11.30.20

Links 30/11/2020: GhostBSD 20.11.28, Nitrux 1.3.5, Linux 5.10 RC6, GNOME Circle, Microsoft Collapses Again in Web Server Share

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup #106

      Hello and welcome to this week’s Linux Roundup!

      We had a relatively peaceful week in the world of Linux Releases, with Q4OS 4.2-testing and Nitrux OS 2020.11.29.

      The big news of this week is the release of Cinnamon 4.8 which will be in Linux Mint 20.1, so Linux Mint 20.1 is just around the corner.

    • 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup: November 29th, 2020

      The ninth installment of the 9to5Linux Weekly Roundup is here, for the week ending on November 29th, keeping you guys up to date with the most important things that have happened in the Linux world.

      This week it’s been a bit slow for Linux news, but we had some interesting releases and a nice announcement from TUXEDO Computers. Of course, let’s not forget about all the software and distro releases. Let’s get started, shall we?

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • TUXEDO launch their Linux powered XMG FUSION 15 with a 144Hz screen | GamingOnLinux

        After what they say are countless hours of work towards it, TUXEDO have now launched their own XMG FUSION 15 with full Linux support and they’re supporting people who purchased it elsewhere.

        What’s also known as the Eluktronics Mag-15 or QC7, it’s a very popular Intel and NVIDIA powered laptop that TUXEDO said was done out of “numerous requests for Linux support”. Not only are they directly selling their own XMG FUSION 15 – powered by TUXEDO, they’re also providing all Linux drivers and anything else needed to ensure “full compatibility” retroactively for all customers who own one from any vendor be it the XMG FUSION 15, Eluktronics Mag-15, Aftershock / LEVEL 51 Vapor 15 Pro or the MAINGEAR ELEMENT. If you do own one, take a look here for info.

    • Server

      • November 2020 Web Server Survey

        The number of domains powered by Microsoft web server suffered another noticeable fall this month, dropping by 473,000 to 19.1 million (-2.41%), reducing its share to 7.25%.

        [...]

        Some of the most commonly visited websites powered by OpenResty include Tumblr, Firefox Monitor, Basecamp and a few adult video sites. The 36.6 million domains powered by OpenResty are served from just 81,900 computers.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Sad: Bring Sed Into The Future With Space Age Sed – YouTube

        Search and replace is a function you’ll frequently need for text processing so today we’re looking at another one of the many rust replacements out their, today’s tool is a rust replacement for sed called sad otherwise known as space age sed, one of the standard tools on your unix like linux system.

      • GNU World Order 382

        **seejpeg** , **slackpkg** , and related hacks.

      • Linux Action News 165

        What caused the recent major AWS outage, the breaking changes that just arrived upstream, and a new mail client for Linux.

      • The M1 Macbook Pro (From a Linux users perspective) – YouTube

        I have the new Macbook Pro with the M1 CPU in the studio, and I decided to make a video to give you guys my thoughts on it. This is not a super-detailed review, as Mac isn’t my platform of choice. Since my primary OS is Linux, I thought it might make for an interesting video.

      • Will Apple’s move to ARM lead to Linux Desktop DOMINANCE?
      • Linus Torvalds on Apple M1 Mac, Blender, PulseAudio, 25 Years of GIMP | This Week in Linux 127 – TuxDigital

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got a lot of Audio related news this week. We’ve got a new release from the Digital Audio Workstation, Ardour. A new release of PulseAudio, AV Linux, and we’ve got some interesting news from Fedora about potentially switching to PipeWire. In App News this week, we’ll check out the latest release of Blender and celebrate 25 Years of GIMP. Linus Torvalds commented on using Linux on Apple’s new M1 Mac and we’ll round the show out with a new product from Pine64, a soldering iron, and there has been a distro merge between Sabayon and Funtoo. All that and much more coming up right now on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

    • Kernel Space

      • Xilinx Continues Their Open-Source FPGA Upstreaming Push For The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        Earlier this month we covered the news of Xilinx is looking to upstream their open-source “AI Engine” driver to the Linux kernel. This comes as Xilinx and AMD are working on Radeon Open eCosystem (ROCm) support for their FPGAs with AMD being in the process of acquiring the FPGA giant. Now more open-source code is looking to be included in the Linux kernel tree.

        Sent out on Saturday were more patches around the Xilinx Alveo accelerator and the Xilinx Runtime (XRT) open-source stack.

      • Linux 5.10-rc6
        For the first part of the week, it really looked like things were
        calming down quite nicely, and I mentally already went "Ahh,
        Thanksgiving week, this is going to be a nice small, calm rc".
        
        And then Friday rolled around, and everybody sent me their pull
        requests for the week, and it all looks very normal again.
        
        But at least this week isn't unusually bigger than normal - it's a
        pretty normal rc6 stat-wise.  So unless we have some big surprising
        left-overs coming up, I think we're in good shape.
        
        And the diffstat looks nice and flat too,  which is a sign of just
        widespread small fixes, rather than some big last-minute changes. The
        exception is a chunk of fixes to the new vidtv driver, but that is not
        only a new driver, it's a virtual test-driver for validation and
        development rather than something that would affect users.
        
        That vidtv driver shows up very clearly in the patch stats too, but
        other than that it all looks very normal: mostly driver updates (even
        ignoring the vidtv ones), with the usual smattering of small fixes
        elsewhere - architecture code, networking, some filesystem stuff.
        
        So I'm feeling pretty good about 5.10, and I hope I won't be proven
        wrong about that. But please do test,
        
                         Linus
        
        
      • Linux 5.10-rc6 Released – This LTS Kernel Now Appearing In Good Shape

        While in recent weeks Linus Torvalds was becoming increasingly concerned over the size of the changes in Linux 5.10, 5.10-rc6 is out this evening and fortunately it has calmed down. At this point Linus is appearing relieved that Linux 5.10 will be in good shape for shipping on time and without any major concerns.

        Even with the US Thanksgiving week, Linux 5.10-rc6 came in as a “normal” release rather than being on the lighter side as are the kernels of most holiday weeks.

      • Greg Kroah-Hartman: Lessons for Developers from 20 Years of Linux Kernel Work [Ed: "The Linux Foundation is a sponsor of The New Stack" for the latter to write puff pieces such as these, so it's basically marketing]
      • Greg Kroah-Hartman: ‘Don’t Make Users Mad’

        Kroah-Hartman explains that one of Linus Torvalds’ most deeply-held convictions: don’t break userspace. “Other operating systems have this rule as well — it’s a very solid rule — because we always want you to upgrade. And we want you to upgrade without worrying about it. We don’t want you to feel scared. If you see a new release, and we say, ‘Hey, this fixes a bunch of problems,’ we don’t want you to feel worried about taking that. That’s really really important — especially with security….”

        If you do make a change, make sure there truly is a compelling reason. “You have to provide enough reason and enough goodness to force somebody to take the time to learn to do something else. That’s very rare.”

        His example of this was systemd, which unified a variety of service configurations and initialization processes. “They did it right. They provided all the functionality, they solved a real problem that was there. They unified all these existing tools and problems in such a way that it was just so much better to use, and it provided enough impetus that everybody was willing to do the work to modify their own stuff and move to the new model. It worked. People still complain about it, but it worked. Everybody switched… It works well. It solves a real problem.

        “That was an example of how you can provide a compelling reason to move on — and make the change.”

      • What to do in case of a Linux kernel panic

        Linux is used everywhere in the IT world. You’ve probably used Linux today, even if you didn’t realize it. If you have learned anything about Linux, then you know it is indeed a kernel. The kernel is the primary unit of the Linux operating system (OS) and is responsible for communications between a computer’s hardware and its processes.

        In this article, you will learn about one situation related to the Linux kernel: The kernel panic. The term itself can make you panic, but if you have the proper knowledge, then you can remain calm. Every system admin faces this issue at least once in their career, but reinstalling the system is not the first solution you should turn to.

        [...]

        Now, anytime you see a kernel panic error, you will definitely not panic because you know why this error occurred and how to resolve it. This article covers one of the common Linux boot problems: kernel panic. There are so many other potential boot problems that can occur in Linux, but resolving those issues will become much less of a panic when you gain some advanced knowledge of your system.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RADV Vulkan Driver Enables NGG For AMD VanGogh APUs – Phoronix

          Up to now the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” has only enabled Next-Gen Geometry (NGG) support by default for discrete graphics cards. But now that requirement is lifted for supporting NGG on forthcoming GFX10.3 (RDNA 2) APUs.

          The forthcoming and very exciting VanGogh APUs will now see NGG enabled when running on the RADV Vulkan driver, similar to a previous change made for the RadeonSI Gallium3D OpenGL driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • Firefox 83 vs. Chrome 87 On Intel Tiger Lake + AMD Renoir Under Linux

        With this month’s release of Chrome 87 having more performance improvements while Firefox 83 debuted with its “Warp” JavaScript improvements, it’s a good time for some fresh Linux web browser benchmarks of these two main options. Plus with Firefox 84 to begin enabling WebRender by default in some Linux configurations, there is also a fresh run of Firefox with WebRender enabled.

        This round of weekend browser benchmarking featured Firefox 83, Firefox 83 with WebRender force enabled for all tests, and then Chrome 87. Tests were done on an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U and Intel Core i7 1165G7 notebooks (the latest Renoir and Tiger Lake hardware I have available for testing).

    • Applications

      • FontManager 0.8 Released with Google Fonts Integration

        The Font Manager 0.8.0 update introduces integration with Google Fonts, one of the largest online sources of freely licensed font families.

        Users can click the ‘G’ tool bar icon to instantly access more than 1,000 fonts distributed through Google’s type hub. Fonts can be display by name, recency, popularity, or ‘trending’, and filtered by font type, variation, and language support.

        Font families can be previewed instantaneously in an increasing-size ‘waterfall’ presentation (the exact text can be customised) or a big block of randomly placeholder text. Font size, colour, and background colour are all configurable too.

      • Tootle – Lightning Fast GTK+3 Mastodon Client for Linux

        Looking for a mastodon client for Linux? Tootle is a simple free and open-source GTK-based Mastodon client with dark mode support.

      • Zotero: An Open Source App to Help You Collect & Share Research

        Zotero is a completely open-source project that you can find on GitHub. It aims to help you easily collect, organize, add notes, and share your research.

        And, all of that without being a cloud-based service, it is completely offline. So, your research notes belong to you. Of course, unless you want to sync it for collaboration purpose, for which you may have to refer the documentation.

        To give you a head start, you can either opt for a WebDAV storage or just create a Zotero account to sync and share your research easily.

      • Minder – mind-mapping tool

        Structured thinking is a process of setting a framework to an unstructured problem. Having a structure not only helps to understand a particular problem, it also helps to identify areas which need more understanding. Structured thinking allows us to map ideas in structured fashion, thereby enabling the identification of areas which require the most thought.

        Mind mapping is a fairly free flowing concept. This means you need software that is versatile, and can adapt to your requirements. Your idea of a neat and tidy mind map might be another person’s idea of bamboozling. A map can concentrate very complex content in a small space such as a piece of paper. It helps to use both sides of your brain: the logical side and also the creative side. It’s a technique to help organize the way you think and stimulate your creativity: It can help you by developing, sorting and helping to memorize your ideas.

        Mind mapping software therefore offers an excellent way of capturing your thoughts in a structured way, brainstorming new ideas. Move away from simple lists, and use this software to link ideas in different ways. By thinking creatively, not linearly, we can seize on our big ideas.

      • Vulkan Improvements & Fixes Land In FFmpeg – Phoronix

        Landing in FFmpeg this week were the first batch of Vulkan improvements since the prior big push in May. There are various fixes, changes to allow custom Vulkan device contexts, possible segmentation fault fixes, optionally enabling more Vulkan extensions for usage, supporting more pixel formats, improving the download/upload paths, and other work. Recent Vulkan changes to FFmpeg can be found via this GitHub search with the recent contributions by developer Lynne.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Enable Timestamp For History Command In Fish Shell – OSTechNix

        Whenever a command is entered in the terminal, it will be saved at the end of the history file in Linux. You can easily retrieve these commands at any time using history command. The shell is also tracking the timestamp of all command entries, so that we can easily find when a specific command is executed. We already have shown you how to enable timestamp in Bash and Zsh shells. Today we will see how to enable timestamp for history command in Fish shell in Linux. In addition, we will also learn how to create a simple function to show the date and time stamps in history command output in fish shell.

      • Linux: How To Encrypt And Decrypt Files With A Password
      • How to convert pdf to image on Linux command line – nixCraft

        I have many PDF files, and I need to convert them to a png file format, add a border to those images, and convert back all those images to pdf format. How can I convert pdf to image format on Linux and vice versa using the CLI?

      • How To Install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular server scripting language known for creating dynamic and interactive Web pages. PHP is a widely-used programming language on the Web.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of PHP 8 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Restrict WordPress Site Access – Anto Online

        A lot of the time, you need to restrict access to various users on your website. Whether you’re cordoning premium content, sensitive pages, or content targeted to specific individuals, there are various ways you can restrict user access easily and effectively on your WordPress website.

        The easiest method is using plugins that you can just download and link with your website. If you have coding skills, you can also edit various functions to achieve the same thing.

        We shall also take a look at how you can restrict site managers with various levels of access. Whatever kind of site restrictions you need to accomplish, stick with us and we will help you do it.

      • How To Install Telegram on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Telegram on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Telegram is a free and open-source instant messaging app that values user’s privacy and data encryption, which means as compared to Whatsapp all your messages will be on the company’s secure cloud in an encrypted form rather than on a local device. The benefit is, we can access our conversation on any device logged with the same account thus, they always are in synchronization.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of Telegram Dekstop on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Install Plex Media Server on CentOS 7/8

        Plex is a streaming service that is based on a client-server architecture. You can install Plex application on the media server to stream video, audio, music. On the other hand, you can install the client to access the content from your tablet, mobile devices.

      • Mandriva Linux Chronicles: Problems with Video Filed and a Nice Solution

        Because of the sanitary emergency, I have been teleworking all this year.

        For me, this has implied making lots of videos for my students, so I use InShot and Textro on an Android phone to record/ add effects and then I work on the computer for the post production. I have been relying on Kdenlive (on PCLinuxOS) and OBS Studio (on OpenMandriva and MX Linux, for live streams).

        But then, half way this year, I noticed that sometimes the audio of the videos that I edited on the phone with InShot was out of sync when I loaded them to Kdenlive.

        As a solution, I used Pitivi on Mageia to convert the videos, which fixed the problem. This additional step, however, is time-consuming and time has become an even more precious resource right now when one is teleworking.

        Today, I shot four videos and edited them on InShot. When I loaded them to the Kdenlinve project, to my distress, the audio was not in sync.

        I could not afford to run them through Pitivi and use up an average of 15 minutes on the conversion of each clip. I thought that, if I could join the clips together, the audio might be OK in Kdenlive. I was worth giving it a shot.

      • How to convert WebP-images to JPG and PNG using ffmpeg

        I came across some WebP-image the other day and wanted to convert it to a regular JPG. It turns out that’s rather easy with a Linux based operating system, all that you need is ffmpeg.

      • How I got started with Vim

        A long time ago my web browser of choice was Mozilla Firefox, and as most normal people I was using it primarily with my mouse and occasionally with some simple keybindings. That all changed back in 2011 when I started to get really invested in tiling window managers (and not long after a lot of text-based applications), simply because I found them to be the most efficient alternative for me. With the keyboard I could do swift actions in a matter of milliseconds, compared to the mouse where some actions could take multiple seconds to execute.

        My desktop from 2011 running the tiling window manager WMFS.

        The more I used my new setup with WMFS, the more conscious I got about my workflow in general, almost to the point where I became obsessed with optimizing everything in regard to how I used my computer. Bothered by how I was using Firefox, I had no choice but to look into how I could make my web browsing workflow more efficient.

      • How to bind keyboard controls to controller on Linux

        Controller support for Linux games is excellent, thanks to Steam and the Linux kernel. However, not every video game available on the Linux platform brings controller support. Some games require a keyboard and mouse, and that’s a bummer if you prefer a gamepad.

      • How to try out the new Vivaldi email client on Linux

        The Vivaldi web browser has a new feature: a built-in email client. With it, users can read their email directly through their web browser without needing to deal with webmail.

      • How to install Cinnamon 4.8 on Ubuntu 20.04 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Cinnamon 4.8 on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to solve NetBeans IDE 8.2 RC No compatible JDK was found?

        When you trying to install NetBeans IDE 8.2 RC in your Linux based system it shows you the error “No compatible JDK was found”

        What does mean of no compatible JDK was found? It means that you have to install JDK or you have to use a different version of JDK most probably “JDK 8” will work.

        By Default, JDK 11 is installed in our system so we have to download JDK 8 and change the default version with java 8.

      • How to Install Go in Ubuntu 20.04

        Go is a popular programming language created by Google. The first release was on November 10, 2009, and version 1.0 was released in 2012. It is a pretty new language compared to languages like Java, Python, C, C++, etc.. which has been in the market for more than 15 plus years.

        Go was Implemented with Assembly language (GC); C++ (gccgo) and Go. In many places, you may see people refer to go as golang and that is because of its domain name, golang.org, but the proper name is Go. Go is cross-platform, it can be installed on Linux, Windows, and macOS.

      • How to use permission command chmod in Linux with various parameters

        In Linux, if you want to manage permission of files or directories all you can do using chmod command.

        Through this command, you can ensure a specific person has certain rights to access, modification, and other things.

        In this article, we will guide you through the concept of chmod how you can implement it in your system.

        Chmod
        Chmod stands for change file mode bits.

      • Renaming and reshaping Scylla tables using scylla-migrator

        We have recently faced a problem where some of the first Scylla tables we created on our main production cluster were not in line any more with the evolved schemas that recent tables are using.

        This typical engineering problem requires either to keep those legacy tables and data queries or to migrate it to the more optimal model with the bandwagon of applications to be modified to query the data the new way… That’s something nobody likes doing but hey, we don’t like legacy at Numberly so let’s kill that one!

        To overcome this challenge we used the scylla-migrator project and I thought it could be useful to share this experience.

      • How to manage users in linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        User management on Linux can be done in three complementary ways. You can use the graphical tools provided by your distribution. These tools have a look and feel that depends on the distribution. If you are a novice Linux user on your home system, then use the graphical tool that is provided by your distribution. This will make sure that you do not run into problems.

        Another option is to use command line tools like useradd, usermod, gpasswd, passwd and others. Server administrators are likely to use these tools, since they are familiar and very similar across many different distributions. This guide will focus on these command line tools.

        A third and rather extremist way is to edit the local configuration files directly using vi (or vipw/vigr). Do not attempt this as a novice on production systems!

      • How To Install Django on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Django on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Django is the most popular Python web framework designed to help developers build secure, scalable, and maintainable web applications. Django is free and open-source software, fast and stable which allows you to create a complex website with less coding.

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

      • How to run a program as another user on Linux – The Linux Juggernaut

        The sudo program allows a user to start a program with the credentials of another user. Before this works, the system administrator has to set up the /etc/sudoers file. This can be useful to delegate administrative tasks to another user (without giving the root password). The screenshot below shows the usage of sudo.

        User ‘rd’ received the right to run useradd with the credentials of root. This allows ‘rd’ to create new users on the system without becoming root and without knowing the root password.

      • Terraform with AWS S3 and DynamoDB for Remote State Files

        By default, Terraform state files are generated locally. This is not ideal when you have multiple people working on a project.

      • How to Install PHP 8 on CentOS 7/8
      • Testing xdotool linux tool .

        Xdotool is a free and open source command line tool for simulating mouse clicks and keystrokes.

        You can create beautiful scrips and tools with this command.

      • How to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Plex Streaming Media Server | Tom’s Hardware

        Now that Ubuntu Desktop is available for Raspberry Pi 4, users no longer need to fiddle with terminal commands to enjoy Plex Media Server on Raspberry Pi. In this article, we will set up Ubuntu Desktop and turn our Raspberry Pi into a streaming media server. We have chosen Plex Media Server since it is available in the Ubuntu Appliance portfolio. Check out our recent article on the Ubuntu Appliance portfolio for Raspberry Pi here.

    • Games

      • Godot Engine getting plenty of major 2D advancements for the 4.0 release | GamingOnLinux

        Vulkan support is coming with Godot Engine 4.0 and with it plenty of modern 3D rendering features, however the 2D side of Godot is also seeing plenty of love. In a fresh blog post, lead developer Juan Linietsky went over some of the big stuff that will be coming and it all sounds quite impressive for this free and open source game engine.

        Performance is going to be improved, partly as a result of Vulkan with Linietsky mentioned as it has a “lower draw-call cost than OpenGL”. However, that’s not the only reason as they’ve done some dedicated improvements to optimize the 2D side including changes to enable “thousands of draw() functions from a node’s _draw() callback” which will speed up both the GLES3 and GLES2 back-ends.

      • Rail Route is an upcoming train dispatcher simulator with a demo up | GamingOnLinux

        Think you have what it takes to control complex train routes? The train dispatcher simulator Rail Route looks thoroughly interesting, and you can even try an early demo.

        In the game you will be tasked with negotiating contracts, building railroads, setting up routes for trains and controlling the traffic. As you go you will unlock more features of the dispatcher interface, upgrade the railway network itself and add in a little automation.

      • Linux gaming overlay MangoHud gets fancy with new graphs in the latest release | GamingOnLinux

        Have a love of graphs? You will like the latest release of the Linux gaming overlay and benchmark tool MangoHud, as it’s giving you even more details and control.

        MangoHud is a a Vulkan and OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, temperatures, CPU/GPU load and quite a lot more. It’s quickly become the go-to for displaying and monitoring almost anything you need for Linux gaming and the 0.6.0 / 0.6.1 release that just went out has expanded what it can do even further.

        One of the major new features is the ability to reorder the HUD so you can have it in whatever order you like. So if you want the FPS and frame timing info first before your system readout, you can do that.

      • Classic FOSS FPS ‘Cube 2: Sauerbraten’ sees the first release since 2013 | GamingOnLinux

        Cube 2: Sauerbraten lives again it seems! The classic free and open source first-person shooter, which combines old school gameplay with in-game map editing returns. For newer players: this is not another game based on old open source id Software tech though, as the engine supporting it is original and open source under the ZLIB license.

        Going by their release history the 2020_11_29 edition is the first since early 2013. That is a long time for fans to wait for a new release. Pretty amazing to see it come back in such a huge way too, as this is not a small release. Oh no, it’s a big one. Bringing with it tons of new maps (nearly 200!), it also has plenty of technical changes too.

        It now uses the modern SDL 2, masses of bug fixes due to the time since the last release, chat names are now team coloured, there’s optional HUDs for score / game clock and an ammobar, there’s health bars for teammates, support for JPEG screenshots, lots of new textures and skyboxes, a revamped and more intelligent spawn system, various new server and user options you can tweak, improved water quality and the list goes on.

      • Minigalaxy the simple GOG client for Linux has a big 1.0 release | GamingOnLinux

        Need help managing your GOG games on Linux since GOG Galaxy is not supported? Minigalaxy is an option that focuses entirely on GOG and it has a new release out. While there’s also Lutris which had a big upgrade recently too, it’s quite a lot more complicated compared with Minigalaxy.

        The idea behind it is simple: to just get you up and running on Linux with your GOG games. It doesn’t really need to be any more complicated and for that – it works really well.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME widens its developer outreach with Circle – GNOME

          Today the GNOME project is officially launching a new initiative, called GNOME Circle. Circle aims to broaden the range of partner initiatives that GNOME supports and has a relationship with.

          In the past, to be a part of the GNOME project, development projects needed to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure and follow GNOME’s development rules. This created a barrier to entry for many developers who were focused on their own personal projects.

          GNOME Circle aims to change that, by lowering barriers and building relationships with developers who are doing great things with the GNOME platform. To become members, projects must simply be open source software and use the GNOME platform. Both applications and development libraries can apply. Projects don’t need to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure, nor do they need to follow GNOME’s release schedule.

        • GNOME Circle Officially Announced For Letting More Apps/Libraries “Join GNOME” – Phoronix

          GNOME Circle was talked about earlier this month at the Linux App Summit 2020 while now it’s been officially announced.

        • GNOME launches the GNOME Circle program to widen developer outreach | GamingOnLinux

          GNOME is a lot more than a Linux desktop environment, and the GNOME Foundation are now trying to entice a few more developers to take a look with GNOME Circle. This is part of their attempt to redefine what is and isn’t official GNOME software, something they talked about back in May 2020 as it can at times be confusing.

          With the announcement of GNOME Circle, this is their new official branding for partner initiatives that are no longer required to be hosted by GNOME or follow their development rules. The idea is to lower some barriers, and get more people working together and form new relationships. To be part of it projects need to be open source and use the GNOME platform.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Review: Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0

          Trisquel GNU/Linux is an entirely free (libre) distribution based on Ubuntu. Trisquel offers a variety of desktop editions, all of which are stripped of non-free software components. The project is one of the few Linux distributions endorsed by the Free Software Foundation and a rare project that attempts to both be entirely free and friendly to less experienced Linux users.

          The Trisquel website lists several desktop editions. The main edition (which is a 2.5GB download) features the MATE desktop environment while the Mini edition is about half the size and runs LXDE. There is also a KDE Plasma edition (called Triskel) along with Trisquel TOAST which runs the Sugar learning platform. Finally, there is a minimal net-install option for people who are comfortable building their system from the ground up using a command line interface.

          The release announcement for Trisquel 9.0 is fairly brief and does not mention many features. The bulk of the information is provided in this paragraph: “The default web browser Abrowser, our freedom and privacy respecting take on Mozilla’s browser, provides the latest updates from upstream for a great browsing experience. Backports provide extended hardware support.” Though it does not appear to be mentioned specifically in the release announcement, Trisquel 9.0 looks to be based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS packages, with some applications backported.

          [...]

          On the whole I found Trisquel to be pleasant to use, easy to set up, and pretty capable out of the box. I really like how fast it performed tasks and how uncluttered/unbusy the desktop felt.

          The one problem I had with Trisquel was the lack of wireless networking support. The distribution strives for software freedom (as defined by the Free Software Foundation) and this means no non-free firmware, drivers, or applications. This slightly limits its hardware support compared to most Linux distributions. It also means no easy access to applications such as Steam, Chrome, Spotify, and so on. This may make Trisquel a less practical operating system to some, but that is sort of the point: Trisquel takes a hard stance in favour of software freedom over convenience.

          If you are a person who does not use non-free software and doesn’t need non-free wireless support, then Trisquel is probably the best experience you can have with an entirely free Linux distribution. It is painless to set up, offers several desktop flavours, and runs quickly. For free software enthusiasts I would highly recommend giving Trisquel a try.

      • New Releases

        • Changelog: Nitrux 1.3.5

          We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.3.5. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

          Nitrux 1.3.5 is available for immediate download.

        • Nitrux 1.3.5 Brings More Portable Apps, Latest KDE Plasma Desktop

          The biggest change in Nitrux 1.3.5 is the turning of more of the default apps into the AppImage universal binary format. These include the GIMP image editor, Inkscape SVG editor, Kdenlive video editor, LibreOffice office suite, LMMS digital audio workstation, and MPV video player.

          Of course, the ultimate goal for the Nitrux developers is to offer apps only in the AppImage format, which appears to be more easily maintained than the native DEB package format used by Debian and Ubuntu.

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 20.11.28 Release Announcement | GhostBSD

          I am happy to announce the availability of GhostBSD 20.11.28. This release comes with a new live system that leverages ZFS, compression, and replication first introduced in FuryBSD by Joe Maloney. The 20.11.28 release contains numerous improvements, including OS fixes for linuxulator to improve Linux Steam performance, an updated kernel, and GhostBSD userland updates. Userland updates include a MATE desktop upgrade to version 1.24.1, Software Station performance improvements, and numerous application updates.

        • GhostBSD 20.11.28 Released With Improved Steam On Linux Performance

          GhostBSD 20.11.28 is out as the latest version of this desktop-focused BSD operating system based on FreeBSD.

          Notable to GhostBSD 20.11.28 are fixes to the “Linuxulator” support from FreeBSD that allows for running Linux binaries on BSD. With the fixes in this release there should be better performance for running the Linux build of Steam. That should help in allowing more Linux games to run atop GhostBSD 20.11.28. I’ll work on some fresh BSD gaming benchmarks around the holidays as it’s been several years since last running such a comparison with the Linuxulator.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Cloud-native modernization or death? A false dichotomy – Red Hat Developer

          DevNation Tech Talks are hosted by the Red Hat technologists who create our products. These sessions include real solutions plus code and sample projects to help you get started. In this talk, you’ll learn about cloud-native modernization from Daniel Oh and Burr Sutter.

          Are you familiar with the tight coupling of applications with their underlying platform that makes change hard? Or, coupling that creates a lack of scalability, performance, and flexibility for existing applications built with legacy technology? How about the fact that re-architecting applications cannot be done overnight?

          If you say yes to any of these, you probably think that you have “cloud-native modernization or death.” But what if there is another way that shows you the incremental steps to refactor the application to microservices and make use of Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift to effectively deploy and manage it at scale on the cloud?

        • Red Hat : Emerging Trends of Using Open Source Software in Education

          Traditionally, software has been classified into application system software and operating systems software. Application software facilitate users’ work in executing routine processes while operating systems software is designed to make all the different hardware components, as well as all the peripherals, work together and operate as an integrated machine. Examples of modern operating systems software are various flavors of Microsoft Windows, and Red Hat Linux.

          The Microsoft Office Suite (with MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access, and MS Publisher) are good examples of application software. Fact is, for almost every thinkable task under the sun, there exist an application software that can execute the task.

          Most software are proprietary and owned by somebody. To use it, one has to purchase it from the developer or a distribution point. Also, a user cannot modify the software code if it is proprietary. Software that fall in this category is classified as closed. A good example is Microsoft’s products.

        • Kevin Fenzi: Matrix and Fedora

          Recently the Fedora Council has been floating the idea of modernizing the Fedora community real-time chat platform (currently IRC hosted at freenode.net). The front runner is matrix. I last looked at matrix 4 or so years ago, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit it and see how it looks today.

          TLDR: I suspect we will have IRC and Matrix bridged together for a long time to come, if you are new user, use Matrix, if not keep using IRC.

          First a few words about IRC (Internet Relay Chat). IRC is a 30+ year old chat protocol. There’s tons of clients. There’s tons of bots and add-ons. There’s tons of gateways and aggregators. So, whats not to like? Well, everything is a add-on mish mash that can be very confusing and frustrating for new users. For example, IRC has no persistance, you only see messages while your client is connected. So, folks invented irc “bouncers” to connect for you to the IRC networks you care about and when you reconnect play back all the messages you missed. Authentication is via messaging various services bots. Encryption is via plugins or other add ons (and often not setup). So, most old timers have a client they have carefully tuned, a bouncer and a bunch of custom bots, which is fine, but new users (not surprisingly) find this all a hassle and frustrating. IRC also has it’s own culture and rituals, some of which still make sense to me, but others that don’t.

          Matrix on the other hand is pretty new (6 years). You can interact with it as a guest or have an account on a particular homeserver. If you have an account all your history is saved, and can be synced to your client on login. You can send pictures and moves and fancy gifs. You can (somewhat) have end to end encryption (see clients below) with encrypted rooms where the server can’t know what was said in the room. You can have ‘reactions’ to things people say. You can redact something you said in the past. You can have a nice avatar and a Real Name (if you like). You can join rooms/conversations with other matrix servers (for example the kde, mozilla and others are running servers). You can get read receipts to see who read your message and notifications when someone is typing (also client dependent see below).

          [...]

          The real question is how long should we keep the current situation with Matrix and IRC bridged? What advantages would be dropping the irc bridges bring? Right now, not too much. End to end encryption isn’t that interesting for an open source project. Reactions are interesting (think about using them to vote up or down proposals in meetings?), but we have done without them so far. I think migration from IRC is going to be a long process, nor is there great advantage to pushing things to go faster. I hope that over coming years matrix clients continue to get better and implement more features. Someday (probably years down the road) more Fedora users will be on Matrix than IRC, then sometime after that things will have shifted enough that the community will start assuming you are on Matrix.

      • Debian Family

        • Simplest Studio

          Simplest Studio is an application that allows you optimize and convert audio files. The following encoding modes are implemented: FLAC, WAV, DFF**, MP3.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Catching up on WebKit GStreamer WebAudio backends maintenance

        Over the past few months the WebKit development team has been working on modernizing support for the WebAudio specification. This post highlights some of the changes that were recently merged, focusing on the GStreamer ports.

        My fellow WebKit colleague, Chris Dumez, has been very active lately, updating the WebAudio implementation for the mac ports in order to comply with the latest changes of the specification. His contributions have been documented in the Safari Technology Preview release notes for version 113, version 114, version 115 and version 116. This is great for the WebKit project! Since the initial implementation landed around 2011, there wasn’t much activity and over the years our implementation started lagging behind other web engines in terms of features and spec compliance. So, many thanks Chris, I think you’re making a lot of WebAudio web developers very happy these days :)

        The flip side of the coin is that some of these changes broke the GStreamer backends, as Chris is focusing mostly on the Apple ports, a few bugs slipped in, noticed by the CI test bots and dutifully gardened by our bots sheriffs. Those backends were upstreamed in 2012 and since then I didn’t devote much time to their maintenance, aside from casual bug-fixing.

      • SVT-AV1, Dav1d Speeding Along AV1 Into 2021 – Phoronix

        It’s looking like dav1d 0.8 is about to be released as the latest update for this AV1 decoder out of the VideoLAN project. The dav1d 0.8.0 release wasn’t yet tagged but its news file already update. This next release is continuing to make dav1d even faster. Dav1d 0.8 is enhancing the performance by employing a picture buffer pool, there is now native support for the Apple Silicon ARM hardware, various ARM32 and ARM64 performance optimizations in general, and more SSE and AVX2 optimizations on the Intel/AMD side. The tentative list of dav1d 0.8 changes can be found here for the imminent update.

      • Accurate Conclusions from Bogus Data: Methodological Issues in “Collaboration in the open-source arena: The WebKit case”

        Nearly five years ago, when I was in grad school, I stumbled across the paper Collaboration in the open-source arena: The WebKit case when trying to figure out what I would do for a course project in network theory (i.e. graph theory, not computer networking; I’ll use the words “graph” and “network” interchangeably). The paper evaluates collaboration networks, which are graphs where collaborators are represented by nodes and relationships between collaborators are represented by edges. Our professor had used collaboration networks as examples during lecture, so it seemed at least mildly relevant to our class, and I wound up writing a critique on this paper for the class project. In this paper, the authors construct collaboration networks for WebKit by examining the project’s changelog files to define relationships between developers. They perform “community detection” to visually group developers who work closely together into separate clusters in the graphs. Then, the authors use those graphs to arrive at various conclusions about WebKit (e.g. “[e]ven if Samsung and Apple are involved in expensive patent wars in the courts and stopped collaborating on hardware components, their contributions remained strong and central within the WebKit open source project,” regarding the period from 2008 to 2013).

        At the time, I contacted the authors to let them know about some serious problems I found with their work. Then I left the paper sitting in a short-term to-do pile on my desk, where it has been sitting since Obama was president, waiting for me to finally write this blog post. Unfortunately, nearly five years later, the authors’ email addresses no longer work, which is not very surprising after so long — since I’m no longer a student, the email I originally used to contact them doesn’t work anymore either — so I was unable to contact them again to let them know that I was finally going to publish this blog post. Anyway, suffice to say that the conclusions of the paper were all correct; however, the networks used to arrive at those conclusions suffered from three different mistakes, each of which was, on its own, serious enough to invalidate the entire work.

        So if the analysis of the networks was bogus, how did the authors arrive at correct conclusions anyway? The answer is confirmation bias. The study was performed by visually looking at networks and then coming to non-rigorous conclusions about the networks, and by researching the WebKit community to learn what is going on with the major companies involved in the project. The authors arrived at correct conclusions because they did a good job at the later, then saw what they wanted to see in the graphs.

        I don’t want to be too harsh on the authors of this paper, though, because they decided to publish their raw data and methodology on the internet. They even published the python scripts they used to convert WebKit changelogs into collaboration graphs. Had they not done so, there is no way I would have noticed the third (and most important) mistake that I’ll discuss below, and I wouldn’t have been able to confirm my suspicions about the second mistake. You would not be reading this right now, and likely nobody would ever have realized the problems with the paper. The authors of most scientific papers are not nearly so transparent: many researchers today consider their source code and raw data to be either proprietary secrets to be guarded, or simply not important enough to merit publication. The authors of this paper deserve to be commended, not penalized, for their openness. Mistakes are normal in research papers, and open data is by far the best way for us to be able to detect mistakes when they happen.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Collabora Office 6.4 Arrives on Mobile and Chromebooks with New Look and Dark Mode

          Collabora Office app for mobile (Android and iOS) and Chromebooks gives users a free and powerful office tool on the go for editing documents on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. Based on LibreOffice, Collabora Office respects your privacy and gives you full control of your data and documents.

          Following on the footsteps of Collabora Office 6.4 for desktop, this release enables the new NotebookBar UI by default for tablet devices running either the Android or iOS mobile operating systems to make document editing clearer and easier. On top of that, Android users finally get a Dark Mode.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 3D Renderer changes and improvements in Qt 6

          With Qt 6 well on its way, it’s about time we go over some of the internal changes and optimizations made to Qt 3D for the upcoming release.

          In a separate article, my colleague Mike Krus has already highlighted the API changes we’ve made in Qt 3D for Qt 6. This post will dive into the internal changes.

          Back in 5.14, we got rid of the Aspect Thread. Yet we still had a Render Thread. On paper, having a dedicated thread would allow you to send drawing commands to the GPU while preparing commands for the next frame. This could potentially help with maintaining a high frame rate, if command submission took a long time. In practice, this worked only in the case that Qt 3D was used as standalone (without QtQuick).

        • Qt 6.0′s 3D Renderer Is Much Improved But More Work Remains

          With Qt 6.0 due to be released in December, Qt-minded consulting firm KDAB has published a blog post outlining the extensive 3D renderer improvements made for this big toolkit update. While Qt6′s 3D rendering abilities are much improved, there still is further work ahead.

          The Qt 3D renderer is much improved with Qt6 and now features good support for not only OpenGL but also the likes of Direct3D and Vulkan via the RHI (Rendering Hardware Interface) abstraction layer that has come together nicely. Also significant with Qt 6.0 is the render thread has been eliminated since it really only worked out well with Qt 3D by itself but not in conjunction with Qt Quick. Due to the render thread still blocking at times, such as when needing to sync Qt Quick and Qt 3D content, the render thread hasn’t worked out too well. Plus the complexities around thread management and extra resources made it more clear for Qt 6.0 to just eliminate the separate render thread.

        • Property bindings in Qt 6

          Qt 6 is coming with many new features under the hood. One of the most exciting features that we have added is to bring the concept of bindings from QML and Qt Quick back into the heart of Qt and allow using it from C++.

        • 8 Git aliases that make me more efficient | Opensource.com

          The excellent article 7 Git tricks that changed my life inspired me to write about another Git feature that’s had a major impact on my experience using Git on the command line: aliases.

        • Daniel Stenberg: I am an 80 column purist

          I write and prefer code that fits within 80 columns in curl and other projects – and there are reasons for it. I’m a little bored by the people who respond and say that they have 400 inch monitors already and they can use them.

          I too have multiple large high resolution screens – but writing wide code is still a bad idea! So I decided I’ll write down my reasoning once and for all!

        • Post Json API using curl | RNM

          I developed a restful as communication for our software and client. We let end point of our API to talk each other and i quite simple for small test using Postman or SOAP-UI but to test with massive data via API is quite headache.

          Lucky enough, I am good with unit test so since our system develop using java, then I use Junit as helper to help me do the automation test. It look nice but somehow I still have issue to remote test using Junit on my Eclipse IDE. It all because the remote server we connnecting is on customer premise and the connection are so bad!

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 088 | Samir Parikh

            Despite the holiday week here in the U.S., I was able to tackle this week’s Perl Weekly Challenge. I have to say that this week’s challenge was the most satisfying for me as it allowed me to not only come up with a novel solution (for me!), but it also provided an opportunity for me to leverage two areas of Perl programming that have been a real challenge for me: recursion and references. The deadline to submit solutions for this challenge is fast approaching so if you haven’t solved it yourself yet, you may want to come back to this post later.

          • CY’s Take on PWC#088

            The above, I designed, is a prototype for multiplication (and division, if possible) when it is expensive to do mulitplication, such as matrices. Since I don’t know much about those algorithmic knowledge, just leave the codes here for personal future digestion.

          • It’s that time of the year – Raku Advent Calendar

            When we start all over again with advent calendars, publishing one article a day until Christmas. This is going to be the first full year with Raku being called Raku, and the second year we have moved to this new site. However, it’s going to be the 10th year in a row with a Perl 6 or Raku calendar, previously published in the Perl 6 Advent Calendar blog. And also the 5th year since the Christmas release, which was announced in the advent calendar of that year.

        • Python

          • 7 Best Free and Open Source Python Data Validation

            Python is a very popular general purpose programming language — with good reason. It’s object oriented, semantically structured, extremely versatile, and well supported.

            Programmers and data scientists favour Python because it’s easy to use and learn, offers a good set of built-in features, and is highly extensible. Python’s readability makes it an excellent first programming language.

            Here’s our recommendations for performing data validation using Python. All of the software is free and open source goodness.

          • Journal five minutes a day with Jupyter | Opensource.com

            Some people follow the tradition of creating New Year’s resolutions. A year is a long time, though, so I plan with a seasonal theme or trajectory. Each quarter, I sit down and look at the upcoming three-month season and decide what I’ll work on during that time.

            For my latest theme, I decided I wanted to write a daily journal. I like having clear commitments, so I committed to writing for five minutes each day. I also like having observable commitments, even if it is just for me, so I put my entries in Git.

            I decided I wanted some automation around my journaling and turned to my favorite automation tool: Jupyter. One of Jupyter’s interesting features is ipywidgets, a set of interactive HTML widgets for Jupyter Notebooks, JupyterLab, and the IPython kernel.

            If you want to follow along with the code in this article, note that making your Jupyter lab instance support widgets can be a bit frustrating. Follow these instructions to set things up.

          • Doxyqml 0.5.1 release

            I’m happy to announce the release of Doxyqml 0.5.1. Doxyqml is a python program allowing to document QML APIs with the help of Doxygen. This version includes a single commit contributed by Olaf Mandel adding supports for recent versions of Doxygen (> 1.8.20).

        • Java

  • Leftovers

    • Soccer’s God has Died
    • Education

      • Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift

        The potential forgiveness of student loan debt could be one of the biggest policy shifts in the first months of the incoming Biden administration.

        President-elect Joe Biden has said that student debt forgiveness will be a key part of his economic agenda, though how and to what extent the loans will be forgiven has become a point of debate among Democrats.

        The disproportionate impact of such debt on students of color, meanwhile, could be further accentuated in the new year, as the freeze on federal student loan payments that was implemented by the Trump administration amid the coronavirus pandemic ends at the end of December.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Precarious Working Conditions of Nursing Home Employees Foster Spread of COVID
      • Supreme Court’s Scientifically Illiterate Decision Will Cost Lives

        Pope Francis: The common good takes precedence over simplistic appeals to “personal freedom” in protests against justified public health measures.

      • Why Europe’s second, less severe lockdowns are working

        Google’s smartphone data confirm that Europe’s latest restrictions have had less impact on daily life. In March the average number of trips—to places such as supermarkets, restaurants, transport hubs and offices—fell to 35% of the level in January. After rebounding to 83% by the time of the latest lockdowns, mobility has now dropped only to 68%. This smaller effect could be caused both by more flexible rules and less enthusiasm for obeying them.

        Yet these less stringent lockdowns are still working. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s estimates of R—the average number of new people who catch the virus from each infected person—are dropping. In European countries that enacted second lockdowns, R fell from an average of 1.1 in the week before the new restrictions to 0.9 in the week after. That small change makes a big difference. Over four weeks, it would mean new infections falling by 21%, rather than rising by 36%.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Top 5 Linux Server Malware and Rootkits Scanners

            The theory that convinced most of us to join the Linux OS universe is its impenetrable nature. We were excited that using a Linux Operating system did not require us to have an anti-virus installed on our systems. As the latter statements might be true, we should be careful of using too many sweeteners to build up assumptions about the Linux operating system security metrics. We would not want to deal with any diabetic outcomes in the practical world.

            The Linux operating system is risk-free on paper but characterized by vulnerabilities in a production environment. These vulnerabilities entail risk-centered and harmful programs incubating viruses, rootkits, and ransomware.

            If you invest your skills to be a Linux OS administrator, you need to sharpen your security measures skills, especially when dealing with production servers. Big brands continue to invest in coping with evolving new security threats targeting the Linux OS. The evolution of these measures propels the development of adaptive security tools. They detect the malware and other flaws in a Linux system and initiate useful, corrective, and preventive mechanisms to counter the viable system threats.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Finnish city of Hyvinkää goes digital to monitor building energy performance

              The Finnish city of Hyvinkää has teamed up with Nuuka, a Finnish technology company, to put sensors in all its public buildings so it can manage their energy performance better.

              The effort is part of Hyvinkää plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2030.

            • Govt says COVIDSafe app being updated as restrictions ease

              Undeterred by the failure of its COVIDSafe app, the Morrison Government has announced that it will update the software in what it claims is “a world-leading technology development”.

            • The City of Hyvinkää digitalizes its public buildings to become CO2 neutral

              Nuuka’s cloud-based platform will be used as part of HyvinkäänLämpövoima’sWiRE control room service. Nuuka’s solution will collect and analyze all building automation system data and diagnose all building processes. Nuuka will provide the city with the necessary sensors and hardware to secure a swift implementation.

              The second step in the project is to optimize the buildings utilizingNuuka’s Artificial intelligence software, Nuuka AI Air, to enable the HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) of the buildings to be continuously optimized and to free resources for the city’s maintenance team from monitoring the systems manually.

            • UK telecom companies face big fines under new security law

              Telecom companies in Britain face hefty fines if they don’t comply with strict new security rules under a new law proposed in Parliament on Tuesday that is aimed at blocking high-risk equipment suppliers like China’s Huawei.

              The Telecommunications (Security) Bill tightens security requirements for new high speed 5G wireless and fiber optic networks, with the threat of fines of up to either 10% of sales or 100,000 pounds ($134,000) a day for companies that don’t follow the rules.

              The draft law paves the way for the U.K. government to formalize Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision in July prohibiting Huawei from building Britain’s 5G mobile phone networks because of security concerns.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Trump Has Let the Military Establishment Do Everything It Wants to Do’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain about Trump’s war on Yemen for the November 20, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Iran on Four Wheels

        A dozen men line up in front of identical automobiles in a parking lot with the mountains north of Tehran in the background. They have gathered to reflect on the significance of a car that, in the words of painter Hossein Soltani, “is part of the subconscious of any Iranian who has lived in Iran at any point in the last forty years.” Even Iran’s happy birthday song originates with a Paykan advertisement commissioned by its devoutly monarchist manufacturers, Ahmed and Mohammad Khayami, celebrating the automobile’s third anniversary.

        The Paykan (1967-2005) was first manufactured in the aftermath of waves of migration to Tehran in the 1950s following a series of sweeping reforms during the White Revolution, including land reforms and the women’s right to vote, implemented by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Guided by the recommendation of John F. Kennedy and intended to quell resistance to the Shah’s authoritarian rule, one result of the reforms was that farmers abandoned the countryside and migrated to Tehran and other cities including Mashad and Isfahan, which quickly erupted into major metropolises. From 1965-1975 alone, Tehran’s population grew from 2.5 to 4.6 million, nearly doubling. It was at this moment that the Khayami brothers founded IranNational, acquiring the rights to produce a version of the British-owned Rootes Group Arrow platform, the Hillman Hunter, which they called the Paykan, meaning Arrow in Persian. The Paykan soon became Tehran’s ubiquitous mode of transport, both as private cars, official and, later, unofficial taxis. Its affordability meant that it was more accessible than the large United States cars that had previously dominated the market. It brought mobility to Iranians who could not previously have afforded a car and a dramatic increase in women drivers. Cheap and easy to repair, anyone who had a Paykan would learn how to fix it. If it broke down, you could tie a pair of panty hose around the fan belt and drive for another fifty kilometers.

    • Environment

      • Delhi’s air quality remains in ‘very poor’ category, Ghaziabad ‘severe’

        Delhi’s overall air quality deteriorated from 361 on Tuesday morning to 388 on Tuesday evening while remaining in the ‘very poor’ category. As many as 18 of Delhi’s 38 stations recorded ‘severe’ air quality, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) mobile app, SAMEER.

        Even as air quality in Delhi has been improving since November 15, the level of air pollution has been on the rise in Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and other parts of the national capital region (NCR). Ghaziabad’s air quality dropped to the ‘severe’ category on Tuesday after a period of nine days while that in Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad remained ‘very poor’.

        Gurugram in Haryana witnessed ‘poor’ levels of air quality.

      • Portuguese youngsters clear major hurdle in European climate lawsuit

        Six Portuguese children and young adults cleared a major legal hurdle on Monday in a climate litigation case they brought against 33 European countries, claiming government climate inaction jeopardized their futures.

        The applicants, aged between 8 and 21, want European governments to ramp up their efforts to curb planet-heating emissions, arguing that failure to do so threatens their well-being.

        The European Court of Human Rights on Monday said it would greenlight their climate lawsuit against countries including Germany, France, the U.K. and Greece. The case will now proceed to the next stage, where each defendant country will be compelled to respond to the complaint. The 33 countries have until the end of February to respond, unless a “friendly settlement” is reached before then.

      • Energy

        • The ships powered by ‘green hydrogen’

          Along a stretch of river in northern Belgium, a small ferry is running on a fuel that many hope could hold the key to decarbonising ships everywhere.

          The fuel being tested on Hydroville, a 16-passenger shuttle moving between Kruibeke and Antwerp, is hydrogen. Hydroville launched three years ago as the world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger vessel. Its hybrid engine allows it to run on both hydrogen and diesel.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • How We Burned Through a Whole Hemisphere in Just 500 Years

          In Worster’s most recent book, Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundance (Oxford University Press, he shows how the great windfall of land, resources, and ecological bounty that greeted Europeans when they arrived in the New World five centuries ago dramatically altered the history not only of the Americas but of the entire Earth. He argues convincingly that to the Europeans, the Western Hemisphere was, in practical terms, a “Second Earth.” (Of course, the hemisphere’s inhabitants at the time of Columbus regarded it as their Only Earth, and they would lose it.)

          Worster argues that U.S.-style capitalism and industrialism were made possible by the Second Earth’s natural abundance and that over the past two centuries, they have deeply depleted the hemisphere’s landscapes and ecosystems. America, Worster writes, is going to have to shift from a culture of abundance to a culture of limits. He covers much other ground as well in the book, in rich detail. I recently asked him about some of that in a May 18 conversation via Internet; he was in Beijing at the time, and I was in Kansas.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Republicans Won Key Races in 2020 Granting Them Far More Power to Gerrymander
      • Facebook Is Still Facilitating the Dissemination of Deadly Disinformation
      • The Three Turkeys

        Only time will tell whether Trump is prosecuted or pardoned for the multitude of offenses for which he could properly be charged.

      • The Revolving Door: Biden’s National Security Nominees Cashed In on Government Service—and Now They’re Back

        Top Biden advisers Tony Blinken, Michele Flournoy, and Lloyd Austin face new scrutiny.

      • Forget about “moving on” from Trump — the nation can’t heal without accountability

        Unfortunately, Biden is living up to every stereotype of the quisling Democrat and taking this advice seriously. Reports suggest that in the interest of national “unity,” Biden is discouraging the idea of prosecuting Trump.

        This is a serious mistake. Words like “unity” and “forgiveness” sound great in the abstract, but are utterly meaningless in the current political context for one reason: The sole responsibility for all this healing is being foisted, once again, on the backs of liberals. Conservatives can’t be bothered. They’re too busy working on their next moves to undermine democracy, sow division and create chaos.

      • Can America Restore the Rule of Law Without Prosecuting Trump?

        The nation may desire healing. But there is also the matter of justice, and there is no guarantee that what feels right now will look right through the longer lens of history. Ford was widely assailed for pardoning Nixon. But one of his most outspoken critics at the time, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, later honored Ford with a Profile in Courage award, explaining that he’d been moved to rethink his views after witnessing the sprawling and protracted investigation into President Clinton by the independent counsel Ken Starr. It may be time to rethink Ford’s decision once more; it’s hard not to wonder if a Trump presidency would have been possible if Nixon had been criminally prosecuted rather than pardoned.

      • Biden Has New Progressive Education Rhetoric — But Policy Will Be the Test
      • JFK and Mary Meyer

        The story is the real-life romance of President John F. Kennedy and painter Mary Meyer. As imagined by Kornbluth, a writer for Vanity Fair, the relationship unfolds in her diary.  That conceit is kickstarted by the historical fact that the real Mary Meyer kept a diary (described by her friends as a sketchbook)  that disappeared into the hands of her friend James Angleton, chief of CIA counterintelligence, after her death. People have been speculating about the contents of Mary Meyer’s diary ever since.

        Kornbluth recreates the world in which Jack and Mary lived in the early 1960s with deft economy. He captures the dinner parties (“Jackie was licking her lips a lot”), the popular music of the moment (jazz samba), and the masculine banter (“Hey, Chickee”). All the while he gives us the interior narrative of a smart woman navigating a sexist world. After a spat with JFK, Mary observes “In the courtship phase the woman thinks she’s equal—well, more than equal because she’s elevated and he’s rising to her; once the relationship is established, she learns she isn’t equal.”

      • Trump Was Wrong About China

        ‘If the Biden administration lulls itself with a mantra of “Trump was right,” it will also prove unable lead.’

      • The Dangerous Seduction of “Going Back to Normal”

        It is almost impossible to separate the two. To the extent voters gave Biden a mandate, it was to end both scourges and make America normal again.  

      • Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump, cementing the president’s failure to change the election results
      • Completed Wisconsin recount confirms Biden’s win over Trump

        Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded.

        Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump. Milwaukee County, the state’s other big and overwhelmingly liberal county targeted in a recount that Trump paid $3 million for, reported its results Friday, a 132-vote gain for Biden.

        Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden’s winning margin of about 20,600 votes, giving the winner a net gain of 87 votes.

      • Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses another election case brought by Republicans

        The Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Saturday night from US Rep. Mike Kelly and other Republicans, after they had tried to invalidate absentee voting and block the certification of votes in recent weeks.

        The dismissal adds to a growing number of losses in court for Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump, who have tried to attack voting systems in the wake of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. The lawsuits have failed almost uniformly.

        The court was unanimous in deciding against Kelly and others, and refusing to block vote certification on Saturday. Five of the seven judges wrote that they believed the lawsuit had been filed far too late, a year after absentee voting procedures had been established in the state and weeks after millions of Pennsylvanians voted in good faith.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • A gagging bill could shield French police from charges of brutality

        The reason why the two new cases raise particular concern is that a tense debate is already under way in France over a “general security” bill designed to reinforce police powers, which is currently going through parliament. Controversy centres on article 24 of the draft law, which would make it illegal to post or broadcast any image that identifies an individual officer during a police operation “with the manifest aim of physically or psychologically causing them harm”. The point, according to Gérald Darmanin, the hard-line interior minister, is to protect the police from deliberate attempts to identify and target individuals, whether physically or on social media. According to French news reports, 7,399 police officers were wounded during operations in 2019, an annual total that has nearly doubled in the past 15 years. In 2016 a police officer and a police employee were stabbed to death in front of their three-year-old son in a town north-west of Paris; investigators found a list of names of police officers, among other figures, on the perpetrator’s computer.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Gopher, Gemini and The Smol Internet

        The biggest con Silicon Valley ever pulled off was convincing us they’re masters of innovation. Netflix brought us digital movie distribution *cries in Bittorrent*. Apple introduced Music streaming to the world *laughs in Napster*. Facebook invented social media *no they didn’t*.

        Big tech might claim only businesses can innovate while profiting from software written by volunteers in their spare time on an Internet designed, built and funded with public money. This is what innovation really looks like: [...]

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          It has long been understood that claim construction can, and frequently is, dispositive in patent litigation. This truism was the basis for the Federal Circuit affirming the District Court’s decision against a generic drug producer in its recent decision in Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc. And the case being decided on whether Hospira’s formulation described in its ANDA would constructively infringe Par’s patented formulation, the clear error standard of view also had a part to play in the outcome.

          These issues arose in ANDA litigation, wherein Plaintiffs asserted U.S. Patent Nos. 9,119,876 and 9,925,657 against Hospira over Par’s Adrenalin® product (epinephrine) and methods for administering the drug (by injection). Hospira asserted non-infringement and invalidity as defenses (the District Court ruled against Hospira on the latter and they were not on appeal). The Par patents were directed to formulations that overcame deficiencies in prior art epinephrine formulations, principally short shelf life due to three different routes of degradation (oxidation, racemization, and sulfonation).

          [...]

          Finally, with respect to pH-affecting properties of citric acid and buffers made therefrom, the Federal Circuit affirmed based on Hospira not having preserved a claim-construction argument on this issue. Moreover, the Federal Circuit understood that the (identical) specifications of the ’876 and ’657 patents, in the panel’s view “at least strongly suggest[ed] the opposite.” Because it had not challenged claim construction on this (or any other) point, the Federal Circuit held that the District Court had not clearly erred in concluding that Hospira’s formulation infringed the claims as construed (which, inter alia, depended on the disclosures in the specification), and affirmed.

        • Arthrex chief stoked by SCOTUS suit, but not at disquiet caused [Ed: The patent profiteer Trevor Arnold does not like patent quality; he wants USPTO to just issue lots of fakep atents so he's trying to crush PTAB (those people should be disbarred for hostility towards justice)]

          In an exclusive interview, chief IP counsel Trevor Arnold reveals his thinking behind the case challenging the constitutionality of PTAB judge appointments

        • Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

          The European Patent Office (EPO) provided updated guidance to applicants about the procedures and services available for filing and receiving priority documents and certified copies, on November 19, 2020. An overview of the options available to applicants is provided here.

        • Can blockchain save democracy?

          At a recent conference hosted by Marks & Clerk, an Examiner of the European Patent Office emphasised the point that – in the eyes of the EPO – inventions related to blockchain are very much in the same category as other computer implemented inventions. This is good news for blockchain innovators pursuing patent protection in Europe because this means that there is a large body of established case law that is directly applicable to blockchain implemented inventions. Our team of attorneys specialising in this area are therefore well placed to advise on achieving optimal protection for blockchain inventions.

          Electoral voting is just one area where blockchain’s advanced security is likely to be increasingly applicable in the future. And, as events in the US highlight, the impetus for its use in this field grow stronger by the day. Reputation and the perception of trustworthiness will be crucial for anyone entering this field. Intellectual property protection will be key therefore, not only in terms of protecting the technology itself, but also in terms of protecting brand reputation.

        • Evox Therapeutics expands its existing exosome patent portfolio

          Evox Therapeutics Ltd (‘Evox’ or the ‘Company’), a leading exosome therapeutics company, is pleased to announce that the Company has been granted another key patent by the European Patent Office (EPO). This new grant reinforces the Company’s leading position within field of exosome therapeutics and adds to the growing number of foundational patent families within the Evox IP portfolio.

        • How Intelligent Is Your Intellectual Property Intelligence? [Ed: Truly ridiculous buzzwords salad and misnomers here. This is what lawyers do these days?]

          Establishing smart monitoring systems starts with the data available. Databases that offer broad global coverage and provide accurate information are the foundation of professional patent monitoring practices. Typical questions include the following:

        • Daimler hinges hopes on CJEU reference in Nokia war

          Sources say it could be the end of the road for Daimler if Thursday’s ruling from Düsseldorf ends in an injunction instead of a CJEU referral

        • German court refers Nokia v Daimler to CJEU

          Today the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf referred Nokia’s case against Daimler to the Court of Justice of the EU to get further clarity on the standard essential patent dispute between the two companies.

          It marks another step in the battle over fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing. Earlier this year, the Regional Court of Munich issued an injunction against Daimler for infringing Nokia’s patents.

          The European court has been asked to consider whether Nokia is abusing its dominant position as an SEP owner by refusing to issue a licence to Daimler’s suppliers and instead seeking a licence from the end user, in this case, Daimler.

        • Approach to assessing entitlement to priority unchanged – TBA in the CRISPR case confirms

          On 6 November 2020, the Technical Board of Appeal (TBA) issued a written decision in case T 844/18, which concerned whether or not the Broad Institute’s patent (EP 2 771 468) relating to CRISPR gene editing technology could validly claim priority from several US provisional applications. In summary, the TBA confirmed that the applicable rules governing the entitlement to priority remain unchanged. As a result, the priority had not been validly claimed and the patent in question was revoked for lack of novelty due to intervening prior art. The outcome does not come as a surprise, since the TBA made known its decision following the oral hearing which took place in January 2020 (see our summary in the Patent & Pharma update from February 2020).

          [...]

          The TBA reiterated that Article 87(1) EPC has been consistently interpreted by the EPO since the inception of the European patent system and the practice is based on a reasonable interpretation of the legal provisions in question. The TBA also emphasised that the bar for overturning a long-established case law and practice should be a high one because of the disruptive effects a change may have.

          A policy reason put forward in support of the appellant’s position was that a mistake in the formality of correctly naming the applicants should not lead to the revocation of the patent (echoing the remarks of Birss J in Accord Healthcare v Research Corporation Technologies [2017] EWHC 2711 (Ch)). The TBA responded that the present case is an example of a deliberate choice of the appellants rather than a mistaken omission and, also, that a formal requirement cannot be merely disregarded or ignored even if the consequence of its non-compliance can be a revocation of a patent. The TBA also noted the different context in which the remarks were made in the English High Court case (which dealt with a distinction between legal and equitable title).

        • [Older] EPO reveals decision behind Broad patent revocation

          The European Patent Office (EPO) has released the long-awaited reasoning for its decision to uphold the revocation of a Broad Institute CRISPR/Cas9 patent.

        • [Old] Promoting Innovation with Enhanced Protection and Enforcement Measurements under New Chinese Patent Law

          On October 17, 2020, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China approved the new Chinese Patent Law, which will become effective on June 1, 2021. The new Chinese Patent Law aims to promote innovation in China with the following enhanced protection and enforcement measurements.

        • Germany Moves Closer To Ratification Of UPC Agreement [Ed: There are constitutional complaints on the way]

          The Lower House of the German Parliament (Bundestag) voted on 26th November 2020 to ratify the UPC agreement. This is the second attempt by the legislature to approve the Bill of ratification, after the first Bill failed shortly before becoming law in 2017, as its constitutionality was challenged, and the Federal Constitutional Court ruled during March 2020 that the Bill required a two thirds majority in both houses of the German Parliament. This time it would appear that the Bundestag got it right, with more than two thirds of the total number of MPs voting in favor (570 Yes, 72 No, 3 abstentions; 473 Yes votes required).

        • Brexit And Patents: 10 Key Things To Know – Intellectual Property – UK
        • Brexit and patents: 10 key things to know

          On 31 December 2020, the Brexit transition period comes to an end and significant changes to the law in the UK will take effect.

          [...]

          UK patent attorneys’, solicitors’ and barristers’ entitlement to represent their clients before/in proceedings in the EPO and the UK IPO will continue.

          Disputes as to infringement and validity of granted patents covering the UK (national and EP(UK)) are, and will remain, matters for the courts of the UK. (The EPO’s remit to hear post-grant oppositions filed within the first nine months of a European patent designating the UK will continue too).

          [...]

          The UK will not be participating in the new Unified Patents Court and Unitary Patents system, if and when it becomes operational in some European countries. The existing systems in the UK noted above therefore will not be affected by the introduction of the new system, and the jurisdictional challenges presented by it.

        • Haseltine Lake Kempner’s Technical Boards Of Appeal Of The EPO Newsletter Is Out Now! [Ed: Haseltine Lake ought to be bold and speak about how those boards totally lack independence, which means they cannot do their work properly]

          The Technical Boards of Appeal, which handle appeals from first instance decisions of the examination and opposition divisions of the EPO, received and settled a record number of appeals in 2019.

          From 2015 to 2019, increasing numbers of appeals were filed year by year. The number of appeals settled caught up with the number filed in 2019 but lagged behind in earlier years. As a result, the number of appeals pending at the end of 2019 (ca. 9200) was just over 15% higher than the number of appeals pending at the end of 2015 (ca. 7850).

          [...]

          In general, a majority of inter partes (opposition) appeals have been settled by decisions on the merits. The most likely outcome has been dismissal of the appeals, the first instance decisions standing unrevised. However, first instance outcomes have most often been revised, with the revised outcomes ranging from revocation of patents to maintenance of patents as granted, but also including less extreme revisions such as maintenance of patents in some newly amended form and outcomes in which the cases are referred back to the first instance (objections which brought about the appeals are overcome but other issues remain to be addressed and require “two-instance” consideration). Any revision could be seen as at least a partial success of the appeal for the appellant.

        • Life sciences patentability issues in Europe [Ed: IAM is, as usual, promoting the canard “life sciences” to make it seem like life and nature themselves are inventions that should be patented, monopolised]

          In the fields of molecular biology, pharmaceutics, diagnostics and medical technology, great efforts have been made in research and development for strategies to fight covid-19. Many of these efforts are focused on new diagnostic methods, medicaments and vaccines, as well as medical devices.

          New inventions in these fields may, of course, be protected by patents, thereby providing a monopoly for the originators and prohibiting competitors from entering the market. Under the European patent system, most of these innovations are subject to patent protection. This applies for novel chemical or biological compounds, including polypeptides such as antibodies or viral antigens and nucleic acid molecules, irrespective of whether these agents might be found in nature. In addition, patent protection may be obtained for novel therapeutic applications of known compounds and compositions. According to EPO case law, any novel pharmaceutical use must be made plausible in the patent application (eg, by experimental data). In case such experimental data is unavailable, plausibility might be established by including a detailed study protocol of the claimed medical use.

        • Software Patents

          • EU paving the way to regulate AI [Ed: More "HEY HI" nonsense in relation to patents -- they basically speak about software patents and software-generated patents]
      • Trademarks

        • INTA 2020: Designs are ‘number one’ in China and US

          Panellists from Audi, Crocs, Bulgari and others discussed whether design rights can help fight counterfeiting, and provided an update on enforcement strategies

        • Brands open up about closing sham shops [Ed: When they say "sham shops" they actually speak about trademark violations; the shops themselves are not "shams", just as people who share things are not "PIRATES"]

          Employees, customers and franchisees can alert businesses to storefronts that infringe their brands, say counsel at Krispy Kreme, Potbelly and elsewhere

        • Management Board and Budget Committee meet virtually [Ed: Nope, they don't "meet"; they just have a webchat. Also, judging by the fact JavaScript is used to block site visitors, it's clear they don't know anything about technology]
      • Copyrights

        • Bing Features Pirated ‘YTS’ Movies and Even Finds Some on YouTube

          Increasingly, homepages of popular pirate sites are disappearing from search engines. In some cases, however, search engines help pirate brands to stand out. Bing, for example, highlights YTS movies with a fancy poster reel and it even manages to spot some full-length pirate releases on YouTube and the Internet Archive.

        • Streaming Site Shuts Down, Offers Unique Perspective on Anti-Piracy Pitfalls

          Earlier this month, popular streaming site Time2Watch closed its doors, vowing never to return. While a pirate site shutting down is nothing out of the ordinary, the operators of the platform bowed out with a lengthy goodbye note containing words of advice for those considering setting up a similar site of their own. Pitfalls, it seems, are not hard to find.

Alternatives to the World Wide Web, to HTML, to HTTP/S, and to the Internet

Posted in Site News at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It would be nice to embrace GNUnet one day, but it’s not production-ready yet

GNUnet logo, large

Summary: Looking around the Web (yes, the Web) for alternatives to the Web (and the stack underneath the Web), we’re finding that IPFS is mature and robust enough for our needs

RECENTLY we’ve been researching a number of networking and rendering protocols; some replace the format, some transmission protocols, some the nature of data distribution. In essence, the Internet is a mechanism for exchanging streams and files. They’re sent around in the form of packets (UDP and TCP/IP). UDP is still used a lot in DNS. Some systems seek to replace DNS. Due to the nature of routers, replacing the Internet itself (rather than build a layer on top of it) would be challenging; it would require worldwide, large-scale cooperation from countless ISPs.

“Accountability or improved behaviour comes about when there’s increased transparency.”With Gopher, Gemini, BBS (over Telnet), (S)FTP and various other protocols (GNUnet insists it’s still in alpha) there are many options at our disposal, but for the time being we use IPFS, which seems solid, stable, and widely used (approaching a million nodes worldwide).

So what about GNU? “GNUnet is a software framework for decentralized, peer-to-peer networking and an official GNU package,” Wikipedia says. “The framework offers link encryption, peer discovery, resource allocation, communication over many transports and various basic peer-to-peer algorithms for routing, multicast and network size estimation.”

That’s quite similar to IPFS, but IPFS seems to be production-ready and we encourage our readers to participate.

A couple of months ago, foreseeing more EPO leaks (Benoît Battistelli sent lawyers to threaten us with legal action; António Campinos has not yet done that), we started making and then improving plain text versions of everything, ranging from blog posts to IRC logs. Pretty much every protocol and piece of software supports plain text, even BBS.

IPFS large logoWithout getting dirty and going deep into all the pertinent details (we spent much time reading about and experimenting with the above), one thing that’s safe to say is that on the Web there are almost no plain text sites. Sites which claim to be “text-only” are basically simplified HTML and some contain malicious JavaScript, including spyware. When we speak of plain text we mean no hyperlinks or images. Nothing of that sort. At one point we tested GNU/Linux utilities that convert images to ASCII or Unicode, but those are pretty useless when one has only 79 characters across and no colours (it’s binary).

Last night we made our last modifications (for the time being) and tested extensively the latest code which turns this site into plain text (Unicode, albeit nothing that’s lacking widespread support, e.g. emojis) and then feeds everything into a peer-to-peer network, namely IPFS. For the time being we rest better, knowing that copies of everything we publish are not just downloaded by many peers but also served by many peers. This means that stuff we publish cannot be taken down; and even if we’re being forced to take something down we’re unable to also take down copies, served by other nodes. In that regard, we’re not just censorship-resistant but a deterrent to censors (those who understand how it works would deem it an exercise in futility if they sent takedowns or nastygrams/SLAPP).

So on we go, writing articles and publishing suppressed material, including some internal documents of interest to the wider public. Accountability or improved behaviour comes about when there’s increased transparency. People in positions of great power don’t like transparency because it threatens that power.

Management of the EPO Dragged to the International Labour Organisation Over Its Assault on the Right to Strike

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Before the pandemic made it impossible to legally assemble (e.g. to protest abuse/corruption) EPO management worked to make it almost impossible to go on strike, either

No point assembling to protest when the building is empty

Summary: Opinion on strikes challenged by the Central Staff Committee of Europe’s second-largest organisation; if strike rights are almost abolished there, what hope is there for the rest of Europe?

JUST before COVID-19 lock-downs there were plans to go on strike in Europe’s second-largest organisation (but the pandemic prevented the strike). How much corruption does it take to justify a strike? And if Europe’s second-largest organisation is above the law (diplomatic immunity), how else can abuses be tackled?

“No wonder Campinos is even less popular among staff than Battistelli was at a corresponding period during his term at the Office.”Last year “Mr Campinos celebrate[d] the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike.”

As a reminder, the Appeals Committee isn't composed as one might expect.

The Central Staff Committee at the EPO asks: “Is Mr António ready to question [Battistelli‘s] past?”

From their address to staff:

In this paper, we explain how the strike regulations were designed to give the President means to thwart staff’s attempts to contest reforms.

Six years later, is Mr Campinos ready to question the past?

Your Staff Representation

Here’s the publication in question:

Munich, 13.09.2019
sc19121cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

Internal appeals against strike regulations

In his Communiqué No.19 of 3 September 2019 Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions. The decisions will be appealed at the ILOAT.

A bit of “evolutionary history” is often helpful to understand the present.

Changing the rules during the game…

Early in 2013 the SUEPO trade union called for an office-wide action plan1 . This was in response to outstanding concerns of staff, specifically concerning performance management (abolition of warning letters), well-being (house arrests for sick staff), the career system (reduction of the budget), a ban on mass emails, and the investigation guidelines. The answer of Mr Battistelli was to submit during the on-going conflict a proposal on strike regulations (CA/D 5/13 and Circular 347) which made striking much more difficult by:

- restricting the allowed nature and duration of a strike;
- restricting the allowed grounds for a strike2 (to only relate to “conditions of employment”);
- introducing a 1/20th deduction of monthly salary per day (instead of 1/30th);
- allowing small, non-statutory, ad-hoc groups to bypass unions and initiate strike ballots; and
- preventing a strike ballot being organised by others than the Administration.

Mr Battistelli pretended in front of the Administrative Council3 that the purpose of these amendments was to fill a legal vacuum and that, for the first time in EPO history, the newly introduced Article 30a ServRegs would recognise the right to strike. The then VP5 declared that: “[t]he new regulations had been proposed considering general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards.”

Interestingly, and somewhat contradictorily, the Administration argued before the Appeals Committee that it did not consider ILO Convention 151 on Labour Relations to be binding on the EPOrg. However, the right to strike emanates from the fundamental right to freedom of association, a right already recognised in Article 30 ServRegs. In contrast, Article 30a almost voids the right to strike and thus attacks our right to freedom of association.

________
1 “Note to all staff: meeting with the President on 16 May 2013” (sc13074cp)
2 “Strike for climate not possible at the EPO”, CSC Intranet publication of 19 August 2019
3 “Draft minutes of the 136th meeting of the Administrative Council” (CA/64/13), attended by Mr Campinos (CA/52/13 Rev. 1) in his capacity as Head of the OHIM (now EUIPO) and Mr Christoph Ernst (now VP5) as Head of the German Delegation


… and threatening staff on strike on 2 July 2013

On 1 July 2013, the new regulations entered into force4 . SUEPO informed staff that Circular 347 was unlawful. SUEPO explained that already in February 2013 its action plan had been successfully balloted, with a credible quorum and an overwhelming majority in all places of employment, for actions until 1 September 2013. Several hundred staff members declared themselves on strike on 2 July 20135 . On 9 July 2013, Ms Bergot (PD4.3) sent letters to them in which she refused to recognise the claimed industrial action as a strike and asserted that the staff members had been on unauthorised absence and were liable to disciplinary measures.

The rise of (anonymous) calls for the strike

Towards the end of 2013 (anonymous) groups of staff started organising themselves and circulating petitions to initiate strike ballots. The LIFER call for strike (6 September 2013) was a major success culminating in a massive vote of no confidence in Mr Battistelli who then tried to avoid this situation again in view of the Administrative Council meeting of June 2014 when his re-election would be on the agenda.

To this end, Mr Battistelli refused to organise the ballot for the subsequent IFLRE call for strike (24 October 2013) on the spurious ground that there should be a “one-month cooling-off period”. The ballot for the PEACES call for strike (23 January 2014) was postponed by unduly accusing an expert of the staff representation of breach of data protection. The ballot of the UNITY call for strike (16 May 2014) was deliberately postponed until it was not possible to organise it anymore.

In conclusion, history teaches us that the strike regulations were designed to give the President means to thwart staff’s attempts to contest reforms.

Six years later, in the Appeals Committee

The unlawfulness of the strike regulations (2 July 2013), the brutality of their enforcement (requisitions) and their wrong application (for IFLRE, PEACES, UNITY) triggered a significant number of appeals. Six years later the matter was finally treated by the Appeals Committee.

In his Communiqué, Mr Campinos celebrates the majority opinions of the Appeals Committee (ApC) that validated the Office’s approach to the right to strike. Mr Campinos fails to consider the solid minority opinions and the fact that the Chair of the ApC sided with the nominees of the Administration6.

Among others, we are concerned that the majority found “requisitions in the event of strike to be lawful in relation to opposition proceedings and other tasks which cannot be taken over by a colleague at short notice”. We remind you that an unavoidable consequence of a strike is to cause some work disruption, if the strike is to be effective.

________
4 “New Circular 347”, VP4 Communiqué of 28 June 2013
5 “Feedback on 2 July 2013 strike”, SUEPO publication (su13092cp)
6 We regret that the Chair was appointed by the President without consulting us. We always pleaded for an appointment based on a joint proposal involving Staff Representation.


Will Mr Campinos question the past?

When the new strike regulations were discussed in the Administrative Council in June 2013 Mr Christoph Ernst, who was head of the German delegation at the time, advised the EPO “to evaluate the rules within one or two years to ensure that the intended aims had indeed been reached.” Such evaluation never took place. Mr Ernst is now Vice-President “Legal Affairs” (VP5) and it is his duty to advise the President. Labour law does not, however, fall anymore under his remit since it has been transferred to Ms Bergot (PD4.3).

Now, Mr Campinos announces that “the right to strike will be revisited in the framework of upcoming discussions between the Office and the unions”.

We acknowledge that Mr Campinos shows readiness to organise meetings but, unfortunately, we also see a marked reluctance to question the past (and partly present) disastrous practice. The concerns of staff, repeatedly expressed since 2013, are still on the agenda, and there is much room for substantial progress.

Next steps

In addition to discussing this topic with the President, his decisions on the strike appeals will be brought to the ILOAT soon. Staff will be informed accordingly.

The Central Staff Committee

This whole thing reaffirms the widespread view, reasonable assumption or popular perception that Campinos is in the EPO to reaffirm Battistelli’s policies and cover up his crimes. No wonder Campinos is even less popular among staff than Battistelli was at a corresponding period during his term at the Office.

[Meme] Management of the EPO Cannot Let the Staff Breathe or Smell Freedom

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The managers (typically getting the job because of connections/kinship rather than experience/skills) took the liberty to break the law all they want; when staff revolts, protests, goes on strike and rebels they ‘make an example’ by rounding up representatives and even kidnapping judges

Cannot Breathe, EPO

Feels good to be king

Summary: Working for the EPO means giving up on one’s human rights; that’s the sort of conclusion many workers have reached

“ViCo” is Nothing New (Not Even the Acronym), Done on 9/11 Last Year, Been Possible as Long as the EPO Has Existed

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More on “ViCo”:

Videoconferencing did not exist until the EPO granted patents on it?Summary: Contrary to what many people are led to believe, the EPO isn’t embracing innovation, it’s just embracing COVID-19 and leveraging lock-downs (de facto house arrest to some) to impose an illegal practice on EPO staff and EPO stakeholders

THE EPO‘s management likes to pretend that video conferences are something new and innovative. But as “Patent robot” pointed out on November 29th at 12:11 PM in Kluwer Patent Blog comments, “videoconferencing was already available in 1973″ (when Benoît Battistelli was a really young man and António Campinos just a little kid).

“Privacy at the EPO is a total farce.”Looking at documents from last year, we find that even the overly hyped buzzword, “ViCo”, was used back then. Central Staff Committee representatives wrote to staff as follows (the yellow highlights are added by us):

Status on WG: StaffRep resources

No progress – no commitments

Dear colleagues,

The Communiqué of the President on Social Dialogue just published on the Intranet suggests that  the discussions in the Working Group on Staff Representation Resources (WGSR) (i.e. adjustments to “Social Democracy 2.0”) have been constructive so far. Our recollection is different:

Throughout the Battistelli administration, the resources and facilities for Staff Representation have been consistently reduced to below workable levels, culminating with the last reform, effective from 1st of July 2017. We have repeatedly insisted that we are operating below any workable standard, leading to complete exhaustion of our elected members. We requested from the start sufficient time and meetings in person to progress. Unfortunately the administration did not see the importance and invited mainly to ViCos of 1,5hrs duration. Adding all meetings up we may have just invested about a working day in the matter.

To compensate for the absence of WG time we made further written proposals, essentially following 2 strands:

  • some quick fixes, valid until the end of the current mandate, and aiming at giving a minimal amount of breathing space to the current elected representatives, with a last version dated 24 May 2019. The only change implemented was granting a 75% exemption to the full CSC members (had been reduced from 100% to 50% from 1st of July 2017). None of the other choking issues (time and independence of our nominees in the Appeals Committee; flexibility to distribute unused time; time resources for the LSC Chairs; communication resources, in casu access to emails to all staff, et al.) were considered; 

  • discussions and a written overview table relating to a review of the structure of Staff Representation starting from the next mandate onwards. 

No written comments or substantive feedback on our proposals nor a concrete counter-proposal from the administration side has been received to this day.

Upon suggestion of the administration, we also gathered a commonly agreed upon benchmark questionnaire, which was sent in parallel to the HR administration and staff representation of some 9 other EU agencies or International Organizations that were somewhat similar in size and/or layout. Staff representation has received some answers meanwhile – from which it is clear that we are operating far below any conditions used in any of the contacted IO’s. We have not received any comment on the answers as received by the administration.

A further ViCo on the 11th of September brought again no progress but showed that the Administration continued not to be willing or not in a position to discuss the proposals meaningfully.

The President informed us that a document is now in preparation. We do not know what it will contain – but one thing is sure – it was not discussed in the WG nor with the CSC nor (as been informed) with SUEPO.

Updates about these and remaining topics addressed in the President’s communiqué will follow.

Your Central Staff Committee

An even earlier communication said that “[t]wo WG ViCos in September brought again no progress but showed that the Administration is not willing or not in a position to discuss the proposals meaningfully. E.g. our proposal for a fair approach to Appraisal in Search and Examination has been rejected as it would diminish the line managers responsibility.”

Here’s the full communication again with highlights:

Status on WG: Adjustments to New Career System

Little progress – broken commitments

Dear colleagues,
 
The Communiqué of the President on Social Dialogue just published on the Intranet suggests that  the discussions in the Working Group on Performance Management (WGPM) (i.e. adjustments to the New career System) have been constructive so far. Our recollection is different:

Following the President’s invitation earlier this year to resume discussions started in 2018 and reconvene the WG on performance management system and procedure for incompetence we submitted our him our proposals and suggestions by an open letter on 19 March 2019.
 
He did not follow our repeated recommendation for the Composition of the Working Group avoiding members who shaped (the implementation of) the performance management system for obvious reasons.
 
Adjusting the new career system making it fit for granting high quality patents, motivating staff and reducing litigation while ensuring long term sustainability is a complex matter. Thus we requested from start sufficient time and meetings in person to progress. Unfortunately the administration did not see the importance and invited mainly to ViCos of 1,5hrs duration. Adding all meetings up we may have just invested about a working day in the matter.

To compensate for the absence of WG time we made further written proposals:

· Input by the CSC on transitional measures from the OCS to the NCS
· Input by the CSC on the design of a career path based on merit while enhancing a cooperative working   environment
· Input by the CSC on some implementation details of the career on:
 
o Orientation for the Appraisal: in Search and Examination
o Appraisal Committee and Harmonisation Committee
o Target Setting (Circular 366)
 
No written comments nor counter-proposals from the administration side have been received to this day.

Two WG ViCos in September brought again no progress but showed that the Administration is not willing or not in a position to discuss the proposals meaningfully. E.g. our proposal for a fair approach to Appraisal in Search and Examination has been rejected as it would diminish the line managers responsibility.
 
Moreover, the President withdrew his commitment to review transitional measures from the OCS to the NCS as also promised to SUEPO in December 2018. And transparency remains still at the discretion of the administration as requested information on average career progress has still not been provided.
 
The President informed us that a document is now in preparation. We do not know what it will contain – but one thing is sure – it was not discussed in the WG nor with the CSC nor (as been informed) with SUEPO.
 

Updates about these and remaining topics addressed in the President’s communiqué will follow.

Your Central Staff Committee

There’s much to be said about the above, including the 6 documents/letters/working positions in them. But those are so old that they’re almost outdated, so it’s better to focus on recent ones instead (covering the same sorts of issues). The main point is, the whole “ViCo” hype should be put in perspective; it is hardly a breakthrough (I did video chats over the Internet even back in the 1990s). The fact that the EPO now outsources those things to the US (remember that Skype was European until Microsoft bought it) is quite revealing w.r.t. data protection policies at the Office. Privacy at the EPO is a total farce.

Release: Early Letters and Documents About Financial Hoax Disguised as EPO ‘Study’

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO lacks money. But we didn't count its money. Heh heh! You fell for that old gag.Summary: It was over a year ago that staff representation at the EPO expressed concerns about what would later enrage workers — seeing that based on unscientific fabrications the EPO would take away what had been promised to them

THE faux ‘study’ set forth by António Campinos was all along insulting to staff of the EPO because it showed that Campinos was a chronic liar no better than Benoît Battistelli. There was a breakdown of talks/dialogue about 1.5 years ago (Campinos had been just over a year at the Office) and condemnations became more routine at the time. Some of the earlier publications about the siege against staff’s savings are outlined below:

“It’s regrettable to see that Campinos continues to sink the ship which Battistelli cruised/steered right into an iceberg.”Last week we published about a dozen more [1, 2], setting them apart from the rest because the general public probably cares a lot more about EPO scandals not related to staff compensation/pensions/other remunerations.

It’s regrettable to see that Campinos continues to sink the ship which Battistelli cruised/steered right into an iceberg. These people don’t really want the EPO to survive; they just want to squeeze as much money as possible out of it until its accelerated demise. New euphemisms like “adjustment” or “new normal” don’t make up for what’s really happening.

IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 29, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:23 am by Needs Sunlight

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11.29.20

Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO’s Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When dependent on or while working for publications sponsored by law/litigation firms can one engage in real journalism?

Real Madrid, Real athlete, fake 'report'Summary: By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns

SO Managing IP just (re)prints whatever chronic liars and patent trolls say (no fact-checking needed); is this what counts as journalism in 2020?

The frustrating state of Managing IP isn’t a new issue; we’ve been covering the site’s role in producing classic “fake news” about the UPC/A, in effect participating in a vicious and dishonest lobbying campaign.

“…we’ve been covering the site’s role in producing classic “fake news” about the UPC/A, in effect participating in a vicious and dishonest lobbying campaign.”Now, just as staff starts mass-mailing EPO management, the site goes ‘full IAM‘…

Here’s Managing IP as megaphone for ‘thug’ António Campinos, whom Max Walters deems to be some sort of ‘expert’ in science and “AI” (or “Hey Hi”). “EPO president discusses AI [sic] inventorship [sic] rules and video hearings [sic],” it says, “and explains why staff will eventually return to the office…”

Well, “eventually”…

Maybe do some grilling about the fake financial ‘study’. Would Campinos walk away in protest? Would funding be at risk?

For better insight into this whole thing see this weekly roundup (no paypall) and notice how they reprint press releases (this is what the site stands for, never the hard questions; same with Benoît Battistelli). To quote relevant bits:

EPO president António Campinos has said it will take “years” before IP authorities agree on whether artificial intelligence tools can be patent inventors.

In an interview with Managing IP, we asked Campinos about an AI tool – Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience – which has been named as the inventor on parallel patent applications. Several major IP jurisdictions, including the EPO, have rejected the filings.

The EPO president said there has not been much relevant legislative progress recently, before admitting: “You can imagine the years of discussion that this will take before we come to an agreement in this area.”

[...]

A study published by the EPO shows that European universities and public research organisations are using European patents as the main instrument to commercially exploit their inventions.

According to the study, called Valorisation of scientific results – Patent commercialisation scoreboard: European universities and public research organisations, these institutions already protect more than a third (36%) of their inventions with patents. Of inventions in the pipeline, the institutions say they plan to protect 42% through patenting.

The study, published on Tuesday, November 24, adds that licensing is the preferred method of commercialisation (accounting for 70% of commercialisation of inventions), followed by R&D co-operation (14%). Selling patents accounted for 9%.

EPO president António Campinos said: “Europe’s universities and public research organisations are powerhouses of scientific research and are behind many breakthrough inventions. This report shows that they are using European patents to bring their new technologies out of the lab and into the market.”

The study was based on 686 interviews covering patent applications filed with the EPO between 2007 and 2018 by 241 European universities and public research organisations.

Did the site actually study this so-called ‘study’? Which is basically self-serving propaganda…

It’s sad to see what level of fluff so-called ‘news’ sites have stooped down to. Another new ‘article’ (more like platform rental) by Max Walters is just giving a platform to a vicious patent troll [1, 2], Kasim Alfalahi. Surely they can do some investigative journalism instead of just copy-pasting the words of some troll talking about himself and his so-called ‘business’. But yes, investigative journalism takes more work and is more risky. So they do PR, instead.

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