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Microsoft-Connected CloudGuru Doesn’t Care About GNU/Linux and Now It’s Gradually Killing the BSD/Linux-Centric Jupiter Broadcasting (Bought by Linux Academy)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jupiter Broadcasting's front page
The decline or the decrease in publication volume is very easily measurable; they used to produce about 2 shows per day, on average…

Summary: Assuming Docker is being 'killed' by Microsoft (or at least hijacked to push Windows, Azure and so on) while the GitHub-hosted (Microsoft) CloudGuru, whose co-founder comes from Microsoft, ‘finishes the job’ with Linux Academy and its assets, it’s time to take stock of a pattern/trend that ruins the media too

THIS is a difficult subject that almost nobody else is likely to even touch; those personally impacted (as podcasters) dropped some hints over the past couple of months. I took note of those hints in social control media on dozens of occasions this year. Some podcasters moved elsewhere (e.g. BSD Now), whereas some shows just got canceled permanently. What a shame, what a loss…

This is what happens when you give away all your work to some third party or private company (and it’s why we try to self-host everything, including our Git server). Look what happened to Linus and to Linux under the Linux Foundation. Linus is being bossed by a growing number of Microsoft employees, including GitHub’s COO, and Linux (the project) — like the Linux Foundation — is being governed by people who called Linux “cancer”. They want us to forget about that while they’re attempting to hijack both Linux and the Foundation.

Anyway, back to the podcasters…

Our Daily Links have long supported the above shows and their individual podcasters. They’re hard-working people and their shows are of reasonably high quality (the recording quality anyway). So it’s a shame to lose them…

“As we approach the end of May it seems clear that many important shows got canceled, the foot is off the pedal (no throttle press imminent) and gradually the whole thing is dissolving.”Well, without going into the entire history of Jupiter Broadcasting, which we wrote about more than a decade ago (Linux Academy and Jupiter Broadcasting are far too Microsoft-friendly at least some of the time), let’s just say that it was taken over by Linux Academy, which was soon afterwards taken over by a rather obscure and very conspicuously young company called CloudGuru, which promised things would not change (companies always say that when the goal is to leverage consent for the buyout/s).

As we approach the end of May it seems clear that many important shows got canceled, the foot is off the pedal (no throttle press imminent) and gradually the whole thing is dissolving. CloudGuru (or “A Cloud Guru”) is proving to be little but a gentle liquidator, pushing “clown computing” at the expense of anything “LINUX” or “BSD”. Later they push Azure and other proprietary crap…

CloudGuru’s first founder advertises his presence in Microsoft’s LinkedIn, whereas the second one comes directly from Microsoft (the name is Sam Kroonenburg, but we’ve omitted links). They’re totally proprietary and their idea of code is, “we have a GitHub [Microsoft] account…”

“Sam has worked for Microsoft in Seattle in the Core File Systems team of Windows,” his bio says, “where he developed the Disk Defragmenter for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows 7. He also worked for Microsoft in Oslo, Norway where he developed query processing technology for FAST Search.”

Well, now he owns a company called “Linux Academy” and this is where their money comes from.

What Happened to Docker is a Cautionary Tale About the Not-So-New Microsoft

Posted in Action, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Puuure E.E.E.vil

Two Lucifer: New Microsoft

Summary: It’s hardly shocking that Docker collapsed (mass-scale layoffs) after the company had gotten close to Microsoft and got rid of its very own founder (a Red Hat veteran) while the software is being killed off/co-opted by Microsoft (all over the news this week; we’ve omitted links by intention as it’s only puff pieces, no investigative journalism anywhere); we only ask one thing: is anyone paying attention and, if so, what are the lessons learned?

If You Want to Support and Follow Us ‘Properly’, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is Most Reliable and Robust to Censorship

Posted in Site News at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Follow us directly, not through intermediaries/middlemen (where innocent uses of non-gender-neutral terms can get one de-platformed)

Last year we moved from Thunderbird to QuiteRSS, as it has a broad range/wealth of features (we compared it to many other RSS/XML tools; we also developed our own)

Summary: Our longstanding position on social control media (we reject it and don’t participate in it) is only proven ever more justified now that the mere idea of fact-checking is seen as controversial if not illegal

TECHRIGHTS is not on social control media. It never was. Partly owing to principles. I myself was recently at risk of censorship at Twitter. Someone tried to de-platform me using something I had written years ago, taken out of context and misrepresented (of course, the usual). The centralisation associated with social control media is very dangerous because it places great power in very few hands. Unlike E-mail or newsgroups (USENET) or even some assorted bulletin boards, what we have is communication conglomerates. They get to decide who can and cannot speak (or who to). This in itself is a form of injustice. It’s also dangerous because it encourages uniformal thinking, which permits no real deviation from some norm (and that norm too gets changed over time, can be applied retroactively). Last week Daniel Miessler wrote about the upsides of Really Simple Syndication, or RSS for short (same as my initials!), listing the virtues of it. It’s a decent little list and an associate sent it for sharing in our latest Daily Links. To quote a little portion:

The point is that curation of an RSS reader forces one to think about their inputs, and to exercise their values in doing so. Are you building a list of inputs that agree with you? Are you including people who you respect but disagree with? What about people you can’t stand at all?

I understand that a lot of people, especially very young people, don’t know what RSS is and likely never used it at all. But it’s never too late to learn. There’s not even much to learn, it’s very straight-forward. It helps remove the noise from one’s reading and amplify the signal (of one’s choice, preference, without anybody else interfering in this process). Throughout the day I deal almost entirely with RSS feeds for my readings. A lot of the reading I do is in plain text; no ads, no “recommended” links, no nonsense basically…

It helps me concentrate, it helps me keep focus and composure. Even one minute on Twitter is enough to throw me off my train of thought and sometimes it leads to loss of calmness. The site is designed for controversy and signal pollution. It’s a rollercoaster of disorganised, non-chronological statements of entirely different topics, narrated by opposing spectra. If Twitter was a marketplace, there would be lots of shouting, no amicable debates, no exchange of ideas. It reinforces divisiveness and tribalism. It’s also full of falsehoods and if Twitter tries to add a little fact-checking, an Orange Menace goes ballistic and makes threats. What happened a few days ago (we don’t want to link to that agitation and pseudo-presidential trolling) simply served to prove the hopelessness of such platforms. Social control media, as a concept, is flawed and utterly broken (guess whose side Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook took; answer in Daily Links).

“A lot of the reading I do is in plain text; no ads, no “recommended” links, no nonsense basically…”Techrights has one main RSS feed, a secondary one for wiki changes (if someone wants to keep abreast of those), and few others that aren’t important enough to list. The feeds are dynamically generated and cached.

To avoid us having to self-censor for fear of retaliation from private companies (sometimes foreign-owned) please follow us using RSS feeds, i.e. directly. We’re still the subject of some DDOS attacks (the latest was only hours ago) and we predict further efforts to suppress access or limit our reach/audience.

My personal views, expressed in personal accounts and my personal site (schestowitz.com), aren’t the stance of Techrights. They’re also full of typos as I very rarely proofread/spellcheck anything outside this site. I preserve and reserve the time for fact-checking and I focus on ensuring the accuracy of everything published in Techrights (final works). Social control media was never — and will never be — a substitute/surrogate of proper investigations. To certain type of ‘presidents’ it’s difficult to write more than a single sentence (let alone ensure it contains truthful statements). And to certain constituents it’s also difficult to read and digest more than one barely-coherent sentence full of insults or at least dog-whistles.

As a side note, for those who think that “subscribe for updates” (over E-mail) is a substitute to RSS, well… it’s not. It doesn’t scale well. Imagine having to send out (without risk of centralised blacklisting) 10,000 E-mails each time you publish a single post. If there’s some company or service offering to do this, it will only be a matter of time before the service goes out of existence (along with subscribers’ lists), starts charging heavily, or sticks unwanted ads into the E-mail. That’s hardly a way to control distribution of messages in a decentralised fashion. Our RSS feeds have had exactly the same addresses since 2006 and some of our subscribers really do go this far back (having just checked, the RSS feeds get about a quarter million requests per week or a million a month). We also maintain similar layout and format. We can proudly claim to be a site that’s compatible with old browsers, computers and setups. So-called ‘phones’? Not interested. They’re generally a bad form factor for reading anything but social control media “quips” and “tweets” and “selfies” or whatnot…

Links 29/5/2020: Genode OS 20.05 and FSF Video Conferencing Service

Posted in News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Cockpit 220

        Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 220.

      • My exciting journey into Kubernetes’ history

        Choosing the right steps when working in the field of data science is truly no silver bullet. Most data scientists might have their custom workflow, which could be more or less automated, depending on their area of work. Using Kubernetes can be a tremendous enhancement when trying to automate workflows on a large scale. In this blog post, I would like to take you on my journey of doing data science while integrating the overall workflow into Kubernetes.

        The target of the research I did in the past few months was to find any useful information about all those thousands of GitHub issues and pull requests (PRs) we have in the Kubernetes repository. What I ended up with was a fully automated, in Kubernetes running Continuous Integration (CI) and Deployment (CD) data science workflow powered by Kubeflow and Prow. You may not know both of them, but we get to the point where I explain what they’re doing in detail. The source code of my work can be found in the kubernetes-analysis GitHub repository, which contains everything source code-related as well as the raw data. But how to retrieve this data I’m talking about? Well, this is where the story begins.

      • First new Docker release under Mirantis appears
    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • BSD Now 352: Introducing Randomness

        A brief introduction to randomness, logs grinding netatalk to a hault, NetBSD core team changes, Using qemu guest agent on OpenBSD kvm/qemu guests, WireGuard patchset for OpenBSD, FreeBSD 12.1 on a laptop, and more.

      • Bad Voltage 3×05: This Podcast Will Self Destruct

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we are rendered with one meelion triangles.

      • Bread and Butter Django – Building SaaS #58

        In this episode, I worked on a views and templates. There are a number of core pages that are required to flesh out the minimal interface for the app. We’re building them.

        I began by showing the page that we were going to work on. I outlined the changes I planned to make, then we started.

        The first thing we added was data about the school year, the main model on display in the page. I showed how to mock in the elements before adding real data.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Wayland in 2020

          It is nearly a year since my last blog article about Wayland on Linux. Thus I thought it is time for an update on how my desktop with sway developed. What happened?

        • Mainline Linux Kernel Starts Seeing A NVIDIA Tegra X1 Video Input Driver

          While the Tegra X1 SoC (Tegra210) has been available for several years, finally with the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel is a mainline driver contributed by NVIDIA for the video input support.

          The Tegra X1 features a high-end video input controller that can support up to six MIPI CSI camera sensors concurrently.

        • AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 Released With TMZ Enabled, Improved Memory Allocation

          As the first open-source code drop in two weeks, AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 is out today as the latest update to this official open-source AMD Radeon Vulkan driver stack for Linux.

          AMDVLK 2020.Q2.4 comes with improved memory allocation for systems not using any local invisible memory, command buffer prefetch is now disabled for local memory, TMZ is enabled, and a back-end optimization for kills is used. There are also several bug fixes concerning the Radeon Graphics Profiler and other targeted bug fixes.

        • Khronos Releases OpenVG 1.1 Lite For High Quality Vector Graphics On Mobile

          It’s been a while since hearing of OpenVG as The Khronos Group’s hardware-accelerated 2D vector graphics API. But today they announced a “Lite” version of OpenVG 1.1.

          OpenVG 1.1 as their latest version came back in 2008 and since then there hasn’t been much to report on this vector graphics API besides maintenance tasks and a short-lived OpenVG Gallium3D state tracker. Out today though is the provisional specification of OpenVG 1.1 Lite.

    • Applications

      • Ardour 6.0 Released With Massive Changes

        Ardour – the open-source Digital Audio Workstation software brings huge changes with its latest version.

        Digital audio workstation (DAW) apps are used to record, edit, and create/produce audio files. DAW apps come with a wide range of configuration options based on their types. Using DAW apps, you can record music, songs, speech, radio, TVs, sound effects, podcasts, and these apps also help you to mix & alter multiple recordings and produce a single track.

      • Looking for Some Good Note Taking Apps on Linux? Here are the Best Note Apps we Found for You

        No matter what you do — taking notes is always a good habit. Yes, there are a lot of note taking apps to help you achieve that. But, what about some open-source note taking apps for Linux?

        Fret not, you don’t need to endlessly search the Internet to find the best note taking app for Linux. Here, I’ve picked some of the most impressive open-source note taking apps available.

      • 20 productivity tools for the Linux terminal

        Many of us, admittedly, only use computers because they’re fun. But some people use computers to get stuff done, and their theory is computers are supposed to make things faster, better, and more organized. In practice, though, computers don’t necessarily improve our lives without a little manual reconfiguration to match our individual work styles.

        Kevin Sonney likes to design systems, not just for networks but for improving his own workday, and this year he covered 18 different productivity tools in a series of 20 articles. This article gets all of Kevin’s favorite tools in one place and provides a quick summary of what each one can do for you.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Injustice 2 Now Playable With Proton GE

        It’s all good in the fighting game neighborhood. Quite a number of fighting games are now available to play on Linux thanks to Proton, and now we can add another to that list with Injustice 2, with a customized version of Proton: Glorious Eggroll.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC out now on Linux

        Feral Interactive announced today that the work has been completed on porting over the Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC. A short delay as we’ve come to expect, with it being available on Windows since May 21. Not long to wait though and Feral always communicate how it will be “shortly after” when these things get announced.

      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC out now for macOS and Linux
      • Total War: WARHAMMER II – The Warden & The Paunch DLC Is Out Now for Linux

        Feral Interactive launched today The Warden & The Paunch DLC (Downloadable Content) for the acclaimed Total War: WARHAMMER II video game for Linux and macOS platforms.

        Officially launched on May 21st and coming three months after the massive Mandate of Heaven DLC, The Warden & the Paunch is the latest Legendary Lords Pack for the award-winning and critically acclaimed Total War: WARHAMMER II turn-based strategy and real-time tactics video game.

        It introduces two new Legendary Lords from the world of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, Eltharion the Grim, which leads Tor Yvresse for the High Elves, and Grom the Paunch, which commands the Broken Axe Tribe for the Greenskins.

      • A fractured future and a beautiful yet dark style, Resolutiion is out now

        Resolutiion, an absolutely beautiful fast-paced action-adventure from Monolith of Minds and Deck 13 is out now.

        Striking artwork, questions that you constantly want answered and action awaiting around every corner. Resolutiion shows a very fractured and broken future, it’s dark and unsettling and nothing really makes any sense. Not that it actually needs to, I often found myself just walking around to take in the environment.

        There’s definitely a sense of overwhelming loss here, both from the world and the player. You’re slowly and loosely guided along with most of it left to you to figure out. Some kind of devastating war in the past still lingers in the minds of those you meet. You’re some kind of old augmented killer, more robot than person now, escorting a curious AI that reached out to you. Nothing is as it seems.

      • Stadia Pro subscribers get 5 new games on June 1

        Each month, subscribers of the Stadia game streaming service with the Pro tier get free games and in June they’re getting an additional five.

      • Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass adds Linux support

        After a delay, the first part of the Civilization VI – New Frontier Pass with the Maya & Gran Colombia Pack is now available in the Linux version.

        Not up to speed? The New Frontier Pass for Civilization VI is a new season of DLC, with free updates that will be released in between each through to March 2021. Civilization VI as a service? Well Firaxis Games and 2K seem to think it might work, that’s a lot of extra content coming.

        It was originally planned to simultaneously launch for both Linux and macOS but it seems issues came up as 2K sent us in a statement. A week later and it’s here along with the latest patch. However, cross-platform online play is now unavailable. On Twitter, Aspyr Media mentioned this was based on a priority of just getting the DLC out, although that was mentioning macOS the same would apply here. We have reached out to Aspyr to be sure and clarify if Linux will be getting cross-platform online play back soon too.

      • The 20 Best Marvel Games For Android Smartphone in 2020

        Who doesn’t love to play the superhero games? Especially when the gaming characters are from your favorite marvel comic series, then what else is needed. From recent comic characters of avengers to old & toughest wolverine, you will find out many cool superheroes and villains in those Marvel Android games.

      • BozemanGLUG: June 2020 Meeting (online)

        3) The dolphin-emu Nintendo Gamecube emulator… the younger son asked about it so I installed it on his new-to-him Linux machine and darn it, it works pretty well.

      • How to get GOG Galaxy working on Linux

        Do you own games on GOG.com? Want to get the GOG Galaxy client set up on your Linux PC to enjoy some video games? Follow along with this guide as we show you how to get GOG Galaxy working on Linux!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Send your talks for Akademy 2020 *now*

          The Call for Participation is still open for two weeks more, but please make us a favour and send yours *now*.

          This way we don’t have to panic thinking if we are going to need to go chasing people or not, or if we’re going to have too few or too many proposals.

          Also if you ask the talks committee for review, we can review your talk early, give you feedback and improve it, so it’s a win-win.

        • Status report: Community Bonding

          I’m checking in today to let you know what I did in my GSoC project these past weeks. This Community Bonding period was really wonderful; although I’ve been more or less involved with the project since 2016, I’ve acquainted myself with the efforts of each of the members, and so far it’s been a wonderful experience.

          During these past weeks, I’ve been preparing for the coding period by talking with Boudewijn and Wolthera about the particulars of Krita’s file format and build system. The objectives for the past two meetings were:

        • GSoC’20 with KDE

          About the Project

          The project involves improving KDE Web Infrastructure. KDE has a lot of websites and some of them like the main website could use an update.

          The first part of the project involves porting kde.org to use Hugo- A go based static site generator. kde.org is very old and thus contains a lot of pages. This project would involve porting most of the pages to markdown so as to make the website faster and easier to develop.

          The second part of the project involves updating Season of KDE website. The goal is to use more modern tooling and add some new features. This project is a part of the transition of KDE websites from LDAP to OAuth based authentication. OAuth is a much more modern approach to authentication and would solve some headaches with the current authentication system.

        • An update to kdesrc-build-profiles utility

          kdesrc-build is an amazing tool that makes building KDE projects a breeze.

          Now, I like having several build profiles for the projects I’m working on. The main build done by kdesrc-build is done with gcc, but I keep also a parallel build with clang, and some builds that incorporate static analysis tools and such.

          At first, a long time ago, I was doing all this with shell scripts. But that approach was not really scalable.

          Then I wrote a small tool that builds on kdesrc-build, but allows you to define different build profiles.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Gnome settles Patent litigation: Amanda Brock, CEO OpenUK interviews Neil McGovern, ED of Gnome Foundation and Board Director at OpenUK

          “Firstly, Congratulations Neil and very well done. This is probably the best possible result Gnome could have had right?

          “I believe so, yes. We have managed to secure a more certain future for all of open source software and sent a very strong message to other patent holders that attempts to bring suit against us will be at best, futile.”

          The Open Source Community response to Rothschild, I am resisting calling them a troll, was probably a bit of a shock to Rothschild. Can you tell us a bit about it and the amount raised from so many people and organisations?

          “This has happened before, when Groupon tried to register GNOME as a trademark, despite us already holding it. This time. we managed to raise over $150,000 from over 4,000 individual donors. One of the strengths of the community is how passionately we care about what we do, and how we rally around each other when there’s trouble.”

          You must be really proud to have achieved this result?

          “Absolutely! Although the patent hasn’t been invalidated, we have secured a bigger prize – the protection of open source software from a large non-practicing entity.”

          Sherman and Sterling are a huge global law firm and acted as Gnome’s pro bono legal counsel? How did that come about?
          “It came a little out of the blue! I was flying back from GUADEC (our annual conference) when this all kicked off, and when I landed, I had an email from Matt Berkowitz offering pro-bono representation. They had been monitoring patent filings and saw this one, so reached out to us.

    • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Red Hat Advances Java on Kubernetes, Delivers Quarkus as a Fully-Supported Runtime for Cloud-Native Development

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced an expansion of its application services portfolio with the addition of Quarkus as a fully supported framework in Red Hat Runtimes. With Quarkus, Red Hat is advancing Java on Kubernetes and bridging the gap between traditional Java applications and cloud-native environments.

      • Quarkus, a Kubernetes-native Java runtime, now fully supported by Red Hat

        Java was introduced 25 years ago, and to this day, remains one of the most popular programming languages among developers. However, Java has developed a reputation for not being a good fit for cloud-native applications. Developers look for (and often choose) alternative frameworks such as Go and Node.js to support their cloud-native development requirements.

        Why learn another language when you can use your existing skills? Quarkus allows Java developers to leverage their expertise to develop cloud-native, event-driven, reactive, and serverless applications. Quarkus provides a cohesive Java platform that feels familiar but new at the same time. Not only does it leverage existing Java standards, but it also provides a number of features that optimize developer joy, including live coding, unified configuration, IDE plugins, and more.

      • Red Hat Tosses Its Weight Behind Quarkus

        Following recent announcements, Red Hat is now ready in fully supporting Quarkus to enhance its Kubernetes support.

        Quarkus is a Kubernetes-native Java stack to make the language more appealing in cloud-native use-cases. Quarkus optimizes the Java experience for containers and serverless environments.

      • Red Hat Delivers Quarkus As A Fully Supported Framework In Red Hat Runtimes

        By adding Quarkus as a supported runtime, Red Hat is helping to bring Java into the modern, cloud-native application development landscape and to approaches like microservices, containers and serverless, and enabling Java developers to continue working in the language they know and love.

      • Red Hat Runtimes adds Kubernetes-native Quarkus Java stack

        Red Hat’s Quarkus, a Kubernetes-native Java stack, is now supported on the Red Hat Runtimes platform for developing cloud-native applications.

        A build of Quarkus is now part of Red Hat Runtimes middleware and integrates with the Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes container platform for managing cloud deployments, Red Hat said this week.

      • Building a Ceph-powered Cloud: Deploying a containerized Red Hat Ceph Storage 4 cluster for Red Hat Open Stack Platform 16

        Ceph is the most popular storage backend for OpenStack by a wide margin, as has been reported by the OpenStack Foundation’s survey every year since its inception. In the latest survey, conducted during the Summer of 2019, Ceph outclassed other options by an even greater margin than it did in the past, with a 75% adoption rate.

      • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.19RC1 and 7.4.7RC1

        Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

        RPM of PHP version 7.4.7RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32 or remi-php74-test repository for Fedora 30-31 and Enterprise Linux 7-8.

        RPM of PHP version 7.3.19RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

      • How I benefit from a Red Hat subscription in a time of crisis and beyond
      • Red Hat OpenShift Helps Asiakastieto Group Bring Account Insight To Life
      • IBM Data Asset eXchange Adds New Data Sets
    • Debian Family

      • New Debian Developers and Maintainers (March and April 2020)

        The following contributors got their Debian Developer accounts in the last two months:

        Paride Legovini (paride)
        Ana Custura (acute)
        Felix Lechner (lechner)

        The following contributors were added as Debian Maintainers in the last two months:

        Sven Geuer
        Håvard Flaget Aasen

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Canonical Fixes Linux Kernel Regression in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, 19.10 and 18.04 LTS


        The regression was introduced with the latest security updates released last week for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), as well as Ubuntu 19.10 and 18.04.4 LTS. The regression affected Linux kernel’s OverlayFS file system implementation causing the Docker registry to keep restarting.

        Affected kernels are Linux 5.4 (generic, generic-lpae, lowlatency, oem and virtual flavors) in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 64-bit installations and Linux 5.3 (generic, generic-lpae, lowlatency, raspi2 and snapdragon flavors) in Ubuntu 19.10 and Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS 32-bit, 64-bit and ARM (Raspberry Pi (V7)) systems.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 20.05

      Genode 20.05 takes our road map’s focus on the consolidation and optimization of the framework and its API to heart. It contains countless of under-the-hood improvements, mostly on the account of vastly intensified automated testing, the confrontation of Genode with increasingly complex software stacks, and stressful real-world work loads. You will find this theme throughout the release notes below. The result of this overhaul is captured in the updated version of the Genode Foundations book (Section New revision of the Genode Foundations book).


      Even though Genode is able to run on top of the Linux kernel since the very beginning, Linux was solely meant as a development vehicle.

    • Genode OS 20.05 Adds Capability-Based Security Using SECCOMP, Drops Python 2 + Rust

      Version 20.05 of the Genode open-source operating system framework is now available with many improvements.

      Genode OS 20.05 contains various work particularly on the consolidation and optimization front. There is also better 64-bit Arm support, documentation improvements, and capability-based security using SECCOMP on Linux.

      Genode OS 20.05 has improvements to its consistent block encrypter, retired its Noux runtime environment, removed Rust support after no one has been maintaining its support in years, dropping Python 2 given its EOL status and Python 3 support being in good shape, MSI-X support on x86, and various other updates.

    • Talk 9: big step forward for team calls, efficient work flows and open source back-end

      Nextcloud GmbH is glad to announce the upcoming major release of Nextcloud Talk that will include significant improvements for teams collaborating remotely, including easy document sharing with drag’n’drop, in-call collaborative document editing and significant modifications to facilitate calls with more participants. Together with this release, our partner Struktur AG makes the high-performance back-end available under the AGPL license. A first release candidate of Talk 9 is available today and the final release is expected in about two weeks. Most of the improvements in the area of performance and scalability have been backported to the stable Talk 8 series, making them available to users right now.

    • Nextcloud Talk 9 Makes Sharing And Collaborative Editing Documents Easier

      The upcoming major release of Nextcloud Talk will include improvements for teams collaborating remotely, including easy document sharing with drag’n’drop, in-call collaborative document editing and significant modifications to facilitate calls with more participants.

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser

        There is a new application available for Sparkers: Beaker Browser

      • Chromium

        • Chrome 84 Beta: Web OTP, Web Animations, New Origin Trials and More

          Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Learn more about the features listed here through the provided links or from the list on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 84 is beta as of May 28, 2020.

        • Chrome 84 Beta Brings Better Web Animations API, Experimental WebAssembly SIMD

          Following the recent Chrome 83 release, Chrome 84 has now been promoted to beta.

          The Chrome 84 Beta is bringing Web OTP API (SMS Receiver API) support on Android, significant improvements to its Web Animations API implementation, WebAssembly SIMD support with a 128-bit value type is now available via the Origin trials (experimental functionality) along with a Cookie Store API, Idle Detection API, and other trial features.

        • Should you buy a Chromebook?

          With more and more people buying laptops to work or learn from home, a lot of folks are probably looking into the prospect of switching to a lighter, cheaper Chromebook instead of a traditional Windows or Mac laptop. Chromebooks come at a wide range of price points and with a variety of features, but the big question for most people is about Chrome OS itself. How hard is it to switch? What are Android apps like? Does Linux support really work, and how well? Do Chromebooks make good tablets? Can I use Firefox on one? We’ll cover as much of that as we can in this post.

      • Mozilla

        • Firefox features for remote school (that can also be used for just about anything)

          Helping kids with school work can be challenging in the best of times (“new” math anyone?) let alone during a worldwide pandemic. These Firefox features can help make managing school work, and remote summer classes if those are on your horizon, a little easier.

        • The influence of hardware on Firefox build times

          I recently upgraded my aging “fast” build machine. Back when I assembled the machine, it could do a full clobber build of Firefox in about 10 minutes. That was slightly more than 10 years ago. This upgrade, and the build times I’m getting on the brand new machine (now 6 months old) and other machines led me to look at how some parameters influence build times.


          The XPS13 being old, it is subject to thermal throttling, making it slower than it should be, but it wouldn’t beat the 10 years old desktop anyway. Macbook Pros tend to get into these thermal issues after a while too.

          I’ve relied on laptops for a long time. My previous laptop before this XPS was another XPS, that is now about 6 to 7 years old, and while the newer one had more RAM, it was barely getting better build times compared to the older one when I switched. The evolution of laptop performance has been underwelming for a long time, but things finally changed last year. At long last.

          I wish I had numbers with a more recent laptop under the same OS as the XPS for fairer comparison. Or with the more recent larger laptops that sport even more cores, especially the fancy ones with Ryzen processors.

        • Writing inside organizations

          My team keeps snippets, which kinda-sorta feels like a blog-like interface for sharing context. We keep our snippets in a google doc largely because it has a low barrier to entry and it’s a fast solution. However, I find that keeping snippets in a doc really limits the value I personally get from keeping a weekly log. Ostensibly, the value to writing snippets is keeping my team up to date on my work. However, I find that the secondary personal benefits are the ones that keep me motivated to write updates.

        • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: May 2020 Edition

          IMPORTANT: Firefox 78 is the next ESR (Extended Support Release) version. That’s a more stable version designed for enterprises, but also used in some Linux distributions, and it remains supported for about a year. Once Firefox 78 moves to release, that content will remain frozen until that version becomes unsupported (about 15 months), so it’s important to ship the best localization possible.

        • Mozilla’s journey to environmental sustainability

          The programme may be new, but the process has been shaping for years: In March 2020, Mozilla officially launched a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Programme, and I am proud and excited to be stewarding our efforts.

          Since we launched, the world has been held captive by the COVID-19 pandemic. People occasionally ask me, “Is this really the time to build up and invest in such a large-scale, ambitious programme?” My answer is clear: Absolutely.

        • Mozilla Privacy Blog: An opportunity for openness and user agency in the proposed Facebook-Giphy merger

          Facebook is squarely in the crosshairs of global competition regulators, but despite that scrutiny, is moving to acquire Giphy, a popular platform that lets users share images on social platforms, such as Facebook, or messaging applications, such as WhatsApp. This merger – how it is reviewed, whether it is approved, and if approved under what sort of conditions – will set a precedent that will influence not only future mergers, but also the shape of legislative reforms being actively developed all around the world. It is crucial that antitrust agencies incorporate into their processes a deep understanding of the nature of the open internet and how it promotes competition, how data flows between integrated services, and in particular the role played by interoperability.

          Currently Giphy is integrated with numerous independent social messaging services, including, for example, Slack, Signal, and Twitter. A combined Facebook-Giphy would be in a position to restrict access by those companies, whether to preserve their exclusivity or to get leverage for some other reason. This would bring clear harm to users who would suddenly lose the capabilities they currently enjoy, and make it harder for other companies to compete.

    • CMS

      • Strapi introduces new open-source headless content management system

        Strapi, the company behind the most popular open-source headless content management system (CMS), has announced the general availability of its Community Edition after two years of development. The business also announced paid support plans and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is already in private beta testing.

        What’s a headless CMS you ask? Unlike such popular CMSs as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, a headless CMS doesn’t bother with the website’s front-end. Instead, all its focus is on the back-end content repository, which is used for storing and delivering structured content. This content is then made available for display via a RESTful API, typically using JSON or XML.

      • Strapi Community Edition Now Generally Available

        Open-source headless CMS Strapi has announced the general availability of its Community Edition after 24 months of rapid iteration.

        The company also announced the availability of paid support for enterprises deploying Strapi in production and disclosed plans for an Enterprise Edition, which is currently in private beta testing with select companies.

        The Strapi CMS is completely customizable using application programming interfaces (APIs) so that content from databases and files can be accessed for display on websites, smartphones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    • Funding

      • COVID-19 Crisis: FOSS Responders Raises $115,000 To Support Community

        Conference cancellations have caused financial loss, unmet fundraising trajectories and missed business opportunities. For example, the Open Source Institute, the organisation that ratifies open source licences, has indicated that it needs $600,000 to meet its funding goals for 2020 while the Drupal Association has had to layoff employees after cancelling events and needs to fundraise $500,000.

    • FSF

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is now offering all FSF associate members free “as in freedom” videoconferencing as an additional member benefit. Becoming a member now helps you push back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software to communicate with coworkers, friends, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

      • Free Software Foundation announces freedom-respecting videoconferencing for its associate members

        The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced free “as in freedom” videoconferencing for its associate members and their communities. This service will help everyone push back against increased societal pressure to use nonfree software to communicate with friends, collaborators, and loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and after.

        The FSF has been raising the alarm about encroachments upon freedom by remote communication tools since social distancing guidelines were issued. The FSF’s new videoconferencing service powered by free software comes after several of its recent publications warned users about widely used nonfree applications for remote communication and education, like Zoom.

        “The freedoms to associate and communicate are some of our most important. To have the means to exercise these freedoms online controlled by gatekeepers of despotic software is always dangerous and unacceptable, only more so when we can’t safely gather in person,” executive director John Sullivan explains. “We are a small nonprofit and can’t provide hosting for the entire world, but we want to do our part. By offering feature-rich videoconferencing in freedom to our community of supporters, and sharing how others can do it, too, we demonstrate that it is possible to do this kind of communication in an ethical way.”

      • FSF Now Offering Video Conferencing Service To Its Members

        In aiming to promote freedom-respecting video conferencing at a time when other platforms like Facebook and Zoom are exploding in popularity as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the Free Software Foundation is offering a video conferencing system for its associate members.

        This Free Software Foundation video-conferencing is powered by Jitsi Meet. Jitsi Meet is a simple, open-source free video conferencing platform that does support desktop sharing, Etherpad multi-user document editing, integrated chat, and other capabilities. The Free Software Foundation did modify their Jitsi Meet instance to reduce server-side logging and other tweaks in the name of privacy and software freedom.

      • FSF gives freedom-respecting videoconferencing to all associate members

        Dear Chinese Translators:
        Are you interested in having a video conference using Jitsi?

      • GNU Projects

        • GNUnet Hacker Meeting 2020

          We are happy to announce that we will have a GNUnet Hacker Meeting from 17-21 of June 2020 taking place online. For more information see here.

    • Programming/Development

      • Float/String Conversion in Picolibc

        When linked together, getting from float to string and back to float is a “round trip”, and an exact pair of algorithms does this for every floating point value.

        Solutions for both directions were published in the proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN 1990 conference on Programming language design and implementation, with the string-to-float version written by William Clinger and the float-to-string version written by Guy Steele and Jon White. These solutions rely on very high precision integer arithmetic to get every case correct, with float-to-string requiring up to 1050 bits for the 64-bit IEEE floating point format.

        That’s a lot of bits.

      • Fortran newsletter: May 2020

        Welcome to the first monthly Fortran newsletter. It will come out on the first calendar day of every month, detailing Fortran news from the previous month.


        If you came to this newsletter from elsewhere, welcome to the new Fortran website. We built this site mid-April and hope for it to be the home of Fortran on the [I]nternet, which traditionally there hasn’t been any to date. Look around and let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement. Specifically, Learn and Packages are the pages that we’ll be focusing on in the coming months. Please help us make them better!

      • Android Studio 4.0 Released With Overhauled CPU Profiler, Clangd For C++ Code

        Android Studio 4.0 is out today with this IDE bringing a number of improvements for developing Google Android apps.

        Android Studio 4.0 comes with a new motion editor, an upgraded layout inspector, enhancements to its built-in CPU profiler, smart editor features, Clangd support for C++ language analysis, new feature handling support, continued expansion of Kotlin support, and much more.

      • Looking for C-to-anything transpilers

        I’m looking for languages that have three properties:

        (1) Must have weak memory safety. The language is permitted to crash on an out -of-bounds array reference or null pointer, but may not corrupt or overwrite memory as a result.

      • Peeking Inside Executables And Libraries To Make Debugging Easier

        At first glance, both the executables that a compiler produces, and the libraries that are used during the building process seem like they’re not very accessible. They are these black boxes that make an application go, or make the linker happy when you hand it the ‘right’ library file. There is also a lot to be said for not digging too deeply into either, as normally things will Just Work™ without having to bother with such additional details.

        The thing is that both executables and libraries contain a lot of information that normally is just used by the OS, toolchain, debuggers and similar tools. Whether these files are in Windows PE format, old-school Linux a.out or modern-day .elf, when things go south during development, sometimes one has to break out the right tools to inspect them in order to make sense of what is happening.

      • Python

        • Gaël Varoquaux: Technical discussions are hard; a few tips

          This post discuss the difficulties of communicating while developing open-source projects and tries to gives some simple advice.

          A large software project is above all a social exercise in which technical experts try to reach good decisions together, for instance on github pull requests. But communication is difficult, in particular between diverging points of view. It is easy to underestimate how much well-intended persons can misunderstand each-other and get hurt, in open source as elsewhere. Knowing why there are communication challenges can help, as well as applying a few simple rules.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s Time to Get Back Into RSS

      A lot of people who were on the internet in the early 2000’s remember something called RSS. It stands for really simple syndication, and it allowed content creators to publish updates to the world in a well-understood format.

      The idea—which seems strange to type out—is that millions of people in the world could create and publish ideas, thoughts, and content…and then people who enjoyed that content would collect sources into a reader, which was called, well, an RSS Reader.


      But perhaps most devastating was the web’s move to an advertising model, which RSS runs directly counter to. With RSS you get the content itself, which your reader can choose to display in different ways. Advertisers hate that. They want you to see the original website so they can show you ads the way they want you to see them.

      I’m sure social media sites had an effect too, because—like aggregators—they were singular watering holes that guaranteed something exciting when you showed up. The common denominator is the move from more effort to less. It’s like in WALL-E, where we turn into morbidly obese people on hoverchairs being shuttled between stimuli.

      Regardless of the percentages, all those factors combined to destroy the model of getting raw content directly from the source.

      Well, it’s time to bring that back. It’s time to return to RSS.

      Google Reader is still dead, but if I remove my nostalgia glasses, feedly is probably better now than Reader ever was. It’s what I’ve been using for years now.

  • Leftovers

    • Close To Zero: NOT.
    • Donald Trump’s executive order is ‘plainly illegal,’ says co-author of Section 230

      Under Section 230, [I]nternet companies have broad immunity from liability for the content created by their users. The draft order, announced on Wednesday, would open the door for the Commerce Department and the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law, and authorize the Federal Trade Commission to craft a tool for reporting bias online.

      The Communications Decency Act was approved in 1996 and authored by Sens. Chris Cox (R-CA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). In a statement Thursday, Wyden said: [...]

    • ‘Grotesque’: While 41 Million People Lost Jobs Due to Covid-19, US Billionaires Grew Nearly $500 Billion Richer

      “Billionaire wealth is surging at the same time that millions face suffering, hardship, and loss of life. This is a grotesque indicator of the deep inequalities in U.S. society.”

    • The richest billionaires became vastly richer during pandemic, even as stocks tumbled

      A report from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality arrived at this conclusion after analyzing the earnings of American billionaires between mid-March, when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the American economy, and mid-May. They found that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos added $34.6 billion to his wealth and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added $25 billion to his wealth, putting them at the top of the list in terms of billionaires who made gains to their fortunes. When it comes to the percentage by which their fortunes have increased, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk saw his net worth increase by 48 percent to $36 billion, while Zuckerberg’s wealth rose by 46 percent to $80 billion.

    • Progressives Say ‘People Know Who Real Looters Are’: Not Those Angry Over Police Killings, But Oligarchs Robbing Nation Blind

      “Americans know who the real looters are. It’s the billionaires who plundered America for $434 billion during the pandemic while the essential workers keeping our country  afloat make barely over minimum wage.”

    • Science

      • Operation Warp Speed: Are we rushing COVID-19 vaccine development?

        I write about vaccines a lot, mainly antivaccine nonsense, and have been doing so ever since I first started this blog, as hard as it is to believe, over 15 years ago. While regular people, namely those who don’t pay much attention to antivaccine pseudoscience and the conspiracy theories of the antivaccine movement, might have thought that the COVID-19 pandemic might prod antivaxxers to change their views and become more amenable to vaccines, those of us who’ve been following the antivaccine movement for a long time knew better. Indeed, what actually happened is far from any sort of epiphany on the part of antivaxxers, in which they realize that the only escape from coronavirus is a vaccine. In fact, antivaxxers have not only doubled down, but they’ve teamed up with COVID-19 deniers, who downplay the severity of the threat from the pandemic, and conspiracy theorists, who posit claims such as the claim that SARS-CoV-2 was the product of a laboratory, that 5G made people susceptible to the virus, that those who get the flu vaccine are more likely to become seriously ill from coronavirus, or even that glyphosate and e-cigs are to blame for COVID-19. This should come as no surprise, though, because at the heart of antivaccine views are conspiracy theories, and COVID-19 is a magnet for conspiracy theories. One of these is the belief on the part of antivaxxers that COVID-19 is being exaggerated in order to impose forced vaccination. Unsurprisingly, antivaxxers have already launched a pre-emptive disinformation war against an as-yet nonexistent coronavirus vaccine, and the hype over coronavirus vaccine development efforts, such as the Moderna vaccine, is a

      • Where is the best place to view Manhattanhenge?

        This year, the celebration will be different. Most people will avoid crowds because of the covid-19 pandemic, which has hit New York particularly hard. Social-distancing rules require groups to meet at a distance and prohibit gatherings of more than ten people. Some may view the spectacle from their apartment windows, roofs or fire escapes. Those who venture out might consider consulting our map of last year’s Instagram posts to know where they might get good shots and still avoid the crowds. Either way, the event is sure to generate some breathtaking images on social media which, luckily, can be enjoyed by anyone, locked down or not.

    • Education

      • Coverage of School Reopening Needs to Include School Workers

        When Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wrote in the New York Times (3/10/20) that K–12 school closures might be unnecessary in the fight against Covid-19, because children rarely get sick from exposure, there was a curious omission. Shouldn’t a scholar of public health, writing about schools for the nation’s leading newspaper, be fully aware that schools are also populated with adults—from teachers to administrators, food workers to therapists? Many of them are in the 45–64 age group that is dying from the coronavirus at a rate about equal to their proportion of the population. Alas, the editors missed this problem.

      • US higher education system is ‘capstone of inequality’

        His book, The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favour the Rich and Divide America, argues that selective universities have “trapped themselves in a race for prestige and money”. Co-authored by Peter Schmidt, an education writer, and Jeff Strohl, CEW’s research director, it highlights that students with less social and financial capital are “ruthlessly sorted into colleges with fewer resources” and, as a result, have lower chances of graduating and finding good jobs than their better-off peers.

        “US colleges reinforce intergenerational, racial and class privileges, then magnify and project these inequities into the labour market,” the book says, adding that just 19 per cent of prospective black and Latino students with high SAT scores go to selective institutions, compared with 31 per cent of their white counterparts.

    • Hardware

      • Christian Schaller: Into the world of Robo vacums and Robo mops

        So to conclude, would I recommend robot vacuums and robot mops to other parents with you kids? I would say yes, it has definitely helped us keep the house cleaner and nicer and let us spend less time cleaning the house. But it is not a miracle cure in any way or form, it still takes time and effort to prepare and set up the house and sometimes you still need to do especially the mopping yourself to get things really clean. As for the question of iRobot versus other brands I have no input as I haven’t really tested any other brands. iRobot is a local company so their vacuums are available in a lot of stores around me and I drive by their HQ on a regular basis, so that is the more or less random reason I ended up with their products as opposed to competing ones.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • State Terrorism

        50,000 lives were sacrificed to the President’s delays, denials, and bungling of the coronavirus cries in the interest if the Dow and his re-elecetion. Its as though he could shoot 50,000 people on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.

      • With Nation Focused on Pandemic, Trump Interior Dept. to Greenlight Killing of Bear Cubs and Wolf Pups in Their Dens

        “Killing has no place in our National Wildlife Refuges.”

      • Warnings of ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ as Locust Swarms Hit India and Pakistan in Midst of Coronavirus Crisis

        For India, the invasion comes alongside “eviscerating heat.”

      • Hidden in the New House Coronavirus Relief Bill: Billions for Defense Contractors

        When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation’s benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by.

        They made no mention of the defense contractors.

      • Restaurants in the Pandemic

        The NYT ran a column by a bar-restaurant owner telling of the horrible circumstances facing restaurants during and after the shutdown period. While the restaurant industry is among the hardest hit sectors, and many will not survive, a few of the complaints in the piece need some qualification.

      • Silence=Death: Larry Kramer, RIP

        Larry Kramer (1935-2020) died on Wednesday, May 27th, of pneumonia. He was 84 years old and, during much of his adult life as a writer and activist, he battled – both personally and politicly – the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He is survived by his husband, David Webster.

      • If We Don’t Fight Back, We Die: Larry Kramer’s Full Speech at the 2019 Queer Liberation March

        Upon the death of trailblazing AIDS activist Larry Kramer, we feature one of his last major speeches, when 4 million people took to the streets of New York City in 2019 for the largest LGBTQ Pride celebration in history to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising that sparked the modern-day LGBTQ movement. There were two marches: Revelers marched down Fifth Avenue cheered on by millions for the WorldPride parade; and in Sheridan Square, at the site where gay and trans people clashed with police in 1969, tens of thousands gathered for the anti-corporate Queer Liberation March. Democracy Now! was there when Larry Kramer addressed the crowd from the stage, in his wheelchair. “I’m approaching my end. But I still have a few years of fight in me to scream out,” Kramer says. “To scream out the fact that almost everyone gay I’ve known has been affected by this plague of AIDS.” Click here for our interview with ACT UP members and Tony Kushner remembering trailblazing AIDS activist Larry Kramer.

      • Russia’s coronavirus patient population approaches 380,000

        On the morning of May 28, Russian officials announced that as many as 150,993 people in Russia are known to have recovered fully from COVID-19, including 8,785 in the past day. Also in the last 24 hours, another 174 people reportedly died from the disease, raising Russia’s total number of fatalities officially caused by coronavirus to 4,142.

      • GOP Lawmaker Hid Positive COVID Results From Democrat Colleagues for Over a Week

        Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives are upset with their Republican colleagues after a member of the GOP caucus revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus but had hid the test result for more than a week from officials across the aisle.

      • The Virtues of Not Eating Animals
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Red Cross urges halt to cyberattacks on healthcare sector amid COVID-19 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The Red Cross called for an end to cyberattacks on healthcare and medical research facilities during the coronavirus pandemic, in a letter published Tuesday and signed by a group of political and business figures.

          Such attacks endanger human lives and governments must take “immediate and decisive action” to stop them, the letter stated.

        • FBI offers US companies more details from investigations of health care [cr]acking

          Criminal and state actors continue to target U.S. clinical trial data, trade secrets, and the “sensitive data and proprietary research of U.S. universities and research facilities,” the FBI told industry in an advisory this week. “Likely due to the current global public health crisis, the FBI has observed some nation-states shifting cyber resources to collect against the [health care and public health] sector, while criminals are targeting similar entities for financial gain.”

          The advisory, which CyberScoop obtained, includes multiple examples since February of state-linked [attackers] trying to compromise and retain access to the networks of organizations in the U.S. health care and public health sector. It is the latest in a series of warnings from U.S. officials about similar cybersecurity incidents as the race for a coronavirus vaccine intensifies.

        • Microsoft copied its new Windows Package Manager from rival AppGet, claims developer

          Beigi interviewed in December, and then never heard anything back from the company for nearly six months until he received a 24-hour heads up that Microsoft was launching winget last week. “When I finally saw the announcement and the GitHub repositories, I was shocked? Upset? I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at,” says Beigi.

          Beigi claims the “core mechanics, terminology, the manifest format and structure, even the package repository’s folder structure” of Microsoft’s winget are all heavily inspired by AppGet. Microsoft only briefly mentions AppGet once in its announcement, in a throwaway line that lists other Windows package managers.

          “What was copied with no credit is the foundation of the project. How it actually works,” explains Beigi in a separate Reddit post. “And I don’t mean the general concept of package / app managers… WinGet works pretty much identical to the way AppGet works.”

        • The Day AppGet Died.

          TLDR; I’m no longer going to be developing AppGet. The client and backend services will go into maintenance mode immediately until August 1st, 2020, at which point they’ll be shut down permanently.

        • Apache Pulsar joins Kafka in Splunk Data Stream Processor

          Splunk built out its event streaming capabilities with a new update, released Wednesday, to its Data Stream Processor to bring in more data for analysis on the Splunk platform.

          The DSP technology is a foundational component of the information security and event management vendor’s Data-to-Everything approach.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative drops $3.8M on 23 biomedical open-source projects [Ed: A surveillance scion is openwashing the family's dirty 'surveillance capitalism' empire]
            • Oracle’s open-source alter ego behind some of its most popular products

              Open-source innovation may not be the words evoked by a legacy technology company such as Oracle, a company turning 43 years old next month. But the fact is that — like many companies — Oracle’s paid products and services are actually loaded with ingredients from open-source communities, including Linux, to which it is also a contributor.

              This circular ecosystem of contributing and borrowing back enables some of the versatility and cross-environment compatibility in the company’s latest database and hybrid-cloud offerings.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Building a successful open source community: How coordination and facilitation helps projects scale and mature

                We tend to think of the primary goals of the Linux Foundation’s projects as producing open software, open hardware, open standards, or open data artifacts — the domain of participating programmers & engineers, system architects, and other technical contributors.

                However, successful projects engaging a broader ecosystem of commercial organizations, particularly when raising funds, benefit from active leadership besides pure technical contributions. Contributors often have work outside the project that often puts demands on their time. It takes real time to build and coordinate a commercial ecosystem, ensure stakeholders are engaged, recruiting and onboarding members, create a neutral governance culture (often amid competitors competing), and to keep various aspects of the ecosystem aligned such as when end users begin to participate.

                Many Linux Foundation projects fundraise to provide resources for their community. This is an excellent benefit for the technical community when the business ecosystem comes together to invest and help the community obtain resources to build a thriving community and ecosystem. A typical fundraising model in our community is to offer an annual membership structure that provides a yearly fund for the project.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Fedora (dovecot, dpdk, knot-resolver, and unbound), Mageia (ant, libexif, and php), SUSE (libmspack), and Ubuntu (php5, php7.0, php7.2, php7.3, php7.4 and unbound).

          • 5 Kernel Live Patching Tools That Will Help To Run Linux Servers Without Reboots

            Within IT organizations, there are processes and practices so routine that they are invisible. It doesn’t matter if such processes and practices are flawed, or if there exists a better way: if something has worked for a few years, people stop looking for alternatives. This perfectly describes current approaches to kernel patching.

            Right now, most organizations patch the servers by planning reboot cycles. Because rebooting the server fleet is a headache that causes downtime, people put it off for as long as they can. Which means patches aren’t applied as early as possible. This gap between patch issue and its application means risk, malpractice and may cause non-compliance.

            This standard approach to kernel patching exposes servers to malicious intent by threat actors on multiple attack vectors, putting IT organizations at risk of major security issues. Anyone tasked with keeping their organization safe from cyber attacks should be seeking a better way to run Linux servers without reboots (ideally, for years).

            In this article you will learn what is live patching, how it ensures the uptime, what 5 tools are available to help you run servers for years – without reboots and what are the advantages and drawbacks of each tool.

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • USB systems may have some serious security flaws – especially on Linux [Ed: ZDNet's FUD is going places; the tests were mostly done on Linux, so it's hardly shocking that the bugs found were in Linux. But it's presented as Linux being particularly bad.]

              Academics have developed a new tool that allowed them to discover 26 previously unidentified vulnerabilities in the USB driver stack used by many popular operating systems including Linux, macOS, Windows and FreeBSD.

            • New fuzzing tool picks up insecure USB driver code

              Matthias Payer at the federal polytechnic school in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Hui Peng at Purdue University, United States, said [pdf] that they leveraged open-source components such as QEMU processor emulator to design a tool that’s low-cost and hardware independent, called USBFuzz.

            • New fuzzing tool for USB drivers uncovers bugs in Linux, macOS, Windows

              With a new fuzzing tool created specifically for testing the security of USB drivers, researchers have discovered more than two dozen vulnerabilities in a variety of operating systems.

              “USBFuzz discovered a total of 26 new bugs, including 16 memory bugs of high security impact in various Linux subsystems (USB core, USB sound, and network), one bug in FreeBSD, three in macOS (two resulting in an unplanned reboot and one freezing the system), and four in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (resulting in Blue Screens of Death), and one bug in the Linux USB host controller driver and another one in a USB camera driver,” Hui Peng and Mathias Payer explained.

            • NSA: Russian agents have been hacking major email program

              The U.S. National Security Agency says the same Russian military hacking group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election and unleashed a devastating malware attack the following year has been exploiting a major email server program since last August or earlier.

              The timing of the agency’s advisory Thursday was unusual considering that the critical vulnerability in the Exim Mail Transfer Agent — which mostly runs on Unix-type operating systems — was identified 11 months ago, when a patch was issued.

              Exim is so widely used — though far less known than such commercial alternatives as Microsoft’s proprietary Exchange — that some companies and government agencies that run it may still not have patched the vulnerability, said Jake Williams, president of Rendition Infosec and a former U.S. government hacker.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘We Live to Fight Another Day… Keep Calling,’ Say Privacy Defenders as House Postpones Vote to Reauthorize FBI Mass Spying Powers

              “Leadership will be working hard behind the scenes to strike some sketchy back room deal and try to get this through. We can’t let that happen. Keep the pressure on.”

            • Ron Wyden: It’s Time Congress Helped Americans Protect Their Privacy

              Americans today are faced with a dilemma – there is a vast universe of products to let us control everything in our lives with a voice command or touch of a button. We can unlock our doors, turn on the heat, track our exercise routines and our baby monitors and perform a million other tasks in ways that make life easier or more efficient.

            • EFF to Court: Broadband Privacy Law Passes First Amendment Muster

              When it comes to surveillance of our online lives, Internet service providers (ISPs) are some of the worst offenders. Last year, the state of Maine passed a law targeted at the harms ISPs do to their customers when they use and sell their personal information. Now that law is under attack from a group of ISPs who claim it violates their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit raises a number of issues—including free speech and data privacy—that are crucial to maintaining an open Internet. So EFF filed an amicus brief arguing that Maine’s law does not violate the First Amendment. The brief explains that the law’s requirement that ISPs obtain their customers’ opt-in consent before using or disclosing their personal information is narrowly tailored to the state’s substantial interests in protecting ISP customers’ data privacy, free speech, and information security.

              The case is called ACA Connects v. Frey. We were joined by three other groups dedicated to both free speech and data privacy on the Internet: the ACLU, the ACLU of Maine, and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

            • ‘Big Tech’ Blinders Let Other Privacy Violators Off The Hook

              After over a decade of largely uncritical admiration from journalists, policymakers, and the public, the United States’ biggest tech companies have experienced a swift fall from grace.

            • Watch EFF Cybersecurity Director Eva Galperin’s TED Talk About Stalkerware

              Stalkers and abusive partners want access to your device for the same reason governments and advertisers do: because “full access to a person’s phone is the next best thing to full access to a person’s mind,” as EFF Director of Cybersecurity Eva Galperin explains in her TED talk on “stalkerware” and her efforts to end the abuse this malicious software enables.

            • German Constitutional Court Says Unjustified Surveillance Of Foreign Citizens Is Illegal

              The German government pretended to be bothered by the NSA’s spying when the Snowden leaks began, claiming surveillance of overseas allies was somehow a bit too much. It had nothing to say about its own spying, which was roughly aligned with the NSA’s “collect it all” attitude. This could be chalked up to “Five Eyes” envy, perhaps. The NSA works with four other countries to hoover up massive amounts of data directly from internet fire hoses located around the world, but Germany has never made the cut.

            • Pelosi Accused of ‘Trying to Do an End-Run Around Her Own Party’ by Sending Spy Powers Bill to Conference

              “Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff have done everything in their power to ensure the House cannot vote on the warrantless surveillance of Americans’ internet activity.”

            • ACLU Sues Tech Firm to Halt ‘Unlawful, Privacy-Destroying’ Facial Recognition Activities

              Clearview AI’s behaviors, said one attorney, “represent one of the largest threats to personal privacy by a private company our country has faced.”

            • We’re Taking Clearview AI to Court to End its Privacy-Destroying Face Surveillance Activities

              The company’s surveillance activities are a threat to privacy, safety, and security.

            • Immunity Passports Are a Threat to Our Privacy and Information Security

              With states beginning to ease shelter-in-place restrictions, the conversation on COVID-19 has turned to questions of when and how we can return to work, take kids to school, or plan air travel. Several countries and U.S. states, including the UK, Italy, Chile, Germany, and California, have expressed interest in so-called “immunity passports”—a system of requiring people to present supposed proof of immunity to COVID-19 in order to access public spaces, work sites, airports, schools, or other venues. In many proposed schemes, this proof would be stored in a digital token on a phone. Immunity passports would threaten our privacy and information security, and would be a significant step toward a system of national digital identification that can be used to collect and store our personal information and track our location.Immunity passports are purportedly intended to help combat the spread of COVID-19. But there is little evidence that they would actually accomplish that.On a practical level, there is currently no test for COVID-19 immunity; what we have are antibody tests. But we don’t know whether people with antibodies have immunity. Meanwhile, there has been a flood of flawed tests and fraudulent marketing schemes about antibody tests. Even when validated tests are widely available, they may not be 100 percent accurate. The system should be a non-starter unless it can guarantee due process for those who want to challenge their test results. This has often been a problem before; as we saw with the “no-fly” lists created after 9/11, it is very difficult to get off the list, even for those whose inclusion was a mistake. The problem with immunity passports isn’t just medical—it’s ethical. Access to both COVID-19 testing and antibody testing is spotty. Reports abound of people who fear they have been infected desperately trying to get tested to no avail. Analysis has shown that African Americans are far less likely than white, Hispanic, or Asian patients to be tested before they end up in the emergency room. Mobile testing sites administered by Verily (a subsidiary of Google’s parent Alphabet) require people to have a smartphone and a Google account. Residents in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, were turned away from testing sites because they didn’t have cell phones. Requiring smartphone-based immunity verification to access public spaces like offices and schools would exacerbate existing inequities and reinforce a two-tiered system of the privileged, who can move about freely in society, and the vulnerable, who can’t work, shop, or attend school because they don’t have a cell phone or access to testing. We’ve been here before. When yellow fever struck the South in the 1850s, those thought to be “unacclimated” to the disease were unemployable. This burdened black and lower-income people more than privileged members of society. As we saw then, conditioning access to society on immunity incentivizes “bug-chasing”—that is, people deliberately trying to get sick in order to get the immunity passport. No one should have to expose themselves to a potentially deadly disease with no cure to find work.

              Risks of Digitized Immunity Passports The push for immunity passports has largely been premised on the promise of technological solutions to a public health crisis. A proposed bill in California, for example, would use blockchain technology to facilitate an immunity passport system on peoples’ smartphones. We oppose this bill. Technological advancements such as blockchain technology or other methods  of implementation do not address our objections to this type of system in of itself.Moreover, digital-format immunity passports could normalize digital-format proof-of-status documents more generally. Advocates of immunity passports visualize a world where we can’t pass through a door to a workplace, school, or restaurant until the gatekeeper scans our credentials. This would habituate gatekeepers to demand such status credentials, and habituate the public to submit to these demands.This digital system could easily be expanded to check not just a person’s immunity status, but any other bit of personal information that a gatekeeper might deem relevant, such as age, pregnancy, HIV status, or criminal history. The system could also be adjusted to document not just a particular person’s status, but also when that person passed through a door that required proof of such status. And all data of all such passages could be accumulated into one database. This would be a troubling step towards digital national identification, which EFF has long opposed because it would create new ways to digitally monitor our movements and activities.Digital format documentation also brings the risk of presenting such documentation under duress to varying authorities. Handing over your phone to police, unlocked or not, includes significant risks, especially for people in vulnerable communities—risks that could lead to unintended consequences for the presenter and a potential abuse of power by law enforcement.Moreover, requiring people to store their medical test results in a digital format would expose private medical information to the danger of data breaches. Again, this is hardly new—we have seen exactly these types of breaches in the past when medical information has been digitized and collected. Just last year, for example, an HIV database in Singapore leaked the personal information of more than 14,000 individuals living with HIV.We should learn from our past mistakes, and ensure that technology works to empower people, instead of creating new vulnerabilities. 

            • Two Federal COVID-19 Privacy Bills: A Good Start and a Misstep

              COVID-19, and containment efforts that rely on personal data, are shining a spotlight on a longstanding problem: our nation’s lack of sufficient laws to protect data privacy. Two bills before Congress attempt to solve this problem as to COVID-19 data. One is a good start that needs improvements. The other is a misstep that EFF strongly opposes.

              The Public Health Emergency Privacy Act (PHEPA) was introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Mark Warner, and U.S. Representatives Anna Eshoo, Jan Schakowsky and Suzan DelBene. It has some major elements that privacy advocates have called for. It requires opt-in consent and data minimization, and limits data disclosures to government. It has a strong private right of action and does not preempt state laws. And it bars denial of voting rights to people who decline to opt-in to tracking programs. But it does not protect such people from discrimination in access to employment, public accommodations, or government benefits. Also, it has overly broad exemptions for manual contact tracing, public health research, public health authorities, and entities regulated by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

            • Arizona has sued Google for illegally tracking phone location data

              Arizona has filed a lawsuit against Google for “deceptive and unfair practices used to obtain users’ location data.” Specifically, Google has been collecting location history in its Search and Maps app to tie to your Google account even if you have explicitly told Google that you want to opt out of storing your Location History. If you tell Google that you don’t want your Location History stored, these apps still store it under My Activity, instead. This issue has affected millions of Android users as well as millions of Apple users that use Google maps or Google Search on their iPhone or iPad. The lawsuit is a direct result of a 2018 report from the Associated Press which broke the news on Google’s Location History fiasco. The report highlighted Google’s own support page on how “Location History” can be turned off:

            • House delays vote on renewing FISA surveillance powers to grant FBI warrantless access to internet history

              Your internet history is safe from the FBI… for now. Government surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – which have sat unrenewed since March – failed to be renewed this week in the House despite passing earlier this year. The FISA renewal vote came up as H.R. 6172, the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act and was pulled from the House floor on Wednesday and Thursday. A key difference between the version of this bill that the House passed in March and the version that the House didn’t pass today is that the FBI would have been able to access the internet history of Americans without a warrant. Also, key officials including President Trump and the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) spoke out against the renewal.

            • macOS 10.15: slow by design

              Apparently, Apple is making macOS Catalina phone home so much it’s making the operating system slow, laggy, and beachbally, as Allan Odgaard details.

            • Facebook will start verifying the identities of accounts that keep going viral

              Facebook will now require people behind individual profiles with “high reach” to verify their identity, the company announced today. Facebook hopes this will ensure users are seeing more authentic posts from people, instead of ones from bots or users concealing their identity. The change follows a similar move two years ago in which Facebook required viral page owners to disclose their identities and locations, following numerous accounts of overseas content farms using partisan US politics to game Facebook’s algorithms, go viral, and cash in on ad revenue.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Future of Forever War, American-Style

        Covid-19, an ongoing global human tragedy, may have at least one silver lining. It has led millions of people to question America’s most malignant policies at home and abroad.

      • President Amplifies ‘Cowboys for Trump’ Calls for Executing Democrats

        “Thank you Cowboys,” Trump tweeted.

      • Policing and the Sanctity of Life

        Compassionate policing exists right now and simply needs to expand beyond the reach of militarism and racism, which invade policework like a virus.

      • Media Smeared Ahmaud Arbery After His Lynching

        While it took two and a half months for the authorities to finally make arrests in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, corporate media were much quicker to follow the time-honored practice of besmirching victims of racist violence (FAIR.org, 3/22/17).

      • Trump’s War on Arms Control and Disarmament

        A successor to the Trump administration will have to rebuild the credibility of the Department of Justice and the effectiveness of such regulatory agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Finance Protection Agency.  It will have to rebuild the intelligence community, which has been heavily politicized, and the Department of State, which has been hallowed out.  Now, you can add the field of arms control and disarmament to the list of reclamation projects because of the hostile and counterproductive acts of the Trump administration.

      • Nepal issues a new map claiming contested territories with India as its own

        At issue is about 300 square kilometers (115 square miles) of mountainous land incorporating Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani. Nepal’s new map locates the small stretch of disputed land within its northwest border, between China and India.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • CNN Is Picking Ratings Over Ethics

        Meanwhile, some other states have performed much better than New York in the face of the pandemic, but their governors haven’t gotten the same kind of adoring media attention. It’s a long-standing media critique that stories in New York and Washington, D.C., get attention disproportionate to stories elsewhere in the country, but that’s not the only factor at play here. If they wanted to share the spotlight, perhaps Governors Jay Inslee of Washington and Mike DeWine of Ohio should have considered having brothers with plum TV gigs.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Is It Time to Boycott the United States?

        The G7 kicked Russia out over its invasion of Crimea. Does the U.S. assault on international laws, treaties, and democracy itself warrant the same treatment?

      • People are accidentally throwing out their stimulus check — because it looks like junk mail

        To help taxpayers identify the card, the IRS said in an FAQ that the cards will bear the Visa logo and are issued by MetaBank. A letter included with the card explains that the card is the Economic Impact Payment Card. More information is available at eipcard.com.

        To activate the card, taxpayers need to call 1-800-240-8100 to verify their identity and set their PIN. They should also sign the back of their card.

        The card can then be used like a regular debit card, for online transactions or swiped at the store, where users can also opt for cash back.

      • Report: ATM Skimmer Gang Had Protection from Mexican Attorney General’s Office

        A group of Romanians operating an ATM company in Mexico and suspected of bribing technicians to install sophisticated Bluetooth-based skimmers in cash machines throughout several top Mexican tourist destinations have enjoyed legal protection from a top anti-corruption official in the Mexican attorney general’s office, according to a new complaint filed with the government’s internal affairs division.

      • Ban on high speed [I]nternet extended till June 17 in Jammu Kashmir

        The Indian government on Wednesday extended the ban on 4G [I]nternet services in Jammu and Kashmir and restricted it to 2G network only. Internet connectivity with Mac-binding to continue till 17th June or until further orders, the authorities said.

        Mobile [I]nternet was completely suspended earlier in May during the Handwara encounter that was launched in search of two terrorists affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen.

      • Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump [iophk: they aim to lose 47 U.S.C. § 230 protections and, if relevant, common carrier status]

        Facebook, under fire for spreading divisive material and misinformation largely shelved an effort to make conversations on the platform more civil, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook executives viewed the effort as “paternalistic” and were worried about accusations of censorship from the right, the paper said.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Moderation v. Discretion v. Censorship: They’re Not The Same

        Moderation is a platform operator saying “we don’t do that here”. Discretion is you saying “I won’t do that there”. Censorship is someone saying “you can’t do that anywhere” before or after threats of either violence or government intervention.

      • Mark Zuckerberg’s Ridiculously Wrong, Misleading, And Self-Serving Statements Regarding Twitter Fact-Checking The President

        As we continue to deal with the fallout of our thin-skinned President throwing a hissy fit over Twitter daring to provide more context to conspiracy theory nonsense that Trump himself tweeted, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has apparently decided that it’s more important to stomp on Twitter while it’s down, rather than protect the wider internet. In a shameful display of opportunistic nonsense, Zuckerberg went on Fox News and pretended that Facebook was somehow not interested in moderating content the way Twitter did:

      • The Two Things To Understand About Trump’s Executive Order On Social Media: (1) It’s A Distraction (2) It’s Legally Meaningless

        We’ve officially reached pure silly season when it comes to internet regulations. For the past two years now, every so often, reports have come out that the White House was exploring issuing an executive order trying to attack Section 230 and punish companies for the administration’s belief in the myth that content moderation practices at large social media firms are “biased” against conservatives.

      • Trump Executive Order Against Social Media Giants Denounced as Unlawful Ploy to ‘Eviscerate Public Oversight of His Lies’

        “Undoubtedly the first step down an increasingly dark path of Trump using the power of his office to intimidate media companies, journalists, activists, and anyone else who criticizes him into silence.”

      • To Students and Teachers Targeted by the Israel Lobby

        University students and instructors periodically drop into my inbox with stories of repression and reprisal for having criticized Israel—or merely for having spoken favorably of Palestinians.  In some cases, faculty have been demoted or fired, or have been denied tenure.  In other cases, they’ve lost funding or opportunities to publish.  They’ve been threatened, if only implicitly (plenty of times the threat is explicit).  Students have been profiled by websites aiming to destroy their careers (pro-Israel zealots are expert snitches) or subject to some kind of disciplinary action.

      • Several journalists arrested for protesting outside Moscow police headquarters

        Several journalists were arrested for protesting outside of the Moscow police headquarters, including Mediazona editor-in-chief Sergey Smirnov, and Ekho Moskvy journalists Tatyana Felgenhauer and Alexander Plyushchev, reports the Telegram channel “Apologiya Protesta.” 

      • Trump Executive Order Misreads Key Law Promoting Free Expression Online and Violates the First Amendment

        This post based its initial analysis on a draft Executive Order. It has been updated to reflect the final order, available here.

        President Trump’s Executive Order targeting social media companies is an assault on free expression online and a transparent attempt to retaliate against Twitter for its decision to curate (well, really just to fact-check) his posts and deter everyone else from taking similar steps.  The good news is that, assuming the final order looks like the draft we reviewed on Wednesday, it won’t survive judicial scrutiny. To see why, let’s take a deeper look at its incorrect reading of Section 230  (47 U.S.C. § 230) and how the order violates the First Amendment.

      • SmileDirectClub Sues NBC For $2.85 Billion, Claims Factual Statements And Quotes From Customers Are Defamatory

        SmileDirectClub — maker of in-home dental appliances — is back in the lawsuit business. A couple of years ago, the company sued Lifehacker over an article originally titled “You Could Fuck Up Your Mouth With SmileDirectClub.” The company claimed any criticism of its products and techniques was defamatory. Despite the original inflammatory headline, the Lifehacker piece was even-handed, warning potential customers that semi-DIY dental work has some downsides. SmileDirect voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit a week later, perhaps sensing a judge — even one in bogus lawsuit-friendly Tennessee — might not agree that critical opinions, however harsh, were libelous.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Following the arrest of politician and former ‘Meduza’ special correspondent Ilya Azar, we are demanding his immediate release

        One of Russia’s most well-known journalists, former Meduza special correspondent Ilya Azar, was sentenced to 15 days administrative arrest in Moscow earlier today. In the days of the old news website Lenta.ru, he wrote brilliant stories on politics in Russia and the near abroad, and breathed new life into the interview genre. During the summer of 2019, Azar — who at that point had already been serving as a municipal deputy for two years — became one the main, new politicians on the scene in Moscow, beginning with his efforts to protect arrested Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov, and then later during his defense of the right of opposition politicians to stand for election to the Moscow City Duma.

      • Local Broadcasters Forget Journalism Ethics, Air Amazon PR Fluff Instead

        While US journalism is certainly in crisis mode, it’s particularly bad on the local level, where most local newspapers and broadcasters have been either killed off or consolidated into large corporations, often resulting in something that’s less news, and more homogenized dreck (see: that Deadspin Sinclair video from a few years back). Data suggests this shift has a profoundly negative impact on the culture, resulting in fewer investigations of corruption, a more divided and less informed populace, and even swayed political outcomes as nuanced local coverage is replaced with more partisan, national news.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • How Big Tech Monopolies Distort Our Public Discourse

        Long before the pandemic crisis, there was widespread concern over the impact that tech was having on the quality of our discourse, from disinformation campaigns to influence campaigns to polarization.

        It’s true that the way we talk to each other and about the world has changed, both in form (thanks to the migration of discourse to online platforms) and in kind, whether that’s the rise of nonverbal elements in our written discourse (emojis, memes, ASCII art and emoticons) or the kinds of online harassment and brigading campaigns that have grown with the Internet.

      • WIPO launches own digital evidence service WIPO PROOF

        WIPO acts as a time-stamping authority (TSA) by issuing a token (a unique digital fingerprint of a digital file in any format and size) which, once it is generated, is stored on WIPO servers in Switzerland.

        It is important to highlight that the digital file is not uploaded to WIPO servers but rather “a strong cryptographic hashing function processes [it] … while still in its original location, producing a hash value uniquely identifying that file”.

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Webinar Materials – Recent PTAB Discretionary Denials Rulings – Changes to § 314 and § 325

            Our speakers from Microsoft, WilmerHale, and Unified hosted a lively conversation focused on the recent changes to § 314 and § 325, and followed how certain cases, like General Plastics & NHK Spring, could bring about future APA challenges to the de facto rules. For background on this topic, read Unified’s recent report on the subject: unifiedpatents.com/insights/2020/5/13/ptab-procedural-denial-and-the-rise-of-314

            Thank you to the panelists for covering such a key concern facing the Board. It’s an important issue and we’re hoping our study can shed some light on the dramatic rise in discretionary denials.

          • Barbaro Technologies, LLC v. Niantic, Inc. (N.D. Cal. 2020)

            In the field of computer gaming, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted Defendants’ Rule 12 motion alleging that claims 1, 3, and 6 of U.S. Patent No. 8,228,325 (the ’325 Patent) are invalid as claiming patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Plaintiff Barbaro Technologies, LLC (hereinafter “Barbaro”) had contended that the video games Ingress and Pokémon Go, developed and published by Defendant Niantic, Inc. (hereinafter “Niantic”), infringed these claims. The suit also involves U.S. Patent No. 7,373,377, of which the ’325 Patent is a divisional. However, Niantic’s motion only addressed the claims of the ’325 Patent.

            The ’325 Patent claims a computer system for providing a “three-dimensional virtual thematic environment” (abbreviated in the opinion and hereinafter as “3D VTE”). The background of the ’325 Patent notes that “virtual environments, especially those present on the internet, for example, have not provided the user with a real world experience.” The ’325 Patent thus aims to integrate audio, video, 2D/3D technology, and other applications or services (e.g., “mini-applications,” as the ’325 Patent calls them, such as word processing programs or email programs) in order to provide a virtual and real world experience to users. More particularly, the ’325 Patent describes that the 3D VTE can be a gaming environment, geographic environment, or other theme of environment in which and with which a software application can simulate real-world interaction. For example, a user can select a city to visit and the software will integrate real-world data (e.g., satellite and street view images, 2D/3D graphics) into a 3D VTE resembling the city that the user can navigate and interact with, such as in a third or first person view. For instance, a user might travel down a street in the simulated city and “enter” a bookstore by clicking a mouse on the virtual representation of the bookstore. The ’325 Patent lists numerous examples of real-time and real-world data that can be integrated into 3D VTEs, such as sports scores, film, news, and a “real-world geographic location of a user.”

      • Copyrights

        • YTS Bypasses Security Warnings with Simple URL Update

          A few days ago, popular torrent site YTS was flagged as a potential phishing site by Chrome and Firefox. Today, these warnings have disappeared but not because the problems were resolved. YTS simply switched to a new URL structure, ditching the problematic /movie/ subcategory.

        • Russia Adopts Law to Block Pirate Apps and if Necessary, App Stores Too

          Russia’s State Duma has adopted new legislation that will enable copyright holders to take far-reaching action against apps facilitating access to pirated content. If the owners of the apps themselves fail to take action, the new legislation will compel services such as Google Play and Apple’s App Store to remove the tools or find themselves blocked by local ISPs.

        • Neil Young Plans to Beat the Bootleggers With His Own Series

          Neil Young is taking a page from the Bob Dylan playbook by creating his own version of the Bootleg Series. He has yet to roll out exact details, but the plan is to take famous concert bootlegs, track down the actual master recordings and release them himself via his website.

          “We have ripped off all of the original art from the bootlegs,” he wrote on the Neil Young Archives. “No expense will be spared. The only difference will be the radically better sound from our masters.”

        • The Chalk Pencil infringement claims have been erased: Lanard Toys v. Dolgencorp

          This Kat is always excited to see intellectual property cases concerning product designs, as these cases present a great opportunity to explore the intersection of various IP regimes in a single work. Earlier this month, this Kat got his wish: the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decided Lanard Toys Limited v. Dolgencorp LLC – a case concerning the design of a chalk-holder. Lanard Toys filed this suit against Dolgencorp, alleging infringement of a design patent, copyright, and trade dress, as well as unfair competition.

          In this case, the Federal Circuit provided substantial guidance on claim construction and infringement analysis regarding design patents. Concerning Lanard’s copyright claim, the Court also addressed the separability of the design of a useful article from the useful article itself, considering the separability analysis outlined in Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands. Additionally, the Court addressed secondary meaning as it relates to product design trade dress protection.


          That is not to say that the Lanard Chalk Pencil should be eligible for copyright protection. However, rather than relying upon separability, the Court could have found the pencil design ineligible for copyright protection for a want of originality. Lanard acknowledged that the design is that of a “cartoonish No.2 pencil;” this design is a generic representation of a ubiquitous item with the addition of the phrase “Chalk Pencil.” Rather than restricting separability such that the design of a chalk holder with the external appearance of a pencil is inseparable from the associated useful chalk holder, the chalk holder design should have been denied copyright protection due to its lack of originality.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 28, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:56 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Weaponised Media Promoting an Illegal Patent System (UPC), Exploiting Major Pandemic in the Process

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two vans: 'Unitary' SME killer “single European patent system”

Summary: The whole ‘unitary’ scam/ploy (merely a Trojan horse for litigation and low-quality/invalid patents) is being promoted by Thierry Breton as EU Internal Market Commissioner (in spite of illegalities and constitutional issues), merely reinforcing the view that the EU is rather complicit in the abuses perpetrated by Team Battistelli; the media in the pockets of oligarchs and litigation firms (fronting for these oligarchs) plays along, as usual

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is not governed by scientists but by politicians (of political families). Currently it is António Campinos, who has not a clue what he talks about, so he’s name-dropping meaningless buzzwords instead. We’re pretty certain that the technical examiners can see through his ignorance; he’s technically illiterate. Yet he summoned the audacity to pressure judges to allow software patents in Europe… probably for no reason other than so-called ‘production’.

“This certainly tarnishes the image of the EU; the EPO is a liability here…”Unfortunately, the EU seems eager to defend rather than blast the EPO for its illegal behaviour. This certainly tarnishes the image of the EU; the EPO is a liability here…

Corrupt Thierry Breton is currently promoting an illegal system for his mate Benoît Battistelli, as noted by one oligarchs-funded Web site the other day and then by another which said:

The European Union needs to speed up its plans to create a unitary patent system, as the current regulations are “too expensive and fragmented”, said EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton.

Addressing members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on Monday, Thierry Breton drew attention to previous EU attempts to create a single European patent system as a means of promoting technological innovation.

“The EU has a solid framework for intellectual property, but the current system needs to be much more efficient. It is too fragmented and too expensive. And it needs to be adapted to the challenges of the digital age and the environment”, said Thierry Breton. The creation of a “single European patent system” is one of the bloc’s top priorities as part of a series of political priorities following the coronavirus control, he added.

So “political priorities following the coronavirus control” is an SME killer? Seriously? The super-rich people got a lot wealthier during the pandemic (many articles about it this month), mostly at the expense of dying SMEs along with the middle class. And what does Thierry Breton seek to accomplish? Sadly, this is directly associated with the EU, not just the German government. What will historians make of it? It’s worth noting that every statement quoted above (from Breton) is patently false. Considering his fraudulent career, that’s rather normal from him…

Anyway, we very strongly doubt the UPCA’s successor (if any will exist) can be rammed down our throats. There are serious constitutional issues in several countries, never mind Germany’s (or Brexit).

“Anyway, we very strongly doubt the UPCA’s successor (if any will exist) can be rammed down our throats. There are serious constitutional issues in several countries, never mind Germany’s (or Brexit).”Team UPC has not given up just yet, at least not the most radical factions of it (those who fabricate and disseminate false rumours). Here come Bristows again, spreading fictional nonsense, then bragging about it in Twitter and in their blog, amplifying the lies told to and via Juve (where Amy Sandys works for Team UPC as their megaphone; Juve became worse than a joke in a matter of few years).

“Rich Pinckney and others spoke to @JuvePatent about the future of the patent litigation market after UK government’s decision to withdraw from the #UnifiedPatentCourt,” Bristows tweeted and wrote:

Richard Pinckney spoke to editor Amy Sandys of Juve Patent about the future of UK’s patent litigation market, after the government’s decision to withdraw from the Unified Patent Court.

Notice the term “patent litigation market” (yes, market).

So we have ‘production’ (of monopolies) and a ‘market’ (of lawsuits).

“Notice the term “patent litigation market” (yes, market).”Great vision for Europe, eh?

“What do you do for a living, Sir?”

“I produce papers for the lawsuits market, Madam!”

This is basically the image Team UPC lays out for Europe. Great for them; not for anybody else…

Speaking of the UPC, yesterday the EPO unleashed this bizarre tweet and “news” (or misuse of the EPO’s “news” section for political pandering, another cheap political stunt) (warning: epo.org link).

“So we have ‘production’ (of monopolies) and a ‘market’ (of lawsuits).”As readers are aware, Brazil will soon surpass Spain when it comes to the number of COVID-19-associated deaths. But to hell with Brazil, the US or even the UK (part of EPC)… the political pandering has an agenda in mind. The EPO did this for Spain yesterday and Italy last month… but never for the UK (worst affected). Did the EPO write a “news” article for solidarity with the British people, where the “official” death toll is now somewhere around 38,000 (and real one estimated at over 50,000)? No.

But maybe because Spain opposes UPC or anything like it (for legitimate reasons) the EPO hopes to pull something off. Maybe not…

Here’s the text published yesterday:

Spain has declared a period of mourning until 5 June as a result of the lives lost from Coronavirus. The management and staff of the EPO wishes to express their deepest sympathy for the people of Spain and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have been lost.

As an act of solidarity in these difficult times, the Office has lowered the Spanish flags or marked them with a sign of mourning at its sites.

The tweet said: “We join the people of Spain as they enter a period of mourning and will lower the Spanish flag at our premises in Munich and the Hague. The flags will remain at half-mast until 5 June as we remember the lives lost and families affected by Covid-19…” (28 May 2020)

“Never let a health crisis go to waste, right?”As if the EPO ever valued people’s lived; many of the patents granted by the EPO cause people to die because they’re poor. And staff of the EPO is chronically depressed due to the EPO’s abuses. But never mind that. Never let a health crisis go to waste, right?


Links 28/5/2020: OpenSSH 8.3, New Mesa Release, Raspberry Pi 4 News, Fedora 32 Elections

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • EPaper Tablet Gets Desktop Linux Install

      ePaper is an interesting thing, providing a non-backlit viewing experience that is much more akin to reading a book than staring at a screen. The reMarkable tablet is a device designed around just such a display, and [davisr] has been hacking away at the platform. His latest work brings full-fat Linux to the fore.

      The work builds upon [davisr]’s earlier work, installing a microSD slot in the tablet to make development easier. Getting Linux running required a custom kernel, but once sorted, working with the reMarkable is easy. apt is available for easy software installs, and the tablet is demonstrated using several different pieces of software, like mtPaint and Xournal.

    • A pandemic-era LWN update

      We are living through interesting times that present challenges in a number of areas, including running a business. While we think of LWN primarily as a community resource, it is also a business that is not unaffected by the ongoing pandemic. It is, we figure, a good time for a status update, especially since we have some news to share.
      Never has our 2002 decision to move to a subscription model looked like a better idea. Revenue from advertising has reached a level that is essentially indistinguishable from zero, with little sign that it will improve anytime soon. But we didn’t depend on advertising because we work directly for our readers; as long as you all support us, we will be in good shape.

      Subscriptions have definitely fallen off a bit in the last few months, and we’ve had subscribers dropping off with a note saying that they had lost their job and needed to cut expenses. But the drop-off has not yet reached a point where we are seriously concerned about it; for that, we can only say “thank you!” to all of you for continuing to support us as the world gets weirder. A special thank-you is due to all of you subscribing at the Project Leader or Supporter levels; it really does make a difference.


      Back in 1997 when work began on what eventually became LWN, we were driven by a strong sense of optimism about the future of Linux and free software. That optimism has been tested by ups and downs over time, but it has largely been borne out; Linux has been more successful than any of us could have imagined, and LWN is still here at the center of it. And we are still optimistic; we have managed to pull together an outstanding community of readers that will continue to support us for as long as we keep doing good work.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • What Makes a System76 Computer?

        In homage to the revolutionary age of 1776, System76 revolutionizes open source technology and declares independence from our proprietary rulers. But what are the key ingredients that go into making a computer so revolutionary? The following delicious details outline the qualities we value in all of our computers. Note: Licking your screen is not an effective way to taste the deliciousness of this blog post.

        System76 users depend on heavy computational power to get their work done, and in some cases require a literal heavy computer. Our hardware is designed to support top-line processors and graphics cards, allowing you to consistently plow through your workload. We’re not going to call on a sedan to do a bulldozer’s job.

    • Server

      • An Introduction to the K8s-Infrastructure Working Group

        When Kubernetes was formed in 2014, Google undertook the task of building and maintaining the infrastructure necessary for keeping the project running smoothly. The tools itself were open source, but the Google Cloud Platform project used to run the infrastructure was internal-only, preventing contributors from being able to help out. In August 2018, Google granted the Cloud Native Computing Foundation $9M in credits for the operation of Kubernetes. The sentiment behind this was that a project such as Kubernetes should be both maintained and operated by the community itself rather than by a single vendor.

        A group of community members enthusiastically undertook the task of collaborating on the path forward, realizing that there was a more formal infrastructure necessary. They joined together as a cross-team working group with ownership spanning across multiple Kubernetes SIGs (Architecture, Contributor Experience, Release, and Testing). Aaron Crickenberger worked with the Kubernetes Steering Committee to enable the formation of the working group, co-drafting a charter alongside long-time collaborator Davanum Srinivas, and by 2019 the working group was official.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 859

        windowmaker, covid, 3d printing, homebuilt systems, usb, thunderbolt

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S13E08.5 – When a broken clock chimes

        We announce the Ubuntu Podcast crowd-funder on Patreon and why, after 13 years, we are seeking your support.

        It’s Season 13 Episode 8.5 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

      • FLOSS Weekly 580: Sysdig

        Sysdig is an open-source system monitoring and troubleshooting tool for Linux, with cross-platform capabilities on Windows and Mac OS. You can manage security and compliance for Kubernetes and have an open platform with embed security and validate compliance.

      • 2020-05-27 | Linux Headlines

        Ardour 6 is out with major changes under the hood, CoreOS Container Linux is officially unmaintained, TeleIRC version 2.0.0 lands with a complete rewrite, the FIDO Alliance launches an instructional campaign, and PeerTube outlines its newest fundraising goals.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.6.15

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.6.15 kernel.

        All users of the 5.6 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.6.y git tree can be found at:
        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.6.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:


      • Linux 5.4.43
      • Linux 4.19.125
      • Linux 4.14.182
      • Linux 4.9.225
      • Linux 4.4.225
      • You can build Linus Torvalds’ PC: Here’s all the hardware and where to buy it

        Linus Torvalds is the most famous programmer in the world, father of the Linux operating system. and maker of the near-universal Git distributed version control system. He also builds his own developer workstation and recently upgraded his PC to a speedy AMD Threadripper 3970x-based processor. But a computer is more than a CPU.

      • Linus Torvalds Reveals Everything About His New Linux Computer System

        While choosing a new Linux desktop or computer hardware, we always search and ask for advice if anyone can recommend the best setup for us. But have you ever wondered if you could build your Linux PC like the one the father of Linux uses?

        If you really admire Linux founder Linus Torvalds and want a PC with similar specifications, you’re now all set to go. Yes, in the latest exclusive conversation with Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols from ZDNet, Linus disclosed all his PC hardware specs and Linux desktop information. So, let’s get to know how to build Linus Torvalds’s like PC.

      • The New AMD Energy Driver Is Working Out Well On Linux For Per-Socket/Core Reporting

        Of the many features coming for Linux 5.8 one of the new drivers we are very much looking forward to is the AMD energy driver for finally exposing per-core and per-socket/package energy reporting of Zen/Zen2 CPUs under Linux. It’s working out well so far in my evaluation.

        CPU energy/power reporting is something that I and many other Linux users have long wanted to see under Linux for Zen CPUs, since it’s exposed after all on Windows with Ryzen Master and other software. In the past AMD also maintained the “fam15h_power” driver for power reporting back on Bulldozer CPUs. But until Google sent out RAPL Zen patches recently and this “amd_energy” driver was then sent out by AMD engineers, there wasn’t much public activity on getting this capability for existing Zen processors. There has also been the out-of-tree “Zenpower” driver for offering this based on public MSR data for Zen, albeit that driver isn’t mainline, not maintained by AMD, and conflicts with k10temp when loading.

      • Kees Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

        I got a bit behind on this blog post series! Let’s get caught up. Here are a bunch of security things I found interesting in the Linux kernel v5.5 release:

      • Cook: security things in Linux v5.5

        Kees Cook takes a look some changes improving security in Linux 5.5. Topics include restrict perf_event_open() from LSM, generic fast full refcount_t, linker script cleanup for exception tables, KASLR for 32-bit PowerPC, seccomp for RISC-V, and more.

      • Statsfs: A Proposed Linux File-System For Kernel Statistics

        Statsfs is a new RAM-based file-system proposal by a Red Hat engineer that is designed for exposing kernel statistics to user-space.

        Currently when kernel subsystems want to expose different statistics to user-space, it’s done via DebugFS (or sysfs). In the case of DebugFS, users generally need root privileges to access the data and users are often left to implement their own tools for each different subsystem exposing the statistics differently.

        Red Hat’s Emanuele Giuseppe Esposito has hacked together Statsfs in order to reduce kernel duplication of different subsystems working on their statistics reporting, avoid dirtying DebugFS with different statistics code, and making it easier for user-space to aggregate and display different kernel statistics.

      • Google Engineers Are Becoming Concerned Over Some Arm Platforms Lacking Spectre V2 Mitigations

        As a result of at least “a few AArch64 platforms” lacking firmware support for mitigating Spectre Variant Two, Google engineers are evaluating the possibility of Retpolines for the 64-bit Arm architecture.

        Google’s Anthony Steinhauser raised concerns that with these 64-bit Arm systems lacking their firmware support for mitigating Spectre V2, they could be compromised. Steinhauser noted, “In particular, on those systems, we believe the speculated targets of indirect branches in kernel code could potentially be controlled by userspace code.”

      • Bao: a lightweight static partitioning hypervisor

        Developers of safety-critical systems tend to avoid Linux kernels for a number of fairly obvious reasons; Linux simply was not developed with that sort of use case in mind. There are increasingly compelling reasons to use Linux in such systems, though, leading to a search for the best way to do so safely. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), José Martins described Bao, a minimal hypervisor aimed at safety-critical deployments.

      • Evaluating vendor changes to the scheduler

        The kernel’s CPU scheduler does its best to make the right decisions for just about any workload; over the years, it has been extended to better handle mobile-device scheduling as well. But handset vendors still end up applying their own patches to the scheduler for the kernels they ship. Shipping out-of-tree code in this way leads to a certain amount of criticism from the kernel community but, as Vincent Donnefort pointed out in his session at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), those patches are applied for a reason. He looked at a set of vendor scheduler patches to see why they are being used.

      • Scheduler benchmarking with MMTests

        The MMTests benchmarking system is normally associated with its initial use case: testing memory-management changes. Increasingly, though, MMTests is not limited to memory management testing; at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Dario Faggioli talked about how he is using it to evaluate changes to the CPU scheduler, along with a discussion of the changes he had to make to get useful results for systems hosting virtualized guests.

      • The many faces of “latency nice”

        A task’s “nice” value describes its priority within the completely fair scheduler; its semantics have roots in ancient Unix tradition. Last August, a “latency nice” parameter was proposed to provide similar control over a task’s response-time requirements. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Parth Shah, Chris Hyser, and Dietmar Eggemann ran a discussion about the latency nice proposal; it seems that everybody agrees that it would be a useful feature to have, but there is a wide variety of opinions about what it should actually do.

      • Utilization inversion and proxy execution

        Over the years, the kernel’s CPU scheduler has become increasingly aware of how much load every task is putting on the system; this information is used to make smarter task placement decisions. Sometimes, though, this logic can go wrong, leading to a situation that Valentin Schneider describes as “utilization inversion”. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), he described the problem and some approaches that are being considered to address it.

      • Testing scheduler thermal properties for avionics

        Linux is not heavily used in safety-critical systems — yet. There is an increasing level of interest in such deployments, though, and that is driving a number of initiatives to determine how Linux can be made suitable for safety-critical environments. At the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel summit (OSPM), Michal Sojka shone a light on one corner of this work: testing the thermal characteristics of Linux systems with an eye toward deployment in avionics systems.

      • The weighted TEO cpuidle governor

        Life gets complicated for the kernel when there is nothing for the system to do. The obvious response is to put the CPU into an idle state to save power, but which one? CPUs offer a wide range of sleep states with different power-usage and latency characteristics. Picking too shallow a state will waste energy, while going too deep hurts latency and can impact the performance of the system as a whole. The timer-events-oriented (TEO) cpuidle governor is a relatively new attempt to improve the kernel’s choice of sleep states; at the 2020 Power Management and Scheduling in the Linux Kernel Summit, Pratik Sampat presented a variant of the TEO governor that tries to improve its choices further.

      • Graphics Stack

        • mesa 20.1.0
          Hi all,
          I'd like to announce Mesa 20.1.0, the first release for the 20.1 branch.
          Being the first release of this new branch, there can be issues that
          will be discovered now that the new code will be widely used, so you may
          want to stay on the 20.0.x releases until the 20.1.1 release, scheduled
          for 14 days from now on 2020-06-10.
          One already known issue that I want to point out is that Unreal Engine 4
          has a bug in its usage of glDrawRangeElements() causing it to be
          called with a number of vertices in place of the `end` parameter,
          that was recently revealed. This is an annoying bug that we haven't
          worked around yet. For more details:
          Andrii Simiklit (1):
                i965/vec4: Ignore swizzle of VGRF for use by var_range_end()
          Bas Nieuwenhuizen (4):
                radv/winsys:  Remove extra sizeof multiply.
                radv: Handle failing to create .cache dir.
                radv: Do not close fd -1 when NULL-winsys creation fails.
                radv: Implement vkGetSwapchainGrallocUsage2ANDROID.
          D Scott Phillips (1):
                anv/gen11+: Disable object level preemption
          Danylo Piliaiev (3):
                meson: Disable GCC's dead store elimination for memory zeroing custom new
                mesa: Fix double-lock of Shared->FrameBuffers and usage of wrong mutex
                intel/fs: Work around dual-source blending hangs in combination with SIMD16
          Dave Airlie (1):
                llvmpipe: compute shaders work better with all the threads.
          Eric Engestrom (4):
                .pick_status.json: Update to a91306677c613ba7511b764b3decc9db42b24de1
                tree-wide: fix deprecated GitLab URLs
                docs: Add release notes for 20.1.0
                VERSION: bump to 20.1.0 release
          Erik Faye-Lund (1):
                zink: use general-layout when blitting to/from same resource
          Gert Wollny (1):
                r600: Fix duplicated subexpression in r600_asm.c
          Hanno Böck (1):
                Properly check mmap return value
          Icecream95 (1):
                panfrost: Fix background showing when using discard
          Jason Ekstrand (3):
                nir/lower_double_ops: Rework the if (progress) tree
                nir/opt_deref: Report progress if we remove a deref
                nir/copy_prop_vars: Record progress in more places
          Kristian Høgsberg (1):
                freedreno: Use the right amount of &'s
          Nataraj Deshpande (1):
                dri_util: Update internal_format to GL_RGB8 for MESA_FORMAT_R8G8B8X8_UNORM
          Pierre-Eric Pelloux-Prayer (1):
                amd/addrlib: fix forgotten char -> enum conversions
          Rhys Perry (1):
                nir: fix lowering to scratch with boolean access
          Rob Clark (1):
                freedreno: clear last_fence after resource tracking
          Samuel Pitoiset (2):
                radv: handle different Vulkan API versions correctly
                radv: update the list of allowed Android extensions
          Timothy Arceri (2):
                glsl: stop cascading errors if process_parameters() fails
                glsl: fix slow linking of uniforms in the nir linker
          Vinson Lee (3):
                r600/sfn: Initialize VertexStageExportForGS m_num_clip_dist member variable.
                r600/sfn: Use correct setter method.
                freedreno: Add missing va_end.
          git tag: mesa-20.1.0
        • Mesa 20.1 Released With Numerous Linux Graphics Driver Improvements

          Mesa 20.1 has managed to release on time today as this quarter’s feature update to this collection of open-source user-space graphics driver components.

        • Mesa 20.1.0 drivers released

          The latest in open source graphics drivers for Linux has released, with Mesa 20.1.0 now out with tons of changes and improvements everywhere.

          Info for new users: if you’re using AMD / Intel, you’re likely using something in Mesa, which includes a bunch of different drivers. Unlike NVIDIA, they use open source drivers which will be bundled with your Linux distribution.
          With this being the first release of a new branch, the Mesa team do advise you either stick with your current Mesa version or wait at least until Mesa 20.1.1 when they clean up any pressing issues. Mesa 20.1.1 is current scheduled for June 10. The first big new release is usually classed as a development release.

        • AMD Lines Up Another Batch Of Radeon Graphics Fixes For Linux 5.8

          Linux 5.8 features for the Radeon “AMDGPU” kernel driver include the likes of Navi soft recovery and better handling of critical thermal faults on Radeon GPUs as well as enabling TMZ support. With feature work being capped off already on the DRM graphics front for Linux 5.8, AMD developers have been tidying up the code and readying more fixes for all of the new code set to premiere with this imminent merge window.

    • Benchmarks

      • GraalVM 20.1, OpenJ9 0.20, OpenJDK Java Benchmarks

        Given the release last week of GraalVM 20.1 as well as last month’s release of Eclipse OpenJ9 0.20, here are some fresh JVM benchmarks up against multiple OpenJDK releases.

        For this fresh round of Linux benchmarking are numbers off the latest OpenJDK 8, OpenJDK 11, OpenJDK 14.0.1, OpenJDK 15 EA24, GraalVM 20.1 CE Java 8, GraalVM 20.1 CE Java 11, OpenJ9 0.20 Java 8, and OpenJ9 0.20 Java 11 for reference purposes. Note while Oracle made some OpenJDK 15 Java performance improvements stemming from our earlier testing, those changes don’t appear to have been incorporated yet into OpenJDK 15 EA24. As usual, all of this testing was done with each configuration in its out-of-the-box/default settings.

      • Ryzen 9 3900X/3950X vs. Core i9 10900K In 380+ Benchmarks

        Following our initial Core i5 10600K and Core i9 10900K Linux benchmarks last week, here is a much larger comparison I have been working on since then in looking specifically at the Ryzen 9 3900X and 3950X against the Core i9 10900K. It’s the largest to date with nearly 400 benchmarks being tested, most of them real-world test cases.

        The past number of days I have been running this Core i9 10900K vs. Ryzen 9 3900X vs. Ryzen 9 3950X comparison with 381 benchmarks out of 138 distinct applications/workloads on both systems. With this round of benchmarking the Gigabyte Z490 AORUS MASTER and ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO were at play with 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 Corsair memory, Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics. Benchmarking was run off Ubuntu 20.04 LTS while upgrading to the Linux 5.7 Git kernel for the very latest kernel bits. All other Ubuntu 20.04 packages were at their respective defaults.

    • Applications

      • What Is Flatpak And How To Install Flatpak Apps On Ubuntu And Other Linux

        Package management is one of the important features of any Linux distro that eases the method of Linux apps installation and maintenance. Different Linux distros follow different methods to package and distribute software.

        But the same feature sometimes becomes a stumbling block for some people switching to different Linux distributions. They find it hard to understand the new package manager and fail to install the applications. To resolve such issues with multiple package managers, Linux distro has evolved to produce universal package management systems such as Snap, Appimage, and Flatpak.

      • Why snap and flatpak are so important to Linux

        The internet is a fickle beast. Just when you think a company or community of developers have come out with a bit of technology that could help an operating system or piece of software rise above, that wacky internet sneaks up to say, “Nay, nay!”

        I remind myself over and over to not read the comment sections. But I do, and I see the flame wars that once threatened to slice and dice the heart of Linux rise back up. Once upon a time it was vi vs. emacs and GNOME vs. KDE.

      • Display Pressed Keys In Screencasts With Screenkey (Now With Python 3 And GTK 3 Support)

        Screenkey is a tool that shows keystrokes on the screen, great if you’re recording screencasts, video reviews or demos.

      • Twin-panel File Manager Sunflower 0.4 Released with GTK3 Port

        Small and highly customizable twin-panel Sunflower file manager released version 0.4 after many years of development.

        Sunflower 0.4 brings new interface based on GTK3. The code is ported to Python3. As a result of this rewrite performance has gone up as well.

        There are still many issues in the new release. Emblems are completely missing, drag and drop is broken and keyboard shortcuts are broken due to some upstream problems. And these will be fixed in upcoming weeks.

      • Android Mirroring App ‘Scrcpy’ Just Added a Bunch of New Features

        If you read this blog regularly enough you’ll be familiar with scrcpy, an ace root-free way to mirror your Android smartphone on your Ubuntu desktop and interact with it.

        Scrcpy is free, it’s open source, it’s awesome.

        Oh yeah, and it’s updated regularly!

        Which is what this post is about: telling you what’s new and notable in the latest release, scrcpy 1.14 — so let’s get to it!

      • Ardour goes harder: v6.0 brings ‘huge engineering changes’ to open-source digital audio workstation

        The sound-tinkerers among you will be pleased to learn that Ardour 6.0 is out, representing a major upgrade of the open-source digital audio workstation for Linux, macOS and Windows.

        Ardour is a full-featured audio mixer and editor with unlimited tracks and non-destructive editing, patching and routing, video sync for soundtracks, and plugin support for AudioUnits on macOS, VST on Windows and Linux, and LV2 on all platforms. Automation is possible with Lua scripting. It is an alternative to the popular Audacity, another cross-platform audio editor, but Ardour has a more complete set of features for audio engineers.

      • Ardour 6.0 Open-Source Digital Audio Workstation Brings Huge Engineering Changes

        While not so visually different from the previous 5.x series, Ardour 6.0 comes with many under-the-hood changes to make this powerful DAW software more reliable and usable for any musician or sound engineer.

        Highlights include full latency compensation that works everywhere, no matter the routed signals, global varispeed through a new a high-quality resampling engine, which also lays the groundwork for making Ardoud sample-rate agnostic, as well as cue monitoring, which lets musicians listen to the input signal and hear themselves performing at the same time.

      • 9 Best Free Linux Webcam Tools (Updated 2020)

        A webcam is a video capture device that is either connected to a computer directly (typically by USB) or over a computer network. Many modern netbooks and laptops have a built-in webcam.

        Webcams spice up online communication by offering real-time video chat and webcasting. These tiny cameras enable users to chat in realtime with friends and family, send video email around the world, to videoconference with co-workers and clients, and even to broadcast a TV-like channel over the net. Other people use a webcam as part of a security system, making use of motion detection to receive image and video intrusion alerts, both interior and exterior, of a building or home.

      • Happy birthday Audacity: 20 years

        Here is a next update for my ‘Digital Audio Workstation’ (DAW) software collection.

        Today, 28th of May 2020, the Audacity multi-track audio recorder turns 20 years old! This is a nice moment to also release the Slackware packages (only targeting -current, sorry) for their latest and greatest, Audacity 2.4.1 which was released a week ago as a quick bug-fix to the long-awaited 2.4.0.

        Along with this new Audacity release, I also have new packages for wxGTK3 ( which you’ll need for Audacity to show its graphical user interface…

      • 10 Best Audacity Alternatives for Audio Recording and Editing

        Our digital/online world is blooming with all sorts of amazing internet audios and videos, Whether you are a YouTuber, Singer, Dancer or any casual user, you need to have a quality audio recorder and editor to do your stuff.

        There is no comparison of some of the coolest and reliable apps on the internet when it comes to recording and editing, one such app is Audacity, which offers a cross-platform for editing and recording.

        AudacityAudacity is capable of recording and playing sounds as well as import and export to different formats. Do whatever you want to with this app as it is equipped with unlimited features to edit sounds using features like cut, copy, paste, tracks mixing and effects application to the recordings, etc.

        Many are happy with Audacity and looking for no other option. But, as they say, everything comes with limitations so it’s important to always keep a check on alternatives too.

        Through this article, we will introduce you to some of the best Audacity alternatives for Audio recording and editing which may convenience you to try them at least once!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Ethan Lee: Troubling Times for Porters in a Proton World

        It has been a while we did not get in touch with Ethan Lee directly, also know as ‘flibitjibibo’ on the interwebs. The man needs no introduction as he is behind the ports of numerous games on Linux (including Transistor pictured above), and the author of FNA, an multiplatform FOSS framework made to be compatible with the now-abandoned XNA from Microsoft. We had a long conversation back with him in the days (check out our podcast from that time). We thought it’s a good time to check with him what is going on now that Proton has been out for quite a while and we now have sufficient perspective on how it impacted the market of porting games on Linux.

      • Linux Gaming Has A Serious Problem That Nvidia And AMD Can Solve

        Through the lens of an enthusiast, Linux gaming is healthy. Valve and Codeweavers (the company behind Wine) have boosted its profile significantly since introducing Proton, a compatibility solution that lets you play literally thousands of Windows-only games across dozens of Linux distributions. Ditto that for great services like Lutris, which employs Wine and pre-configured scripts to make installing games from Epic, Origin and Blizzard a mostly painless click-and-go affair. But the real problem with Linux gaming in 2020 has nothing to do with actual games.

      • Electronic Arts to release ‘Command & Conquer Remastered’ source code to allow for modding

        Electronic Arts (EA) says it will allow players to mod its upcoming Command & Conquer Remastered Collection by making the game open source.

        The video game company’s creative director Jim Vessella announced that due to popular demand, EA will be “releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the General Public License (GPL) version 3.0 license”.

        He added that the move “to open source their source code under the GPL” was a first for EA, and possibly for any major real time strategy (RTS) franchise.

        With this, modders would have access to a new Map Editor as well as the ability to design maps, create custom units, replace art, alter gameplay logic and edit data.

        “Our goal was to deliver the source code in a way that would be truly beneficial for the community, and we hope this will enable amazing community projects for years to come,” Vessella said, in a blogpost.

      • EA is releasing the source code for Command & Conquer: Red Alert and Tiberian Dawn
      • Missile Command: Recharged Blasts onto Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, Mac, and Linux

        Iconic interactive entertainment producer Atari® and developer Nickervision Studios are delighted to announce today that Missile Command: Recharged™, the neon-lit reimagining of the beloved classic, is now available on Nintendo Switch™ and PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, with an Epic Games Store release coming soon!

        Based on the 1980 arcade classic, Missile Command: Recharged delivers a visually captivating, deliciously difficult experience designed for modern gamers and fans of the original, alike. Following a highly successful launch on iOS and Android mobile platforms, Missile Command: Recharged brings the fun to a broader audience for even more classically-inspired and fully-charged fun.

      • The Last Faith, a dark gothic metroidvania is coming to Linux

        Currently in development and crowdfunding on Kickstarter, The Last Faith looks like an impressively styled pixel-art dark gothic metroidvania.

        The Last Faith is a Metroidvania that promotes a deep exploration style gameplay with non-linear levels. While you travel around the giant map, you have control over the way you want to be next. Every single spot counts, as you can discover new items, new secret areas, particular puzzles to solve and unique enemies.

      • Try the updated free alpha of ski resort builder Snowtopia

        Snowtopia, currently in development with a free version available while it’s early on continues to be a promising new building sim that has you build a ski resort.

        You’ve built theme parks, massive roller coasters, zoos and all sorts but a ski resort is another slightly different twist on the building and management sim. A genre I love because they’re great fun to relax with and zone-out somewhat while you what everything. Snowtopia definitely has that enticing feel to it, the appreciation for people-watching as they all slide around on the snow.


        A lot more is planned to come before it has a traditional Early Access release, which should hopefully be later this year. Going by a roadmap they shared you’re going to need security personnel, there will be a research system, new animations for the skiers, more buildings, more objectives and so on. Impressive so far though and seems to work wonderfully already.

      • Red Planet Farming is a new free game about feeding colonists

        Growing crops on Mars is no easy task as you’re about to find out with Red Planet Farming, a new and free strategy game.

        You take on the role of the Agricultural Director of Mars, your job is to ensure the survival of various outposts across the barren planet by producing food in various shelters. Not an easy job, due to the extreme and constantly changing weather patterns on Mars. You will be with dust storms, radiation, extreme cold, meteor showers and other terrible things.


        Developed by a group of graduates and current students of the NYU Game Center in Brooklyn, New York. They received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Games Production Grant, a yearly award to fund game development at the NYU Game Center to support and help raise understanding of science, technology and economics. You can read a little more on that here. They even had NASA lend a hand for some technical support and advice.

      • 4 Linux distributions for gaming

        Gaming on Linux got a thorough kickstart in 2013 when Valve announced that their own SteamOS would be written on top of Linux. Since then, Linux users could realistically expect to play high-grade games that, in the past, required the purchase of a Windows computer or gaming console. The experience got off to a modest start, with just a few brave companies like CD Projekt Red, Deep Silver, Valve itself, and others putting the Linux penguin icon in their compatibility list, but eventually, even Gearbox and Square Enix were releasing their biggest titles on Linux. Today, Valve’s Proton project helps ensure that even titles with no formal Linux release still work on SteamOS and other Linux distributions.

      • Viking strategy game Northgard gets a map editor, Steam Workshop support

        Northgard, the excellent real-time strategy game about warring viking tribes from Shiro Games just got another huge free update to expand what’s possible with it.

        With the all-new Map Editor you can create, alter, and transform custom battlefields. Various parts of maps can be changed like placing resources, strategic structures, terrain elevation and more. It’s a full built-in tool that’s going to be a map makers dream for Northgard. Shiro said you can externally modify other parts of the game too like unit data and scripting to make entirely new parts like victory conditions. This also comes with Steam Workshop support for easy sharing and downloading.

      • Steam Cloud Gaming confirmed with Steam Cloud Play

        According to new Steam documents, Valve will be launching Steam Cloud Gaming soon with a Beta of Steam Cloud Play.

        It will require developers to opt in, and they’re required to support Cloud Saves (or another online save method), otherwise gamers will lose their data. Developers will continue to be paid the same way, since users still need to buy the games on Steam.

        Before you get too excited though, the documents say the first service connecting with it will be NVIDIA GeForce NOW. For Linux gamers then, it means next to nothing since NVIDIA have been silent on any plans for Linux support with it. However, it’s clearly early on and Valve are still building features and adding to their server capacity.

      • Build a Raspberry Pi 4 Retro-Gaming Console with RetroPie (Complete Guide)

        I love Linux, and I love retro-gaming, and in this video I show you how to create your very own retro-gaming console with RetroPie on the powerful new Raspberry Pi 4.

      • Drox Operative 2 gets an action-packed trailer

        Coming soon is Drox Operative 2 from Soldak Entertainment, a starship action RPG with warring alien races, fierce space battles, a dynamic, evolving galaxy.

        It was supposed to be releasing yesterday, May 27 but with delays to the Steam review process everything has been a bit delayed. On top of that, Soldak had their build rejected initially according to a blog post due to some minor issues that needing sorting. Drox Operative 2 might release this week, next week or later. Sometime soon, whenever Valve get to approvals again.

      • Dungeons of Clay has a wild style and a lot of action

        The latest game from ShotX Studio has been announced with Dungeons of Clay, an ever-changing action-platformer dungeon crawler and it looks great.

        Explore the ever-changing dungeons in the surreal world made of clay. Unlock the hidden secrets, overcome the dangers, defeat dreadful creatures and reap the treasures to acquire almighty power.


        It’s coming to Linux, just like their previous titles…

      • Onsen Master is a hot spring customer management game

        You’ve built cities, managed theme parks and run across kitchens to prepare dishes but have you managed a hot spring before? I sure haven’t and Onsen Master looks and sounds amusing.

        With gameplay that seems to resemble the idea of Overcooked that looks like it could be a lot of fun, as you rush around to prepare ingredients to heal up your visitors across the fantasy island of Izajima. You’re tasked with reconnecting “the communities that surround each onsen, and discover the supernatural world that they’ve long since been disconnected from”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Cinnamon 4.6 Arrives with Fractional Scaling, Nemo Improvements, and More

          Announced earlier this year in January, the Cinnamon 4.6 desktop environment saw the light of day a couple of weeks ago. While there’s no official announcement for this major release, I did some digging to highlight the most important changes.

          Probably the biggest new feature of Cinnamon 4.6 is support for fractional scaling on HiDPI/4K displays. The feature was finally implemented in the Display Settings panel under the Zoom Level drop-down.

          Users will be able to choose values between 100% and 200%, such as 125%, 150%, 175%, for each of the connected monitors. Also in the Display Settings panel there’s now the ability to change the frequency of monitors.

        • GNOME Devs Make Major Improvements to the Apps Grid

          Since GNOME 3.38 is on house to ship in Ubuntu 20.10 (barring any tradition-flattening calamities …Which, given how things are going atm, is a distinct possibility) these are changes which you and I, as Ubuntu users, will likely benefit from come October.

          So what’s cooking?

          First up: the Applications screen drops the “Frequents” button that sira at the bottom of the grid. The apps grid is now just a single, vertically scrolling pane of application icons arranged in alphabetical order by default.

    • Distributions

      • 10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2020

        We are almost half of the year 2020, we thought it right to share with Linux enthusiasts out there the most popular distributions of the year so far. In this post, we will review the top 10 most popular Linux distributions, the ones with most page hits during the last 6 months as per Distrowatch.

        First published on 31 May 2001, DistroWatch has been the most reliable source of information about open-source operating systems, with a particular focus on Linux distributions and flavors of BSD. It collects and presents a wealth of information about Linux distributions consistently to make it easier to access.

        Although it is not a good indicator of a distribution’s popularity or usage, DistroWatch remains the most accepted measure of popularity within the Linux community. It uses Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics to measure the popularity of Linux distributions among the visitors of the website.

      • Reviews

        • POP!_OS Delivers Outstanding GNOME Experience


          System76 regularly updates this distro without requiring constant reinstallation. The developer updates POP!_OS on a rolling release cycle.

          The operating system gets updates, security patches and updated releases as they are ready. Rolling releases ensure that you never have to handle ISO installations again with configuring settings to recreate the same look and feel of the current version.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Kodachi 7.0 Security-Focused OS Moves to Linux 5.4, Based on Xubuntu 18.04 LTS

          Linux Kodachi OS 7.0, a secure, anti forensic, and anonymous operating system, has been released with new tools, new features, and many improvements.

          Coming nine months after version 6.3, the Kodachi OS 7.0 release is dubbed “Katana” and it’s here to introduce a new kernel series, namely the long-term supported Linux 5.4 from the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) release, which arrived in late April 2020.

          However, Kodachi OS 7.0 is still based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) series, most precisely Xubuntu 18.04 LTS as it uses the lightweight Xfce desktop environment by default. Of course, the new kernel stack brings better support for newer hardware.

      • BSD

        • Announce: OpenSSH 8.3 released

          OpenSSH 8.3 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at https://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      • OpenSSH 8.3 released (and ssh-rsa deprecation notice)
        OpenSSH 8.3 has just been released. It will be available from the
        mirrors listed at https://www.openssh.com/ shortly.
        OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
        includes sftp client and server support.
        Once again, we would like to thank the OpenSSH community for their
        continued support of the project, especially those who contributed
        code or patches, reported bugs, tested snapshots or donated to the
        project. More information on donations may be found at:
      • OpenSSH Will Deprecate SHA-1

        In January, a pair of researchers published details of the first practical chosen prefix collision on SHA-1, showing that the aged hash algorithm, which had already far outlived its usefulness, was now all but useless. All of the major browsers had already abandoned SHA-1, as had most of the large certificate authorities, but it is still in use in many other places, including embedded systems and some cryptography systems.
        One of the more widely deployed applications that still supports SHA-1 is OpenSSH, the open source implementation of the SSH protocol that is included in a huge number of products, including Windows, macOS, many Unix systems, and several popular brands of network switches. On Wednesday, the OpenSSH developers said that a future version of the app will drop support for the use of the RSA public key algorithm, which uses SHA-1.
        “It is now possible to perform chosen-prefix attacks against the SHA-1 algorithm for less than USD$50K. For this reason, we will be disabling the “ssh-rsa” public key signature algorithm by default in a near-future release,” the OpenSSH developers said in the release notes for version 8.3 on Wednesday.

      • Dangerous SHA-1 crypto function will die in SSH linking millions of computers

        Developers of two open source code libraries for Secure Shell—the protocol millions of computers use to create encrypted connections to each other—are retiring the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, four months after researchers piled a final nail in its coffin.

        The moves, announced in release notes and a code update for OpenSSH and libssh respectively, mean that SHA-1 will no longer be a means for digitally signing encryption keys that prevent the monitoring or manipulating of data passing between two computers connected by SSH—the common abbreviation for Secure Shell. (Wednesday’s release notes concerning SHA-1 deprecation in OpenSSH repeated word for word what developers put in February release notes, but few people seemed to notice the planned change until now.)

      • EuroBSDCon 2020 is cancelled.

        It is with great disappointment that we were forced to conclude it is not possible to run the conference as usual. As such, there will be no EuroBSDCon 2020.

        There will be no virtual conference, as we feel we can’t provide much in that area not already provided by BSDCan.

        We hope to resume our conference next year, in Vienna. We will try to announce the relevant dates as soon as possible.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • KDE Applications, Wireshark, IceWM update in Tumbleweed

        The last week has produced a total of three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots bringing the total amount of snapshots for the month to 18.

        All 18 snapshots have recorded a stable rating above 91, according to the Tumbleweed snapshot reviewer. With 14 of them, recording a rating of 99 and the last two snapshots trending at a 99 rating.

        The most recent 202000526 snapshot provided the 3.2.4 release of Wireshark. The new version fixed a Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures where it was possible to make Wireshark crash by injecting a malformed packet onto the wire or by convincing someone to read a malformed packet trace file. Linux Kernel 5.6.14 re-established support for RTL8401 chip version. DNS server and client utilities package bind 9.16.3 fixed to security problems and added engine support for OpenSSL Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm implementation. Document viewer evince 3.36.1 updated translations, fixed an incorrect markup in the Czech User Interface and updated the French help image. SSL VPN client package openconnect 8.10 installed a bash completion script and fixed a potential buffer overflow with security communications library GnuTLS. GNOME’s 0.30.10 image organizer shotwell, which was the subject of a recently settled a patient lawsuit, modified web publishing authentication to comply with Google’s requirements.

    • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Fedora 32 elections voting now open
      • FESCo election: Interview with Michal Novotný (clime)
      • FESCo election: Interview with Frantisek Zatloukal (frantisekz)
      • Council election: Interview with Till Maas (till)
      • Council election: Interview with James Cassell (cyberpear)
      • Council election: Interview with Aleksandra Fedorova (bookwar)
      • Council election: Interview with Alberto Rodriguez Sanchez (bt0dotninja)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Alessio Ciregia (alciregi)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Daniel Lara (danniel)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Maria Leandro (tatica)
      • Mindshare election: Interview with Sumantro Mukherjee (sumantrom)
      • Disrupted CVE Assignment Process

        Due to an invalid TLS certificate on MITRE’s CVE request form, I have — ironically — been unable to request a new CVE for a TLS certificate verification vulnerability for a couple weeks now. (Note: this vulnerability does not affect WebKit and I’m only aware of one vulnerable application, so impact is limited; follow the link if you’re curious.) MITRE, if you’re reading my blog, your website’s contact form promises a two-day response, but it’s been almost three weeks now, still waiting.


        We could have a debate on TLS certificate verification and the various benefits or costs of the Firefox vs. Chrome approach, but in the end it’s an obvious misconfiguration and there will be no further CVE requests from me until it’s fixed. No, I’m not bypassing the browser security warning, even though I know exactly what’s wrong. We can’t expect users to take these seriously if we skip them ourselves.

      • June 10 webinar: Cloud-native development for continuous integration with IBM Wazi

        IBM Wazi for Red Hat CodeReady workspaces simplifies hybrid application development. Developers can leverage open and familiar development tools, deliver a CI/CD pipeline that integrates z/OS into a multi-cloud architecture, and transform testing on mainframes by shifting left transaction-level testing. Be sure to catch the June 10 webinar, Cloud Native Development for Continuous Integration with IBM Wazi, to learn about this new technology. Rosalind Radcliffe, IBM Distinguished Engineer in System Enterprise DevOps, and Mitch Ashley, CEO and Managing Analyst of Accelerated Strategies Group, Inc., give you all the details.

      • Using container technology to make a more secure pipeline

        In our last post we talked about using Multi-Category Security (MCS) instead of Multi-Level Security (MLS) to provide isolation on systems with different levels of sensitivity. In this post we’ll cover creating a more secure pipeline via containers.

        A common pattern in MLS environments is to have a series of processes to guarantee the flow of information between networks at different levels, but to guarantee that no information gets accidentally leaked. These pipelines are sometimes called dirty word filters.

        Imagine an MLS environment, where you have two networks connected to a machine. One of the networks is at Top Secret and the other network is at Secret. Now you might have a process downloading content from the Top Secret Network, another process, the filter process, examining the downloaded content and moving approved data from the Top Secret content to the Secret content. Finally you have a third process that is taking the Secret content and sending it out the Secret network.

      • The advantages of microservices for financial industries

        Forces ranging from technological disruption, to demographic shifts, will change the way banking is done, according to the 2020 Banking and Capital Markets Outlook from Deloitte Insights. The report says that banking will increasingly be more open and transparent, more intelligent and tailored, and more secure and seamless.

        Achieving this state of financial services – one in which there is greater internal collaboration and is synchronized to market demands – won’t be without challenges, the report says, pointing to “technical debt, or the lack of technology system modernization, which is a huge impediment to transformation.”

      • Red Hat Shares ― Special edition: Red Hat Summit 2020 Virtual Experience recap

        Red Hat Summit 2020, like most things this year, looked a little different than in the past. This year’s theme was “From here, anywhere.” But the shift from an in-person to a virtual event resulted in a Summit perhaps better characterized as “From anywhere, here.” While we weren’t able to gather in San Francisco as originally planned, the virtual event gave us the privilege of connecting with so many more open source enthusiasts (56,063* so far, to be exact) worldwide.

      • How to be prepared for changes in Red Hat Smart Management and Satellite

        In my work as a Red Hat Technical Account Manager (TAM), one of my responsibilities is ensuring my customers are aware of the roadmap for various Red Hat products. This includes informing customers of upcoming changes to products, such as features being deprecated, and helping them plan for these changes.

        The Satellite 6.7 release notes listed that several items are deprecated and would be removed in a future release of Satellite. This post will cover several of these items, and what customers can do to prepare for these changes. I would recommend reviewing the release notes to see if any of the other items might affect your Satellite environment.

    • Debian Family

      • Proxmox VE 6 and later offers container features, better security

        The virtualization industry is full of proprietary and open source products that provide IT administrators with a variety of options for deploying their virtual environments. One product in particular that has not received as much attention is Proxmox VE, an open source virtualization management platform that tightly integrates both the KVM hypervisor and Linux container (LXC) technologies. Proxmox VE’s most recent release, 6.1, includes the latest updates to the product, such as new container features, easier management, better security and improvements in availability.

        Admins might choose a propriety product to get a system that’s highly polished and well supported, or they might opt for an open source offering in order to have access to the codebase and reduce operating costs. Proxmox VE 6 released in July of 2019 and was quickly followed by version 6.1 that following December.


        Proxmox Virtual Environment, or Proxmox VE, is a complete server virtualization platform based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Proxmox VE is a free, open source OS and is known for its ability to manage both KVM and LXC in a single, unified platform. By incorporating both KVM and LXC into its platform, Proxmox VE can deploy a wide range of use cases.

        According to Proxmox VE documentation, the platform supports the most demanding Linux and Windows application workloads, while still delivering performance and high availability (HA). For example, admins can scale out compute and storage resources as their requirements change, starting with a single node and expanding to a large cluster to accommodate growing workloads.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • Reduce Reloading Download Size on Ubuntu

        Reload is the process refreshing the information of download sources in an Ubuntu system. If you observe, you will find that actually Ubuntu downloads several dozen megabytes of data when reloading and in fact you can reduce up to half size. This article supplies you information to tinker with that with sources.list configuration and APT command. You will see best of this in an experiment-dedicated system if you have. Lastly, I practiced this on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa and you can practice this also on other versions. Enjoy tinkering!

      • ZFS focus on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS: ZSys general principle on state management

        After our previous general presentation of ZSys, it’s “”“time”“” to deep dive to one of its main predominant feature: state management!

        A little technical detour first. as this question will necessarily arise, especially from those familiar with ZFS concepts.

        We have purposively chosen the “state” terminology to prevent system administrators and in general, all those familiar with ZFS to confuse if with snapshot datasets.

        Basically a state is a set of datasets, all frozen in time (apart from the current state), which regrouped together forms a system “state” that you can chose to reboot on.

        Those group of datasets can be either made of snapshot datasets (read only) (which is what most of advanced ZFS users will expect), but it can also be filesystem datasets (read write), made of filesystem datasets clone of the current state datasets. You can boot to any of those.

      • Design and Web team summary – 27 May 2020

        The web team here at Canonical run two-week iterations. Here are some of the highlights of our completed work from this iteration.


        My name is Bartek (also known as bartaz around the interwebz). I live in Poznań in Poland and I’m a web developer. I’ve been a software developer for over 10 years now, working in front-end related technologies for most of this time. IE6 was still a thing when I started trying to make browsers display what I want them to, jQuery was not a thing yet, and nobody even dreamed of React.

        I joined Canonical four years ago as a front-end developer to work on snap store dashboard and after about a year I moved to the Web and Design Team, where I continued working on snap related projects such as snapcraft.io and build.snapcraft.io. A couple of months ago I moved to Vanilla squad where I develop and enhance our Vanilla framework.

  • Devices/Embedded

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Open Source YouTube Alternative PeerTube Needs Your Support to Launch Version 3

      PeerTube (developed by Framasoft) is a free and open-source decentralized alternative to YouTube somewhat like LBRY. As the name suggests, it relies on peer-to-peer connections to operate the video hosting services.

      You can also choose to self-host your instance and also have access to videos from other instances (a federated network, just like Mastodon).

      It is being actively developed for a few years now. And, to take it up a notch, they have decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the next major release.

    • 9 open source JavaScript frameworks for front-end web development

      About a decade ago, the JavaScript developer community began to witness fierce battles emerging among JavaScript frameworks. In this article, I will introduce some of the most well-known of these frameworks. And it’s important to note that these are all open source JavaScript projects, meaning that you can freely utilize them under an open source license and even contribute to the source code and communities.

      If you prefer to follow along as I explore these frameworks, you can watch my video.

    • Web Browsers

      • Beaker Browser 1.0 Beta


        I recently reviewed the Beaker Browser. About a week after that review was published, the devs released Beaker 1.0 Beta. And that changes almost everything I had observed in the previous article.

        This made me do an entire article on the new Beaker Browser.Here’s what’s been changed!

        One of the most significant changes to Beaker is the introduction of a new protocol. Up to now, Beaker has used the Dat protocol to distribute content. Beta 1.0 replaces Dat with Hypercore.

        One of the components is Hyperdrive version 10, which was released the same days as Beaker. Hyperdrive is “a POSIX-like filesystem implementation, written in Node.js, that’s designed to be the storage layer for fast, scalable, and secure peer-to-peer applications.”

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Presenter mode in LibreOffice Impress without an external display

        I typically use LibreOffice Impress for my talks, much to some folks’ surprise. Yes, you can make slides look okay with free software! But there’s one annoying caveat that has bothered me for ages.

        Impress makes it nearly impossible to enter presenter mode with a single display, while also displaying slides. I have never understood this limitation, but it’s existed for a minimum of seven years.

        I’ve tried all sorts of workarounds over the years, including a macro that forces LibreOffice into presenter mode, which I never was able to figure out how to reverse once I ran it…

    • FSF

      • CTO Talk: Q&A with Seldon’s Clive Cox

        I’m more of a “meeting the Buddha on the road” kind of guy. However, influences along the way have been the usual suspects like Alan Turing and people such as Richard Stallman who promoted open source.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • OPPO Find X2, X2 Neo, X2 Lite, and Moto G7 Android 10 kernel source code now available

          The foundation of the Android OS is built on top of the Linux kernel, thus Android device makers are obliged to provide the source code (upon request) for any Linux kernel binaries that ship on their devices. Besides the source code release for the retail release software, OEMs should also publish the updated Linux kernel source code for any future software updates in order to comply with the GNU General Public License v2. Motorola, for example, is quite good at releasing Linux kernel source code for all the updates they roll out, and they have now published the kernel source code for the Moto G7’s Android 10 update. OPPO, on the other hand, has shared the initial kernel sources for a bunch of phones from the Find X2 lineup.

    • Programming/Development

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Subversion® 1.14.0-LTS

        The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today Apache® Subversion® 1.14.0-LTS, the latest release of the popular centralized software version control system.

      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Subversion 1.14.0-LTS
      • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Subversion® 1.14.0-LTS
      • Apache Updates Subversion – SVN 1.14 LTS Released

        For those making use of the Subversion centralized version control system as an alternative to Git, SVN 1.14 LTS is now available.

        With Subversion 1.14 being an LTS release, a particular emphasis was put on fixing bugs in this open-source VCS but there are also some new features. Subversion 1.14′s Python bindings finally support Python 3 while maintaining Python 2 support, a new tool to support deduplication (svnadmin build-repcache), and more.

      • Qt for Automation changed to Qt M2M Protocols

        Qt M2M Protocols is now automatically included for free to every new Qt Device Creation subscription. The additional distribution license price has been removed as well.

        Qt Application Development license holders can buy Qt M2M Protocols separately.

      • Using Visual Studio Code for Qt Applications – Part Two

        In the last blog post we saw an essential, C++ oriented, Visual Studio Code setup. That was enough to get going right away, but we can still definitely do more and better. Here I’ll show you how to get a complete setup for your qmake and CMake projects, all this while also wearing a Qt hat (on top of my C++ hat) and having a deeper look at the Qt side.

        Build qmake Qt projects

        Qmake is not integrated with Visual Studio Code the way CMake is, so setting up a qmake project for build is slightly more convoluted than doing the same with CMake. This means we’ll have to define our own build tasks. We’re going to do this in two stages: build steps definition and build steps combination, leveraging the fact that Visual Studio Code implements task dependencies and ordered sequential execution of dependencies.

      • Where Did Software Go Wrong?

        Computers were supposed to be “a bicycle for our minds”, machines that operated faster than the speed of thought. And if the computer was a bicycle for the mind, then the plural form of computer, Internet, was a “new home of Mind.” The Internet was a fantastic assemblage of all the world’s knowledge, and it was a bastion of freedom that would make time, space, and geopolitics irrelevant. Ignorance, authoritarianism, and scarcity would be relics of the meatspace past.

        Things didn’t quite turn out that way. The magic disappeared and our optimism has since faded. Our websites are slow and insecure; our startups are creepy and unprofitable; our president Tweets hate speech; we don’t trust our social media apps, webcams, or voting machines. And in the era of coronavirus quarantining, we’re realizing just how inadequate the Internet turned out to be as a home of Mind. Where did it all go wrong?

      • good idea bad implementation crosstalk

        Unfortunately products like the latter seem quite common. Most things in my house are still rather dumb because regrettably few products are actually the same thing, but smarter. Instead smart devices are inevitably some inscrutable machine intelligence physically manifested in my house. So no thanks. Battle lines drawn, everybody pick a side, good idea or bad implementation, and fight!

      • Perl/Raku

        • Perl Hacks, Perl School, and the future of Perl publishing

          Dave Cross, long-time Perl user, trainer, and author, recently released The Best of Perl Hacks, a curated collection of his best posts from his Perl Hacks blog. His imprint, Perl School, has published six e-books, including two that I wrote.

          There’s an unrelated book, Perl Hacks: Tips & Tools For Programming, Debugging, And Surviving, by chromatic, Damian Conway, and Curtis “Ovid” Poe. It’s also very good, but completely separate from Dave’s.

      • Python

        • The PEPs of Python 3.9

          With the release of Python 3.9.0b1, the first of four planned betas for the development cycle, Python 3.9 is now feature-complete. There is still plenty to do in terms of testing and stabilization before the October final release. The release announcement lists a half-dozen Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs) that were accepted for 3.9. We have looked at some of those PEPs along the way; there are some updates on those. It seems like a good time to fill in some of the gaps on what will be coming in Python 3.9

        • How to Write an Installable Django App

          In the Django framework, a project refers to the collection of configuration files and code for a particular website. Django groups business logic into what it calls apps, which are the modules of the Django framework. There’s plenty of documentation on how to structure your projects and the apps within them, but when it comes time to package an installable Django app, information is harder to find.

          In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to take an app out of a Django project and package it so that it’s installable. Once you’ve packaged your app, you can share it on PyPI so that others can fetch it through pip install.

        • Pros and Cons of Python: A Definitive Python Web Development Guide

          Python is a powerful programming language for mobile and web development projects. It is also the most popular programming language for AI in 2020. RedI Python development’s use cases in scientific computing, statistics, and education make it one of the highly preferred programming languages for Python programmers.

          The open-source programming language launched in 1992 is now on the verge of becoming the most popular and used programming language. Due to the rise in demand for AI and ML applications, Python web programming is now the first thing that comes to mind for coding such applications.

          But is Python for web development even worth it? It definitely is. Some of the top companies use Python web programming in their technology stack.

        • Simplify data visualization in Python with Plotly

          Plotly is a plotting ecosystem that allows you to make plots in Python, as well as JavaScript and R. In this series of articles, I’m focusing on plotting with Python libraries.

      • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • The Asian Pivot
    • How To Start A Blog If You’re Not A Nerd

      So you want to start a blog, but you don’t have a masters degree in computing? I think that everyone should be able to blog, regardless of their technical ability. This post will give you everything you need to get going.

    • Introducing The Tech Policy Greenhouse: Let’s Have Thoughtful Conversations About The Biggest Tech Policy Challenges

      Today we’re introducing something very new: the Tech Policy Greenhouse. This is a project that I’ve been working on for about two years now, and I’m both thrilled and relieved to finally be getting it out the door. It starts from this basic premise: many of the biggest issues facing technology and innovation today are significant challenges that have no easy answer. Every possible approach or solution (including doing nothing at all) has tradeoffs. And yet very few people seem willing to admit that, as admitting to tradeoffs in policy proposals is seen as a sign of weakness or giving in. But the issues facing innovation policy today are too big and too important to not have a truly open discussion.

    • Education

      • Life in Hell: Online Teaching

        I had long heard rumors from academicians about how “online teaching is a nightmare,” “online teaching ruined my life,” “online teaching sucked the brains out of my head,” “online teaching is a new and insidious form of labor degradation,” and the like.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (drupal7 and unbound), Fedora (libEMF and transmission), Mageia (dojo, log4net, nginx, nodejs-set-value, sleuthkit, and transmission), Red Hat (rh-maven35-jackson-databind), SUSE (dpdk and mariadb-connector-c), and Ubuntu (thunderbird).

          • Security flaw in ARMv7 allows hackers to gain control over smart cars

            Security vulnerabilities are quite commonly found in autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles that feature a number of smart technologies and applications to improve vehicle safety and driving experience. Last week, security researcher Till Kottmann discovered a misconfiguration in the Git web portal of Daimler AG, the automotive company behind the Mercedes-Benz car brand, that allowed him to create an account on Daimler’s code-hosting portal and download more than 580 Git repositories containing the source code of onboard logic units (OLUs) installed in Mercedes vans.

            According to Kottmann, there wasn’t any account confirmation process in the company’s official GitLab server, which allowed him to register an account using a non-existent Daimler corporate email. He was able to download 580 Git repositories from the company’s server and made it publicly available by uploading the files in several locations such as file-hosting service MEGA, the Internet Archive, and on his own GitLab server.

            Last year, researchers at Pan Test Partners uncovered critical security holes in popular car alarms that could have been exploited by cyber criminals to unlock car doors, activate car alarms, and turn on car engines, all of which could allow criminals to steal cars with great ease.

            The firm found how certain third-party car alarms, whose sellers claim to offer enhanced security to owners of keyless entry cars, featured gaping security holes that allowed criminals to geo-locate cars in real time, find out the car type and details of their owners, disable car alarms, unlock cars, disable immobilisers, and even kill car engines when they were running.

          • Meet unc0ver, the new jailbreak that pops shell—and much more—on any iPhone

            Unc0ver, by contrast, works on any device running any version of iOS released since September 2017 or later. The flaw the new jailbreak exploits is located in the OS kernel. That means that unc0ver is less capable then Checkm8 is of disabling or bypassing certain iOS restrictions and security mechanisms. For example: the unc0ver provides no access to JTAG, an interface for debugging and emulating processors.

          • Josh Bressers: Broken vulnerability severities

            This blog post originally started out as a way to point out why the NVD CVSS scores are usually wrong. One of the amazing things about having easy access to data is you can ask a lot of questions, questions you didn’t even know you had, and find answers right away. If you haven’t read it yet, I wrote a very long series on security scanners. One of my struggles I have is there are often many “critical” findings in those scan reports that aren’t actually critical. I wanted to write something that explained why that was, but because my data took me somewhere else, this is the post you get. I knew CVSSv3 wasn’t perfect (even the CVSS folks know this), but I found some really interesting patterns in the data. The TL;DR of this post is: It may be time to start talking about CVSSv4.

            It’s easy to write a post that made a lot of assumptions and generally makes facts up that suit whatever argument I was trying to make (which was the first draft of this). I decided to crunch some data to make sure my hypothesis were correct and because graphs are fun. It turns out I learned a lot of new things, which of course also means it took me way longer to do this work. The scripts I used to build all these graphs can be found here if you want to play along at home. You can save yourself a lot of suffering by using my work instead of trying to start from scratch.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Hell Hath No Fury Like A Federal Law Enforcement Agency That Keeps Finding Some Way To Break Into IPhones

              Nothing has made the FBI more irritated than its ability to break into phones it swears (often in court!) it cannot possibly get into without the device maker’s assistance. The agency doesn’t want third-party vendors to offer solutions and it doesn’t seem to want its own technical staff to find ways to get stuff from encrypted devices. It wants the government to tell companies like Apple to do what they’re told. It will accept any solution that involves a mandate, whether it’s from a federal court or our nation’s legislators. It will accept nothing else.

            • Privacy and Zambonis in the Age of COVID-19: My Ian Kerr Memorial Lecture
            • Our First Greenhouse Topic: Privacy

              For decades the internet has flourished on the back of innovation, creativity, adaptation, and hard work. But while this technological revolution spurred no limit of incredible inventions, services, and profit, a drumbeat of scandals have highlighted how privacy and security were often a distant afterthought — if they were thought about at all.

            • Former NSO Employees Says The Company Impersonated Facebook To Deploy Malware

              As Facebook’s lawsuit against Israeli malware purveyor, NSO Group, continues, more facts are coming to light that undercut the spyware vendor’s claims that it’s just a simple software developer that can’t be blamed for the malicious acts of its customers.

            • Top EU data protection agency under pressure to act against Internet giants as GDPR turns 2 years old

              A few weeks ago, this blog noted that there were questions hanging over the GDPR, not least the fact that no major fines had been issued against top Internet companies. The GDPR has just passed the two-year mark, and many have taken the opportunity to weigh in on this issue. For example, the data protection agency in Ireland, which would be responsible for issuing fines against the main online players, has just written a post on its GDPR enforcement plans. It says that the country’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has submitted a draft decision about a Twitter data breach to the other data protection authorities in the EU, as it is required to do under the GDPR. This means a public statement on the case should follow fairly soon.

            • [Old] How to fight back against Google AMP: As A Web User And A Web Developer

              This week I also got two AMP links sent to me via Telegram and to see those Google URLs replacing unique domain names made me a bit sad on behalf of the owners of those sites. As a site owner myself, it feels like sovereignty of a website being taken away.

              Other than people sharing links with me, I rarely encounter AMP in the wild. It is possible to restrict Google AMP from your life both as a web user and as a web developer. Here’s how you can fight back against Google AMP.

            • Websites Conducting Port Scans

              Security researcher Charlie Belmer is reporting that commercial websites such as eBay are conducting port scans of their visitors.

            • Google Sued by Arizona Over Collecting User Location Data

              With the location tracking setting turned off, the Alphabet Inc. unit collects information deceptively through other user settings, such as “Web & App Activity,” according to a lawsuit filed in state court Wednesday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

              “Google makes it impractical if not impossible for users to meaningfully opt-out of Google’s collection of location information,” according to the lawsuit, which is based in part on a 2018 report from the Associated Press.

            • Apple Buys Machine-Learning Startup to Improve Data Used in Siri

              The engineering team from Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv joined Apple in recent weeks to work on Siri, machine learning and data science. Apple confirmed the deal, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

              Inductiv developed technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate the task of identifying and correcting errors in data. Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human intervention.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • A Note from the Ministry of Staple Guns

        The City of Portland, Oregon, and Multnomah County, are doing the best job in the country at kicking the can down the road.  Now is the time to push for a real solution to the housing crisis, here and across the USA.

      • The Attacks on China Must Stop

        The world is supposed to be pulling together to defeat the Coronavirus and to some extent it is. Earlier on Russia sent special equipment to the US and recently the US has sent some to Russia. China has aided Italy and Africa with doctors and equipment.

      • US accuses Russia of sending military personnel to support the ‘Wagner’ PMC in Libya

        According to the African Command of the US Armed Forces, AFRICOM, Russia has deployed a military fighter aircraft to Libya. 

      • India and China square up on their Himalayan border

        General Naravane is correct to say that face-offs are not unusual. Because the border between India and China is undefined, encounters between patrols on the “line of actual control” (LAC) are common. Beyond the demarcation issue lie vast, intricate and unresolved territorial disputes that led to a war in 1962. What makes the present imbroglio unusual is three things. One is the scale of forces involved. Another is the fact that encounters have twice deteriorated into fisticuffs in the past month; first at Pangong lake, and later at Naku La in Sikkim, over 1,000km away in the eastern part of the border.

        Third, and perhaps most important, some of the alleged land-grabs seem to have occurred in the Galwan river valley area, beyond China’s own claim-line, ie, in territory which was not thought to be disputed. The valley is fraught with historical baggage: it was overrun by China in the lightning war in 1962, though later handed back. On May 25th the Global Times, a state-run tabloid in Beijing, stated baldly that “the Galwan Valley region is Chinese territory”.

      • Suspected Islamist militia kills at least 17 in northeastern Congo

        The ADF have killed hundreds of people since late October last year when the army began an operation to oust them from their bases near the Ugandan border. The fighting has hampered efforts to end an Ebola epidemic.

        While the insurgents, who are originally from Uganda, have pledged allegiance to Islamic State and the group has endorsed some attacks by the ADF, researchers say there is no evidence of close collaboration.

      • Far-Right’s Political Crimes Are on the Rise in Germany

        Although politically motivated crimes represent only a tiny fraction of the 5.3 million crimes recorded in Germany last year, they are “significant” in terms of their importance to the stability of democracy, the political system, and of the constitutional order, Seehofer said.

    • Environment

      • We cannot ignore the links between COVID-19 and the warming planet

        Let us be clear: We are not talking here about future warming, which is already of great concern. We are talking about the effects of a rise of 1oC that we have already experienced. Even with such “modest” warming, a stunning barrage of extreme events have happened in recent years, many of which cannot be explained in the absence of climate change.

    • There is space for carbon storage underground

      Capturing it remains a challenge. But there should be no lack of  permanent safe carbon storage underground.

    • A Comradely Letter: What’s a Progressive to Do?

      This article is a call-to-arms on global warming. But before I turn to my main concern, I need to express some thoughts about the 2020 presidential campaign and the way we understand it. After I lay that out, I’ll connect those campaign-related thoughts with the issue of climate change.

    • Energy

    • Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadryov declares himself ‘absolutely healthy’ following reports of hospitalization

      Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that he is absolutely healthy, during an Instagram Live stream with the director of Grozny.tv Akhmed Dudaev.  This comes after media reports that he was hospitalized in Moscow for a suspected case of COVID-19.

    • National Values: Reality or Propaganda?

      Joe Biden, presumptive Democratic Party presidential candidate, thinks he knows what American values are. Here are some of them: “inclusivity, tolerance, diversity, respect for the rule of law.” Biden defines these as among the “democratic values that define us.”

    • Joe Biden, Rape Culture, and Living in the Dark

      It’s hard when someone you like, someone you think is a good man or woman, is accused of rape. Our first instinct is to not believe it. That’s normal. But that cannot be the end.

    • As US Death Count Nears 100,000, Trump Indulges His Ego and Deflects Blame

      Donald Trump had quite a day for himself on Tuesday. During a Rose Garden event intended to promote protections for senior citizens with diabetes, the man who recently pondered the possibility of injecting COVID-19 patients with disinfectant mused audibly on the potential virtues of insulin… for himself.

    • Trump and GOP Want COVID-19 Protections for Bosses — But Not Workers

      A new Morning Consult poll finds that nearly three-quarters of all voters — including 63 percent of Republicans — agree that COVID-19 testing should be required for workers returning to their jobs as states lift stay-at-home orders and businesses reopen, but don’t expect to see any such requirement come from the Trump administration or Republicans in Congress. The GOP has consistently sided with employers over issues of workplace safety as pro-business forces push to reopen the country and jump-start the economy, which Trump sees as crucial to his reelection.

    • One Rule for Me and Another for Everyone Else: The Cummings Coronavirus Factor

      Leaving crises to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s management skills will never disappoint those who favour chaos and the attractions of vague direction.  The double standard is to be preferred to the equal one.  With the United Kingdom sundered by death and the effects of COVID-19 (the PM himself having had his battle with the virus), the population was hoping for some clarity.  When, for instance, would the lockdown measures be eased?

    • There’s Only One Reason Trump and the GOP Don’t Want Mail-in Voting

      Vote-by-mail makes voting easier. And when voting is easier, Republicans have a much harder time suppressing the vote.

    • Adam Schiff Ripped as ‘Biggest Hypocrite in Congress’ for Undermining Effort to Curb FBI Spy Powers

      “He constantly talks about how the Trump administration is dangerous and authoritarian. But time and time again he has done everything in his power to ensure that the Trump administration has essentially limitless domestic surveillance authority.”

    • Trump, Twitter, And Free Speech

      Content moderation at scale is impossible to do well. But, also content moderation of a world leader spewing blatant conspiracy theories may be just as difficult, and that’s not even at scale.

    • Trump Threatens to Shred First Amendment to Defend ‘Free Speech’

      After weeks of tweeting misinformation about mail-in voting, Twitter on Tuesday decided to slap a small disclaimer on some of President Trump’s posts on the subject. “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” reads a link to a string of reputable reports about proxy voting, which is practiced in both Democratic and Republican states, and has not been proven to lead to widespread fraud, contrary to what the president has claimed repeatedly.

      Trump’s response was to threaten to cancel the First Amendment.

    • Trump Threatens to “Close” Twitter for Fact Checking His Tweets on Voting

      President Donald Trump is threatening that his administration “will strongly regulate, or close” social media sites that attach disclaimers to inaccurate or misleading content, following an incident in which Twitter fact-checked his tweet about mail-in voting.

    • White House organizes harassment of Twitter employee as Trump threatens company

      Twitter fact-checked Trump’s tweets late on Tuesday afternoon by attaching information designed to clarify common lies and misinformation on mail-in voting resulting in rampant voter fraud, which is untrue and unsupported by any evidence. According to a Twitter spokesperson, the tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.” Tapping or clicking the link attached to Trump’s tweets that says “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” leads to a series of news articles and links debunking the lies.

    • When The Problem Isn’t Twitter But President Trump

      President Trump is not happy with Twitter. But a lot of other people were already unhappy with Twitter. As his tweets have grown more abusive by the day, and the non-insane public has naturally grown more outraged by them, there has been an increase in calls for Twitter to delete his tweets, if not his account outright. But what’s worse is the increase in calls that sound just like what Trump now demands: that Section 230 must be changed if Twitter is unwilling to take those steps. Both are bad ideas, however, for separate, although related, reasons.

    • Trump Supporters Single Out Twitter Employee After Site Fact-Checks President’s False Tweets

      The online attacks against Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of site integrity, came after the social network on Tuesday added a fact-checking label — for the first time — to a pair of Trump’s tweets that contained several falsehoods about mail-in ballots.

    • Trump wants to fight Twitter more than regulate it

      For years, Donald Trump’s fight against social media companies has been a one-man boxing match. He calls them out over bias, and they rewrite policies making him the one exception to their rules, taking care never to punch back. But on Tuesday, Twitter slapped back for the first time ever, labeling two tweets as making false and misleading claims about mail-in voting.

    • Republicans working on legislation to strip Twitter of federal liability protections

      The lawmakers began work on legislation following Twitter’s decision to add warnings to two tweets by President Trump this week in which he railed against California’s decision to expand mail-in voting. Trump tweeted without evidence that mail-in voting could increase voter fraud.

      Both Hawley and Gaetz argued that Twitter’s decision to flag the tweets called its legal liability protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act into question. Section 230 protects social media platforms from facing lawsuits over what users post.

    • All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus

      President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s preparation for this once-in-a-generation crisis.

      Here, a collection of the biggest lies he’s told as the nation endures a public-health and economic calamity. This post will be updated as needed.

    • AP FACT CHECK: Trump falsely blames Obama for pricey drugs

      President Donald Trump tangled the facts when he asserted Tuesday at a White House Rose Garden event that “Obamacare” raised prescription drug costs for older people — the opposite is true.

    • Twitter fact-checks a misleading Trump tweet for the first time

      Twitter has been reluctant to enforce its own rules against Trump’s tweets in the past. Although Trump has tweeted and retweeted many seemingly rule-breaking posts, a few loopholes protected him, including exceptions for tweets from government entities and considerations for the “newsworthiness” of an otherwise rule-breaking tweet. Last year, Twitter announced that in rare cases it would limit the reach of tweets from large accounts held by government officials that were in violation of its rules. The covid-19 “infodemic” has forced most social-media platforms to change how they enforce their rules as potentially dangerous misinformation about the pandemic spreads.

    • Mail-in Voting Triggers an Unhinged Trump Rant

      Seemingly terrified of losing his reelection bid at least in part due to mail-in voting, President Trump continued to be dishonest about the process’s legitimacy in a tweet so packed with lies it’s surprising he was able to fit them all within the character count.

      Trump’s Sunday morning factless tweet began with a proclamation: “The United States cannot have all Mail-In Ballots.” What followed was a greatest hits list of falsehoods, conspiracy theories, doctoring of documents and physical intimidation, all topped with something seemingly straight from a QAnon forum: “Trying to use Covid for this Scam!”

    • Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has voted by mail 11 times in 10 years

      In fact, the Tampa native has voted by mail in every Florida election she has participated in since 2010, according to a Tampa Bay Times review of her voting history. Most recently, she voted by mail in the state’s March 2020 presidential primary, just as Trump did after he made Florida his new permanent home.

    • Kayleigh McEnany voted by mail 11 times in 10 years, but claims mail-in ballots invite rampant fraud

      McEnany, who like President Donald Trump is a resident of Florida, has cast ballots by mail in every election in the state in which she has participated, according to the Tampa Bay Times. That tally includes the March 2020 Republican primary, in which Trump also voted by mail.

      The press secretary has nonetheless attempted to defend Trump’s false claims that proposals to expand mail-in voting will “substantially” increase voter fraud and result in a “rigged election.”

      Those false claims led Twitter to flag the president’s tweets with fact-check labels for the first time.

    • Trump’s Press Secretary Says It’s Okay for Her and Trump to Vote by Mail

      As she spent the better part of last week defending President Donald Trump’s constant attacks against mail-in voting, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany apparently failed to disclose that she herself had engaged in the practice with great frequency.

    • Let’s Move On From Boris

      Boris has a new slogan, “Move on”, which he deployed repeatedly today in his appearance before the House of Commons Liaison Committee. Remembering short slogans is fairly well the extent of his political skills, and he contrived to look pleased with hmself for remembering this one. The public, he solemnly informed those watching, now wanted the narrative to “Move on” from the Dominic Cummings debacle.

    • Trump to ‘sign executive order about social media’
    • It looks like Trump’s draft executive order targeting Facebook and Twitter got leaked online
  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • In Search Of A Grand Unified Theory Of Free Expression And Privacy

      Every time I ask anyone associated with Facebook’s new Oversight Board whether the nominally independent, separately endowed tribunal is going address misuse of private information, I get the same answer—that’s not the Board’s job. This means that the Oversight Board, in addition to having such an on-the-nose proper name, falls short in a more important way—its architects imagined that content issues can be tackled substantively without addressing privacy issues. Yet surely the recent scandals that have plagued Facebook and some other tech companies in recent years have shown us that private information issues and harmful-content problems have become intimately connected.

    • Trump to sign executive order on social media on Thursday: White House

      The American Civil Liberties Union said the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution limits any action Trump could take. Facebook and Google declined comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

    • Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill

      The Bill authorises an Inspector of Publications to issue a take-down notice for objectionable online content. The take-down powers are aligned with current powers of seizure of objectionable publications under the Act.

      Take-down notices will be issued to an online content host, directing the removal of a specific link, so that the relevant objectionable material is no longer viewable in New Zealand. An online content host that does not comply with a notice to take down content as soon as is reasonably practicable (without reasonable justification for delays) will be subject to civil pecuniary penalties. It is intended (but not required by the Bill) that the authority to issue a take-down notice will only be exercised in situations where other options for seeking the removal of objectionable content online have proven ineffective. The current collaborative practice of requesting online content hosts to voluntarily remove identified objectionable content will continue to be the first and preferred approach.

    • Michigan Gov. Whitmer says she censors herself when speaking about Trump to ensure continued federal assistance

      The President for years has spread lies about voter fraud in the US and has recently ratcheted up his attacks against mail-in ballots. He falsely insisted that there is “tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” even though Trump himself has voted by mail in Florida.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Vietnam Journalists Arrests a ‘Chilling Message’ From Nervous Ruling Party-RSF

      “Vietnam must stop treating independent journalists as enemies of the state, and must allow the press to work freely and without fear of trumped-up charges and prison time,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative.

      Journalist Pham Doan Trang told RFA’s Vietnamese Service that things are getting worse for Vietnam when it comes to tolerating dissent and likely to get even tougher in the run up to the January ruling party congress.

      “Police are not only making arrests, but also beating the arrested people and threatening and provoking their relatives,” she said.

      “Freedom has always been restricted, but nowadays it seems to be narrower and there’s more and more violence. From now until the party congress, the scope of freedom can be tightened more and more, and the suppression will increase,” added Trang.

    • Covid risk for Julian Assange at next court hearing

      Julian Assange is due to appear in court by video link from Belmarsh prison next Monday, 1st June, just days after the Ministry of Justice admitted that Covid 19 is far more widespread in prisons than was previously announced.

      On doctor’s advice, Assange did not participate in the last two procedural hearings, as moving through the prison to use the communal video room would put him at even greater risk of contracting the virus.

      Assange has an underlying lung condition that makes him especially vulnerable to Covid 19.

      On Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice provided a ‘more robust way’ of reporting coronavirus cases which saw the number of staff who have tested positive jump from 563 to 873 in a week.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Leaders Must Act to Protect Refugees and Internally Displaced People in Africa

      The window of opportunity for containment is shutting fast. We must work together quickly to stop the spread of Covid-19 among the continent’s most vulnerable populations.

    • Captured Courts: Senate Dems Call Out GOP For Assault On Judiciary

      The report, titled Captured Courts: The GOP’s Big-Money Assault on the Constitution, Our Independent Judiciary, and the Rule of Law, examines a decades long effort by conservative interests to “fix” the federal court system to serve their political agenda. This effort has accelerated under the Trump administration and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    • George Floyd, Chris Cooper and the Racist Terror Faced by Black People in the US

      “I can’t breathe” — that’s what George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, repeatedly told a white Minneapolis police officer who pinned him to the ground Monday with a knee to his neck. Video of the police attack went viral. Now four officers have been fired. This comes as another video went viral of a white woman calling the cops on a Black man in New York City’s Central Park and falsely accusing him of “threatening her life” after he asked her to leash her dog. We discuss these developments and more with Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University and National Book Award–winning author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist.

    • Fascism: Is it Too Extreme a Label?

      In examining two productions of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. A Parable Play.(1)  Bertolt Brecht wrote about the rise of Ui, which illustrated Hitler’s rise to power that was resistible –but was not, we see some elements related to today’s events.

    • Canada’s Seat at the UN Security Council May be Coveted But is Far From a Sure Bet

      Next June the United Nations Assembly will hold elections at its 74th session for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council (UNSC) starting on January 1, 2021 for the period 2021–22.

    • New PEN America Report Warns Surge of Anti-Protest Laws in Trump Era Is ‘Danger to Expressive Rights of All’

      “There has been a determined movement, occurring largely outside the public eye, to delegitimize public protest and paint demonstrators as dangerous or even criminal.”

    • ‘A Disgusting Display’: Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Stun Grenades, and Tear Gas at Demonstrators Protesting Killing of George Floyd

      “What is happening tonight in our city is shameful,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said of police behavior.

    • Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas at Protest Against Killing of George Floyd

      Minneapolis police officers dressed in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades into crowds of protesters that gathered late Tuesday to demand justice for the killing of George Floyd after video footage showed a cop kneeling on the back of the man’s neck as he cried out, “I cannot breathe!”

    • The Irony of American Freedom

      In “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle,” political activist Angela Y. Davis invokes a song from the Freedom Movement, which says freedom is a constant dying, we’ve died so long we must be free. Davis appreciates this irony: “We’ve struggled so long, we’ve cried so long, we’ve sorrowed so long, we’ve moaned so long, we’ve died so long, we must be free, we must be free. And of course there’s simultaneously resignation and promise in that line, there is critique and inspiration: we must be free, we must be free but are we really free?”

    • ‘Just Let the Patriot Act Die You Cowards’: House Lawmakers Urged to Vote Down Flawed Domestic Spy Bill

      “It would be unconscionable for the Democratic House to pass any PATRIOT Act reauthorization without critical privacy reforms.”

    • Romina Ashrafi: Outrage in Iran after girl murdered ‘for eloping’

      Iran’s Islamic penal code reduces punitive measures for fathers and other family members who are convicted of murder or physically harming children in domestic violence or “honour killings”.

    • Police In Iran Arrest Father Of 13-Year-Old Girl For ‘Honor Killing’

      The thirteen-year-old girl was killed with a sickle in the city of Hovigh, Talesh county, northern Iran. Her father was detained after widespread reaction to the tragedy across the country and on social media.

    • Tibetan Students, State Workers Barred From Religious Events in Lhasa

      Saga Dawa, which falls on the fourth month of the Tibetan lunar calendar and began this year on May 23, commemorates the Buddha’s birth, death, and enlightenment, and is traditionally celebrated in Buddhist countries around the world.

      Though Lhasa’s famous Jokhang Temple and other religious sites are now open to the public, “students, government workers, and persons drawing a state pension are not allowed to take part in religious events,” one resident of the city told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

    • Poland is shocked by pedophilia documentary

      The Primate of Poland has informed the Vatican about new cases of pedophilia uncovered in a recent documentary. The Church and government are both under pressure following the revelation of what happened to the victims.

    • Minnesota Catholic diocese to pay $22.5M to sexual assault victims, file for bankruptcy

      The Diocese of Saint Cloud, Minn., has agreed to pay victims of past clerical sexual abuse $22.5 million and file for bankruptcy, making it the fifth of the state’s six Catholic dioceses to take such a step if the settlement is approved.

      The agreement will settle claims made against more than 40 priests by about 70 plaintiffs, with the allegations dating back to the 1950s, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. While many of the accused priests have since died, at least one was still in active ministry in Elk River as recently as 2015, according to the newspaper.

      The agreement would also require the diocese to turn over its files on the accused priests.

    • Bird-watcher rips woman who called the cops on him over viral Central Park dog dispute: ‘I wasn’t having it’

      That changed when bird-watcher Christian Cooper pulled out his phone and captured Amy Cooper calling police to report she was being threatened by “an African American man.” The widely watched video – posted on Facebook by Christian Cooper and on Twitter by his sister – sparked accusations of racism and led to Amy Cooper getting fired.

      “Unfortunately, we live in an era with things like Ahmaud Arbery, where black men are seen as targets,” Christian Cooper told CNN. “This woman thought she could exploit that to her advantage, and I wasn’t having it.

    • Though Busily Ranting on Twitter, Trump Completely Silent on Police Killing of George Floyd as Biden Demands Federal Probe

      “George Floyd deserved better and his family deserves justice. His life mattered, I’m grateful for the swift action in Minneapolis to fire the officers involved—they must be held responsible for their egregious actions,” said Biden.

    • Protesters clash with Minneapolis police after George Floyd death: Here’s what we know

      The horrifying video spread quickly on social media earlier in the day, showing the officer driving his knee into the Floyd’s neck as the man repeatedly says he can’t breathe.

      Four officers involved in the Monday incident have been fired, and Floyd’s family and their attorney, Ben Crump, have called for their arrests. Police have not identified the officers, but attorney Tom Kelly said he was representing Derek Chauvin, the officer seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

    • Minneapolis police, protesters clash almost 24 hours after George Floyd’s death in custody

      Four officers were fired after a video showed one of them kneeling on a handcuffed black man’s neck and ignoring pleas that he couldn’t breathe.

    • There’s Only One Possible Conclusion: White America Likes Its Killer Cops

      George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police in broad daylight this Memorial Day weekend. We know he was murdered because video shows Floyd handcuffed and pinned under the knee of an officer who was crushing his throat into the pavement. Floyd could be heard telling the officer that he couldn’t breathe. He could be heard telling the officer, “Don’t kill me.” Onlookers were heard begging the officer to stop killing the man.

      The police didn’t stop. The police are never going to voluntarily stop killing black and brown people. The killings will continue until the majority of white people in this country make the killings stop.

    • Conflict erupts at Minneapolis, L.A. protests over George Floyd death

      “Initially … it was just being looted, but at some point, a fire started,” he said, adding he wasn’t sure how it began.

    • Louisiana cop fired for saying ‘unfortunate’ more black people didn’t die of coronavirus

      The police department said in a statement on its Facebook page that it was made aware of Aucoin’s comments. Chief Joshua Hardy “looked into it,” and the officer was terminated.

    • How to Safely and Ethically Film Police Misconduct

      At the human rights organization WITNESS, where I work as the senior U.S. program coordinator, we’ve learned that video has a greater chance of making an impact when it’s filmed ethically and strategically, and released in coordination with advocacy and legal efforts. Using the camera in your pocket can be a valuable way to ensure the world bears witness to abusive policing and systemic racism, help hold authorities accountable, and advocate for the real safety of our communities. To help you film safely, ethically, and effectively, see the guidance below: [...]

    • Top Legal Expert On Torture Identifies U.S., UK, & Canadian, Govs., As The World’s Top Torturers

      Unlike in Hitler’s Nazi Party, America’s regime is bipartisan and entails the billionaires in both of the fascist regime’s two political Parties. By means of dividing the billionaires into these two contending political teams, one Democratic and the other Republican, the post-WW-II myth of a ‘democratic’ United States continues to be spread both nationally and internationally, in order for the regime to continue to be called ‘democratic’, long after democracy’s having actually expired in the U.S.

    • LAPD’s Hollywood Office: How The Department Shaped ABC’s ‘The Rookie’

      Through this video essay, Tom Secker examines the Los Angeles Police Department’s Entertainment Trademark Unit, which deals with Hollywood.

      Secker, host of “Spy Culture,” focuses on ABC’s “The Rookie,” a television show that he says “dilutes and trivializes sexism and racism in the LAPD, police brutality, and excessive force, violation of civil rights, predictive policing and rogue cops and LAPD corruption, including the Rampart scandal.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Won’t Stop Lying About ‘Fake 5G’

      Big wireless carriers haven’t been exactly honest when it comes to the looming fifth-generation wireless standard (5G). Eager to use the improvements to charge higher rates and sell new gear, carriers and network vendors are dramatically over-hyping where the service is actually available, and what it can actually do. Some, like AT&T, have gone so far as to actively mislead customers by pretending that its existing 4G networks are actually 5G. AT&T took this to the next level last year by issuing phone updates that changed the 4G icon to “5GE” on customer phones, despite the fact that actual 5G isn’t really available.

  • Monopolies

    • Local TV Stations Pilloried for ‘Shamelessly’ Passing Off Amazon-Scripted Propaganda as News

      “Jeff Bezos can run as many scripted news segments he wants. It still doesn’t change the fact that he made $34.5 billion over the course of this pandemic while putting his workers in harm’s way and shirking on their hazard pay.”

    • WATCH: 9 Local TV Stations Pushed the Same Amazon-Scripted Segment

      While most TV news professionals have scoffed at the idea of running Amazon-provided content as news, at least 9 stations across the country ran some form of the package on their news broadcasts. The package—you can view the script Amazon provided to news stations here—was produced by Amazon spokesperson Todd Walker. Only one station, Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG, acknowledged that Walker was an Amazon employee, not a news reporter, and noted that Amazon had supplied the video. Other stations that ran the Amazon-provided content as a news package include: [...]

    • Patents

      • Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber updates position on standard-essential patent injunctions — FRAND-compliant defendants in the clear

        Access to standard-essential patent (SEP) injunctions in Germany remains in flux. This is the third post in a row to share news regarding the situation in Mannheim, the “diversity venue” du jour.

        One week ago, I reported on the position taken by the Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Holger Kircher) in a Nokia v. Daimler trial earlier that week. Effectively, Judge Dr. Kircher’s panel told the parties (behind closed doors, but without insisting on confidential treatment of that part of the conversation) that the judges were going to reverse their Huawei v. ZTE-related approach of several years: they were going to start their analysis with the implementer’s counteroffer.

        Toward the end of yesterday’s post on Conversant’s quartet of patent infringement complaints against Daimler in Munich, I mentioned that in a Nokia v. Lenovo trial on Friday, the Mannheim court’s other patent-specialized division–Presiding Judge Dr. Peter Tochtermann’s Seventh Civil Chamber–had distanced itself from the other panel’s stance.

        Meanwhile I’ve obtained a copy of a clarifying order by Judge Dr. Kircher and his side judges Sender and Dr. Seibel, dated Monday, May 26, 2020, in that Nokia v. Daimler case.

      • USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines for Small and Micro Entities

        In a notice posted on its website earlier today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it was further extending the time to file certain patent-related documents and to pay certain required fees, but only for certain types of entities. As with the initial extensions announced by the Office on March 31, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”) and the extension of those deadlines announced by the Office on April 28, 2020 (see “USPTO Announces Further Extension of Certain Patent Deadlines”), the additional extensions are the result of the temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.

      • Nonexcludable Innovations and COVID-19

        Some of the most widely discussed COVID-19 interventions include vaccines, drugs, and medical devices—typical interventions for many diseases, whether the cause of a pandemic or not. These interventions share a further similarity—they’re all generally excludable. That is, the owner of a particular invention can generally exclude others from practicing it without permission. In a classic account of IP, it is this excludability that encourages their development in the first instance. But as Professors Amy Kapczynski and Talha Syed have explained, some knowledge goods are more excludable than others. In this post, we describe why many successful COVID-19 interventions—washing hands, wearing face masks, even the proning of patients in a hospital setting—are generally nonexcludable and thus likely to be underincentivized by IP-based market rewards. Policymakers tasked with encouraging COVID-19 innovation should attempt to correct for this asymmetry in excludability.


        A number of interventions that have emerged in the context of COVID-19 have limited excludability. Consider mask wearing. At present, the best evidence suggests that wearing masks in public helps reduce the spread of COVID-19—whether it is an exhaustive review of the existing literature, empirical studies done in the context of seasonal coronaviruses, mathematical models of COVID-19, or other scientific articles. After initially recommending against the use of masks in public by most Americans, the CDC has now recommended the use of cloth masks “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” such as grocery stores.

        But this knowledge about the benefits of wearing of masks in public—particularly DIY cloth masks—is highly nonexcludable. The holder of a patent on a method of wearing masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (should it even issue) would not reasonably be able to enforce that patent. Systematically enforcing patent violations would not be practical, given the vast numbers of Americans wearing masks in public (73%, in a recent AP poll). It might be easier to sue entities (like grocery stores) who require shoppers to wear masks, on grounds of inducement of infringement, but this is difficult to imagine, given the social pressure on such a patentholder not to enforce their rights. And the same argument applies to knowledge about the benefits of other public health measures—it is hard to imagine enforcement of a patent related to hand washing or social distancing.

        As another example, consider proning, in which COVID-19 patients are simply placed on their stomachs (in the prone position) rather than on their backs. According to a series of studies (including multiple on COVID-19 specifically—see here, here, and here for a selection, but also here in the pre-COVID-19 context), proning may increase patients’ oxygen saturation and may help patients avoid being placed on a ventilator. It may even lower their risk of death.

      • A Dynamic Reversal by the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal

        The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has decided that the exclusion from patentability of essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals now also extends to plant or animal products that are exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process for European patents or pending European patent applications that were granted or filed from July 1, 2017, on.

        Plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes are excluded from patentability, according to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (“EBA”) of the European Patent Office (“EPO”). This reversal of the EBA’s previous rulings was issued late last week in the eagerly anticipated opinion in referral G 3/19 (“Pepper”).

        To recap, after the Broccoli-II and Tomato-II decisions (G 2/12 and G 2/13) affirmed the patentability of products derived from essentially biological processes, the European Commission issued a Notice indicating that the Biotech Directive should have been interpreted to exclude such products from patentability (see our June 2015 Commentary, “Clarifying or Confirming the Extent of Process Exclusion under Art. 53(b) EPC?” and our December 2016 Alert, “Clarifying or Confusing? The European Commission Chews on Tomatoes and Broccoli”). In order to comply with the Notice, the EPO Administrative Council introduced Rule 28(2) EPC in July 2017 (see our July 2017 Commentary, “Clarifying or Conforming? The EPO Bows to the European Commission”).


        The interpretation of Article 53(b) EPC given in G 3/19 is said to have no retroactive effect on relevant European patents or pending European patent applications that were granted or filed before July 1, 2017.

      • Software Patents

        • Meet the Western District of Texas—NPEs Certainly Have

          For years, the Eastern District of Texas was the favored stomping ground for patent trolls. Short times from filing to trial, shorter trials, judges with local rules friendly to patent plaintiffs, and a jury pool that tended to be friendly to plaintiffs all contributed to this. It probably didn’t hurt that Eastern District judges were significantly less likely than average to grant defendants summary judgment and, more recently, significantly less likely to stay a case pending IPR.

          And NPEs were likely particularly interested in the fact that the Eastern District gave NPEs a win at trial almost twice as often as the average court would.

          But with the Supreme Court’s 2017 TC Heartland decision, NPEs had a much harder time suing defendants in the Eastern District. Since most defendants had no presence in the district, NPEs could no longer rely on it being an option in their lawsuits, especially after some of the more far-reaching attempts to keep cases in Eastern Texas were slapped down by the Federal Circuit.

          Enter Judge Alan Albright and the Western District of Texas.


          Many litigators predicted a rise in litigation in the Western District of Texas. They were right. Since Judge Albright was seated, patent filings in his court have risen significantly. In the first four months of 2020, 258 new patent cases were filed in the Western District. That’s an eightfold increase over the same period in 2018, before Judge Albright was seated.

          And this isn’t an instance in which productive companies are flocking to the district to file their cases. This increase has been driven mostly by NPEs. Unified Patents attributes more than 70% of the new cases to an NPE, and the vast majority of those are from the sort of large patent aggregators that the AIA and TC Heartland decisions had the largest impact on.

          That shouldn’t be surprising. The presence of many tech companies in Austin—inside the Western District—combined with Judge Albright taking a very harsh view of motions to transfer cases means that those cases won’t go elsewhere. And once you’re in Judge Albright’s court, a plaintiff can rest easy in the knowledge that patent trolls who file cases in his court can almost definitely never face an IPR.

        • $1,000 Awarded for Slotznick Prior Art

          Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winners, Ekta Aswal and Rajesh Singh, who split the winning cash prize of $1,000 for prior art submissions for U.S. Patent 7,137,127. The ’127 patent is generally related to user-generated embedded information transfer and was granted to Benjamin Slotznick, an NPE-individual.


          The ongoing contests are open to anyone, and include tens of thousands of dollars in rewards available for helping the industry to challenge NPE patents of questionable validity by finding and submitting prior art in the contests.

    • Trademarks

      • Beef in veggieland: Hague court rules that INCREDIBLE BURGER infringes IMPOSSIBLE BURGER trade mark

        One of this Kat’s favourite journalistic pieces of the last year was a foray, by Tad Friend for The New Yorker, into the world of vegetarian burgers [here]. In particular, it chronicles Pat Brown’s mission to “save the planet from environmental catastrophe”. His strategy? The Impossible Burger, a 100% plant-based burger.

        As suggested by Elon Musk, the way to change the world is to start a business. And so, Pat Brown took on the beef industry, which he considers the greatest contributor to climate change. The piece describes the ascent of vegetarian burgers [and the painstaking opposition they face from various quarters] and raises thought-provoking questions about what, exactly, makes us love our favourite foods.

        It was therefore nice to see that Impossible Burger has become so successful that it faces competition from a major player in the food industry – Nestlé – which recently introduced the “Incredible Burger”. Given his mission, Pat Brown was probably happy, too, but less so about the name. Hence, Impossible Foods brought suit against Nestlé for infringement of its European Union Trade Mark IMPOSSIBLE BURGER before the district court of the Hague [Dutch decision here, courtesy of IE-forum]. In it’s decision yesterday, the Hague court forbid Nestlé to further infringe Impossible Foods’ trade mark in the entire EU.

    • Copyrights

      • Vapor Store Looks a Lot Like a Popcorn Time For Pirated Steam Games

        Popcorn Time made thousands of headlines after being dubbed the ‘Netflix for Pirates’ and a new piece of software released this week could be making some early steps towards becoming its counterpart for pirated games. Like Kodi, Vapor Store doesn’t come with any unlicensed media installed but after a simple tweak can provide access to a huge library of Steam games.

      • Stores Selling Switch Piracy Hacks ‘Disappear’ Following Nintendo Lawsuit

        Last week Nintendo sued the operators of nine online stores for enabling widespread piracy. The websites in question offered Switch hacks and mods linked to Team-Xecuter, including an upcoming release of a Switch Lite hack. While the lawsuits are just starting up, they already seem to have had an effect as most stores have now disappeared. Or have they?

      • A Plan to Pay Artists, Encourage Competition, and Promote Free Expression

        Update/Correction, May 27 2020, 2PM Pacific. An earlier version of this article contained the phrase “the the online music industry is currently generating more revenues than the music industry did at the height of the CD bubble”; this has been corrected to read “the online music industry is currently generating more revenues than the music industry at any time since the CD bubble.”

        As Congress gets ready for yet another hearing on copyright and music, we’d like to suggest that rather than more “fact-finding,” where the facts are inevitably skewed toward the views of the finder, our legislators start focusing on a concrete solution that builds on and learns from decades of copyright policy: blanket licensing. It will need an update to make it work for the Internet age, but as complicated as that will be, it has the profound benefit of adhering to copyright’s real purpose: spurring creativity and innovation. And it’s far better than the status quo, where audiences and musicians alike are collateral damage in an endless war between giant tech companies and giant entertainment companies.

      • With Theaters Closed, The Trailer For Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Debuts In Fortnite Instead

        With the explosion of the video game industry and the technology that has come along with it, it’s starting to get really fun to see what creative minds can do inside of the gaming realm. It’s turning games into something much more than they would have been 20 years ago. Back then, games were singular in purpose: play the video game. Today they can be so much more when done right. They can be a social ecosystem. They can be economies onto themselves.

The EPO Became a Very Radical Institution

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…And The World Will Not Change for the Better Unless or Until People Demand That

Gollum Two Face: Somebody not called Battistelli
Did anybody really think that a person chosen by Battistelli to succeed Battistelli would be any different? As SUEPO put it 2 months ago: “Are we back to the Battistelli era?”

Summary: Projection tactics are doomed to say more about the people who utilise them than about anybody else; the EPO has become so autocratic and corrupt that corruption is seen as normal and workers who explain this corruption are framed as “irrational” or “crazy” or “radical”

TRUISMS be told, no society is stagnant. Things change all the time. Politically, economically, legally…

Remember that hundreds of years ago we had no copyright law, no patent law, and drug distributions were governed very differently. We’re not passing criticism or hailing particular policies; it’s just an observation.

Society generally changes over time; sometimes the changes are driven solely by whatever we call them: oligarchs, kings, plutocrats, masters and feudal lords… these tend to be top-down changes, either intended to appease the ‘masses’ (‘plebs’, ‘peasants’…) or to forcibly crush them. Pacifying the people means that rebellion becomes less likely; a form of power compromise… “I hand over to you some of the powers previously reserved to me, so perhaps you’ll accept my authority if not very existence…”

“Mr. Campinos does not even respect a fundamental right like free speech. He has blocked Techrights (imposing the block on about 7,000 people) for nearly 2 years.”Techrights isn’t (and was never) a revolutionary site. Political? Hardly. Daily Links might be… but criticisms of the EPO, for instance, deal with law and with technical matters. The political aspects come to it only because politicians like António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli (also sons of politicians) were put in charge. This was never supposed to happen. Campinos comes from a rather ‘radical’ socialist family; he lacks background in the sciences (no wonder he thinks we need software patents in Europe) and thus far his sole preoccupation at the EPO was with “production”, i.e. giving as many monopolies as possible, usually to very large companies. No doubt his father (if he was still alive) would be extremely disappointed. Mr. Campinos does not even respect a fundamental right like free speech. He has blocked Techrights (imposing the block on about 7,000 people) for nearly 2 years.

“It’s too easy to accuse others of what oneself is already abundantly guilty of.”The way I see it, Battistelli and Campinos are the Mao types; no wonder they embark on so many photo tours and take photo ops with the Communist Party of China (CPC, or CCP). Suits them right…

The Marxist ‘Educate, agitate, organise’ [1, 2, 3] comes to mind; and then they have the audacity to portray critics and antagonists of theirs as anarchic, blocking their sites, threatening them, claiming that they engage in “defamation” (guess who the courts deemed to be guilty of defamation; those are cheap projection tactics).

It’s too easy to accuse others of what oneself is already abundantly guilty of. For instance, they’d have the public believe that anyone who does not agree with them is somehow a “radical” “rebel”; or as Dr. Chrissi Nerantzi put it:

Is encouraging openness and diverse networks really radical? After all, what are we all here for? Universities are here to create new knowledge and disseminate it for the social good, to make a difference.

Unlike the patent system, which limits the dissemination by restriction and litigation. In its very beginning it was at least conceived with positive intentions; it rewarded people to publish (in paper form) their tricks and tips, various methodologies and designs that when assembled could produce innovative new products like efficient grinding mills. Not some bloody algorithm that presents a progress bar on a screen or some perturbed form of pig, whose genetics were edited for the sole purpose of obesity (glorified breeding) and of course monopolisation.

“As we’ve pointed out here many times over the years, the ideas expressed by patent maximalists are far more radical.”People like myself and many others who pursue changes to the status quo — be it in software or the patent system that ruins software developments — aren’t radical at all. As we’ve pointed out here many times over the years, the ideas expressed by patent maximalists are far more radical. A quick look at Watchtroll oftentimes shows unbelievably zealous and antisocial behaviour. That is why we never ever link to that site anymore (it’s the only such site); the EPO’s management not only links to that site but closely cooperates with it. That says a lot about the radical nature of today’s EPO. If anyone out there is radical it’s not us. “Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings,” Cheris Kramerae famously said. Yes, we’re ‘radical’ in that sense that we believe in — Heaven forbid! — justice.

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