04.12.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 12/4/2021: Lagrange 1.3.2, Linux 5.12 RC7

Posted in News Roundup at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: April 11th, 2021

      This week has been slow on news due to the Easter holidays, so we only saw the release of a new maintenance update for the latest KDE Plasma 5.21 desktop environment series, a new major update for the Getting Things GNOME to-do app, a new KDE Frameworks release, as well as a new major FFmpeg release.

      On top of that, Arch Linux adds the ArchInstall guided installer in the April 2021 ISO snapshot, KDE promises to keep their Qt 5 apps up to date until they finish the transition to Qt 6, KDE neon devs announce offline updates, Star Labs teases another Linux ultrabook, and GNOME 41 gets a final release date.

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #125

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux roundup.

      We had a peaceful week with only the release of Garuda Linux 210406.

      Have a great week and stay safe!

    • Linux Weekly Roundup – XScreenSaver, Sway, Plasma 5.21.4, and More

      Presenting this week’s DebugPoint.com weekly roundup series (Week Ending April 12, 2021) series, refined for you from the Linux and the open-source world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, and major news. Take a look.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo M93 Ultra Small Desktop PC- OBS Studio – Week 6

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

        This week’s blog looks at video recording on the Lenovo M93. When it comes to software, Linux offers a fantastic array of free and open source programs. In the vast majority of areas there’s a wide range of programs to choose from. Sometimes the amount of high quality open source software is bamboozling. But there’s still a few areas which are dominated by a single program. In the case of video recording and streaming, the stand out open source program is OBS Studio.

        Modern graphic cards perform a variety of tasks. They aren’t just designed for gaming. Many cards help offload video encoding and decoding from the CPU. This helps to lower power consumption and free up resources for the rest of the system. In the case of OBS Studio, this program relies heavily on the GPU. But the Lenovo M93 doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. This ultra small PC uses the Intel HD Graphics 4600, a mobile integrated graphics solution by Intel launched in May 2013. Performance of the graphics unit is widely reported as in the low-end segment.

      • How Google is continuing to chip away at Microsoft’s productivity dominance [Ed: Even the Microsoft boosters admit Microsoft is in trouble…]

        The paths of the digital advertising giants may just be beginning to diverge. While Google will remain dependent on advertising revenue for years to come, the company’s levelheaded approach regarding threats to that business may be indicative of a broader shift that could have the future of the company looking a lot more like Microsoft than Facebook.

        As we were recently reminded when Microsoft executive Brad Smith testified regarding Google’s dominance, the two companies have a long-running rivalry. It has included Microsoft chasing Google in online search and mobile phone operating systems and Google chasing Microsoft in cloud computing, productivity suites, and PC operating systems. The startup display of the Surface Duo, which shows the Microsoft logo on one screen and the Android logo on the other, is a great metaphor for the companies’ relationship — separated by a divide designed to bend but not break.

      • [Older] 13 Places to Buy Linux Laptops in 2021

        Almost all the non-Apple computers sold these days come with Windows preinstalled on them. The standard procedure for Linux users is to buy such a computer and then either remove Windows and install Linux, or dual boot Linux with Windows.

    • Server

      • Kubernetes 1.21: Introducing Suspended Jobs

        Jobs are a crucial part of Kubernetes’ API. While other kinds of workloads such as Deployments, ReplicaSets, StatefulSets, and DaemonSets solve use-cases that require Pods to run forever, Jobs are useful when Pods need to run to completion. Commonly used in parallel batch processing, Jobs can be used in a variety of applications ranging from video rendering and database maintenance to sending bulk emails and scientific computing.

        While the amount of parallelism and the conditions for Job completion are configurable, the Kubernetes API lacked the ability to suspend and resume Jobs. This is often desired when cluster resources are limited and a higher priority Job needs to execute in the place of another Job. Deleting the lower priority Job is a poor workaround as Pod completion history and other metrics associated with the Job will be lost.

        With the recent Kubernetes 1.21 release, you will be able to suspend a Job by updating its spec. The feature is currently in alpha and requires you to enable the SuspendJob feature gate on the API server and the controller manager in order to use it.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux could run on Apple M1 chips in just a few months

        Apple’s latest M1-based range of laptops and desktops has impressed many with the impressive speed boost over Intel chips. While many macOS fans have been eagerly waiting for their favorite apps to be ported across, others have been waiting to the arrival of Linux.

        And with the launch of version 5.13 of the Linux kernel, this should become a reality. The hard work of developers means Linux support could be coming to M1 Apple devices as soon as June this year.

        Support will initially, understandably, be somewhat rudimentary. But it will at least be official and — hopefully — rather more reliable than cobbled-together hacks. While the early stage of support will mean that not everything will be working as everyone might hope, it will serve as an important starting point from which to build.

      • Linux will soon get official support for M1 Macs

        There are several different ongoing projects to bring Linux to the latest Macs – including the news back in January of a working version based on a variant of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi – but we may soon get official support. The upcoming Linux kernel 5.13 is in “good enough shape” to work with Apple’s M1 computers, writes Phoronix.

      • Kernel prepatch 5.12-rc7

        The 5.12-rc7 kernel prepatch is out; it’s rather larger than Linus would have liked. “End result: I’m still waffling about the final 5.12 release. The fact that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I’ll probably do an rc8 this time around. But it ends up depending a bit on how the upcoming week goes, and if things are deathly quiet, I may end up deciding that an rc8 doesn’t really make sense.”

      • Linux 5.12-rc7
        Oh well. rc5 was big. rc6 was small. And now rc7 is big again. In
        fact, it's the biggest rc7 (at least in number of commits) we've had
        in the 5.x series.
        
        It's mostly due to networking fixes (of which rc6 had none), and none
        of them should be all that scary, but it's never great when we have
        such a big rc. It's particularly annoying at the end of the release
        window like this.
        
        End result: I'm still waffling about the final 5.12 release.  The fact
        that we have a big rc7 does make me think that I'll probably do an rc8
        this time around. But it ends up depending a bit on how the upcoming
        week goes, and if things are deathly quiet, I may end up deciding that
        an rc8 doesn't really make sense.
        
        So we'll see.
        
        Anyway, networking (both core and drivers) is over half of the rc7
        patch, with the rest being a fairly random collection of fixes all
        over. We've got other driver updates (sound, rdma, scsi, usb..) some
        fs fixes (io_uring, umount, btrfs, cifs, ocfs), minor arch fixes (arc,
        arm, parisc, powerpc, s390, x86), and other misc fixes.
        
        The shortlog is appended, although it's obviously not as nice and
        small and readable as I'd have liked at this point in the release..
        
        Please do test,
        
                       Linus
        
      • Linux 5.12-rc7 Kernel Released – It’s Big And Causing Some Concern

        The Linux 5.12 stable kernel release is quickly approaching but may be challenged by an extra release candidate.

        Following last weekend’s “positively tiny” Linux 5.12-rc6 kernel, Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.12-rc7 a few minutes ago. The 5.12 kernel has bumped back to being larger than expected for this late stage of development. Linus has yet to decide if this will mean an extra week’s worth of testing or if things are looking good for releasing as stable and avoiding an extra release candidate.

      • The Mesa RADV Vulkan Driver Will Soon Have An Option That Boosts Performance 30%+ On RDNA2 GPUs By Rendering Less

        Those who have the very latest Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards from AMD will get the option of doing fewer fragment shader invocations per pixel rendered in Vulkan games when Mesa 21.1 is released come May. This can provide a huge performance-boost, or nearly none at all, depending on the game or workload. The new Mesa option requires variable rate shading support in hardware, so it is only for those who have a shiny new GPU from AMD.

        [...]

        The RX 6000 series graphics cards (“RDNA2″) from AMD are currently the only cards cards with the required hardware support. It is simply not possible to implement this on older graphics cards from AMD.

        Those lucky enough to have the shiny new and supported graphics hardware will be able to run Vulkan applications with a new RADV_FORCE_VRS= variable that can take the arguments 2×2, 1×2 and 2×1.

      • Linux 5.13 Will Stop Restricting CPU Power Metrics Access For AMD Energy Driver – Phoronix

        Following the PLATYPUS discovery last year that CPU energy information could be used for possible side channel attacks, the Intel RAPL counters were not only restricted to root but the “amd_energy” driver for exposing CPU energy information on supported Zen series CPUs was also dialed back to root-only in the name of security. Linux 5.13 is introducing a new mechanism so AMD CPUs will be able to still read the energy counters even if not operating as root.

        Linux hardware monitoring subsystem (HWMON) maintainer Guenter Roeck authored a change to the AMD_Energy driver and went ahead and committed it on Friday to his hwmon-next tree ahead of the Linux 5.13 merge window opening up later in April. The restricting of energy counters to root privileges as a result of the side-channel attack is “annoying” and so he slightly modified the behavior of the driver. As PLATYPUS relies on quick and accurate energy readings, the approach is to make it…. slightly less accurate.

      • LTP: Linux Test Project, Bootlin contributions

        The Linux Test Project is a project that develops and maintains a large test suite that helps validating the reliability, robustness and stability of the Linux kernel and related features. LTP has been mainly developed by companies such as IBM, Cisco, Fujitsu, SUSE, RedHat, with a focus on desktop distributions.

        On the embedded side, both the openembedded-core Yocto layer and Buildroot have packages that allow to use LTP on embedded targets. However, for a recent project, we practically tried to run the full LTP test suite on an i.MX8 based platform running a Linux system built with Yocto. It turned out that LTP was apparently not very often tested on Busybox-based embedded systems, and we faced a number of issues. In addition to reporting various bugs/issues to the upstream LTP project, we also contributed a number of fixes and improvements

    • Applications

      • CopyQ 4.0

        CopyQ is an advanced clipboard manager with editing and scripting features. CopyQ monitors system clipboard and saves its content in customized tabs. Saved clipboard can be later copied and pasted directly into any application.

      • fmedia 1.24

        fmedia is a fast asynchronous media player/recorder/converter for Windows, Linux and FreeBSD. It provides smooth playback and recording even if devices are very slow. It’s highly customizable and can be easily extended with additional plugins. Its low CPU & memory consumption saves energy when running on a notebook’s battery.

      • Atmosphère 0.19.0 released; adds support for Switch firmware 12.0.0

        @SciresM has released the latest version of Atmosphère. Version 0.19.0 adds support for Nintendo Switch on firmware 12.0.0 and the release is also bundled with hbl 2.4.1, and hbmenu 3.4.0. In addition to some stability improvements and bug fixes, version 0.19.0 of Atmosphère includes improvements to mesosphere. The release note mentions that the current focus of Atmosphère’s development is on the implementation of the host target connection protocol.

      • Create and Edit EPUB Files on Linux With Sigil

        Sigil is an open source EPUB editor available for Linux, Windows and macOS. With Sigil, you can create a new ebook in EPUB file format or edit an existing EPUB ebook.

      • Top 10 Image Editors for Linux

        When it comes to adding fun and dynamism to boring and drab pictures, image processing apps come into play. Numerous image editing applications are available to bring life to your black and white photos and patch your torn photographs. If you are a Linux user and searching for the best image editors, thanks to the open-source group of developers, there are plenty of them.

      • Tools for Monitoring Disk Activity in Linux

        Disk activity refers to the percentage of time the currently running disk is busy performing various activities. Activity includes disk read, and disk writes activity, etc. There are various parameters on which Disk activities are being monitored.

        [...]

        Throughout this article, we discussed various tools that can be used to monitor Disk Activities in Linux-based operating systems. Every tool delivers its own set of features, which helps the user analyze how their system behaves from the inside.

        By detailed analysis, system admins can make the desired changes in their system configurations to make their system work faster and smoother. These tools produce results that show the system’s current state, disk health, network bandwidth utilization, and a lot more.

        Using these tools can make system admins troubleshoot issues related to disk and operating systems in a go. It will allow them to save time while troubleshooting and keep their system in a proper state while performing heavy resource utilization tasks.

      • Lagrange 1.3.2 Is Released

        Lagrange is the by far best graphical web browser for the Gemini “space” (A purely text-based web equivalent for hackers). The latest release is mostly a bug-fix for the big 1.3.0 release on March 31st. It fixes a crash for those upgrading from v1.2 caused by older now invalid CA configuration, pixel ratio detection has been improved and there’s a handful of other fixes relating to the sidebar, bookmarks, the Gopher URL support and keybindings.

        [...]

        Lagrange is a special-purpose browser for the “Gemini Space”. It has no idea what to do if you enter a regular web https:// URL in the address bar so it will simply refer that to the systems regular web browser. It does the same with regular web links on Gemini sites.

        Lagrange 1.3.0, released on March 31st, was a major new release with some big improvements in a number of areas. It added the option to have pre-formatted collapse on page loads, it started showing alternative text when hovering over pre-formatted text blocks and it got code to correctly handle unknown URL schemes. Page rendering was also improved with better color themes, it got better spacing for bullets and lists, it got lager content buffers for smoother browsing on larger Gemini pages and it got smarter word wrapping. The already great graphical user-interface got the ability to apply user interface scaling immediately upon closing the Preferences (prior versions had to be restarted to make scaling settings take effect), git got soft shadows for pop-up menus, highlighted domain names in URL fields, and a few other small improvements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to create new users in OpenShift with htpasswd and OAuth

        Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform that offers many powerful features that meet today’s enterprise needs. For example, one feature of OpenShift is its flexible way of integrating with different authentication mechanisms, whether basic authentication, LDAP, Active Directory, OpenShift login, GitHub login, and so on.

        As you start OpenShift the first time, you might find it super easy to leverage the htpasswd utility, which is a built-in tool for most Linux distributions and macOS. This article demonstrates how you can create your own htpasswd file and add it to Red Hat OpenShift through an intuitive web interface.

      • Fedora Magazine: Scheduling tasks with cron

        Cron is a scheduling daemon that executes tasks at specified intervals. These tasks are called cron jobs and are mostly used to automate system maintenance or administration tasks. For example, you could set a cron job to automate repetitive tasks such as backing up database or data, updating the system with the latest security patches, checking the disk space usage, sending emails, and so on. The cron jobs can be scheduled to run by the minute, hour, day of the month, month, day of the week, or any combination of these.

      • Beginner’s Guide to Docker Restart Policy

        Docker provides a restart policy option to let your containers restart automatically in case of certain events or failures.

        This is extremely helpful in scenarios where you have to restart the Docker host (your Linux server) or if the service running in the container fails.

        Docker restart policies are applied on a per-container basis. There are two ways to assign restart policy to a container. You can set it in the YAML file if you are going to use Docker Compose or Swarm or Kubernetes.

        You can also set the restart policy directly in the command line when you run a container:

      • Install VirtualBox guest additions in Ubuntu 20.04 – PragmaticLinux

        Bummed that you can’t change the screen resolution in your freshly installed Ubuntu virtual machine? An easy fix exists for this: You just need to install the VirtualBox guest additions in your Ubuntu virtual machine. Besides automatically adjusting the screen resolution, you also get support for a bi-directional clipboard and shared folders. This article explains how to install the VirtualBox guest additions in an Ubuntu virtual machine.

      • LFCA: Learn Basics of Network IP Addressing – Part 9

        In our previous chapter of the LFCA series, we defined a computer network and briefly brushed over some of the general Linux networking commands that you can use to retrieve useful network information such as your IP address, subnet mask, open ports and so much more.

        In an interconnected world, networks play a huge role in enhancing seamless communication, access to information, and file-sharing. Because of computer networks, you can check your email, purchase a plane ticket, and download files.

        To better understand computer networks, we go a step further and look at the following salient points.

      • How To Install Chatwoot on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Chatwoot on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Chatwoot is an open-source, real-time messaging platform that also provides simple and elegant live chat for your websites, collaborates with other agents and messaging apps, and more. This means that you can integrate your social media chat e.g Facebook, Twitter, email, WhatsApp e.t.c to one central place. This will effectively help you have eyes on all your platforms and respond to customer requests in real-time.

        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 Chatwoot 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.

      • [Older] How to install Chrome browser on Kali Linux 2021

        Chrome Browser is a proprietary version of Google’s open-source Chromium. However, on one hand, Chromium is available to install on Kali Linux via its official repository, the Chrome is not. Yes, for this Google browser, we have to either add its repository to Kali manually or get the Deb file from the official website of Chrome.

        Here we will show you both the methods of installing the Google Chrome browser on Kali Linux.

      • How to Remove All Files from a Directory in Linux

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to use rm command to remove all files safely from a directory. This document helps you delete non-hidden files, files with specific extensions, hidden files inside a directory.

      • How to compile LibreOffice in EasyOS

        Yesterday I posted about dependencies of LibreOffice compiled in OpenEmbedded…

      • PostgreSQL Substring Function

        PostgreSQL is an open-source database that runs on all operating systems, i.e., Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, etc. It is an object-relational database management system that helps run dynamic websites and applications. A substring contains characters in a sequence within a string. PostgreSQL substring function is useful in getting specific parts of a string by applying queries on strings and tables. This article will help you to learn this feature while manipulating both strings…

      • How to Install RealVNC VNC Viewer on Linux

        RealVNC VNC Viewer is a very popular VNC client. RealVNC VNC viewer is a cross-platform VNC client. RealVNC VNC Viewer is available on Windows, Linux, Mac, and many other devices.
        The RealVNC VNC Viewer client connects to remote computers via the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) remote desktop protocol.

        To connects to a remote computer with the RealVNC VNC Viewer, the remote computer must have the VNC server program installed and configured. Many articles at LinuxHint.com and many other websites you can read to learn how to install and configure the VNC server program on your desired Linux distribution. This is out of the scope of this article.

        This article will show you how to install RealVNC VNC Viewer on some of the most popular Linux distributions and connect to a remote computer with RealVNC VNC Viewer. So, let’s get started.

      • Why NFS servers generally have a ‘reply cache’

        In the beginning, NFS operated over UDP, with each NFS request and each NFS reply in a separate UDP packet (possibly fragmented). UDP has the charming property that it can randomly drop arbitrary packets (and also reorder them). If UDP drops a NFS client’s request to the server, the NFS client will resent it (a ‘retransmit’ in the jargon of NFS). If UDP drops the server’s reply to a client’s request, the client will also resend the request, because it can’t really tell why it didn’t get a reply; it just knows that it didn’t.

      • How to review Apache tomcat access logs – Linux Hint

        Nowadays, there is a tremendous pace in the software development cycle. All the Organizations have codebases containing a huge number of codes consisting of web pages interlinked. There are many circumstances when a system crashes or behaves unexpectedly.
        To analyze and debug the issue, developers and system administrators look into the Log files to find the system’s problems. In reality, when a system is down, log files are often used as the primary source of information.

        In every system, system administrators maintain all the activities related to requests received from various users and store them in a file called log files.

        To debug the system, we can refer to the individual log files to gain insight into the system and move through the various timestamps to know the system’s state.

        In this article, we’ll go into the specifics of these logs below: we’ll go through what’s stored in Apache access logs, where to find them, and how to review Apache tomcat access logs. It makes the system admins keep track of all the information and activities happening within their system.

      • Is List Only Directories Recursively in Linux?

        The word “recursive” refers to the fact that a Linux or Unix operating system commands deals with the contents of folders, and if a folder has subfolders and documents, the instruction still functions with all of those documents (recursively). It could be possible that the child directory has its own set of files and folders (for example, large folders), so on and so forth. You will use different Linux instructions to recursively traverse each folder before making it to the edge of the specified folder. At that level, Linux instructions return to a turnoff of the tree and repeat the process for any sub-folders that exist. In this tutorial, you will learn all the methods to list the directories recursively.

      • How to Install and Configure an NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04

        NFS or Network File System is a distributed file system protocol that allows you to share directories over a network. With NFS, you can mount remote directories on your system and work with the files on the remote machine as if they were local files.

        By default, the NFS protocol is not encrypted and does not provide user authentication. Access to the server is restricted by the client’s IP addresses or hostnames.
        This article explains how to set up an NFSv4 Server on Ubuntu 20.04. We’ll also show you how to mount an NFS file system on the client machine.

      • How to change the hostname in Ubuntu Linux

        What is a hostname? On a computer network, the host name is a label that is assigned to a device connected to a computer network and that is used to identify the device in various forms of electronic communication, such as the World Wide Web.

        If you decide that the name chosen at installation time or assigned automatically is not what you want, you can follow the steps below to update to a new name.

        The hostname should be unique on a network and should identify individual machine. There should not be two machines with same hostname.

      • Superfast update of ArcoLinux

        There are lots of more tutorials about updating. There is even two playlists on Youtube just about updating. Watching these videos will learn you how to manage your operating system.

        Here we just want to update and get on with our work.

        You can use these commands as you see fit.
        We have added the frequency behind it as indication. Again you are free to do it differently.

        update – ArcoLinux packages, third-party packages build for ArcoLinux and Arch Linux packages – DAILY
        upall – updating all AUR packages – any package you installed additionally – DAILY
        skel – copy/pasting /etc/skel content to your home directory and making a backup of .config folder – MONTHLY
        cb – copy/pasting content from /etc/skel/.bashrc to ~/.bashrc + making it work (source) – MONTHLY

      • SurfingKeys: Browser Vim Keys Better Than Ever

        There’s a ton of these vim browser extensions and I was recently told about another one called Surfingskeys which has some nice advantages to it over something like say Vimium, is it worth switching to.

      • How to install OpenTTD on a Chromebook – based on Transport Tycoon Deluxe

        Today we are looking at how to install OpenTTD on a Chromebook, a game based on Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        Please take note that the mouse pointer is glitchy in the game, but it does work.

      • How to Install VLC Media Player on Ubuntu / Debian Linux – LateWeb.Info

        VLC media player is a free, open source multimedia player developed by the non-profit organization VideoLAN. VLC supports almost all known media formats for video and audio, DVD and Video CD. The program offers video streaming from remote computers and servers without loss of quality.

        For more details about VLC Media Player, please check its official website.

        Ubuntu is a modern GNU / Linux distribution developed by Canonical and the surrounding community. The first version was released on October 20, 2004 and is based on one of the largest Linux distributions – Debian.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 6.6 Released with Updated Mono, Improved Plug & Play Driver Support

        Wine 6.6 was released a few days ago as the latest development release of the Windows compatibility layer.

        In the new release the Mono engine is updated to version 6.1.1 with upstream updates. DWrite and DnsApi libraries are now converted to PE. And it improved plug & play driver support.

        Other changes in Wine 6.6 include various bug-fixes to Windows applications and games, e.g., Evil Twin, Half-life, Breath of Fire IV, Google drive, Legends of Runeterra, and more.

    • Games

      • In less than three years Proton and Steam Play have changed the world of Linux gaming by running more than 14 thousand games

        Few games were as highly anticipated by the end of 2020 and ended up making as much noise (though mostly for bad reasons) as Cyberpunk 2077. The ambitious CD Projekt Red title came with so many bugs and performance issues, especially on next-gen consoles. last, that Sony ended up removing it from its digital store and until the sun today it has not returned.

        The best version, most reviews agreed, is the PC version, one that could also be played almost from day one on Linux. Yes, one of the most powerful and technically ambitious triple-A games of recent times, played better on Linux than on a PS4 (depending on the PC of course). The point is, if that story doesn’t tell us already how different the Linux gaming landscape is today than it was 5 years ago, nothing will.

      • Godot Engine – Tiles editor progress #3

        It’s time for a third progress report on the TileMap and TileSet editors rework! Updates are likely less visually appealing than in the previous progress report, but a lot of groundwork has been done since then.

        [...]

        A significant part of my work those past two months has mostly been about reimplementing most of the already existing TileSet features, while introducing more flexibility to it. Most of TileSet’s systems (rendering, collisions, physics, navigation, …) are now using a concept of “layers” (this might be renamed). This allows you to customize the properties that the tiles themselves expose. As an example, you could now define several PhysicsBodies per tile with different collision layers/masks. This was not possible before.

        The remaining of this section describes the TileSet changes I made. Right now, there is no way to edit the tiles’ properties in an efficient way. They are only editable using a dedicated inspector for now, but I plan to implement a way to paint values over tiles in the TileSet editor. However, most properties can now be visualized in the tile atlas.

      • Build engine port backed by GZDoom tech ‘Raze’ has a 1.0 release with Vulkan support

        Raze is a fresh attempt to bring together many different games under one roof including Duke Nukem 3D, Blood, Redneck Rampage, Shadow Warrior and Exhumed/Powerslave.

        It’s actually mainly developed by Christoph Oelckers, one of the lead developers on ZDoom/GZDoom so it’s not surprising Raze is using GZDoom tech to make more classic first-person shooters easier to run with an up to date game engine.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Scene Items in KWin by Vlad Zahorodnii

          If your background includes game development, the concept of a scene should sound familiar. A scene is a way to organize the contents of the screen using a tree, where parent nodes affect their child nodes. In a game, a scene would typically consist of elements such as lights, actors, terrain, etc.

          KWin also has a scene. With this blog post, I want to provide a quick glimpse at the current scene design, and the plan how it can be improved for Wayland.

          [...]

          At the end of March, an initial batch of changes to migrate to the item-based design was merged. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but even with those initial changes, you will already see some improves in the Wayland session. For example, there should less visual artifacts in applications that utilize sub-surfaces, e.g. Firefox.

          The end goal of the transition to the item-based design is to have a more flexible and extensible scene. So far, the plan is to continue doing refactorings and avoid rewriting the entire compositing machinery, if possible.

          [...]

          In short, we still have some work to do to make rendering abstractions in KWin fit well all the cases that there are on Wayland. However, even with the work done so far, the results are very promising!

        • A new face for the Qt Project

          project, could learn how to contribute. Additionally, for current members, having a good way of representing this contribution information will help to analyze these contributions for different Qt modules, and help the decision-making process to boost the development in some modules.

          This information is already spread in many places, mainly in our wiki, which doesn’t facilitate newcomers that don’t know their way around to easily find, which raised the motivation of creating a one-page site which will play the role of being the face of the Qt project.

        • Walled gardens

          Plasma Mobile aims to be not a walled garden, and provides a full control/freedom to users, which interestingly also comes with freedom to use the walled garden inside your open garden.

          If user can not have this freedom or is actively being pushed towards ecosystem liked by the developers, then what we have created is a walled garden with illusion of being open garden.

          [...]

          Where we aim that users have full control over their data and do not use closed systems.

          Which is why we need to find a balance between both of this goals/mission. We need to make sure that our default user experience does not make use of closed ecosystem software and at same time if users/developers have preference or requirement of using other systems we enable them to do so to best of our capability.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Venom Linux 20210312

          I believe the Venom Linux project is still relatively young and, I suspect, the work of one developer. With this in mind it is perhaps unfair to judge the project harshly as it seems to still be finding its feet. Some aspects of the design appeal to me. I have a growing fondness for relatively lightweight distributions and ones which keep the under-the-hood components simple. However, I think Venom takes this to an uncomfortable extreme.

          The project currently has very little documentation, relatively few packages available, few utilities most people would need to get set up, such as a graphical network connection manager, an office suite and a full featured terminal. The distribution is surprisingly light in memory which is great, but it was unusually hard on my CPU.

          The package manager mostly worked well, apart from failing to compile one package, but the fact it needs to build packages from source code is deal breaker for me. It would be faster for me to go into town, buy another computer, and install another distribution featuring LibreOffice on it than wait for Venom to compile the suite from source.

          All of this is to say that while most of what Venom provides works, it provides very little. Some people, myself included, can appreciate a minimal starting foundation, but I do like to have some more basics like volume control and printer support easily available.

          Venom is, as the project’s website says, targeting people who are advanced Linux users, folks who want to use the command line, people who want to build from the ground up. In this way it’s not dissimilar to CRUX or Arch Linux. However, it offers fewer tools, documentation, and packages than the latter, making it a more niche distribution.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • What’s the Difference between openSUSE and OpenMandriva

          Here’s a comparison between openSUSE and OpenMandriva (continuing our comparison involving Mageia) the two European computer operating systems from our Free Libre Open Source Software community. The most obvious similarity from both is their name, which includes the word OPEN, which comes particularly from the Open Source Movement. In this article we will see several interesting stuffs from both around their architectures, distributions, control center, etc. so we know about their YaST and OMCC, respectively. If you want to know more similarities and differences of these two OSes, this article is for you. To make it easier to read, OS below is for openSUSE while OM is for OpenMandriva. Let’s go!

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 12 April 1300 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 12 April at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Freenode). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

      • Debian Family

        • Steve McIntyre & Debian: threatening researchers in gender and diversity studies

          This is chilling. A researcher studying diversity will be completely ostracized.

          These threats are the dark side of Debian that most people don’t see. Debian leaders try to create an image of being helpful and friendly while deleting any facts or people who are not convenient.

          It is also hypocrisy. The Debian Social Contract, point #3 states We will not hide problems. How could McIntyre forget that?

          The lack of diversity is a huge problem. Less than two percent of Debian Developers are female while thirty-one percent of Non-Developing Developers are female. This suggests there is lower trust in women and insufficient effort to change things.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache Software Foundation Welcomes 40 New Members

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) welcomes the following new Members who were elected during the annual ASF Members’ Meeting on 9 and 11 March 2021:

        Maxime Beauchemin, Bolke de Bruin, Wei-Chiu Chuang, Jiangjie (Becket), Pablo Estrada, Dave Grove, Madhawa Kasun Gunasekara, Nathan Hartman, Tilman Hausherr, Georg Henzler, Xiangdong Huang, Nikita Ivanov, Yu Li, Geoff Macartney, Denis A. Magda, Carl Marcum, Matteo Merli, Aaron Morton, Aizhamal Nurmamat kyzy, Enrico Olivelli, Jaikiran Pai, Juan Pan, Pranay Pandey, Arun Patidar, Jarek Potiuk, Rodric Rabbah, Katia Rojas, Maruan Sahyoun, Aditya Sharma, Atri Sharma, Ankit Singhal, Michael Adam Sokolov, Simon Steiner, Benoit Tellier, Josh Thompson, Abhishek Tiwari, Sven Vogel, William Guo Wei, Ming Wen, Andrew Wetmore, and Liang Zhang.

        The ASF incorporated in 1999 with a core membership of 21 individuals who oversaw the progress of the Apache HTTP Server. This group grew with Committers —developers who contributed code, patches, documentation, and other contributions, and were subsequently granted access by the Membership…

      • 6 open source tools and tips to securing a Linux server for beginners

        Because so much of our personal and professional data is available online today, it is important for everyone—from professionals to general internet users—to learn the basics of security and privacy. As a student, I’ve been able to gain experience in this area through my school’s CyberPatriot initiative, where I’ve had the opportunity to interact with industry experts to learn about cyber breaches and the basic steps to establish a system’s security.

        This article details six simple steps to improve the security of your Linux environment for personal use, based on what I have learned thus far as a beginner. Throughout my journey, I have utilized open source tools to accelerate my learning process and familiarize myself with higher-level concepts related to securing my Linux server.

      • Send your scans to a Linux machine over your network
      • Encrypt your files with this open source software
      • Inkscape [Releases] Beta Download for Version 1.1

        Inkscape will be launching it’s much-awaited 1.1 update in the coming months, but in the meantime, you can download the beta on the official website.

      • Web Browsers

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Writer Guide 7.1 is just out!

          The LibreOffice documentation team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the Writer Guide 7.1

          The book is a complete guide for advanced user the want to explore the best resources of LibreOffice Writer, the word processor of the LibreOffice suite. Covering advanced topics such as styles, illustrations, indexes and table of contents, master documents, form design, document automation and more, this guide will bring your word processing skills to a professional level.

          The Writer Guide 7.1 is a joint effort of Jean Weber and Kees Kriek, who reviewed and updated The LibreOffice 6.4 Writer Guide with the new features of LibreOffice 7.1, released last February.

          “I enjoy writing user documentation for LibreOffice because it gives me an excuse to learn about new and improved features that I might otherwise not know about. The team members are good to work with, friendly and helpful. I especially want to thank Kees Kriek for reviewing all the chapters of this book.”

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU World Order 401

            Thoughts on the changing face of free and open source software.

          • Intel Rocket Lake Target Added To GCC 11

            While Intel is often very proactive in adding new CPU families to the open-source GCC and LLVM/Clang compilers where it tends to land a year or more in advance of the processors actually shipping, occasionally there are slipups. Today in fact the “Rocket Lake” support finally was merged into GCC 11 days ahead of that compiler release and after the CPUs were already launched at the end of March.

            This morning the Rocket Lake support was merged so users/developers can enjoy the likes of -march=rocketlake beginning with GCC 11 and possibly back-ported to a future GCC 10.x point release.

          • G’MIC 2.9.7 Is Released

            G’MIC is a really advanced framework for image processing. It can be used stand-alone or as a plug-in for GIMP and other image manipulation software. The latest version is a minor update to the G’MIC development branch that will eventually lead to a big 3.0 release. 2.9.7 brings better support for .webp images, a new meigen command and two bug-fixes.

          • Andy Wingo: guile’s reader, in guile

            Like many language implementations that started life when you could turn on the radio and expect to hear Def Leppard, Guile has a bottom half and a top half. The bottom half is written in C and exposes a shared library and an executable, and the top half is written in the language itself (Scheme, in the case of Guile) and somehow loaded by the C code when the language implementation starts.

            Since 2010 or so we have been working at replacing bits written in C with bits written in Scheme. Last week’s missive was about replacing the implementation of dynamic-link from using the libltdl library to using Scheme on top of a low-level dlopen wrapper. I’ve written about rewriting eval in Scheme, and more recently about how the road to getting the performance of C implementations in Scheme has been sometimes long.

            These rewrites have a quixotic aspect to them. I feel something in my gut about rightness and wrongness and I know at a base level that moving from C to Scheme is the right thing. Much of it is completely irrational and can be out of place in a lot of contexts — like if you have a task to get done for a customer, you need to sit and think about minimal steps from here to the goal and the gut doesn’t have much of a role to play in how you get there. But it’s nice to have a project where you can do a thing in the way you’d like, and if it takes 10 years, that’s fine.

      • Programming/Development

        • Claudio Cambra: On finishing Season of KDE: improving Kirigami docs

          I wrote my first Season of KDE blog-post 3 months ago… and have since forgotten to write any updates. It’s time to address that!

          Since January, I’ve been working mainly on improving the documentation for Kirigami. Back then, the Develop wiki had some pages teaching newcomers how to create a Kirigami application, but these were a little disjointed and didn’t really lead readers towards any specific goal.

          There were also a lot of aspects and components of Kirigami that weren’t properly documented. Some of the existing materials also needed revising in terms of style, structure, and clarity.

        • How to Install and Use Ruby on Linux Distributions

          Ruby is one of the most used and easy to use programming languages. Ruby is an open-source, object-oriented interpreter that can be installed on a Linux system. Many programmers prefer Python over Ruby to start learning basic programming, but Ruby can handle large web-frameworks and web applications. Once you start learning Ruby, you would find it less machine-like and not repetitive. If you’re confused between Ruby and Ruby on Rails, I must mention that they are not the same; Ruby is a programming language; on the other hand, Ruby on Rails is a web framework.

        • Jelmer Vernooij: The upstream ontologist

          The Debian Janitor is an automated system that commits fixes for (minor) issues in Debian packages that can be fixed by software. It gradually started proposing merges in early December. The first set of changes sent out ran lintian-brush on sid packages maintained in Git. This post is part of a series about the progress of the Janitor.

          The upstream ontologist is a project that extracts metadata about upstream projects in a consistent format. It does this with a combination of heuristics and reading ecosystem-specific metadata files, such as Python’s setup.py, rust’s Cargo.toml as well as e.g. scanning README files.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 1: A disassembler

          People appear to enjoy the blog posts about me porting different compilers to OpenBSD. What I would like to do for the next couple of posts beginning with this one is to take a step back and de-complexify these programs. Both the D compiler and the GNU Modula-2 compiler are highly complex pieces of software. But at their core they are the exact same thing: a program that can create programs. We need not explore something so complex in order to learn how to create a program of our own that creates programs. In this series of blog posts, we will create two programs that will help us demystify programs that create programs: first, in this blog post, we will create a disassembler, or a program that reads a program and produces a higher-level representation (assembly); second, in a couple of subsequent blog posts, we will create an assembler, a program that understands that higher-level assembly language and produces a program from it.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 2: Starting an assembler

          It’s time to tackle the inverse of a disassembler. It will take a lot more effort than our disassembler, but I believe we are up for it. For today, let’s sit down and plan our assembler and begin coding up some boilerplate at least and see how far we get.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 3: Globals, passes, and error handling

          Let’s continue writing our assembler. Today, I want to set up any global variables we might need and also set up error handling.

        • Demystifying programs that create programs, part 4: Parsing

          On this episode of building our Z80 assembler, we are going to learn how to parse a line of assembly into tokens. We’ll need to do this so that we can figure out what that line of assembly is trying to tell us. Then we will be able to generate the correct object code for that line.

          You may have heard about concepts such as abstract syntax trees, or top-down and bottom-up parsers, or LL and LALR parsers. We are going to discuss none of that. We are instead going to take a much more direct approach: we will assume every line of assembly is its own independent universe. We can therefore parse a line and generate object code in one step. Once we have done that, we will discard the line we are currently working with, read the next line, and repeat the process.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Calculating EV battery charge pricing with Perl

            Presently I have great interest in “EVs” Electric Vehicles but I haven’t seen any data on how much it would cost to charge an electric vehicle from 0 % to 100 % battery charge at home in NYC ( So I wrote a Perl script to do just that ) but before we dig in into it I explain a few things about Electric Vehicles.

            Electric Vehicles will have a battery capacity that is represented by kilowatt-hour units or kWh for short.

            An EV’s driving range is represented in miles units ( In the US ) and the average mileage is determined by the EPA battery range rating ( the bigger the battery capacity usually means the more driving range you will have in a car ) after conducting a few tests ( so in reality your mileage will vary ).

            Electric vehicles have an onboard charger which determines its charging rate in Kilowatt per Hour and it varies by car makers. Most EV car owners will install a Level 2 charger that is usually capable of charging cars up to 7.2 kWH rate using 220 volt electric circuit with 32 amps of power ( but there are chargers that can go at a higher rate ).

            Ok now that I explained a few things lets dig into the data used to make my script.

            I checked my electric bill and found that my electricity rate in NYC is $0.13 cents per kWh.

            For comparison I phoned a friend in Florida to get electricity rates where he lives which is $ 0.07 cents per kWh. ( Almost half of NY rate )

    • Standards/Consortia

      • The rise of online readability scrapers

        There are a new breed of services coming out that purport to make the modern web less frustrating to use in specific circumstances. But they’ve incurred the wrath of creators in doing so, and don’t address the structural issues for why we’re at this point.

        A recipe site scraper was the most recent and publicised example. Its developers claimed the tool removed superfluous paragraphs of text surrounding actual cooking instructions, based on the perception that recipe sites are mostly filler. In the social media space, “unroll” services present long Twitter threads on a single page, making them as easy to read as a blog.

        Both of these types of services address a real need people online have, for better or worse. I love reading about the history of a family recipe, but there are far more people who think the padding is only there to serve more ads. Likewise, as long as people insist on using Twitter’s threads feature instead of linking to a blog post, unroll services render them more accessible.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Feast Your Eyes on the Trillion-Dollar SUV

      The concentration of America’s wealth has hit still another terrifying new milestone.

      The Expedition, an SUV that can seat eight passengers, rates as the biggest SUV Ford makes. So how much can an Expedition be worth? That all depends. If the eight passengers sitting in an Expedition happen to be the eight wealthiest Americans, the net worth of that Expedition and everyone in it — as of yesterday — would be over $1 trillion. To be more precise: $1.023 trillion dollars, plus the value of the vehicle.

    • John Prine – Summer’s End
    • Remote work tips: availability heat map

      When your team goes remote or when you are creating a new remote or distributed team, you need to reconsider the most basic ground rules. Most are a given when colocated. One of these ground rules to reconsider is people’s availability.

      At the office, you expect people to be available more or less at similar times, even if your organization promotes flexi-time or core hours, such expectation is mostly there. But when you go remote or even in the case of companies moving towards flexi-days (many will after COVID-19) availability is something that needs to be carefully considered and agreed within the context of the team or department.

      This article will focus on one of those ground rules, availability, including a simple but powerful way of starting the conversation with your team members about it, which has a major impact in scheduling.

      I have written before about the need to redefine those ground rules when going remote in several articles. I list them at the end of this article, in the References section. I mentioned in one of those articles that my former colleague back during my Linaro days, Serge Broslavsky, showed me a visualization to start the conversation about availability that I found so useful that I use it ever since. I have mastered it over time, have used it frequently and even assigned it a name: availability heat map. But before describing what it is, let me start by justifying why you should focus energy in reconsidering availability.

    • A bit of XENIX history

      These are kinds of stories that need to be written down for posterity, of we risk losing a lot of valuable information and backstories to some of the less successful technology products of our time.

    • Hardware

      • Russell Coker: Storage Trends 2021

        Last year NVMe prices were very comparable for SSD prices, I was hoping that trend would continue and SSDs would go away. Now for sizes 1TB and smaller NVMe and SSD prices are very similar, but for 2TB the NVMe prices are twice that of SSD – presumably partly due to poor demand for 2TB NVMe. There are also no NVMe devices larger than 2TB on sale at MSY (a store which caters to home stuff not special server equipment) but SSDs go up to 8TB.

        It seems that NVMe is only really suitable for workstation storage and for cache etc on a server. So SATA SSDs will be around for a while.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • More Than 3,600 US Health Care Workers Have Died in the Pandemic’s First Year

        More than 3,600 U.S. health care workers perished in the first year of the pandemic, according to “ Lost on the Frontline,” a 12-month investigation by The Guardian and KHN to track such deaths.

      • [Older] Norway penguins get vaccinated, isolation nearly over

        They have been living under strict confinement measures for months, but soon the second shot of a life-saving vaccine will let them go outside and get back to their normal lives.

        While it sounds like a familiar story, in this case their normal lives involve sliding about on their bellies, frolicking in icy water and catching fish in their mouths.

        Twenty-nine gentoo penguins at Norway’s Bergen Aquarium have had a tarp stretched over their pen since early December after cases of a highly infectious bird flu strain, H5N8, were detected in the country.

        “Because of this, the Food Health Authority introduced a curfew: all birds in captivity must be kept under a roof,” aquarium director Aslak Sverdrup told AFP on Thursday.

      • How Bill Gates Impeded Global Access to Covid Vaccines

        On February 11, 2020, public health and infectious disease experts gathered by the hundreds at the World Health Organization’s Geneva mothership. The official pronouncement of a pandemic was still a month out, but the agency’s international brain trust knew enough to be worried. Burdened by a sense of borrowed time, they spent two days furiously sketching an “R&D Blueprint” in preparation for a world upended by the virus then known as 2019-nCoV.

        The resulting document summarized the state of coronavirus research and proposed ways to accelerate the development of diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. The underlying premise was that the world would unite against the virus. The global research community would maintain broad and open channels of communication, since collaboration and information-sharing minimize duplication and accelerate discovery. The group also drew up plans for global comparative trials overseen by the WHO, to assess the merits of treatments and vaccines.

        One issue not mentioned in the paper: intellectual property. If the worst came to pass, the experts and researchers assumed cooperation would define the global response, with the WHO playing a central role. That pharmaceutical companies and their allied governments would allow intellectual property concerns to slow things down—from research and development to manufacturing scale-up—does not seem to have occurred to them.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • What if We Made Paying Ransoms Illegal?

          A lot of what I reacted to was the notion that this would be easy. “Disappear in a month”, he said. That’s hyperbole but I should have ignored it and focused on the argument.

          The part that most people latched on to, including me, was the notion that making something illegal can stop it from happening. As many pointed out, history has taught us that this doesn’t work many times. The war on drugs. Alcohol prohibition. The list goes on.

        • Setting up Starlink, SpaceX’s Satellite Internet

          So I thought, why not let a cousin who lives out in a rural area try it out while I figure out what to do about mounting ‘Dishy’ (a common nickname for the Starlink satellite dish) on my own house?

          After all, my cousin Annie, who lives in Jonesburg, MO, currently pays for the maximum available DSL plan to her farm (Haarmann Farms), and gets a measly 5 Mbps down, and 0.46 Mbps up—on a good day: [...]

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook ‘knew about phone number data leak vulnerability two years before issue was fixed’, claims security researcher

              As Facebook defends its actions over a massive data leak, one researcher says he notified the company of the issue a full two years before the problem was fixed.

              Last week, Business Insider revealed that the personal data of more than 500 million Facebook users had been posted in a low-level hacking forum where phone numbers were being offered for sale.

              Facebook has defended itself in a lengthy blog post, pointing out that the data was obtained by scraping, rather than [cracking].

            • Facebook says [crackers] ‘scraped’ data of 533 million users in 2019 leak

              The data included phone numbers, birth dates, and email addresses, and some of the data appeared to be current, according to US media reports.

              The stolen [sic] data did not include passwords or financial data, according to Facebook.

              Scraping is a tactic that involves using automated software to gather up information shared publicly online.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Former hostage responds to top diplomat calling Al Qaeda a US ‘asset’ in Syria
      • Biden, Blinken and DOD

        As an indication of his worldview, it is revealing to note Blinken’s membership in the Center for Strategic and International Studies(CSIS). According to its website, the CSIS “has been dedicated to finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for good in the world.” One is not being particularly cynical when they point out that the good this statement is referring to is the good of Wall Street, and not necessarily Main Street. The CSIS bills itself as a nonpartisan entity. It is funded in large part by war industry contractors, energy corporations and US based banks with an expressed purpose of “maintaining US prominence” in the world. Given the nature of its board of trustees, it’s clear that what that nonpartisansship means is it represents the power elites that run the United States. Democrats and Republicans share a common goal of ensuring the US remains the world’s most powerful state. The differences of opinion the parties have on certain issues do not exist when it comes to enveloping the world in the web of US imperialism. There are differences in how to go about this, but not on the goal itself. This is why both parties are up in arms about China’s rising star and Russian challenges in the Mideast and Europe. The non-partisan nature of the Board lies in the inclusion of both US capitalist parties, not in the inclusion of anti-capitalist or anti-imperialist viewpoints.

        Biden, Blinken and DOD

      • Iran starts up advanced centrifuges in nuclear deal breach

        The IR-5 and IR-6 centrifuges allow uranium to be enriched more quickly and in greater amounts than the Iran’s first generation devices, which are the only ones that the 2015 deal allows it to use.

      • Reports of atrocities by child soldiers, alleged beheadings during Moz attacks – UN

        The UN has expressed deep concern amid reports that about 12 bodies have been beheaded and buried in a shallow grave outside Palma Hotel, in Mozambique.

        The reports about the bodies came on the same day when President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into Mozambique to join the South African Development Community (SADC) leaders attending the extraordinary Troika Summit meeting to plan how they can deal with the violent attacks by insurgents.

        UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said there were reports of atrocities carried out by child soldiers, alleged beheadings during attacks by non-State armed groups, and clashes in the Cabo Delgado region.

      • UN warns Tanzania not to reject people fleeing Mozambique violence

        United Nations teams have received “worrying” reports that Tanzania has rejected over 1 000 people seeking refuge from an Islamic State-claimed attack on a town in northern Mozambique, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.

        The 24 March attack on the town of Palma, adjacent to gas developments worth $60 billion, sent the town’s residents scattering in all directions, with some fleeing into dense forest while others escaped by boat.

      • Denmark deploying special forces to Mali

        The government has unveiled intentions to dispatch a special forces unit to Mali.

        The group, which will also consist of surgeons and staff officers, will assist the French-led Task Force Takuba tackle terrorism in the embattled west-African country.

        Moreover, the government also wants to redeploy a transport aircraft to help the UN-led MINUSMA mission in the country.

        “The threat from the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s terror violence remains serious. They desire to create an oasis for their extremist violence and regime of death in west Africa,” said foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod.

    • Environment

      • ‘The Time Is Now to Go Forward’: Sanders Says Dems Can’t Waste Time Catering to Obstructionist GOP

        “When the scientists tell us we have five or six years before there will be irreparable damage done because of climate change, I’m not going to slow down.”

        Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Saturday that amid the immediate emergencies of climate change, Covid-19, mass unemployment, and homelessness, congressional Democrats cannot afford to dampen their infrastructure ambitions in the hopes of winning support from obstructionist Republicans.

      • Sanders Calls on Democrats to Pursue Big Legislative Agenda Without Republicans

        Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Saturday that amid the immediate emergencies of climate change, Covid-19, mass unemployment, and homelessness, congressional Democrats cannot afford to dampen their infrastructure ambitions in the hopes of winning support from obstructionist Republicans.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Greening Earth and Creating Jobs, Biden to Slash Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Extend Wind, Solar Credits

          Together, wind and solar account for 40 percent of electricity sector jobs in the United States.

          Reuters reports that President Biden intends to slash tax subsidies for fossil fuels like coal and petroleum and to use taxes instead to encourage renewable energy. Since jobs in the coal industry are plummeting, and since job growth in renewable electricity is over 3 percent a year, Biden’s plans will actually increase employment.

        • Ending Fracking by 2035

          Ottenberg: The first thing that came to my mind when I finished the book, where you’ve done all this research for “Up to Heaven and Down to Hell,” and spent time there and lived in fracking country – do you think Biden should ban fracking and what does that mean with regard to 100 companies causing 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas, over the last 30 years?

          Jerolmack: The first thing to make clear is that Biden can’t ban fracking in most places. He can only ban fracking on public land, which, in America, more than two thirds of fracking occurs on private land. And the only way that fracking can be banned on private land is either at the state level or through congressional action. What he can do is ban new leases on public land. And he’s put a moratorium on them and if you asked me should he turn that into a ban, yes, absolutely. It’s clear that to get even close to meeting our targets for emissions reductions to prevent planetary warming at the catastrophic level, we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground.

        • Power consumption of old computers

          I run a server from home, utilising old hardware. I want to know how much power this actually consumes, but I have no way to measure it directly.

          More specifically, I have used an old laptop for this, but its battery is permanently shot (the device won’t power on with the battery connected but works just fine without it, drawing power from the charger only). I already have a replacement – an (almost) equally old “multimedia” desktop with a mini-ITX motherboard. I had to replace the “mini” PSU with a normal-sized one. It says 300W on the label (this is not how much power it draws all the time, just the maximum it can provide).

          I want to know how much electricity each setup constantly cosumes.

    • Finance

      • Domestic Workers Need Federal Protections — Even More So Amid a Pandemic

        I’m a domestic worker. You can just imagine how badly COVID-19 has impacted my income.

      • Opinion | American Consumers Deserve Better Than US Retailers Like Costco Provide

        Grocery chains like Costco in the U.S. need to commit to making substantial changes that improve the welfare of chickens in their supply chains here at home.

        Imagine a food so filthy that it requires chemical disinfection prior to packaging and sale. Now imagine that the average American eats almost 100 pounds of it every year. Sadly, that product is not imaginary. It’s chicken, and few US consumers know the grisly truth about how it’s produced.

      • Opinion | What’s Really Behind the Opposition to a $15 Minimum Wage

        Fifty-seven senators from both parties are determined to preserve an economic system that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.

      • Pentagon and Tax Cheats Already Cost Taxpayers Far More Than Biden’s Job Plan

        Is President Biden’s $2.3 trillion jobs plan too big? Conservatives are arguing that the package is too expensive and its broad reach is unnecessary.

      • The Basic Deal Between Corporate America and the GOP is Alive and Well

        The deal has proven beneficial to both sides, although not to the American public. Campaign spending has soared while corporate taxes have shriveled.

      • Chinese Regulators Levy Record $2.8 Billion Fine On Alibaba

        Chinese authorities have fined Alibaba $2.75 billion for alleged antitrust violations, Reuters and other news agencies reported.

        The fine, according to Reuters, equals about 4 percent of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue and allegedly came in response to several years of market-power abuses, especially refusing to let some merchants it worked with also work with other eCommerce companies.

        “This penalty will be viewed as a closure to the anti-monopoly case for now by the market,” Hong Hao, head of research at BOCOM International, reportedly told Reuters. “It’s indeed the highest profile anti-monopoly case in China. The market has been anticipating some sort of penalty for some time … but people need to pay attention to the measures beyond the anti-monopoly investigation.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Arizona Republicans Declare Their Opposition to Democracy

        After officially objecting to the federal reforms in the For the People Act, the state legislature is considering a raft of voter suppression bills.

      • Trumpism Is Not Just an American Problem. It’s Festering in the UK.

        When Donald Trump was driven out of office, many of us hoped that would be the end not just of the man himself, but of the politics he represented. In the U.K., however, Trumpism has continued to gain momentum. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party, the U.K. government has taken a distinct authoritarian turn, using the pandemic as a cover for introducing laws and regulations to criminalize protest and facilitating police repression against communities of color.

      • Endorsed by Trump Allies, Disgraced Former Missouri Governor Will Run for Senate

        Missouri has embarrassingly made international headlines several times as of late. In January 2018, then-Gov. Eric Greitens admitted to having an affair and was subsequently probed for blackmail and assault. That February, he was formally charged. That April, a bipartisan report was released by the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight, which detailed graphic allegations against the former governor. This prompted Missouri’s then-Attorney General Josh Hawley to call on Greitens to “ resign immediately.”

      • Google’s Project Zero Finds a Nation-State Zero-Day Operation

        Google’s Project Zero discovered, and caused to be patched, eleven zero-day exploits against Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Windows, and iOS. This seems to have been exploited by “Western government operatives actively conducting a counterterrorism operation”: [...]

      • Russia fines TikTok over calls for minors to join protests

        A Moscow court on Tuesday fined TikTok more than $30,000 for failing to delete posts calling for minors to join unsanctioned protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

        The court said on its Telegram channel that the video-sharing platform had been found guilty of failing to remove information that violates Russian law and sentenced to an administrative fine of 2.6 million rubles ($34,000/28,000 euros).

        The ruling comes as Russia ramps up pressure on foreign tech platforms, with a Moscow court also hitting Twitter on Friday with three fines totalling 8.9 million rubles ($116,700/99,000 euros) for the same violation as TikTok.

    • Disinformation

      • Ken Burns’ vicious Hemingway smear: PBS series totally ignores writer’s lifelong leftist politics

        Instead of considering how anyone might feel and behave while struggling with hemochromatosis, depression, brain damage and alcoholism, all while receiving little to no medical intervention, Burns and Novick are content to cast Hemingway as a narcissistic bully. Crucial to their presentation of Hemingway as a loathsome and delusional figure is the inclusion of his intense concerns that the FBI was surveilling him. Hemingway’s suspicion that two men in a Ketchum, Idaho, restaurant were federal agents, and that men working in the local bank after hours were scrutinizing his finances, are treated as nothing more than the psychotic ravings of a lunatic.

        On the issue of the FBI, and Hemingway’s politics more broadly, Burns and Novick manage a surprising achievement — they outperform the dishonesty they exercised when presenting Hemingway’s health problems.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Have Your Say! Public Consultation On #CHATCONTROL Plans Open Until 15 April

        The EU Commission is drafting permanent legislation on the automatic searching of all online activities, including personal electronic mail and messages of each citizen, for suspicious content in the search for child pornography. Suspected cases would be notified to the police. An online consultation is underway until 15 April. It includes questions on whether private communications should be covered and whether backdoors to end-to-end encrypted communications services should be required to enable this monitoring.

        Such privatised mass surveillance is unprecedented in western democracies and would have unacceptable consequences for our freedom of communications and expression. According to police reports, in the vast majority of cases, innocent citizens come under suspicion of having committed an offence due to unreliable processes.

        Therefore, please participate in the ongoing consultation. The responses will be taken into account by the Commission when deciding on the content of the planned legislation. So far, almost only child protection organizations and industry stakeholders have participated.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange Countdown to Freedom

        Sunday, April 11,  will mark the two year anniversary of the kidnapping, incarceration, and torture of journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

      • Two Years After Assange’s Arrest, Biden Can End Trump’s Assault On Press Freedom

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been detained at the high-security Belmarsh prison in London for two years. During that time, Assange became the first publisher to be indicted under the United States Espionage Act and prevailed after a district judge denied the U.S. government’s extradition request. He completed a sentence for “jumping bail” when he sought asylum from Ecuador. He also survived multiple COVID-19 outbreaks in prison. “It’s long past time for this injustice to end, and we continue to appeal to the United States and the Department of Justice to drop the appeal and all the charges against Julian. This gross injustice must come to an end,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson declared. Stella Moris, Assange’s partner, acknowledged the protests and solidarity actions that are planned throughout the world. Mobilizations were planned for April 11 in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Denver, Chicago, Raleigh, San Jose, Seattle, Tulsa, Toronto, London, Glasgow, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Melbourne, Perth, Auckland, and Wellington. Several actions will take place over the course of the week in cities like Boston, Berlin, Brussels, Dresden, Vienna, and Hamburg.   “Anniversaries are a platform to educate, nurture compassion and solidarity, and bring like-minded people onboard,” Moris stated. The U.S. Justice Department dramatically escalated the political prosecution against Assange on April 11, 2019, when it unsealed a single charge indictment against the WikiLeaks founder. Ecuador allowed British police to enter their London embassy and drag him to a van. While video posted showed a vulnerable person in distress, begging the United Kingdom and everyone around the world to resist this prosecution, many focused on his unkempt appearance—his long hair and shaggy beard—and mocked him. Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, shared, “During my visit, he explained to us that his shaving kit had been deliberately taken away three months earlier.” This was all part of Ecuador President Lenin Moreno’s U.S.-backed pressure campaign to force Assange to leave the embassy. In 2012, Assange was granted political asylum, when Rafael Correa was president of Ecuador. Correa’s administration considered “legal evidence” that Assange would not receive a fair trial if extradited to the U.S. and endorsed Assange’s fears of due process violations and cruel and inhuman treatment if he was handed over to Sweden.  At Assange’s extradition trial in September, his defense team presented evidence of an espionage operation backed by U.S. intelligence that was carried out against him at the London embassy. Undercover Global S.L., a Spanish security company, bugged the embassy and had a “real obsession” with spying on Assange’s legal team. Beyond that, U.C. Global Director David Morales talked about plots to kidnap Assange or even poison him, and the company ordered employees to steal diapers so they could figure out if he fathered a child. In October 2019, a Spanish high court charged Morales with offenses “related to violating the privacy of the WikiLeaks founder and passing the information on to the United States’ intelligence services,” according to El Pais. That case is still unfolding in Spain, however, the Justice Department has sought to obstruct proceedings by refusing cooperation unless whistleblowers from the company reveal their identities. The unsealed indictment against Assange was initially limited to a “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion” offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and a general statute against any conspiracies to “defraud” the U.S. government, which prompted a number of Western pundits to erroneously insist prosecutors avoided a case that would implicate the First Amendment. However, the indictment declared, “The WikiLeaks website publicly solicited submissions of classified, censored, and other restricted information. Assange, who did not possess a security clearance or need to know, was not authorized to receive classified information of the United States.” The indictment relied upon language straight from the Espionage Act. Prosecutors explicitly singled out Assange as an “aider” and “abettor” of “espionage” for publishing unauthorized disclosures of classified information, even though reporters and editors at media organizations throughout the world routinely produce stories based upon sensitive documents without a U.S. security clearance. A little over a month later, in May 2019, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed a superseding indictment with 17 charges under the Espionage Act. It dispelled any illusions journalists throughout the world may have had.

      • Marking Two Years Since Assange’s Arrest, Press Freedom Advocates Demand Biden DOJ Drop All Charges

        “Shame on the U.S. and U.K. It’s time to free Assange!”

        Press freedom advocates on Sunday marked the two-year anniversary of Julian Assange’s arrest at the hands of British police by demanding that the Biden administration immediately drop all U.S. charges against the WikiLeaks publisher, who is currently facing 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • United States: Eleventh Circuit Says Winn Dixie’s Inaccessible Website Does Not Violate The ADA

        After two and a half years of deliberation, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit finally issued a decision in Gil v. Winn Dixie, overturning the trial court’s finding that Winn Dixie violated the ADA by having an inaccessible website. Rather than clarifying the state of the law on website accessibility, the decision makes the law on website accessibility even more complicated.

        Plaintiff Gil, who is blind, sued grocery retailer Winn Dixie alleging that the business violated the ADA by having a website that he could not access using screen reader software. He claimed that he wanted to use the website to order prescriptions which he would pick up at the store. He later also claimed that he wanted to download online coupons onto his rewards card for use at the store. After a bench trial, the district court concluded that the website was not accessible to screen reader users and that Winn Dixie had violated the ADA. The district court found that it did not need to decide whether websites are covered by the ADA because, in this case, the website was “heavily integrated” with Winn Dixie’s physical stores (which are undoubtedly public accommodations) and acted as a “gateway” to them. The court issued a detailed injunctive relief order which, among other things, required Winn Dixie to make its website conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 Level AA – a privately developed set of criteria for web accessibility that has not been adopted as a legal standard under the ADA for public accommodations websites.

      • Because Of Winn-Dixie, Companies Threatened With Website-Accessibility Litigation Can Raise Stronger Defenses

        Courts in other parts of the country disagree with the Eleventh Circuit, so the decision will not stop the flow of litigation by itself. Rather, it gives companies new arguments to resist website-accessibility claims, it makes the choice of venue more important, and it increases the chances that the Supreme Court will eventually need to resolve the issue.

      • Websites Not Bound by ADA Accessibility Rules, 11th Circuit Finds

        In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Atlanta-based appeals court ruled that although “inaccessibility online can be a significant inconvenience,” supermarket chain Winn-Dixie cannot be found liable under Title III of the ADA for having a website that is inaccessible to disabled people who use screen-reading software.

        Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodations, including hotels, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, grocery stores, parks, schools and museums.

        “All of these listed types of locations are tangible, physical places. No intangible places or spaces, such as websites, are listed. Thus, we conclude that, pursuant to the plain language of Title III of the ADA, public accommodations are limited to actual, physical places,” U.S. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Branch, a Donald Trump appointee, wrote on behalf of the majority.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Boeing’s comma drama: Commas and taking the description into account when construing a claim (T 1127/16) [Ed: Some fake patents from EPO again. And it took a decade to throw them out!]

          It is not only the choice of words that matter in patent claim interpretation. As the recent decision in T 1127/16 shows, grammar can be similarly important. In this decision, the lack of a comma in a claim led to a successful added matter objection against Boeing’s patent EP1798872. Caught in the inescapable trap of added matter that cannot be deleted without unallowably broadening the claim, the patent was found invalid on appeal. However, aside from the obvious lesson to be scrupulous in your claim drafting, the decision in T 1127/16 is also worth a read for the Board of Appeal’s comments on the primacy of the claims over the description for determining the scope of protection, as was also recently discussed in the High Court’s application of the doctrine of equivalents (IPKat).

        • Hanwha Q Cells files patent infringement suits against Astronergy in Germany [Ed: Instead of tackling climate warming issues they sue each other over patents while corrupt EPO does greenwashing with terms like "greentech" (alluding just to patent monpolies)]

          South Korea-based solar module manufacturer Hanwha Q Cells has filed another patent infringement suit with the Düsseldorf Regional Court: this time against Astronergy Solarmodule GmbH.

          The Korean company filed the lawsuit on March 12 and, a week later, a separate lawsuit with the France Federal Court of Justice.

          The legal action against Astronergy follows the patent lawsuit initiated by Hanwha Q-Cells in Germany, the USA and Australia in March 2019, against Longi, Jinko Solar and REC. The latter trio are said to have infringed existing patents held by Hanwha Q-Cells for its passivated solar cell technology.

          While Hanwha Q-Cells’ patent infringement suit was largely thrown out in the USA, the judges at the Düsseldorf district court ruled in the first instance in favor of the South Korean photovoltaic manufacturer. Jinko Solar, REC and Longi Solar appealed the judgment. Longi said, at the beginning of the year, that the appeal hearing is scheduled for April 22, 2021. Hanwha Q-Cells has now also confirmed that the appeal will probably take place in April, before the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.

        • Nokia Settles Patent Dispute With Lenovo
        • CVC Files Motion Opposing Broad Motion to Correct Inventorship [Ed: Hard to believe that some people still lobby for patents on life and nature, serving to discredit the very legitimacy of the patent system with its supposed purpose]

          Last December, Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (hereinafter, “CVC”) filed its Substantive Motion No. 3 under 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(a)(1) asking for judgment of unpatentability for all claims in interference under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f) or (if post-AIA) 35 U.S.C. § 115(a) for “failure to name all inventors of the alleged invention” against Senior Party The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (hereinafter, “Broad”) in Interference No. 106,115. Recently, Broad filed its opposition to this motion. At the time, Broad filed a responsive motion asking for leave to correct inventorship, and CVC recently filed its motion opposing Broad’s attempt to effect a post hoc inventorship correction, the details of which are set forth herein.

          CVC begins its opposition brief by asserting that Broad has not established that it is entitled to this relief, as required under 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(b). The basis of this argument comes first from the language of the statutes — 35 U.S.C. §§ 116 and 256 — permitting inventorship correction. This language requires an applicant or patentee, respectively, provide proof of the facts surrounding the change and an identification of the inventors who should properly be named (“on application of all the parties and assignees, with proof of the facts and such other requirements as may be imposed”). Second, CVC argues that Broad did not provide consent for one of the individual — Shauiliang Lin — to be added as an inventor. Third, CVC alleges that the motion is barred by laches and submitted in bad faith. And finally, CVC argues that as a matter of jurisdiction the Director — not the Board — has sole authority to change inventorship and that there is no evidence that the Director has delegated this authority to the Board.

        • Is this the golden age of battery innovation? [Ed: EPO puff piece which conflates innovation with patents]

          Will the lightning pace of battery innovation last? A report by the European Patent Office and International Energy Agency has shown the massive growth of battery technology innovation since 2000 and given an insight into how and where innovation will continue.

        • Medlab’s NanaBis drug dramatically improves cancer-induced bone pain for first patient group in treatment study

          Last week, Medlab announced the European Patent Office would grant a patent covering the use of NanoCelle in European member states as well as the UK until 2036.

        • The rise in remote working and how DIAMS iQ can help [Ed: This mentions the EPO, but fails to say that what it does with the hearings is illegal and it now stacks the tribunals to cover that up]

          Crucially, when asked about the future, more than two-thirds of respondents predicted they would have fewer face-to-face meetings, do less business travel and work more from home. These views also reflect the safe assumption that hearings, events and meetings will take place remotely in the coming period. For example, at the European Patent Office (EPO), oral hearings will be held by video conference as standard until at least September 2021. Meanwhile, major event organizers such as the International Trademark Association (INTA) plan to host meetings virtually or in a hybrid form until the end of this year at the earliest.

        • Sunday Surprises [Ed: Today's IP Kat posts spam and ads for EPO management; quite the opposite of what it once did.]

          On April 22-23 and on May 17-19, the European Patent Office will be offering “Opposition Matters reloaded” and “Examination Matters reloaded”, a reprise of two 2020 courses that sparked high interest among the patent attorneys.

        • As Rich Countries Shield Pharma Monopolies, Just 0.2% of Covid Vaccine Doses Have Gone to Poor Nations

          “We need the cooperation of the whole world and the elimination of all the barriers to the production and distribution of vaccines.”

          The head of the World Health Organization estimated in a recent address that of the more than 700 million coronavirus vaccine doses that have been administered across the globe, just 0.2% have gone to people in low-income nations—inequity that experts warn will persist unless rich countries end their obstruction of an international effort to suspend vaccine patents.

        • Opinion | A Vaccine Summit: Taking the Pandemic Seriously

          This would mean suspending intellectual property claims over these vaccines.

        • Opinion | Vaccine Apartheid: A Threat to an Inclusive COP26

          Rich nations are vaccinating one person every second while the majority of the poorest nations are yet to give a single dose.

          The ongoing global inequality in people’s access to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines is not just a global public health issue, it also threatens the inclusivity of the COP26 climate negotiations and other important global summits. The already delayed climate talks or COP26 to be held in Glasgow, originally scheduled for November 2020 and moved to 1-12 November 2021, may have to be postponed again or radically changed because of the continuing global coronavirus pandemic.

        • Software Patents

          • Financial Product Differentiation Using Patents – A Canadian Example (Part 2) [Ed: Lawyers look at everything in terms like patents and litigation]

            As I mentioned in my previous post, quant and TOBAM funder Yves Choueifaty’s journey towards securing a Canadian patent for his process of constructing “anti-benchmark” securities portfolios has not been easy.

            [...]

            Despite the mention of a computer, the Canadian patent examiner rejected his process under Section 2 of the Patent Act for being outside of the definition of invention. Machines like computers and methods that are computer-implemented are indeed fully contemplated as inventions in Canada. However, the Examiner seemed to take the position that Choueifaty had not himself actually invented anything to do with computers. So, the Examiner embarked on a problem-solution analysis to distill out the computing aspects in the analysis, leaving behind only the residue of disembodied steps and calculations as targets for the rejection.

            Choueifaty appealed to the Patent Appeal Board. He filed a declaration by TOBAM’s Head of Research stating that the claimed steps and calculations, when executed on a computer, would significantly increase the computer’s functionality, in terms of computational speed gains.

          • Farmobile Receives U.S. Patent for Its Farming Data and Collection System [Ed: Software patents on data collection or farming data, not in the sense of data-farming]

            Farmobile has been granted a U.S. patent for its “Farming Data Collection Exchange System.” The cloud-based system is capable of capturing, processing, and sharing machine-generated data while being used for operations such as fertilizing, planting, spraying, or harvesting crops. It includes a relay device that is installed in machinery that automatically receives, stores, and processes detailed machine and ag data captured by the machine during an operation.

            The technology enables real-time collection, tracking, monitoring, sharing, and monetizing of a farm’s critically important data. This includes details like the amount of seed, fertilizer, water, and pesticide used on a field; how often the field was treated with a certain chemical; which parts of the field were untreated; weather conditions during an operation; the equipment used to perform an operation; and the equipment settings activated or deactivated during an operation.

            Farmobile was issued two other patents for its “Distributed Transaction-Based Security and Tracking of Agricultural Machine and Agronomic Data.” The first was granted in 2019 by the USPTO and the second in 2020 by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. The patents give Farmobile the exclusive right to use blockchain in both countries to track electronic agricultural data sets through associated exchange transactions.

      • Trademarks

        • The Lego Case T-515/19: A building block castle built up on sand

          In Lego A/S v EUIPO (T-515/19), the General Court (“GC”) considered the scope of protection of a design, consisting of the representation of a building-block that is part of a larger Lego building set.

          The implications of the present judgment may change the paradigm of design protection in the EU since it considerably enlarges the scope of protection granted to modular systems.

          This author is not inclined to opine on whether greater or lesser protection for modular systems is preferable, but he disagrees with the argumentative path by which the GC reasons in its judgment.

          The following analysis sets out that, with the purpose of broadening the scope of protection of modular systems, the GC misconstrued Art. 8 of Regulation No 6/2002 on Community designs (“CDR”).

      • Copyrights

        • Google v. Oracle: Lessons for Innovators

          The holding in Google v. Oracle, No. 18-956, slip op. (U.S. Apr. 5, 2021), worth a cool $9 billion, is that Google and others are free, under the fair use doctrine of copyright law, to copy Oracle/Sun’s Java API (application program interface) code. They’re also free, under copyright law, to write their own implementing code or to have others do so. Taking these two points together, Google escaped liability for infringement of Oracle’s copyrighted Java code. They can have Java programmers write apps to run on the Android operating system. And they can thumb their noses at Oracle.

          Let’s unpack the term API for those of us who are not steeped in interface code. An “app” is like a customer walking into a restaurant. The computer on which the app runs is like the kitchen. An API is like the waiter that goes back and forth between the customer and the kitchen. The Supreme Court has just held in Oracle that the waiter has to serve every customer that enters the restaurant.

          Oracle’s predecessor Sun wrote the Java code and made some effort to protect the APIs with patents and copyrights. Google did not want to pay Oracle/Sun for a license to use the Java code in its Android systems. So Google wrote its own code (or at least 99% of it), and it incorporated, that is, copied, the APIs. The Oracle/Sun patents fell by the wayside: A jury found that Google did not infringe Oracle’s patent claims. And now the Supreme Court has held that under copyright law, it was okay for Google to use the APIs without any obligation to Oracle, because (1) Google’s use was held to be new and transformative, (2) the APIs comprised less than 1% of Java’s total code, and (3) the APIs were held to be functional, thus making it “fair use” for Google to copy and use the same.

        • Supreme Court Tech Ruling Could Have Wider Effects on Copyright

          The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Google didn’t infringe Oracle’s copyright when it copied some Java code into early versions of the Android operating system. The decision is—to borrow a Bidenism—a big fucking deal. It will take lawyers and courts years (and thousands of billable hours of attorney time) to work out all the ways this case is going to change copyright practice. But right off the bat, it’s clear that there are at least three important things that this case tells us that go beyond Google’s fight with Oracle—things about the Supreme Court and partisanship, about some fundamental aspects of copyright that we’re still arguing about, and about some of the reasons that copyright isn’t the best tool for everything we’re using it for. It also raises one huge question: What, if anything, does the case mean outside the software industry?

        • Playing music in parks will no longer be copyright infringement

          Playing music in Taiwan’s parks will no longer constitute an infringement of the Copyright Act, after seven major amendments were passed at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday (April 8).

          The amendments mean that people will be able to play music on devices at parks without worrying about copyright infringement. It is the biggest change in the law for 20 years.

        • Oscar Nominations Boosted the Piracy Numbers of Best Picture Contenders

          Winning the Oscar for “best picture” is the most prestigious accolade a movie can get. Aside from the honor that comes with it, revenue tends to increase as well. The same is true for piracy. Data collected by TorrentFreak shows that being nominated already triggers a piracy boost. This is something to keep in mind, especially in countries where legal options are lacking.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, September 27, 2021



  2. Links 28/9/2021: Inkscape 1.1.1 and 4MLinux 37.1 Release

    Links for the day



  3. “What the Heli, Battistelli?”

    "Ms Pyjamas" (Heli) and Ms Bergot, a notoriously "strong lady" (for marrying the 'right' man?)



  4. When It Comes to UPC, EPO is Still Stuck in Pre-Brexit Mindset (More Than Half a Decade in the Past)

    The sheer lunacy of Team UPC is up on display and the EPO links to a “webinar” from 5.5 years ago; they’re still living in a fantasy world



  5. Links 27/9/2021: Q4OS 4, Windows Breaks Itself

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] Route de France

    At the EPO, facts catch up with you



  7. [Meme] Tech Companies: No Friends of Women

    Just another reminder that companies like IBM do not actually care about women; they are misusing genuine feminism for corporate objectives



  8. Links 27/9/2021: OpenSSH 8.8, Martine OS 2.0 and Airyx 0.2.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  9. GNU Turns 38 (Midday Today or 12:35:59 EST) and RMS Talks to Polish Medical Professionals This Evening

    Today GNU turns 38. Last week over 5,000 people watched the RMS talk in Ukraine using our WebM version of it; in a few hours RMS will speak in Poland and we’ll try to find a stream if one becomes available (we shall update this page).



  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 26, 2021



  11. Links 27/9/2021: Librem 14 Reviewed, Linux 5.15 RC3 is Out

    Links for the day



  12. Links 26/9/2021: GNU Wget2 2.0.0 and MenuLibre 2.2.3 Released

    Links for the day



  13. How Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights Got Crushed in the European Patent Office

    Our next series will show the sheer hypocrisy of the EPO, hiding behind the veil of (patent) law while so shamelessly violating just about every law in the books without facing any form of accountability



  14. Regrettable Acts of Self-Harm: OpenMandriva and Mozilla Being Outsourced to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Monopoly

    In another blow to software freedom, OpenMandriva and Mozilla decide to abandon their own systems and use proprietary software from Microsoft instead



  15. Links 26/9/2021: Mozilla Spends on PR, OpenMandriva Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 25, 2021



  17. Links 25/9/2021: GNU/Linux Recognition in Mainstream Media and Wine-Staging 6.18

    Links for the day



  18. Reminder: GNU Turns 38 This Monday Around Midday (When GNU's Founder Gives Talk in Poland)

    With media and Torvalds speaking again about anniversaries (this has gone on for the past week because Torvalds wrote about it yet again), it is important to recall the announcement that got the ball rolling and basically started it all (the GNU/Linux operating system) because it was in 1983, not 1991. We reproduce in full the announcement.



  19. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  21. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  22. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  24. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  26. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  27. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  28. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  29. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  30. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money


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