victory. The first jury trial, in MV3 v Roku, ended in December 2020 with a victory for the defendant.

          Albright’s promise to adjudicate proceedings faster than the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as well as his experience in patent litigation, has made the Western District of Texas an appealing forum for plaintiffs.

          [...]

          On Monday, March 1, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arthrex v Smith & Nephew, a case on whether Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges were constitutionally appointed.

          The first question of the case was whether administrative patent judges (APJs) were either principal officers, who must be appointed by the president on advice of the Senate, or inferior officers, who could be appointed by a department head.

          The second question, if APJs were principal officers, concerned whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit properly cured any appointments clause defect in the current statutory scheme in a 2019 decision.

          Some attorneys expect a ruling that upholds the Federal Circuit decision that APJs are principal officers.

          Brad Lane, shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione in Chicago, said Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett seemed to question whether the America Invents Act regime was enough to characterise APJs as inferior officers.

          Matt Rizzolo, partner at Ropes & Gray in Washington DC, agreed that the majority of justices seemed inclined to affirm the Federal Circuit finding.

          Rizzolo said some justices expressed concern that a ruling that APJs were unconstitutionally appointed could call into question the constitutionality of countless other government officials.

          But, he said, the court may have a path to limit any ruling to situations where officers were acting in an adjudicatory capacity.

          Lane added that although Arthrex may get the court to agree that APJs are principal officers, it will be unlikely to persuade the justices to deem inter partes reviews of patents unconstitutional.

        • FOSS Patents: German patent injunction reform bill fails “Keep It Simple, Stupid” efficacy test: automotive industry, smartphone makers won’t save license fees

          In any legislative context, a reform proposal will be described as overreaching by its opponents, while its supporters will typically ask for more. However, there’s a wide corridor to which this applies. In a section of that corridor, there may be room for a reasonable compromise. At its margins, only one camp is happy and the other merely pretends to be not, and later one or even both sides may claim victory.

          Sadly, there’s also another possibility: the proposal may really suck to the extent that both sides, if the bill was adopted, would be worse off than before. This rarely happens, but the German patent injunction reform process has gone so wrong that this is precisely where things stand.

          It’s not specific to the German patent policy debate, but the same thing in other jurisdictions, that the pharmaceutical and chemical sector opposes any weakening of intellectual property enforcement. Even if a bill was carefully crafted so as not to affect that part of the economy, they’d use their influence to avert any legislative change that would move the front line closer to them.

          Those seeking to preserve the status quo not only outnumbered but also outperformed the pro-reform camp at last week’s parliamentary hearing. In late 2019 and early 2020 I met many of those begging the German government for patent injunction reform, and by and large I saw people who just didn’t have what it takes to win in terms of skills, expertise, strategic thinking, and forcefulness. Worse still, there may even be saboteurs at work, which would serve to explain the “singularity” (“Einzelfall”) non-starter.

          The problem surfaces in patent policy all the time: different industries deal with patent enforcement under different parameters, but lawmakers seek to avoid sectorial rules.

          [...]

          It doesn’t make sense to adopt a statute that will hurt some but won’t help anyone, except in cases in which plaintiffs are so unsophisticated as to not make a formal licensing offer. I already explained this problem based on the original draft bill early last year (1, 2). Unfortunately, the current proposal has the same structural shortcoming, but pharmaceutical and chemical companies are now worried about the impact of the consideration of third-party interests on their cases. The draft injunction statute belongs into the dustbin of patent policy history.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Safe Driving Technologies prior art

            On February 19, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 9,713,994. This patent is currently owned by Act-IP, an NPE. The ’994 patent generally relates to a system of sensors to allow a driver to safely drive their vehicle while being able to use smart applications. This patent is currently being asserted against Ford Motor Company in the Delaware District Court.

      • Trademarks

        • Unified Brands Aims to Combat Counterfeiters

          On March 3, 2021, Unified Patents launched a new subsidiary, Unified Brands, which aims to combat counterfeiters on behalf of SMEs on a ‘no cost’ basis. Unified Brands will work with small businesses to recover proceeds of counterfeiting. “Fundamentally we troll counterfeiters on behalf of companies that have counterfeiting problems,” says Shawn Ambwani, chief operating officer (COO) of Unified Patents.

          As a subsidiary of Unified Patents with over 200+ international membership organization, we are very good at deterring others from profiting off IP that isn’t theirs. We scrape online marketplaces, such as Amazon, Wish, Alibaba, AliExpress, and others, to find these counterfeiters. When counterfeit products are found online, Unified Brands will protect a brand from counterfeiting and deter counterfeiters from going after that brand specifically.

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