04.04.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 4/4/2021: Data of 533 Million Facebook Users Leaked, Ubuntu 21.04 Testing Week

Posted in News Roundup at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • READFILE System Call Rebased For More Efficient Reading Of Small Files

        The past year there has been work led by Greg Kroah-Hartman on a “READFILE” system call for efficiently reading small files such as for data exposed via sysfs. While not yet mainlined, this week the patches for this new system call were re-based giving us hope that perhaps we’ll see it with Linux 5.13.

        The READFILE system call aims to make it very efficient to read small files straight into a buffer with a single system call rather than the traditional open/read/close approach with multiple system calls.

        This system call didn’t see much activity at first but then later in the year the prospects of it getting picked up for mainline were renewed with finding a potential user of this new system call.

    • Applications

      • OBS Studio 27.0 RC1 out with Wayland support and browser docking on Linux

        What looks like it will be a massive release for Linux users, OBS Studio has begun the release procedure for OBS Studio 27.0 with it having a first Release Candidate out now and it’s huge.

        Something we reported on back in January is finally coming officially to the Linux version: service integration and browser dock support. This means you can actually add in things like Twitch chat and whatever other windows you want attached right into the OBS Studio application so everything can fit nicely together. It is incredibly useful!

        The other huge one for Linux is Wayland support. This comes with a new PipeWire capture source when using Wayland. The developers note specifically that for Ubuntu users you’re going to need Ubuntu 20.10 onwards, due to the need of PipeWire 0.3+.

      • Best Linux Backup Software For Desktops And Servers

        No doubt cloud services have saved us a lot of trouble. We can back up important files in cloud storage and download them later whenever needed. But backing up the entire operating system is not normally possible with cloud services like Gdrive, OneDrive, etc.

        Also, an operating system loaded with a ton of applications can be more than 100GB in size. Or what about a Linux server? A production server stores, update, move, and delete files constantly.

        When running a server, the administrator will have to be ready for any disaster such as server crash that may corrupt data, accidentally deleting important configuration files, or in the worst scenario, the server may get hacked.

        Uploading system files to the server will not only consume time but will require the admin to sign up for a paid plan that provides enough storage for the backup.

        Google drive, Gdrive, Dropbox, etc. are not designed for systematically storing backups. So even if you successfully package your operating system and uploads it to the server, restoring that backup manually will not be easy.

        In this article, I will review Best Linux backup software desktops and servers.

        If you own a Linux server, this is an important article for you. In the last article, I covered steps to secure a Linux server. It shows a number of ways your servers can be compromised. If you have not read that article, I recommend you read it. That article will harden your Linux server security.

        In case your server is compromised exploiting any zero-day vulnerability, or through user’s error, you will want to make sure you’ve working backups ready to be restored to a new or the same server. Most of the time hackers do not prioritize deleting your server, they infect your server with malicious code to constantly monitor your server and steal as much data as possible.

        Backups allow you to restore your server back to functioning again. So it’s important to regularly backup your server, make sure files are not corrupted, and most importantly backup files are stored at a secure location.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Create a Sudo User in Debian

        The sudo command (originally standing for superuser do) is a program in Unix-like operating systems for running commands as other users, by default root.

        Sudo allows a system administrator to give selected users the ability to run some (or all) commands as root while logging all commands and arguments.

        Commands may be run as a specific user, the user’s default shell, or any other user’s shell. Sudo operates on a per-command basis.

        By default, Linux prevents access to certain parts of the system for non-root users, but with the sudo command you can access these parts without needing to log in as root every time.

        It’s important to take into careful consideration what users on your system can use sudo. Commands that require root privileges aren’t commands that a standard user usually needs access to, for risk of damaging the system if something is done incorrectly – something that the system administrator wouldn’t allow to happen. This is why this has been the security model for years.

      • Ubuntu Server 20.04: How to expand your machine learning capabilities by installing TensorFlow
      • ZFS on Linux is improving the handling of disk names on import

        To summarize what the change does (assuming I understand it correctly), if an expected device in a pool is not found at the path for it in the cachefile (which is the same as what the pool stores), ZoL will attempt to search for all of the disks in the pool as if you were running ‘zpool import’. This search has two restrictions; first, it looks for the pool by GUID instead of by name (which is what you’d expect), and second it only looks at devices in the same directory or directories as the pool’s original device names. So if you specified all your devices by /dev/disk/by-path paths, the import won’t scan, say, /dev or /dev/disk/by-id. In the common case this won’t make a difference because all disks will be present in all the /dev directories.

      • Linux Find If Processor (CPU) is 64 bit / 32 bit [long mode ~ lm]

        I am a new Linux system user. How do I determine if my CPU is 64bit or not on a Linux operating systems using command line option? How can I check Linux kernel is in 32 bit or 64 bit mode?

      • How To Install and Configure Google Cloud SDK on Linux Desktop

        Google Cloud SDK (Software Development Kit) is a cloud-based API system that you can use a command-line interface to build a virtual machine or environment for programming and software testing. It is built by Google and hosted on Google cloud storage. Previously, Google used to offer credit on free signup to google cloud SDK. But, I’m afraid that Google has turned that free features turned off. If you’re a software developer or tester, the Google Cloud SDK can be a convenient virtual system to release and test your codes. The cloud software development kit is available in the web version, but you can install the Google Cloud SDK on your Linux system for a better CLI-based interface.

      • How to Install Gnome Extensions on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Gnome is one of the most widely used desktop environment for Linux distributions. Gnome provides all the graphical utilities that a Linux geek needs, and it also provides developers tools. Look and feel of Gnome desktop can easily be changed by using gnome extensions. In this article, we will demonstrate on how to install and use Gnome extensions on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) system. I am assuming you already have Gnome Desktop environment installed on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Install and Review – Green Recorder in Ubuntu – LateWeb.Info

        A simple desktop recorder for Linux systems. Built using Python, GTK+ 3 and ffmpeg. It supports recording audio and video on almost all Linux interfaces. Also, Green Recorder is the first desktop program to support Wayland display server on GNOME session.

        The following formats are currently supported: mkv, avi, mp4, wmv, gif and nut (And only WebM for Wayland’s GNOME session). You can stop the recording process easily by right-clicking the icon and choosing “Stop Record”. Or middle-clicking the recording icon in the notifications area (but doesn’t work on all interfaces).

        You can choose the audio input source you want from the list. You can also set the default values you want by simply changing them in the interface, and the program will save them for you for the next time you open it.

      • Install and Review VokoScreen Recorder in Ubuntu Linux – LateWeb.Info

        VokoScreen is a screen recording program with many options. You can turn on your camera and talk while capturing the screen. One of its main advantages is exceptional stability and ease of operation.

        In recent years, it has been replaced by a newer version called VokoScreenNG, however, its lightness and stability make it indispensable to this day.

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

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

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

      • How to Use Nmap to Scan a Subnet – Linux Hint

        Network Mapper, commonly called Nmap, is a popular, open-source security auditing and network scanner created by Gordon Lyon. Nmap can be quite capable when performing network diagnostics and information-gathering in penetration testing. Nmap allows you to scan from a single host in a network to a collection of hosts in a large network.

        An Nmap scan can provide information such as the operating system running on the hosts, the ports, the corresponding services, and the host services versions. Nmap scans can also help to detect vulnerabilities in the network hosts using the built-in scripting engine.

        Simply put, Nmap works by sending raw IP packets to gather information about the hosts in a network, the services running, the versions, and even the operating systems.

      • How to Use the ssh-copy-id Command – Linux Hint

        The ssh-copy-id command is a simple tool that allows you to install an SSH key on a remote server’s authorized keys. This command facilitates SSH key login, which removes the need for a password for each login, thus ensuring a password-less, automatic login process. The ssh-copy-id command is part of OpenSSH, a tool for performing remote system administrations using encrypted SSH connections.

        This article shows you how to use the ssh-copy-id tool to make your SSH logins more seamless and secure.

      • How to Use the Ansible Ping Module – Linux Hint

        To perform an automated task on a remote host with Ansible, it is necessary to fill and work with certain variables, as to be expected. For example, this type of task is necessary to put a remote host online, allow login and user privileges, and set up a Python environment.

        It is possible to SSH into a remote host and check whether the host meets all the criteria. However, as an automation tool, Ansible provides modules that allow you to perform these tedious, time-consuming tasks in a single line of command.

        This tutorial shows you how to use the Ansible built-in ping module to perform various set variables on remote hosts. The Ansible ping request is a simple yet useful tool that you can use to test the availability and practicality of remote hosts.

        We will now take a closer look at how the Ansible ping works.

      • How to Resolve SSH Permission Denied (publickey) Error – Linux Hint

        SSH keys are a great method to use to authenticate SSH sessions without the need for a password at each login. However, like all technologies, SSH keys are not perfect, and you may encounter errors when using them. One of the most common errors when working with SSH keys is the permission denied (publickey) error.

        This article will discuss the various reasons for this error and show you the quick steps that you can take to fix the error.

      • How to Use cURL Post Data from File – Linux Hint

        cURL is a free and open-source command-line utility used for transferring data to or from a remote host with minimal user interaction. cURL works with primary protocols like HTTP, FTP, SCP, and SFTP.

        It allows users to upload and download data either using single commands or bash scripts. It also provides features such as user-authentication, proxy tunneling, download resume, form-based uploads, SSL certificates, and so much more. It is safe to say that cURL is more than an HTTP client.

        This tutorial will walk you through one cURL functionality that allows users to perform HTTP post requests using file data.

        Before we get started, let me mention that this is not a beginner’s guide to cURL; you need a degree of prior know-how, especially knowledge of network protocols, HTTP requests, and more.

        Before we can dive into using cURL to carry out POST requests, let us first get setup.

      • How to Use the Ansible Become Directive to Run Commands as Specified User – Linux Hint

        Using Ansible, you can perform various operations on remote machines using raw commands or Ansible playbooks. By default, an Ansible playbook is executed on the remote host as the same user on the Ansible controller. That means that if you need to run a command as another user on the remote machine, you will need to specify it explicitly in your Ansible playbook.

        To implement the functionality of running commands as another user, you will need to use the sudo feature that is available in Linux systems. The Ansible become directive allows you to run commands as the specified user.

        The user’s information is specified in an Ansible playbook using the become variables, such as become_pass, to specify the password of the user become_user, as well as which user can run the command.

      • How to Manipulate Ansible Data using Jinja Filters – Linux Hint

        On some occasions, when you are using Ansible to automate various tasks, you may need to transform and manipulate data. In Ansible, you can use a set of built-in filters or create custom filters to manipulate, process, and convert data. Ansible uses jinja2 template filters in the background to allow users to create filters for specified data.

        It is important to note that filter templating is carried out on the Ansible controller, and not on the specified remote hosts. This helps to reduce the amount of data transferred to the remote host after local processing. If you are unfamiliar with jinja templating, Jinja is a simple, intuitive, fast, and secure templating language for the Python programming language developed after the popular Python framework Django templates.

        We will not get into how jinja templating works, though it can be an added advantage to understand how it works with templates.

      • How to Download Files Using the Ansible get_url Module – Linux Hint

        As a Linux user, you are probably familiar with tools that allow you to download files from remote servers using HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, such as wget and cURL. When performing automation tasks, you will occasionally need to download files and packages to remote hosts. While you can use wget and cURL on the remote hosts to perform this function, you can also bypass the required installation to use these tools using the Ansible get_url module.

        This tutorial shows you how to use the Ansible get_url command to download files from remote servers.

      • How to configure and setup zshrc for ZSH – Linux Hint

        We have all performed numerous tasks from the terminal. From OS installations, configuration and updates, to package installs and such. We have also built projects and launched them to servers running various Operating systems using a terminal. Thus, to say that using a terminal has become part of our lives would be an understatement.

        However, using the default terminal can get old quickly. Fortunately, you can make a few tweaks to make the terminal fit your needs and look pleasing to you. In this simple and quick tutorial, I will show you how to customize your terminal using ZSH.

      • How to Install Blender 3D on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        Blender 3D is an open-source professional 3D graphics and animation program. It has a wide variety of applications such as animations, 3D modeling, visual effects, and motion graphics. This provides outstanding outcomes and is used in professional filmmaking. It can be used on many different platforms and supports approximately 34 different languages.

        The purpose of this roadmap is to install the Blender 3D on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install Google Cloud SDK on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        The Google Cloud SDK gives us the opportunity to use a terminal to access Google Cloud. It is a toolkit for creation which comes with many commands that help manage resources within the Google Cloud environment.

        The purpose of this roadmap is to install the Google Cloud SDK on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Run a Quick Network Scan with Nmap – Linux Hint

        Network Mapper, commonly known by its acronym Nmap, is an effective open-source network scanning and auditing tool. By default, Nmap comes with a wide range of tools and functionalities to perform host discovery, port scanning, operating systems and services, and versions. Nmap is quite capable and, at the same time, remains of the easiest cybersecurity and network auditing tools available.

        This tutorial will show you how to perform a quick network scan against a target and save the output to a file.

      • How to Use Enumerate Function in Python to Create Loops with Counters – Linux Hint

        This article will explain usage of the “enumerate” function available in Python’s standard module library. Enumerate function allows you to assign an “index” or “count” to elements in any iterable object. You can then implement further logic on them as you will have access to both values and a count mapped to it.

      • How to use Nginx Proxy Manager – Linux Hint

        Nginx is a popular web server and reverse proxy used to route traffic and redirect it to another server. Setting up Nginx as a reverse proxy can be time-consuming and prone to errors and misconfigurations.

        This guide will show you how to set up and use the Nginx proxy manager for easier management and configuration.

        Before diving into the tutorial, there are a few prerequisites.

      • How to use Nginx with Flask.

        Python is a great, easy-to-learn, and all-powerful programming language, and with frameworks such as Django and Flask, we can use it to create full-fledged web applications. Once we create a web application using libraries and frameworks such as Flask, we need to host it on a server and expose it to the public.

        This tutorial discusses how to host your web application on a server running Nginx using Gunicorn.

      • everything GNU Linux – Debian 10 64Bit – the universal operating system on over 10 year old hardware Lenovo C200 all in one PC (released 2010)

        what used to be a Windows XP box is now running very latest FREE version Debian, thus allowing to run latest Firefox and latest Thunderbird

      • Bash Exit Code of Last Command – Linux Hint

        When a bash command is executed, it leaves behind the exit code, irrespective of successful or unsuccessful execution. Examining the exit code can offer useful insight into the behavior of the last-run command.

        In this guide, check out how to check bash exit code of the last command and some possible usages of it.

      • How To Install UVdesk on CentOS 8

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install UVdesk on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, UVdesk Open Source is free fully-functional helpdesk software, designed on a very famous framework that recognizes among all developers such as Symfony, a PHP framework. UVdesk also organizes internal and external communication through clear structures and optimized processes allowing IT teams to avoid errors and complete tasks quickly and efficiently.

        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 UVdesk helpdesk ticketing system on a CentOS 8.

      • How to monitor system resources on Linux

        The job of the system admin is never done. Security, software rollouts, updates, user management, network I/O…you name it, and the admin has to do it. All those duties can bog the admin down during their day. When one thing goes wrong, all other things might get shoved to the side.

      • How Do I Find Out Which Port SSH Is Running On? – Linux Hint

        Secure Shell, commonly called SSH, is a network protocol used to perform remote logins in machines in a network or over the internet. SSH is very popular as it is secure and easy to use, especially if you are comfortable using the terminal.

        In this quick guide, we will discuss how to install SSH using OpenSSH server on a Linux system, quick configuration, and finally, show you how to view and change the port on which SSH is running.

      • How to Add User to Sudoers on Ubuntu 20.04? – Linux Hint

        We are used to logging into the administrator account in Windows and using different things directly as an administrator.

        In Windows, User Access Control (UAC) was implemented because remaining logged in as an administrator presented a very simple security danger. With UAC, most programs run with restricted access, and Windows only prompts the user to ask for permission when a system file needs to be changed.

        In Linux systems, we can run administrative applications by using the “sudo” command. It allows us to run a program as the root user. If you frequently use root as your user, you will be exposed to the risk of giving your device full access to malicious programs.

        There are two options to add a user to the sudoers. One way is by doing it manually and the other is by using the usermod command.

      • How to Find SSH Public Key – Linux Hint

        In some situations, you may need to view the contents of your SSH keys. For example, you may need to view the contents of a public key to add it to remote services requiring SSH authentication, such as Google Cloud. This article shows you how to view SSH key contents using a simple cat command in Linux.

      • How to Create a Directory in Ansible – Linux Hint

        Ansible is one of the best automation tools available, offering simple, intuitive, and powerful tools to perform automation tasks in the modern world.

        For most automation tasks, you will need to create directories, especially when installing various tools and applications, backups, and restores. Though you can perform these tasks using an automated script, Ansible provides better functionality, allowing you to create directories in specified hosts.

        This tutorial shows you how to use the Ansible file module to create, remove, and modify directory permissions for specified hosts.

      • How to Change Hostname on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        Hostname enables us to identify a device over the network. The hostname is set on your device during the installation process, or we can change it anytime on our virtual machine. A conflicting situation can arise if more than one device has a similar hostname and is connected to the same network.

      • How Do I Create a .CRT File in Linux? – Linux Hint

        Files with the .CRT extensions are normally SSL/TLS certificates. The .CRT extension is one of the most commonly used SSL/TLS certificate formats in Linux and other Unix-like systems.

        This tutorial will answer your question regarding creating a .CRT certificate file in Linux using the OpenSSL tool.

      • How to Install GNOME 40 in Ubuntu 21.04 [Testing Only]

        A good samaritan created a PPA which you can add and install GNOME 40 in Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo). And this is only for testing the packages.

    • Games

      • Hades on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Hades running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Top New Games You Can Play With Proton Since Mar. 2021

        Century: Age of Ashes is a Free to Play title that you might want to try out. It reminds me of Panzer Dragoon with a mix of Dragon Strike (old SSI title). Loop Hero has a native client as well as you may remember that Podiki has recently shared his impressions about it. Apparently some folks has issues to run it natively, but turns out it works just as well in Proton.

      • SuperTuxKart Has Polished And Revamped Karts Ready For The Next Big Release

        The free kart racing game has gotten four re-vamped carts and a lot of optimizations during the last few months. A new release is not imminent, and we do not know when it will be. What we do know is that there are some nice improvements happening in both the svn graphics asset repository and the git source code repository. None of the latest code changes deal with the OpenGL rendering pipes, so the games graphics performance remains the same as it was in the last release.

      • FMV adventure Dark Nights with Poe and Munro released for Linux | GamingOnLinux

        After a short Beta period that we wrote about earlier in March, the modern FMV adventure game Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is now natively released and support for Linux systems from D’Avekki Studios Ltd.

        “Adventure in the strange town of August with local radio hosts and secret lovers Poe and Munro, as they encounter six unique mysteries on and off the air. Direct the banter and the action as they fend off a nightmare stalker who just won’t let go, a vengeful ghost looking for everlasting closure, a demonic painting that grants wishes – and more – but can you keep Poe and Munro together, and alive…?”

      • Valve Releases Proton 6.3

        We knew it was coming, and here it is: the latest Proton now rebased on top of WINE 6.3 (dating from end of February, so Proton is behind the dev branch by a month or so). Proton 6.3 should now show up on Steam for you all. So what’s new this time around?

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • How I learned to stop worrying and love the hamburger menu

          Yesterday we introduced KHamburgerMenu to the world, and I wanted to talk a bit more about it, because I think it’s a very exciting UI control in ways that may not be immediately obvious.

          But first some background: a few years ago I wrote a big long post criticizing GNOME-style headerbars, and one of my complaints was that adopting them requires the replacement of traditional menu bars with hamburger menus.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 6 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Linux Desktop to GNOME 40 Today

          GNOME just unveiled its latest release, the GNOME 40 on March 24, 2021. As revolutionary as the jump from V3.38 to V40 has been, the improvements brought together by over 24,000 commits by roughly 822 contributors all across the globe are nothing less than spectacular.

          From visual overhauls to performance enhancements, it is one of the biggest updates that GNOME has received since GNOME 3. Let’s take a look at a few of the best features and changes that this release brings to the table.

          [...]

          This new change is more user intuitive as GNOME smartly creates or removes workspaces automatically as per the number of applications open. Additionally, you can also drag and drop your applications across the workspaces and GNOME will smartly rearrange them in a cognizant fashion.

          The dock also underwent some minor changes compared to its former version, now allowing the users to have separators to separate user favorite applications and running, but non-favorite applications.

    • Distributions

      • Happy Easter from OSMC

        We’d like to wish all of our users a Happy Easter. We hope that our users make the most of this time off and stay safe during this difficult period.

        We’re working hard on getting a stable version of Kodi v19 (Matrix) out and will make test builds available shortly.

      • Reviews

        • EndeavourOS Review: The Gateway Distro to Arch Linux

          EndeavourOS is a recent distro in the Linux space released back in July 2019 as a spiritual successor to Antergos Linux, which was discontinued in May 2019. In function, EndevourOS is a rolling release distro based on Arch Linux with a focus on delivering a beginner-friendly pre-configured desktop environment to its users.

          Over a short span of two years, EndeavourOS has amassed a respectable following. And with the latest release, the distro has the Arch community hyped with a slew of awesome bells and whistles.

          Now, all things considered, how exactly is EndeavourOS making Arch more beginner-friendly and accessible to new users? What’s the overall user experience? And what are the features it brings to the table?

          In this in-depth review of EndeavourOS, we will answer all these questions and much more.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Getting Started to Mageia 8 for Ubuntu Users

          Continuing our Mageia 8 install guide and review, now this is a simple guide for beginners to begin computing with Mageia. For this first time, as we did with Ubuntu too, we learn how to search, install, and update software applications on it. The work arounds are centered on the built-in program called Mageia Control Center (MCC) which is like Synaptic and YaST programs for either Ubuntu & openSUSE user.

      • Arch Family

        • Arch Linux’s Install Media Adds “Archinstall” For Quick/Easy Installations

          This month’s Arch Linux install media update now provides “archinstall” as the guided installer for Arch Linux for those preferring a quick and easy route for deploying Arch Linux.

          [...]

          The method is quick enough that I’ll likely use archinstall for future Arch Linux benchmarks on Phoronix as it also then applies a sane set of defaults for users asking otherwise how the distribution was installed/configured, among other questions that often come up when a distribution doesn’t have defaults / sensible stock values, while also being very quick to deploy.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • AlmaLinux Released As a Stable RHEL Clone For Those Who Liked CentOS
        • IBM – Xinuos—owners of what used to be SCO—file suit against Red Hat and IBM

          If this sounds like a familiar, well-worn tale, it should. Xinuos is the company that purchased the remnants of the SCO Group in 2011. The SCO Group, in turn, is a company most famous not for its actual products but for its litigation against IBM and Linux. That litigation began in 2003—partially funded by a very different Microsoft, only five years after the leak of the Halloween documents in which Microsoft acknowledged the “long-term viability” of open source software and discussed strategies to choke it out of the market.

        • IBM, Red Hat face copyright infringement, antitrust lawsuit in alleged ‘conspiracy’

          IBM and Red Hat are alleged to using wrongfully copied software code in a copyright infringement and antitrust lawsuit filed today by Xinuos, a software company headquartered in the U.S. Virgin Islands that a decade ago acquired a company that had unsuccessfully fought IBM in court.

          Alleges that IBM and Red Hat “engaged in additional, illegal anti-competitive misconduct to corner the billion-dollar market for Unix and Linux server operating systems.”

          [...]

          Interestingly, in 2011, Xinuos acquired another Unix firm, SCO, which sued IBM years ago and ultimately failed in its legal battle.

        • Happy Backup Day

          During my search for a backup solution I stumbled upon the tool backupninja and really liked the idea. Don’t write your own script that calls DB backup and the filesystem backup, but instead drop a file inside /etc/backup.d/ and it will automatically does it for you and sends an email if there is a problem. Even when this is a very Debian centric project, there is a Fedora/EPEL package for it. But the EPEL Package is only on version 1.1.0, instead of the current 1.2.1, but a mock rebuild of the fedora package for RHEL7 fixed that without any major issues. 1.2.1 is important because now restic is supported. There is still some love needed, because there are now at least two trees that are drifting apart ;-(

      • Debian Family

        • Jacob Appelbaum character assassination was pushed from the White House

          Many people noticed that my blog was censored from Planet Fedora again this week. It is probably because of compelling research like this. Fedora volunteers who want to stay on top of these things may want to consider following WeMakeFedora.org. There is a similar site for the Debian world, Uncensored Debian Planet.

          I recently blogged about the way Debian volunteers were whipped into a frenzy to circulate false claims of harassment and abuse against Jacob Appelbaum. The independent Debian Community News Team has published a blog with potential connections to British intelligence. With the lynching of Dr Richard Stallman now in full swing, volunteers have been thoroughly checking the credibility of the people behind these defamation plots.

          One of the most remarkable revelations so far is that one of the signatories to a Debian referendum to shame Dr Stallman is a Pentagon contractor, Paul R. Tagliamonte.

          Looking through the debian-private archives, I’ve found the following email from the same defense contractor during the period he was employed at the White House and Pentagon in the US Digital Service and Defense Digital Service.

          Tagliamonte sent the email below, the character assassination equivalent of a drone strike at 4:53pm on a Wednesday, during working hours. He is advocating a parallel system of justice, the Debian Account Managers (DAM) making a verdict, punishment and public shaming of the victim, Appelbaum.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”) Installation and Desktop Screenshots

          The Ubuntu team announced the release date and the development cycle for Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo. Ubuntu 21.04 is due for release on April 22, 2021.This tutorial provide Ubuntu 21.04 (“Hirsute Hippo”) desktop installation screenshots and some application screenshots.

          [...]

        • Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’ has entered public beta

          The upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 release is now available in beta, giving users and testers a taste of the new features in advance of the final release later this month.

          The beta images are a snapshot of the development build and aren’t meant for general consumption. Instead, they are designed to give users an opportunity to visualize the features of the upcoming release, while the testers poke and prod it to find any inconsistencies and breakages.

          If all goes well, the beta release of the popular open source Linux distro will be followed by a release candidate on April 15, before the final release on April 22.

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Testing Week Continues For Taming The Hirsute Hippo – Phoronix

          Kicked off this past Thursday and running through 7 April is the Ubuntu 21.04 “Testing Week” for helping to test the new changes and catch any remaining issues with there being now just three weeks to go to the final release.

          This coincides with this past week’s Ubuntu 21.04 Beta release while ideally users will be running the very latest daily ISO at the time of testing or otherwise have carried out the latest package updates post-beta phase.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Web Browser Performance Round-Up April 2021

          We benchmarked Brave, Chromium, Firefox, MS Edge, Midori, Naver, Otter, Opera and SeaMonkey to see which web browser provides the best performance on modern machines running GNU/Linux distributions. The numbers reveal that there is little difference since most modern browsers are merely Chromium-skins using the same rendering engine. Firefox and SeaMonkey are different, yet they are in the same performance-ballpark in everything except graphics-intensive applications. They are really bad in that particular area.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • The Month in WordPress: March 2021

          These words from Josepha Haden Chomphosy on the How WordPress Improves episode of the WP Briefing Podcast point to the factors that differentiate building software in an open-source environment. Our updates this month are closely tied to the philosophy behind those core principles of open source software.

      • FSF

        • Gunnar Wolf & Debian: fascism, anti-semitism and crucifixion

          As it is Debian, the cross wasn’t ready on time for a full crucifixion. Discussions continued until a ballot paper appeared late on Easter Saturday. Voting started early on Easter Sunday. As Dr Stallman was already crucified once before, maybe this vote will serve to resurrect him.

          What is more remarkable is that the Jewish feast of Yom HaShoah, when Israel marks the end of the Holocaust, is in the middle of the voting period. Gunnar Wolf’s enthusiasm to start this vote on a public holiday gives a scary insight into the callous efficiency with which tyrants indulge themselves in the destruction of their opponents.

          Dr Richard Stallman is of Jewish descent.

          Thanks to Sam Hartman, Gunnar Wolf, Kurt Roeckx and many others, such as the Pentagon contractor we exposed in the last blog, Paul Tagliamonte, some people will actually be submitting their votes against Dr Stallman on the day the Holocaust ended in the Jewish calendar.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Visualizing City of Helsinki procurements with geofi-package

            City of Helsinki public procurements have been available as open data since 2014. High quality data like this is obviously of great interest to many and [several interesting applications and visualizations] have been made available.

            With some additional open data from Finnish Patent and Registration Office and data wrangling, the location of the city supplier companies could be made visible. Geofi-package, just released in CRAN, provides excellent tools for this sort of task, alongside dplyr-package’s lightning-fast join and mutate operations.

      • Programming/Development

        • 5 vim plugins for web development

          Developing for the web depends on a lot of code; when you have not used vim before, you will feel like you have to type every web page character. You may come from other editors and wonder where are all the code completion features and other helpful stuff? Taking a cursory look at vim, the conclusion is to leave and never touch it again. If you follow a few simple guides and install the appropriate plugins, you will change your mind. To be efficient when programming, you need a few features. Namely, documentation links, code completion, and syntax highlighting. This will not make you a master programmer, but it will make your experience much better.

        • C++ Inheritance

          Inheritance is a very important feature of object-oriented programming. It allows the programmer to derive a class from an existing class. This is very useful especially in a large complex project because it allows the programmer to re-use the code.

          In this article, we are going to discuss the inheritance concept in C++ programming. We will explain the concept of the friend function in C++ with working examples.

        • NanoVMs Puts Legacy Vendors on Notice with Latest APM Offering

          NanoVMs Radar allows full tracing, debugging and performance monitoring that is specifically built for unikernel based workloads. NanoVMs Radar makes debugging server-side applications even easier than debugging on Linux systems.

          Unikernels have the geek world on fire as they run cloud and traditional datacenter workloads faster, safer and with far less complexity. The trick? Isolating each application to one small, secure nanovm.

        • What problems do people solve with strace?

          Yesterday I asked on Twitter about what problems people are solving with strace and as usual everyone really delivered! I got 200 answers and then spent a bunch of time manually categorizing them into 9 categories of problems.

          All of the problems are about either finding files a program depends on, figuring out why a program is stuck or slow, or finding out why a program is failing. These generally matched up with what I use strace for myself, but there were some things I hadn’t thought of too!

          I’m not going to explain what strace is in this post but I have a free zine about it and a talk and lots of blog posts.

        • How To Install ReactJS on Ubuntu Debian 10

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install ReactJS on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, React.js is an open-source JavaScript library, and the primary usage of it is to create user interfaces (UIs) that generally help to create single-page applications. It is developed and maintained by Facebook and a large community of developers. ReactJS can be used in the development of Web Applications or Mobile Apps.

          This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the ReactJS on a Debian 10 (Buster).

        • PHP 8.1 Feature Work Includes Adding Enums, Fsync Function – Phoronix

          While most haven’t even moved to PHP 8.0 yet in their Linux distribution default packages let alone in production environments, PHP 8.1 is under development and like clockwork should be out around the end of November as usual for their yearly release dance. In two months already the PHP 8.1 alpha releases should start up.

          In two months it’s already time for the PHP 8.1 alpha releases to begin. The PHP 8.1 schedule is like most years and after the three bi-weekly alpha releases it puts the PHP 8.1 feature freeze towards the end of July before moving onto the beta releases and then the many release candidates. If all goes well, PHP 8.1.0 will be out on 25 November.

        • Passing data from layouts to pages in SvelteKit
        • Python

          • How to Access SQLite from Python

            Python is a popular and robust programming language rich in features that make it usable in a wide range of cases like data science, networking, IT automation, penetration testing, and many more. It also has a simple syntax that allows developers who know other programming languages to adapt to using Python with ease.

            Data is everywhere, and a wide range of software applications interact with data using a Database Management System. SQLite is one of the most popular database management systems in Python.

            SQLite is a simple, powerful, open-source, and relational database engine that supports large software applications and embedded systems. SQLite is standalone and requires minimal configuration, making it extra easy to set up and run with minimal time. By default, Python comes built-in with an SQLite module (sqlite3), a very intuitive module for working with SQLite databases in Python.

            In this tutorial, we will look at how to use Python to work with SQLite databases. From establishing a connection to creating databases, reading databases, updating, and removing databases.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • How to Check if a File Exists in Bash?

            In Linux, everything is saved in a file. To check if a file exists and if it’s a standard one, use the test command with the -f option. Similarly, using the test command with the -d operator helps you to see if a file or directory exists.

            In this guide, we will learn how to use a Bash script to check if a file or directory exists.

          • How to use plugins for ZSH – Linux Hint

            I think we can all agree that the shell is the one thing we all have in common as Unix/Linux geeks. Whether you are a system admin, DevOps, Hardware, or Penetration testing, you will have to use the terminal to accomplish your tasks.

            In today’s tutorial, I want to show you how to install ZSH, make it the default shell and install the oh-my-zsh framework to customize and add more functionality to your shell using plugins.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Support for Families Needs to Be Permanent

      “Mothers of color especially have always been fighting an uphill battle against stagnating wages, rising costs, and with little help from the government.”

      One year ago, my schedule, like that of so many other working moms, was filled to the brim with business trips, preschooler birthday parties for my daughter, and social time with my partner and friends. Then it all came to a screeching halt when the country was shut down.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • We’re on the knife’s edge of the pandemic

        This is a surreal moment in the pandemic, brimming with hope and fear.

        Here in the US we’re at the last leg in a marathon — vaccines are here, and appointments to get those shots are becoming more plentiful. People are planning for the moments they’ve put off for a year or more. The finish line is in sight.

        At the exact same time, our will to power through to the end just slammed into a wall. Restrictions are lifting while cases are still high, sending case counts through the roof. Hospitals are getting crowded again. Testing has dropped, leaving us with incomplete information as new variants take hold.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • This Man Thought Opening A TXT File Is Fine, He Thought Wrong. MacOS CVE-2019-8761

          Sorry for the clickbaity title, but CVE-2019-8761 really is an interesting macOS bug that lets attackers execute HTML within a TXT file, leak files, and do all sorts of other funky things.

          This research originated when I realized the default text reader on OSX, TextEdit is used to open files with TXT extension by default. On the interface of TextEdit, it looked like you can do basic customization to your text (you can turn text bold, italic, change color etc…), so I was wondering how a TXT file was storing and parsing this information. It seems it uses RTF format instead of TXT if we add customizations to the text.

        • Security

          • Why Signature Verification in OpenPGP is hard

            When I first thought about signature verification in OpenPGP I thought “well, it cannot be that hard, right?”. In the end all you got to do is check if a signature was made by the given key and if that signature checks out (is cryptographically correct). Oh boy, was I wrong.

            The first major realization that struck me was that there are more than just two factors involved in the signature verification process. While the first two are pretty obvious – the signature itself and the key that created it – another major factor is played by the point in time at which a signature is being verified. OpenPGP keys are changing over the course of their lifespan. Subkeys may expire or be revoked for different reasons. A signature might be valid up to the point where the key that created it expires. Keys can be rebound, so an expired key might become valid again at some point, which would also make the signature valid once again.

            But what does it mean to rebind a key? How are expiration dates set on keys and what role plays the reason of a revocation?

            The answer to the first two questions is – Signatures!

            OpenPGP keys consist of a set of keys and subkeys, user-id packets (which contain email addresses and names and so forth) and lastly a bunch of signatures which tie all this information together. The root of this bunch is the primary key – a key with the ability to create signatures, or rather certifications. Signatures and certifications are basically the same, they just have a different semantic meaning, which is quite an important detail. More to that later.

            The main use of the primary key is to bind additional data to it. First and foremost user-id packets, which can (along with the primary keys key-ID) be used to identify the key. Alice might for example have a user-id packet on her key which contains her name and email address. Keys can have more than one user-id, so Alice might also have an additional user-id packet with her work-email or her chat address added to the key.

          • AMD Admits Their Zen 3 CPUs Are Vulnerable To Spectre-STL Attacks

            The American chip-designer AMD has published a long report where they admit that the Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) technology in their Zen 3 processors make them vulnerable to Spectre-STL attacks. The Linux kernel does not, as of today’s git tree, provide any protection against those kinds of attacks.

            [...]

            AMD has proposed a series of Linux kernel patches that would allow Linux users to enable security mitigations against Spectre-STL. Their proposal is to introduce two new kernel parameters: psfd and nopsfd. These new settings would give users the ability to change hardware control bit (MSR 48h bit 7) that allow the Predictive Store Forwarding Disable (PSFD) feature in Zen 3 processors to be enabled (default) or disabled. Adding psfd=on would, very oddly, set the PSFD bit to one and disable this feature while nopsfd would set the PSFD bit to zero and enable the feature. This seems a bit backwards; it would not be unreasonable to assume that nopsfd would result in .. no .. psfd. That is, apparently, not how AMD would like those parameters to work.

            It does not currently matter what parameters AMD may get into the Linux kernel in the future because a close-up inspection of grep -R psfd . in the current linus.git kernel tree reveal no mention of, or even hint of, any psfd kernel parameter today. There is no such parameter in any of the current kernels code, and there is no mention of it in Documentation/admin-guide/kernel-parameters.txt.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • 533 Million Facebook Users Data leaked

              Once again Facebook users’ data was compromised and leaked online for free. This time it is not in thousands but 533 million users’ data with personal information such as full names, Facebook IDs, locations, date of births, email addresses, and even phone numbers.

              The day is not far when we’ll have a dedicated mobile app to download the latest Facebook data leaks. Surprisingly, most of the data is available for free.

              According to Facebook’s spokesperson, the data leaked online was compromised using the vulnerability reported and fixed in 2019.

              [...]

              So most users are still using the same email address and phone number. Actually, phone numbers and email addresses can be changed but what about the date of birth that hundreds of other services including banks ask to authenticate users at several places?

            • Facebook Data on 533 Million Users Reemerges Online for Free

              The personal data of more than half a billion Facebook Inc. users reemerged online for free on Saturday, a reminder of the company’s ability to collect mountains of information and its struggles to protect these sensitive assets.

              The leak includes personal information on 533 million Facebook users, such as phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birth dates, bios and in some cases email addresses, Business Insider reported.

            • [Old] RSF files lawsuit in France accusing Facebook of “deceptive commercial practices”

              In a lawsuit filed with the public prosecutor in Paris on 22 march 2021, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) accuses Facebook of “deceptive commercial practices” on the grounds that the social media company’s promises to provide a “safe” and “error-free” online environment are contradicted by the large-scale proliferation of hate speech and false information on its networks.

            • India sees 200% rise in time spent on mobile lock screens: Glance report

              The report, titled ‘What India Consumes on Lock Screen’, said the average user spends at least 25 minutes consuming content on Glance, which uses the lock screen to provide personalised and locally relevant, live content to users.

              The report is based on users’ behaviour on Glance between January 2020 and January 2021. The company has over 115 million daily active users. It found that the time between dinner and before bed was the most preferred time for viewing content.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Derek Chauvin Trial Week 1: Raw Video, Raw Emotions as Witnesses to George Floyd’s Death Testify

        Multiple police officers also testified for the prosecution, with one Minneapolis homicide lieutenant calling Chauvin’s use of deadly force “totally unncessary.”  

        The first week of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd last May 25, wrapped up Friday, capping a week of vivid eyewitness accounts, harrowing video evidence, and testimony by officers from the defendant’s own department who called his deadly use of force against the unarmed Black man excessive and “totally unnecessary.” 

      • Frontex and the use of force

        With the „Standing Corps“, the EU has an armed police force for the first time. The use of guns and other means of coercion is to be monitored by a „Committee on the Use of Force“, whose members are selected by the Frontex director. This reinforces the control deficit at the biggest EU agency.

      • Al-Shabab Attacks Military Bases in Southern Somalia

        Government forces appear to have repulsed attack on Awdhegle and defended a key bridge used by civilians and the military, but there was heavy fighting in Barire town, the officials added.

        Al-Shabab claimed to have “overrun” the Barire military base. A regional official, who did not want to be named because he was not allowed to speak to the media, said Barire bore the brunt of the attack. Two officials said the militants entered Barire military base without providing further details. The militants have now been pushed out of Barire, an official said.

        Awdhegle and Barire are located 75 kilometers and 60 kilometers southwest of Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu, respectively.

      • Louis Farrakhan Silent After Noah Green Linked to Nation of Islam

        The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated Nation of Islam as a hate group, highlighting in particular Farrakhan’s frequent use of Anti-Semitic rhetoric.

      • Isis attacks in Africa rise by third in a year as UK and US warn of Islamist insurgency on continent

        Attacks by Isis in Africa have gone up by a third over the past year in a relentless rise of Islamist insurgency in the continent, Antony Blinken and Dominic Raab have warned, as they called for a united international strategy to counter the threat.

        The US secretary of state and the British foreign secretary issued a statement along with ministers from the Global Coalition against Daesh [Isis], highlighting how the group has become lethally active in Africa, as well as showing signs of a resurgence in the Middle East.

      • Islamized France: Left-Wing Party Subsidies Largest Mosque in Europe (Videos)

        The mosque, which is a part of the Milli Gorus Islamic Confederation (CMIG), recently refused to sign President Macron’s, newly unveiled anti-extremism charter. This charter would mean the mosque agrees in writing to disassociate from Islamic precepts (which are anathema to Western culture and civilization), and demand that the Mosque respect French law, and renounce what he calls “political islam”.

        The highly controversial Milli Görüs organization, is a pan-European movement for the Turkish diaspora, inspired by the ideas of the late Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. The former Prime Minister was regarded as the father of political Islam in Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan mentor. Erbakan was radically anti-secular and anti-Western. He created the Milli Görüs or “National Vision” (a euphemism for political Islam) movement to carry out his agenda of transforming Turkey into an Islamic state.

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • ‘We Will Not Stop’: First Nations Land Defenders Take Direct Action Against Trans Mountain Pipeline

          “Today we stand on unceded, unsurrendered, illegally occupied Secwepemc land to show that we will not stop until the pipeline is terminated and the land is returned to the rightful title holders.”

          A pair of Indigenous land defenders locked themselves to equipment at a fossil fuel pumping station in British Columbia on Saturday, vowing to continune resisting a government-owned oil pipeline that is harming the climate, the environment, and First Nations peoples whose unceded lands it traverses. 

    • Finance

      • [Old] Biden Expected to Put the World’s Kleptocrats on Notice

        Estimates of the cost of corruption to the global economy range from $1 trillion to $2.6 trillion annually, much of it coming from the developing world. If even a fraction of that money were caught and kept in its country of origin each year by anti-corruption efforts, it would far outstrip development assistance spending, which in 2018 hit almost $166 billion worldwide.

        “You would literally change the economics of global poverty,” Kalman said.

        There’s a national security case, too. Over the past decade authoritarian regimes, principally Russia and China, have spent $300 million—much of it by exploiting legal loopholes—to influence the politics of dozens of countries around the world, according to a report released earlier this year by the German Marshall Fund.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | The For the People Act Must Pass In Whole

        “There is nothing to indicate that taking out key democracy reforms from the bill will improve the chances of passing S. 1.”

        Some academics and pundits have been postulating that the campaign finance, gerrymandering, and other reform provisions of S. 1, the For the People Act, should be dropped, and the Senate should proceed to try to pass only the voting rights provisions of the bill.

      • Opinion | Amidst a Wave of Voter Suppression Bills, Some States Expand Access to the Ballot

        “Voter suppression is only half of the story. In contrast, many other states have learned lessons from the successes of the 2020 election and are seeking to expand access to the ballot.”

        The struggle for the right to vote is underway at state legislatures throughout the country. Following record voter turnout in the 2020 election, politicians are drumming up false concerns and baseless conspiracies about widespread voter fraud to justify suppressing the right to vote. More than 250 voter suppression bills have been introduced in 45 states. These bills seek to make it more difficult for people to register to vote, vote by mail, or vote in person.

      • “Bandits!”: Trump campaign scammed supporters using deceptive recurring payment option

        “Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the campaign had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election,” reported Shane Goldmacher. “Contributors had to wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out. As the election neared, the Trump team made that disclaimer increasingly opaque, an investigation by The New York Times showed. It introduced a second prechecked box, known internally as a ‘money bomb,’ that doubled a person’s contribution. Eventually its solicitations featured lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language.”

      • Trump used dark patterns to trick supporters into donating millions more than intended

        By June 2020, the Trump campaign had begun using dark patterns, computer interfaces designed to trick users, to automatically sign up campaign contributors to donate far more money than they had intended — recurring monthly donations, recurring weekly donations, even a one-time surprise “money bomb” — by pre-checking the checkboxes for each option, burying the fine print under paragraphs of bold text, and forcing his supporters to wade through it all and opt out if they wanted to make a simple donation.

      • How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations

        What the Blatts soon discovered was $3,000 in withdrawals by the Trump campaign in less than 30 days. They called their bank and said they thought they were victims of fraud.

        “It felt,” Russell said, “like it was a scam.”

        But what the Blatts believed was duplicity was actually an intentional scheme to boost revenues by the Trump campaign and the for-profit company that processed its online donations, WinRed. Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the campaign had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election.

        Contributors had to wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Nearly 129,000 people probed for ‘insulting’ Erdoğan in 5 years

        Turkish prosecutors have launched investigations into a total of 128,872 citizens between 2014 and 2019 on charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while some 27,717 lawsuits were filed on the same accusation, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on March 29.

        A tool commonly deployed by Ankara to reprimand critics of the government, insult charges often concern comments about the president, although citizens have been accused of insulting the government’s values as well.

      • In Europe’s most liberal country criticism of Islam is forbidden: The Dutch have totally submitted to Islamic threats having had a taste of what happens if they don’t – Isn’t fighting back an option?

        We are in the country from which Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the indomitable co-author of the film that cost Theo Van Gogh’s life, had to flee to the United States, while Geert Wilders, the best-known critic of Islam and whose name was engraved on Van Gogh’s stomach, wears a bulletproof vest in Parliament and even in televised debates.

        It goes without saying that the film that cost Theo Van Gogh his life has never been broadcast again. Because in the most free and most tolerant country in Europe, submission is complete.

      • Bauchi Community Torture, Burn Man To Death For Allegedly Insulting Prophet Muhammad

        Another source told SaharaReporters that some youths had earlier dragged the deceased before Islamic clerics where he was asked questions.

        After the questioning session, the clerics reportedly told the crowd that Talle Mai Ruwa deserved to be killed.

        “The mum stood and watched while fire consumed Talle Mai Ruwa until he was reduced to ashes,” he lamented.

      • Muhammad Removed From a New Dutch Translation of Dante’s Inferno

        The news has been quietly making the rounds in European news outlets, following an initial report by the newspaper De Standaard that was picked up subsequently by several French publications: a new translation of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, written between 1304 and 1307, is causing controversy following the translator’s alterations.

        Valeurs Actuelles reported that Lies Lavrijsen, who was tasked with the translation of the famous book by the Florentine poet, decided to remove any mention of Muhammad altogether, in a push to make the text more “more pleasant and accessible.” Speaking on the Belgian radio station Radio 1, she defended her exclusion, stating “a widest possible accessibility,” especially for “a younger audience,” as her justification. She added: “We knew that if we left this passage as it was written, we would have unnecessarily hurt a large part of the readers.” Lies Lavrijsen even reveals that the decision was made “in the tense period that saw the death of the teacher Samuel Paty in France.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Moroccan authorities urged to free Sahrawi journalist on hunger strike

        Haddi began an indefinite hunger strike on 13 January to draw attention to the mistreatment to which he is being subjected, and has been force-fed by means of a nasogastric tube since last week. When he managed to call his mother on 24 March, he told her he had lost all sensation in half of his body.

      • Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law

        The first victim will be Melis Alphan, a journalist specialising in covering conjugal violence, who will face a possible sentence of seven years and six months in prison for a single photo when she appears before an Istanbul court on 6 April.

      • Grants in Memory of Fearless Reporter Support Female Journalists Worldwide

        In recent years, voices like hers — big, bold and female — are coming under threat in media around the world. Online harassment of women is on the rise, experts say. And contracting newsrooms mean there are fewer opportunities for women in an already competitive field where — as both journalists and story subjects — they are in the minority.

        It’s a very real problem — and one that the coronavirus pandemic appears to be accelerating — says Nadine Hoffman, deputy director at the International Women’s Media Foundation.

        One way the foundation is fighting that is by turning up the volume on bold women journalists through financial relief and grants, including a grant in Wall’s name.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Uber will pay a blind woman $1.1 million after drivers stranded her 14 times

        Uber was sued in 2014 for discriminating against blind people and their guide dogs, and agreed to change that as part of a $2.6 million settlement two years later. But apparently, that didn’t entirely happen.

        Uber will now pay an additional $1.1 million to a blind woman who says said she missed work, missed her birthday celebration, missed Christmas Eve church services, and was left out in the dark, in the rain, and other such humiliations because Uber drivers refused to carry her and her dog on 14 different occasions — a number of which happened after Uber finalized its 2016 settlement.

      • [Old] Uber lost $6.8 billion in 2020

        Uber lost a staggering $6.8 billion last year — and that’s actually good news.

        The full-year loss, which Uber reported along with its fourth quarter results on Wednesday, represented a significant drop from the $8.5 billion it lost in 2019. During the year, Uber sold off costly ventures, cut staff and focused on what its CEO previously called “profitable growth.”

        The company reported $968 million in losses for the last three months of 2020, including $236 million in stock-based compensation expenses, down from nearly $1.1 billion in the year prior. CFO Nelson Chai said in a statement that Uber remains “well on track to achieving our profitability goals in 2021.”

      • The Horrifying Conditions For Sikhs in Muslim Countries

        Attempting to build alliances in their war against Hindutva, Islamists in India can now be seen wooing the Sikh community. However, the lesser-known chapters of history and the horrifying condition of Sikhs in Islamic countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan establish that those who are chasing the dream of bringing the world under the flag of their Islamic faith have no tolerance for people of any other religion.

        Centuries ago, Islamic invaders in India martyred the revered Sikh gurus in unspeakable and disturbing ways. Guru Arjan Dev Ji, the fifth of the ten Sikh gurus, was executed by Jahangir in 1606 CE for refusing to embrace Islam.

      • Renouncing Islam in Malaysia Is Dangerous. We Spoke to Those Who Did It.

        Tensions have also been on the rise lately, with hardline police crackdowns being launched into alleged apostasy cases.

        “As a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, Malaysia should know better than to violate the fundamental rights of freedom of conscience and religion,” said Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director of Human Rights Watch.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Sony Ends Support For Playstation Store For PSP, PS3, and Vita

        A few days ago, we discussed the problem of video game preservation as a matter of art when developers, publishers, or platforms shut down certain services. The point of the post was fairly wide-reaching, with the focus being on the idea that game developers in the PC space should embrace the habit of releasing their source codes for games and let the gamer ecosystem take over. While that’s an idea I find extremely interesting, it doesn’t really apply to the console gaming space. And it was rumors of the shutdown of certain Sony PlayStation stores that kickstarted the whole conversation.

    • Monopolies

      • Social Media Buzz: Amazon Says Sorry, Trump and Obama on MLB

        Amazon.com Inc. apologized for a tweet denying its workers are sometimes forced to urinate in bottles, a rare instance of contrition from the world’s largest e-commerce company.

      • In apology, Amazon admits some drivers have to ‘pee in bottles’

        E-commerce giant Amazon has apologized to a US lawmaker after falsely denying that some of its drivers are forced at times to urinate in plastic bottles.

        The flap started last week with a tweet from Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin.

        “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” Pocan tweeted, in an apparent reference to Amazon’s opposition to efforts to unionize a major facility in Alabama.

      • Amazon apologises for wrongly denying drivers need to urinate in bottles

        Mr Pocan rejected the apology on Saturday, tweeting: “Sigh. This is not about me, this is about your workers – who you don’t treat with enough respect or dignity. Start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions you’ve created for ALL your workers, then fix that for everyone and finally, let them unionise without interference.”

        Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted in a historic poll last week to decide whether they want to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The effort has been strongly opposed by Amazon.

        The results are not expected until next week. If they vote yes, it will become Amazon’s first US union.

      • Patents

        • Patents and The Fourth Industrial Revolution [Ed: Marks & Clerk now pushing the same meaningless buzzwords that corrupt EPO does, in order to grant loads of illegal patents including software patents. A publication called “The Chemical Engineer” is thus a worthless propaganda/spam rag]

          BIG data, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are transforming the landscape for consumers. From smart electricity meters to smart (grocery-ordering) fridges, our world is becoming more technology-driven, more automated and more connected. Recent patent filing data released by the European Patent Office (EPO) reveals that this trend will only accelerate, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution transforms the global economy, and digital and tech-driven innovations grow in dominance.

          Marks & Clerk’s own research into AI filings trends and additive manufacturing3 (or 3D printing) patents reveals a similar picture, with both technologies in particular promising to disrupt traditional manufacturing industries and production lines, from medical supplies to prefabricated cars.

        • Should You Seek IP protection in the ASEAN region? [Ed: Asking Marks & Clerk (patent litigation profiteers) whether you should pursue more patents is like asking a bomb maker if you need to order more bombs]

          There certainly have been steps taken, dating back to 1995, to cooperate when it comes to IP among the ASEAN member countries, mostly because of the aims and purposes of the regional block. The regional group does, in fact, have a specific present initiative called the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2016-2025, that sees IP as central to building the region’s socio-economic goals. To do so, one of the main tenets of this 10 year initiative is for all member countries in ASEAN to accede to all the major IP treaties such as, the PCT, TRIPS, Paris Convention, Madrid Protocol, and the Hague System. As of February 2021, all of ASEAN’s member countries are members of the PCT, Paris Convention, and Madrid Protocol, except for Myanmar. As for the Hague System, certainly fewer of the ASEAN member countries have acceded, with only Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, and Cambodia being members so far.

          So in a sense, yes, the member states of ASEAN do have a regional understanding when it comes to IP in that they recognise the strengths of being members of international IP treaties and how that can affect their individual and regional economic outlooks. Having a robust IP regime brings economic opportunities of its own. Typically, when companies are assured that their innovations are safe and can be protected by national or international laws, there is a higher chance that they will want to bring their manufacturing and research and development (R&D) teams here, and that is definitely something that the individual ASEAN governments understand and are actively trying to encourage.

        • Neurim and Flynn v Mylan – Who is the real winner? [Ed: A law firm of chronic liars who work for patent trolls and monopolists is the only “winner” when needless patent battles come about]

          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.

          [...]

          Having found that he had jurisdiction to revisit the 16 December 2020 Orders and should exercise it, Marcus Smith J went on to consider whether he should vary them regarding, inter alia, costs.

          The 16 December 2020 Orders had included a costs order in Neurim’s favour. In deciding to vary this order, Marcus Smith J first considered who was the “winner”. Marcus Smith J acknowledged that, but for the outcome of the EPO proceedings, it was uncontroversial that Neurim was the winner of the UK proceedings. However, in circumstances where success is a “result in real life”, Marcus Smith J considered that the effect of the EPO proceedings on the outcome of the UK proceedings was a relevant factor. Adopting this outcome focussed approach, the Judge considered that Mylan to be the winner – the effect of the EPO proceedings was that the patent had been revoked.

          Marcus Smith J also considered the parties’ conduct in the UK and EPO proceedings, concluding that neither had caused avoidable costs such that should alter his view that costs should be awarded in favour of Mylan. In this regard, Marcus Smith J gave some thought to the question of adjournment of the trial in the UK proceedings. Although the Judge recognised (and understood) that both parties may have had reasons for not seeking an adjournment (for example, Mylan would have wanted “two bites of the revocation cherry” and Neurim, having failed to obtain an interim injunction, would have wanted a final injunction in place as soon as possible), the Consequentials Judgment certainly suggests that the matter should have been put before the English Patents Court. Interestingly, in considering this question, Marcus Smith J noted that (emphasis added) “in not seeking to engage with the court on the question of adjournment, each of the parties assumed the risk of costs being wasted and of a costs order being made that followed the outcome of the interaction between the UK and the EPO [p]roceedings, as opposed to the reasoning (whatever it might be) of the UK [p]roceedings”. In circumstances where patent litigators are perhaps accustomed to the costs order being awarded in favour of the party that was successful in the UK proceedings (irrespective of the outcome of proceedings at EPO or in any other jurisdiction), the Judge’s emphasis on the outcome of the EPO proceedings (as opposed to the reasoning of the UK proceedings) is worthy of note.

        • How the EPO’s latest CRISPR revocation affects the Cas9 landscape [Ed: Why on Earth was EPO granting patents (monopolies) on nature and life to begin with? The European authorities need to get involved to stop this lunacy.]

          The revocation of a Sigma-Aldrich Cas9 patent could be a sign of things to come in other EPO opposition proceedings, but Europe’s CRISPR IP state of play will remain uncertain for several years

        • A week is a long time at the EPO… [Ed: More hogwash by patent litigation giant in Germany, not mentioning that this is illegal and moreover the EPO attacked its own court to pretend that this is OK]

          The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (epi) published an analysis of results of a survey of its members taken at the end of 2020. The authors concluded that a “majority of respondents … believe that [ViCo] … should not be forced upon unwilling participants after the pandemic”.

          A few months on from when the survey was taken, it is difficult to know how valid such a broad conclusion might continue to be.

          The conclusion seems to be based primarily on Question 7 of the survey, which asked whether ALL parties should be required to attend oral proceedings by ViCo if ONE party requests it. Roughly half the respondents answered “No” and roughly half answered “Yes” for at least some circumstances (e.g. because the pandemic is still on or if serious reasons are given in the request).

          It is also noted that, at the time of taking the survey, only 45% of respondents had actually experienced oral proceedings by ViCo. Furthermore, only 15% had inter parties oral proceedings (either before the Opposition Division or Board of Appeal) as their most recent ViCo experience (see Questions 10-15 of the Survey).

          It will be interesting to see how these opinions might have changed following both Opposition Division oral proceedings and Board of Appeal oral proceedings shifting to ViCo since the beginning of the year and thus more parties being required to adopt ViCo as a matter of course. Maybe they liked it.

          [...]

          Of course, we won’t know anything for sure until the Enlarged Board issue their decision. The oral proceedings for the referral itself have been scheduled for 28 May 2021, although (as specifically noted on page 3 of the summons) we could get a decision even sooner if the parties inform the Enlarged Board they do not consider oral proceedings expedient and/or envisage they will not attend the oral proceedings.

          The irony of oral proceedings to decide on the legality of oral proceedings by video conference being itself conducted by video conference has also not been lost on many. Is it also perhaps indicative of the Enlarged Board’s preliminary view of the matter?

          Who ever said European patent law isn’t exciting?

        • Software Patents

          • G 1/19 – EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal Decides on Inventiveness of Computer-Implemented Simulations [Ed: Corrupt EPO (in effect run by criminals by a number of years; they even hijacked their courts) is letting illegal software patents be granted in Europe — showing that crime thrives and is going undeterred in ‘civilised’ Germany. The software industry in Europe is being crushed by EPO corruption and nobody speaks about it (some key publishers too have been bribed by the corrupt officials after doing an expose or two).]

            The three questions were brought to the EBoA by the Board of Appeal (BoA) after an appeal by Bentley Systems (UK) Limited, in relation to a patent for the simulation of the movement of an autonomous entity through an environment (i.e., creating a model of pedestrians moving through a building and using said model in the design of the environment/building). This has obvious uses for cases such as evacuating stadiums and railway stations. The model looked at individual pedestrians under certain parameters, such as walking speeds and step lengths, as well as personal space and obstacles in their way.

            The examiner at first instance ruled it was only the use of a computer that contributed to the technical character of the claimed method and was therefore not inventive.

            Bentley Systems appealed this decision and argued that, after T 641/00 (Comvik1) and T 1227/05, the method steps still contributed to the overall technical character of the invention, even if the individual method steps were themselves nontechnical. The BoA took the view that the steps forming the method were nontechnical and could only contribute to the technical character of the claim to the extent that their combination interacted with the technical features of the claim to produce a technical effect. As the only technical feature was the computer, the technical effect of the combination was viewed as putting a nontechnical process onto a computer, and therefore was not inventive. However, the board referred the three above questions to the EBoA, which only deals with questions of law, not questions of fact. The EBoA accepted these questions in an effort to minimize inconsistencies across Europe in the way the law is applied to simulations and models. It has long been established that computer programs must achieve some technical benefit beyond lines of code, but how that relates to models and simulations is not clear. The creation of models and simulations is arguably technical (although in isolation would likely be considered a mathematical method or mental act, precluding it from patentability), but the processes being simulated are not technical.

      • Copyrights

        • OpenTrackr Orders New Server to Keep Millions of Torrent Transfers Going

          OpenTrackr helps millions of people to share files via BitTorrent. The software has been running on an old Dell server but in recent months it’s suffered severe bottlenecking. To keep everything running smoothly, OpenTrackr’s operator decided to order new gear. Part of the costs are covered by donations and the rest are chalked up as ‘hobby expenses.’

        • Pirate Bay: Law Firm Wins Prestigious Industry Award For Dynamic Blocking Injunction

          In the summer of 2020, a long-running case filed by several movie companies against Swedish ISP Telia was concluded in favor of the rights holders. The result was Sweden’s first ‘dynamic’ blocking injunction against The Pirate Bay and several other platforms. The law firm responsible for that victory has now been handed a prestigious industry award for its efforts.

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