11.13.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 14/11/2021: Lakka 3.6 and Kalendar 0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • LHS Episode #440: The Weekender LXXXII

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Give Your GNOME Desktop The Wow Factor | Nord Color Pallete – Invidious

        Hi everyone. In this video I am going to show you how to customize GNOME desktop with nord Color Pallete. This setup using Arch Linux with GNOME Desktop Environment 40. You can apply this setup on most popular Linux Distributions with GNOME Shell 40/41 as default desktop such as Manjaro GNOME Edition,Fedora Workstations, Ubuntu, Debian GNOME Edition, Solus GNOME Edition, Pop!_OS, OpenSUSE GNOME Edition.

      • Chatterino: Twitch Chat Enhanced To New Heights – Invidious

        I prefer Twitch as a streaming platform but the site can be a bit cluttered so as Twitch has a pretty good API there are some really good 3rd party twitch apps and one of the notables ones is Chatterin

    • Kernel Space

      • AFS, 9p, Netfslib Wired Up To Use Newly-Merged Folios In Linux 5.16 – Phoronix

        Merged at the start of the Linux 5.16 cycle was the long in development memory “folios” code. That initial pull had the changes to the kernel page cache and memory management code while now before ending out the merge window is converting some file-system code to using folios.

        Migrating XFS over to folios and other larger conversions aren’t expected until at least Linux 5.17. However, sent out on Thursday were the patches to convert Netfslib, 9p, and AFS to using the new memory folios support. Additionally, there is a partial conversion of the Ceph code.

      • Microsoft Has More SMB3/CIFS Enhancements For Linux 5.16, Including For Performance – Phoronix

        Another batch of SMB3/CIFS client changes were submitted and merged today for the Linux 5.16 merge window. Plus the KSMBD changes were also merged today for that in-kernel SMB3 file server.

        Steve French of Microsoft as the CIFS/CMB3 maintainer sent in this latest batch of “fixes” – although this secondary pull request wasn’t limited exclusively to traditional fixes.

      • Linux 5.16 To Support AMD SEV/SEV-ES Intra-Host Live Migration – Phoronix

        Last week was the main set of Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) changes for Linux 5.16 that introduced RISC-V hypervisor support and AMD PSF control bit support, among other changes. A second set of KVM changes were sent out on Friday that is headlined by having AMD SEV/SEV-ES intra-host migration support.

        With this secondary set of KVM updates for Linux 5.16, the mainline kernel can now handle intra-host migration of virtual machines leveraging Secure Encrypted Virtualization (or SEV-ES, the Encrypted State additions introduced with EPYC 7002 Rome). Live migration hasn’t been supported due to the complexities and security with Secure Encryption Virtualization while now at least intra-host migration is supported for where the source and destination VM are on the same underlying server (inter-host migration is not).

    • Applications

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source API Documentation Browsers

        Software developers need all the help possible. One useful tool is a documentation browser. In fact, they can sometimes be a life changer.

        What makes a good API documentation browser? Things like a huge range of docsets at your fingertips, offline browsing support for HiDPI displays, in-page search tool, good font selection, and smooth scrolling. And extras like fuzzy search functionality help make the process even slicker. The cream of the software makes reading and searching reference documentation fast, easy and enjoyable.

        Here’s our verdict captured in one of our legendary ratings chart. We only recommend free and open source software.

      • FreeCAD-ing

        I used to use OpenSCAD to create my models, as it maps well to my way of thinking (i.e. coding). However, I’ve decided to take some time to learn some new skills and this time around I went for FreeCAD.

        FreeCAD is a free, as in freedom, parametric CAD program with a vibrant community. I’m new to CAD – parametric or not – so this is a learning experience for me.

        I decided to create a case for my Raspberry Pi and PiTFT based home automation control panel shown in the video below.

      • Whisker Menu 2.6.2 released

        Fix background shifting when showing menu (Issue #41)
        Fix menu not toggling after pressing escape (Issue #65)
        Properly prevent interactive search in treeview

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Show Day of Week in Top bar of Ubuntu 20.04 /21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        Ubuntu by default displays only date and time in the center of top-bar. Users have to click on it to see which day is today in drop-down calendar.

        To make life easier, you may configure the GNOME desktop to show the day of week in top-bar. And, here’s how.

      • Ευάγγελος Μπαλάσκας – Walkthrough Installation of WackoWiki v6.0.25 » Evaggelos Balaskas – System Engineer

        WackoWiki is the wiki of my choice and one of the first opensource project I’ve ever contributed. I still use wackowiki for personal use!

        A few days ago, wackowiki released version 6.0.25. In this blog post, I will try to share my experience of installing wackowiki on a new VM ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

      • John Goerzen: Managing an External Display on Linux Shouldn’t Be This Hard

        I first started using Linux and FreeBSD on laptops in the late 1990s. Back then, there were all sorts of hassles and problems, from hangs on suspend to pure failure to boot. I still worry a bit about suspend on unknown hardware, but by and large, the picture of Linux on laptops has dramatically improved over the last years. So much so that now I can complain about what would once have been a minor nit: dealing with external monitors.

        [...]

        I recently decided to set up an older laptop that I hadn’t used in awhile. After reading up on Wayland, I decided to try Gnome 3 under Wayland. Both the Debian and Arch wikis note that KDE is buggy on Wayland. Gnome is the only desktop environment that supports it then, unless I want to go with Sway. There’s some appeal to Sway to this xmonad user, but I’ve read of incompatibilities of Wayland software when Gnome’s not available, so I opted to try Gnome.

      • How To Install Buttercup on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Buttercup on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Buttercup is an open-source password manager that stores passwords in 256-bit AES encryption. Passwords are stored in a secure file, which can then be stored on their own computer or any other Dropbox, Google Drive, ownCloud, Nextcloud, WebDAV as cloud services, from which the user chooses where the password vault is stored. Buttercup is free to download and use and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Use it alongside the browser extension and mobile app for a completely portable experience.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Buttercup Password Manager on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install and Configure Nginx Web Server

        This guide will help you install Nginx on various Linux distros and you’ll learn about important Nginx configuration files and directories.

        Nginx is the most popular web server due to its performance and ease of use. It’s a free and open-source high-performance HTTP server. In addition to its web server capabilities, Nginx can also function as a reverse proxy and load balancer.

        Following the steps below will show you how to install and configure Nginx on various Linux distros like Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and test its functionality.

      • The Ultimate Guide to Dolphin Emulator – Make Tech Easier

        Today you can find hundreds of emulators for dozens of old systems for multiple platforms. However, Dolphin manages to stand out from the crowd by achieving something almost impossible: combining advanced features and a high degree of compatibility with ease of use. With the Dolphin emulator, you gain access to the vast majority of titles for Nintendo’s GameCube and Wii consoles. Here we present you with everything you need to know in the ultimate guide to the Dolphin emulator.

      • How to Install and Use doas: A Minimalistic Alternative to sudo

        On a lot of Linux systems, you can perform tasks as root by running commands with sudo. The OpenBSD project has developed a minimalistic alternative, doas.

        So, how do you use doas to execute Linux commands as another user, and will it ever replace sudo?

    • Games

      • Announcing the 2021 Godot games showreel!

        The Godot games showreel for 2021 is up! As every year, more and more quality submissions fall in our hands, making the selection job very difficult. This year was not an exception, as we had had a record submission amount (over 300). This time, several core contributors had to take the work of ranking them to decide which would make up the final reel.

      • Here’s some of what we’ve learned about the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        We’re getting more and more excited about the Steam Deck, even though Valve has delayed it at least until February 2022 we do now have quite a few more fun details thanks to the recent Steamworks Virtual Conference.

        During the event we had a few different people from Valve and one from AMD talk about quite a lot of things from software to hardware designs and all sorts in between. There we also a number of Q&A sessions where even more details emerged (like Proton or Native Linux?).

        Here’s a breakdown of some interesting things we now know (click to enlarge any pictures):

        - SteamOS 3 is coming but it’s not finished as they get it ready for the Steam Deck. Sounds like it won’t be readily available to download and run on other systems until after the Steam Deck ships. Until then, they (as we wrote about) suggest Manjaro Linux but a more developer-focused OS download will be coming with additions like Gamescope and possibly a new gamepad UI.

      • Valve answers the question: should developers do native Linux support or Proton? | GamingOnLinux

        With the Steamworks Virtual Conference: Steam Deck over, we now have quite a few details that have come out on what to expect from the Steam Deck, Proton, Linux, SteamOS 3 and more.

        Soon we’ll go over some of the main points in another article, but something interesting caught our attention in one of the Q&A sessions. A hot topic that has come up time and time again since Proton was revealed back in 2018, has been whether developers will just drop native support and always go with Proton (or however it has been phrased).

        We’ve seen a lot of articles across the web on it, and plenty of users from both camps argue it to death. So what do Valve really think about it?

      • The Steam Deck Conference: Key Takeaways – Boiling Steam

        The Steam Deck conference has just finished this Friday (US time), and though the conference suffered from technical difficulties five minutes into the stream, Valve did a pretty good job to cover a lot of ground in a very short time. They later added the recording to YouTube. I also like the fact they do not indulge in marketing/PR bullshit in these kind of presentations, and rather focus on design/technical aspect. You can read further documentation on the Steam Deck in the Steamworks documentation.

        Here’s a few things we wanted to highlight after watching the video. We will review the key takeaways bullet-point style, with a few inline comments.

      • DXVK-NVAPI 0.5 Released With NVIDIA DLSS 2.x Bits, Other Improvements – Phoronix

        DXVK-NVAPI as the project providing NVIDIA driver API integration “NVAPI” around DXVK/VKD3D-Proton is out with a new feature release.

        DXVK-NVAPI 0.5 provides the entry points needed for handling NVIDIA DLSS 2.x on Direct3D and forwards the calls to VKD3D-Proton as of VKD3D-Proton version 2.5. There is also the entry points for NVIDIA DLSS 2.x for Direct3D 11 with forwarding those calls to DXVK, but there it currently requires a Git master build of DXVK.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kalendar v0.2.0 is out now, adding drag-and-drop, improved calendar management, and lots of bug-fixes — Kalendar devlog 22

          A week has passed since our first release and we are back with another one! We’ve worked hard to go through your bug reports and suggestions, and thanks to these we have a new version of Kalendar that is more stable and powerful than ever.

          Note: Kalendar is still under heavy development. You’re free to poke around and try it out, but it is not yet final software! If you want to contribute to its development, join us in Kalendar’s Matrix room.

        • REUSE compliance tips

          Andreas and Harald have already written about migrating our code bases to REUSE compliant license and copyright metadata, and we have the KDE Licensing Guidelines providing a comprehensive overview on how to do this. Here are a few additional bits I learned while applying this to things I work on.

          Converting existing license and copyright information to the standardized and machine-readable SPDX format is usually the first step, and Andreas has done great work with the tooling for that. The goal for REUSE compliance however is that really every single file has SPDX data, including those where we have historically been a lot more sloppy with licensing, build system or data files for example.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Georges Basile Stavracas Neto: Adventures with portals

          This week (November 8th – 12th) is the Endless Orange Week, a program where the entire Endless team engages in projects designed to grow our collective learning related to our skills, work and mission.

          My project for this program was improving XDG portals.

          [...]

          This process is repeated every time an application wants to screencast. It’s a robust series of steps, and has served us well so far, but having to select a monitor or window every time can be a frustrating experience.

          For some use cases, this process is problematic. Take Steam’s recent introduction of PipeWire-based Remote Play: the whole purpose of this feature is to allow playing remotely, potentially without physical access to your computer. Evidently, in this case, showing a dialog to select a monitor is not going to work if the person is probably not in front of the machine.

          This is where my new proposal to the ScreenCast portal comes in.

          The mechanism proposed there is composed of two new properties: (i) a persist mode, where applications can tell the portal that they want to restore this screencast session later; and (ii) a restore token to restore a previous screencast session.

          In summary, when configuring (step 2) a screencast session, applications can tell the portal “hey, I’d like to restore this session later”; in this case, after you select a monitor or window and start the stream (step 3), the portal will give the app what I called a restore token. Applications should store this token however they want (ideally using the platform’s preferred preferences systems, such as GSettings for GNOME).

          Applications that have a restore token should use them when configuring the screencast session (step 2). The portal will receive this token, and try to restore the previous session’s windows and monitors. If that fails, e.g. when you changed monitors or the windows is not open, the selection dialog is presented again. From the application’s perpective, it doesn’t know (nor does it matter) if the previous session is restored or not, as the application will receive a list of streams and PipeWire nodes regardless of what it happens.

    • Distributions

      • Best Linux Distros For Students

        Being a student means dealing with a wide range of assignments along with managing other aspects of life. To have your life sorted out as a student, it is crucial to have a decent laptop and an excellent operating system. Hence, we’ve put together some best Linux Distros to choose from.

        [...]

        Another notable educational Linux distro is the AcademiX GNU/ Linux, specially designed for teaching purposes. Academix GNU / contains many programs with free licenses for primary education in higher education and several utility programs to offer. A significant aspect of this OS is that it works perfectly all right with old and low-power hardware computers. An ultra-high graphic quality with low resource consumption is guaranteed. The intuitive interface allows teachers to navigate smoothly and effectively. The user-friendly outlook of the OS prioritizes teaching subjects like mathematics, statistics, geography, chemistry, physics, and electronics. Moreover, creative and multimedia graphics, office, music, audio and video editing, programming, and other areas of study are accompanied by interactive virtual laboratories.

        Indeed, all of these operating systems are good to use and suitable for students. So, go through their features carefully and select the one that suits you the best. Having an appropriate operating system is sure to enhance your digital experience.

      • The Main Reasons Linux Can Help You Become a Better Student

        Although Linux might seem boring to you initially, you will find it relatively easy to install and start using it. Once you begin the process,, you have to follow a few commands, and you are good to go. After that, it becomes all the more accessible, mainly when you have previously used operating systems like Mac or Windows.

        Once you start using it, you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. Spending a few weeks on the software makes you skilled in no time. Moreover, there are plenty of good essays and free guides available that help make the process easier.

        You don’t have to be a software expert to learn the basics of handling Linux. If you are smart, you can quickly go on to learn Linux on your own. Through trial and error and your creative ability, you can easily learn Linux.

      • New Releases

        • Makulu Shift Beta Patch

          We have just sent out a patch for the Shift Beta users ( the current Shift in our Download section ) that addresses some minor issues reported.

        • Lakka 3.6 release

          New version of Lakka has been released!

          We are happy to announce the new and updated version of Lakka.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Free & open: Open source no longer just a backstage hero

        According to Pande, 85% of India’s internet runs on FOSS. India is already home to rich ODEs like India Stack, UPI, National Digital Health Mission to name a few. In India, in partnership with ONI for mentorship to participating teams, the ministry of electronics and IT has launched Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for governance challenge to come up with open source CRM and ERP product innovations in the fields of health, education, urban governance, agriculture or any other field related to e-governance.
        “We have received over 1638 registrations and 581 idea submissions. The government continues to encourage digital adoption via open source programmes like this, rewarding the winning entries with cash prizes among other growth opportunities,” says Abhishek Singh, president & CEO NeGD; MD & CEO Digital India Corporation (DIC) at Government of India.
        Open source systems also enable solving global level problems with the help of large global communities. “Open source systems represent what internet truly meant to represent – democratisation of technology,” says Ankit Muellner, Advisory Board Member, Muellners Foundation, a technology capital research foundation.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • How pulseaudio is implemented in EasyOS

            Right now, just before releasing EasyOS 3.1.10, pulseaudio is looking good. I big problem for me has been moving on from my “ALSA oriented” understandings. There are scripts, such as Multiple Sound Card Wizard (/usr/sbin/mscw) that were written for ALSA, then I bolted on support for bluez-alsa, then pulseaudio …a bit messy.
            While I remember what I have done to get pulseaudio working, and to play nicely with ALSA, especially the ALSA-only apps, here are some notes. Not a complete guide, just some notes…

          • Firefox frustrations continue

            I seem to have got pulseaudio sorted, but Firefox, that’s another story…

            I posted yesterday about disabling updating Firefox and building Easy with the latest version of Firefox:

            https://bkhome.org/news/202111/how-to-download-the-latest-version-of-firefox.html

            However, despite official Firefox documentation to the contrary, I cannot disable updating, nor asking to set as default browser.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Programming/Development

        • Laravel dynamic SMTP mail configuration :: Aloïs Micard — Tech Blog

          Hello friend…

          It has been a while.

          I have been very busy lately with work, open source and life that I didn’t find the energy to write a blog post. Despite having some good ideas, I wasn’t really in the mood.

          Hopefully, I now have the energy and the subject to make a good blog post: let’s talk about Laravel and emails!

        • Laravel: beware of $touches :: Aloïs Micard — Tech Blog

          I have been using Laravel professionally since almost 1year, and I must say: I’m very impressed with the framework. Everything’s run smoothly, there’s a feature for (almost everything) you can think of, so you (almost) never need to reinvent the wheel.

          This is very advantageous since you only focus on building your product features by features and spend less time working on technical stuff who are less business valuable.

        • OpenGL Machine Learning Runs On Low-End Hardware | Hackaday

          If you’ve looked into GPU-accelerated machine learning projects, you’re certainly familiar with NVIDIA’s CUDA architecture. It also follows that you’ve checked the prices online, and know how expensive it can be to get a high-performance video card that supports this particular brand of parallel programming.

          But what if you could run machine learning tasks on a GPU using nothing more exotic than OpenGL? That’s what [lnstadrum] has been working on for some time now, as it would allow devices as meager as the original Raspberry Pi Zero to run tasks like image classification far faster than they could using their CPU alone. The trick is to break down your computational task into something that can be performed using OpenGL shaders, which are generally meant to push video game graphics.

        • Ruby

        • Python

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • A One-Servo Mechanical Seven-Segment Display | Hackaday

        The seven-segment display may be a bit prosaic after all these years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to spice it up. Coming up with a mechanical version of the typical photon-based display is a popular project, of which we’ve seen plenty of examples over the years. But this seven-segment display is quite a mechanical treat, and a unique way to flip through the digits.

        With most mechanical displays, we’re used to seeing the state of each segment changed with some kind of actuator, like a solenoid or servo. [Shinsaku Hiura] decided on a sleeker design using a 3D-printed barrel carrying one cam for each segment. Each hinged segment is attached to an arm that acts as a follower, riding on its cam and flipping on or off in a set pattern. Which digit is displayed depends on the position of the barrel, which is controlled with a single servo and a pair of gears. It trades mechanical complexity for electrical simplicity and overall elegance, and as you can see from the video below, it’s pretty snappy.

      • Improving A Mini-Lathe With A Few Clever Hacks | Hackaday

        Like many budget machinists, the delightfully optimistically named [We Can Do That Better] had trouble with some of the finer controls on his import mini-lathe. But rather than suffer through it, he chose to rectify the machine’s shortcomings and in the process, teach everyone a bunch of great tips.

        [We Can Do That Better]’s lathe retrofit focused on the carriage handwheel, which appears to lack proper bearings and wobbles around in a most imprecise manner. On top of that, the gearing of the drive made for an unsatisfying 19 mm of carriage travel per revolution of the handwheel. A single gear change made that an even 20 mm per rev, which when coupled with a calibrated and indexed handwheel ring greatly simplifies carriage travel measurements.

        While the end result of the build is pretty great in its own right, for our money the best part of the video is its rich collection of machinist’s tips. The use of a wooden dowel and a printed paper template to stand in for a proper dividing head was brilliant, as was using the tailstock of the lathe to drive an engraving tool to cut the index lines. We’ve seen the use of a Dremel tool mounted to the toolpost to stand in for a milling machine before, but it’s always nice to see that trick used. And the mechanism for locking the dial to the handwheel was really clever, too.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • How Has Working from Home Worked Out So Far?

        “COVID-19 triggered a mass social experiment in working from home (WFH),” said economists Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, and Stephen J. Davis in Why Working from Home Will Stick, a paper published in April of 2021 by the National Bureau of Economics Research (NBER). “Americans, for example, supplied roughly half of paid workhours from home between April and December 2020, as compared to five percent before the pandemic. This seismic shift in working arrangements has attracted no shortage of opinions about whether WFH will stick.”

        Working from home (WFH) has been around for decades, modestly growing in the 1990s with the rise of the Internet. The share of WFH three or more days per week was under 1% in 1980, 2.4% in 2010, and 4.0% in 2018. Then came Covid-19, forcing tens of millions around the world to work from home and triggering a mass workplace experiment that broke through the technological and cultural barriers that had prevented its adoption in the past.

      • India’s new rare diseases policy offersa lifeline to many

        Vikram Mathews writes: It could help those who are affected by rare diseases access affordable, lifesaving treatments.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • MediaMarkt hit by Hive ransomware, initial $240 million ransom [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO, but Microsoft booster Lawrence Abrams is trying to twist it as something that it is not]

            Electronics retail giant MediaMarkt has suffered a Hive ransomware with an initial ransom demand of $240 million, causing IT systems to shut down and store operations to be disrupted in Netherlands and Germany.

            MediaMarkt is Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailer, with over 1,000 stores in 13 countries. MediaMarkt employs approximately 53,000 employees and has a total sales of €20.8 billion.

          • Keyless signatures with Github Actions

            As Arch Linux package maintainer I heavily rely on a secure upstream and a secure source code distribution process. I have spent days or maybe even weeks discussing with maintainers why I rely on a secure upstream and how important signatures on tags, commits or source tarballs are. Many maintainers have started signing their source tarballs after such a discussion, others mentioned problems with their PGP keys and a minority saw signing their source tarballs as waste of time.

            This article is for every maintainer out there that has trouble with setting up PGP. We all know that setting up PGP is painful and incredibly difficult to do right, especially when aiming for automated build pipelines instead of a manual release process with human interaction. Several times, maintainers forgot the password for their PGP key, lost their PGP key or just changed it, very often without knowing the implications of these incidents for their downstream. After these incidents, many maintainers stopped signing their source tarballs at all, because they estimated the process as too difficult and toilsome to maintain. Altogether, PGP (especially GnuPG) is a horrific software we rely on and it is surprising that nobody tried to fix this over the last years. Until now…

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • NordVPN is now blocked by my bank and all of the major video streaming “services”. Also, a major network disruption last night left my on Ireland and Hong Kong.

              NordVPN is now blocked by my bank and all of the major video streaming “services”

              (Source: Lots of people on Reddit bummed out that Netflix, Hulu, and the rest all detect NordVPN and lock them out suddenly. Like this post, but man… Time to cancel, and turn off Widevine DRM too! If you can’t even use the sites that demand it, why leave it on?).

              Also, a major NordVPN network disruption last night left my PC only able to connect on Ireland and my phone ended up on Hong Kong.

              Since VPN software is illegal in China, I’m guessing the Hong Kong server isn’t really physically there?

              In any event, things like this keep happening with no explanation from NordVPN. A few weeks ago, I kept getting “Panama”, where “Nord”VPN is really headquartered.

              It was also very slow. I’m guessing from everyone being routed to the servers that were still running.

              For the part of “Big Tech” making it inconvenient to use a VPN, it’s obvious that they want to track you and enforce georestrictions, but if they can get people to stop using VPNs, then the government wins too. They want it to be as easy as possible to keep an eye on everything you do in case it becomes interesting to them later.

            • NordVPN won’t let me connect to any American servers and I’m getting the run around from their tech support.

              NordVPN won’t let me connect to any American servers and I’m getting the run around from their tech support.

            • There may be a steep privacy cost if you park at this Trader Joe’s

              Parking and privacy aren’t typically things that go hand in hand. That’s changing.

              Colin Shanahan discovered this during a recent visit to the Trader Joe’s grocery store in Hollywood.

              After parking his car in the garage — seldom an easy task, as any SoCal TJ’s customer will attest — he was instructed by an attendant to download an app to his phone, register for service and use that for payment.

              “Not wanting to give some random app a ton of personal information, I declined,” the Hollywood resident told me.

              The parking-lot attendant, he said, “let me off with a warning that I wouldn’t be so lucky next time.”

              Shanahan, 35, a lawyer, feels like he shares enough of himself already with the tech world. “I don’t need a parking garage also knowing about me,” he said. “It just feels wrong.”

    • Finance

      • Inflation Is Good for You

        THE TOP STORY on the New York Times website this morning is about inflation, and it’s scary: “Inflation spiked in October, sinking Washington’s hopes that price gains would slow down.”
        The Washington Post led with a similar call for alarm: “Prices climbed 6.2 percent in October compared to last year, the largest increase in 30 years, as inflation strains economy.”

        Television, which follows the lead of the Times and the Post as surely as death follows life, will now produce many more peculiar segments like CNN’s botched portrayal of the impact of inflation on a large Texas family that buys huge quantities of milk.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • DER SPIEGEL again receives millions in support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

        DER SPIEGEL magazine has again received a donation worth millions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The financial injection to the magazine is not an isolated case. However, other donations from the Gates Foundation show that some of the funds are being used to serve highly strategic interests. Journalistic independence is at stake.

        [...]

        The article also let us know how the new project at SPIEGEL came about: “The project is long-term and will be supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for three years. The editorial content is created without the foundation’s influence.” Was or is that actually the case? Big European media like The Guardian and The country had set up similar sections on their news sites with “Global Development” or “Planeta Futuro”, said Jörn Sucher in 2019. And these were also brought into being with financial support from the Gates Foundation.
        Funded by Gates and Rockefeller Foundation: WHO publishes guidelines for digital vaccination records

        In fact, research shows that The country in fact, received a one-time payment of $ 2,000,000 in 2016. Of the Guardian received seven transfers from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation between 2011 and 2020 totaling an impressive nearly $ 15,000,000. It is of course not clear why these hints from Der Spiegel should explain that this would rule out any influence on the part of the donor.

        Interested citizens know that the investment fields of the Gates have represented an impressive breadth for decades. The philanthropist thinks and plans extremely strategically. A better-known trio would be, for example, the payments to the WHO, the vaccination alliance GAVI and substantial investments in the pharmaceutical industry – including the German company BioNTech. Influence meets research to end up, as is currently the case, in the trillions of dollars from mass sales of newly developed drugs.

        Bill Gates is rather unknown in his role as the largest owner of farmland in the United States. As such, he leases his fields to dependent farmers who in turn grow potatoes in order to sell them to McDonalds, for example. The fast food giant uses it to produce the very popular French fries and ultimately ensures the steadily increasing profitability of Farmer Bill through a system of countless dependent farmers.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Can evidence created after the filing date be used to show inventive step? Questions referred to the European Patent Office’s authority of highest instance [Ed: This is the same rigged tribunal that is stacked by EPO management to deliver the “required” outcome]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) is a first-to-file system. Often times, this means that applicants have to file their European patent applications with little or no experimental data to support the inventive property of the invention. This is particularly true in the biotech, pharmaceutical and agrochemical fields. In these fields and in the chemical field in more general, the well-known ‘publish-or-perish’ drive causes some applicants to rush to file their patent applications; for others, the time it takes to put together the experimental data for filing in the first place cannot always be reconciled with the need to file the patent application as soon as possible. Indeed, there are certain inventions, e.g., the new use of a known active ingredient to treat or prevent a certain condition, or an unexpectedly synergistic combination of active compounds, that may require some experimental data to support the inventive property.

          In these situations, applicants may try to use experimental evidence created after the filing date of the European patent application or European patent (e.g., such as in an opposition) to show the inventive property, and/or to complete the data relating to the inventive property that is already contained in the European patent application as filed. The evidence may be in the form of scientific articles or research papers published by the inventors or their research teams, which contain the results of tests performed on the invention and show that the invention has a certain property, as long as that property is unexpected in view of the prior art but is already at least hinted at in the European patent application as filed.

        • EPO – EPO President meets the new Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office [Ed: EPO pushing software patent in Japan's JPO; "computer-implemented inventions" while referring to them as "AI-related inventions"]

          Today, EPO President António Campinos met online with Mr Kiyoshi Mori, the new Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Mr Campinos and Mr Mori aligned on several common endeavours, including those of direct relevance to this year’s meeting with Trilateral Industry on 16 November 2021, which the JPO is hosting as part of the 39th Trilateral Conference.

          Today’s meeting also provided the opportunity for the heads of the two offices to launch the latest edition of a unique joint report. The “Comparative study on computer-implemented inventions/ software-related inventions”, first published in 2018, includes new up-to-date examples from the rapidly growing areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, as well as a further new example about graphical user interfaces (GUI). The publication aims to promote a better understanding of EPO and JPO legal requirements and working practices, with a view to supporting applicants drafting AI-related patent applications.

        • Users assess common approach on Office practice for adapting the description at grant [Ed: EPO still pretends to value the quality of patents, when in fact then EPO only created something called "quality" in order to simulate the impression of such motivations]

          The next edition of the Guidelines for Examination, coming into force in March 2022, will enhance clarity and legal certainty with regard to adaptation of the description, thanks to recent intensive discussions with many experts and stakeholders.

          Further to the feedback solicited last spring on the current Guidelines for Examination, the EPO organised a workshop on 4 November to discuss the issue of adapting a patent’s description to the claims. The workshop included members of three SACEPO Working Parties (namely on Guidelines, on Rules and on Quality), appointed external experts, national judges from The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as members of the Boards of Appeal and experts from the EPO. In breakout sessions groups of participants presented applicants’ concerns and discussed together with the Office’s experts a common approach and possible solutions.

        • Finnegan enters German patent market with Baker McKenzie team – JUVE Patent [Ed: JUVE is once again, as usual, doing promotional piece for litigation firms]

          Patent lawyer and European patent attorney Jochen Herr (52) will open a Munich office for US firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner in January. Three associates will move with him to the US firm from Baker McKenzie.

        • Software Patents

          • K. Mizra patent challenged

            On November 11, 2021, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,394,423, owned and asserted by K. Mizra LLC. The ‘423 patent generally relates to a device for initiating and handling an emergency IP request using an IP enabled device having GPS capability and has been asserted against General Motors.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

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  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  3. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

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  4. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

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  5. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

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  6. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

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  7. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  8. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

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  9. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

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  10. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

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  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  12. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  13. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

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  14. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

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  15. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021



  19. Links 25/11/2021: PHP 8.1.0 Released and Linux 5.15.5

    Links for the day



  20. IBM as Master of Hypocrisy

    Free software projects and Free software developers have long been humiliated by corporations of Western misogynists, falsely claiming that the Free software community isn’t inclusive enough (these are shameless projection tactics; as a matter of public record, the exact opposite is true) and even the eradication of supposedly offensive language isn’t something IBM takes seriously



  21. Links 25/11/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.3 and Mesa 21.2.6 Released

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] So Desperate That Edge Cannot Even Exceed 4% That They Block Rival Web Browsers

    Linux/Android/Free Software/GNU (they go by very many names/brands) may continue to grow to the point where Windows is as irrelevant as Blackberry; this means that Microsoft’s grip on the Web too has slipped — to the point where Microsoft frantically uses 'bailout' money to hijack LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. (it also rebrands almost everything as "Azure" or clown to fake a perception of growth)



  23. Windows Vista Service Pack 11 (Vista 11) Has Failed to Curb the Growth of GNU/Linux

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  24. Links 25/11/2021: Proton 6.3-8 and Linux Mint Compared to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  25. 3.5 Years Later the 'Master' of Fedora is Still Microsoft and IBM Cannot Be Bothered to Alter Git Branch Names (Refuting or Ignoring Its Very Own Directive About Supposedly Racially-Insensitive Terms)

    Today we demonstrate the hypocrisy of IBM; years after telling us that we should shun the term "master" and repeatedly insisting it had a racist connotation at least 65 Fedora repositories, still controlled by Microsoft, still use "master"



  26. Changing the Arrangement While News is a Bit Slow(er)

    I've made it easier for myself to keep abreast of things like IRC channels and networks (incidentally, a day ago Freenode reopened to anonymous logins) and I've improved monitoring of the Web sites, Gemini capsule etc. (this video is unplanned and improvised)



  27. Links 24/11/2021: Alpine Linux 3.15 and Endless OS 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] Jimmy Zemlin Loves Microsoft

    It’s funny, isn’t it? Lying for a living and sucking up to the liars pays off; you get to plunder actual Linux users while leaving Linux morally and financially bankrupt



  29. Links 24/11/2021: PHP Foundation and Flatpak Criticisms

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 23, 2021


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