04.20.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 20/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.1, Phoronix Takes Microsoft ‘Freebies’, Microsoft Trying to Steal Credit for Linux on Mars

Posted in News Roundup at 12:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Make Linux look like Windows – 2021 edition

        Here we go again. Roughly three years ago, I showed you how to skin your Linux installation to look more like Windows, should your particular taste lean in that direction. It was an interesting little experiment. Also nerdy to the core. But apart from possible nostalgia and tech glamor, there might also be practical reasons for why someone would want to make their distro look more like a Microsoft product. And the answer is: entice non-techie people who expect the familiar.

        Say you install a distro for folks with zero Linux knowledge and some rudimentary Windows familiarity. Normally, this is a recipe for disaster. I call this The Grandma Gentoo Test (TGGT), AKA how likely is the ordinary person to master the subtleties of computer usage without your nerdy help? But this is true for all operating systems, except Windows had been around for a long time, and it’s the primary desktop interface that most people somewhat know how to somewhat use. So then, can you make your chosen distro behave like Windows, and nonce the wiser?

    • Server

      • Annotating Kubernetes Services for Humans | Kubernetes

        Have you ever been asked to troubleshoot a failing Kubernetes service and struggled to find basic information about the service such as the source repository and owner?

        One of the problems as Kubernetes applications grow is the proliferation of services. As the number of services grows, developers start to specialize working with specific services. When it comes to troubleshooting, however, developers need to be able to find the source, understand the service and dependencies, and chat with the owning team for any service.

      • Defining Network Policy Conformance for Container Network Interface (CNI) providers | Kubernetes

        Special thanks to Tim Hockin and Bowie Du (Google), Dan Winship and Antonio Ojea (Red Hat), Casey Davenport and Shaun Crampton (Tigera), and Abhishek Raut and Antonin Bas (VMware) for being supportive of this work, and working with us to resolve issues in different Container Network Interfaces (CNIs) over time.

        A brief conversation around “node local” Network Policies in April of 2020 inspired the creation of a NetworkPolicy subproject from SIG Network. It became clear that as a community, we need a rock-solid story around how to do pod network security on Kubernetes, and this story needed a community around it, so as to grow the cultural adoption of enterprise security patterns in K8s.

      • Certified Kubernetes Administrator

        CKA certification is a problem-solving exam, meaning you don’t have any questions but instead have a number of scenarios to troubleshoot.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #408: Let’s Get Metaphysical

        Hello and welcome to the 408th installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss the new, upcoming YOTA contest, Pop! OS, the new amateur radio census, codec2, Linux Mint, the Universal Ham Radio Remote and much more. Thank you for listening and have a great week!

      • Want To Be Like DT? Install Shell-Color-Scripts And Dmscripts!

        In the last couple of weeks, I have spent literally dozens of hours cleaning up various config files and scripts and package builds. It was time to do some major spring cleaning, not just to make sure all of my builds work, but because eventually I want to create a proper deployment script for my XMonad/Emacs desktop.

      • Amarok Linux 3.1

        In this video, we are looking at Amarok Linux 3.1. Enjoy!

      • Vimiv: The Love Child Of Ranger And Sxiv

        Everything needs vim keys even your image viewer so what if we took 2 applications styles those being Ranger and Sxiv, smashed them together, added some extra vim keys for good measure. Then we’d have Vimiv the topic for today.

      • Destination Linux 222: Is Flatpak A Security Nightmare? Plus Interview with ONLYOFFICE

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we are going to discuss Flatpak’s security for whether or not the concerns of a particular website is Fact or FUD. Then we’ll be joined by Michael Korotaev of OnlyOffice for an interview about their open-source office suite. Later in the show, we’ll take a look at the System76 announcement for their new COSMIC Desktop Environment. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • KFence Memory Safety Error Checking Is Looking Good For Minimal Overhead On Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        Of the many new features coming with Linux 5.12 is KFence, short for the Kernel Electric Fence. KFence is a low-overhead memory safety error detector/validator for the kernel with lower expected overhead costs than say the Kernel Address Sanitizer. I just wrapped up some benchmarks looking out for any overhead impact of KFence on Linux 5.12 in its near-final state.

        KFence is a memory safety error detector/validator designed for use within production environments and thus is optimized for low overhead. KFence aims to be more efficient than the robust Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) and that it’s low overhead enough to be used on production systems where KASAN is generally avoided.

      • Microsoft Adding Azure “MANA” Driver To Linux [Ed: Contributing to Linux bloat for things you absolutely do not need]

        Microsoft is preparing the Linux kernel for some yet-to-debut Azure network functionality.

      • AMD EPYC 7003 Series Performance In The Cloud With Microsoft Azure HBv3 HPC VMs [Ed: Is Microsoft paying (or giving 'free' stuff) to Phoronix now?]

        Thanks to Microsoft for allowing us to run these benchmarks as we wish in the Azure cloud.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Samuel Iglesias: Low Resolution Z Buffer support on Turnip

          Last year I worked on implementing in Turnip the support for a HW feature present in Qualcomm Adreno GPUs: the low-resolution Z buffer (aka LRZ). This is a HW feature already supported in Freedreno, which is the open-source OpenGL driver for these GPUs.

          What is low-resolution Z buffer

          Low-resolution Z buffer is very similar to a depth prepass that helps the HW avoid executing the fragment shader on those fragments that will be subsequently discarded by the depth test afterwards (Hidden surface removal). This feature comes with some limitations though, such as the fragment shader not being allowed to have side effects (writing to SSBOs, atomic operations, etc) among others.

          The interesting part of this feature is that it allows the applications to submit the vertices in any order (saving CPU time that was otherwise used on ordering them) and the HW will process them in the binning pass as explained below, detecting which ones are occluded and giving an increase in performance in some specific use cases due to this.

        • Google Deprecating RenderScript In Favor Of Vulkan Compute – Phoronix

          Google announced today that with Android 12.0 they will be deprecating their RenderScript APIs. Moving forward Android developers should primarily target the Vulkan API for high performance compute needs.

          RenderScript has been an API around since Android 3.0 for heterogeneous CPU/GPU programming and for some time even had a 3D rendering API. RenderScript though has been of less relevance with GPU compute being available for some time via Vulkan and even OpenGL. Some current Android devices only support RenderScript for CPU-only execution and with Android 12.0 the APIs will be deprecated.

        • Vulkan 1.2.176 Released With VK_EXT_extended_dynamic_state2

          It’s been just one week since the release of Vulkan 1.2.175 that introduced the Vulkan Video extensions while out this morning is now the Vulkan 1.2.176 revision.

    • Applications

      • Best Clipboard Monitoring Apps for Linux

        This article will cover a list of useful “clipboard monitoring” apps for Linux. Some desktop environments have built-in support for clipboard monitoring and they provide clipboard monitoring panel applets by default. The term “clipboard monitoring” refers to the practice of keeping a track / log of content copied on your desktop through keyboard shortcuts and mouse interactions. Since clipboard monitoring tools keep a history of copied content, you can review entries in the clipboard history and re-use / paste content that was copied earlier.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What I learned of the VOIP hacker scene by setting up a SIP Honeypot

        I got interested in telephones and the Voice Over IP (VOIP) scene soon after reading Phil Lapsley’s Exploding the phone (2013). According to the book, there is a whole underground of VOIP hackers. I had not come across them while lurking in the information security scene. After my interest sparked, I started paying more attention to telephone-related security research.

      • Listing the contents of a remote ZIP archive, without downloading the entire file

        This got me thinking if it might be possible, to construct some minimal set of requests, that only gets the part of the ZIP file containing information about its content.

        I didn’t really know anything about the ZIP file format beforehand, so this might be trivial if you are already familiar, but as it turns out, ZIP files contain information about their contents in a data block at the end of the file called the Central Directory.

        This means that it’s only this part of the archive that’s required in order to list out the content.

      • [Old] Setup Pi-Hole to protect your network and privacy

        To be able to understand what a DNS sinkhole is you have to first understand what DNS is and does. DNS is short for Domain Name System and it basically does the same thing phonebook does. It translates numbers to names because numbers are a lot harder to memorize. When you want to visit www.vikash.nl your computer will put that request out to a DNS server on your network which will translate that name to the IP address where www.vikash.nl is living. This is also called a DNS query. Pi-Hole is a DNS server so if you setup a Pi-Hole on your network it will answer the DNS queries for all the devices in your network and this means that you can redirect DNS lookup to anywhere you like. You now have the power to redirect DNS queries to ad-serving networks to an alternate IP address basically eliminating those from showing on any device connected to your network :). This process is called DNS sinkhole and also how Pi-Hole works. If you want to read more about it check out this Wikipedia article.

      • Bandwidth management in go-IPFS

        In this article I will explain a few important parameters for the reference IPFS node server go-ipfs in order to manage the bandwidth correctly for your usage.

      • Gemini Quickstart!

        More details are in the Official Gemini FAQ. Be aware that it’s targeted at a more technical audience than this quick start page, so you might want to skip it for now and come back later. The main thing to know is that you’re going to get a much more stripped-down experience compared to the modern WWW, but that’s okay! Some of the choices made to keep Gemini simple may seem too extreme, compared to even a bare-bones web site, but there are hidden benefits that won’t be obvious at first.

      • dRAID, Finally! A sneak-peak into the latest, and long-awaited feature of OpenZFS

        Admins will often use wide RAID stripes to maximize usable storage given a number of spindles. RAID-Z deployments with large stripe widths, ten or larger, are subject to poor resilver performance for a number of reasons. Resilvering a full vdev means reading from every healthy disk and continuously writing to the new spare. This will saturate the replacement disk with writes while scattering seeks over the rest of the vdev. For 14 wide RAID-Z2 vdevs using 12TB spindles, rebuilds can take weeks. Resilver I/O activity is deprioritized when the system has not been idle for a minimum period. Full zpools get fragmented and require additional I/O’s to recalculate data during reslivering. A pool can degenerate into a never ending cycle of rebuilds or loss of the pool Aka: the Death Spiral.

      • Linux 101: $HOME is where the heart is – TechRepublic

        In Linux, there’s no place like ~/, or $HOME or just home. That’s right, three ways to say the same thing. For new Linux users, this can get confusing. First off, what is home? Why are there numerous ways to notate home? Let’s see if we can solve this puzzle together.

      • How to check if a port is open on remote Linux system

        When installing or configuring an application in the Linux system, the associated port should also be open which allows the application for external access. If the application port is not open, it will make the program throw errors and hence malfunction.

        For instance, when you configure the Apache Web server on Linux, you must open ports 80 and 443 that listens to incoming connections for Apache on the firewall, and that allows users to access websites hosted on your web server through the browser.

      • Lukas “lzap” Zapletal: Crop and resize video to get rid of borders

        We stream our community demos on youtube via Google Meet and there are borders on each side which makes the content to be smaller and less readable. Luckily, it is in the middle of the screen, so the following command will crop the image to its 1/1.29 of the size, stretch it back to 720p and reencodes it for YouTube copying the audio stream.

      • Linux Logical Volume Manager (LVM) tutorial

        Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is used on Linux to manage hard drives and other storage devices. As the name implies, it can sort raw storage into logical volumes, making it easy to configure and use.

        In this guide, you’ll learn how LVM works on Linux systems. There’s no better way to learn about LVM than simply running through an example, which is exactly what we’ll do in the steps below. LVM works the same on any Linux distribution, so you can use any of the commands below on your own system.

        Follow along with us as we use LVM to create partitions, physical volumes, a virtual group, logical volumes, and filesystems on a hard disk. We’ll also show how to mount, extend, and remove our newly created logical volumes. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a full understanding of how to use LVM and apply your own configurations.

      • How to Install LAMP in Ubuntu in 3 steps

        In this article we are going to install the famous Linux Apache PHP and MySQL web services. The article is going to use the tasksel Ubuntu app.

      • How to Access Another Computer on the Same Network with Linux?

        There are many reasons for accessing another computer on the home or office network from your laptop or desktop.

      • How To Install macOS in a Virtual Machine on Ubuntu Linux

        QEMU is a virtual machine emulator and virtualizer which is quite similar to VMware and VirtualBox on Windows. Users often use QEMU alongside KVM as it provides a natively implemented virtual machine on the Linux kernel.

        The major advantage of QEMU is that it is very easy to set up and manage. Also, creating virtual machines from the command line has never been simpler with QEMU. You can also use a GUI interface with QEMU/KVM, and the preferred GUI manager of choice is virt-manager. Running virtual machines will provide you so with many other benefits as well.

        After you have finished testing a QEMU/KVM virtual machine and no longer need it, you can easily delete the virtual disk file associated with the virtual machine.

      • Grep Exclude Term

        Global regular expression print is a versatile terminal-based utility. As the name shows that it helps in searching the text within the file with the help of regular expressions. Grep is firstly originated as a Unix utility to run on that operating platform. After Linux configuration, it can access many applications on this operating system. Most Grep functions are included in the matching of the text of the file present in the command. Exclude function is also as useful as matching any pattern and displaying it because it helps remove the particular match from the file. It helps to exclude the word or words from the lines in a file. We can get help from the man page in the system by applying the below-appended command.

      • How to install Docker containers via Cockpit on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        The Cockpit is an easy solution to manage server resources remotely using the graphical web interface. It is not only light in weight but also present to install in most of the Linux repositories such as in popular Ubuntu, RedHat, Fedora, and CentOS to install with just a single command.

        Well, if we talk about Docker container management in Cockpit, then this really helpful to easily manage virtual machines or containers graphically. Yes, we can install and delete containers using few mouse clicks. No need to go through the command line to manage them. However, in Ubuntu 20.04 the Docker package for Cockpit is not available to install but we can do that manually by directly installing its Deb file. Here, we let you know how to do that in this tutorial.

      • Vim Reload Vimrc Without Closing – Linux Hint

        Vim is a versatile, fully accessible text editor that is also Vi-compatible. It is being used to make changes to any form of document. It comes in handy when modifying C/Perl/Python programs. It can also be used to modify configuration documents in Linux/Unix systems. /.vimrc is a document that you can use to configure and launch Vim. This article will show you how to update and reload the vimrc document in Linux despite rebooting the Vim editor.

      • LFCA: Learn Classes of Network IP Addressing Range – Part 11

        In Part 10 of the LFCA series, we brushed over the classes of IP addresses and gave examples of the commonly used IP classes. However, that was just an overview and in this part, we will dive deeper and gain more understanding about IP addressing range and the number of hosts and networks each class of IP provides.

      • Cpufetch – Check CPU information on linux terminal
      • How to check if a port is open on remote Linux system

        When installing or configuring an application in the Linux system, the associated port should also be open which allows the application for external access. If the application port is not open, it will make the program throw errors and hence malfunction.

        For instance, when you configure the Apache Web server on Linux, you must open ports 80 and 443 that listens to incoming connections for Apache on the firewall, and that allows users to access websites hosted on your web server through the browser.

      • How to install MySQL Workbench on Ubuntu

        MySQL Workbench is a cross-platform visual tool that allows users to manage SQL databases and SQL development. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get the MySQL Workbench tool up and running on Ubuntu Linux.

      • How to change Text Size in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        If you are having difficulty reading the text on the screen when using an Ubuntu system, there are many ways you can fix this according to your visual requirements.

        In this article, we will describe three ways you can change the screen text size in Ubuntu.
        We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on an Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system.

      • How to Use and Edit the Hosts File in Linux – Make Tech Easier

        If you’ve ever managed multiple servers from a Linux machine or set up some kind of home lab, then you know how useful the “hosts” file can be in Linux. However, some of you might not even know it exists, much less how to leverage it to make your life easier. That’s why we are guiding you through how to use and edit the hosts file in Linux.

      • How To Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP is arguably one of the most widely used server-side programming languages to create dynamic websites such as E-commerce sites, Blogs, WordPress, etc.

        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 PHP 8 on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver). You can follow the same instructions for any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Season of KDE: Calamares

          I’m not a good mentor-as-a-side-gig. I know that now. I shouldn’t mix mentoring with other activities – like coding full-time and being on the board of KDE e.V. and doing FreeBSD things too – so this is the last one for me until circumstances change.

          But for Anubhav Choudhary I hope this isn’t the last he participates in KDE things, in Open Source things, in C++ and Python and community activities. Mostly I’ll point at getting started and wrapping up. Getting started in college while also participating in a software project in partly-familiar language with people several timezones away over low-bandwidth communications is an achievement in its own right, regardless of what was actually built.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • [Old] Gnome 40 – The anti-desktop desktop

          Gnome 40 is Gnome. Simple. A desktop environment that caters to a weird “minimalistic” model that introduces touch-like inefficiency into the world of classic computing. The naming conventions falsely raises expectations, but it’s a standard release, with a few new options, a few small visual changes, and some tweaks behind the scenes. You can’t really decouple most of the experience from Fedora.

          I wasn’t impressed really. Scaling, fonts, overall ergonomics are all off – and slowly getting worse as time goes by. Just setting up the framework to use extensions – so you can have basic desktop functionality present in 100% of all other desktop setups in the world – is frustrating. A total waste of time. I need a dozen steps just to be able to see my application shortcuts all the time. Why bother? However, there’s one advantage to Gnome – it’s a good indicator of where the future of Linux lies. So a decade from now, the Linux desktop will gently, gracefully make itself completely irrelevant to everyday computing. But hey. I’m on my happy pills. Smiley face, bye bye.

        • Philip Withnall: Simple HTTP profiling of applications using sysprof

          This is a quick write-up of a feature I added last year to libsoup and sysprof which exposes basic information about HTTP/HTTPS requests to sysprof, so they can be visualised in GNOME Builder.

          [...]

          There’s plenty of scope for building this out into a more fully-featured way of inspecting HTTP requests using sysprof. By doing it from inside the process, using sysprof – rather than from outside, using Wireshark – this allows for visibility into TLS-encrypted conversations.

    • Distributions

      • Why the most beautiful Linux desktop is Garuda Linux KDE version
      • Why MX Linux is the most downloaded Linux desktop distribution
      • BSD

        • Interview with Michael Lucas *BSD, Unix, IT and other books author

          Michael Lucas is a famous IT book author. Perhaps best know for FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Unix book series. He worked as a system administrator for many years and has now become a full-time book writer. Lately, I did a quick Q and A with Michael about his journey as a professional book author and his daily workflow for writing books.

          [...]

          In 1995, I was responsible for a couple of heavily loaded client-facing nameservers. Most operating systems folded under the load. I worked nights. When a nameserver imploded, I got called and had to fix it. This was before virtualization, before remote consoles, before VPNs. My Internet access at home was a 33.6kB dialup, and I could either be on the phone or connected to the network. I tried Linux, SunOS, UnixWare. I even tried a Windows NT nameserver, out of sheer desperation.

          The day I installed a FreeBSD nameserver, I got a glorious ten hours of uninterrupted sleep.

        • OpenSSH 8.6 released

          OpenSSH 8.6 is now available. The “ssh-rsa” signature scheme, which uses the SHA-1 hash algorithm, will be disabled by default in the near future. “Note that the deactivation of “ssh-rsa” signatures does not necessarily require cessation of use for RSA keys. In the SSH protocol, keys may be capable of signing using multiple algorithms. In particular, “ssh-rsa” keys are capable of signing using “rsa-sha2-256″ (RSA/SHA256), “rsa-sha2-512″ (RSA/SHA512) and “ssh-rsa” (RSA/SHA1). Only the last of these is being turned off by default.”

        • The Call for Talk and presentation proposals for EuroBSDCon 2021 is now open.

          EuroBSDcon is the European technical conference for users and developers of BSD-based systems. The conference is scheduled to take place September 16-19 2021 in Vienna, Austria or as an all-online event if COVID-19 developments dictate. The tutorials will be held on Thursday and Friday to registered participants and the talks are presented to conference attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

          The Call for Talk and Presentation proposals period will close on May 26th, 2021. Prospective speakers will be notified of acceptance or otherwise by June 1st, 2021.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 overview | Simplicity and Elegance in one package.

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • openSUSE 15.3 First Impressions & Preview

          openSUSE 15.3 is the next version of Leap, due to be released this year. I decided to take a look at the upcoming distro in its current state, to not only refresh myself on openSUSE itself, but to also see what the developers are up to nowadays.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed: My First Impressions

          Since I checked out openSUSE 15.3 recently, I thought it was only fair that I also check out Tumbleweed as well. Tumbleweed is a rolling distribution that’s always updated, and is a great fit for people that prefer the “install once, update forever” mentality.

      • EasyOS

        • SeaMonkey bumped to 2.53.7.1

          Just a short post. There has been a bugfix release of SeaMonkey. EasyOS has SM 2.53.7. I have compiled SM 2.53.7.1 and it will be in the next release of Easy, expected to be version 2.7.1.

        • Support for Samsung printers

          OK, I got those two files ‘rastertospl’ and ‘ libscmssc.so’ and created a PET, ‘printer-driver-samsung-1.00.39-amd64.pet’. It is about 1Mb so will increase the size of ‘easy.sfs’ by that amount.
          Have included it in the build, but there has to be a limit to this of course. There are so many other special files for various brands of printer and scanner.

        • Brightness control in the tray

          I have compiled ‘setcolortemperature’ package in OE. This has the ‘sct’ executable.
          Added this to the package-list for Easy, as well as the ‘brightness-control’ PET that provides the tray operation (and uses sct).

        • EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.1 released

          For the non-English builds, at bootup, the initrd is supposed to ask for keyboard layout and password via nice GTK GUI windows. However, that is failing, and there is fallback to text-mode. The English build only uses text-mode, so that is not an issue.
          The downside of that fallback for the non-English builds, is there is a slight delay at bootup, when it tries to run Xorg within the initramfs, and it fails.
          Regarding printing for Samsung printers, I included a file ‘/usr/lib/libscmssc.so’, but think it might not be needed for the foomatic PPDs. Would be good to confirm that, as it is 2MB so would be good to leave out of the build, easy.sfs.

        • EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.7.1

          EasyOS was created in 2017, derived from Quirky Linux, which in turn was derived from Puppy Linux in 2013. Easy is built in woofQ, which takes as input binary packages from any distribution, and uses them on top of the unique EasyOS infrastructure.
          Throughout 2020, the official release for x86_64 PCs was the Buster-series, built with Debian 10.x Buster DEBs.
          EasyOS has also been built with packages compiled from source, using a fork of OpenEmbedded (OE). Currently, the Dunfell release of OE has been used, to compile two sets of binary packages, for x86_64 and aarch64.
          The latter have been used to build EasyOS for the Raspberry Pi4, and first official release, 2.6.1, was in January 2021.
          The page that you are reading now has the release notes for EasyOS Dunfell-series on x86_64 PCs, also debuting in 2021.
          To try and keep things simple, all three, the Dunfell-series on Pi4 and the Dunfell-series and Buster-series on the PC, all are (approximately) sync’ed at the same version number.
          However, there are differences in the maturity of each. In the case of the Pi4, the hardware still has some issues. For Dunfell-series on the PC, as the packages are all compiled from source, they are not as tested as those in the Buster-series.
          The “2.7.1″ is for EasyOS itself, the infrastructure, support-glue, system scripts and system management and configuration applications.
          Version 2.7.1 is becoming mature, though is an experimental distribution and some parts are under development and are still considered as beta-quality. However, you will find this distro to be a very pleasant surprise, or so we hope.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Ben Cotton: Balancing incoming tasks in volunteer projects

          Open source (and other volunteer-driven) communities are often made up of a “team of equals.” Each member of the group is equally empowered to act on incoming tasks. But balancing the load is not easy. One of two things happens: everyone is busy with other work and assumes someone else will handle it, or a small number of people immediately jump on every task that comes in. Both of these present challenges for the long-term health of the team.

          Bystander effect

          The first situation is known as the “bystander effect.” Because every member of the team bears an equal responsibility, each member of the team assumes that someone else will take an incoming task. The sociological research is apparently mixed, but I’ve observed this enough to know that it’s at least possible in some teams. You’ve likely heard the saying “if everyone is responsible then no one is.”

          The Bystander effect has two outcomes. The first is that the team drops the task. No one acts on it. If the task happens to be an introduction from a new member or the submission of content, this demoralizes the newcomer. If the team drops enough tasks, the new tasks stop coming.

          The other possibility is that someone eventually notices that no one else is taking the task, so they take it. In my experience, it’s generally the same person who does this every time. Eventually, they begin to resent the other members of the team. They may burn out and leave.

          [...]

          After learning my lesson with the Fedora Community Blog, I was hesitant to be too aggressive with taking tasks as an editor of the Fedora Magazine. But the Magazine team was definitely suffering from the bystander effect.

          To fix this, I proposed having an Editor of the Week. Each week, one person volunteers to be responsible for making sure new article pitches got timely responses and the comments were moderated. Any of the editors are free to help with those tasks, but the Editor of the Week is the one accountable for them.

          It’s not a perfect system. The Editor of the Week role is taken on a volunteer basis, so some editors serve more frequently than others. Still, it seems to work well for us overall. Pitches get feedback more quickly than in the past, and we’re not putting all of the work on one person’s plate.

        • Visit Red Hat Summit’s Community Central

          In case you haven’t heard, Red Hat Summit is doing a new format for 2021, with two online events scheduled in April and June, followed by a global tour of small-scale, in-person events, if the global health circumstances allow.

          Having an online event does not mean there won’t be opportunities for attendees to meet with many of our open source communities and teams that make an impact on the open source ecosystem.

        • Announcing the winners of the 15th annual Red Hat Innovation Awards

          Now in its 15th year, the Red Hat Innovation Awards recognize the technological achievements of Red Hat customers around the world who demonstrate creative thinking, determined problem-solving and transformative uses of Red Hat technology. This year’s winners are Argentine Ministry of Health and Social Development; Education Payroll Limited; Ireland Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Medifé Asociación Civil and Volkswagen AG.

        • Recognizing the 2021 Red Hat Innovation Awards honorable mentions

          Earlier today, we announced the winners of the 2021 Red Hat Innovation Awards, recognizing the technological achievements of our customers around the world. Each year we receive so many strong entries that showcase creative problem-solving, innovative thinking and transformative uses of Red Hat technology that we want to bring more of those stories to you.

          This year’s honorable mentions highlight an additional group of customers using open source technology to make waves in their respective industries – Moody’s Corporation, NTT DATA Corporation, TIAA and Vodafone Idea Limited.

        • How to start your AI/ML journey

          Even though artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) have been around for some time, only recently, when computing power is affordable, have companies started investing in AI/ML. What was once technology only accessible and affordable to enterprises has become more widely available.

          When using AI/ML technology right, organizations can achieve a variety of benefits such as predictive maintenance of hardware on a factory floor, cross-sell products to existing customers, identifying customers’ churn before it happens, and improving customer services—just to name a few.

          Some organizations have implemented machine learning technology but have not seen the expected return on their investment. Several factors may impact the success of machine learning in streamlining operations: data quality and availability, managing model lifecycle, re-training of models, and collaboration between teams and departments. So what are some things you can do to help ensure success with your AI/ML investment?

          This post will provide a roadmap on how to adopt AI/ML into your organization.

        • Capture Oracle database events in Apache Kafka with Debezium – Red Hat Developer

          One of the most requested connector plug-ins is coming to Red Hat Integration. You can now stream your data from Oracle databases with the Debezium connector for Oracle in developer preview.

          With this new connector, developers can leverage the power of the 100% open source Debezium project to stream their Oracle data to Red Hat AMQ Streams Apache Kafka clusters with Red Hat Integration.

          This article gives an overview of the Debezium connector for Oracle. It takes you through the steps to get started streaming your Oracle database, so you can achieve “liberation for your data.”

        • Connect AMQ Streams to your Red Hat OpenShift 4 monitoring stack – Red Hat Developer

          Monitoring systems in use is one of the greatest challenges in cloud environments. Users always want to know how their applications work in production. For example, they want to know how Red Hat OpenShift utilizes its resources; or how to monitor systems in use like Red Hat AMQ Streams.

          AMQ Streams, the enterprise version of Strimzi, exports many useful metrics from Apache Kafka clusters, Apache Zookeeper clusters, and other components. We can use Prometheus to scrape these metrics and display them in Grafana dashboards. Exporting AMQ Streams metrics to Grafana is quite easy, and using the existing monitoring stack on OpenShift 4 is easy, as well.

          This article shows you how to quickly set up a new or pre-existing AMQ Streams deployment with a default OpenShift 4 monitoring stack.

      • Debian Family

        • Jonathan Carter Has Been Re-Elected As Debian Project Leader

          The Debian developer community, who develops the popular Linux-based Debian operating system, has re-elected South African developer Jonathan Carter as their great leader with a 210 votes favoring him over the Indian challenger Sruthi Chandran. The Debian community has also voted against participating in any ongoing online mob bullying targeting elderly individuals.

          [...]

          Jonathan Carter a number of Debian packages, including many gaming-focused ones like Lutris, MangoHud, vkBasalt and Starfighter.

          Both of this years DPL candidates published platform documents outlining their plans if they were to be re-elected. Sruthi Chandran stated that she would be working towards bringing more diversity and more “non-male” candidates into the Debian community.

        • Ritesh Raj Sarraf: Catching Up Your Sources

          I’ve mostly had the preference of controlling my data rather than depend on someone else. That’s one reason why I still believe email to be my most reliable medium for data storage, one that is not plagued/locked by a single entity. If I had the resources, I’d prefer all digital data to be broken down to its simplest form for storage, like email format, and empower the user with it i.e. their data.

          Yes, there are free services that are indirectly forced upon common users, and many of us get attracted to it. Many of us do not think that the information, which is shared for the free service in return, is of much importance. Which may be fair, depending on the individual, given that they get certain services without paying any direct dime.

          [...]

          So for my communication, I like to prefer emails over any other means. That doesn’t mean I don’t use the current trends. I do. But this blog is mostly about penning my desires. And desire be to have communication over email format.

          Such is the case that for information useful over the internet, I crave to have it formatted in email for archival.

          RSS feeds is my most common mode of keeping track of information I care about. Not all that I care for is available in RSS feeds but hey such is life. And adaptability is okay.

          But my preference is still RSS.

          So I use RSS feeds through a fine software called feed2imap. A software that fits my bill fairly well.

        • ProtonMail Bridge

          There is a new tool available for Sparkers: ProtonMail Bridge

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • [Older] Jakub Steiner: Ingenuity FPV

        When I previously posted about the Perseverance landing, I didn’t realize NASA has actually published textured models of the lander and it’s cute not-so-little maritan helicopter, Ingenuity.

      • BREAKING NEWS: Linux Flies on Mars

        The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the American space agency responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research.

        A tiny and extremely lightweight helicopter, named Ingenuity, was transported to Mars in NASA’s Perseverance Rover. Ingenuity was deployed on 3 April 2021.

        NASA has successfully flown this helicopter on the red planet today.

        As it’s primarily a technology demonstration, Ingenuity’s first powered flight on the alien planet was brief. The Mars-copter flew to about 3m, hover, swivel and safely land in its momentous 40 second flight. But it’s a huge step forwards, paving the way for longer flights and the prospect of this technology undertaking reconnaissance missions.

        [...]

        This is a moment in history for us to remember. An open source operating system built by thousands flies a helicopter on another planet.

      • Flying on Mars fueled with open-source software [Ed: Publicity stunt by Microsoft, pretending that it is somehow responsible for everything that has a little code in GitHub]

        A small miracle happened at 3:31am ET on Monday morning. Ingenuity, a tiny NASA helicopter, became the first powered aircraft to fly on another planet, Mars. This engineering feat was done with Linux, open-source software, and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source F´ (pronounced F prime) framework.

        [...]

        JPL developers have long used and contributed back to open-source projects. But, with F’, for the first time, JPL started its own open-source project. That’s because, according to Jeff Levison, JPL’s supervisor of the small-scale flight software group, there were few applications for JPL’s flight software outside of NASA. “It didn’t make much sense before because our software was so tightly paired with custom hardware,” explains Levison. “There wasn’t really a driving need or benefit in releasing it to the public.”

      • Open source PinePhone modem firmware now supports audio, GPS, and power management

        Most modern smartphones actually run two different operating systems – there’s the one you interact with directly and there’s the firmware running on the modem system-on-a-chip, which is basically like its own little computer.

        So even a phone like the PinePhone that’s designed to run free and open source (usually Linux-based) operating systems might ship with closed-source, proprietary firmware installed on the phone’s Quectel E25-G modem.

        But a few months ago a small team of independent developers released an open source alternative. It was a bit buggy at the time, but it was mostly free of proprietary “blobs.”

        Since then, developers Biktor and Konrad Konrad have continued working on their software, and it’s now pretty close to being a fully functional replacement for the PinePhone’s default modem firmware.

      • Dual Ethernet SigmaStar SSD201/SSD202 SBC supports 4-inch or 7-inch displays

        SigmaStar SSD201/SSD202 are low-cost, highly integrated SoC’s with a dual Cortex-A7 processor, 64MB to 128MB on-chip RAM designed for Full HD smart displays, but we’ve also found SSD201 in a 4G LTE industrial gateway.

        There’s now a different type of board based on the SigmaStar processors with Wireless Tag/Industio IDO-SBC2D06-V1B-12W and IDO-SBC2D06-V1B-22W SBC’s powered respectively by SSD201 and SSD202, and both equipped with dual Ethernet and a connector for a 4-inch or 7-inch display.

      • Tough Tiger Lake system boasts quad displays and quad Ethernet

        MiTac’s fanless, rugged “MP1-11TGS” computer combines an 11th Gen Core CPU with 2.5GbE and up to 3x GbE ports, quadruple displays, 4x USB 3.1 Gen2, hot-swap SATA, and 2x M.2 slots.

        ICP Germany announced an industrial computer from its partner MiTac that features Intel’s 10nm, 11th Gen Tiger Lake-ULP3 platform. Like Avalue’s 240 x 150 x 48mm EMS-TGL and Vecow’s 150.4 x 106.2 x 48.1mm SPC-7000/7100 embedded PCs, MiTac’s 210 x 150 x 63mm MP1-11TGS supports the more embedded “E” Tiger Lake models that were announced after the initial launch. However, it does not provide the functional safety enabled “GRE” options supported by the Avalue system.

      • Pi-sized SBCs run Linux on RK3328 and Allwinner H3

        SmartBoardHome has announced two 85 x 56mm SBCs that run Linux: a “Pi-R2S3328-B” with an RK3328 and dual GbE ports and a “Pi-PC-H3 PK” with an Allwinner H3, HDMI, CSI, LAN, 2x USB, WiFi, and 40-pin GPIO.

        Shenzhen-based embedded computing vendor Shenzhen Pumpb Techical Co., Ltd has made us aware of its SmartBoardHome unit/brand. The 10-year old company, which is associated with “brother company” Xihai Imp. & Exp. Co., Ltd, sent us a notice about several new products, two of which run Linux: a “Smart Route Board Dual 1000M Ethernet Port 1GB DDR4 OpenWrt Pi-R2S3328-B” with a quad -A53 Rockchip RK3328 and a “Single Board Computer Mini PC embedded computer H3 Quad-Core micro circuit board Pi-PC-H3 PK Raspberry Pi.”

      • UK to investigate ARM-NVIDIA deal on national security grounds

        The United Kingdom has announced that it is looking afresh at the proposed deal between GPU vendor NVIDIA and CPU specialist ARM, with the former to buy the latter for US$40 billion (A$51.5 billion), on the grounds of national security.

      • ARM in the Datacenter

        All the major server suppliers have either announced, or are already selling, ARM servers. We are also seeing companies that are solely focused on Arm-based servers.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Building a better battery analyzer with Arduino | Arduino Blog

          Your favorite device has just run out of juice, so you quickly take off the cover and reach into that old stash of alkaline batteries you have lying around. After trying countless combinations, you still cannot be sure they’re working properly, as each one has been slightly used. If only there were a way to know.

          In comes a maker named Moragor with his take on a battery analyzer. The one he built doesn’t just measure the voltage for a certain type of battery. Instead, users can select from three different types (alkaline, NiMh, or Li-on), along with the current from a sleek OLED display. Then, values get read, shown, and also logged to an SD card for more advanced analysis. The entire device is based on a custom PCB that acts as a shield for an Arduino Mega.

        • Librem 14 in Pictures

          We are excited that the Librem 14 is shipping, and we are so pleased with the production model that we wanted to share some brand new pictures of it inside and out…

        • Zenreader: A 4.7 inches E-Ink RSS Reader Powered by ESP32

          The ESP32 is a microcontroller that has very little RAM and isn’t quite suited to deal with HTML and such. So I had to use a Raspberry Pi as a rendering proxy and transforms the RSS and the text on the page so that the ESP32 can digest. The idea is to transform XML RSS to JSON and transform any article URL to plaintext by a nodejs script via an HTTP API SaaS or whatever you call it. Even so, I think I’m stretching the ability of the little controller. Anyways, it works most of the time – or at least, I hope, not worse than the Kindle. At least now I can flip one page at a time.

        • It’s easier than ever to add two-way communication to Arduino devices

          There’s a brand new device-to-device communication feature available now in the Arduino IoT Cloud. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time. So we’re excited to see how it’ll add a whole new connected dimension to your Arduino projects.

          [...]

          Combined with IoT Cloud’s dashboards this delivers a powerful new way to build incredible automations with minimal (if any) changes. Furthermore, it gives you smartphone control of your connected boards via the existing Arduino IoT Remote iOS and Android apps.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • HarmonyOS 2.0 update tracker: HongMeng OS 2.0 Release date, beta, & other info

        According to data from Statcounter, Huawei has, over the past year, been holding steady at about 10% of the global Mobile Vendor Market Share, trailing behind Korean tech giant Samsung at about 31% and Apple at 25% market share.

        This is rather impressive, especially seeing as Huawei’s sales outside of China have been greatly handicapped owing to the ongoing tension between the Chinese tech giant and the U.S.

      • Web Browsers

        • Daniel Stenberg: Mars 2020 Helicopter Contributor [Ed: Daniel Stenberg helps Microsoft liars steal credit for other people’s work. PR stunt.]

          Friends of mine know that I’ve tried for a long time to get confirmation that curl is used in space. We’ve believed it to be likely but I’ve wanted to get a clear confirmation that this is indeed the fact.

        • curl those funny IPv4 addresses

          All of these versions shown above work with most tools that accept IPv4 addresses and sometimes you can bypass filters and protection systems by switching to another format so that you don’t match the filters. It has previously caused problems in node and perl packages and I’m guessing numerous others. It’s a feature that is often forgotten, ignored or just not known.

          It begs the question why this very liberal support was once added and allowed but I’ve not been able to figure that out – maybe because of how it matches class A/B/C networks. The support for this syntax seems to have been introduced with the inet_aton() function in the 4.2BSD release in 1983.

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 88.0 and 78.10 ESR

            Firefox 88 has been released. New features include support for PDF forms with embedded JavaScript and smooth pinch-zooming using a touchpad, and better protection against cross-site privacy leaks. See this article for more information on how Firefox 88 combats window.name privacy abuses.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Never too late for Firefox 88

            April is upon us, and we have a most timely release for you — Firefox 88. In this release you will find a bunch of nice CSS additions including :user-valid and :user-invalid support and image-set() support, support for regular expression match indices, removal of FTP protocol support for enhanced security, and more!

          • Changes to themeable areas of Firefox in version 89 | Mozilla Add-ons Blog

            Firefox’s visual appearance will be updated in version 89 to provide a cleaner, modernized interface. Since some of the changes will affect themeable areas of the browser, we wanted to give theme artists a preview of what to expect as the appearance of their themes may change when applied to version 89.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Firefox 88 combats window.name privacy abuses

            We are pleased to announce that Firefox 88 is introducing a new protection against privacy leaks on the web. Under new limitations imposed by Firefox, trackers are no longer able to abuse the window.name property to track users across websites.

            Since the late 1990s, web browsers have made the window.name property available to web pages as a place to store data. Unfortunately, data stored in window.name has been allowed by standard browser rules to leak between websites, enabling trackers to identify users or snoop on their browsing history. To close this leak, Firefox now confines the window.name property to the website that created it.

      • Programming/Development

        • POCL 1.7-RC1 Up For Testing, Now Exposes OpenCL 3.0

          The first release candidate is up for version 1.7 of the Portable Computing Language, the portable OpenCL implementation that can run on CPUs and other accelerators. With POCL 1.7, OpenCL 3.0 is now being exposed and there is also improved support for SPIR-V binaries on CPUs.

        • Technical Evaluations: 6 questions to ask yourself

          Use these six questions to determine whether a solution actually solves the business problem you’re addressing.

          [...]

          This question comes with the addendum “for the balance of your requirements.” If you only need a tool to get your team over a four to six-month hump until Project X is complete, this question becomes less important. If this is a multi-year commitment and the tool drives a critical business workflow, this is a concern.

          When going through this step, make use of all available resources. If the solution is open source, look through the commit history, mailing lists, and forum discussions about that software. Does the community seem to communicate effectively and work well together, or are there obvious rifts between community members? If part of what you are purchasing is a support contract, use that support during the proof-of-concept phase. Does it live up to your expectations? Is the quality of support worth the cost?

          Make sure you take a step beyond GitHub stars and forks when evaluating open source tools as well. Something might hit the front page of a news aggregator and receive attention for a few days, but a deeper look might reveal that only a couple of core developers are actually working on a project, and they’ve had difficulty finding outside contributions. Maybe a tool is open source, but a corporate-funded team drives core development, and support will likely cease if that organization abandons the project. Perhaps the API has changed every six months, causing a lot of pain for folks who have adopted earlier versions.

        • Google proposes Logica data language for building more manageable SQL code

          Structured Query Language (SQL) at scale can lead to unstructured, unmaintainable database code – at least as far as Google is concerned – so boffins affiliated with the biz have devised an open source logical programming language to make SQL more amenable to maintenance.

          “Good programming is about creating small, understandable, reusable pieces of logic that can be tested, given names, and organized into packages which can later be used to construct more useful pieces of logic,” explain Google software engineers Konstantin Tretyakov and Evgeny Skvortsov in a post to Google’s open source blog. “SQL resists this workflow.”

          Tretyakov and Skvortsov propose using a new open source logic programming language called, aptly enough, Logica, to craft database interactions using the syntax of mathematical propositional logic instead of the chains of English words used in SQL.

        • Benchmarking Ruby 3 in PDF generation

          Ruby 3 JIT was optimized against CPU-intensive demo, which left Rails enthusiasts left out. But what about tasks in the middle of both? Here’s my latest benchmark on Ruby 3 JIT in generating PDF files with Prawn.

          A little over a year ago, I created a PDF generation benchmark to help Takashi optimize the upcoming Ruby 3 JIT. I blogged about how to make such a benchmark, and my results for Ruby 2.5, 2.6, and 2.6 –jit.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl performance on Apple M1

            https://metacpan.org/pod/HTML::FormatTextI recently got an Apple M1 Mac Mini, half out of curiosity, half because it was exactly what I would need: I have a low end Mac just to try out things like new Xcode betas etc, like a “canary” machine. My old 2012 Mac Mini stopped getting official Apple updates, so it could no longer do what I needed and the 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD M1 mini at $699 is easily the cheapest Mac you can buy.
            Overall, unlike the typical Mac Minis of old which seemed to be on the slow side, it did feel quite fast from the start, so I thought I’d run some benchmarks on it for fun to see how Apple’s ARM M1 fares against some x86 competition. And, as in my day job I use mostly Perl, I thought some perl-related benchmarks would be of interest to me.

            For those not aware, the M1 is an ARM-based CPU (well, includes GPU, so SoC really), with 8 cores total (4x performance @ 3.2GHz/12MB L3, 4x efficiency @ 2GHz/4MB L3) built at 5nm and consuming up to 15W. Basically the “laptop” class CPU of what Apple has been building for iPhones/iPads. Apart from native ARM code, it can run x86 code through Rosetta 2, but I still can’t use it for work – our dev environment currently relies on VirtualBox which needs actual x86/VT-x silicon. I ran benchmarks against my work laptop, a Mid 2015 15″ MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz i7 Crystalwell. Even though it was Apple’s top of the line at the time, it’s a bit old now, I keep it for the non-butterfly keyboard and the full complement of ports, and until recently the newer Macs weren’t much faster anyway. Although an older i7 will make it easier for the M1 to compete, I still find the comparison quite interesting, especially since the Mac Mini has always been the “slow/cheap” Mac – and it’s now even cheaper. Plus I’ll throw some tests with different hardware just for comparison.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2021.16 Dispatch Anew

            Jonathan Worthington has posted an extensive blog post about the progress on the new dispatch infrastructure in MoarVM: Raku multiple dispatch with the new MoarVM dispatcher, with exciting new capabilities and the promise of much better performance (Lobsters comments). In related news, Jonathan also reported on the RakuAST progress in March.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • 5 Very Useful Linux Command Line Secrets and Tricks You Must Know

            In this article, we are going to see very useful Linux command line secrets and tricks to save time and increase productivity. Most people need some time to figure out how to be productive when they first start using Linux. This operating system is incredibly flexible and essential for developers across the globe. In case Linux is the standard OS at your company, you most likely saw more experienced users interact very efficiently. Although it may look like it would take you years to achieve this level of expertise, the truth is that you can greatly enhance your productivity on Linux with only several useful tricks.

            What’s great about the Linux command line is that you can use it for countless processes. For instance, you can even zip and unzip a file in Linux from the command line. Regardless of whether you just installed Linux on your computer or have been using it for years, you’ll find some useful command line secrets and tricks in this article.

        • Rust

          • Niko Matsakis: Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions VI

            Ryan Levick and I are going to be hosting more Async Vision Doc Writing Sessions this week. We’re not organized enough to have assigned topics yet, so I’m just going to post the dates/times and we’ll be tweeting about the particular topics as we go.

  • Leftovers

    • Charles Geschke, Co-Founder of Adobe and Developer of PDFs, Dies at 81

      After earning a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke began working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where he met Warnock, the Mercury News reported. The men left the company in 1982 to found Adobe, developing software together.

    • Fatal Tesla Crash Shows Why We Don’t Have Autonomous Cars on the Road

      This should be a warning to everyone considering an autonomous car. There is no such thing approved for consumers to drive on the road yet. Tesla cars are not intended to be fully autonomous – yet, drivers continue to treat them as such. Two men lost their lives in a fatal Tesla crash this past weekend. These cars are not safe enough to be completely driverless yet, and this type of thing just seems to set progress back – it shows that humans are just not ready for such a responsibility yet.

    • Science

      • Replacing statistics with modern predictive models

        Most fields of scientific inquiry rely on classical statistics to make inferences about the world based on experimental data.

        What I mean by “classical statistics” differs from modern machine learning methods (modern predictive models) in the following ways: [...]

    • Education

      • MOE seeks key English schools

        The ministry said that it hopes to have at least half of second-year undergraduates and half of all graduate students at the benchmark schools complete more than half of their 2030 coursework in English.

        By 2030, at least half of the students graduating from benchmark schools would possess bilingual skills and it would be noted on their graduation certificate, the ministry added.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • New ransomware targeting Asian nations using malvertising: Kaspersky

          Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a very sophisticated Exploit Kit that is targeting countries in the Asia-Pacific region to deliver ransomware via malvertising, which is the spread of malware through online advertisements.

          Exploit kits are automated threats that utilise compromised websites to divert web traffic, scan for vulnerable browser-based applications, and run malware.

          Called ‘Magnitude EK’, the constantly evolving Exploit Kit uses its own ransomware as its final payload.

        • Millions of web surfers are being targeted by a single malvertising group

          [Crackers] have compromised more than 120 ad servers over the past year in an ongoing campaign that displays malicious advertisements on tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of devices as they visit sites that, by all outward appearances, are benign.

          Malvertising is the practice of delivering ads to people as they visit trusted websites. The ads embed JavaScript that surreptitiously exploits software flaws or tries to trick visitors into installing an unsafe app, paying fraudulent computer support fees, or taking other harmful actions. Typically, the scammers behind this Internet scourge pose as buyers and pay ad-delivery networks to display the malicious ads on individual sites.

        • 10 Best Rufus Alternatives For Windows, Linux, And MacOS
        • Telegram Launched Telegram WebZ & Telegram WebK

          Telegram is a popular instant messaging app known for protecting users’ privacy while providing the same features as WhatsApp. Telegram apps are available for all major platforms. The company also has a web version of the app that one can open in any web browser.

          The Telegram web version is available on web.telegram.org. But Telegram recently launched two more versions of the web app called Telegram WebZ and Telegram WebK.

          [...]

          Besides this, you can notice very minor differences in the color palettes of the two apps. The search box’s background in WebZ is grey whereas in WebK it’s white.

          When a user does not set a profile picture, Telegram creates a profile picture out of the user’s full name. It takes the first letter of first name & last name and creates the profile picture by combining the two letters. I noticed the WebZ version creates more accurate profile pictures than WebK. In some cases, WebK just added a random letter instead of the first letter of the last name.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (nettle, squid, and thunderbird), Debian (libebml, python-bleach, and python2.7), Fedora (batik, gnuchess, kernel-headers, kernel-tools, ruby, singularity, and xorg-x11-server), Mageia (clamav, kernel, kernel-linus, and python3), openSUSE (chromium, fluidsynth, opensc, python-bleach, and wpa_supplicant), Oracle (gnutls and nettle), Red Hat (dpdk, gnutls and nettle, mariadb:10.3 and mariadb-devel:10.3, and redhat-ds:11), and SUSE (kernel, qemu, and xen).

          • Openwall Releases LKRG 0.9.0 with a Long List of Major Changes, Improvements & Bug Fixes

            Openwall recently announced the release of LKRG (Linux Kernel Runtime Guard) 0.9.0, featuring a host of major changes and improvements, as well as fixes for multiple security bugs. LKRG is a kernel module that performs runtime integrity checking of the Linux kernel and detection of security vulnerability exploits against the kernel.

          • Can Linux Be Used To Offer More Security In A WFH World (On And Offline)?

            Operational security at least seemed so much easier back when traditional 9-to-5 office life was still dominant. Talk of professionals taking their work home with them was largely metaphorical, with only occasional instances of C-suite types dragging their laptops everywhere they went. Business hardware and systems would be shielded through physical security and isolated networks. One office (or office complex), one place to guard: entirely straightforward.

            Now, after a year that’s seen countless businesses (some eagerly and others reluctantly) adopt the working-from-home model, there are different challenges to overcome. Teams are scattered and must share sensitive data across the internet — data to which other companies and fraudsters would love to gain access. When information gets out, reputations are destroyed and businesses (particularly those working entirely online) struggle to survive.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • How to see what Google knows about you, and delete it

              Once you delete data from your Google Account, the company immediately starts removing it and stops using it for personalization. “We then begin a process designed to safely and completely delete the data from our storage systems,” Google explains. It may be forced to keep some information for legal requirements, which you can read about at the link above.

            • ICT Authority’s proposal to monitor the Internet, in a nutshell

              The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) invites the public to comment on a Consultation Paper on amendments to the ICT Act which the authority proposes in order to regulate Social Media in Mauritius.

              I read the Consultation Paper and in my humble opinion the authors of the paper could not define the problem they want to address.

            • UK government urged to give home workers the ‘right to disconnect’

              A study from October, commissioned by the flexible workplace provider The Office Group, found that more than half (51%) of the 2,000 UK workers surveyed said they had been working outside of their typical hours since lockdown, with the average British worker putting in an extra 59 hours of work at home — the equivalent of seven working days, over the last five months.

              This latest poll, carried out by Opinium for professionals’ union Prospect, found that two-thirds (66%) of employees want a right to disconnect policy included alongside a number of employment reforms influenced by the impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s work economy.

              These include plans to make flexible work a default option for all advertised jobs, giving employees greater freedom around how they split their time between the office and home.

            • Employers know more about our lives than ever – now what?

              Over the last year, many of us have found ourselves wrestling with the unfamiliar need to discuss personal responsibilities while handling professional ones. Before the pandemic, workers had no real obligation to share anything about their lives with their bosses. At larger organisations, HR departments might have known little more than employees’ names, addresses and birthdays. But once Covid-19 abruptly shifted work into our homes, we suddenly had to share more with employers, because our private lives were playing out during working hours.

              Some of this has been positive; there’s a sense that giving employers more insight into our home circumstances, responsibilities and even health could result in greater accommodation. But there are also questions about how much we want to share with our employers, and what feels like a breach of privacy – as well as how companies will use the information they learn.

            • startpage.com waterfox browser and w3m text browsing – gstatic.com [Ed: Waterfox and Startpage are owned by System1 and attack your privacy]

              Brief reporting here of a slogan sold cheap “your privacy is important to us” or “we put your privacy 1st“, used by many commercialized old software and services, that became too popular for “industry” to leave alone. Sometimes marketing hype and sloganism becomes more than actual meaning and content. It is the myth that sells. So how is open/free software and a free search engine, committed to user privacy, used by large marketing businesses, and data miners, is used as a lure to do exactly what Microsoft explorer, msn, google, yahoo, mozilla, do, but with an “activist’s” dress? I am talking about waterfox and startpage, both sold during the past couple of years to a data mining business. And if it wasn’t a data miner it is now.

              If I use waterfox to access startpage.com, no proxy, no tor, no VPN, but with NoScript blocking every type of script, I get access to the search engine. I am not blocked, my options set a while ago are still set, I get my dark theme and 20 hits per page. I am “ensured” that I can use anonymous links if I wish for the results, but accessing startpage is not anonymous, in a sense, and “it” knows who I am.

              [...]

              Take whose privacy seriously, and what does that even mean? A private detective takes privacy seriously, he gets paid so you can’t have any. That’s pretty damn serious.

            • A cloud without Google and Microsoft for all italian schools

              A bill just presented to the italian Senate proposes the establishment of one “single national interconnection network” called UNIRE (“to join”). The mission of this network would be to connect all italian schools with each other and to the Internet, with a private cloud to offer platforms for digital teaching, alternatives to those of Google and Microsoft, with attention to data protection of underage students and with their own IT security management.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Afghans Haven’t Forgotten Taliban Atrocities

        “Atrocities like Shomali were a regular feature of the war in the 1990s. A vast international presence prevented some but not all such killings in the past 20 years,” said Patricia Gossman, Human Rights Watch’s associate Asia director. “If there is no settlement and the war continues, which unfortunately seems likely, I am afraid civilians will continue to bear the brunt of the war and continue to be the victims of atrocities.”

        One of the senior Taliban field commanders in the Shomali Plain during the 1999 offensive and massacre as well as the Taliban’s deputy to the chief of army are today leading the militant groups’ negotiations in Doha, Qatar, according to the Afghanistan Justice Project. In other words, the men who allowed entire valleys to be razed and torched are today leading the theoretical charge for “peace.”

      • Jewish prisoner in Turkey: “I fear for my life. They want me to convert to Islam”

        According to a report in Israel Hayom, Azoulay was sentenced in 2017 to 16 years and eight months in prison. His case has recently attracted significant attention as his lawyers and family members push to have him extradited to France.

      • France asks citizens to leave Pakistan amid violent protests

        The French embassy in Pakistan on Thursday advised all of its nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country after anti-France violence erupted in the Islamic nation over the arrest of a radical leader.

        Saad Rizvi was arrested Monday for threatening the government with mass protests if it did not expel French envoy Marc Baréty over the publication depictions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

        French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes Von Der Muhll said about 400 to 500 French nationals live in Pakistan and they will be able to leave via commercial flights.

    • Environment

      • Biden’s Earth Day Summit Aims for Reset on Climate Change

        The White House said it will announce an “ambitious” 2030 target for greenhouse gas emissions before the summit.

        Advocates are calling for a 50% cut from 2005 levels, a “highly ambitious but still achievable” goal, Hultman said.

        And it would show other major polluters that the largest cumulative contributor to global warming is ready to take action.

      • Biden’s Earth Day Summit Is a Crucial Opportunity for Climate Action

        After promising to be guided by climate science and quickly rejoining the Paris Agreement, President Biden must now lead the United States to go big on climate action. He just announced a major domestic infrastructure plan, which includes significant clean energy and climate resilience investments. He will soon host an Earth Day Summit, where key world leaders will be pressed to make new, enhanced commitments—so-called nationally determined contributions (NDCs)—to reduce their global warming emissions. The U.S. NDC—slated to be announced by the summit—must be ambitious.

        More than 1,500 scientists and experts have sent President Biden a letter, calling on him to commit to cutting U.S. heat-trapping emissions at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, as part of the nation’s contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement goals. It’s a feasible and necessary goal—and only the floor for U.S. ambition. The scientific evidence and global equity arguments for the United States to go further by making deeper, swifter cuts in emissions are clear and compelling. Securing an ambitious NDC this year and then pushing for more prior to 2030 will be important.

      • 7 cool ways to commemorate Earth Day with kids in 2021

        Earth Day has grown into the world’s biggest civic event, celebrated by a billion people in more than 190 countries, according to Earth Day Network. What are some activities for Earth Day? Here are free Earth Day activities you can do with your family or your pod to encourage everyone to protect the Earth.

      • Earth Day 2021: When is it and how are people marking global day of environmental action?

        Amid the pandemic many of this year’s events will take place online following an entirely virtual programme in 2020. Notably, US president Joe Biden has chosen to begin his virtual world leaders summit to address the climate crisis on Earth Day next week.

      • Energy

        • Electricity Companies Urge Biden to Set Standard to Reduce Emissions 80 Percent by 2030

          As President Biden prepares to announce a U.S. emissions pledge, a group of electricity companies sent him a letter urging the president to set clean energy standard (CES) goal of reducing the industry’s carbon emissions by 2030.

          The coalition of thirteen power companies, which includes PSEG, Exelon Corp. and Talen Energy Corp., proposed a goal similar to one set by environmental advocacy group Evergreen Action in February.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Another Danske Bank chief fired over money laundering allegations

        The CEO of Danish bank Danske has been fired over money laundering suspicions, Baltic News Service reports. The bank’s chief, Dutchman Chris Vogelzang, was himself appointed in 2019 following the money laundering allegations which engulfed the bank’s now-defunct Tallinn branch, replacing Thomas Borgen.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Apple will let Parler back on the App Store

        The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices.

        The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.”

      • Facebook ramps up moderation around Derek Chauvin trial, will delete posts mocking George Floyd’s death

        The company will delete “severe” attacks on Chauvin, although Facebook considers the former officer a public figure for “voluntarily placing himself in the public eye” — as opposed to Floyd, who is granted a higher standard of protection.

      • Choosing The Next Dalai Lama And The Fight Involving India, US, China

        From January through March, along its Himalayan border with China, India convened five separate assemblies of senior monks from various sects and schools in the region-the first time such gatherings have taken place in more than 2,000 years.

      • How a Hong Kong protester became one of the territory’s youngest exiles

        As Beijing intensified its crackdown on pro-democracy lawmakers and student activists over the last year, however, participating in the protests became increasingly dangerous. And in December, the 15-year-old known to journalists and fellow protesters simply as “Aurora” boarded a plane to London, the ticket paid for by an anonymous Hong Kong activist.

        The decision to seek political asylum in the United Kingdom has made her one of Hong Kong’s youngest exiles.

      • Pakistan To Ban Radical Group Behind Anti-France Protests: Minister

        The TLP are notorious for holding days-long road protests over blasphemy issues, causing major disruption to the country.

        But successive governments have a long history of avoiding confrontation with hardline Islamist groups, fearing any crackdown on religious parties could spark wider violence in the deeply conservative Islamic republic.

      • Why Political Sectarianism Is a Growing Threat to American Democracy

        But the two parties have not only become more ideologically polarized — they have simultaneously sorted along racial, religious, educational, generational and geographic lines. Partisanship has become a “mega-identity,” in the words of the political scientist Lilliana Mason, representing both a division over policy and a broader clash between white, Christian conservatives and a liberal, multiracial, secular elite.

        And as mass sectarianism has grown in America, some of the loudest partisan voices in Congress or on Fox News, Twitter, MSNBC and other platforms have determined that it’s in their interest to lean into cultural warfare and inflammatory rhetoric to energize their side against the other.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • ‘Anti-Riot’ Bills In Florida, Iowa Would Crack Down on Black Lives Matter Protests

        USA Today reports that at least 93 such bills have been proposed in 35 states since the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests for racial and social justice.

        Many of these new bills expand activities that are already considered illegal, including camping on state property or taunting law enforcement.

        “These bills talk about ‘riots,’ but the language that they use is so sweeping that it encompasses way more than what people imagine,” Elly Page, a senior legal adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law told USA Today. She added that the bills criminalize peaceful protests, which are protected by the First Amendment.

      • As protests continue over police killings, lawmakers try to add to the list of crimes protesters could face

        “These bills talk about ‘riots,’ but the language that they use is so sweeping that it encompasses way more than what people imagine,” said Elly Page, a senior legal adviser with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

        The bills, she said, would criminalize “peaceful, legitimate First Amendment-protected protest.”

      • How to Save a Movie From Clerics Who Didn’t Watch It

        In 2019, more than 80 young Pakistani artists came together to work on a small-budget independent film about a man and his daughter, “Zindagi Tamasha.” Since then, the film has been cleared for release in Pakistan several times, was selected to be the country’s official entry for the 2020 Academy Awards foreign language film category and has won prizes in international festivals. Yet it still can’t be shown in Pakistan — not because of the pandemic, but because it offends some people who haven’t even seen it.

        One evening late last January, the Pakistani filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat, a friend of mine, sat on a stage in the British Council’s library in Karachi to introduce “Zindagi Tamasha.” During the talk, he received a Twitter notification accusing his movie of being disrespectful to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

        Soon, Sarmad’s social-media timelines were filled with death threats. He spent the rest of the year trying to save both his life and the film he had made with love and his own money.

      • Pakistan briefly blocks social media amid anti-France rally

        Pakistan briefly blocked access to all social media on Friday after days of violent anti-French protests across the country by radical Islamists opposed to cartoons they consider blasphemous.

        Sites including Twitter and Facebook were blocked for four hours on orders from the country’s interior ministry, said Khurram Mehran, a spokesman for Pakistan’s media regulatory agency. He gave no further details.

      • Pakistan orders temporary social media shutdown after violent protests

        In a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Interior Ministry requested a “complete blocking” of Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube and Telegram until 3 pm (1100 GMT).

        It gave no reason for the ban, but it comes a day after French nationals and companies in Pakistan were advised by their embassy to temporarily leave in the wake of the rallies led by an extremist party that paralysed large parts of the country and left two police officers dead.

      • France advises citizens to leave Pakistan after anti-French protests

        The TLP has been demanding that the Pakistani government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products due to Charlie Hebdo’s republishing of the Prophet Mohamed cartoons last year.

        Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish the cartoons, deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

      • France urges its nationals in Pakistan to leave country after violent protests by radical religious group

        The trouble began after police arrested the TLP chief Saad Rizvi on Monday ahead of the April 20 deadline by the group to expel the French ambassador.

        The issue of expulsion of the ambassador was linked to an agreement between the TLP and the government when the former in November last year postponed its protest against publication of blasphemous cartoons.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Assange, Nils Melzer says the treatment of Julian leaves him “speechless”

        In an in-depth interview with Il Fatto Quotidiano, Nils Melzer discusses his investigation on the WikiLeaks founder, which has made him speak out as a whistleblower and raise an alarm on this case and its implications: “We have already created a parallel world of secret services that controls everything”.

        He deals with torture victims on a daily basis, so he is not easily shocked by abuses. And yet, he says, he is ‘speechless’ when it comes to the case of Julian Assange. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, has just published a book in German: “Der Fall Julian Assange”, which reconstructs his investigation based on exclusive documents. He tells Il Fatto Quotidiano what he has discovered and what he thinks is likely to happen.

      • Minnesota Governor Calls Alleged Assaults on Journalists ‘Chilling’

        Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, on Sunday responded to reports that the state’s police officers had assaulted journalists covering the unrest in a Minneapolis suburb, saying, “Apologies are not enough; it just cannot happen.”

      • CNN producer alleges police asked ‘do you speak English?’ during her arrest

        A producer for CNN who was covering protests against the police killing of Daunte Wright was arrested and asked by a police officer if she speaks English, according to a letter to the governor of Minnesota.

        Carolyn Sung, the CNN producer, made the allegations in a letter made public by the Ballard Spahr law firm. The letter contained several other allegations of police misconduct toward journalists covering the protests.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • In Pivotal Move, Sen. Manchin Announces Support For Pro-Union Legislation

        The version of the PRO Act that passed in the House would strengthen collective bargaining rights and create penalties for corporations that violate their workers’ rights. It also includes a provision that would let unions override restrictive “right to work” laws that currently exist in more than half of U.S. states, allowing workers to opt out of unions and paying dues. Additionally, the PRO Act would establish protections around union elections, ensuring employees can keep ballots private by submitting them to a ballot box in a neutral location, off company property.

        AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told NPR last month that the House version would be a “game-changer.” But it would need to pass a 60-vote threshold in the Senate to bypass a filibuster.

      • Report From the Chauvin Trial: Blitzkrieg at Brooklyn Center

        In Badges Without Borders, professor Stuart Schrader describes the “upgrading of ‘riot control’” as part of a broader trend of American military tactics being integrated into American policing. “Kill, jail, control: these are the discretionary options policing contains,” he says. The aggressive policing of Black communities and movements in particular is not new. In 1967, Black Panther Bobby Seale wrote, “The racist military police force occupies our community just like the foreign American troops in Vietnam.”

        x Arrests and incarceration have long been used to demobilize Black movements. In “Political Prisoners, Prisons, and Black Liberation,” Angela Y. Davis writes: “It goes without saying that the police would be unable to set into motion their racist machinery were they not sanctioned and supported by the judicial system.” In Imprisoned Intellectuals, Joy James explains: “The United States has a long and terrible history of confinement and disappearance of those it racially and politically targets.” Since Floyd was killed, at least 93 anti-protest bills have been proposed in 35 states, according to USA Today.

        According to The Washington Post, nearly 1,000 people have been killed by police in the past year alone. Most victims have been young and male. And while roughly half of those killed by the police are white, Black Americans are killed by police at double the rate. Last July, in an article called “Black Security and the Conundrum of Policing,” law professor Monica Bell concluded: “Clinging to the dream of a racially equitable system of policing as currently constituted might be more utopian than abolition.”

      • Democrats Should Talk Even More About Defunding the Police

        The strategic significance of this population is not just how progressive but how underutilized they are. Of all age groups, the lowest percentage of eligible voters who actually cast ballots is among 18–29-year-olds. Just 44 percent of all potential young people voted in Georgia last year, as compared to the 80 percent of the eligible voters over 45 who cast ballots.

        Furthermore, the pool of young voters is growing each year as teenagers turn 18. By the time of the 2022 midterm elections, 8 million young people across the country, nearly half of them people of color, will become eligible to vote.

      • Chinese police detain six noted Tibetans in Kardze

        Chinese police in the so called Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Tibet have reportedly arrested noted Tibetans in recent weeks, according to several exile media outlets in India. Writer and environmentalist Sey Nam, former political prisoner Tsering Dolma, writer Gangkye Drubpa Kyab, and activist Gangbu Yudrum are the four identified Tibetans who have been detained by Chinese authorities, according to Golok Jigme, former political prisoner living in Switzerland. The two other detainees have yet not been identified.

        The report of arrests in Kardze, Tibet, has shown that Chinese authorities continue to maintain a tight grip over Tibetans and their political activities including the preservation of their culture and language.

      • “Hatred, Enmity, Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide”: The Persecution of Christians, March 2021

        While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by extremists is growing. The report posits that such persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. It includes incidents that take place during, or are reported on, any given month.

      • Top French court upholds decision not to try suspect in Jewish woman’s murder

        Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman in her sixties, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by neighbour Kobili Traoré, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic).

        The verdict by the Court of Cassation, means Traoré will not face any trial. It confirmed past rulings from lower courts.

      • Beekeeper turned spymaster searches for Iraq’s missing Yazidis

        All in all, Shrem says he helped liberate 399 individuals. And the job’s not over. An estimated 3,000 women and children taken by ISIS remain unaccounted for.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Hollywood Reporter Tapped as Yahoo’s New XR Partner

        The partnership between Verizon Media’s Yahoo and THR will enable hollywoodreporter.com to deploy augmented reality experiences on both desktop and mobile web browsers through Yahoo’s Immersive Platform. The platform, which launched last summer, is described as “a proprietary technology platform powered by a powerful combination of creators, in-house 3D-savvy storytellers of all verticals, feed-the-beast producers and product, engineering and operations teams, which create XR experiences across news, sports, finance, entertainment and wellness content — further immersing audiences into the stories they enjoy consuming across its platforms.”

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Implementers: FTC v Qualcomm is over, the war has just begun [Ed: The US has removed the word "Regulation" from the dictionary and lexicon]

          Implementer in-house and external counsel say they’re holding out for SEP antitrust victories at the Fifth Circuit and at the Court of Justice of the EU

        • “Investing in lateral hires is necessary, but risky” [Ed: JUVE continues producing marketing spam disguised as ‘articles’ or ‘news’ or ‘reports’]

          In all major European patent markets, Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons are competing with renowned teams. Both firms are among the energetic challengers to European market leaders Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells. Both have also recently welcomed lateral hires to strengthen their market positions.

          Allen & Overy and Simmons & Simmons both have an outstanding foothold with clients in life science litigation in key markets. But in terms of all technical areas, the firms are not among the market leaders in any country.

          However, through investing in experienced lateral lawyers, both firms are taking a necessary step to strengthen their position. Simmons & Simmons is expanding its patent attorney team with the addition of Lawrence King in London and Johan Renes in Amsterdam. Thus, the firm is closing a gap in its technical expertise in biotechnology.

        • Board of Appeal relies on its own CGK to support an inventive step objection without remittal to first instance (T 1370/15)

          In recent years it has become increasingly difficult for parties to introduce new facts and evidence in appeal procedures before the EPO Boards of Appeal. The same stringent procedures do not apply to the Boards of Appeal themselves. In the recently published decision T 1370/15, the Board of Appeal introduced an inventive step objection for the first time in their preliminary opinion. In contrast to the majority of other recent Board of Appeal decisions, the Board of Appeal in T 1370/15 did not consider it necessary to remit the case back to the Opposition Division for consideration of the new inventive step objection. Furthermore, the Board (3.5.04) did not even consider it necessary to provide evidential support for the common general knowledge (CGK) on which the inventive step objection was based. The Board of Appeal’s approach seems to have been influenced both by the EPO’s drive to improve procedural efficiency and the Board’s own feelings of competency in the technical area of the patent.

          [...]

          The inventive step objection in T 1370/15 was raised for the first time by the Board of Appeal in the preliminary opinion. The Board cited its own CGK in combination with the prior art. The Board did not evidence the CGK but, again, referenced its own technical expertise in the field as justifying the inclusion of the CGK. Litigators and those who do not practice before the EPO may be surprised to hear that Boards of Appeal may introduce their own CGK into the proceedings, without the need to provide evidence. Indeed, the EPO Guidelines for Examination state that assertions of CGK, if challenged, should be supported with evidence (G-VII, 3.1). However, in T 1090/12 the Board of Appeal found that the Boards are not obliged to follow on Guidelines, and may cite their own CGK without evidence if they have experience in the subject matter of the case (Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, I-C-2.8.5).

          In T 1370/15, the patentee argued that the Board was not permitted to introduce the CGK into proceedings at such a late stage in proceedings, especially in the absence of supporting evidence. The patentee submitted that, by introducing CGK based on their own technical expertise, the Board of Appeal was effectively acting as an expert witness for the opponent. Such a situation, the patentee argued, was contrary to the principles of G 10/91, according to which parties at Opposition should be given equally fair treatment. Furthermore, the patentee argued, the case law permitting a Board of Appeal to cite their own CGK without evidence related to Inter partes and not ex partes proceedings (I-C-2.8.5). Inter partes proceedings, the patentee submitted, required the EPO to take a less investigative role than ex partes proceedings, and the Board should thus not introduce its own facts and evidence in an appeal from the Opposition Division.

          The Board disagreed with the patentee, arguing first that there is “no general obligation on a board to provide documentary evidence for the existence of a piece of common general knowledge”. In effect, when a Board cites CGK, the Board found that the burden may be placed on the appellant to “convince the board that its findings are erroneous”. This situation is contrary to the normal state of affairs, according to which each party bears the burden of proof for the facts it alleges (Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, III-G-5.5.1).

          On the fair treatment point, the Board of Appeal argued that, in general, the introduction of new facts and evidence was “investigative” on behalf of the Board, and would thus not normally be appropriate in inter partes proceedings. However, the Board considered the introduction of facts “notoriously well-known or known to the board from its members’ official experience” (i.e. CGK) as a special case, requiring no investigative activity from the Board of Appeal. The Board of Appeal thus considered there to be no legal principle preventing them from introducing their own, unevidenced, CGK even in an ex partes appeal.

          Thus, despite overturning the Opposition Division decision that the patent lacked novelty, the Board of Appeal went on to find the patent invalid for lack of inventive step.

        • Amgen v. Sanofi: Who Decides Full Scope Enablement

          Patent claims typically cover an infinite number of potential infringing embodiments. This seemingly renders true full-scope enablement an impossible task. But the metaphysics are an illusion. If we want valid patents, then there has to be some “good enough” threshold for enablement.

          The focus in Amgen is a particularly tricky type of claim: genus claim with functional limitations. Here, the claim is directed to an isolated monoclonal antibody defined by its ability to bind with the protein PCSK9 and consequently block PCSK9 from binding to LDL-C.

          [...]

          The brief cites and discusses a really well researched and written article by Professors Karstedt, Lemley, & Seymore titled The Death of the Genus Claim (forthcoming 2021). The article notes that today “it is no longer possible to have a valid genus claim. . . . [This] represents both bad law and bad policy.” Id. In its decision, the majority seemed to largely agree, but declined to expressly foreclose the possibility of genus claims.

          This is a very important case for pharma and biotech patenting, but will also likely have an impact on the doctrine of enablement generally — especially its relationship to functional claim limitations since those are found in most patents. I expect a number of amicus briefs will be filed in the case over the next few weeks.

        • Sua Sponte Claim Construction

          Sööt’s patent covers a winch system used for major theatre productions. A jury found Daktronics Vortek product infringed under the doctrine of equivalents and awarded $1 million in damages.

          On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed, holding that “Under the proper construction, the Vortek product does not infringe claim 27 either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.”

          The problem with this decision is that neither party appealed claim construction. Rather, the adjudged infringer appealed on infringement. Sööt petitioned for rehearing on the issue of waiver, but that quest has now also been denied.

        • Software Patents

          • IP deal signed for geothermal rights in airborne survey tech [Ed: There is no such thing as "IP" and those are not rights; they mean patent licensing. And it seems like software patents, i.e. pure junk.]

            Canadian NXT Energy Solutions acquires IP rights for geothermal exploration of the proprietary SFD (R) technology to improve exploration and drilling success.

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

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DecorWhat Else is New


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  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 25, 2021

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  9. Virtual Oversight

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  29. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  30. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')


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