Links 25/3/2021: KaOS 2021.03 and qBittorrent 4.3.4

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • A New Video By Ramon Miranda

        Ramon explains everything about perspective, and Krita’s perspective tools this time!

      • I spent 30 days with Plasma 5.21 – Return of the King?

        This is the desktop deep dive of Plasma 5.21 full of my opinions, tweaks, suggestions and brief history with KDE Plasma.

      • FLOSS Weekly 622: Keith Packard – Freedesktop.org, X System

        Free software legend, Keith Packard, the prime mover behind the X Window System and Freedesktop.org joins Doc Searls and Simon Phipps on FLOSS Weekly. A range of topics are discussed including the controversy of Richard Stallman returning to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) board of directors. Packard also shares why it’s important to get involved with hardware, working operating systems versus containers and even his rocketry hobby.

      • Brodie Reacts To Luke Smith Reacting To DistroTube

        Recently Luke Smith did a reaction video to Distrotube’s short about the Fish shell which surely had to have been a troll, at least I hope so I decided why not do a reaction to the reaction and just go full on YouTuber.

    • Kernel Space

      • OpenRazer 3.0.0 expands with many new Razer devices supported on Linux

        Get your fancy Razer mouse, keyboard, laptop and whatever else ready as OpenRazer 3.0.0 is out now to further expand what Razer devices are nicely supported on Linux.

        It comes with some big improvements including persistent storage of effects in daemon, previously frontends had no way of reliably getting the effect that a device had set and support for DPI Stages for mice. A few bug fixes made it in too like the addition of missing HAS_MATRIX attribute for Tartarus V2, fixed volume control buttons on Razer Cynosa V2 and more.

    • AMD

      • AMD Releases Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 21.Q1 for Linux – Phoronix

        AMD today released their Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 21.Q1 driver packages for Windows and Linux systems.

        The Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise is AMD’s driver package updated quarterly that is focused on their Radeon Pro products and older FirePro professional graphics while being derived from the same driver sources as their consumer Radeon Software drivers just with added QA and focus on enterprise use-cases. In the case of Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise for Linux, still offering both AMDGPU-Open and AMDGPU-PRO components.

      • AMD Sends Out New Linux Code For SEV-SNP With EPYC 7003 Series – Phoronix

        In addition to AMD EPYC 7003 “Milan” processors offering fantastic performance, another important highlight for these new Zen 3 server processors is SEV-SNP for upping the Secure Encrypted Virtualization capabilities. AMD has been offering SEV “Secure Nested Paging” patches via a GitHub repository while now they are working towards mainlining this feature for the Linux kernel.

        AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization’s Secure Nested Paging builds upon SEV/SEV-ES to offer integrity protections, including against malicious hypervisor attacks. This AMD whitepaper spells out SEV-SNP in more detail for those interested in all of the finer details of this feature round on EPYC 7003 series processors.

      • AMD Is Trying To Optimize Their Gallium3D Driver Even Further With Lower Overhead – Phoronix

        While the RadeonSI Gallium3D open-source OpenGL driver for Linux systems is very well received and generally outperforming the proprietary AMD OpenGL driver on Linux/Windows and performing very strong against NVIDIA’s proprietary OpenGL driver too, it’s not game over for this older graphics API and AMD is still working to lower the CPU overhead even further for this open-source code.

        RadeonSI Gallium3D allows for maximizing the OpenGL performance out of Radeon graphics cards under Linux. There has even been various remarks about the prospects of porting RadeonSI to Windows given how well this open-source OpenGL driver performs. We have seen various RadeonSI optimizations continue with newer Mesa releases even while newer Linux game ports tend to be Vulkan exclusive and Steam Play’s DXVK/VKD3D-Proton are routing all newer Windows games on Linux by way of Direct3D over Vulkan.

    • Applications

      • qBittorrent 4.3.4 Drops Support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Supports Sub-Sorting in Transfer List

        qBittorrent 4.3.4 introduces a few interesting new capabilities to the open-source torrent downloader, including sthe ability to prioritize selected items by shown file order and to allow tab to escape the text box in the “Edit trackers” dialog, sub-sorting support in the Transfer List, as well as the ability to expose ToS setting from the libtorrent library.

        On Linux, this release drops support for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), improves support for systemd system by implementing a new mechanism to wait for the local filesystems to be mounted first. Furthermore, qBittorrent 4.3.4 improves the handling of tracker entries, and adds support for Qt 5.12 LTS and libtorrent 1.2.12 as minimum requirements for building/installing the app.

      • Yakuake | Drop-down Terminal Emulator on openSUSE

        I was recently asked why I haven’t mentioned anything about Yakuake on CubicleNate.com so I decided to take the time and cover some of its features, what I did to modify it a smidge and why I use it. For starters, I don’t think the terminal is a “power user” function. I truly believe it is an every-day user tool that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. There is a great discussion thread here on the Destination Linux Discourse forum about this subject.

        It is my belief that the terminal should be an integrated part of every desktop. I believe a person should know to use the terminal to better understand how their computer works, even if they are not “into computers,” basic understanding of the computers workings with the ability to speak its language doesn’t have any drawbacks. If anything, it empowers you to know more and do more with these incredibly powerful tools.

        Bottom Line Up Front: Yakuake is a great way to integrate the terminal into your desktop in such a way that keeps access to the most powerful tool just a keystroke away. Yakuake isn’t the only terminal emulator I use but it is that one I use most often due to how incredibly convenient it is.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • TaskBoard: Kanban-based Software on CentOS 7 | Unixmen

        TaskBoard is a free and open source software, inspired by the Kanban board, for keeping track of things that need to be done.

        Kanban is a technique for visualizing the flow of work and organize a project, no matter what it is. In particular, in software development it provides a visual process management system to help in deciding how to organize the production.

      • Difference Between apt-get upgrade and dist-upgrade

        In our previous guide, we fleshed out the differences between apt update and apt upgrade. In this tutorial, we look at apt-get upgrade and apt-get dist-upgrade commands and seek to understand the difference and when each is used.

      • How To Use Linux Shutdown Command, Restarts Planned and immediate

        The Linux Shutdown Command is used to stop the operating system safely. Users logged in receive a message that the system will be shut down. The command allows the system to shut down immediately or according to a set period of time. In this tutorial you will learn the basic ways to use the shutdown command as well as the best practices in using it. In some of the newer distributions, the uptime command is associated with the system command systemctl. In addition we are going to explore how to reboot how to schedule reboots, how to warn logged in users and more.

      • How To Work With Users And Groups In Linux

        In this tutorial we will show you the basics for working with Linux Users And Groups, we will slightly upgrade with additional knowledge where necessary and more.

        Why do we need to understand user accounts in Linux?
        Linux is a multi-user platform, in which each user has different rights. Some can read, others can read and write, or have the right to see certain directories. Also, more than one user can be in the system at the same time.

      • How to install Krita on a Chromebook in 2021

        Today we are looking at how to install Krita 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 install Anaconda on Ubuntu

        Anaconda is a Python-based data science platform. It comes in various editions, is open source, and installable on most Linux operating systems. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get Anaconda up and running on Ubuntu.

      • How to upgrade Debian distros [Guide]

        Are you using Debian and want to upgrade it to other releases like Testing, Unstable, or even Experimental, but don’t know how? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to upgrade Debian distros!

      • How to check Kernel version on Linux – LateWeb.Info

        Every Linux system is running a Linux kernel, which serves as the foundation for a fully packaged operating system.

      • How To Mount ISO image in Lubuntu 20.10 Linux [&& How To Unmount ISO] – LateWeb.Info

        An optical disc image is a disk image that contains everything that would be written to an optical disc, disk sector by disc sector, including the optical disc file system.

      • Securely Copy Files in Linux With the Scp Command

        There are times when you want to transfer files between your local system and a remote server. Several protocols and methods are available that allow you to handle file transmissions in a secure manner.

        The scp command in Linux is one such tool that helps a user in sharing files remotely between local and remote hosts. In this article, we will discuss the scp command in detail, along with its usage and some additional features of the command.

      • Linux tricks to speed up your workday | Network World

        One of the really nice things about working on the Linux command line is that you can get a lot of work done very quickly. With a handle on the most useful commands and some command-line savvy, you can take a lot of the tedium out of your daily work. This post will walk you through several handy tricks that can make your work load feel a little lighter and maybe be a little bit more enjoyable.

      • How to deploy containers with aaPanel – TechRepublic

        aaPanel is an outstanding tool for the management of websites, databases, FTP servers, cron jobs and more. One other feature that aaPanel is quite adept at is the deployment of Docker containers.

        I want to show you how this feature can be added to aaPanel and then how to deploy your first container with the tool. I’ll be demonstrating on Ubuntu Server 20.04, so you’ll need to have aaPanel already deployed–find out how in my previous piece: How to install aaPanel. Once you have aaPanel deployed, you’re ready to add Docker container support.

      • How To Change OpenLiteSpeed Port 8088 To 80 In Ubuntu 20.10
      • How To Create A User With A Custom Home Directory In Linux – LateWeb.Info

        In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to change the default home directory of a user on Linux. By default, it is /home/username.

      • How To Use Uptime Command In Ubuntu Linux – LateWeb.Info

        Uptime is a measure of system reliability, expressed as the percentage of time a machine, typically a computer, has been working and available. Uptime is the opposite of downtime. Conversely, long uptime may indicate negligence, because some critical updates can require reboots on some platforms.

      • How to Batch Convert PNG Images to JPG Format in Linux

        Although PNG offers a better image quality compared with JPG, the large size factor is usually a concern for Internet users. This is typically why PNG images are converted to JPG.


        In this article, you will learn how to convert multiple PNG images to JPG format from the Linux command line using ImageMagick and GraphicsMagick tools.

      • How to Install Audacity 3.0.0 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 18.04 via Flatpak | UbuntuHandbook

        The Audacity audio editor 3.0.0 was released a week ago as the new major release. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu / Linux Mint via Flatpak package.

        Audacity 3.0.0 features new all-in-one-file aup3 project file format, improved ‘Noise Gate’ effect, new ‘Label Sounds’ analyzer, and over 160 bug-fixes.

      • How to Install and Configure PHP OPcache on Ubuntu 20.04

        OPcache is an Apache module for the PHP interpreter. It is used to increase performance by storing precompiled scripts in shared memory space.

        Generally, it is used to speed up the performance of WordPress and PHP-based applications. OPcache removing the need for PHP to load and parse scripts on each request.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and configure PHP OPcache on an Ubuntu 20.04 VPS.

      • How To Install XFCE on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install XFCE on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, XFCE is a free lightweight, fast, and easy to use software desktop environment for Unix/Linux-like operating systems. It is designed for productivity and aims to be fast and low on system resources. Unlike GNOME and KDE desktops which are heavier, but XFCE uses fewer system resources. XFCE desktop does not need a modern GPU and its CPU and takes up less RAM. You can also install and run XFCE on an old hardware system without any problems.

        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 XFCE Desktop environment on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How To Install Vim Text Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Vim Text Editor on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Vim is a highly configurable text editor for efficiently creating and changing any kind of text. It is especially useful for editing config files and programs written in shell, python, Perl, c/c++, and more. The latest release of Vim includes a few new features, bug fixes, and documentation updates.

        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 Vim Text Editor 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.

      • 10 Quick Linux Tail Command with Examples

        In our previous tutorial, we looked at the Linux head command and its example usages. The tail command is the complementary of the head command. It reads and prints out the last N lines in a file. Without any command options, it prints out the last 10 lines in a text file. In this guide, we will focus on the tail command and explore the various options that come with the command.


        In this guide, we will learn Linux tail command with practical examples. Tail command is used to print last 10 lines of a file on the terminal.

      • 25 Iptables Netfilter Firewall Examples For Linux
      • How to Repair a Corrupted USB Drive in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        Everyone has a flash drive. They’re great little things, and they make moving data around easy. However, sometimes flash drives can get corrupted or just flat-out quit working. Thankfully, if you’re using Linux, you already have access to an array of tools that can help you fix the problem. We are using Ubuntu for this tutorial, but everything applies to most modern Linux distributions. Here is how you can repair a corrupted USB drive in Linux.

      • How to install Q4OS 3.14

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Venom Linux 20210312.

      • How to install Terraform on Linux such as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server

        Terraform is an open-source uniform configuration language that allows administrators to describe IT resources implementation in a “standardized” manner. It provides a command-line interface workflow to manage various types of cloud services such as Aws, Google Cloud, Vmware, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, Oracle Cloud, Digital Ocean, and more…

      • How to install vnstat on Alpine Linux – nixCraft

        nnStat is a free and open-source app for servers and routers. It is a console-based network traffic monitor. It keeps a log of the 5-minute interval, hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly network traffic for the selected interface(s). Let us see how to install vnStat on the Alpine Linux server to keep a tab on bandwidth usage.

      • How to protect documents with a digital signature in ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors v.6.2

        ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors is a free open-source office suite that contains viewers and editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Along with offline work, it’s possible to connect the app to the cloud (ONLYOFFICE, Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile) and collaborate on docs online. The code repository is available on GitHub under AGPL v.3.0 license.

      • How to replace Docker with Podman on a Mac | Enable Sysadmin [Ed: Free software, but on proprietary operating system]

        Several months ago, I came back to my desk after lunch and to my chagrin, my macOS was making a long constant blowing sound—the fan was on high speed. Now, mind you, I have a fairly new and beefy Mac. 2.4 GHz, 8-core, 64GB running Big Sur, 11.2.1. So what in the world could be triggering my fan to such a high level? I discovered that the culprit was Docker. And the only way to rid myself of the noise was a Docker restart.

      • Let’s Encrypt: Secure Apache Web Server on Ubuntu 16.04

        Starting with Chrome 56, the browser developed by Google marks non-secure pages containing password and credit card input fields as Not Secure in the URL bar. It was almost one year ago, when the Mountain View giant announced this choice.

        Of course, everybody knows that secure is better then insecure; but in this case, the big problem with HTTP is that it lacks a system for protecting communications between clients and servers. This exposes data to different kinds of attacks, for instance, the “Man in the middle” (MIM), in which the attacker intercepts your data. If you are using some transaction system with your bank, using credit card infos, or just entering a password to log in to a web site, this can become very dangerous.

      • Informative guide to NC (Ncat) command in Linux – The Linux GURUS

        Ncat command in Linux or NC command is used in the maintenance or diagnosis-related tasks for a network. Even though the ‘nc command’ or ‘ncat command’ are separate commands but they are similar to how they perform their functions & one can be used or replace by the other.

        Similar to how CAT common in Linux has the ability to manipulate files, NC command in Linux has the ability to perform operations like read, write, or data redirections over the network.

        Ncat command can be used as a utility to scan ports, monitoring or can also act as a basic TCP proxy. Organizations can utilize it to review the security of their networks, web servers, telnet servers, mail servers, etc, by checking the ports that are opened or unsecured and then secure them. NC command can also be used to capture information being sent by the system.

      • Monitoring: How To Install Sensu on Ubuntu 16.04 Server | Unixmen

        Sensu is a free and open source tool for composing a monitoring system. It is entirely written in Ruby. It uses RabbitMQ to handle messages and Redis to store its data.

        Sensu focuses on composability and extensibility, allowing to reuse monitoring checks and plugins from tools like Nagios and Zabbix.
        This framework was designed to work with software like Puppet, Chef and Ansible, and it does not required additional workflow.

    • Games

      • Dungeon-crawler Tangledeep gets a new streamlined mode, try the devs new game too

        If you want to do some dungeon crawling, look no further today than Tangledeep. A sweet pixel-art experience that’s highly rated, offers deep character progression and it’s still being updated years after release.

        “Tangledeep combines the 16-bit graphics and polish of classic SNES-era RPGs with elements from roguelikes and dungeon crawlers to create a magical experience for players of all skill levels. Trapped in underground villages with no memory of the world at the surface, you must survive an ever-changing labyrinth to discover what lies above.”

      • GOverlay gets another small release to help you manage tools like MangoHud

        MangoHud is a fantastic way to show off all sorts of details in games on Linux from frame timings to RAM use and plenty more. GOverlay continues making it more accessible with a full UI. GOverlay works with not just MangoHud but also the vkBasalt post-processing layer and the instant-replay solution ReplaySorcery too.

      • Retro FPS Ion Fury getting an Aftershock expansion this Summer

        Ion Fury, the old-school first-person shooter developed by Voidpoint and published by 3D Realms and 1C Entertainment is getting a big full expansion named Aftershock. Releasing this Summer, Aftershock will offer a new “Arrange” game mode which offers up “enhanced with new enemies, weapons and more” good for first time players and returning players alike.

      • There’s no monkeying around in the new roller game Rolled Out!

        Did you love the classic Monkey Ball or Super Monkey Ball? A hugely popular series that gained something of a cult following and a close spiritual successor is out now with Rolled Out!

        Okay so it’s not the same and not by the same developer, Rolled Out! is an Early Access game from Polarbyte Games and Skymap Games but it seemed to be very promising and is gaining some good early reviews. Another title that has arrived following a successful crowdfunding campaign, as it was up on IndieGoGo back in 2019 with over £40K in funding gained.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS 2021.03

          KaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the March release of a new stable ISO.

          With almost 60 % percent of the packages updated since the last ISO and the last release being over two months old, a new ISO is more than due. News for Plasma 5.21 include a new application launcher featuring two panes to make it simple to locate your programs and comes with improved keyboard, mouse, and touch input, boosting accessibility across the board, Plasma System Monitor, a new app for monitoring system resources and the sound applet now displays the live microphone volume.

        • KDE e.V. is looking for a documentation writer

          KDE e.V., the non-profit organisation supporting the KDE community, is looking for a documentation writer to help KDE improve its (online, technical) documentation. Please see the call for proposals for more details about this contract opportunity. We are looking forward to your application.

        • KDE & Qt Cooperation

          In the last days, I read the Qt Interest mailing list and was amazed about the very verbose discussion there about what is all bad with Qt in general and Qt 6. As for any mailing list discussion, that is not representative, but if you just read that, the world looks bleak.

          A short (personal) digest could read like: Qt 5 => 6 is horrible, the Qt project (and company) doesn’t care for their (open source and other) users and the future is doomed for Qt.

        • Qt Creator: CMake package-manager auto-setup

          As you might know, using 3rd party software in CMake code is done via packages, by using the find_package command.

          find_package does what the name says: it finds a package. If the package doesn’t exist, it will set the _FOUND variable to FALSE, and if the package was REQUIRED the the CMake configuration will error out.

          This is where a package manager comes into play. The setup of the package manager could be done in CMake code, by hard coding specific code, or by documenting how the environment needs to be setup before configuring the CMake project.

        • Refining Peruse Creator

          As per my last blog, the plan was to work more on Peruse Creator to extend it with a new functionality/approach to modify existing objects. So far, I’ve worked on extending the navigation between the visualized jump objects on Reader, extended Creator with a new component to handle modifying created objects, and refined some bits and pieces in Peruse generally. So, in this blog post, I’m going to describe briefly what have been done, and the future plans for the remaining days of SoK.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 Linux desktop environment is here

          Just yesterday, we told you that Fedora 34 Beta was released, and it was notable for using the upcoming GNOME 40 desktop environment. Well, I have great news Linux fans — today GNOME 40 is officially released, and yes, it will be used in the eventual stable version of Fedora 34.

          But yo, wait, hold on, why is the newest version of GNOME being designated as 40? Wasn’t the previous version 3.38? Yeah, that is factual, but no, the developers haven’t gone crazy. Actually, as we told you last year, GNOME has a new versioning scheme. It is, understandably, a bit confusing to jump from 3.x to 40, but that’s what it is, folks! You know what though? Who cares what it’s called as long as it remains great. And once again, it looks to be.

        • GNOME 40 is out now with the redesigned Activities Overview

          GNOME 40 is out now to showcase the latest Linux desktop environment work from the GNOME Project, which includes a number of feature overhauls and improvements.

          Safe to say this is one of their biggest releases, at least since the original redesign of GNOME Shell into what we know it as now. In total, the release incorporates 24571 changes, made by approximately 822 contributors. They also dedicated this release to the team behind the GNOME Asia Summit 2020.

          The biggest user-facing change in GNOME 40 will be the new Activities Overview design where you see all your open applications, workspaces and search through installed applications. Workspaces are now arranged horizontally, while the overview and app grid are accessed vertically and there’s plenty of keyboard shortcuts, mouse actions and support for touchpad gestures too. Here’s some shots of it (click to enlarge)…

        • GNOME OS 40 without GNOME Boxes

          The GNOME team have announced GNOME 40. Along with this there’s a GNOME OS image to play with. You can grab that from here with the release notes.
          The release announcement firmly (in bold) suggests “Do not use any other version including the distro version. Only GNOME Boxes 3.38.0 from flathub is known to work.”.
          Personally I’ve never managed to have much success with GNOME Boxes, so I thought I’d test using something I already have installed, QEMU! I have used QEMU for many years.
          Here’s a screenshot of me running Windows XP, Windows 2000, NT Server, NT Workstation, Windows 98 and Windows 95, for lulz. This was all running on a Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 back in 2005 (15 years ago!). All under qemu on Ubuntu. How time flies.

        • GNOME 40 – The biggest update to GNOME since GNOME 3, and probably the best one

          The latest release of GNOME is here, and it moves away from the usual naming convention: no GNOME 3.40, it’s just GNOME 40. This release is one of the biggest in recent years, and a lot has changed, so let’s take a look at what’s new.

        • GNOME 40 Is Here With Radical Design Changes and Improvements to the Desktop Experience

          GNOME 3.38 was the previous major release that came equipped with many improvements and a major performance boost. With the next release, GNOME 40, we’re getting major changes to the user interface along with performance boosts.

          In case you were out of the loop, you might want to know that the GNOME team changed their version classification to a new system to avoid confusion with GTK 4.0 release and others. Now, every six month, a new release will increase the major version number by one like — GNOME 41, GNOME 42 and so on. The stable point releases will be like this — GNOME 40.1, GNOME 40.2, GNOME 40.3,etc.

        • See What the Much Anticipated GNOME 40 Looks Like [First Look]

          GNOME 40 is releasing this week. It’s time to take a look at all the new features in GNOME 40, specially the “horizontal” layout approach.

        • GNOME 40 Released With Redesigned Activities Overview

          The latest release of GNOME is here. The changes in GNOME 40 are impressive with many improvements and alterations to the GNOME Shell.


          Probably the most noticeable user experience change is when interacting with the GNOME shell overview. In GNOME 3.38 and earlier versions, the Activities Overview had a vertical layout, but in GNOME 40, everything goes horizontal. When you click on the application icon in GNOME, the workspaces are horizontal with a snapshot of the running windows. You can easily scroll through them and drag windows from one workspace to another. Moreover, within the new Activities Overview design, all the apps now show their icons so you’ll identify them much easier.

    • Distributions

      • The 10 Unix-Based Operating Systems That Aren’t Linux

        If you are here to know about Unix-based Operating Systems, then you are in the right place. Unix has a long history as an operating system. Actually, it is more appropriate if we call it an OS family rather than a single OS. Because, although it was built for internal usage at the AT&T Bell Labs in the 1970s, now it is powering up a lot of modern operating systems.

        Some of them are proprietary, like macOS, and some are open-source. Unix was built with C language, and there are many advantages that many organizations took Unix as the base of their operating systems. Most of them are depreciated now. But some Unix-based OS is still functional even as an internal or private operating system.

      • Arch Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34 Beta Run Through

          In this video, we are looking at Fedora 34 Beta.

        • Fedora 34 Beta

          Today we are looking at Fedora 34 Beta. It comes with Gnome 40 rc, Linux kernel 5.11, and uses about 2GB of ram when idling. Enjoy!

        • Fedora Linux 34 beta Launched

          Fedora comes with multiple editions designed to address specific use cases for IT teams and modern developers. This also includes Fedora CoreOS – it addresses the requirements of cloud-native, containerized developers. In the case of desktops, the new version uses the new GNOME 40 desktop. Its enhancements include a better desktop arrangement for windows, search, workspaces, and applications.

        • Finding common ground to help robots master the mundane

          Today we’re launching the second video in our Open Source Stories “Common Connections” series, “Common Connections: Making Robots Boring.” The series features scholars, CEOs, educators, and engineers who’ve never met before coming together to find the common threads in their work, and exploring the potential for future open source innovation and building unexpected connections.

          “Common Connections: Making Robots Boring” brings together Leila Takayama, Ph. D., human-robot interaction researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Chris Nicholson, founder and CEO of Pathmind. We first met Takayama in part four of our film “How to Start a Robot Revolution,” when we explored how her work with the startup Willow Garage made a foundational piece of robotics software more user-friendly. While Nicholson showed up in our 2017 film, “Road to A.I.,” which featured his work creating deep learning software tools that have contributed to the growth of autonomous driving.

        • Open RAN and O-RAN in Brief

          There are many Radio Access Networks (RAN) organizations, some loosely organized (for example, industry alliances) and others more formally structured that define standards. Recent discussion has been growing about open RAN in the industry, spurred by developments, such as Rakuten building the industry’s first cloud-native infrastructure with the help of open source and open RAN.

          The conversation is centering around what open RAN means: what is being done and how organizations can participate. We continue to see communications services providers (CSPs) and ecosystem players stating that open RAN and open source projects form the future foundation of the industry.

        • Red Hat delivers new change data capture capabilities and enhances user experience with latest Red Hat Integration release

          The latest release of Red Hat Integration is now available, and it brings several enhancements that we are pleased to share with you. With this release, we are continuing to focus on strengthening our customers’ ability to respond faster, more efficiently and more intelligently to the world around them. Organizations are building out cloud-based, event-driven solutions that rely on streams of data flowing through the system. With Red Hat Integration we help customers to capture and process information as it’s created. These advanced streaming processing applications are designed to take in more streams and more types of data to gain better insights and ultimately make more effective decisions.

        • Sysadmins: Where is your organization using the most enterprise open source?
    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache® Software Foundation Celebrates 22 Years of Open Source Innovation “The Apache Way”

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today its 22nd Anniversary.

        Originally established by the 21-member Apache Group, who oversaw the then-3-year-old Apache HTTP Server, the ASF today is the world’s largest, vendor-neutral, Open Source foundation, comprising 800+ individual Members, 8,100+ Committers, and 40,000+ code contributors located on every continent. Conservatively valued at more than $22B, Apache’s 350+ projects and 37 incubating podlings are all freely-available to the public-at-large, at 100% no cost, and with no licensing fees.

        “Over the past 22 years the ASF has evolved to meet the growing needs of the greater community,” said Sander Striker, Board Chair of The Apache Software Foundation. “The ASF enables people from all over the world to collaborate, develop, and shepherd the projects and communities that are helping individuals, sustaining businesses, and transforming industries.”

      • How the Apache Project Boosted the Free and Open Source Software Movements

        The Apache project was much more conscious of culture and group dynamics from the start. There was no opportunity to appoint a benevolent dictator, because the person who could have played that role had already left. This is an interesting side discussion in itself.

        By 1992, the World Wide Web was recognized by internet users as a major force. But the software that supported it was in a fragile state. Tim Berners-Lee had developed a web server for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, after the French name), but it was designed for the needs of the organization, which involved sharing large data sets. The server was not appropriate for the kinds of publishing that the general public was starting to do in the early 1990s.

        The NCSA was also a scientific organization, but its server had a broader appeal. In the development model typical of the time, its development rested on a single programmer, Rob McCool, and other programmers sent him their patches.

        This changed after Marc Andreessen, the famous developer of web browsers, left the NCSA to form Netscape. (You may quite likely be using a descendant of his work, the Firefox web browser, to read this article.) A lot of NCSA staff followed him to Netscape, including McCool. Because Netscape was concerned only with a browser, suddenly no one was working on any web server at all.

        From today’s vantage point, it may seem strange that a critical part of internet infrastructure could be orphaned. But even though visionaries recognized great potential in the internet, it was still viewed as a research experiment by managers at most organizations. NCSA itself was concerned with supporting supercomputer researchers, and if it took interest in the web at all—Roy Fielding told me in an interview—they focused on the browser, just as Netscape did. NCSA didn’t even announce that the web server had been effectively abandoned.

        So in early 1995, according to Fielding, programmers began to notice that no one was responding when they emailed their patches to NCSA, and no updates were coming out. When they figured out what happened, they found each other over email and decided to pick up the project themselves.

        The key characteristic of this oddly formed community was voluntarism. Nobody could be told what to work on. If they were interested, they wrote code. If not, they turned to other matters. One could jokingly call the team an anarcho-syndicalist commune (which fulfills the requirement of articles on computing to make at least one Monty Python reference).

        This fundamental trait of the project led to the focus on respect, open communications, and other elements of what was later called The Apache Way.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: Play Store Support Program Updates

            In late August last year, to support the transition of Firefox for Android from the old engine (fennec) to the new one (fenix), we officially introduced a tool that we build in-house called the Respond Tool to support the Play Store Support campaign. The Respond Tool lets contributors and staff provide answers to reviews under 3-stars on the Google Play Store. That program was known as Play Store Support.

            We learned a lot from the campaign and identified a number of improvements to functionality and user experience that were necessary. In the end, we decided to migrate the program from the Respond Tool to Conversocial, a third-party tool that we are already using with our community to support users on Twitter.

          • How two women are taking on the digital ad industry one brand at a time

            In the fall of 2016, Nandini Jammi co-founded Sleeping Giants to expose for brands how their digital advertisements were showing up on websites that they didn’t intend their marketing efforts — or dollars — to support. In-house marketing teams were often shocked and confused to see their ads on websites that peddle disinformation and conspiracy theories and would immediately pull their ads from circulation. Over the time, however, Jammi noticed that the problem of misplaced ads persisted. She began to wonder why systemic change wasn’t happening in the advertising industry to better protect brands.

            Claire Atkin was also growing alarmed about how disinformation was being used to influence elections, and the role that digital advertising played in spreading it. Jammi and Atkin saw an opportunity to team up. If the ad industry wasn’t going to change, they decided to tackle the problem from the brand side.

          • Mozilla Explains: What is an IP address?

            Every time you are on the internet, IP addresses are playing an essential role in the information exchange to help you see the sites you are requesting. Yet, there is a chance you don’t know what one is, so we are breaking down the most commonly asked questions below.

      • CMS

        • Bastian Venthur: Perfection is Achieved When There is Nothing Left to Take Away

          In 2007, I started blogging. Back then I used a self-hosted WordPress instance, running on my server. I was never really comfortable with the technology stack involved: a programming language I didn’t speak, a DB I had little experience with, a relatively heavy setup and of course, the occasional security issues related to that setup. All that just to have a somewhat dynamic website with pingbacks and comments generated by your visitors… totally worth it and exciting times! You wrote something to the “lazyweb” department and people would actually comment with useful advice!

          Then came the spammers. First, it was just a little, and you could easily fight it off with the askimet plugin. Over the years, however the spam-to-useful-comments-ratio shifted to ridiculous levels and the comment section itself became a burden. Hosting the comments on a separate platform like disqus was not an option for me, so I finally turned the comments off.

          Without the need for a comment section, the whole idea of storing mostly textual content in a DB just to have it served as a website, suddenly seemed like overkill and an unnecessary security risk. So I started looking for alternatives.

          I wanted to maintain my content as plain text files. Text files are cool because they are future proof, portable and can be managed in git. Consequently, I was searching for a static site generator.

      • FSF

        • Mozilla and Tor join calls to oust Richard Stallman from Free Software Foundation

          More than 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for Richard Stallman to be removed from positions of leadership in free software.

        • RMS is back at the FSF: Proof they don’t care about free software.

          I have a lot more to say about this–but this is about as much as I can say without getting incredibly angry. Here’s my simple, level-headed reasoning why RMS is a hindrance to the free software movement and the mission of the Free Software Foundation and why he should’ve left the FSF for good a long time ago.

        • Mob Mentality Threatens The Free Software Movement

          Richard Stallman recently announced on a video that he’s back. He’s back at the Free Software Foundation and is reinstated as a board member. And the haters are out in full force, actively trying to cancel Richard again.

        • On the Recent Announcement by FSF’s Board of Directors – Conservancy Blog – Software Freedom Conservancy
        • Letter to support RMS

          Dear FSF,
          I write this letter to support Dr. Richard Stallman as a board member of FSF.
          Dr. Richard Stallman has been a strong leader in Free Software Movement ever since the beginning of free software. He has been always thinking from the free software point of view, and has been constantly promoting free software and free software community. This is what we need in Free Software Foundation. This is what we need to inspire people to work for the goal of Free Software Foundation.
          I am expecting Dr. Richard Stall to do his best in FSF and wish him all the best.
          best regards,

        • On the reappointment of Richard Stallman as a director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

          In KDE e.V., directors are appointed by the full membership, by majority vote. Changes in the composition of our board of directors are participatory and transparent. Today we have doubts that corresponding processes within the FSF hold up to this common standard, which we believe to be critical to functional, sustainable governance given 23 years of our own experience as an organization.

          Organized activity in the wider Free Software community continues to be important. Participation and representation are necessary ingredients. KDE e.V. will stay involved in the discussion, with our partners and others, on where to take Free Software next.

        • Mark J. Wielaard: FSF Associate Membership

          Since then we setup the GNU Assembly without any resources from the FSF. And created the GNU Social Contract for GNU maintainers and developers to promote the GNU system and create a welcome environment for everybody to be able to create more user freedom. The FSF never officially helped or even replied to our requests to formulate an open and welcoming working relationship with us as GNU volunteers.

        • Gunnar Wolf: Regarding the Stallman comeback

          Many people (me included, naturally) in the Free Software world are very angry about this announcement. There is a call for signatures for a position statement presented by several free software leaders that has gathered, as I write this message, over 400 signatures. The Open Source Initiative has presented its institutional position statement. And I can only forecast this rejection will continue to grow.

        • Enrico Zini: Stallman

          When I hear Stallman saying “and I’m not planning to resign a second time”, the only thing I can see is a dangerous person making a power move. I’ll be wary of FSF from now on.

        • Controversial programmer Richard Stallman returns to FSF board
        • Debian ponders vote as an organisation on backing Stallman’s ouster [Ed: Sam's fourth article trying to get rid of RMS. Not even balanced. Not even remotely.]
        • The free software community calls for the removal of entire FSF board [Ed: This title is a lie. It's just a vocal minority making noise at Microsoft's GitHub.]
        • Return of Stallman to FSF sparks outrage among open-source and free software leaders [Ed: More from Microsoft boosters at ZDNet]
        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guix: Cuirass 1.0 released

            We are pleased to announce the release of Cuirass version 1.0, after almost five years of development and around 700 commits from 14 contributors.

            Cuirass is the GNU Guix continuous integration software. It’s a general purpose build automation server written in GNU Guile that checks out sources from VCS repositories, execute build jobs and store build results in a database. Cuirass also provides a web interface to monitor the build results.

            Cuirass is running on the GNU Guix build farm.

            Since January, the project is funded through the NGI0 PET Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission’s Next Generation, as explained here.

            Thanks to this support, we were able to speed up the developments and finally propose a first release of this software. Many things have changed in Cuirass over the years and now is the perfect time to give it a try.

        • Licensing/Legal

      • Programming/Development

        • Building a molar mass calculator
        • Build a to-do list app in React with hooks

          React is one of the most popular and simple JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces (UIs) because it allows you to create reusable UI components.

          Components in React are independent, reusable pieces of code that serve as building blocks for an application. React functional components are JavaScript functions that separate the presentation layer from the business logic.

        • Get better at programming by learning how things work

          When we talk about getting better at programming, we often talk about testing, writing reusable code, design patterns, and readability.

          All of those things are important. But in this blog post, I want to talk about a different way to get better at programming: learning how the systems you’re using work! This is the main way I approach getting better at programming.

        • From start to finish: How to use Git on Linux
        • Python

          • Read and write files with Bash

            When you’re scripting with Bash, sometimes you need to read data from or write data to a file. Sometimes a file may contain configuration options, and other times the file is the data your user is creating with your application. Every language handles this task a little differently, and this article demonstrates how to handle data files with Bash and other POSIX shells.

          • Build Six Quick Python Projects

            Are you looking for some quick and easy Python projects to build?

        • Rust

          • Rust: integrating LLVM source-base code coverage with GitLab

            Earlier this year, the Rust compiler gained support for LLVM source-base code coverage. This feature is called source-base because it operates on AST and preprocessor information directly, producing more precise coverage data compared to the traditional gcov coverage technique.

            GitLab provides built-in integration of coverage information allowing for example reviewers to check if a MR is changing tested code or if it’s increasing or decreasing the total coverage of the project. In this post we’ll explain how to setup a CI job in a Rust project to feed source-base coverage information to GitLab.

            Generating coverage profiles

            The frst step is to add a new job to your CI pipeline, which will take care of generating the coverage reports. See the GitLab documentation if your project does not have any CI setup yet.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Microsoft Exchange Server attacks: ‘They’re being hacked faster than we can count’, says security company [Ed: Microsoft tried to blame Asians until a mass shooting against Asian-Americans]

            And cyber criminals are doing just that, with security researchers at F-Secure identifying tens of thousands of attacks targeting organisations around the world that are still running vulnerable Microsoft Exchange Server every day. According to F-Secure analytics, only about half of the Exchange servers visible on the internet have applied the Microsoft patches for these vulnerabilities.

            “Tens of thousands of servers have been hacked around the world. They’re being hacked faster than we can count. Globally, this is a disaster in the making,” said Antti Laatikainen, senior security consultant at F-Secure.

            The fear is that an attack that successfully compromises a Microsoft Exchange Server not only gains access to sensitive information that’s core to how businesses are run, but could also open the door for additional attacks – including ransomware campaigns.

            In order to avoid falling victim to cyber attackers exploiting the Microsoft Exchange vulnerabilities, it’s recommended that organisations apply the critical updates as quickly as possible, because the longer the patches aren’t applied, the more time cyber criminals will have to potentially exploit the vulnerabilities as part of an attack.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (imagemagick and squid), Fedora (jasper and kernel), Red Hat (pki-core), SUSE (gnutls, go1.15, go1.16, hawk2, jetty-minimal, libass, nghttp2, openssl, ruby2.5, sudo, and wavpack), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-gke-5.3, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.10, linux-oem-5.6, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux-raspi, linux-raspi-5.4, linux-raspi2-5.3).

          • Open Source Initiative election hacked

            Deb Nicholson, the OSI’s interim general manager, wrote that a “vulnerability in our voting processes was exploited and had an impact on the outcome of the recent Board Election. That vulnerability has now been closed. OSI will engage an independent expert to do a forensic investigation to help us understand how this happened and put measures in place to keep it from ever happening again.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • $2,000 Awarded for Sanderling ’412 prior art

          Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winning submission for U.S. Patent 9,355,412. The patent is owned by Sanderling Management Ltd., an NPE., and relates to forwarding a processing function, such as an overlay, to a user’s mobile image processing application when the user’s mobile device indicates a certain GPS reading. The ‘412 patent is currently being asserted against Snap, Inc.

        • FOSS Patents: Component-level licensing of standard-essential patents most controversial subtopic of European Commission webinar on FRAND licensing and valuation

          The conflict between monetization-focused standard-essential patent (SEP) holders and implementers (the latterg group also including major SEP holders who are nevertheless primarily interested in making products) appears to be everlasting. At times it even looks like both sides are ever more deeply entrenched. But at least they’re still talking to each other, and not just about each other.

          Yesterday the IP policy unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) held a webinar on “FRAND licensing & valuation” with a very balanced roster of high-profile speakers and a sizable worldwide audience. The webinar took place via Microsoft Teams and was moderated by DG GROW official Elena Kostadinova, who might have been a TV news anchor in a former life.

          You can find the detailed agenda on this webpage. If time permitted, I could have done a post on each of the three parts.

          A survey by the Commission crystallized what SEP holders and implementers are primarily interested in. Among implementers, “license to all” was by far the most popular subject. I know I’m a bit difficult to please with terminology, and in my recent commentary on the SEP Expert Group report I explained why I oppose the terms “access for all”/”license to all” as “access for all” paints too rosy a picture while “license to all” sounds like built-in redundancy (though it’s actually about giving the implementing side the choice of the level at which to take a license). But I recognize I’m the only one out there to criticize those terms, so to my dismay they’re here to stay.

          The component-level licensing panel–the third and final part of yesterday’s webinar–was indeed the one where the different views of the two camps became clearest, not only in the webinar itself but also in the parallel Q&A chat.

          Professor Damien Geradin, founder of the Geradin Partners antitrust boutique, acknowledged that both sides of the debate make interesting arguments. In his experience, “most reasonable people” agree that license agreements shouldn’t be concluded at multiple levels of a given supply chain–but there are divergent views on which level it should be.

        • Communiqué of 24 March 2021 on the oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal by videoconference [Ed: For the second time in the same day the corrupt EPO management tries to mislead the public about the unlawful referral with illegal composition of judges]

          New Article 15a of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) on oral proceedings by videoconference enters into force on 1 April 2021.

        • Software Patents

          • Senators Tillis and Cotton Propose Sequenced Examination Approach [Ed: Recognition of the fact, from patent maximalists, that many granted USPTO patents are in fact fake and will learn to disappointment]

            On Monday, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) sent a letter to Drew Hirshfeld, the Commissioner for Patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, to propose that the USPTO conduct a pilot program on a sequenced approach to patent examination. In their letter, Sen. Tillis (at right), the Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and Sen. Cotton (at left), a member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, suggest that a sequenced approach to patent examination, in which applications are first examined for compliance with 35 U.S.C. §§ 102, 103, and 112, and then for compliance with 35 U.S.C. § 101, could “avoid unnecessary and inefficient rejections on grounds of patent eligibility.”

            The Senators express their concern that “by conducting an eligibility analysis as per current practice, patent examiners may be issuing Section 101 rejections without the benefit of addressing prior art, clarity and enablement issues that may well inform the examiner that the claim is eligible under Section 101.” While stating that examination under §§ 102, 103, and 112 is based on “well-developed and objective criteria under the law,” the Senators assert that “current patent eligibility jurisprudence lacks the clarity, consistency, and objectiveness the other grounds of patentability possess.”

EPO Management Bombards the ‘News’ Section to Distract From Unlawful Attacks on the EPO’s Highest Tribunal (This Time in G 1/21)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A referral regarding “oral proceedings by videoconference in examination and opposition during pendency of referral” is yet another example of rigged legal processes at the EPO, including legal processes concerning the legality/independence of the judges (they always bombard the ‘news’ section to distract from the catastrophic ramifications)

TODAY’S EPO has a kangaroo court which is lobbied by António Campinos (e.g. regarding European software patents). Recently, the staff representatives said that the internal appeals process is no better. How long before Campinos starts kidnapping judges like Benoît Battistelli did? And then proceeds to defame them in corruptible media? Battistelli did that after 4 years at the Office.

“The EPO isn’t governed by various branches; there’s no oversight, there are no checks and balances, no rule of law.”The comments in this thread seem to have struck a nerve at the higher floors of the Isar golden cage. So earlier today this (warning: epo.org link) and that (warning: epo.org link) waffle got published in the EPO’s so-called ‘news’ section. They obviously want people — including staff — to look away from a major scandal, still in the making, still an ongoing problem for virtually all referrals. The EPO isn’t governed by various branches; there’s no oversight, there are no checks and balances, no rule of law. As for the “news” section, it should be renamed “propaganda”.

Links 24/3/2021: Krita 4.4.3, GNOME 40, and Stable Kernels

Posted in News Roundup at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11.9
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.9 kernel.
        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        greg k-h
      • Linux 5.4.108
      • Linux 4.19.183
      • Linux 4.14.227
      • Linux 4.9.263
      • Linux 4.4.263
      • Microsoft Surface “DTX” Driver Slated For Linux 5.13

        While Microsoft often likes to proclaim their “love” for Linux, it’s been independent open-source developer Maximilian Luz that has been spearheading improvements for Microsoft Surface devices on Linux. With Linux 5.13 his latest work on better handling Microsoft Surface device detachment handling should land.

        Queued into the x86 platform driver area’s for-next code is this Microsoft Surface DTX driver written by Luz.

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Google Calendar

        Google has a firm grip with their products and services ubiquitous on the desktop. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there can be questions about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

        What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

        In this series, we’ll explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We’ll recommend open source solutions.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • mosquitto: upgrade from 1.x to 2.x requires configuration changes to keep working

        Conclusions: it seems that mosquitto is now dropping privs before writing the PID file and before reading the certificate and password files.

      • SSH Keygen: a 2021 update

        Not long after the previous article on ssh-keygen, OpenSSH released a whole new version of SSH and related tools. This version came with many changes, the most notable one being the support of FIDO/U2F keys. In this post we summarize these changes, and try to explain some of the inner workings. We’ll focus on ssh-keygen here, and mention other tools when necessary.

      • History of ZFS: Part 1: The Birth of ZFS and How it All Started

        ZFS (or the Zettabyte File System) is approaching its 15th birthday, and over a decade since integration into FreeBSD. Originally created by Sun Microsystems, ZFS grew in popularity because of its advanced features. Today we will take a look at its history.

      • The 5-hour CDN

        The term “CDN” (“content delivery network”) conjures Google-scale companies managing huge racks of hardware, wrangling hundreds of gigabits per second. But CDNs are just web applications. That’s not how we tend to think of them, but that’s all they are. You can build a functional CDN on an 8-year-old laptop while you’re sitting at a coffee shop. I’m going to talk about what you might come up with if you spend the next five hours building a CDN.

        It’s useful to define exactly what a CDN does. A CDN hoovers up files from a central repository (called an origin) and stores copies close to users. Back in the dark ages, the origin was a CDN’s FTP server. These days, origins are just web apps and the CDN functions as a proxy server. So that’s what we’re building: a distributed caching proxy.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 4.4.3 Released with Stability and Performance Improvements, Bug Fixes

          Krita Foundation has kicked off development of the next major release of their widely used digital painting software, Krita 5, so they’re only focusing their efforts on making the Krita 4.4 series more stable and reliable.

          As such, the Krita 4.4.3 point release, the third in the series, is here to address address various crashes that occurred when reapplying a filter with reprompting or when painting on a filter mask that was created from a vector selection, as well as in the halftone filter, due to access to an invalid pointer.

        • Krita 4.4.3 Released

          Today, we’re releasing Krita 4.4.3. This is strictly a bugfix release. We spend two beta’s worth of testing trying to make this a really stable release, because from now on, we’re focusing on Krita 5!

          This will also be the last Krita release for 32 bits Windows; further releases will be 64 bits only.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40 released

          The GNOME Project is proud to announce the release of GNOME 40.

          This release is the first to follow our new versioning scheme.

          It brings new design for the Activities overview and improved support for
          input with Compose sequences and keyboard shortcuts, among many other

          Improvements to core GNOME applications include a redesigned Weather
          application, information popups in Maps, better tabs in Web, and many

        • GNOME 40 Released With Many Improvements
        • GNOME 40 Released with Redesigned Overview, Touchpad Gestures + More

          Six months of fastidious development has gone into making the latest release of the GNOME desktop the best one yet. In all, GNOME 40 is composed of a colossal 24,571 commits from more roughly 822 contributors.

          GNOME 40 features include a new design for the overview screen, a horizontal workspace switcher, and new features in a crop of apps, including the Nautilus file manager.

        • GNOME 40 Desktop Environment Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Six months in the work, GNOME 40 ends the GNOME 3.x series of the open-source Linux desktop environment as a massive milestone adding numerous new features and improvements. The biggest change, however, you already know about from my previous articles, the redesign of the Activities Overview.

          In GNOME 40, the Activities Overview will be the first thing you see after login. It comes with better overview spatial organization with horizontal navigation and dock, improved touchpad navigation using gestures, more engaging app browsing and launching, and also contributes to a better boot performance of your Linux distro.

        • GNOME 40 Released with Major Design Change. Here’s What’s New.

          The GNOME team announced the release of the GNOME 40 desktop environment with major design changes and many new features.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Manjaro 21.0 ‘Ornara’ is out now with Xfce, KDE and GNOME upgrades

          Prefer Manjaro as your favourite Linux distribution or want to try it out? Now looks to be a good time, with the Manjaro 21.0 ‘Ornara’ release now available.

          Coming in hot with GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21, Xfce 4.16, Kernel 5.10 LTS and a 5.4 LTS-Kernel minimal-ISO for those who need older hardware support. Manjaro is not quite as bleeding-edge as Arch itself but they stick reasonably close. Manjaro is supposed to be for those who want up to date systems with at least some stability.

          Even just going by major upgrades to each desktop environment, it’s a big release with each of them bringing in major changes to their UI and upgraded applications.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Installing OpenSUSE Leap 15

          This is my experience on installing openSUSE, the green chameleon operating system, Leap Edition version 15.2 to my computer. It is a family of GNU/Linux hence a distant sibling to Ubuntu with a distinct feature called YaST, the green tapir control panel, on top of its RPM software package basis. I installed it on a virtual machine in normal method as I used on Ubuntu. However, this can be used for actual installation to the real hardware directly including in dualboot mode. Thus, I share this with you by wishing it to be useful. Let’s go!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Linux 34 Beta Is Now Available For Download

          Fedora Linux 34 Beta version is now available for download. Fedora 34 Workstation Beta includes GNOME 40 and is powered by Linux Kernel 5.11. Fedora Linux 34 Beta enables transparent compression for more disk space. Fedora Linux 34 Beta will use PipeWire to mix and manage audio streams. The KDE Plasma desktop now uses the Wayland display server by default.

        • Fedora 34 Beta Arrives With Awesome GNOME 40 (Unlike Ubuntu 21.04)

          Fedora 34 beta is finally available to download for public beta testing. There’s still plenty of time for the final release, but it is interesting to see some exciting changes that come with Fedora 34.

          Let me highlight a few things about Fedora 34 along with the links to download it.


          Of course, GNOME 40 is a major highlight for Fedora 34 release. To get your hands on the latest GNOME 40, you will have to wait for the final release of Fedora 34.

          You may go ahead to test the beta build, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that for your production systems.

          GNOME 40 should be an exciting change considering the addition of a horizontal dock, revamped activities overview, and more. You should get a stock experience of GNOME 40 with Fedora 34, so it should be a refreshing experience.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases Another Ubuntu Linux Kernel Security Update to Fix 6 Flaws

          The new Linux kernel security update comes just a week after the last kernel update and is available for Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series running Linux kernel 5.8 (Ubuntu 20.10) and Linux kernel 5.4 LTS (Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 18.04).

          The update fixes CVE-2021-27363, CVE-2021-27364, and CVE-2021-27365, three flaws discovered by Adam Nichols in Linux kernel’s iSCSI subsystem, which could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (system crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Wallpaper is Revealed – And It’s Hairy!

          Yes, we’re already at that point of the Ubuntu release cycle. Ubuntu’s design bods have come up with a hypnotic new drape that holds firm to Ubuntu’s history of shipping a new desktop hoarding in each new release.

          Here, in all its compressed glory, is Ubuntu’s headstrong new mascot: the Hirsute Hippo…

        • Hurrah! Ubuntu 21.04 Fixes a Glaring Deficiency

          Ever since upstream GNOME jettisoned the ability to put icons on the desktop — it has its reasons — Ubuntu has opted to ship with a GNOME Shell extension that reimplements the functionality.

          Well, soft of reimplements.

          The simple ‘Desktop Icons’ extension it uses (and has used since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS) is barebones. Oh sure: it shows icons on the desktop …but that’s kind of it as you can’t do anything with ’em!

          Drag and drop from the file manager to the desktop? Doesn’t work. Drag and drop from an app to the desktop? Doesn’t work. Drag and drop a file from the desktop to the file manager? You get the idea.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Bibliography improvements in LibreOffice Writer

          The bibliography feature in Writer allows authors of e.g. scientific papers to track sources: first you can insert bibliography entry fields, then at the end you can generate a bibliography table automatically.

          Writer now has two improvements in this area: more information about these entries in the form of a mouse tooltip and clickable URLs in the table.

          First, thanks TUBITAK ULAKBIM who made this work by Collabora possible.

      • FSF

        • My Thoughts On Richard Stallman’s Return To the FSF Board
        • In Defense of Richard Stallman
        • Why Richard Stallman should step away from the FSF

          If Richard Stallman placed the interests of free software foremost, and his own personal issues second, then he would step down from the board position that he assumed last week, during the annual LibrePlanet conference organised by the Free Software Foundation.

        • Open Source Advocates Want to Remove Not Only Stallman but the Entire FSF Board

          Over 800 open source advocates from GNOME, Debian, Ubuntu, System76, Red Hat and more such organizations have called from immediate removal of RMS and the entire Free Software Foundation board.

        • Richard Stallman returns to the Free Software Foundation amid calls for FSF resignations

          Back in 2019, Richard Stallman (RMS) resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT but it appears Stallman has returned and many are not happy about this.

          When Stallman originally resigned, he cited doing it due to “pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations”. Stallman announced the return during a livestream for the FSF project LibrePlanet where he explained he will not be resigning for a second time. Stallman is now once again listed on the official FSF board.

        • Making our Community Safe: the FSF and rms

          I felt disgust and horror when I learned yesterday that rms had returned to the FSF board. When rms resigned back in September of 2019, I was Debian Project Leader. At that time, I felt two things. First, I was happy that the community was finally taking a stand in favor of inclusion, respect, and creating a safe, welcoming place to do our work. It was long past time for rms to move on. But I also felt thankful that rms was not my problem to solve. In significant part because of rms, I had never personally been that involved in the FSF. I considered drafting a statement as Debian Project Leader. I could have talked about how through our Diversity Statement and Code of Conduct we had taken a stand in favor of inclusion and respect. I could have talked about how rms’s actions displayed a lack of understanding and empathy and how this created a community that was neither welcoming nor respectful. I didn’t. I guess I didn’t want to deal with confirming I had sufficient support in the project. I wanted to focus on internal goals, and I was healing and learning from some mistakes I made earlier in the year. It looked like other people were saying what needed to be said and my voice was not required. Silence was a mistake.

        • FOSS developers launch petition to push out Stallman, FSF board

          A number of people associated with free and open source software have written an open letter calling for Richard Stallman, the founder of the Free Software Foundation, to be removed from his position on the board, along with the entire FSF board.

        • Statement on Richard Stallman rejoining the FSF board

          One crucial factor in making our community more inclusive is to recognise and reflect when other people are offended or harmed by our own actions and consider this feedback in future actions. The way Richard Stallman announced his return to the board unfortunately lacks any acknowledgement of this kind of thought process, and we are deeply disappointed that the FSF board did not address these concerns before electing him a board member again. Overall, we feel the current step sends the wrong signal to existing and future community members.

      • Programming/Development

        • Portability has ongoing costs for code that’s changing

          Some proponents of alternate architectures like to maintain that portability is free, or at least a one time cost (that can be paid by outside contributors in the form of a good patch to ‘add support’ for something). It would be nice if our programming languages, habits, and techniques made that so, but they don’t. The reality is that maintaining portability to alternate environments is an ongoing cost.

        • Getting Drunk with Datalog

          See, I don’t have a very comprehensive liquor collection. I’ve got the basics, sure, and over the course of quarantining I’ve acquired a few fancier ingredients. But fancy ingredients usually aren’t very versatile: I bought a bottle of Amaro Nonino once to mix a Paper Plane. But it turns out I don’t like really Paper Planes. So now I just have, like, 97.1% of a bottle of Amaro Nonino, and nothing to do with it.1

          That was not very efficient purchase. We can do better.

          So I wrote a little program to tell me: given what I have in my bar right now, what should I add that will enable me to make the maximum number of new cocktails. Or in other words, what is my most efficient purchase – what is the ingredient that I am most “blocked on.”

        • [Old] Exotic Programming Ideas: Part 4 (Datalog)

          Datalog is executed by a query processor that given these two inputs, finds all instance of facts implied by both the databased and rules. For our examples we’re going to be coding our examples in the Souffle language. The namesake of the language is an acronym for the Systematic, Ontological, Undiscovered Fact Finding Logic Engine. It can be installed simply on many Linux systems with the command: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • I’m SO Sorry
    • Opinion | Ethnic Studies Redux: Professor Rudy Acuña Still Has Work to Do

      An interview with renowned 88-year-old historian and Chicana/Chicano Studies founder

    • ‘Why didn’t you show me the lion?’ The forgotten story of Vera Chaplina — the Moscow zookeeper who raised a lion in her communal apartment

      From the time Vera Chaplina was a child, she cared for all kinds of animals. She started gaining wider attention in 1935, however, when people began seeing her around Moscow with a lion cub she called Kinuli. In 1933, she created the famous “Cubs’ Playground,” where bear cubs, dingo pups, piglets, lion cubs, and baby goats all grew up together. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova describes how Vera Chaplina became famous, helped animals, and wrote popular books about them before she was largely forgotten. A small group of people today is working to restore her memory.

    • White House Eyes Funding Free Community College With Tax Increase on the Rich
    • A New Portal for the Decentralized Web and its Guiding Principles

      For a long time, we’ve felt that the growing, diverse, global community interested in building the decentralized Web needed an entry point. A portal into the events, concepts, voices, and resources critical to moving the Decentralized Web forward.

      This is why we created, getdweb.net, to serve as a portal, a welcoming entry point for people to learn and share strategies, analysis, and tools around how to build a decentralized Web.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • Spectre attacks against websites still a serious threat, Google warns

        Three years after the infamous Spectre vulnerability was discovered, [attackers] can still exploit the security flaw in order to force web browsers to leak information, Google’s security team warns.

        The problem has arisen despite extensive efforts by browser developers to harden their software against Spectre-style attacks.

        The results of the research was published on the Google Security Blog on Friday (March 12) and include a proof-of-concept exploit written in JavaScript that still works against several browsers, operating systems, and processors.

        The key lesson from the research is that Spectre still haunts the industry – so developers need to deploy application-level mitigation measures in order to guard against potential attacks.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Yet another Windows ransomware strain appears on the scene [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The global security firm Sophos said in a blog post that it had begun noticing the new Windows ransomware on 18 March as it took aim at Exchange boxes that still had not been patched to fix the ProxyLogon vulnerabilities disclosed by Microsoft on 3 March.

          Mark Loman, a director of Engineering for Next-Gen Technologies at Sophos, said the new ransomware did not have the most sophisticated of payloads.

        • Oil and gas company Shell suffers Accellion-related data breach

          Multinational oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell plc is the latest victim of a data breach related to a vulnerability in software from Accellion Inc.

          In a statement last week, Shell said that the data security incident involved Accellion’s File Transfer Appliance that it uses to transfer large data files securely. The data accessed, during a “limited window of time” according to Shell, included some personal data along with data from Shell companies and some of their stakeholders. Shell noted that there is no evidence of any impact on their core information technology systems, since the fire transfer service is isolated from the rest of the company’s infrastructure.

        • Mimecast confirms [attackers] behind SolarWinds supply chain attack accessed limited amount of customer information
        • Continued Worsening of Ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Is there no solution? A means of detecting the patterns left by this kind of malware?

        • The Worsening State of Ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The problem is growing worse, despite the development of new and more advanced ways to battle it, including the use of behavioral analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). “Cybergangs use different cryptographic algorithms and they distribute software that is remarkably sophisticated and difficult to detect,” Hinkley says. “Today, there is almost no barrier to entry and the damage that’s inflicted is enormous.”

        • Security

          • Phish Leads to Breach at Calif. State Controller

            A phishing attack last week gave attackers access to email and files at the California State Controller’s Office (SCO), an agency responsible for handling more than $100 billion in public funds each year. The phishers had access for more than 24 hours, and sources tell KrebsOnSecurity the intruders used that time to steal Social Security numbers and sensitive files on thousands of state workers, and to send targeted phishing messages to at least 9,000 other workers and their contacts.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Amnesty International: Facebook Plan To Target Children “Incompatible With Human Rights”

              Facebook has let slip that it is launching an Instagram service for children under 13 years old, who are currently legally barred from using the platform. On Thursday, Instagram’s vice president of product told employees in a leaked communication that this was indeed the plan. Instagram’s boss, Adam Mosseri, confirmed the leak’s veracity to Buzzfeed News, telling them that his goal was to create a transparent and kid-friendly version of the popular photo-sharing app for children and pre-teens.

            • Shamir’s Password Store

              The core of my idea is that most people own multiple devices. I own a phone, several laptops, and have access to a number of servers. I need to access the password manager on at least the laptops and phone. I would like to self-host the password manager – so why not form a distributed hosting between these devices I own?

              The passwords themselves would be encrypted as with Unix Pass, so they can be stored in full on each device. Only the decryption key is of concern.

              The decryption key would need to be split using Shamir’s secret sharing. Let’s assume I have five devices, and at least three parts are needed to recover the decryption key. When we need to access a password, our device makes contact with at least two others to collaborate.

            • TikTok and Douyin Explained

              On March 22, 2021 the Citizen Lab published a comparative analysis of security, privacy, and censorship issues in TikTok and Douyin. In this explainer, we discuss the findings with Pellaeon Lin, the report’s lead author.

            • TikTok vs Douyin: A Security and Privacy Analysis

              Despite not exhibiting overtly malicious behavior, Douyin contains features that raise privacy and security concerns, such as dynamic code loading and server-side search censorship. TikTok does not contain these features.

              TikTok and Douyin’s Android apps share many parts of their source code. We postulate that ByteDance develops TikTok and Douyin starting out from a common code base and applies different customizations according to market needs. We observed that some of these customizations can be turned on or off by different server-returned configuration values. We are concerned but could not confirm that this capability may be used to turn on privacy-violating hidden features.

            • Facebook Is Building An Instagram For Kids Under The Age Of 13

              Executives at Instagram are planning to build a version of the popular photo-sharing app that can be used by children under the age of 13, according to an internal company post obtained by BuzzFeed News.

            • Zuck Slowly Shrinks and Transforms Into a Corncob Ahead of Apple’s Looming Privacy Updates

              Facebook hasn’t been too keen on that idea given that roughly 98% of its revenue stream depends on targeted ads, which are built around monitoring a person’s browsing habits. The company launched a campaign to convince folks that personalized ads are good, actually, which has so far involved taking out full-page ads in several leading newspapers to condemn Apple and running a video ad claiming that Apple’s privacy updates are killing small businesses by not giving Facebook and other apps free rein to hoover up your data.

            • Apple says its big privacy change is coming in ‘early spring’ as conflict with Facebook heats up

              To target mobile ads and measure how effective they are, app developers and other industry players currently often use Apple’s (IDFA), or a string of letters and numbers that’s different on every Apple device. But once this update rolls out, app makers will be forced to ask permission to access a user’s IDFA through a prompt. A significant portion of users are expected to say no, reducing the effectiveness of targeted ads.

              Apple first announced the change last summer, giving advertisers and app makers ample time to prepare. But it’s become a major point of contention for ad-supported companies, who could lose revenue from the change.

              Facebook in particular argues that the change will hurt the availability of free content on the open web and the ability of small business to place personalized ads. On Facebook’s Q4 2020 earnings call Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg slammed the change, calling Apple one of its biggest competitors and claiming that the change “threatens the personalized ads that millions of small businesses rely on to find and reach customers.”

            • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Apple on Clubhouse

              Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear before he isn’t happy with Apple’s upcoming privacy update that will prompt users to give apps, including the social network he co-founded, permission to track their activity across other apps and the web. Apple, on the other hand, has said the change is meant to give users more control over their data. Apple is expected to roll out the change in early spring.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Methane Spewing Mines Are as Bad For The Climate as Their Coal

        New coal mines are leaking methane gases that are in some cases just as destructive to the environment as the pollution released from burning the coal itself, according to a new study.

        Methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its first two decades, leaking out of some mines could be having as much of an impact on global warming as burning the coal they produce, researchers with Global Energy Monitor, a San Francisco-based non-profit group, said in the study. The amount of methane that would leak from new coal mines currently being proposed globally would do as much damage as all of the coal power plants in the U.S. combined.

      • The factories turning West Africa’s fish into powder

        The results were alarming. The water contained double the amount of arsenic and 40 times the amount of phosphates and nitrates deemed safe. The following spring, he wrote a letter to Gambia’s environmental minister, calling the death of the lagoon “an absolute disaster”. Pollution at these levels, Manjang concluded, could only have one source: illegally dumped waste from a Chinese fish-processing plant called Golden Lead, which operates on the edge of the reserve. Gambian environmental authorities fined the company $25,000 (£18,000), an amount that Manjang described as “paltry and offensive”.

        Golden Lead is one outpost of an ambitious Chinese economic and geopolitical agenda known as the Belt and Road Initiative, which the Chinese government has said is meant to build goodwill abroad, boost economic cooperation, and provide otherwise inaccessible development opportunities to poorer nations. As part of the initiative, China has become the largest foreign financier of infrastructure development in Africa, cornering the market on most of the continent’s road, pipeline, power plant and port projects.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Declining English wetland ‘is poor advert for UK’

          A declining English wetland will embarrass the UK government at November’s UN climate conference, campaigners say.

        • Protecting 30% of Our Lands by 2030: Are National Forests “Protected”?

          On January 27, 2021, President Biden signed the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. [1] One aspect of that Order directed the Interior Department to formulate steps to achieve the President’s commitment to conserve at least 30% each of our lands and waters by 2030. The Interior Department issued a press release describing this process in more detail and referenced a U.S. Geological Survey report that only 12% of lands in the continental U.S. are permanently protected. [2] [3] Even those given the highest status of current protection such as wilderness areas and national parks are still subject to activities that degrade them from being truly protected. For example, livestock grazing continues in over a quarter of the 52 million acres of wilderness areas in the lower forty-eight states in the U.S. [4]

          Our National Forests are further down the list and remain far from protected, being in the third of four levels of protection, the fourth level being no protection at all. According to the Executive Order, the Secretary of the Interior shall submit a report within 90 days proposing guidelines for determining whether lands and waters qualify for conservation. The USGS report stresses analyzing and setting aside migration corridors for species to prevent their extinction from the effects of climate change.

        • Another Dead Wolf in Arizona

          Every illegal killing is a theft from all of us, but this wolf’s story adds insult to injury. She was a young female, number 1887, cross-fostered into the Hoodoo Pack in Arizona just last spring. Cross-fostering is the only way that Arizona Game and Fish Department is allowing new wolves to be released in Arizona right now, and it’s a critically important tool for improving the genetic diversity of the struggling population. Cross-fostering is tricky business, requiring wild dens to welcome captive-born pups as their own and raise them up in the wild. Hoodoo 1887 was one who had apparently made it through the crucial first year.

          Look, we’ve been saying this for a while, but the death of Hoodoo 1887 before she was able to breed underscores the point: relying on cross-fostering alone isn’t going to save this species. We need well-bonded adult and family pack releases into the wild, and we need them yesterday.

    • Finance

      • Biden Eyes Tax Hikes for Rich, Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies to Fund Infrastructure

        “It’s time for the rich and corporations to pay their fair share in taxes.”

      • Walmart, Amazon and the Colonial Deindustrialisation of India

        The deal would lead to Walmart and Amazon dominating India’s e-retail sector. These two US companies would also own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them the country’s digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.

        JACAFRE was formed to resist the entry of foreign corporations like Walmart and Amazon into India’s e-commerce market. Its members represent more than 100 national groups, including major trade, workers and farmers organisations.

      • American Philanthropy: the Wealthier the Donor, the Bigger the Taxpayer Subsidy
      • Where Is My Tax Refund?

        So, you’ve figured out your deductions or credits, calculated how much you owed in taxes, and successfully filed your return (for free, hopefully). If you’re sitting around wondering where your money is, you’re not alone. Lucky for you, the IRS offers several ways to track your tax return.

        Once you have filed, there are three options for tracking your refund:

      • Corporate Coalition Calls on Congress to Approve Paid Family Leave

        “Lack of a national paid leave policy makes all of us more vulnerable during this pandemic and for future public health emergencies, while putting the financial stability of businesses on the line.”

      • In Thumbs-Down to Sinema, Survey Finds Majority of Arizona Voters Favor $15 Minimum Wage

        “The verdict is clear—in Arizona, voting to raise the minimum wage is the smartest political move.”

      • 1 Percent Owes Billions in Unpaid Taxes. IRS Must Reclaim It for Infrastructure.
      • Opinion | Are Debt Whiners Fools or Just Liars?

        The national debt is a meaningless number.

      • On Eve of Equal Pay Day, Report Reveals Subminimum Wage ‘Keeps Incomes Low and Harassment High’

        One Fair Wage found that over 70% of women in the restaurant industry have been sexually harassed while working at least once.

      • DeJoy to Unveil Plan to Slash Post Office Hours, Hike Postage Prices

        “Fire the entire Post Office board. Then fire this corrupt man before he destroys the entire USPS for good.”

      • Democrats Warn DeJoy’s New 10-Year Plan Guarantees ‘Death Spiral’ for US Postal Service

        “This so-called plan from Louis DeJoy should itself be a dead letter. This is a blueprint for the Post Office’s continued decay and destruction.”

      • Amazon Intimidates Workers Amid Historic Union Vote in Alabama as Jeff Bezos Makes $7 Million an Hour

        Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are in the final days of voting on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. Ballots have been sent to nearly 6,000 workers, most of whom are Black, in one of the most closely watched union elections in decades. Amazon has fought off labor organizing at the company for decades, but workers in Baltimore, New Orleans, Portland, Denver and Southern California are now also reportedly considering union drives. “Amazon is trying to intimidate workers. They want them to be afraid,” says Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. We also go to Bessemer to speak with Michael Foster, an RWDSU member-organizer leading the union drive at Amazon’s warehouse, who says casting a ballot in the union election, amid Amazon’s attempts to discourage warehouse workers from supporting the union drive, is “the only way that we can allow our voices to be heard.” We also discuss how this week marks the 110th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history and a seminal moment for American labor.

      • Substack’s UI and 1Password just cost me $2,023

        The penny drops. When I’ve clicked my card details in 1Password, it’s entered my expiry year in the hidden, custom subscription amount box (I’m not sure why – is this a 1Password bug? *). Because this box has now changed value, the Substack UI has automatically selected this option. I’ve then hit “Subscribe” before I had time to notice and 💸 $2,023.

      • [Old] Facebook Libra is Architecturally Unsound

        I won’t pretend to have an objective opinion about Facebook as a company. Few people in tech view the company in a positive light anymore. Reading through the publications released, it is clear there is a fundamental deception in the stated goal and implementation of the project. Put concisely, this project will not empower anyone. It is a pivot from a company whose advertising business is so embroiled in scandal and corruption that it has no choice but to try to diversify into payments and credit scoring to survive. The clear long term goal is to act as a data broker and mediate consumers access to credit based on their private social media data. This is such an utterly terrifying and dystopian story that should cause more alarm than it does.

        The only saving grace of this story is the artifact they open sourced is so hilariously unsuited for the task they set out to do it can only be regarded as an act of hubris. There are several core architectural errors in this project: [...]

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘The organizers decided to politicize it’ Russian book fair sparks controversy over cancellation of Navalny spokeswoman’s novel presentation

        Kira Yarmysh, best known as the spokeswoman for imprisoned opposition politician Alexey Navalny, was set to see her debut novel presented at the Non/Fiction international book fair in Moscow this week. Then, the event’s organizers canceled the presentation at the last minute in an alleged attempt “to save the fair at any cost.” The decision has sparked controversy among the festival’s participants, many of whom consider it politically motivated — especially in light of the fact that Yarmysh is currently under house arrest. Now, some Russian literary figures have opted to boycott Non/Fiction altogether, while others are urging their colleagues not only to attend but also to make Yarmysh’s exclusion the main topic of discussion at all of the book fair’s events.

      • EpiVacCorona’s race to the finish line Meduza speaks to the developer and manufacturer about concerns surrounding Russia’s latest coronavirus vaccine

        The “EpiVacCorona” coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Novosibirsk-based Vector Institute, is now rolling out in regions across Russia, and roughly half a million doses should be distributed by the end of the month. Scientists first registered EpiVacCorona back in October 2020. In early March 2021, Russia’s consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor approved the vaccine for persons older than 60, though the drug was made available sooner to many people, even before the end of clinical trials (just as health officials allowed with “Sputnik V,” the country’s first registered coronavirus vaccine). To learn more about Russia’s latest weapon against COVID-19, Meduza journalists Svetlana Reiter and Alexander Ershov spoke to EpiVacCorona developer Alexander Ryzhikov and Vector Institute deputy general director Tatiana Nepomnyashchikh. Why have participants in the drug’s clinical trials tested so low in antibodies? And what’s the evidence that the vaccine actually works?

      • Biden and the Pot Heads: The Return of the Drug Moralists

        The consequence of this change, noted Psaki on Twitter, was that “more people will serve who would not have had in the past with the same level of recent drug use.  The bottom line is this: of the hundreds of people hired, only five people who had started working in the White House are no longer employed as a result of this policy.”  What she did not detail was the primary reason why these changes had been brought in the first place.  With so many actual and potential staffers having taken of the weed, filling posts would have been a problem.  Accordingly, the current White House purportedly allows for up to 15 past uses in a year among staffers while the Office of Personnel Management argues that previous marijuana use should not render a person unfit.

        In a report by The Daily Beast, a rather different picture emerged, one streaked with callousness and inconsistency.  Certain staffers were allegedly told that previous marijuana use would not be taken into consideration.  That turned out to be rather loose with the hard verity: dozens were asked to resign, suffer suspension or told to work remotely.  The administration had also been vague about how much usage was deemed acceptable or otherwise.  Nor did it matter that the staffers in question came from any one of the 14 states where marijuana use is legal.

      • Navalny’s associates launch new campaign calling for his release

        Alexey Navalny’s supporters have announced the start of a new “Freedom for Navalny!” campaign, which includes plans to hold another rally calling for his release from prison.

      • Progressives Say Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Falls Short
      • Opinion | The Urgent Need for a Biden-Putin Summit

        “Do you want to reduce the chances of nuclear war?” Assuming the answer is yes, any opposition to such a summit is illogical at best.

      • Opinion | The Border-Industrial Complex in the Post-Trump Era

        The greater the disaster, the greater the profits.

      • Powell Legal Defense: “Reasonable People” Wouldn’t Believe Election Fraud Claims
      • A Small Story of Scottish Justice

        A story you will not have heard unless you read the Oban Times or are one of the 146 people who live on the island of Lismore, gives a profound insight into the abuse of state power in Scotland today.

      • Facebook Failed to Prevent Billions of Views of Pages Sharing False Information
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook Treats Punk Rockers Like Crazy Conspiracy Theorists, Kicks Them Offline

        Members of an Oakland-based punk rock band called Adrenochrome were taken completely by surprise when Facebook disabled their band page, along with all three of their personal accounts, as well as a page for a booking business run by the band’s singer, Gina Marie, and drummer Brianne.

        Marie had no reason to think that Facebook’s content moderation battle with QAnon would affect her. The strange word (which refers to oxidized adrenaline) was popularized by Hunter Thompson in two books from the 1970s. Marie and her bandmates, who didn’t even know about QAnon when they named their band years ago, picked the name as a shout-out to a song by a British band from the 80’s, Sisters of Mercy. They were surprised as anyone that in the past few years, QAnon followers copied Hunter Thompson’s (fictional) idea that adrenochrome is an intoxicating substance, and gave this obscure chemical a central place in their ideology.

        The four Adrenochrome band members had nothing to do with the QAnon conspiracy theory and didn’t discuss it online, other than receiving occasional (unsolicited and unwanted) Facebook messages from QAnon followers confused about their band name.

      • Russia’s federal censor says Twitter is removing banned content too slowly

        Following the Russian state censor, Roskomnadzor (RKN), moving to throttle Twitter traffic in Russia, the social network has started work on removing banned content. According to a statement from Roskomnadzor, however, the process is happening at an “unsatisfactory pace.”

      • Senator Mark Warner Doesn’t Seem To Understand Even The Very Basic Fundamentals Of Section 230 As He Seeks To Destroy It

        On Monday morning, Protocol hosted an interesting discussion on Reimagining Section 230 with two of its reporters, Emily Birnbaum and Issie Lapowsky. It started with those two reporters interviewing Senator Mark Warner about his SAFE TECH Act, which I’ve explained is one of the worst 230 bills I’ve seen and would effectively end the open internet. For what it’s worth, since posting that I’ve heard from a few people that Senator Warner’s staffers are now completely making up lies about me to discredit my analysis, while refusing to engage on the substance, so that’s nice. Either way I was curious to see what Warner had to say.

      • What Are the ‘Kill the Bill’ Protests in Britain All About?

        That has been the refrain echoing in streets across Britain in recent weeks as protesters demand a rethinking of a sweeping crime bill that would give the police more power to deal with nonviolent demonstrations.

        In recent months, a series of issues have galvanized mass protests across Europe: Black Lives Matter demonstrations in cities last summer, protests against security laws across France last fall, and anti-lockdown rallies seemingly everywhere.

        How the police should handle these mass demonstrations has become a topic of heated debate, especially as officers have been accused in some cases of over-aggressive responses. Coronavirus restrictions have added another layer to questions about the right balance between the rule of law and protecting civil liberties.

        In Britain, that discussion has zeroed in on the new police bill.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Border Invasion? Mexican MAGA Influencers Push “Damaging” Conspiracy Theories About Asylum Seekers

        As thousands of asylum seekers continue to wait in Mexico for a chance to enter the United States, investigative journalist Jean Guerrero says Mexican social media influencers connected to right-wing U.S. media outlets and political figures are whipping up “hysteria” about the southern border. She says they are spreading false conspiracy theories about an orchestrated “invasion” and “child trafficking” funded by Democrats that are endangering vulnerable people. “It’s been incredibly damaging,” says Guerrero.

      • US Consumer Agency Investigates Tesla Whistleblower’s Complaint Involving Solar Systems Catching Fire

        The following article was made possible by subscribers of The Dissenter Newsletter.Steven Henkes was a field quality manager for SolarCity, which was acquired by Tesla in August 2017. He learned “thousands of residential and commercial systems” installed were “defective and dangerous” and could start fires. But according to his whistleblower complaint, Tesla ignored his concerns, mounted an “orchestrated campaign of retaliation,” and fired him.  The complaint was filed in Alameda County, California, in November 2020. He also submitted a complaint with the United States Consumer Protections Safety Commission (CPSC) in April 2019.CNBC reported on March 22 that CPSC will investigate the allegations from Henkes and interviewed him for the investigation.Henkes provided evidence that included “failure analysis reports from a third-party engineering firm,” “internal meeting minutes, reports, and emails,” “customer notification examples,” “photos of thermal events [fires] linked to customer houses,” and “meeting minutes and presentations pertaining to a supplier named Amphenol and Tesla.”After Walmart sued Tesla in New York state court in August 2019, it became widely known that SolarCity’s solar power systems had defects. However, prior to Walmart’s suit, Henkes claims he “forcefully advocated for the health and safety of Tesla’s customers” in his role as a field quality manager.Henkes’ job was to ensure Tesla promptly and safely reported, notified, and shut down any solar systems that were using Amphenol H4 Connectors—the part responsible for fire risks. He insists he recommended Tesla inform all customers immediately of the risks posed by continuing to use the “defective solar systems.” Tesla had at least 60,000 residential customers in addition to 500 government and commercial accounts.

        The complaint filed [PDF] in Alameda County states, “Henkes’ belief that the public was not adequately notified and protected was borne out by the many fires nationwide across Tesla’s customer base. [He] was quite outspoken about his desire to protect public health and openly shared his concerns with many Tesla employees.”

      • The Truth about Filibusters: They Don’t Protect Minority Rights, They Don’t Promote Legislating

        Central to the argument for preserving the filibuster are two assertions. One is that it is needed to protect minority rights. Two, the filibuster encourages compromise. The reality is, neither of these claims are true and in fact its repeal may promote both goals better than retaining it.

        The filibuster rule is a product of slavery politics, as was true of the electoral college. If the electoral college’s goal was to protect the slave states from being outvoted in presidential selection by the free states, purpose of the filibuster was to do the same. The Senate with its equal representation already gave the South a bonus in representation. But what the filibuster did was to allow one senator the effective ability to shut down the action of the chamber to prevent it from passing legislation hostile to the South. John C. Calhoun, a Senator from South Carolina in the antebellum South, used the tool effectively to block critical legislation. But he is also famous for his role in the nullification crisis where he asserted states had a right to veto or nullify federal legislation. His book A Disquisition on Government, advocated a theory of concurrent majority which would only permit legislation to pass if all classes, interests, groups, or states which had an interest in it supported it.  Effectively, the filibuster went hand-in-hand with his theory of government to support states’ rights and protect a slave holding minority against majority rule.

      • North Carolina Legislators Push Bill That Would Prevent Cops, Prosecutors From Charging Six-Year-Olds For Picking Flowers

        This is today’s law enforcement. While there are multiple societal and criminal problems that deserve full-time attention, our tax dollars are paying cops to turn our children into criminals. We don’t have the luxury of pretending this isn’t happening. Schools have welcomed cops into their confines, turning routine disciplinary problems into police matters.

      • Opinion | The PRO Act Would Transform the Playing Field for Labor

        Labor unions reduce inequality, promote cross-racial solidarity, and boost democratic participation.

      • Connecticut Legislature Offers Up Bill That Would Make Prison Phone Calls Free

        A lot of rights just vanish into the ether once you’re incarcerated. Some of this makes sense. You have almost no privacy rights when being housed by the state. Your cell can be searched and your First Amendment right to freedom of association can be curtailed in order to prevent criminal conspiracies from being implemented behind bars.

      • Khachaturyan sisters recognized as victims in sexual abuse case against their late father

        Sisters Maria, Angelina, and Krestina Khachaturyan have been recognized as victims in a sexual abuse case launched against their late father, Mikhail, whom they killed in July 2018, arguing that they acted in self-defense. They are still suspects in their father’s murder case. 

      • Attacks on Asian Women Are Fueled by Criminalization, War and Economic Injustice
      • Immigrant Rights Advocates Urge Biden to Stop Detaining Children
      • As Biden Restricts Media Access, Photos Show Children in Crowded ‘Border Jails’

        “Photos of children packed into makeshift detention centers highlight the need for press access to such centers so people can see the ‘inhumanity’ in U.S. immigration policy.”

      • “Shameful”: Amid Border Emergency, Immigrant Rights Advocates Urge Biden to Stop Detaining Children

        There are now over 15,000 unaccompanied migrant children in U.S. custody as the number of people seeking asylum at the southern border shows no sign of slowing down. The Biden administration has sharpened its rhetoric in recent weeks, insisting that the “border is closed” and pushing Mexico and Guatemala to stem the flow of migrants. The Biden administration has also maintained one of the most controversial Trump policies, which allows the U.S. to deny almost all asylum seekers on public health grounds. “What is happening at the southern border is shameful,” says Luz Lopez, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center focused on immigration. “We as a country should remain vigilant and hold any administration accountable, regardless of political party, with respect to our treatment of children seeking refuge, who are fleeing countries that are in turmoil, largely because of our geopolitical policies over the past several decades.”

      • Opinion | DeSantis Wants to Silence, Jail His Opponents—Don’t Let Him

        Giving those in power the ability to quash dissent is perilous, extremely unwise, and profoundly un-American. 

      • If Abbie, Why Not Trump?

        The trial centered on the so-called conspirators’s “intentions” leading up to their trip to Chicago to lead the protests against the Viet Nam war and the political travesty at the DNC. (LBJ had dropped out of the presidential race, RFK got murdered, and the DNC pushed Hubert Humphrey, who got nominated without any critical appraisal or negotiated platform, meaning university-aged citizens outside could still be drafted to fight in Nam but could not vote). The conspirators weren’t all Yippies, as is sometimes supposed, but also members of the Black Panthers, SDS, and MOBE.  An interesting fact, often left out of MSM reporting about the 1968 Chicago events, is that 8 Chicago police officers were also charged with beating up protesters, and a later internal government investigation determined that the cops had started the rioting.

        During the trial, it was revealed that undercover cops had infiltrated the group of “conspirators’ and were put on the stand to help establish the mindset (i.e.,intentions) of the defendants. Eventually, after much drama, and not a little hijinks from Hoffman and Jerry Rubin at the trial, the Chicago 7’s “thoughts” were acquitted.

      • Opinion | We Must Confront the Ugly Plague of Racism and Hate Crimes

        The pandemic and the poisonous rhetoric of Donald Trump have exposed once more the hard work that must be done to bring together an inclusive society.

      • Citi declares ‘Zoom-Free’ Fridays amid pandemic work fatigue

        Citi will institute “Zoom-Free Fridays” and establish an employee day-off in May as firms seek to restore work-life balance amid the pandemic, the bank’s new chief executive announced Tuesday.

        Jane Fraser, who took over the top job at Citi earlier this month, said in a note to employees she wants to “reset” life at work in light of complaints of non-stop work days during the pandemic when employees labor at home and participate in non-stop digital meetings.

      • This is the EU’s chance to stop racism in artificial intelligence

        The use of data-driven systems to surveil us and to provide a logic to discrimination is not novel. The use of biometric data collection systems such as fingerprinting have their origins in colonial systems of control. The use of biometric markers to experiment, discriminate and exterminate was also a feature of the Nazi regime. To this day in the EU, we have seen a number of similar, worrying practices, including the use of pseudo-scientific ‘lie detection’ technology piloted on migrants in the course of the visa application process. This is just one example where governments, institutions and companies are extracting data from people in extremely precarious situations. Many of the most harmful AI applications rely on large datasets of biometric data as a basis for identification, decision making and predictions.

        What is new in Europe, however, is that such undemocratic projects could be legitimised by a policy agenda “promoting the uptake of artificial intelligence” in all areas of public life. The EU policy debate on AI, while recognising some ‘risks’ associated with the technology, has overwhelmingly focused on the purported widespread “benefits” of AI. If this means shying away from clear legal limits in the name of promoting “innovation”, Europe’s people of colour will be the first to pay the price. Soon, MEPs will need to take a position on the European Commission’s legislative proposal on AI. While EU leaders such as Executive Vice-President Vestager and Vice President Jourová have each spoken on the need to ensure AI systems do not amplify racism, the Commission has been under pressure from tech companies like Google to avoid “over-regulation”.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Yet More Studies Show That 5G Isn’t Hurting You

        On the one hand, you have a wireless industry falsely claiming that 5G is a near mystical revolution in communications, something that’s never been true (especially in the US). Then on the other hand you have oodles of internet crackpots who think 5G is causing COVID or killing people on the daily, something that has also never been true. In reality, most claims of 5G health harms are based on a false 20 year old graph, and an overwhelming majority of scientists have made it clear that 5G is not killing you (in fact several incarnations are less powerful than 4G).

    • Monopolies

      • Progressives Demand Biden Break From Obama’s ‘Failed Leadership’ on Antitrust

        “With a new wave of Big Tech antitrust investigations today, it’s time to stop appointing industry allies to top regulatory jobs.”

      • What I Hope Tech CEOs Will Tell Congress: ‘We’re Not Neutral’

        The CEOs of Facebook, Google, and Twitter will once again testify before Congress this Thursday, this time on disinformation. Here’s what I hope they will say:

      • Patents

        • Enforceability of Clauses Requiring Arbitration of Malpractice Claims: Plummer v. McSweeney

          In Plummer v. McSweeney, the plaintiff, Plummer, sued a law firm for legal malpractice. The firm moved to compel arbitration. The district court denied that motion because, among other things, the clause required that the client pay a pro rata share of the arbitration fees and that rendered it substantively unconscionable since she could not afford it and that amount plainly exceeded the ordinary filing costs of a lawsuit. It also held that the firm’s post-dispute offer to pay her costs did not change that result. The firm appealed.

          The Eighth Circuit reversed. It held that under D.C. law the post-dispute offer to pay mooted the substantive unconscionability. It also rejected procedural unconscionability because she could have chosen another firm and the agreement made clear its terms were negotiable.

        • EPO continues oral proceedings by videoconference in examination and opposition during pendency of referral G 1/21 [Ed: EPO trying to distract from corruption and illegal appointment of judges]

          With its decision of 12 March 2021, a Technical Board of Appeal of the EPO has made a referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal seeking to clarify whether, in view of Article 116(1) EPC, oral proceedings may be conducted by videoconference (VICO) without all parties’ consent. The referral concerns appeal proceedings, but also extends to oral proceedings by VICO before examining and opposition divisions.

          Following a careful weighing up of the impact for legal certainty and access to justice, the President of the EPO has decided that during pendency of the referral oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions will continue to be held by VICO as under current practice, i.e. without requiring explicit agreement of the parties.

        • TracFone: Mandamus All Over Again [Ed: Texas is killing patent law by discrediting the whole patent system in the US. This coverage is sponsored by litigation profiteers.]

          NOW: TracFone has filed a new petition for writ of mandamus seeking an order compelling Judge Albright to transfer the case to the Southern District of Florida, TracFone’s home court. The Federal Circuit immediately ordered Precis to respond within 7 days. Although not clear from the docket, I suspect that this petition will be passed to the same trio judges who handled the last one – Judges Reyna, Chen, and Hughes.

          In my post on the case, I noted troubles with Judge Albright’s venue decision, and the mandamus petition picks up on those — arguing that “the district court here abused its discretion by accepting as true the venue allegations in the complaint where those allegations were directly contradicted by TracFone’s declarations, declarations not rebutted by any declarations of plaintiff.” [TracFone Second Mandamus Petition].

          In his opinion, the district court accepted the complaint’s allegations as true and concluded that the plaintiff “has plead sufficient venue facts to establish venue in WDTX.” The district court did not appear consider TracFone’s evidence that it submitted via declaration — that it did not own the store and that the store was closed “well before” the action was filed. Typically, in this situation, courts consider affidavit evidence presented by defendants, and that was not done here.

        • French competitor acquires NovumIP from Paragon Partners [Ed: JUVE became “SPAM” site, posting marketing junk in the form of ‘articles’; it used to be a real site]

          IP firm Novagraaf also offers a full range of prosecution, filing and portfolio management services for patents, trademarks and designs. It has a total of 18 offices in Europe and overseas. In addition to headquarters in the Netherlands and branches in France, Belgium, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland, the firm also has offices in the US, China and Japan.

          Last year, subsidiary Pavis Payment received approval from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority to operate as a regulated payment institution. As such, Pavis Payment is also part of the deal. Paragon Fund II also supported the ‘buy-and-build’ strategy.

          Paris-based IP service provider Questel is taking over NovumIP. Questel offers, among other things, software for searching, analysing and managing inventions and IP assets. Investment companies Eurazeo, IK Investment Partners and Raise back Questel, which recently invested in Munich-based IP manager Brandstock and London patent manager RenewalsDesk. At the beginning of 2021, Munich-based software company Innosabi’s shareholders also sold a majority stake to Questel.

          According to industry magazine Private Equity Wire, Eurazeo and the IK IX Fund are participating in the latest expansion. They also continue to hold a majority stake in Questel, while Paragon Fund III is simultaneously directly involved in Questel with a minority stake.


          According to market sources, KPMG was responsible for the tax aspects of the sales process. KPMG has supported Paragon in deals for several years, Pavis Payment hired firm Annerton for the approval procedure, in order to become a regulated payment institution.

        • Neurim and Flynn v Mylan – Who is the real winner?

          Although the case relates to treatments for insomnia, we suspect that the latest episode in the ongoing saga between Neurim and Mylan might result in a few sleepless nights for patent litigators. Somewhat unconventionally, the latest instalment saw Marcus Smith J vary a costs order so as to award costs to the losing party in proceedings before the English Patents Court (the “UK proceedings”) as a result of a near simultaneous (and conflicting) decision at the EPO.

          On 12 March 2021, Marcus Smith J handed down a formidable 42 page judgment on consequential matters (the “Consequentials Judgment”, a copy of which can be found here). This follows his 4 December 2020 judgment in Neurim Pharmaceuticals (1991) Limited & Flynn Pharma Limited v Generics UK Limited (t/a Mylan) & Mylan UK Healthcare Limited [2020] EWHC 3270 (Pat) (the “Judgment”). A detailed look at the Judgment can also be found here. Readers may also recall Marcus Smith J’s earlier decision in these proceedings to refuse Neurim’s application for a preliminary injunction (as reported here), which was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal (as reported here). It is fair to say that this case has an unusual fact pattern on many levels.


          One can speculate on other variations of the fact pattern and what, if any, impact this would have on Marcus Smith J’s decision to vary the costs order. For example, would it have made a difference if Mylan was not a party to the opposition proceedings before the EPO? What if Neurim had been granted a preliminary injunction? Would that have taken the possibility of adjournment off the table and, if so, what difference would that have made?

          From a practical perspective, it is clear from the decision that Marcus Smith J considered that the court should have been made aware of the timing of the TBA hearing, despite the expedited trial date having already been set. Although there are legitimate reasons not to seek an adjournment (for example, it is often the case that it is unclear to the parties whether a given TBA hearing would result in a final decision), this decision certainly highlights the importance of keeping the court informed or risk implicitly accepting otherwise unexpected adverse costs orders.

          In the short term, it seems very likely (if not inevitable) that Neurim will attempt to appeal the costs order and we (like many patent litigators in the UK) will be keeping a close eye on any developments in this regard.

        • Software Patents

          • Patent troll IP is more powerful than Apple’s (permalink)

            I was 12 years into my Locus Magazine column when I published the piece I’m most proud of, “IP,” from September 2020. It came after an epiphany, one that has profoundly shaped the way I talk and think about the issues I campaign on.


            That revelation was about the meaning of the term “IP,” which had been the center of this tedious linguistic cold war for decades. People who advocate for free and open technology and culture hate the term “IP” because of its ideological loading and imprecision.

            Ideology first: Before “IP” came into wide parlance – when lobbyists for multinational corporations convinced the UN to turn their World Intellectual Property Organization into a specialized agency, we used other terms like “author’s monopolies” and “regulatory monopolies.”

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • New Year, Same You: Twitch Releases Tools To Help Creators Avoid Copyright Strikes, Can’t Properly Police Abuse

          Readers here will remember that the last quarter of 2020 was a very, very bad time for streaming platform Twitch. It all started when the RIAA came calling on the Amazon-owned platform, issuing a slew of DMCA takedown notices over all sorts of music included in the recorded streams of creators. Instead of simply taking the content down and issuing a notice to creators, Twitch simply perma-deleted the content in question, with no recourse for a counternotice given to creators as an option. After an explosive backlash, Twitch apologized, but still didn’t offer any clarity or tools for creators to understand what might be infringing content and what was being targeted. Instead, during its remote convention, Twitch only promised more information and tools in the coming months.

        • Appeals Court Affirms Retired Police Officer’s $47,777 Win Against Copyright Troll

          The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the victory of a retired police officer against Strike 3 Holdings. The man, who was incorrectly accused of downloading porn videos, is one of the few defendants who fought back. The Court also affirmed the attorneys’ fees and costs award of $47,777, dismissing Strike 3′s objections.

        • DanishBits: Authorities Extradite ‘Pirate Mastermind’ From Morocco

          After being arrested and jailed in Morocco last October, the alleged “mastermind” behind private torrent tracker DanishBits has now been extradited to Denmark. Following a hearing at the Copenhagen City Court last week, the man was remanded in custody for 25 days.

Let’s Get the Free Software Foundation on Gemini Space!

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

FSF logoSummary: The fast-growing Gemini space (capsules that serve pages over Gemini protocol) is a perfect fit or a great complement for the FSF‘s Web site (the pages are easy to copy across); we take a look at the sorts of benefits this would entail

THE exciting thing, to me at least, is Dr. Stallman (FSF Founder) speaking about the threats posed by “remote” visits to the doctor; in his talk a few days ago he explained that neither Web sites nor “apps” respect his freedom. His right-hand man, Mr. Oliva, gave or intended to give a talk (and essay) about Gemini as an alternative to the bloated and user-hostile World Wide Web. It was signed with: “Thanks to Richard Stallman for the inspiration to write about this issue, and for the encouragement to publish it.” This was later republished by GNU/FSF, reaching the audience it truly deserved.

“It’s a movement that takes off rapidly and reaches outer space.”It’s very, very encouraging to see the FSF talking about those issues. We need solutions as this is a core problem and a threat to software freedom. We wrote about this yesterday.

One common question that’s important to tackle again and again is, “how can this replace the Web?” No, it won’t replace it, it’s complementary to it. Older versions of HTML aren’t suitable. Temptation to go above and beyond, adding more and more bloat (or bells and whistles), won’t be technically impeded. Gemini protocol is a response to such temptation, instead focusing on privacy, security, and extensive language support through Unicode (by default). The restrictive/limiting nature is a design feature. It’s not “retro”, except on the surface.

Free SoftwareHaving spent a lot of time on Gemini this year, I’ve prepared a crudely drafted video (no preparations, only intentions) about what it would take for the FSF to become available over Gemini space. Gemini is no “small potatoes”; in the first 3 weeks of this month we’ve received over 50,000 requests over gemini:// and that number increases over time because more geeks cross over, exploring what might later be adopted by a broader group of people. Quite a few of us at Techrights already use Web browsers and Gemini clients in conjunction. We’ve experimented with many such clients (over half a dozen GUIs exist, and over a dozen CLI/ncurses ones!) and they rapidly improve over time. It’s a movement that takes off rapidly and reaches outer space. It has a lot to do with software freedom because all clients are Free software (as far as we’re aware), not to mention specifications/protocols.

It would be a major boost and a much-appreciated addition if the FSF assigned somebody to create Gemini presence (something like gemini://gemini.fsf.org/) as it would not require registering a new domain and it would improve reach/exposure to the FSF’s goals/messages. This is also highly beneficial to old computers and accessibility aspects are profoundly improved (Gemini is very popular among blind people).

Free Software: Will it happen?

The Tactics Against Popular Movements Have Hardly Changed

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Mark TwainSummary: “History may not repeat itself. But it rhymes,” as the old saying goes

THE VIDEO above is a response to events that lower the volume of actual news and replace news with noise (or falsehoods). For the remaining days of this week we intend to focus on issues like software freedom and patent policy, as usual. The aspects of most concern to us are focus and cohesion; the community should stay focused and not divided.

“Here in Techrights we focus on “tech rights” (as the name suggests). We don’t deal with ‘pure’ politics not because it’s not important but because it’s just not “our thing”.”The video goes through a casual glimpse at the FBI operations against popular and just causes, such as animal rights and voting rights. Here in Techrights we focus on “tech rights” (as the name suggests). We don’t deal with ‘pure’ politics not because it’s not important but because it’s just not “our thing”.

Here is an example of a popular software freedom advocate being confronted over the focus on software instead of animals. The focus shift is a shrewd attempt to find weaker ground upon which to attack and discredit the messenger.

OSI Should Elect a Leader Before Trying to Dethrone Others’

Posted in OSI at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The OSI's Elected Winner is... Oh, sorry, we have to run the election all over again

Summary: The deeply defunct and intolerant OSI has no members of staff (only one interim member of staff) but it has the audacity to sign hypocritical petitions at Microsoft’s GitHub (proprietary software where most of the OSI’s budget gets funneled to — quite the blunder)

Lunduke (ex-Microsoft): In Defense of Richard Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Even people who used to bash Richard Stallman step in to defend him

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:24 am by Needs Sunlight

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