03.15.21

Links 15/3/2021: Linux.dev and Wine-Staging 6.4 Released

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

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Adds Thelio Mira to Linux Desktop Line

        The powerful Thelio Mira runs Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS (or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 64-bit) and includes a carefully engineered cooling system “to prevent throttling and allow your pro-grade components to perform to their maximum potential.”

        Like other System76 offerings, the Thelio Mira also features handcrafted details, such as the solar system design of the exhaust vent and the stylized mountains on the powder-coated aluminum chassis.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Porting Linux to Apple M1 Macs is proving trickier than previously imagined

        The crowdsourced Asahi Linux project has published its first detailed status report to summarize the progress, and challenges, of getting Linux to run natively on the Apple M1 Macs.

        Porting an operating system as complex as Linux to a system-on-a-chip as closed as the Apple Silicon wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. The project’s first detailed progress report gives a glimpse of Apple’s unique boot process, and the challenges it presents to getting another operating system to run on the hardware.

        “The way they [Apple Silicon Macs] work is more akin to embedded platforms (like Android phones, or, of course, iOS devices), but with quite a few bespoke mechanisms thrown in. However, Apple has taken a few steps to make this boot process feel closer to that of an Intel Mac, so there has been a lot of confusion around how things actually work,” wrote Asahi’s founder and lead developer, Hector Martin.

      • The Reverse-Engineered Corsair PSU Linux Driver Continues To Be Improved Upon – Phoronix

        Added for Linux 5.11 was an independently-developed, reverse-engineered Corsair power supply driver for the company’s desktop PSUs supporting their USB-based “LINK” interface for exposing voltage, temperature, current, and Wattage under Linux. This open-source “corsair-psu” driver has continued maturing as well since being mainlined.

        The Corsair-PSU driver was added to Linux 5.11 and supports Corsair LINK-enabled power supplies such as the RMi / HXi / AXi power supply families. This driver is a conventional HWMON driver and allows for the sensors to be exposed through conventional sysfs interfaces for easy querying by user-space tools.

      • Lenovo Continues Improving Their Linux Support Down To The Hardware Sensors – Phoronix

        One of the great Linux hardware milestones of 2020 was Lenovo beginning to offer Linux pre-loads on their desktops/laptops with the likes of Fedora and Ubuntu. But it’s been great just not for having another major OEM offering Linux pre-loads but because they have also been engaging directly on Linux support improvements both through their engineers and at partners like Red Hat. That upstream support work has continued nicely.

        Since Lenovo began offering Linux pre-loads, their own engineers and Linux partners have worked on Lenovo hardware support improvements including the likes of palm sensor support, ACPI Platform Profile support, and various other improvements to benefit their devices under Linux.

      • Kernel.org

        • Linux.dev mailing list service

          We are pleased to announce the availability of a new mailing list service running under the new lists.linux.dev domain.

          [...]

          Linux development started in 1991 and has been ongoing for the past 30 years at an ever-increasing pace. Many popular code collaboration platforms have risen throughout these three decades — and while some of them are still around, many others have shut down and disappeared without offering any way to preserve the history of the projects they used to host.

          Development via mailed-in patches remains the only widely used mechanism for code collaboration that does not rely on centralized infrastructure maintained by any single entity. The Linux developer community sees transparency, independence and decentralization as core guiding principles behind Linux development, so it has deliberately chosen to continue using email for all its past and ongoing collaboration efforts.

    • Benchmarks

      • Lenovo M93 Ultra Small PC – Benchmarks – Week 2

        This is a weekly blog looking at the Lenovo M93 Ultra Small Desktop PC running Linux.

        For this week’s blog, we’ve run a variety of benchmarking tests on the Lenovo M93 together with four other systems to put the results into context.

        All the tests use the Phoronix Test Suite, unless otherwise stated. For ease of reference, each system’s specifications are listed on every page. Together with the Lenovo M93 Ultra Small PC, we’ve run benchmarks on two Mini PCs from AWOW, the AK41 and the NYI3. We’ve also included a laptop from ASUS (UX305FA), and a Mini PC from Gigabyte (BXBT-1900). They are all low-power machines.

        All the machines are running identical versions of software, and configured to ensure consistency between results. The Manjaro rolling distro is used.

        Let’s kick off the benchmarks with some system tests.

      • AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” Linux Benchmarks – Superb Performance

        It’s been one and a half years already since the EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors launched. It’s hard to think it’s been that long due not only to the pandemic but the incredible performance of these Zen 2 server processors. The EPYC 7002 series continues to largely outperform Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors and while Ice Lake is coming soon, for now AMD is expanding their lead with today’s EPYC 7003 “Milan” processor launch. We have begun our testing of AMD EPYC Milan processors in recent weeks under Linux and have preliminary performance figures to share today as well as more information on these next-gen server/HPC processors.

    • Applications

      • Best Task Managers for Linux

        This article will cover a list of useful task management applications available for Linux. These applications allow you to view resource consumptions of individual processes and allow you to set up alerts and manage their behaviour. The term “resource consumption” here mainly refers to CPU, memory and network usage.

        Task management tools allow you to better control your system by providing useful information about resource consumption of individual processes. These tools are especially useful for system admins, application developers and gamers who routinely monitor process behavior.

      • 7-zip is Officially Available on Linux (in Alpha for now)

        The popular open-source file archiver 7-Zip is now officially available for Linux. The developer released 7-Zip 21.01 alpha build for Linux x86, x86-64, ARMv7, and ARM64 architectures.

        Although Linux users could get support for the 7-Zip archive format through an unofficial program known as p7zip, the project was last updated in 2016.

        With the arrival of an official 7-Zip program for Linux, users will be able to receive updated support on their Linux system, unless you’re already comfortable with PeaZip

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to install and use GParted on Linux Mint – Linux Hint

        Gparted is a popular and free tool for Managing disks on Linux. Using GParted, we can create and manage the disk partitions. It allows us to create the new partition tables, partitions, views the disk information, etc.

        I am using Linux Mint 20 for executing the commands and preparing this post.

      • vmadm: helping me manage my local libvirt VMs

        vmadm can also generate an SSH host certificate, an SSH host key signed with an SSH CA key. This allows me to log into a new VM without having to accept its host key – even if the host key has changed from the previous VM with the same name.

      • How to Install Drupal 8 on Fedora? – Linux Hint

        Drupal is a free and open-source Content Management System (CMS). It is released under GNU General Public License (GPL) terms, which is one of the most successful projects ever for open source. Almost 2.5 percent of the world’s website uses Drupal since it offers high standard features such as simple authoring of content, stable performance, and excellent security.

      • How to move from Ops to DevOps, Step by Step [Ed: Swapping between silly buzzwords]
      • How to Install Flameshot Screenshot Tool in Linux

        Flameshot is an open-source screenshot tool available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It is created with C++ and QT5 language. Every popular Linux distribution comes with a screenshot tool but they lack few functionalities that flameshot offers.

      • How to Install Chromium on Ubuntu 20.04 (LTS) and 20.10 – Linux Hint

        Chromium is an open-source, multi-platform web browser that is launched and managed by Google. Chromium is a fast, stable, and secure web browser.

        Many other browsers, such as Edge and Opera, are even based on Chromium code.

        Chromium and Chrome sound similar, but there is a small difference between the two browsers. Chrome is not open-source and contains many proprietary features that belong exclusively to Google. If Chrome is known as the supreme leader of web browsers, Chromium holds the major parts of browsers together.

      • Setup or Change Time-Zone using set-timezone Command – Linux Hint

        Your computer sets the time and date when it syncs with an online server. In some cases, the date and time may change when the computer is connected to a server with a different time zone. So, you may need to modify the time zone in this case.

        Your system’s time zone is set automatically during the installation process of Ubuntu, but it can be modified. This article shows you how to set up or change the time zone of your Ubuntu 20.04 (LTS) or 20.10 system.

      • How To Install and Configure Putty SSH Client on Linux Desktop

        Putty SSH client is a free and open-source SSH client that you can use on a Linux system to connect your server, system, network storage, and other SSH clients remotely. Putty allows you to save your sessions on your local Linux directory. Despite having the Linux bash, you might wonder why you would need to install the Putty tool on your Linux system? Well, the answer would be, most servers are built on Linux, but clients might be using Windows, macOS, or other operating systems. It is hassle-free to have the same remote client tool for both ends.

      • How to Install Ntopng on Ubuntu 20.04

        Ntopng is free, open-source software that provides a web interface for real-time network traffic monitoring. It is the next-generation version of the original ntop which shows the network usage, statistics, and analytic. It supports different operating systems like Linux, Mac OS, BSD, and Windows. There are professional and enterprise editions of Ntopng which have licensing requirements, and the free community edition.

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install ntopng tool on Ubuntu 20.04 and use it to monitor the local network.

      • How to Install Ansible AWX on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Ansible AWX is a free and opensource front-end web application that provides a user interface to manage Ansible playbooks and inventories, as well as a REST API for Ansible. It is an open source version of Red Hat Ansible Tower. In this guide, we are going to install Ansible AWX on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system. We have previously penned down a guide on how to install Ansible AWX on CentOS 8.

      • How to Use Clonezilla Live to Back Up Your Hard Drive

        This tutorial is going to show you how to use Clonezilla Live to back up your hard drive. Clonezilla is a free open-source and reliable tool for bare metal backup and recovery of disk drives.

      • How to connect to remote Windows machine from Lubuntu linux using Remmina

        Remmina is a remote desktop client for computer operating systems. It supports the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), VNC, NX, XDMCP, SPICE and SSH protocols.

        Why use Remmina?

        Remmina is an easy, extremely convenient and widely used client for access to remote machines.
        Undoubtedly, as administrators we have to constantly change our needs to connect to a Linux machine, a Windows server with a terminal with an emulator, SSH or whatever we can think of. That is why the flexibility of this application is exceptional and we recommend it to you.

      • How to install KDE Plasma GUI on Kali Linux Desktop – Linux Shout

        KDE Plasma GUI Desktop installation on Kali Linux will allow users to easily change their Desktop environment from the default XFCE if they don’t like it…

        Kali Linux is an open-source Debian-based security Linux distro that comes with various tools to perform hacking and penetration testing. Although the developers have made the XFCE interface very simple and easy to use, yet if someone is not comfortable with that then he or she free to change the Kali Linux desktop environment with some other available options such as KDE, GNOME, Cinnamon, Budgie, and more… However, here we will talk only about the KDE Plasma, developed and maintained by the huge community of KDE (K Desktop Environment) that also provides a large number of free and open-source software.

      • How to store AWS user access key and secret key in Jenkins

        You can store your AWS keys securely in Jenkins credentials. If you want to interact with AWS from your Jenkins server, you can store your AWS IAM user keys securely in Jenkins rather than openly using the keys in your Jenkins Pipeline. “CloudBees AWS Credentials” Jenkins plugin allows storing AWS IAM user credentials within the Jenkins Credentials API. We can then use these credentials in our pipeline and inject them in the pipeline with the “withAWS” step. To use “withAWS” step, we need to install the “AWS Steps Plugin” plugin.

        In this article, we will install the “CloudBees AWS Credentials” plugin and store the AWS IAM user’s secret key and access key in Jenkins using this plugin. We will install the “AWS Steps Plugin” so that we could use “awsStep” to inject the credential we created. We will perform S3 Upload Object and Download Object operation from within the pipeline to test the credential we created.

      • How To Install ReactJS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ReactJS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, React is an open-source JavaScript library for creating web frontend and UI components. It is developed and maintained by Facebook and a large community of developers. ReactJS can be used in the development of Web Applications or Mobile Apps.

        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 ReactJS 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 Mageia 8 (Dualboot, UEFI, and VM Methods Included)

        This tutorial explains how to install Mageia 8 operating system to your computer. This will be a little bit different to installing Ubuntu as the installer requires two stages of installation separated with a restart (similar to Fedora’s one). You can practice this to be normal, dualboot, or virtual machine as you wish for either 32 bit or 64 bit type of computers. Now let’s go!

      • Display Linux System Information In Terminal Using Macchina – OSTechNix

        There are many tools and methods exists to display a system’s details in Linux. You can use tools like ScreenFetch, Neofetch, Inxi to get the Linux system information. You can also use Python’s import module to view the details of a Linux system. Today, we will see yet another similar tool. Let us give a warm welcome to a newcomer named Macchina to the club! Using Macchina, we can get the basic system information of a Linux machine in the Terminal.

        Macchina is a basic system information fetcher. It is similar to Neofetch but with a focus on performance and minimalism. It is even faster than Neofetch tool. For those wondering, Macchina is an Italian word for Machine. Macchina is free and open source program written in Rust programming language. It supports Linux, BSD and the Windows support is coming soon.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine staging 6.4 release
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        
        https://www.winehq.org/download
        
        Summary since last release
        * Rebased to current wine 6.4 (686 patches are applied to wine vanilla)
        
        Upstreamed (Either directly from staging or fixed with a similar patch).
        * kernel32: Implement K32GetMappedFileName.
        * wow64cpu: Add stub dll.
        * ntdll: Add a stub implementation of Wow64Transition.
        * aclui: Add basic ACE viewer.
        * ntdll: Implement RtlQueryRegistryValuesEx
        * setupapi/tests: Add more tests for SPFILENOTIFY_FILEINCABINET handler.
        * setupapi: Fix CabinetName passed to SPFILENOTIFY_CABINETINFO handler.
        * setupapi/tests: Add tests for cabinet name passed to 
        SPFILENOTIFY_FILEEXTRACTED.
        * setupapi: Fix parameters of SPFILENOTIFY_FILEINCABINET handler.
        * ddraw: Create rendering targets in video memory if possible.
        
        Added:
        * [50624] Waves Central 12.0.5 fails to start.
        
        Updated:
        * ntdll-NtAlertThreadByThreadId
        * ntdll-Junction_Points
        
        Where can you help
        * Run Steam/Battle.net/GOG/UPlay/Epic
        * Test your favorite game.
        * Test your favorite applications.
        * Improve staging patches and get them accepted upstream.
        
        As always, if you find a bug, please report it via
        
        https://bugs.winehq.org
        
        Best Regards
          Alistair.
        
      • Wine-Staging 6.4 Released With 686 Patches Rebased Against Upstream

        Building off Friday’s release of Wine 6.4 is now Wine-Staging 6.4 with an extra 686 patches atop this code-base for allowing Windows games and applications to run on Linux.

        Wine-Staging 6.4 comes in at 686 patches in size, which is slightly fewer than the prior bi-weekly release candidate. Wine-Staging 6.4 upstreamed its WOW64CPU DLL stub, a basic ACE viewer added with ACLUI, NTDLL additions, K32GetMappedFileName support in Kernel32m and SETUPAPI fixes were all now accepted in mainline.

      • How to Install Wine on Ubuntu to Run Windows Software

        When Windows users start using Linux, the major problem that they face is the unavailability of certain software. But with the help of a compatibility layer like Wine, you can use Windows applications on Linux easily.

        In this article, we are going to talk about what Wine is and how you can install it on your Ubuntu system.

        [...]

        Wine (originally an acronym of Wine Is Not an Emulator) supports Windows software and applications. The development of Wine has completely transformed gaming for Linux users. Similar compatibility layers such as Proton and CrossOver have also been developed to allow users to take full advantage of their Linux systems.

    • Games

      • Bonesweeper mixes Palaeontology with Minesweeper where you assemble fossils | GamingOnLinux

        Created by developer Cheeseness, who also made the wonderful Hive Time and again using Godot Engine, it’s currently in the Prototype stage but it’s already very playable and shows off what a brilliant idea it is. You visit dig sites to excavate bones by digging around them like you would in Minesweeper but without the failure as wrong clicks only slow you down, then when you’ve got enough fossils between digs you can then assemble their skeletons.

      • Be a jerk cloud in Rain on Your Parade – releasing April 15 | GamingOnLinux

        Ever wanted to just fly high, be a cloud and rain all over everything? Well you will be able to on April 15 when Rain on Your Parade releases letting me be a total jerk cloud. A nice casual comedy game about causing chaos, what’s not to love about this one?

        “Travel the world as a cute cardboard cloud set to rain on everyone’s parade! Help Cloudy the Cloud on its adventure to the mythical rain paradise: Seattle. Along the journey, you’ll face an array of unique settings, challenges, spoofs, and satire. Unlock new powers, meet quirky characters, draw custom cloud faces, collect cool hats, accessories, and so much more!”

      • Luck be a Landlord gives slot machines a little deck-building flavour | GamingOnLinux

        Luck be a Landlord is a fresh game out in Early Access from TrampolineTales that claims it’s a “roguelike deckbuilder about using a slot machine to earn rent money and defeat capitalism”. I will admit, that kind of description suckered me right in, I had to give this one a go. Built with Godot Engine, it has great Linux support too and there’s even a demo to try before you buy and try your luck.

        The idea is that you’ve moved into a new place that came with a slot machine, you use this to acquire money to pay your rent. Over time you build up the symbols on it like you’re creating a deck to increase your chances. There’s plenty of luck involved of course since it uses slot machine mechanics but there’s also plenty of strategy in how you build up the symbols and how they interact with each other.

      • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition getting another major upgrade | GamingOnLinux

        Showing some big continued dedication to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, Beamdog have put up another huge Beta version with some pretty major additions. Development Build 8193.21 is available to try out on Steam (other platforms when stable), and it can be used along with any servers for multiplayer with the .20.1 release as normal so it’s easy to test out in your favourites.

        [...]

        Really great work from Beamdog all around here, especially the fractional scaling options enabling players to tweak the UI and text to their liking. I wish more games had that.

      • The Co-op News Punch Podcast – Episode 27, the one with too much gain | GamingOnLinux

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

        As usual, it’s a very casual and frank chat between two friends (myself) and GOL contributor / Linux livestreamer Samsai about many different Linux-related topics. Apologies for my audio on this one, sadly the gain on my microphone amp was up far too high without me realising and so it’s definitely not as clear as previous episodes.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • White or black lines in Konsole output with Plasma scaling

          I love buying new hardware. Apart from the obvious joy of having a new toy, there’s an almost certainty that I’m going to face some fresh problems, related to this or that operating system. Karma definitely did not disappoint when I recently got meself a Lenovo IdeaPad 3, which I loaded with three operating systems, Kubuntu 20.10 included.

          In this Plasma-powered Groovy instance, I also set the HD scaling to 1.25, in order to be able to use the system comfortably on the 14-inch FHD screen. If you’ve followed my adventures with Plasma, specifically the good, the bad and the ugly of desktop scaling on my Slimbook, and then the fine results in Plasma 5.20, then you know things have improved massively, and there should be no issues. And yet there were. Some. Small ones. Weird ones. In Konsole specifically. I noticed white – or black – lines showing in the terminal output, whenever I’d move the cursor up and down. An issue that my sweet OCD demons cannot abide.

        • Save and Load KDE Plasma Configurations with This Applet
      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Kooha is a Nascent Screen Recorder for GNOME With Wayland Support

          There is not a single decent screen recording software for Linux that supports Wayland display server.

          GNOME’s built-in screen recorder is probably the rare (and lone) one that works if you are using Wayland. But that screen recorder has no visible interface and features you expect in a standard screen recording software.

          Thankfully, there is a new application in development that provides a bit more feature than GNOME screen recorder and works okay-ish on Wayland.

        • Epiphany Browser in GNOME 40 will Feature a New Tab bar

          Epiphany Browser or known more popularly as GNOME Web, the default browser of the GNOME desktop environment is getting a major overhaul to one of it’s most used section, the tab bar.

          It was pretty simple, but now it is shaping up as a modern experience to compete with the likes of other popular browsers available for Linux.

          The new tab bar is a complete rewrite and now features two distinct widgets called HdyTabView and HdyTabBar that can be now used to implement the updated tab and will replace the existing widget called GtkNotebook.

          Ignore the technical jargon, overall, the old widget had many usability issues and was overall very tacky and outdated. So, the new widgets offer a host of usability improvements and have a very modern feel to it.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • No quarters needed: The Red Hat Arcade is now live!

          Video games are not commonly known for being open source–either themselves or in their development. Red Hat would like to see that change, and this year we launched Red Hat Arcade, where you can play open source games built by Red Hatters using open source tools, assets, and engines.

        • Coming to the virtual stage at Red Hat Summit 2021

          While a lot has changed over the last year, one thing that hasn’t — the Red Hat Summit mainstage will be packed with powerful stories about the role enterprise open source tools play and the innovations that are changing the industry. This year, we’ll be bringing together speakers from around the world and across sectors to share how they are building better solutions for their customers and for themselves.

          Now in its 17th year, Red Hat Summit is the premiere open source technology event that brings together thousands of IT professionals for a high-energy event focused on innovation, education and collaboration.

          Red Hat Summit 2021 will be a three-part event that will kick off with a free, immersive multi-day virtual experience on April 27-28, 2021. And you won’t have to miss a moment, if you’re unable to attend or just want to rewatch, we’ll be recording much of our content including the keynotes and special guests, and it will be available for up to one year after the event.

        • Planning your containerization strategy on Red Hat OpenShift – Red Hat Developer

          There’s no question about the benefits of containers, including faster application delivery, resilience, and scalability. And with Red Hat OpenShift, there has never been a better time to take advantage of a cloud-native platform to containerize your applications.

          Transforming your application delivery cycle and shifting from traditional infrastructure to cloud-native can be daunting, however. As with any path toward a solution, it helps to break down the process into segments to better understand how to get from point A to point B. This article provides a framework for approaching the conversation with your application team to ensure that your application is containerized and hosted on OpenShift as quickly and easily as possible.

          Figure 1 is an overview of how to structure an effective containerization conversation. We’ll go over each step in the next sections.

        • Ben Cotton: Applying the Potter Stewart rule to release blockers

          For the most part, you want your release blockers to be defined by specific criteria. It’s even better if automated testing can use the criteria, but that’s not always possible. The point is that you want the process to be predictable.

          A predictable blocker process provides value and clarity throughout the process. Developers know what the rules are so they can take care to fix (or avoid!) potential blockers early. Testers know what tests to prioritize. Users know that, while the software might do something annoying, it won’t turn the hard drive into a pile of melted metal, for example. And everyone knows that the release won’t be delayed indefinitely.

          Having a predictable blocker process means not only developing the criteria, but sticking to the criteria. If a bug doesn’t violate a criterion, you can’t call it a blocker. Of course, it’s impossible to come up with every possible reason why you might want to block a release, so sometimes you have to add a new criterion.

          [...]

          This came up in last week’s Go/No-Go meeting for Fedora Linux 34 Beta. We were considering a bug that caused a delay of up to two minutes before gnome-initial-setup started. I argued that this should be a blocker because of the negative reputational impact, despite the fact that it does not break any specific release criterion. I didn’t want first time users (or worse: reviewers) to turn away from Fedora Linux because of this bug.

          QA wizard Adam Williamson argued against calling it a blocker without developing a specific criterion it violates. To do otherwise, he said, makes a mockery of the process. I understand his position, but I disagree. While there are a variety of reasons to have release blockers, I see the preservation of reputation as the most important. In other words, the point of the process is to prevent the release of software so bad that it drives away current and potential users.

        • Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 15 March 1300 UTC

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

        • Run WebSphere Liberty and Open Liberty on Microsoft Azure [Ed: IBM works for Microsoft and the latest summit is also sponsored by Microsoft]

          Looking to modernize your existing Enterprise Java applications and move them to the Microsoft Azure Cloud? Deciding on the approach to develop and deploy your next generation cloud-native application on Azure? Through an ongoing collaboration between IBM and Microsoft around the WebSphere product family, we have created simple guides to help you achieve your business goals.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache Software Foundation Operations Summary: 1 November 2020 – 31 January 2021
      • How to Be a Good Open Source Project Owner – The Ultimate Guide

        Have you ever thought about having your own open source project? I bet you have — you’re reading this article.

        Maybe you are thinking about it right now. Maybe you came here to learn what to expect, what challenges you’re going to face, and how to deal with them. Well, you’ve come to the right place.

        The following guide is based on my personal experience in owning an open source project. And I do mean owning – not just contributing to – an open source project. There is a big difference, and we’re going to learn why.

      • Signal Beta v5.5.0 Update Brings Ability to Quickly Migrate Chats to New Phone: Report

        Signal, the messaging app whose USP is secure messaging, now reportedly has an easier way to migrate chats over from old Android devices to new ones. The feature, however, is for now only available in the beta v5.5.0 version of the Signal. Signal gained popularity after a change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy was announced earlier this year. Ever since, Signal has seen approximately more than 50 million downloads on Google Play Store. The new feature should make the app easier to use than before once a stable version is released to the general public.

        In a report by TestingCatalog, Signal has now introduced an easier and safer way to migrate chats from your old Android device to your new one in the beta v5.5.0. To migrate contacts, head over to Settings > Chats > Transfer Account, where a new screen appears that guides the user with the migration process. The process of migrating from your old device to the new one can be done over a local Wi-Fi Direct connection.

      • Events

        • Linux Application Summit: Call For Papers

          The last event I went to before The Event was Linux Application Summit (LAS) in Barcelona, Spain back in November 2019! Time flies.

          LAS is a community organised event, sponsored and supported by the GNOME and KDE projects. The conference is “designed to accelerate the growth of the Linux application ecosystem by bringing together everyone involved in creating a great Linux application user experience.”.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • 9 of the Best Chrome Extensions for Students

            Most students today rely on information available online to complete their projects and assignments. Those who are using the Chrome browser by Google have a variety of Chrome extensions available for them that will help with research and completing schoolwork. This article looks at the best Chrome extensions that every student should install and use.

        • Mozilla

          • 6 things to know about using WebAssembly on Firefox | Opensource.com

            WebAssembly is a portable execution format that has drawn a lot of interest due to its ability to execute applications in the browser at near-native speed. By its nature, WebAssembly has some special properties and limitations. However, by combining it with other technologies, completely new possibilities arise, especially related to gaming in the browser.

            This article describes the concepts, possibilities, and limitations of running WebAssembly on Firefox.

          • Wladimir Palant: DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials vulnerabilities: Insecure communication and Universal XSS

            A few months ago I looked into the inner workings of DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, a popular browser extension meant to protect the privacy of its users. I found some of the typical issues (mostly resolved since) but also two actual security vulnerabilities. First of all, the extension used insecure communication channels for some internal communication, which, quite ironically, caused some data leakage across domain boundaries. The second vulnerability gave a DuckDuckGo server way more privileges than intended: a Cross-site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the extension allowed this server to execute arbitrary JavaScript code on any domain.

            Both issues are resolved in DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials 2021.2.3 and above. At the time of writing, this version is only available for Google Chrome however. Two releases have been skipped for Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge for some reason, so that the latest version available here only fixes the first issue (insecure internal communication).

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • PostgreSQL NTILE Window Function

          Window methods in PostgreSQL have been cast off to equate diverge data and are essential for analytical and other PostgreSQL use cases. The NTILE() method followed by the OVER clause in PostgreSQL is discarded to divide organized rows in somewhat like series of graded buckets. Buckets are not anything more than a set of ranked groups. Throughout this article, you’ll discover how to split sorted rows in a partition into a given figure of ranked buckets using the PostgreSQL NTILE() feature. The NTILE() method allocates a bucket number to every group beginning at 1 in a set, demonstrating the set to which the row has its place.

        • PostgreSQL Create Trigger After INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE

          Whenever a defined change action (SQL INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, or TRUNCATE declaration) is conducted on a defined table, a trigger is a series set of events that are executed automatically. Triggers can be used to impose business rules, authenticate input information, and maintain an audit trail. SQL triggers are implemented according to the SQL format. It includes structures used in several programming languages allowing you to declare local variables, monitor the flow of the process with declarations, allocate statement outcomes to variables, and handle errors. Furthermore, once you construct a trigger for something, like a table, the trigger is immediately removed as soon as the table is removed. We’ll look at how PostgreSQL Triggers function throughout this segment.

        • How to Use PostgreSQL ARRAY_AGG Function?

          The ARRAY_AGG() aggregate method is one of the methods used in PostgreSQL, which takes several input values and concatenates them into an array, including NULL values. It returns an array with every value from the input group as a part. To sort the result set via the PostgreSQL ARRAY_AGG function, you will be using the ORDER BY phrase. You can also use the WHERE clause when required.

          To understand the aggregate ARRAY_Agg() method, you have to perform several examples. For this purpose, open the PostgreSQL command-line shell. If you want to switch on the other Server, do so by providing its name. Otherwise, leave the space empty and hit the Enter button to jump on Database. If you want to use the default database, e.g., Postgres, then leave it as is and press Enter; otherwise, write the name of a database, e.g., “test”, as shown in the image below. If you want to use another port, write it out, otherwise just leave it as it is and tap Enter to continue. It will ask you to add the username if you want to switch to another username. Add the username if you want , otherwise, just press “Enter”. In the end, you have to provide your current user password, to start using the command-line using that particular user as below. After successful entries of all the required information, you are good to go.

      • CMS

        • WordPress extortion – we are moving!

          WE REFUSE TO SUCCUMB TO THE BLACKMAIL BY WORDPRESS.COM and we will not write another article other than this notice and a note of where we have moved to in protest to the blackmail WORDPRESS.COM is using upon us. How is this for advertising?

          For some months now wordpress introduced a very horrible way to edit, which I am using now, and made it really hard to start a document, then exit, then edit it with the traditional very functional editor they now call Classic.

          Since not enough people I suppose adopted it or bought a subscription to the site, they now removed the classic editor and made it available as an “addon” feature to the paying subscribers. Decisions about “how to make money” are hardly challenged by logical/rational arguments, they are solely made by the money maker.

          If hundreds and hundreds of readers every day of the year who visited this site, getting exposed to all this wordpress advertising, wasn’t enough of payment to provide us with “classic editing” then we must make out own decisions and somehow end this relationship before it turns more abusive and exploitative.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Swedish Government Network for Open Source and Data Organizes workshop on Open Source in European Public Services

            Knowledge-sharing and collaboration is in the essence of the open source culture. In Sweden, public entities have adopted this mindset in order to improve in the way they use and collaborate on open source software and data. In the newly formed Network Open Source and Data (NOSAD), public entities gather to share best practices and lessons learned through monthly workshops, but also collaborate on community initiatives such as a catalog of open source software used within the public services.

    • Programming/Development

      • AMD AOCC 3.0 Released As Zen 3 Optimized LLVM Clang 12 Based Compiler – Phoronix

        With today’s AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” launch there is also the public availability of AOCC 3.0 as their LLVM/Clang downstream now carrying patches for optimized Zen 3 support.

        AOCC 3.0 is AMD’s downstream of LLVM/Clang focused on offering leading AMD CPU support. With AOCC 3.0 they have re-based against the in-development LLVM 12 trunk code while have enablined additional tuning/optimizations around the EPYC 7003 series. AOCC 3.0 also continues to carry patches/configuration in tuning for AMD’s Math Library (AMDLibM), FLANG is enabled for Fortran support, OpenMP is enabled by default, and other tweaks in aiming to deliver the fastest AMD Linux binaries.

      • znver3 tuning part 1
        I plan to commit some retuning of znver3 codegen that is based on real
        hardware benchmarks.  It turns out that there are not too many changes
        necessary sinze Zen3 is quite smooth upgrade to Zen2. 
        
      • GCC Compiler Sees New Patch With Tuning For AMD Zen 3 (Znver3) – Phoronix

        GCC is in the process of seeing better support for AMD Zen 3 processors with its znver3 target.

        Back in December the GCC 11 compiler picked up initial support for AMD Zen 3 (znver3). That support was just enabling the newly-supported CPU instructions found with this latest-generation Zen microarchitecture. Unfortunately missing at that time was any tuning for allowing the compiler to make more informed decisions over instruction scheduling with the instruction costs, etc. So it’s been carrying the same data as Zen 2 that is also largely carried over from the original Zen compiler code.

        Now today, a few weeks prior to the GCC 11 stable release, a new Zen 3 compiler patch has surfaced. Longtime GCC developer Jan Hubicka of SUSE has provided a “tuning part 1″ patch for the GCC Znver3 code.

      • How to Overload Operators in C++

        Classes are user-defined types. They allow us to represent the meaning of various entities. Defining an operator for a class gives us a better way to deal with objects.

        So how can we define operators for our classes, and how should we use such operators? I will show you how in this article.

      • GitOps vs. DevOps: What’s the difference?

        Now there is an evolved version of DevOps called GitOps: GitOps is the practice of using Git as the single source of truth.

        Many enterprises are seeking to move to a GitOpos model because it provides a more standardized and governed system yet offers the flexibility and automation that today’s companies desire.

        [...]

        But what does GitOps mean for the open source model? Git is an open source technology based on the GNU General Public License version 2. Because GitOps inherits most of its technologies from DevOps, you can enjoy the same variety of open source tool integrations such as Ansible, Terraform, Jenkins, and more.

      • Learn how file input and output works in C

        If you want to learn input and output in C, start by looking at the stdio.h include file. As you might guess from the name, that file defines all the standard (“std”) input and output (“io”) functions.

        The first stdio.h function that most people learn is the printf function to print formatted output. Or the puts function to print a simple string. Those are great functions to print information to the user, but if you want to do more than that, you’ll need to explore other functions.

      • Resurrecting Fortran

        We have finished the first chapter on a long journey of resurrecting Fortran: forming an initial core community of developers and users with enough momentum around the new Fortran website and projects at fortran-lang.org. There is still have a long way to go to, but this was a necessary (although not sufficient) achievement and I feel this was a once in a life time event. The timing was right, we were ready, and we also got lucky. In this blog post I have tried to write up the details about the pivotal moments from my perspective. I have asked Milan Curcic who has been a co-founder of this effort to do the same (please see his blog post), more on that below. Brad Richardson has also written about his perspective.

        This has been the most unusual experience for me, nothing like what I anticipated, but two years ago things seemed to fall into place and set up just right. I had to give it everything I had in order to give it a proper chance. I took the bull by the horns.

        This blog post is long, but you might find it useful to get ideas how to form other such communities.

      • Perl/Raku

      • Python

        • How to create a pivot table in Pandas Python – Linux Hint

          In panda’s python, the Pivot table comprises sums, counts, or aggregations functions derived from a data table. Aggregation functions can be used on different features or values. A pivot table allows us to summarize the table data as grouped by different values, including column categorical values.

          Before using panda’s pivot table, make sure you understand your data and questions you are trying to solve through the pivot table. By using this method, you can produce powerful results. We will elaborate in this article, how to create a pivot table in pandas python.

        • Introduction To Python Tkinter GUI Programming

          Commonly there are 2 types of interfaces for desktops – command-line interface (CLI) where users interact with the system by writing commands, and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) where users interact with the system through visual widgets such as buttons, menus, windows etc. Python provides a lot of libraries to create cross-platform GUIs such as Tkinter, Pymsgbox, Pyqt, and much more. In this series of articles, we will study the Tkinter package.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Who Would Kidnap a Space Telescope?

        The topic came up at a recent meeting about NASA’s James Webb space telescope, named for a former administrator of the space agency. Later this year, the telescope will travel by ship to a launch site in South America, passing through the Panama Canal to reach French Guiana. Webb, with a mirror as tall as a two-story building and a protective shield the size of a tennis court, is too large for a plane. Its departure date will be kept secret, someone said at the meeting, to protect against pirates who might want to capture the precious cargo and hold it for ransom. Christopher Conselice, an astrophysicist at the University of Manchester who attended the meeting, was at first baffled by the concern because, well, pirates, but it quickly clicked.

    • Hardware

      • These Bluetooth Dice Let You Send Your Rolls to Your Online DnD Game

        Both the lights and the Bluetooth run on small batteries and one die lasts around five hours on a charge. You can also turn off the LEDs to get in 20,000 rolls before the battery dies. Charging is wireless and uses an inductor hidden under one of its faces. The dice are sold separately or in kits containing D20, D12, D10, D8, D6, and D4 models.

        Of course, they are still dice and must offer completely random rolls. Pixels’ creators have resorted to using internal counterweights so that they are perfectly balanced. The only downside to this is that the internal electronics are completely encapsulated in resin, so they are not repairable. That said, the Pixels will also be waterproof.

      • Eaton EMA114-10 ePDU – initial configuration

        On Friday, the latest addition to the #homelab turned up. An Eaton EMA114-10 PDU. A PDU is a Power Distribution Unit. Think of it as a step up from a power strip.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • PoC for Microsoft Exchange Server re-appears on GitHub with comments

          “This is huge, removing a security researchers code from GitHub against their own product and which has already been patched. This is not good.”

          The comment referred to by Vess was this: “Why does GitHub remove this exploit because it is against the acceptable use policy – but tons of other proof of concept exploits and frameworks are OK?

          “Is it because GitHub is owned by Microsoft?

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • pCloud Now Lets You Back up Your PC and Keep Old Versions for up to 1 Year [Ed: This article seems like paid-for SPAM. Also: Calling your service or software "clown" something is very bad as a selling point. Anything "clown" is nowadays (should be at least!) synonymous with surveillance]

              pCloud is a quite popular cloud storage solution for Linux users. It already offers a native client to help you sync files and folders to the cloud.

              Even though you already get the ability to automatically sync files/folders to the cloud using the sync client, there was no dedicated PC Backup feature that focuses on backing up your entire system and retain the old version for up to 1 year.

              However, recently pCloud announced the introduction of ‘pCloud Backup‘ feature.

        • Security

          • These Linux vulnerabilities have existed for YEARS

            These 3 newly discovered vulnerabilities in Linux have been around since 2006 and it raises the uncomfortable question: is Linux getting too big to be sustainable?

          • Decade-old Linux kernel vulnerabilities are threatening device security

            Researchers have identified three major vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel that have existed for more than a decade.

            According to cybersecurity firm GRIMM, these bugs could allow attackers to elevate their privileges from basic to root, opening the door to data theft, malware and ransomware distribution, escalation of privilege and DDoS attacks, Bleeping Computer reported.

            The vulnerabilities (CVE-2021-27365, CVE-2021-27363 and CVE-2021-27364) have since been fixed and patches for the mainline Linux kernel became generally available on March 7. Linux users have been urged to patch their systems immediately.

            Despite their relative severity, the vulnerabilities aren’t particularly easy to exploit, requiring local access to the target device. This means attackers would either need to access the device physically or chain the Linux bugs with other vulnerabilities.

          • Decade-old Linux kernel bugs are putting devices at risk

            Cybersecurity company GRIMM found the vulnerabilities lurking in the kernel’s iSCSI (Small Computer System Interface) subsystem that can be exploited to gain root privileges on Linux machines.

            [...]

            Nichols believes the bugs were introduced during the early development of the iSCSI module over a decade and half ago. The module helped access shared data storage facilities.

            As Nichols notes, while SCSI is still in use today its use isn’t as prevalent as it was back in the day. This is why the vulnerable module isn’t loaded by default on most desktop distros. Another saving grace of sorts is that the bugs exist in a piece of code that isn’t remotely accessible, which means the attackers need physical access to the device to exploit them.

            However, this still makes them potentially dangerous because of how the kernel handles modules. “The Linux kernel loads modules either because new hardware is detected or because a kernel function detects that a module is missing. The latter implicit autoload case is more likely to be abused and is easily triggered by an attacker, enabling them to increase the attack surface of the kernel,” reasons Nichols.

            Patches for all three vulnerabilities have been added to the mainline kernel last week, and have also been backported to other Long Term Support (LTS) kernel branches currently supported.

          • 3D Software Blender’s Official Website Is Down After a [Cr]acking Attempt

            A lot of websites get hacked every day – however, it is always inconvenient for a product/service website to be taken down after a hacking attempt.

            In some cases, the hackers push malicious files that a user downloads thinking it as an official package just like CCleaner potentially put millions of computers at risk after it was hacked.

            Now, in a recent tweet by Blender, they’ve officially informed that their website (Blender.org) is currently undergoing maintenance after a hacking attempt.

          • Google: This Spectre proof-of-concept shows how dangerous these attacks can be
          • Flurry of reboots signal Exchange Server patching

            Around half of all servers running Outlook Web Access (a service included with Microsoft Exchange Server) were rebooted in the five days after the emergency patch was released. Some of these have since been rebooted again, so will appear later in the above graph. Rebooted machines are likely to have been updated, but the absence of a reboot after 2 March does not necessarily indicate vulnerability. Anecdotally, most servers have requested a reboot after being updated, but some may only require services to be restarted – although administrators may have opted to reboot the servers anyway.

            Microsoft’s original fixes can only be applied to servers that already have the latest cumulative updates of Exchange Server already installed; however, amidst mass exploitation of the vulnerabilities, Microsoft also released a set of security updates that can be applied to older and unsupported Exchange servers that do not—or cannot—have the latest cumulative updates installed.

            [...]

            On 6 March, four days after the original security updates were released, Netcraft found more than 99,000 Outlook Web Access servers were still running versions flagged as definitely vulnerable by Kevin Beaumont. However, applying Microsoft’s updates even in a timely fashion could have been like shutting the barn door after the horse had bolted, as more than 10% of all visited Outlook Web Access installations were already compromised with attackers’ web shells installed. These provide the criminal with continued administrative access to the compromised servers after the security updates had been applied.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Google Must Face Suit Over Snooping on ‘Incognito’ Browsing

              The consumers who filed the case as a class action alleged that even when they turn off data collection in Chrome, other Google tools used by websites end up amassing their personal information. A federal judge on Friday denied the Alphabet Inc. unit’s initial request to throw out the case.

            • US Congresswoman proposes national data privacy law

              Washington DC congresswoman Suzan DelBene has introduced legislation that would create a national data privacy law in the US.

              With no federal law currently in place to protect the data of US citizens, a number of states have enacted their own legislation to do so instead.

              The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was enacted in 2018, for instance, while Massachusetts has its own Data Breach Notification Act.

            • “What the Government Is Asking for Would Weaken Security for All”

              Is WhatsApp reading along as you write messages and saving your chats? In an interview, company CEO Will Cathcart explains what happens with user data and why he is concerned about proposed changes to German surveillance laws.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Barack Obama and the Cunning of American Exceptionalism

        Ideals Against Reality

        The book’s readers are thus likely to experience dissonance. On the one side we have the realities, shortcomings, failures, and injustices that characterize the American system and model, and, on the other side the diametrically opposite promised America Obama paints. This dissonance is native to the text of A Promised Land, wherein Obama contradicts his propaganda for the American model with a constant (though generally moderate and shallow) criticism of the American system that did not allow him to implement the change he putatively espoused. Obama resolves this general dissonance through the false dichotomy between the reality of America and American ideals, America “that was promised,” or the American Dream.

      • Pathological Entitlement and the Supremacist Mindset

        The spirit of this deity, it is said, has transmogrified through every other deity known to humankind, and wound up, thanks to some superhuman (and therefore totally not self-serving) coincidence, manifest in the flesh as the founder of CPAC Japan. As another coincidence of mind-melting proportions, this deity is also deeply fiscally conservative and politically reactionary of a bent that views compassion as a weakness. If I didn’t know better, I would think Happy Science (as this ‘new religious movement’ is known) were pulling the entire thing out of their asses, like an even nastier L. Ron Hubbard.

        This latter fact, in particular, must inevitably raise a few questions—principally, whether or not the GOP remains a gaggle of thieves willing to sell each other’s grandmothers out at a moment’s notice to save their own skin politically, an end-of-times spectacle of an increasingly unstable oligarchy too drunk on its own material excess to save itself from its own decadence and corruption? Another question that springs to mind is whether it’s now in fact degenerated even further into something even more horrible again—a raging collective psychosis of pathological entitlement, collective narcissism, hypernationalist tribalism and jingoism, and death-cult supremacism.

      • How the U.S. is Able to Dictate to the Rest of the World

        The U.S. moves against any country that dares to act on a belief that its resources should be for its own people’s benefits rather than maximizing profits of multinational corporations or prioritizes the welfare of its citizens over corporate profit or simply refuses to accept dictation in how it should organize its economy. The military is frequently put to use, as are manipulation of the United Nations and the strong arms of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). But sanctions are a frequently used tool, enforced on countries, banks and corporations that have no presence in the U.S. and conduct business entirely outside the United States. The U.S. can impose its will on national governments around the world, using multilateral institutions to force governments to act in the interest of multinational capital, even when that is opposite the interests of the country itself or that country’s peoples. And when a country persists in refusing to bend to U.S. demands, sanctions imposing misery on the general population are unilaterally imposed and the rest of the world is forced to observe them.

        In short, the U.S. government possesses a power that no country has ever held, not even Britain at the height of its empire. And that government, regardless of which party or what personality is in the White House or in control of Congress, is ruthless in using this power to impose its will.

      • Opinion | The ICC and Israel’s Charge of Anti-Semitism

        The ICC is on Israel’s target list.

      • Opinion | Unless Biden Acts, Trump’s Assault on Human Rights Will Continue

        We are asking a court for protection from Trump’s sanctions against the International Criminal Court.

      • Cult recovery experts explain how to “deprogram” QAnon adherents

        Indeed, what makes “treating” QAnon tricky is that it technically doesn’t neatly fit into the idea of a cult. That’s a conundrum for therapists. Indeed, while there is a well-defined routine for cult recovery, there isn’t quite the same for something like QAnon, which is in a gray area.

      • Nigeria intensifies search for 39 kidnapped students

        Gunmen stormed the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Mando at the outskirts of the state capital, Kaduna city, late Thursday and took 39 students away while the military rescued 180 after a fierce battle.

      • Nigeria kidnappings: The Chibok captive who defied Boko Haram

        During the three years she spent with Boko Haram, Naomi refused to bow down to pressure to marry one of their fighters, or convert to Islam.

        Instead she and another classmate wrote secret diaries in textbooks they were given to write Islamic verses. She kept them hidden in a makeshift pouch tied to her leg.

        “We decided that we should write down our stories,” she tells me, “so that if one of us got to escape, we could let people know what happened to us”.

        She shows me one of the diaries, a lined text book with a fraying cover. In it is a letter to her dad, written just before Christmas of the year they were kidnapped.

      • TV channel investigation shows how ISIS Jihadists found safe haven in Germany

        The M6 flagship program “Enquête Exclusive” showed how ISIS Jihadists managed to slip through the cracks by posing as asylum seekers, and how they ended up being greeted with open arms and offered a safe haven in Germany, because of the dangerous laxity of German authorities.

      • Sri Lanka to ban burqas, close over 1,000 madrassas to combat ‘religious extremism’

        The wearing of burqas was temporarily banned in 2019 after the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 260 people. Two local Muslim groups that had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group have been blamed for the attacks at six locations — two Roman Catholic churches, one Protestant church and three top hotels.

        Weerasekara also said the government will ban more than 1,000 madrassas, saying they are not registered with the authorities and do not follow the national education policy.

      • Alexander Reid Ross, disgraced author of several retracted articles, works with ex-cops, CIA spies, and DHS agents
      • 5 former OPCW officials join prominent voices to call out Syria cover-up
      • Protesters and Lawmakers Demand Justice for Breonna Taylor One Year Later
    • Environment

    • Wildlife/Nature

      • [Old] Secrets of the Lawn Lobster Chimneys!

        Mysterious miniature “chimneys” have emerged in wet meadows and moist lawns all across our county. They are gateways to the secret underground world of several species of crayfish, collectively known as Chimney Crayfish. Mudbugs and crawdads are two other frequently used common names for crayfish, a group of arthropods that look very much like miniature lobsters. I like to use the eye-catching title of Lawn Lobsters to describe them when writing about them, and that’s just what I did four years ago when creating text for an interpretive sign for Oakland County Parks that featured the chimney construction skills of Cambarus Diogenes, a local species commonly known as the Devil Crayfish. It is also one of the most widely spread crayfish of the United States.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Police disruption of a vigil for a murdered woman sparks outrage

      Rules designed to limit the spread of covid-19 have allowed police to crack down on protests. A nurse who organised a socially distanced protest against low pay in the NHS, for instance, was handed a £10,000 ($14,000) fine earlier this month. Critics say that the criminal-justice bill is, in effect, extending draconian restrictions on liberty which the public have accepted as the price of suppressing the pandemic into the post-pandemic era. The government has a particular interest in giving the police extra powers this year. COP26, a high-profile international climate conference, is being held in Glasgow in November. Boris Johnson will not want to be upstaged by an angry mob in front of a global audience.

      The bill, on which Parliament will vote on March 15th, is a rag-bag of measures designed to please social conservatives. As well as stiffening sentences for child murderers and sex offenders, it also proposes tougher laws against protests and mass gatherings by broadening the range of circumstances that allow police to block them or limit their size. At present the police can impose restrictions on protests only if they risk causing serious property damage or disruption to communities. If the bill is enacted, protests carried out by a single person may be subject to restrictions, and the noise that they produce will also be grounds for restricting them. Activists who deface war memorials and statues—which some BLM members have done—could face ten years in jail.

    • LinkedIn China suspends new sign-ups to ‘respect law’

      It is one of few international tech platforms to enjoy access to China, where all subjects considered politically sensitive are censored in the name of stability and internet giants are urged to block unwanted content online.

    • ‘Anti-Riot’ Measures Open a Wide Door to Censorship | Opinion

      These proposals would have more insidious effects. Laws don’t have to be called the Censorship Act of 2021 for those in power to use them to target people and ideas with which they disagree.

      That’s the likely outcome if states enact “anti-riot” bills with overly broad language that make it easy for authorities to shut down First Amendment activity and arrest protesters whose ideas they don’t like. The proposals tap into legitimate concerns about real problems to justify policies that risk eroding civil liberties without enhancing public safety.

      I agree with policymakers who want to address violence, which is never an acceptable method of political action by individuals. Rioting is not free speech. But what some state legislators are now proposing goes far beyond addressing violence.

    • My fight to stop the Chinese censors sanitising Dante

      My book on Dante Alighieri was due to come out in Chinese translation later this year, but first I had to consent to sizeable cuts. Even by the standards of other authoritarian states the Beijing censors struck me as overzealous. It seems odd that the medieval Italian poet could cause such unease among modern-day totalitarians. A sanitised Chinese communist version of my book did not sit well with the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in 1321, and in the end I withheld permission.

      The cuts were the work of Beijing’s blandly named Institute for World Religions. The institute undertakes ‘book cleansing’ operations on behalf of the state. No book can be published legally in China today without being vetted. In their solemn appraisal the censors insisted that all references to Islam be removed. Why?

    • Toolkit case: Disha Ravi finally breaks silence, says her autonomy violated, recalls days in Tihar Jail

      Disha took to Twitter to post a four-page statement “to present a narrative that is my own”. It may be recalled that Disha remained behind bars for 10 days after being arrested by Delhi Police on February 13 in connection with the Toolkit case. The controversial Toolkit was tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

    • U.S. Congressional Commission Joins Calls For Belarusian Blogger’s Release

      The day before, the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which oversees RFE/RL and other U.S international broadcasters, called the “false charges” against Losik “unacceptable.”

      “Belarusian authorities should drop all charges against Ihar and immediately release him,” acting USAGM Chief Executive Officer Kelu Chao said in a statement.

    • Jailed Belarusian Vlogger Syarhey Tsikhanouski Faces 15 Years In Prison As Final Charges Delivered

      Belarusian video blogger Syarhey Tsikhanouski, who has been in pretrial detention since May, has been served with final charges that could see him imprisoned for up to 15 years after he expressed his willingness to take part in an August presidential election against authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

      The Investigative Committee of Belarus said on March 11 that the investigations against Tsikhanouski, opposition politician Mikalay Statkevich, and their associates had been completed.

      According to the final charges, Tsikhanouski is accused of organizing mass disorder, incitement of social hatred, impeding the Central Election Commission’s activities, and organizing activities that disrupt social order.

    • This Iranian pop song is “more dangerous than polio”

      Tehran Tokyo is quickly turning into the California-based Mankan’s biggest hit. Since being posted online, the Instagram teaser video now has over eighteen million views and has received a record-setting 4.5 million plays on Persian language music website Radio Javan within forty-eight hours. Iranian officials typically view Tehrangeles pop music like Mankan’s as part of a Western cultural invasion or “soft war” to subvert the Islamic Republic. However, in this particular case Iranian authorities and conservatives alike are expressing outrage at the “pornographic” content of the video—despite it having no pornography.

    • Saudi Arabia’s film industry: Between glitz and censorship

      However, despite the encouragement to produce, Saudi films are subject to the strict censorship of the Kingdom, as well as its financing. According to a report by the British Council in Saudi Arabia, 43% of respondents said that lack of commercial funding is one of the biggest obstacles, with the film industry receiving financial and artistic support from three government-backed institutions — the King Abdulaziz Center for World Cultures, a new film commission overseen by the Saudi Culture Ministry and the Red Sea Film Festival.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Reporters at Macau broadcaster told to support ‘Hong Kong governed by patriots’, ordered not to oppose the authorities

      The Chinese-language press in the former Portuguese colony which returned to China in 1999 has faced informal censorship for years, but the Portuguese-language press is “another world,” said a reporter working at a Chinese news outlet in the city. He has declined to give his name for fear of retribution.

    • UK’s envoy to China Caroline Wilson defends press freedom article after scolding from foreign ministry

      “Foreign media in China is independent and supervises the behaviour of both the local government and the Chinese government,” she wrote.

      “I think they act in good faith and play an active role as a supervisory agency of government actions, ensuring that people have access to accurate information, and protecting those who have no voice,” she added.

      China’s departing ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming wrote over 170 articles for UK news publications in his 11 years at the post, including op-eds defending the controversial Huawei 5G network in the Telegraph. He quit last December and will be replaced by China’s Vice-Foreign Minister, Zheng Zeguang.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Vaccine Passports Risk Worsening Pandemic Inequalities
    • The Foilies 2021

      The day after the 2021 inauguration, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut took to Twitter to declare: “Biden is making transparency cool again.” 

      This was a head-scratcher for many journalists and transparency advocates. Freedom of Information—the concept that government documents belong to and must be accessible to the people—has never not been cool. Using federal and local public records laws, a single individual can uncover everything from war crimes to health code violations at the local taqueria. How awesome is that? If you need more proof: there was an Australian comic book series called “Southern Squadron: Freedom of Information Act”; the classic anime Evangelion has a Freedom of Information Act cameo; and the Leeds-based post-punk Mush received 7.4 stars from Pitchfork for its latest album “Lines Redacted.” 

      OK, now that we’ve put that down in writing we realize that the line between “cool” and “nerdy” might be a little blurry. But you know what definitely is not cool? Denying the public’s right to know. In fact, it suuucks. 

    • Why We Stay Silent, Why We Stay Friends: Unlearning My Role in Misogyny

      Not everyone who participates in the misogynistic parts of our society benefits from it, writes Gemma Clarke.

    • Vigilant over Vigils

      In one sense, I am delighted that the heavy-handed police action at the vigil for Sarah Everard has brought about public revulsion at the attack on free speech and the right of assembly, just as Priti Patel prepares to bring in the dreadful policing bill which represents the biggest single threat to freedom of assembly in the UK for 200 years. Its foundational principle is that the right of freedom of assembly is subordinate to the right to drive a SUV anywhere and any time you please, without having to detour around people taking part in democratic expression. It has a subsidiary principle that all public manifestations of political dissent will be intimidated by massive police presence, and that the cost of that massive intimidatory presence will in itself be reason to ban the demonstration. Which would be delightfully Kafkaesque were it only a joke.

  • Monopolies

    • Patents

      • Patent case: Fensterflügel, Germany

        The Federal Court of Justice recently addressed the scope of the so-called principle of concentration pursuant to sec. 145 Patent Act. If the patentee has filed an action, a second action based on a different patent against the same defendant is inadmissible in relation to the same or similar embodiments. The FCJ has now clarified that this does not apply to a second action based on the same patent.

      • French court decides no sequencing in biodegradable packaging case [Ed: Sadly, this article seems like an ad for some law firms, dressed up as "news"]

        If patent courts should hear issues of infringement and validity separately is creating debate among French litigators. It is custom in France for the patents courts to rule on findings of invalidity and infringement together. This is similar to the UK and Dutch court systems, which also hear both issues in one patent hearing. However, in Germany, courts rule on patent validity and infringement separately – the so-called bifurcation system.

        Some recent cases have heightened worries among French patent litigators, that the courts may dilute the practice of hearing infringement and validity separately. However, a recent ruling between Cellulopack and Packbenefit shows the opposite.

      • New UK judge: FRAND anti-anti-suits could create ‘total mess’ [Ed: Judges who talk to a think tank of patent litigation companies may not realise the degree of self-harm]

        The newly appointed judge at the England and Wales High Court says judicial authorities may need to show restraint to avoid running into a “total mess” in FRAND patent disputes.

        Speaking exclusively to Managing IP, Mr Justice James Mellor says the rising trend of anti-anti suit injunctions is not sustainable.

        “It does create a potentially very difficult situation. It is going to require some forbearance amongst judicial authorities across the world, otherwise we are just going to get into a total mess,” says Mellor.

        Anti-anti-suit injunctions aim to get a court to stop the infringement proceedings of a company in an anti-suit injunction in another country. In each instance, one jurisdiction is pitted against another as standard essential patent owners and implementers go to war over fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms.

      • WHO Head Pushes for Waiver of Some Intellectual Property Rights [Ed: If you are not the Head of WHO and you express such an opinion Twitter may ban you]
      • China extends lead over U.S. in global patents filings, U.N. says [Ed: This says nothing whatsoever about the actual quality of the patents and seems like shallow lobbying by alarmism, calling for more patents and lawsuits to be filed]

        China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world in 2020 for the second consecutive year and extended its lead over No. 2 filer the United States, the U.N. patent agency said on Tuesday.

        [...]

        “The trend is that innovation remains resilient and the sense is that the world needs more innovation … during a crisis,” said Tang.

        The biggest single filer under this system last year was China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for the fourth consecutive year and second was South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, WIPO said.

        Singapore’s Tang began his term in October and received strong support from Western countries including the United States in a highly politicised race against a Chinese candidate for the top job last year.

      • New Apple Patent Describes a System That Detects Light Through Display for Face ID and Touch ID [Ed: Apple not only spies on you but also seeks patents or monopolies on the surveillance]

        It has been rumored that Apple will eliminate the notch in the future iterations of the iPhone. So far, we have not heard any solid news pertaining to the subject. With that said, Apple has filed a new patent application in which it shares details on a technology that will detect light through the display. The technology can be used in future iPhone models for Face ID and Touch ID. Let’s dive in to see some more details on the Apple patent and how the company aims to implement it.

      • Apple patent application describes a simple way to boost battery life [Ed: So simple that USPTO will still grant on a patent on simple things?]
      • A Matter of ‘Principal’: A Critique of the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Arthrex V. Smith & Nephew, Inc. [Ed: The war on PTAB presses on, led by people who loathe patent quality and want to protect fake patents from scrutiny]

        The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in United States v. Arthrex. In that case, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that administrative patent judges are principal officers of the United States under the Appointments Clause, and therefore must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. This note provides a critique of the Federal Circuit’s opinion in Arthrex by arguing that the Federal Circuit misunderstood the substance of the three-part test articulated by the Supreme Court in Edmond v. United States.

      • Unified Patent Court put on hold – again [Ed: More patent propaganda from patent profiteers. No, UPC is dead, not on hold, for a lot of reasons including Brexit. Stop syndicating news from law firms disguised as "news" sites or "gazette"]

        In 1973, the European Patent Convention (EPC) was signed, creating the European Patent Office. The office was established as a single institution for prosecuting a patent application, from which was granted the European patent, itself a bundle of national patents. The convention entered into force in 1977 with seven contracting states; it now covers 38.

        The EPC has brought a number of advantages. A single patent prosecution system for 38 states simplifies and considerably reduces the cost of prosecuting a patent in Europe. An opposition procedure allows for central revocation of the bundle of rights (albeit limited to a period of nine months after grant), which again can reduce time and cost. The harmonisation of the laws of validity also mean a certain amount of predictability.

        [...]

        Progress of the UPC has, however, been frustrated again. Shortly after the passing of the bill, two constitutional complaints were filed before the FCC. The complaints included an application for an interim injunction to prevent the ratification of the UPC by the German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. We have now learned that the president will wait for the outcome of the complaints before ratifying it. This outcome is difficult to predict. The FCC may find the complaints unfounded or inadmissible, meaning that the delay will be limited. However, if admitted, the process could take years.

      • Software Patents

        • In re Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Fed. Cir. 2021)

          The Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rejecting claims for failure to satisfy the subject matter eligibility standard under 35 U.S.C. § 101, in ex parte examination of claims to methods and related computing systems for genetic haplotyping in In re Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.

          [...]

          Completing its Alice analysis, the Board concluded that the claims did not satisfy the requirements of step 2 either, insofar as they did not “include additional limitations that, when taken individually or as a whole, provide an inventive concept that transforms the abstract idea into patent eligible subject matter” (an analysis that illustrates one again the wisdom Congress demonstrated generations ago in substituting obviousness for “inventive concept”). The recited steps “did not go beyond the well-known, routine, and conventional” according to the Board. And in the philosophical coup de grace stemming from dicta in Justice Thomas’s opinion in AMP v Myriad Genetics, the Board stated that the claimed invention was patent-ineligible “although the claims may provide a valuable contribution to science.”

          Certain other claims, which recited as an affirmative step “providing the drug for treatment” did not transform the genetic analysis claims to patent-eligible ones for failing to satisfy the “five specificities” recited by Judge Lourie in Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Ltd., 887 F.3d 1117 (Fed. Cir. 2018), because “they are not directed to a specific method of treatment, do not identify specific patients, do not recite a specific compound, do not prescribe particular doses, and do not identify the resulting outcome.”

          The Federal Circuit affirmed (not surprisingly, under the circumstances) in an opinion by Judge Reyna joined by Chief Judge Prost and Judge Lourie. The opinion recited the Court’s familiar litany of purported obeisance to the Supreme Court’s subject matter eligibility jurisprudence, down to Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63 (1972), and Parker v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584 (1978), with regard to claims relying on mathematical algorithms. After parsing claim 1 according to the context of its analytical steps, the Federal Circuit held that the Board was correct in finding this claim patent-ineligible because “Claim 1 recites no concrete application for the haplotype phase beyond storing it and providing it upon request.” The Court’s response to Stanford’s argument that “the specific application of the steps is novel and enables scientists to ascertain more haplotype information than was previously possible” was that “we are not persuaded” even if they were to accept Stanford’s argument, nor was this panel convinced even if the invention provides the claimed advance in genetic analysis that the process is “an improved technological process” (which raises the question of the wisdom of denying patent eligibility to an invention that provides an improvement in genetic analysis that does not require a concommittant improvement in the technological process).

    • Copyrights

      • DC Comics Tells Artists to Stay Out of NFT Business or Else

        There’s a lot to take in here, and of course, DC Comics absolutely owns Wonder Woman, Batman, and all its characters, and it has every right to want to hold dominion over that intellectual [sic] property [sic] in the NFT industry. The company would probably do the same with physical fan art of DC Comics characters, if it could think of any possible way of managing that on an ongoing basis.

      • Texas Man Ordered to Pay $1.6 Million Damages for Selling Pirate Boxes on Facebook

        A federal court in Texas has granted a default judgment against a local resident who sold pirate streaming boxes through Facebook. The man, who was identified following an undercover operation, has to pay $1.6 million in damages claim to the Philippine media giant ABS-CBN.

      • The Dissident: Uploaded to Torrent Sites For Exposure, Delisted Via DMCA

        The incredible story behind the alleged state-sponsored killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is told by director Bryan Fogel in his new movie ‘The Dissident’. Unusually, people connected to the documentary are reportedly uploading copies to torrent sites, to give it exposure in the Arab world. At the same time, however, an anti-piracy campaign is making copies harder to find.

      • Cancellation, Culture, and Copyright

        Horton has probably heard that on March 2nd Dr. Seuss Enterprises decided to cease publication of six books that contain “portray[als of] people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” This produced the cycle of controversy and performative contrarianism that has become as familiar as the list of places Sam won’t eat green eggs and ham. What separates this incident from more recent cancellations is that this time it has turned (at least in part) into a discussion of copyright terms and ownership of works written by those now long dead.

        The problem of “disappearing works”, when those who hold the rights to something don’t reproduce it, is it falls down the memory hole, never to be seen again, is not a new one. Unlike trademarks, the Copyright Act does not have a use-it-or-lose-it clause. There is a universe like ours but (thankfully) not ours where Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind was one work to suffer such a fate due to coordination issues among various rights holders. While Disney’s “vault” is more of a marketing strategy than a final resting place for older films, there are movies like Song of the South, which likely won’t be made available.

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